Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 4, CANTOS 10-12, by EDMUND SPENSER



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 4, CANTOS 10-12, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Scudamour doth his conquest tell
Last Line: Which to another place I leave to be perfected.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin


CANTO X

Scudamour doth his conquest tell
Of vertuous A moret:
Great Venus temple is describ'd,
And lovers life forth set.

I

'TRUE he it said, what ever man it sayd,
That love with gall and hony doth abound,
But if the one be with the other wayd,
For every dram of hony therein found,
A pound of gall doth over it redound.
That I too true by triall have approved:
For since the day that first with deadly wound
My heart was launcht, and learned to have loved,
I never joyed howre, but still with care was moved.

II

'And yet such grace is given them from above,
That all the cares and evill which they meet
May nought at all their setled mindes remove,
But seeme, gainst common sence, to them most sweet;
As bosting in their martyrdome unmeet.
So all that ever yet I have endured
I count as naught, and tread downe under feet,
Since of my love at length I rest assured,
That to disloyalty she will not be allured.

III

'Long were to tell the travell and long toile,
Through which this Shield of Love I late have wonne,
And purchased this peerelesse beauties spoile,
That harder may be ended, then begonne:
But since ye so desire, your will be donne.
Then hearke, ye gentle knights and ladies free,
My hard mishaps, that ye may learne to shonne;
For though sweet love to conquer glorious bee,
Yet is the paine thereof much greater then the fee.

IV

'What time the fame of this renowmed prise
Flew first abroad, and all mens eares possest,
I, having armes then taken, gan avise
To winne me honour by some noble gest,
And purchase me some place amongst the best.
I boldly thought (so young mens thoughts are bold)
That this same brave emprize for me did rest,
And that both shield and she whom I behold
Might be my lucky lot; sith all by lot we hold.

V

'So on that hard adventure forth I went,
And to the place of perill shortly came.
That was a temple faire and auncient,
Which of great mother Venus bare the name,
And farre renowmed through exceeding fame;
Much more then that which was in Paphos built,
Or that in Cyprus, both long since this same,
Though all the pillours of the one were guilt,
And all the others pavement were with yvory spilt.

VI

'And it was seated in an island strong,
Abounding all with delices most rare,
And wall'd by nature gainst invaders wrong,
That none mote have accesse, nor inward fare,
But by one way, that passage did prepare.
It was a bridge ybuilt in goodly wize,
With curious corbes and pendants graven faire,
And, arched all with porches, did arize
On stately pillours, fram'd after the Doricke guize.

VII

'And for defence thereof, on th' other end
There reared was a castle faire and strong,
That warded all which in or out did wend,
And flancked both the bridges sides along,
Gainst all that would it faine to force or wrong.
And therein wonned twenty valiant knights;
All twenty tride in warres experience long;
Whose office was, against all manner wights
By all meanes to maintaine that castels ancient rights.

VIII

'Before that castle was an open plaine,
And in the midst thereof a piller placed;
On which this shield, of many sought in vaine,
The Shield of Love, whose guerdon me hath graced,
Was hangd on high with golden ribbands laced;
And in the marble stone was written this,
With golden letters goodly well enchaced:
Blessed the man that well can use his blis:
Whose ever be the shield, faire Amoret be his.

IX

'Which when I red, my heart did inly earne,
And pant with hope of that adventures hap:
Ne stayed further newes thereof to learne,
But with my speare upon the shield did rap,
That all the castle ringed with the clap.
Streight forth issewd a knight all arm'd to proofe,
And bravely mounted to his most mishap:
Who, staying nought to question from aloofe,
Ran fierce at me, that fire glaunst from his horses hoofe.

X

'Whom boldly I encountred as I could,
And by good fortune shortly him unseated.
Eftsoones out sprung two more of equall mould;
But I them both with equall hap defeated:
So all the twenty I likewise entreated,
And left them groning there upon the plaine.
Then, preacing to the pillour, I repeated
The read thereof for guerdon of my paine,
And taking downe the shield, with me did it retaine.

XI

'So forth without impediment I past,
Till to the bridges utter gate I came:
The which I found sure lockt and chained fast.
I knockt, but no man aunswred me by name;
I cald, but no man answerd to my clame.
Yet I persever'd still to knocke and call,
Till at the last I spide within the same
Where one stood peeping through a crevis small,
To whom I cald aloud, halfe angry therewithall.

XII

'That was to weet the porter of the place,
Unto whose trust the charge thereof was lent:
His name was Doubt, that had a double face,
Th' one forward looking, th' other backeward bent,
Therein resembling Janus auncient,
Which hath in charge the ingate of the yeare:
And evermore his eyes about him went,
As if some proved perill he did feare,
Or did misdoubt some ill, whose cause did not appeare.

XIII

'On th' one side he, on th' other sate Delay,
Behinde the gate, that none her might espy;
Whose manner was, all passengers to stay
And entertaine with her occasions sly;
Through which some lost great hope unheedily,
Which never they recover might againe;
And others, quite excluded forth, did ly
Long languishing there in unpittied paine,
And seeking often entraunce afterwards in vaine.

XIV

'Me when as he had privily espide
Bearing the shield which I had conquerd late,
He kend it streight, and to me opened wide.
So in I past, and streight he closd the gate.
But being in, Delay in close awaite
Caught hold on me, and thought my steps to stay,
Feigning full many a fond excuse to prate,
And time to steale, the threasure of mans day,
Whose smallest minute lost no riches render may.

XV

'But by no meanes my way I would forslow,
For ought that ever she could doe or say,
But from my lofty steede dismounting low,
Past forth on foote, beholding all the way
The goodly workes, and stones of rich assay,
Cast into sundry shapes by wondrous skill,
That like on earth no where I recken may:
And underneath, the river rolling still
With murmure soft, that seem'd to serve the workmans will.

XVI

'Thence forth I passed to the second gate,
The Gate of Good Desert, whose goodly pride
And costly frame were long here to relate.
The same to all stoode alwaies open wide:
But in the porch did evermore abide
An hideous giant, dreadfull to behold,
That stopt the entraunce with his spacious stride,
And with the terrour of his countenance bold
Full many did affray, that else faine enter would.

XVII

'His name was Daunger, dreaded over all,
Who day and night did watch and duely ward,
From fearefull cowards entrance to forstall,
And faint-heart-fooles, whom shew of perill hard
Could terrifie from Fortunes faire adward:
For oftentimes faint hearts, at first espiall
Of his grim face, were from approaching scard:
Unworthy they of grace, whom one deniall
Excludes from fairest hope, withouten further triall.

XVIII

'Yet many doughty warriours, often tride
In greater perils to be stout and bold,
Durst not the sternnesse of his looke abide,
But soone as they his countenance did behold,
Began to faint, and feele their corage cold.
Againe, some other, that in hard assaies
Were cowards knowne, and litle count did hold,
Either through gifts, or guile, or such like waies,
Crept in by stouping low, or stealing of the kaies.

