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THE

ROMANCE

of

THE LADYE AMORET.

66 Why then is Amoret in caytive band ?"

Spenser's Faërie Queene.

THE

ROMANCE

OF

THE LADYE AMORET.

There reigned a king in Britayn many years ago, who had two daughters, both famed for their exceeding beauty, yet very different in the fashion of their countenance. Amoret, the elder princess, to whom this short history relates, though she had scarce seen out seventeen years, shewed in her form and face much of the perfection of feminine loveliness. The pure blood blushed through her clear skin with all the faintest and deepest colours of a halfblown rose, or wandered farther from the surface in veins of tender blue. Her eyes were very large, yet long and dove-like as those of an Indian maiden, with snow-white lids hanging heavily over their blue and laughing orbs. Then her hair, though of the darkest brown, seemed as if the golden sunbeams clustered among its mazes, and lent their lustrous gilding to every dancing ring that hung about her brow and slender neck. Very fair was the gentle Amoret, and yet far more ravishing to the heart was her wild and simple gayety, her playful yet modest bearing. Amoret was more like a peasant girl than a king's daughter, for seldom have I heard of a princess so artless in her ways and dispositions. The princess Galatea was a very child of thirteen years, à fair and timid maiden, who seemed only to live in her sister's love, and followed Amoret like a second shadow of herself. The king loved both his daughters with a great affection, but the elder seemed ever his favourite child.

It was the seventeenth birth-day of the princess Amoret, and for that day the king resigned his throne to his laughing daughter. He gave the sceptre into her little hand, and placed upon her head his crown of gold and jewels; but the laughing girl found the latter all too heavy, and the king was standing before her, smiling at her playfulness, when their at

tention was drawn to the sudden sound of many harps stealing into music. The minstrels were unseen; but the air which they played was beloved by Amoret, and she held forth her sceptre, thereby making a sign unto the court that she commanded a silent attention to the viewless minstrelsy. The sounds died into a low sweet murmur, and the following words were sung by a voice of bird-like clearness.

Amoret, my ladye bright, .

.
Leave thy courts of vain delight!!
Leave the throne, befitting rather
To the king, thy gracious father;
Leave the crown, which circleth now,
Heavily, thy tender brow! ... ;
Leave the sceptre of command,
Trembling in thy little hand! is '
We, thy counsellors of state, in
On thy slightest bidding wait." Tin
We will seek a lonely glade, . ..
Deep within the greenwood shade :.. :
Smoothest rocks shall be thy thronė, ..
With the tufted moss o'ergrown; ;
Hawthorn boughs shall thee supply : ;
With a perfumed canopy;
All their milk-white flowers o'erspread
With a blush of partial red. :,:
Leave the rough gold, and orient gein,
Which sparkles on the diadem,

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