Montemayor's Diana

Page 230

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Shell of a sea Tortuse, which serued him for his morion. His scrip, that hung downe behind his shoulders, was made of a wild goates skinne. Almost a whole Pine tree, (big enough for the mast of some tall ship) serued him for his sheepe-hooke; the end whereof was poynted with sharpe and tempered steele. The cause of his passing thorow the riuer in such haste, was to follow (as we afterwards perceiued) a certaine Damsell, which was singing the song (which you haue heard) on the other side of the riuer. Whose faire sight filled vs with no lesse wonder, then the fierce shew of the huge and monstrous Shepherd with a pale and shiuering feare. As soone as the faire virgin had set eie on Gorphorost (for so was this deformed fellow called) with in∣credible swiftnes she began to flie away, and comming to passe neere vnto the place where we were, we iudged her to be some Nymph, resembling in face like a faire boy, or a boy transformed in countenance like to a faire Nymph: for her habit was not altogither manlike, nor in euerie point apparelled like a woman. Her dis∣shiueled haire (in brightnes surmounting the fine Arabian gold) in curled lockes hung dangling about her snow-white forehead; and from the middes of her head (which with a crowne of Laurell and sweete coloured flowers was graced) in faire and loo•… tresses hung carelesly downe. The which being spread abroade vpon her euen shoulders, and with a sweete sight falling downe beneath her fine waste, were gathered vp by the said Laurell crowne, bicause they might not hide such singular beautie, nor hinder the light of her radiant eies. On her bodie she wore a fine little doublet of a most perfect purple tynsell (the like I thinke not to be imagi∣ned) the same being richly died, and wouen as curiously as art could deuise, and so fit for her sightly bodie, that it seemed, it was endowed with vnderstanding, desiring by no meanes to be seuered from it; the which at her faire and smooth necke (for some greater respect) was somewhat carelesly loose. The purple colour of this little doublet with the glimmering beames of her snow-white face reflecting vpon it, was represented with such a heauenly grace, like to that orient blush, which a crimson vale (pearced by the Sunnc bright beames) is wont to cast vpon some white Palace. A little wind gathered by the speede of her swift running, fashioned a delicate lap of the same colour of the doublet: the white and azure border whereof came downe but a little beneath the calfe of her fine legge, when, but halfe a light greene bus∣quin, wrought all before with flowers of golde, was discouered to our dazeled eies, with certaine Scarpines or shooes (such as Mercurie (men say) was woont to weare) to defend her pretie foote from the iniuries of the hard ground. Within her Iuo∣rie quiuer, that so seemely hung on her left shoulder, her loose arrowes went shaking vp and downe. The bow she carried in her left hand, with three arrowes in her right, made her in her flight more light and nimble. And in this sort Parthenius and I be∣helde at once this soueraigne virgin; and both at once (as after it was knowen) were surprised with the beautie of her angelicall face: which made vs so farre besides our selues, that both of them in a short time being ouerrun vs a pretie way, we neither thought vpon hir succor, nor once remēbred to deliuer hir from that bruit beast, who was almost at hir fainting heels: which help admit, though awaked out of our sudden passion & wonder we had offered to haue lent hir; yet had we neither bin able to con∣trol Gorphorostes beastly forces, nor to com any thing neer him in running, nor yet to haue ouertaken saire Stela (for this is the Soueraigne name of the noble virgine and heauenly Shepherdesse, that disdaines not my companie) in her swift and fearefull flight. Needlesse it had beene (saide Lord Felix) to tell her name, when as by thy fine description and praises, that thou hast giuen her, it might be easily coniectured


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