Table of Contents:
Ye gods vouchsafe (for you are they ywrought this wondrous feate)
To further this mine enterprise. And from the world begunne,
Graunt that my verse may to my time, his course directly runne.
Before the Sea and Lande were made, and Heaven that all doth hide,
In all the worlde one onely face of nature did abide,
Which Chaos hight, a huge rude heape, and nothing else but even
A heavie lump and clottred clod of seedes togither driven,
Of things at strife among themselves, for want of order due.
No sunne as yet with lightsome beames the shapelesse world did vew.
No Moone in growing did repayre hir hornes with borowed light.
Nor yet the earth amiddes the ayre did hang by wondrous slight
Just peysed by hir proper weight. Nor winding in and out
Did Amphitrytee with hir armes embrace the earth about.
For where was earth, was sea and ayre, so was the earth unstable.
The ayre all darke, the sea likewise to beare a ship unable.
No kinde of thing had proper shape, but ech confounded other.
For in one selfesame bodie strove the hote and colde togither,
The moist with drie, the soft with hard, the light with things of weight.
This strife did God and Nature breake, and set in order streight.
The earth from heaven, the sea from earth, he parted orderly,
And from the thicke and foggie ayre, he tooke the lightsome skie.
Which when he once unfolded had, and severed from the blinde
And clodded heape, he setting eche from other did them binde
In endlesse friendship to agree. The fire most pure and bright,
The substance of the heaven it selfe, bicause it was so light
Did mount aloft, and set it selfe in highest place of all.
The second roume of right to ayre, for lightnesse did befall.
The earth more grosse drew down with it eche weighty kinde of matter,
And set it selfe in lowest place. Againe, the waving water
Did lastly chalenge for his place, the utmost coast and bound,
Of all the compasse of the earth, to close the stedfast ground.
Now when he in this foresaid wise (what God so ere he was)
Had broke and into members put this rude confused masse,
Then first bicause in every part, the earth should equall bee,
He made it like a mighty ball, in compasse as we see.
And here and there he cast in seas, to whome he gave a lawe:
To swell with every blast of winde, and every stormie flawe.
And with their waves continually to beate upon the shore,
Of all the earth within their boundes enclosde by them afore.
Moreover, Springs and mighty Meeres and Lakes he did augment,
And flowing streames of crooked brookes in winding bankes he pent.
Of which the earth doth drinke up some, and some with restlesse race
Do seeke the sea: where finding scope of larger roume and space,
In steade of bankes, they beate on shores. He did commaund the plaine
And champion groundes to stretch out wide: and valleys to remaine
Aye underneath: and eke the woods to hide them decently
With tender leaves: and stonie hilles to lift themselves on hie.
And as two Zones doe cut the Heaven upon the righter side,
And other twaine upon the left likewise the same devide,
The middle in outragious heat exceeding all the rest:
Even so likewise through great foresight to God it seemed best,
The earth encluded in the same should so devided bee,
As with the number of the Heaven, hir Zones might full agree.
Of which the middle Zone in heate, the utmost twaine in colde
Exceede so farre, that there to dwell no creature dare be bolde.
Betweene these two so great extremes, two other Zones are fixt,
Where temprature of heate and colde indifferently is mixt.
Now over this doth hang the Ayre, which as it is more fleightie
Than earth or water: so againe than fire it is more weightie.
There hath he placed mist and cloudes, and for to feare mens mindes,
The thunder and the lightning eke, with colde and blustring windes.
But yet the maker of the worlde permitteth not alway
The windes to use the ayre at will. For at this present day,
Though ech from other placed be in sundry coasts aside,
The violence of their boystrous blasts, things scarsly can abide.
They so turmoyle as though they would the world in pieces rende,
So cruell is those brothers wrath when that they doe contende.
And therefore to the morning graye, the Realme of Nabathie,
To Persis and to other lands and countries that doe lie
Farre underneath the Morning starre, did Eurus take his flight.
Likewise the setting of the Sunne, and shutting in of night
Belong to Zephyr. And the blasts of blustring Boreas raigne,
in Scythia and in other landes set under Charles his waine.
And unto Auster doth belong the coast of all the South,
Who beareth shoures and rotten mistes, continuall in his mouth.
Above all these he set aloft the cleare and lightsome skie,
Without all dregs of earthly filth or grossenesse utterlie.
The boundes of things were scarsly yet by him thus pointed out,
But that appeared in the heaven, starres glistring all about,
Which in the said confused heape had hidden bene before,
And to th'intent with lively things eche Region for to store,
The heavenly soyle, to Gods and Starres and Planets first he gave.
The waters next both fresh and salt he let the fishes have.
The suttle ayre to flickring fowles and birdes he hath assignde.
The earth to beasts both wilde and tame of sundrie sort and kinde.
Howbeit yet of all this while, the creature wanting was,
Farre more devine, of nobler minde, which should the residue passe
In depth of knowledge, reason, wit, and high capacitie,
And which of all the residue should the Lord and ruler bee.
Then eyther he that made the worlde, and things in order set,
Of heavenly seede engendred Man: or else the earth as yet
Yong, lustie, fresh, and in hir floures, and parted from the skie,
But late before, the seede thereof as yet held inwardlie.
The which Prometheus tempring straight with water of the spring,
Did make in likenesse to the Gods that governe everie thing.
And where all other beasts behold the ground with groveling eie,
He gave to Man a stately looke replete with majestie.
And willde him to behold the Heaven wyth countnance cast on hie,
To marke and understand what things were in the starrie skie.
And thus the earth which late before had neyther shape nor hew,
Did take the noble shape of man, and was transformed new.
Then sprang up first the golden age, which of it selfe maintainde
The truth and right of every thing unforct and unconstrainde.
There was no feare of punishment, there was no threatning lawe
In brazen tables nayled up, to keepe the folke in awe.
There was no man would crouch or creepe to Judge with cap in hand,
They lived safe without a Judge, in everie Realme and lande.
The loftie Pynetree was not hewen from mountaines where it stood,
In seeking straunge and forren landes, to rove upon the flood.
Men knew none other countries yet, than where themselves did keepe:
There was no towne enclosed yet, with walles and diches deepe.
No horne nor trumpet was in use, no sword nor helmet worne,
The worlde was such, that souldiers helpe might easly be forborne.
The fertile earth as yet was free, untoucht of spade or plough,
And yet it yeelded of it selfe of every things inough.
And men themselves contented well with plaine and simple foode,
That on the earth of natures gift without their travail stoode,
Did live by Raspis, heppes and hawes, by cornelles, plummes and cherries,
By sloes and apples, nuttes and peares, and lothsome bramble berries,
And by the acornes dropt on ground, from Joves brode tree in fielde.
