Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Her children dear, whom he away had won : In ivory sheath, yearv'd with curious slights;
The lion whelps she saw how he did bear,

Whose hilts were burnish'd gold, and handle strong And lull in rugged arms, withouten childish fear. Of mother pearl, and buckled with a golden tongue. The fearful dame all quaked at the sight,

His haughty helmet, horrid all with gold, And turning back, gan fast to fly away,

Both glorious brightness and great terror bred; Untill with love revok'd from vain affright

For all the crest a dragon did enfold She hardly yet persuaded was to stay,

With greedy paws, and over all did spread And then to him these womanish words gan say ; His golden wings; his dreadful hideous head “Ah, Satyrane, my darling and my joy,

Close couched on the beaver, seem'd to throw For love of me leave off this dreadful play; From flaming mouth bright sparkles fiery red, To dally thus with death is no fit toy, [boy." | That sudden horror to faint hearts did show ; Go find some other playfellows, mine own sweet And scaly tail was stretch'd adown his back full low. In these and like delights of bloody game . Upon the top of all his lofty crest He trained was, till riper years he raught;

A bunch of hairs discolour'd diversely, And there abode whilst any beast of name

With sprinkled pearl, and gold full richly dress’d, Walk'd in that forest whom he had not taught Did shake, and seem'd to dance for jollity, To fear his force: and then his courage haught Like to an almond tree ymounted high Desir’d of foreign foemen to be known,

On top of green Selinis all alone, And far abroad for strange adventures sought; With blossoms brave bedecked daintilys In which his might was never overthrown, [blown. Whose tender locks do tremble every one But through all fairy land his famous worth was At every little breath that under heaven is blown. Yet evermore it was his manner fair, After long labours and adventures spent, Unto those native woods for to repair,

DESCRIPTION OF BELPHEBE. To see his sire and offspring ancient.

Her face so fair as flesh it seemed not, And now he thither came for like intent;

But heavenly portrait of bright angels' hue, Where he unwares the fairest Una found,

Clear as the sky, withouten blame or blot, Strange lady, in so strange habiliment,

Through goodly mixture of complexions due ; Teaching the Satyrs, which her sat around, [dound. And in her cheeks the vermeil red did shew True sacred lore, which from her sweet lips did re- Like roses in a bed of Jilies shed,

The which ambrosial odours from them threw, He wonder'd at her wisdom heavenly rare,

And gazers' sense with double pleasure fed, Whose like in women's wit he never knew ;

Able to heal the sick, and to revive the dead. And when her courteous deeds he did compare, Gan her admire, and her sad sorrows rue,

In her fair eyes two living lamps did flame, Blaming of fortune, which such troubles threw, Kindled above at th' heavenly maker's light, And joy'd to make proof of her cruelty

And darted fiery beams out of the same, On gentle dame, so hurtless and so true:

So passing piercing, and so wondrous bright, Thenceforth he kept her goodly company,

That quite bereav'd the rash beholders' sight; And learn'd her discipline of faith and verity. In them the blinded god his lustful fire

To kindle oft essay’d, but had no might;

For with dread Majesty, and awful ire, (sire. DESCRIPTION OF PRINCE ARTHUR.

She broke his wanton darts, and quenched base deAt last she chanced by good hap to meet

Her ivory forehead, full of bounty brave, A goodly knight, fair marching by the way, Like a broad table did itself dispread, Together with his squire, arrayed meet:

For love his lofty triumphs to engrave, His glittering armour shined far away,

And write the battles of his great godhead; Like glancing light of Phæbus' brightest ray; All good and honour might therein be read: From top to toe no place appeared bare,

For there their dwelling was. And when she spake, That deadly dint of steel endanger may:

Sweet words, like dropping honey, she did shed,
Athwart his breast a bauldric brave he ware, And twixt the pearls and rubies softly brake
That shin'd like twinkling stars, with stones most A silver sound, that heavenly music seem'd to make,

