The Faerie Queene: Book II.

A Note on the Renascence Editions text:

This HTML etext of The Faerie Queene was prepared from The Complete Works in Verse and Prose of Edmund Spenser [Grosart, London, 1882] by Risa Bear at the University of Oregon. The text is in the public domain. Unique content is copyright © 1995 University of Oregon; this text is distributed for nonprofit and educational use only.






R Ight well I wote most mighty Soueraine,
  That all this famous antique history,
   Of some th'aboundance of an idle braine
   Will iudged be, and painted forgery,
   Rather then matter of iust memory,
   Sith none, that breatheth liuing aire, does know,
  Where is that happy land of Faery,
   Which I so much do vaunt, yet no where show,
But vouch antiquities, which no body can know.

But let that man with better sence aduize,
   That of the world least part to vs is red:
   And dayly how through hardy enterprize,
   Many great Regions are discouered,
   Which to late age were neuer mentioned.
   Who euer heard of th'Indian Peru?
   Or who in venturous vessell measured
   The Amazon huge riuer now found trew?
Or fruitfullest Virginia who did euer vew?

Yet all these were, when no man did them know;
   Yet haue from wisest ages hidden beene:
   And later times things more vnknowne shall show.
   Why then should witlesse man so much misweene
   That nothing is, but that which he hath seene?
   What if within the Moones faire shining spheare?
   What if in euery other starre vnseene
   Of other worldes he happily should heare?
He wo[n]der would much more: yet such to some appeare.

Of Faerie lond yet if he more inquire,
   By certaine signes here set in sundry place
   He may it find; ne let him then admire,
   But yield his sence to be too blunt and bace,
   That no'te without an hound fine footing trace.
  And thou, O fairest Princesse vnder sky,
   In this faire mirrhour maist behold thy face,
   And thine owne realmes in lond of Faery,
 And in this antique Image thy great auncestry.

The which O pardon me thus to enfold
   In couert vele, and wrap in shadowes light,
   That feeble eyes your glory may behold,
   Which else could not endure those beames bright,
   But would be dazled with exceeding light.
   O pardon, and vouchsafe with patient eare
   The braue aduentures of this Faery knight
   The good Sir Guyon gratiously to heare,
In whom great rule of Temp'raunce goodly doth appeare.

Canto I.

Guyon by Archimage abusd,
  The Redcrosse knight awaytes,
Findes Mordant and Amauia slaine
  With pleasures poisoned baytes.

T Hat cunning Architect of cancred guile,
  Whom Princes late displeasure left in bands,
   For falsed letters and suborned wile,
   Soone as the Redcrosse knight he vnderstands,
   To beene departed out of Eden lands,
   To serue againe his soueraine Elfin Queene,
   His artes he moues, and out of caytiues hands
   Himselfe he frees by secret meanes vnseene;
His shackles emptie left, him selfe escaped cleene.

And forth he fares full of malicious mind,
   To worken mischiefe and auenging woe,
   Where euer he that godly knight may find,
   His onely hart sore, and his onely foe,
   Sith Vna now he algates must forgoe,
   Whom his victorious hands did earst restore
   To natiue crowne and kingdome late ygoe:
   Where she enioyes sure peace for euermore,
As weather-beaten ship arriu'd on happie shore.

Him therefore now the obiect of his spight
   And deadly food he makes: him to offend
   By forged treason, or by open fight
   He seekes, of all his drift the aymed end:
   Thereto his subtile engins he does bend
   His practick wit, and his faire filed tong,
   With thousand other sleights: for well he kend,
   His credit now in doubtfull ballaunce hong;
For hardly could be hurt, who was already stong.

Still as he went, he craftie stales did lay
   With cunning traines him to entrap vnwares.
   And priuie spials plast in all his way,
   To weete what course he takes, and how he fares;
   To ketch him at a vantage in his snares.
   But now so wise and warie was the knight
   By triall of his former harmes and cares,
   That he descride, and shonned still his slight:
 The fish that once was caught, new bait will hardly bite.

Nath'lesse th'Enchaunter would not spare his paine,
   In hope to win occasion to his will;
   Which when he long awaited had in vaine,
   He chaungd his minde from one to other ill:
   For to all good he enimy was still.
   Vpon the way him fortuned to meet,
   Faire marching vnderneath a shady hill,
   A goodly knight, all armd in harnesse meete,
That from his head no place appeared to his feete.

His carriage was full comely and vpright,
   His countenaunce demure and temperate,
   But yet so sterne and terrible in sight,
   That cheard his friends, and did his foes amate:
   He was an Elfin borne of noble state,
   And mickle worship in his natiue land;
   Well could he tourney and in lists debate,
   And knighthood tooke of good Sir Huons hand,
When with king Oberon he came to Faerie land.

Him als accompanyd vpon the way
   A comely Palmer, clad in blacke attire,
   Of ripest yeares, and haires all hoarie gray,
   That with a staffe his feeble steps did stire,
   Least his long way his aged limbes should tire:
   And if by lookes one may the mind aread,
   He seemd to be a sage and sober sire,
   And euer with slow pace the knight did lead,
Who taught his trampling steed with equall steps to tread.

Such whenas Archimago them did view,
  He weened well to worke some vncouth wile,
  Eftsoones vntwisting his deceiptfull clew,
  He gan to weaue a web of wicked guile,
  And with faire countenance and flattring stile,
  To them approching, thus the knight bespake:
  Faire sonne of Mars, that seeke with warlike spoile.
  And great atchieu'ments great your selfe to make,
Vouchsafe to stay your steed for humble misers sake.

He stayd his steed for humble misers sake,
  And bad tell on the tenor of his plaint;
  Who feigning then in euery limbe to quake,
  Through inward feare, and seeming pale and faint
  With piteous mone his percing speach gan paint;
  Deare Lady how shall I declare thy cace,
  Whom late I left in langourous constraint?
  Would God thy selfe now present were in place,
To tell this ruefull tale; thy sight could win thee grace.

Or rather would, O would it so had chaunst,
  That you, most noble Sir, had present beene,
  When that lewd ribauld with vile lust aduaunst
  Layd first his filthy hands on virgin cleene,
  To spoile her daintie corse so faire and sheene,
  As on the earth, great mother of vs all,
  With liuing eye more faire was neuer seene,
  Of chastitie and honour virginall:
Witnesse ye heaue[n]s, whom she in vaine to helpe did call.

How may it be, (said then the knight halfe wroth,)
  That knight should knighthood euer so haue shent?
  None but that saw (quoth he) would weene for troth,
  How shamefully that Maid he did torment.
  Her looser golden lockes he rudely rent,
  And drew her on the ground, and his sharpe sword,
  Against her snowy brest he fiercely bent,
  And threatned death with many a bloudie word;
Toung hates to tell the rest, that eye to see abhord.

Therewith amoued from his sober mood,
  And liues he yet (said he) that wrought this act,
  And doen the heauens afford him vitall food?
  He liues, (quoth he) and boasteth of the fact,
  Ne yet hath any knight his courage crackt.
  Where may that treachour then (said he) be found,
  Or by what meanes may I his footing tract?
  That shall I shew (said he) as sure, as hound
The stricke[n] Deare doth chalenge by the bleeding wound.

He staid not lenger talke, but with fierce ire
  And zealous hast away is quickly gone
  To seeke that knight, where him that craftie Squire
  Supposd to be. They do arriue anone,
  Where sate a gentle Lady all alone,
  With garments rent, and haire discheueled,
  Wringing her hands, and making piteous mone;
  Her swollen eyes were much disfigured,
  And her faire face with teares was fowly blubbered.

The knight approching nigh thus to her said,
  Faire Ladie, through foule sorrow ill bedight,
  Great pittie is to see you thus dismaid,
  And marre the blossome of your beautie bright:
  For thy appease your griefe and heauie plight,
  And tell the cause of your conceiued paine.
  For if he liue, that hath you doen despight,
  He shall you doe due recompence againe,
Or else his wrong with greater puissance maintaine.

Which when she heard, as in despightfull wise,
  She wilfully her sorrow did augment,
  And offred hope of comfort did despise:
  Her golden lockes most cruelly she rent,
  And scratcht her face with ghastly dreriment,
  Ne would she speake, ne see, ne yet be seene,
  But hid her visage, and her head downe bent,
  Either for grieuous shame, or for great teene,
As if her hart with sorrow had transfixed beene.

Till her that Squire bespake, Madame my liefe,
  For Gods deare loue be not so wilfull bent,
  But doe vouchsafe now to receiue reliefe,
  The which good fortune doth to you present.
  For what bootes it to weepe and to wayment,
  When ill is chaunst, but doth the ill increase,
  And the weake mind with double woe torment?
  When she her Squire heard speake, she gan appease
Her voluntarie paine, and feele some secret ease.

Eftsoone she said, Ah gentle trustie Squire,
  What comfort can I wofull wretch conceaue,
  Or why should euer I henceforth desire,
  To see faire heauens face, and life not leaue,
  Sith that false Traytour did my honour reaue?
  False traytour certes (said the Faerie knight)
  I read the man, that euer would deceaue
  A gentle Ladie, or her wrong through might:
Death were too little paine for such a foule despight.

But now, faire Ladie, comfort to you make,
  And read, who hath ye wrought this shamefull plight.
  That short reuenge the man may ouertake,
  Where so he be, and soone vpon him light.
  Certes (saide she) I wote not how he hight,
  But vnder him a gray steede did he wield,
  Whose sides with dapled circles weren dight;
  Vpright he rode, and in his siluer shield
He bore a bloudie Crosse, that quartred all the field.

Now by my head (said Guyon) much I muse,
  How that same knight should do so foule amis,
  Or euer gentle Damzell so abuse:
  For may I boldly say, he surely is
  A right good knight, and true of word ywis:
  I present was, and can it witnesse well,
  When armes he swore, and streight did enterpris
  Th'aduenture of the Errant damozell,
In which he hath great glorie wonne, as I heare tell.

Nathlesse he shortly shall againe be tryde,
  And fairly quite him of th'imputed blame,
  Else be ye sure he dearely shall abyde,
  Or make you good amendment for the same:
  All wrongs haue mends, but no amends of shame.
  Now therefore Ladie, rise out of your paine,
  And see the saluing of your blotted name.
  Full loth she seemd thereto, but yet did faine;
For she was inly glad her purpose so to gaine.

Her purpose was not such, as she did faine,
  Ne yet her person such, as it was seene,
  But vnder simple shew and semblant plaine
  Lurckt false Duessa secretly vnseene,
  As a chast Virgin, that wronged beene:
  So had false Archimago her disguisd,
  To cloke her guile with sorrow and sad teene;
  And eke himselfe had craftily deuisd
To be her Squire, and do her seruice well aguisd.

Her late forlorne and naked he had found,
  Where she did wander in waste wildernesse,
  Lurking in rockes and caues farre vnder ground,
  And with greene mosse cou'ring her nakednesse,
  To hide her shame and loathly filthinesse;
  Sith her Prince Arthur of proud ornaments
  And borrow'd beautie spoyld. Her nathelesse
  Th'enchaunter finding fit for his intents,
Did thus reuest, and deckt with due habiliments.

For all he did, was to deceiue good knights,
  And draw them from pursuit of praise and fame,
  To slug in slouth and sensuall delights,
  And end their daies with irrenowmed shame.
  And now exceeding griefe him ouercame,
  To see the Redcrosse thus aduaunced hye;
  Therefore this craftie engine he did frame,
  Against his praise to stirre vp enmitye
Of such, as vertues like mote vnto him allye.

So now he Guyon guides an vncouth way
 Through woods & mountaines, till they came at last
  Into a pleasant dale, that lowly lay
  Betwixt two hils, whose high heads ouerplast,
  The valley did with coole shade ouercast,
  Through midst thereof a little riuer rold,
  By which there sate a knight with helme vnlast,
  Himselfe refreshing with the liquid cold,
After his trauell long, and labours manifold.

Loe yonder he, cryde Archimage alowd,
  That wrought the shamefull fact, which I did shew;
  And now he doth himselfe in secret shrowd,
  To flie the vengeance for his outrage dew;
  But vaine: for ye shall dearely do him rew,
  So God ye speed, and send you good successe;
  Which we farre off will here abide to vew.
  So they him left, inflam'd with wrathfulnesse,
That streight against that knight his speare he did addresse.

Who seeing him from farre so fierce to pricke,
  His warlike armes about him gan embrace,
  And in the rest his readie speare did sticke;
  Tho when as still he saw him towards pace,
  He gan rencounter him in equall race.
  They bene ymet, both readie to affrap,
  When suddenly that warriour gan abace
  His threatned speare, as if some new mishap
Had him betidde, or hidden daunger did entrap.

And cryde, Mercie Sir knight, and mercie Lord,
  For mine offence and heedlesse hardiment,
  That had almost committed crime abhord,
  And with reprochfull shame mine honour shent,
  Whiles cursed steele against that badge I bent,
  The sacred badge of my Redeemers death,
  Which on your shield is set for ornament:
  But his fierce foe his steede could stay vneath,
Who prickt with courage kene, did cruell battell breath.

But when he heard him speake, streight way he knew
  His error, and himselfe inclyning sayd;
  Ah deare Sir Guyon, well becommeth you,
  But me behoueth rather to vpbrayd,
  Whose hastie hand so farre from reason strayd,
  That almost it did haynous violence
  On that faire image of that heauenly Mayd,
  That decks and armes your shield with faire defence:
Your court'sie takes on you anothers due offence.

So bene they both attone, and doen vpreare
  Their beuers bright, each other for to greete;
  Goodly comportance each to other beare,
  And entertaine themselues with court'sies meet,
  Then said the Redcrosse knight, Now mote I weet,
  Sir Guyon, why with so fierce saliaunce,
  And fell intent ye did at earst me meet;
  For sith I know your goodly gouernaunce,
Great cause, I weene, you guided, or some vncouth chaunce.

Certes (said he) well mote I shame to tell
  The fond encheason, that me hither led.
  A false infamous faitour late befell
  Me for to meet, that seemed ill bested,
  And playnd of grieuous outrage, which he red
  A knight had wrought against a Ladie gent;
  Which to auenge, he to this place me led,
  Where you he made the marke of his intent,
And now is fled; foule shame him follow, where he went.

So can he turne his earnest vnto game,
  Through goodly handling and wise temperance.
  By this his aged guide in presence came;
  Who soone as on that knight his eye did glance,
  Eft soones of him had perfect cognizance,
  Sith him in Faerie court he late auizd;
  And said, Faire sonne, God giue you happie chance,
  And that deare Crosse vpon your shield deuizd,
Wherewith aboue all knights ye goodly seeme aguizd.

Ioy may you haue, and euerlasting fame,
  Of late most hard atchieu'ment by you donne,
  For which enrolled is your glorious name
  In heauenly Registers aboue the Sunne,
  Where you a Saint with Saints your seat haue wonne:
  But wretched we, where ye haue left your marke,
  Must now anew begin, like race to runne;
  God guide thee, Guyon, well to end thy warke,
And to the wished hauen bring thy weary barke.

Palmer, (him answered the Redcrosse knight)
  His be the praise, that this atchieu'ment wrought,
  Who made my hand the organ of his might;
  More then goodwill to me attribute nought:
  For all I did, I did but as I ought.
  But you, faire Sir, whose pageant next ensewes,
  Well mote yee thee, as well can wish your thought,
  That home ye may report thrise happie newes;
For well ye worthie bene for worth and gentle thewes.

So courteous conge both did giue and take,
  With right hands plighted, pledges of good will.
  Then Guyon forward gan his voyage make,
  With his blacke Palmer, that him guided still.
  Still he him guided ouer dale and hill,
  And with his steedie staffe did point his way:
  His race with reason, and with words his will,
  From foule intemperance he oft did stay,
And suffred not in wrath his hastie steps to stray.

In this faire wize they traueild long yfere,
  Through many hard assayes, which did betide;
  Of which he honour still away did beare,
  And spred his glorie through all countries wide.
  At last as chaunst them by a forest side
  To passe, for succour from the scorching ray,
  They heard a ruefull voice, that dearnly cride
  With percing shriekes, and many a dolefull lay;
Which to attend, a while their forward steps they stay.

But if that carelesse heauens (quoth she) despise
  The doome of iust reuenge, and take delight
  To see sad pageants of mens miseries,
  As bound by them to liue in liues despight,
  Yet can they not warne death from wretched wight.
  Come then, come soone, come sweetest death to mee,
  And take away this long lent loathed light:
  Sharpe by thy wounds, but sweet the medicines bee,
That long captiued soules from wearie thraldome free.

But thou, sweet Babe, whom frowning froward fate
  Hath made sad witnesse of thy fathers fall,
  Sith heauen thee deignes to hold in liuing state,
  Long maist thou liue, and better thriue withall,
  Then to thy lucklesse parents did befall:
  Liue thou, and to thy mother dead attest,
  That cleare she dide from blemish criminall;
  Thy litle hands embrewd in bleeding brest
Loe I for pledges leaue. So giue me leaue to rest.

With that a deadly shrieke she forth did throw,
  That through the wood reecchoed againe,
  And after gaue a grone so deepe and low,
  That seemd her tender heart was rent in twaine,
  Or thrild with point of thorough piercing paine;
  As gentle Hynd, whose sides with cruell steele
  Through launched, forth her bleeding life does raine,
  Whiles the sad pang approching she does feele,
Brayes out her latest breath, and vp her eyes doth seele.

Which when that warriour heard, dismounting straict
  From his tall steed, he rusht into the thicke,
  And soone arriued, where that sad pourtraict
  Of death and labour lay, halfe dead, halfe quicke,
  In whose white alabaster brest did sticke
  A cruell knife, that made a griesly wound,
  From which forth gusht a streme of gorebloud thick,
  That all her goodly garments staind around,
And into a deepe sanguine dide the grassie ground.

Pittifull spectacle of deadly smart,
  Beside a bubbling fountaine low she lay,
  Which she increased with her bleeding hart,
  And the cleane waues with purple gore did ray;
  Als in her lap a louely babe did play
  His cruell sport, in stead of sorrow dew;
  For in her streaming blood he did embay
  His litle hands, and tender ioynts embrew;
Pitifull spectacle, as euer eye did view.

Besides them both, vpon the soiled gras
  The dead corse of an armed knight was spred,
  Whose armour all with bloud besprinckled was;
  His ruddie lips did smile, and rosy red
  Did paint his chearefull cheekes, yet being ded,
  Seemd to haue beene a goodly personage,
  Now in his freshest flowre of lustie hed,
  Fit to inflame faire Lady with loues rage,
But that fiers fate did crop the blossome of his age.

