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Forth came that auncient lord, and aged queene, Thus flocked all the folke him rownd about ; Arayd in ant que robes downe to the grownd, The whiles that boario king, with all bis trajne, And sad habiliments right well beseene:
Being arrived where that champion stout A noble crew about them waited rownd
After his foes defeasaunce did remaine, Of sage and sober peres, all gravely gownd; Him goodly greetes, and fayre does entertayne Whom far before did march a goodly band With princely gifts of yvory and gold, Of tall young men, all hable armes to sound, And thousand thankes him yeeldes for all his paine. But now they laurell braunches bore in band ;. Then when his daughter deare he does behold, Glad signe of victory and peace in all their land. Her dearely doth imbrace, and kisseth manifold. Unto that doughtie conquerour they came, And after to his pallace he them bringes, And, him before themselves prostrating low, With shaumes, and trompets, and with clarions Their lord and patrone loud did himn proclame, And all the way the ioyous people singes, (sweet ; And at his feet their lawrell borghes did throw. And with their garments strowes the paved street; Soone after them, all dauncing on a row,
Whence mounting up, they fynd purveyaunce meet The comely virgins came, with girlands dight, Of all, that royall princes court became; As fresh as flowres in medow greene doe grow, Aud all the floore was underneath their feet When morning deaw upon their leaves doth light; Bespredd with costly scarlott of great name, And in their handes sweet timbrells all upheld on On which they lowly sitt, and fitting purpose frame. hight.
What needes me tell their feast and goodly guize, And, them before, the fry of children yong In which was nothing riotous nor vaine? Their wanton sportes and childish mirth did play, What needes of dainty dishes to devize, And to the maydens sownding tymbrels song Of comely services, or courtly trayne ? In well attuned notes a joyous lay,
My narrow leaves cannot in them contayne And made delightfull musick all the way,
The large discourse of roiall princes state. Untill they came where that faire virgin stood : Yet was their manner then but bare and playne; As fayre Diana in fresh sommers day
For th' antique world excesse and pryde did bate: Beholdes her nymphes enraung'd in shady wood,
Such proud luxurious pompe is swollen up but late. Some wrestle, some do run, some bathe in christall flood;
Then, when with meates and drinkes of every kinde So she beheld those maydens meriment
Their fervent appetites they quenched had, With chearefull vew; who, when to her they came Of straunge adventures, and
of perils sad
That auncient lord gan fit occasion finde,
For to demaund of his renowmed guest :
Who then with utt'rance grave, and count'nance sad, And crowned her twixt earnest and twixt game:
From poynt to poynt, as is before exprest, Who, in her self-resemblance well beseene,
Discourst his voyage long, according his request. Did seeme, such as she was a goodly maiden queene.
Great pleasure, mixt with pittiful regard, And after all the raskall many ran,
That godly king and queene did passionate, Heaped together in rude rablement,
Whyles they his pittifull adventures heard; To see the face of that victorious man,
That oft they did lament his lucklesse state, Whom all admired as from Heaven sent,
And often blame the too importune fate And gaz'd upon with gaping wonderment. That heapd on him so many wrathfull wreakes; But when they came where that dead dragon lay, (For never gentle knight, as he of late, Stretcht on the ground in monstrous large extent, So tossed was iu fortunes cruell freakes ;) [cheaks. 'The sight with ydle feare did them dismay, And all the while salt teares bedeawd the hearers Ne durst approch bim nigb, to touch, or once assay.
Then sayd that royall pere in sober wise; Some feard, and Aledd: some feard, and well it
“ Deare sonne, great beene the evils which ye borç faynd;
From first to last in your late enterprise, One, that would wiser seeme then all the rest,
That I no'te, whether praise or pitty more: Warnd him not touch, for yet perhaps remaynd
For never living man, 1 weene, so sore Some lingring life within bis hollow brest,
In sea of deadly daungers was distrest : Or in his wombe might lurke some hidden nest
But since now safe ye seised have the shore, Of many dragonettes, his fruitfull seede;
And well arrived are, (high God be blest!)
Let us devize of ease and everlasting rest.”
“ Ah, dearest lord,” said then that doughty knight, One mother, whenas her foolebardy chyld
“ Of ease or rest I may not yet devize; Did come too neare, and with bis talants play, Por by the faith, which I to armes have plight, Halfe dead through feare, her litle babe revyld,
I bownden am streight after this emprize, And to her gossibs gan in counsell say;
As that your daughter can ye well advize, " How can I tell, but that his talants may
Backe to retourne to that great Faery queene, Yet scratch my sonne, or rend his tender hand?” And her to serve sixe yeares in warlike wize, So diversly themselves in vaine they fray ; Gainst that proud Paynim king that works her teene: Whiles some more bold to measure him nigh stand, Therefore I ought crave pardon, till I there have To prove how many acrés be did spred of land.
