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Ne suffred them to perish through long eld,
As all things else, the which this world doth weld,
But laid them up in his immortall scrine,
Where they for ever incorrupted dweld :

The warres he well remembred of king Nine,
Of old Assaracus, and Inachus divine.

The yeares of Nestor nothing were to his,

lvii Ne yet Mathusalem, though longest liv'd: For he remembred both their infancies : Ne wonder then, if that he were depriv'd Of native strength now, that he them surviv'd. His chamber all was hangd about with rolles, And old records from auncient times deriv'd,

Some made in books, some in long parchment scrolles, That were all worme-eaten, and full of canker holes.


The Garden of Adonis

Book III, Canto VI, xxx-xlii
In that same Gardin all the goodly flowres,

Wherewith dame Nature doth her beautifie,
And decks the girlonds of her paramoures,
Are fetcht: there is the first seminarie
Of all things, that are borne to live and die,
According to their kindes. Long worke it were,
Here to account the endlesse progenie .

Of all the weedes, that bud and blossome there ;
But so much as doth need, must needs be counted here.

It sited was in fruitfull soyle of old,

xxxi And girt in with two walles on either side ; The one of yron, the other of bright gold, That none might thorough breake, nor over-stride : And double gates it had, which opened wide,

By which both in and out men moten pas;
Th’one faire and fresh, the other old and dride :

Old Genius the porter of them was,
Old Genius, the which a double nature has.

He letteth in, he letteth out to wend,

· xxxii All that to come into the world desire ; A thousand thousand naked babes attend About him day and night, which doe require, That he with fleshly weedes would them attire : Such as him list, such as eternall fate Ordained hath, he clothes with sinfull mire,

And sendeth forth to live in mortall state, Till they againe returne backe by the hinder gate..

After that they againe returned beene,

Xxxiii They in that Gardin planted be againe ; And grow afresh, as they had never seene Fleshly corruption, nor mortall paine. Some thousand yeares so doen they there remaine ; And then of him are clad with other hew, Or sent into the chaungefull world againe,

Till thither they returne, where first they grew : So like a wheele around they runne from old to new.


Ne needs there Gardiner to set, or sow,

To plant or prune : for of their owne accord
All things, as they created were, doe grow,
And yet remember well the mightie word,
Which first was spoken by th’Almightie lord,
That bad them to increase and multiply :
Ne doe they need with water of the ford,

Or of the clouds to moysten their roots dry ;
For in themselves eternall moisture they imply.


Infinite shapes of creatures there are bred,

And uncouth formes, which none yet ever knew,
And every sort is in a sundry bed
Set by it selfe, and ranckt in comely rew:
Some fit for reasonable soules t'indew,
Some made for beasts, some made for birds to weare,
And all the fruitfull spawne of fishes hew

In endlesse rancks along enraunged were,
That seem'd the Ocean could not containe them there.

Daily they grow, and daily forth are sent

Into the world, it to replenish more ;
Yet is the stocke not lessened, nor spent,
But still remaines in everlasting store,
As it at first created was of yore.
For in the wide wombe of the world there lyes,
In hatefull darkenesse and in deepe horrore,

An huge eternall Chaos, which supplyes
The substances of natures fruitfull progenyes.

All things from thence doe their first being fetch, xxxvii

And borrow matter, whereof they are made,
Which when as forme and feature it does ketch,
Becomes a bodie, and doth then invade
The state of life, out of the griesly shade.
That substance is eterne, and bideth so,
Ne when the life decayes, and forme does fade,

Doth it consume, and into nothing go,
But chaunged is, and often altred to and fro.

The substance is not chaunged, nor altered, Xxxviii

But th’only forme and outward fashion ;
For every substance is conditioned
To change her hew, and sundry formes to don,

Meet for her temper and complexion :
For formes are variable and decay,
By course of kind, and by occasion ;

And that faire flowre of beautie fades away,
As doth the lilly fresh before the sunny ray.


Great enimy to it, and to all the rest,

That in the Gardin of Adonis springs,
Is wicked Time, who with his scyth addrest,
Does mow the flowring herbes and goodly things,
And all their glory to the ground downe flings,
Where they doe wither, and are fowly mard :
He flyes about, and with his flaggy wings

Beates downe both leaves and buds without regard, Ne ever pittie may relent his malice hard.

Yet pittie often did the gods relent,

To see so faire things mard, and spoyled quight : And their great mother Venus did lament The losse of her deare brood, her deare delight : Her hart was pierst with pittie at the sight, When walking through the Gardin, them she spyde, Yet no'te she find redresse for such despight. For all that lives, is subject to that law : All things decay in time, and to their end do draw.


But were it not, that Time their troubler is,

All that in this delightfull Gardin growes,
Should happie be, and have immortall blis :
For here all plentie, and all pleasure flowes,
And sweet love gentle fits emongst them throwes,
Without fell rancor, or fond gealosie ;
Franckly each paramour his leman knowes,

Each bird his mate, ne any does envie
Their goodly meriment, and gay felicitie.

There is continuall spring, and harvest there

xlii Continuall, both meeting at one time : For both the boughes doe laughing blossomes beare, And with fresh colours decke the wanton Prime, And eke attonce the heavy trees they clime, Which seeme to labour under their fruits lode : The whiles the joyous birdes make their pastime Emongst the shadie leaves, their sweet abode, And their true loves without suspition tell abrode.

The Masque of Cupid

Book III, Canto XII, i-xxvii
Tho when as chearelesse Night ycovered had

Faire heaven with an universall cloud,
That every wight dismayd with darknesse sad,
In silence and in sleepe themselves did shroud,
She heard a shrilling Trompet sound aloud,
Signe of nigh battell, or got victory;
Nought therewith daunted was her courage proud,

But rather stird to cruell enmity,
Expecting ever, when some foe she might descry.
With that, an hideous storme of winde arose,

With dreadfull thunder and lightning atwixt,
And an earth-quake, as if it streight would lose
The worlds foundations from his centre fixt;
A direfull stench of smoke and sulphure mixt
Ensewd, whose noyance fild the fearefull sted,
From the fourth houre of night until the sixt;

Yet the bold Britonesse was nought ydred,
Though much emmov’d, but stedfast still persevered.
All suddenly a stormy whirlwind blew

Throughout the house, that clapped every dore,
With which that yron wicket open flew,

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