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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,
In seemely sort their corses to engrave,1

And deck with dainty flowres their brydall bed,
That to their heavenly Spouse both sweet and brave
They might appeare, when He their soules shall save.
The wondrous workmanship of God's owne mould,
Whose face He made all beastes to feare, and gave
All in 2 his hand, even dead we honour should.
Ah, dearest God, me graunt, I dead be not defould 3 !


The Seventh, now after death and buriall done,
Had charge the tender orphans of the dead
And wydowes ayd, least they should be undone :
In face of iudgement he their right would plead,
Ne ought the powre of mighty men did dread
In their defence; nor would for gold or fee

Be wonne their rightfull causes downe to tread :
And, when they stood in most necessitee,

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
Was guests to welcome, towardes him did pas;

1 Engrave, bury.
* In, into.

3 Defould, insulted.
4 Free, freely.

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;
For God he often saw from heavens hight:


All were his earthly eien both blunt and bad,

1 Louted, bowed.
• Albe, although.



Apply, attend to.

All, although.

And through great age had lost their kindly sight,
Yet wondrous quick and persaunt1 was his spright,
As eagles eie, that can behold the sunne.

That Hill they scale with all their powre and might,
That his fraile thighes, nigh weary and fordonne,2
Gan faile; but, by her helpe, the top at last he wonne.


There they doe finde that godly aged Sire,

With snowy lockes adowne his shoulders shed;
As hoary frost with spangles doth attire
mossy braunches of an oke halfe ded.
Each bone might through his body well be red,3
And every sinew seene, through his long fast:
For nought he car'd his carcas long unfed;
His mind was full of spirituall repast,

And pyn'd his flesh to keep his body low and chast.


Who, when these two approching he aspide,
At their first presence grew agrieved sore,
That forst him lay his hevenly thoughts aside;
And had he not that Dame respected more,5
Whom highly he did reverence and adore,
He would not once have moved for the Knight.
They him saluted, standing far afore;
Who, well them greeting, humbly did requight,
And asked, to what end they clomb that tedious hight.


"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?
Is not from hence the way, that leadeth right
To that most glorious House, that glistreth bright
With burning starres and everliving fire,
Whereof the keies are to thy hand behight1

By wise Fidelia? She doth thee require,
To shew it to this Knight, according 2 his desire."


"Thrise happy man," said then the Father grave,
"Whose staggering steps thy steady hand doth lead,
And shewes the way his sinfull soule to save!
Who better can the way to heaven aread 3
Then thou thyselfe, that was both borne and bred
In hevenly throne, where thousand angels shine?
Thou doest the praiers of the righteous sead 5
Present before the Maiesty Divine,

And His avenging wrath to clemency incline.


"Yet, since thou bidst, thy pleasure shal be donne.
Then come, Thou man of earth, and see the way,
That never yet was seene of Faries sonne;
That never leads the traveiler astray,
But, after labors long and sad delay,
Brings them to ioyous rest and endlesse blis.
But first thou must a season fast and pray,
Till from her bands the spright assoiled 6 is,
And have her strength recur'd from fraile infirmitis."

1 Behight, intrusted.

2 According, granting.

3 Aread, show.
Then, than.

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;
Such one as that same mighty Man of God,
That blood-red billowes like a walled front
On either side disparted with his rod,
Till that his army dry-foot through them yod,1
Dwelt forty daies upon; where, writt in stone
With bloody letters by the hand of God,
The bitter doome of death and balefull mone
He did receive, whiles flashing fire about him shone:


Or like that sacred Hill, whose head full hie,
Adornd with fruitfull olives all arownd,

Is, as it were for endlesse memory

Of that deare Lord who oft thereon was fownd,
For ever with a flowring girlond crownd:
Or like that pleasaunt Mount, that is for ay
Through famous poets verse each where renownd,
On which the thrise three learned Ladies play
Their hevenly notes, and make full many a lovely lay.


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
Of perle and precious stone, that earthly tong
Cannot describe, nor wit of man can tell;

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. 1.- That sacred Hill.] The Mount of Olives.

LIV. 6. — Or like that pleasaunt Mount.] Mount Parnassus.

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