Table of Contents:
Thus lakes and streames (as well perceyve yee may)
Have divers powres and diversly. Even so the tyme hathe beene
That Delos which stands stedfast now, on waves was floting seene.
And Galyes have beene sore afrayd of frusshing by the Iles
Symplegads which togither dasht uppon the sea erewhyles,
But now doo stand unmovable ageinst bothe wynde and tyde.
Mount Aetna with his burning Oovens of brimstone shall not byde
Ay fyrye: neyther was it so for ever erst. For whither
The earth a living creature bee, and that to breathe out hither
And thither flame, great store of vents it have in sundry places,
And that it have the powre to shift those vents in divers caces,
Now damming theis, now opening those, in moving to and fro:
Or that the whisking wynds restreynd within the earth bylowe,
Doo beate the stones ageinst the stones, and other kynd of stuffe
Of fyrye nature, which doo fall on fyre with every puffe:
Assoone as those same wynds doo cease, the caves shall streight bee cold.
Or if it bee a Rozen mowld that soone of fyre takes hold,
Or brimstone mixt with clayish soyle on fyre dooth lyghtly fall:
Undowtedly assoone as that same soyle consumed shall
No longer yeeld the fatty foode to feede the fyre withall,
And ravening nature shall forgo her woonted nourishment,
Then being able to abyde no longer famishment,
For want of sustenance it shall cease his burning. I doo fynd
By fame, that under Charlsis wayne in Pallene are a kynd
Of people which by dyving thryce three tymes in Triton lake
Becomme all fethred, and the shape of birdes uppon them take.
The Scythian witches also are reported for to doo
The selfsame thing (but hardly I give credit therunto)
By smearing poyson over all theyr bodyes. But (and if
A man to matters tryde by proof may saufly give beleef,)
Wee see how flesh by lying still a whyle and ketching heate
Dooth turne to little living beastes. And yit a further feate,
Go kill an Ox and burye him, (the thing by proof man sees)
And of his rotten flesh will breede the flowergathering Bees,
Which as theyr father did before, love feeldes exceedingly,
And unto woork in hope of gayne theyr busye limbes apply.
The Hornet is engendred of a lustye buryed Steede.
Go pull away the cleas from Crabbes that in the sea doo breede,
And burye all the rest in mowld, and of the same will spring
A Scorpion which with writhen tayle will threaten for to sting.
The Caterpillers of the feelde the which are woont to weave
Hore filmes uppon the leaves of trees, theyr former nature leave,
(Which thing is knowen to husbandmen) and turne to Butterflyes.
The mud hath in it certeine seede wherof greene frosshes ryse.
And first it brings them footelesse foorth. Then after, it dooth frame
Legges apt to swim: and furthermore of purpose that the same
May serve them for to leape afarre, theyr hinder part is mych
More longer than theyr forepart is. The Bearwhelp also which
The Beare hath newly littred, is no whelp immediatly.
But like an evill favored lump of flesh alyve dooth lye.
The dam by licking shapeth out his members orderly
Of such a syse, as such a peece is able to conceyve.
Or marke yee not the Bees of whom our hony wee receyve,
How that theyr yoong ones which doo lye within the sixsquare wax
Are limblesse bodyes at the first, and after as they wex
In processe take bothe feete and wings? What man would think it trew
That Ladye Venus simple birdes, the Dooves of silver hew,
Or Junos bird that in his tayle beares starres, or Joves stowt knyght
The Earne, and every other fowle of whatsoever flyght,
Could all bee hatched out of egges, onlesse he did it knowe?
Sum folk doo hold opinion when the backebone which dooth growe
In man, is rotten in the grave, the pith becommes a snake.
Howbee't of other things all theis theyr first beginning take.
One bird there is that dooth renew itself and as it were
Beget it self continually. The Syrians name it there
A Phoenix. Neyther come nor herbes this Phoenix liveth by,
But by the jewce of frankincence and gum of Amomye.
And when that of his lyfe well full fyve hundred yeeres are past,
Uppon a Holmetree or uppon a Date tree at the last
He makes him with his talants and his hardened bill a nest.
Which when that he with Casia sweete and Nardus soft hathe drest,
And strowed it with Cynnamom and Myrrha of the best,
He rucketh downe uppon the same, and in the spyces dyes.
Soone after, of the fathers corce men say there dooth aryse
Another little Phoenix which as many yeeres must live
As did his father. He (assoone as age dooth strength him give
To beare the burthen) from the tree the weyghty nest dooth lift,
And godlyly his cradle thence and fathers herce dooth shift.
And flying through the suttle aire he gettes to Phebus towne,
And there before the temple doore dooth lay his burthen downe.
But if that any noveltye woorth woondring bee in theis,
Much rather may we woonder at the Hyen if we please.
To see how interchaungeably it one whyle dooth remayne
A female, and another whyle becommeth male againe.
The creature also which dooth live by only aire and wynd,
All colours that it leaneth to dooth counterfet by kynd.
The Grapegod Bacchus, when he had subdewd the land of Inde,
Did fynd a spotted beast cald Lynx, whoose urine (by report)
By towching of the open aire congealeth in such sort,
As that it dooth becomme a stone. So Corall (which as long
As water hydes it is a shrub and soft) becommeth strong
And hard assoone as it dooth towch the ayre. The day would end,
And Phebus panting steedes should in the Ocean deepe descend,
Before all alterations I in woordes could comprehend.
So see wee all things chaungeable. One nation gathereth strength:
Another wexeth weake: and bothe doo make exchaunge at length.
So Troy which once was great and strong as well in welth as men,
And able tenne yeeres space to spare such store of blood as then,
Now beeing bace hath nothing left of all her welth to showe,
Save ruines of the auncient woorkes which grasse dooth overgrowe,
And tumbes wherin theyr auncetours lye buryed on a rowe.
Once Sparta was a famous towne: Great Mycene florisht trim:
Bothe Athens and Amphions towres in honor once did swim.
A pelting plot is Sparta now: great Mycene lyes on ground.
Of Theab the towne of Oedipus what have we more than sound?
Of Athens, king Pandions towne, what resteth more than name?
Now also of the race of Troy is rysing (so sayth fame)
The Citie Rome, which at the bank of Tyber that dooth ronne
Downe from the hill of Appennyne) already hath begonne
With great advysement for to lay foundation of her state.
This towne then chaungeth by increase the forme it had alate,
And of the universall world in tyme to comme shall hold
The sovereintye, so prophesies and lotts (men say) have told.
And as (I doo remember mee) what tyme that Troy decayd,
The prophet Helen, Priams sonne, theis woordes ensewing sayd
Before Aenaeas dowting of his lyfe in weeping plyght:
O Goddesse sonne, beleeve mee (if thou think I have foresyght
Of things to comme) Troy shalnot quyght decay whyle thou doost live.
Bothe fyre and swoord shall unto thee thy passage freely give.
Thou must from hence: and Troy with thee convey away in haste,
Untill that bothe thyself and Troy in forreine land bee plaast
More freendly than thy native soyle. Moreover I foresee,
A Citie by the offspring of the Trojans buylt shall bee,
So great as never in the world the lyke was seene before
Nor is this present, neyther shall be seene for evermore.
A number of most noble peeres for manye yeeres afore
Shall make it strong and puyssant: but hee that shall it make
The sovereine Ladye of the world, by ryght descent shall take
His first beginning from thy sonne the little Jule. And when
The earth hathe had her tyme of him, the sky and welkin then
Shall have him up for evermore, and heaven shall bee his end.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.