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Ere long they heard an hideous bellowing All this and mare might in that goodly gate. Of many beasts, that roard outrageously,

Be red, that ever open stood to all As if that hungers poynt or Venus sting

Which thether came: but in the porch there sate Had them enraged with fell surquedry;

A comely personage of stature tall, Yet nought they feard, but past on hardily, And semblaunce pleasing, more then naturall, Untill they came in vew of those wilde beasts, That traveilers to him seemd to entice; Who all attonce, gaping full greedily,

His looser garment to the ground did fall,
And rearing fiercely their upstaring crests,

And few about his heeles in wanton wize,
Ran towards to devoure those unexpected guests. Not fitt for speedy pace or manly exercize.
But, soone as they approcht with deadly threat, They in that place him Genius did call:
The palmer over them his staffe upheld,

Not that celestiall powre, to whom the care
His mighty stafie, that could all charmes defeat: Of life, and generation of all
Eftesoones their stubborne corages were queld, That lives, perteines in charge particulare,
And high advaunced crests downe meekely feld; Who wondrous things concerning our welfare,
Instead of fraying they themselves did feare, And straunge phantomes doth lett us ofte foresee,
And trembled, as them passing they beheld: And ofte of secret ills bids us beware:
Such wondrous powre did in that staffe appeare,

That is our selfe, whom though we do not see, All monsters to subdew to him that did it beare. Yet each doth in himselfe it well perceive to bee: Of that same wood it fram'd was cunningly, Therefore a god him sage Antiquity Of which caducëus whilome was made,

Did wisely make, and good Agdistes call : Caducëus, the rod of Mercury,

But this same was to that quite contrary, With which he wonts the Stygian realmes invade The foe of life, that good envyes to all, Through ghastly horror and eternall shade; That secretly doth us procure to fall Th’infernall feends with it he can asswage, Through guilefull semblants, which he makes us see: And Orcus tame, whome nothing can persuade, He of this gardin had the governall, And rule the Furyes when they most doe rage: And Pleasures porter was devizd to bee, Such vertue in his staffe had eke this palmer sage. Holding a staffe in hand for more formalitee. Thence passing forth, they shortly doe arryve

With divers flowres he daintily was deckt, Whereas the Bowre of Blisse was situate ;

And strowed rownd about; and by his side A place pickt out by choyce of best alyve,

A mighty mazer bowle of wine was sett, That natures worke by art can imitate:

As if it had to him bene sacrifide; In which whatever in this worldly state

Wherewith all new-come guests be gratyfide: Is sweete and pleasing unto living sense,

So did he eke sir Guyon passing by; Or that may dayntest fantasy aggrate,

But he his ydle curtesie defide, Was poured forth with plentifull dispence, And overthrew his bowle disdainfully, [blants sly. And made there to abound with lavish affluence. And broke his staffe, with which he charmed semGoodly it was enclosed rownd about,

Thas being entred, they behold arownd Aswell their entred guestes to keep within,

A large and spacious plaine, on every side As those unruly beasts to hold without ;

Strowed with pleasauns; whose fayre grassy grownd Yet was the fence thereof but weake and thin; Mantled with greeve, and goodly beautifide Nought feard their force that fortilage to win, With all the ornaments of Floraes pride, But Wisedomes powre, and Temperaunces might, Wherewith her mother Art, as halfe in scorne By which the mightiest things efforced bin: Of niggard Nature, like a pompous bride And eke the gate was wrought of substaunce light, Did decke her, and too lavishly adorne, (morne. Rather for pleasure then for battery or fight. When forth from virgin bowre she comes in th' early Yt framed was of precious yvory,

Thereto the Heavens alwayes joviall That scemd a worke of admirable witt;

Lookte on them lovely, still in stedfast state, And therein all the famous history

Ne suffred storme nor frost on them to fall Of lason and Medæa was ywritt;

Their tender buds or leaves to violate; Her mighty charmes, her furious loving fitt; Nor scorching heat, nor cold intemperate, His goodly conquest of the golden fleece,

T'afflict the creatures which therein did dwell; His falsed fayth, and love too lightly flitt;

But the milde ayre with season moderate The wondred Argo, which in venturous peece Gently attempred, and disposd so well, First through the Euxine seas bore all the flowr of That still it breathed forth sweet spirit and holesoin Greece.


