Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 2, CANTOS 10-12, by EDMUND SPENSER



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THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 2, CANTOS 10-12, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A chronicle of briton kings
Last Line: But let us hence depart, whilest wether serves and winde.'
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin


CANTO X

A chronicle of Briton kings,
From Brute to Uthers rayne;
And rolls of Elfin emperours,
Till time of Gloriane.

I

WHO now shall give unto me words and sound,
Equall unto this haughty enterprise?
Or who shall lend me wings, with which from ground
My lowly verse may loftily arise,
And lift it selfe unto the highest skyes?
More ample spirit, then hetherto was wount,
Here needes me, whiles the famous auncestryes
Of my most dreaded Soveraigne I recount,
By which all earthly princes she doth far surmount.

II

Ne under sunne, that shines so wide and faire,
Whence all that lives does borrow life and light,
Lives ought that to her linage may compaire,
Which, though from earth it be derived right,
Yet doth it selfe stretch forth to hevens hight,
And all the world with wonder overspred;
A labor huge, exceeding far my might:
How shall fraile pen, with feare disparaged,
Conceive such soveraine glory, and great bountyhed?

III

Argument worthy of Maeonian quill,
Or rather worthy of great Phoebus rote,
Whereon the ruines of great Ossa hill,
And triumphes of Phlegraean Jove, he wrote,
That all the gods admird his lofty note.
But, if some relish of that hevenly lay
His learned daughters would to me report,
To decke my song withall, I would assay
Thy name, O soveraine Queene, to blazon far away.

IV

Thy name, O soveraine Queene, thy realme, and race,
From this renowmed Prince derived arre,
Who mightily upheld that royall mace,
Which now thou bear'st, to thee descended farre
From mighty kings and conquerours in warre,
Thy fathers and great grandfathers of old,
Whose noble deeds above the northern starre
Immortall Fame for ever hath enrold;
As in that old mans booke they were in order told.

V

The land, which warlike Britons now possesse,
And therein have their mighty empire raysd,
In antique times was salvage wildernesse,
Unpeopled, unmannurd, unprovd, unpraysd;
Ne was it island then, ne was it paysd
Amid the ocean waves, ne was it sought
Of merchaunts farre, for profits therein praysd;
But was all desolate, and of some thought
By sea to have bene from the Celticke mayn-land brought.

VI

Ne did it then deserve a name to have,
Till that the venturous mariner that way,
Learning his ship from those white rocks to save,
Which all along the southerne sea-coast lay,
Threatning unheedy wrecke and rash decay,
For safeties sake that same his sea-marke made,
And namd it ALBION. But later day,
Finding in it fit ports for fishers trade,
Gan more the same frequent, and further to invade.

VII

But far in land a salvage nation dwelt
Of hideous giaunts, and halfe beastly men,
That never tasted grace, nor goodnes felt,
But like wild beastes lurking in loathsome den,
And flying fast as roebucke through the fen,
All naked without shame or care of cold,
By hunting and by spoiling liveden;
Of stature huge, and eke of corage bold,
That sonnes of men amazd their sternesse to behold.

VIII

But whence they sprong, or how they were begott,
Uneath is to assure; uneath to wene
That monstrous error, which doth some assott,
That Dioclesians fifty daughters shene
Into this land by chaunce have driven bene,
Where companing with feends and filthy sprights
Through vaine illusion of their lust unclene,
They brought forth geaunts, and such dreadful wights
As far exceeded men in their immeasurd mights.

IX

They held this land, and with their filthinesse
Polluted this same gentle soyle long time:
That their owne mother loathd their beastlinesse,
And gan abhorre her broods unkindly crime,
All were they borne of her owne native slime:
Until that Brutus, anciently deriv'd
From roiall stocke of old Assaracs line,
Driven by fatall error, here arriv'd,
And them of their unjust possession depriv'd.

X

But ere he had established his throne,
And spred his empire to the utmost shore,
He fought great batteils with his salvage fone;
In which he them defeated evermore,
And many giaunts left on groning flore,
That well can witnes yet unto this day
The westerne Hogh, besprincled with the gore
Of mighty Goemot, whome in stout fray
Corineus conquered, and cruelly did slay.

XI

And eke that ample pitt, yet far renownd
For the large leape which Debon did compell
Coulin to make, being eight lugs of grownd,
Into the which retourning backe he fell:
But those three monstrous stones doe most excell
Which that huge sonne of hideous Albion,
Whose father Hercules in Fraunce did quell,
Great Godmer, threw, in flerce contention,
At bold Canutus; but of him was slaine anon.

XII

In meed of these great conquests by them gott,
Corineus had that province utmost west
To him assigned for his worthy lott,
Which of his name and memorable gest
He called Cornwaile, yet so called best:
And Debons shayre was that is Devonshyre:
But Canute had his portion from the rest,
The which he cald Canutium, for his hyre;
Now Cantium, which Kent we comenly inquyre.

XIII

Thus Brute this realme unto his rule subdewd,
And raigned long in great felicity,
Lov'd of his freends, and of his foes eschewd.
He left three sonnes, his famous progeny,
Borne of fayre Inogene of Italy;
Mongst whom he parted his imperiall state,
And Locrine left chiefe lord of Britany.
At last ripe age bad him surrender late
His life, and long good fortune, unto finall fate.

XIV

Locrine was left the soveraine lord of all;
But Albanact had all the northerne part,
Which of him selfe Albania he did call;
And Camber did possesse the westerne quart,
Which Severne now from Logris doth depart:
And each his portion peaceably enjoyd,
Ne was there outward breach, nor grudge in hart,
That once their quiet government annoyd,
But each his paynes to others profit still employd.

XV

Untill a nation straung, with visage swart
And corage fierce, that all men did affray,
Which through the world then swarmd in every part,
And overflow'd all countries far away,
Like Noyes great flood, with their importune sway,
This land invaded with like violence,
And did themselves through all the north display:
Untill that Locrine, for his realmes defence,
Did head against them make, and strong munificence.

XVI

He them encountred, a confused rout,
Foreby the river, that whylome was hight
The ancient Abus, where with courage stout
He them defeated in victorious fight,
And chaste so fiercely after fearefull flight,
That forst their chiefetain, for his safeties sake,
(Their chiefetain Humber named was aright,)
Unto the mighty streame him to betake,
Where he an end of batteill, and of life did make.

XVII

The king retourned proud of victory,
And insolent wox through unwonted ease,
That shortly he forgot the jeopardy,
Which in his land he lately did appease,
And fell to vaine voluptuous disease:
He lov'd faire Ladie Estrild, leudly lov'd,
Whose wanton pleasures him too much did please,
That quite his hart from Guendolene remov'd,
From Guendolene his wife, though alwaies faithful prov'd.

XVIII

The noble daughter of Corineus
Would not endure to bee so vile disdaind,
But, gathering force and corage valorous,
Encountred him in batteill well ordaind,
In which him vanquisht she to fly constraind:
But she so fast pursewd, that him she tooke,
And threw in bands, where he till death remaind:
Als his faire leman, flying through a brooke,
She overhent, nought moved with her piteous looke.

XIX

But both her selfe, and eke her daughter deare,
Begotten by her kingly paramoure,
The faire Sabrina, almost dead with feare,
She there attached, far from all succoure;
The one she slew in that impatient stoure,
But the sad virgin, innocent of all,
Adowne the rolling river she did poure,
Which of her name now Severne men do call:
Such was the end that to disloyall love did fall.

XX

Then, for her sonne, which she to Locrin bore,
Madan, was young, unmeet the rule to sway,
In her owne hand the crowne she kept in store,
Till ryper yeares he raught, and stronger stay:
During which time her powre she did display
Through all this realme, the glory of her sex,
And first taught men a woman to obay:
But when her sonne to mans estate did wex,
She it surrendred, ne her selfe would lenger vex.

XXI

Tho Madan raignd, unworthie of his race:
For with all shame that sacred throne he fild:
Next Memprise, as unworthy of that place,
In which being consorted with Manild,
For thirst of single kingdom him he kild.
But Ebranck salved both their infamies
With noble deedes, and warreyd on Brunchild
In Henault, where yet of his victories
Brave moniments remaine, which yet that land envies.

XXII

An happy man in his first dayes he was,
And happy father of faire progeny:
For all so many weekes as the yeare has,
So many children he did multiply;
Of which were twentie sonnes, which did apply
Their mindes to prayse and chevalrous desyre:
Those germans did subdew all Germany,
Of whom it hight; but in the end their syre
With foule repulse from Fraunce was forced to retyre.

XXIII

Which blott his sonne succeeding in his seat,
The second Brute, the second both in name
And eke in semblaunce of his puissaunce great,
Right well recur'd, and did away that blame
With recompence of everlasting fame.
He with his victour sword first opened
The bowels of wide Fraunce, a forlorne dame,
And taught her first how to be conquered;
Since which, with sondrie spoiles she hath bene ransacked.

XXIV

Let Scaldis tell, and let tell Hania,
And let the marsh of Esthambruges tell,
What colour were their waters that same day,
And all the moore twixt Elversham and Dell,
With blood of Henalois, which therein fell.
How oft that day did sad Brunchildis see
The greene shield dyde in dolorous vermell!
That not scuith guiridh it mote seeme to bee,
But rather y scuith gogh, signe of sad crueltee.

XXV

His sonne, King Leill, by fathers labour long,
Enjoyd an heritage of lasting peace,
And built Cairleill, and built Cairleon strong.
Next Huddibras his realme did not encrease,
But taught the land from wearie wars to cease.
Whose footsteps Bladud following, in artes
Exceld at Athens all the learned preace,
From whence he brought them to these salvage parts,
And with sweet science mollifide their stubborne harts.

XXVI

Ensample of his wondrous faculty,
Behold the boyling bathes at Cairbadon,
Which seeth with secret fire eternally,
And in their entrailles, full of quick brimston,
Nourish the flames which they are warmd upon,
That to their people wealth they forth do well,
And health to every forreyne nation:
Yet he at last, contending to excell
The reach of men, through flight into fond mischief fell.