[precious rare.
And in the midst thereof one precious stone Upon her eyelids many graces sate,
Of wondrous worth, and eke of wondrous mights, Under the shadow of her even brows,
Shap'd like a lady's head, exceeding shone, Working belgards, and amorous retreat,
Like Hesperus amongst the lesser lights,

And every one her with a grace endows:
And strove for to amaze the weaker sights ;

And every one with meekness to her bows. Thereby his mortal blade full comely hung

So glorious mirror of celestial grace,

And sovereign monument of mortal vows,

Behaves with cares, cannot so easy niiss.
How shall frail pen describe her heavenly face, Abroad in arms, at home in studious kind [find.
For fear, through want of skill, her beauty to dis- Who seeks with painful toil, shall honour soonest

[grace? So fair, and thousand thousand times more fair

In woods, in waves, in wars, she wonts to dwell, She seem'd, when she presented was to sight.

And will be found with peril and with pain; And was yclad (for heat of scorching air)

Nor can the man chat moulds in idle cell, All in a silken camus, lily white,

Unto her happy mansion attain; Purfled upon with many a folded plight

Before her gate high God did Sweat ordain, Which all above besprinkled was throughout

And wakeful Watches ever to abide: With golden agulets, that glistered bright,

But easy is the way, and passage plain Like twinkling stars, and all the skirt about To pleasure’s palace; it may soon be spied, Was hemmed with golden fringe.

And day and night her doors to all stand open wide.

[blocks in formation]

a

Nor cared she her course for to apply:
For it was taught the way, which she would have,
And both from rocks and fats itself could wisely

[save:
And all the way, the wanton damsel found
New mirth, her passenger to entertain :
For, she in pleasant purpose did abound,
And greatly joyed merry tales to feign,
Of which a storehouse did with her remain :
Yet seemed, nothing well they her became ;
For, all her words she drown'd with laughter vain,
And wanted grace in utt'ring of the same,
That turned all her pleasance to a scoffing game.
And other whiles vain lays she would devise,
As her fantastic wit did most delight.
Sometimes her head she fondly would aguise
With gaudy garlands, or fresh flowrets dight
About her neck, or rings of rushes plight;
Sometimes to do him laugh, she would essay
To laugh at shaking of the leaves light,
Or to behold the water work, and play
About her little frigate therein making way.
Her light behaviour, and loose dalliance,
Gave wondrous great contentment to the knight,
That of his way he had no souvenance,
Nor care of vow'd revenge, and cruel fight,
But to weak wench did yield his martial might.
So easy was to quench his flamed mind
With one sweet drop of sensual delight:
So easy is t'appease the stormy wind
Of malice in the calm of pleasant womankind.
Divers discourses in their way they spent;
Mongst which Cymochles of her questioned,
Both what she was, and what that usage meant,
Which in her cot she daily practised.
Vain man, said she, that would'st be reckoned
A stranger in thy home, and ignorant
Of Phedria (for so my name is read)
Of Phedria, thine own fellow servant;
For thou to serve Acrasia thyself dost vaunt.

It was a chosen plot of fertile land,
Amongst wide waves set like a little nest;
As if it had by Nature's cunning hand,
Been choicely picked out from all the rest,
And laid forth for ensample of the best :
No dainty flower or herb that grows on ground,
No arboret with painted blossoms drest,
And smelling sweet, but there it might be found
To bud out fair, and her sweet smells throw all

(around.
No tree, whose branches did not bravely spring ;
No branch, whereon a fine bird did not sit ;
No bird, but did her shrill notes sweetly sing;
No song, but did contain a lovely dit:
Trees, branches, birds, and songs, were framed fit
For to allure frail mind to careless ease;
Careless the man soon wax, and his weak wit
Was overcome of thing that did him please ;
So pleased, did his wrathsul purpose fair appease.
Thus when she had his eyes and senses fed
With false delights, and fill'd with pleasures väin,
Into a shady dale she soft him led,
And laid him down upon a grassy plain ;
And her sweet self, without dread or disdain,
She set beside, laying his head disarın'd
In her loose lap, it softly to sustain,
Where soon he slumber'd, fearing not be harmid,
The while with a loud lay she thus him sweetly

