Montemayor's Diana

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Melisea was so hardened in her crueltie, that Narcisus hauing scarce ended the last words of his song, and before another did sing, she replied in this manner.

ME thinks, thou tak’st the woorser way,
(Enamoured Shepherd) and in vaine,
That thou wilt seeke thine owne decay,
To loue her, that doth thee disdaine.
For thine owne selfe, thy wofull hart
Keepe still, else art thou much to blame,
For she, to whom thou gau’st each part
Of it, disdaines to take the same:
Follow not her that makes a play,
And iest of all thy greefe and paines,
And seeke not (Shepherd) thy decay
To loue her, that thy loue disdaines.

Narcisus could not suffer Meliseas song to passe without an answer, and so with a milde grace he sung these new verses vpon an old song, that said.

SInce thou to me wert so vnkinde,
My selfe I neuer loued, For
I could not loue him in my minde,
Whom thou faire Mistresse dost abhor.
If viewing thee, I saw thee not,
And seeing thee, I could not loue thee,
Dying, I should not liue (God wot)
Nor, liuing, should to anger moue thee.
But it is well that I doe finde
My life so full of torments: For
All kinde of ills doe fit his minde,
Whom thou (faire Mistresse) dost abhor.
In thy obliuion buried now
My death I haue before mine eies,
And heere to hate my selfe I vow
As (cruell) thou dost me despise:
Contented euer thou didst finde
Me with thy scornes, though neuer (for
To say the truth) I ioyed in minde,

After thou didst my loue abhor.

The contention betweene Narcisus and Melisea, delighted them all so much, that the generall reioycing of that feast had beene greatly augmented by it, had it not bin diminished with the manifest apparance of the rigor that she shewed Nar∣cisus, and with the pitie that they had of those paines, which he suffered for hir sake. After Narcisus had made an ende of his song, all of them turned their eies to Meli∣sea, thinking she would haue replyed againe. But she held her peace, not bicause she wanted nipping and cruell songs to encounter and vexe the miserable Louer with, nor will to reply; but bicause she would not be troublesome to all that merie companie. Seluagia and Belisa were afterwards requested to sing, who excused them∣selues, by alleaging their in sufficiencie. Nay that were not well (said Diana) that you should goe from the feast without paying your shot. And this must not so smooth∣ly passe away (said Felismena) without the consent of vs all heere, who meane to par∣ticipate the sweete delight of so delicate voices as yours are. We will not be slacke (said they againe) to do you anie seruice (little though it be) in this solemnitie; but pardon our singing (I pray you) for in all other things we will be willing to do our endeuours. I will not for my part giue my consent (saide Alcida) to exempt you from singing, or at the least that some others shall sing for you. Who can better do it (said they) then Syluanus and Arsileus our husbands: The Shepherdesses say well (said Marcelius) and it would be best (me thinkes) if both did sing one song, and one answere another in it, for it shall be lesse troublesome to them, and more plea∣sant to vs. All of them seemed to take great delight at that kinde of singing, bicause

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