Ye might have seene the frothy billowes fry More sweet and holesome then the pleasaunt hill Under the ship as thorough them she went, Of Rhodope, on which the nimphe, that bore That seemd the waves were into yvory,

A gyaunt babe, herselfe for griefe did kill; Or yvory into the waves were sent;

Or the Thessalian tempe, where of yore And otherwhere the snowy substaunce sprent Fayre Daphne Phæbus hart with love did gore; With vermell, like the boyes blood therein shed, Or Ida, where the gods lov'd to repayre, A piteous spectacle did represent;

Whenever they their heavenly bowres forlore; And otherw uiles with gold besprinkeled [wed. Or sweet Parnasse, the haunt of Muses fayre; Yt seemd th' enchaunted fame, which did Crëusa Or Eden selfe, if ought with Eden mote compayre.

Much wondred Guyon at the fayre aspect

And in the midst of all a fountaine stood,
Of that sweet place, yet suffred no delight Of richest substance that on Earth might hee,
To siycke into his sence, nor mind affect;

So pure and shiny that the silver flood
But passed forth, and lookt still forward right, Through every channell running one might see;
Brydling his will and maystering his might: Most goodly it with curious ymageree
Till that he came unto another gate;

Was orer-wrought, and shapes of naked boyes, No gate, but like one, being goodly dight

Of which some seemd with lively iollitee With bowes and braunches, which did broad dilate To fly about, playing their wanton toyes, Their clasping armes in wanton wreathings intricate: Whylestothers did themselves embay in liquid ioyes. So fashioned a porch with rare device,

And over all of purest gold was spred Archt over head with an embracing vine,

A trayle of yvie in his native hew; Whose bounches hanging downe seemd to entice For the rich metall was so coloured, All passers-by to taste their lushious wine,

That wight, who did not well avis'd it vew, And did themselves into their hands incline, Would surely deeme it to bee yvie trew : As freely offering to be gathered ;

Low his lascivious armes adown did creepe, Some deepe empurpled as the hyacine,

That themselves dipping in the silver dew
Some as the rubine laughing sweetely red, Their fleecy flowres they fearefully did steepe,
Some like faire emeraudes, not yet well ripened : Which drops of christallseemd for wantones to weep.
And them amongst some were of burnisht gold, Infinit streames continually did well
So made by art to beautify the rest,

Out of this fountaine, sweet and faire to see,
Which did themselves emongst the leaves enfold, The which into an ample laver fell,
As lurking from the vew of covetous guest, And shortly grew to so great quantitie,
That the weake boughes with so rich load opprest That like a litle lake it seemd to bee;
Did bow adowne as overburdened.

Whose depth exceeded not three cubits hight,
Under that porch a comely dame did rest

That through the waves one might the bottom see,
Clad in fayre weedes but fowle disordered, [hed: All pav'd' beneath with jaspar shining bright,
And garments loose that seemd unmeet for woman- That seemd the fountaine in that sea did sayle up.

In her left hand a cup of gold she held,
And with her right the riper fruit did reach, And all the margent round about was sett
Whose sappy liquor, that with fulnesse sweld, With shady laurell trees, thence to defend
Into her cup she scruzd with daintie breach The sunny beames which on the billowes bett,
Of her fine fingers, without fowle empeach, And those wbich therein bathed mote offend.
That so faire winepresse made the wine more sweet: As Guyon hapned by the same to wend,
Thereof she usd to give to drinke to each,

Two naked damzelles he therein espyde,
Whom passing by she happened to meet:

Which therein bathing seemed to contend It was her guise all straungers goodly so to greet. And wrestle wantooly, ne card to hyde [eyd.