The Springtime lasted all the yeare, and Zephyr with his milde
And gentle blast did cherish things that grew of owne accorde,
The ground untilde, all kinde of fruits did plenteously afforde.
No mucke nor tillage was bestowde on leane and barren land,
To make the corne of better head, and ranker for to stand.
Then streames ran milke, then streames ran wine, and yellow honny flowde
From ech greene tree whereon the rayes of firie Phebus glowde.
But when that into Lymbo once Saturnus being thrust,
The rule and charge of all the worlde was under Jove unjust,
And that the silver age came in, more somewhat base than golde,
More precious yet than freckled brasse, immediatly the olde
And auncient Spring did Jove abridge, and made therof anon,
Foure seasons: Winter, Sommer, Spring, and Autumne off and on:
Then first of all began the ayre with fervent heate to swelt.
Then Isycles hung roping downe: then for the colde was felt
Men gan to shroud themselves in house. Their houses were the thickes,
And bushie queaches, hollow caves, or hardels made of stickes.
Then first of all were furrowes drawne, and corne was cast in ground.
The simple Oxe with sorie sighes, to heavie yoke was bound.
Next after this succeded streight, the third and brazen age:
More hard of nature, somewhat bent to cruell warres and rage.
But yet not wholy past all grace. Of yron is the last
In no part good and tractable as former ages past.
For when that of this wicked Age once opened was the veyne
Therein all mischief rushed forth: then Fayth and Truth were faine
And honest shame to hide their heades: for whom crept stoutly in,
Craft, Treason, Violence, Envie, Pride and wicked Lust to win.
The shipman hoyst his sailes to wind, whose names he did not knowe:
And shippes that erst in toppes of hilles and mountaines had ygrowe,
Did leape and daunce on uncouth waves: and men began to bound
With dowles and diches drawen in length the free and fertile ground,
Which was as common as the Ayre and light of Sunne before.
Not onely corne and other fruites, for sustnance and for store,
Were now exacted of the Earth: but eft they gan to digge,
And in the bowels of the ground unsaciably to rigge,
For Riches coucht and hidden deepe, in places nere to Hell,
The spurres and stirrers unto vice, and foes to doing well.
Then hurtfull yron came abrode, then came forth yellow golde,
More hurtfull than the yron farre, then came forth battle bolde,
That feightes with bothe, and shakes his sword in cruell bloudy hand.
Men live by ravine and by stelth: the wandring guest doth stand
In daunger of his host: the host in daunger of his guest:
And fathers of their sonne in lawes: yea seldome time doth rest,
Betweene borne brothers such accord and love as ought to bee.
The goodman seekes the goodwifes death, and his againe seeks shee.
The stepdames fell their husbandes sonnes with poyson do assayle.
To see their fathers live so long the children doe bewayle.
All godlynesse lies under foote. And Ladie Astrey, last
Of heavenly vertues, from this earth in slaughter drowned past.
And to th'intent the earth alone thus should not be opprest,
And heaven above in slouthfull ease and carelesse quiet rest,
Men say that Giantes went about the Realme of Heaven to win
To place themselves to raigne as Gods and lawlesse Lordes therein.
And hill on hill they heaped up aloft into the skie,
Till God almighty from the Heaven did let his thunder flie,
The dint whereof the ayrie tops of high Olympus brake,
And pressed Pelion violently from under Ossa strake.
When whelmed in their wicked worke those cursed Caitives lay,
The Earth their mother tooke their bloud yet warme and (as they say)
Did give it life. And for bicause some ympes should still remaine
Of that same stocke, she gave it shape and limmes of men againe.
This offspring eke against the Gods did beare a native spight,
In slaughter and in doing wrong was all their whole delight.
Their deedes declared them of bloud engendred for to bee.
The which as soone as Saturns sonne from Heaven aloft did see,
He fetcht a sigh, and therwithall revolving in his thought
The shamefull act which at a feast Lycaon late had wrought,
As yet unknowne or blowne abrode: He gan thereat to storme
And stomacke like an angry Jove. And therfore to reforme
Such haynous actes, he sommonde streight his Court of Parliament,
Whereto resorted all the Gods that had their sommons sent.
Highe in the Welkin is a way apparant to the sight
In starrie nights, which of his passing whitenesse Milkie hight:
It is the streete that to the Court and Princely Pallace leades,
Of mightie Jove whose thunderclaps eche living creature dreades.
On both the sides of this same waye do stand in stately port
The sumptuous houses of the Peeres. For all the common sort
Dwell scattring here and there abrode: the face of all the skie
The houses of the chiefe estates and Princes doe supplie.
And sure and if I may be bolde to speake my fancie free
I take this place of all the Heaven the Pallace for to bee.
Now when the Goddes assembled were, and eche had tane his place,
Jove standing up aloft and leaning on his yvorie Mace,
Right dreadfully his bushie lockes did thrise or four times shake,
Wherewith he made both Sea and Land and Heaven it self to quake,
And afterward in wrathfull wordes his angrie minde thus brake:
I never was in greater care nor more perplexitie,
How to maintaine my soveraigne state and Princelie royaltie,
When with their hundreth handes apiece the Adderfooted rout,
Did practise for to conquere Heaven and for to cast us out.
For though it were a cruell foe: yet did that warre depende
Upon one ground, and in one stocke it had his finall ende.
But now as farre as any sea about the worlde doth winde,
I must destroy both man and beast and all the mortall kinde.
I sweare by Styxes hideous streames that run within the ground,
All other meanes must first be sought: but when there can be found
No helpe to heale a festred sore, it must away be cut,
Lest that the partes that yet are sound, in daunger should be put.
We have a number in the worlde that mans estate surmount,
Of such whom for their private Gods the countrie folkes account,
As Satyres, Faunes, and sundry Nymphes, with Silvanes eke beside,
That in the woods and hillie grounds continually abide.
Whome into Heaven since that as yet we vouch not safe to take,
And of the honour of this place copartners for to make,
Such landes as to inhabite in, we erst to them assignde,
That they should still enjoye the same, it is my will and minde.
But can you thinke that they in rest and safetie shall remaine
When proud Lycaon laye in waite by secret meanes and traine
To have confounded me your Lorde, who in my hand doe beare
The dreadfull thunder, and of whom even you doe stand in feare?
The house was moved at his words and earnestly requirde,
The man that had so traiterously against their Lord conspirde.
Even so when Rebels did arise to stroy the Romane name,
By shedding of our Cesars bloud, the horror of the same
Did pierce the heartes of all mankinde, and made the world to quake.
Whose fervent zeale in thy behalfe (O August) thou did take,
As thankfully as Jove doth heare the loving care of his,
Who beckning to them with his hand, forbiddeth them to hisse.
