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Thus ended his advertisment: and yet the wilfull Lad
Withstood his counsell urging still the promisse that he had,
Desiring for to have the chare as if he had been mad.
His father having made delay as long as he could shift,
Did lead him where his Chariot stood, which was of Vulcans gift.
The Axeltree was massie golde, the Bucke was massie golde,
The utmost fellies of the wheeles, and where the tree was rolde.
The spokes were all of sylver bright, the Chrysolites and Gemmes
That stood uppon the Collars, Trace, and hounces in their hemmes
Did cast a sheere and glimmering light, as Phoebus shone thereon.
Now while the lustie Phaeton stood gazing here upon,
And wondered at the workemanship of everie thing: beeholde
The earely morning in the East beegan mee to unfolde
Hir purple Gates, and shewde hir house bedeckt with Roses red.
The twinckling starres withdrew which by the morning star are led:
Who as the Captaine of that Host that hath no peere nor match,
Dooth leave his standing last of all within that heavenly watch.
Now when his Father sawe the worlde thus glister red and trim,
And that his waning sisters hornes began to waxen dim,
He had the fetherfooted howres go harnesse in his horse.
The Goddesses with might and mayne themselves thereto enforce.
His fierifoming Steedes full fed with juice of Ambrosie
They take from Maunger trimly dight: and to their heades doe tie
Strong reyned bits: and to the Charyot doe them well appoint.
Then Phoebus did with heavenly salve his Phaetons heade annoint,
That scorching fire coulde nothing hurt: which done, upon his haire
He put the fresh and golden rayes himselfe was wont to weare.
And then as one whose heart misgave the sorrowes drawing fast,
With sorie sighes he thus bespake his retchlesse sonne at last:
(And if thou canst) at least yet this thy fathers lore obay:
Sonne, spare the whip, and reyne them hard, they run so swift away
As that thou shalt have much adoe their fleeing course to stay.
Directly through the Zones all five beware thou doe not ride,
A brode byway cut out askew that bendeth on the side
Contaynde within the bondes of three the midmost Zones doth lie:
Which from the grisely Northren beare, and Southren Pole doth flie.
Keepe on this way: my Charyot rakes thou plainely shalt espie
And to th'intent that heaven and earth may well the heate endure,
Drive neyther over high nor yet too lowe. For be thou sure,
And if thou mount above thy boundes, the starres thou burnest cleane.
Againe beneath thou burnst the Earth: most safetie is the meane.
And least perchaunce thou overmuch the right hand way should take,
And so misfortune should thee drive upon the writhen Snake,
Or else by taking overmuche upon the lefter hand
Unto the Aultar thou be driven that doth against it stand:
Indifferently betweene them both I wish thee for to ride.
The rest I put to fortunes will, who be thy friendly guide,
And better for thee than thy selfe as in this case provide.
Whiles that I prattle here with thee, behold the dankish night
Beyond all Spaine hir utmost bound is passed out of sight.
We may no lenger tariance make: my wonted light is cald,
The Morning with hir countnance cleare the darknesse hath appald.
Take raine in hand, or if thy minde by counsell altred bee,
Refuse to meddle with my Wayne: and while thou yet art free,
And doste at ease within my house in safegarde well remaine,
Of this thine unadvised wish not feeling yet the paine,
Let me alone with giving still the world his wonted light,
And thou thereof as heretofore enjoy the harmelesse sight.
Thus much in vaine: for Phaeton both yong in yeares and wit,
Into the Chariot lightly lept, and vauncing him in it
Was not a little proud that he the brydle gotten had.
He thankt his father whom it grievde to see his childe so mad.
While Phebus and his rechelesse sonne were entertalking this,
Aeous, Aethon, Phlegon, and the firie Pyrois,
The restlesse horses of the Sunne, began to ney so hie
Wyth flaming breath, that all the heaven might heare them perfectly.
And with their hoves they mainly beate upon the lattisde grate.
The which when Tethis (knowing nought of this hir cousins fate)
Had put aside, and given the steedes the free and open scope
Of all the compasse of the Skie within the heavenly Cope:
They girded forth, and cutting through the Cloudes that let their race,
With splayed wings they overflew the Easterne winde apace.
The burthen was so lyght as that the Genets felt it not.
The wonted weight was from the Waine, the which they well did wot.
For like as ships amids the Seas that scant of ballace have,
Doe reele and totter with the wynde, and yeeld to every wave:
Even so the Waine for want of weight it erst was wont to beare,
Did hoyse aloft and scayle and reele, as though it empty were.
Which when the Cartware did perceyve, they left the beaten way
And taking bridle in the teeth began to run astray.
The rider was so sore agast, he knew no use of Rayne,
Nor yet his way: and though he had, yet had it ben in vayne,
Because he wanted powre to rule the horses and the Wayne.
Then first did sweat cold Charles his Wain through force of Phebus rayes
And in the Sea forbidden him, to dive in vaine assayes.
The Serpent at the frozen Pole both colde and slow by kinde,
Through heat waxt wroth, and stird about a cooler place to finde.
And thou Bootes though thou be but slow of footemanship,
Yet wert thou faine (as Fame reports) about thy Waine to skip.
Now when unhappy Phaeton from top of all the Skie
Behelde the Earth that underneath a great way off did lie,
He waxed pale for sodaine feare, his joynts and sinewes quooke,
The greatnesse of the glistring light his eyesight from him tooke.
Now wisht he that he never had his fathers horses see:
It yrkt him that he thus had sought to learne his piedegre.
It grievde him that he had prevailde in gaining his request.
To have bene counted Merops sonne he thought it now the best.
Thus thinking was he headlong driven, as when a ship is borne
By blustring windes, hir saileclothes rent, hir sterne in pieces torne,
And tacling brust, the which the Pilote trusting all to prayre
Abandons wholy to the Sea and fortune of the ayre.
What should he doe? much of the heaven he passed had behinde
And more he saw before: both whiche he measurde in his minde,
Eft looking forward to the West which to approch as then
Might not betide, and to the East eft looking backe agen.
He wist not what was best to doe, his wittes were ravisht so.
For neither could he hold the Reynes, nor yet durst let them go.
And of his horses names was none that he remembred tho.
Straunge uncoth Monsters did he see dispersed here and there
And dreadfull shapes of ugly beasts that in the Welkin were.
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