Page images

Which see not perfect things but in a glas: Yet is that glasse so gay that it can blynd The wisest sight, to thinke gold that is bras: But Vertues seat is deepe within the mynd, And not in outward shows but inward thoughts defynd.

6 But where shall I in all antiquity

So faire a patterne finde, where may be seene
The goodly praise of princely Curtesie,

As in Yourselfe, O soveraine Lady Queene?
In whose pure minde, as in a mirrour sheene,
It showes, and with her brightnesse doth inflame
The eyes of all which thereon fixed beene;
But meriteth indeede an higher name:
Yet so, from low to high, uplifted is your name.

Then pardon me, most dreaded Soveraine, That from Yourselfe I doe this vertue bring, And to Yourselfe doe it returne againe : So from the ocean all rivers spring, And tribute backe repay as to their king: Right so from you all goodly vertues well Into the rest which round about you ring, Faire lords and ladies which about you dwell, And doe adorne your court where courtesies excell.


Calidore saves from Maleffort

A Damzell used vylde:

Doth vanquish Crudor; and doth make
Briana wexe more mylde.

1 Or Court, it seemes, men Courtesie doe call,
For that it there most useth to abound;
And well beseemeth that in princes hall
That vertue should be plentifully found,
Which of all goodly manners is the ground,
And roote of civill conversation :

Right so in Faery Court it did redound,

Where curteous knights and ladies most did won1 Of all on earth, and made a matchlesse paragon.

2 But mongst them all was none more courteous knight Then Calidore, beloved over all:

In whom it seemes that gentlenesse of spright
And manners mylde were planted naturall;
To which he adding comely guize withall,
And gracious speach, did steale mens hearts away :
Nathlesse thereto he was full stout and tall,

1 Won, dwell.

II. 2. Then Calidore.] Sir Calidore, as Upton conjectures, represents Sir Philip Sidney. H.

And well approv'd in batteilous affray,

That him did much renowme, and far his fame display.

3 Ne was there knight, ne was there lady found
In Faery Court, but him did deare embrace
For his faire usage and conditions1 sound,
The which in all mens liking gayned place,
And with the greatest purchast greatest grace;
Which he could wisely use, and well apply,
To please the best, and th' evill to embase2:
For he loathd leasing and base flattery,
And loved simple truth and stedfast honesty.

4 And now he was in travell on his way,
Uppon an hard adventure sore bestad,3
Whenas by chaunce he met uppon a day
With Artegall, returning yet halfe sad
From his late conquest which he gotten had:
Who whenas each of other had a sight,

They knew themselves, and both their persons rad*: When Calidore thus first: "Haile, noblest knight Of all this day on ground that breathen living spright!

5 "Now tell, if please you, of the good successe
Which ye have had in your late enterprize."
To whom Sir Artegall gan to expresse
His whole exploite and valorous emprize,
In order as it did to him arize.

"Now, happy man," sayd then Sir Calidore,

1 Conditions, qualities.

2 Embase, put down.

3 Bestad, circumstanced.

4 Rad, recognized.

"Which have, so goodly as ye can devize,1 Atchiev'd so hard a quest, as few before; That shall you most renowmed make for evermore.

6 "But where ye ended have, now I begin
To tread an endlesse trace; withouten guyde
Or good direction how to enter in,

Or how to issue forth in waies untryde,
In perils strange, in labours long and wide;
In which although good fortune me befall,
Yet shall it not by none be testifyde."

"What is that quest," quoth then Sir Artegall, "That you into such perils presently doth call?"

7 "The Blattant Beast," quoth he, "I doe pursew, And through the world incessantly doe chase. Till I him overtake, or else subdew:

Yet know I not or how or in what place

To find him out, yet still I forward trace."
"What is that Blattant Beast," then he replide.
"It is a monster bred of hellishe race,"

Then answerd he, "which often hath annoya
Good knights and ladies true, and many else de-



"Of Cerberus whilome he was begot,
And fell Chimæra, in her darkesome den,
Through fowle commixture of his filthy blot;
Where he was fostred long in Stygian fen,
Till he to perfect ripenesse grew; and then

1 Devize, describe.

Into this wicked world he forth was sent

To be the plague and scourge of wretched men: Whom with vile tongue and venemous intent He sore doth wound, and bite, and cruelly torment."

9"Then, since the Salvage Island I did leave," Sayd Artegall, "I such a beast did see,

The which did seeme a thousand tongues to have, That all in spight and malice did agree, With which he bayd and loudly barkt at mee, As if that he attonce would me devoure: But I, that knew myselfe from perill free, Did nought regard his malice nor his powre; But he the more his wicked poyson forth did poure."

10 "That surely is that beast," saide Calidore, "Which I pursue, of whom I am right glad To heare these tidings which of none afore Through all my weary travell I have had: Yet now some hope your words unto me add." "Now God you speed," quoth then Sir Artegall, "And keepe your body from the daunger drad1: For ye have much adoe to deale withall!" So both tooke goodly leave, and parted severall.

11 Sir Calidore thence travelled not long,
Whenas by chaunce a comely Squire he found,

1 Drad, fearful.

IX. 1. Salvage Island.] How plainly does the poet point at Ireland, and allude to the calumny and false accusations flung on Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton! UPTON.

« PreviousContinue »