Montemayor's Diana

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thy hands, which neuerthelesse is not able to roote out the strong loue in my brest, nor to remooue it from thence, without carying my hart with it burst in a thousand peeces: And though it might, yet I woulde not liue without, bicause I woulde not leaue to loue him, who being once forgotten of me tooke so sudden and extreme a reuenge of my vniust crueltie.
Nay then (said Alcida) thou giuest me no little hope and confidence of thy re∣couerie, since now thou louest him, whom thou hast heeretofore hated, hauing lear∣ned thereby the pathway to obliuion, and acquainted thy will with contempt, and the more, since betweene these two extremes loue and hate there is a meane, which thou must embrace and follow.
To this Diana replied and said. Thy counsell (faire Shepherdesse) contents me very well, but I thinke it not sure enough for my safetie, nor the best in common rea∣son for my auaile. For if my will were put betweene loue and hate, I shoulde sooner yeelde to loue then to hate; bicause being neerer to it, mightie Cupid with greater force woulde assaile, and ouercome me.
To this Alcida answered. Do not honor him so much, who deserues it so lit∣tle, calling him mightie, who may be so easily ouercommed, especially by those that choose out the meane aboue said: for therein doth vertue consist, and where that is, all harts are armed with force and constancie against loue.
Thou mightest better terme those harts cruell, harde, vntamed, and rebellious, said Diana, which pretend to repugne their proper nature, and to resist the inuinci∣ble force of loue. And yet when they haue oppugned it as much as they list, in the end they haue little cause to bragge of their stoutnes, and lesse helpe to defende them with their foolish hardines. For the power of loue ouercomes the strongest holdes, and makes most way thorow, where it is most resisted: of whose maruels and memorable deedes my beloued Syrenus did on a day sing in this verie place, at that time when his remembrance was so sweete, as now most bitter to my soule. The which Sonnet, and all his other Ditties, which he then made and sung, I well remem∣ber, hauing euer a great care not to forget them for certaine causes, which perswa∣ded me to register the words and deeds of my deerest Syrenus in perpetuall memory: But this which intreats of the mightie force of Loue, saith thus.

THat mighty Loue, though blinde of both his eies,
Doth hit the Center of the wounded hart:
And though a boy yet Mars he foiles with dart,
Awaking him, where in his net he lies:
And that his flames doe freeze me in such wise,
That from my soule a feare doth neuer start
Most base and vile: yet to the highest part
(Strengthued by land and sea) of heauen it flies.
That he, whom Loue doth wound or prisoner take,
Liues in his greefes, and with his giues content:
This is his might that many woonder at.
And that the soule which greatest paine doth shake,
If that it doth but thinke of Loues torment,
The feare of such a thought forgetteth that.

No doubt, said Alcida, but the forces of loue are well extolled: But I would rather haue beleeued Syrenus, if after hauing published the furie of Cupids arrowes

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