“ Unhappy falls that hard necessity,”
“ To thee, most mighty king of Eden fayre, Quoth he,“ the troubler of my happy peace, Her greeting sends in these sad lines addrest And vowed foe of my felicity;
The wofull davghter and forsaken heyre
Of that great emperour of all the west ;
False erraunt knight, infámous, and forsworne!
Yet I to them for iudgement just doe fly, Both daughter and eke kingdome lo ! I yield to And them coniure l' avenge this shamefull iniury! thee."
“ Therefore since mine he is, or free or bond, Then forth he called that his daughter fayre, Or false or trew, or living or else dead, The fairest Un', his onely daughter deare,
Withbold, O soverayne prince, your hasty bond His onely daughter and his onely hayre;
From knitting league with him, I you aread; Who forth proceeding with sad sober cheare, Ne weene my right with strength adowne to tread, As bright as doth the morning starre appeare Through weaknesse of my widowhed or woe: Out of the east, with flaming lockes bedight, For truth is strong her rightfull cause to plead, To tell that dawning day is drawing neare, And shall finde friends, if need requiretb soe. And to the world does bring long-wished light: So bids thee well to fare, thy neither friend nor foe. So faire and fresh that lady shewd herselfe in sight:
“ FIVESSA." So faire and fresh, as freshest flowre in May; When he these bitter byting wordes had red, For she had layd her mournefull stole aside, The tydings straunge did him abashed make, And widow-like sad wimple throwne away,
That still he sate long time astonished,
With doubtfull eyes fast fixed on his guest;
“ Redoubted knight, that for myne only sake That seemd like silke and silver woven neare ; Thy life and honor late adventurest; But neither silke nor silver therein did appeare. Let nought be hid from me, that ought to be exprest, The blazing brightnesse of her beauties beame, “ What meane these bloody vowes and idle threats, And glorious light of her sunshyny face,
Throwne out from womanish impatient mynd ? To tell, were as to strive against the streame: What Hevens? what altars? what enraged heates, My ragged rimes are all too rude and bace Here heaped up with termes of love unkynd, Her heavenly lineaments for to enchace.
My conscience cleare with guilty bands would bynd ? Ne wonder; for her own deare loved knight, High God be witnesse, that I guiltlesse ame! All were she daily with himselfe in place,
But if yourselfe, sir Knight, ye faulty fynd, Did wonder much at her celestial sight:
Or wrapped be in loves of former dame, Oft had he seene her faire, but never so faire dight. With cryme doe not it cover, but disclose the same." So fairely dight when she in presence came, To whom the Redcrosse knight this answere sent ; She to her syre made humble reverence,
“My lord, my king ; be nought hereat dismayd, And bowed low, that her right well became, Till well ye wote by grave intendiment, And added grace unto her excellence:
What woman, and wherefore, doth ine upbrayd Who with great wisedome and grave eloquence With breach of love and loialty betrayd. Thus gan to say-But, care he thus had sayd, It was in my mishaps, as hitherward With flying speede, and seeming great pretence, I lately traveild, that unwares I strayd Came running in, much like a man dismayd, Out of my way, through perils straunge and hard; A messenger with letters, which his message sayd. That day should faile me ere I had them all deciard. All in the open hall amazed stood
" There did I find, or rather I was found At suddeinnesse of that unwary sight,
Of this false woman that Fidessa hight, And wondred at his breathlesse basty mood; Fidessa higbt the falsest dame on grownd, But he for nought would stay his passage right, Most false Duessa, royall richly dight, Till fast before the king he did alight;
That easy was t'inveigle weaker sight: Where falling flat great humblesse he did make, Who by her wicked arts and wiely skill, And kist the ground whereon his foot was pight; Too false and strong for earthly skill or might, Then to his handes that writt he did betake, Unwares me wrought unto her wicked will, Which be disclosing, read thus, as the paper spake; And to my foe betrayd, when least I feared ill."
