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Then Arethuse, floud Alpheys love, lifts from hir Elean waves
Hir head, and shedding to hir eares hir deawy haire that waves
About hir foreheade sayde: O thou that art the mother deare
Both of the Maiden sought through all the world both far and neare,
And eke of all the earthly fruites, forbeare thine endlesse toyle,
And be not wroth without a cause with this thy faithfull soyle:
The Lande deserves no punishment. Unwillingly, God wote,
She opened to the Ravisher that violently hir smote.
It is not sure my native soyle for which I thus entreate.
I am but here a sojourner, my native soyle and seate
Is Pisa and from Ely towne I fetch my first discent.
I dwell but as a straunger here: but sure to my intent
This Countrie likes me better farre than any other land.
Here now I Arethusa dwell: here am I setled: and
I humbly you beseche extend your favour to the same.
A time will one day come when you to mirth may better frame,
And have your heart more free from care, which better serve me may
To tell you why I from my place so great a space doe stray,
And unto Ortygie am brought through so great Seas and waves.
The ground doth give me passage free, and by the lowest caves
Of all the Earth I make my way, and here I raise my heade,
And looke upon the starres agayne neare out of knowledge fled.
Now while I underneath the Earth the Lake of Styx did passe,
I saw your daughter Proserpine with these same eyes. She was
Not merrie, neyther rid of feare as seemed by hir cheere.
But yet a Queene, but yet of great God Dis the stately Feere:
But yet of that same droupie Realme the chiefe and sovereigne Peere.
Hir mother stoode as starke as stone, when she these newes did heare,
And long she was like one that in another worlde had beene.
But when hir great amazednesse by greatnesse of hir teene
Was put aside, she gettes hir to hir Chariot by and by
And up to heaven in all post haste immediately doth stie.
And there beslowbred all hir face: hir haire about hir eares,
To royall Jove in way of plaint this spightfull tale she beares:
As well for thy bloud as for mine a suter unto thee
I hither come. If no regard may of the mother bee
Yet let the childe hir father move, and have not lesser care
Of hir (I pray) bicause that I hir in my bodie bare.
Behold our daughter whome I sought so long is found at last:
If finding you it terme, when of recoverie meanes is past.
Or if you finding do it call to have a knowledge where
She is become. Hir ravishment we might consent to beare,
So restitution might be made. And though there were to me
No interest in hir at all, yet forasmuche as she
Is yours, it is unmeete she be bestowde upon a theefe.
Jove aunswerde thus: My daughter is a Jewell deare and leefe:
A collup of mine owne flesh cut as well as out of thine.
But if we in our heartes can finde things rightly to define,
This is not spight but love. And yet Madame in faith I see
No cause of such a sonne in law ashamed for to bee,
So you contented were therewith. For put the case that hee
Were destitute of all things else, how greate a matter ist
Joves brother for to be? but sure in him is nothing mist.
Nor he inferior is to me save only that by lot
The Heavens to me, the Helles to him the destnies did allot.
But if you have so sore desire your daughter to divorce,
Though she againe to Heaven repayre I doe not greatly force.
But yet conditionly that she have tasted there no foode:
For so the destnies have decreed. He ceaste: and Ceres stoode
Full bent to fetch hir daughter out: but destnies hir withstoode,
Bicause the Maide had broke hir fast. For as she hapt one day
In Plutos Ortyard rechlessely from place to place to stray,
She gathering from a bowing tree a ripe Pownegarnet, tooke
Seven kernels out and sucked them. None chaunst hereon to looke,
Save onely one Ascalaphus whome Orphne, erst a Dame
Among the other Elves of Hell not of the basest fame,
Bare to hir husbande Acheron within hir duskie den.
He sawe it, and by blabbing it ungraciously as then,
Did let hir from returning thence. A grievous sigh the Queene
Of Hell did fetch, and of that wight that had a witnesse beene
Against hir made a cursed Birde. Upon his face she shead
The water of the Phlegeton: and by and by his head
Was nothing else but Beake and Downe, and mightie glaring eyes.
Quight altred from himselfe betweene two yellow wings he flies.
He groweth chiefly into head and hooked talants long
And much adoe he hath to flaske his lazie wings among.
The messenger of Morning was he made, a filthie fowle,
A signe of mischiefe unto men, the sluggish skreching Owle.
This person for his lavish tongue and telling tales might seeme
To have deserved punishment. But what should men esteeme
To be the verie cause why you, Acheloes daughters, weare
Both feete and feathers like to Birdes, considering that you beare
The upper partes of Maidens still? And commes it so to passe
Bicause when Ladie Proserpine a gathering flowers was,
Ye Meremaides kept hir companie? Whome after you had sought
Through all the Earth in vaine, anon of purpose that your thought
Might also to the Seas be knowen, ye wished that ye might
Upon the waves with hovering wings at pleasure rule your flight,
And had the Goddes to your request so pliant, that ye found
With yellow feathers out of hand your bodies clothed round:
Yet lest that pleasant tune of yours ordeyned to delight
The hearing, and so high a gift of Musicke perish might
For want of uttrance, humaine voyce to utter things at will
And countnance of virginitie remained to you still.
But meane betweene his brother and his heavie sister goth
God Jove, and parteth equally the yeare betweene them both.
And now the Goddesse Proserpine indifferently doth reigne
Above and underneath the Earth, and so doth she remaine
One halfe yeare with hir mother and the resdue with hir Feere.
Immediatly she altred is as well in outwarde cheere
As inwarde minde. For where hir looke might late before appeere
Sad even to Dis, hir countnance now is full of mirth and grace
Even like as Phebus having put the watrie cloudes to chace,
Doth shew himselfe a Conqueror with bright and shining face.
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