Montemayor's Diana

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so faire and comely, that he seemed to be Apollo, who had sometimes taken vpon him a Shepherds shape for the loue of a countrey wench, for they could not iudge any more like vnto him for perfection in beauty, and sweetnes in song: where∣upon Montanus maruelling much, said, Eluinia (gentle Shepherd) is not a little be∣holding to thee, of whom thou haste so sweetely song, not onely for the fauour she hath got, to be beloued of so gracious a Shepherd as thy selfe; but by hauing her beauties, and virtues with thy delicate comparisons and daintie verses so highly commended. And she being beloued of thee, it cannot be otherwise imagined, but that her perfections of bodie and vertues of minde are most rare and excellent. And that which doth not a little helpe to the accomplishment of her gifts, is the delight and dexteritie that she hath in hunting, for which thou didst compare her with Diana; bicause it is one of the braue qualities which make both Nymphes and Shepherdesses to be thought more beautifull and gracious, and most worthie of golden praises: For I my selfe did sometime know a Shepherd in our towne, and my Ismenia and Seluagia knew him also verie well; who being enamoured of a Shep∣herdesse (called Argia) was with none of her passing graces more captiuated, then with her singular cunning in shooting and delight that she had in her bowe, which was continually in her hande, and her quiuer of steely headed arrowes at her backe, wherewith shee hunted, wounded, and killed, the nymble footed Does, wilde beastes, and simple birdes. For which delight her louing Shepherd (named Olympius) did sometimes sing a pretie Sonnet, made of the skill, beautie, and cruelty of that Shepherdesse, fayning a challenge and contention betweene her, the God∣desse Diana and Cupid, whether of them three should shoote best, a fine and delicate conceit, which sometimes to delight me, I euer haue by hart. With this Clenarda stept foorth and said. It is reason Montanus that we enioy part of that delight with thee in hearing it: And nothing can please me better, then to heare thee sing it for the great loue and deuotion that I haue to that exercise. I am content (said Mon∣tanus) if I shall not seeme troublesome with it. That cannot cause any trouble (saide Polydorus) which with so generall delight shall be heard. Montanus then playing on his pipe sung Olympius Sonnet, which was this.

DIana, Loue, and my faire Shepherdesse,
Did in the field their chiefest cunning trie,
By shooting arrowes at a tree neere by,
Whose barke a painted hart did there expresse:
Diana stakes her beautie mercilesse,
Cupid his bowe, Argia her libertie:
Who shewed in her shot a quicker eie,
A better grace, more courage, and successe:
And so did she Dianas beautie win,
And Cupids weapons, by which conquer’d prize
So faire and cruell she hath euer bin,
That her sweete figure from my wearied eies,
And from my painfull hart her cruell bowe
Haue stolne my life and freedome long agoe.

This Sonnet was maruellous delightfull to them all, and the sweetnes, wher∣with Montanus sung it, a great deale more. And after they had discoursed of euery particular part and matter of it, Felicia seeing the night came on, and thinking she

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