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While round about them pleasantly did sing The young man sleeping by her, seem'd to be
Some goodly swain of honourable place,
Him his nobility so foul deface; And all the while, right over him she hung,
A sweet regard, and amiable grace, With her false eyes fast fixed in his sight,
Mixed with manly sternness, did appear As seeking medecine, whence she was stung,
Yet sleeping in his well proportion'd face, Or greedily depasturing delight:
And on his tender lips the downy hair (bear. And oft inclining down with kisses light,
Did now but freshly spring, and silken blossoms For fear of waking him, his lips bedew'd, And through his humid eyes did suck his spright, His warlike arms (the idle instruments Quite molten into lust and pleasure lewd ;
Of sleeping praise) were hung upon a tree, Wherewith she sighed soft, as if his case she rued. And his brave shield (full of old moniments)
Was foully ras'd, that none the signs might see; The while, some one did chaunt this lovely lay;
Nor for them, nor for honour cared he, “ Ah see, whose fair thing dost fain to see,
Nor aught that did to his advancement tend; In springing flower the image of thy day;
But in lewd loves, and wasteful luxury, Ah see the virgin rose, how sweetly she
His days, his goods, his body he did spend:
O horrible enchantment, that him so did blend!
The noble elf and careful palmer drew
So nigh them (minding nought but lustful game) Lo, see soon after, how she fades and falls away. That sudden forth they on them rush'd, and threw
A subtle net, which only for the same “So passeth, in the passing of a day,
The skilful palmer formally did frame. Of mortal life the leaf, the bud, the flower,
So held them under fast, the while the rest Nor more doth flourish after first decay,
Fled all away for fear of fouler shame. That erst was sought to deck both bed and bower
The fair Enchantress, so unwares opprest, [wrest. Of many a lady, and many a paramour :
Tried all her arts, and all her sleights, thence out to Gather therefore the rose, while yet is prime, For soon comes age, that will her pride deflower: And eke her lover strove: but all in vain; Gather the rose of love, while yet is time,
For, that same net so cunningly was wound, While loving thou mayst loved be with equal crime.” That neither guile nor force might it distrain.
They took them both, and both them strongly bound He ceas’d, and then gan all the quire of birds
In captive bands, which there they ready found: Their divers notes t'attune unto his lay,
But her in chains of adamant he tied; As in approvance of his pleasing words.
For nothing else might keep her safe and sound; The constant pair heard all that he did say, But Verdant (so he hight) he soon untied, Yet swerved not, but kept their forward way, And counsel sage instead thereof to him applied. Through many covert groves, and thickets close, In which they creeping did at last display
But all those pleasant bowers, and palace brave, That wanton lady, with her lover loose,
Guyon broke down, with rigor pitiless; Whose sleepy head she in her lap did soft dispose. Nor aught their goodly workmanskip might save
Them from the tempest of his wrathfulness, Upon a bed of roses she was laid,
But that their bliss he turn'd to balefulness : As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin, Their groves he fell’d, their gardens did deface, And was array'd, or rather disarray'd,
Their arbors spoil'd, their cabinets suppress, All in a veil of silk and silver thin,
Their banquet-houses burn, their buildings rase, That hid no whit her alabaster skin,
And of the fairest late, now made the foulest place. But rather shew'd more white, if more might be: More subtle web Arachne cannot spin, Nor the fine nets, which oft we woven see
THE FACULTIES OF THE MIND. Of scorched dew do not in th' air more lightly flee.
Nor can I tell, nor can I stay to tell
This part's great workmanship, and wondrous power, Her snowy breast was bare to ready spoil
That all this other world's work doth excel,
In which there dwelt three honourable
sages, Moisten'd their fiery beams, with which she thrillid
The wisest men (I ween) that lived in their ages. Frail hearts, yet quenched not; like starry light, Not he whom Greece (the nurse of all good arts) Which sparkling on the silent waves, does seem By Phæbus' doom, the wisest thought alive, more bright.
