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With gaping mouth at her ran greedily,
To have at once devour'd her tender corse;
But to the prey when as he drew more nigh,
His bloody rage assuaged with remorse,
And, with the sightamazed, forgot his furious force.
Instead thereof he kiss'd her weary feet,
And lick'd her lily hands with fawning tongue,
As he her wronged innocence did weet.
O how can beauty master the most strong,
And simple truth subdue avenging wrong!
Whose yielded pride and proud submission,
Still dreading death, when she had marked long,
Her heart 'gan melt in great compassion,
And drizzling tears did shed for pure affection.

Where grisly Night, with visage deadly sad,
That Phabus' cheerful face durst never view,
And in a foul black pitchy mantle clad,
She finds forthcoming from her darksome mew,
Where she all day did hide her hated hue.
Before the door her iron chariot stood,
Already harnessed for journey new ;
And coal-black steeds, yborn of hellish brood,
Thaton their rustybits did champas they were woode.
So well they sped, that they be come at length
Unto the place whereas the Paynim lay,
Devoid of outward sense and native strength,
Cover'd with charmed cloud, from view of day
And sight of men, since his late luckless fray.
His cruel wounds with cruddy blood congeal’d,
They binden up so wisely as they may,
And handle softly till they can be heald:
So lay him in her chari't, close in Night conceald.
And all the while she stood upon the ground,
The wakeful dogs did never cease to bay,
As giving warning of th' unwonted sound,
With which her iron wheels did them affray,
And her dark grisly look them much dismay;
The messenger of death, the ghastly owl,
With dreary skrieks did also her bewray;
And hungry wolves continually did howl
At her abhorred face, so filthy and so foul.

“ The lion, lord of every beast in field,”
Quoth she, “his princely puissance doth abate,
And mighty proud to humble weak does yield,
Forgetful of the hungry rage which late
Him prick’d, in pity of my sad estate :
But he, my lion, and my noble lord,
How does he find in cruel heart to hate
Her that him loved, and ever most adored,
As the God of my life? why hath he me abhorrid ?”

Redounding tears did choke th' end of her plaint,
Which softly echoed from the neighbour wood;
And, sad to see her sorrowful constraint,
The kingly beast upon her gazing stood ;
With pity calm’d, down fell his angry mood.
At last, in close heart shutting up her pain,
Arose the virgin, born of heavenly blood,
And to her snowy palfrey got again,
To seek her strayed champion, if she might attain.

By that same way the direful dames do drive
Their mournful chariot, fill’d with rusty blood,
And down to Pluto's house are come biliveb;
Which passing through, on every side them stood
The trembling ghosts, with sad amazed mood,
Chattering their iron teeth, and staring wide
With stony eyes; and all the hellish brood
Of fiends infernal flock'd on every side
To gaze on earthly wight, that with the Night durst

ride.

The lion would not leave her desolate,
But with her went along, as a strong guard
Of her chaste person, and a faithful mate
Of her sad troubles, and misfortunes hard.
Still, when she slept, he kept both watch and ward;
And, when she waked, he waited diligent,
With humble service to her will prepared :
From her fair eyes he took commandement,
And ever by her looks conceived her intent.

BOOK II., CANTO VI.

BOOK I., CANTO V.

A HARDER lesson to learn continence
In joyous pleasure than in grievous pain ;
For sweetness doth allure the weaker gense
So strongly, that uneathes it can refrain
From that which feeble nature covets fain ;
But grief and wrath, that be her enemies
And foes of life, she better can restrain :
Yet Virtue vaunts in both her victories,
And Guyon in them all shows goodly masteries.

THE FAITHFUL KNIGHT HAVING KILLED THE SARACEN

SANSFOY, DUESSA THE WITCH MAKES A JOURNEY TO
THE INFERNAL REGIONS TO RECOVER THE BODY OF
HER INFIDEL CHAMPION

*

*

So wept Duessa until eventide,

Whom bold Cymochles travelling to find, That shining lamps in love's high house were light;

With cruel purpose bent to wreak on him Then forth she rose, no longer would abide,

The wrath which Atin kindled in his mind, Butcomes unto the place where th’heathen knight,

Came to a river, by whose utmost brim In slumb'ring swoonid, nigh void of vital sp'rit,

Waiting to pass, he saw whereas did swim
Lay cover'd with enchanted cloud all day ;

Along the shore, as swift as glance of eye,
Whom, when she found, as she him left in plight, A little gondelay, bedecked trim
To wail his woeful case she would not stay,

With boughs and arbours woven cunningly, But to the eastern coast of Heaven makes speedy That like a little forest seemed outwardly ; way.