XXVII

Next him King Leyr in happie peace long raynd,
But had no issue male him to succeed,
But three faire daughters, which were well uptraind
In all that seemed fitt for kingly seed:
Mongst whom his realme he equally decreed
To have divided. Tho, when feeble age
Nigh to his utmost date he saw proceed,
He cald his daughters, and with speeches sage
Inquyrd, which of them most did love her parentage.

XXVIII

The eldest Gonorill gan to protest,
That she much more then her owne life him lov'd;
And Regan greater love to him profest
Then all the world, when ever it were proov'd;
But Cordeill said she lov'd him as behoov'd:
Whose simple answere, wanting colours fayre
To paint it forth, him to displeasaunce moov'd,
That in his crown he counted her no hayre,
But twixt the other twain his kingdom whole did shayre.

XXIX

So wedded th' one to Maglan, king of Scottes,
And thother to the king of Cambria,
And twixt them shayrd his realme by equall lottes:
But without dowre the wise Cordelia
Was sent to Aggannip of Celtica.
Their aged syre, thus eased of his crowne,
A private life ledd in Albania,
With Gonorill, long had in great renowne,
That nought him griev'd to beene from rule deposed downe.

XXX

But true it is that, when the oyle is spent,
The light goes out, and weeke is throwne away;
So when he had resignd his regiment,
His daughter gan despise his drouping day,
And wearie wax of his continuall stay.
Tho to his daughter Regan he repayrd,
Who him at first well used every way;
But when of his departure she despayrd,
Her bountie she abated, and his cheare empayrd.

XXXI

The wretched man gan then avise to late,
That love is not, where most it is profest;
Too truely tryde in his extremest state.
At last, resolv'd likewise to prove the rest,
He to Cordelia him selfe addrest,
Who with entyre affection him receav'd,
As for her syre and king her seemed best;
And after all an army strong she leav'd,
To war on those which him had of his realme bereav'd.

XXXII

So to his crowne she him restord againe,
In which he dyde, made ripe for death by eld,
And after wild, it should to her remaine:
Who peaceably the same long time did weld,
And all mens harts in dew obedience held:
Till that her sisters children, woxen strong,
Through proud ambition against her rebeld,
And overcommen kept in prison long,
Till, weary of that wretched life, her selfe she hong.

XXXIII

Then gan the bloody brethren both to raine:
But fierce Cundah gan shortly to envy
His brother Morgan, prickt with proud disdaine,
To have a pere in part of soverainty;
And kindling coles of cruell enmity,
Raisd warre, and him in batteill overthrew:
Whence as he to those woody hilles did fly,
Which hight of him Glamorgan, there him slew:
Then did he raigne alone, when he none equall knew.

XXXIV

His sonne Rivall' his dead rowme did supply,
In whose sad time blood did from heaven rayne:
Next great Gurgustus, then faire Caecily,
In constant peace their kingdomes did contayne:
After whom Lago and Kinmarke did rayne,
And Gorbogud, till far in yeares he grew:
Then his ambitious sonnes unto them twayne
Arraught the rule, and from their father drew:
Stout Ferrex and sterne Porrex him in prison threw.

XXXV

But O! the greedy thirst of royall crowne,
That knowes no kinred, nor regardes no right,
Stird Porrex up to put his brother downe;
Who, unto him assembling forreigne might,
Made warre on him, and fell him selfe in fight:
Whose death t' avenge, his mother mercilesse,
Most mercilesse of women, Wyden hight,
Her other sonne fast sleeping did oppresse,
And with most cruell hand him murdred pittilesse.

XXXVI

Here ended Brutus sacred progeny,
Which had seven hundred yeares this scepter borne,
With high renowme and great felicity:
The noble braunch from th' antique stocke was torne
Through discord, and the roiall throne forlorne:
Thenceforth this realme was into factions rent,
Whilest each of Brutus boasted to be borne,
That in the end was left no moniment
Of Brutus, nor of Britons glorie auncient.

XXXVII

Then up arose a man of matchlesse might,
And wondrous wit to menage high affayres,
Who, stird with pitty of the stressed plight
Of this sad realme, cut into sondry shayres
By such as claymd themselves Brutes rightfull hayres,
Gathered the princes of the people loose,
To taken counsell of their common cares;
Who, with his wisedom won, him streight did choose
Their king, and swore him fealty, to win or loose.

XXXVIII

Then made he head against his enimies,
And Ymner slew, of Logris miscreate;
Then Ruddoc and proud Stater, both allyes,
This of Albany newly nominate,
And that of Cambry king confirmed late,
He overthrew through his owne valiaunce;
Whose countries he redus'd to quiet state,
And shortly brought to civile governaunce,
Now one, which earst were many made through variaunce.

XXXIX

Then made he sacred lawes, which some men say
Were unto him reveald in vision,
By which he freed the traveilers high way,
The churches part, and ploughmans portion,
Restraining stealth and strong extortion;
The gratious Numa of Great Britany:
For, till his dayes, the chiefe dominion
By strength was wielded without pollicy;
Therefore he first wore crowne of gold for dignity.

XL

Donwallo dyde (for what may live for ay?)
And left two sonnes, of pearelesse prowesse both,
That sacked Rome too dearely did assay,
The recompence of their perjured oth,
And ransackt Greece wel tryde, when they were wroth;
Besides subjected France and Germany,
Which yet their praises speake, all be they loth,
And inly tremble at the memory
Of Brennus and Belinus, kinges of Britany.

XLI

Next them did Gurgunt, great Belinus sonne,
In rule succeede, and eke in fathers praise:
He Easterland subdewd, and Denmarke wonne,
And of them both did foy and tribute raise,
The which was dew in his dead fathers daies;
He also gave to fugitives of Spayne,
Whom he at sea found wandring from their waies,
A seate in Ireland safely to remayne,
Which they should hold of him, as subject to Britayne.

XLII

After him raigned Guitheline his hayre,
The justest man and trewest in his daies,
Who had to wife Dame Mertia the fayre,
A woman worthy of immortall praise,
Which for this realme found many goodly layes,
And wholesome statutes to her husband brought:
Her many deemd to have beene of the Fayes,
As was Aegerie, that Numa tought:
Those yet of her be Mertian lawes both nam'd and thought.

XLIII

Her sonne Sisillus after her did rayne,
And then Kimarus, and then Danius;
Next whom Morindus did the crowne sustayne,
Who, had he not with wrath outrageous
And cruell rancour dim'd his valorous
And mightie deedes, should matched have the best:
As well in that same field victorious
Against the forreine Morands he exprest:
Yet lives his memorie, though carcas sleepe in rest.

XLIV

Five sonnes he left begotten of one wife,
All which successively by turnes did rayne;
First Gorboman, a man of vertuous life;
Next Archigald, who, for his proud disdayne,
Deposed was from princedome soverayne,
And pitteous Elidure put in his sted;
Who shortly it to him restord agayne,
Till by his death he it recovered;
But Peridure and Vigent him disthronized.

XLV

In wretched prison long he did remaine,
Till they outraigned had their utmost date,
And then therein reseized was againe,
And ruled long with honorable state,
Till he surrendred realme and life to fate.
Then all the sonnes of these five brethren raynd
By dew successe, and all their nephewes late;
Even thrise eleven descents the crowne retaynd,
Till aged Hely by dew heritage it gaynd.

XLVI

He had two sonnes, whose eldest, called Lud,
Left of his life most famous memory,
And endlesse moniments of his great good:
The ruin'd wals he did reaedifye
Of Troynovant, gainst force of enimy,
And built that gate which of his name is hight,
By which he lyes entombed solemnly.
He left two sonnes, too young to rule aright,
Androgeus and Tenantius, pictures of his might.

XLVII

Whilst they were young, Cassibalane their eme
Was by the people chosen in their sted,
Who on him tooke the roiall diademe,
And goodly well long time it governed;
Till the prowde Romanes him disquieted,
And warlike Caesar, tempted with the name
Of this sweet island, never conquered,
And envying the Britons blazed fame,
(O hideous hunger of dominion!) hether came.

XLVIII

Yet twise they were repulsed backe againe,
And twise renforst backe to their ships to fly,
The whiles with blood they all the shore did staine,
And the gray ocean into purple dy:
Ne had they footing found at last perdie,
Had not Androgeus, false to native soyle,
And envious of uncles soveraintie,
Betrayd his countrey unto forreine spoyle:
Nought els but treason from the first this land did foyle.

XLIX

So by him Caesar got the victory,
Through great bloodshed and many a sad assay,
In which himselfe was charged heavily
Of hardy Nennius, whom he yet did slay,
But lost his sword, yet to be seene this day.
Thenceforth this land was tributarie made
T' ambitious Rome, and did their rule obay,
Till Arthur all that reckoning defrayd;
Yet oft the Briton kings against them strongly swayd.

L

Next him Tenantius raignd; then Kimbeline,
What time th' Eternall Lord in fleshly slime
Enwombed was, from wretched Adams line
To purge away the guilt of sinfull crime:
O joyous memorie of happy time,
That heavenly grace so plenteously displayd!
O too high ditty for my simple rime!
Soone after this the Romanes him warrayd,
For that their tribute he refusd to let be payd.

LI

Good Claudius, that next was emperour,
An army brought, and with him batteile fought,
In which the king was by a treachetour
Disguised slaine, ere any thereof thought:
Yet ceased not the bloody fight for ought;
For Arvirage his brothers place supplyde,
Both in his armes and crowne, and by that draught
Did drive the Romanes to the weaker syde,
That they to peace agreed. So all was pacifyde.

LII

Was never king more highly magnifide,
Nor dredd of Romanes, then was Arvirage;
For which the emperour to him allide
His daughter Genuiss' in marriage:
Yet shortly he renounst the vassallage
Of Rome againe, who hether hastly sent
Vespasian, that with great spoile and rage
Forwasted all, till Genuissa gent
Persuaded him to ceasse, and her lord to relent.

LIII

He dide; and him succeeded Marius,
Who joyd his dayes in great tranquillity:
Then Coyll, and after him good Lucius,
That first received Christianity,
The sacred pledge of Christes Evangely:
Yet true it is, that long before that day
Hither came Joseph of Arimathy,
Who brought with him the Holy Grayle, (they say)
And preacht the truth; but since it greatly did decay.

