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Which to thee flocke, to heare thy lovely layes ;
Tell me, what mote these dainty Damzels be,
Which here with thee doe make their pleasant playes ?

Right happy thou, that mayst them freely see:
But why when I them saw, fled they away from me ?


Not I so happy, answerd then that swaine,

As thou unhappy, which them thence didst chace,
Whom by no meanes thou canst recall againe,

For being gone, none can them bring in place,
1. But whom they of them selves list so to grace.

Right sory I, (saide then Sir Calidore,)
That my ill fortune did them hence displace.

But since things passed none may now restore,
Tell me, what were they all, whose lacke thee grieves so

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Tho gan that shepheard thus for to dilate ;

Then wote thou shepheard, whatsoever thou bee,
That all those Ladies, which thou sawest late,
Are Venus Damzels, all within her fee,
But differing in honour and degree :
They all are Graces, which on her depend,
Besides a thousand more, which ready bee

Her to adorne, when so she forth doth wend :
But those three in the midst, doe chiefe on her attend.


They are the daughters of sky-ruling Jove,

By him begot of faire Eurynome,
The Oceans daughter, in this pleasant grove,
As he this way comming from feastfull glee,
Of Thetis wedding with Æacidee,
In sommers shade him selfe here rested weary.
The first of them hight mylde Euphrosyne,

Next faire Aglaia, last Thalia merry :
Sweete Goddesses all three which me in mirth do cherry.

These three on men all gracious gifts bestow, xxiii

Which decke the body or adorne_the mynde, whereas
To make them lovely or well favoured show,
As comely carriage, entertainement kynde,
Sweete semblaunt, friendly offices that bynde,
And all the complements of curtesie:
They teach us, how to each degree and kynde

We should our selves demeane, to low, to hie;
To friends, to foes, which skill men call Civility.

Therefore they alwaies smoothly seeme to smile, xxiv

That we likewise should mylde and gentle be,
And also naked are, that without guile

Or false dissemblaunce all them plaine may see,
Simple and true from covert malice free:
And eeke them selves so in their daunce they bore,
That two of them still froward seem'd to bee,

But one still towards shew'd her selfe afore ;
That good should from us goe, then come in greater store.


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Such were those Goddesses, which ye did see ;

But that fourth Mayd, which there amidst them traced,
Who can aread, what creature mote she bee,
Whether a creature, or a goddesse graced
With heavenly gifts from heven first enraced ?
But what so sure she was, she worthy was,
To be the fourth with those three other placed :

Yet was she certes but a countrey lasse,
Yet she all other countrey lasses farre did passe.


So farre as doth the daughter of the day,

All other lesser lights in light excell,
So farre doth she in beautyfull array,
Above all other lasses beare the bell,
Ne lesse in vertue that beseemes her well,


Doth she exceede the rest of all her race,
For which the Graces that here wont to dwell,

Have for more honor brought her to this place,
And graced her so much to be another Grace.
Another Grace she well deserves to be,

In whom so many Graces gathered are,
Excelling much the meane of her degree;
Divine resemblaunce, beauty soveraine rare,
Firme Chastity, that spight ne blemish dare ;
All which she with such courtesie doth grace,
That all her peres cannot with her compare,

But quite are dimmed, when she is in place.
° She made me often pipe and now to pipe apace.
Sunne of the world, great glory of the sky,

That all the earth doest lighten with thy rayes,
Great Gloriana, greatest Majesty,
Pardon thy shepheard, mongst so many layes,
As he hath sung of thee in all his dayes,
To make one minime of thy poore handmayd,
And underneath thy feete to place her prayse,

That when thy glory shall be farre displayd
To future age of her this mention may be made.



The Masque of the Seasons and Months

.Book VII, Canto VII, xxviii-xliii
So, forth issew'd the Seasons of the yeare;

First, lusty Spring, all dight in leaves of flowres
That freshly budded and new bloosmes did beare
(In which a thousand birds had built their bowres
That sweetly sung, to call forth Paramours) :
And in his hand a javelin he did beare,
And on his head (as fit for warlike stoures)

A guilt engraven morion he did weare ;
That as some did him love, so others did him feare.

Then came the jolly Sommer, being dight

xxix In a thin silken cassock coloured greene, That was unlyned all, to be more light : And on his head a girlond well beseene He wore, from which as he had chauffed been The sweat did drop; and in his hand he bore A boawe and shaftes, as he in forrest greene

Had hunted late the Libbard or the Bore, And now would bathe his limbes, with labor heated sore..


Then came the Autumne all in yellow clad,

As though he joyed in his plentious store,
Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad
That he had banisht hunger, which to-fore
Had by the belly oft him pinched sore.
Upon his head a wreath that was enrold
With eare's of corne, of every sort he bore :

And in his hand a sickle he did holde,
To reape the ripened fruits the which the earth had yold.

Lastly, came Winter cloathed all in frize,

XXXI Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill, Whil'st on his hoary beard his breath did freese ; · And the dull drops that from his purpled bill As from a limbeck did adown distill. In his right hand a tipped staffe he held, With which his feeble steps he stayed still :

For, he was faint with cold, and weak with eld; That scarse his loosed limbes he hable was to weld.


These, marching softly, thus in order went,

And after them, the Monthes all riding came;
First, sturdy March with brows full sternly bent,
And armed strongly, rode upon a Ram,
The same which over Hellespontus swam :
Yet in his hand a spade he also hent,

And in a bag all sorts of seeds ysame,

Which on the earth he strowed as he went, And fild her womb with fruitfull hope of nourishment.

Next came fresh Aprill full of lustyhed,

xxxiii And wanton as a kid whose horne new buds : Upon a Bull he rode, the same which led Europa floting through th’Argolick fluds : His hornes were gilden all with golden studs And garnished with garlonds goodly dight Of all the fairest flowres and freshest buds

Which th'earth brings forth, and wet he seem'd in sight With waves, through which he waded for his loves delight.

Then came faire May, the fayrest mayd on ground, xxxiv

Deckt all with dainties of her seasons pryde,
And throwing flowres out of her lap around :
Upon two brethrens shoulders she did ride,
The twinnes of Leda; which on eyther side
Supported her like to their soveraine Queene.
Lord! how all creatures laught, when her they spide,

And leapt and daunc't as they had ravisht beene !
And Cupid selfe about her fluttred all in greene.


And after her, came jolly June, arrayd

All in greene leaves, as he a Player were ;
· Yet in his time, he wrought as well as playd,
That by his plough-yrons mote right well appeare :
Upon a Crab he rode, that him did beare
With crooked crawling steps an uncouth pase,
And backward yode, as Bargemen wont to fare

Bending their force contrary to their face,
Like that ungracious crew which faines demurest grace.


Then came hot July boyling like to fire,

That all his garments he had cast away :
Upon a Lyon raging yet with ire

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