Page images
PDF
EPUB

a

49

54 With diuerse flowres he daintily was deckt, So fashioned a Porch with rare deuice, And strowed round about, and by his side Archt ouer head with an embracing vine, A mighty Mazer bowle of wine was set, Whose bounches hanging downe,seemedtoentice As if it had to him bene sacrifide ;

All passers by, to tast their lushious wine, Wherewith all new-come guests he gratifide : And did themselues into their hands incline, So did he eke Sir Guyon passing by :

As freely offering to be gathered : But he his idle curtesie defide,

Some deepe empurpled as the Hyacint, And ouerthrew his bowle disdainfully; Some as the Rubine, laughing sweetly red, And broke his staffe, with which he charmed Some like faire Emeraudes, not yet well ripened. semblants sly. 50

55 Thus being entred, they behold around And them amongst, some were of burnisht gold, A large and spacious plaine, on euery side So made by art, to beautifie the rest, Strowed with pleasauns, whose faire grassy Whichdid themseluesemongst the leauesenfold, ground

As lurking from the vew of couetous guest, Mantled with greene, and goodly beautifide That the weake bowes, with so rich load opprest, With all the ornaments of Floraes pride, Did bow adowne, as ouer-burdened. Wherewith her mother Art, as halfe in scorne Vnder that Porch a comely dame did rest, Of niggard Nature, like a pompous bride Clad in faire weedes, but fowle disordered, Did decke her, and too lauishly adorne, And garments loose, that seemd vnmeet for When forth from virgin bowre she comes in womanhed.

56 th'early morne. 51

In her left hand a Cup of gold she held, Thereto the Heauens alwayes Iouiall,

And with her right the riper fruit did reach, Lookt on them louely, still in stedfast state, Whose sappy liquor, that with fulnesse sweld, Ne suffred storme nor frost on them to fall, Into her cup she scruzd, with daintie breach Their tender buds or leaues to violate, Of her fine fingers, without fowle empeach, Nor scorching heat, nor cold intemperate That so faire wine-presse made the wine more T'afflict the creatures, which therein did dwell, sweet : But the milde aire with season moderate Thereof she vsd to give to drinke to each, Gently attempred, and disposd so well, Whom passing by she happened to meet : That still it breathed forthsweet spirit and hole- | It was her guise, all Straungers goodly su to some smell.

greet. 52

57 More sweet and holesome, then the pleasaunt So she to Guyon offred it to tast; hill

Who taking it out of her tendez hond, Of Rhodope, on which the Nimphe, that bore The cup to ground did violently cast, A gyaunt babe, her selfe for griefe did kill; That all in peeces it was broken fond, Or the Thessalian Tempe, where of yore And with the liquor stained all the lond: Faire Daphne Phæbus hart with loue did gore ; Whereat Excesse exceedingly was wroth, Or Ida, where the Gods lou'd to repaire, Yet no’te the same amend, ne yet withstond, When euer they their heauenly bowres forlore; But suffered him to passe, all were she loth; Or sweet Parnasse, the haunt of Muses faire; Who nought regarding her displeasure forward OrEden selfe, if ought with Eden mote compaire. goth.

58 53

There the most daintie Paradise on ground, Much wondred Guyon at the faire aspect

It selfe doth offer to his sober eve, Of that sweet place, yet suffred no delight In which all pleasures plenteously abound, To sincke into his sence, nor mind affect, And none does others happinesse enuye: But passed forth, and lookt still forward right, The painted flowres, the trees vpshooting hye, Bridling his will, and maistering his might: The dales for shade, the hilles for breathing Till that he came vnto another gate ;

space, No gate, but like one, being goodly dight The trembling groues, the Christall running by; With boughes and braunches, which did broad And that, which all faire workes doth most dilate

aggrace, Their clasping armes, in wanton wreathings The art, which all that wrought, appeared in no intricate.

place.