LIV

This good king shortly without issew dide,
Whereof great trouble in the kingdome grew,
That did her selfe in sondry parts divide,
And with her powre her owne selfe overthrew,
Whilest Romanes daily did the weake subdew:
Which seeing stout Bunduca, up arose,
And taking armes, the Britons to her drew;
With whom she marched streight against her foes,
And them unwares besides the Severne did enclose.

LV

There she with them a cruell batteill tryde,
Not with so good successe as shee deserv'd,
By reason that the captaines on her syde,
Corrupted by Paulinus, from her swerv'd:
Yet such as were through former flight preserv'd
Gathering againe, her host she did renew,
And with fresh corage on the victor serv'd:
But being all defeated, save a few,
Rather then fly, or be captiv'd, her selfe she slew.

LVI

O famous moniment of womens prayse,
Matchable either to Semiramis,
Whom antique history so high doth rayse,
Or to Hypsiphil', or to Thomiris!
Her host two hundred thousand numbred is;
Who, whiles good fortune favoured her might,
Triumphed oft against her enemis;
And yet, though overcome in haplesse fight,
Shee triumphed on death, in enemies despight.

LVII

Her reliques Fulgent having gathered,
Fought with Severus, and him overthrew;
Yet in the chace was slaine of them that fled:
So made them victors whome he did subdew.
Then gan Carausius tirannize anew,
And gainst the Romanes bent their proper powre;
But him Allectus treacherously slew,
And tooke on him the robe of emperoure:
Nath'lesse the same enjoyed but short happy howre.

LVIII

For Asclepiodate him overcame,
And left inglorious on the vanquisht playne,
Without or robe or rag to hide his shame.
Then afterwards he in his stead did raigne;
But shortly was by Coyll in batteill slaine:
Who after long debate, since Lucies tyme,
Was of the Britons first crownd soveraine.
Then gan this realme renew her passed prime:
He of his name Coylchester built of stone and lime.

LIX

Which when the Romanes heard, they hether sent
Constantius, a man of mickle might,
With whome King Coyll made an agreement,
And to him gave for wife his daughter bright,
Fayre Helena, the fairest living wight;
Who in all godly thewes, and goodly praise,
Did far excell, but was most famous hight
For skil in musicke of all in her daies,
Aswell in curious instruments as cunning laies.

LX

Of whom he did great Constantine begett,
Who afterward was emperour of Rome;
To which whiles absent he his mind did sett,
Octavius here lept into his roome,
And it usurped by unrighteous doome:
But he his title justifide by might,
Slaying Traherne, and having overcome
The Romane legion in dreadfull fight:
So settled he his kingdome, and confirmd his right.

LXI

But wanting yssew male, his daughter deare
He gave in wedlocke to Maximian,
And him with her made of his kingdome heyre,
Who soone by meanes thereof the empire wan,
Till murdred by the freends of Gratian.
Then gan the Hunnes and Picts invade this land,
During the raigne of Maximinian;
Who dying left none heire them to withstand,
But that they overran all parts with easy hand.

LXII

The weary Britons, whose war-hable youth
Was by Maximian lately ledd away,
With wretched miseryes and woefull ruth
Were to those pagans made an open pray,
And daily spectacle of sad decay:
Whome Romane warres, which now fowr hundred yeares
And more had wasted, could no whit dismay;
Til by consent of Commons and of Peares,
They crownd the second Constantine with joyous teares.

LXIII

Who having oft in batteill vanquished
Those spoylefull Picts, and swarming Easterlings,
Long time in peace his realme established,
Yet oft annoyd with sondry bordragings
Of neighbour Scots, and forrein scatterlings,
With which the world did in those dayes abound:
Which to outbarre, with painefull pyonings
From sea to sea he heapt a mighty mound,
Which from Alcluid to Panwelt did that border bownd.

LXIV

Three sonnes he dying left, all under age;
By meanes whereof, their uncle Vortigere
Usurpt the crowne during their pupillage;
Which th' infants tutors gathering to feare,
Them closely into Armorick did beare:
For dread of whom, and for those Picts annoyes,
He sent to Germany, straunge aid to reare;
From whence eftsoones arrived here three hoyes
Of Saxons, whom he for his safety imployes.

LXV

Two brethren were their capitayns, which hight
Hengist and Horsus, well approv'd in warre,
And both of them men of renowmed might;
Who, making vantage of their civile jarre,
And of those forreyners which came from farre,
Grew great, and got large portions of land,
That in the realme ere long they stronger arre
Then they which sought at first their helping hand,
And Vortiger have forst the kingdome to aband.

LXVI

But by the helpe of Vortimere his sonne,
He is againe unto his rule restord;
And Hengist, seeming sad for that was donne,
Received is to grace and new accord,
Through his faire daughters face and flattring word.
Soone after which, three hundred lords he slew
Of British blood, all sitting at his bord;
Whose dolefull moniments who list to rew,
Th' eternall marks of treason may at Stonheng vew.

LXVII

By this the sonnes of Constantine, which fled,
Ambrose and Uther, did ripe yeares attayne,
And here arriving, strongly challenged
The crowne, which Vortiger did long detayne;
Who, flying from his guilt, by them was slayne,
And Hengist eke soone brought to shamefull death.
Thenceforth Aurelius peaceably did rayne,
Till that through poyson stopped was his breath;
So now entombed lies at Stoneheng by the heath.

LXVIII

After him Uther, which Pendragon hight,
Succeeding -- There abruptly it did end,
Without full point, or other cesure right,
As if the rest some wicked hand did rend,
Or th' author selfe could not at least attend
To finish it: that so untimely breach
The Prince him selfe halfe seemed to offend;
Yet secret pleasure did offence empeach,
And wonder of antiquity long stopt his speach.

LXIX

At last, quite ravisht with delight, to heare
The royall ofspring of his native land,
Cryde out: 'Deare countrey! O how dearely deare
Ought thy remembraunce and perpetual band
Be to thy foster childe, that from thy hand
Did commun breath and nouriture receave!
How brutish is it not to understand
How much to her we owe, that all us gave,
That gave unto us all, what ever good we have!'

LXX

But Guyon all this while his booke did read,
Ne yet has ended: for it was a great
And ample volume, that doth far excead
My leasure, so long leaves here to repeat:
It told, how first Prometheus did create
A man, of many parts from beasts deryv'd,
And then stole fire from heven, to animate
His worke, for which he was by Jove depryv'd
Of life him self, and hart-strings of an aegle ryv'd.

LXXI

That man so made he called Elfe, to weet
Quick, the first author of all Elfin kynd:
Who, wandring through the world with wearie feet,
Did in the gardins of Adonis fynd
A goodly creature, whom he deemd in mynd
To be no earthly wight, but either spright
Or angell, th' authour of all woman kynd;
Therefore a Fay he her according hight,
Of whom all Faryes spring, and fetch their lignage right.

LXXII

Of these a mighty people shortly grew,
And puissant kinges, which all the world warrayd,
And to them selves all nations did subdew.
The first and eldest, which that scepter swayd,
Was Elfin; him all India obayd,
And all that now America men call:
Next him was noble Elfinan, who laid
Cleopolis foundation first of all:
But Elfiline enclosd it with a golden wall

LXXIII

His sonne was Elfinell, who overcame
The wicked Gobbelines in bloody field:
But Elfant was of most renowmed fame,
Who all of christall did Panthea build:
Then Elfar, who two brethren gyaunte kild,
The one of which had two heades, th' othe three:
Then Elfinor, who was in magick skild;
He built by art upon the glassy see
A bridge of bras, whose sound hevens thunder seem'd to bee.

LXXIV

He left three sonnes, the which in order raynd,
And all their ofspring, in their dew descents,
Even seven hundred princes, which maintaynd
With mightie deedes their sondry governments;
That were too long their infinite contents
Here to record, ne much materiall;
Yet should they be most famous moniments,
And brave ensample, both of martiall
And civil rule, to kinges and states imperiall.

LXXV

After all these Elficleos did rayne,
The wise Elficleos in great majestie,
Who mightily that scepter did sustayne,
And with rich spoyles and famous victorie
Did high advaunce the crowne of Faery:
He left two sonnes, of which faire Elferon,
The eldest brother, did untimely dy;
Whose emptie place the mightie Oberon
Doubly supplide, in spousall and dominion.

LXXVI

Great was his power and glorie over all
Which, him before, that sacred seate did fill,
That yet remaines his wide memoriall:
He dying left the fairest Tanaquill,
Him to succeede therein, by his last will:
Fairer and nobler liveth none this howre,
Ne like in grace, ne like in learned skill;
Therefore they Glorian call that glorious flowre:
Long mayst thou, Glorian, live, in glory and great powre!

LXXVII

Beguyld thus with delight of novelties,
And naturall desire of countryes state,
So long they redd in those antiquities,
That how the time was fled they quite forgate;
Till gentle Alma, seeing it so late,
Perforce their studies broke, and them besought
To thinke how supper did them long awaite:
So halfe unwilling from their bookes them brought,
And fayrely feasted, as so noble knightes she ought.

CANTO XI

The enimies of Temperaunce
Besiege her dwelling place:
Prince Arthure them repelles, and fowle
Maleger doth deface.

I

WHAT warre so cruel, or what siege so sore,
As that which strong affections doe apply
Against the forte of reason evermore,
To bring the sowle into captivity?
Their force is fiercer through infirmity
Of the fraile flesh, relenting to their rage,
And exercise most bitter tyranny
Upon the partes, brought into their bondage:
No wretchednesse is like to sinfull vellenage.

II

But in a body which doth freely yeeld
His partes to reasons rule obedient,
And letteth her, that ought, the scepter weeld,
All happy peace and goodly government
Is setled there in sure establishment.
There Alma, like a virgin queene most bright,
Doth florish in all beautie excellent,
And to her guestes doth bounteous banket dight,
Attempred goodly well for health and for delight.

III

Early, before the morne with cremosin ray
The windowes of bright heaven opened had,
Through which into the world the dawning day
Might looke, that maketh every creature glad,
Uprose Sir Guyon, in bright armour clad,
And to his purposd journey him prepar'd:
With him the palmer eke in habit sad
Him selfe addrest to that adventure hard:
So to the rivers syde they both together far'd.