Their dainty partes from vew of any which them So sbe lo Guyon offred it to tast; Who, taking it out of her tender hond,

Sometimes the one would lift the other quight The cup to ground did violently cast,

Above the waters, and then downe againe That all in peeces it was broken fond,

Her plong, as over-maystered by might, And with the liquor stained all the lond:

Where both awhile would covered remaine, Whereat Excesse exceedingly was wroth,

And each the other from to rise restraine; Yet no'te the same amend, ne yet withstond, The whiles their snowy limbes, as through a vele, But suffered him to passe, all were she loth; (goth. So through the christall waves appeared plaine : Who, nought regarding her displeasure, forward Then suddeinly both would themselves unhele,

And th’amorous sweet spoiles to greedy eyes revele. There the most daintie paradise on ground Itselfe doth offer to his sober eye,

As that faire starte, the messenger of morne, In wbich all pleasures plenteously abownd,

His deawy face out of the sea doth reare: And none does others happinesse envye;

Or as the Cyprian goddesse, newly borne The painted flowres; the trees upshooting hye;

Of th'ocean's fruitfull froth, did first appeare: The dales for shade; the billes for breathing space; Such seemed they, and so their yellow heare The trembling groves; the christall running by; Christalline humor dropped downe apace. And, that which all faire workes doth most aggrace, Whom such when Guyon saw, he drew him neare, The art, which all that wrought, appeared in no And somewhat gan relent his earnest pace; (brace. place.

His stubborne brest gan secret pleasaunce to emOne would bave thought, (so cunningly the rude The wanton maidens him espying, stood And scorned partes were mingled with the fine) Gazing awhile at his unwonted guise; That Nature bad for wantonesse ensude

Then th' one herselfe low ducked in the flood, Art, and that Art at Nature did repine ;

Abasht that her a straunger did avise : So striving each th’ other to undermine,

But th' other rather higher did arise, Each did the others worke more beautify;

And her two lilly paps aloft displayd, So diff'ring both in willes agreed in fine:

And all, that might his melting hart entyse So all agreed, through sweete diversity,

To her delights, she unto him bewrayd; This gardin to adorne with all variety.

The rest, hidd uademeath, him more desirous made.

66 With that the other likewise up arose,

The whiles some one did chaunt this lovely lay, And her faire lockes, which formerly were bownd Ah! see, whoso fayre thing doest faine to see, Up in one knott, she low adowne did lose,

In springing flowre the image of thy day!
Wbich flowing long and thick her cloth'd arownd, Ah! see the virgin rose, how sweetly shee
And th' yvorie in golden mantle gownd:

Doth first peepe foorth with bashfull modestee,
So that faire spectacle from him was reft,

That fairer seemes the lesse ye see her may!
Yet that which reft it no lesse faire was found : Lo! see soone after horo more bold and free
So hidd in lockes and waves from lookers theft, Her bared bosome she doth broad display;
Nought but her lovely face she for his looking left. Lo! see soone after how she fades and falls away!
Withall she laughed, and she blusht withall, So passeth, in the passing of a day,
That blushing to her laughter gave more grace, of mortall life the leafe, the bud, the flowre ;
And laughter to her blushing, as did fall.

Ne more doth florish after first decay,, Now when they spyde the knight to slacke his pace That earst was sought to deck both bed and bowere Them to behold, and in his sparkling face Of many a lady' and many a paramowre! The secrete signes of kindled lust appeare, Gather therefore the rose whilest yet is prime, Their wanton merriments they did encreace, For soone comes age that will her pride de flowre : And to him beckned to approch more neare, Gather the rose of love thilest yet is time, And shewd him many sights that corage cold could Whilest loving thou mayst loved be with equall crime. reare:

He ceast; and then gan all the quire of birdes
On which when gazing him the palmer saw,

Their divers notes t'attune unto his lay,
He much rebukt those wandring eyes of his,' As in approvaunce of his pleasing wordes.
And counseld well him forward thence did draw. The constant payre heard all that he did say,
Now are they come nigh to the Bowre of Blis, Yet swarved not, but kept their forward way
Of her fond favorites so nam'd amis ;

Through many covert groves and thickets close,
When thus the palmer; “ Now, sir, well avise ; In which they creeping did at last display
For here the end of all our traveill is :

That wanton lady with her lover lose,
Here wonnes Acrasia, whom we must surprise, Whose sleepie head she in her lap did soft dispose.
Els she will slip away, and all our drift despise."

