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Who wond'rous things concerning our welfare,
And strange phantoms, doth let us oft foresee,
And oft of secret ills bids us beware,
That is ourself, whom though we do not see,
Yet each doth in himself it well perceive to be :

Therefore a god him sage antiquity
Did wisely make, and good Agdistès call;
But this same was to that quite contrary,
The foe of life, that good envies to all;
That secretly doth us procure to fall
Through guileful semblance, which he makes us see.
He of this garden had the governale,
And Pleasure's porter was devis’d to be,
Holding a staff in hand for more formality.

With divers flowers he daintily was deck'd
And strewed round about, and by his side
A mighty mazer bowl of wine was set,
As if it had to him been sacrified,
Wherewith all new-come guests he gratified;
So did he eke Sir Guyon passing by:
But he his idle courtesy defied,
And overthrew his bowl disdainfully,
And broke his staff, with which he charged sem-

blants sly.

Thus being enter'd, they behold around
A large and spacious plain, on every side
Strewed with pleasances; whose fair grassy ground,
Mantled with green, and goodly beautified
With all the ornaments of Flora's pride,
Wherewith her mother Ar as half in scorn
Of niggard Nature, like a pompous bride,
Did deck her, and too lavishly adorn,
When forth from virgin bow'r she comes in th' early

morn.

There with the heavens, always jovial,
Look'd on them lovely, still in stedfast state,
Ne suffer'd storm nor frost on them to fall,
Their tender buds or leaves to violate ;
Nor scorching heat, nor cold intemperate,
T'afflict the creatures which therein did dwell;
But the mild air, with season moderate,
Gently attemper'd, and disposed so well,
That still it breathed forth sweet spirit and whole-

some smell.

More sweet and wholesome than the pleasånt hill
Of Rhodope, on which the nymph, that bore
A giant babe, herself for grief did kill;
Or the Thessalian Tempe, where of yore
Fair Daphne Phæbus' heart with love did gore;
Or Ida, where the gods lov'd to repair
Whenever they their heavenly bowers forlore;
Or sweet Parnasse, the haunt of muses fair;
Or Eden self, if aught with Eden mote compare.

Much wonder'd Guyon at the fair aspect
Of that sweet place, yet suffer'd no delight

To sink into his sense, nor mind affect;
But passed forth, and look'd still forward right,
Bridling his will, and mastering his might,
Till that he came unto another gate;
No gate, but like one, being goodly dight
With boughs and branches, which did broad dilate
Their clasping arms, in wanton wreathings intricate.

So fashioned a porch with rare device,
Arch'd over head with an embracing vine,
Whose bunches hanging down seem'd to entice
All passers by to taste their luscious wine,
And did themselves into their hands incline,
As freely offering to be gathered ;
Some deep empurpl'd as the hyacine,
Some as the rubine, laughing sweetly red,
Some like fair emeraudes not yet well ripened :

And them amongst some were of burnish'd gold,
So made by art to beautify the rest,
Which did themselves amongst the leaves enfold,
As lurking from the view of covetous guest,
That the weak boughs, with so rich load oppress'd,
Did bow adown as overburthened. 5*
Under that porch a comely damé did rest,
Clad in fair weeds, but foul disordered,
And garments loose, that seem'd unmeet for woman-

head:

In her left hand a cup of gold she held,
And with her right the riper fruit did reach,

Whose sappy liquor, that with fullness swellid,
Into her cup she scruz'd with dainty breach
Of her fine fingers, without foul empeach
That so' fair wine-press made the wine more

sweet :
Thereof she us'd to give to drink to each,
Whom passing by she happened to meet :
It was her guise all strangers goodly so to greet.

So she to Guyon offer'd it to taste.:
Who, taking it out of her tender hand,
The cup to ground did violently cast,
That all in pieces it was broken fond,
And with the liquor stained all the land :
Whereat Excess exceedingly was wroth,
Yet no’te the same amend, ne yet withstand,
But suffered him to pass, all were she lothe,
Who, nought regarding her displeasure, forward

goeth.

There the most dainty paradise on ground
Itself doth offer to his sober eye,
In which all pleasures plenteously abound,
And none does other's happiness envy;
The painted flowers, the trees upshooting high ;
The dales for shade, the hills for breathing space;
The trembling groves, the crystal running by;
And that which all fair works doth most aggrace,
The art, which all that wrought, appeared in no

place.

One would have thought, (so cunningly the rude
And scorned parts were mingled with the fine)
That Nature had for wantonness ensude
Art, and that Art at Nature did repine ;
So striving each th' other to undermine,
Each did the other's work more beautify,
So differing both in wills agreed in fine :
So all agreed, through sweet diversity,
This garden to adorn with all variety.

And in the midst of all a fountain stood,
Of richest substance that on the earth might be,
So

pure and shiny, that the silver flood
Through every channel running one might see :
Most goodly it with curious imagery
Was over-wrought, and shapes of naked boys,
Of which some seem’d, with lively jollity,
To fly about, playing their wanton toys,
Whilst others did themselves embay in liquid joys.

And over all of purest gold was spread
A trayle of ivy in his native hue ;
For the rich metal was so coloured,
That wight, who did not well advis'd it view,
Would surely deem it to be ivy true :
Low his lascivious arms adown did creep,
That themselves, dipping in the silver dew
Their fleecy flowers, they fearfully did steep,
Which drops of crystal seem'd for wantonness to

weep.

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