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And now was Thesey prest,
Unknowne unto his father yet, who by his knightly force
Had set from robbers cleare the balke that makes the streight divorce
Betweene the seas Ionian and Aegean. To have killde
This worthie knight, Medea had a Goblet readie fillde
With juice of Flintwoort venemous the which she long ago
Had out of Scythie with hir brought. The common bruit is so
That of the teeth of Cerberus this Flintwoort first did grow.
There is a cave that gapeth wide with darksome entrie low,
There goes a way slope downe by which with triple cheyne made new
Of strong and sturdie Adamant the valiant Hercle drew
The currish Helhounde Cerberus: who dragging arsward still
And writhing backe his scowling eyes bicause he had no skill
To see the Sunne and open day, for verie moodie wroth
Three barkings yelled out at once, and spit his slavering froth
Upon the greenish grasse. This froth (as men suppose) tooke roote
And thriving in the batling soyle in burgeons forth did shoote,
To bane and mischiefe men withall: and forbicause the same
Did grow upon the bare hard Flints, folke gave the foresaid name
Of Flintwoort thereunto. The King by egging of his Queene
Did reach his sonne this bane as if he had his enmie beene.
And Thesey of this treason wrought not knowing ought had tane
The Goblet at his fathers hand which helde his deadly bane:
When sodenly by the Ivorie hilts that were upon his sword
Aegeus knew he was his sonne: and rising from the borde
Did strike the mischiefe from his mouth. Medea with a charme
Did cast a mist and so scapte death deserved for the harme
Entended. Now albeit that Aegeus were right glad
That in the saving of his sonne so happy chaunce he had,
Yet grieved it his heart full sore that such a wicked wight
With treason wrought against his sonne should scape so cleare and quight.
Then fell he unto kindling fire on Altars everie where
And glutted all the Gods with gifts. The thicke neckt Oxen were
With garlands wreathd about their homes knockt downe for sacrifice.
A day of more solemnitie than this did never rise
Before on Athens (by report). The auncients of the Towne
Made feastes: so did the meaner sort, and every common clowne.
And as the wine did sharpe their wits, they sung this song: O knight
Of peerlesse prowesse Theseus, thy manhod and thy might
Through all the coast of Marathon with worthie honor soundes,
For killing of the Cretish Bull that wasted those same groundes.
The folke of Cremyon thinke themselves beholden unto thee.
For that without disquieting their fieldes may tilled be.
By thee the land of Epidaure behelde the clubbish sonne
Of Vulcane dead. By thee likewise the countrie that doth runne
Along Cephisus bankes behelde the fell Procrustes slaine.
The dwelling place of Ceres, our Eleusis glad and faine,
Beheld the death of Cercyon. That orpid Sinis who
Abusde his strength in bending trees and tying folke thereto,
Their limmes asunder for to teare when loosened from the stops
The trees unto their proper place did trice their streyned tops,
Was killde by thee. Thou made the way that leadeth to the towne
Alcathoe in Beotia cleare by putting Scyron downe.
To this same outlawes scattred bones the land denied rest,
And likewise did the Sea refuse to harbrough such a guest:
Till after floting to and fro long while as men doe say
At length they hardened into stones: and at this present day
The stones are called Scyrons cliffes. Now if we should account
Thy deedes togither with thy yeares, thy deedes would far surmount
Thy yeares. For thee, most valiant Prince, these publike vowes we keepe
For thee with cherefull heartes we quaffe these bolles of wine so deepe.
The Pallace also of the noyse and shouting did resounde
The which the people made for joy. There was not to be founde
In all the Citie any place of sadnesse.
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