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The joyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull shade,
Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet,
Th' angelical soft trembling voyces made
To th' instruments divine respondence meet;
The silver-sounding instruments did meet
With the base 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 answered to all.

There, whence that musick semed heard to bee,
Was the faire witch herselfe now solacing
With a new lover, whom, through sorcerie
And witchcraft, she from farre did thether bring :
There she had him now laid a slombering
In secret shade after long wanton joyes ;
Whilst round about them pleasauntly did sing
Many faire ladies and lascivious boyes,
That ever mixt their song with light licentious

toyes.

And all that while right over him she hong
With her false eyes fast fixed in his sight,
As seeking medicine whence she was stong,
Or greedily depasturing delight;
And oft inclining downe with kisses light,
For feare of waking him, his lips bedewd,
And through his humid eyes did sucke his spright,
Quite molten into lust and pleasure lewd ;
Wherewith she sighed soft, as if his case she

rewd.

The whiles some one did chaunt this lovely lay ;
Ah ! see, whoso fayre thing doest faine to see,
In springing flowre the image of thy day!

Ah ! see the virgin rose, how sweetly shee
Doth first peepe foorth with bashfull modestee,
That fairer seemes the lesse ye see her may !
Lo ! see soone after how more bold and free
Her bared bosome she doth broad display;
Lo ! see soone after how she fades and falls away!

So passeth, in the passing of a day,
Of mortall life the leafe, the bud, the flowre ;
Ne more doth florish after first decay,
That earst was sought to deck both bed and bowre
Of many a lady, and many a paramowre !
Gather therefore the rose whilest yet is prime,
For soone comes age that will her pride deflowre :
Gather the rose of love whilest yet is time,
Whilest loving thou mayst loved be with equall

crime. (a)

He ceast; and then 'gan all the quire of birdes
Their divers notes tattune unto his lay,
As in approvaunce of his pleasing wordes.
The constant payre heard all that he did say,
Yet swarved not, but kept their forward way
Through many covert groves, and thickets close,
In which they creeping did at last display
That wanton lady with her lover lose,
Whose sleepie head she in her lap did soft dispose.

Upon a bed of roses she was Jayd,
As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin ;
And was arayd, or rather disarayd,
All in a vele of silke and silver thin,
That hid no whit her alabaster skin,

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But rather shewd more white, if more might bee :
More subtile web Arachne cannot spin ;
Nor the fine nets, which oft we woven see
Of scorched dew, do not in th' ayre more lightly

flee.

Her snowy brest was bare to ready spoyle
Of hungry eies, which n'ote therewith be fild ;
And yet, through languour of her late sweet toyle,
Few drops, more cleare than nectar, forth distild,
That like pure orient perles adowne it trild ;
And her faire eyes, sweet smyling in delight,
Moystened their fierie beames, with which she

thrild Fraile harts, yet quenched not ; like starry light, Which, sparckling on the silent waves, does seeme

more bright.

FLORIMEL AND THE WITCH's son. THROUGH th’tops of the high trees she did descry A little smoke, whose vapour thin and light Reeking aloft uprolled to the sky; Which chearefull signe did send unto her sight That in the same did wonne some living wight. Eftsoones her steps she thereunto applyd, And came at last in weary wretched plight Unto the place, to which her hope did guyde, To finde some refuge there, and rest her wearie

syde.

There in a gloomy hollow glen she found
A little cottage, built of stickes and reedes
In homely wize, and wald with sods around ;

In which a witch did dwell, in loathly weedes
And wilful' want, all carelesse of her needes ;
So choosing solitarie to abide
Far from all neighbours, that her divelish deedes
And hellish arts from people she might hide,
And hurt far off unknowne whomever she envide.

The damzell there arriving entred in ;
Where, sitting on the flore, the hag she found
Busie (as seem'd) about some wicked gin :
Who, soone as she beheld that suddein stound,
Lightly upstarted from the dustie ground,
And with fell looke, and hollow deadly gaze,
Stared on her awhile, as one astound,
Ne had one word to speake for great amaze;
But shewd by outward signes that dread her sence

did daze.

At last, turning her feare to foolish wrath,
She askt, What devill had her thether brought,
And who she was, and what unwonted path
Had guided her, unwelcomed, unsought ?
To which the damzell, full of doubtfull thought,
Her mildly answer'd, " Beldame, be not wroth
With silly virgin, by adventure brought
Unto your dwelling, ignorant and loth,
That crave but rowme to rest while tempest over-

blo'th.”

With that adowne out of her cristall eyne
Few trickling teares she softly forth let fall,
That like two orient perles did purely shyne
Upon her snowy cheeke; and therewithall
She sighed soft, that none so bestiall

Nor salvage hart but ruth of her sad plight
Would make to melt, or pitteously appall;
And that vile hag, all were her whole delight
In mischiefe, was much moved at so pitteous sight.

Tho gan she gather up her garments rent,
And her loose lockes to dight in order dew,
With golden wreath and gorgeous ornament ;
Whom such whenas the wicked hag did view,
She was astonisht at her heavenly hew,
And doubted her to deeme an earthly wight,
But or some goddesse, or of Dianes crew,
And thought her to adore with humble spright :
T'adore thing so divine as beauty were but right.

This wicked woman had a wicked sonne,
The comfort of her age and weary dayes,
A laesy loord, for nothing good to donne,
But stretched forth in ydlenesse alwayes,
Ne ever cast his mind to covet prayse,
Or ply himselfe to any honest trade ;
But all the day before the sunny rayes
He us'd to slug, or sleepe in slothful shade :
Such laesinesse both lewd and poore attonce him

made.

He, comming home at undertyme, there found
The fayrest creature that he ever saw
Sitting beside his mother on the ground;
The sight whereof did greatly him adaw,
And his base thought with terrour and with aw .
So inly smot, that as one, which hath gaz'd
On the bright sunne unwares, doth soone withdraw

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