Whom when the good Sir Guyon did behold,
  His hart gan wexe as starke, as marble stone,
  And his fresh bloud did frieze with fearefull cold,
  That all his senses seemd bereft attone:
  At last his mightie ghost gan deepe to grone,
  As Lyon grudging in his great disdaine,
  Mournes inwardly, and makes to himselfe mone:
  Till ruth and fraile affection did constraine,
His stout courage to stoupe, and shew his inward paine.

Out of her gored wound the cruell steele
  He lightly snatcht, and did the floudgate stop
  With his faire garment: then gan softly feele
  Her feeble pulse, to proue if any drop
  Of liuing bloud yet in her veynes did hop;
  Which when he felt to moue, he hoped faire
  To call backe life to her forsaken shop;
  So well he did her deadly wounds repaire,
That at the last she gan to breath out liuing aire.

Which he perceiuing greatly gan reioice,
  And goodly counsell, that for wounded hart
  Is meetest med'cine, tempred with sweet voice;
  Ay me, deare Lady, which the image art
  Of ruefull pitie, and impatient smart,
  What direfull chance, armd with reuenging fate,
  Or cursed hand hath plaid this cruell part,
  Thus fowle to hasten your vntimely date;
Speake, O deare Lady speake: help neuer comes too late.

Therewith her dim eie-lids she vp gan reare,
  On which the drery death did sit, as sad
  As lump of lead, and made darke clouds appeare;
  But when as him all in bright armour clad
  Before her standing she espied had,
  As one out of a deadly dreame affright,
  She weakely started, yet she nothing drad:
  Streight downe againe her selfe in great despight
She groueling threw to ground, as hating life and light.

The gentle knight her soone with carefull paine
  Vplifted light, and softly did vphold:
  Thrise he her reard, and thrise she sunke againe,
  Till he his armes about her sides gan fold,
  And to her said; Yet if the stony cold
  Haue not all seized on your frozen hart,
  Let one word fall that may your griefe vnfold,
  And tell the secret of your mortall smart;
He oft finds present helpe, who does his griefe impart.

Then casting vp a deadly looke, full low,
  Shee sight from bottome of her wounded brest,
  And after, many bitter throbs did throw
  With lips full pale and foltring tongue opprest,
  These words she breathed forth from riuen chest;
  Leaue, ah leaue off, what euer wight thou bee,
  To let a wearie wretch from her dew rest,
  And trouble dying soules tranquilitee.
Take not away now got, which none would giue to me.

Ah farre be it (said he) Deare dame fro mee,
  To hinder soule from her desired rest,
  Or hold sad life in long captiuitee:
  For all I seeke, is but to haue redrest
  The bitter pangs, that doth your heart infest.
  Tell then, ô Lady tell, what fatall priefe
  Hath with so huge misfortune you opprest?
  That I may cast to compasse your reliefe,
Or die with you in sorrow, and partake your griefe.

With feeble hands then stretched forth on hye,
  As heauen accusing guiltie of her death,
  And with dry drops congealed in her eye,
  In these sad words she spent her vtmost breath:
  Heare then, ô man, the sorrowes that vneath
  My tongue can tell, so farre all sense they pas:
  Loe this dead corpse, that lies here vnderneath,
  The gentlest knight, that euer on greene gras
Gay steed with spurs did pricke, the good Sir Mortdant was.

Was, (ay the while, that he is not so now)
  My Lord my loue; my deare Lord, my deare loue,
  So long as heauens iust with equall brow
  Vouchsafed to behold vs from aboue,
  One day when him high courage did emmoue,
  As wont ye knights to seeke aduentures wilde,
  He pricked forth, his puissant force to proue,
  Me then he left enwombed of this child,
This lucklesse child, whom thus ye see with bloud defild.

Him fortuned (hard fortune ye may ghesse)
  To come, where vile Acrasia does wonne,
  Acrasia a false enchaunteresse,
  That many errant knights hath foule fordonne:
  Within a wandring Island, that doth ronne
  And stray in perilous gulfe, her dwelling is:
  Faire Sir, if euer there ye trauell, shonne
  The cursed land where many wend amis,
And know it by the name; it hight the Bowre of blis.

Her blisse is all in pleasure and delight,
  Wherewith she makes her louers drunken mad,
  And then with words & weedes of wondrous might,
  On them she workes her will to vses bad:
  My lifest Lord she thus beguiled had;
  For he was flesh: (all flesh doth frailtie breed.)
  Whom when I heard to beene so ill bestad,
  Weake wretch I wrapt my selfe in Palmers weed,
And cast to seeke him forth through daunger and great dreed.

Now had faire Cynthia by euen tournes
  Full measured three quarters of her yeare,
  And thrise three times had fild her crooked hornes,
  Whenas my wombe her burdein would forbeare,
  And bad me call Lucina to me neare.
  Lucina came: a manchild forth I brought:
  The woods, the Nymphes, my bowres, my midwiues weare,
  Hard helpe at need. So deare thee babe I bought,
  Yt nought too deare I deemd, while so my dear I sought.

Him so I sought, and so at last I found
  Where him that witch had thralled to her will,
  In chaines of lust and lewd desires ybound,
  And so transformed from his former skill,
  That me he knew not, neither his owne ille;
  Till through wise handling and faire gouernance,
  I him recured to a better will,
  Purged from drugs of foule intemperance:
  Then meanes I gan deuise for his deliuerance.

Which when the vile Enchaunteresse perceiu'd,
  How that my Lord from her I would repriue,
  With cup thus charmd, him parting she deceiu'd;
  Sad verse, giue death to him that death does giue,
  And losse of loue, to her that loues to liue,
  So soone as Bacchus with the Nymphe does lincke:

  So parted we and on our iourney driue,
  Till comming to this well, he stoupt to drincke:
The charme fulfild, dead suddenly he downe did sincke.

Which when I wretch,---Not one word more she sayd
  But breaking off, the end for want of breath,
  And slyding soft, as downe to sleepe her layd,
  And ended all her woe in quiet death.
  That seeing good Sir Guyon, could vneath
  From teares abstaine, for griefe his hart did grate,
  And from so heauie sight his head did wreath,
  Accusing fortune, and too cruell fate,
Which plunged had faire Ladie in so wretched state.

Then turning to his Palmer said, Old syre
  Behold the image of mortalitie,
  And feeble nature cloth'd with fleshly tyre,
  When raging passion with fierce tyrannie
  Robs reason of her due regalitie
  And makes it seruant to her basest part:
  The strong it weakens with infirmitie,
  And with bold furie armes the weakest hart;
The strong through pleasure soonest falles, the weake through smart.

But temperance (said he) with golden squire
  Betwixt them both can measure out a meane,
  Neither to melt in pleasures whot desire,
  Nor fry in hartlesse griefe and dolefull teene.
  Thrise happie man, who fares them both atweene:
  But sith this wretched woman ouercome
  Of anguish, rather then of crime hath beene,
  Reserue her cause to her eternall doome,
And in the meane vouchsafe her honorable toombe.

Palmer (quoth he) death is an equall doome
  To good and bad, the common Inne of rest;
  But after death the tryall is to come,
  When best shall be to them, that liued best:
  But both alike, when death hath both supprest,
  Religious reuerence doth buriall teene,
  Which who so wants, wants so much of his rest;
  For all so great shame after death I weene,
As selfe to dyen bad, vnburied bad to beene.

So both agree their bodies to engraue;
  The great earthes wombe they open to the sky,
  And with sad Cypresse seemely it embraue,
  Then couering with a clod their closed eye,
  They lay therein those corses tenderly,
  And bid them sleepe in euerlasting peace.
  But ere they did their vtmost obsequy,
  Sir Guyon more affection to increace,
Bynempt a sacred vow, which none should aye releace.

The dead knights sword out of his sheath he drew,
  With which he cut a locke of all their heare,
  Which medling with their bloud and earth, he threw
  Into the graue, and gan deuoutly sweare;
  Such and such euill God on Guyon reare,
  And worse and worse young Orphane be thy paine,
  If I or thou dew vengeance doe forbeare,
  Till guiltie bloud her guerdon doe obtaine:
So shedding many teares, they closd the earth againe.

Cant. II.

Babes bloudie hands may not be clensd,
  the face of golden Meane.
Her sisters two Extremities:
   striue her to banish cleane.

T Hus when Sir Guyon with his faithfull guide
  Had with due rites and dolorous lament
  The end of their sad Tragedie vptyde,
  The little babe vp in his armes he hent;
  Who with sweet pleasance and bold blandishment
  Gan smyle on them, that rather ought to weepe,
  As carelesse of his woe, or innocent
  Of that was doen, that ruth emperced deepe
In that knights heart, and wordes with bitter teares did steepe.

Ah lucklesse babe, borne vnder cruell starre,
  And in dead parents balefull ashes bred,
  Full litle weenest thou, what sorrowes are
  Left thee for portion of thy liuelihed,
  Poore Orphane in the wide world scattered,
  As budding braunch rent from the natiue tree,
  And throwen forth, till it be withered:
  Such is the state of men: thus enter wee
Into this life with woe, and end with miseree.

Then soft himselfe inclyning on his knee
  Downe to that well, did in the water weene
  (So loue does loath disdainfull nicitee)
  His guiltie hands from bloudie gore to cleene,
  He washt them oft and oft, yet nought they beene
  For all his washing cleaner. Still he stroue,
  Yet still the litle hands were bloudie seene;
  The which him into great amaz'ment droue,
And into diuerse doubt his wauering wonder cloue.

He wist not whether blot of foule offence
  Might not be purgd with water nor with bath;
  Or that high God, in lieu of innocence,
  Imprinted had that token of his wrath,
  To shew how sore bloudguiltinesse he hat'th;
  Or that the charme and venim, which they druncke,
  Their bloud with secret filth infected hath,
  Being diffused through the senselesse truncke,
That through the great contagion direfull deadly stunck.

Whom thus at gaze, the Palmer gan to bord
  With goodly reason, and thus faire bespake;
  Ye bene right hard amated, gratious Lord,
  And of your ignorance great maruell make,
  Whiles cause not well conceiued ye mistake.
  But know, that secret vertues are infusd
  In euery fountaine, and in euery lake,
  Which who hath skill them rightly to haue chusd,
To proofe of passing wonders hath full often vsd.

Of those some were so from their sourse indewd
  By great Dame Nature, from whose fruitfull pap
  Their welheads spring, and are with moisture dewd;
  Which feedes each liuing plant with liquid sap,
  And filles with flowres faire Floraes painted lap:
  But other some by gift of later grace,
  Or by good prayers, or by other hap,
  Had vertue pourd into their waters bace,
And thenceforth were renowmd, & sought from place to place.

Such is this well, wrought by occasion straunge,
  Which to her Nymph befell. Vpon a day,
  As she the woods with bow and shafts did raunge,
  The hartlesse Hind and Robucke to dismay,
  Dan Faunus chaunst to meet her by the way,
  And kindling fire at her faire burning eye,
  Inflamed was to follow beauties chace,
  And chaced her, that fast from him did fly;
As Hind from her, so she fled from her enimy.

At last when fayling breath began to faint,
  And saw no meanes to scape, of shame affrayd,
  She set her downe to weepe for sore constraint,
  And to Diana calling lowd for ayde,
  Her deare besought, to let her dye a mayd.
  The goddesse heard, and suddeine where she sate,
  Welling out streames of teares, and quite dismayd
  With stony feare of that rude rustick mate,
Transformd her to a stone from stedfast virgins state.

Lo now she is that stone, from whose two heads,
  As from two weeping eyes, fresh streames do flow,
  Yet cold through feare, and old conceiued dreads;
  And yet the stone her semblance seemes to show,
  Shapt like a maid, that such ye may her know;
  And yet her vertues in her water byde:
  For it is chast and pure, as purest snow,
  Ne lets her waues with any filth be dyde,
But euer like her selfe vnstained hath beene tryde.

From thence it comes, that this babes bloudy hand
  May not be clensd with water of this well:
  Ne certes Sir striue you it to withstand,
  But let them still be bloudy, as befell,
  That they his mothers innocence may tell,
  As she bequeathd in her last testament;
  That as a sacred Symbole it may dwell
  In her sonnes flesh, to minde reuengement,
And be for all chast Dames an endlesse moniment.

He hearkned to his reason, and the childe
  Vptaking, to the Palmer gaue to beare;
  But his sad fathers armes with bloud defilde,
  An heauie load himselfe did lightly reare,
  And turning to that place, in which whyleare
  He left his loftie steed with golden sell,
  And goodly gorgeous barbes, him found not theare.
  By other accident that earst befell,
He is conuaide, but how or where, here fits not tell.

Which when Sir Guyon saw, all were he wroth,
  Yet algates mote he soft himselfe appease,
  And fairely fare on foot, how euer loth;
  His double burden did him sore disease.
  So long they traueiled with litle ease,
  Till that at last they to a Castle came,
  Built on a rocke adioyning to the seas:
  It was an auncient worke of antique fame,
And wondrous strong by nature, and by skilfull frame.

Therein three sisters dwelt of sundry sort,
  The children of one sire by mothers three;
  Who dying whylome did diuide this fort
  To them by equall shares in equall fee:
  But strifull minde, and diuerse qualitee
  Drew them in parts, and each made others foe;
  Still did they striue, and dayly disagree;
  The eldest did against the youngest goe,
And both against the middest meant to worken woe.

Where when the knight arriu'd, he was right well
  Receiu'd, as knight of so much worth became,
  Of second sister, who did far excell
  The other two; Medina was her name,
  A sober sad, and comely curteous Dame;
  Who rich arayd, and yet in modest guize,
  In goodly garments, that her well became,
  Faire marching forth in honorable wize,
Him at the threshold met, and well did enterprize.

She led him vp into a goodly bowre,
  And comely courted with meet modestie,
  Ne in her speach, ne in her hauiour,
  Was lightnesse seene, or looser vanitie,
  But gratious womanhood, and grauitie,
  Aboue the reason of her youthly yeares:
  Her golden lockes she roundly did vptye
  In breaded tramels, that no looser heares
Did out of order stray about her daintie eares.

Whilest she her selfe thus busily did frame,
  Seemely to entertaine her new-come guest,
  Newes hereof to her other sisters came,
  Who all this while were at their wanton rest,
  Accourting each her friend with lauish fest:
  They were two knights of perelesse puissance,
  And famous far abroad for warlike gest,
  Which to these Ladies loue did countenaunce,
And to his mistresse each himselfe stroue to aduaunce.

He that made loue vnto the eldest Dame,
  Was hight Sir Huddibras, an hardy man;
  Yet not so good of deedes, as great of name,
  Which he by many rash aduentures wan,
  Since errant armes to sew he first began;
  More huge in strength, then wise in workes he was,
  And reason with foole-hardize ouer ran;
  Sterne melancholy did his courage pas,
And was for terrour more, all armd in shyning bras.

But he that lou'd the youngest, was Sans-loy,
  He that faire Vna late fowle outraged,
  The most vnruly, and the boldest boy,
  That euer warlike weapons menaged,
  And to all lawlesse lust encouraged,
  Through strong opinion of his matchlesse might:
  Ne ought he car'd, whom he endamaged
  By tortious wrong, or whom bereau'd of right.
He now this Ladies champion chose for loue to fight.

These two gay knights, vowd to so diuerse loues,
  Each other does enuie with deadly hate,
  And dayly warre against his foeman moues,
  In hope to win more fauour with his mate,
  And th'others pleasing seruice to abate,
  To magnifie his owne. But when they heard,
  How in that place straunge knight arriued late,
  Both knights and Ladies forth right angry far'd,
And fiercely vnto battell sterne themselues prepar'd.

But ere they could proceede vnto the place,
  Where he abode, themselues at discord fell,
  And cruell combat ioynd in middle space:
  With horrible assault, and furie fell,
  They heapt huge strokes, the scorned life to quell,
  That all on vprore from her settled seat
  The house was raysd, and all that in did dwell;
  Seemd that lowde thunder with amazement great
Did rend the ratling skyes with flames of fouldring heat.

The noyse thereof calth forth that straunger knight,
  To weet, what dreadfull thing was there in hand;
  Where when as two braue knights in bloudy fight
  With deadly rancour he enraunged fond,
  His sunbroad shield about his wrest he bond,
  And shyning blade vnsheathd, with which he ran
  Vnto that stead, their strife to vnderstond;
  And at his first arriuall, them began
With goodly meanes to pacifie, well as he can.

But they him spying, both with greedy forse
  Attonce vpon him ran, and him beset
  With strokes of mortall steele without remorse,
  And on his shield like yron sledges bet:
  As when a Beare and Tygre being met
  In cruell fight on lybicke Ocean wide,
  Espye a traueiler with feet surbet,
  Whom they in equall pray hope to deuide,
They stint their strife, and him assaile on euery side.

But he, not like a wearie traueilere,
  Their sharpe assault right boldly did rebut,
  And suffred not their blowes to byte him nere
  But with redoubled buffes them backe did put:
  Whose grieued mindes, which choler did englut,
  Against themselues turning their wrathfull spight,
  Gan with new rage their shields to hew and cut;
  But still when Guyon came to part their fight,
With heauie load on him they freshly gan to smight.

As a tall ship tossed in troublous seas,
  Whom raging windes threatning to make the pray
  Of the rough rockes, do diuersly disease,
  Meetes two contrary billowes by the way,
  That her on either side do sore assay,
  And boast to swallow her in greedy graue;
  She scorning both their spights, does make wide way,
  And with her brest breaking the fomy waue,
Does ride on both their backs, & faire her selfe doth saue.

So boldly he him beares, and rusheth forth
  Betweene them both, by conduct of his blade.
  Wondrous great prowesse and heroick worth
  He shewd that day, and rare ensample made,
  When two so mighty warriours he dismade:
  Attonce he wards and strikes, he takes and payes,
  Now forst to yield, now forcing to inuade,
  Before, behind, and round about him layes:
So double was his paines, so double be his prayse.

Straunge sort of fight, three valiaunt knights to see
  Three combats ioyne in one, and to darraine
  A triple warre with triple enmitee,
  All for their Ladies froward loue to gaine,
  Which gotten was but hate. So loue does raine
  In stoutest minds, and maketh monstrous warre;
  He maketh warre, he maketh peace againe,
  And yet his peace is but continuall iarre:
O miserable men, that to him subiect arre.