And therewithall through all the house attentive silence is.
As soone as that his majestie all muttring had alayde,
He brake the silence once againe, and thus unto them sayde:
Let passe this carefull thought of yours: for he that did offende,
Hath dearely bought the wicked Act, the which he did entende.
Yet shall you heare what was his fault and vengeance for the same.
A foule report and infamie unto our hearing came
Of mischiefe used in those times: which wishing all untrew
I did descend in shape of man, th'infamed Earth to vew.
It were a processe overlong to tell you of the sinne,
That did abound in every place where as I entred in.
The bruit was lesser than the truth, and partiall in report.
The dreadfull dennes of Menalus where savage beastes resort
And Cyllen had I overpast, with all the Pynetrees hie
Of cold Lyceus, and from thence I entred by and by
The herbroughlesse and cruell house of late th'Arcadian King,
Such time as twilight on the Earth dim darknesse gan to bring.
I gave a signe that God was come, and streight the common sort
Devoutly prayde, whereat Lycaon first did make a sport
And after said: By open proufe, ere long I minde to see,
If that this wight a mighty God or mortall creature bee.
The truth shall trie it selfe: he ment (the sequele did declare)
To steale upon me in the night, and kyll me unbeware.
And yet he was not so content: but went and cut the throte,
Of one that laye in hostage there, which was an Epyrote:
And part of him he did to rost, and part he did to stewe.
Which when it came upon the borde, forthwith I overthrew
The house with just revenging fire upon the owners hed,
Who seeing that, slipt out of doores amazde for feare, and fled
Into the wilde and desert woods, where being all alone,
As he endevorde (but in vaine) to speake and make his mone,
He fell a howling: wherewithall for verie rage and moode
He ran me quite out of his wits and waxed furious woode.
Still practising his wonted lust of slaughter on the poore
And sielie cattle, thirsting still for bloud as heretofore,
His garments turnde to shackie haire, his armes to rugged pawes:
So is he made a ravening Wolfe: whose shape expressely drawes
To that the which he was before: his skinne is horie graye,
His looke still grim with glaring eyes, and every kinde of waye
His cruell heart in outward shape doth well it selfe bewraye.
Thus was one house destroyed quite, but that one house alone
Deserveth not to be destroyde: in all the Earth is none,
But that such vice doth raigne therein, as that ye would beleve,
That all had sworne and solde themselves to mischiefe us to greve.
And therefore as they all offende: so am I fully bent,
That all forthwith (as they deserve) shall have due punishment.
These wordes of Jove some of the Gods did openly approve,
And with their sayings more to wrath his angry courage move.
And some did give assent by signes. Yet did it grieve them all
That such destruction utterly on all mankinde should fall,
Demaunding what he purposed with all the Earth to doe,
When that he had all mortall men so cleane destroyde, and whoe
On holie Altars afterward should offer frankinsence,
And whother that he were in minde to leave the Earth fro thence
To savage beastes to wast and spoyle, bicause of mans offence.
The king of Gods bade cease their thought and questions in that case,
And cast the care thereof on him. Within a little space
He promist for to frame a newe, an other kinde of men
By wondrous meanes, unlike the first to fill the world agen.
And now his lightning had he thought on all the earth to throw,
But that he feared lest the flames perhaps so hie should grow
As for to set the Heaven on fire, and burne up all the skie.
He did remember furthermore how that by destinie
A certaine time should one day come, wherein both Sea and Lond
And Heaven it selfe shoulde feele the force of Vulcans scorching brond,
So that the huge and goodly worke of all the worlde so wide
Should go to wrecke, for doubt whereof forthwith he laide aside
His weapons that the Cyclops made, intending to correct
Mans trespasse by a punishment contrary in effect.
And namely with incessant showres from heaven ypoured downe,
He did determine with himselfe the mortall kinde to drowne.
In Aeolus prison by and by he fettred Boreas fast,
With al such winds as chase the cloudes or breake them with their blast,
And set at large the Southerne winde: who straight with watry wings
And dreadfull face as blacke as pitch, forth out of prison flings.
His beard hung full of hideous stormes, all dankish was his head,
With water streaming downe his haire that on his shoulders shead.
His ugly forehead wrinkled was with foggie mistes full thicke,
And on his fethers and his breast a stilling dew did sticke.
As soone as he betweene his hands the hanging cloudes had crusht,
With ratling noyse adowne from heaven the raine full sadly gusht.
The Rainbow, Junos messenger, bedect in sundrie hue,
To maintaine moysture in the cloudes, great waters thither drue:
The corne was beaten to the grounde, the Tilmans hope of gaine,
For which he toyled all the yeare, lay drowned in the raine.
Joves indignation and his wrath began to grow so hot
That for to quench the rage thereof, his Heaven suffised not.
His brother Neptune with his waves was faine to doe him ease:
Who straight assembling all the streames that fall into the seas,
Said to them standing in his house: Sirs get you home apace,
(You must not looke to have me use long preaching in this case.)
Poure out your force (for so is neede) your heads ech one unpende,
And from your open springs, your streames with flowing waters sende.
He had no sooner said the word, but that returning backe,
Eche one of them unlosde his spring, and let his waters slacke.
And to the Sea with flowing streames yswolne above their bankes,
One rolling in anothers necke, they rushed forth by rankes.
Himselfe with his threetyned Mace, did lend the earth a blow,
That made it shake and open wayes for waters forth to flow.
The flouds at randon where they list, through all the fields did stray,
Men, beastes, trees, come, and with their gods were Churches washt away.
If any house were built so strong, against their force to stonde
Yet did the water hide the top: and turrets in that ponde
Were overwhelmde: no difference was betweene the sea and ground,
For all was sea: there was no shore nor landing to be found.
Some climbed up to tops of hils, and some rowde to and fro
In Botes, where they not long before, to plough and Cart did go,
One over come and tops of townes, whome waves did overwhelme,
Doth saile in ship, an other sittes a fishing in an Elme.
In meddowes greene were Anchors cast (so fortune did provide)
And crooked ships did shadow vynes, the which the floud did hide.
And where but tother day before did feede the hungry Gote,
The ugly Seales and Porkepisces now to and fro did flote.
The Sea nymphes wondred under waves the townes and groves to see,
And Dolphines playd among the tops and boughes of every tree.
The grim and greedy Wolfe did swim among the siely sheepe,
The Lion and the Tyger fierce were borne upon the deepe.
It booted not the foming Boare his crooked tuskes to whet,
The running Hart coulde in the streame by swiftnesse nothing get.
The fleeting fowles long having sought for land to rest upon,
Into the Sea with werie wings were driven to fall anon.
Th'outragious swelling of the Sea the lesser hillockes drownde,
Unwonted waves on highest tops of mountaines did rebownde.
