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As Phoebus would have spoken more, away Penaeis stale
With fearefull steppes, and left him in the midst of all his tale.
And as she ran the meeting windes hir garments backewarde blue,
So that hir naked skinne apearde behinde hir as she flue,
Hir goodly yellowe golden haire that hanged loose and slacke,
With every puffe of ayre did wave and tosse behinde hir backe.
Hir running made hir seeme more fayre, the youthfull God therefore
Coulde not abyde to waste his wordes in dalyance any more.
But as his love advysed him he gan to mende his pace,
And with the better foote before, the fleeing Nymph to chace.
And even as when the greedie Grewnde doth course the sielie Hare,
Amiddes the plaine and champion fielde without all covert bare,
Both twaine of them doe straine themselves and lay on footemanship,
Who may best runne with all his force the tother to outstrip,
The t'one for safetie of his lyfe, the tother for his pray,
The Grewnde aye prest with open mouth to beare the Hare away,
Thrusts forth his snoute and gyrdeth out and at hir loynes doth snatch,
As though he would at everie stride betweene his teeth hir latch:
Againe in doubt of being caught the Hare aye shrinking slips
Upon the sodaine from his Jawes, and from betweene his lips:
So farde Apollo and the Mayde: hope made Apollo swift,
And feare did make the Mayden fleete devising how to shift.
Howebeit he that did pursue of both the swifter went,
As furthred by the feathred wings that Cupid had him lent,
So that he would not let hir rest, but preased at hir heele
So neere that through hir scattred haire she might his breathing feele.
But when she sawe hir breath was gone and strength began to fayle
The colour faded in hir cheekes, and ginning for to quayle,
Shee looked to Penaeus streame and sayde: Nowe Father dere,
And if yon streames have powre of Gods then help your daughter here.
O let the earth devour me quicke, on which I seeme too fayre,
Or else this shape which is my harme by chaunging straight appayre.
This piteous prayer scarsly sed: hir sinewes waxed starke,
And therewithall about hir breast did grow a tender barke.
Hir haire was turned into leaves, hir armes in boughes did growe,
Hir feete that were ere while so swift, now rooted were as slowe.
Hir crowne became the toppe, and thus of that she earst had beene,
Remayned nothing in the worlde, but beautie fresh and greene.
Which when that Phoebus did beholde (affection did so move)
The tree to which his love was turnde he coulde no lesse but love,
And as he softly layde his hande upon the tender plant,
Within the barke newe overgrowne he felt hir heart yet pant.
And in his armes embracing fast hir boughes and braunches lythe,
He proferde kisses to the tree, the tree did from him writhe.
Well (quoth Apollo) though my Feere and spouse thou can not bee,
Assuredly from this tyme forth yet shalt thou be my tree.
Thou shalt adorne my golden lockes, and eke my pleasant Harpe,
Thou shalt adorne my Quyver full of shaftes and arrowes sharpe.
Thou shalt adorne the valiant knyghts and royall Emperours:
When for their noble feates of armes like mightie conquerours,
Triumphantly with stately pompe up to the Capitoll,
They shall ascende with solemne traine that doe their deedes extoll.
Before Augustus Pallace doore full duely shalt thou warde,
The Oke amid the Pallace yarde aye faythfully to garde,
And as my heade is never poulde nor never more without
A seemely bushe of youthfull haire that spreadeth rounde about,
Even so this honour give I thee continually to have
Thy braunches clad from time to tyme with leaves both fresh and brave.
Now when that Pean of this talke had fully made an ende,
The Lawrell to his just request did seeme to condescende,
By bowing of hir newe made boughs and tender braunches downe,
And wagging of hir seemely toppe, as if it were hir crowne.
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