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More sweet and wholesome than the pleasant hill
Of Rhodope, on which the nymph, that bore
A giant babe, herself for grief did kill ;
Or the Thessalian Tempe, where of yore
Fair Daphne Phæbus' heart with love did gore;
Or Ida, where the gods loved to repair
Whenever they their heavenly bowers forlore;
Or sweet Parnasse, the haunt of muses fair;
Or Eden self, if aught with Eden mote compare.
Much wonder'd Guyon at the fair aspect
Of that sweet place, yet suffer'd no delight
To sink into his sense, nor mind affect;
But passed forth, and look'd still forward right,
Bridling his will, and mastering his might,
Till that he came unto another gate;
No gate, but like one, being goodly dight
With boughs and branches, which did broad dilate
Their clasping arms, in wanton wreathings intricate.
So fashioned a porch with rare device,
Arch'd over head with an embracing vine,
Whose bunches hanging down seem'd to entice
All passers by to taste their luscious wine,
And did themselves into their hands incline,
As freely offering to be gathered ;
Some deep empurpled as the hyacine,
Some as the rubine, laughing sweetly red,
Some like fair emeraudes not yet well ripen'd:

And them amongst some were of burnish'd gold,
So made by art to beautify the rest,
Which did themselves amongst the leaves enfold,
As lurking from the view of covetous guest,
That the weak boughs, with so rich load oppressid,
Did bow adown as overburthened.
Under that porch a comely dame did rest,
Clad in fair weeds, but foul disordered, [head:
And garments loose, that seem'd unmeet for woman-

In her left hand a cup of gold she held,
And with her right the riper fruit did reach,
Whose sappy liquor, that with fullness swell’d,
Into her cup she scruzed with dainty breach
Of her fine fingers, without foul empeach,
That so fair wine-press made the wine more sweet :
Thereof she used to give to drink to each,
Whom passing by she happened to meet :
It was her guise all strangers goodly so to greet.

So she to Guyon offer'd it to taste :
Who, taking it out of her tender hand,
The cup to ground did violently cast,
That all in pieces it was broken fond,
And with the liqour stained all the land :
Whereat Excess exceedingly was wroth,
Yet no’te the same amend, ne yet withstand,
But suffered him to pass, all were she lothe, [eth.
Who, nought regarding her displeasure, forward go-

There the most dainty paradise on ground
Itself doth offer to his sober eye,
In which all pleasures plenteously abound,
And none does other's happiness envy;
The painted flowers, the trees upshooting high;
The dales for shade, the hills for breathing space;
The trembling groves, the crystal running by;
And that which all fair works doth most aggrace,
The art, which all that wrought, appeared in no place.

One would have thought (so cunningly the rude
And scorned parts were mingled with the fine),
That Nature had for wantonness ensude
Art, and that Art at Nature did repine ;
So striving each th' other to undermine,
Each did the other's work more beautify,
So differing both in wills agreed in fine:
So all agreed, through sweet diversity,
This garden to adorn with all variety.

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And in the midst of all a fountain stood,
Of richest substance that on the earth might be,
So pure and shiny, that the silver flood
Through every channel running one might see :
Most goodly it with curious imagery
Was over-wrought, and shapes of naked boys,
Of which some seem'd, with lively jollity,
To fly about, playing their wanton toys,
While others did themselves embay in liquid joys.
And over all of purest gold was spread
A trayle of ivy in his native hue;
For the rich metal was so coloured,
That wight, who did not well-advised it view,
Would surely deem it to be ivy true :
Low his lascivious arms adown did creep,
That themselves, dipping in the silver dew
Their fleecy flowers, they fearfully did steep,
Which drops of crystal seem'd for wantonness to

Infinite streams continually did well
Out of this fountain, sweet and fair to see,
The which into an ample laver fell,
And shortly grew to so great quantitys,
That like a little lake it seemed to be,
Whose depth exceeded not three cubits height,
That through the waves one might the bottom see,
All paved beneath with jasper, shining bright,
That seem'd the fountain in that sea did sail upright.


Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound,
Of all that mote delight a dainty ear,
Such as at once might not on living ground,
Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere:
Right hard it was for wight which did it hear,
To rede what manner music that mote be;
For all that pleasing is to living ear,
Was there consorted in one harmony;
Birds, voices, instruments, winds, waters, all agree.

The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade,
Their notes unto the voice attemper'd sweet;
Th' angelical soft trembling voices made
To th' instruments divine respondence meet;
The silver-sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmur of the water's fall;
The water's fall with difference discreet,
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call;
The gentle warbling wind low answered to all



Act v., sc. i. Belmont. Avenue to Portia's House.

Enter LORENZO and JessiCA.
Lor. The moon shines bright. In such a night

as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
And they did make no noise: in such a night,
Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls,
And sigh'd his soul towards the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night.

In such a night
Did Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dew;
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself,
And ran dismay'd away.

In such a night
Stood Dido, with a willow in her hand,
Upon the wild sea-bank, and waved her love
To come again to Carthage.

In such a night
Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs
That did renew old Æson.

In such a night
Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew :
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
As far as Belmont.

In such a night
Did young Lorenzo swear he loved her well;
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,
And ne'er a true one.

In such a night
Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.

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