The greatest part of men were drownde, and such as scapte the floode,
Forlorne with fasting overlong did die for want of foode.
Against the fieldes of Aonie and Atticke lies a lande
That Phocis hight, a fertile ground while that it was a lande:
But at that time a part of Sea, and even a champion fielde
Of sodaine waters which the floud by forced rage did yeelde,
Where as a hill with forked top the which Parnasus hight,
Doth pierce the cloudes and to the starres doth raise his head upright.
When at this hill (for yet the Sea had whelmed all beside)
Deucalion and his bedfellow, without all other guide,
Arrived in a little Barke immediatly they went,
And to the Nymphes of Corycus with full devout intent
Did honor due, and to the Gods to whome that famous hill
Was sacred, and to Themis eke in whose most holie will
Consisted then the Oracles. In all the world so rounde
A better nor more righteous man could never yet be founde
Than was Deucalion, nor againe a woman, mayde nor wife,
That feared God so much as shee, nor led so good a life.
When Jove behelde how all the worlde stoode lyke a plash of raine,
And of so many thousand men and women did remaine
But one of eche, howbeit those both just and both devout,
He brake the Cloudes, and did commaund that Boreas with his stout
And sturdie blasts should chase the floud, that Earth might see the skie
And Heaven the Earth: the Seas also began immediatly
Their raging furie for to cease. Their ruler laide awaye
His dreadfull Mace, and with his wordes their woodnesse did alaye.
He called Tryton to him straight, his trumpetter, who stoode
In purple robe on shoulder cast, aloft upon the floode,
And bade him take his sounding Trumpe and out of hand to blow
Retreat, that all the streames might heare, and cease from thence to flow.
He tooke his Trumpet in his hand, hys Trumpet was a shell
Of some great Whelke or other fishe, in facion like a Bell
That gathered narrow to the mouth, and as it did descende
Did waxe more wide and writhen still, downe to the nether ende:
When that this Trumpe amid the Sea was set to Trytons mouth,
He blew so loude that all the streames both East, West, North and South,
Might easly heare him blow retreate, and all that heard the sounde
Immediatly began to ebbe and draw within their bounde.
Then gan the Sea to have a shore, and brookes to finde a banke,
And swelling streames of flowing flouds within hir chanels sanke.
Then hils did rise above the waves that had them overflow,
And as the waters did decrease the ground did seeme to grow.
And after long and tedious time the trees did shew their tops
All bare, save that upon the boughes the mud did hang in knops.
The worlde restored was againe, which though Deucalion joyde
Then to beholde: yet forbicause he saw the earth was voyde
And silent like a wildernesse, with sad and weeping eyes
And ruthfull voyce he then did speake to Pyrrha in this wise:
O sister, O my loving spouse, O sielie woman left,
As onely remnant of thy sexe that water hath bereft,
Whome Nature first by right of birth hath linked to me fast
In that we brothers children bene: and secondly the chast
And stedfast bond of lawfull bed: and lastly now of all,
The present perils of the time that latelye did befall.
On all the Earth from East to West where Phebus shewes his face
There is no moe but thou and I of all the mortall race.
The Sea hath swallowed all the rest: and scarsly are we sure,
That our two lives from dreadfull death in safetie shall endure.
For even as yet the duskie cloudes doe make my heart adrad.
Alas poore wretched sielie soule, what heart wouldst thou have had
To beare these heavie happes, if chaunce had let thee scape alone?
Who should have bene thy consort then: who should have rewd thy mone?
Now trust me truly, loving wife, had thou as now bene drownde,
I would have followde after thee and in the sea bene fownde.
Would God I could my fathers Arte, of claye to facion men
And give them life that people might frequent the world agen.
Mankinde (alas) doth onely now wythin us two consist,
As mouldes whereby to facion men. For so the Gods doe lyst.
And with these words the bitter teares did trickle down their cheeke,
Untill at length betweene themselves they did agree to seeke
To God by prayer for his grace, and to demaund his ayde
By aunswere of his Oracle. Wherein they nothing stayde,
But to Cephisus sadly went, whose streame as at that time
Began to run within his bankes though thicke with muddie slime,
Whose sacred liquor straight they tooke and sprinkled with the same
Their heads and clothes: and afterward to Themis chappell came,
The roofe whereof with cindrie mosse was almost overgrowne.
For since the time the raging floud the worlde had overflowne,
No creature came within the Churche: so that the Altars stood
Without one sparke of holie fyre or any sticke of wood.
As soon as that this couple came within the chappell doore,
They fell downe flat upon the ground, and trembling kist the floore.
And sayde: If prayer that proceedes from humble heart and minde
May in the presence of the Gods, such grace and favor finde
As to appease their worthie wrath, then vouch thou safe to tell
(O gentle Themis) how the losse that on our kinde befell,
May now eftsoones recovered be, and helpe us to repaire
The world, which drowned under waves doth lie in great dispaire.
The Goddesse moved with their sute, this answere did them make:
Depart you hence: Go hille your heads, and let your garmentes slake,
And both of you your Graundames bones behind your shoulders cast.
They stoode amazed at these wordes, tyll Pyrrha at the last,
Refusing to obey the hest the which the Goddesse gave,
Brake silence, and with trembling cheere did meekely pardon crave.
For sure she saide she was afraide hir Graundames ghost to hurt
By taking up hir buried bones to throw them in the durt.
And with the aunswere here upon eftsoones in hand they go,
The doubtfull wordes wherof they scan and canvas to and fro.
Which done, Prometheus sonne began by counsell wise and sage
His cousin germanes fearfulnesse thus gently to asswage:
Well, eyther in these doubtfull words is hid some misterie,
Whereof the Gods permit us not the meaning to espie,
Or questionlesse and if the sence of inward sentence deeme
Like as the tenour of the words apparantly doe seeme,
It is no breach of godlynesse to doe as God doth bid.
I take our Graundame for the earth, the stones within hir hid
I take for bones, these are the bones the which are meaned here.
Though Titans daughter at this wise conjecture of hir fere
Were somewhat movde, yet none of both did stedfast credit geve,
So hardly could they in their heartes the heavenly hestes beleve.
But what and if they made a proufe? what harme could come thereby?
They went their wayes and heild their heades, and did their cotes untie.
And at their backes did throw the stones by name of bones foretolde.
The stones (who would beleve the thing, but that the time of olde
Reportes it for a stedfast truth?) of nature tough and harde,
Began to warre both soft and smothe: and shortly afterwarde
To winne therwith a better shape: and as they did encrease,
A mylder nature in them grew, and rudenesse gan to cease.
For at the first their shape was such, as in a certaine sort
Resembled man, but of the right and perfect shape came short.
