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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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