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One would have thought (so cunningly the rude
And scornéd parts were mingled with the fine,)
That Nature ħad for wantonesse ensude?
Art, and that Art at Nature did repine ;
So striving each the other to undermine,
Each did the others worke more beautify;
So differing both in wills, agreed in fine :
So all agreed, through sweete diversity,
This gardin to adorne with all variety.
And in the midst of all a fountaine stood,
Of richest substance that on earth might bee,
So pure and shiny, that the silver flood
Through every channell running one might see;
Most goodly it with curious ymageree
Was overwrought, and shapes of naked boys,
Of which some seemed with lively iolitee
To fly about, playing their wanton toyes,
Whylest others did themselves embay: in liquid ioyes.
And over all, of purest gold, was spred
A trayle of yvie in his native hew;
For the rich metall was so colouréd,
That wight, who did not well avised it vew,
Would surely deeme it to bee yvie trew:
Low his lascivious 4 armes adown did creepe,
That themselves dipping in the silver dew,
Their fleecy flowers they fearefully did steepe,
Which drops of christall seemed for wantones to weep.
Infinit streams continually did well
Out of this fountain, sweete and faire to see,
The which into an ample laver fell,
And shortly grew to so great quantitie
That like a little lake it seemd to bee;
Whose depth exceeded not three cubits hight,
That through the waves one might the bottom see,
All pavd beneath with jaspar shining bright,
That seemd the fountaine in that sea did sayle upright.
(1) Ensude_followed. (2) Fine-end. vicious-loose, hanging loose.
Eftsoones? they heard a most melodious sound
Of all that mote delight a daintie ear,
Such as attonce might not on living ground,
Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere:
Right hard it was for wight which did it heare
To read? what manner musicke that might bee:
For all that pleasing is to living eare,
Was there consorted in one harmonee;
Birdes, voices, instruments, windes, waters, all agree :
The ioyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull shade,
Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet;
The angelical soft trembling voyces made
To the instruments divine respondence meet;
The silver-sounding instruments did meet
With the base 3 murmure of the waters fall :
The waters fall, with difference discreet,
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call :
The gentle warbling wind low answeréd to all.
MASQUE OF THE SEASONS.
So forth issèwed the Seasons of the yeare:
First, lusty Spring, all dight in leaves of flowers
That freshly budded and new bloosmes did beare,
In which a thousand birds had built their bowers
That sweetly sung to call forth paramours ;
And in his hand a iavelin he did beare,
And on his head (as fit for warlike stoures)
A guilt engraven morion? he did weare ;
That as some did him love, so others did him feare.
Then came the iolly Sommer, being dight
In a thin silken cassock coloured
That was unlyned all, to be more light;
And on his head a girlond well beseene
He wore, from which as he had chaufféd been
The sweat did drop; and in his hand he bore
A bowe and shaftes, as he in forrest greene
(1) Eftsoones-soon efter or after, presently. (2) Read-guess.
(3) Base -low.
(4) “Faerie Queene.” canto 7 (of “Mutabilitie"). (5) Lusty-"Beautiful, lovely.”- Toda. (6) Stoures-assaults, battles. (7) Morion--an ancient steel cap or helmet. (8) Well beseene-beautiful to be seen. (9) Chauffed-heated.
Had hunted late the libbard 1 or the bore,
And nowe would bathe his limbes, with labor heated sore.
Then came the Autumne, all in yellow clad,
As though he ioyéd in his plenteous store,
Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad
That he had banisht hunger, which to-fore
Had by the belly oft him pinchéd sore;
Upon his head å wreath, that was enrold 3
With ears of corne of every sort, he bore;
And in his hand a sickle he did holde,
To reape the ripened fruits the which the earth had yold.*
Lastly came Winter, cloathed all in frize,
Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill;
Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freese,
And the dull drops, that from his purpled bill
As from a limbeck did adown distill :
In his right hand a tipped staffe he held,
With which his feeble steps he stayéd still;
For he was faint with cold and week with eld ; 6
That scarse his looséd limbes he hable was to weld.7
Thus the fresh Clarion, being readie dight,
Unto his iourney did himselfe addresse,
And with good speed began to take his flight;
Over the fields, in his frank lustinesse,
And all the champaine 10 o’re he soared light;
And all the country wide he did possesse,
Feeding upon their pleasures bounteouslie,
That none gainsaid, nor none did him envie.