Even like to Marble ymages new drawne and roughly wrought,
Before the Carver by his Arte to purpose hath them brought.
Such partes of them where any juice or moysture did abound,
Or else were earthie, turned to flesh: and such as were so sound,
And harde as would not bow nor bende did turne to bones: againe
The part that was a veyne before, doth still his name retaine.
Thus by the mightie powre of God ere lenger time was past,
The mankinde was restorde by stones, the which a man did cast.
And likewise also by the stones the which a woman threw,
The womankinde repayred was and made againe of new.
Of these are we the crooked ympes, and stonie race in deede,
Bewraying by our toyling life, from whence we doe proceede.
The lustie earth of owne accorde soone after forth did bring
According to their sundrie shapes eche other living thing,
As soone as that the moysture once caught heate against the Sunne,
And that the fat and slimie mud in moorish groundes begunne
To swell through warmth of Phebus beames, and that the fruitfull seede
Of things well cherisht in the fat and lively soyle in deede,
As in their mothers wombe, began in length of time to grow,
To one or other kinde of shape wherein themselves to show.
Even so when that seven mouthed Nile the watrie fieldes forsooke,
And to his auncient channel eft his bridled streames betooke,
So that the Sunne did heate the mud, the which he left behinde,
The husbandmen that tilde the ground, among the cloddes did finde
Of sundrie creatures sundrie shapes: of which they spied some,
Even in the instant of their birth but newly then begonne,
And some unperfect, wanting brest or shoulders in such wise,
That in one bodie oftentimes appeared to the eyes
One halfe thereof alive to be, and all the rest beside
Both voyde of life and seemely shape, starke earth to still abide.
For when that moysture with the heate is tempred equally,
They doe conceyve: and of them twaine engender by and by
All kinde of things. For though that fire with water aye debateth
Yet moysture mixt with equall heate all living things createth.
And so those discordes in their kinde, one striving with the other,
In generation doe agree and make one perfect mother.
And therfore when the mirie earth bespred with slimie mud,
Brought over all but late before by violence of the flud,
Caught heate by warmnesse of the Sunne, and calmenesse of the skie,
Things out of number in the worlde, forthwith it did applie.
Whereof in part the like before in former times had bene,
And some so straunge and ougly shapes as never erst were sene.
In that she did such Monsters breede, was greatly to hir woe,
But yet thou, ougly Python, wert engendred by hir thoe.
This saide, with drift of fethered wings in broken ayre he flue,
And to the forkt and shadie top of Mount Parnasus drue.
There from hys quiver full of shafts two arrowes did he take
Of sundrie workes: t'one causeth Love, the tother doth it slake.
That causeth love, is all of golde with point full sharpe and bright,
That chaseth love is blunt, whose stele with leaden head is dight.
The God this fired in the Nymph Peneis for the nones:
The tother perst Apollos heart and overraft his bones.
Immediatly in smoldring heate of Love the t'one did swelt,
Againe the tother in hir heart no sparke nor motion felt.
In woods and forrests is hir joy, the savage beasts to chase,
And as the price of all hir paine to take the skinne and case.
Unwedded Phebe doth she haunt and follow as hir guide,
Unordred doe hir tresses wave scarce in a fillet tide.
Full many a wooer sought hir love, she lothing all the rout,
Impacient and without a man walkes all the woods about.
And as for Hymen, or for love, and wedlocke often sought
She tooke no care, they were the furthest end of all hir thought.
Hir father many a time and oft would saye: My daughter deere,
Thow owest me a sonneinlaw to be thy lawfull feere.
Hir father many a time and oft would say: My daughter deere,
Of Nephewes thou my debtour art, their Graundsires heart to cheere.
She hating as a haynous crime the bonde of bridely bed
Demurely casting downe hir eyes, and blushing somwhat red,
Did folde about hir fathers necke with fauning armes: and sed:
Deare father, graunt me while I live my maidenhead for to have,
As to Diana here tofore hir father freely gave.
Thy father (Daphne) could consent to that thou doest require,
But that thy beautie and thy forme impugne thy chaste desire:
So that thy will and his consent are nothing in this case,
By reason of the beautie bright that shineth in thy face.
Apollo loves and longs to have this Daphne to his Feere,
And as he longs he hopes, but his foredoomes doe fayle him there.
And as light hame when corne is reapt, or hedges burne with brandes,
That passers by when day drawes neere throwe loosely fro their handes,
So into flames the God is gone and burneth in his brest
And feedes his vaine and barraine love in hoping for the best.
Hir haire unkembd about hir necke downe flaring did he see,
O Lord and were they trimd (quoth he) how seemely would she bee?
He sees hir eyes as bright as fire the starres to represent,
He sees hir mouth which to have seene he holdes him not content.
Hir lillie armes mid part and more above the elbow bare,
Hir handes, hir fingers and hir wrystes, him thought of beautie rare.
And sure he thought such other parts as garments then did hyde,
Excelled greatly all the rest the which he had espyde.
But swifter than the whyrling winde shee flees and will not stay,
To give the hearing to these wordes the which he had to say:
I pray thee Nymph Penaeis stay, I chase not as a fo:
Stay Nymph: the Lambes so flee the Wolves, the Stags the Lions so.
With flittring feathers sielie Doves so from the Gossehauke flie,
And every creature from his foe. Love is the cause that I
Do followe thee: alas alas how would it grieve my heart,
To see thee fall among the briers, and that the bloud should start
Out of thy tender legges, I, wretch, the causer of thy smart.
The place is rough to which thou runst, take leysure I thee pray,
Abate thy flight, and I my selfe my running pace will stay.
Yet would I wishe thee take advise, and wisely for to viewe
What one he is that for thy grace in humble wise doth sewe.
I am not one that dwelles among the hilles and stonie rockes,
I am no sheepehearde with a Curre, attending on the flockes:
I am no Carle nor countrie Clowne, nor neathearde taking charge
Of cattle grazing here and there within this Forrest large.
Thou doest not know, poore simple soule, God wote thou dost not knowe,
From whome thou fleest. For if thou knew, thou wouldste not flee me so.
In Delphos is my chiefe abode, my Temples also stande
At Glaros and at Patara within the Lycian lande.
And in the Ile of Tenedos the people honour mee.
The king of Gods himselfe is knowne my father for to bee.
By me is knowne that was, that is, and that that shall ensue,
By mee men learne to sundrie tunes to frame sweete ditties true.
In shooting have I stedfast hand, but surer hand had hee
That made this wound within my heart that heretofore was free.
Of Phisicke and of surgerie I found the Artes for neede,
The powre of everie herbe and plant doth of my gift proceede.
Nowe wo is me that nere an herbe can heale the hurt of love
And that the Artes that others helpe their Lord doth helpelesse prove.