XIX

'But I, though meanest man of many moe,
Yet much disdaining unto him to lout,
Or creepe betweene his legs, so in to goe,
Resolv'd him to assault with manhood stout,
And either beat him in or drive him out.
Eftsoones, advauncing that enchaunted shield,
With all my might I gan to lay about:
Which when he saw, the glaive which he did wield
He gan forthwith t' avale, and way unto me yield.

XX

'So as I entred, I did backeward looke,
For feare of harme, that might lie hidden there;
And loe! his hindparts, whereof heed I tooke,
Much more deformed fearefull ugly were,
Then all his former parts did earst appere:
For Hatred, Murther, Treason, and Despight,
With many moe, lay in ambushment there,
Awayting to entrap the warelesse wight,
Which did not them prevent with vigilant foresight.

XXI

'Thus having past all perill, I was come
Within the compasse of that islands space;
The which did seeme, unto my simple doome,
The onely pleasant and delightfull place
That ever troden was of footings trace.
For all that Nature by her mother wit
Could frame in earth, and forme of substance base,
Was there, and all that Nature did omit,
Art, playing second Natures part, supplyed it.

XXII

'No tree, that is of count, in greenewood growes,
From lowest juniper to ceder tall,
No flowre in field, that daintie odour throwes,
And deckes his branch with blossomes over all,
But there was planted, or grew naturall:
Nor sense of man so coy and curious nice,
But there mote find to please it selfe withall;
Nor hart could wish for any queint device,
But there it present was, and did fraile sense entice.

XXIII

'In such luxurious plentie of all pleasure,
It seem'd a second paradise to ghesse,
So lavishly enricht with Natures threasure,
That if the happie soules, which doe possesse
Th' Elysian fields and live in lasting blesse,
Should happen this with living eye to see,
They soone would loath their lesser happinesse,
And wish to life return'd againe to bee,
That in this joyous place they mote have joyance free.

XXIV

'Fresh shadowes, fit to shroud from sunny ray;
Faire lawnds, to take the sunne in season dew;
Sweet springs, in which a thousand nymphs did play;
Soft rombling brookes, that gentle slomber drew;
High reared mounts, the lands about to vew;
Low looking dales, disloignd from common gaze;
Delightfull bowres, to solace lovers trew;
False labyrinthes, fond runners eyes to daze;
All which by Nature made did Nature selfe amaze.

XXV

'And all without were walkes and alleyes dight
With divers trees, enrang'd in even rankes;
And here and there were pleasant arbors pight,
And shadie seates, and sundry flowring bankes,
To sit and rest the walkers wearie shankes;
And therein thousand payres of lovers walkt,
Praysing their god, and yeelding him great thankes,
Ne ever ought but of their true loves talkt,
Ne ever for rebuke or blame of any balkt.

XXVI

'All these together by themselves did sport
Their spotlesse pleasures, and sweet loves content.
But farre away from these, another sort
Of lovers lincked in true harts consent;
Which loved not as these, for like intent,
But on chast vertue grounded their desire,
Farre from all fraud, or fayned blandishment;
Which, in their spirits kindling zealous fire,
Brave thoughts and noble deedes did evermore aspire.

XXVII

'Such were great Hercules, and Hyllus deare;
Trew Jonathan, and David trustie tryde;
Stout Theseus, and Pirithous his feare;
Pylades, and Orestes by his syde;
Myld Titus and Gesippus without pryde;
Damon and Pythias, whom death could not sever:
All these, and all that ever had bene tyde
In bands of friendship, there did live for ever;
Whose lives although decay'd, yet loves decayed never.

XXVIII

'Which when as I, that never tasted blis
Nor happie howre, beheld with gazefull eye,
I thought there was none other heaven then this;
And gan their endlesse happinesse envye,
That, being free from feare and gealosye,
Might frankely there their loves desire possesse;
Whilest I through paines and perlous jeopardie
Was forst to seeke my lifes deare patronesse:
Much dearer be the things which come through hard distresse.

XXIX

'Yet all those sights, and all that else I saw,
Might not my steps withhold, but that forthright
Unto that purposd place I did me draw,
Where as my love was lodged day and night:
The temple of great Venus, that is hight
The Queene of Beautie, and of Love the mother,
There worshipped of every living wight;
Whose goodly workmanship farre past all other
That ever were on earth, all were they set together.

XXX

'Not that same famous temple of Diane,
Whose hight all Ephesus did oversee,
And which all Asia sought with vowes prophane,
One of the worlds seven wonders sayd to bee,
Might match with this by many a degree:
Nor that which that wise king of Jurie framed,
With endlesse cost, to be th' Almighties see;
Nor all that else through all the world is named
To all the heathen gods, might like to this be clamed.

XXXI

'I, much admyring that so goodly frame,
Unto the porch approcht, which open stood;
But therein sate an amiable dame,
That seem'd to be of very sober mood,
And in her semblant shewed great womanhood:
Strange was her tyre; for on her head a crowne
She wore, much like unto a Danisk hood,
Poudred with pearle and stone, and all her gowne
Enwoven was with gold, that raught full low a downe.

XXXII

'On either side of her two young men stood,
Both strongly arm'd, as fearing one another;
Yet were they brethren both of halfe the blood,
Begotten by two fathers of one mother,
Though of contrarie natures each to other:
The one of them hight Love, the other Hate;
Hate was the elder, Love the younger brother;
Yet was the younger stronger in his state
Then th' elder, and him maystred still in all debate.

XXXIII

'Nathlesse that dame so well them tempred both,
That she them forced hand to joyne in hand,
Albe that Hatred was thereto full loth,
And turn'd his face away, as he did stand,
Unwilling to behold that lovely band.
Yet she was of such grace and vertuous might,
That her commaundment he could not withstand,
But bit his lip for felonous despight,
And gnasht his yron tuskes at that displeasing sight.

XXXIV

'Concord she cleeped was in common reed,
Mother of blessed Peace and Friendship trew;
They both her twins, both borne of heavenly seed,
And she her selfe likewise divinely grew;
The which right well her workes divine did shew:
For strength and wealth and happinesse she lends,
And strife and warre and anger does subdew;
Of litle much, of foes she maketh frends,
And to afflicted minds sweet rest and quiet sends.

XXXV

'By her the heaven is in his course contained,
And all the world in state unmoved stands,
As their Almightie Maker first ordained,
And bound them with inviolable bands;
Else would the waters overflow the lands,
And fire devoure the ayre, and hell them quight,
But that she holds them with her blessed hands.
She is the nourse of pleasure and delight,
And unto Venus grace the gate doth open right.

XXXVI

'By her I entring halfe dismayed was,
But she in gentle wise me entertayned,
And twixt her selfe and Love did let me pas;
But Hatred would my entrance have restrayned,
And with his club me threatned to have brayned,
Had not the ladie with her powrefull speach
Him from his wicked will uneath refrayned;
And th' other eke his malice did empeach,
Till I was throughly past the perill of his reach

XXXVII

'Into the inmost temple thus I came,
Which fuming all with frankensence I found,
And odours rising from the altars flame.
Upon an hundred marble pillors round
The roofe up high was reared from the ground,
All deckt with crownes, and chaynes, and girlands gay,
And thousand pretious gifts worth many a pound,
The which sad lovers for their vowes did pay;
And all the ground was strow'd with flowres, as fresh as May.