Whilst thus they mingled were in furious armes,
  The faire Medina with her tresses torne,
  And naked brest, in pitty of their harmes,
  Emongst them ran, and falling them beforne,
  Besought them by the womb, which them had borne,
  And by the loues, which were to them most deare,
  And by the knighthood, which they sure had sworne,
  Their deadly cruell discord to forbeare,
And to her iust conditions of faire peace to heare.

But her two other sisters standing by,
  Her lowd gainsaid, and both their champions bad
  Pursew the end of their strong enmity,
  As euer of their loues they would be glad.
  Yet she with pitthy words and counsell sad,
  Still stroue their stubborne rages to reuoke,
  That at the last suppressing fury mad,
  They gan abstaine from dint of direfull stroke,
And hearken to the sober speaches, which she spoke.

Ah puissaunt Lords, what cursed euill Spright,
  Or fell Erinnys, in your noble harts
  Her hellish brond hath kindled with despight,
  And stird you vp to worke your wilfull smarts?
  Is this the ioy of armes? be these the parts
  Of glorious knighthood, after bloud to thrust,
  And not regard dew right and iust desarts?
  Vaine is the vaunt, and victory vniust,
That more to mighty ha[n]ds, the[n] rightfull cause doth trust.

And were there rightfull cause of difference,
  Yet were not better, faire it to accord,
  Then with bloud guiltinesse to heape offence,
  And mortall vengeaunce ioyne to crime abhord?
  O fly from wrath, fly, O my liefest Lord:
  Sad be the sights, and bitter fruits of warre,
  And thousand furies wait on wrathfull sword;
  Ne ought the prayse of prowesse more doth marre,
Then fowle reuenging rage, and base contentious iarre.

But louely concord, and most sacred peace
  Doth nourish vertue, and fast friendship breeds;
  Weake she makes stro[n]g & stro[n]g thing does increace,
  Till it the pitch of highest prayse exceeds:
  Braue be her warres, and honorable deeds,
  By which she triumphes ouer ire and pride,
  And winnes an Oliue girlond for her meeds:
  Be therefore, O my deare Lords, pacifide,
And this misseeming discord meekely lay aside.

Her gracious words their rancour did appall,
  And suncke so deepe into their boyling brests,
  That downe they let their cruell weapons fall,
  And lowly did abase their loftie crests
  To her faire presence, and discrete behests.
  Then she began a treatie to procure,
  And stablish termes betwixt both their requests,
  That as a law for euer should endure;
Which to obserue in word of knights they did assure.

Which to confirme, and fast to bind their league,
  After their wearie sweat and bloudy toile,
  She them besought, during their quiet treague,
  Into her lodging to repaire a while,
  To rest themselues, and grace to reconcile.
  They soone consent: so forth with her they fare,
  Where they are well receiu'd, and made to spoile
  Themselues of soiled armes, and to prepare
Their minds to pleasure, & their mouthes to dainty fare.

And those two froward sisters, their faire loues
  Came with them eke, all were they wondrous loth,
  And fained cheare, as for the time behoues,
  But could not colour yet so well the troth,
  But that their natures bad appeard in both:
  For both did at their second sister grutch,
  And inly grieue, as doth an hidden moth
  The inner garment fret, not th'vtter touch;
One thought their cheare too litle, th'other thought too mutch.

Elissa (so the eldest hight) did deeme
  Such entertainment base, ne ought would eat,
  Ne ought would speake, but euermore did seeme
  As discontent for want of merth or meat;
  No solace could her Paramour intreat,
  Her once to show, ne court, nor dalliance,
  But with bent lowring browes, as she would threat,
  She scould, and frownd with froward countenaunce,
Vnworthy of faire Ladies comely gouernaunce.

But young Perissa was of other mind,
  Full of disport, still laughing, loosely light,
  And quite contrary to her sisters kind;
  No measure in her mood, no rule of right,
  But poured out in pleasure and delight;
  In wine and meats she flowd aboue the bancke,
  And in excesse exceeded her owne might;
  In sumptuous tire she ioyd her selfe to prancke,
But of her loue too lauish (litle haue she thancke.)

Fast by her side did sit the bold Sans-loy
  Fit mate for such a mincing mineon,
  Who in her loosenesse tooke exceeding ioy;
  Might not be found a franker franion,
  Of her lewd parts to make companion;
  But Huddibras, more like a Malecontent,
  Did see and grieue at his bold fashion;
  Hardly could he endure his hardiment,
Yet still he sat, and inly did him selfe torment.

Betwixt them both the faire Medina sate
  With sober grace, and goodly carriage:
  With equall measure she did moderate
  The strong extremities of their outrage;
  That forward paire she euer would asswage,
  When they would striue dew reason to exceed;
  But that same froward twaine would accourage,
  And of her plenty adde vnto their need:
So kept she them in order, and her selfe in heed.

Thus fairely she attempered her feast,
  And pleasd them all with meete satietie,
  At last when lust of meat and drinke was ceast,
  She Guyon deare besought of curtesie,
  To tell from whence he came through ieopardie,
  And whither now on new aduenture bound.
  Who with bold grace, and comely grauitie,
  Drawing to him the eyes of all around,
From lofty siege began these words aloud to sound.

This thy demaund, ô Lady, doth reuiue
  Fresh memory in me of that great Queene,
  Great and most glorious virgin Queene aliue,
  That with her soueraigne powre, and scepter shene
  All Faery lond does peaceable sustene.
  In widest Ocean she her throne does reare,
  That ouer all the earth it may be seene;
  As morning Sunne her beames dispredden cleare,
And in her face faire peace, and mercy doth appeare.

In her the richesse of all heauenly grace
  In chiefe degree are heaped vp on hye:
  And all that else this worlds enclosure bace,
  Hath great or glorious in mortall eye.
  Adornes the person of her Maiestie;
  That men beholding so great excellence,
  And rare perfection in mortalitie,
  Do her adore with sacred reuerence,
As th'Idole of her makers great magnificence.

To her I homage and my seruice owe,
  In number of the noblest knights on ground,
  Mongst whom on me she deigned to bestowe
  Order of Maydenhead, the most renownd,
  That may this day in all the world be found:
  An yearely solemne feast she wontes to make
  The day that first doth lead the yeare around;
  To which all knights of worth and courage bold
Resort, to heare of straunge aduentures to be told.

There this old Palmer shewed himselfe that day,
  And to that mighty Princesse did complaine
  Of grieuous mischiefes, which a wicked Fay
  Had wrought, and many whelmd in deadly paine,
  Whereof he crau'd redresse. My Soueraine,
  Whose glory is in gracious deeds, and ioyes
  Throughout the world her mercy to maintaine,
  Eftsoones deuisd redresse for such annoyes;
Me all vnfit for so great purpose she employes.

Now hath faire Phoebe with her siluer face
  Thrise seene the shadowes of the neather world,
  Sith last I left that honorable place,
  In which her royall presence is introld;
  Ne euer shall I rest in house nor hold,
  Till I that false Acrasia haue wonne;
  Of whose fowle deedes, too hideous to be told
   I witnesse am, and this their wretched sonne,
Whose wofull parents she hath wickedly fordonne.

Tell on, faire Sir, said she, that dolefull tale,
  From which sad ruth does seeme you to restraine,
  That we may pitty such vnhappy bale,
  And learne from pleasures poyson to abstaine:
  Ill by ensample good doth often gayne.
  Then forward he his purpose gan pursew,
  And told the storie of the mortall payne,
  Which Mordant and Amauia did rew;
As with lamenting eyes him selfe did lately vew.

Night was far spent, and now in Ocean deepe
  Orion, flying fast from hissing snake,
  His flaming head did hasten for to steepe,
  When of his pitteous tale he end did make;
  Whilest with delight of that he wisely spake,
  Those guestes beguiled, did beguile their eyes
  Of kindly sleepe, that did them ouertake.
  At last when they had markt the chaunged skyes,
They wist their houre was spe[n]t; the[n] each to rest him hyes.

Cant. III.

Vaine Braggadocchio getting Guyons
  horse is made the scorne
Of knighthood trew, and is of fayre
  Belphoebe fowle forlorne.

S Oone as the morrow faire with purple beames
  Disperst the shadowes of the mistie night,
  And Titan playing on the eastern streames,
  Cleare the deawy ayre with springing light,
  Sir Guyon mindfull of his vow yplight,
  Vprose from drowsie couch, and him addrest
  Vnto the iourney which he had behight:
  His puissaunt armes about his noble brest,
And many-folded shield he bound about his wrest.

Then taking Congé of that virgin pure,
  The bloudy-handed babe vnto her truth
  Did earnestly commit, and her coniure,
  In vertuous lore to traine his tender youth,
  And all that gentle noriture ensu'th:
  And that so soone as ryper yeares he raught,
  He might for memorie of that dayes ruth,
  Be called Ruddymane, and thereby taught,
T'auenge his Pare[n]ts death on them, that had it wrought.

So forth he far'd, as now befell, on foot,
  Sith his good steed is lately from him gone;
  Patience perforce; helpelesse what may it boot
  To fret for anger, or for griefe to mone?
  His Palmer now shall foot no more alone:
  So fortune wrought, as vnder greene woods syde
  He lately heard that dying Lady grone,
  He left his steed without, and speare besyde,
And rushed in on foot to ayd her, ere she dyde.

The whiles a losell wandring by the way,
  One that to bountie neuer cast his mind,
  Ne thought of honour euer did assay
  His baser brest, but in his kestrell kind
  A pleasing vaine of glory vaine did find,
  To which his flowing toung, and troublous spright
  Gaue him great ayd, and made him more inclind:
  He that braue steed there finding ready dight,
Purloynd both steed and speare, and ran away full light.

Now gan his hart all swell in iollitie,
  And of him selfe great hope and helpe conceiu'd,
  That puffed vp with smoke of vanitie,
  And with selfe-loued personage deceiu'd,
  He gan to hope, of men to be receiu'd
  For such, as he him thought, or faine would bee:
  But for in court gay portaunce he perceiu'd,
  And gallant shew to be in greatest gree,
Eftsoones to court he cast t'auaunce his first degree.

And by the way he chaunced to espy
  One sitting idle on a sunny bancke,
  To whom auaunting in great brauery,
  As Peacocke, that his painted plumes doth prancke,
  He smote his courser in the trembling flancke,
  And to him threatned his hart-thrilling speare:
  The seely man seeing him ryde so rancke,
  And ayme at him, fell flat to ground for feare,
And crying Mercy lowd, his pitious hands gan reare.

Thereat the Scarcrow wexed wondrous prowd,
  Through fortune of his first aduenture faire,
  And with big thundring voyce reuyld him lowd;
  Vile Caytiue, vassall of dread and despaire,
  Vnworthie of the commune breathed aire,
  Why liuest thou, dead dog, a lenger day,
  And doest not vnto death thy selfe prepaire.
  Dye, or thy selfe my captiue yield for ay;
Great fauour I thee graunt, for aunswere thus to stay.

Hold, ô deare Lord, hold your dead-doing hand,
  Then loud he cryde, I am your humble thrall.
  Ah wretch (quoth he) thy destinies withstand
  My wrathfull will, and do for mercy call.
  I giue thee life: therefore prostrated fall,
  And kisse my stirrup; that thy homage bee.
  The Miser threw him selfe, as an Offall,
  Streight at his foot in base humilitee,
And cleeped him his liege, to hold of him in fee.

So happy peace they made and faire accord:
  Eftsoones this liege-man gan to wexe more bold,
  And when he felt the folly of his Lord,
  In his owne kind he gan him selfe vnfold:
  For he was wylie witted, and growne old
  In cunning sleights and practick knauery.
  From that day forth he cast for to vphold
  His idle humour with fine flattery,
And blow the bellowes to his swelling vanity.

Trompart fit man for Braggadocchio,
  To serue at court in view of vaunting eye;
  Vaine-glorious man, when fluttring wind does blow
  In his light wings, is lifted vp to skye:
  The scorne of knighthood and trew cheualrye,
  To thinke without desert of gentle deed,
  And noble worth to be aduaunced hye:
  Such prayse is shame; but honour vertues meed
Doth beare the fairest flowre in honorable seed.

So forth they pas, a well consorted paire,
  Till that at length with Archimage they meet:
  Who seeing one that shone in armour faire,
  On goodly courser thundring with his feet,
  Eftsoones supposed him a person meet,
  Of his reuenge to make the instrument:
  For since the Redcrosse knight he earst did weet,
  To beene with Guyon knit in one consent,
The ill, which earst to him, he now to Guyon ment.

And comming close to Trompart gan inquere
  Of him, what mighty warriour that mote bee,
  That rode in golden sell with single spere,
  But wanted sword to wreake his enmitee.
  He is a great aduenturer, (said he)
  That hath his sword through hard assay forgone,
  And now hath vowd, till he auenged bee,
  Of that despight, neuer to wearen none;
That speare is him enough to doen a thousand grone.

Th'enchaunter greatly ioyed in the vaunt,
  And weened well ere long his will to win,
  And both his foen with equall foyle to daunt.
  Tho to him louting lowly, did begin
  To plaine of wrongs, which had committed bin
  By Guyon, and by that false Redcrosse knight,
  Which two through treason and deceiptfull gin,
  Had slaine Sir Mordant, and his Lady bright:
That mote him honour win, to wreake so foule despight.

Therewith all suddeinly he seemd enraged,
  And threatned death with dreadfull countenaunce,
  As if their liues had in his hand beene gaged;
  And with stiffe force shaking his mortall launce,
  To let him weet his doughtie valiaunce,
  Thus said; Old man, great sure shalbe thy meed,
  If where those knights for feare of dew vengeaunce
  Do lurke, thou certainly to me areed,
That I may wreake on them their hainous hatefull deed.

Certes, my Lord, (said he) that shall I soone,
  And giue you eke good helpe to their decay,
  But mote I wisely you aduise to doon;
  Giue no ods to your foes, but do puruay
  Your selfe of sword before that bloudy day:
  For they be two the prowest knights on ground,
  And oft approu'd in many hard assay,
  And eke of surest steele, that may be found,
Do arme your selfe against that day, them to confound.

Dotard (said he) let be thy deepe aduise;
  Seemes that through many yeares thy wits thee faile,
  And that weake eld hath left thee nothing wise,
  Else neuer should thy iudgement be so fraile,
  To measure manhood by the sword or maile.
  Is not enough foure quarters of a man,
  Withouten sword or shield, an host to quaile?
  Thou little wotest, what this right hand can:
Speake they, which haue beheld the battailes, which it wan.

The man was much abashed at his boast;
  Yet well he wist, that who so would contend
  With either of those knights on euen coast,
  Should need of all his armes, him to defend;
  Yet feared least his boldnesse should offend,
  When Braggadocchio said, Once I did sweare,
  When with one sword seuen knights I brought to end,
  Thence forth in battell neuer sword to beare,
But it were that, which noblest knight on earth doth weare.

Perdie Sir knight, said then th'enchaunter bliue,
  That shall I shortly purchase to your hond:
  For now the best and noblest knight aliue
  Prince Arthur is, that wonnes in Faerie lond;
  He hath a sword, that flames like burning brond.
  The same by my deuice I vndertake
  Shall by to morrow by thy side be fond.
  At which bold word that boaster gan to quake,
And wondred in his mind, what mote that monster make.

He stayd not for more bidding, but away
  Was suddein vanished out of his sight:
  The Northerne wind his wings did broad display
  At his commaund, and reared him vp light
  From off the earth to take his aerie flight.
  They lookt about, but no where could espie
  Tract of his foot: then dead through great affright
  They both nigh were, and each bad other flie:
Both fled attonce, ne euer backe returned eie.

Till that they come vnto a forrest greene,
  In which they shrowd the[m]selues from causelesse feare;
  Yet feare them followes still, where so they beene,
  Each trembling leafe, and whistling wind they heare,
  As ghastly bug their haire on end does reare:
  Yet both doe striue their fearfulnesse to faine.
  At last they heard a horne, that shrilled cleare
  Throughout the wood, that ecchoed againe,
And made the forrest ring, as it would riue in twaine.

Eft through the thicke they heard one rudely rush;
  With noyse whereof he from his loftie steed
  Downe fell to ground, and crept into a bush,
  To hide his coward head from dying dreed.
  But Trompart stoutly stayd to taken heed,
  Of what might hap. Eftsoone there stepped forth
  A goodly Ladie clad in hunters weed,
  That seemd to be a woman of great worth,
And by her stately portance, borne of heauenly birth.

Her face so faire as flesh it seemed not,
  But heauenly pourtraict of bright Angels hew,
  Cleare as the skie, withouten blame or blot,
  Through goodly mixture of complexions dew;
  And in her cheekes the vermeill red did shew
  Like roses in a bed of lillies shed,
  The which ambrosiall odours from them threw,
  And gazers sense with double pleasure fed,
Hable to heale the sicke, and to reuiue the ded.

In her faire eyes two liuing lamps did flame,
  Kindled aboue at th'heauenly makers light,
  And darted fyrie beames out of the same,
  So passing persant, and so wondrous bright,
  That quite bereau'd the rash beholders sight:
  In them the blinded god his lustfull fire
  To kindle oft assayd, but had no might;
  For with dredd Maiestie, and awfull ire,
She broke his wanton darts, and quenched base desire.

Her iuorie forhead, full of bountie braue,
  Like a broad table did it selfe dispred,
  For Loue his loftie triumphes to engraue,
  And write the battels of his great godhed:
  All good and honour might therein be red:
  For there their dwelling was. And when she spake,
  Sweet words, like dropping honny she did shed,
  And twixt the perles and rubins softly brake
A siluer sound, that heauenly musicke seemd to make.

Vpon her eyelids many Graces sate,
  Vnder the shadow of her euen browes,
  Working belgards, and amorous retrate,
  And euery one her with a grace endowes:
  And euery one with meekenesse to her bowes.
  So glorious mirrhour of celestiall grace,
  And soueraine moniment of mortall vowes,
  How shall fraile pen descriue her heauenly face,
For feare through want of skill her beautie to disgrace?

So faire, and thousand thousand times more faire
  She seemd, when she presented was to sight,
  And was yclad, for heat of scorching aire,
  All in a silken Camus lylly whight,
  Purfled vpon with many a folded plight,
  Which all aboue besprinckled was throughout,
  With golden aygulets, that glistred bright,
  Like twinckling starres, and all the skirt about
Was hemd with golden fringe

Below her ham her weed were somewhat traine,
  And her streight legs most brauely were embayld
  In gilden buskins of costly Cordwaine,
  All bard with golden bendes, which were entayld
  With curious antickes, and full faire aumayld:
  Before they fastned were vnder her knee
  In a rich Iewell, and therein entrayld
  The ends of all their knots, that none might see,
How they within their fouldings close enwrapped bee.