As Phoebus would have spoken more, away Penaeis stale
With fearefull steppes, and left him in the midst of all his tale.
And as she ran the meeting windes hir garments backewarde blue,
So that hir naked skinne apearde behinde hir as she flue,
Hir goodly yellowe golden haire that hanged loose and slacke,
With every puffe of ayre did wave and tosse behinde hir backe.
Hir running made hir seeme more fayre, the youthfull God therefore
Coulde not abyde to waste his wordes in dalyance any more.
But as his love advysed him he gan to mende his pace,
And with the better foote before, the fleeing Nymph to chace.
And even as when the greedie Grewnde doth course the sielie Hare,
Amiddes the plaine and champion fielde without all covert bare,
Both twaine of them doe straine themselves and lay on footemanship,
Who may best runne with all his force the tother to outstrip,
The t'one for safetie of his lyfe, the tother for his pray,
The Grewnde aye prest with open mouth to beare the Hare away,
Thrusts forth his snoute and gyrdeth out and at hir loynes doth snatch,
As though he would at everie stride betweene his teeth hir latch:
Againe in doubt of being caught the Hare aye shrinking slips
Upon the sodaine from his Jawes, and from betweene his lips:
So farde Apollo and the Mayde: hope made Apollo swift,
And feare did make the Mayden fleete devising how to shift.
Howebeit he that did pursue of both the swifter went,
As furthred by the feathred wings that Cupid had him lent,
So that he would not let hir rest, but preased at hir heele
So neere that through hir scattred haire she might his breathing feele.
But when she sawe hir breath was gone and strength began to fayle
The colour faded in hir cheekes, and ginning for to quayle,
Shee looked to Penaeus streame and sayde: Nowe Father dere,
And if yon streames have powre of Gods then help your daughter here.
O let the earth devour me quicke, on which I seeme too fayre,
Or else this shape which is my harme by chaunging straight appayre.
This piteous prayer scarsly sed: hir sinewes waxed starke,
And therewithall about hir breast did grow a tender barke.
Hir haire was turned into leaves, hir armes in boughes did growe,
Hir feete that were ere while so swift, now rooted were as slowe.
Hir crowne became the toppe, and thus of that she earst had beene,
Remayned nothing in the worlde, but beautie fresh and greene.
Which when that Phoebus did beholde (affection did so move)
The tree to which his love was turnde he coulde no lesse but love,
And as he softly layde his hande upon the tender plant,
Within the barke newe overgrowne he felt hir heart yet pant.
And in his armes embracing fast hir boughes and braunches lythe,
He proferde kisses to the tree, the tree did from him writhe.
Well (quoth Apollo) though my Feere and spouse thou can not bee,
Assuredly from this tyme forth yet shalt thou be my tree.
Thou shalt adorne my golden lockes, and eke my pleasant Harpe,
Thou shalt adorne my Quyver full of shaftes and arrowes sharpe.
Thou shalt adorne the valiant knyghts and royall Emperours:
When for their noble feates of armes like mightie conquerours,
Triumphantly with stately pompe up to the Capitoll,
They shall ascende with solemne traine that doe their deedes extoll.
Before Augustus Pallace doore full duely shalt thou warde,
The Oke amid the Pallace yarde aye faythfully to garde,
And as my heade is never poulde nor never more without
A seemely bushe of youthfull haire that spreadeth rounde about,
Even so this honour give I thee continually to have
Thy braunches clad from time to tyme with leaves both fresh and brave.
Now when that Pean of this talke had fully made an ende,
The Lawrell to his just request did seeme to condescende,
By bowing of hir newe made boughs and tender braunches downe,
And wagging of hir seemely toppe, as if it were hir crowne.
There is a lande in Thessalie enclosd on every syde
With wooddie hilles, that Timpe hight, through mid whereof doth glide
Penaeus gushing full of froth from foote of Pindus hye,
Which with his headlong falling downe doth cast up violently
A mistie streame lyke flakes of smoke, besprinckling all about
The toppes of trees on eyther side, and makes a roaring out
That may be heard a great way off. This is the fixed seate,
This is the house and dwelling place and chamber of the greate
And mightie Ryver: Here he sittes in Court of Peeble stone,
And ministers justice to the waves and to the Nymphes eche one,
That in the Brookes and waters dwell. Now hither did resorte
(Not knowing if they might rejoyce and unto mirth exhort
Or comfort him) his Countrie Brookes, Sperchius well beseene
With sedgie heade and shadie bankes of Poplars fresh and greene,
Enipeus restlesse, swift and quicke, olde father Apidane,
Amphrisus with his gentle streame, and Aeas clad with cane:
With dyvers other Ryvers moe, which having runne their race,
Into the Sea their wearie waves doe lead with restlesse pace.
From hence the carefull Inachus absentes him selfe alone,
Who in a corner of his cave with doolefull teares and mone,
Augments the waters of his streame, bewayling piteously
His daughter Io lately lost. He knewe not certainly
And if she were alive or deade. But for he had hir sought
And coulde not finde hir any where, assuredly he thought
She did not live above the molde, ne drewe the vitall breath:
Misgiving worser in his minde, if ought be worse than death.
It fortunde on a certaine day that Jove espide this Mayde
Come running from hir fathers streame alone: to whome he sayde:
O Damsell worthie Jove himselfe, like one day for to make
Some happie person whome thou list unto thy bed to take,
I pray thee let us shroude our selves in shadowe here togither,
Of this or that (he poynted both) it makes no matter whither,
Untill the hotest of the day and Noone be overpast.
And if for feare of savage beastes perchaunce thou be agast
To wander in the Woods alone, thou shalt not neede to feare,
A God shall bee thy guide to save thee harmelesse every where.
And not a God of meaner sort, but even the same that hath
The heavenly scepter in his hande, who in my dreadfull wrath,
Do dart downe thunder wandringly: and therefore make no hast
To runne away. She ranne apace, and had alreadie past
The Fen of Lerna and the field of Lincey set with trees:
When Jove intending now in vaine no lenger tyme to leese,
Upon the Countrie all about did bring a foggie mist,
And caught the Mayden whome poore foole he used as he list.
Queene Juno looking downe that while upon the open field,
When in so fayre a day such mistes and darkenesse she behelde,
Dyd marvell much, for well she knewe those mistes ascended not
From any Ryver, moorishe ground, or other dankishe plot.
She lookt about hir for hir Jove as one that was acquainted
With such escapes and with the deede had often him attainted.
Whome when she founde not in the heaven: Onlesse I gesse amisse,
Some wrong agaynst me (quoth she) now my husbande working is.
And with that worde she left the Heaven, and downe to earth shee came,
Commaunding all the mistes away. But Jove foresees the same,
And to a Cow as white as milke his Leman he convayes.
