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Then Midas, hating riches, haunts the pasturegrounds and groves,
And up and down with Pan among the Lawnds and mountaines roves.
But still a head more fat than wyse, and doltish wit he hath,
The which as erst, yit once againe must woork theyr mayster scath.
The mountayne Tmole from loftye toppe to seaward looketh downe,
And spreading farre his boorely sydes, extendeth to the towne
Of Sardis with the t'one syde and to Hypep with the tother.
There Pan among the fayrye elves that dawnced round togither
In setting of his conning out for singing and for play
Uppon his pype of reedes and wax, presuming for to say
Apollos musick was not like to his, did take in hand
A farre unequall match, wherof the Tmole for judge should stand.
The auncient judge sitts downe uppon his hill, and ridds his eares
From trees, and onely on his head an Oken garlond weares,
Wherof the Acornes dangled downe about his hollow brow.
And looking on the God of neate he sayd: Yee neede not now
To tarry longer for your judge. Then Pan blew lowd and strong
His country pype of reedes, and with his rude and homely song
Delighted Midas eares, for he by chaunce was in the throng.
When Pan had doone, the sacred Tmole to Phebus turnd his looke,
And with the turning of his head his busshye heare he shooke.
Then Phebus with a crowne of Bay uppon his golden heare
Did sweepe the ground with scarlet robe. In left hand he did beare
His viol made of precious stones and Ivorye intermixt.
And in his right hand for to strike, his bowe was redy fixt.
He was the verrye paterne of a good Musician ryght
Anon he gan with conning hand the tuned strings to smyght.
The sweetenesse of the which did so the judge of them delyght,
That Pan was willed for to put his Reedepype in his cace,
And not to fiddle nor to sing where viols were in place.
The judgement of the holy hill was lyked well of all,
Save Midas, who found fault therwith and wrongfull did it call. '
Apollo could not suffer well his foolish eares to keepe
Theyr humaine shape, but drew them wyde, and made them long and deepe.
And filld them full of whytish heares, and made them downe to sag,
And through too much unstablenesse continually to wag.
His body keeping in the rest his manly figure still,
Was ponnisht in the part that did offend for want of skill.
And so a slowe paaste Asses eares his heade did after beare.
This shame endevereth he to hyde. And therefore he did weare
A purple nyghtcappe ever since. But yit his Barber who
Was woont to notte him spyed it: and beeing eager to
Disclose it, when he neyther durst to utter it, nor could
It keepe in secret still, he went and digged up the mowld,
And whispring softly in the pit, declaard what eares hee spyde
His mayster have, and turning downe the clowre ageine, did hyde
His blabbed woordes within the ground, and closing up the pit
Departed thence and never made mo woordes at all of it.
Soone after, there began a tuft of quivering reedes to growe
Which beeing rype bewrayd theyr seede and him that did them sowe.
For when the gentle sowtherne wynd did lyghtly on them blowe,
They uttred foorth the woordes that had beene buried in the ground
And so reprovde the Asses eares of Midas with theyr sound.
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