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FRom whence O Paper mine such happie fauour,
That vndeseruedly thou must be placed
Before that flowre that yeeldes the sweetest sauour,
Which nature hath with all her powres graced?
Thou shalt the figure see (my louing Paper)
Where all the vertues make their wished dwelling,
And of the rest not any one escape her,
Graces, and giftes, and beauties most excelling.
Then when thou com’st before my heauenly treasure,
Say thus from me to her. He sends me hither,
Who liues to serue thee, whilst his life extendeth:
In onely this his thoughts are musing euer:
In ioy of this both nights and daies he spendeth:
To serue thee is his onely sport and pleasure.
At the very instant when the Shepherd made an end of his Sonnet, the three Shepherds met with him, for they might well haue come to the valley before, where their way and the other Shepherds met both togither in a crosse path, but that of purpose to heare him, they lingred out the time as they went; to whom (afâˆ£ter they had saluted him) they saide. Since our Fortune hath beene so good to vs (iolly Shepherd) to make vs take part of thy sweet Sonnet, do not thus leaue vs in suâˆ£spence, by hiding from vs, what this happy paper containeth. I am content saide (the Shepherd) vpon condition (when you haue read it,) you will let me go without any more questions, as well for that I go in haste, as also that it doth not please me to giue any further account and discouerie of my selfe. Syrenus taking the paper to read it, and seeing it was a letter saide. Tell vs in briefe (if it please thee) the contents heerof, bicause thou knowest how hardly (otherwise) the ground and meaning of letters are vnderstood. No more (said the Shepherd) but this. A most faire yoong Shepherdesse, to whom in good qualities, and excellent parts I come nothing neer (I will not speake of the rest, since in these she hath not her equall) for want of betâˆ£ter companie, hath vouchsafed to like of mine, whereupon she and I, to passe away the time, haue feined to play the parts of two true Louers. Wherein, (when I tooke least heede) I quickly perceiued, that the faining of my side was turned to good earnest (she remayning still in her former estate and libertie) and that her iesting neâˆ£uer made any true impression of loue in her owne hart, as it hath done in mine. The rest and almost all if thou wilt diligently reade, or harken vnto, thou maiest easilie gather. Syrenus then beginning to reade it, saw that it said thus.
POore I that am not now for thee
(If any health I haue to lend)
To thee, that hast each part of me
All that I haue, I meane to send.
Receiue this letter left alone,
That to conuers all his to thine,
This onely paper is behinde.
Since I haue giu’n thee all the rest,
Thine honour it shall not gainstand,
To take a thing, that is the lest:
Apeece of paper at my hand.
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