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Delicious words, the life of wanton wit,
That doth inspire our souls with sweet content, Why hath your father Hermes thought it fit,
Mine eyes should surfeit by my heart's consent? Full twenty summers have I fading seen,
And twenty Floras in their golden guise : Yet never view'd I such a pleasant Greene,
As this whose garnish'd gleads compar'd, devise. Of all the flowers a Lilly' once I lov’d,
Whose labouring beauty branch'd itself abroad; But now old age his glory hath remov'd,
And greener objects are mine eyes abroad. No country to the downs of Arcadie,
Where Aganippe's ever springing wells Do moist the meads with bubbling melody,
And makes me muse what more in Delos dwells. There feeds our Menaphon's celestial Muse,
There makes his pipe his pastoral report: Which strained now a note above his use,
Foretels he'll ne'er come chaunt of Thoæ's sport.
To condemn who can, so Envy be not judge:
Robin, thou hast done well, care not who grudge!
John Lilly, a popular, but pedantic writer of that day. ? I believe there are no other relics of this writer known,
REPORTS OF THE SHEPHERDS.
After that the wrath of mighty Jove had wrapped Arcadia with noisome pestilence, insomuch that the air yielding prejudicial savour seemed to be peremptory in some fatal resolution, DEMOCLES, Sovereign and King of that famous Continent, pitying the sinister accidents of his people, being a man as just in his censures as royal in his possessions, as careful for the weal of his country as the countenance of his diadem ; thinking that unpeopled cities were corrosives in princes' consciences, that the strength of his subjects was the sinews of his dominions, and that every crown must contain a care, not only to win honour by foreign conquests, but in maintaining dignity with civil and domestical insights. DEMOCLES grounding his argument upon these premises, coveting to be counted Pater patriæ, calling a parliament together, whither all his nobility, incited by summons, made their repair, elected two of his chief lords to pass unto Delphos, at Apollo's oracle to hear the fatal sentence, either of their future misery or present remedy. They having their charge, posting from Arcadia to the Tripos, where Pithia sate, the sacred Nymph that delivered out Apollo's dylonimas, offering (as their manner is) their orisons and presents, as well to entreat by devotion as to persuade by bounty, they had returned from Apollo this doom.
When Neptune, riding on the southern seas,
Shall from the bosom of his leman yield
Dead men shall war, and unborn babes shall frown,
When lambs have lions for their surest guide,
And planets rest upon th’ Arcadian hills;
Then look, Arcadians, for a happy time,
No sooner had Pithia delivered this scroll to the lords of Arcadia, but they departed and brought it to DEMOCLES ; who causing the oracle to be read amongst the distressed commons, found the Delphian censure more full of doubts to amaze than fraught with hope to comfort; thinking rather that the anger of God sent a peremptory presage of ruin, than a probable ambiguity to applaud any hope of remedy. Yet loth to have his careful subjects fall into the baleful labyrinth of despair, DEMOCLEs began to discourse unto them, that the interpreters of Apollo's secrets were not the conceits of human reason, but the success of long-expected events; that comets did portend at the first blaze, but took effect in the dated bosom of the destinies; that oracles were foretold at the Delphian cave, but were shaped out and finished in the counsel-house. With such persuasive arguments DEMOCLES appeased the distressed thoughts of his doubtful countrymen ; and commanded, by proclamation, that no man should pry into the quiddities of Apollo's answer, lest sundry censures of his divine secrecy should trouble Arcadia with some sudden mutiny. The king thus smoothing the heat of his cares, rested a melancholy man in his court, hiding un
der his head the double-faced figure of Janus, as well to clear the skies of other men's conceits with smiles, as to furnish out his own dumps
with thoughts. But as other beasts level their looks at the countenance of the lion, and birds make wings as the eagles fly, so Regis ad arbitrium totus componitur orbis, the people were measured by the mind of their sovereign; and what storms soever they smothered in private conceit, yet they made hay and cried holiday in outward appearance, insomuch that every man repaired to his own home, and fell either unto pleasures or labours, as their living or content allowed them.
Whiles thus Arcadia rested in a silent quiet, MenaPhon, the King's Shepherd, a man of high account among the swains of Arcadia, loved of the nymphs as the paragon of all their country youngsters, walking solitary down to the shore, to see if any of his ewes and lambs were straggled down to the strond to browze on the sea ivy, whereof they take special delight to feed, he found his flocks grazing upon the promontory mountains hardly; whereon resting himself on a hill that overpeered the great Mediterranean, noting how Phæbus fetched his lavaltos on the purple plains of Neptunus, as if he had meant to have courted Thetis in the royalty of his robes; the dolphins (the sweet conceiters of music) fetched their careers on the calmed waves, as if Arion had touched the strings of his silver-sounding instrument; the mermaids thrusting their heads from the bosom of Amphitrite, sate on the mounting banks of Neptune, drying their watery tresses in the sunbeams. Æolus forbare to throw abroad his gusts on the slumbering brows of the sea-god, as giving Triton leave to pleasure his queen with desired melody, and Proteus liberty to follow his flocks without disquiet.
Menaphon looking over the champain of Arcadia, to see if the continent was as full of smiles as the seas were of favours, saw the shrubs, as in a dream, with delightful harmony, and the birds