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When Themis through foresyght had spoke theis woords of prophesie,
The Gods began among themselves vayne talke to multiplie,
They mooyld why others myght not give like gift as well as shee.
First Pallants daughter grudged that her husband old should bee.
The gentle Ceres murmurde that her Iasions heare was hore.
And Vulcane would have calld ageine the yeeres long spent before
By Ericthonius. And the nyce Dame Venus having care
Of tyme to come, the making yong of old Anchises sware.
So every God had one to whom he speciall favor bare.
And through this partiall love of theyrs seditiously increast
A hurlyburly, till the time that Jove among them preast,
And sayd: So smally doo you stand in awe of mee this howre,
As thus too rage? Thinkes any of you himself to have such powre,
As for to alter destinye? I tell you Iolay
Recovered hath by destinye his yeeres erst past away,
Callirrhoes children must returne to youth by destiny,
And not by force of armes, or sute susteynd ambitiously.
And to th'entent with meelder myndes yee may this matter beare,
Even I myself by destinyes am rulde. Which if I were
Of power to alter, thinke you that our Aeacus should stoope
By reason of his feeble age? or Radamanth should droope?
Or Minos, who by reason of his age is now disdeynd,
And lives not in so sure a state as heretofore he reygnd?
The woords of Jove so movd the Gods that none of them complaynd,
Sith Radamanth and Aeacus were both with age constreynd:
And Minos also: who (as long as lusty youth did last,)
Did even with terror of his name make myghty Realmes agast.
But then was Minos weakened sore, and greatly stood in feare
Of Milet, one of Deyons race: who proudly did him beare
Uppon his father Phoebus and the stoutnesse of his youth.
And though he feard he would rebell: yit durst he not his mouth
Once open for to banish him his Realme: untill at last
Departing of his owne accord, Miletus swiftly past
The Gotesea and did build a towne uppon the Asian ground,
Which still reteynes the name of him that first the same did found.
And there the daughter of the brooke Maeander which dooth go
So often backward, Cyane, a Nymph of body so
Exceeding comly as the lyke was seldome heard of, as
Shee by her fathers wynding bankes for pleasure walking was,
Was knowen by Milet: unto whom a payre of twinnes shee brought,
And of the twinnes the names were Caune and Byblis. Byblis ought
To bee a mirror unto Maydes in lawfull wyse to love.
This Byblis cast a mynd to Caune, but not as did behove
A suster to her brotherward. When first of all the fyre
Did kindle, shee perceyvd it not. Shee thought in her desyre
Of kissing him so oftentymes no sin, ne yit no harme
In cleeping him about the necke so often with her arme.
The glittering glosse of godlynesse beguyld her long. Her love
Began from evill unto woorse by little too remove.
Shee commes to see her brother deckt in brave and trim attyre,
And for to seeme exceeding fayre it was her whole desyre.
And if that any fayrer were in all the flocke than shee,
It spyghts her. In what case she was as yit shee did not see.
Her heate exceeded not so farre as for to vow: and yit
Shee suffred in her troubled brist full many a burning fit.
Now calleth shee him mayster, now shee utter hateth all
The names of kin. Shee rather had he should her Byblis call
Than suster. Yit no filthy hope shee durst permit to creepe
Within her mynd awake. But as shee lay in quiet sleepe,
Shee oft behild her love: and oft she thought her brother came
And lay with her, and (though asleepe) shee blushed at the same.
When sleepe was gone, she long lay dumb still musing on the syght,
And said with wavering mynd: Now wo is mee, most wretched wyght.
What meenes the image of this dreame that I have seene this nyght?
I would not wish it should bee trew. Why dreamed I then so?
Sure hee is fayre although hee should bee judged by his fo.
He likes mee well, and were he not my brother, I myght set
My love on him, and he were mee ryght woorthy for to get,
But unto this same match the name of kinred is a let.
Well, so that I awake doo still mee undefylde keepe,
Let come as often as they will such dreamings in my sleepe.
In sleepe there is no witnesse by. In sleepe yit may I take
As greate a pleasure (in a sort) as if I were awake.
Oh Venus and thy tender sonne, Sir Cupid, what delyght,
How present feeling of your sport hath touched mee this nyght.
How lay I as it were resolvd both maree, flesh, and bone.
How gladdes it mee to thinke thereon. Alas too soone was gone
That pleasure, and too hastye and despyghtfull was the nyght
In breaking of my joyes. O Lord, if name of kinred myght
Betweene us two removed bee, how well it would agree,
O Caune, that of thy father I the daughtrinlaw should bee.
How fitly myght my father have a sonneinlaw of thee.
Would God that all save auncesters were common to us twayne.
I would thou were of nobler stocke than I. I cannot sayne,
O perle of beautie, what shee is whom thou shalt make a mother.
Alas how ill befalles it mee that I could have none other
Than those same parents which are thyne. So only still my brother
And not my husband mayst thou bee. The thing that hurts us bothe
Is one, and that betweene us ay inseparably gothe.
What meene my dreames then? what effect have dreames? and may there bee
Effect in dreames? The Gods are farre in better case than wee.
For why? the Gods have matched with theyr susters as wee see.
So Saturne did alie with Ops, the neerest of his blood.
So Tethys with Oceanus: So Jove did think it good
To take his suster Juno to his wyfe. What then? the Goddes
Have lawes and charters by themselves. And sith there is such oddes
Betweene the state of us and them, why should I sample take,
Our worldly matters equall with the heavenly things to make?
This wicked love shall eyther from my hart be driven away,
Or if it can not bee expulst, God graunt I perish may,
And that my brother kisse me, layd on Herce to go to grave.
But my desyre the full consent of both of us dooth crave.
Admit the matter liketh me. He will for sin it take.
But yit the sonnes of Aeolus no scrupulousnesse did make
In going to theyr susters beds. And how come I to know
The feates of them? To what intent theis samples doo I show?
Ah whither am I headlong driven? avaunt foule filthy fyre:
And let mee not in otherwyse than susterlyke desyre
My brothers love. Yit if that he were first in love with mee,
His fondnesse to inclyne unto perchaunce I could agree.
Shall I therefore who would not have rejected him if hee
Had sude to mee, go sue to him? and canst thou speake in deede?
And canst thou utter forth thy mynd? and tell him of thy neede?
My love will make mee speake. I can. Or if that shame doo stay
My toong, a sealed letter shall my secret love bewray.
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