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With gaping mouth at her ran greedily,
Where grisly Night, with visage deadly sad,
“ The lion, lord of every beast in field,”
Redounding tears did choke th' end of her plaint,
By that same way the direful dames do drive
The lion would not leave her desolate,
BOOK II., CANTO VI.
BOOK I., CANTO V.
A HARDER lesson to learn continence
THE FAITHFUL KNIGHT HAVING KILLED THE SARACEN
SANSFOY, DUESSA THE WITCH MAKES A JOURNEY TO
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
Along the shore, as swift as glance of eye,
With boughs and arbours woven cunningly, But to the eastern coast of Heaven makes speedy That like a little forest seemed outwardly ; way.
And therein sate a lady fresh and fair,
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,
Diverse discourses in their way they spent;
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
“ Behold, O man ! that toilsome pains dost take, And by the way, as was her wonted guise,
And pass the bonds of modest merimake,
“ The lily, lady of the flow'ring field,
Yet she still followed her former style,
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."
By this she had him lulled fast asleep,
But he, half discontent, mote natheless
By this time was the worthy Guyon brought
And she, more sweet than any bird on bough,
Guyon was loath to leave his guide behind, But he was wise, and wary of her will,
And ever held his hand upon his heart;
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.
And now by this Cymochles' hour was spent, “ If ever love of lady did empierce
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,
She no less glad than he desirous was
Still as he stood, fair Phædria (that beheld Tho' him she brought aboard, and her swift boat
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.
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,
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
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