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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.

3 非

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

His feeble eyne with too much brightness daz’d; So stared he on her, and stood long while amaz’d.

Softly at last he gan his mother aske,
What mister wight that was, and whence deriv'd,
That in so straunge disguizement there did maske,
And by what accident she there arriv'd ?
But she, as one nigh of her wits depriv'd,
With nought but ghastly lookes him answered ;
Like to a ghost, that lately is reviv'd
From Stygian shores where late it wandered :
So both at her, and each at other wondered.

But the fayre virgin was so meeke and myld,
That she to them vouchsafed to embace
Her goodly port, and to their senses vyld
Her gentle speach applyde, that in short space
She grew familiare in that desert place.
During which time the chorle, through her so kind
And courteise use, conceiv'd affection bace,
And cast to love her in his brutish mind;
No love, but brutish lust, that was so beastly tind.

Oft from the forrest wildings he did bring,
Whose sides empurpled were with smyling red ;
And oft young birds, which he had taught to sing
His maistresse praises sweetly caroled :
Girlonds of flowres sometimes for her faire hed
He fine would dight; sometimes the squirrel wild
He brought to her in bands, as conquered
To be her thrall, his fellow-servant vild :
All which she of him tooke with countenance

meeke and mild.

FROM THE MASQUE OF CUPID.

(Faerie Queene. ]

The first was Fansy, like a lovely boy
Of rare aspect and beautie without peare,
Matchable either to that ympe of Troy,
Whom Iove did love, and chose his cup to beare;
Or that same daintie lad, which was so deare
To great Alcides, that, whenas he dyde,
He wailed womanlike with many a teare,
And every wood and every valley wyde
He filld with Hylas name; the nymphes eke

Hylas cryde.

His garment neither was of silke nor say,
But paynted plumes in goodly order dight,
Like as the sunburnt Indians do aray
Their tawney bodies in their proudest plight:
As those same plumes, so seemd he vaine and light,
That by his gate might easily appeare ;
For still he far'd as dauncing in delight,
And in his hand a windy fan did beare,
That in the ydle ayre he mov'd still here and

theare.

And him beside marcht amorous Desyre,
Who seemd of ryper yeares than th' other swayne,
Yet was that other swayne this elders syre,
And gave him being, commune to them twayne :
His garment was disguysed very vayne.
And his embrodered bonet sat awry :
Twixt both his hands few sparkes he close did

strayne,

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