IV

Where them awaited ready at the ford
The ferriman, as Alma had behight,
With his well rigged bote. They goe abord,
And he eftsoones gan launch his barke forthright.
Ere long they rowed were quite out of sight,
And fast the land behynd them fled away.
But let them pas, whiles winde and wether right
Doe serve their turnes: here I a while must stay,
To see a cruell fight doen by the Prince this day.

V

For all so soone as Guyon thence was gon
Upon his voyage with his trustie guyde,
That wicked band of villeins fresh begon
That castle to assaile on every side,
And lay strong siege about it far and wyde.
So huge and infinite their numbers were,
That all the land they under them did hyde;
So fowle and ugly, that exceeding feare
Their visages imprest, when they approched neare.

VI

Them in twelve troupes their captein did dispart,
And round about in fittest steades did place,
Where each might best offend his proper part,
And his contrary object most deface,
As every one seem'd meetest in that cace.
Seven of the same against the castle gate
In strong entrenchments he did closely place,
Which with incessaunt force and endlesse hate
They battred day and night, and entraunce did awate.

VII

The other five, five sondry wayes he sett,
Against the five great bulwarkes of that pyle,
And unto each a bulwarke did arrett,
T' assayle with open force or hidden guyle,
In hope thereof to win victorious spoile.
They all that charge did fervently apply
With greedie malice and importune toyle,
And planted there their huge artillery,
With which they dayly made most dreadfull battery.

VIII

The first troupe was a monstrous rablement
Of fowle misshapen wightes, of which some were
Headed like owles, with beckes uncomely bent,
Others like dogs, others like gryphons dreare,
And some had wings, and some had clawes to teare,
And every one of them had lynces eyes,
And every one did bow and arrowes beare;
All those were lawlesse lustes, corrupt envyes,
And covetous aspects, all cruel enimyes.

IX

Those same against the bulwarke of the Sight
Did lay strong siege and battailous assault,
Ne once did yield it respitt day nor night,
But soone as Titan gan his head exault,
And soone againe as he his light withhault,
Their wicked engins they against it bent:
That is, each thing by which the eyes may fault:
But two, then all more huge and violent,
Beautie and money, they that bulwarke sorely rent.

X

The second bulwarke was the Hearing Sence,
Gainst which the second troupe dessignment makes,
Deformed creatures, in straunge difference,
Some having heads like harts, some like to snakes,
Some like wilde bores late rouzd out of the brakes;
Slaunderous reproches, and fowle infamies,
Leasinges, backbytinges, and vaineglorious crakes,
Bad counsels, prayses, and false flatteries;
All those against that fort did bend their batteries.

XI

Likewise that same third fort, that is the Smell,
Of that third troupe was cruelly assayd;
Whose hideous shapes were like to feendes of hell,
Some like to houndes, some like to apes dismayd,
Some like to puttockes, all in plumes arayd;
All shap't according their conditions:
For by those ugly formes weren pourtrayd
Foolish delights and fond abusions,
Which doe that sence besiege with light illusions.

XII

And that fourth band, which cruell battry bent
Against the fourth bulwarke, that is the Taste,
Was, as the rest, a grysie rablement,
Some mouth'd like greedy oystriges, some faste
Like loathly toades, some fashioned in the waste
Like swine; for so deformd is luxury,
Surfeat, misdiet, and unthriftie waste,
Vaine feastes, and ydle superfluity:
All those this sences fort assayle incessantly.

XIII

But the fift troupe, most horrible of hew
And ferce of force, is dreadfull to report:
For some like snailes, some did like spyders shew,
And some like ugly urchins thick and short:
Cruelly they assayled that fift fort,
Armed with dartes of sensuall delight,
With stinges of carnall lust, and strong effort
Of feeling pleasures, with which day and night
Against that same fift bulwarke they continued fight.

XIV

Thus these twelve troupes with dreadfull puissaunce
Against that castle restlesse siege did lay,
And evermore their hideous ordinaunce
Upon the bulwarkes cruelly did play,
That now it gan to threaten neare decay;
And evermore their wicked capitayn
Provoked them the breaches to assay,
Somtimes with threats, somtimes with hope of gayn,
Which by the ransack of that peece they should attayn.

XV

On th' other syde, th' assieged castles ward
Their stedfast stonds did mightily maintaine,
And many bold repulse and many hard
Atchievement wrought, with perill and with payne,
That goodly frame from ruine to sustaine:
And those two brethren gyauntes did defend
The walles so stoutly with their sturdie mayne,
That never entraunce any durst pretend,
But they to direfull death their groning ghosts did send.

XVI

The noble virgin, ladie of the place,
Was much dismayed with that dreadful sight;
For never was she in so evill cace:
Till that the Prince, seeing her wofull plight,
Gan her recomfort from so sad affright,
Offring his service and his dearest life
For her defence, against that carle to fight,
Which was their chiefe and th' authour of that strife:
She him remercied as the patrone of her life.

XVII

Eftsoones himselfe in glitterand armes he dight,
And his well proved weapons to him hent:
So taking courteous conge, he behight
Those gates to be unbar'd, and forth he went.
Fayre mote he thee, the prowest and most gent
That ever brandished bright steele on hye:
Whom soone as that unruly rablement
With his gay squyre issewing did espye,
They reard a most outrageous dreadfull yelling cry;

XVIII

And therewithall attonce at him let fly
Their fluttring arrowes, thicke as flakes of snow,
And round about him flocke impetuously,
Like a great water flood, that, tombling low
From the high mountaines, threates to overflow
With suddein fury all the fertile playne,
And the sad husbandmans long hope doth throw
A downe the streame, and all his vowes make vayne,
Nor bounds nor banks his headlong ruine may sustayne.

XIX

Upon his shield their heaped hayle he bore,
And with his sword disperst the raskall flockes,
Which fled a sonder, and him fell before,
As withered leaves drop from their dryed stockes,
When the wroth western wind does reave their locks;
And under neath him his courageous steed,
The fierce Spumador, trode them downe like docks;
The fierce Spumador borne of heavenly seed,
Such as Laomedon of Phoebus race did breed.

XX

Which suddeine horrour and confused cry
When as their capteine heard, in haste he yode,
The cause to weet, and fault to remedy:
Upon a tygre swift and fierce he rode,
That as the winde ran underneath his lode,
Whiles his long legs nigh raught unto the ground:
Full large he was of limbe, and shoulders brode,
But of such subtile substance and unsound,
That like a ghost he seem'd, whose graveclothes were unbound.

XXI

And in his hand a bended bow was seene,
And many arrowes under his right side,
All deadly daungerous, all cruell keene,
Headed with flint, and fethers bloody dide,
Such as the Indians in their quivers hide:
Those could he well direct and streight as line,
And bid them strike the marke which he had eyde;
Ne was there salve, ne was there medicine,
That mote recure their wounds, so inly they did tine.

XXII

As pale and wan as ashes was his looke,
His body leane and meagre as a rake,
And skin all withered like a dryed rooke,
Thereto as cold and drery as a snake,
That seemd to tremble evermore, and quake:
All in a canvas thin he was bedight,
And girded with a belt of twisted brake:
Upon his head he wore an helmet light,
Made of a dead mans skull, that seemd a ghastly sight.

XXIII

Maleger was his name; and after him
There follow'd fast at hand two wicked hags,
With hoary lockes all loose and visage grim;
Their feet unshod, their bodies wrapt in rags,
And both as swift on foot as chased stags;
And yet the one her other legge had lame,
Which with a staffe, all full of litle snags,
She did support, and Impotence her name:
But th' other was Impatience, arm'd with raging flame.

XXIV

Soone as the carle from far the Prince espyde
Glistring in armes and warlike ornament,
His beast he felly prickt on either syde,
And his mischievous bow full readie bent,
With which at him a cruell shaft he sent:
But he was warie, and it warded well
Upon his shield, that it no further went,
But to the ground the idle quarrell fell:
Then he another and another did expell.

XXV

Which to prevent, the Prince his mortall speare
Soone to him raught, and fierce at him did ride,
To be avenged of that shot whyleare:
But he was not so hardy to abide
That bitter stownd, but turning quicke aside
His light-foot beast, fled fast away for feare:
Whom to poursue, the infant after hide,
So fast as his good courser could him beare;
But labour lost it was to weene approch him neare.

XXVI

For as the winged wind his tigre fled,
That vew of eye could scarse him overtake,
Ne scarse his feet on ground were seene to tred:
Through hils and dales he speedy way did make,
Ne hedge ne ditch his readie passage brake,
And in his flight the villein turn'd his face,
(As wonts the Tartar by the Caspian lake,
When as the Russian him in fight does chace)
Unto his tygres taile, and shot at him apace.

XXVII

Apace he shot, and yet he fled apace,
Still as the greedy knight nigh to him drew,
And oftentimes he would relent his pace,
That him his foe more fiercely should poursew:
Who when his uncouth manner he did vew,
He gan avize to follow him no more,
But keepe his standing, and his shaftes eschew,
Untill he quite had spent his perlous store,
And then assayle him fresh, ere he could shift for more.

XXVIII

But that lame hag, still as abroad he strew
His wicked arrowes, gathered them againe,
And to him brought, fresh batteill to renew:
Which he espying, cast her to restraine
From yielding succour to that cursed swaine,
And her attaching, thought her hands to tye;
But soone as him dismounted on the plaine
That other hag did far away espye
Binding her sister, she to him ran hastily;

XXIX

And catching hold of him, as downe he lent,
Him backeward overthrew, and downe him stayd
With their rude handes and gryesly graplement,
Till that the villein, comming to their ayd,
Upon him fell, and lode upon him layd:
Full litle wanted, but he had him slaine,
And of the battell balefull end had made,
Had not his gentle squire beheld his paine,
And commen to his reskew, ere his bitter bane.

XXX

So greatest and most glorious thing on ground
May often need the helpe of weaker hand;
So feeble is mans state, and life unsound,
That in assuraunce it may never stand,
Till it dissolved be from earthly band.
Proofe be thou, Prince, the prowest man alyve,
And noblest borne of all in Britayne land;
Yet thee fierce Fortune did so nearely drive,
That had not Grace thee blest, thou shouldest not survive.

