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Such wood as this had Orphye drawen about him as among
The herdes of beasts, and flocks of Birds he sate amyds the throng.
And when his thumbe sufficiently had tryed every string,
And found that though they severally in sundry sounds did ring,
Yit made they all one Harmonie, he thus began to sing:
O Muse my mother, frame my song of Jove, for every thing
Is subject unto royall Jove. Of Jove the heavenly King
I oft have shewed the glorious power. I erst in graver verse
The Gyants slayne in Phlaegra feeldes with thunder, did reherse.
But now I neede a meelder style to tell of prettie boyes
That were the derlings of the Gods: and of unlawfull joyes
That burned in the brests of Girles, who for theyr wicked lust
According as they did deserve, receyved penance just.
The King of Goddes did burne erewhyle in love of Ganymed
The Phrygian and the thing was found which Jupiter that sted
Had rather bee than that he was. Yit could he not beteeme
The shape of any other Bird than Aegle for to seeme
And so he soring in the ayre with borrowed wings trust up
The Trojane boay who still in heaven even yit dooth beare his cup,
And brings him Nectar though against Dame Junos will it bee.
And thou Amyclys sonne (had not thy heavy destinee
Abridged thee before thy tyme) hadst also placed beene
By Phoebus in the firmament. How bee it (as is seene)
Thou art eternall so farre forth as may bee. For as oft
As watrie Piscis giveth place to Aries that the soft
And gentle springtyde dooth succeede the winter sharp and stowre:
So often thou renewest thyself, and on the fayre greene clowre
Doost shoote out flowres. My father bare a speciall love to thee
Above all others. So that whyle the God went oft to see
Eurotas and unwalled Spart, he left his noble towne
Of Delphos (which amid the world is situate in renowne)
Without a sovereigne. Neyther Harp nor Bow regarded were.
Unmyndfull of his Godhead he refused not to beare
The nets, nor for to hold the hounds, nor as a peynfull mate
To travell over cragged hilles, through which continuall gate
His flames augmented more and more. And now the sunne did stand
Well neere midway beetweene the nyghts last past and next at hand.
They stript themselves and noynted them with oyle of Olyfe fat.
And fell to throwing of a Sledge that was ryght huge and flat.
Fyrst Phoebus peysing it did throw it from him with such strength,
As that the weyght drave downe the clouds in flying. And at length
It fell upon substantiall ground, where plainly it did show
As well the cunning as the force of him that did it throw.
Immediatly upon desyre himself the sport to trie,
The Spartane lad made haste to take up unadvisedly
The Sledge before it still did lye. But as he was in hand
To catch it, it rebounding up ageinst the hardened land,
Did hit him full upon the face. The God himselfe did looke
As pale as did the lad, and up his swounding body tooke.
Now culles he him, now wypes he from the wound the blood away,
Anotherwhyle his fading lyfe he stryves with herbes to stay.
Nought booted Leechcraft. Helplesse was the wound. And like as one
Broosd violet stalkes or Poppie stalkes or Lillies growing on
Browne spindles, streight they withering droope with heavy heads and are
Not able for to hold them up, but with their tops doo stare
Uppon the ground, so Hyacinth in yeelding of his breath
Chopt downe his head. His necke bereft of strength by meanes of death
Was even a burthen to itself, and downe did loosely wrythe
On both his shoulders, now a t'one and now a toother lythe.
Thou faadst away, my Hyacinth, defrauded of the pryme
Of youth (quoth Phoebus) and I see thy wound my heynous cryme.
Thou art my sorrow and my fault: this hand of myne hath wrought
Thy death: I like a murtherer have to thy grave thee brought.
But what have I offended thow? onlesse that to have playd,
Or if that to have loved, an offence it may be sayd.
Would God I render myght my lyfe with and instead of thee.
To which syth fatall destinee denyeth to agree,
Both in my mynd and in my mouth thou evermore shalt bee.
My Violl striken with my hand, my songs shall sound of thee,
And in a newmade flowre thou shalt with letters represent
Our syghings. And the tyme shall come ere many yeeres bee spent,
That in thy flowre a valeant Prince shall joyne himself with thee,
And leave his name uppon the leaves for men to reede and see.
Whyle Phoebus thus did prophesie, behold the blood of him
Which dyde the grasse, ceast blood to bee, and up there sprang a trim
And goodly flowre, more orient than the Purple cloth ingrayne,
In shape a Lillye, were it not that Lillyes doo remayne
Of sylver colour, whereas theis of purple hew are seene.
Although that Phoebus had the cause of this greate honor beene,
Yit thought he not the same ynough. And therfore did he wryght
His syghes uppon the leaves thereof: and so in colour bryght
The flowre hath a writ theron, which letters are of greef.
So small the Spartanes thought the birth of Hyacinth repreef
Unto them, that they woorship him from that day unto this.
And as their fathers did before, so they doe never misse
With solemne pomp to celebrate his feast from yeere to yeere.

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