& Mad.

b Quickly.

And therein sate a lady fresh and fair,
Making sweet solace to herself alone ;
Sometimes she sung as loud as lark in air,
Sometimes she laugh'd, that nigh her breath was

Yet was there not with her else any one, (gone; 1 That to her might move cause of merriment;

Matter of mirth enough, though there were none,
She could devise, and thousand ways invent
To feel her foolish humour and vain jolliment.

Diverse discourses in their way they spent;
'Mongst which Cymnochles of her questioned
Both what she was, and what the usage meant,
Which in her cot she daily practised?
“ Vain man!” said she, “ that wouldst be reckoned
A stranger in thy home, and ignorant
Of Phædria (for so my name is read)
Of Phædria, thine own fellow-servant:
For thou to serve Acrasia thyself dost vaunt.

Which when far off, Cymochles heard and saw, “ In this wide inland sea, that hight by name He loudly call’d to such as were aboard

The Idle Lake, my wand'ring ship I row, The little bark, unto the shore to draw,

That knows her port, and thither sails by aim, And him to ferry over that deep ford :

Ne care ne fear I how the wind do blow, The merry mariner unto his word

Or whether swift I wend or whether slow : Soon heark’ned, and her painted boat straightway Both slow and swift alike do serve my turn : Turn'd to the shore, where that same warlike lord Ne swelling Neptune, ne loud-thund’ring Jove, She in received ; but Atin by no way

Can change my cheer, or make me ever mourn; She would admit, albe the knight her much did My little boat can safely pass this perilous pray.

bourne.” Eftsoons her shallow ship away did slide,

Whiles thus she talked, and whiles thus she toy'd, More swift than swallow sheers the liquid sky, They were far past the passage which he spake, Withouten oar or pilot it to guide,

And come unto an island waste and void, Or winged canvas with the wind to fly:

That floated in the midst of that great lake; Only she turn’d a pin, and by and by

There her small gondelay her port did make, It cut away upon the yielding wave ;

And that gay pair issuing on the shore Ne cared she her course for to apply,

Disburthen'd her: their way they forward take For it was taught the way which she would have, Into the land that lay them fair before, And both from rocks and flats itself could wisely Whose pleasaunce she him shew'd, and plentiful save.

great store. And all the way the wanton damsel found It was a chosen plot of fertile land, New mirth her passenger to entertain ;

Amongst wide waves set like a little nest, For she in pleasant purpose did abound,

As if it had by Nature's cunning hand And greatly joyed merry tales to feign,

Been choicely picked out from all the rest, Of which a store-house did with her remain, And laid forth for ensample of the best : Yet seemed nothing well they her became ; No dainty flower or herb that grows on ground, For all her words she drown'd with laughter vain, Nor arboret with painted blossoms drest, And wanted grace in utt'ring of the same, And smelling sweet, but there it might be found That turned all her pleasaunce to a scoffing game. To bud out fair, and her sweet smells throw all

around.

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“ Behold, O man ! that toilsome pains dost take, And by the way, as was her wonted guise,
The flowers, the fields, and all that pleasant grows, Her merry ft she freshly 'gan to rear,
How they themselves do thine ensample make, And did of joy and jollity devise,
Whiles nothing envious Nature them forth throws Herself to cherish, and her guest to cheer.
Out of her fruitful lap : how no man knows The knight was courteous, and did not forbear
They spring, they bud, they blossom fresh and fair, Her honest mirth and pleasaunce to partake ;
And deck the world with their rich pompous shows; But when he saw her toy, and gibe, and jeer,
Yet no man for them taketh pains or care,

And pass the bonds of modest merimake,
Yet no man to them can his careful pains compare. Her dalliance he despised, and follies did forsake.

