Montemayor's Diana

Page 288

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For poorest men they say, are woont to keepe,
The number of their cattell and their sheepe.
The praises which, I vaunt vnto thee heere,
I will not thou beleeue in any sort,
Thine eies the same shall witnes very cleere,
If so thou please, and not my bare report:
I durst be bound, that if thou cam’st to trie,
Thou wouldst affirme I told no tale nor lie:
Since that to milke them all I am vnable,
Or ease their bags, trust me, this is no fable.
I haue likewise shut vp in shadowed places
(All by themselues) great store of gentle lambes,
And little kids, with spotted skins and faces,
Of equall age new weaned from their dams:
In many other houses large and wide
Great store of wanton calues I keepe beside,
And milke doth flowe within my caue, whereby
My cunning in this manner I doe trie.
Profit thereof in diuers sorts I make,
Leauing the thinnest of it to be drunke,
Some part of it within a charne I shake,
And beate it there a while till it be shrunke:
Some part againe for tender cheese I dresse,
And into that, iuice of an herbe I presse.
And yet some part whiter then Ermins skin
I turne to curdes, and put some creame therein.
Yet will I giue thee greater giftes then these
(If thou dost reckon these but poore and small)
Wilde boares, and goates and bucks shall be thy fees,
Conies, and hares, and hounds to hunt withall.
Two turtle doues I tooke out of their nest
In bignes, colour, and in all the rest
So like, that them hardly thou shalt descrie,
Although thou markest them with narrowest eie.
I tooke them from that tree in yonder ground,
For thee to play withall when thou art wearie;
Two little whelpe beares after this I found
And brought them home to sport and make thee merie:
Both these and them I nourish to delight thee,
If thou but with thy comming wouldst requite mee:
And finding them I said I would reserue them
For thee my Stela, who dost best deserue them.


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