XXXVIII

'An hundred altars round about were set,
All flaming with their sacrifices fire,
That with the steme thereof the temple swet,
Which rould in clouds to heaven did aspire,
And in them bore true lovers vowes entire:
And eke an hundred brasen caudrons bright,
To bath in joy and amorous desire,
Every of which was to a damzell hight;
For all the priests were damzels, in soft linnen dight.

XXXIX

'Right in the midst the goddesse selfe did stand
Upon an altar of some costly masse,
Whose substance was uneath to understand:
For neither pretious stone, nor durefull brasse,
Nor shining gold, nor mouldring clay it was;
But much more rare and pretious to esteeme,
Pure in aspect, and like to christall glasse,
Yet glasse was not, if one did rightly deeme,
But being faire and brickle, likest glasse did seeme.

XL

'But it in shape and beautie did excell
All other idoles which the heathen adore,
Farre passing that which by surpassing skill
Phidias did make in Paphos isle of yore,
With which that wretched Greeke, that life forlore,
Did fall in love: yet this much fairer shined,
But covered with a slender veile afore;
And both her feete and legs together twyned
Were with a snake, whose head and tail were fast combyned.

XLI

'The cause why she was covered with a vele
Was hard to know, for that her priests the same
From peoples knowledge labour'd to concele.
But sooth it was not sure for womanish shame,
Nor any blemish, which the worke mote blame;
Nut for, they say, she hath both kinds in one,
Both male and female, both under one name:
She syre and mother is her selfe alone,
Begets and eke conceives, ne needeth other none.

XLII

'And all about her necke and shoulders flew
A flocke of litle loves, and sports, and joyes,
With nimble wings of gold and purple hew,
Whose shapes seem'd not like to terrestriall boyes,
But like to angels playing heavenly toyes;
The whilest their eldest brother was away,
Cupid, their eldest brother: he enjoyes
The wide kingdome of Love with lordly sway,
And to his law compels all creatures to obay.

XLIII

'And all about her altar, scattered lay
Great sorts of lovers piteously complayning,
Some of their losse, some of their loves delay,
Some of their pride, some paragons disdayning,
some fearing fraud, some fraudulently fayning,
As every one had cause of good or ill.
Amongst the rest some one, through loves constrayning,
Tormented sore, could not containe it still,
But thus brake forth, that all the temple it did fill:

XLIV

'"Great Venus, queene of beautie and of grace,
The joy of gods and men, that under skie
Doest fayrest shine, and most adorne thy place,
That with thy smyling looke doest pacifie
The raging seas, and makst the stormes to flie;
Thee, goddesse, thee the winds, the clouds doe feare,
And when thou spredst thy mantle forth on hie,
The waters play, and pleasant lands appeare,
And heavens laugh, and al the world shews joyous cheare.

XLV

'"Then doth the daedale earth throw forth to thee
Out of her fruitfull lap aboundant flowres;
And then all living wights, soone as they see
The Spring breake forth out of his lusty bowres,
They all doe learne to play the paramours:
First doe the merry birds, thy prety pages,
Privily pricked with thy lustfull powres,
Chirpe loud to thee out of their leavy cages,
And thee their mother call to coole their kindly rages.

XLVI

'"Then doe the salvage beasts begin to play
Their pleasant friskes, and loath their wonted food;
The lyons rore, the tygres loudly bray,
The raging buls rebellow through the wood,
And breaking forth, dare tempt the deepest flood,
To come where thou doest draw them with desire:
So all things else, that nourish vitall blood,
Soone as with fury thou doest them inspire,
In generation seeke to quench their inward fire.

XLVII

"So all the world by thee at first was made,
And dayly yet thou doest the same repayre:
Ne ought on earth that merry is and glad,
Ne ought on earth that lovely is and fayre,
But thou the same for pleasure didst prepayre.
Thou art the root of all that joyous is,
Great god of men and women, queene of th' ayre,
Mother of laughter, and welspring of blisse,
O graunt that of my love at last I may not misse."

XLVIII

'So did he say: but I with murmure soft,
That none might heare the sorrow of my hart,
Yet inly groning deepe and sighing oft,
Besought her to graunt ease unto my smart,
And to my wound her gratious help impart.
Whilest thus I spake, behold! with happy eye
I spyde where at the idoles feet apart
A bevie of fayre damzels close did lye,
Wayting when as the antheme should be sung on hye.

XLIX

'The first of them did seeme of ryper yeares
And graver countenance then all the rest;
Yet all the rest were eke her equall peares,
Yet unto her obayed all the best.
Her name was Womanhood, that she exprest
By her sad semblant and demeanure wyse:
For stedfast still her eyes did fixed rest,
Ne rov'd at randon, after gazers guyse,
Whose luring baytes oftimes doe heedlesse harts entyse.

L

'And next to her sate goodly Shamefastnesse,
Ne ever durst her eyes from ground upreare,
Ne ever once did looke up from her desse,
As if some blame of evill she did feare,
That in her cheekes made roses oft appeare:
And her against sweet Cherefulnesse was placed,
Whose eyes, like twinkling stars in evening cleare,
Were deckt with smyles, that all sad humors chaced,
And darted forth delights, the which her goodly graced.
LI

'And next to her sate sober Modestie,
Holding her hand upon her gentle hart;
And her against sate comely Curtesie,
That unto every person knew her part;
And her before was seated overthwart
Soft Silence, and submisse Obedience,
Both linckt together never to dispart,
Both gifts of God not gotten but from thence,
Both girlonds of his saints against their foes offence.

LII

'Thus sate they all a round in seemely rate.
And in the midst of them a goodly mayd,
Even in the lap of Womanhood, there sate,
The which was all in lilly white arayd,
With silver streames amongst the linnen stray'd;
Like to the Morne, when first her shyning face
Hath to the gloomy world it selfe bewray'd:
That same was fayrest Amoret in place,
Shyning with beauties light and heavenly vertues grace.

LIII

'Whom soone as I beheld, my hart gan throb,
And wade in doubt, what best were to be donne:
For sacrilege me seem'd the church to rob,
And folly seem'd to leave the thing undonne,
Which with so strong attempt I had begonne.
Tho, shaking off all doubt and shamefast feare,
Which ladies love I heard had never wonne
Mongst men of worth, I to her stepped neare,
And by the lilly hand her labour'd up to reare.

LIV

'Thereat that formost matrone me did blame,
And sharpe rebuke, for being over bold;
Saying it was to knight unseemely shame,
Upon a recluse virgin to lay hold,
That unto Venus services was sold.
To whom I thus: "Nay, but it fitteth best
For Cupids man with Venus mayd to hold;
For ill your goddesse services are drest
By virgins, and her sacrifices let to rest."

LV

'With that my shield I forth to her did show,
Which all that while I closely had conceld;
On which when Cupid with his killing bow
And cruell shafts emblazond she beheld,
At sight thereof she was with terror queld,
And said no more: but I, which all that while
The pledge of faith, her hand, engaged held,
Like warie hynd within the weedie soyle,
For no intreatie would forgoe so glorious spoyle.