Might be compar'd to these by many parts:
His goodly reason, and grave personage,
That his disciples both desir’d to be; (three.
But Alma thence them led to th' hindmost room of
That chamber seemed ruinous and old,
And therefore was removed far behind;
Yet were the walls, that did the same uphold,
And therein sate an old old man, half blind,
And all decrepid in his feeble corse,
And recompenced him with a better scorce:
This man of infinite remembrance was,
And things foregone through many ages held,
Which he recorded still as they did pass,
As all things else, the which this world doth weld,
But laid them up in his immortal scrine,
Where they for ever uncorrupted dwellid;
Of old Assaracus, and Inachus divine.
The years of Nestor nothing were to his,
Nor yet Methusalem, though longest liv’d;
For, he remembered both their infancies:
Of native strength now, that he them surviv'd.
And old records from ancient times deriv'd, All those were idle thoughts and phantasies, Some made in books, some in long parchment scrolls Devices, dreams, opinions unsound,
That were all worm-eaten, and full of canker holes. Shows, visions, soothsays, and prophecies; And all that seigned is, as leasings, tales, and lies.
THE DEFEAT OF MARINELL, Amongst them all sate he which wonned there, Eftsoons her goodly shield addressing fair, That hight Phantastes by his nature true;
That mortal spear she in her hand did take, A man of years yet fresh, as might appear,
And unto battle did herself prepare. Of swarth complexion, and of crabbed hue, The knight, approaching, sternly her bespake; That him full of melancholy did shew;
“Sir knight, that dost thy voyage rashly make Bent hollow beetle brow, sharp staring eyes,
By this forbidden way in my despite, That mad or foolish seem'd: one by his view
Nor dost by others' death example take, Might deem him born with ill disposed skies,
I read thee soon retire, while thou hast might, When oblique Saturn sate in th' house of agonies.
Least afterwards it be too late to take thy flight.” Whom Alma having shewed to her guests, (walls
Ythrill'd with deep disdain of his proud threat, Thence brought them to the second room, whose
She shortly thus; "fly they, that need to fly; Were painted fair with memorable gestes
Words fearen babes. I mean not thee intreat Of famous wisards, and with picturals
but maugre thee will pass or die." Of magistrates, of courts, of tribunals,
Nor longer staid for th' other to reply, Of commonwealths, of states, of policy,
But with sharp spear the rest made dearly known. Of laws, of judgements, and of decretals;
Strongly the strange knight ran, and sturdily All arts, all science, all philosophy,
Struck her full on the breast, that made her down And all that in the world was aye thought wittily.
Decline her head. *
But she against him in the shield did smite
With so fierce fury and great puissance, [quite, Who did them meditate all his life long,
That through his three square scutcheon piercing That through continual practise and usage,
And through his mailed hauberk, by mischance He
The wicked steel through his left side did glance; how was grown right wise, and wondrous sage.
Him so transfixed she before her bore Great pleasure had those stranger knights to see
Beyond his croup the length of all her lance, Shortly upon that shore, there heaped was
Exceeding riches and all precious things,
The wealth of th' East, and pomp of Persian Kings; Like as the sacred Ox that careless stands,
Gold, amber, ivory, pearls, owches, rings, With gilded horns, and flow'ry garlands crown'd,
And all that else was precious and dear, Proud of his dying honor and dear bands,
The sea unto him voluntary brings ; While th' altars fine with frankincense around,
That shortly he a great lord did
appear, All suddenly with mortal stroke astound
As was in all the land of fairy, or elsewhere.
Thereto he was a doughty dreaded knight,
The which his mother seeing, gan to fear
Least his too haughty hardiness might rear But forward rode, and kept her ready way
Some hard mishap, in bazard of his life : Along the strond: which as she overwent,
For this she oft him counsel'd to forbear She saw bestrewed all with rich array
The bloody battle, and to stir up strife,
But after all his war, to rest his weary koise.
And for his more assurance, she enquir'd
One day of Proteus by his mighty spell But them despised all; for all was in her power.