Like two faire marble pillours they were seene,
  Which doe the temple of the Gods support,
  Whom all the people decke with girlands greene,
  And honour in their festiuall resort;
  Those same with stately grace, and princely port
  She taught to tread, when she her selfe would grace,
  But with the wooddie Nymphes when she did play,
  Or when the flying Libbard she did chace,
She could them nimbly moue, and after fly apace.

And in her hand a sharpe bore-speare she held,
  And at her backe a bow and quiuer gay,
  Stuft with steele-headed darts, wherewith she queld
  The saluage beastes in her victorious play,
  Knit with a golden bauldricke, which forelay
  Athwart her snowy brest, and did diuide
  Her daintie paps; which like young fruit in May
  Now little gan to swell, and being tide,
Through her thin weed their places only signifide.

Her yellow lockes crisped, like golden wyre,
  About her shoulders weren loosely shed,
  And when the winde emongst them did inspyre,
  They waued like a penon wide dispred,
  And low behinde her backe were scattered:
  And whether art it were, or heedlesse hap,
  As through the flouring forrest rash she fled,
  In her rude haires sweet flowres themselues did lap,
And flourishing fresh leaues and blossomes did enwrap.

Such as Diana by the sandie shore
  Of swift Eurotas, or on Cynthus greene,
  Where all the Nymphes haue her vnwares forlore,
  Wandreth alone with bow and arrowes keene,
  To seeke her game: Or as that famous Queene
  Of Amazons, whom Pyrrhus did destroy,
  The day that first of Priame she was seene,
  Did shew her selfe in great triumphant ioy,
To succour the weake state of sad afflicted Troy.

Such when as hartlesse Trompart her did vew,
  He was dismayed in his coward mind,
  And doubted, whether he himselfe should shew,
  Or fly away, or bide alone behind:
  Both feare and hope he in her face did find,
  When she at last him spying thus bespake;
  Hayle Groome; didst not thou see a bleeding Hind,
  Whose right haunch earst my stedfast arrow strake?
If thou didst, tell me, that I may her ouertake.

Wherewith reviu'd, this answere forth he threw;
  O Goddesse, (for such I thee take to bee)
  For neither doth thy face terrestriall shew,
  Nor voyce sound mortall; I auow to thee,
  Such wounded beast, as that, I did not see,
  Sith earst into this forrest wild I came.
  But mote thy goodlyhed forgiue it mee,
  To weet, which of the Gods I shall thee name,
That vnto thee due worship I may rightly frame.

To whom she thus; but ere her words ensewed,
  Vnto the bush her eye did suddein glaunce,
  In which vaine Braggadocchio was mewed,
  And saw it stirre: she left her percing launce,
And towards gan a deadly shaft aduaunce,
  In mind to marke the beast. At which sad stowre,
  Trompart forth stept, to stay the mortall chaunce,
  Out crying, ô what euer heauenly powre,
Or earthly wight thou be, withhold this deadly howre.

O stay thy hand, for yonder is no game
  For thy fierce arrowes, them to exercize,
  But loe my Lord, my liege, whose warlike name,
  Is farre renowmd through many bold emprize;
  And now in shade he shrowded yonder lies.
  She staid: with that he crauld out of his nest,
  Forth creeping on his caitiue hands and thies,
  And standing stoutly vp, his loftie crest
Did fiercely shake, and rowze, as comming late from rest.

As fearefull fowle, that long in secret caue
  For dread of soaring hauke her selfe hath hid,
  Not caring how, her silly life to saue,
  She her gay painted plumes disorderid,
  Seeing at last her selfe from daunger rid,
  Peepes foorth, and soone renewes her natiue pride;
  She gins her feathers foule disfigured
  Proudly to prune, and set on euery side,
So shakes off shame, ne thinks how erst she did her hide.

So when her goodly visage he beheld,
  He gan himselfe to vaunt: but when he vewed
  Those deadly tooles, which in her hand she held,
  Soone into other fits he was transmewed,
  Till she to him her gratious speach renewed;
  All haile, Sir knight, and well may thee befall,
  As all the like, which honour haue pursewed
  Through deedes of armes and prowesse martiall;
All vertue merits praise, but such the most of all

To whom he thus: ô fairest vnder skie,
  True be thy words, and worthy of thy praise,
  That warlike feats doest highest glorifie.
  Therein haue I spent all my youthly daies,
  And many battailes fought, and many fraies
  Throughout the world, wher so they might be found,
  Endeuouring my dreadded name to raise
  Aboue the Moone, that fame may it resound
In her eternall trompe, with laurell girland cround.

But what art thou, ô Ladie, which doest raunge
  In this wilde forrest, where no pleasure is,
  And doest not it for ioyous court exchaunge,
  Emongst thine equall peres, where happie blis
  And all delight does raigne, much more then this?
  There thou maist loue, and dearely loued bee,
  And swim in pleasure, which thou here doest mis;
  There maist thou best be seene, and best maist see:
The wood is fit for beasts, the court is fit for thee.

Who so in pompe of proud estate (quoth she)
  Does swim, and bathes himselfe in courtly blis,
  Does waste his dayes in darke obscuritee,
And in obliuion euer buried is:
  Where ease abounds, yt's eath to doe amis;
  But who his limbs with labours, and his mind
  Behaues with cares, cannot so easie mis.
  Abroad in armes, at home in studious kind
Who seekes with painfull toile, shall honour soonest find.

In woods, in waues, in warres she wonts to dwell,
  And will be found with perill and with paine;
  Ne can the man, that moulds in idle cell,
  Vnto her happie mansion attaine:
  Before her gate high God did Sweat ordaine,
  And wakefull watches euer to abide:
  But easie is the way, and passage plaine
  To pleasures pallace; it may soone be spide,
And day and night her dores to all stand open wide.

In Princes court,---The rest she would haue said,
  But that the foolish man, fild with delight
  Of her sweet words, that all his sence dismaid,
  And with her wondrous beautie rauisht quight,
  Gan burne in filthy lust, and leaping light,
  Thought in his bastard armes her to embrace.
  With that she swaruing backe, her Iauelin bright
  Against him bent, and fiercely did menace:
So turned her about, and fled away apace.

Which when the Peasant saw, amazd he stood,
  And grieued at her flight; yet durst he not
  Pursew her steps, through wild vnknowen wood;
  Besides he feard her wrath, and threatned shot
  Whiles in the bush he lay, not yet forgot:
  Ne car'd he greatly for her presence vaine,
  But turning said to Trompart, What foule blot
  Is this to knight, that Ladie should againe
Depart to woods vntoucht, & leaue so proud disdaine?

Perdie (said Trompart) let her passe at will,
  Least by her presence daunger mote befall.
  For who can tell (and sure I feare it ill)
  But that she is some powre celestiall?
  For whiles she spake, her great words did apall
  My feeble courage, and my hart oppresse,
  That yet I quake and tremble ouer all.
  And I (said Braggadocchio) thought no lesse,
When first I heard her horne sound with such ghastlinesse.

For from my mothers wombe this grace I haue
  Me giuen by eternall destinie,
  That earthly thing may not my courage braue
  Dismay with feare, or cause one foot to flie,
  But either hellish feends, or powres on hie:
  Which was the cause, when earst that horne I heard,
  Weening it had beene thunder in the skie,
  I hid my selfe from it, as one affeard;
But when I other knew, my selfe I boldly reard.

But now for feare of worse, that may betide,
  Let vs soone hence depart. They soone agree;
  So to his steed he got, and gan to ride,
  As one vnfit therefore, that all might see
  He had not trayned bene in cheualree.
  Which well that valiant courser did discerne;
  For he despysd to tread in dew degree,
  But chaufd and fom'd, with courage fierce and sterne,
And to be easd of that base burden still did erne.

Cant. IIII.

Guyon does Furor bind in chaines,
  and stops Occasion:
Deliuers Phedon, and therefore
  by Strife is rayld vpon.

I N braue pursuit of honorable deed,
  There is I know not what great difference
  Betweene the vulgar and the noble seed,
  Which vnto things of valorous pretence
  Seemes to be borne by natiue influence;
  As feates of armes, and loue to entertaine,
  But chiefly skill to ride, seemes a science
  Proper to gentle bloud; some others faine
To menage steeds, as did this vaunter; but in vaine.

But he the rightfull owner of that steed,
  Who well could menage and subdew his pride,
  The whiles on foot was forced for to yeed,
  With that blacke Palmer, his most trusty guide;
  Who suffred not his wandring feet to slide.
  But when strong passion, or weake fleshlinesse
  Would from the right way seeke to draw him wide,
  He would through temperance and stedfastnesse,
Teach him the weake to strengthen, & the stro[n]g suppresse.

It fortuned forth faring on his way,
  He saw from farre, or seemed for to see
  Some troublous vprore or contentious fray,
  Whereto he drew in haste it to agree.
  A mad man, or that feigned mad to bee,
  Drew by the haire along vpon the ground,
  A handsome stripling with great crueltee,
  Whom sore he bett, and gor'd with many a wound,
That cheekes with teares, and sides with bloud did all abound.

And him behind, a wicked Hag did stalke,
  In ragged robes, and filthy disaray,
  Her other leg was lame, that she no'te walke,
  But on a staffe her feeble steps did stay;
  Her lockes, that loathly were and hoarie gray,
  Grew all afore, and loosely hong vnrold,
  But all behind was bald, and worne away,
  That none thereof could euer taken hold,
And eke her face ill fauourd, full of wrinckles old.

And euer as she went, her tongue did walke
  In foule reproch, and termes of vile despight,
  Prouoking him by her outrageous talke,
  To heape more vengeance on that wretched wight;
  Sometimes she raught him stones, wherwith to smite,
  Sometimes her staffe, though it her one leg were,
  Withouten which she could not go vpright;
  Ne any euill meanes she did forbeare,
That might him moue to wrath, and indignation reare.

The noble Guyon mou'd with great remorse,
  Approching, first the Hag did thrust away,
  And after adding more impetuous forse,
  His mightie hands did on the madman lay,
  And pluckt him backe; who all on fire streightway,
  Against him turning all his fell intent,
  With beastly brutish rage gan him assay,
  And smot, and bit, and kickt, and scratcht, and rent,
And did he wist not what in his auengement.

And sure he was a man of mickle might,
  Had he had gouernance, it well to guide:
  But when the franticke fit inflamd his spright,
  His force was vaine, and strooke more often wide,
  Then at the aymed marke, which he had eide:
  And oft himselfe he chaunst to hurt vnwares,
  Whilst reason blent through passion, nought descride,
  But as a blindfold Bull at randon fares,
And where he hits, nought knowes, & whom he hurts, nought cares.

His rude assault and rugged handeling
  Straunge seemed to the knight, that aye with foe
  In faire defence and goodly menaging
  Of armes was wont to fight, yet nathemoe
  Was he abashed now not fighting so,
  But more enfierced through his currish play,
  Him sternely grypt, and haling to and fro,
  To ouerthrow him strongly did assay,
But ouerthrew himselfe vnwares, and lower lay.

And being downe the villein sore did beat,
  And bruze with clownish fistes his manly face:
  And eke the Hag with many a bitter threat,
  Still cald vpon to kill him in the place.
  With whose reproch and odious menace
  The knight emboyling in his haughtie hart,
  Knit all his forces, and gan soone vnbrace
  His grasping hold: so lightly did vpstart,
And drew his deadly weapon, to maintain his part.

Which when the Palmer saw, he loudly cryde,
  Not so, ô Guyon, neuer thinke that so
  That Monster can be maistred or destroyd:
  He is not, ah, he is not such a foe,
  As steele can wound, or strength can ouerthroe.
  That same is Furor, cursed cruell wight,
  That vnto knighthood workes much shame and woe;
  And that same Hag, his aged mother, hight
Occasion, the root of all wrath and despight.

With her, who so will raging Furor tame,
  Must first begin, and well her amenage:
  First her restraine from her reprochfull blame,
  And euill meanes, with which she doth enrage
  Her franticke sonne, and kindles his courage,
  Then when she is withdrawen, or strong withstood,
  It's eath his idle furie to asswage,
  And calme the tempest of his passion wood;
The bankes are ouerflowen, when stopped is the flood.

Therewith Sir Guyon left his first emprise,
  And turning to that woman, fast her hent
  By the hoare lockes, that hong before her eyes,
  And to the ground her threw: yet n'ould she stent
  Her bitter rayling and foule reuilement,
  But still prouokt her sonne to wreake her wrong;
  But nathelesse he did her still torment,
  And catching hold of her vngratious tong,
Thereon an yron lock did fasten firme and strong.

Then when as vse of speach was from her reft,
  With her two crooked handes she signes did make,
  And beckned him, the last helpe she had left:
  But he that last left helpe away did take,
  And both her hands fast bound vnto a stake,
  That she note stirre. Then gan her sonne to flie
  Full fast away, and did her quite forsake;
  But Guyon after him in haste did hie,
And soone him ouertooke in sad perplexitie.

In his strong armes he stiffely him embraste,
  Who him gainstriuing, nought at all preuaild:
  For all his power was vtterly defaste,
  And furious fits at earst quite weren quaild:
  Oft he re'nforst, and oft his forces fayld,
  Yet yield he would not, nor his rancour slacke.
  Then him to ground he cast, and rudely hayld,
  And both his hands fast bound behind his backe,
And both his feet in fetters to an yron racke.

With hundred yron chaines he did him bind,
  And hundred knots that did him sore constraine:
  Yet his great yron teeth he still did grind,
  And grimly gnash, threatning reuenge in vaine:
  His burning eyen, whom bloudie strakes did staine,
  Stared full wide, and threw forth sparkes of fire,
  And more for ranck despight, then for great paine,
  Shakt his long lockes, colourd like copper-wire,
And bit his tawny beard to shew his raging ire.

Thus when as Guyon Furor had captiu'd,
  Turning about he saw that wretched Squire,
  Whom that mad man of life nigh late depriu'd,
  Lying on ground, all soild with bloud and mire:
  Whom when as he perceiued to respire,
  He gan to comfort, and his wounds to dresse.
  Being at last recured, he gan inquire,
  What hard mishap him brought to such distresse,
And made that caitiues thral, the thral of wretchednesse.

With hart then throbbing, and with watry eyes,
  Faire Sir (quoth he) what man can shun the hap,
  That hidden lyes vnwares him to surpryse?
  Misfortune waites aduantage to entrap
The man most warie in her whelming lap.
  So me weake wretch, of many weakest one,
  Vnweeting, and vnware of such mishap,
  She brought to mischiefe through occasion,
Where this same wicked villein did me light vpon.

It was a faithlesse Squire, that was the sourse
  Of all my sorrow, and of these sad teares,
  With whom from tender dug of commune nourse,
  Attonce I was vpbrought, and eft when yeares
  More rype vs reason lent to chose our Peares,
  Our selues in league of vowed loue we knit:
  In which we long time without gealous feares,
  Or faultie thoughts continewd, as was fit;
And for my part I vow, dissembled not a whit.

It was my fortune commune to that age,
  To loue a Ladie faire of great degree,
  The which was borne of noble parentage,
  And set in highest seat of dignitee,
  Yet seemd no lesse to loue, then loued to bee:
  Long I her seru'd, and found her faithfull still,
  Ne euer thing could cause vs disagree:
  Loue that two harts makes one, makes eke one will:
Each stroue to please, and others pleasure to fulfill.

My friend, hight Philemon, I did partake
  Of all my loue and all my priuitie;
  Who greatly ioyous seemed for my sake,
  And gratious to that Ladie, as to mee,
  Ne euer wight, that mote so welcome bee,
  As he to her, withouten blot or blame,
  Ne euer thing, that she could thinke or see,
  But vnto him she would impart the same:
O wretched man, that would abuse so gentle Dame.

At last such grace I found, and meanes I wrought,
  That I that Ladie to my spouse had wonne;
  Accord of friends, consent of parents sought,
  Affiance made, my happinesse begonne,
  There wanted nought but few rites to be donne,
  Which mariage make; that day too farre did seeme:
  Most ioyous man, on whom the shining Sunne,
  Did shew his face, my selfe I did esteeme,
And that my falser friend did no lesse ioyous deeme.

But ere that wished day his beame disclosd,
  He either enuying my toward good,
  Or of himselfe to treason ill disposd
  One day vnto me came in friendly mood,
  And told for secret how he vnderstood
  That Ladie whom I had to me assynd,
  Had both distaind her honorable blood,
  And eke the faith, which she to me did bynd;
And therfore wisht me stay, till I more truth should fynd.

The gnawing anguish and sharpe gelosy,
Which his sad speech infixed in my brest,
  Ranckled so sore, and festred inwardly,
  That my engreeued mind could find no rest,
  Till that the truth thereof I did outwrest,
  And him besought by that same sacred band
  Betwixt vs both, to counsell me the best.
  He then with solemne oath and plighted hand
Assur'd, ere long the truth to let me vnderstand.

Ere long with like againe he boorded mee,
  Saying, he now had boulted all the floure,
  And that it was a groome of base degree,
  Which of my loue was partner Paramoure:
  Who vsed in a darksome inner bowre
  Her oft to meet: which better to approue,
  He promised to bring me at that howre,
  When I should see, that would me nearer moue,
And driue me to withdraw my blind abused loue.

This gracelesse man for furtherance of his guile,
  Did court the handmayd of my Lady deare,
  Who glad t'embosome his affection vile,
  Did all she might, more pleasing to appeare.
  One day to worke her to his will more neare,
  He woo'd her thus: Pryene (so she hight)
  What great despight doth fortune to thee beare,
  Thus lowly to abase thy beautie bright,
That it should not deface all others lesser light?

But if she had her least helpe to thee lent,
  T'adorne thy forme according thy desart,
  Their blazing pride thou wouldest soone haue blent,
  And staynd their prayses with thy least good part;
  Ne should faire Claribell with all her art,
  Though she thy Lady be, approch thee neare;
  For proofe thereof, this euening, as thou art,
  Aray thy selfe in her most gorgeous geare,
That I may more delight in thy embracement deare.

The Maide[n]; proud through prayse, and mad through loue
  Him hearkned to, and soone her selfe arayd,
  The whiles to me the treachour did remoue
  His craftie engin, and as he had sayd,
  Me leading, in a secret corner layd,
  The sad spectatour of my Tragedie;
  Where left, he went, and his owne false part playd,
  Disguised like that groome of base degree,
Whom he had feignd th'abuser of my loue to bee.

