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Like as a Gally with hir nose doth cut the waters wide,
Enforced by the sweating armes of Rowers wyth the tide
Even so the monster with his brest did beare the waves aside,
And was now come as neere the rocke as well a man myght fling
Amid the pure and vacant aire a pellet from a sling.
When on the sodaine Persey pusht his foote against the ground,
And stied upward to the clouds his shadow did rebound
Upon the sea: the beast ran fierce upon the passing shade.
And as an Egle when he sees a Dragon in a glade
Lie beaking of his blewish backe against the sunnie rayes,
Doth seize upon him unbeware, and with his talants layes
Sure holde upon his scalie necke lest writhing back his head
His cruell teeth might doe him harme: so Persey in that stead
Discending downe the ayre amaine with all his force and might
Did seize upon the monsters backe: and underneath the right
Finne hard unto the verie hilt his hooked sworde did smight.
The monster being wounded sore did sometime leape aloft,
And sometime under water dive, bestirring him full oft
As doth a chaufed Boare beset with barking Dogges about.
But Persey with his lightsome wings still keeping him without
The monsters reach, with hooked sword doth sometime hew his back
Where as the hollow scales give way: and sometime he doth hacke
The ribbes on both his maled sides: and sometime he doth wound
His spindle tayle where into fish it growes most smal and round.
The Whale at Persey from his mouth such waves of water cast,
Bemixed with the purple bloud, that all bedreint at last
His feathers verie heavie were: and doubting any more
To trust his wings now waxing wet, he straight began to sore
Up to a rocke which in the calme above the water stood:
But in the tempest evermore was hidden with the flood.
And leaning thereunto and with his left hand holding just
The top thereof a dozen times his weapon he did thrust
Among his guttes. The joyfull noyse and clapping of their hands
The which were made for loosening of Andromad from hir bands,
Filde all the coast and heaven it selfe. The parents of the Maide
Cassiope and Cepheus were glad and well appayde:
And calling him their sonne in law confessed him to bee
The helpe and savegarde of their house. Andromade the fee
And cause of Perseys enterprise from bondes now beyng free,
He washed his victorious hands. And lest the Snakie heade
With lying on the gravell hard should catch some harme, he spred
Soft leaves and certaine tender twigs that in the water grew,
And laid Medusas head thereon: the twigs yet being new
And quicke and full of juicie pith full lightly to them drew
The nature of this monstrous head. For both the leafe and bough
Full straungely at the touch thereof became both hard and tough.
The Sea nymphes tride this wondrous fact in divers other roddes
And were full glad to see the chaunge, bicause there was no oddes
Of leaves or twigs or of the seedes new shaken from the coddes.
For still like nature ever since is in our Corall founde:
That looke how soone it toucheth Ayre it waxeth hard and sounde,
And that which under water was a sticke, above is stone.
Three altars to as many Gods he makes of Turfe anon:
Upon the left hand Mercuries: Minervas on the right:
And in the middle Jupiters: to Pallas he did dight
A Cow: a Calfe to Mercurie: a Bull to royall Jove.
Forthwith he tooke Andromade the price for which he strove
Endowed with hir fathers Realme. For now the God of Love
And Hymen unto mariage his minde in hast did move.
Great fires were made of sweete perfumes, and curious garlandes hung
About the house, which every where of mirthful musicke rung
The gladsome signe of merie mindes. The Pallace gates were set
Wide open. None from comming in were by the Porters let.
All Noblemen and Gentlemen that were of any port
To this same great and royall feast of Cephey did resort.
When having taken their repast as well of meate as wine
Their hearts began to pleasant mirth by leysure to encline,
The valiant Persey of the folke and facions of the land
Began to be inquisitive. One Lincide out of hand
The rites and manners of the folke did doe him t'understand.
Which done he sayd: O worthie knight I pray thee tell us by
What force or wile thou gotst the head with haires of Adders slie.
Then Persey tolde how underneath colde Atlas lay a plaine
So fenced in on every side with mountaines high, that vaine
Were any force to win the same. In entrance of the which
Two daughters of King Phorcis dwelt whose chaunce and hap was such
That one eye served both their turnes: whereof by wilie slight
And stealth in putting forth his hand he did bereve them quight,
As they from t'one to tother were delivering of the same.
From whence by long blind crooked wayes unhandsomly he came
Through gastly groves by ragged cliffes unto the drerie place
Whereas the Gorgons dwelt: and there he saw (a wretched case)
The shapes as well of men as beasts lie scattered everie where
In open fields and common wayes, the which transformed were
From living things to stones at sight of foule Medusas heare,
But yet that he through brightnesse of his monstrous brazen shield
The which he in his left hand bare, Medusas face beheld.
And while that in a sound dead sleepe were all hir Snakes and she,
He softly pared off hir head: and how that he did see
Swift Pegasus the winged horse and eke his brother grow
Out of their mothers new shed bloud. Moreover he did show
A long discourse of all his happes and not so long as trew:
As namely of what Seas and landes the coasts he overflew,
And eke what starres with stying wings he in the while did vew.
But yet his tale was at an ende ere any lookt therefore.
Upon occasion by and by of wordes reherst before
There was a certaine noble man demaunded him wherefore
Shee only of the sisters three haire mixt with Adders bore.
Sir (aunswerde Persey) sith you aske a matter worth report
I graunt to tell you your demaunde. She both in comly port
And beautie, every other wight surmounted in such sort,
That many suters unto hir did earnestly resort.
And though that whole from top to toe most bewtifull she were,
In all hir bodie was no part more goodly than hir heare.
I know some parties yet alive, that say they did hir see.
It is reported how she should abusde by Neptune bee
In Pallas Church: from which fowle facte Joves daughter turnde hir eye,
And with hir Target hid hir face from such a villanie.
And lest it should unpunisht be, she turnde hir seemely heare
To lothly Snakes: the which (the more to put hir foes in feare)
Before hir brest continually she in her shield doth beare.
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