(For Proteus was with prophecy inspir’d)
Her dear son's destiny to her to tell,
And the sad end of her sweet Marinell.
Who, through foresight of his eternal skill,
Bade her from womankind to keep him well:
For of a woman he should have much ilt;
A virgin strange and stout him should dismay or kill. Finding the nymph asleep in secret where
For this she gave him warning every day, As he by chance did wander that same way,
The love of women not to entertain ; Was taken with her love, and by her closely lay.
A lesson too too hard for living clay, There he this knight of her begot; whom born.
From love in course of nature to refrain: She of his father Marinell did name,
Yet he his mother's love did well retain, And in a rocky cave as wight forlorn,
And ever from fair ladies' love did fly; Long time she fostered up, till he became
Yet many ladies fair did oft complain,
That they for love of him would algates die ;-
But ah, who can deceive his destiny,
Or ween by warning to avoid his fate;
That when he sleeps in most security, An hundred knights of honorable name
And safest seems, him soonest doth amate, He had subdued, and them his vassals made, And findeth due effect or soon or late ! That through all fairy land his noble fame
So feeble is the power of fleshly arm. Now blazed was, and fear did all invade,
His mother bade him women's love to hatc, That none durst passen through that perilous glade: For she of women's force did fear no harm; And to advance his name and glory more,
So weening to have arm'd him, she did quite disarm.
The which his mother vainly did expound,
To be heart-wounding love, which should essay
To bring her son unto his last decay. Out of their hollow bosom forth to throw
So tickle be the terms of mortal state, All the huge treasure, which the sea below
And full of subtle sophisms, which do play Had in his greedy gulf devoured deep,
With double senses, and with false debate,
To approve the unknown purpose of eternal fate.
Who through late trial on that wealthy strand
That the hard rocks could scarce from tears refrain,
“ Dear image of myself” she said, “ that is
The wretched son of wretched mother born,
Is this thine high advancement? O, is this
Thy grandsire Nereus promised to adorn?
Now liest thou of life and honour reft;
Nor of thy late life memory is left,
“ Fond Proteus, father of false prophecies,
And they more fond that credit to thee give,
Not this the work of woman's hand I wis, (drive. Soon as she up out of her deadly fit
That so deep wound through these dear members
I feared love: but they that love do live ;
But they that die, do neither love nor hate.
Nath'less, to thee thy folly I forgive,
“ O, what avails it of immortal seed
To been ybred and never born to die?
Far better I it deem to die with speed,
Than waste in woe and wailful misery.
But who that lives, is left to wail his loss:
So life is loss, and death felicity.
Sad life worse than glad death : and greater cross
To see friend's grave, than dead the grave self to Eftsoons the roaring billows still abid,
[engross. And all the grizly monsters of the sea (see.
“ But if the heavens did his days envy, Stood gaping at their gate, and wondered them to
And my short bliss malign, yet might they well
Thus much afford me, ere that he did die
That the dim eyes of my dear Marinell
I might have closed, and him bid farewel,
Since other offices for mother meet
They would not grant.
Yet maugre them, farewel my sweetest sweet;
Farewel my sweetest son, since we no more shall Nor bubbling roundell they behind them sent;
THE BIRTH OF BELPHEBE,
It fortuned, fair Venus having lost
Her little son, the winged god of love,
Who for some light displeasure which him crost,
Was from her fled as flit as airy dove,
And left her blissful bower of joy above,
(So from her often he had fled away,
When she for ought him sharply did reprove,
And wandered in the world in strange array,
Disguis’d in thousand shapes that none might him
(betray.) His mother swooned thrice, and the third time
Him for to seek, she left her heavenly house
(The house of goodly forms and fair aspects,
Whence all the world derives the glorious
Features of beauties, and all shapes select,
With which high God his workmanship hath deck'd)
And searched every way, through which his wings
(SPENSER. Had borne him, or his tract she might detect: Soon as she Venus saw behind her back, She promis’d kisses sweet and sweeter things She was ashamed to be so loose surprised; Unto the man, that of him tidings to her brings. And wax half wroth against her damsels slack,
That had not her thereof before advised, First she him sought in courts, where most be used But suffered her so carelessly disguised Whylome to haunt, but there she found him not; Be overtaken. Soon her garments loose But many there she found, which sore accused
Upgath'ring, in her bosom she compris’d, His falsehood, and with foul infamous blot
Well as she might, and to the goddess rose, His cruel deeds and wicked wiles did spot:
While all her nymphs did like a garland her enclose. Ladies and lords she every where might hear Complaining, how with his empoisoned shot Goodly she gan fair Cytherea greet; Their woful hearts he wounded had whyleare, And shortly asked her what cause her brought And so had left them languishing twixt hope and fear. Into that wilderness (for her unmeet) (fraught:
From her sweet bowers and beds with pleasures She then the cities sought, from gate to gate, That sudden change she strange adventure thought. And every one did ask,“ Did he him see?”
