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The noble Theseus in this while with others having donne
His part in killing of the Boare, to Athens ward begonne
To take his way. But Acheloy then being swolne with raine
Did stay him of his journey, and from passage him restraine.
Of Athens valiant knight (quoth he) come underneath my roofe,
And for to passe my raging streame as yet attempt no proofe.
This brooke is wont whole trees to beare and evelong stones to carry
With hideous roring down his streame. I oft have seene him harry
Whole Shepcotes standing nere his banks, with flocks of sheepe therin.
Nought booted buls their strength: nought steedes by swiftnes there could win.
Yea many lustie men this brooke hath swallowed, when the snow
From mountaines molten, caused him his banks to overflow.
i The best is for you for to rest untill the River fall
Within his boundes: and runne ageine within his chanell small.
Content (quoth Theseus): Acheloy, I will not sure refuse
Thy counsell nor thy house. And so he both of them did use.
Of Pommy hollowed diversly and ragged Pebble stone
The walles were made. The floore with Mosse was soft to tread upon.
The roofe thereof was checkerwise with shelles of Purple wrought
And Perle. The Sunne then full two parts of day to end had brought,
And Theseus downe to table sate with such as late before
Had friendly borne him companie at killing of the Bore.
At one side sate Ixions sonne, and on the other sate
The Prince of Troyzen, Lelex, with a thin hearde horie pate.
And then such other as the brooke of Acarnania did
Vouchsafe the honor to his boord and table for to bid,
Who was right glad of such a guest. Immediatly there came
Barefooted Nymphes who brought in meate. And when that of the same
The Lords had taken their repast, the meate away they tooke,
And set downe wine in precious stones. Then Theseus who did looke
Upon the Sea that underneath did lie within their sight,
Said: tell us what is yon same place, (and with his fingar right
Hee poynted thereunto) I pray, and what that Iland hight,
Although it seemeth mo than one. The River answerd thus,
It is not one mayne land alone that kenned is of us.
There are uppon a fyve of them. The distaunce of the place,
Dooth hinder to discerne betweene eche Ile the perfect space.
And that the lesse yee woonder may at Phoebees act alate,
To such as had neglected her uppon contempt or hate,
Theis Iles were sumtyme Waternimphes: who having killed Neate,
Twyce fyve, and called to theyr feast the Country Gods to eate,
Forgetting mee kept frolicke cheere. At that gan I to swell,
And ran more large than ever erst, and being over fell
In stomacke and in streame, I rent the wood from wood, and feeld
From feeld, and with the ground the Nymphes as then with stomacks meeld
Remembring mee, I tumbled to the Sea. The waves of mee
And of the sea the ground that erst all whole was woont to bee
Did rend asunder into all the Iles you yonder see,
And made a way for waters now to passe betweene them free.
They now of Urchins have theyr name. But of theis Ilands, one
A great way off (behold yee) stands a great way off alone,
As you may see. The Mariners doo call it Perimell.
With her (shee was as then a Nymph) so farre in love I fell,
That of her maydenhod I her spoyld: which thing displeasd so sore
Her father Sir Hippodamas, that from the craggy shore
He threw her headlong downe to drowne her in the sea. But I
Did latch her streight, and bearing her aflote did lowd thus crie:
O Neptune with thy threetynde Mace who hast by lot the charge
Of all the waters wylde that bound uppon the earth at large,
To whom wee holy streames doo runne, in whome wee take our end,
Draw neere, and gently to my boone effectually attend.
This Ladie whome I beare aflote myselfe hath hurt. Bee meeke
And upright. If Hippodamas perchaunce were fatherleeke,
Or if that he extremitie through outrage did not secke,
He oughted to have pitied her and for to beare with mee.
Now help us Neptune, I thee pray, and condescend that shee
Whom from the land her fathers wrath and cruelnesse dooth chace
Who through her fathers cruelnesse is drownd: may find the grace
To have a place: or rather let hirselfe become a place.
And I will still embrace the same. The King of Seas did move
His head, and as a token that he did my sute approve,
He made his surges all to shake. The Nymph was sore afrayd.
Howbee't shee swam, and as she swam, my hand I softly layd
Upon her brest which quivered still. And whyle I toucht the same,
I sensibly did feele how all her body hard became:
And how the earth did overgrow her bulk. And as I spake,
New earth enclosde hir swimming limbes, which by and by did take
Another shape, and grew into a mighty Ile.
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