LVI

'And evermore upon the goddesse face
Mine eye was fixt, for feare of her offence:
Whom when I saw with amiable grace
To laugh at me, and favour my pretence,
I was emboldned with more confidence,
And nought for nicenesse nor for envy sparing,
In presence of them all forth led her thence,
All looking on, and like astonisht staring,
Yet to lay hand on her not one of all them daring.

LVII

'She often prayd, and often me besought,
Sometime with tender teares to let her goe,
Sometime with witching smyles: but yet, for nought
That ever she to me could say or doe,
Could she her wished freedome fro me wooe;
But forth I led her through the temple gate,
By which I hardly past with much adoe:
But that same ladie, which me friended late
In entrance, did me also friend in my retrate.

LVIII

'No lesse did Daunger threaten me with dread,
When as he saw me, maugre all his powre,
That glorious spoyle of beautie with me lead,
Then Cerberus, when Orpheus did recoure
His leman from the Stygian princes boure.
But evermore my shield did me defend
Against the storme of every dreadfull stoure:
Thus safely with my love I thence did wend.'
So ended he his tale, where I this canto end.

CANTO XI

Marinells former wound is heald;
He comes to Proteus hall,
Where Thames doth the Medway wedd,
And feasts the sea-gods all.

I

BUT ah for pittie that I have thus long
Left a fayre ladie languishing in payne!
Now well away! that I have doen such wrong,
To let faire Florimell in bands remayne,
In bands of love, and in sad thraldomes chayne!
From which unlesse some heavenly powre her free
By miracle, not yet appearing playne,
She lenger yet is like captiv'd to bee:
That even to thinke thereof it inly pitties mee.

II

Here neede you to remember, how erewhile
Unlovely Proteus, missing to his mind
That virgins love to win by wit or wile,
Her threw into a dongeon deepe and blind,
And there in chaynes her cruelly did bind,
In hope thereby her to his bent to draw:
For when as neither gifts nor graces kind
Her constant mind could move at all, he saw,
He thought her to compell by crueltie and awe.

III

Deepe in the bottome of an huge great rocke
The dongeon was, in which her bound he left,
That neither yron barres, nor brasen locke,
Did neede to gard from force or secret theft
Of all her lovers, which would her have reft.
For wall'd it was with waves, which rag'd and ror'd
As they the cliffe in peeces would have cleft;
Besides, ten thousand monsters foule abhor'd
Did waite about it, gaping griesly, all begor'd.

IV

And in the midst thereof did horror dwell,
And darkenesse dredd, that never viewed day,
Like to the balefull house of lowest hell,
In which old Styx her aged bones alway,
Old Styx the grandame of the gods, doth lay.
There did this lucklesse mayd seven months abide,
Ne ever evening saw, ne mornings ray,
Ne ever from the day the night descride,
But thought it all one night, that did no houres divide.

V

And all this was for love of Marinell,
Who her despysd (ah! who would her despyse?)
And wemens love did from his hart expell,
And all those joyes that weake mankind entyse.
Nathlesse his pride full dearely he did pryse;
For of a womans hand it was ywroke,
That of the wound he yet in languor lyes,
Ne can be cured of that cruell stroke
Which Britomart him gave, when he did her provoke.

VI

Yet farre and neare the nymph, his mother, sought,
And many salves did to his sore applie,
And many herbes did use. But when as nought
She saw could ease his rankling maladie,
At last to Tryphon she for helpe did hie,
(This Tryphon is the seagods surgeon hight)
Whom she besought to find some remedie:
And for his paines a whistle him behight,
That of a fishes shell was wrought with rare delight.

VII

So well that leach did hearke to her request,
And did so well employ his carefull paine,
That in short space his hurts he had redrest,
And him restor'd to healthfull state againe:
In which he long time after did remaine
There with the nymph his mother, like her thrall;
Who sore against his will did him retaine,
For feare of perill, which to him mote fall,
Through his too ventrous prowesse proved over all.

VIII

It fortun'd then, a solemne feast was there
To all the sea-gods and their fruitfull seede,
In honour of the spousalls which then were
Betwixt the Medway and the Thames agreed.
Long had the Thames (as we in records reed)
Before that day her wooed to his bed;
But the proud nymph would for no worldly meed,
Nor no entreatie to his love be led;
Till now at last relenting, she to him was wed.

IX

So both agreed that this their bridale feast
Should for the gods in Proteus house be made;
To which they all repayr'd, both most and least,
Aswell which in the mightie ocean trade,
As that in rivers swim, or brookes doe wade.
All which not if an hundred tongues to tell,
And hundred mouthes, and voice of brasse I had,
And endlesse memorie, that mote excell,
In order as they came, could I recount them well.

X

Helpe therefore, O thou sacred imp of Jove,
The noursling of Dame Memorie his deare,
To whom those rolles, layd up in heaven above,
And records of antiquitie appeare,
To which no wit of man may comen neare;
Helpe me to tell the names of all those floods,
And all those nymphes, which then assembled were
To that great banquet of the watry gods,
And all their sundry kinds, and all their hid abodes.

XI

First came great Neptune with his three-forkt mace,
That rules the seas, and makes them rise or fall;
His dewy lockes did drop with brine apace,
Under his diademe imperiall:
And by his side his queene with coronall,
Faire Amphitrite, most divinely faire,
Whose yvorie shoulders weren covered all,
As with a robe, with her owne silver haire,
And deckt with pearles, which th' Indian seas for her prepaire.

XII

These marched farre afore the other crew;
And all the way before them as they went,
Triton his trompet shrill before them blew,
For goodly triumph and great jollyment,
That made the rockes to roare, as they were rent.
And after them the royall issue came,
Which of them sprung by lineall descent:
First the sea-gods, which to themselves doe clame
The powre to rule the billowes, and the waves to tame:

XIII

Phorcys, the father of that fatall brood,
By whom those old heroes wonne such fame;
And Glaucus, that wise southsayes understood;
And tragicke Inoes sonne, the which became
A god of seas through his mad mothers blame,
Now hight Palemon, and is saylers frend;
Great Brontes, and Astraeus, that did shame
Himselfe with incest of his kin unkend;
And huge Orion, that doth tempests still portend;

XIV

The rich Cteatus, and Eurytus long;
Neleus and Pelias, lovely brethren both;
Mightie Chrysaor, and Caicus strong;
Eurypulus, that calmes the waters wroth;
And faire Euphaemus, that upon them goth
As on the ground, without dismay or dread;
Fierce Eryx, and Alebius that know'th
The waters depth, and doth their bottome tread;
And sad Asopus, comely with his hoarie head

XV

There also some most famous founders were
Of puissant nations, which the world possest;
Yet sonnes of Neptune, now assembled here:
Ancient Ogyges, even th' auncientest,
And Inachus renowmd above the rest;
Phoenix, and Aon, and Pelasgus old,
Great Belus, Phaeax, and Agenor best;
And mightie Albion, father of the bold
And warlike people which the Britaine Islands hold.

