In the bright season when He, most high Jove,
From welkin reaching down his glorying hand,
Decks the Great Mother and her changing face,
Clothing her not with scarlet skeins and gold
But with th’ empurpling flowers and gay grass,
When the young year renewed, renews the sun,

When, then, I see a lady like the sun,
One fashioned by th’ high hand of utmost Jove,
So fair beneath the myrtles on gay grass
Who holdeth Love and Truth, one by each hand,
It seems, if I look straight, two bands of gold
Do make more fair her delicate fair face.

Though eyes are dazzled, looking on her face
As all sight faileth that looks toward the sun,
New metamorphoses, to rained gold,
Or bulls or whitest swans, might fall on Jove
Through her, or Phoebus, his bag-pipes in hand,
Might, mid the droves, come barefoot o’er our grass.

Alas, that there was hidden in the grass
A cruel shaft, the which, to wound my face,
My Lady took in her own proper hand.
If I could not defend me ‘gainst that sun
I take no shame, for even utmost Jove
Is in high heaven pierced with darts of gold.

Behold the green shall find itself turned gold
And spring shall be without her flowers and grass,
And hell’s deep be the dwelling place of Jove
Ere I shall have uncarved her holy face
From my heart’s midst, where ’tis both Sun and sun;
And yet she beareth me such hostile hand!

O sweet and holy and O most light hand,
O intermingled ivory and gold,
O mortal goddess and terrestrial sun
Who comest not to foster meadow grass,
But to show heaven by a likened face
Wert sent amongst us by th’ exalted Jove,

I still pray Jove that he permit no grass
To cover o’er thy hands, thy face, thy gold
For heaven’s sufficèd with a single sun.


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