Eftsoones he came vnto th'appointed place,
  And with him brought Priene, rich arayd,
  In Claribellaes clothes. Her proper face
not descerned in that darkesome shade,
  But weend it was my loue, with whom he playd.
  Ah God, what horrour and tormenting griefe
  My hart, my hands, mine eyes, and all assayd?
  Me liefer were ten thousand deathes priefe,
Then wound of gealous worme, and shame of such repriefe.

I home returning, fraught with fowle despight,
  And chawing vengeance all the way I went,
  Soone as my loathed loue appeard in sight,
  With wrathfull hand I slew her innocent;
  That after soone I dearely did lament:
  For when the cause of that outrageous deede
  Demaunded, I made plaine and euident,
  Her faultie Handmayd, which that bale did breede,
Confest, how Philemon her wrought to chaunge her weede.

Which when I heard, with horrible affright
  And hellish fury all enragd, I sought
  Vpon my selfe that vengeable despight
  To punish: yet it better first I thought,
  To wreake my wrath on him, that first it wrought.
  To Philemon, false faytour Philemon
  I cast to pay, that I so dearely bought;
  Of deadly drugs I gaue him drinke anon,
And washt away his guilt with guiltie potion.

Thus heaping crime on crime, and griefe on griefe,
  To losse of loue adioyning losse of frend,
  I meant to purge both with a third mischiefe,
  And in my woes beginner it to end:
  That was Pryene; she did first offend,
  She last should smart: with which cruell intent,
  When I at her my murdrous blade did bend,
  She fled away with ghastly dreriment,
And I pursewing my fell purpose, after went.

Feare gaue her wings, and rage enforst my flight;
  Through woods and plaines so long I did her chace,
  Till this mad man, whom your victorious might
  Hath now fast bound, me met in middle space,
  As I her, so he me pursewd apace,
  And shortly ouertooke: I breathing yre,
  Sore chauffed at my stay in such a cace,
  And with my heat kindled his cruell fyre;
Which kindled once, his mother did more rage inspyre.

Betwixt them both, they haue me doen to dye,
  Through wounds, & strokes, & stubborne handeling,
  That death were better, then such agony,
  As griefe and furie vnto me did bring;
  Of which in me yet stickes the mortall sting,
  That during life will neuer be appeasd.
  When he thus ended had his sorrowing,
  Said Guyon, Squire, sore haue ye beene diseasd;
But all your hurts may soone through te[m]perance be easd.

Then gan the Palmer thus, most wretched man,
  That to affections does the bridle lend;
  In their beginning they are weake and wan,
  But soone through suff'rance grow to fearefull end;
  Whiles they are weake betimes with them contend:
  For when they once to perfect strength do grow,
  Strong warres they make, and cruell battry bend
  Gainst fort of Reason, it to ouerthrow:
Wrath, gelosie, griefe, loue this Squire haue layd thus low.

Wrath, gealosie, griefe, loue do thus expell:
  Wrath is a fire, and gealosie a weede,
  Griefe is a flood, and loue a monster fell;
  The fire of sparkes, the weede of little seede,
  The flood of drops, the Monster filth did breede:
  But sparks, seed, drops, and filth do thus delay;
  The sparks soone quench, the springing seed outweed,
  The drops dry vp, and filth wipe cleane away:
So shall wrath, gealosie, griefe, loue dye and decay.

Vnlucky Squire (said Guyon) sith thou hast
  Falne into mischiefe through intemperaunce,
  Henceforth take heede of that thou now hast past,
  And guide thy wayes with warie gouernaunce,
  Least worse betide thee by some later chaunce.
  But read how art thou nam'd, and of what kin.
  Phedon I hight (quoth he) and do aduaunce
  Mine auncestry from famous Coradin,
Who first to rayse our house to honour did begin.

Thus as he spake, lo far away they spyde
  A varlet running towards hastily,
  Whose flying feet so fast their way applyde,
  That round about a cloud of dust did fly,
  Which mingled all with sweate, did dim his eye.
  He soone approched, panting, breathlesse, whot,
  And all so soyld, that none could him descry;
  His countenaunce was bold, and bashed not
For Guyons lookes, but scornefull eyglaunce at him shot.

Behind his backe he bore a brasen shield,
  On which was drawen faire, in colours fit,
  A flaming fire in midst of bloudy field,
  And round about the wreath this word was writ,
  Burnt I do burne. Right well beseemed it,
  To be the shield of some redoubted knight;
  And in his hand two darts exceeding flit,
  And deadly sharpe he held, whose heads were dight
In poyson and in bloud, of malice and despight.

When he in presence came, to Guyon first
  He boldly spake, Sir knight, if knight thou bee,
  Abandon this forestalled place at erst,
  For feare of further harme, I counsell thee,
  Or bide the chaunce at thine owne ieoperdie.
  The knight at his great boldnesse wondered,
  And though he scornd his idle vanitie,
  Yet mildly him to purpose answered;
For not to grow of nought he it coniectured.

Varlet, this place most dew to me I deeme,
  Yielded by him, that held it forcibly.
  But whence should come that harme, which thou doest seeme
  To threat to him, that minds his chaunce t'abye?
  Perdy (said he) here comes, and is hard by
  A knight of wondrous powre, and great assay,
  That neuer yet encountred enemy,
  But did him deadly daunt, or fowle dismay;
Ne thou for better hope, if thou his presence stay.

How hight he then (said Guyon) and from whence?
  Pyrrhochles is his name, renowmed farre
  For his bold feats and hardy confidence,
  Full oft approu'd in many a cruell warre,
  The brother of Cymochles, both which arre
  The sonnes of old Acrates and Despight,
  Acrates sonne of Phlegeton and Iarre;
  But Phlegeton is sonne of Herebus and Night;
But Herebus sonne of Aeternitie is hight.

So from immortall race he does proceede,
  That mortall hands may not withstand his might,
  Drad for his derring do, and bloudy deed;
  For all in bloud and spoile is his delight.
  His am I Atin, his in wrong and right,
  That matter make for him to worke vpon,
  And stirre him vp to strife and cruell fight.
  Fly therefore, fly this fearefull stead anon,
Least thy foolhardize worke thy sad confusion.

His be that care, whom most it doth concerne,
  (Said he) but whither with such hasty flight
  Art thou now bound? for well mote I discerne
  Great cause, that carries thee so swift and light.
  My Lord (quoth he) me sent, and streight behight
  To seeke Occasion, where so she bee:
  For he is all disposd to bloudy fight,
  And breathes out wrath and hainous crueltie;
Hard is his hap, that first fals in his ieopardie.

Madman (said then the Palmer) that does seeke
  Occasion to wrath, and cause of strife;
  She comes vnsought, and shonned followes eke.
  Happy, who can abstaine, when Rancour rife
  Kindles Reuenge, and threats his rusty knife;
  Woe neuer wants, where euery cause is caught,
  And rash Occasion makes vnquiet life.
  Then loe, where bound she sits, who[m]; thou hast sought,
(Said Guyon,) let that message to thy Lord be brought.

That when the varlet heard and saw, streight way
  He wexed wondrous wroth, and said, Vile knight,
  That knights & knighthood doest with shame vpbray,
  And shewst th'ensa[m]ple of thy childish might,
  With silly weake old woman thus to fight.
  Great glory and gay spoile sure hast thou got,
  And stoutly prou'd thy puissaunce here in sight;
  That shall Pyrrochles well requite, I wot,
And with thy bloud abolish so reprochfull blot.

With that one of his thrillant darts he threw,
  Headed with ire and vengeable despight;
  The quiuering steele his aymed end well knew,
  And to his brest it selfe intended right:
  But he was warie, and ere it empight
  In the meant marke, aduaunst his shield atweene,
  On which it seizing, no way enter might,
  But backe rebounding, left the forckhead keene;
Eftsoones he fled away, and might no where be seene.

Cant. V.

Pyrrochles does with Guyon fight,
  And Furors chayne vnbinds
Of whom sore hurt, for his reuenge
  Atin Cymochles finds.

W Ho euer doth to temperaunce apply
  His stedfast life, and all his actions frame,
  Trust me, shall find no greater enimy,
  Then stubborne perturbation, to the same;
  To which right well the wise do giue that name,
  For it the goodly peace of stayed mindes
  Does ouerthrow, and troublous warre proclame:
  His owne woes authour, who so bound it findes,
As did Pyrrochles, and it wilfully vnbindes.

After that varlets flight, it was not long,
  Ere on the plaine fast pricking Guyon spide
  One in bright armes embatteiled full strong,
  That as the Sunny beames do glaunce and glide
  Vpon the trembling waue, so shined bright,
  And round about him threw forth sparkling fire,
  That seemd him to enflame on euery side:
  His steed was bloudy red, and fomed ire,
When with the maistring spur he did him roughly stire.

Approching nigh, he neuer stayd to greete,
  Ne chaffar words, prowd courage to prouoke,
  But prickt so fiers, that vnderneath his feete
  The smouldring dust did round about him smoke,
  Both horse and man nigh able for to choke;
  And fairly couching his steele-headed speare,
  Him first saluted with a sturdy stroke;
  It booted nought Sir Guyon comming neare
To thinke, such hideous puissaunce on foot to beare.

But lightly shunned it, and passing by,
  With his bright blade did smite at him so fell,
  That the sharpe steele arriuing forcibly
  On his broad shield, bit not, but glauncing fell
  On his horse necke before the quilted sell,
  And from the head the body sundred quight.
  So him dismounted low, he did compell
  On foot with him to matchen equall fight;
The truncked beast fast bleeding, did him fowly dight.

Sore bruzed with the fall, he slow vprose,
  And all enraged, thus him loudly shent;
  Disleall knight, whose coward courage chose
  To wreake it selfe on beast all innocent,
  And shund the marke, at which it should be ment,
  Thereby thine armes seeme stro[n]g, but manhood fraile;
  So hast thou oft with guile thine honour blent;
  But litle may such guile thee now auaile,
If wonted force and fortune do not much me faile.

With that he drew his flaming sword, and strooke
  At him so fiercely, that the vpper marge
  Of his seuenfolded shield away it tooke,
  And glauncing on his helmet, made a large
  And open gash therein: were not his targe,
  That broke the violence of his intent,
  The weary soule from thence it would discharge;
  Nathelesse so sore abuff to him it lent,
That made him reele, and to his brest his beuer bent.

Exceeding wroth was Guyon at that blow,
  And much ashamd, that stroke of liuing arme
  Should him dismay, and make him stoup so low,
  Though otherwise it did him litle harme:
  Tho hurling high his yron braced arme,
  He smote so manly on his shoulder plate,
  That all his left side it did quite disarme;
  Yet there the steele stayd not, but inly bate
Deepe in his flesh, and opened wide a red floodgate.

Deadly dismayd, with horrour of that dint
  Pyrrochles was, and grieued eke entyre;
  Yet nathemore did it his fury stint,
  But added flame vnto his former fire,
  That welnigh molt his hart in raging yre,
  Ne thenceforth his approued skill, to ward,
  Or strike, or hurle, round in warelike gyre,
  Remembred he, ne car'd for his saufgard,
But rudely rag'd, and like a cruell Tygre far'd.

He hewd, and lasht, and foynd, and thundred blowes,
  And euery way did seeke into his life,
  Ne plate, ne male could ward so mighty throwes,
  But yielded passage to his cruell knife.
  But Guyon, in the heat of all his strife,
  Was warie wise, and closely did awayt
  Auauntage, whilest his foe did rage most rife;
  Sometimes a thwart, sometimes he strooke him strayt,
And falsed oft his blowes, t'illude him with such bayt.

Like as a Lyon, whose imperiall powre
  A prowd rebellious Vnicorne defies,
  T'auoide the rash assault and wrathfull stowre
  Of his fiers foe, him to a tree applies,
  And when him running in full course he spies,
  He slips aside; the whiles that furious beast
  His precious horne, sought of his enimies
  Strikes in the stocke, ne thence can be rel[e]ast,
But to the mighty victour yields a bounteous feast.

With such faire slight him Guyon often faild,
  Till at the last all breathlesse, wearie, faint
  Him spying, with fresh onset he assaild,
  And kindling new his courage seeming queint,
  Strooke him so hugely, that through great constraint
  He made him stoup perforce vnto his knee,
  And do vnwilling worship to the Saint,
  That on his shield depainted he did see;
Such homage till that instant neuer learned hee.

Whom Guyon seeing stoup, pursewed fast
  The present offer of faire victory.
  And soone his dreadfull blade about he cast,
  Wherewith he smote his haughty crest so hye,
  That streight on ground made him full low to lye;
  Then on his brest his victour foote he thrust:
  With that he cryde, Mercy, do me not dye,
  Ne deeme thy force by fortunes doome vniust,
That hath (maugre her spight) thus low me laid in dust.

Eftsoones his cruell hand Sir Guyon stayd,
  Tempring the passion with aduizement slow,
And maistring might on enimy dismayd:
  For th'equall dye of warre he well did know;
  Then to him said, Liue and allegaunce owe,
  To him that giues thee life and libertie,
  And henceforth by this dayes ensample trow,
  That hasty wroth, and heedlesse hazardrie,
Do breede repentaunce late, and lasting infamie.

So vp he let him rise, who with grim looke
  And count'naunce sterne vpstanding, gan to grind
  His grated teeth for great disdeigne, and shooke
  His sandy lockes, long hanging downe behind,
  Knotted in bloud and dust, for griefe of mind,
  That he in ods of armes was conquered;
  Yet in himselfe some comfort he did find,
  That him so noble knight had maistered,
Whose bounty more then might, yet both he wondered.

Which Guyon marking said, Be nought agrieu'd,
  Sir Knight, that thus ye now subdewed arre:
  Was neuer man, who most conquestes atchieu'd
  But sometimes had the worse, and lost by warre,
  Yet shortly gaynd, that losse exceeded farre:
  Losse is no shame, nor to be lesse then foe,
  But to be lesser, then himselfe, doth marre
  Both loosers lot, and victours prayse alsoe.
Vaine others ouerthrowes, who selfe doth ouerthrowe.

Fly, O Pyrrochles, fly the dreadfull warre,
  That in thy selfe thy lesser parts do moue,
  Outrageous anger, and woe-working iarre,
  Direfull impatience, and hart murdring loue;
  Those, those thy foes, those warriours far remoue,
  Which thee to endlesse bale captiued lead.
  But sith in might thou didst my mercy proue,
  Of curtesie to me the cause a read,
That thee against me drew with so impetuous dread.

Dreadlesse (said he) that shall I soone declare:
  It was complaind, that thou hadst done great tort
  Vnto an aged woman, poore and bare,
  And thralled her in chaines with strong effort,
  Voide of all succour and needfull comfort:
  That ill beseemes thee, such as I thee see,
  To worke such shame. Therefore I thee exhort,
  To chaunge thy will, and set Occasion free,
And to her captiue sonne yield his first libertee.

Thereat Sir Guyon smilde, And is that all
  (Said he) that thee so sore displeased hath?
  Great mercy sure, for to enlarge a thrall,
  Whose freedome shall thee turne to greatest scath.
  Nath'lesse now quench thy whot emboyling wrath:
  Loe there they be; to thee I yield them free.
  Thereat he wondrous glad, out of the path
  Did lightly leape, where he them bound did see,
And gan to breake the bands of their captiuitee.

Soone as Occasion felt her selfe vntyde,
  Before her sonne could well assoyled bee,
  She to her vse returnd, and streight defyde
  Both Guyon and Pyrrochles: th'one (said shee)
  Bycause he wonne; the other because hee
  Was wonne: So matter did she make of nought,
  To stirre vp strife, and do them disagree;
  But soone as Furor was enlargd, she sought
To kindle his quencht fire, and thousand causes wrought.

It was not long, ere she inflam'd him so,
  That he would algates with Pyrrochles fight,
  And his redeemer chalengd for his foe,
  Because he had not well mainteind his right,
  But yielded had to that same straunger knight:
  Now gan Pyrrochles wex as wood, as hee,
  And him affronted with impatient might:
  So both together fiers engrasped bee,
Whiles Guyon standing by, their vncouth strife does see.

Him all that while Occasion did prouoke
  Against Pyrrochles, and new matter framed
  Vpon the old, him stirring to be wroke
  Of his late wrongs, in which she oft him blamed
  For suffering such abuse, as knighhood shamed,
  And him dishabled quite. But he was wise
  Ne would with vaine occasions be inflamed;
  Yet others she more vrgent did deuise:
Yet nothing could him to impatience entise.

Their fell contention still increased more,
  And more thereby increased Furors might,
  That he his foe has hurt, and wounded sore,
  And him in bloud and durt deformed quight.
  His mother eke, more to augment his spight,
  Now brought to him a flaming fire brond,
  Which she in Stygian lake, ay burning bright,
  Had kindled: that she gaue into his hond,
That armd with fire, more hardly he mote him withsto[n]d.

Tho gan that villein wex so fiers and strong,
  That nothing might sustaine his furious forse;
  He cast him downe to ground, and all along
  Drew him through durt and myre without remorse,
  And fowly battered his comely corse,
  That Guyon much disdeignd so loathly sight.
  At last he was compeld to cry perforse,
  Helpe, ô Sir Guyon, helpe most noble knight,
To rid a wretched man from hands of hellish wight.

The knight was greatly moued at his plaint,
  And gan him dight to succour his distresse,
  Till that the Palmer, by his graue restraint,
  Him stayd from yielding pitifull redresse;
  And said, Deare sonne, thy causelesse ruth represse,
  Ne let thy stout hart melt in pitty vayne:
  He that his sorrow sought through wilfulnesse,
  And his foe fettred would release agayne,
Deserues to tast his follies fruit, repented payne.

Guyon obayd; So him away he drew
  From needlesse trouble of renewing fight
  Already fought, his voyage to pursew.
  But rash Pyrrochles varlet, Atin hight,
  When late he saw his Lord in heauy plight,
  Vnder Sir Guyons puissaunt stroke to fall,
  Him deeming dead, as then he seemd in sight,
  Fled fast away, to tell his funerall
Vnto his brother, whom Cymochles men did call.

He was a man of rare redoubted might,
  Famous throughout the world for warlike prayse,
  And glorious spoiles, purchast in perilous fight:
  Full many doughtie knights he in his dayes
  Had doen to death, subdewde in equall frayes,
  Whose carkases, for terrour of his name,
  Of fowles and beastes he made the piteous prayes,
  And hong their conquered armes for more defame
On gallow trees, in honour of his dearest Dame.

