« AnteriorContinuar »
“ Behold, O man ! that toilsome pains dost take,
And by the way, as was her wonted guise,
“ The lily, lady of the flow'ring field,
Yet she still followed her former style,
“Why then dost thou, O Man, that of them all « Fair Sir!" quoth she, “ be not displeased at all; Art lord, and eke of Nature sovereign,
Who fares on sea may not command his way, Wilfully make thyself a wretched thrall,
Ne wind and weather at his pleasure call : And waste thy joyous hours in needless pain,
The sea is wide, and easy for to stray, Seeking for danger and adventure vain ?
The wind unstable, and doth never stay : What boots it all to have and nothing use ? But here a while ye may in safety rest, Who shall him rue that, swimming in the main, Till season serve new passage to assay: Will die for thirst, and water doth refuse ?
Better safe port, than be in seas distrest." Refuse such fruitless toil and present pleasures Therewith she laugh’d, and did her earnest end in choose."
By this she had him lulled fast asleep,
But he, half discontent, mote natheless
By this time was the worthy Guyon brought
And she, more sweet than any bird on bough,
Guyon was loath to leave his guide behind, But he was wise, and wary of her will,
And ever held his hand upon his heart ;
Yet would not seem so rude and thewed ill, Forth launched quickly, as she did desire,
As to despise so courteous seeming part, Ne gave him leave to bid that aged sire
That gentle lady did to him impart ; Adieu, but nimbly ran her wonted course
But fairly tempering, fond desire subdued, Through the dull billows, thick as troubled mire, And ever her desired to depart; Whom neither wind out of their seat could force, She list not hear, but her disports pursued, Nor timely tides did drive out of their sluggish And ever bade him stay till time the tide renew'd.
And now by this Cymochles' hour was spent, If ever love of lady did empierce
Your iron breasts, or pity could find place, And shaking off his drowsy dreriment,
Withhold your bloody hands from battle fierce 'Gan him advise how ill did him beseem
And sith for me ye fight, to me this grace In slothful sleep his moulten heart to steme, Both yield, to stay your deadly strife a space = And quench the brand of his conceived ire ; They stay'd awhile, and forth she 'gan proceed Tho' up he started, stirr’d with shame extreme, “ Most wretched woman, and of wicked race, Ne stayed for his damsel to enquire,
That am the author of this heinous deed, But marched to the strand, there passage to And cause of death between two doughty knig! require.
do breed. And in the way he with Sir Guyon met,
“ But if for me ye fight, or me will serve, Accompanied with Phædria the fair ;
Not this rude kind of battle, nor these arms Eftsoons he 'gan to rage and inly fret,
Are meet, the which do men in bale to sterve, Crying, “ Let be that lady debonair,
And doleful sorrow heap with deadly harms : Thou recreant knight, and soon thyself prepare Such cruel game my scarmoges disarmus. To battle, if thou mean her love to gain.
Another war and other weapons I Lo, lo, already how the fowls in air
Do love, where love does give his sweet alarms Do flock, awaiting shortly to obtain
Without bloodshed, and where the enemy Thy carcass for their prey, the guerdon of thy pain.” Does yield unto his foe a pleasant victory.
And therewithal he fiercely at him flew,
« Debateful strife and cruel enmity And with importune outrage him assail’d; The famous name of knighthood foully shend; Who soon prepared, to field his sword forth drew, But lovely peace and gentle amity, And him with equal value countervail'd ;
And in amours the passing hours to spend, Their mighty strokes their haberieons dismail'd, The mighty martial hands do most commend ; And naked made each other's manly spalles; Of love they ever greater glory bore The mortal steel dispiteously entail'd
Than of their arms : Mars is Cupido's friend, Deep in their flesh, quite through the iron walls,
And is for Venus' loves renowned more That a large purple stream adown their giambeux Than all his wars and spoils the which he did o falls.
yore." Cymochles, that had never met before
Therewith she sweetly smiled. They, thoug! So puissant foe, with envious despight
To prove extremities of bloody fight, [full ben His proud presumed force encreased more, Yet at her speech their rages 'gan relent, Disdaining to be held so long in fight.
And calm the sea of their tempestuous spite : Sir Guyon, grudging not so much his might, Such power have pleasing words : such is the migh As those unknightly railings which he spoke, Of courteous clemency in gentle heart. With wrathful fire his courage kindled bright, Now after all was ceased, the Faery Knight Thereof devising shortly to be wroke,
Besought that damsel suffer him depart, And doubling all his powers, redoubled every stroke. And yield him ready passage to that other part.