“ The lily, lady of the flow'ring field,
The flower-de-luce, her lovely paramour,
Bid thee to them thy fruitless labours yield,
And soon leave off this toilsome weary stour ;
Lo, lo! how brave she decks her bounteous bower,
With silken curtains and gold coverlets,
Therein to shroud her sumptuous belamoure ;
Yet neither spins nor cards, ne cares nor frets,
But to her mother Nature all her care she lets.

Yet she still followed her former style,
And said, and did all that mote him delight,
Till they arrived in that pleasant isle,
Where sleeping late she left her other knight :
But whenas Guyon of that land had sight,
He wist himself amiss, and angry said,
“Ah! Dame, perdy ye have not done me right,
Thus to mislead me, whiles I you obey'd :
Me little needed from my right way to have stray'd."

Why then dost thou, O Man, that of them all “Fair Sir!” quoth she, “ be not displeased at all; Art lord, and eke of Nature sovereign,

Who fares on sea may not command his way, Wilfully make thyself a wretched thrall,

Ne wind and weather at his pleasure call : And waste thy joyous hours in needless pain, The sea is wide, and easy for to stray, Seeking for danger and adventure vain ?

The wind unstable, and doth never stay : What boots it all to have and nothing use? But here a while ye may in safety rest, Who shall him rue that, swimming in the main, Till season serve new passage to assay:

Will die for thirst, and water doth refuse ? Better safe port, than be in seas distrest." Refuse such fruitless toil and present pleasures Therewith she laugh’d, and did her earnest end in choose."

jest.

By this she had him lulled fast asleep,
That of no worldly thing he care did take;
Then she with liquors strong his eyes did steep,
That nothing should him hastily awake :
So she him left, and did herself betake
Unto her boat again, with which she cleft
The slothful wave of that great grisly lake ;
Soon she that island far behind her left,
And now is come to that same place where first she

weft.

But he, half discontent, mote natheless
Himself appease, and issued forth on shore;
The joys whereof, and happy fruitfulness,
Such as he saw, she 'gan him lay before,
And all though pleasant, yet she made much more.
The fields did laugh, the flowers did freshly spring,
The trees did bud, and early blossoms bore,
And all the quire of birds did sweetly sing,
And told the garden's pleasures in their caroling.

By this time was the worthy Guyon brought
Unto the other side of that wide strand
Where she was rowing, and for passage sought :
Him needed not long call ; she soon to hand
Her ferry brought, where him she biding found
With his sad guide : himself she took aboard,
But the black palmer suffer'd still to stand,
Ne would for price or prayers once afford
To ferry that old man over the perilous ford.

And she, more sweet than any bird on bough,
Would oftentimes amongst them bear a part,
And strive to pass (as she could well enough)
Their native music by her skilful art :
So did she all, that might his constant heart
Withdraw from thought of warlike enterprise,
And drown in dissolute delights apart,
Where noise of arms, or view of martial guise
Might not revive desire of knightly exercise.

Guyon was loath to leave his guide behind, But he was wise, and wary of her will,
Yet being enter'd might not back retire ;

And ever held his hand upon his heart;
For the flit bark obeying to her mind,

Yet would not seem so rude and thewed ill, Forth launched quickly, as she did desire,

As to despise so courteous seeming part, Ne gave him leave to bid that aged sire

That gentle lady did to him impart ; Adieu, but nimbly ran her wonted course But fairly tempering, fond desire subdued, Through the dull billows, thick as troubled mire, And ever her desired to depart; Whom neither wind out of their seat could force, She list not hear, but her disports pursued, Nor timely tides did drive out of their sluggish And ever bade him stay till time the tide renew'd.

source.

