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But yet a comfort to them both in this their altred hew
Became that noble impe of theirs that Indie did subdew,
Whom al Achaia worshipped with temples builded new.
All only Acrise, Abas sonne, (though of the selfesame stocke)
Remaind, who out of Argos walles unkindly did him locke,
And moved wilfull warre against his Godhead: thinking that
There was not any race of Goddes, for he beleved not
That Persey was the sonne of Jove: or that he was conceyved
By Danae of golden shower through which shee was deceived.
But yet ere long (such present force hath truth) he doth repent
As well his great impietie against God Bacchus meant,
As also that he did disdaine his Nephew for to knowe.
But Bacchus now full gloriously himselfe in Heaven doth showe.
And Persey bearing in his hand the monster Gorgons head,
That famous spoyle which here and there with snakish haire was spread,
Doth beat the ayre with wavyng wings. And as he overflew
The Lybicke sandes, the droppes of bloud that from the head did sew
Of Gorgon being new cut off, upon the ground did fal.
Which taking them (and as it were conceyving therwithall)
Engendred sundrie Snakes and wormes: by meanes wherof that clyme
Did swarme with Serpents ever since, even to this present tyme.
From thence he lyke a watrie cloud was caried with the weather,
Through all the heaven, now here, now there as light as any feather.
And from aloft he viewes the earth that underneath doth lie,
And swiftly over all the worlde doth in conclusion flie,
Three times the chilling Beares, three times the Crabbes fel cleas he saw:
Oft times to Weast, oftimes to East did drive him many a flaw.
Now at such time as unto rest the sonne began to drawe,
Bicause he did not thinke it good to be abroad all night,
Within King Atlas western Realme he ceased from his flight,
Requesting that a little space of rest enjoy he might,
Untill such tyme as Lucifer should bring the morning gray,
And morning bring the lightsome Sunne that guides the cherefull day.
This Atlas, Japets Nephewe, was a man that did excell
In stature everie other wight that in the worlde did dwell.
The utmost coast of all the earth and all that Sea wherein
The tyred steedes and wearied Wayne of Phoebus dived bin,
Were in subjection to this King. A thousande flockes of sheepe,
A thousand heirdes of Rother beastes he in his fields did keepe:
And not a neighbor did anoy his ground by dwelling nie.
To him the wandring Persey thus his language did applie:
If high renowne of royall race thy noble heart may move,
I am the sonne of Jove himselfe: or if thou more approve
The valiant deedes and hault exploytes, thou shalt perceive in mee
Such doings as deserve with prayse extolled for to bee.
I pray thee of thy courtesie receive mee as thy guest,
And let mee only for this night within thy palace rest.
King Atlas called straight to minde an auncient prophesie
Made by Parnassian Themys, which this sentence did implie:
The time shall one day, Atlas, come in which thy golden tree
Shall of hir fayre and precious fruite dispoyld and robbed bee.
And he shall be the sonne of Jove that shall enjoy the pray.
For feare hereof he did enclose his Orchard everie way
With mightie hilles, and put an ougly Dragon in the same
To keepe it. Further he forbad that any straunger came
Within his Realme, and to this knight he sayde presumtuouslie:
Avoyd my land, onlesse thou wilt by utter perill trie
That all thy glorious actes whereof thou doest so loudly lie
And Jove thy father be too farre to helpe thee at thy neede.
To these his wordes he added force, and went about in deede
To drive him out by strength of hand. To speake was losse of winde
For neyther could intreating faire nor stoutnesse tourne his minde.
Well then (quoth Persey) sith thou doest mine honour set so light,
Take here a present: and with that he turnes away his sight,
And from his left side drewe mee out Medusas lothly head.
As huge and big as Atlas was he tourned in that stead
Into a mountaine: into trees his beard and locks did passe:
His hands and shoulders made the ridge: that part which lately was
His head, became the highest top of all the hill: his bones
Were turnd to stones: and therewithall he grew mee all at once
Beyond all measure up in heighth (for so God thought it best)
So farre that Heaven with all the starres did on his shoulders rest.
In endlesse prison by that time had Aeolus lockt the wind
And now the cheerely morning starre that putteth folke in mind
To rise about their daylie worke shone brightly in the skie.
Then Persey unto both his feete did streight his feathers tie
And girt his Woodknife to his side, and from the earth did stie.
And leaving nations nomberlesse beneath him everie way
At last upon King Cepheyes fields in Aethiop did he stay.
Where cleane against all right and law by Joves commaundement
Andromad for hir mothers tongue did suffer punishment.
Whome to a rocke by both the armes when fastned hee had seene,
He would have thought of Marble stone shee had some image beene,
But that hir tresses to and fro the whisking winde did blowe,
And trickling teares warme from hir eyes adowne hir cheeks did flow,
Unwares hereat gan secret sparkes within his breast to glow.
His wits were straught at sight thereof and ravisht in such wise,
That how to hover with his wings he scarsly could devise.
As soone as he had stayd himselfe: O Ladie faire (quoth hee)
Not worthie of such bands as these, but such wherewith we see
Togither knit in lawfull bed the earnest lovers bee,
I pray thee tell mee what thy selfe and what this lande is named
And wherefore thou dost weare these Chains. The Ladie ill ashamed
Was at the sodaine striken domb: and lyke a fearfull maid
Shee durst not speake unto a man. Had not hir handes beene staid
She would have hid hir bashfull face. Howbeit as she might
With great abundance of hir teares shee stopped up hir sight
But when that Persey oftentimes was earnestly in hand
To learne this matter, for bicause shee would not seeme to stand
In stubborne silence of hir faultes, shee tolde him what the land
And what she hight: and how hir mother for hir beauties sake
Through pride did unadvisedly too much upon hir take.
And ere shee full had made an ende, the water gan to rore:
An ougly monster from the deepe was making to the shore
Which bare the Sea before his breast. The Virgin shrieked out.
Hir father and hir mother both stood mourning thereabout,
In wretched ease both twaine, but not so wretched as the maid
Who wrongly for hir mothers fault the bitter raunsome paid.
They brought not with them any help: but (as the time and cace
Requird) they wept and wrang their hands, and streightly did embrace
Hir bodie fastened to the rock. Then Persey them bespake,
And sayde: The time may serve too long this sorrow for to make:
But time of helpe must eyther now or never else be take.
Now if I, Persey, sonne of hir whome in hir fathers towre
The mightie Jove begat with childe in shape of golden showre,
Who cut off ougly Gorgons head bespred with snakish heare,
And in the ayre durst trust these winges my body for to beare,
perchaunce should save your daughters life, I think ye should as then
Accept mee for your sonne in lawe before all other men.
To these great thewes (by the help of God) I purpose for to adde
A just desert in helping hir that is so hard bestadde.
I covenaunt with you by my force and manhod for to save hir,
Conditionly that to my wife in recompence I have hir.
Hir parents tooke his offer streight: for who would sticke thereat?
And praid him faire, and promisde him that for performing that
They would endow him with the ryght of al their Realme beeside.
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