To whom (half weeping) she thus answered And every
her answered, “ that too late That she her dearest son Cupido sought, He had him seen, and felt the cruelty
Who in his frowardness from her was fled; Of his sharp darts, and hot artillery.”
That she repented sore, to have him angered. And every one threw forth reproaches rife Of his mischievous deeds, and said, “ that he Thereat Diana gan to smile, in scorn Was the disturber of all civil life,
Of her vain plaint, and to her, scoffing, said, The enemy of peace, and author of all strife.”
“Great pity sure, that ye be so forlorn
Of your gay son, that gives ye so good aid Then in the country she abroad him sought,
To your disports : ill might ye be apaid.” And in the rural cottages enquired;
But she was more engrieved, and replied ; Where also, many plaints to her were brought, • Fair sister, ill beseems it to upbraid How he their heedless hearts with love had fired, A doleful heart with so disdainful pride; And his false venom through their veins inspired; The like that mine, may be your pain another tide. And eke the gentle shepherd swains, which sat Keeping their fleecy flocks, as they were hired, “ As you in woods and wanton wilderness She sweetly heard complain, both how and what Your glory set, to chace the savage beasts; Her son had to them done; yet she did smile thereat. So my delight is all in joyfulness,
In beds, in bowers, in banquets, and in feasts: But when in none of all these she him got,
And ill becomes you with your lofty crests, She gan
avise where else he might him hide: To scorn the joy that Jove is glad to seek; At last, she her bethought, that she had not
We both are bound to follow heaven's behests, Yet sought the savage woods and forests wide, And tend our charges with obedience meek: In which full many lovely nymphs abide,
Spare (gentle sister) with reproach my pains to eke; Mongst whom might be, that he did closely lie, Or that the love of some of them him tied;
“And tell me, if that ye my son have heard, Therefore she thither cast her course t' apply, To lurk amongst your nymphs in secret wise; To search the secret haunts of Dian's company. Or keep their cabins; much I am affeard,
Least he like one of them himself disguise, Shortly, unto the wasteful woods she came,
And turn his arrows to their exercise : Whereas she found the goddess with her crew,
So may he long himself full
easy After late chace of their embrewed game,
For, he is fair and fresh in face and guise, Sitting beside a fountain in a rew,
As any nymph (let not it be envied).” Some of them washing with the liquid dew
So saying, every nymph full narrowly she ey'd. From off their dainty limbs the dusty sweat And soil, which did deform their lively hue; But Phebe therewith sore was angered, Others lay shaded from the scorching heat; And sharply said; “Go, dame, go seek your boy, The rest, upon her person, gave attendance great. Where you him lately left, in Mars's bed; She, having hung upon a bough on high
He comes not here, we scorn his foolish joy,
Nor lend we leisure to his idle toy: Her bow and painted quiver, had unlac'd
But if I catch him in this company, Her silver buskins from her nimble thigh,
By Stygian lake I vow, whose sad annoy
The Gods do dread, he dearly shall abie:
I'll clip his wanton wings, that he no more shall fly.”