And now by this Cymochles' hour was spent, “ If ever love of lady did empierce
That he awoke out of his idle dream ;

Your iron breasts, or pity could find place, And shaking off his drowsy dreriment,

Withhold your bloody hands from battle fierce ; 'Gan him advise how ill did him beseem

And sith for me ye fight, to me this grace In slothful sleep his moulten heart to steme, Both yield, to stay your deadly strife a space ;”. And quench the brand of his conceived ire ; They stay'd awhile, and forth she 'gan proceed : Tho' up he started, stirr'd with shame extreme, “ Most wretched woman, and of wicked race, Ne stayed for his damsel to enquire,

That am the author of this heinous deed, But marched to the strand, there passage to And cause of death between two doughty knights require.

do breed. And in the way he with Sir Guyon met,

“ But if for me ye fight, or me will serve, Accompanied with Phædria the fair ;

Not this rude kind of battle, nor these arms Eftsoons he 'gan to rage and inly fret,

Are meet, the which do men in bale to sterve, Crying, “Let be that lady debonair,

And doleful sorrow heap with deadly harms : Thou recreant knight, and soon thyself prepare

Such cruel game my scarmoges disarms. To battle, if thou mean her love to gain.

Another war and other weapons I Lo, lo, already how the fowls in air

Do love, where love does give his sweet alarms Do flock, awaiting shortly to obtain

Without bloodshed, and where the enemy Thy carcass for their prey, the guerdon of thy pain." Does yield unto his foe a pleasant victory. And therewithal he fiercely at him flew,

« Debateful strife and cruel enmity And with importune outrage him assail'd; The famous name of knighthood foully shend ; Who soon prepared, to field his sword forth drew, But lovely peace and gentle amity, And him with equal value countervail'd ;

And in amours the passing hours to spend, Their mighty strokes their haberieons dismail'd, The mighty martial hands do most commend ; And naked made each other's manly spalles ; Of love they ever greater glory bore The mortal steel dispiteously entail'd

Than of their arms : Mars is Cupido's friend, Deep in their flesh, quite through the iron walls, And is for Venus' loves renowned more That a large purple stream adown their gia Than all his wars and spoils the which he did of falls.

yore.” Cymochles, that had never met before

Therewith she sweetly smiled. They, though So puissant foe, with envious despight

To prove extremities of bloody fight, [full bent His proud presumed force encreased more, Yet at her speech their rages 'gan relent, Disdaining to be held so long in fight.

And calm the sea of their tempestuous spite : Sir Guyon, grudging not so much his might, Such power have pleasing words: such is the might As those unknightly railings which he spoke, Of courteous clemency in gentle heart. With wrathful fire his courage kindled bright, Now after all was ceased, the Faery Knight Thereof devising shortly to be wroke,

Besought that damsel suffer him depart, And doubling all his powers, redoubled every stroke. And yield him ready passage to that other part.

Both of them high at once their hands enhaunst,
And both at once their huge blows down did sway:
Cymochles' sword on Guyon's shield yglaunst,
And thereof nigh one quarter shear'd away :
But Guyon's angry blade so fierce did play
On th' other's helmet, which as Titan shone,
That quite it clove his plumed crest in tway,
And bared all his head into the bone,
Wherewith astonish'd still he stood as senseless

stone.

She no less glad than he desirous was
Of his departure thence ; for of her joy
And vain delight she saw he light did pass,
A foe of folly and immodest toy,
Still solemn sad, or still disdainful coy,
Delighting all in arms and cruel war,
That her sweet peace and pleasures did annoy,
Troubled with terror and unquiet jar,
That she well pleased was thence to amove him

far.

Still as he stood, fair Phædria (that beheld Tho' him she brought aboard, and her swift boat
That deadly danger) soon atweene them ran, Forthwith directed to that further strand,
And at their feet herself most humbly fell’d, That which on the dull waves did lightly float,
Crying with piteous voice and countnance wan, And soon arrived on the shallow sand,
“Ah ! well away! most noble lords, how can Where gladsome Guyon sallied forth to land,
Your cruel eyes endure so piteous sight

And to that damsel thanks gave for reward : To shed your lives on ground? woe worth the man Upon that shore he espied Atin stand,

That first did teach the cursed steel to bite There by his master left, when late he fared ; In his own flesh, and make way to the living in Phædria's fleet bark, over that perlous shard.

spright!

*

*

*

SIR GUYON, GUIDED BY THE PALMER TEMPERANCE, PASSES

THE DANGERS OF THE BOWER OF BLISS.