(charm’d.
“ Behold! O man, that toilsome pains dost take,
The flowers, the fields, and all that pleasant grows,
How they themselves do thine ensample make,
While nothing envious Nature them forth throws
Out of her fruitful lap; how, no man knows,
They spring, they bud, they blossom fresh and fair,
And deck the world with their rich pompous shows;
Yet no man for them taketh pains or care,
Yet no man to them can his careful pains compare.
“ The lily, lady of the flowering field,
The flower de luce her lovely paramour,
Bid thee to them thy fruitless labours yield,
And soon leave off this toilsome weary stour ;
Lo, lo, how brave she decks her bounteous bower,
With silken curtains and gold coverlets,
Therein to shroud her sumptuous belamour,
Yet neither spins nor cards, nor cares nor frets,
But to her mother Nature all her care she lets.

In this wide inland sea, that hight by name
The Idle Lake, my wandring ship I rove,
That knows her port, and thither sails by aim,
Nor care, nor fear I, how the wind do blow,
Or whether swift I wend, or whether slow :
Both slow and swift alike do serve my turn,
Nor swelling Neptnne, nor loud thund’ring Jove,
can change my cheer, or make me ever mourn ;
My little boat can safely pass this perilous bourne.
While thus she talked, and while thus she toy'd,
They were far past the passage which he spake,
And came unto an island waste and void,
That floated in the midst of that great lake:
There her smart gondola her port did make,
And that gay pair issuing on the shore
Disburdened her. Their way they forward take,
Into the land that lay them fair before, [store.
Whoxe pleasanceshe him shew'd, and plentiful great

“ Why then dost thou, O man, that of them all
Art lord, and eke of nature sovereign,
Wilfully make thyself a wretched thrall,
And waste thy joyous hours in needless pain,
Seeking for danger and adventures vain ?
What boots it all to have, and nothing use?
Who shall him rue, that swimming in the main,
Will die for thirst, and water doth refuse?
Refuse such fruitless toil, and present pleasures

[chuse,"
By this, she had him lulled fast asleep,
That of no worldly thing care did take ;
Then she with liquors strong his eyes did steep,

That nothing should him hastily awake :
So she him left, and did herself betake
Unto her boat again, with which she cleft
The slothful waves of that great grisly lake:
Soon she that island far behind her left, [west.
And now is come to that same place where first she

Riches, renown, and principality,
Honour, estate, and all this worldes good,
For which men swink and sweat incessantly,
From me do flow into an ample flood,
And in the hollow earth have their eternal brood.

Wherefore if me thou deign to serve and sue,
At thy command lo all these mountains be;
Or if to thy great mind, or greedy view,
All these may not suffice, there shall to thee
Ten times so much be numbered frank and free."
“Mammon" (said he)“ thy godhead's vaunt is vain,
And idle offers of thy golden fee;
To them that covet such eye-glutting gain,
Proffer thy gifts, and fitter servants entertain.

[ocr errors]

;

THE CAVE OF MAMMON. At last, he came unto a gloomy glade, Cover'd with boughs and shrubs from heaven's light, Whereas he sitting found, in secret shade, An uncouth, savage, and uncivil wight, Of grizly hue, and foul ill-favour'd sight;[blear'd, His face with smoke was tann'd, and eyes were His head and beard with soot were ill bedight, His coal-black hands did seem to have been sear'd In smith's fire-spitting forge, and nails like claws

(appear'd. His iron coat all overgrown with rust, Was underneath enveloped with gold, Whose glittering gloss darkned with filthy dust, Well it appeared to have been of old A work of rich entail, and curious mould, Woven with anticks and wild imagery : And in his lap a mass of coin he told, And turned upside down, to feed his eye And covetous desire with his huge treasury.