Then stepped forth the goodly royall mayd, Then gan they sprinckle all the posts with wine,
That all the house did sweat with great aray: To have bene wrought by that false sorceresse : And all the while sweete musicke did apply Shee, onely she, it is, that earst did throw
Her curious skill the warbling notes to play, This gentle knight into so great distresse,
To drive away the dull melancholy; That death him did awaite in daily wretchednesse. The wbiles one sung a song of love and jollity. “ And now it seemes, that she suborned hath
During the which there was an heavenly noise This crafty messenger with letters vaine,
Heard sownd through all the pallace pleasantly, To worke new woe and unprovided scath,
Like as it had bene many an angels voice By breaking of the band betwixt us twaine;
Singing before th’ Eternall Maiesty, Wherein she used hath the practicke paine In their trinall triplicities on bye: Of this false footman, chokt with simplenesse, Yett wist po creature whence that hevenly sweet Whome if ye please for to discover plaine, Proceeded, yet each one felt secretly Ye shall him Archimago find, I ghesse,
Himselfe thereby refte of his sences meet, The falsest man alive; who tries, shall find no lesse.” And ravished with rare impression in his sprite. The king was greatly moved at her speach; And, all with suddein indignation fraight,
Great ioy was made that day of young and old,
And solemne feast proclaymd throughout the land, Bad on that messenger rude hands to reach. Eftsoones the gard, which on his state did wait,
That their exceeding merth may not be told: Attacht that faytor false, and bound bim strait :
Suffice it heare by signes to understand Whose seeming sorely chauffed at bis band,
The usuall joyes at knitting of loves band. As chained beare whom cruell dogs doe bait,
Thrise happy man the knight himselfe did hold,
Possessed of his ladies hart and hand; With ydle force did faine them to withstand; And often semblaunce made to scape out of their His heart did seeme to melt in pleasures manifold.
And ever, when his eie did her behold, hand. But they him layd full low in dungeon deepe,
Her joyous presence, and sweet company, And bound him hand and foote with yron chains;
In full content he there did long enioy ;And with continual watch did warely keepe.
Ne wicked envy, ne vile gealosy, Who then would thinke, that bg his subtile grains
His deare delights were hable to annoy: He could escape fowle death or deadly pains?
Yet, swimming in that sea of blissfull joy, Thus, when that princes wrath was pacifide,
He nought forgott how he whilome had sworne, He gan renew the late forbidden bains,
In case he could that monstrous beast destroy, And to the knight his daughter dear he tyde
Unto his Faery queene backe to retourne; With sacred rites and vowes for ever to abyde.
The which he shortly did; and Una left to mourne. His owne two hands the holy knotts did knitt, Now, strike your sailes, yee jolly mariners, That none but death for ever can divide;
For we be come unto a quiet rode, His owne two hands, for such a turne most fitt, Where we must land some of our passengers, The housling fire did kindle and provide,
And light this weary vessell of her lode, And holy water thereon sprinckled wide;
Here she a while may make her safe abode, At which the bushy teade a groome did light, Till she repaired have her tackles spent, And sacred lamp in secret chamber bide,
And wants supplide; and then againe abroad Where it should not be quenched day nor night, On tbe long voiage whereto she is beut: For feare of evil fates, but burnen ever bright. Well may she speede, and fairely finish her intent! 95
THE FAERIE QUEENE,
THE LEGEND OF SIR GUYON, OR OR TEMPERAUNCE.
The which ! pardon me thus to enfold That all this famous antique history
In covert vele, and wrapt in shadowes light, Of some th’aboundance of an ydle braine
That feeble eyes your glory may behold, Will indged be, and painted forgery,
Which ells could not endure those beamës bright, Rather then matter of iust memory;
But would bee dazled with exceeding light. Sith none that breatheth living aire doth know (! pardon, and vouchsafe with patient eare Where is that happy land of Faëry,
The brave adventures of this Faery knight,
Guyon, by Archimage abusd,
The Redcrosse knight awaytes; The Amazon huge river, now found trew?
Fyndes Mordant and Amavia slaine
With pleasures poisoned baytes.
That conning architect of cancred guyle,
To serve againe his soveraine Elfin queene ; Of other worldes he happily should heare?
His artes he moves, and out of caytives handes He wonder would much more; yet such to some
Himselfe ne frees by secret meanes unseene; appeare.
His shackles emptie lefte, himselfe escaped cleene;
Him therefore now the obiect of his spight “Or rather would, O! would it so had chaunst,
When that lude rybauld, with vyle lust advaunst, He seekes, of all his drifte the aymed end : Laid first his filthie hands on virgin cleene, Thereto his subtile engins he does bend,
To spoyle her dainty corps, so faire and sheene His practick witt and his fayre fyled tonge, As on the Earth, great mother of us all, With thousand other sleightes; for well he kend With living eye more fayre was never seene His credit now in Joubtfull ballaunce hong : Of chastity and honour virginall:
[call! For hardly could bee hurt, who was already stong. Witnes, ye Heavens, whom she in vaine to help did Still, as he went, he craftie stales did lay, With cunning traynes him to entrap onwares,
“How may it be," sayd then the knight halfe wroth,
“ That knight should knighthood ever so have And privy spyals plast in all his way,
(troth, To weete what course he takes, and how he fares; To ketch him at a vauntage in his snares.