XVI

For Albion the sonne of Neptune was,
Who, for the proofe of his great puissance,
Out of his Albion did on dry-foot pas
Into old Gall, that now is cleeped France,
To fight with Hercules, that did advance
To vanquish all the world with matchlesse might,
And there his mortall part by great mischance
Was slaine: but that which is th' immortall spright
Lives still, and to this feast with Neptunes seed was dight.

XVII

But what doe I their names seeke to reherse,
Which all the world have with their issue fild?
How can they all in this so narrow verse
Contayned be, and in small compasse hild?
Let them record them, that are better skild,
And know the moniments of passed age:
Onely what needeth shall be here fulfild,
T' expresse some part of that great equipage,
Which from great Neptune do derive their parentage.

XVIII

Next came the aged Ocean, and his dame,
Old Tethys, th' oldest two of all the rest,
For all the rest of those two parents came,
Which afterward both sea and land possest:
Of all which Nereus, th' eldest and the best,
Did first proceed, then which none more upright,
Ne more sincere in word and deed profest;
Most voide of guile, most free from fowle despight,
Doing him selfe, and teaching others to doe right.

XIX

Thereto he was expert in prophecies,
And could the ledden of the gods unfold,
Through which, when Paris brought his famous prise,
The faire Tindarid lasse, he him fortold,
That her all Greece with many a champion bold
Should fetch againe, and finally destroy
Proud Priams towne. So wise is Nereus old,
And so well skild; nathlesse he takes great joy
Oft-times amongst the wanton nymphs to sport and toy.

XX

And after him the famous rivers came,
Which doe the earth enrich and beautifie:
The fertile Nile, which creatures new doth frame;
Long Rhodanus, whose sourse springs from the skie;
Faire Ister, flowing from the mountaines hie;
Divine Scamander, purpled yet with blood
Of Greekes and Trojans, which therein did die;
Pactolus glistring with his golden flood,
And Tygris fierce, whose streames of none may be withstood;

XXI

Great Ganges, and immortall Euphrates,
Deepe Indus, and Maeander intricate,
Slow Peneus, and tempestuous Phasides,
Swift Rhene, and Alpheus still immaculate;
Ooraxes, feared for great Cyrus fate;
Tybris, renowmed for the Romaines fame;
Rich Oranochy, though but knowen late;
And that huge river, which doth beare his name
Of warlike Amazons, which doe possesse the same.

XXII

Joy on those warlike women, which so long
Can from all men so rich a kingdome hold!
And shame on you, O men, which boast your strong
And valiant hearts, in thoughts lesse hard and bold,
Yet quaile in conquest of that land of gold!
But this to you, O Britons, most pertaines,
To whom the right hereof it selfe hath sold;
The which, for sparing litle cost or paines,
Loose so immortall glory, and so endlesse gaines.

XXIII

Then was there heard a most celestiall sound
Of dainty musicke, which did next ensew
Before the spouse: that was Arion crownd;
Who, playing on his harpe, unto him drew
The eares and hearts of all that goodly crew,
That even yet the dolphin, which him bore
Through the Agaean seas from pirates vew,
Stood still by him astonisht at his lore,
And all the raging seas for joy forgot to rore.

XXIV

So went he playing on the watery plaine.
Soone after whom the lovely bridegroome came,
The noble Thamis, with all his goodly traine;
But him before there went, as best became,
His auncient parents, namely th' auncient Thame:
But much more aged was his wife then he,
The Ouze, whom men doe Isis rightly name;
Full weake and crooked creature seemed shee,
And almost blind through eld, that scarce her way could see.

XXV

Therefore on either side she was sustained
Of two smal grooms, which by their names were hight
The Churne and Charwell, two small streames, which pained
Them selves her footing to direct aright,
Which fayled oft through faint and feeble plight:
But Thame was stronger, and of better stay;
Yet seem'd full aged by his outward sight,
With head all hoary, and his beard all gray,
Deawed with silver drops, that trickled downe alway.

XXVI

And eke he somewhat seem'd to stoupe afore
With bowed backe, by reason of the lode
And auncient heavy burden which he bore
Of that faire city, wherein make abode
So many learned impes, that shoote abrode,
And with their braunches spred all Britany,
No lesse then do her elder sisters broode.
Joy to you both, ye double noursery
Of arts! but, Oxford, thine doth Thame most glorify.

XXVII

But he their sonne full fresh and jolly was,
All decked in a robe of watchet hew,
On which the waves, glittering like christall glas,
So cunningly enwoven were, that few
Could weenen whether they were false or trew.
And on his head like to a coronet
He wore, that seemed strange to common vew,
In which were many towres and castels set,
That it encompast round as with a golden fret.

XXVIII

Like as the mother of the gods, they say,
In her great iron charet wonts to ride,
When to Joves pallace she doth take her way,
Old Cybele, arayd with pompous pride,
Wearing a diademe embattild wide
With hundred turrets, like a turribant.
With such an one was Thamis beautifide;
That was to weet the famous Troynovant,
In which her kingdomes throne is chiefly resiant.

XXIX

And round about him many a pretty page
Attended duely, ready to obay;
All little rivers, which owe vassallage
To him, as to their lord, and tribute pay:
The chaulky Kenet, and the Thetis gray,
The morish Cole, and the soft sliding Breane,
The wanton Lee, that oft doth loose his way.
And the still Darent, in whose waters cleane
Ten thousand fishes play, and decke his pleasant streame.

XXX

Then came his neighbour flouds, which nigh him dwell,
And water all the English soile throughout;
They all on him this day attended well,
And with meet service waited him about;
Ne none disdained low to him to lout:
No, not the stately Severne grudg'd at all,
Ne storming Humber, though he looked stout;
But both him honor'd as their principall,
And let their swelling waters low before him fall.

XXXI

There was the speedy Tamar, which devides
The Cornish and the Devonish confines;
Through both whose borders swiftly downe it glides,
And meeting Plim, to Plimmouth thence declines:
And Dart, nigh chockt with sands of tinny mines.
But Avon marched in more stately path,
Proud of his adamants, with which he shines
And glisters wide, as als' of wondrous Bath,
And Bristow faire, which on his waves he builded hath.

XXXII

And there came Stoure with terrible aspect,
Bearing his sixe deformed heads on hye,
That doth his course through Blandford plains direct,
And washeth Winborne meades in season drye.
Next him went Wylibourne with passage slye,
That of his wylinesse his name doth take,
And of him selfe doth name the shire thereby:
And Mole, that like a nousling mole doth make
His way still under ground, till Thamis he overtake.

XXXIII

Then came the Rother, decked all with woods
Like a wood god, and flowing fast to Rhy:
And Sture, that parteth with his pleasant floods
The easterne Saxons from the southerne ny,
And Clare and Harwitch both doth beautify:
Him follow'd Yar, soft washing Norwitch wall,
And with him brought a present joyfully
Of his owne fish unto their festivall,
Whose like none else could shew, the which they ruffins call.

