Montemayor's Diana

Page 216

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And as my faire and youthfull head
Adorned is with lockes of dangling haires,
Whereon were neuer yet imploid
The little sheares:
Euen so thy leaues shall neuer be destroid.
And angry time thy honour shall not teare,

But euermore greene bowes and leaues shalt beare.

The lightning, that all creatures doth offend,
And euery thing of beauties pride bereaues,
Shall neuer touch thy leaues:
But be obedient to thee without end.
From lightning to defend
The okes, with them thy branches they shall reare,
And euery where
In honour of th’Imperiall palace gate,

On portals they shall place thee with great state.

This did Apollo speake vnto the tree,
And gratefully the Laurell bow’d her top,
In steed of moouing her new changed head:
And with her new and tender branches made
A signe, that she with thankfull minde receiu’d
These giftes and fauours, which that God did giue

To her, while Laurell on the earth did liue.

And now beholde (noble companie) how I haue fulfilled your commands, al∣though not so fitly to your demand nor my desire. Woorthie Parisiles (saide Lorde Felix) you haue done no lesse then was expected at your hands: but yet one doubt remaineth in my minde, for what reason the Oke is better kept then any other tree, since there are of others a great number more necessarie for mans life. There is no God (answered Parisiles) but hath some tree, birde, beast, or other thing dedicated to his deitie: as the Oliue to Minerua; the Laurell to Apollo; the Turtle doue to Venus; the Peacocke to Iuno, and so foorth. But bicause Iupiter is the highest of the Gods, and the Oke is dedicated to him, for this respect, to that tree, more then to any other, we do greater reuerence. I am satisfied, saide Lord Felix. But tell me (I pray you) why the Oke was rather dedicated to him then any other tree. To shewe the infinite power and might of Iupiter, saide Parisiles. It is well answered (saide Felicia.) And for this time let demands & answers cease, and let vs go about other necessarie busines, without the which no mortall creature can any long time pre∣serue life. The tables therefore being spred, and furnished with many daintie dishes, Felicia tooke Crimine and Stela by the hands, and caried them out of the meadowe to a fine spring, where Stela being washed, she apparelled them as richly as their woorthines and beautie deserued, for she had commanded some garments secret∣ly to be brought thither, knowing what would ensue, and then they returned by and by to the fountaine, (for now they were tarying for her) althings being in a rea∣dines against her comming. Felismena & the Nymphes beauties were so ecclipsed at Stelas comming, as the cleere stars at the rising of the radiant Sunne, whereat all

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