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THE SECOND BOOK OF
THE FAERIE QUEENE
CONTAYNING THE LEGEND OF SIR GUYON, OR OF
Sir Guyon, layd in swowne, is by
Acrates sonnes despoyld;
Whom Arthure soone hath reskewed,
And Paynim brethren foyld.
ND is there care in heaven? And is there love In heavenly spirits to these creatures bace, That may compassion of their evils move? There is:-else much more wretched were the cace Of men then beasts: But O! th' exceeding grace Of Highest God that loves his creatures so, And all his workes with mercy doth embrace, That blessed Angels he sends to and fro, To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe!
How oft do they their silver bowers leave
To come to succour us that succour want!
How oft do they with golden pineons cleave
The flitting skyes, like flying Pursuivant,
Against fowle feendes to ayd us militant!
They for us fight, they watch and dewly ward,
And their bright Squadrons round about us plant;
And all for love and nothing for reward:
O, why should Hevenly God to men have such regard!
During the while that Guyon did abide
In Mammons House, the Palmer, whom whyleare
That wanton Mayd of passage had denide,
By further search had passage found elsewhere;
And, being on his way, approached neare
Where Guyon lay in traunce; when suddenly
He heard a voyce that called lowd and cleare,
"Come hether, come hether, O! come hastily!"
That all the fields resounded with the ruefull cry.
The Palmer lent his eare unto the noyce,
To weet who called 'so impórtunely:
Againe he heard a more efforced voyce,
That bad him come in haste: He by and by
His feeble feet directed to the cry;
Which to that shady delve him brought at last, Where Mammon earst did sunne his threasury: There the good Guyon he found slumbring fast In senceles dreame; which sight at first him sore aghast.
Beside his head there satt a faire young man,
Of wondrous beauty and of freshest yeares,
Whose tender bud to blossome new began,
And florish faire above his equall peares :
His snowy front, curled with golden heares,
Like Phoebus face adornd with sunny rayes,
Divinely shone; and two sharpe winged sheares,
Decked with diverse plumes, like painted jayes,
Were fixed at his backe to cut his ayery wayes.
Like as Cupido on Idæan hill,
When having laid his cruell bow away
And mortall arrowes, wherewith he doth fill
The world with murdrous spoiles and bloody pray,
With his faire mother he him dights to play,
And with his goodly sisters, Graces three;
The Goddesse, pleased with his wanton play,
Suffers herselfe through sleepe beguild to bee,
The whiles the other Ladies mind theyr mery glee.
Whom when the Palmer saw, abasht he was
Through fear and wonder, that he nought could say, Till him the Childe bespoke; " Long lackt, alas, Hath bene thy faithfull aide in hard assay Whiles deadly fitt thy Pupill doth dismay, Behold this heavy sight, thou reverend Sire! But dread of death and dolor doe away; For life ere long shall to her home ̧retire, And he, that breathlesse seems, shal corage bold respire.
"The charge, which God doth unto me arrett,
Of his deare safety, I to thee commend;
Yet will I not forgoe, ne yet forgett
The care thereof myselfe unto the end,
But evermore him succour, and defend
Against his foe and mine: Watch thou, I pray;
For evill is at hand him to offend."
So having said, eftsoones he gan display
His painted nimble wings, and vanisht quite away.
The Palmer seeing his lefte empty place,
And his slow eies beguiled of their sight,
Woxe sore affraid, and standing still a space
Gaz'd after him, as fowle escapt by flight:
At last, him turning to his charge behight,
With trembling hand his troubled pulse gan try;
Where finding life not yet dislodged quight,
He much rejoyst, and courd it tenderly,
As chicken newly hatcht, from dreaded destiny.
At last he spide where towards him did pace
Two Paynim Knights al armd as bright as skie,
And them beside an aged Sire did trace,
And far before a light-foote Page did flie
That breathed strife and troublous enmitie.
Those were the two sonnes of Acrates old,
Who, meeting earst with Archimago slie
Foreby that Idle Strond, of him were told
That he, which earst them combatted, was Guyon bold.
Which to avenge on him they dearly vowd,
Whereever that on ground they mote him find :
False Archimage provokt their corage prowd,
And stryful Atin in their stubborne mind
Coles of contention and whot vengeaunce tind.
Now bene they come whereas the Palmer sate,
Keeping that slombred corse to him assind:
Well knew they both his person, sith of late
With him in bloody armes they rashly did debate.
Whom when Pyrochles saw, inflam'd with rage
That Sire he fowl bespake; "Thou dotard vile,
That with thy brutenesse shendst thy comely age,
Abandon soone, I read, the caytive spoile
Of that same outcast carcas, that erewhile
Made itselfe famous through false trechery,
And crownd his coward crest with knightly stile;
Loe! where he now inglorious doth lye,
proove he lived il, that did thus fowly dye."
To whom the Palmer fearelesse answered;
"Certes, Sir Knight, ye bene too much to blame,
Thus for to blott the honor of the dead,
And with fowle cowardize his carcas shame
Whose living handes immortalizd his name.
Vile is the vengeaunce on the ashes cold;
And envy base to barke at sleeping fame :
Was never wight that treason of him told: [bold."
Yourselfe his prowesse prov'd, and found him fiers and
Then sayd Cymochles; “Palmer, thou doest dote,
Ne canst of prowesse ne of knighthood deeme,
Save as thou seest or hearst: But well I wote,
That of his puissaunce tryall made extreeme :
Yet gold all is not that doth golden seeme;
Ne al good Knights that shake well speare and shield:
The worth of all men by their end esteeme;
And then dew praise or dew reproch them yield:
Bad therefore I him deeme that thus lies dead on field."