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This tale thus tolde a little space of pawsing was betwist,
And then began Leucothoe thus, hir sisters being whist:
This Sunne that with his streaming light al worldly things doth cheare
Was tane in love. Of Phebus loves now list and you shall heare.
It is reported that this God did first of all espie,
(For everie thing in Heaven and Earth is open to his eie)
How Venus with the warlike Mars advoutrie did commit.
It grieved him to see the fact and so discovered it,
He shewed hir husband Junos sonne th'advoutrie and the place
In which this privie scape was done. Who was in such a case
That heart and hand and all did faile in working for a space.
Anon he featly forgde a net of Wire so fine and slight,
That neyther knot nor nooze therein apparant was to sight.
This piece of worke was much more fine than any handwarpe oofe
Or that whereby the Spider hanges in sliding from the roofe.
And furthermore the suttlenesse and slight thereof was such,
It followed every little pull and closde with every touch,
And so he set it handsomly about the haunted couch.
Now when that Venus and hir mate were met in bed togither
Hir husband by his newfound snare before convayed thither
Did snarle them both togither fast in middes of all theyr play
And setting ope the Ivorie doores, callde all the Gods streight way
To see them: they with shame inough fast lockt togither lay.
A certaine God among the rest disposed for to sport
Did wish that he himselfe also were shamed in that sort.
The resdue laught and so in heaven there was no talke a while,
But of this Pageant how the Smith the lovers did beguile.
Dame Venus highly stomacking this great displeasure, thought
To be revenged on the part by whome the spight was wrought.
And like as he hir secret loves and meetings had bewrayd,
So she with wound of raging love his guerdon to him payd.
What now avayles (Hyperions sonne) thy forme and beautie bright?
What now avayle thy glistring eyes with cleare and piercing sight?
For thou that with thy gleames art wont all countries for to burne,
Art burnt thy selfe with other gleames that serve not for thy turne.
And thou that oughtst thy cherefull looke on all things for to shew
Alonly on Leucothoe doste now the same bestow.
Thou fastnest on that Maide alone the eyes that thou doste owe
To all the worlde. Sometime more rathe thou risest in the East,
Sometime againe thou makste it late before thou fall to reast.
And for desire to looke on hir, thou often doste prolong
Our winter nightes. And in thy light thou faylest eke among.
The fancie of thy faultie minde infectes thy feeble sight,
And so thou makste mens hearts afrayde by daunting of thy light,
Thou looxte not pale bycause the globe of Phebe is betweene
The Earth and thee: but love doth cause this colour to be seene.
Thou lovest this Leucothoe so far above all other,
That neyther now for Clymene, for Rhodos, nor the mother
Of Circe, nor for Clytie (who at that present tyde
Rejected from thy companie did for thy love abide
Most grievous torments in hir heart) thou seemest for to care.
Thou mindest hir so much that all the rest forgotten are.
Hir mother was Eurynome of all the fragrant clime
Of Arabie esteemde the flowre of beautie in hir time.
But when hir daughter came to age the daughter past the mother
As far in beautie, as before the mother past all other.
Hir father was king Orchamus and rulde the publike weale
Of Persey, counted by descent the seventh from auncient Bele.
Far underneath the Westerne clyme of Hesperus doe runne
The pastures of the firie steedes that draw the golden Sunne.
There are they fed with Ambrosie in stead of grasse all night
Which doth refresh their werie limmes and keepeth them in plight
To beare their dailie labor out: now while the steedes there take
Their heavenly foode and night by turne his timely course doth make,
The God disguised in the shape of Queene Eurynome
Doth prease within the chamber doore of faire Leucothoe
His lover, whome amid twelve Maides he found by candlelight
Yet spinning on hir little Rocke, and went me to hir right.
And kissing hir as mothers use to kisse their daughters deare,
Saide: Maydes, withdraw your selves a while and sit not listning here.
I have a secret thing to talke. The Maides avoyde eche one,
The God then being with his love in chamber all alone,
Said: I am he that metes the yeare, that all things doe beholde,
By whome the Earth doth all things see, the Eye of all the worlde.
Trust me I am in love with thee. The Ladie was so nipt
With sodaine feare that from hir hands both rocke and spindle slipt.
Hir feare became hir wondrous well. He made no mo delayes,
But turned to his proper shape and tooke hys glistring rayes.
The damsell being sore abasht at this so straunge a sight,
And overcome with sodaine feare to see the God so bright,
Did make no outcrie nor no noyse, but helde hir pacience still,
And suffred him by forced powre his pleasure to fulfill.
Hereat did Clytie sore repine. For she beyond all measure
Was then enamoured of the Sunne: and stung with this displeasure
That he another Leman had, for verie spight and yre
She playes the blab, and doth defame Leucothoe to hir Syre.
He cruell and unmercifull would no excuse accept,
But holding up hir handes to heaven when tenderly she wept,
And said it was the Sunne that did the deede against hir will:
Yet like a savage beast full bent his daughter for to spill,
He put hir deepe in delved ground, and on hir bodie laide
A huge great heape of heavie sand. The Sunne full yll appaide
Did with his beames disperse the sand and made an open way
To bring thy buried face to light, but such a weight there lay
Upon thee, that thou couldst not raise thine hand aloft againe,
And so a corse both voide of bloud and life thou didst remaine.
There never chaunst since Phaetons fire a thing that grievde so sore
The ruler of the winged steedes as this did. And therfore
He did attempt if by the force and vertue of his ray
He might againe to lively heate hir frozen limmes convay.
But forasmuch as destenie so great attempts denies,
He sprincles both the corse it selfe and place wherein it lyes
With fragrant Nectar. And therewith bewayling much his chaunce
Sayd: Yet above the starrie skie thou shalt thy selfe advaunce.
Anon the body in this heavenly liquor steeped well
Did melt, and moisted all the earth with sweete and pleasant smell.
And by and by first taking roote among the cloddes within
By little and by little did with growing top begin
A pretie spirke of Frankinsence above the Tumbe to win.
Although that Clytie might excuse hir sorrow by hir love
And seeme that so to play the blab hir sorrow did hir move,
Yet would the Author of the light resort to hir no more
But did withholde the pleasant sportes of Venus usde before.
The Nymph not able of hir selfe the franticke fume to stay,
With restlesse care and pensivenesse did pine hir selfe away.
Bareheaded on the bare cold ground with flaring haire unkempt
She sate abrode both night and day: and clearly did exempt
Hirselfe by space of thrise three dayes from sustnance and repast
Save only dewe and save hir teares with which she brake hir fast.
And in that while she never rose but stared on the Sunne
And ever turnde hir face to his as he his corse did runne.
Hir limmes stacke fast within the ground, and all hir upper part
Did to a pale ashcolourd herbe cleane voyde of bloud convart.
The floure whereof part red part white beshadowed with a blew
Most like a Violet in the shape hir countnance overgrew.
And now (though fastned with a roote) she turnes hir to the Sunne
And keepes (in shape of herbe) the love with which she first begunne.
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