XXXI

The squyre arriving, fiercely in his armes
Snatcht first the one, and then the other jade,
His chiefest letts and authors of his harmes,
And them perforce withheld with threatned blade,
Least that his lord they should behinde invade;
The whiles the Prince, prickt with reprochful shame,
As one awakte out of long slombring shade,
Revivyng thought of glory and of fame,
United all his powres to purge him selfe from blame.

XXXII

Like as a fire, the which in hollow cave
Hath long bene underkept and down supprest,
With murmurous disdayne doth inly rave,
And grudge, in so streight prison to be prest,
At last breakes forth with furious unrest,
And strives to mount unto his native seat;
All that did earst it hinder and molest,
Yt now devoures with flames and scorching heat,
And carries into smoake with rage and horror great.

XXXIII

So mightely the Briton Prince him rouzd
Out of his holde, and broke his caytive bands;
And as a beare, whom angry curres have touzd,
Having off-shakt them, and escapt their hands,
Becomes more fell, and all that him withstands
Treads down and overthrowes. Now had the carle
Alighted from his tigre, and his hands
Discharged of his bow and deadly quar'le,
To seize upon his foe flatt lying on the marle.

XXXIV

Which now him turnd to disavantage deare,
For neither can he fly, nor other harme,
But trust unto his strength and manhood meare,
Sith now he is far from his monstrous swarme,
And of his weapons did him selfe disarme.
The knight, yet wrothfull for his late disgrace,
Fiercely advaunst his valorous right arme,
And him so sore smott with his yron mace,
That groveling to the ground he fell, and fild his place.

XXXV

Wel weened hee that field was then his owne,
And all his labor brought to happy end,
When suddein up the villeine overthrowne
Out of his swowne arose, fresh to contend,
And gan him selfe to second battaill bend,
As hurt he had not beene. Thereby there lay
An huge great stone, which stood upon one end,
And had not bene removed many a day;
Some land-marke seemd to bee, or signe of sundry way.

XXXVI

The same he snatcht, and with exceeding sway
Threw at his foe, who was right well aware
To shonne the engin of his meant decay;
It booted not to thinke that throw to beare,
But grownd he gave, and lightly lept areare:
Efte fierce retourning, as a faulcon fayre,
That once hath failed of her souse full neare,
Remounts againe into the open ayre,
And unto better fortune doth her selfe prepayre.

XXXVII

So brave retourning, with his brandisht blade,
He to the carle him selfe agayn addrest,
And strooke at him so sternely, that he made
An open passage through his riven brest,
That halfe the steele behind his backe did rest;
Which drawing backe, he looked ever more
When the hart blood should gush out of his chest,
Or his dead corse should fall upon the flore;
But his dead corse upon the flore fell nathemore.

XXXVIII

Ne drop of blood appeared shed to bee,
All were the wownd so wide and wonderous,
That through his carcas one might playnly see.
Halfe in amaze with horror hideous,
And halfe in rage to be deluded thus,
Again through both the sides he strooke him quight,
That made his spright to grone full piteous:
Yet nathemore forth fled his groning spright,
But freshly as at first, prepard himselfe to fight.

XXXIX

Thereat he smitten was with great affright,
And trembling terror did his hart apall,
Ne wist he what to thinke of that same sight,
Ne what to say, ne what to doe at all;
He doubted least it were some magicall
Illusion, that did beguile his sense,
Or wandring ghost, that wanted funerall,
Or aery spirite under false pretence,
Or hellish feend raysd up through divelish science.

XL

His wonder far exceeded reasons reach,
That he began to doubt his dazeled sight,
And oft of error did him selfe appeach:
Flesh without blood, a person without spright,
Wounds without hurt, a body without might,
That could doe harme, yet could not harmed bee,
That could not die, yet seemd a mortall wight,
That was most strong in most infirmitee;
Like did he never heare, like did he never see.

XLI

A while he stood in this astonishment,
Yet would he not for all his great dismay
Give over to effect his first intent,
And th' utmost meanes of victory assay,
Or th' utmost yssew of his owne decay.
His owne good sword Mordure, that never fayld
At need till now, he lightly threw away,
And his bright shield, that nought him now avayld,
And with his naked hands him forcibly assayld.

XLII

Twixt his two mighty armes him up he snatcht,
And crusht his carcas so against his brest,
That the disdainfull sowle he thence dispatcht,
And th' ydle breath all utterly exprest:
Tho, when he felt him dead, adowne he kest
The lumpish corse unto the sencelesse grownd;
Adowne he kest it with so puissant wrest,
That backe againe it did alofte rebownd,
And gave against his mother Earth a gronefull sownd.

XLIII

As when Joves harnesse-bearing bird from hye
Stoupes at a flying heron with proud disdayne,
The stone-dead quarrey falls so forciblye,
That yt rebownds against the lowly playne,
A second fall redoubling backe agayne.
Then thought the Prince all peril sure was past,
And that he victor onely did remayne;
No sooner thought, then that the carle as fast
Gan heap huge strokes on him, as ere he down was cast.

XLIV

Nigh his wits end then woxe th' amazed knight,
And thought his labor lost and travell vayne,
Against this lifelesse shadow so to fight:
Yet life he saw, and felt his mighty mayne,
That, whiles he marveild still, did still him payne:
Forthy he gan some other wayes advize,
How to take life from that dead-living swayne,
Whom still he marked freshly to arize
From th' earth, and from her womb new spirits to reprize.

XLV

He then remembred well, that had bene sayd,
How th' Earth his mother was, and first him bore;
Shee eke, so often as his life decayd,
Did life with usury to him restore,
And reysd him up much stronger then before,
So soone as he unto her wombe did fall;
Therefore to grownd he would him cast no more,
Ne him committ to grave terrestriall,
But beare him farre from hope of succour usuall.

XLVI

Tho up he caught him twixt his puissant hands,
And having scruzd out of his carrion corse
The lothfull life, now loosd from sinfull hands,
Upon his shoulders carried him perforse
Above three furlongs, taking his full course,
Untill he came unto a standing lake:
Him thereinto he threw without remorse,
Ne stird, till hope of life did him forsake:
So end of that carles dayes, and his owne paynes did make.

XLVII

Which when those wicked hags from far did spye,
Like two mad dogs they ran about the lands;
And th' one of them with dreadfull yelling crye,
Throwing away her broken chaines and bands,
And having quencht her burning fier brands,
Hedlong her selfe did cast into that lake;
But Impotence with her owne wilfull hands
One of Malegers cursed darts did take,
So ryv'd her trembling hart, and wicked end did make.

XLVIII

Thus now alone he conquerour remaines:
Tho, cumming to his squyre, that kept his steed,
Thought to have mounted, but his feeble vaines
Him faild thereto, and served not his need,
Through losse of blood, which from his wounds did bleed,
That he began to faint, and life decay:
But his good squyre, him helping up with speed,
With stedfast hand upon his horse did stay,
And led him to the castle by the beaten way.

XLIX

Where many groomes and squyres ready were
To take him from his steed full tenderly,
And eke the fayrest Alma mett him there
With balme and wine and costly spicery,
To comfort him in his infirmity:
Eftesoones shee causd him up to be convayd,
And of his armes despoyled easily,
In sumptuous bed shee made him to be layd,
And al the while his wounds were dressing, by him stayd.

CANTO XII

Guyon by palmers governaunce
Passing through perilles great,
Doth overthrow the Bowre of Blis,
And Acrasy defeat.

I

Now ginnes this goodly frame of Temperaunce
Fayrely to rise, and her adorned hed
To pricke of highest prayse forth to advaunce,
Formerly grounded and fast setteled
On firme foundation of true bountyhed:
And that brave knight, that for this vertue fightes,
Now comes to point of that same perilous sted,
Where Pleasure dwelles in sensuall delights,
Mongst thousand dangers, and ten thousand magick mights.

II

Two dayes now in that sea he sayled has,
Ne ever land beheld, ne living wight,
Ne ought save perill, still as he did pas:
Tho, when appeared the third morrow bright,
Upon the waves to spred her trembling light,
An hideous roring far away they heard,
That all their sences filled with affright,
And streight they saw the raging surges reard
Up to the skyes, that them of drowning made affeard.

III

Said then the boteman, 'Palmer, stere aright,
And keepe an even course; for yonder way
We needes must pas (God doe us well acquight!)
That is the Gulfe of Greedinesse, they say,
That deepe engorgeth all this worldes pray;
Which having swallowd up excessively,
He soone in vomit up againe doth lay,
And belcheth forth his superfluity,
That all the seas for feare doe seeme away to fly.

IV

'On thother syde an hideous rock is pight
Of mightie magnes stone, whose craggie clift
Depending from on high, dreadfull to sight,
Over the waves his rugged armes doth lift,
And threatneth downe to throw his ragged rift
On whoso cometh nigh; yet nigh it drawes
All passengers, that none from it can shift:
For whiles they fly that gulfes devouring jawes,
They on this rock are rent, and sunck in helples wawes.'

V

Forward they passe, and strongly he them rowes,
Untill they nigh unto that gulfe arryve,
Where streame more violent and greedy growes:
Then he with all his puisaunce doth stryve
To strike his oares, and mightily doth dryve
The hollow vessell through the threatfull wave,
Which, gaping wide, to swallow them alyve
In th' huge abysse of his engulfing grave,
Doth rore at them in vaine, and with great terrour rave.

VI

They, passing by, that grisely mouth did see,
Sucking the seas into his entralles deepe,
That seemd more horrible then hell to bee,
Or that darke dreadfull hole of Tartare steepe,
Through which the damned ghosts doen often creep
Backe to the world, bad livers to torment:
But nought that falles into this direfull deepe,
Ne that approcheth nigh the wyde descent,
May backe retourne, but is condemned to be drent.

VII

On thother side they saw that perilous rocke,
Threatning it selfe on them to ruinate,
On whose sharp cliftes the ribs of vessels broke,
And shivered ships, which had beene wrecked late,
Yet stuck, with carcases exanimate
Of such, as having all their substance spent
In wanton joyes and lustes intemperate,
Did afterwardes make shipwrack violent,
Both of their life, and fame for ever fowly blent.

