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And lightly mounted passeth on his way;
And Atin ay him pricks with spurs of shame and wrong.
1 Dismay, subdue.
Guyon is of immodest Merth
Fights with Cymochles, whiles his bro-
A HARDER lesson to learne continence
And Guyon in them all shewes goodly maysteries.2
Whom bold Cymochles traveiling to finde,
1 Uneathes, scarcely.
2 Maysteries, superiority.
II. 4.- Came to a river, &c.] The Bower of Bliss is described as situated upon an island floating in a lake or gulf. Atin finds Cymochles there, and induces him to leave in order to avenge his brother's death. He comes to a river, that is, to the shore of the island, and finds there Phædria, (who represents immodest mirth,) who carries him in her boat to another island in this gulf or lake, similar in its temptations and dangers to that on which the Bower of Bliss is situated.
Wayting to passe he saw whereas did swim
With boughes and arbours woven cunningly,
And therein sate a Lady fresh and fayre,
That to her might move cause of meriment:
She could devise; and thousand waies invent
Which when far off Cymochles heard and saw,
And him to ferry over that deepe ford.
Soone hearkned, and her painted bote streightway
She would admit, albe the Knight her much did pray.
Eftsoones her shallow ship away did slide,
More swift than swallow sheres the liquid skye,
Or winged canvas with the wind to fly:
1 Gondelay, gondola, boat.
3 Eftsoones, immediately.
It cut away upon the yielding wave, (Ne cared she her course for to apply,') For it was taught the way which she would have And both from rocks and flats itselfe could wisely save.
And all the way the wanton Damsell found
That turned all her pleasaunce to a scoffing game.
And other whiles vaine toyes she would devize,
Aguize, deck. 4 Plight, folded.
V. 8. For it was taught, &c.] The self-guiding bark of Phædria was suggested by the ships of Alcinous, in Homer, which steered themselves to their destined port. The giving it motion by turning a pin was probably borrowed from the Squire's tale in Chaucer, where the king of Araby sends to Cambuscan a horse of brass, which moves by turning a pin. There is a wooden horse with the same wondrous power in the Arabian Nights.
VI. 6. Yet seemed, &c.] Yet, as it seemed.
Her light behaviour and loose dalliaunce
Nor care of vow'd revenge and cruell fight;
So easie was to quench his flamed minde
With one sweete drop of sensuall delight!
Diverse discourses in their way they spent ;
"Vaine man," saide she, "that wouldest be reckoned A straunger in thy home, and ignoraunt
Of Phædria, (for so my name is red,3)
“In this wide inland sea, that hight by name The Idle Lake, my wandring ship I row, That knowes her port, and thether sayles by ayme, Ne care ne feare I how the wind do blow, Or whether swift I wend or whether slow: Both slow and swift alike do serve my tourne: Ne swelling Neptune ne lowd-thundring love Can chaunge my cheare, or make me ever mourne: My litle boat can safely passe this perilous bourne.5"
1 Serenounce, remembrance.
2 Cott, little boat.
3 Red, called.
4 Hight, is called.