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There was a hyll, and on the hyll a verie levell plot,
Fayre greene with grasse. But as for shade or covert was there not.
As soone as that this Poet borne of Goddes, in that same place
Sate downe and toucht his tuned strings, a shadow came apace.
There wanted neyther Chaons tree, nor yit the trees to which
Fresh Phaetons susters turned were, nor Beeche, nor Holme, nor Wich,
Nor gentle Asp, nor wyvelesse Bay, nor lofty Chestnuttree.
Nor Hazle spalt, nor Ash wherof the shafts of speares made bee.
Nor knotlesse Firre, nor cheerfull Plane, nor Maple flecked grayne.
Nor Lote, nor Sallow which delights by waters to remayne.
Nor slender twigged Tamarisk, nor Box ay greene of hew.
Nor Figtrees loden with theyr frute of colours browne and blew.
Nor double colourd Myrtletrees. Moreover thither came
The wrything Ivye, and the Vyne that runnes uppon a frame,
Elmes clad with Vynes, and Ashes wyld and Pitchtrees blacke as cole,
And full of trees with goodly frute red stryped, Ortyards whole.
And Palmetrees lythe which in reward of conquest men doo beare,
And Pynapple with tufted top and harsh and prickling heare,
The tree to Cybele, mother of the Goddes, most deere. For why?
Her minion Atys putting off the shape of man, did dye,
And hardened into this same tree. Among this companee
Was present with a pyked top the Cypresse, now a tree,
Sumtime a boay beloved of the God that with a string
Dooth arme his bow, and with a string in tune his Violl bring.
For hallowed to the Nymphes that in the feeldes of Carthye were
There was a goodly myghty Stag whose homes such bredth did beare,
As that they shadowed all his head. His homes of gold did shyne,
And downe his brest hung from his necke, a cheyne with jewels fyne.
Amid his frunt with prettie strings a tablet beeing tyde,
Did waver as he went: and from his eares on eyther syde
Hung perles of all one growth about his hollow temples bryght.
This goodly Spitter beeing voyd of dread, as having quyght
Forgot his native fearefulnesse, did haunt mens houses, and
Would suffer folk (yea though unknowen) to coy him with theyr hand.
But more than unto all folke else he deerer was to thee
O Cyparisse, the fayrest Wyght that ever man did see
In Coea. Thou to pastures, thou to water springs him led,
Thou wreathedst sundry flowres betweene his homes uppon his hed.
Sumtyme a horsman thou his backe for pleasure didst bestryde,
And haltring him with silken bit from place to place didst ryde.
In summer tyme about hygh noone when Titan with his heate
Did make the hollow crabbed cleas of Cancer for to sweate,
Unweeting Cyparissus with a Dart did strike this Hart
Quyght through. And when that of the wound he saw he must depart,
He purposd for to die himself. What woords of comfort spake
Not Phoebus to him? willing him the matter lyght to take
And not more sorrow for it than was requisite to make.
But still the Lad did sygh and sob, and as his last request
Desyred God he myght thenceforth from moorning never rest.
Anon through weeping overmuch his blood was drayned quyght:
His limbes wext greene: his heare which hung upon his forehead whyght
Began to bee a bristled bush: and taking by and by
A stiffnesse, with a sharpened top did face the starrie skye.
The God did sigh, and sadly sayd: Myselfe shall moorne for thee,
And thou for others: and ay one in moorning thou shalt bee.
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