Upon a bed of roses she was layd,
Eftsoones they heard a most melodious sound, As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin ;
Of all that mote delight a daintie eare,

And was arayd, or rather disarayd,
Such as attonce might not on living ground, All in a vele of silke and silver thin,
Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere:

That hid no wbit her alablaster skin,
Right hard it was for wight which did it heare, But rather shewd more white, if more might bee' : *
To read what manner musicke that mote bee;

More subtile web Arachne cannot spin;
For all that pleasing is to living eare

Nor the fine nets, which oft we woven see (filee.
Was there consorted in one harmonee; {agree: Of scorched deaw, do not in th' ayre more lightly
Birdes, voices, instruments, windes, waters, all

Her snowy brest was bare to ready spoyle
The joyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull shade, Of hungry eies, which n'ote therewith be file;
Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet; And yet, through languour of her late sweet toyle,
Th' angelicall soft trembling voyces made Few drops, more cleare then nectar, forth distild,
To th'instruments divine respondence meet; That like pure orient perles adowne it trild;
The silver-sounding instruments did meet

And her faire eyes, sweet smyling in delight,
With the base murmure of the waters fall; Moystened their fierie beames, with which she thrild
The waters fall with difference discreet,

Fraile harts, yet quenched not; like starry light,
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call; Which, sparckling on the silent waves, does seeme
The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.

more bright.
There, whence that musick seemed heard to bee, The young man, sleeping by her, seemd to be
Was the faire witch herselfe now solacing

Some goodly swayne of honorable place;
With a new lover, whom, through sorceree That certes it great pitty was to see
And witchcraft, she from farre did thether bring: Him his nobility so fowle deface:
There she had him now laid a slombering

A sweet regard and amiable grace,
In secret shade after long wanton ioyes ;

Mixed with manly sternesse, did appeare,
Whilst round abont them pleasauntly did sing Yet sleeping, in his well-proportiond face;
Many faire ladies and laseivious boyes,

And on his tender lips the downy beare
That ever mixt their song with light licentious toyes. Did now but freshly spring, and silken blossoms beare.
And all that while right over him she hong His warlike armes, the ydle instruments,
With ber false eyes fast fixed in his sight,

Of sleeping praise, were hong upon a tree;
As seeking medicine whence she was stong, And his brave shield, full of old moniinents,
Or greedily depasturing delight;

Was fowly ras't, that none the signes might see;
And oft inclining downe with kisses light,

Ne for them ne for honour cared hee, For feare of waking him, his lips bedewd, Ne ought that did to his advauncement tend ; And through his humid eyes did sucke his spright, But in lewd loves, and wastefull luxuree, Quite molten into last and pleasure lewd; His dayes, his goods, bis bodie he did spend : Wherewith she sighed soft, as if his case she rewd. O horrible enchantment, that him so did blend !


The noble Elfe and carefull palmer drew

Which, now awaking, fierce at them gan ny, So nigb them, minding nought but lustfull game, As in their mistresse reskew, whom they lad; That suddein forth they on them rusht, and threw But them the palmer soone did pacify. A subtile net, which only for that same

Then Guyon askt, what meant those beastes which The skilfull palmer formally did frame:

there did ly. So held them under fast; the whiles the rest Fled all away for feare of fowler shame.

Sayd he; “ These seeming beasts are men in deed, The faire enchauntresse, so unwares opprest,

Whom this enchauntresse hath transformed thus; Tryde all her arts and all her sleights thence out whylome her lovers, which her lustes did feed, to wrest.