“ Me ill befits, that in dear-doing arms,
And honour's suit my vowed days do spend,
Unto thy bounteous baits, and pleasing charms,
With which weak men thou witchest, to attend:
Regard of worldly muck doth foully blend
And low abase the high heroic spright,
That joys for crowns and kingdoms to contend;
Fair shields, gay

steeds, bright arms, be my delight: Those be the riches fit for an advent'rous knight.”

[ocr errors]

Vain-glorious elf” (said he)“ dost not thou weet, That money can thy wants at will supply? (meet, Shields, steeds, and arms, and all things for thee It can purvey in twinkling of an eye; And crowns and kingdoms to thee multiply., Do not I kings create, and throw the crown Sometimes to him, that low in dust doth lie? And him that reign'd, into his room thrust down, And whom I list, do heap with glory aud renown."

[merged small][ocr errors]

And round about him lay on every side
Great heaps of gold that never could be spent;
Of which some were rude ore, not purified
Of Mulciber's devouring element;
Some others were new riven, and distent
Into great ingots, and to wedges square;
Some in round plates withouten moniment;
But most were stamped, and in their metal bare
The antique shapes of kings and kesars strange and

[rare.
Soon as he Guyon saw, in great affright
And haste he rose, for to reinove aside
Those precious hills from stranger's envious sight,
And down them poured through an hole full wide,
Into the hollow earth, them there to hide.
But Guyon lightly to him leaping, staid
His hand, that trembled, as one terrified;
And, though himself were at the sight dismay'd,
Yet him perforce restrain’d, and to him doubtful

(said. “ What art thou, man, (if man at all thou art) That here in desart hast thy habitance, And these rich heaps of wealth dost hide apart From the world's eye, and from her right usance?" Thereat, with staring eyes fixed askance, In great disdain, he answer'd ; “ Hardy elf, That darest view my direful countenance, I read thee rash, and heedless of thyself, To trouble my still seat, and heaps of precious pelf. “ God of the world and worldlings I me call, Great Mammon, greatest God below the sky, That of my plenty pour out unto all, And unto none my graces do envy:

“ The antique world, in his first flow'ring youth,
Found no defect in his Creator's grace ;
But with glad thanks, and unreproved truth,
The gists of sovereign bounty did embrace:
Like angels' life was then men's happy case;
But later ages' pride (like corn-fed steed)
Abus'd her plenty, and fat swoln increase
To all licentious lust, and gan exceed
The measure of her means, and natural first need.

“ Then gan a cursed hand the quiet womb
Of his great grandmother with steel to wound,
And the hid treasures in her sacred tomb,
With sacrilege to dig. Therein he found
Fountains of gold and silver to abound,
Of which the matter of his huge desire
And pompous pride eftsoons he did compound;
Then avarice gan through his veins inspire
His greedy flames, and kindled lise-devouring fire.”

“ Son” (said he then) « let be thy bitter scorn, And leave the rudeness of that antique age To them, that lii'd therein in state forlorn;

43

Thou that dost live in later times, must wage
Thy works for wealth, and life for gold engage;
If then thee list my offer'd grace to use,
Take what thou please of all this surplusage;
If thee list not, leave have thou to refuse :
But thing refused, do not afterward accuse.

Was next adjoining, nor them parted ought;
Betwixt them both was but a little stride,
That did the house of riches from hell mouth divide.

