Page images


Thus Calidore continu'd there long time To winne the love of the faire Pastorell; Which having got, he used without crime Or blamefull blot; but menaged so well, That he, of all the rest which there did dwell, Was favoured and to her grace commended: But what straunge fortunes unto him befell, Ere he attain'd the point by him intended, Shall more conveniently in other place be ended.

1 Of, above.


Calidore sees the Graces daunce
To Colins melody:

The whiles his Pastorell is led
Into captivity.


WHO now does follow the foule Blatant Beast, Whilest Calidore does follow that faire Mayd, Unmyndfull of his vow, and high beheast Which by the Faery Queene was on him layd, That he should never leave, nor be delayd From chacing him, till he had it attchieved? But now, entrapt of Love which him betrayd, He mindeth more how he may be relieved [grieved. With grace from her, whose love his heart hath sore en


That from henceforth he meanes no more to sew 1
His former quest,2 so full of toile and paine;
Another quest, another game in vew


He hath, the guerdon of his Love to gaine;
With whom he myndes for ever to remaine,
And set his rest amongst the rusticke sort,
Rather then 3 hunt still after shadowes vaine
Of courtly favour fed with light report

Of every blaste, and sayling alwaies in the port.

1 Sew, follow. 2 Quest, pursuit. 3 Then, than.

II. 9. Sayling alwaies in the port.] Always being near the shore without reaching it.


Ne certes1 mote he greatly blamed be
From so high step to stoupe unto so low;
For who had tasted once, as oft did he,
The happy peace which there doth overflow,
And prov'd the perfect pleasures which doe grow
Amongst poore hyndes, in hils, in woods, in dales;
Would never more delight in painted show

Of such false blisse, as there is set for stales 2 T'entrap unwary fooles in their eternall bales.


For what hath all that goodly glorious gaze
Like to one sight which Calidore did vew?
The glaunce whereof their dimmed eies would daze,3
That never more they should endure the shew

Of that shunne-shine, that makes them looke askew:

1 Certes, truly.

Ne ought, in all that world of beauties rare,
(Save onely Glorianaes heavenly hew,
To which what can compare?) can it compare,

The which, as commeth now by course, I will declare.


One day, as he did raunge the fields abroad,
Whilest his faire Pastorella was elsewhere,
He chaunst to come, far from all peoples troad,4
Unto a place, whose pleasaunce did appere
To passe all othe on the earth which were:
For all that ever was by Natures skill
Deviz❜d to worke delight was gathered there;
And there by her were poured forth at fill,
As if, this to adorne, she all the rest did pill.5

2 Stales, lures. Troad, tread, footsteps.

3 Daze, dazzle.

5 Pill, rob, take from.

III. 9. In their eternall bales.] To their eternal ruir


It was an Hill plaste in an open plaine,

That round about was bordered with a wood

Of matchlesse hight, that seem'd th' earth to disdaine;

In which all trees of honour stately stood,
And did all winter as in sommer bud,
Spredding pavilions for the birds to bowre,1
Which in their lower braunches sung aloud;
And in their tops the soring hauke did towre,
Sitting like king of fowles in maiesty and powre:


And at the foote thereof a gentle flud
His silver waves did softly tumble downe,
Unmard with ragged mosse or filthy mud;
Ne mote wylde beastes, ne mote the ruder clowne,
Thereto approch; ne filth mote therein drowne:
But Nymphes and Faeries by the bancks did sit
In the woods shade which did the waters crowne,
Keeping all noysome things away from it,
And to the waters fall tuning their accents fit.


And on the top thereof a spacious plaine
Did spred itselfe, to serve to all delight,

Either to daunce, when they to daunce would faine,2

Or else to course-about their bases light;

Ne ought there wanted, which for pleasure might
Desired be, or thence to banish bale 3:
So pleasauntly the Hill with equall hight

1 Bowre, shelter themselves.

3 Bale, sorrow.

2 Faine, desire.

VIII. 4. To course-about their bases light.] This seems to contain an allusion to the game of prison-base.

Did seeme to overlooke the lowly vale;

Therefore it rightly cleeped1 was Mount Acidale.


They say that Venus, when she did dispose
Herselfe to pleasaunce, used to resort
Unto this place, and therein to repose
And rest herselfe as in a gladsome port,
Or with the Graces there to play and sport;
That even her owne Cytheron, though in it
She used most to keepe her royall court
And in her soveraine majesty to sit,
She in regard hereof refusde and thought unfit.


Unto this place whenas the Elfin Knight
Approcht, him seemed that the merry sound
Of a shrill pipe he playing heard on hight,2
And many feete fast thumping th' hollow ground,
That through the woods their eccho did rebound.
He nigher drew, to weete 3 what mote it be:
There he a troupe of Ladies dauncing found
Full merrily, and making gladfull glee,
And in the midst a Shepheard piping he did see.


He durst not enter into th' open greene,

For dread of them unwares to be descryde,

For breaking of their daunce, if he were seene;
But in the covert of the wood did byde,
Beholding all, yet of them unespyde:

1 Cleeped, called. 2 Hight, high. 3 Weete, know.

VIII. 9. Therefore it rightly cleeped was Mount Acidale.] Acidale, from its composition, seems to mean, 'a needle in a valley,' (acus, Lat.) Several mountain peaks are called needles.

« PreviousContinue »