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Thou makste a processe verie long (quoth Penthey) to th'intent
That (choler being coolde by time) mine anger might relent.
But Sirs (he spake it to his men) go take him by and by,
With cruell torments out of hand goe cause him for to die.
Immediately they led away Acetes out of sight,
And put him into prison strong from which there was no flight.
But while the cruell instruments of death as sword and fire
Were in preparing wherewithall t'accomplish Pentheys yre,
It is reported that the doores did of their owne accorde
Burst open and his chaines fall off. And yet this cruell Lorde
Persisteth fiercer than before, not bidding others go
But goes himselfe unto the hill Cytheron, which as tho
To Bacchus being consecrate did ring of chaunted songs,
And other loud confused sounds of Bacchus drunken throngs.
And even as when the bloudie Trumpe doth to the battell sound,
The lustie horse streight neying out bestirres him on the ground,
And taketh courage thereupon t'assaile his emnie proud:
Even so when Penthey heard afarre the noyse and howling loud
That Bacchus franticke folke did make, it set his heart on fire,
And kindled fiercer than before the sparks of settled ire.
There is a goodly plaine about the middle of the hill,
Environd in with Woods, where men may view eche way at will.
Here looking on these holie rites with lewde prophaned eyes
King Pentheys mother first of all hir foresaid sonne espies,
And like a Bedlem first of all she doth upon him runne,
And with hir Javeling furiously she first doth wound hir sonne.
Come hither sisters come, she cries, here is that mighty Bore,
Here is the Bore that stroyes our fieldes, him will I strike therefore.
With that they fall upon him all as though they had bene mad,
And clustring all upon a heape fast after him they gad.
He quakes and shakes: his words are now become more meeke and colde:
He now condemnes his owne default, and sayes he was too bolde.
And wounded as he was he cries: Helpe, Aunt Autonoe,
Now for Acteons blessed soule some mercie show to me.
She wist not who Acteon was, but rent without delay
His right hand off: and Ino tare his tother hand away.
To lift unto his mother tho the wretch had nere an arme:
But shewing hir his maimed corse, and woundes yet bleeding warme,
O mother see, he sayes: with that Agaue howleth out:
And writhed with hir necke awrie, and shooke hir haire about.
And holding from his bodie tome his head in bloudie hands,
She cries: fellowes in this deede our noble conquest stands.
No sooner could the winde have blowen the rotten leaves from trees,
When Winters frost hath bitten them, then did the hands of these
Most wicked women Pentheys limmes from one another teare.
The Thebanes being now by this example brought in feare,
Frequent this newfound sacrifice, and with sweete frankinsence
God Bacchus Altars lode with gifts in every place doe cense.
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