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Whilst heaven did favour his felicities,
Than Clarion, the eldest sonne and heire
Of Muscaroll, and in his fathers sight
Of all alive did seeme the fairest wight.
With fruitfull hope his aged breast he fed
Of future good, which his young toward yeares,
Full of brave courage and bold hardyhed
Above th' ensample of his equall Peares,
Did largely promise, and to him fore-red,
(Whilst oft his heart did melt in tender teares.)
That he in time would sure prove such an one,
As should be worthie of his fathers throne.
The fresh young Flie, in whom the kindly fire
Of lustful yongth began to kindle fast,
Did much disdaine to subiect his desire
To loathsome sloth, or houres in ease to wast,
But ioy'd to range abroad in fresh attire,
Through the wide compas of the ayrie coast;
And, with unwearied wings, each part t’ inquire
Of the wide rule of his renowned sire.
For he so swift and nimble was of flight,
That from this lower tract he dar'd to stie
Up to the clowdes, and thence with pineons light
To mount aloft unto the cristall skie,
To view the workmanship of heavens hight :
Whence down descending he along would flie
Upon the streaming rivers, sport to finde;
And oft would dare to tempt the troublous winde.
So on a summers day, when season milde
With gentle calme the world had quieted,
And high in heaven Hyperion's fierie childe
Ascending did his beames dispred,
Whiles all the heavens on lower creatures smilde :
Young Clarion, with vauntfull lustiehed,
After his guize did cast abroad to fare;
And thereto gan his furnitures prepare.
His breast-plate first, that was of substance pure.
Before his noble heart he firmely bound,
That mought his life from yron death assure,
And ward his gentle corps from cruell wound :
For by it arte was framed, to endure
The bit of balefull steele and bitter stownd,
No lesse than that which Vulcane made to shield
Achilles life from fate of Troyan field.
And then about his shoulders broad he threw
An hairie hide of some wild beast, whom hee
In salvage forrest by adventure slew,
And reft the spoyle his ornament to bee;
Which, spredding all his backe with dreadfull view,
Made all, that him so horrible did see.
Thinke him Alcides with the Lyons skin,
When the Næméan conquest he did win.
Upon his head his glistering burganet,
The which was wrought by wonderous device,
And curiously engraven, he did set :
The metall was of rare and passing price;
Not Bilbo steele, nor brasse from Corinth fet,
Nor costly oricalche from strange Phænice;
But such as could both Phoebus arrowes ward,
And th' hayling darts of heaven beating hard.
Therein two deadly weapons fixt he bore,
Strongly outlaunced towards either side,
Like two sharpe speares, his enemies to gore:
Like as a warlike brigandine, applyde
To fight, layes forth her threatfull pikes afore,
The engines which in them sad death doo hyde :
So did this Flie outstretch his fearfull hornes,
Yet so as him their terrour more adornes.
Lastly his shinie wings as silver bright,
Painted with thousand colours passing farre
All painters skill, he did about him dight :
Vot halfe so manie sundrie colours arre
In Iris bowe; ne heaven doth shine so bright,
Distinguished with manie a twinckling starre ;
Nor Iunoes bird, in her ey-spotted traine,
So many goodly colours doth containe.
Ne (may it be withouten perill spoken)
The Archer god, the sonne of Cytheree,
That ioyes on wretched lovers to be wroken,
And heaped spoyles of bleeding harts to see,
Beares in his wings so manie a changefull token.
Ah! my liege Lord, forgive it unto mee,
If ought against thine honour I have tolde ;
Yet sure those wings were fairer manifolde.
Full many a Ladie faire, in Court full oft
Beholding them, him secretly envide,
And wisht that two such fannes, so silken soft,
And golden faire, her Love would her provide ;
Or that, when them the gorgeous Flie had doft,
Some one, that would with grace be gratifide,
From him would steal them privily away,
And bring to her so precious a pray.
Report is that dame Venus on a day,
In spring when flowres doo clothe the fruitfull ground,
Walking abroad with all her nymphes to play,
Bad her faire damzels flocking her arownd
To gather flowres, her forhead to array:
Emongst the rest a gentle Nymph was found,
Hight Astery, excelling all the crewe
In curteous usage and unstained hewe.
