Montemayor's Diana

Page 307

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As many as my handes can hold and borrow,
Wherefore I liue in ioy deuoid of sorrow.
Louing in this samesort, there is no feare
Of iealousie, that’s either true or fained:
A riuall heere sweete companie doth beare,
And all that in chaste loue in one are chained:
Yet name of Riuall fits not well this place,
Since chastitie together all imbrace:
Nor different mindes we can be said to carie,
Since our intents in no one point doe varie.
Come then all you that loue, come by and by,
Leaue euery one his Shepherdesse, and loue,
Come loue my Shepherdesse, and for her die
In that that’s pure, and commeth from aboue:
And you shall see how that your fortunes far
It dignifies, to loue this radiant star
Of vertue, and the time you shall auerre
Ill spent, that is not spent in louing her.

They could not hold their laughter at the Shepherds admonition, to whom Syluanus said. By my faith, friend Shepherd, thou commest too late with thy coun∣sell. For to leaue of that, which we haue already for this yoong Shepherdesse, I thinke there is no remedie: And if thou termest this time lost, we are not sorie for it a whit. I would you were better aduised, said the Shepherd, but I doe but my dutie. It is well, said Felicia, that you (my sonnes) are content with your lots, and he with his good fortune: of one thing I assure you (leauing aside your loue, bicause we will make no comparisons) that this Shepherd loueth (and with the greatest reason in the world) a soueraigne yoong Shepherdesse, endowed with many gifts and perfe∣ctions, the lest whereof in her (as he said in his song) is peregrine beautie. And his loue to her is so infinite and pure, as he also said, that though he be many times in her presence, yet neuer any wanton thought turned his minde awrie. Which in truth proceedes from her excellent and singular vertue. And so no man (I thinke) hath gone beyonde him in purer loue then he, as by his song you might well perceiue. With what greater purity, said Syrenus, could any Shepherd loue his Shepherdesse, then I did Diana? Indeede it was very great, said Felicia; but in the ende thou didst presume to tell her of thy loue. It is true, said Syrenus: why then behold, said Felicia, how far the loue of this yoong Shepherde extendes, that he durst neuer manifest this sound and perfect affection to his Shepherdesse, thinking by doing so, he should greatly offend her honour. Then let him tell vs (said Lord Felix) if thou thinkest it good, reuerend Ladie, some part of his chaste loues, which thou commendest so much, bicause we may passe away, with something, this gloomie euening. To this the Shepherd answered. It would content me greatly to spend this cloudie euening in so ioyfull a discourse, if I were able to end it. But now in my song if you be remem∣bred, I told you that I had another time sung of her, and that for her great perfecti∣ons and desertes, I came very short of her due praise. Being therefore somwhat a∣fraid, I am determined to hold my peace, & the rather bicause I haue no longer time

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