VIII

Forthy this hight the Rock of vile Reproch,
A daungerous and detestable place,
To which nor fish nor fowle did once approch,
But yelling meawes, with seagulles hoars and bace,
And cormoyraunts, with birds of ravenous race,
Which still sat wayting on that wastfull clift
For spoile of wretches, whose unhappy cace,
After lost credit and consumed thrift,
At last them driven hath to this despairefull drift.

IX

The palmer, seeing them in safetie past,
Thus saide: 'Behold th' ensamples in our sightes
Of lustfull luxurie and thriftlesse wast:
What now is left of miserable wightes,
Which spent their looser daies in leud delightes,
But shame and sad reproch, here to be red
By these rent reliques, speaking their ill plightes?
Let all that live, hereby be counselled
To shunne Rock of Reproch, and it as death to dread.'

X

So forth they rowed, and that ferryman
With his stiffe oares did brush the sea so strong,
That the hoare waters from his frigot ran,
And the light bubles daunced all along,
Whiles the salt brine out of the billowes sprong.
At last far off they many islandes spy,
On every side floting the floodes emong:
Then said the knight: 'Lo! I the land descry;
Therefore, old syre, thy course doe thereunto apply.'

XI

'That may not bee,' said then the ferryman,
'Least wee unweeting hap to be fordonne:
For those same islands, seeming now and than,
Are not firme land, nor any certein wonne,
But stragling plots, which to and fro doe ronne
In the wide waters: therefore are they hight
The Wandring Islands. Therefore doe them shonne;
For they have ofte drawne many a wandring wight
Into most deadly daunger and distressed plight.

XII

'Yet well they seeme to him, that farre doth vew,
Both faire and fruitfull, and the grownd dispred
With grassy greene of delectable hew,
And the tall trees with leaves appareled,
Are deckt with blossoms dyde in white and red,
That mote the passengers thereto allure;
But whosoever once hath fastened
His foot thereon, may never it recure,
But wandreth ever more uncertein and unsure.

XIII

'As th' isle of Delos whylome, men report,
Amid th' Aegaean sea long time did stray,
Ne made for shipping any certeine port,
Till that Latona traveiling that way,
Flying from Junoes wrath and hard assay,
Of her fayre twins was there delivered,
Which afterwards did rule the night and day;
Thenceforth it firmely was established,
And for Apolloes honor highly herried.'

XIV

They to him hearken, as beseemeth meete,
And passe on forward: so their way does?ly,
That one of those same islands, which doe fleet
In the wide sea, they needes must passen by,
Which seemd so sweet and pleasaunt to the eye,
That it would tempt a man to touchen there:
Upon the banck they sitting did espy
A daintie damsell, dressing of her heare,
By whom a little skippet floting did appeare.

XV

She, them espying, loud to them can call,
Bidding them nigher draw unto the shore;
For she had cause to busie them withall;
And therewith lowdly laught: but nathemore
Would they once turne, but kept on as afore:
Which when she saw, she left her lockes undight,
And running to her boat withouten ore,
From the departing land it launched light,
And after them did drive with all her power and might.

XVI

Whom overtaking, she in merry sort
Them gan to bord, and purpose diversly,
Now faining dalliaunce and wanton sport,
Now throwing forth lewd wordes immodestly;
Till that the palmer gan full bitterly
Her to rebuke, for being loose and light:
Which not abiding, but more scornfully
Scoffing at him that did her justly wite,
She turnd her bote about, and from them rowed quite.

XVII

That was the wanton Phaedria, which late
Did ferry him over the Idle Lake:
Whom nought regarding, they kept on their gate,
And all her vaine allurements did forsake;
When them the wary boteman thus bespake:
'Here now behoveth us well to avyse,
And of our safety good heede to take;
For here before a perlous passage lyes,
Where many mermayds haunt, making false melodies.

XVIII

'But by the way there is a great quicksand,
And a whirlepoole of hidden jeopardy:
Therefore, sir palmer, keepe an even hand;
For twixt them both the narrow way doth ly.'
Scarse had he saide, when hard at hand they spy
That quicksand nigh with water covered;
But by the checked wave they did descry
It plaine, and by the sea discoloured:
It called was the Quickesand of Unthrifty-hed.

XIX

They, passing by, a goodly ship did see,
Laden from far with precious merchandize,
And bravely furnished as ship might bee,
Which through great disaventure, or mesprize,
Her selfe had ronne into that hazardize;
Whose mariners and merchants, with much toyle,
Labour'd in vaine to have recur'd their prize,
And the rich wares to save from pitteous spoyle;
But neither toyle nor traveill might her backe recoyle.

XX

On th' other side they see that perilous poole,
That called was the Whirlepoole of Decay,
In which full many had with haplesse doole
Beene suncke, of whom no memorie did stay:
Whose circled waters rapt with whirling sway,
Like to a restlesse wheele, still ronning round,
Did covet, as they passed by that way,
To draw their bote within the utmost bound
Of his wide labyrinth, and then to have them dround.

XXI

But th' heedfull boteman strongly forth did stretch
His brawnie armes, and all his bodie straine,
That th' utmost sandy breach they shortly fetch,
Whiles the dredd daunger does behind remaine.
Suddeine they see from midst of all the maine
The surging waters like a mountaine rise,
And the great sea, puft up with proud disdaine,
To swell above the measure of his guise,
As threatning to devoure all that his powre despise.

XXII

The waves come rolling, and the billowes rore
Outragiously, as they enraged were,
Or wrathfull Neptune did them drive before
His whirling charet, for exceeding feare;
For not one puffe of winde there did appeare;
That all the three thereat woxe much afrayd,
Unweeting what such horrour straunge did reare.
Eftsoones they saw an hideous hoast arrayd
Of huge sea monsters, such as living sence dismayd.

XXIII

Most ugly shapes and horrible aspects,
Such as Dame Nature selfe mote feare to see,
Or shame that ever should so fowle defects
From her most cunning hand escaped bee;
All dreadfull pourtraicts of deformitee:
Spring-headed hydres, and sea-shouldring whales,
Great whirlpooles, which all fishes make to flee,
Bright scolopendraes, arm'd with silver scales,
Mighty monoceros with immeasured tayles,

XXIV

The dreadfull fish, that hath deserv'd the name
Of Death, and like him lookes in dreadfull hew,
The griesly wasserman, that makes his game
The flying ships with swiftnes to pursew,
The horrible sea-satyre, that doth shew
His fearefull face in time of greatest storme,
Huge ziffius, whom mariners eschew
No lesse then rockes, (as travellers informe,)
And greedy rosmarines with visages deforme.

XXV

All these, and thousand thousands many more,
And more deformed monsters thousand fold,
With dreadfull noise and hollow rombling rore,
Came rushing, in the fomy waves enrold,
Which seem'd to fly for feare them to behold:
Ne wonder, if these did the knight appall;
For all, that here on earth we dreadfull hold,
Be but as bugs to fearen babes withall,
Compared to the creatures in the seas entrall.

XXVI

'Feare nought,' then saide the palmer well aviz'd;
'For these same monsters are not these in deed,
But are into these fearefull shapes disguiz'd
By that same wicked witch, to worke us dreed,
And draw from on this journey to proceed.'
Tho, lifting up his vertuous staffe on hye,
He smote the sea, which calmed was with speed,
And all that dreadfull armie fast gan flye
Into great Tethys bosome, where they hidden lye.

XXVII

Quit from that danger, forth their course they kept,
And as they went they heard a ruefull cry
Of one that wayld and pittifully wept,
That through the sea the resounding plaints did fly:
At last they in an island did espy
A seemely maiden, sitting by the shore,
That with great sorrow and sad agony
Seemed some great misfortune to deplore,
And lowd to them for succour called evermore.

XXVIII

Which Guyon hearing, streight his palmer bad
To stere the bote towards that dolefull mayd,
That he might know and ease her sorrow sad:
Who, him avizing better, to him sayd:
'Faire sir, be not displeasd if disobayd:
For ill it were to hearken to her cry;
For she is inly nothing ill apayd,
But onely womanish fine forgery,
Your stubborne hart t' affect with fraile infirmity.

XXIX

'To which when she your courage hath inclind
Through foolish pitty, then her guilefull bayt
She will embosome deeper in your mind,
And for your ruine at the last awayt.'
The knight was ruled, and the boteman strayt
Held on his course with stayed stedfastnesse,
Ne ever shroncke, ne ever sought to bayt
His tyred armes for toylesome wearinesse,
But with his oares did sweepe the watry wildernesse.

XXX

And now they nigh approched to the sted,
Where as those mermayds dwelt: it was a still
And calmy bay, on th' one side sheltered
With the brode shadow of an hoarie hill,
On th' other side an high rocke toured still,
That twixt them both a pleasaunt port they made,
And did like an halfe theatre fulfill:
There those five sisters had continuall trade,
And usd to bath themselves in that deceiptfull shade.

XXXI

They were faire ladies, till they fondly striv'd
With th' Heliconian maides for maystery;
Of whom they over-comen, were depriv'd
Of their proud beautie, and th' one moyity
Transformd to fish, for their bold surquedry;
But th' upper halfe their hew retayned still,
And their sweet skill in wonted melody;
Which ever after they abusd to ill,
T' allure weake traveillers, whom gotten they did kill.

XXXII

So now to Guyon, as he passed by,
Their pleasaunt tunes they sweetly thus applyde:
'O thou fayre sonne of gentle Faery,
That art in mightie armes most magnifyde
Above all knights that ever batteill tryde,
O turne thy rudder hetherward a while:
Here may thy storme-bett vessell safely ryde;
This is the port of rest from troublous toyle,
The worldes sweet in from paine and wearisome turmoyle.'

XXXIII

With that the rolling sea, resounding soft,
In his big base them fitly answered,
And on the rocke the waves breaking aloft,
A solemne meane unto them measured,
The whiles sweet Zephyrus lowd whisteled
His treble, a straunge kinde of harmony;
Which Guyons senses softly tickeled,
That he the boteman bad row easily,
And let him heare some part of their rare melody.

XXXIV

But him the palmer from that vanity
With temperate advice discounselled,
That they it past, and shortly gan descry
The land, to which their course they leveled;
When suddeinly a grosse fog over spred
With his dull vapour all that desert has,
And heavens chearefull face enveloped,
That all things one, and one as nothing was,
And this great universe seemd one confused mas.

