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Betweene the fountaines of Cyane and Arethuse of Pise
An arme of Sea that meetes enclosde with narrow homes there lies.
Of this the Poole callde Cyane which beareth greatest fame
Among the Nymphes of Sicilie did algates take the name.
Who vauncing hir unto the waste amid hir Poole did know
Dame Proserpine, and said to Dis: Ye shall no further go:
You cannot Ceres sonneinlawe be, will she so or no.
You should have sought hir courteously and not enforst hir so.
And if I may with great estates my simple things compare,
Anapus was in love with me: but yet he did not fare
As you doe now with Proserpine. He was content to woo
And I unforst and unconstreind consented him untoo.
This said, she spreaded forth hir armes and stopt him of his way.
His hastie wrath Saturnus sonne no lenger then could stay.
But chearing up his dreadfull Steedes did smight his royall mace
With violence in the bottome of the Poole in that same place.
The ground streight yeelded to his stroke and made him way to Hell,
And downe the open gap both horse and Chariot headlong fell.
Dame Cyan taking sore to heart as well the ravishment
Of Proserpine against hir will, as also the contempt
Against hir fountaines priviledge, did shrowde in secret hart
An inward corsie comfortlesse, which never did depart
Untill she melting into teares consumde away with smart.
The selfesame waters of the which she was but late ago
The mighty Goddesse, now she pines and wastes hirselfe into.
Ye might have seene hir limmes wex lithe, ye might have bent hir bones.
Hir nayles wext soft: and first of all did melt the smallest ones:
As haire and fingars, legges and feete: for these same slender parts
Doe quickly into water turne, and afterward converts
To water, shoulder, backe, brest, side: and finally in stead
Of lively bloud, within hir veynes corrupted there was spred
Thinne water: so that nothing now remained whereupon
Ye might take holde, to water all consumed was anon.
The carefull mother in the while did seeke hir daughter deare
Through all the world both Sea and Land, and yet was nere the neare.
The Morning with hir deawy haire hir slugging never found,
Nor yet the Evening star that brings the night upon the ground.
Two seasoned Pynetrees at the mount of Aetna did she light
And bare them restlesse in hir handes through all the dankish night.
Againe as soone as chierfull day did dim the starres, she sought
Hir daughter still from East to West. And being overwrought
She caught a thirst: no liquor yet had come within hir throte.
By chaunce she spied nere at hand a pelting thatched Cote
Wyth peevish doores: she knockt thereat, and out there commes a trot.
The Goddesse asked hir some drinke and she denide it not:
But out she brought hir by and by a draught of merrie go downe
And therewithall a Hotchpotch made of steeped Barlie browne
And Flaxe and Coriander seede and other simples more
The which she in an Earthen pot together sod before.
While Ceres was a eating this, before hir gazing stood
A hard faaste boy, a shrewde pert wag, that could no maners good:
He laughed at hir and in scorne did call hir greedie gut.
The Goddesse being wroth therewith, did on the Hotchpotch put
The liquor ere that all was eate, and in his face it threw.
Immediatly the skinne thereof became of speckled hew,
And into legs his armes did turne: and in his altred hide
A wrigling tayle streight to his limmes was added more beside.
And to th'intent he should not have much powre to worken scathe,
His bodie in a little roume togither knit she hathe.
For as with pretie Lucerts he in facion doth agree:
So than the Lucert somewhat lesse in every poynt is he.
The poore old woman was amazde: and bitterly she wept:
She durst not touche the uncouth worme, who into corners crept.
And of the flecked spottes like starres that on his hide are set
A name agreeing thereunto in Latine doth he get.
It is our Swift whose skinne with gray and yellow specks is fret.
What Lands and Seas the Goddesse sought it were too long to saine.
The worlde did want. And so she went to Sicill backe againe.
And as in going every where she serched busily,
She also came to Cyane: who would assuredly
Have tolde hir all things, had she not transformed bene before.
But mouth and tongue for uttrance now would serve hir turne no more.
Howbeit a token manifest she gave hir for to know
What was become of Proserpine. Her girdle she did show
Still hovering on hir holie poole, which slightly from hir fell
As she that way did passe: and that hir mother knew too well.
For when she saw it, by and by as though she had but than
Bene new advertisde of hir chaunce, she piteously began
To rend hir ruffled haire, and beate hir handes against hir brest.
As yet she knew not where she was. But yet with rage opprest,
She curst all landes, and said they were unthankfull everychone,
Yea and unworthy of the fruites bestowed them upon.
But bitterly above the rest she banned Sicilie,
In which the mention of hir losse she plainely did espie.
And therefore there with cruell hand the earing ploughes she brake,
And man and beast that tilde the grounde to death in anger strake.
She marrde the seede, and eke forbade the fieldes to yeelde their frute.
The plenteousnesse of that same lie of which there went suche bruit
Through all the world, lay dead: the come was killed in the blade:
Now too much drought, now too much wet did make it for to fade.
The starres and blasting windes did hurt, the hungry foules did eate
The come in ground: the Tines and Briars did overgow the Wheate.
And other wicked weedes the corne continually annoy,
Which neyther tylth nor toyle of man was able to destroy.
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