Imágenes de páginas

Twixt Peleeus, and dame Thetis pointed there;
Where Phæbus self, that God of poets hight 20),
They say did sing the spousal hymne full cleere,

That all the Gods were ravish'd with delight
Of bis celestial song, and musick's wondrous might.

This great grandmotber of all creatures bred,
Great Nature, ever young, yet full of eld 25),
Sull moving, yet unmoved from her sted,
Unseen of any, yet of all beheld,. ..
Thus sitting in her throne, as I have teld,
Before her came Dame Mutability;
And being low before her presence feld,

With meek obaysance and humility,
Thus 'gan her plaintiff plea with words to amplifie:

To thee, O greatest Goddesse!"onely great,
An humble suppliant loe 2), I lowely fly,
Seeking for right, which I of thee entreat;
Who right to all dost deal indifferently,
Damning all wrong and torţious 23) injury,

any of thy creatures doe to other
Oppressing them with pow'r unequally,

Sith 24) of them all thou art the equal mother,
And knittest each to each, as brother unto brother.

To thee, therefore, of this same Jove I 'plaine 's),
And of his fellow-gods that faine to be,
That chalenge to themselves the whole worlds raign;
Of which the greatest part is due to me,
And heaven itselfe by heritage in fee;
For heaven and earth I both alike do deem,
Sith heaven and earth are both alike to thee;

And gods no more than men thou dost esteeme:
For even the gods to thee, as men to gods do seeme.

Then weigh, 0 sovereign Goddess, by what right
These Gods do claim the world's whole sovereignty;

30; hight, is nam'd, call'd. ' 21) eld, old age. 22) loe, lo, dee. :3) tortious, full of wrong. 2} sith, since that. 25) plaine, to complain.

[ocr errors]

And that is only due unto thy might,
Arrogate to themselves ambitiously:
As for the Gods, owne principality ,
Which Jove usurps unjustly, that to be
My heritage, Jove's selfe cannot deny,

om my great graudsire Titan, unto, mee Deriv'd by dew descent, as is well known to thee,

Yet maugre 26) Jove, and all his Gods beside,
I do possess the world's most regiinent;
As if ye please it into parţs divide,
And every part's inholders to convent,
Shall to your eyes appear incontinent ??).
And first the Earth (great mother of us all)
That only seems unmoy'd and permanent,

And unto Mutability not thrall'28);
Yet is she chang’d, in part, and eke 2') in general.

For all that from her springs, and is ybredde *),
However fayre it flourish for a time,
Yet see we soon decay; and, being dead,
To turn again unto their earthly slime:
Yet out of their decay and mortal crime,
We daily see new creatures to arize;..
And of their winter spring another prime,

Unlike in form, and chang’d by strange disguise:
So turn they still about, and change in restless wise.

As for her tenants, that is, men and beasts,
The beasts we daily see massacred die,
As thralls and vassals unto mens beheasts 31):
And men themselves do change continually,
From youth to eld, from wealth to poverty,
From good to bad, from bad to worst of all.
Ne do their bodies only fit 32) and fly;

But eke their minds (which they immortal call)
Still change and vary thoughts, as new occasions fall.

[ocr errors]

20) maugre, (French; malgré) in spite of. 27) incontinent, instantly. 28) thrall, one who is in the power of an other. ?9) eke, also. , 30 ybredde. The letter Y is frequently placed in the beginning of a word by Spenser, to lengthen it a syllable. 31) beheast, command, 32) Ait, to fluctuate, to be in motion.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Ne is the water in more constant case;
Whether those same on high , or these belowe:
For th' ocean moveth still, from place to place;
And every river still doth ebb and flowe:
Ne any lake, that seems most still and slow,
Ne poole so small, that can his smoothnesse hold,
When any wind doth under beaven blowe;.

With which the clouds are also toss'd and rollid;
Now like great hills, and straight like sluices, them unfold.

So likewise are all watry living wights
Still ross'd and turned with continual change,
Never, abyding in their stedfast plights 33).
The fish, still floting, do at random range,
And never rest; but evermore exchange
Their dwelling places, as the streams tliem carry:
Ne have the watry fowls a certain grange 34),

Wherein to rest, ne in one stead do tarry;
But fitting ") still do fly, and still their places vary.

