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The murmuring brookes and whistling windes

among
The ratling boughes, and leaues, their parts did

beare;
Her eies vnclos'd beheld the groues along

Of swaines and shepherd groomes, that dwellings .. weare; ind

And that sweet noise, birds, winds, andwaters You happie folke, of heau'n beloved deare, Worke on (quoth she) vpon your harmlesse traid,

sent, Prouokte againe the virgin to lament.

6. Her plaints were interrupted with a sound, That seem’d from thickest bushes to proceed, Some iolly shepherd sung a lustie round, And to his voice had tun'd his oaten reed; Thither she went, an old man there she found, (At whose right hand his little flocke did feed)

Sat making baskets, his three sonnes among,
That learn’d their fathers art, and learn’d his

fong.

Beholding one in shining armes appeare
The feelie man and his were sore dismaid;
But sweet Erminia comforted their feare,
Her ventall vp, her visage open laid,

These dreadfull armes I beare no warfare bring To your sweet toile, nor those fweet tunes you

fing.

8. But father, since this land, these townes and

towres, Destroied are with strord, with fire and spoile, How may it be unhurt, that you and yours In safetie thus, applie your harmlesie toile ? My sonne (quoth he) this poore estate of ours Is euer safe from storme of warlike broile;

This wildernesle doth vs in safetie keepe, No thundring drum, no trumpet breakes our • fleepe.

Haply iuft heau’ns defence and ihield of right,
Doth love the incocence of iimple swaines,
The thunderbolts on highest mountaines light,
And seld or neuer strike the lower plaines;
So kings have cause to feare Bclionaes might,
V shey whose fwreat and toile their dinner gaines,

Nor

Nor ever greedie soldier was entised
By pouertie, neglected and despised.

10.
:: O pouertie, chefe of the heau'nly brood,

Dearer to me than wealth or kingly crowne!.
No wish for honour, thirit of others good,
Can move my hart, contented with mine owne:
We quench our thirst with water of this flood,
Nor feare we poison should therein be throwne;

These little flocks of shcepe and tender goates
Giue milke for food, and wooll to make us
coates.

II.
We little with, we need but little wealth,
From cold and hunger vs to cloath and feed;
These are my sonnes, their care preferues from

stealth
Their fathers flocks, nor seruants moe I need :
Amid these groues I walke oft for my health,
And to the fishes, birds and beastes giue heed,

How they are fed, in forrest, spring and lake,
And their contentment for ensample take.

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Time was (for each one hath his doting time)
These filuer locks were golden tresses than)
That countrie life I hated as a crime,
And from the forrests sweet contentment ran,
To Memphis stately pallace would I clime,
And there became the mightie Caliphes man,

And though I but a simple gardner weare,
Yet could I marke abuses, see and heare,

13.
Entised on with hope of future gaine,
I suffred long what did my soule displease ;
But when my youth was spent, my hopewas vaine,
I felt my natiue strength at last decrease ;
I gan my lofse of lustie yeeres complaine,
And wisht I had enjoy'd the countries peace;

I bod the court farewell, and with content
My later age here haue I quiet spent.

14.
While thus he spake, Erminia husht and still
His wife discourses heard, with great attention,
His speeches graue those idle fancies kill,
Which in her troubled foule bred such dissention;

After

After much thought reformed was her will,
Within those woods to dwell was her intention,

Till fortune should occasion new afford,
To turne her home to her desired Lord.

15.
She said therefore, O fhepherd fortunate!
That troubles fome didít whilom feele and proue,
Yet liuest now in this contented state,
Let my mishap thy thoughts to pitie moue,
To entertaine me as a willing mate
In shepherds life, which I admire and loue;
Within these pleasant groues perchance my

hart, Of her discomforts, may vnload some part.

16. If gold or wealth of most esteemed deare, If iewels rich, thou diddest hold in prise, Such store thereof, such plentie haue I seen, As to a greedie minde might well suffice: With that downe trickled many a siluer teare, Two christall streames fell from her watrie eies; Part of her sad misfortunes than she told, And wept, and with her wept that sh.epherd old.

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