hana

6i cat rulle

kahest

59

64 One wouldhaue thought, (so cunningly, therude, Sometimes the one would lift the other quight And scorned parts were mingled with the fine,) Aboue the waters, and then downe againe That nature had for wantonesse ensude Her plong, as ouer maistered by might, Art, and that Art at nature did repine; Where both awhile would couered remaine, So striuing each th' other to yndermine, And each the other from to rise restraine ; Each did the others worke more beautifie; The whiles their snowy limbes,as through a vele, So dift'ring both in willes, agreed in fine : So through the Christall waues appeared plaine: So all agreed through sweete diuersitie, Then suddeinly both would themselues vnhele, This Gardin to adorne with all varietie. And th'amarous sweet spoiles to greedy eyes

reuele. 60

65 And in the midst of all, a fountaine stood,

As that faire Starre, the messenger of morne, Of richest substaunce, that on earth might bee,

His deawy face out of the sea doth reare: So pure and shiny, that the siluer flood Or as the Cyprian goddesse, newly borne

Of th'Oceans fruitfull froth, did first appeare : Through euery channell running one might see; Most goodly it with curious imageree

Such seemed they, and so their yellow heare Was ouer-wrought, and shapes of naked boyes, Christalline humour dropped downe apace. Of which some seemd with liuely iollitee,

Whomsuch when Guyonsaw, hedrewhimneare, To fly about, playing their wanton toyes,

And somewhat gan relent his earnest pace, Whilest others did them selues embay in liquid His stubborne brest gan secret pleasaunce to ioyes.

embrace.

66 61 And ouer all, of purest gold was spred,

The wanton Maidens him espying, stood A trayle of yuie in his natiue hew :

Gazing a while at his vnwonted guise ; For the rich mettall was so coloured,

Then th'one her selfe low ducked in the flood, That wight, who did not well auis'd it vew,

Abasht, that her a straunger did a vise: Would surely deeme it to be yuic trew:

But th'other rather higher did arise, Low his lasciuious armes adown did creepe,

And her two lilly paps aloft displayd,

And all, that might his melting hart entise That themselues dipping in the siluer dew, Their fleecy flowres they tenderly did steepe, The rest hið vnderneath, him more desirous

To her delights, she vnto him bewrayd : Which drops of Christall seemd for wantones to

made. weepe.

67 62

With that, the other likewise vp arose, Infinit streames continually did well

And her faire lockes, which formerly were bownd Out of this fountaine, sweet and faire to see,

Vp in one knot, she low adowne did lose : The which into an ample lauer fell,

Which flowing long and thick, her cloth'd And shortly grew to so great quantitie,

arownd, That like a little lake it seemd to bee ;

And th’yuorie in golden mantle gownd : Whose depth exceeded not three cubits hight,

So that faire spectacle from him was reft, That through the waues one might the bottom Yet that, which reft it, no lesse faire was fownd: see,

So hid in lockes and waues from lookers theft, All pau'd beneath with Iaspar shining bright, Nought but her louely face she for his looking That seemd the fountaine in that sea did sayle left. vpright.

68 63

Withall she laughed, and she blusht withall, And all the margent round about was set, That blushing to her laughter gaue more grace, With shady Laurell trees, thence to defend And laughter to her blushing, as did fall : The sunny beames, which on the billowes bet, Now when they spide the knight to slacke his And those which therein bathed, mote offend. pace, As Guyon hapned by the same to wend, Them to behold, and in his sparkling face Two naked Damzelles he therein espyde, The secret signes of kindled lust appeare, Which therein bathing, seemed to contend, Their wanton meriments they did encreace, And wrestle wantonly, ne car'd to hyde, And to him beckned, to approch more neare, Their dainty parts from vew of any, which And shewd him many sights, that courage cold them eyde.

could reare.

bowre,

69

74 On which when gazing him the Palmer saw, The whiles some one did chaunt this louely lay

He much rebukt those wandring eyes of his, Ah see, who so faire thing doest faine to see, and counseld well, him forward thence did In springing flowre the image of thy day; draw.

