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His warlike armes, the ydle instruments
Of sleeping praise, were hong upon a tree;
And his brave shield, full of old moniments,
Was fowly ras't, that none the signes might see;
Ne for them ne for honour cared hee,
Ne ought that did to his advauncement tend;
But in lewd loves, and wastfull luxuree,
His dayes, his goods, his bodie he did spend:
O horrible enchantment, that him so did blend!
The noble Elfe and carefull Palmer drew
So nigh them, minding nought but lustfull game, That suddein forth they on them rusht, and threw A subtile net, which only for that same The skilfull Palmer formally did frame: So held them under fast; the whiles the rest Fled all away for feare of fowler shame. The faire Enchauntresse, so unwares opprest, Tryde all her arts and all her sleights thence out to wrest;
For nothing else might keepe her safe and sound:
But Verdant (so he hight) he soone untyde,
And counsell sage in steed thereof to him applyde.
But all those pleasaunt bowres, and Pallace brave,
Guyon broke downe with rigour pittilesse ;
Ne ought their goodly workmanship might save
Them from the tempest of his wrathfulnesse,
But that their blisse he turn'd to balefulnesse;
Their Groves he feld; their Gardins did deface;
Their Arbers spoyle; their Cabinets suppresse;
Their Banket-houses burne; their buildings race;
And, of the fayrest late, now made the fowlest place.
And eke her Lover strove; but all in vaine :
For that same net so cunningly was wound,
That neither guile nor force might it distraine.
They tooke them both, and both them strongly bound
In captive bandes, which there they readie found:
But her in chaines of Adamant he tyde;
Then led they her away, and eke that Knight
They with them led, both sorrowfull and sad:
The way they came, the same retourn'd they right,
Till they arrived where they lately had
Charm'd those wild beasts that rag'd with furie mad; Which, now awaking, fierce at them gan fly,
As in their Mistresse reskew, whom they lad; But them the Palmer soone did pacify. Then Guyon askt, what meant those beastes which there did
Sayd he; "These seeming beasts are men in deed,
Whom this Enchauntresse hath transformed thus ;
Whylome her Lovers which her lustes did feed,
Now turned into figures hideous,
According to their mindes like monstruous."
"Sad end," quoth he, "of life intemperate,
And mournefull meed of joyes delicious!
But, Palmer, if it mote thee so aggrate,
Let them returned be unto their former state."
Streightway he with his vertuous staffe them strooke, 86
And streight of beastes they comely men became;
Yet being men they did unmanly looke,
And stared ghastly; some for inward shame,
And some for wrath to see their captive Dame:
But one above the rest in speciall
That had an hog beene late, hight Grylle by name,
Repyned greatly, and did him miscall
That had from hoggish forme him brought to naturall.
Saide 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 kinde
Delightes in filth and fowle incontinence :
Let Gryll be Gryll, and have his hoggish minde;
But let us hence depart whilest wether serves and winde."
THE FAERIE QUEENE
CONTAYNING THE LEGEND OF BRITOM ARTIS, OR
T falls me here to write of Chastity,
That fayrest vertue, far above the rest:
For which what needes me fetch from Faery
Forreine ensamples it to have exprest?
Sith it is shrined in my Soveraines brest,
And formd so lively in each perfect part,
That to all Ladies, which have it profest,
Need but behold the pourtraict of her hart;
If pourtrayd it might bee by any living art :
But living art may not least part expresse,
Nor life-resembling pencill it can paynt:
All were it Zeuris or Praxiteles,
His dædale hand would faile and greatly faynt,
And her perfections with his error taynt :
Ne poets witt, that passeth Painter farre
In picturing the parts of beauty daynt,
So hard a workemanship adventure darre,
For fear through want or words her excellence to marre.
How then shall I, Apprentice of the skill
That whilome in divinest wits did rayne,
Presume, so high to stretch mine humble quill?
Yet now my luckelesse lott doth me constrayne
Hereto perforce: But, O dredd Soverayne,
Thus far forth pardon, sith that choicest witt
Cannot your glorious pourtraict figure playne,
That I in colourd showes may shadow itt,
And antique praises unto present persons fitt.
But if in living colours, and right hew,
Thyselfe thou covet to see pictured,
Who can it doe more lively, or more trew,
Then that sweete verse, with Nectar sprinckeled,
In which a gracious servaunt pictured
His Cynthia, his heavens fayrest light?
That with his melting sweetnes ravished,
And with the wonder of her beamës bright,
My sences lulled are in slomber of delight.
But let that same delitious Poet lend
A little leave unto a rusticke Muse
To sing his Mistresse prayse; and let him mend,
If ought amis her liking may abuse:
Ne let his fayrest Cynthia refuse
In mirrours more then one herselfe to see;
But either Gloriana let her chuse,
Or in Belphabe fashioned to bee;
In th' one her rule, in th' other her rare chastitee.
Guyon encountreth Britomart:
Fayre Florimell is chaced:
Duessaes traines and Malecas-
taes champions are defaced.
HE famous Briton Prince and Faery Knight,
After long ways and perilous paines endur'd,
Having their weary limbes to perfect plight
Restord, and sory wounds right well recur'd,
Of the faire Alma greatly were procur'd
To make there lenger sojourne and abode;
But, when thereto they might not be allur'd
From seeking praise and deeds of armes abrode,
They courteous congé tooke, and forth together yode.
But the captiv'd Acrasia he sent,
Because of traveill long, a nigher way,
With a strong gard, all reskew to prevent,
And her to Faery Court safe to convay;
That her for witnes of his hard assay
Unto his Faery Queene he might present :
But he himselfe betooke another way,
To make more triall of his hardiment,
And seek adventures, as he with Prince Arthure went.
Long so they traveiled through wastefull wayes,
Where daungers dwelt, and perils most did wonne,
To hunt for glory and renowmed prayse :
Full many Countreyes they did overronne,
From the uprising to the setting Sunne,
And many hard adventures did atchieve;
Of all the which they honour ever wonne,
Seeking the weake oppressed to relieve,
And to recover right for such as wrong did grieve.