The woods, the rivers, and the medowes greene,
With his aire-cutting wings he measured wide ;
Ne did he leave the mountaines bare unseene,
Nor the rank grassie fennes delights untride :
(1) Libbard—the leopard. (2) To-fore-before this. (3) Enrold--surrounded. (4) Yold-yielded. (5) Limbeck--an alembic or still,
(6) Eld—old age. (7) Weld-wield, govern.
(8) “ Muiopotmos; or, the Fate of the Butterflie,” vv. 145–232. (9) Clarion - the name he butterfly. (10) Champaine-from the French champagne, Italian campagna,
Latin campanus, and all from campus, a plain-open country.
But none of these, however sweet they beene,
Mote please his fancie, nor him cause to abide :
His choicefull sense with every change doth flit ;
No common things may please a wavering wit.
To the gay gardins his unstaid desire
Him wholly caried, to refresh his sprights:
There, lavish Nature, in her best attire,
Powres forth sweete odors and alluring sights ;
And Arte, with her contending, doth aspire
To excell the naturall with made delights:
And all that faire or pleasant may be found,
In riotous excesse doth there abound.
There he arriving, round about doth flie
From bed to bed, from one to other border;
And takes survey, with curious busie
flowre and herbe there set in order;
Now this, now that, he tasteth tenderly,
Yet none of them he rudely doth disorder,
Nor with his feete their silken leaves deface,
But pastures on the pleasures of each place.
And evermore, with most varietie
And change of sweetness (for all change is sweete),
He casts? his glutton sense to satisfy;
Now sucking of the sap of herbe most meet,
Or of the deaw which yet on them does lie,
Now in the same bathing his tender feete:
And then he pearcheth on some braunch thereby,"
To weather him, and his moyst wings to dry.
And then again he turneth to his play,
To spoyle4 the pleasures of that Paradise ;
The wholesome Saulge, and Lavender still gray,
Ranke-smelling Rue, and Cummin good for eyes,
The Roses raigning in the pride of May,
Sharp Isope good for green? wounds remedies,
Faire Marigoldes, and bees-alluring Thime,
Sweet Marjoram and Daysies decking prime;
(1) He casts—he casts in his mind, contrives bow. (2) Thereby-close by. (3) To weather him—to expose himself to the air. (4) Spoyle—make a spoil of. (5) Saulge–from the Latin salvere, to be in good health-the herb sage, so called from its salutary properties. (6) Isope-hyssop. (7) Green-fresh.
Coole Violets, and Orpine growing still,
Embathéd Balme, and chearfull Galingale,
Fresh Costmarie, and breathfull Camomill,
Dull Poppy, and drink-quickning Setuale,
Veyne-healing Verven, and hed-purging Dill,
Sound Savorie, and Bazil hartie-hale,
Fat Colworts, and comfòrting Perseline,
Cold Lettuce, and refreshing Rosmarine.
And what so else of vertue good or ill
Grewe in this gardin, fetcht from farre away,
Of every one he takes and tastes at will,
And on their pleasures greedily doth pray,
Then when he had both plaid, and fed his fili,
In the warm sunne he did himselfe embay,
And there him rests in riotous suffisaunce,
Of all his gladfulnes, and kingly ioyaunce.
What more felicitie can fall to creature
Than to enjoy delight with libertie,
And to be lord of all the works of nature,
To raigne in the air from the earth to highest skie,
To feed on flowres and weeds of glorious feature,
To take whatever thing doth please the eie ?
Who rests not pleased with such happines,
Wel worthy he to taste of wretchednes.
But what on earth can long abide in state ?
Or who can him assure of happy day?.
Sith morning faire may bring fowle evening late,
And least mishap the most blisse alter may!
For thousand perills lie in close awaite
About us daylie, to worke our decay;
That none except a God, or God him guide,
May them avoyde, or remedie provide.
And whatso heavens in their secret doome
Ordained have, how can fraile fleshly wight
Forecast, but it must needs to issue come?
The sea, the aire, the fire, the day, the night,
(1) Perseline parsley. (2) Embay-bathe, delight. (3) Ioyaunce-the word must be pronounced here io-y-aunce for the sake of the metre.
(4) Forecast--foresee, provide against.