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النشر الإلكتروني

I CHANCED, of late, an ancient book to view As good as BEVIS, and as strange and true, Of lions, leopards, tigers, bears, and boars, And such ill faces as in forest roars.

Amongst the rest was one, that had a den
Piled, like a wood-wharf, with the bones of men.
He had a head most fearful to behold,
Wherein two eyes, like globes of fire, rolled;
Teeth terrible, to bite through flesh and bone;
A forked tongue, the like was never known!
Claws past compare, to scratch down trees withal;
A sting in 's tail, would enter through a wall!
I do protest, I was almost afraid

To read the strange description that was made
Of this den-Devil; sure, he was no less!
As by the story any man would guess.
Yet by a valiant Knight, this same hot-shot
Was hewed as small as flesh unto the pot.

Then, in that book, a Dragon I do find,
The like is not among the Dragons' kind!
Th' enchanted Dragon of the darksome shade,
Of seven metals all composed and made.

And that the World shall witness I am read ('Gainst melancholy vexings in my head!) In ancient stories, courage to provoke; Not spending all my time in taking smoke: Although my Worship 's scandalled, now and then, Amongst the ruder sort of vulgar men.

But that I turn, and overturn again,

Old books, wherein the worm-holes do remain, Containing Acts of ancient Knights and Squires, That fought with Dragons spitting forth wild fires; The history unto you shall appear,

Even, by myself, verbatim set down here.

As thus.

Sir EGLAMORE, that worthy Knight,
He took his sword, and went to fight;
And as he rode both hill and dale,
Armèd upon his shirt of mail,
A Dragon came out of his den,
Had slain, God knows, how many men!

When he espied Sir EGLAMORE,

O, if you had but heard him roar;
And seen how all the trees did shake!
The Knight did tremble, horse did quake,
The birds betake them all to peeping:
It would have made you fall a weeping!

But now, it is in vain to fear; Being come unto, 'fight dog! fight bear!' To it, they go! and fiercely fight A life-long day, from morn till night. The Dragon had a plaguy hide; And could the sharpest steel abide.

No sword will enter him with cuts,
Which vexed the Knight unto the guts:
But, as in choler he did burn,
He watched the Dragon a good turn;
And, as a yawning he did fall,
He thrust his sword in, hilts and all!

Then, like a coward, he to fly
Unto his den, that was hard by;
And there he lay all night, and roared.
The Knight was sorry for his sword;
But, riding thence, said, 'I forsake it!
He that will fetch it; let him take it!'

And so, I hope, to the judicious wise, Thus much of this rare story shall suffice To prove, how I in worthy Works am read; Howe'er illiterate censures are misled!

HARK! jolly Shepherds!

Hark you, yon lusty ringing! How cheerfully the bells dance; The whilst the Lads are springing! Go then! Why sit we here delaying; And all yon merry wanton Lasses playing? How gaily FLORA leads it;

And sweetly treads it!

The woods and groves they ring!
Loudly resounding

With echo sweet rebounding!

ONCE did my thoughts both ebb and flow; As Passion did them move!

Once did I hope! straight fear again!
And then I was in love!

Once did I, waking, spend the night;
And tell how many minutes move!
Once did I, wishing, waste the day;
And then I was in love!

Once, by my carving True Love's knot,
The weeping trees did prove

That wounds and tears were both our lot;
And then I was in love!

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Once did I breathe another's breath;
And in my Mistress move!
Once was I not mine own at all;
And then I was in love!

Once wore I bracelets made of hair;
And collars did approve;

Once wore my clothes made out of wax;
And then I was in love!

Once did I sonnet to my Saint;
My soul in Numbers move!
Once did I tell a thousand lies;
And then I was in love!

Once in my ear did dangling hang
A little turtle-dove!

Once, in a word, I was a fool;
And then I was in love!

APRIL is in my Mistress' face,
And July in her eyes hath place:
Within her bosom is September;
But in her heart a cold December.

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