* Me list not (said the elfin knight)“ receive
Thing offered, till I know it well be got:
Nor wot I, but thou didst these goods bereave
From rightful owner by unrighteous lot,
Or that blood-guiltiness or guile them blot.”
* Perdy” (quoth he) " yet never eye did view
Nor tongue did tell, nor hand these handled not,
But safe I have them kept in secret mew, (pursue."
From heaven's sight, and power of all which them

“ What secret place,” (quoth he) “can safely hold
So huge a mass, and hide from heaven's eye?
Or where hast thou thy wonne, that so much gold
Thou canst preserve from wrong and robbery ?"
“Come thou,” (quoth he)" and see.” So, by and by
Through that thick covert he him led, and found
A darksome way, which no man could descry,
That deep descended through the hollow ground,
And was with dread and horror compassed around.

Before the duor sat self-consuming Care, Day and night keeping wary watch and ward, For fear least force or fraud should unaware Break in; and spoil the treasure there in guard: Nor would he suffer Sleep once thitherward Approach, albe his drowsy den were next; For, next to death is sleep to be compar'd; Therefore his house is unto his annex'd; (betwixt. Here sleep, there riches, and hell gate them both So soon as Mammon there arriv’d, the door To him did open, and afforded way; Him followed eke Sir Guyon evermore, Nor darkness him, nor danger might dismay. Soon as he entered was, the door straightway Did shut, and from behind it forth there leap'd An ugly fiend, more foul than dismal day, The which with monstrous stalk behind him stepp'd, And ever as he went, due watch upon him kept. Well hoped he, ere long that hardy guest, If ever covetous hand, or lustful eye, Or lips he laid on thing, that liked him best, Or ever sleep his eyestrings did untie, Should be his prey. And therefore still on high He over him did hold his cruel claws, Threatening with greedy gripe to do him die, And rend in pieces with his ravenous paws, If ever he transgress'd the fatal Stygian laws. That house's form within was rude and strong, Like an huge cave hewn out of rocky clift

At length they came into a larger space,
That stretch'd itself into an ample plain,
Through which a beaten broad highway did trace,
That strait did lead to Pluto's grizly reign:
By that wayside, there sate infernal Pain,
And fast beside him sate tumultuous Strife:
The one, in hand an iron whip did strain;
The other brandished a bloody knife, (life.
And both did gnash their teeth, and both did threaten

Both roof, and floor, and walls, were all of gold,
But overgrown with dust and old decay,
And hid in darkness, that none could behold
The hue thereof: for, view of chearful day
Did never in that house itself display,
But a faint shadow of uncertain light;
Such as a lamp, whose life does fade away:
Or as the moon clothed with cloudy night, [fright.
Does shew to him, that walks in fear and sad af-

On th' other side, in one consort their sate Cruel Revenge, and rancorous Despite, Disloyal Treason, and heart-burning Hate ; But gnawing Jealousy, out of their sight Sitting alone, his bitter lips did bite, And trembling Fear still to and fro did fly, And found no place, where safe he shroud him might, Lamenting Sorrow did in darkness lie, And Shame his ugly face did hide from living eye. And over them sad Horror with grim hue, Did always soar, beating his iron wings; And after him, owls and night-ravens flew, The hateful messengers of heavy things, Of death and dolour telling sad tidings ; While sad Celeno, sitting on a clift, A song of bale and bitter sorrow sings, That heart of flint asunder could have rift: Which having ended, after him she flyeth swift. All these before the gates of Pluto lay, By whom they passing, spake unto them nought, But th' elfin knight with wonder all the way Did feed his eyes, and fill'd his inner thought. At last, he to a little door him brought, That to the gate of hell, which gaped wide,

In all that room was nothing to be seen,
But huge great iron chests and coffers strong,
All barr'd with double bands, that none could ween
Them to enforce by violence or wrong ;
On every side they placed were along:
But all the ground with sculls was scattered,
And dead men's bones,which round about were Aung,
Whose lives it seemed) whilome there were shed,
And their vile carcases now left unburied.

They forward

pass, nor Guyon yet spake word, Till that they came unto an iron door, Which to them opened of its own accord, And shew'd of riches such exceeding store, As eye of man did never see before; Nor ever could within one place be found,

« EdellinenJatka »