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The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 6
by [?]


And all the way their merry pipes they sound,
That all the woods with doubled Eccho ring,
And with their horned feet[*] do weare the ground, 120
Leaping like wanton kids in pleasant Spring.
So towards old Sylvanus they her bring;
Who with the noyse awaked commeth out
To weet the cause, his weake steps governing,
And aged limbs on Cypresse stadle stout; 125
And with an yvie twyne his wast is girt about.


Far off he wonders, what them makes so glad,
Or Bacchus merry fruit[*] they did invent,
Or Cybeles franticke rites[*] have made them mad,
They drawing nigh, unto their God present 130
That flowre of faith and beautie excellent.
The God himselfe, vewing that mirrhour rare,[*]
Stood long amazd, and burnt in his intent;
His owne faire Dryope[*] now he thinkes not faire,
And Pholoe fowle when her to this he doth compaire. 135


The woodborne people fall before her flat,
And worship her as Goddesse of the wood;
And old Sylvanus selfe bethinkes not, what
To thinke of wight so faire, but gazing stood,
In doubt to deeme her borne of earthly brood; 140
Sometimes Dame Venus selfe he seemes to see,
But Venus never had so sober mood;
Sometimes Diana he her takes to bee,
But misseth bow, and shaftes, and buskins to her knee.


By vew of her he ginneth to revive 145
His ancient love, and dearest Cyparisse,[*]
And calles to mind his pourtraiture alive,
How faire he was, and yet not faire to this,[*]
And how he slew with glauncing dart amisse
A gentle Hynd, the which the lovely boy 150
Did love as life, above all worldly blisse;
For griefe whereof the lad n’ould after joy,[*]
But pynd away in anguish and selfe-wild annoy.[*]


The wooddy Nymphes, faire Hamadryades,[*]
Her to behold do thither runne apace, 155
And all the troupe of light-foot Naiades[*]
Flocke all about to see her lovely face:
But when they vewed have her heavenly grace,
They envy her in their malitious mind,
And fly away for feare of fowle disgrace: 160
But all the Satyres scorne their woody kind,[*]
And henceforth nothing faire but her on earth they find.


Glad of such lucke, the luckelesse[*] lucky maid,
Did her content to please their feeble eyes,
And long time with that salvage people staid, 165
To gather breath in many miseries.
During which time her gentle wit she plyes,
To teach them truth, which worshipt her in vaine,
And made her th’ Image of Idolatryes[*];
But when their bootlesse zeale she did restraine 170
From her own worship, they her Asse would worship fayn.