XXXIV

Next these the plenteous Ouse came far from land,
By many a city, and by many a towne,
And many rivers taking under hand
Into his waters, as he passeth downe,
The Cle, the Were, the Grant, the Sture, the Rowne,
Thence doth by Huntingdon and Cambridge flit,
My mother Cambridge, whom as with a crowne
He doth adorne, and is adorn'd of it
With many a gentle muse, and many a learned wit.

XXXV

And after him the fatall Welland went,
That if old sawes prove true (which God forbid)
Shall drowne all Holland with his excrement,
And shall see Stamford, though now homely hid,
Then shine in learning, more then ever did
Cambridge or Oxford, Englands goodly beames.
And next to him the Nene downe softly slid;
And bounteous Trent, that in him selfe enseames
Both thirty sorts of fish and thirty sundry streames.

XXXVI

Next these came Tyne, along whose stony bancke
That Romaine monarch built a brasen wall,
Which mote the feebled Britons strongly flancke
Against the Picts, that swarmed over all,
Which yet thereof Gualsever they doe call:
And Twede, the limit betwixt Logris land
And Albany: and Eden, though but small,
Yet often stainde with bloud of many a band
Of Scots and English both, that tyned on his strand.

XXXVII

Then came those sixe sad brethren, like forlorne,
That whilome were (as antique fathers tell)
Sixe valiant knights, of one faire nymphe yborne,
Which did in noble deedes of armes excell,
And wonned there where now Yorke people dwell:
Still Ure, swift Werfe, and Oze the most of might,
High Swale, unquiet Nide, and troublous Skell;
All whom a Scythian king, that Humber hight,
Slew cruelly, and in the river drowned quight.

XXXVIII

But past not long, ere Brutus warlicke sonne,
Locrinus, them aveng'd, and the same date,
Which the proud Humber unto them had donne,
By equall dome repayd on his owne pate:
For in the selfe same river, where he late
Had drenched them, he drowned him againe;
And nam'd the river of his wretched fate;
Whose bad condition yet it doth retaine,
Aeft tossed with his stormes, which therein still remaine.

XXXIX

These after, came the stony shallow Lone,
That to old Loncaster his name doth lend;
And following Dee, which Britons long ygone
Did call divine, that doth by Chester tend;
And Conway, which out of his streame doth send
Plenty of pearles to decke his dames withall;
And Lindus, that his pikes doth most commend,
Of which the auncient Lincolne men doe call:
All these together marched toward Proteus hall.

XL

Ne thence the Irishe rivers absent were:
Sith no lesse famous then the rest they bee,
And joyne in neighbourhood of kingdome nere,
Why should they not likewise in love agree,
And joy likewise this solemne day to see?
They saw it all, and present were in place;
Though I them all, according their degree,
Cannot recount, nor tell their hidden race,
Nor read the salvage cuntreis thorough which they pace.

XLI

There was the Liffy rolling downe the lea,
The sandy Slane, the stony Aubrian,
The spacious Shenan spreading like a sea,
The pleasant Boyne, the fishy fruitfull Ban,
Swift Awniduff, which of the English man
Is cal'de Blackewater, and the Liffar deep,
Sad Trowis, that once his people overran,
Strong Allo tombling from Slewlogher steep,
And Mulla mine, whose waves I whilom taught to weep.

XLII

And there the three renowmed brethren were,
Which that great gyant Blomius begot
Of the faire nimph Rheusa wandring there.
One day, as she to shunne the season whot,
Under Slewbloome in shady grove was got,
This gyant found her, and by force deflowr'd;
Whereof conceiving, she in time forth brought
These three faire sons, which, being thence forth powrd,
In three great rivers ran, and many countreis scowrd.

XLIII

The first, the gentle Shure, that, making way
By sweet Clonmell, adornes rich Waterford;
The next, the stubborne Newre, whose waters gray
By faire Kilkenny and Rosseponte boord;
The third, the goodly Barow, which doth hoord
Great heapes of salmons in his deepe bosome:
All which long sundred, doe at last accord
To joyne in one, ere to the sea they come,
So, flowing all from one, all one at last become.

XLIV

There also was the wide embayed Mayre,
The pleasaunt Bandon, crownd with many a wood,
The spreading Lee, that like an island fayre
Encloseth Corke with his devided flood;
And balefull Oure, late staind with English blood:
With many more, whose names no tongue can tell.
All which that day in order seemly good
Did on the Thamis attend, and waited well
To doe their duefull service, as to them befell.

XLV

Then came the bride, the lovely Medua came,
Clad in a vesture of unknowen geare,
And uncouth fashion, yet her well became;
That seem'd like silver, sprinckled here and theare
With glittering spangs, that did like starres appeare,
And wav'd upon, like water chamelot,
To hide the metall, which yet every where
Bewrayd it selfe, to let men plainely wot,
It was no mortall worke, that seem'd and yet was not.

XLVI

Her goodly lockes adowne her backe did flow
Unto her waste, with flowres bescattered,
The which ambrosiall odours forth did throw
To all about, and all her shoulders spred
As a new spring; and likewise on her hed
A chapelet of sundry flowers she wore,
From under which the deawy humour shed
Did tricle downe her haire, like to the hore
Congealed litle drops, which doe the morne adore.

XLVII

On her two pretty handmaides did attend,
One cald the Theise, the other cald the Crane;
Which on her waited, things amisse to mend,
And both behind upheld her spredding traine;
Under the which her feet appeared plaine,
Her silver feet, faire washt against this day:
And her before there paced pages twaine,
Both clad in colours like, and like array,
The Doune and eke the Frith, both which prepard her way.

XLVIII

And after these the sea nymphs marched all,
All goodly damzels, deckt with long greene haire,
Whom of their sire Nereides men call,
All which the Oceans daughter to him bare,
The gray eyde Doris: all which fifty are;
All which she there on her attending had:
Swift Proto, milde Eucrate, Thetis faire,
Soft Spio, sweete Eudore, Sao sad,
Light Doto, wanton Glauce, and Galene glad,

XLIX

White hand Eunica, proud Dynamene,
Joyous Thalia, goodly Amphitrite,
Lovely Pasithee, kinde Eulimene,
Light foote Cymothoe, and sweete Melite,
Fairest Pherusa, Phao lilly white,
Wondred Agave, Poris, and Nesaea,
With Erato, that doth in love delite,
And Panopae, and wise Protomedaea,
And snowy neckd Doris, and milkewhite Galathaea,

L

Speedy Hippothoe, and chaste Actea,
Large Lisianassa, and Pronaea sage,
Evagore, and light Pontoporea,
And she that with her least word can asswage
The surging seas, when they do sorest rage,
Cymodoce, and stout Autonoe,
And Neso, and Eione well in age,
And seeming still to smile, Glauconome,
And she that hight of many heastes Polynome,
LI

Fresh Alimeda, deckt with girlond greene,
Hyponeo, with salt bedewed wrests,
Laomedia, like the christall sheene,
Liagore, much praisd for wise behests,
And Psamathe, for her brode snowy brests,
Cymo, Eupompe, and Themiste just,
And she that vertue loves and vice detests,
Evarna, and Menippe true in trust,
And Nemertea, learned well to rule her lust.

