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THE SIXTE BOOKE
THE FAERIE QUEENE,
THE LEGEND OF SIR CALIDORE, OR OF COURTESIE.
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,
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!
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 paine' 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
Of which though present age doe plenteous seeme
5 But, in the triall of true Curtesie,
Its now so farre from that which then it was,
1 Paine, difficulty.
• Bloosme, blossom, flower.
8 Bowre, lodge.
• Misdeeme, misjudge
Which see not perfect things but in a glas:
But Vertues seat is deepe within the mynd,
• 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 fame.
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
Doth vanquish Crudor; and doth make
1 Or Court, it seemes, men Courtesie doe call,
Right so in Faery Court it did redound,
Where curteous knights and ladies most did won' 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
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
8 Ne was there knight, ne was there lady found
And now he was in travell on his way, Uppon an hard adventure sore bestad, 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 rad1: 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
1 Conditions, qualities.
• Embase, put down.
8 Bestad, circumstanced.
4 Rad, recognized.