Ah see the Virgin Rose, how sweetly shee Now are they come nigh to the Bowre of blis Doth first peepe forth with bashfull modestee, Of her fond fauorites so nam'd amis :

That fairer seemes, the lesse ye see her may; When thus the Palmer; Now Sir, well auise ; Lo see soone after, how more bold and free For here the end of all our trauell is :

Her bared bosome she doth broad display ; Here wonnes Acrasia, whom we must surprise, Loe see soone after, how she fades, and falles Else she will slip away, and all our drift despise.

away)

75

So passeth, in the passing of a day, 70

Of mortall life the leafe, the bud, the flowre, Eftsoones they heard a most melodious sound, Of all that mote delight a daintie eare,

Ne more doth flourish after first decay,

That earst was sought to decke both bed and Such as attonce might not on living ground, Saue in thi; Paradise, be heard elswhere :

Of many a Ladie, and many a Paramowre: Right hard it was, for wight,which did it heare,

Gather therefore the Rose,whilest yet is prime, To read, what manner musicke that mote bee: For all that pleasing is to liuing eare,

For soonecomes age,that will her pridedeflowre:

Gather the Rose of loue, whilest yet is time, Was there consorted in one harmonee, Birdes, voyces, instruments, windes, waters, all

Whilest loying thou mayst loued be with equall

crime.' agree.

76 71

He ceast, and then gan all the quire of birdes The ioyous birdes shrouded in chearefull shade, Their diverse notes t'attune vnto his lay, Their notes vnto the voyce attempred sweet ; As in approuance of his pleasing words. Th’Angelicall soft trembling voyces made The constant paire heard all, that he did say, To th'instruments diuine respondence meet: Yet swarued not, but kept their forward way, The siluer sounding instruments did meet Throughmany couertgroues,and thickets close, With the base murmure of the waters fall : In which they creeping did at last display The waters fall with difference discreet, That wanton Ladie, with her louer lose, Now soft, now loud, vnto the wind did call : Whose sleepie head she in her lapdid soft dispose. The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.

77

Vpon a bed of Roses she was layd, 72

As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin, There, whence that Musick seemed heard to bee, Was the faire Witch her selfe now solacing,

And was arayd, or rather disarayd,

All in a vele of silke and siluer thin,
With a new Louer, whom through sorceree
And witchcraft,she from farredid thither bring:

That hid no whit her alablaster skin,
There she had him now layd a slombering,

But rathershewd more white,ifmore might bee: In secret shade, after long wanton ioyes :

More subtile web Arachne cannot spin, Whilst round about them pleasauntly did sing Of scorched deaw, do not in th’aire more lightly

Nor the fine nets, which oft we wouen see Many faire Ladies, and lasciuious boyes,

flee. That euer mixt their song with light licentious

78 toyes.

Her snowy brest was bare to readie spoyle 73

Of hungry eies, which n'ote therewith be fild, And all that while, right ouer him she hong, Andyet through languour of her late sweet toyle, With her false eyes fast fixed in his sight, Few drops, more cleare then Nectar, forth As seeking medicine, whence she was stong, distild, Or greedily depasturing delight:

That like

pure Orient perles adowne it trild, And oft inclining downe with kisses light, And her faire eyes sweet smyling in delight, For feare of waking him, his lips bedewd, Moystened their fierie beames, with which she And through his humid eyes did sucke his thrild spright,

Fraile harts, yet quenched not; like starry light Quite molten into lust and pleasure lewd ; Which sparckling on the silent waues, does Wherewithshe sighed soft, as if his casesherewd. seeme more bright.

:

79

83 The young man sleeping by her, seemd to bee But all those pleasant bowresand Pallace braue,

Some goodly swayne of honorable place, Guyon broke downe, with rigour pittilesse ; That certes it great pittie was to see

Ne ought theirgoodly workmanship might saue Him his nobilitie so foule deface ;

Them from the tempest of his wrathfulnesse, A sweet regard, and amiable grace,

But that their blisse he turn'd to balefulnesse : Mixed with manly sternnesse did appeare Their groues he feld, their gardins did deface, Yet sleeping, in his well proportiond face, Their arbers spoyle, their Cabinets suppresse, And on his tender lips the downy heare Their banket houses burne, their buildings race, Did now but freshly spring, and silken blos- And of the fairest late, now made the fowlest somes beare.

place. 80

84 His warlike armes, the idle instruments Then led they her away, and eke that knight Of sleeping praise, were hong vpon a tree,

They with them led, both sorrowfull and sad : And his braue shield, full of old moniments, The way they came,thesameretourn'dtheyright, Was fowly ra’st,that none the signesmight see;