LII

All these the daughters of old Nereus were,
Which have the sea in charge to them assinde,
To rule his tides, and surges to uprere,
To bring forth stormes, or fast them to upbinde,
And sailers save from wreckes of wrathfull winde.
And yet besides, three thousand more there were
Of th' Oceans seeds, but Joves and Phoebus kinde;
The which in floods and fountaines doe appere,
And all mankinde do nourish with their waters clere.

LIII

The which, more eath it were for mortall wight
To tell the sands, or count the starres on hye,
Or ought more hard, then thinke to reckon right.
But well I wote that these which I descry
Were present at this great solemnity:
And there, amongst the rest, the mother was
Of luckelesse Marinell, Cymodoce;
Which, for my Muse her selfe now tyred has,
Unto an other canto I will overpas.

CANTO XII

Marin, for love of Florimell,
In languor wastes his life:
The nymph his mother getteth her,
And gives to him for wife.

I

O WHAT an endlesse worke have I in hand,
To count the seas abundant progeny,
Whose fruitfull seede farre passeth those in land,
And also those which wonne in th' azure sky!
For much more eath to tell the starres on hy,
Albe they endlesse seeme in estimation,
Then to recount the seas posterity:
So fertile be the flouds in generation,
So huge their numbers, and so numberlesse their nation.

II

Therefore the antique wisards well invented,
That Venus of the fomy sea was bred;
For that the seas by her are most augmented.
Witnesse th' exceeding fry which there are fed,
And wondrous sholes, which may of none be red.
Then blame me not, if I have err'd in count
Of gods, of nymphs, of rivers yet unred:
For though their numbers do much more surmount,
Yet all those same were there, which erst I did recount.

III

All those were there, and many other more,
Whose names and nations were too long to tell,
That Proteus house they fild even to the dore;
Yet were they all in order, as befell,
According their degrees disposed well.
Amongst the rest was faire Cymodoce,
The mother of unlucky Marinell,
Who thither with her came, to learne and see
The manner of the gods when they at banquet be.

IV

But for he was halfe mortall, being bred
Of mortall sire, though of immortall wombe,
He might not with immortall food be fed,
Ne with th' eternall gods to bancket come;
But walkt abrode, and round about did rome,
To view the building of that uncouth place,
That seem'd unlike unto his earthly home:
Where, as he to and fro by chaunce did trace,
There unto him betid a disaventrous case.

V

Under the hanging of an hideous clieffe
He heard the lamentable voice of one
That piteously complaind her carefull grieffe,
Which never she before disclosd to none,
But to her selfe her sorrow did bemone.
So feelingly her case she did complaine,
That ruth it moved in the rocky stone,
And made it seeme to feele her grievous paine,
And oft to grone with billowes beating from the maine.

VI

'Though vaine I see my sorrowes to unfold,
And count my cares, when none is nigh to heare,
Yet, hoping griefe may lessen being told,
I will them tell though unto no man neare:
For Heaven, that unto all lends equall eare,
Is farre from hearing of my heavy plight;
And lowest Hell, to which I lie most neare,
Cares not what evils hap to wretched wight;
And greedy seas doe in the spoile of life delight.

VII

'Yet loe! the seas I see by often beating
Doe pearce the rockes, and hardest marble weares;
But his hard rocky hart for no entreating
Will yeeld, but when my piteous plaints he heares,
Is hardned more with my aboundant teares.
Yet though he never list to me relent,
But let me waste in woe my wretched yeares,
Yet will I never of my love repent,
But joy that for his sake I suffer prisonment.

VIII

'And when my weary ghost, with griefe outworne,
By timely death shall winne her wished rest,
Let then this plaint unto his eares be borne,
That blame it is to him, that armes profest,
To let her die, whom he might have redrest.'
There did she pause, inforced to give place
Unto the passion that her heart opprest;
And after she had wept and wail'd a space,
She gan afresh thus to renew her wretched case:

IX

'Ye gods of seas, if any gods at all
Have care of right, or ruth of wretches wrong,
By one or other way me, woefull thrall,
Deliver hence out of this dungeon strong,
In which I daily dying am too long.
And if ye deeme me death for loving one
That loves not me, then doe it not prolong,
But let me die and end my daies attone,
And let him live unlov'd, or love him selfe alone.

X

'But if that life ye unto me decree,
Then let mee live as lovers ought to do,
And of my lifes deare love beloved be:
And if he shall through pride your doome undo,
Do you by duresse him compell thereto,
And in this prison put him here with me:
One prison fittest is to hold us two:
So had I rather to be thrall then free;
Such thraldome or such freedome let it surely be.

XI

'But O vaine judgement, and conditions vaine,
The which the prisoner points unto the free!
The whiles I him condemne, and deeme his paine,
He where he list goes loose, and laughes at me.
So ever loose, so ever happy be.
But where so loose or happy that thou art,
Know, Marinell, that all this is for thee.'
With that she wept and wail'd, as if her hart
Would quite have burst through great abundance of her smart.

XII

All which complaint when Marinell had heard,
And understood the cause of all her care
To come of him, for using her so hard,
His stubborne heart, that never felt misfare,
Was toucht with soft remorse and pitty rare;
That even for griefe of minde he oft did grone,
And inly wish that in his powre it weare
Her to redresse: but since he meanes found none,
He could no more but her great misery bemone.

XIII

Thus whilst his stony heart with tender ruth
Was toucht, and mighty courage mollifide,
Dame Venus sonne, that tameth stubborne youth
With iron bit, and maketh him abide,
Till like a victor on his backe he ride,
Into his mouth his maystring bridle threw,
That made him stoupe, till he did him bestride:
Then gan he make him tread his steps anew,
And learne to love, by learning lovers paines to rew.

XIV

Now gan he in his grieved minde devise,
How from that dungeon he might her enlarge:
Some while he thought, by faire and humble wise
To Proteus selfe to sue for her discharge;
But then he fear'd his mothers former charge
Gainst womens love, long given him in vaine:
Then gan he thinke, perforce with sword and targe
Her forth to fetch, and Proteus to constraine;
But soone he gan such folly to forthinke againe.

XV

Then did he cast to steale her thence away,
And with him beare, where none of her might know.
But all in vaine: forwhy he found no way
To enter in, or issue forth below:
For all about that rocke the sea did flow.
And though unto his will she given were,
Yet without ship or bote her thence to row,
He wist not how her thence away to bere;
And daunger well he wist long to continue there.

XVI

At last when as no meanes he could invent,
Backe to him selfe he gan returne the blame,
That was the author of her punishment;
And with vile curses and reprochfull shame
To damne him selfe by every evill name;
And deeme unworthy or of love or life,
That had despisde so chast and faire a dame,
Which him had sought through trouble and long strife,
Yet had refusde a god that her had sought to wife.

