Montemayor's Diana

Page 177

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If that thou mean’st to seale
Thy crueltie in deedes to leaue,
How can I then conceale
The same in song among these leaues?

Faire Shepherdesse, who bad
Thee flie from me? If thou dost waigh,
So base a thing, and bad,
Deserues not glory any way.

They maruelled much at the Shepherdes new kinde of song, and how hee wrested the selfe same words to fall in ryme, that were of different significations: to whom at last they came, who, perceiuing he was espied, held his peace. And after they had saluted each other, Syrenus said. Whosoeuer thou art iollie Shepherd, so may not thy louing flockes be deuoured of the hungrie wolues, nor want the sweete and coole shades in burning summer, nor taste of the foule waters in seeking out cleere streames and fountaines, that thou wouldest hold on thy song: for this Shep∣herd and faire Shepherdesse here shall plaie vnto thee, whose merie Bagpipes, and sweete songs haue not once, but a hundred times stayed the nimble footed Faunes and Satyres in their swift flight, and made the faire Nymphes to come out of their greene arbours to listen to them. Shepherd, saide Firmius againe (for this was his name) thy manner of adiuring me is but of little force, since it shall greeue me little or nothing whether my flockes be torne by rauening wolues, when deeper matters then these trouble my mind, which (more then deuouring wolues) teare my hart a sunder. But yet for the respect which thou hast told me of these Shepherds (which I beleeue no lesse) I would be glad to giue you all the pleasure I could, but since I haue it not my selfe, nor am desirous to haue it in this sort, it is impossible that you should take any by my meanes; and the more, since by those signes of ioye, that by their countenance may bee gathered, they haue little neede to borrowe it from him, that hath none at all. We will not denie (said Seluagia) but that, which thou hast said, is true, that so much, and more readie we are to shew our ioye, as thou art to manifest thy sorrow, which is not (by that we our selues haue seene) of many daies, nor howers continuance, bicause it seemes to bee (to speake in plainer termes) for loue of the faire Shepherdesse Diana. And if it be so, the sorrow cannot be much, which in so small a time cannot do any great harme. I will not deny Shepherdesse (said Firmius) nor confesse vnto thee, that Dianas beautie hath destroyed my con∣tent. But admit she were the cause thereof, thou hast but little skill (it seemes) and lesse experience in Cupides woundes; for thou sayest that in a small time a great wound cannot be made, as if it were needfull for loue to haue some longer time to make a deep & perfect wound, to touch one to the quick. Thou knowest mine but a little (said Seluagia) by not confessing, that it is not onely greater then thine, or any others that were euer borne. Thou hadst not said amisse (said Firmius) if thou didst adde (in thine opiniō.) It needed not (said Seluagia.) and lesse need haue I (said Firmi∣us) by thy loue to know mine own, if (at the least) I had any at al. By not confessing it (said Seluagia) thou shewest the litle interest thou hast in loue: and perhaps the great propertie (said Firmius) that I haue in griefe and sorrow, bicause I dare not tell it. Why (said Seluagia) who doth hide the glorie of thy thoughts? My small desertes (said Firmius.) So much the better (said Seluagia) bicause the glorie is greater. Nay the worse for this (said Firmius) bicause the fall shall be the greater. Thou art a great master of words (said Seluagia.) Nay of workes (said Firmius.) I haue not seene them hitherto (said Seluagia.) To this last Firmius would not answer againe: But Syrenus, that maruelled all this while at the sharpe and wittie answers of the vnknowen Shep∣herd, put himselfe betweene them both to ende this strife, as also for that he saw Syl∣uanus somewhat altered, seeing his Shepherdesse vrged so much, although he dis∣creetly

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