Montemayor's Diana

Page 127

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Be not such a niggard of thy skill, Arsileus, which the heauens and nature haue so bountifully bestowed on thee: for, she that doth aske it at thy hands, will not denie to pleasure thee in any thing she may. Sing if it be possible that song, which (at the request of Argastus) thou didst make in the name of thy father Arsenius, when, for hir loue, you both serued and sued to the faire Shepherdesse Belisa. Thy condition is strange Amarillis (saide the Shepherd againe) still demanding that of me, which doth least of all content me. What shall I do, for perforce I must please thee, and yet not perforce, since he were very discourteous (to say the truth) that would not of his own accord do thee any seruice he could. But now thou seest, how my ill fortune doth euer narrowly pursue me, when I woulde faine take some small respite, and ease from my greeuous thoughts. And seeing the great reason I haue (Amarillis) to burst out in continuall lamentations and teares, why dost thou then command me to sing? What pleasure dost thou take to offende the occasions of my sorrowe? I pray God thou maist neuer haue the like, to feele the greefe that I do, bicause For∣tune might not (so greatly to thy cost) informe thee of my paine. Thou kno∣west well enough I haue lost my Belisa, and that I liue without hope of her re∣couerie. Why dost thou then commaund me to sing? But since I will not haue thee conceiue an opinion of me to be discourteous (for it was neuer my manner and condition to be accounted so amongst faire Shepherdesses, to whom we Shep∣herdes, and my selfe especially for my Belisas sake, owe all respect of loue and dutie, and are so much beholding) I will endeuour (though most against my minde) to content thee: Whereupon taking vp his Rebecke that lay hard by him, he began to tune it, and doe that, which the Shepherdesse requested him. Felismena, that was listening to their talke, might heare very well what speeches passed betweene them; And when she sawe they talked of Arsenius, and Arsileus, seruants to faire Belisa, (both which she tooke to be long since dead, as Belisa had told, not only her, but the Nymphes also, & the Shepherds, when they found her in the Shepherds coat in the Iland) she verily thought, that all, that she heard, and sawe there, was but a meere dreame, or some fantastick illusion. But giuing attentiue eare, she perceiued how the Shepherd began to touch his Rebecke so diuinely, that she thought it to be some celestiall musicke, who hauing plaide on it a little with a more heauenly then hu∣mane voice, began to sing this song following.

O Vainiest hopes, Alas, how many Daies
Haue I beene bondslaue to a braue Deceite?
And how, in vaine, haue these two wearied Eies
With show’rs of teares watred this pleasant Vale?
Appaid I am of cruell Loue, and Fortune,
And knowe not yet whereof I doe Complaine.

No small harmes I must passe, smce I Complaine,
For, to endure, framed are all my Daies,
The traunces, and deceites of Loue and Fortune:
But whence Complaine I, of a braue Deceite,
Of such a Shepher desse within this Vale,
On whom (to my great harme) I cast mine Eies?

Yet am I much beholding to my Eies,
(Although with greefe of them I doe Complaine)


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