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THE SIXTE BOOKE
THE FAERIE QUEENE,
THE LEGEND OF SIR CALIDORE, OR OF COURTESIE.
1 THE waies, through which my weary steps I guyde
In this delightfull land of Faery,
Are so exceeding spacious and wyde,
And sprinckled with such sweet variety
Of all that pleasant is to eare or eye,
And, when I gin to feele decay of might,
It strength to me supplies and chears my dulled spright.
1 Well, cause to flow.
2 Such secret comfort and such heavenly pleasures, Ye, sacred Imps, that on Parnasso dwell,
And there the keeping have of Learnings threasures,
2 Fury, inspiration.
Guyde ye my footing, and conduct me well
In these strange waies where never foote did use, Ne none can find but who was taught them by the Muse!
3 Revele to me the sacred noursery
Of Vertue, which with you doth there remaine, Where it in silver bowre does hidden ly From view of men and wicked worlds disdaine; Since it at first was by the gods with paine1 Planted in earth, being deriv'd at furst From heavenly seedes of bounty soveraine, And by them long with carefull labour nurst, Till it to ripenesse grew, and forth to honour burst.
4 Amongst them all growes not a fayrer flowre
And spreds itselfe through all civilitie :
Of which though present age doe plenteous seeme, Yet, being matcht with plaine antiquitie, Ye will them all but fayned showes esteeme, Which carry colours faire that feeble eies misdeeme1:
。 But, in the triall of true Curtesie,
Its now so farre from that which then it was,
1 Paine, difficulty.
2 Bloosme, blossom, flower.
8 Bowre, lodge.
4 Misdeeme, misjudge.