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Away slippes fleeting tyme unspyde and mocks us to our face,
And nothing may compare with yeares in swiftnesse of theyr pace.
That wretched imp whom wickedly his graundfather begate,
And whom his cursed suster bare, who hidden was alate
Within the tree, and lately borne, became immediatly
The beawtyfullyst babe on whom man ever set his eye.
Anon a stripling hee became, and by and by a man,
And every day more beawtifull than other he becam,
That in the end Dame Venus fell in love with him: wherby
He did revenge the outrage of his mothers villanye.
For as the armed Cupid kist Dame Venus, unbeware
An arrow sticking out did raze hir brest uppon the bare.
The Goddesse being wounded, thrust away her sonne. The wound
Appeered not to bee so deepe as afterward was found.
It did deceyve her at the first. The beawty of the lad
Nor unto Paphos where the sea beats round about the shore,
Inflaamd her. To Cythera Ile no mynd at all shee had.
Nor fisshy Gnyde, nor Amathus that hath of metalls store.
Yea even from heaven shee did absteyne. Shee lovd Adonis more
Than heaven. To him shee clinged ay, and bare him companye.
And in the shadowe woont shee was to rest continually,
And for to set her beawtye out most seemely to the eye
By trimly decking of her self. Through bushy grounds and groves,
And over Hills and Dales, and Lawnds and stony rocks shee roves,
Bare kneed with garment tucked up according to the woont
Of Phebe, and shee cheerd the hounds with hallowing like a hunt,
Pursewing game of hurtlesse sort, as Hares made lowe before,
Or stagges with loftye heades, or bucks. But with the sturdy Boare
And ravening woolf, and Bearewhelpes armd with ugly pawes, and eeke
The cruell Lyons which delyght in blood, and slaughter seeke,
Shee meddled not. And of theis same shee warned also thee,
Adonis, for to shoonne them, if thou wooldst have warned bee.
Bee bold on cowards (Venus sayd) for whoso dooth advaunce
Himselfe against the bold, may hap to meete with sum mischaunce.
Wherfore I pray thee, my sweete boy, forbeare too bold to bee.
For feare thy rashnesse hurt thy self and woork the wo of me
Encounter not the kynd of beastes whom nature armed hath,
For dowt thou buy thy prayse too deere procuring thee sum scath.
Thy tender youth, thy beawty bryght, thy countnance fayre and brave
Although they had the force to win the hart of Venus, have
No powre ageinst the Lyons, nor ageinst the bristled swyne.
The eyes and harts of savage beasts doo nought to theis inclyne.
The cruell Boares beare thunder in theyr hooked tushes, and
Exceeding force and feercenesse is in Lyons to withstand.
And sure I hate them at my hart. To him demaunding why,
A monstrous chaunce (quoth Venus) I will tell thee by and by,
That hapned for a fault. But now unwoonted toyle hath made
Mee weerye: and beholde, in tyme this Poplar with his shade
Allureth, and the ground for cowch dooth serve to rest uppon.
I prey thee let us rest us here. They sate them downe anon.
And lying upward with her head uppon his lappe along,
Shee thus began, and in her tale shee bussed him among:
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