XVII

In this sad plight he walked here and there,
And romed round about the rocke in vaine,
As he had lost him selfe, he wist not where;
Oft listening if he mote her heare againe,
And still bemoning her unworthy paine:
Like as an hynde whose calfe is falne unwares
Into some pit, where she him heares complaine,
An hundred times about the pit side fares,
Right sorrowfully mourning her bereaved cares.

XVIII

And now by this the feast was throughly ended,
And every one gan homeward to resort.
Which seeing, Marinell was sore offended,
That his departure thence should be so short,
And leave his love in that sea-walled fort.
Yet durst he not his mother disobay;
But her attending in full seemly sort,
Did march amongst the many all the way:
And all the way did inly mourne, like one astray.

XIX

Being returned to his mothers bowre,
In solitary silence far from wight,
He gan record the lamentable stowre
In which his wretched love lay day and night,
For his deare sake, that ill deserv'd that plight:
The thought whereof empierst his hart so deepe,
That of no worldly thing he tooke delight;
Ne dayly food did take, ne nightly sleepe,
But pyn'd, and mourn'd, and languisht, and alone did weepe;

XX

That in short space his wonted chearefull hew
Gan fade, and lively spirits deaded quight:
His cheeke bones raw, and eie-pits hollow grew,
And brawney armes had lost their knowen might,
That nothing like himselfe he seem'd in sight.
Ere long so weake of limbe, and sicke of love
He woxe, that lenger he note stand upright,
But to his bed was brought, and layd above,
Like ruefull ghost, unable once to stirre or move.

XXI

Which when his mother saw, she in her mind
Was troubled sore, ne wist well what to weene,
Ne could by search nor any meanes out find
The secret cause and nature of his teene,
Whereby she might apply some medicine;
But weeping day and night, did him attend,
And mourn'd to see her losse before her eyne,
Which griev'd her more that she it could not mend:
To see an helpelesse evill double griefe doth lend.

XXII

Nought could she read the roote of his disease,
Ne weene what mister maladie it is,
Whereby to seeke some meanes it to appease.
Most did she thinke, but most she thought amis,
That that same former fatall wound of his
Whyleare by Tryphon was not throughly healed,
But closely rankled under th' orifis:
Least did she thinke, that which he most concealed,
That love it was, which in his hart lay unrevealed.

XXIII

Therefore to Tryphon she againe doth hast,
And him doth chyde as false and fraudulent,
That fayld the trust which she in him had plast,
To cure her sonne, as he his faith had lent:
Who now was falne into new languishment
Of his old hurt, which was not throughly cured.
So backe he came unto her patient:
Where searching every part, her well assured,
That it was no old sore which his new paine procured;

XXIV

But that it was some other maladie,
Or griefe unknowne, which he could not discerne:
So left he her withouten remedie.
Then gan her heart to faint, and quake, and earne,
And inly troubled was, the truth to learne.
Unto himselfe she came, and him besought,
Now with faire speches, now with threatnings sterne,
If ought lay hidden in his grieved thought,
It to reveale: who still her answered, there was nought.

XXV

Nathlesse she rested not so satisfide,
But leaving watry gods, as booting nought,
Unto the shinie heaven in haste she hide,
And thence Apollo, king of leaches, brought.
Apollo came; who, soone as he had sought
Through his disease, did by and by out find
That he did languish of some inward thought,
The which afflicted his engrieved mind;
Which love he red to be, that leads each living kind.

XXVI

Which when he had unto his mother told,
She gan thereat to fret and greatly grieve;
And comming to her sonne, gan first to scold
And chyde at him, that made her misbelieve:
But afterwards she gan him soft to shrieve,
And wooe with faire intreatie, to disclose
Which of the nymphes his heart so sore did mieve;
For sure she weend it was some one of those
Which he had lately seene, that for his love he chose.

XXVII

Now lesse she feared that same fatall read,
That warned him of womens love beware:
Which being ment of mortall creatures sead,
For love of nymphes she thought she need not care,
But promist him, what ever wight she weare,
That she her love to him would shortly gaine:
So he her told: but soone as she did heare
That Florimell it was, which wrought his paine,
She gan a fresh to chafe, and grieve in every vaine.

XXVIII

Yet since she saw the streight extremitie,
In which his life unluckily was layd,
It was no time to scan the prophecie,
Whether old Proteus true or false had sayd,
That his decay should happen by a mayd:
It's late, in death, of daunger to advize,
Or love forbid him that is life denayd:
But rather gan in troubled mind devize
How she that ladies libertie might enterprize.

XXIX

To Proteus selfe to sew she thought it vaine,
Who was the root and worker of her woe,
Nor unto any meaner to complaine;
But unto great King Neptune selfe did goe,
And on her knee before him falling lowe,
Made humble suit unto his Majestie,
To graunt to her her sonnes life, which his foe,
A cruell tyrant, had presumpteouslie
By wicked doome condemn'd a wretched death to die.

XXX

To whom God Neptune, softly smyling, thus:
'Daughter, me seemes of double wrong ye plaine,
Gainst one that hath both wronged you and us:
For death t' adward I ween'd did appertaine
To none but to the seas sole soveraine.
Read therefore who it is, which this hath wrought,
And for what cause; the truth discover plaine.
For never wight so evill did or thought,
But would some rightfull cause pretend, though rightly nought.'

XXXI

To whom she answerd: 'Then it is by name
Proteus, that hath ordayn'd my sonne to die;
For that a waift, the which by fortune came
Upon your seas, he claym'd as propertie:
And yet nor his, nor his in equitie,
But yours the waift by high prerogative.
Therefore I humbly crave your Majestie,
It to replevie, and my sonne reprive:
So shall you by one gift save all us three alive.'

XXXII

He graunted it: and streight his warrant made,
Under the sea-gods seale autenticall,
Commaunding Proteus straight t' enlarge the mayd
Which, wandring on his seas imperiall,
He lately tooke, and sithence kept as thrall.
Which she receiving with meete thankefulnesse,
Departed straight to Proteus therewithall:
Who, reading it with inward loathfulnesse,
Was grieved to restore the pledge he did possesse.

XXXIII

Yet durst he not the warrant to withstand,
But unto her delivered Florimell.
Whom she receiving by the lilly hand,
Admyr'd her beautie much, as she mote well;
For she all living creatures did excell;
And was right joyous, that she gotten had
So faire a wife for her sonne Marinell.
So home with her she streight the virgin lad,
And shewed her to him, then being sore bestad.

XXXIV

Who soone as he beheld that angels face,
Adorn'd with all divine perfection,
His cheared heart eftsoones away gan chace
Sad death, revived with her sweet inspection,
And feeble spirit inly felt refection;
As withered weed through cruell winters tine,
That feeles the warmth of sunny beames reflection,
Liftes up his head, that did before decline,
And gins to spread his leafe before the faire sunshine.

XXXV

Right so himselfe did Marinell upreare,
When he in place his dearest love did spy;
And though his limbs could not his bodie beare,
Ne former strength returne so suddenly,
Yet chearefull signes he shewed outwardly.
Ne lesse was she in secret hart affected,
But that she masked it with modestie,
For feare she should of lightnesse be detected:
Which to another place I leave to be perfected.







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