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Did in the gardins of Adonis fynd
A goodly creature, whom he deemd in mynd
To be no earthly wight, but either spright,
Or angell, th' authour of all woman kynd;
Therefore a Fay he her according hight,
Of whom all Faryes spring, and fetch their lignage right.
Of these a mighty people shortly grew,
And puissant kinges which all the world warrayd,
And to themselves all nations did subdew :
The first and eldest, which that scepter swayd,
Was Elfin: him all India obayd,
And all that now America men call :
Next him was noble Elfinan, who laid
Cleopolis foundation first of all:
But Elfiline enclosd it with a golden wall.
His sonne was Elfinell, who overcame
The wicked Gobbelines in bloody field:
But Elfant was of most renowmed fame,
Who all of christall did Panthea build :
Then Elfar, who two brethren gyauntes kild,
The one of which had two heades, th’ other three:
Then Elfinor, who was in magick skild ;
He built by art upon the glassy see
A bridge of bras, whose sound hevens thunder seem'd to be.
He left three sonnes, the which in order raynd,
And all their ofspring, in their dew descents;
Even seven hundred princes, which maintaynd
With mighty deedes their sondry governments :
That were too long their infinite contents
Here to record, ne much materiall:
Yet should they be most famous moniments,
And brave ensample, both of martiall
And civil rule, to kinges and states imperiall.
After all these Elficleos did rayne,
The wise Elficleos in great maiestie,
Who mightily that scepter did sustayne,
And with rich spoyles and famous victorie
Did high advaunce the crowne of Faëry :
He left two sonnes, of which faire Elferon,
The eldest brother, did untimely dy;
Whose emptie place the mightie Oberon
Doubly supplide, in spousall and dominion.
Great was his power and glorie over all
Which, him before, that sacred seate did fill,
That yet remaines his wide memoriall:
He dying left the fairest Tanaquill,
Him to succeede therein, by his last will:
Fairer and nobler liveth none this howre,
Ne like in grace, ne like in learned skill;
Therefore they Glorian call that glorious flowre:
Long mayst thou, Glorian, live in glory and great powre !
Beguyld thus with delight of novelties,
LXXV. 1.- Elficleos.] In this and the succeeding stanza there are obvious allusions to history. “Elficleos” is Henry VII.; “Elferon" is Prince Arthur, his son, who died young; “Oberon ” is Henry VIII., who married his brother's betrothed bride; and “ Tanaquill," or “ Gloriana,” his daughter, is Queen Elizabeth. It will be observed that no mention is made of Edward VI. or Queen Mary.
And naturall desire of Countryes state,
So long they redd in those antiquities,
That how the time was fled they quite forgate;
Till gentle Alma, seeing it so late,
Perforce their studies broke, and them besought
To thinke how supper did them long awaite:
So halfe unwilling from their bookes them brought, And fayrely feasted as so noble Knightes she ought.
The Enimies of Temperaunce
Besiege her dwelling place;
Prince Arthure them repelles, and fowle
Maleger doth deface.
What warre so cruell, or what siege so sore,
As that, which strong Affections 1 doe apply
Against the forte of Reason evermore,
To bring the sowle into captivity!
Their force is fiercer through infirmity
Of the fraile flesh, relenting to their rage;
And exercise most bitter tyranny
Upon the partes, brought into their bondage:
No wretchednesse is like to sinfull vellenage.
But in a body which doth freely yeeld
His partes to Reasons rule obedient,
And letteth Her that ought the scepter weeld,
All happy peace and goodly government
Is setled there in sure establishment.
There Alma, like a Virgin Queene most bright,
Doth florish in all beautie excellent;
And to her guestes doth bounteous banket dight,
Attempred goodly well for health and for delight.
Early, before the Morne with cremosin ray
The windowes of bright heaven opened had,
Through which into the world the dawning Day
Might looke, that maketh every creature glad,
Uprose Sir Guyon in bright armour clad,
And to his purposd iourney him prepar'd:
With him the Palmer eke in habit sad ?
Himselfe addrest to that adventure hard:
So to the rivers syde they both together far'd:
Where them awaited ready at the ford
The Ferriman, as Alma had behight,
With his well-rigged bote: They goe abord,
And he eftsoones 4 gan launch his barke forthright.
4 Ere long they rowed were quite out of sight, And fast the land behynd them fled away. But let them pas, whiles winde and wether right
Doe serve their turnes : here I a while must stay, To see a cruell fight doen by the Prince this day.
For, all so soone as Guyon thence was gon
Upon his voyage with his trustie Guyde,
That wicked band of Villeins fresh begon
That Castle to assaile on every side,
And lay strong siege about it far and wyde.
So huge and infinite their numbers were,
That all the land they under them did hyde;
So fowle and ugly, that exceeding feare
Their visages imprest, when they approched neare.