Page images
PDF
EPUB

Yet greatly did the Beast repine at those

Straunge bands, whose like till then he never bore,
Ne ever any durst till then impose;

And chauffed inly, seeing now no more

Him liberty was left aloud to rore:

36

Yet durst he not draw backe, nor once withstand The proved powre of noble Calidore; But trembled underneath his mighty hand, And like a fearefull dog him followed through the land.

Thus was this Monster, by the maystring might
Of doughty Calidore, supprest and tamed,
That never more he mote endammadge wight
With his vile tongue, which many had defamed,
And many causelesse caused to be blamed :
So did he eeke long after this remaine,
Untill that, (whether wicked fate so framed
Or fault of men,) he broke his yron chaine,
And got into the world at liberty againe.

Him through all Faery Land he follow'd so,
As if he learned had obedience long,
That all the people, whereso he did go,

Out of their townes did round about him throng,
To see him leade that Beast in bondage strong;
And, seeing it, much wondred at the sight:

And all such persons, as he earst did wrong,
Rejoyced much to see his captive plight,

And much admyr'd the Beast, but more admyr❜d the Knight.

37

38

Thenceforth more mischiefe and more scath he wrought 39
To mortall men than he had done before;
Ne ever could, by any, more be brought
Into like bands, ne maystred any more:
Albe that, long time after Calidore,
The good Sir Pelleas him tooke in hand;
And after him Sir Lamoracke of yore;
And all his brethren borne in Britaine land;
Yet none of them could ever bring him into band.

So now he raungeth through the world againe,
And rageth sore in each degree and state;
Ne any is that may him now restraine,
He growen is so great and strong of late,
Barking and biting all that him doe bate,
Albe they worthy blame, or cleare of crime;
Ne spareth he most learned Wits to rate,
Ne spareth he the gentle Poets rime ;
But rends, without regard of person or of time.

Ne may this homely Verse, of many meanest,

Hope to escape his venemous despite,

More than my former Writs, all were they cleanest From blamefull blot, and free from all that wite With which some wicked tongues did it backebite, And bring into a mighty Peres displeasure,

That never so deserved to endite.

40

41

Therefore do you, my rimes, keep better measure, And seeke to please; that now is counted wise mens threa

sure.

TWO CANTOS OF MUTABILITIE:

WHICH, BOTH FOR FORME AND MATTER, APPEARE TO

BE PARCELL OF SOME FOLLOWING

BOOKE OF

THE FAERIE QUEENE,

UNDER THE LEGEND OF CONSTANCIE.

CANTO VI.

Proud Change (not pleasd in mortall things
Beneath the Moone to raigne)

Pretends, as well of Gods as Men,
To be the Soveraine.

ELS

DuferE

1

WHA

HAT man that sees the ever-whirling wheele Of Change, the which all mortall things doth sway, But that thereby doth find, and plainly feele, How Mutability in them doth play Her cruell sports to many mens decay? Which that to all may better yet appeare, I will rehearse, that whylome I heard say, How she at first herselfe began to reare Gainst all the Gods, and th' empire sought from them to

[beare.

But first, here falleth fittest to unfold

Her antique race and linage ancient,
As I have found it registred of old

In Faery Land mongst records permanent.
She was, to weet, a daughter by descent
Of those old Titans that did whylome strive
With Saturnes sonne for heavens regiment;
Whom though high Jove of kingdome did deprive,
Yet many of their stemme long after did survive:

2

And many of them afterwards obtain'd
Great power of Jove, and high authority:
As Hecatè, in whose almighty hand
He plac❜t all rule and principality,
To be by her disposed diversly

To Gods and men, as she them list divide;

And drad Bellona, that doth sound on hie

Warres and allarums unto Nations wide, That makes both heaven and earth to tremble at her pride.

So likewise did this Titanesse aspire

Rule and dominion to herselfe to gaine;
That as a Goddesse men might her admire,
And heavenly honours yield, as to them twaine:
And first, on earth she sought it to obtaine;
Where she such proofe and sad examples shewed
Of her great power, to many ones great paine,
That not men onely (whom she soone subdewed)
But eke all other creatures her bad dooings rewed.

For she the face of earthly things so changed,
That all which Nature had establisht first
In good estate, and in meet order ranged,
She did pervert, and all their statutes burst:
And all the worlds faire frame (which none yet durst

Of Gods or men to alter or misguide)

She alter'd quite; and made them all accurst

That God had blest, and did at first provide In that still happy state for ever to abide.

Ne shee the lawes of Nature onely brake,
But eke of Justice, and of Policie;

And wrong of right, and bad of good did make,
And death for life exchanged foolishlie :

Since which, all living wights have learn'd to die,
And all this world is woxen daily worse.

3

5

O pittious worke of Mutabilitie,

By which we all are subject to that curse,

And death, in stead of life, have sucked from our Nurse!

And now, when all the earth she thus had brought
To her behest and thralled to her might,
She gan to cast in her ambitious thought
T' attempt the empire of the heavens hight,
And Jove himselfe to shoulder from his right.
And first, she past the region of the ayre
And of the fire, whose substance thin and slight
Made no resistance, ne could her contraire,
But ready passage to her pleasure did prepaire.

Thence to the Circle of the Moone she clambe,

Where Cynthia raignes in everlasting glory,
To whose bright shining palace straight she came,
All fairely deckt with heavens goodly story;
Whose silver gates (by which there sate an hory
Old aged Sire, with hower-glasse in hand,
Hight Tyme,) she entred, were he liefe or sory;
Ne staide till she the highest stage had scand,
Where Cynthia did sit, that never still did stand.

7

Her sitting on an ivory throne shee found,

9

Drawne of two steeds, th' one black, the other white,
Environd with tenne thousand starres around,
That duly her attended day and night;

And by her side there ran her Page, that hight
Vesper, whom we the Evening-starre intend;
That with his Torche, still twinkling like twylight,
Her lightened all the way where she should wend,
And joy to weary wandring travailers did lend:

That when the hardy Titanesse beheld

The goodly building of her Palace bright, Made of the heavens substance, and up-held With thousand Crystall pillors of huge hight; Shee gan to burne in her ambitious spright, And t'envie her that in such glorie raigned. Eftsoones she cast by force and tortious might Her to displace and to herselfe t' have gained The kingdome of the Night, and waters by her wained.

10

« PreviousContinue »