Both of them high at once their hands enhaunst,
She no less glad than he desirous was
Still as he stood, fair Phadria (that beheld Tho' hina she brought aboard, and her swift boat
And to that damsel thanks gave for reward:
Upon that shore he espied Atin stand, That first did teach the cursed steel to bite
There by his master left, when late he fared In his own flesh, and make way to the living In Phædria's fleet bark, over that perlous shard.
SIR GUYON, GUIDED BY THE PALMER TEMPERANCE, PASSES
THE DANGERS OF THE BOWER OF BLISS.
Ere long they heard an hideous bellowing Of many beasts, that roar'd outrageously. As if that Hunger's point, or Venus' sting, Had them enraged with fell surquedry ; Yet nought they fear’d, but past on hardily, Until they came in view of those wild beasts, Who all at once, gaping full greedily, And rearing fiercely their upstarting crests, Ran towards to devour those unexpected guests.
With that the rolling sea resounding soft, In his big base them titly answered, And on the rock the waves breaking aloft, A solemn mean unto them measured ; The whiles sweet Zephyrus loud whistled His treble, a strange kind of harmony, Which Guyon's senses softly tickled, That he the boatman bade row easily, And let him hear some part of their rare melody. But him the palmer from that vanity With temperate advice discounselled, That they it past, and shortly 'gan descry The land to which their course they levelled ; When suddenly a gross fog overspread With his dull vapour all that desert has, And heaven's cheerful face enveloped, That all things one, and one as nothing was, And this great universe seem'd one confused mass. Thereat they greatly were dismay'd, ne wist How to direct their way in darkness wide, But fear'd to wander in that wasteful mist, For tumbling into mischief unespied : Worse is the danger hidden than descried. Suddenly an innumerable flight Of harmful fowls about them fluttering cried, And with their wicked wings them oft did smite, And sore annoy'd, groping in that griesly night.
But soon as they approach'd with deadly threat, The palmer over them his staff upheld, His mighty staff, that could all charms defeat; Eftsoons their stubborn courages were quell’d, And high-advanced crests down meekly fell’d: Instead of fraying they themselves did fear, And trembled, as them passing they beheld : Such wond'rous power did in that staff appear, All monsters to subdue to him that did it bear.
Of that same wood it framed was cunningly Of which Caduceus whileome was made, Caduceus, the rod of Mercury, With which he wont the Stygian realms invade Through ghastly horror and eternal shade ; Th’ infernal fiends with it he can assuage, And Orcus tame, whom nothing can persuade, And rule the furies when they most do rage : Such virtue in his staff had eke this palmer sage.
Even all the nation of unfortunate And fatal birds about them flocked were, Such as by nature men abhor and hate ; The ill-faced owl, death's dreadful messenger ; The hoarse night-raven, trump of doleful drear ; The leather-winged bat, day's enemy ; The rueful strich, still waiting on the bier ; The whistler shrill, that whoso hears doth die ; The hellish harpies, prophets of sad destiny ;
Thence passing forth, they shortly do arrive Whereat the Bower of Bliss was situate; A place pick'd out by choice of best alive, That Nature's work by art can imitate : In which whatever in this worldly state Is sweet and pleasing unto living sense, Or that may daintiest fantasy aggrate, Was poured forth with plentiful dispense, And made there to abound with lavish affluence.
Goodly it was, enclosed round about,
All those, and all that else does horror breed, About them few, and fill'd their sails with fear : Yet stay'd they not, but forward did proceed, Whiles th' one did row, and th’other stifty steer; Till that at last the weather gan to clear, And the fair land itself did plainly show. Said then the palmer, “ Lo where does appear The sacred soil where all our perils grow, Therefore, Sir Knight, your ready arms about you
throw.” He hearken'd, and his arms about him took, The whiles the nimble boat so well her sped, That with her crooked keel the land she struck ; Then forth the noble Guyon sallied, And his sage palmer that him governed ; But the other by his boat behind did stay. They marched fairly forth, of nought ydred, Both firmly arm'd for every
assay, With constancy and care, gainst danger end
It framed was of precious ivory, That seem'd a work of admirable wit, And therein all the famous history Of Jason and Medea was ywrit ; Her mighty charms, her furious loving fit, His goodly conquest of the Golden Fleece, His falsed faith, and love too lightly flit, The wondered Argo, which, in venturous peace, First through the Euxine seas bore all the flower
With divers flowers he daintily was deck'd
And them amongst some were of burnish'd gold
Thus being enter'd, they behold around
In her left hand a cup of gold she held, A large and spacious plain, on every side And with her right the riper fruit did reach, Strewed with pleasances; whose fair grassy ground, Whose sappy liquor, that with fullness swell’d, Mantled with green, and goodly beautified Into her cup she scruzed with dainty breach With all the ornaments of Flora's pride,
Of her fine fingers, without foul empeach Wherewith her mother Art, as half in scorn
That so fair wine-press made the wine more sweet: Of niggard Nature, like a pompous bride,
Thereof she used to give to drink to each, Did deck her, and too lavishly adorn,
Whom passing by she happened to meet : When forth from virgin bow'r she comes in th’ It was her guise all strangers goodly so to greet.
