Montemayor's Diana

Page 079

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In least of all I sawe in thee so plaine:
To passe no further she may well suffice,
Nor he, that sees thee but must loue containe.

Who sees thee as God made thee, and hath seene
An other thing that’s faire and of delight,
He thinkes, he sees a thing that would haue beene
Thy selfe in any thing, if that it might:
But if he sees thee with such perfect eies,
And (Mistresse) as I sawe thee, then againe
There’s no compare (compare for it denies)
Nor glorie, but thy sweete loue to containe.

It was not onely this, which Arsileus sung that night to the sounde of his Harpe, but as Orpheus, when he demaunded his Nymph Euridice, made the hellish furies gentle with his sweete song, suspending for a while the paines of the damned ghostes; so did vnfortunate Arsileus not onely amaze and mollifie their harts that were present, but wretched Belisaes also, who with great boldnes from a high garret windowe was harkening vnto him: whose sweete musicke delighted moreouer the heauen, the starres, and the cleere moone, which was then in her force and vigour, that in what part soeuer I did then cast mine eies, it admonished me (me thought) and tolde me, that I loued him more then mine owne life: whereof it was needlesse for any to put me in minde, for if I had then beene Lady of all the worlde, I had thought my selfe too meane to be woorthie of him. And from thence I purposed to hide this affection as little from him as I could. All that night I laie imagining, by what meanes I might best discouer vnto him my griefe, but in such sort, that my vertuous name and modestie might not suffer any blemish, though death (when this was wanting) with her appalled feare and danger should not haue hindred mine in∣tent. And yet when that should come, and when we haue the greatest care to auoid the occasions that might hinder it, euen then & most of all they present themselues. The next day after needs I must go with other countrey maides (my kineswomen & neighbours) to a thicke wood, in the mids whereof was a cleere fountaine, whither euery other holy day we caried our kine, as well for that there was good pasture for them, as also for that (the fresh & hungry euening being come) we might take the milke of the next day, whereof we made sweete butter, & fresh cheefe and creame. But I and my companie being set round about the fountaine, and our kine liyng in the coole shades of the thick and branchie trees of that hedge, licking their yong and tender caluelings, that lay by them, one of my friendes amongst the rest, (vnac∣quainted (it seemed) with that loue that warred within my soule) with many requests importuned me (vpon paine neuer to receiue any pleasure at her handes) to enter∣taine the time and that companie with some song or other. My many excuses (with telling her besides that times and occasions were not alwaies one, nor alike) auailed me very little from performing that, which with so great instance she requested of me: And therefore to the sound of a Bagpipe, whereon one of them most sweetely plaied, I began to sing these verses.

LOue passed by me with his bowe vnarm’d,
His eies cast downe, milde, gentle, modest gay,


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