“ None but that saw," quoth he, " would weene for
How shamefully that mayd he did torment: But now so wise and wary was the knight
Her looser golden lockes he rudely rent, By tryall of his former harmes and cares,
And drew her on the ground; and his sharpe sword That he descryde, and shonned still, his slight: The fish, that once was caught, new bayt wil bardly And threatned death with many a bloodie word;
Against her snowy brest he fiercely bent, byte.
Tounge bates to tell the rest that eye to see abhord.” Nath'lesse th’enchaunter would not spare his payne, Therewith amoved from his sober mood, In hope to win occasion to his will: Which when he long awaited bad in vayne,
“ And lives he yet,” said he, “ that wrought this He chaungd his mynd from one to other ill :
And doen the Heavens afford him vitall food ?" For to all good he enimy was still.
“ He lives,' quoth he, “and boasteth of the fact, Upon the wav bim fortuned to meete,
Ne yet hath any knight bis courage crackt." Fayre marching underneath a shady hill,
“ Where may that treachour then,” sayd he," be A goodly knight, all armd in harnesse meete,
found, That from his head no place appeared to his feete.
Or by what meanès may I his footing tract ?"
“ That I shall shew," said he, “as sure as hound His carriage was full comely and upright; The stricken deare doth chaleng by the bleeding His countenance demure and temperate ;
wound.” But yett so sterne and terrible in sight, That cheard his friendes, and did his foes amate:
He stayd not lenger talke, but with fierce yre He was an Elfin borne, of noble state
And zealous haste away is quickly gone And mickle worship in his native land;
To seeke that knight, where him that crafty squyre Well could he tourney, and in lists debate,
Supposd to be. They do arrive anone And knighthood tooke of good sir Huons hand,
Where sate a gentle lady all alone, When with king Oberon he came to Fary land.
With garments rent, and heare discheveled,
Wringing her handes, and making piteous mone : Him als accompanyd upon the way
Her swollen eyes were much disfigured, A comely palmer, clad in black attyre,
And her faire face with teares was fowly blubbered. Of rypest yeares, and heares all hoarie gray, That with a staffe his feeble steps did stire,
The knight, approching nigh, thus to her said ; Least his long way his aged limbes should tire: “ Faire lady, through fowle sorrow ill bedight, And, if by lookes one may the mind aread,
Great pitty is to see you thus dismayd, He seemd to be a sage and sober syre;
And marre the blossom of your beauty bright : And ever with slow pace the knight did lead, Forthy appease your griefe and heavy plight, Who taught his trampling steed with equall steps and tell the cause of your conceived payne; to tread.
For, if he live that hath you doen despight,
He shall you doe dew recompence agayne, Such whenas Archimago them did view,
Or els his wrong with greater puissance maintaine." He weened well to worke some úncouth wyle: Eftsoones, untwisting his deceiptfull clew,
Which when she heard, as in despightfull wise He gan to weave a web of wicked guyle;
She wilfully her sorrow did augment, And, with faire countenance and flattring style
And offred hope of comfort did despise: To them approching, thus the knight bespake;,
Her golden lockes most cruelly slie rent, “ Fayre sonne of Mars, that seeke with warlike And scratcht her face with ghastly dreriment; spoyle,
Ne would she speake, ne sce, ne yet be seene, And great atchiev'ments, great yourselfe to make,
But hid her visage, and her head downe bent, Vouchsafe to stay your steed for humble misers Either for grievous shame, or for great teene, sake.”
As if her hart with sorrow had transfixed beene: He stayd his steed for humble misers sake, Till her that squire bespake; “Madame, my liefe, And badd tell on the tenor of his playnt :
For Gods deare love be not so wilfull bent, Who feigning then in every limb to quake
But doe vouchsafe now to receive reliefe, Through inward feare, and seeming pale and faynt, The which good fortune doth to you present. With piteous mone his percing speach gan paynt ;
lor what bootes it to weepe and to wayment “Dear lady! how shall I declare thy cace. When ill is cbaunst, but doth the ill increase, Whom late 1 left in languorous co:istraynt ? And the weake minde with double woe torment ?" Would God! thyselfe now present were in place When she her squyre heard speake, she gan appease To tell this ruefull tale: thy sight could win thee Her voluntarie paine, and feele some secret 'ease.