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Prothalamion, or A Spousall Verse
by [?]

Eftsoones, the Nymphes, which now had flowers their fill, 55
Ran all in haste to see that silver brood,
As they came floating on the cristal flood;
Whom when they sawe, they stood amazed still,
Their wondring eyes to fill.
Them seem’d they never saw a sight so fayre 60
Of fowles, so lovely, that they sure did deeme
Them heavenly borne, or to be that same payre
Which through the skie draw Venus stiver teeme;
For sure they did not seeme
To be begot of any earthly seede, 65
But rather angels, or of angels breede;
Yet were they bred of Somers-heat, they say,
In sweetest season, when each flower and weede
The earth did fresh aray;
So fresh they seem’d as day, 70
Even as their brydale day, which was not long:
Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song.

[Ver. 67–
Somers-heat. A pun on the name of the Ladies Somerset. C.]

Then forth they all out of their baskets drew
Great store of flowers, the honour of the field,
That to the sense did fragrant odours yeild, 75
All which upon those goodly birds they threw,
And all the waves did strew,
That like old Peneus waters they did seeme,
When downe along by pleasant Tempes shore,
Scattred with flowres, through Thessaly they streeme,
That they appeare, through lillies plenteous store, 81
Like a brydes chamber flore.
Two of those Nymphes, meane while, two garlands bound
Of freshest flowres which in that mead they found,
The which presenting all in trim array, 85
Their snowie foreheads therewithall they crownd,
Whilst one did sing this lay,
Prepar’d against that day,
Against their brydale day, which was not long:
Sweet Themmes! runne softly, till I end my song.

“Ye gentle Birdes! the worlds faire ornament, 91
And heavens glorie, whom this happie hower
Doth leade unto your lovers blissfull bower,
Ioy may you have, and gentle hearts content
Of your loves couplement; 95
And let faire Venus, that is Queene of Love,
With her heart-quelling sonne upon you smile,
Whose smile, they say, hath vertue to remove
All loves dislike, and friendships faultie guile
For ever to assoile*. 100
Let endlesse peace your steadfast hearts accord,
And blessed plentie wait upon your bord;
And let your bed with pleasures chast abound.
That fruitfull issue may to you afford,
Which may your foes confound, 105
And make your ioyes redound
Upon your brydale day, which is not long:
Sweet Themmes! runne softlie, till I end my song.”
[* Assoile, do away with.]