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Whiles thus she talked, and whiles thus she toyd, They were far past the passage which he spake, And come unto an Island waste and voyd,' That floted in the midst of that great Lake; There her small gondelay her port did make, And that gay payre issewing on the shore Disburdned her: Their way they forward take Into the land that lay them faire before, Whose pleasaunce she him shewd, and plentifull great store.
It was a chosen plott of fertile land,
Emongst wide waves sett, like a litle nest,
As if it had by natures cunning hand
Bene choycely picked out from all the rest,
No daintie flowre or herbe that growes on grownd,
No arborett with painted blossomes drest
And smelling sweete, but there it might be fownd
To bud out faire, and her sweete smels throwe al arownd.
No tree, whose braunches did not bravely 3 spring;
No song, but did containe a lovely ditt.*
Trees, braunches, birds, and songs, were framed fitt
Carelesse the man soone woxe, and his weake witt
Waste and royd, uninhabited.
3 Bravely, beautifully.
XIII. 9.- Did his wrathfull purpose faire appease.] In Cymochles
Thus when shee had his eyes and sences fed
With false delights, and fild with pleasures vayn,
And her sweete selfe without dread or disdayn
She sett beside, laying his head disarmd
In her loose lap, it softly to sustayn,
Where soone he slumbred fearing not be harmd: The whiles with a love lay she thus him sweetly charmd:
"Behold, O man, that toilesome paines doest take, The flowrs, the fields, and all that pleasaunt growes, How they themselves doe thine ensample1 make, Whiles nothing envious nature them forth throwes Out of her fruitfull lap; how, no man knowes, They spring, they bud, they blossome fresh and faire, And decke the world with their rich pompous showes; Yet no man for them taketh paines or care, Yet no man to them can his carefull paines compare.
"The lilly, lady of the flowring field,
1 Ensample, model for imitation.
we are shown the fickleness of purpose which habits of self-indulgence beget. "One sweet drop of sensual delight" makes him forget the purpose of revenge he had so lately formed. The nearest temptation is the strongest.
XV. 1. — Behold, O man, &c.] This song of Phædria's was probably suggested by one sung to Rinaldo, upon an enchanted island, in the fourteenth book of Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. Spenser, however, has given to his own stanzas a rich and lavish beauty of imagery and expression not found in his Italian model.
XV. 4.—Nothing enrious.] Liberal, or grudging nothing.
XVI. 1. — The lilly, &c.] In this exquisite stanza, the reader will
The flowre-deluce,1 her lovely paramoure, Bid thee to them thy fruitlesse labors yield, And soone leave off this toylsome weary stoure 2: Loe! loe, how brave she decks her bounteous boure, With silkin curtens and gold coverletts, Therein to shrowd her sumptuous belamoure 3! Yet neither spinnes nor cards, ne cares nor fretts, But to her mother nature all her care she letts.
"Why then doest thou, O man, that of them all Art Lord, and eke of nature Soveraine, Wilfully make thyselfe a wretched thrall, And waste thy joyous howres in needelesse paine, Seeking for daunger and adventures vaine? What bootes it al to have and nothing use? Who shall him rew that swimming in the maine Will die for thirst, and water doth refuse? Refuse such fruitlesse toile, and present pleasures chuse."
By this she had him lulled fast asleepe,
That of no worldly thing he care did take:
Then she with liquors strong his eies did steepe,
So she him lefte, and did herselfe betake
Unto her boat again, with which she clefte
The slouthfull wave of that great griesy 5 Lake:
1 Flowre-deluce, (fleur de lis, Fr.) the iris. 2 Stoure, anxiety. 3 Belamoure, lover. 4 Rewo, pity. 3 Griesy, sluggish, or thick.
notice the alliteration of which Spenser was so fond-"lilly, lady," "flowring field," "bounteous boure," "shrowd her sumptuous," "nor cards, ne cares."
XVIII. 7. — Great griesy Lake.] Some editions have griesly, terrible, instead of griesy, thick or sluggish.
Soone shee that Island far behind her lefte,
And now is come to that same place where first she wefte.1
By this time was the worthy Guyon brought
Guyon was loath to leave his Guide behind,
And by the way, as was her wonted guize,
1 Wefte, put off.
2 Byding, waiting.
3 Sad, grave.
4 Affoord, grant, consent.
XIX. 4. To hond.] Upton suggests "lond" [land] for " which, however, is not found in any edition.
XIX. 8.- Ne would, &c.] When Temperance or Self-government embarks on the waters of Idleness, under the guidance of immodest Mirth, Reason is left behind.
And did of ioy and iollity devize,
Herselfe to cherish, and her guest to cheare.
1 Gibe, jest.
Yet she still followed her former style,
And said, and did, all that mote him delight,
"Faire Sir," quoth she, "be not displeased at all; Who fares on sea may not commaund his way, Ne wind and weather at his pleasure call: The sea is wide, and easy for to stray; The wind unstable, and doth never stay. But here a while ye may in safety rest, Till season serve new passage to assay: Better safe port then be in seas distrest.” Therewith she laught, and did her earnest end in iest.
3 Forsake, turn from, neglect.
The bonds.] Some editions have "bounds."
XXII. 6. — He wist himselfe amisse, &c.] He perceived that he was out of his proper course.