Ere long they heard an hideous bellowing Of many beasts, that roar'd outrageously. As if that Hunger's point, or Venus' sting, Had them enraged with fell surquedry ; Yet nought they fear’d, but past on hardily, Until they came in view of those wild beasts, Who all at once, gaping full greedily And rearing fiercely their upstarting crests, Ran towards to devour those unexpected guests.

But soon as they approach'd with deadly threat, The palmer over them his staff upheld, His mighty staff, that could all charms defeat; Eftsoons their stubborn courages were quellid, And high-advanced crests down meekly fellid : Instead of fraying they themselves did fear, And trembled, as them passing they beheld : Such wond'rous power did in that staff appear, All monsters to subdue to him that did it bear.

With that the rolling sea resounding soft, In his big base them fitly answered, And on the rock the waves breaking aloft, A solemn mean unto them measured ; The whiles sweet Zephyrus loud whistled His treble, a strange kind of harmony, Which Guyon's senses softly tickled, That he the boatman bade row easily, And let him hear some part of their rare melody. 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 levelled ; When suddenly a gross fog overspread With his dull vapour all that desert has, And heaven's cheerful face enveloped, That all things one, and one as nothing was, And this great universe seem'd one confused mass. Thereat they greatly were dismay'd, ne wist How to direct their way in darkness wide, But fear'd to wander in that wasteful mist, For tumbling into mischief unespied : Worse is the danger hidden than descried. Suddenly an innumerable flight Of harmful fowls about them fluttering cried, And with their wicked wings them oft did smite, And sore annoy'd, groping in that griesly night. Even all the nation of unfortunate And fatal birds about them flocked were, Such as by nature men abhor and hate; The ill-faced owl, death's dreadful messenger ; The hoarse night-raven, trump of doleful drear ; The leather-winged bat, day's enemy; The rueful strich, still waiting on the bier ; The whistler shrill, that whoso hears doth die ; The hellish harpies, prophets of sad destiny ;

Of that same wood it framed was cunningly Of which Caduceus whileome was made, Caduceus, the rod of Mercury, With which he wont the Stygian realms invade Through ghastly horror and eternal shade ; Th’infernal fiends with it he can assuage, And Orcus tame, whom nothing can persuade, And rule the furies when they most do rage : Such virtue in his staff had eke this palmer sage.

Thence passing forth, they shortly do arrive Whereat the Bower of Bliss was situate; A place pick'd out by choice of best alive, That Nature's work by art can imitate : In which whatever in this worldly state Is sweet and pleasing unto living sense, Or that may daintiest fantasy aggrate, Was poured forth with plentiful dispense, And made there to abound with lavish affluence.

Goodly it was, enclosed round about,
As well their enter'd guests to keep within,
As those unruly beasts to hold without;
Yet was the fence thereof but weak and thin ;
Nought fear'd they force that fortilage to win,
But Wisdom's power, and Temperance's might,
By which the mightiest things efforced been :
And eke the gate was wrought of substance

light,
Rather for pleasure than for battery or fight.

All those, and all that else does horror breed, About them flew, and fill'd their sails with fear : Yet stay'd they not, but forward did proceed, Whiles th' one did row, and th’other stiffly steer; Till that at last the weather gan to clear, And the fair land itself did plainly show. Said then the palmer, “ Lo where does appear The sacred soil where all our perils grow, Therefore, Sir Knight, your ready arms about you

throw." He hearken'd, and his arms about him took, The whiles the nimble boat so well her sped, That with her crooked keel the land she struck ; Then forth the noble Guyon sallied, And his sage palmer that him governed ; But the other by his boat behind did stay. They marched fairly forth, of nought ydred, Both firmly arm’d for every hard assay, With constancy and care, gainst danger and

dismay.

It framed was of precious ivory, That seem'd a work of admirable wit, And therein all the famous history Of Jason and Medæa was ywrit ; Her mighty charms, her furious loving fit, His goodly conquest of the Golden Fleece, His falsed faith, and love too lightly fit, The wondered Argo, which, in venturous peace, First through the Euxine seas bore all the flower

of Greece.

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