« PreviousContinue »
If not well ended at our dying day,
O man! have mind of that last bitter throw : For as the tree does fall, so lies it ever low.
The Sixt had charge of them now being dead,
And deck with dainty flowres their brydall bed,
The Seventh, now after death and buriall done,
Be wonne their rightfull causes downe to tread :
He did supply their want, and gave them ever free.*
There when the Elfin Knight arrived was,
The first and chiefest of the Seven, whose care
1 Engrave, bury.
3 Defould, insulted.
XLI. 9.- For as the tree, &c. "In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be."- ECCLES. xi. 3.
XLIII. 3.-Ayd.] To is understood before ayd.
Where seeing Mercie, that his steps upbare And alwaies led, to her with reverence rare He humbly louted 1 in meeke lowliness, And seemely welcome for her did prepare: For of their Order she was Patronesse, Albe 2 Charissa were their chiefest Founderesse.
There she awhile him stayes, himselfe to rest, That to the rest more hable he might bee: During which time, in every good behest, And godly worke of Almes and Charitee, Shee him instructed with great industree. Shortly therein so perfect he became, That, from the first unto the last degree, His mortall life he learned had to frame In holy righteousnesse, without rebuke or blame.
Thence forward by that painfull way they pas Forth to an Hill, that was both steepe and hy; On top whereof a sacred Chappell was, And eke a litle Hermitage thereby, Wherein an aged holy man did lie, That day and night said his devotion, Ne other worldly busines did apply 3: His name was Hevenly Contemplation; Of God and goodnes was his meditation.
Great grace that old man to him given had;
All were his earthly eien both blunt and bad,
1 Louted, bowed.
Apply, attend to.
And through great age had lost their kindly sight,
That Hill they scale with all their powre and might,
There they doe finde that godly aged Sire,
With snowy lockes adowne his shoulders shed;
And pyn'd his flesh to keep his body low and chast.
Who, when these two approching he aspide,
"What end," quoth she, "should cause us take such paine, But that same end, which every living wight
1 Persaunt, piercing. 2 Fordonne, exhausted. 3 Red, discerned. 4 Pyn'd, wasted. 5 More, greatly.
XLVII. 9. By her helpe.] By Mercy's help.
Should make his marke, high heaven to attaine?
By wise Fidelia? She doth thee require,
"Thrise happy man," said then the Father grave,
And His avenging wrath to clemency incline.
"Yet, since thou bidst, thy pleasure shal be donne.
1 Behight, intrusted.
2 According, granting.
3 Aread, show.
Sead, seed, race.
6 Assoiled, absolved.
7 Recur'd, recovered.
LII. 6.- Them.] This should be him, or else trareiler, in the fourth line, should be travelers.
That done, he leads him to the highest Mount;
Or like that sacred Hill, whose head full hie,
Is, as it were for endlesse memory
Of that deare Lord who oft thereon was fownd,
From thence, far off he unto him did shew
A little path, that was both steepe and long,
Which to a goodly Citty led his vew;
Whose wals and towres were builded high and strong
1 Yod, passed.
2 Each where, every where.
LIII. 2. Such one, &c.] A mount like Mount Sinai, on which Moses passed forty days. Ex. xxiv. 18.
LIII. 3.-Blood-red billowes.] The waves of the Red Sea.
LIV. 6. — Or like that pleasaunt Mount.] Mount Parnassus.