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Infinite streams continually did well
Out of this fountain, sweet and fair to see,
The which into an ample laver fell,
And shortly grew to so great quantity,
That like a little lake it seemed to be,
Whose depth exceeded not three cubits height,
That through the waves one might the bottom see,
All pav'd beneath with jasper, shining bright,
That seem'd the fountain in that sea did sail upright.

And all the margent round about was set
With shady laurel trees, thence to defend

beams which on the billows beat,
And those which therein bathed mote offend.
As Guyon happen'd by the same to wend,
Two'naked damsels he therein espied,
Which therein bathing, seemed to contend
And wrestle wantonly, ne car'd to hide
Their dainty parts from view of any which them ey’d.





His dewy face out of the sea doth rear;
Or as the Cyprian goddess, newly born
Of th' ocean's fruitful froth, did first appear :
Such seemed they, and so their yellow heare
Crystalline humour dropped down apace.
Whom such when Guyon saw,

As that fair star, the messenger

he drew him near, And somewhat 'gan relent his earnest pace; His stubborn breast 'gan secret pleasaunce to em


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On which when gazing him the palmer saw,
He much rebuk'd those wand'ring eyes of his,
And, counsell'd well, him forward thence did draw.
Now are they come nigh to the Bower of Bliss,
Of her fond favourites so nam'd amiss ;
When thus the palmer: “Now, Sir, well avise,
For here the end of all our travel is;
Here wonnes Acrasia, whom we must surprise,
Else she will slip away, and all our drift despise."

Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound,
Of all that mote delight a dainty ear,
Such as at once might not on living ground,
Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere :
Right hard it was for wight which did it hear,
To rede what manner music that mote be ;
For all that pleasing is to living ear,
Was there consorted in one harmony ;
Birds, voices, instruments, winds, waters, all agree.

The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade,
Their notes unto the voice attemper'd sweet ;
Th' angelical soft trembling voices made
To th’ instruments divine respondence meet;
The silver-sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmur of the water's fall;
The water's fall with difference discreet,
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call;
The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.




many ways within her troubled mind Old Glauce cast to cure this lady's grief ; Full many ways she sought, but none could find, Nor herbs, nor charms, nor counsel, that is chief And choicest med'cine for sick heart's relief; Forthy great care she took, and greater fear. Least tha should her turn to foul reprief, And sore reproach, whenso her father dear Should of his dearest daughter's hard. misfortune


At last she her advis'd, that he which made
That mirror wherein the sick damosel
So strangely viewed her strange lover's shade,
To weet the learned Merlin, well could tell
Under what coast of heaven the man did dwell,
And by what means his love might best be wrought;
For though beyond the Afric Ismael,
Or th’ Indian Peru he were, she thought
Him forth through infinite endeavour to have sought.

Forthwith themselves disguising both in strange
And base attire, that none might them bewray,
To Maridunum, that is now by change
Of name Cayr-Merdin call'd, they took their way;
There the wise Merlin whylome wont (they say)

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To make his wonne, low underneath the ground,
In a deep delve, far from the view of day;
That of no living wight he mote be found,
Whenso he counsell’d, with his sprites encompass'd


And if thou ever happen that same way
To travel, go to see that dreadful place:
It is an hideous hollow cave (they say)
Under a rock that lies a little space
From the swift Barry, tumbling down apace
Amongst the woody hills of Dynevowre:
But dare thou not, I charge, in any case,
To enter into that same baleful bower,
For fear the cruel fiends should thee unwares de.


But standing high aloft, low lay thine ear,
And there such ghastly noise of iron chains,
And brazen cauldrons thou shalt rumbling hear,
Which thousand sprites, with long.enduring pains,
Do toss, that it will stun thy feeble brains;
And oftentimes great groans and grievous stounds,
When too huge toil and labour them constrains,
And oftentimes loud strokes and ringing sounds,
From under that deep rock most horribly rebounds.

The cause, some say, is this : a little while
Before that Merlin died, he did intend
A brazen wall in compass to compile :

VOL. 1.


About Cairmardin, and did it commend
Unto these sprites to bring to perfect end;
During which work the Lady of the Lake,
Whom long he lov'd, for him in haste did send,
Who thereby forc'd his workmen to forsake,
Them bound till his return their Jabour not to slake.

In the mean time, through that false lady's train,
He was surpriz'd and buried under bier,
Ne ever to his work return'd again ;
Nathless those fiends may not their work forbear,
So greatly his commandement they fear,
But there do toil and travail day and night,
Until that brazen wall they up do rear;
For Merlin had in magic more insight
Than ever him before or after living wight.

For he by words could call out of the sky
Both sun and moon,

and make them him obey ;
The land to sea, and sea to mainland dry,
And darksome night he eke could turn to day:
Huge hosts of men he could alone dismay,
And hosts of men of meanest things could frame,
Whenso him list his enemies to fray;
That to this day, for terror of his fame,
The fiends do quake when any him to them does.


And sooth men say, that he was not the son,
Of mortal sire, or other living wight,

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