His dearest Dame is that Enchaunteresse,
  The vile Acrasia, that with vaine delightes,
  And idle pleasures in his[her] Bowre of Blisse,
  Does charme her louers, and the feeble sprightes
  Can call out of the bodies of fraile wightes:
  Whom then she does transforme to mo[n]strous hewes,
  And horribly misshapes with vgly sightes,
  Captiu'd eternally in yron mewes,
And darksom dens, where Titan his face neuer shewes.

There Atin found Cymochles soiourning,
  To serue his Lemans loue: for he, by kind,
  Was giuen all to lust and loose liuing,
  When euer his fiers hands he free mote find:
  And now he has pourd out his idle mind
  In daintie delices, and lauish ioyes,
  Hauing his warlike weapons cast behind,
  And flowes in pleasures, and vaine pleasing toyes,
Mingled emongst loose Ladies and lasciuious boyes.

And ouer him, art striuing to compaire
  With nature, did an Arber greene dispred,
  Framed of wanton Yuie, flouring faire,
  Through which the fragrant Eglantine did spred
  His pricking armes, entrayld with roses red,
  Which daintie odours round about them threw,
  And all within with flowres was garnished,
  That when myld Zephyrus emongst them blew,
Did breath out bounteous smels, & painted colors shew.

And fast beside, there trickled softly downe
  A gentle streame, whose murmuring waue did play
  Emongst the pumy stones, and made a sowne,
  To lull him soft a sleepe, that by it lay;
  The wearie Traueiler, wandring that way,
  Therein did often quench his thristy heat,
  And then by it his wearie limbes display,
  Whiles creeping slomber made him to forget
His former paine, and wypt away his toylsoms weat.

And on the other side a pleasaunt groue
  Was shot vp high, full of the stately tree,
  That dedicated is t'Olympicke Ioue,
  And to his sonne Alcides, whenas hee
  Gaynd in Nemea goodly victoree;
  Therein the mery birds of euery sort
  Chaunted alowd their chearefull harmonie:
  And made emongst them selues a sweet consort,
That quickned the dull spright with musicall comfort.

There he him found all carelesly displayd,
  In secret shadow from the sunny ray,
  On a sweet bed of lillies softly layd,
  Amidst a flocke of Damzels fresh and gay,
  That round about him dissolute did play
  Their wanton follies, and light meriment;
  Euery of which did loosely disaray
  Her vpper parts of meet habiliments,
And shewd them naked, deckt with many ornaments.

And euery of them stroue, with most delights,
  Him to aggrate, and greatest pleasures shew;
  Some framd faire lookes, glancing like euening lights,
  Others sweet words, dropping like honny dew;
  Some bathed kisses, and did soft embrew,
  The sugred licour through his melting lips:
  One boastes her beautie, and does yeeld to vew
  Her daintie limbes aboue her tender hips,
Another her out boastes, and all for tryall strips.

He, like an Adder, lurking in the weeds,
  His wandring thought in deepe desire does steepe,
  And his fraile eye with spoyle of beautie feedes;
  Sometimes he falsely faines himselfe to sleepe,
  Whiles through their lids his wanton eies do peepe,
  To steale a snatch of amorous conceipt,
  Whereby close fire into his heart does creepe:
  So, them deceiues, deceiu'd in his deceipt,
Made drunke with drugs of deare voluptuous receipt.

Atin arriuing there, when him he spide,
  Thus in still waues of deepe delight to wade,
  Fiercely approching, to him lowdly cride,
  Cymochles; oh no, but Cymochles shade,
  In which that manly person late did fade,
  What is become of great Acrates sonne?
  Or where hath he hong vp his mortall blade,
  That hath so many haughtie conquests wonne?
Is all his force forlorne, and all his glory donne?

Then pricking him with his sharpe-pointed dart,
  He said? Vp, vp, thou womanish weake knight,
  That here in Ladies lap entombed art,
  Vnmindfull of thy praise and prowest might,
  And weetlesse eke of lately wrought despight,
  Whiles sad Pyrrochles lies on senselesse ground,
  And groneth out his vtmost grudging spright,
  Through many a stroke, & many a streaming wound,
Calling thy helpe in vaine, that here in ioyes art dround.

Suddeinly out of his delightfull dreame
  The man awoke, and would haue questiond more;
  But he would not endure that wofull theame
  For to dilate at large, but vrged sore
  With percing words, and pittifull implore,
  Him hastie to arise. As one affright
  With hellish feends, or Furies mad vprore,
  He then vprose, inflam'd with fell despight,
And called for his armes; for he would algates fight.

They bene ybrought; he quickly does him dight,
  And lightly mounted, passeth on his way,
  Ne Ladies loues, ne sweete entreaties might
  Appease his heat, or hastie passage stay;
  For he has vowd, to beene aueng'd that day,
  (That day it selfe him seemed all too long:)
  On him, that did Pyrrochles deare dismay:
  So proudly pricketh on his courser strong,
And Atin aie him pricks with spurs of shame & wrong.

Cant. VI.

Guyon is of immodest Merth,
  led into loose desire,
Fights with Cymochles, whiles his bro-
  ther burnes in furious fire.

A harder lesson, to learne Continence
  In ioyous pleasure, then in grieuous paine:
  Or sweetnesse doth allure the weaker sence
  So strongly, that vneathes it can refraine
  From that, which feeble nature couets faine;
  But griefe and wrath, that be her enemies,
  And foes of life, she better can restraine;
  Yet vertue vauntes in both their victories,
And Guyon in them all shewes goodly maisteries.

Whom bold Cymochles trauelling to find,
  With cruell purpose bent to wreake on him
  The wrath, which Atin kindled in his mind,
  Came to a riuer, by whose vtmost brim
  Wayting to passe, he saw whereas did swim
  A long the shore, as swift as glaunce of eye,
  A litle Gondelay, bedecked trim
  With boughes and arbours wouen cunningly,
That like a litle forrest seemed outwardly.

And therein sate a Ladie fresh and faire,
  Making sweet solace to her selfe alone;
  Sometimes she sung, as loud as larke in aire,
  Sometimes she laught, that nigh her breth was gone,
  Yet was there not with her else any one,
  That might to her moue cause of meriment:
  Matter of merth enough, though there were none
  She could deuise, and thousand waies inuent,
To feede her foolish humour, and vaine iolliment.

Which when farre off Cymochles heard, and saw,
  He loudly cald to such, as were a bord,
  The little barke vnto the shore to draw,
  And him to ferrie ouer that deepe ford:
  The merry marriner vnto his word
  Soone hearkned, and her painted bote streightway
  Turnd to the shore, where that same warlike Lord
  She in receiu'd; but Atin by no way
She would admit, albe the knight her much did pray.

Eftsoones her shallow ship away did slide,
  More swift, then swallow sheres the liquid skie,
  Withouten oare or Pilot it to guide,
  Or winged canuas with the wind to flie,
  Only she turn'd a pin, and by and by
  It cut away vpon the yielding waue,
  Ne cared she her course for to apply:
  For it was taught the way, which she would haue,
And both from rocks and flats it selfe could wisely saue.

And all the way, the wanton Damzell found
  New merth, her passenger to entertaine:
  For she in pleasant purpose did abound,
  And greatly ioyed merry tales to faine,
  Of which a store-house did with her remaine,
  Yet seemed, nothing well they her became;
  For all her words she drownd with laughter vaine,
  And wanted grace in vtt'ring of the same,
That turned all her pleasance to a scoffing game.

And other whiles vaine toyes she would deuize
  As her fantasticke wit did most delight,
  Sometimes her head she fondly would aguize
  With gaudie girlonds, or fresh flowrets dight
  About her necke, or rings of rushes plight;
  Sometimes to doe him laugh, she would assay
  To laugh at shaking of the leaues light,
  Or to behold the water worke, and play
About her litle frigot, therein making way.

Her light behauiour, and loose dalliaunce
  Gaue wondrous great contentment to the knight,
  That of his way he had no souenaunce,
  Nor care of vow'd reuenge, and cruell fight,
  But to weake wench did yeeld his martiall might.
  So easie was to quench his flamed mind
  With one sweet drop of sensuall delight:
  So easie is, t'appease the stormie wind
Of malice in the calme of pleasant womankind.

Diuerse discourses in their way they spent,
  Mongst which Cymochles of her questioned,
  Both what she was, and what that vsage ment,
  Which in her cot she daily practised.
  Vaine man (said she) that wouldest be reckoned
  A straunger in thy home, and ignoraunt
  Of Phædria (for so my name is red)
  Of Phædria, thine owne fellow seruaunt;
For thou to serue Acrasia thy selfe doest vaunt.

In this wide Inland sea, that hight by name
   The Idle lake, my wandring ship I row,
   That knowes her port, and thither sailes by ayme,
   Ne care, ne feare I, how the wind do blow,
   Or whether swift I wend, or whether slow:
   Both slow and swift a like do serue my tourne,
   Ne swelling Neptune, ne loud thundring Ioue
   Can chaunge my cheare, or make me euer mourne;
My litle boat can safely passe this perilous bourne.

Whiles thus she talked, and whiles thus she toyd,
   They were farre past the passage, which he spake,
   And come vnto 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 paire issuing on the shore
   Disburdned her. Their way they forward take
   Into the land, that lay them faire before,
Whose pleasaunce she him shew'd, and plentifull great store.

It was a chosen plot of fertile land,
  Emongst wide waues set, like a litle nest,
  As if it had by Natures cunning hand,
  Bene choisely picked out from all the rest,
  And laid forth for ensample of the best:
  No daintie flowre or herbe, that growes on ground,
  No arboret with painted blossomes drest,
  And smelling sweet, but there it might be found
To bud out faire, and her sweet smels throw all around.

No tree, whose braunches did not brauely spring;
  No braunch, whereon a fine bird did not sit:
  No bird, but did her shrill notes sweetly sing;
  No song but did containe a louely dit:
  Trees, braunches, birds, and songs were framed fit,
  For to allure fraile mind to carelesse ease.
  Carelesse the man soone woxe, and his weake wit
  Was ouercome of thing, that did him please;
So pleased, did his wrathfull purpose faire appease.

Thus when she had his eyes and senses fed
  With false delights, and fild with pleasures vaine,
  Into a shadie dale she soft him led,
  And laid him downe vpon a grassie plaine;
  And her sweet selfe without dread, or disdaine,
  She set beside, laying his head disarm'd
  In her loose lap, it softly to sustaine,
  Where soone he slumbred, fearing not be harm'd,
The whiles with a loue lay she thus him sweetly charm'd.

Behold, ô man, that toilesome paines doest take
  The flowres, the fields, and all that pleasant growes,
  How they themselues doe thine ensample make,
  Whiles nothing enuious nature them forth throwes
  Out of her fruitfull lap; how, no man knowes,
  They spring, they bud, they blossome fresh and faire,
  And deck 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, Ladie of the flowring field,
  The Flowre-deluce, her louely Paramoure,
  Bid thee to them thy fruitlesse labours yield,
  And soone leaue off this toylesome wearie stoure;
  Loe loe how braue she decks her bounteous boure,
  With silken curtens and gold couerlets,
  Therein to shrowd her sumptuous Belamoure,
  Yet neither spinnes nor cardes, ne cares nor frets,
But to her mother Nature all her care she lets.

Why then dost thou, ô man, that of them all
  Art Lord, and eke of nature Soueraine,
  Wilfully make thy selfe a wretched thrall,
  And wast thy ioyous houres in needlesse paine,
  Seeking for daunger and aduentures vaine?
  What bootes it all to haue, and nothing vse?
  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 a sleepe,
  That of no wordly thing he care did take;
  Then she with liquors strong his eyes did steepe,
  That nothing should him hastily awake:
  So she him left, and did her selfe betake
  Vnto her boat againe, with which she cleft
  The slouthfull waue of that great griesly lake;
  Soone she that Island farre behind her left,
And now is come to that same place, where first she weft.

By this time was the worthy Guyon brought
  Vnto the other side of that wide strond,
  Where she was rowing, and for passage sought:
  Him needed not long call, she soone to hond
  Her ferry brought, where him she byding fond,
  With his sad guide; himselfe she tooke a boord,
  But the Blacke Palmer suffred still to stond,
  Ne would for price, or prayers once affoord,
To ferry that old man ouer the perlous foord.

Guyon was loath to leaue his guide behind,
  Yet being entred, might not backe retyre;
  For the flit barke, obaying to her mind,
  Forth launched quickly, as she did desire,
  Ne gaue him leaue to bid that aged sire
  Adieu, but nimbly ran her wonted course
  Through the dull billowes thicke as troubled mire,
  Whom neither wind out of their seat could forse,
Nor timely tides did driue out of their sluggish sourse.

And by the way, as was her wonted guize,
  Her merry fit she freshly gan to reare,
  And did of ioy and iollitie deuize,
  Her selfe to cherish, and her guest to cheare:
  The knight was courteous, and did not forbeare
  Her honest merth and pleasaunce to partake;
  But when he saw her toy, and gibe, and geare,
  And passe the bonds of modest merimake,
Her dalliance he despisd, and follies did forsake.

Yet she still followed her former stile,
  And said, and did all that mote him delight,
  Till they arriued in that pleasant Ile,
  Where sleeping late she left her other knight.
  But when as Guyon of that land had sight,
  He wist himselfe amisse, and angry said;
  Ah Dame, perdie ye haue not doen me right,
  Thus to mislead me, whiles I you obaid:
Me litle needed from my right way to haue straid.

Faire Sir (quoth she) be not displeasd at all;
  Who fares on sea, may not commaund his way,
  Ne wind and weather at his pleasure call:
  The sea is wide, and easie for to stray;
  The wind vnstable, and doth neuer stay.
  But here a while ye may in safety rest,
  Till season serue new passage to assay; 
  Better safe port, then be in seas distrest.
Therewith she laught, and did her earnest end in iest.

But he halfe discontent, mote nathelesse
  Himselfe appease, and issewd forth on shore:
  The ioyes whereof, and happie fruitfulnesse,
  Such as he saw, she gan him lay before,
  And all though pleasant, yet she made much more:
  The fields did laugh, the flowres did freshly spring,
  The trees did bud, and earely blossomes bore,
  And all the quire of birds did sweetly sing,
And told that gardins pleasures in their caroling.

And she more sweet, then any bird on bough,
  Would oftentimes emongst them beare a part,
  And striue to passe (as she could well enough)
  Their natiue musicke by her skilfull art:
  So did she all, that might his constant hart
  Withdraw from thought of warlike enterprize,
  And drowne in dissolute delights apart,
  Where noyse of armes, or vew of martiall guize
Might not reuiue desire of knightly exercize.

But he was wise, and warie of her will,
  And euer held his hand vpon his hart:
  Yet would not seeme so rude, and thewed ill,
  As to despise so courteous seeming part,
  That gentle Ladie did to him impart,
  But fairely tempring fond desire subdewd,
  And euer her desired to depart.
  She list not heare, but her disports poursewd,
And euer bad him stay, till time the tide renewd.

And now by this, Cymochles howre was spent,
  That he awoke out of his idle dreme,
  And shaking off his drowzie dreriment,
  Gan him auize, how ill did him beseeme,
  In slouthfull sleepe his molten hart to steme,
  And quench the brond of his conceiued ire.
  Tho vp he started, stird with shame extreme,
  Ne staied for his Damzell to inquire,
But marched to the strond, their passage to require.

And in the way he with Sir Guyon met,
  Accompanyde with Phædria the faire,
  Eftsoones he gan to rage, and inly fret,
  Crying, Let be that Ladie debonaire,
  Thou recreant knight, and soone thy selfe prepaire
  To battell, if thou meane her loue to gaine:
  Loe, loe alreadie, how the fowles in aire
  Doe flocke, awaiting shortly to obtaine
Thy carcasse for their pray, the guerdon of thy paine.

And therewithall he fiercely at him flew,
  And with importune outrage him assayld;
  Who soone prepard to field, his sword forth drew,
  And him with equall value counteruayld:
  Their mightie strokes their haberieons dismayld,
  And naked made each others manly spalles;
  The mortall steele despiteously entayld
  Deepe in their flesh, quite through the yron walles,
That a large purple streme adown their giambeux falles.

Cymochles, that had neuer met before
  So puissant foe, with enuious despight
  His proud presumed force increased more,
  Disdeigning to be held so long in fight;
  Sir Guyon grudging not so much his might,
  As those vnknightly raylings, which he spoke,
  With wrathfull fire his courage kindled bright,
  Thereof deuising shortly to be wroke,
And doubling all his powres, redoubled euery stroke.

Both of them high attonce their hands enhaunst,
  And both attonce their huge blowes downe did sway;
  Cymochles sword on Guyons shield yglaunst,
  And thereof nigh one quarter sheard away;
  But Guyons angry blade so fierce did play
  On th'others helmet, which as Titan shone,
  That quite it cloue his plumed crest in tway,
  And bared all his head vnto the bone;
Wherewith astonisht, still he stood, as senselesse stone.

Still as he stood, faire Phædria, that beheld
  That deadly daunger, soone atweene them ran;
  And at their feet her selfe most humbly feld,
  Crying with pitteous voice, and count'nance wan;
  Ah well away, most noble Lords, how can
  Your cruell eyes endure so pitteous sight,
  To shed your liues on ground? wo worth the man,
  That first did teach the cursed steele to bight
In his owne flesh, and make way to the liuing spright.

If euer loue of Ladie did empierce
  Your yron brestes, or pittie could find place,
  Withhold your bloudie hands from battell fierce,
  And sith for me ye fight, to me this grace
  Both yeeld, to stay your deadly strife a space.
  They stayd a while: and forth she gan proceed:
  Most wretched woman, and of wicked race,
  That am the author of this hainous deed,
And cause of death betweene two doughtie knights doe breed.

But if for me ye fight, or me will serue,
  Not this rude kind of battell, nor these armes
  Are meet, the which doe men in bale to sterue,
  And dolefull sorrow heape with deadly harmes:
  Such cruell game my scarmoges disarmes:
  Another warre, and other weapons I
  Doe loue, where loue does giue his sweet alarmes,
  Without bloudshed, and where the enemy
Does yeeld vnto his foe a pleasant victory.

