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XLV. Thus did the gentle knight himselfe abeare Amongst that rusticke rout in all his deeds, That even they, the which his rivals were, Could not maligne him, but commend him needs : For courtesie amongst the rudest breeds Good will and favour ; so it surely wrought With this faire mayd, and in her mynde the seeds Of perfect love did sow, that last forth brought The fruite of ioy and blisse, though long time
XLVI. [dearely bought. Thus Calidore continu'd there long time, To winne the love of the faire Pastorell, Which having got, he used without crime Or blamefull blot; but menaged so well, That he of all the rest which there did dwell Was favoured, and to her grace commended; But what straunge fortunes unto him befell, Ere he attaind the point by him intended, Shall more conveniently in other place be ended.
BOOK VI. CANTO X.
Calidore sees the Graces daunce
I. Who now does follow the foule Blatant Beast, Whilest Calidore does follow that faire mayd, Unmyndfull of his vow and high beheast, Which by the Faery Queene was on him layd, That he should never leave, nor be delayd From chacing him, till he had it atchieved ? But now, entrapt of love, which him betrayd, He mindeth more how he may be relieved from her, whose love his heart hath sore
[engrieved : That from henceforth he meanes no more to sew His former quest, so full of toile and paine ; Another quest, another game, in vew He hath, the guerdon of his love to gaine, With whom he myndes for ever to remaine, And set his rest amongst the rusticke sort, Rather then hunt still after shadowes vaine Of courtly favour, fed with light report Of every blaste, and sayling alwaies in the port.
unce did appere
VI. It was an hill plaste in an open plaine, That round about was bordered with a wood Of matchlesse hight, that seem'd th'earth to disdaine, In which all trees of honour stately stood, And did all winter as in summer bud, Spredding pavilions for the birds to bowre, Which in their lower braunches sung aloud, And in their tops the soring hauke did towre, Sitting like king of fowles in maiesty and powre :
VII. And at the foote thereof, a gentle flud, His silver waves did softly tumble downe, Unmard with ragged mosse or filthy mud; Ne mote wylde beastes, ne mote the ruder clowne, Thereto approch, ne filth mote therein drowne; But Nymphes and Faeries by the bancks did sit In the wood's shade which did the waters crowne, Keeping all noysome things away from it, And to the waters fall turning their accents fit;
VIII. And on the top thereof a spacious plaine Did spred itselfe, to serve to all delight, Either to daunce, when they to daunce would faine, Or else to course-about their bases light; Ne ought there wanted which for pleasure might Desired be, or thence to banish bale; So pleasauntly the hill with equall hight Did seeme to overlooke the lowly vale, Therefore it rightly cleped was Mount Acidale.
IX. They say that Venus, when she did dispose Herselfe to pleasaunce, used to resort Unto this place, and therein to repose And rest herselfe as in a gladsome port, Or with the Graces there to play and sport, That even her owne Cytheron, though in it She used most to keepe her royall court, And in her soveraine majesty to sit, She in regard hereof refusde, and thought unfit.
X. Unto this place, whenas the Elfin knight, Approcht, him seemed that the merry sound Of a shrill pipe he playing heard on hight, And many feete fast thumping th’hollow ground, That through the woods their eccho did rebound: He nigher drew, to weete what mote it be; There he a troupe of ladies dauncing found Full merrily, and making gladfull glee, And in the midst a shepheard piping he did see.
XI. He durst not enter into th'open greene, For dread of them unwares to be descryde, For breaking of their daunce, if he were seene, But in the covert of the wood did byde, Beholding all, yet of them unespyde : There he did see that pleased much his sight, That even he himselfe his eyes envyde, An hundred naked maidens lilly white, All raunged in a ring, and dauncing in delight.