XXXV

Thereat they greatly were dismayd, ne wist
How to direct theyr way in darkenes wide,
But feard to wander in that wastefull mist,
For tombling into mischiefe unespide:
Worse is the daunger hidden then descride.
Suddeinly an innumerable flight
Of harmefull fowles, about them fluttering, cride,
And with their wicked wings them ofte did smight,
And sore annoyed, groping in that griesly night.

XXXVI

Even all the nation of unfortunate
And fatall birds about them flocked were,
Such as by nature men abhorre and hate;
The ill-faste owle, deaths dreadfull messengere,
The hoars night-raven, trump of dolefull drere,
The lether-winged batt, dayes enimy,
The ruefull strich, still waiting on the bere,
The whistler shrill, that who so heares doth dy,
The hellish harpyes, prophets of sad destiny.

XXXVII

All those, and all that els does horror breed,
About them flew, and fild their sayles with feare:
Yet stayd they not, but forward did proceed,
Whiles th' one did row, and th' other stifly steare;
Till that at last the weather gan to cleare,
And the faire land it selfe did playnly sheow.
Said then the palmer: 'Lo where does appeare
The sacred soile where all our perills grow;
Therfore, sir knight, your ready arms about you throw.'

XXXVIII

He hearkned, and his armes about him tooke,
The whiles the nimble bote so well her sped,
That with her crooked keele the land she strooke.
Then forth the noble Guyon sallied,
And his sage palmer, that him governed;
But th' other by his bote behind did stay.
They marched fayrly forth, of nought ydred,
Both firmely armd for every hard assay,
With constancy and care, gainst daunger and dismay.

XXXIX

Ere long they heard an hideous bellowing
Of many beasts, that roard outrageously,
As if that hungers poynt or Venus sting
Had them enraged with fell surquedry;
Yet nought they feard, but past on hardily,
Untill they came in vew of those wilde beasts:
Who all attonce, gaping full greedily,
And rearing fercely their upstarting crests,
Ran towards, to devoure those unexpected guests.

XL

But soone as they approcht with deadly threat,
The palmer over them his staffe upheld,
His mighty staffe, that could all charmes defeat:
Eftesoones their stubborne corages were queld,
And high advaunced crests downe meekely feld;
Instead of fraying, they them selves did feare,
And trembled, as them passing they beheld:
Such wondrous powre did in that staffe appeare,
All monsters to subdew to him that did it beare.

XLI

Of that same wood it fram'd was cunningly,
Of which Caduceus whilome was made,
Caduceus, the rod of Mercury,
With which he wonts the Stygian realmes invade,
Through ghastly horror and eternall shade;
Th' infernall feends with it he can asswage,
And Orcus tame, whome nothing can persuade,
And rule the Furyes, when they most doe rage:
Such vertue in his staffe had eke this palmer sage.

XLII

Thence passing forth, they shortly doe arryve
Whereas the Bowre of Blisse was situate;
A place pickt out by choyce of best alyve,
That Natures worke by art can imitate:
In which what ever in this worldly state
Is sweete, and pleasing unto living sense,
Or that may dayntest fantasy aggrate,
Was poured forth with plentifull dispence,
And made there to abound with lavish affluence.

XLIII

Goodly it was enclosed rownd about,
As well their entred guestes to keep within,
As those unruly beasts to hold without;
Yet was the fence thereof but weake and thin;
Nought feard theyr force, that fortilage to win,
But wisedomes powre, and temperaunces might,
By which the mightiest things efforced bin:
And eke the gate was wrought of substaunce light,
Rather for pleasure then for battery or fight.

XIIV

Yt framed was of precious yvory,
That seemd a worke of admirable witt;
And therein all the famous history
Of Jason and Medaea was ywritt;
Her mighty charmes, her furious loving fitt,
His goodly conquest of the golden fleece,
His falsed fayth, and love too lightly flitt,
The wondred Argo, which in venturous peece
First through the Euxine seas bore all the flowr of Greece.

XLV

Ye might have seene the frothy billowes fry
Under the ship, as thorough them she went,
That seemd the waves were into yvory,
Or yvory into the waves were sent;
And otherwhere the snowy substaunce sprent
With vermell, like the boyes blood therein shed,
A piteous spectacle did represent;
And otherwhiles with gold besprinkeled,
Yt seemd thenchaunted flame, which did Creusa wed.

XLVI

All this and more might in that goodly gate
Be red; that ever open stood to all
Which thether came: but in the porch there sate
A comely personage of stature tall,
And semblaunce pleasing, more then naturall,
That traveilers to him seemd to entize;
His looser garment to the ground did fall,
And flew about his heeles in wanton wize,
Not fitt for speedy pace or manly exercize.

XLVII

They in that place him Genius did call:
Not that celestiall powre, to whom the care
Of life, and generation of all
That lives, perteines in charge particulare,
Who wondrous things concerning our welfare,
And straunge phantomes, doth lett us ofte forsee,
And ofte of secret ill bids us beware:
That is our selfe, whom though we doe not see,
Yet each doth in him selfe it well perceive to bee.

XLVIII

Therefore a god him sage antiquity
Did wisely make, and good Agdistes call:
But this same was to that quite contrary,
The foe of life, that good envyes to all,
That secretly doth us procure to fall,
Through guilefull semblants, which he makes us see.
He of this gardin had the governall,
And Pleasures porter was devizd to bee,
Holding a staffe in hand for more formalitee.

XLIX

With diverse flowres he daintily was deckt,
And strowed rownd about, and by his side
A mighty mazer bowle of wine was sett,
As if it had to him bene sacrifide;
Wherewith all new-come guests he gratyfide:
So did he eke Sir Guyon passing by:
But he his ydle curtesie defide,
And overthrew his bowle disdainfully,
And broke his staffe, with which he charmed semblants sly.

L

Thus being entred, they behold arownd
A large and spacious plaine, on every side
Strowed with pleasauns, whose fayre grassy grownd
Mantled with greene, and goodly beautifide
With all the ornaments of Floraes pride,
Wherewith her mother Art, as halfe in scorne
Of niggard Nature, like a pompous bride
Did decke her, and too lavishly adorne,
When forth from virgin bowre she comes in th' early morne.

LI

Thereto the heavens alwayes joviall,
Lookte on them lovely, still in stedfast state,
Ne suffred storme nor frost on them to fall,
Their tender buds or leaves to violate,
Nor scorching heat, nor cold intemperate,
T' afflict the creatures which therein did dwell,
But the milde ayre with season moderate
Gently attempred, and disposd so well,
That still it breathed forth sweet spirit and holesom smell.

LII

More sweet and holesome then the pleasaunt hill
Of Rhodope, on which the nimphe that bore
A gyaunt babe her selfe for griefe did kill;
Or the Thessalian Tempe, where of yore
Fayre Daphne Phoebus hart with love did gore;
Or Ida, where the gods lov'd to repayre,
When ever they their heavenly bowres forlore;
Or sweet Parnasse, the haunt of Muses fayre;
Or Eden selfe, if ought with Eden mote compayre.

LIII

Much wondred Guyon at the fayre aspect
Of that sweet place, yet suffred no delight
To sincke into his sence, nor mind affect,
But passed forth, and lookt still forward right,
Brydling his will, and maystering his might:
Till that he came unto another gate,
No gate, but like one, being goodly dight
With bowes and braunches, which did broad dilate
Their clasping armes, in wanton wreathings intricate:

LIV

So fashioned a porch with rare device,
Archt over head with an embracing vine,
Whose bounches, hanging downe, seemd to entice
All passers by to taste their lushious wine,
And did them selves into their hands incline,
As freely offering to be gathered:
Some deepe empurpled as the hyacine,
Some as the rubine laughing sweetely red,
Some like faire emeraudes, not yet well ripened.

LV

And them amongst, some were of burnisht gold,
So made by art, to beautify the rest,
Which did themselves emongst the leaves enfold,
As lurking from the vew of covetous guest,
That the weake boughes, with so rich load opprest,
Did bow adowne, as overburdened.
Under that porch a comely dame did rest,
Clad in fayre weedes, but fowle disordered,
And garments loose, that seemd unmeet for womanhed.

LVI

In her left hand a cup of gold she held,
And with her right the riper fruit did reach,
Whose sappy liquor, that with fulnesse sweld,
Into her cup she scruzd, with daintie breach
Of her fine fingers, without fowle empeach,
That so faire winepresse made the wine more sweet:
Thereof she usd to give to drinke to each,
Whom passing by she happened to meet:
It was her guise, all straungers goodly so to greet.

LVII

So she to Guyon offred it to tast,
Who, taking it out of her tender hond,
The cup to ground did violently cast,
That all in peeces it was broken fond,
And with the liquor stained all the lond:
Whereat Excesse exceedingly was wroth,
Yet no'te the same amend, ne yet withstond,
But suffered him to passe, all were she loth;
Who, nought regarding her displeasure, forward goth.

LVIII

There the most daintie paradise on ground
It selfe doth offer to his sober eye,
In which all pleasures plenteously abownd,
And none does others happinesse envye:
The painted flowres, the trees upshooting hye,
The dales for shade, the hilles for breathing space,
The trembling groves, the christall running by;
And that which all faire workes doth most aggrace,
The art, which all that wrought, appeared in no place.

LIX

One would have thought, (so cunningly the rude
And scorned partes were mingled with the fine,)
That Nature had for wantonesse ensude
Art, and that Art at Nature did repine;
So striving each th' other to undermine,
Each did the others worke more beautify;
So diff'ring both in willes agreed in fine:
So all agreed through sweete diversity,
This gardin to adorne with all variety.

LX

And in the midst of all a fountaine stood,
Of richest substance that on earth might bee,
So pure and shiny that the silver flood
Through every channell running one might see:
Most goodly it with curious ymageree
Was overwrought, and shapes of naked boyes,
Of which some seemd with lively jollitee
To fly about playing their wanton toyes,
Whylest others did them selves embay in liquid joyes.

