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The root whereof and tragical effect
Vouchsafe, O thou the mournful'st Muse of Nine !
That wont'st the tragick stage for to direct
In funeral complaints and wailful tine,
Reveal to me, and all the

meaps detect
Through which sad did at last decline
To lowest wretchedness. And is there then
Such rancour in the hearts of mighty men ?
Of all the race of silver-winged flies
Which do possess the empire of the air,
Betwixt the centred earth and azure skies,
Was none more favourable nor more fair,
Whilst Heaven did favour his felicities,
Than Clarion, the eldest son and heir
Of Muscarol, and in his father's sight
Of all alive did seem the fairest wight.
With fruitful hope his aged brest he fed
Of future good, which his young toward years,
Fall of brave courage and bold hardy-hed,
Above th' ensample of his equal peers,
Did largely promise, and to him fore-red
(Whilst oft his heart did melt in tender tears)
That he in time would sure prove such an one
As should be worthy of his father's throne.
The fresh young Fly, in whom the kindly fire
Of lustful youth began to kindle fast,
Did much disdain to subject his desire
To loathsome sloth, or hours in ease to waste,
But joy'd to range abroad in fresh attire,
Through the wide compass of the airy coast,
And with unwearied wings each part t' inquire
Of the wide rule of his renowned sire :
For he so swift and nimble was of flight,
That from this lover tract he dar'd to fly
Up to the clouds, and thence with pinions light
To mount aloft unto the crystal sky,

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To view the workmanship of heaven's hight:
Whence down descending, he along would fly
Upon the streaming rivers, sport, to find,
And oft would dare to tempt the troubloys wind.
So on a sunrmer's day when season mila
With gentle calm the world hath quieted,
And high in heaven Hyperion's fiery child
Ascending, did his beams abroad disspred,
Whiles all the heavens on lower creatures smild,
Young Clarion with vauntful lustyhed
After his guise did cast abroad to fare,
And thereto 'gan his furnitures prepare.
His breast-plate first, that was of substance pure,
Before his noble heart he firmly bound,
That mought his life from iron death assure,
And ward his gentle corps from cruel wound,
For it by art was framed to endure
The bit of baleful steel and bitter stound,
No less than that which Vulcave made to shield
Achilles' life from fate of Trojan field."

1

And then about his shoulders broad he threw
An hairy hide of some wild beast, whom he
In salvage forest by adventure slew,
And reft the spoil, his ornament to be;
Which spreading all his back with dreadful view,
Made all that him so horrible did see,
Think him Alcides with the lyon's skin,
When the Næmean conquest'he did win.'
Upon his head his glistering burganet,
The which was wrought by wonderous device,
And curiously engraven, he did set :
The metal was of rare and passing price ;
Not Bilbo steel, nor brass from Corinth fet,
Nor costly Oricalch from strange Phænice,
But such as could both Phæbus' arrows ward,
And th' hailing darts of heaven beating hard.

Therein two deadly weapons fixt te bore,
Strongly outlanced towards either side,
Like two sharp speats, his enemies to gore:
Like as a warlike brigandine applide
To fight, lays forth her threatful

pikes afores

do hide; So did tbis Fly outstretch his fearful horns, Yet so as him their terrour more adorns. Lastly, his shiny wings, as silver bright, Painted with thousand colours, passing far All painters' skill, he did about him dight: Not half so many sundry colours are In Iris' bow, ne heaven doth shine so bright, Distinguished with many a twinkling star, Nor Juno's bird, in her eye-spotted train, So many goodly colours doth contain. Ne (may it be withouten peril spoken) The archer god the son of Cytheree, That joys on wretched lovers to be wroken, And heaped spoils of bleeding hearts to see, Bears in his wings so many a changeful token, Ah! my liege Lord, forgive it unto me, If ought against thine honour I have told; Yet sure those wings were fairer manifold. Pull many a lady fair, in court full oft Beholding them, him secretly envide, And wisht that two such fans, so silken soft, And golden fair, her love would her provide ; Or that when them the gorgeous Fly had doft, Some one that would with grace be gratifide, Frore him would steal them privily away, And bring to her so precious a prey Report is that Dame Venus, on a day In spring, when flowres do cloath the fruitful ground, Walking abroad with all her nymphs to play, Bade her fạir damsels flocking her ground,

To gather flowres, her forehead to array ;
Emongst the rest a gentle nymph was found,
Hight Astery, excelling all the crew
In courteous usage and unstained hue;
Who being nimbler-jointed than the rest,
And more industrious, gathered more store
Of the field's honour than the others best,
Which they in secret hearts envying sore,
Told Venus, when her as the worthiest
She prais'd, that Cupid (as they heard before)
Did lend her secret aid in gathering
Into her lap the children of the Spring,
Whereof the goddess gatheriug jealous fear,
Not yet unmindful how not long ago
Her son to Psyche secret love did bear,
And long it close conceal'd, till mickle wo
Thereof arose, and many a rueful tear,
Reason with sudden rage did overgo,
And giving hasty credit to th' accuser,
Was led away of them that did abuse her.
Eftsoons that damsel by her heavenly might
She turn'd into a winged Butterfly,
In the wide air to make her wandering flight;
And all those flowres with which so plenteously
Her lap she filled had, that bred her spight,
She placed in her wings, for memory
Of her pretended crime, though crime none were;
Since which that Fly them in her wings doth bear.

Thus the fresh Clarion being ready dight,
Unto his journey did himself address,
And with good speed began to take his flight:
Over the fields in his frank lustiness,
And all the champain o'er he soared light,
And all the country wide he did possess,
Feeding upon their pleasures bounteously,
That none gainsaid, nor zone did him envy.

The woods, the rivers, and the meadows green,
With his air-cutting wings he measured wide,
Ne did he leave the mountains bare unseen,
Nor the rank grassie fens' delights untride:
Bat none of these, however sweet they been,
Mote please his fancy, nor him cause t' abide :
His choiceful sense with every change doth flit;
No common things may please a wavering wit.
To the gay gardens his unstaid desire
Him wholly carried, to refresh his sprights;
There lavish Nature, in her best attire,
Pours forth sweet odors and alluring sights;
And Art, with her contending, doth aspire
T excel the natural with made delights ;
And all that fair or pleasant may be found
In riotous excess doth there abound.
There he arriving, round about doth fly
From bed to bed, from one to other border,
And takes survey, with curious busie eye,
Of every flower and herb there set in order;
Now this, now that, he tasteth tenderly,
Yet none of them he rudely doth disorder,
Ne with his feet their silken leaves deface,
But pastures on the pleasures of each place.
And evermore, with most variety,
And change of sweetness (for all change is sweet)
He casts his gluttop sense to satisfie,
Now sucking of the sap of herbs most meet,
Or of the dev which yet on them does lie,
Now in the same bathing his tender feet ;
And then he pearcheth on some branch thereby,
To weather him, and his moist wings to dry.
And then again he turneth to his play,
To spoil the pleasures of that paradise :
The wholesom sage, and lavender still gray,
Rank-smelling rue, and cummin, good for eyes,

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