Next is the ayre: which who feels not by sense
(For of all sense it is the middle meane)
To flit still ? and with subtill influence
Of his thin spirit, all creatures to maintaine,

of life? O weake life! that does lean
On thing so tickle 36) as th' unsteady ayre;


hour is chang'd, and alter'd cleane'.
With every blast that bloweth fowle or faire:
The faire doth it prolong; the fowle doth it impaire.

Therein the changes infinite beholde,
Which to her creatures every minute chaunce:,
Now boyling hot, streight friezing deadly cold:
Now fair sun - shine, that makes all skip and daunce;
Straight bitter storms 'and baleful ??) countenaúnce,



[ocr errors]

»5) plights, circumstances, condition. 34) grange hier wohl nur so viel als abode, eigentlich bedeutet es: granary, farm. is) to fit, siehe 32). ' 36) tickle, unstable. 3?) baleful, sorrow. fil, unfortunate,

That makes them all to shiver and to shake:
Rain, hail, and snow do pay them sad penaunce 38),

And ‘dreadful thunder - claps (that make them quake) With flames and flashing lights that thousand changes make.

Last is the fire: which though it live for ever ,
Ne can be quenched quite; yer every day
We see his parts, so soon as they do sever,
To lose their heat, and shortly to decay;
So makes himself his own consuming prey.
Ne any living creatures doth he breed:
But all, that are of others bred, doth slay;

And, with their death, his cruel live doth feed;
Nought leaving, but their barren ashes, without seed.

Thus all these four (the which the ground - work bee
Of all the world, and of all living wights)
To thousand sorts of change we subject see:
Yet are they chang'd (by other wondrous slights).
Into themselves, and lose their native mights;
The fire to aire, and th' aire to water sheere 39),
And water into earth; yet water fights

With fire, and air with earth approaching near:
Yet all are in one body, and as one appear.

So in them all reigns Mutability;
However these, that gods themselves do call,
Of them doe claime the rule and sovereignty:
As Vesta, of the fire ethereall;
Vulcan of this, with us so usuall;
Ops, of the earth ; and Juno, of the ayre;
Neptune, of seas; and Nymphs, of rivers all.

For all those rivers to me subject are:
And all the rest, which they usurp, be all my share.

Which to approven true, as I have told,
Vouchsafe *), O Goddesse! to thy presence call
The rest which do the world in being hold;


sheere, pure.

3) penaunce für penance, wie daunce für dance.

*) vouchsafe, to grant.,

As Times and Seasons of the year that fall:
Of all the which, demand in generall,
Or judge thyselfe, by verdict *) of thine eye,

to me they are not subject all. Nature did yield thereto; and by and by Bade Order call them all before her Majesty.

So forth issu'd the Seasons of the year;
First, lusty Spring ,, all dight *a) in leaves of flowers
That freshly budded, and uew bloosmes *3) did bearer
(la which a thousand birds had built their bowres
That sweetly sung, to call forth paramours **):
And in his hand a javelin he did beare,
And, on his head (as fit for warlike stours) *5)

A guilt engraven morion *) he did weare,
That'as some did him love, so others did him feare.

Then came the jolly Summer, being dight
In a thin silken cassock colour'd greene,
That was unlyned *7) all, to be more light:
And on his head a girlond well beseene **)
from which ag

he had chauffed +9) been
The sweat did drop; and in his hand he bore
A bow and shafts, as he in forest greene

Had hunted late the libbard 5) or the bore,
And now would bathe his limbs, with labour heated sore,

Then came the Autumne all in yellow clad,
As though he joyed in his plenteous store,
Laden with fruits, that made him laugh, full glad
That he had banish'd hunger, which to - fore
Had by the belly oft himn pinched sore.!
Upon his head a wreath, that was enrold
With ears of corne of every sort, he bore:

And in his hand a sickle he did holde,
To reap the ripen'd fruits, the which the earth bad yold 5!).

He wore,


*) verdict, decision. *2) dight, adorn'd. 43) bloosm, blossom. **) paramour, lover. +5) stour, attack, fit. *) mo. rion, (Fr.) headpiece, helmet. *?) unlyned, not lined. *8) well beseen, bearing a good aspect. 49) chauffed, Fr. échauffé. 50) libbard, leopard, 5!) yold, yielded.

« AnteriorContinuar »