Debatefull strife, and cruell enmitie
  The famous name of knighthood fowly shend;
  But louely peace, and gentle amitie,
  And in Amours the passing houres to spend,
  The mightie martiall hands doe most commend;
  Of loue they euer greater glory bore,
  Then of their armes: Mars is Cupidoes frend,
  And is for Venus loues renowmed more,
Then all his wars and spoiles, the which he did of yore.

Therewith she sweetly smyld. They though full bent,
  To proue extremities of bloudie fight,
  Yet at her speach their rages gan relent,
  And calme the sea of their tempestuous spight,
  Such powre haue pleasing words: such is the might
  Of courteous clemencie in gentle hart.
  Now after all was ceast, the Faery knight
  Besought that Damzell suffer him depart,
And yield him readie passage to that other part.

She no lesse glad, then he desirous was
  Of his departure thence; for of her ioy
  And vaine delight she saw he light did pas,
  A foe of folly and immodest toy,
  Still solemne sad, or still disdainfull coy,
  Delighting all in armes and cruell warre,
  That her sweet peace and pleasures did annoy,
  Troubled with terrour and vnquiet iarre,
That she well pleased was thence to amoue him farre.

Tho him she brought abord, and her swift bote
  Forthwith directed to that further strand;
  The which on the dull waues did lightly flote
  And soone arriued on the shallow sand,
  Where gladsome Guyon salied forth to land,
  And to that Damzell thankes gaue for reward.
  Vpon that shore he spied Atin stand,
  There by his maister left, when late he far'd
In Phædrias flit barke ouer that perlous shard.

Well could he him remember, sith of late
  He with Pyrrochles sharp debatement made;
  Streight gan he him reuile, and bitter rate,
  As shepheards curre, that in darke euenings shade
  Hath tracted forth some saluage beastes trade;
  Vile Miscreant (said he) whither doest thou flie
  The shame and death, which will thee soone inuade?
  What coward hand shall doe thee next to die,
That art thus foully fled from famous enemie?

With that he stiffely shooke his steelehead dart:
  But sober Guyon, hearing him so raile,
  Though somewhat moued in his mightie hart,
  Yet with strong reason maistred passion fraile,
  And passed fairely forth. He turning taile,
  Backe to the strond retyrd, and there still stayd,
  Awaiting passage, which him late did faile;
  The whiles Cymochles with that wanton mayd
The hastie heat of his auowd reuenge delayd.

Whylest there the varlet stood, he saw from farre
  An armed knight, that towards him fast ran,
  He ran on foot, as if in lucklesse warre
  His forlorne steed from him the victour wan;
  He seemed breathlesse, hartlesse, faint, and wan,
  And all his armour sprinckled was with bloud,
  And soyld with durtie gore, that no man can
  Discerne the hew thereof. He neuer stood,
But bent his hastie course towards the idle flood.

The varlet saw, when to the flood he came,
  How without stop or stay he fiercely lept,
  And deepe him selfe beduked in the same,
  That in the lake his loftie crest was steept,
  Ne of his safetie seemed care he kept,
  But with his raging armes he rudely flasht,
  The waues about, and all his armour swept,
  That all the bloud and filth away was washt,
Yet still he bet the water, and the billowes dasht.

Atin drew nigh, to weet what it mote bee;
  For much he wondred at that vncouth sight;
  Whom should he, but his owne deare Lord, there see,
  His owne deare Lord Pyrrochles, in sad plight,
  Readie to drowne himselfe for fell despight.
  Harrow now out, and well away, he cryde,
  What dismall day hath lent this cursed light,
  To see my Lord so deadly damnifyde
Pyrrochles, ô Pyrrochles, what is thee betyde?

I burne, I burne, I burne, then loud he cryde,
  O how I burne with implacable fire,
  Yet nought can quench mine inly flaming syde,
  Nor sea of licour cold, nor lake of mire,
  Nothing but death can doe me to respire.
  Ah be it (said he) from Pyrrochles farre
  After pursewing death once to require,
  Or think, that ought those puissant hands may marre:
Death is for wretches borne vnder vnhappie starre.

Perdie, then is it fit for me (said he)
  That am, I weene, most wretched man aliue,
  Burning in flames, yet no flames can I see,
  And dying daily, daily yet reuiue:
  O Atin, helpe to me last death to giue.
  The varlet at his plaint was grieu'd so sore,
  That his deepe wounded hart in two did riue,
  And his owne health remembring now no more,
Did follow that ensample, which he blam'd afore.

Into the lake he lept, his Lord to ayd,
  (So Loue the dread of daunger doth despise)
  And of him catching hold him strongly stayd
  From drowning. But more happie he, then wise
  Of that seas nature did him not auise.
  The waues thereof so slow and sluggish were,
  Engrost with mud, which did them foule agrise,
  That euery weightie thing they did vpbeare,
Ne ought mote euer sinke downe to the bottome there.

Whiles thus they strugled in that idle waue,
  And stroue in vaine, the one himselfe to drowne,
  The other both from drowning for to saue,
  Lo, to that shore one in an auncient gowne,
  Whose hoarie locks great grauitie did crowne,
  Holding in hand a goodly arming sword,
  By fortune came, led with the troublous sowne:
  Where drenched deepe he found in that dull ford
The carefull seruant, striuing with his raging Lord.

Him Atin spying, knew right well of yore,
  And loudly cald, Helpe helpe, ô Archimage;
  To saue my Lord, in wretched plight forlore;
  Helpe with thy hand, or with thy counsell sage:
  Weake hands, but counsell is most strong in age.
  Him when the old man saw, he wondred sore,
  To see Pyrrochles there so rudely rage:
  Yet sithens helpe, he saw, he needed more
Then pittie, he in hast approched to the shore.

And cald, Pyrrochles, what is this, I see?
  What hellish furie hath at earst thee hent?
  Furious euer I thee knew to bee,
  Yet neuer in this straunge astonishment.
  These flames, these flames (he cryde) do me torment.
  What flames (quoth he) when I thee present see,
  In daunger rather to be drent, then brent?
  Harrow, the flames, which me consume (said hee)
Ne can be quencht, within my secret bowels bee.

That cursed man, that cruell feend of hell,
  Furor, oh Furor hath me thus bedight:
  His deadly wounds within my liuers swell,
  And his whot fire burnes in mine entrails bright,
  Kindled through his infernall brond of spight,
  Sith late with him I batteil vaine would boste;
  That now I weene Ioues dreaded thunder light
  Does scorch not halfe so sore, nor damned ghoste
In flaming Phlegeton does not so felly roste.

Which when as Archimago heard, his griefe
  He knew right well, and him attonce disarmd:
  Then searcht his secret wounds, and made a priefe
  Of euery place, that was with brusing harmd,
  Or with the hidden fire too inly warmd.
  Which done, he balmes and herbes thereto applyde,
  And eue[r]more with mighty spels them charmd,
  That in short space he has them qualifyde,
And him restor'd to health, that would haue algates dyde.

Cant. VII.

Guyon findes Mammon in a delue,
  Sunning his threasure hore:
Is by him tempted, & led downe,
  To see his secret store.

A S Pilot well expert in perilous waue,
  That to a stedfast starre his course hath bent,
  When foggy mistes, or cloudy tempests haue
  The faithfull light of that faire lampe yblent,
  And couer'd heauen with hideous dreriment,
  Vpon his card and compas firmes his eye,
  The maisters of his long experiment,
  And to them does the steddy helme apply,
Bidding his winged vessell fairely forward fly.

So Guyon hauing lost his trusty guide,
  Late left beyond that Ydle lake, proceedes
  Yet on his way, of none accompanide;
  And euermore himselfe with comfort feedes,
  Of his owne vertues, and prayse-worthy deedes.
  So long he yode, yet no aduenture found,
  Which fame of her shrill trompet worthy reedes:
  For still he traueild through wide wastfull ground,
That nought but desert wildernesse shew'd all around.

At last he came vnto a gloomy glade,
  Couer'd with boughes & shrubs from heauens light,
  Whereas he sitting found in secret shade
  An vncouth, saluage, and vnciuile wight,
  Of griesly hew, and fowle ill fauour'd sight;
  His face with smoke was tand, and eyes were bleard,
  His head and beard with sout were ill bedight,
  His cole-blacke hands did seeme to haue beene seard
In smithes fire-spitting forge, and nayles like clawes appeard.

His yron coate all ouergrowne with rust,
  Was vnderneath enueloped with gold,
  Whose glistring glosse darkned with filthy dust,
  Well it appeared, to haue beene of old
  A worke of rich entayle, and curious mould,
  Wouen with antickes and wild Imagery:
  And in his lap a masse of coyne he told,
  And turned vpsidowne, to feede his eye
A couetous desire with his huge threasury.

And round about him lay on euery side
  Great heapes of gold, that neuer could be spent:
  Of which some were rude owre, not purifide
  Of Mulcibers deuouring element;
  Some others were new driuen, and distent
  Into great Ingoes, and to wedges square;
  Some in round plates withouten moniment;
  But most were stampt, and in their metall bare
The antique shapes of kings and kesars straunge & rare.

Soone as he Guyon saw, in great affright
  And hast he rose, for to remoue aside
  Those pretious hils from straungers enuious sight,
  And downe them poured through an hole full wide,
  Into the hollow earth, them there to hide.
  But Guyon lightly to him leaping, stayd
  His hand, that trembled, as one terrifyde;
  And though him selfe were at the sight dismayd,
Yet him perforce restraynd, and to him doubtfull sayd.

What art thou man, (if man at all thou art)
  That here in desert hast thine habitaunce,
  And these rich heapes of wealth doest hide apart
  From the worldes eye, and from her right vsaunce?
  Thereat with staring eyes fixed askaunce,
  In great disdaine, he answerd; Hardy Elfe,
  That darest vew my direfull countenaunce,
  I read thee rash, and heedlesse of thy selfe,
To trouble my still seate, and heapes of pretious pelfe.

God of the world and worldlings I me call,
  Great Mammon, greatest god below the skye,
  That of my plenty poure out vnto all,
  And vnto none my graces do enuye:
  Riches, renowme, and principality,
  Honour, estate, and all this worldes good,
  For which men swinck and sweat incessantly,
  Fro me do flow into an ample flood,
And in the hollow earth haue their eternall brood.

Wherefore if me thou deigne to serue and sew,
  At thy commaund lo all these mountaines bee;
  Or if to thy great mind, or greedy vew
  All these may not suffise, there shall to thee
  Ten times so much be numbred francke and free.
  Mammon (said he) thy godheades vaunt is vaine,
  And idle offers of thy golden fee;
  To them, that couet such eye-glutting gaine,
Proffer thy giftes, and fitter seruaunts entertaine.

Me ill besits, that in der-doing armes,
  And honours suit my vowed dayes do spend,
  Vnto thy bounteous baytes, and pleasing charmes,
  With which weake men thou witchest, to attend:
  Regard of worldly mucke doth fowly blend,
  And low abase the high heroicke spright,
  That ioyes for crownes and kingdomes to contend;
  Faire shields, gay steedes, bright armes be my delight:
Those be the riches fit for an aduent'rous knight.

Vaine glorious Elfe (said he) doest not thou weet,
  That money can thy wantes at will supply?
  Sheilds, steeds, and armes, & all things for thee meet
  It can puruay in twinckling of an eye;
  And crownes and kingdomes to thee multiply.
  Do not I kings create, and throw the crowne
  Sometimes to him, that low in dust doth ly?
  And him that raignd, into his rowme thrust downe,
And whom I lust, do heape with glory and renowne?

All otherwise (said he) I riches read,
  And deeme them roote of all disquietnesse;
  First got with guile, and then preseru'd with dread,
  And after spent with pride and lauishnesse,
  Leauing behind them griefe and heauinesse.
  Infinite mischiefes of them do arize,
  Strife; and debate, bloudshed, and bitternesse,
  Outrageous wrong, and hellish couetize,
That noble heart as great dishonour doth despize.

Ne thine be kingdomes, ne the scepters thine;
  But realmes and rulers thou doest both confound,
  And loyall truth to treason doest incline;
  Witnesse the guiltlesse bloud pourd oft on ground,
  The crowned often slaine, the slayer cround,
  The sacred Diademe in peeces rent,
  And purple robe gored with many a wound;
  Castles surprizd, great cities sackt and brent:
So mak'st thou kings, & gaynest wrongfull gouernement.

Long were to tell the troublous stormes, that tosse
  The priuate state, and make the life vnsweet:
  Who swelling sayles in Caspian sea doth crosse,
  And in frayle wood on Adrian gulfe doth fleet,
  Doth not, I weene, so many euils meet.
  Then Mammon wexing wroth, And why then, said,
  Are mortall men so fond and vndiscreet,
  So euill thing to seeke vnto their ayd,
And hauing not complaine, and hauing it vpbraid?

Indeede (quoth he) through fowle intemperaunce,
  Frayle men are oft captiu'd to couetise:
  But would they thinke, with how small allowaunce
  Vntroubled Nature doth her selfe suffise,
  Such superfluities they would despise,
  Which with sad cares empeach our natiue ioyes:
  At the well head the purest streames arise:
  But mucky filth his braunching armes annoyes,
And with vncomely weedes the gentle waue accloyes.

The antique world, in his first flowring youth,
  Found no defect in his Creatours grace,
  But with glad thankes, and vnreproued truth,
  The gifts of soueraigne bountie did embrace:
  Like Angels life was then mens happy cace;
  But later ages pride, like corn-fed steed,
  Abusd her plenty, and fat swolne encreace
  To all licentious lust, and gan exceed
The measure of her meane, and naturall first need.

Then gan a cursed hand the quiet wombe
  Of his great G[r]andmother with steele to wound,
  And the hid treasures in her sacred tombe,
  With Sacriledge to dig. Therein he found
  Fountaines of gold and siluer to abound,
  Of which the matter of his huge desire
  And pompous pride eftsoones he did compound;
  Then auarice gan through his veines inspire
His greedy flames, and kindled life-deuouring fire.

Sonne (said he then) let be thy bitter scorne,
  And leaue the rudenesse of that antique age
  To them, that liu'd therein in state forlorne;
  Thou that doest liue in later times, must wage
  Thy workes for wealth, and life for gold engage.
  If then thee list my offred grace to vse,
  Take what thou please of all this surplusage;
  If thee list not, leaue haue thou to refuse:
But thing refused, do not afterward accuse.

Me list not (said the Elfin knight) receaue
  Thing offred, till I know it well be got,
  Ne wote I, but thou didst these goods bereaue
  From rightfull owner by vnrighteous lot,
  Or that bloud guiltinesse or guile them blot.
  Perdy (quoth he) yet neuer eye did vew,
  Ne toung did tell, ne hand these handled not,
  But safe I haue them kept in secret mew,
From heauens sight, and powre of all which the[m] pursew.

What secret place (quoth he) can safely hold
  So huge a masse, and hide from heauens eye?
  Or where hast thou thy wonne, that so much gold
  Thou canst preserue from wrong and robbery?
  Come thou (quoth he) and see. So by and by
  Through that thicke couert he him led, and found
  A darkesome way, which no man could descry,
  That deepe descended through the hollow ground,
And was with dread and horrour compassed around.

At length they came into a larger space,
  That stretcht it selfe into an ample plaine,
  Through which a beaten broad high way did trace,
  That streight did lead to Plutoes griesly raine:
  By that wayes side, there sate infernall Payne,
  And fast beside him sat tumultuous Strife:
  The one in hand an yron whip did straine,
  The other brandished a bloudy knife,
And both did gnash their teeth, & both did threaten life.

On thother side in one consort there sate,
  Cruell Reuenge, and rancorous Despight,
  Disloyall Treason, and hart-burning Hate,
  But gnawing Gealosie out of their sight
  Sitting alone, his bitter lips did bight,
  And trembling Feare still to and fro did fly,
  And found no place, where safe he shroud him might,
  Lamenting Sorrow did in darknesse lye,
And Shame his vgly face did hide from liuing eye.

And ouer them sad Horrour with grim hew,
  Did alwayes sore, beating his yron wings;
  And after him Owles and Night-rauens flew,
  The hatefull messengers of heauy things,
  Of death and dolour telling sad tidings;
  Whiles sad Celeno, sitting on a clift,
  A song of bale and bitter sorrow sings,
  That hart of flint a sunder could haue rift:
Which hauing ended, after him she flyeth swift.

All these before the gates of Pluto lay,
  By whom they passing, spake vnto them nought.
  But th'Elfin knight with wonder all the way
  Did feed his eyes, and fild his inner thought.
  At last him to a litle dore he brought,
  That to the gate of Hell, which gaped wide,
  Was next adioyning, ne them parted ought:
  Betwixt them both was but a litle stride,
That did the house of Richesse from hell-mouth diuide.

Before the dore sat selfe-consuming Care,
  Day and night keeping wary watch and ward,
  For feare least Force or Fraud should vnaware
  Breake in, and spoile the treasure there in gard:
  Ne would he suffer Sleepe once thither-ward
  Approch, albe his drowsie den were next;
  For next to death is Sleepe to be compard:
  Therefore his house is vnto his annext;
Here Sleep, there Richesse, & Hel-gate the[m] both betwext.

So soone as Mammon there arriu'd, the dore
  To him did open, and affoorded way;
  Him followed eke Sir Guyon euermore,
  Ne darkenesse him, ne daunger might dismay.
  Soone as he entred was, the dore streight way
  Did shut, and from behind it forth there lept
  An vgly feend, more fowle then dismall day,
  The which with monstrous stalke behind him stept,
And euer as he went, dew watch vpon him kept.

Well hoped he, ere long that hardy guest,
  If euer couetous hand, or lustfull eye,
  Or lips he layd on thing, that likt him best,
  Or euer sleepe his eye-strings did vntye,
  Should be his pray. And therefore still on hye
  He ouer him did hold his cruell clawes,
  Threatning with greedy gripe to do him dye
  And rend in peeces with his rauenous pawes,
If euer he transgrest the fatall Stygian lawes.

That houses forme within was rude and strong,
  Like an huge caue, hewne out of rocky clift,
  From whose rough vaut the ragged breaches hong,
  Embost with massy gold of glorious gift,
  And with rich metall loaded euery rift,
  That heauy ruine they did seeme to threat;
  And ouer them Arachne high did lift
  Her cunning web, and spred her subtile net,
Enwrapped in fowle smoke and clouds more blacke then Iet.

Both roofe, and floore, and wals were all of gold,
  But ouergrowne with dust and old decay,
  And hid in darkenesse, that none could behold
  The hew thereof: for vew of chearefull day
  Did neuer in that house it selfe display,
  But a faint shadow of vncertain light;
  Such as a lamp, whose life does fade away:
  Or as the Moone cloathed with clowdy night,
Does shew to him, that walkes in feare and sad affright.