Till they arriued, where they lately had [mad. Ne for them, ne for honour cared hee, Charm'd those wild-beasts, thatrag'd with furie Ne ought, that did to his aduauncement tend, Which now awaking, fierce at them gan fly, But in lewd loues, and wastfull luxuree,

As in their mistresse reskew, whom they lad; His dayes, his goods, his bodie he did spend :

But them the Palmer soone did pacify. O horrible enchantment, that him so did blend. Then Guyon askt, what meant those beastes,

which there did ly. 81

85 The noble Elfe, and carefull Palmer drew

Said he, These seeming beasts are men indeed, Sonighthem, mindingnought,but lustfull game,

Whom this Enchauntresse hath transformed That sudde in forth they on them rusht, and

thus, threw A subtile net, which onely for the same

Whylome her louers, which her lusts did feed,

Now turned into figures hideous, The skilfull Palmer formally did frame.

According to their mindes like monstruous. So held them vnder fast, the whiles the rest

Sad end (quoth he) of life intemperate,
Fled all away for feare of fowler shame.
The faire Enchauntresse, so vnwares opprest,

And mournefull meed of ioyes delicious :

But Palmer, if it mote thee so aggrate, Tryde all her arts, and all her sleights, thence Let them returned be vnto their former state. out to wrest. 82

86 And eke her louer stroue: but all in vaine ; Streight way he with his vertuous staffe them For that same net so cunningly was wound, strooke, That neither guile, nor force might it distraine. Andstreight ofbeasts they comelymen became; They tooke them both, and both them strongly Yet being men they did vnmanly looke, bound

[found: And stared ghastly, some for inward shame, In captiue bandes, which there they readie And somefor wrath, to see their captiue Dame: But her in chaines of adamant he tyde; But one aboue the rest in speciall, For nothing else might keepe her safe and That hadan hog beenelate, hight Grille by name, sound;

Repined greatly, and did him miscall,
But Verdant (so he hight) he soone vntyde, That had from hoggish forme him brought to
And counsellsageinsteed thereofto himapplyde. naturall.

87
Said Guyon, See the mind of beastly man,
That hath so soone forgot the excellence
Of his creation, when he life began,
That now he chooseth, with vile difference,
To be a beast, and lacke intelligence.
To whom the Palmer thus, The donghill kind
Delights in filth and foule incontinence:
Let Grill be Grill, and haue his hoggish mind,
But let vs hence depart, whilest wether serues and wind.

THE THIRD
BOOKE OF THE

love

FAERIE QVEENE.

Contayning,
THE LEGEND OF BRITOMARTIS.

OR

Of Chastitie.

1

3 It falls me here to write of Chastity,

How then shall I, Apprentice of the skill, That fairest vertue, farre aboue the rest; That whylome in diuinest wits did raine, For which what needs me fetch from Faery Presume so high to stretch mine humble Forreine ensamples, it to haue exprest ? quill? Sith it is shrined in my Soueraines brest, Yet now my lucklesse lot doth me constraine And form'd so liuely in each perfect part, Hereto perforce. But O dred Soueraine That to all Ladies, which haue it profest, Thus farre forth pardon, sith that choicest Need but behold the pourtraict of her hart, wit If pourtrayd it might be by any liuing art. Cannot your glorious pourtraict figure plaine

That I in colourd showes may shadow it,

And antique praises vnto present persons fit. But liuing art may not least part expresse, Nor life-resembling pencill it can paint,

4 All were it Zeuxis or Praxiteles :

But if in liuing colours, and right hew, His dædale hand would faile, and greatly Your selfe you couet to see pictured, faint,

Who can it doe more liuely, or more trew, And her perfections with his error taint: Then that sweet verse, with Nectar sprinckeled, Ne Poets wit, that passeth Painter farre In which a gracious seruant pictured In picturing the parts of beautie daint, His Cynthia, his heauens fairest light ? So hard a workmanship aduenture darre, That with his melting sweetnesse rauished, For fear through want of words her excellence And with the wonder of her beames bright, to marre.

My senses lulled are in slomber of delight.

2

« PreviousContinue »