Now turned into figures hideous,

According to their mindes like monstruous." And eke her lover strove; but all in vaine: “ Sad end,” quoth he, “ of life intemperate, For that same net so cunvingly was wound, And mourneful meed of ioyes delicious ! That neither guile nor force might it distraine. But, palmer, if it mote thee so aggrate, They tooke them both, and both them strongly bound Let them returned be unto their former state." In captive bandes, which there they readie found: But her in chaines of adamant he tyde;

Streightway he with his vertrous staffe them stroke, For nothing else might keepe her safe and sound: And streight of beastes they comely men became; But Verdant (so he hight) he soone untyde, Yet being men they did unmanly looke, And counsell sage in steed thereof to him applyde. And stared ghastly; some for inward shame,

And some for wrath to see their captive dame: But all those pleasaunt bowres, and pallace brave, But one above the rest in speciall Guyon broke-downe with rigour pittilesse; That had an hog beenelate, hight Grylle by name, Ne ought their goodly workmanship might save Repyned greatly, and did him miscall (turall. Them from the tempest of his wrathfulnesse, That had from boggish forme him brought to naBut that their blisse he turn'd to balefulnesse ; Their groves he feld ; their gardins did deface; Saide Gnyon ; " See the mind of beastly man, Their arbers spoyle; their cabinets suppresse; That hath so soone forgot the excellence Their banket-houses burne; their buildings race; Of his creation, when he life began, And, of the fayrest late, now made the fowiest place. That now he chooseth with vile difference

To be a beast, and lacke intelligence !" Then led they her away, and eke that knight To whom the palmer thus; “ The donghill kinde They with them led, both sorrowfull and sad: Delightes in filth and fowle incontinence: The way they came, the same retourn'd they right, Let Gryll be Gryll, and have his hoggish minde; Till they arrived where they lately had

But let us hence depart whilest wether serves and Charın'd those wild beasts that rag'd with furie mad;


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But let that same delitious poet lend
A little leave unto a rusticke Muse
To sing bis mistresse prayse; and let him mend,
If ought amis her liking may abuse:
Ne let his fayrest Cynthia refuse
in mirrours more then one herselfe to see;
But either Gloriana let her chuse,
Or in Belphebe fashioned to bee;
In th' one her rule, in th' other her rare chastitec.

That fayrest vertue, far above the rest : For which what needes me fetch from Faëry Forreine ensamples it to have exprest ? Sith it is shrined in my soveraines brest, And formd so lively in each perfect part, That to all ladies, which have it profest, Need but behold the pourtraict of her hart; If pourtrayd it might bee by any living art: But living art may not least part expresse, Nor life-resembling pencill it can paynt: All were it Zeuxis or Praxiteles, His dædale hand would faile and greatly faynt, And her perfections with his error taynt: Ne poets witt, that passeth painter farre In picturing the parts of beauty daynt, So hard a workemanship adventure darre, For fear through wait of words her excellence to

CANTO 1. Guyon encountreth Britomart:

Fayre Florimell is chaced : Duessaes traines and Malecas

taes champions are defaced.


The famous Briton prince and Faery knight,
After long ways and perilous paines endur'd,
Having their weary limbes to perfect plight
Restord, and sory wounds right well recur'd,
Of the faire Alma greatly were procur'd
To make there lenger soiourne and abode ;
But, when thereto they might not be allur'd
From seeking praise and deeds of armes abrode,
They courteous congé tooke, and forth together


How then shall I, apprentice of the skill
That whilome in divinest wits did rayne,
Presume so high to stretch mine bumble quill ?
Yet now my luckelesse lott doth me constrayne
Hereto perforce: but, О dredd soverayne,
Thus far forth pardon, sith that choicest witt
Cannot your glorious pourtraict figure playne,
That I iu colourd showes may shadow itt,
And antique praises unto present persons fitt.
But if in living colours, and right hew,
Thyselfe thou covet to see pictured,
Who can it doe more lively, or more trew,
Then that sweete verse, with nectar sprinckeled,
In which a gracious servaunt pictured
His Cynthia, his Heavens fayrest light ?
That with his melting sweetnes ravished,
And with the wonder of her beamës bright,
My sences Julled are in slomber of delight.

But the captív'd Acrasia he sent,
Because of traveill long, a nigher way,
With a strong gard, all reskew to prevent,
And her to Faery court safe to convay;
That ber for witnes of his hard assay
Unto his Faery queene he might present :
But he himselfe betooke another way,
To make more triall of his hardiment,
And seek adventures, as he with prince Arthure went.

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