Nor herbs, nor charms, nor counsel, that is chief
Should of his dearest daughter's hard misfortune
So she to Guyon offer'd it to taste :
And all the margent round about was set Who, taking it out of her tender hand,
With shady laurel trees, thence to defend The cup to ground did violently cast,
The sunny beams which on the billows beat, That all in pieces it was broken fond,
And those which therein bathed mote offend. And with the liquor stained all the land :
As Guyon happen'd by the same to wend, Whereat Excess exceedingly was wroth,
Two naked damsels he therein espied, Yet no’te the same amend, ne yet withstand, Which therein bathing, seemed to contend But suffered him to pass, all were she lothe, And wrestle wantonly, ne cared to hide Who, nought regarding her displeasure, forward Theirdainty parts from view of any which them eyed.
goeth. There the most dainty paradise on ground As that fair star, the messenger of morn, Itself doth offer to his sober eye,
His dewy face out of the sea doth rear ; In which all pleasures plenteously abound, Or as the Cyprian goddess, newly born And none does other's happiness envy ;
Of th’ ocean's fruitful froth, did first appear : The painted flowers, the trees upshooting high ; Such seemed they, and so their yellow heare The dales for shade, the hills for breathing space ;
Crystalline humour dropped down apace; That trembling groves, the crystal running by ;
Whom such when Guyon saw,
he drew him near, And that which all fair works doth most aggrace, And somewhat 'gan relent his earnest pace ; The art, which all tiat wrought, appeared in no His stubborn breast 'gan secret pleasaunce to place.
embrace. One would have thought, (so cunningly the rude On which when gazing him the palmer saw, And scorned parts were mingled with the fine,) He much rebuked those wand'ring eyes of his, That Nature had for wantonness ensude
And,counsell’d well, him forward thence did draw. Art, and that Art at Nature did repine ;
Now are they come nigh to the Bower of Bliss, So striving each th' other to undermine,
Of her fond favourites so named amiss; Each did the other's work more beautify, When thus the palmer : “Now, Sir, well avise, So differing both in wills agreed in fine :
For here the end of all our travel is ; So all agreed, through sweet diversity,
Here wonnes Acrasia, whom we must surprise, This garden to adorn with all variety.
Else she will slip away, and all our drift despise." And in the midst of all a fountain stood,
Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound, Of richest substance that on the earth might be,
Of all that mote delight a dainty ear, So pure and shiny, that the silver flood
Such as at once might not on living ground, Through every channel running one might see : Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere : Most goodly it with curious imagery
Right hard it was for wight which did it hear, Was over-wrought, and shapes of naked boys, To rede what manner music that mote be ; Of which some seem'd, with lively jollity,
For all that pleasing is to living ear, To fly about, playing their wanton toys,
Was there consorted in one harmony ; Whilst others did themselves embay in liquid joys. Birds, voices, instruments, winds, waters, all agree. And over all of purest gold was spread
The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade, A trayle of ivy in his native hue;
Their notes unto the voice attemper'd sweet ; For the rich metal was so coloured,
Th' angelical soft trembling voices made That wight, who did not well advised it view, To th' instruments divine respondence meet ; Would surely deem it to be ivy true :
The silver-sounding instruments did meet Low his lascivious arms adown did creep,
With the base murmur of the water's fall ; That themselves, dipping in the silver dew The water's fall with difference discreet, Their fleecy flowers, they fearfully did steep, Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call ; Which drops of crystal seem'd for wantonness to The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.
weep. Infinite streams continually did well
GLAUCE AND BRITOMART EXPLORING THE CAVE OF MERLIN.
* Out of this fountain, sweet and fair to see, The which into an ample laver fell,
Full many ways within her troubled mind
Old Glauce cast to cure this lady's grief ;
Full many ways she sought, but none could find,
And choicest med'cine for sick heart's relief ; All paved beneath with jasper, shining bright,
Forthy great care she took, and greater fear.
Least that it should her turn to foul reprief, That seem'd the fountain in that sea did sail
And sore reproach, whenso her father dear (hear. upright.