She was a goodly Heifer sure: and Juno did hir prayse,
Although (God wot) she thought it not, and curiously she sought,
Where she was bred, whose Cow she was, who had hir thither broughte
As though she had not knowne the truth. Hir husband by and by
(Bycause she should not search too neare) devisde a cleanly lie,
And tolde hir that the Cow was bred even nowe out of the grounde.
Then Juno who hir husbands shift at fingers endes had founde,
Desirde to have the Cow of gift. What should he doe as tho?
Great cruelnesse it were to yeelde his Lover to hir so.
And not to give would breede mistrust. As fast as shame provoked,
So fast agayne a tother side his Love his minde revoked.
So much that Love was at the poynt to put all shame to flight.
But that he feared if he should denie a gift so light
As was a Cowe to hir that was his sister and his wyfe,
Might make hir thinke it was no Cow, and breede perchaunce some strife.
Now when that Juno had by gift hir husbands Leman got,
Yet altogether out of feare and carelesse was she not.
She had him in a jelousie and thoughtfull was she still
For doubt he should invent some meanes to steale hir from hir: till
To Argus, olde Aristors sonne, she put hir for to keepe.
This Argus had an hundreth eyes: of which by turne did sleepe
Alwayes a couple, and the rest did duely watch and warde,
And of the charge they tooke in hande had ever good regarde,
What way so ever Argus stood with face, with backe, or side,
To Io warde, before his eyes did lo still abide.
All day he let hir graze abroade, the Sunne once under ground
He shut hir up and by the necke with wrythen Withe hir bound.
With croppes of trees and bitter weedes now was she dayly fed,
And in the stead of costly couch and good soft featherbed,
She sate a nightes upon the ground, and on such ground whereas
Was not sometime so much as grasse: and oftentymes she was
Compeld to drinke of muddie pittes: and when she did devise
To Argus for to lift hir handes in meeke and humble wise,
She sawe she had no handes at all: and when she did assay
To make complaint, she lowed out, which did hir so affray,
That oft she started at the noyse, and would have runne away.
Unto hir father Inachs banckes she also did resorte,
Where many a tyme and oft before she had beene wont to sporte.
Now when she looked in the streame, and sawe hir horned hed,
She was agast and from hir selfe would all in hast have fled.
The Nymphes hir sisters knewe hir not nor yet hir owne deare father,
Yet followed she both him and them, and suffred them the rather
To touch and stroke hir where they list, as one that preaced still
To set hir selfe to wonder at and gaze upon their fill.
The good old Inach puls up grasse and to hir straight it beares.
She as she kyst and lickt his handes did shed forth dreerie teares.
And had she had hir speach at will to utter forth hir thought,
She would have tolde hir name and chaunce and him of helpe besought.
But for bicause she could not speake, she printed in the sande,
Two letters with hir foote, whereby was given to understande
The sorrowfull chaunging of hir shape.
Which seene straight cryed out
Hir father Inach, Wo is me, and clasping hir about
Hir white and seemely Heifers necke and christal hornes both twaine,
He shrieked out full piteously: Now wo is me, again.
Alas art thou my daughter deare, whome through the worlde I sought
And could not finde, and now by chaunce art to my presence brought?
My sorrow certesse lesser farre a thousande folde had beene
If never had I seene thee more, than thus to have thee seene.
Thou standst as dombe and to my wordes no answere can thou give,
But from the bottom of thy heart full sorie sighes dost drive
As tokens of thine inwarde griefe, and doolefully dost mooe
Unto my talke, the onely thing leaft in thy powre to dooe.
But I mistrusting nothing lesse than this so great mischaunce,
By some great mariage earnestly did seeke thee to advaunce,
In hope some yssue to have seene betweene my sonne and thee.
But now thou must a husband have among the Heirds I see,
And eke thine issue must be such as other cattels bee.
Oh that I were a mortall wight as other creatures are,
For then might death in length of time quite rid mee of this care,
But now bycause I am a God, and fate doth death denie,
There is no helpe but that my griefe must last eternallie.
As Inach made this piteous mone quicke sighted Argus drave
His daughter into further fieldes to which he could not have
Accesse, and he himselfe aloof did get him to a hill,
From whence he sitting at his ease viewd everie way at will.
Now could no lenger Jove abide his Lover so forlorne,
And thereupon he cald his sonne that Maia had him borne,
Commaunding Argus should be kild. He made no long abod,
But tyde his feathers to his feete, and tooke his charmed rod.
(With which he bringeth things asleepe, and fetcheth soules from Hell)
And put his Hat upon his head: and when that all was well
He leaped from his fathers towres, and downe to earth he flue
And there both Hat and winges also he lightly from him thrue,
Retayning nothing but his staffe, the which he closely helde
Betweene his elbowe and his side, and through the common fielde
Went plodding lyke some good plaine soule that had some flocke to feede.
And as he went he pyped still upon an Oten Reede.
Queene Junos Heirdman farre in love with this straunge melodie
Bespake him thus: Good fellow mine, I pray thee heartely
Come sitte downe by me on this hill, for better feede I knowe
Thou shalt not finde in all these fieldes, and (as the thing doth showe)
It is a coole and shadowie plot, for sheepeheirds verie fitte.
Downe by his elbow by and by did Atlas nephew sit.
And for to passe the tyme withall for seeming overlong,
He helde him talke of this and that, and now and than among
He playd upon his merrie Pipe to cause his watching eyes
To fall asleepe. Poore Argus did the best he could devise
To overcome the pleasant nappes: and though that some did sleepe,
Yet of his eyes the greater part he made their watch to keepe.
And after other talke he askt (for lately was it founde)
Who was the founder of that Pype that did so sweetely sounde.
Then sayde the God: There dwelt sometime a Nymph of noble fame
Among the hilles of Arcadie, that Syrinx had to name.
Of all the Nymphes of Nonacris and Fairie farre and neere,
In beautie and in personage thys Ladie had no peere.
Full often had she given the slippe both to the Satyrs quicke
And other Gods that dwell in Woods, and in the Forrests thicke,
Or in the fruitfull fieldes abrode: It was hir whole desire
To follow chaste Dianas guise in Maydenhead and attire,
Whome she did counterfaite so nighe, that such as did hir see
Might at a blush have taken hir Diana for to bee,
But that the Nymph did in hir hande a bowe of Cornell holde,
Whereas Diana evermore did beare a bowe of golde.
And yet she did deceyve folke so. Upon a certaine day
God Pan with garland on his heade of Pinetree, sawe hir stray
From Mount Lyceus all alone, and thus to hir did say:
Unto a Gods request, O Nymph, voucesafe thou to agree
That doth desire thy wedded spouse and husband for to bee.
