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Thy air it is not wholsome nor benign,
Lord Eolus does in thy season ring,
So boufteous are the blasts of his shrill horn,
Among thy houghs to walk I have forboru.
With that the lady foberly did smile,
And said, uprife and do thy observance :
Thou did promise in May's lufty while,
Then to describe the ROSE of most pleasance
Go see the birdis how they fing and dance,
And how the skies illumined are bright,
Enamell'd richly with new azure light.
When this was said, away then went the Queen,
And enter'd in a lufty garden gent;
And then methought, full hastily beseen,
In fark and mantle after her I went
Into this garth most dulce and redolent,
Of herb and flower, and tender plants most fweet,
And the green leaves doing of dew down fleit.
The purple fun, with tender rayis red,
In orient bright as angel did appear,
Through golden skies advancing up his head,
Whose gilded tresses shone so wondrous clear,
That all the world took comfort far and near,
his fresh and blissful face, Doing all fable: frae the Heavens chace.
IX. And as the blissful sun drove up the sky, All nature sang through comfort of the light, The minstrels wing'd, with open voices cry, • O Lovers now is fled the dully night, “ Come welcome day, that comforts ev'ry wight; “ Hail May ! hail Flora ! hail Aurora Theen, “ Hail Princess Nature! hail love's hartsome Queen!
X. Dame Nature gave an inhibition there, To Neptune fierce, and Eolus the bold, Not to perturb the water or the air, That neither blashy shower, nor blasts more cold Should flowers affray nor fowls upon the fold. She bade eke Juno, Goddess of the sky, That she the heaven should keep amene and dry.
XI. Also ordain'd that
bird and beast
Before her Highness should anon compear;
flower of virtue most and least,
And every herb of fair field far and near,
As they had wont in May from year to year;
To her their Queen to make obedience,
Fuil low inclining with due reverence.
With that anon she sent the swift foot Roe,
To bring in alkind beast from dale and down ;
The restless swallow order'd she to go,
And fetch all fowl of great and small renown, flowers appear
of all faffoun: Full craftily conjured she the Yarrow, Which did forth swirk as fwift as any arrow.
XIII. All brought in were in twinkling of an eye, Both beast and bird and flower before the Queen; And first the Lion, greatest of degree, Was summon’d there; and he, fair to be seen, With a full hardy countenance and keen, Before Dame Nature came, and did incline, With visage bold, and courage leonine.
This awful beast was terrible of cher,
Piercing of look, and stout of coun:enance,
Right strong of corps, of fashion fair, but fear,
Lufty of shape, light of deliverance,
Red of his colour, as the ruby glance :
In field of gold he stood full rampantly,
With flower-de-lyces circled pleasantly.
This Lady lifted up his claws so clear,
And lute him liftly lean upon her knee,
And crowned him with diadem full dear,
Of radious stones most royal there to fee,
Saying the King of all beasts make I thee;
And the protector chief in woods and shaws,
Go forth, and to thy lieges keep the laws.
XVI. Justice exerce, with mercy and conscience, And let no small beast fuffer skaith or scorns Of greater beasts, that been of more puissance; Do law alike to Apes and Unicorns, And let no Bugle with his boufteous horns Oppres the meek plough Ox, for all his pride, But in the yoke go quietly him befide.
XVII. When this was faid, with noise and found of joy, All kind of Quadrupeds in their degree, At once cry'd LAUD, and then VIVE LE ROY; Then at his feet fell with humility; To him they all paid homage and fealty; And he did them receive with princely laits, Whose noble ire his greatness mitigates.
Then crowned the the Eagle King of fowls;
And sharp as darts of steel she made his pens,
And bade him be as just to Whawps and Owls,
As unto Peacocks, Papingoes, or Cranes,
And make one law for Wicht Fowls, and for Wrens,
And let no fowl of rapine do affray,
Nor birds devour, but his own proper prey.
Then called she all flowers grew in the field,
Describing all their fashions and effeirs,
Upon the awful THISTLE the beheld,
And saw him guarded with a bush of spears,
Confidering him fo able for the wars,
A radiant crown of rubies she him
And said, in field go forth, and fend the laif.
And since thou art a King, be thou discreet,
Herb without value hold not of such price,
As herb of virtue and of odour sweet;
And let no nettle vile, and full of vice,
Her fellow with the goodly Flower-de lyce;
Nor let no wild weed full of churlishness,
Compare her to the Lilly's nobleness.
Nor hold none other flower in such dainty
As the freih ROSE, of colour red and white;
For if thou doft, hurt is thine honesty,
Considering that no flower is so perfyte,
So full of pleafaunce, virtue and delight;
So full of blissful angelic beauty,
Imperial birth, honour and dignity.
Then to the ROSE The did her visage turn,
And said, O lusty daughter most benign,
Above the Lilly thou art illustrious born,
From royal lineage rising fresh and young,
Rut any spot, or macul doing sprung ;
Come bloom of joy, with richest gems
be crown'd, For o'er the laif thy beauty is renown'd.