LXI

And over all, of purest gold was spred
A trayle of yvie in his native hew:
For the rich metall was so coloured,
That wight, who did not well avis'd it vew,
Would surely deeme it to bee yvie trew:
Low his lascivious armes adown did creepe,
That themselves dipping in the silver dew,
Their fleecy flowres they tenderly did steepe,
Which drops of christall seemd for wantones to weep.

LXII

Infinit streames continually did well
Out of this fountaine, sweet and faire to see,
The which into an ample laver fell,
And shortly grew to so great quantitie,
That like a litle lake it seemd to bee;
Whose depth exceeded not three cubits hight,
That through the waves one might the bottom see,
All pav'd beneath with jaspar shining bright,
That seemd the fountaine in that sea did sayle upright.

LXIII

And all the margent round about was sett
With shady laurell trees, thence to defend
The sunny beames, which on the billowes bett,
And those which therein bathed mote offend.
As Guyon hapned by the same to wend,
Two naked damzelles he therein espyde,
Which, therein bathing, seemed to contend
And wrestle wantonly, ne car'd to hyde
Their dainty partes from vew of any which them eyd.

LXIV

Sometimes the one would lift the other quight
Above the waters, and then downe againe
Her plong, as over maystered by might,
Where both awhile would covered remaine,
And each the other from to rise restraine;
The whiles their snowy limbes, as through a vele,
So through the christall waves appeared plaine:
Then suddeinly both would themselves unhele,
And th' amarous sweet spoiles to greedy eyes revele.

LXV

As that faire starre, the messenger of morne,
His deawy face out of the sea doth reare,
Or as the Cyprian goddesse, newly borne
Of th' oceans fruitfull froth, did first appeare,
Such seemed they, and so their yellow heare
Christalline humor dropped downe apace.
Whom such when Guyon saw, he drew him neare,
And somewhat gan relent his earnest pace;
His stubborne brest gan secret pleasaunce to embrace.

LXVI

The wanton maidens, him espying, stood
Gazing a while at his unwonted guise;
Then th' one her selfe low ducked in the flood,
Abasht that her a straunger did avise:
But thother rather higher did arise,
And her two lilly paps aloft displayd,
And all, that might his melting hart entyse
To her delights, she unto him bewrayd:
The rest, hidd underneath, him more desirous made.

LXVII

With that the other likewise up arose,
And her faire lockes, which formerly were bownd
Up in one knott, she low adowne did lose:
Which, flowing long and thick, her cloth'd arownd,
And th' yvorie in golden mantle gownd:
So that faire spectacle from him was reft,
Yet that which reft it no lesse faire was fownd:
So hidd in lockes and waves from lookers theft,
Nought but her lovely face she for his looking left.

LXVIII

Withall she laughed, and she blusht withall,
That blushing to her laughter gave more grace,
And laughter to her blushing, as did fall.
Now when they spyde the knight to slacke his pace,
Them to behold, and in his sparkling face
The secrete signes of kindled lust appeare,
Their wanton meriments they did encreace,
And to him beckned to approch more neare,
And shewd him many sights, that corage cold could reare.

LXIX

On which when gazing him the palmer saw,
He much rebukt those wandring eyes of his,
And, counseld well, him forward thence did draw.
Now are they come nigh to the Bowre of Blis,
Of her fond favorites so nam'd amis:
When thus the palmer: 'Now, sir, well avise;
For here the end of all our traveill is:
Here wonnes Acrasia, whom we must surprise,
Els she will slip away, and all our drift despise.'

LXX

Eftsoones they heard a most melodious sound,
Of all that mote delight a daintie eare,
Such as attonce might not on living ground,
Save in this paradise, be heard elswhere:
Right hard it was for wight which did it heare,
To read what manner musicke that mote bee:
For all that pleasing is to living eare
Was there consorted in one harmonee;
Birdes, voices, instruments, windes, waters, all agree.

LXXI

The joyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull shade,
Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet:
Th' angelicall soft trembling voyces made
To th' instruments divine respondence meet:
The silver sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmure of the waters fall:
The waters fall with difference discreet,
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call:
The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.

LXXII

There, whence that musick seemed heard to bee,
Was the faire witch, her selfe now solacing
With a new lover, whom, through sorceree
And witchcraft, she from farre did thether bring:
There she had him now laid a slombering,
In secret shade after long wanton joyes:
Whilst round about them pleasauntly did sing
Many faire ladies and lascivious boyes,
That ever mixt their song with light licentious toyes.

LXXIII

And all that while, right over him she hong,
With her false eyes fast fixed in his sight,
As seeking medicine whence she was stong,
Or greedily depasturing delight:
And oft inclining downe, with kisses light,
For feare of waking him, his lips bedewd,
And through his humid eyes did sucke his spright,
Quite molten into lust and pleasure lewd;
Wherewith she sighed soft, as if his case she rewd.

LXXIV

The whiles some one did chaunt this lovely lay: --
Ah! see, who so fayre thing doest faine to see,
In springing flowre the image of thy day;
Ah! see the virgin rose, how sweetly shee
Doth first peepe foorth with bashfull modestee,
That fairer seemes, the lesse ye see her may;
Lo! see soone after, how more bold and free
Her bared bosome she doth broad display;
Lo! see soone after, how she fades and falls away.

LXXV

So passeth, in the passing of a day,
Of mortall life the leafe, the bud, the flowre,
Ne more doth florish after first decay,
That earst was sought to deck both bed and bowre
Of many a lady, and many a paramowre:
Gather therefore the rose, whilest yet is prime,
For soone comes age, that will her pride deflowre:
Gather the rose of love, whilest yet is time,
Whilest loving thou mayst loved be with equall crime.

LXXVI

He ceast, and then gan all the quire of birdes
Their diverse notes t' attune unto his lay,
As in approvaunce of his pleasing wordes.
The constant payre heard all that he did say,
Yet swarved not, but kept their forward way,
Through many covert groves and thickets close,
In which they creeping did at last display
That wanton lady, with her lover lose,
Whose sleepie head she in her lap did soft dispose.

LXXVII

Upon a bed of roses she was layd,
As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin,
And was arayd, or rather disarayd,
All in a vele of silke and silver thin,
That hid no whit her alablaster skin,
But rather shewd more white, if more might bee:
More subtile web Arachne cannot spin,
Nor the fine nets, which oft we woven see
Of scorched deaw, do not in th' ayre more lightly flee.

LXXVIII

Her snowy brest was bare to ready spoyle
Of hungry eies, which n'ote therewith be fild;
And yet through languour of her late sweet toyle,
Few drops, more cleare then nectar, forth distild,
That like pure orient perles adowne it trild;
And her faire eyes, sweet smyling in delight,
Moystened their fierie beames, with which she thrild
Fraile harts, yet quenched not, like starry light,
Which, sparckling on the silent waves, does seeme more bright.

LXXIX

The young man, sleeping by her, seemd to be
Some goodly swayne of honorable place,
That certes it great pitty was to see
Him his nobility so fowle deface:
A sweet regard and amiable grace,
Mixed with manly sternesse, did appeare,
Yet sleeping, in his well proportiond face,
And on his tender lips the downy heare
Did now but freshly spring, and silken blossoms beare.

LXXX

His warlike armes, the ydle instruments
Of sleeping praise, were hong upon a tree,
And his brave shield, full of old moniments,
Was fowly ra'st, that none the signes might see;
Ne for them, ne for honour, cared hee,
Ne ought that did to his advauncement tend,
But in lewd loves, and wastfull luxuree,
His dayes, his goods, his bodie he did spend:
O horrible enchantment, that him so did blend!

LXXXI

The noble Elfe and carefull palmer drew
So nigh them, minding nought but lustfull game,
That suddein forth they on them rusht, and threw
A subtile net, which only for that same
The skilfull palmer formally did frame:
So held them under fast, the whiles the rest
Fled all away for feare of fowler shame.
The faire enchauntresse, so unwares opprest,
Tryde all her arts and all her sleights, thence out to wrest.

LXXXII

And eke her lover strove: but all in vaine;
For that same net so cunningly was wound,
That neither guile nor force might it distraine.
They tooke them both, and both them strongly bound
In captive bandes, which there they readie found:
But her in chaines of adamant he tyde;
For nothing else might keepe her safe and sound;
But Verdant (so he hight) he soone untyde,
And counsell sage in steed thereof to him applyde.

LXXXIII

But all those pleasaunt bowres and pallace brave
Guyon broke downe, with rigour pittilesse;
Ne ought their goodly workmanship might save
Them from the tempest of his wrathfulnesse,
But that their blisse he turn'd to balefulnesse:
Their groves he feld, their gardins did deface,
Their arbers spoyle, their cabinets suppresse,
Their banket houses burne, their buildings race,
And, of the fayrest late, now made the fowlest place.

LXXXIV

Then led they her away, and eke that knight
They with them led, both sorrowfull and sad:
The way they came, the same retourn'd they right,
Till they arrived where they lately had
Charm'd those wild-beasts, that rag'd with furie mad:
Which, now awaking, fierce at them gan fly,
As in their mistresse reskew, whom they lad;
But them the palmer soone did pacify.
Then Guyon askt, what meant those beastes which there did ly.

LXXXV

Sayd he: 'These seeming beasts are men indeed,
Whom this enchauntresse hath transformed thus,
Whylome her lovers, which her lustes did feed,
Now turned into figures hideous,
According to their mindes like monstruous.'
'Sad end,' quoth he, 'of life intemperate,
And mournefull meed of joyes delicious!
But, palmer, if it mote thee so aggrate,
Let them returned be unto their former state.'

LXXXVI

Streight way he with his vertuous staffe them strooke,
And streight of beastes they comely men became;
Yet being men they did unmanly looke,
And stared ghastly, some for inward shame,
And some for wrath, to see their captive dame:
But one above the rest in speciall,
That had an hog beene late, hight Grylle by name.
Repyned greatly, and did him miscall,
That had from hoggish forme him brought to naturall.

LXXXVII

Saide Guyon: 'See the mind of beastly man,
That hath so soone forgot the excellence
Of his creation, when he life began,
That now he chooseth, with vile difference,
To be a beast, and lacke intelligence.'
To whom the palmer thus: 'The donghill kinde
Delightes in filth and fowle incontinence:
Let Gryll be Gryll, and have his hoggish minde;
But let us hence depart, whilest wether serves and winde.'






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