There was yet more behinde to tell: as how that Syrinx fled,
Through waylesse woods and gave no eare to that that Pan had sed,
Untill she to the gentle streame of sandie Ladon came,
Where, for bicause it was so deepe, she could not passe the same,
She piteously to chaunge hir shape the water Nymphes besought:
And how when Pan betweene his armes, to catch the Nymph had thought,
In steade of hir he caught the Reedes newe growne upon the brooke,
And as he sighed, with his breath the Reedes he softly shooke
Which made a still and mourning noyse, with straungnesse of the which
And sweetenesse of the feeble sounde the God delighted mich,
Saide: Certesse, Syrinx, for thy sake it is my full intent,
To make my comfort of these Reedes wherein thou doest lament:
And how that there of sundrie Reedes with wax together knit,
He made the Pipe which of hir name the Greekes call Syrinx yet.
But as Cyllenius would have tolde this tale, he cast his sight
On Argus, and beholde his eyes had bid him all good night.
There was not one that did not sleepe, and fast he gan to nodde,
Immediately he ceast his talke, and with his charmed rodde,
So stroked all his heavie eyes that earnestly they slept.
Then with his Woodknife by and by he lightly to him stept,
And lent him such a perlous blowe, where as the shoulders grue
Unto the necke, that straight his heade quite from the bodie flue.
Then tombling downe the headlong hill his bloudie coarse he sent,
That all the way by which he rolde was stayned and besprent.
There lyest thou Argus under foote, with all thy hundreth lights,
And all the light is cleane extinct that was within those sights.
One endelesse night thy hundred eyes hath nowe bereft for aye,
Yet would not Juno suffer so hir Heirdmans eyes decay:
But in hir painted Peacocks tayle and feathers did them set,
Where they remayne lyke precious stones and glaring eyes as yet.
She tooke his death in great dispight and as hir rage did move,
Determinde for to wreeke hir wrath upon hir husbandes Love.
Forthwith she cast before hir eyes right straunge and ugly sightes,
Compelling hir to thinke she sawe some Fiendes or wicked sprightes.
And in hir heart such secret prickes and piercing stings she gave hir,
As through the worlde from place to place with restlesse sorrow drave hir.
Thou Nylus wert assignd to stay hir paynes and travails past,
To which as soone as Io came with much adoe at last,
With wearie knockles on thy brim she kneeled sadly downe,
And stretching foorth hir faire long necke and christall horned crowne,
Such kinde of countnaunce as she had she lifted to the skie,
And there with sighing sobbes and teares and lowing doolefully
Did seeme to make hir mone to Jove, desiring him to make
Some ende of those hir troublous stormes endured for his sake.
He tooke his wife about the necke, and sweetely kissing prayde,
That Ios penance yet at length might by hir graunt be stayde.
Thou shalt not neede to feare (quoth he) that ever she shall grieve thee
From this day forth. And in this case the better to beleve mee,
The Stygian waters of my wordes unparciall witnesse beene.
As soone as Juno was appeasde, immediately was seene
That Io tooke hir native shape in which she first was borne,
And eke became the selfesame thing the which she was beforne.
For by and by she cast away hir rough and hairie hyde,
Insteede whereof a soft smouth skinne with tender fleshe did byde.
Hir hornes sank down, hir eies and mouth were brought in lesser roome,
Hir handes, hir shoulders, and hir armes in place againe did come.
Hir cloven Clees to fingers five againe reduced were,
On which the nayles lyke pollisht Gemmes did shine full bright and clere.
In fine, no likenesse of a Cow save whitenesse did remaine
So pure and perfect as no snow was able it to staine.
She vaunst hir selfe upon hir feete which then was brought to two.
And though she gladly would have spoke: yet durst she not so do,
Without good heede, for feare she should have lowed like a Cow.
And therefore softly with hir selfe she gan to practise how
Distinctly to pronounce hir wordes that intermitted were.
Now, as a Goddesse, is she had in honour everie where
Among the folke that dwell by Nyle yclad in linnen weede.
Of her in tyme came Epaphus begotten of the seede
Of myghtie Jove. This noble ympe nowe joyntly with his mother,
Through all the Cities of that lande have temples t'one with toother.
There was his match in heart and yeares, the lustie Phaeton,
A stalworth stripling strong and stout, the golden Phoebus sonne.
Whome making proude and stately vauntes of his so noble race,
And unto him in that respect in nothing giving place,
The sonne of Io coulde not beare: but sayde unto him thus:
No marvell though thou be so proude and full of wordes ywus.
For everie fonde and trifling tale the which thy mother makes,
Thy gyddie wit and hairebrainde heade forthwith for gospell takes.
Well, vaunt thy selfe of Phoebus still, for when the truth is seene,
Thou shalt perceyve that fathers name a forged thing to beene.
At this reproch did Phaeton wax as red as any fire:
Howbeit for the present tyme did shame represse his ire.
Unto his mother Clymen straight he goeth to detect
The spitefull wordes that Epaphus against him did object.
Yes mother (quoth he) and which ought your greater griefe to bee,
I who at other tymes of talke was wont to be so free
And stoute, had neere a worde to say, I was ashamde to take
So fowle a foyle: the more because I could none answere make.
But if I be of heavenly race exacted as ye say,
Then shewe some token of that highe and noble byrth I pray.
And vouche me for to be of heaven. With that he gently cast
His armes about his mothers necke, and clasping hir full fast,
Besought hir as she lovde his life, and as she lovde the lyfe
Of Merops, and had kept hir selfe as undefiled wyfe,
And as she wished welthily his sisters to bestowe,
She would some token give whereby his rightfull Sire to knowe.
It is a doubtful matter whither Clymen moved more
With this hir Phaetons earnest sute, exacting it so sore,
Or with the slaunder of the bruit layde to hir charge before,
Did holde up both hir handes to heaven, and looking on the Sunne,
My right deare childe I safely sweare (quoth she to Phaeton)
That of this starre the which so bright doth glister in thine eye:
Of this same Sunne that cheares the world with light indifferently
Wert thou begot: and if I fayne, then with my heart I pray,
That never may I see him more unto my dying day.
But if thou have so great desire thy father for to knowe,
Thou shalt not neede in that behalfe much labour to bestowe.
The place from whence he doth arise adjoyneth to our lande.
And if thou thinke thy heart will serve, then go and understande
The truth of him. When Phaeton heard his mother saying so,
He gan to leape and skip for joye. He fed his fansie tho,
Upon the Heaven and heavenly things: and so with willing minde,
From Aethiop first his native home, and afterwarde through Inde
Set underneath the morning starre he went so long, till as
He founde me where his fathers house and dayly rising was.
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