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And in the midst of all a Fountaine stood,
Of richest substance that on earth might bee,
pure and shiny that the silver flood
Through every channell running one might see
Most goodly it with curious ymageree
Was over-wrought, and shapes of naked boyes,
Of which some seemd with lively jollitee
To fly about, playing their wanton toyes,
Whylest others did themselves embay in liquid joyes.
And over all of purest gold was spred
A trayle of yvie in his native hew; For the rich metall was so coloured, That wight, who did not well avis'd it vew, Would surely deeme it to bee Yvie trew : Low his lascivious armes adown did creepe, That themselves dipping in the silver dew Their fleecy flowres they fearefully did steepe, Which drops of Christall seemd for wantones to weep.
And all the margent round about was sett
With shady Laurell trees, thence to defend The sunny beames which on the billowes bett, And those which therein bathed mote offend. As Guyon hapned by the same to wend, Two naked Damzelles he therein espyde, Which therein bathing seemed to contend And wrestle wantonly, ne car'd to hyde Their dainty partes from vew of any which them eyd.
Infinit streames continually did well
Out of this Fountaine, sweet and faire to see, The which into an ample Laver fell, And shortly grew to so great quantitie, That like a litle lake it seemd to bee; Whose depth exceeded not three cubits hight, That through the waves one might the bottom see, All pav'd beneath with Jaspar shining bright, That seemd the Fountaine in the Sea did sayle upright.
Sometimes the one would lift the other quight
Above the waters, and then downe againe
Her plong, as over-maystered by might,
Where both awhile would covered remaine,
And each the other from to rise restraine;
The whiles their snowy limbes, as through a vele,
So through the Christall waves appeared plaine:
Then suddeinly both would themselves unhele,
And th' amorous sweet spoiles to greedy eyes revele.
As that faire Starre, the messenger of morne,
His deawy face out of the sea doth reare :
Or as the Cyprian Goddesse, newly borne
Of th' Ocean's fruitfull froth, did first appeare:
Such seemed they, and so their yellow heare
Christalline humor dropped downe apace.
Whom such when Guyon saw,
he drew him neare,
And somewhat gan relent his earnest pace;
His stubborne brest gan secret pleasaunce to embrace.
The wanton Maidens him espying, stood
Gazing awhile at his unwonted guise;
Then th' one herselfe low ducked in the flood,
Abasht that her a straunger did avise:
But th' other rather higher did arise,
And her two lilly paps aloft displayd,
And all, that might his melting hart entyse
To her delights, she unto him bewrayd;
The rest, hidd underneath, him more desirous made.
With that the other likewise up arose,
And her faire lockes, which formerly were bownd
Up in one knott, she low adowne did lose,
Which flowing long and thick her cloth'd arownd,
And the Yvorie in golden mantle gownd:
So that faire spectacle from him was reft,
Yet that which reft it no lesse faire was fownd:
So hidd in lockes and waves from lookers theft,
Nought but her lovely face she for his looking left.
Withall she laughed, and she blusht withall,
That blushing to her laughter gave more grace,
And laughter to her blushing, as did fall.
Now when they spyde the Knight to slacke his pace
Them to behold, and in his sparkling face
The secrete signes of kindled lust appeare,
Their wanton merriments they did encreace,
And to him beckned to approch more neare,
And shewd him many sights that corage cold could reare:
On which when gazing him the Palmer saw,
He much rebukt those wandring eyes of his,
And counseld well him forward thence did draw.
Now are they come nigh to the Bowre of Blis,
Of her fond favorites so nam'd amis;
When thus the Palmer; "Now, Sir, well avise ;
For here the end of all our traveill is:
Here wonnes Acrasia, whom we must surprise, Els she will slip away, and all our drift despise."
Eftsoones they heard a most melodious sound,
Of all that mote delight a daintie eare,
Such as attonce might not on living ground,
Save in this Paradise, be heard elsewhere:
Right hard it was for wight which did it heare,
To read what manner musicke that mote bee;
For all that pleasing is to living eare
Was there consorted in one harmonee;
Birdes, voices, instruments, windes, waters, all agree:
The joyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull shade,
Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet;
Th' Angelicall soft trembling voyces made
To th' instruments divine respondence meet;
The silver-sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmure of the waters fall;
The waters fall with difference discreet,
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call ; The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.
There, whence that Musick seemed heard to bee,
Was the faire Witch herselfe now solacing
With a new Lover, whom, through sorceree
And witchcraft, she from farre did thether bring:
There she had him now laid a slombering
In secret shade after long wanton joyes;
Whilst round about them pleasauntly did sing
Many faire Ladies and lascivious boyes,
That ever mixt their song with light licentious toyes.
And all that while right over him she hong
With her false eyes fast fixed in his sight,
As seeking medicine whence she was stong,
Or greedily depasturing delight;
And oft inclining downe with kisses light,
For feare of waking him, his lips bedewd,
And through his humid eyes did sucke his spright,
Quite molten into lust and pleasure lewd;
Wherewith she sighed soft, as if his case she rewd.
The whiles some one did chaunt this lovely lay;
"Ah! see, whoso fayre thing doest faine to see,
In springing flowre the image of thy day!
Ah! see the Virgin Rose, how sweetly shee
Doth first peepe foorth with bashfull modestee,
That fairer seemes the lesse ye see her may!
Lo! see soone after how more bold and free
Her bared bosome she doth broad display ;
Lo! see soone after how she fades and falls away!
"So passeth, in the passing of a day,
Of mortall life the leafe, the bud, the flowre; Ne more doth florish after first decay, That earst was sought to deck both bed and bowre Of many a Lady, and many a Paramowre! Gather therefore the Rose whilest yet is prime, For soone comes age that will her pride deflowre: Gather the Rose of love whilest yet is time, Whilest loving thou mayst loved be with equall crime."
He ceast; and then gan all the quire of birdes
Their diverse notes t' attune unto his lay,
As in approvaunce of his pleasing wordes.
The constant Payre heard all that he did say,
Yet swarved not, but kept their forward way
Through many covert groves and thickets close,
In which they creeping did at last display
That wanton Lady with her Lover lose,
Whose sleepie head she in her lap did soft dispose.
Upon a bed of Roses she was layd,
As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin;
And was arayd, or rather disarayd,
All in a vele of silke and silver thin,
That hid no whit her alablaster skin,
But rather shewd more white, if more might bee:
More subtile web Arachne cannot spin;
Nor the fine nets, which oft we woven see
Of scorched deaw, do not in th' ayre more lightly flee.
Her snowy brest was bare to ready spoyle
Of hungry eies, which n'ote therewith be fild; And yet, through languour of her late sweet toyle, Few drops, more cleare then Nectar, forth distild, That like pure Orient perles adowne it trild; And her faire eyes, sweet smyling in delight, Moystened their fierie beames, with which she thrild Fraile harts, yet quenched not; like starry light, [bright. Which, sparckling on the silent waves, does seeme more
The young man, sleeping by her, seemd to be
Some goodly swayne of honorable place;
That certes it great pitty was to see
Him his nobility so fowle deface:
A sweet regard and amiable grace,
Mixed with manly sternesse, did appeare,
Yet sleeping, in his well-proportiond face;
And on his tender lips the downy heare
Did now but freshly spring, and silken blossoms beare.