Who beeing nimbler ioynted then the rest,
And more industrious, gathered more store
Of the fields honour, than the others best;
Which they in secret harts envying sore,
Tolde Venus, when her as the worthiest
She praisd, that Cupide (as they heard before)
Did lend her secret aide, in gathering
Into her lap the children of the Spring.
Whereof the goddesse gathering iealous feare,
Not yet unmindfull, how not long agoe
Her sonne to Psyche secret love did beare,
And long it close conceald, till mickle woe
Thereof arose, and manie a rufull teare;
Reason with sudden rage did overgoe;
And, giving hastie credit to th' accuser,
Was led away of them that did abuse her.
Eftsoones that Damzell, by her heavenly might,
She turn’d into a winged Butterflie,
In the wide aire to make her wandring flight;
And all those flowres, with which so plenteouslie
Her lap she filled had, that bred her spight,
She placed in her wings, for memorie
Of her pretended crime, though crime none were :
Since which that Flie them in her wings doth beare.
Thus the fresh Clarion, being readie dight,
Unto his journey did himselfe addresse,
Ind with good speed began to take his flight:
Over the fields, in his franke lustinesse,
And all the champaine o're he soared light;
And all the countrey wide he did possesse,
Feeding upon their pleasures bounteouslie,
That none gainsaid, nor none did him envie.
The woods, the rivers, and the meadowes greene,
With his aire-cutting wings he measured wide,
Ne did he leave the mountaines bare unseene,
Nor the ranke grassie fennes delights untride.
But none of these, how ever sweet they beene,
Mote please his fancie, nor him cause t' abide :
His choicefull sense with every change doth flit.
No common things may please a wavering wit.
To the gay gardins his unstaid desire
Him wholly caried, to refresh his sprights :
There lavish Nature, in her best attire,
Powres forth sweete odors and alluring sights;
And Arte, with her contending, doth aspire,
T excell the naturall with made delights :
And all, that faire or pleasant may be found,
In riotous excesse doth there abound.
There he arriving, round about doth flie,
From bed to bed, from one to other border;
And takes survey, with curious busie eye,
Of every flowre and herbe there set in order;
Now this, now that, he tasteth tenderly,
Yet none of them he rudely doth disorder,
Ve with his feete their silken leaves deface ;
But pastures on the pleasures of each place.
And evermore with most varietie,
And change of sweetnesse, (for all change is sweete,)
He casts his glutton sense to satisfie,
Now sucking of the sap of her be most meet
Or of the deaw, which yet on them does lie,
Now in the same bathing his tender feete:
And then he pearcheth on some braunch thereby,
To weather him, and his moyst wings to dry.
And then againe he turneth to his play,
To spoyle the pleasures of that Paradise ;
The wholesome saulge, and lavender still gray,
Ranke smelling rue, and cummin good for eyes,
The roses raigning in the pride of May,
Sharpe isope good for greene wounds remedies,
Faire marigoldes, and bees-alluring thime,
Sweet marioram, and daysies decking prime :
Coole violets, and orpine growing still,
Embathed balme, and chearfull galingale,
Fresh costmarie, and breathfull camomill,
Dull poppy, and drink-quickning setuale,
Verne-healing verven, and hed-purging dill,
Sound savorie, and bazil hartie-hale,
Fat colworts, and comforting perseline,
Cold lettuce, and refreshing rosmarine.
And whatso else of vertue good or ill
Grewe in this Gardin, fetcht from farre away,
Of everie one he takes, and tastes at will,
And on their pleasures greedily doth pray.
Then when he hath both plaid, and fed his fill,
In the warme sunne he doth himselfe embay,
And there him rests in riotous suffisa unce
Of all his gladfulnes, and kingly ioyaunce.
What more felicitie can fall to creature
Then to enioy delight with libertie,
And to be lord of all the workes of Nature,
To raigne in th' aire from th' earth to highest skie,
To feed on flowres and weeds of glorious feature,
To take what ever thing doth please the eie?
Who rests not pleased with such happines,
Well worthy he to taste of wretchednes.
But what on earth can long abide in state?
Or who can him assure of happy day?
Sith morning faire may bring fowle evening late,
And least mishap the most blisse alter may!