In all that rowme was nothing to be seene,
  But huge great yron chests and coffers strong,
  All bard with double bends, that none could weene
  Them to efforce by violence or wrong;
  On euery side they placed were along.
  But all the ground with sculs was scattered,
  And dead mens bones, which round about were flong,
  Whose liues, it seemed, whilome there were shed,
And their vile carcases now left vnburied.

They forward passe, ne Guyon yet spoke word,
  Till that they came vnto an yron dore,
  Which to them opened of his owne accord,
  And shewd of richesse such exceeding store,
  As eye of man did neuer see before;
  Ne euer could within one place be found,
  Though all the wealth, which is, or was of yore,
  Could gathered be through all the world around,
And that aboue were added to that vnder ground.

The charge thereof vnto a couetous Spright
  Commaunded was, who thereby did attend,
  And warily awaited day and night,
  From other couetous feends it to defend,
  Who it to rob and ransacke did intend.
  Then Mammon turning to that warriour, said;
  Loe here the worldes blis, loe here the end,
  To which all men do ayme, rich to be made:
Such grace now to be happy, is before thee laid.

Certes (said he) I n'ill thine offred grace,
  Ne to be made so happy do intend:
  Another blis before mine eyes I place,
  Another happinesse, another end.
  To them, that list, these base regardes I lend:
  But I in armes, and in atchieuements braue,
  Do rather choose my flitting houres to spend,
  And to be Lord of those, that riches haue,
Then them to haue my selfe, and be their seruile sclaue.

Thereat the feend his gnashing teeth did grate,
  And grieu'd, so long to lacke his greedy pray;
  For well he weened, that so glorious bayte
  Would tempt his guest, to take thereof assay:
  Had he so doen, he had him snatcht away,
  More light then Culuer in the Faulcons fist.
  Eternall God thee saue from such decay.
  But whenas Mammon saw his purpose mist,
Him to entrap vnwares another way he wist.

Thence forward he him led, and shortly brought
  Vnto another rowme, whose dore forthright,
  To him did open, as it had beene taught:
  Therein an hundred raunges weren pight,
  And hundred fornaces all burning bright;
  By euery fornace many feends did bide,
  Deformed creatures, horrible in sight,
  And euery feend his busie paines applide,
To melt the golden metall, ready to be tride.

One with great bellowes gathered filling aire,
  And with forst wind the fewell did inflame;
  Another did the dying bronds repaire
  With yron toungs, and sprinckled oft the same
  With liquid waues, fiers Vulcans rage to tame,
  Who maistring them, renewd his former heat;
  Some scumd the drosse, that from the metall came;
  Some stird the molten owre with ladles great;
And euery one did swincke, and euery one did sweat.

But when as earthly wight they present saw,
  Glistring in armes and battailous aray,
  From their whot worke they did themselues withdraw
  To wonder at the sight: for till that day,
  They neuer creature saw, that came that way.
  Their staring eyes sparckling with feruent fire,
  And vgly shapes did nigh the man dismay,
  That were it not for shame, he would retire,
Till that him thus bespake their soueraigne Lord & sire.

Behold, thou Faeries sonne, with mortall eye,
  That liuing eye before did neuer see:
  The thing, that thou didst craue so earnestly,
  To weet, whence all the wealth late shewd by mee,
  Proceeded, lo now is reueald to thee.
  Here is the fountaine of the worldes good:
  Now therefore, if thou wilt enriched bee,
  Auise thee well, and chaunge thy wilfull mood,
Least thou perhaps hereafter wish, and be withstood.

Suffise it then, thou Money God (quoth hee)
  That all thine idle offers I refuse.
  All that I need I haue; what needeth mee
  To couet more, then I haue cause to vse?
  With such vaine shewes thy worldlings vile abuse:
  But giue me leaue to follow mine emprise.
  Mammon was much displeasd, yet no'te he chuse,
  But beare the rigour of his bold mesprise,
And thence him forward led, him further to entise.

He brought him through a darksome narrow strait,
  To a broad gate, all built of beaten gold:
  The gate was open, but therein did wait
  A sturdy villein, striding stiffe and bold,
  As if that highest God defie he would;
  In his right hand an yron club he held,
  But he himselfe was all of golden mould,
  Yet had both life and sence, and well could weld
That cursed weapon, when his cruell foes he queld.

Disdayne he called was, and did disdaine
  To be so cald, and who so did him call:
  Sterne was his looke, and full of stomacke vaine,
  His portaunce terrible, and stature tall,
  Far passing th'hight of men terrestriall;
  Like an huge Gyant of the Titans race,
  That made him scorne all creatures great and small,
  And with his pride all others powre deface:
More fit amongst blacke fiendes, then men to haue his place.

Soone as those glitterand armes he did espye,
  That with their brightnesse made that darknesse light,
  His harmefull club he gan to hurtle hye,
  And threaten batteill to the Faery knight;
  Who likewise gan himselfe to batteill dight,
  Till Mammon did his hasty hand withhold,
  And counseld him abstaine from perilous fight:
  For nothing might abash the villein bold,
Ne mortall steele emperce his miscreated mould.

So hauing him with reason pacifide,
  And the fiers Carle commaunding to forbeare,
  He brought him in. The rowme was large and wide,
  As it some Gyeld or solemne Temple weare:
  Many great golden pillours did vpbeare
  The massy roofe, and riches huge sustayne,
  And euery pillour decked was full deare
  With crownes and Diademes, & titles vaine,
Which mortall Princes wore, whiles they on earth did rayne.

A route of people there assembled were,
  Of euery sort and nation vnder skye,
  Which with great vprore preaced to draw nere
  To th'vpper part, where was aduaunced hye
  A stately siege of soueraigne maiestye;
  And thereon sat a woman gorgeous gay,
  And richly clad in robes of royaltye,
  That neuer earthly Prince in such aray
His glory did enhaunce, and pompous pride display.

Her face right wondrous faire did seeme to bee,
  That her broad beauties beam great brightnes threw
  Through the dim shade, that all men might it see:
  Yet was not that same her owne natiue hew,
  But wrought by art and counterfetted shew,
  Thereby more louers vnto her to call;
  Nath'lesse most heauenly faire in deed and vew
  She by creation was, till she did fall;
Thenceforth she sought for helps, to cloke her crime withall.

There, as in glistring glory she did sit,
  She held a great gold chaine ylincked well,
  Whose vpper end to highest heauen was knit,
  And lower part did reach to lowest Hell;
  And all that preace did round about her swell,
  To catchen hold of that long chaine, thereby
  To clime aloft, and others to excell:
  That was Ambition, rash desire to sty,
And euery lincke thereof a step of dignity.

Some thought to raise themselues to high degree,
  By riches and vnrighteous reward,
  Some by close shouldring, some by flatteree;
  Others through friends, others for base regard;
  And all by wrong wayes for themselues prepard.
  Those that were vp themselues, kept others low,
  Those that were low themselues, held others hard,
  Ne suffred them to rise or greater grow,
But euery one did striue his fellow downe to throw.

Which whenas Guyon saw, he gan inquire,
  What meant that preace about that Ladies throne,
  And what she was that did so high aspire.
  Him Mammon answered; That goodly one,
 Whom all that folke with such contention,
  Do flocke about, my deare my daughter is;
  Honour and dignitie from her alone,
  Deriued are, and all this worldes blis
For which ye men do striue: few get, but many mis.

And faire Philotime she rightly hight,
  The fairest wight that wonneth vnder skye,
  But that this darksome neather world her light
  Doth dim with horrour and deformitie,
  Worthy of heauen and hye felicitie,
  From whence the gods haue her for enuy thrust:
  But sith thou hast found fauour in mine eye,
  Thy spouse I will her make, if that thou lust,
That she may thee aduance for workes and merites iust.

Gramercy Mammon (said the gentle knight)
  For so great grace and offred high estate;
  But I, that am fraile flesh and earthly wight,
  Vnworthy match for such immortall mate
  My selfe well wote, and mine vnequall fate;
  And were I not, yet is my trouth yplight,
  And loue auowd to other Lady late,
  That to remoue the same I haue no might:
To chaunge loue causelesse is reproch to warlike knight.

Mammon emmoued was with inward wrath;
  Yet forcing it to faine, him forth thence led
  Through griesly shadowes by a beaten path,
  Into a gardin goodly garnished
  With hearbs and fruits, whose kinds mote not be red:
  Not such, as earth out of her fruitfull woomb
  Throwes forth to men, sweet and well sauoured,
  But direfull deadly blacke both leafe and bloom,
Fit to adorne the dead, and decke the drery toombe.

There mournfull Cypresse grew in greatest store,
  And trees of bitter Gall, and Heben sad,
  Dead sleeping Poppy, and blacke Hellebore,
  Cold Coloquintida, and Tetra mad,
  Mortall Samnitis, and Cicuta bad,
  With which th'vniust Atheniens made to dy
  Wise Socrates, who thereof quaffing glad
  Pourd out his life, and last Philosophy
To the faire Critias his dearest Belamy.

The Gardin of Proserpina this hight;
  And in the midst thereof a siluer seat,
  With a thicke Arber goodly ouer dight,
  In which she often vsd from open heat
  Her selfe to shroud, and pleasures to entreat.
  Next thereunto did grow a goodly tree,
  With braunches broad dispred and body great,
  Clothed with leaues, that none the wood mote see
And loaden all with fruit as thicke as it might bee.

Their fruit were golden apples glistring bright,
  That goodly was their glory to behold,
  On earth like neuer grew, ne liuing wight
  Like euer saw, but they from hence were sold;
  For those, which Hercules with conquest bold
  Got from great Atlas daughters, hence began,
  And planted there, did bring forth fruit of gold:
  And those with which th'Eubæan young man wan
Swift Atalanta, when through craft he her out ran.

Here also sprong that goodly golden fruit,
  With which Acontius got his louer trew,
  Whom he had long time sought with fruitlesse suit:
  Here eke that famous golden Apple grew,
  The which emongst the gods false Ate threw;
  For which th'Idæan Ladies disagreed,
  Till partiall Paris dempt it Venus dew,
  And had of her, faire Helen for his meed,
That many noble Greekes and Troians made to bleed.

The warlike Elfe much wondred at this tree,
  So faire and great, that shadowed all the ground,
  And his broad braunches, laden with rich fee,
  Did stretch themselues without the vtmost bound
  Of this great gardin, compast with a mound,
  Which ouer-hanging, they themselues did steepe,
  In a blacke flood which flow'd about it round;
  That is the riuer of Cocytus deepe,
In which full many soules do endlesse waile and weepe.

Which to behold, he clomb vp to the banke,
  And looking downe, saw many damned wights,
  In those sad waues, which direfull deadly stanke,
  Plonged continually of cruell Sprights,
  That with their pitteous cryes, and yelling shrights,
  They made the further shore resounden wide:
  Emongst the rest of those same ruefull sights,
  One cursed creature, he by chaunce espide,
That drenched lay full deepe, vnder the Garden side.

Deepe was he drenched to the vpmost chin,
  Yet gaped still, as coueting to drinke
  Of the cold liquor, which he waded in,
  And stretching forth his hand, did often thinke
  To reach the fruit, which grew vpon the brincke:
  But both the fruit from hand, and floud from mouth
  Did flie abacke, and made him vainely swinke:
  The whiles he steru'd with hunger and with drouth
He daily dyde, yet neuer throughly dyen couth.

The knight him seeing labour so in vaine,
  Askt who he was, and what he ment thereby:
  Who groning deepe, thus answerd him againe;
  Most cursed of all creatures vnder skye,
  Lo Tantalus, I here tormented lye:
  Of whom high Ioue wont whylome feasted bee,
  Lo here I now for want of food doe dye:
  But if that thou be such, as I thee see,
Of grace I pray thee, giue to eat and drinke to mee.

Nay, nay, thou greedie Tantalus (quoth he)
  Abide the fortune of thy present fate,
  And vnto all that liue in high degree,
  Ensample be of mind intemperate,
  To teach them how to vse their present state.
  Then gan the cursed wretch aloud to cry,
  Accusing highest Ioue and gods ingrate,
  And eke blaspheming heauen bitterly,
As authour of vniustice, there to let him dye.

He lookt a little further, and espyde
  Another wretch, whose carkasse deepe was drent
  Within the riuer, which the same did hyde:
  But both his hands most filthy feculent,
  Aboue the water were on high extent,
  And faynd to wash themselues incessantly;
  Yet nothing cleaner were for such intent,
  But rather fowler seemed to the eye;
So lost his labour vaine and idle industry.

The knight him calling, asked who he was,
  Who lifting vp his head, him answerd thus:
Pilate am the falsest Iudge, alas,
  And most vniust, that by vnrighteous
  And wicked doome, to Iewes despiteous
  Deliuered vp the Lord of life to die,
  And did acquite a murdrer felonous;
  The whiles my hands I washt in puritie,
The whiles my soule was soyld with foule iniquitie.

Infinite moe, tormented in like paine
  He there beheld, too long here to be told:
  Ne Mammon would there let him long remaine,
  For terrour of the tortures manifold,
  In which the damned soules he did behold,
  But roughly him bespake. Thou fearefull foole,
  Why takest not of that same fruit of gold,
  Ne sittest downe on that same siluer stoole,
To rest thy wearie person, in the shadow coole.

All which he did, to doe him deadly fall
  In frayle intemperance through sinfull bayt;
  To which if he inclined had at all,
  That dreadfull feend, which did behind him wayt,
  Would him haue rent in thousand peeces strayt:
  But he was warie wise in all his way,
  And well perceiued his deceiptfull sleight,
  Ne suffred lust his safetie to betray;
So goodly did beguile the Guyler of the pray.

And now he has so long remained there,
  That vitall powres gan wexe both weake and wan,
  For want of food, and sleepe, which two vpbeare,
  Like mightie pillours, this fraile life of man,
  That none without the same enduren can.
  For now three dayes of men were full outwrought,
  Since he this hardie enterprize began:
  For thy great Mammon fairely he besought,
Into the world to guide him backe, as he him brought.

The God, though loth, yet was constraind t'obay,
  For lenger time, then that, no liuing wight
  Below the earth, might suffred be to stay:
  So backe againe, him brought to liuing light.
  But all so soone as his enfeebled spright
  Gan sucke this vitall aire into his brest,
  As ouercome with too exceeding might,
  The life did flit away out of her nest,
And all his senses were with deadly fit opprest.

Cant. VIII.

Sir Guyon laid in swowne is by
  Acrates sonnes despoyld,
Whom Arthur soone hath reskewed
  And Paynim brethren foyld.

A Nd is there care in heauen? and is there loue
  In heauenly spirits to these creatures bace,
  That may compassion of their euils moue?
  There is: else much more wretched were the cace
  Of men, then beasts. But ô th'exceeding grace
  Of highest God, that loues his creatures so,
  And all his workes with mercy doth embrace,
  That blessed Angels, he sends to and fro,
To serue to wicked man, to serue his wicked foe.

How oft do they, their siluer bowers leaue,
  To come to succour vs, that succour want?
  How oft do they with golden pineons, cleaue
  The flitting skyes, like flying Pursuiuant,
  Against foule feends to aide vs millitant?
  They for vs fight, they watch and dewly ward,
  And their bright Squadrons round about vs plant,
  And all for loue, and nothing for reward:
O why should heauenly God to man haue such regard?

During the while, that Guyon did abide
  In Mammons house, the Palmer, whom whyleare
  That wanton Mayd of passage had denide,
  By further search had passage found elsewhere,
  And being on his way, approched neare,
  Where Guyon lay in traunce, when suddenly
  He heard a voice, that called loud and cleare,
  Come hither, come hither, ô come hastily;
That all the fields resounded with the ruefull cry.

The Palmer lent his eare vnto the noyce,
  To weet, who called so importunely:
  Againe he heard a more efforced voyce,
  That bad him come in haste. He by and by
  His feeble feet directed to the cry;
  Which to that shadie delue him brought at last,
  Where Mammon earst did sunne his threasury:
  There the good Guyon he found slumbring fast
In senselesse dreame; which sight at first him sore aghast.

Beside his head there sate a faire young man,
  Of wondrous beautie, and of freshest yeares,
  Whose tender bud to blossome new began,
  And flourish faire aboue his equall peares;
  His snowy front curled with golden heares,
  Like Phoebus face adornd with sunny rayes,
  Diuinely shone, and two sharpe winged sheares,
  Decked with diuerse plumes, like painted Iayes,
Were fixed at his backe, to cut his ayerie wayes.

Like as Cupido on Idæan hill,
  When hauing laid his cruell bow away,
  And mortall arrowes, wherewith he doth fill
  The world with murdrous spoiles and bloudie pray,
  With his faire mother he him dights to play,
  And with his goodly sisters, Graces three;
  The Goddesse pleased with his wanton play,
  Suffers her selfe through sleepe beguild to bee,
The whiles the other Ladies mind their merry glee.

Whom when the Palmer saw, abasht he was
  Through fear and wonder, that he nought could say,
  Till him the child bespoke, Long lackt, alas,
  Hath bene thy faithfull aide in hard assay,
  Whiles deadly fit thy pupill doth dismay;
  Behold this heauie sight, thou reuerend Sire,
  But dread of death and dolour doe away;
  For life ere long shall to her home retire,
And he that breathlesse seemes, shal corage bold respire.

The charge, which God doth vnto me arret,
  Of his deare safetie, I to thee commend;
  Yet will I not forgoe, ne yet forget
  The care thereof my selfe vnto the end,
  But euermore him succour, and defend
  Against his foe and mine: watch thou I pray;
  For euill is at hand him to offend.
  So hauing said, eftsoones he gan display
His painted nimble wings, and vanisht quite away.

The Palmer seeing his left empty place,
  And his slow eyes beguiled of their sight,
  Woxe sore affraid, and standing still a space,
  Gaz'd after him, as fowle escapt by flight;
  At last him turning to his charge behight,
  With trembling hand his troubled pulse gan try;
  Where finding life not yet dislodged quight,
  He much reioyst, and courd it tenderly,
As chicken newly hatcht, from dreaded destiny.

At last he spide, where towards him did pace
  Two Paynim knights, all armd as bright as skie,
  And them beside an aged Sire did trace,
  And farre before a light-foot Page did flie,
  That breathed strife and troublous enmitie;
  Those were the two sonnes of Acrates old
  Who meeting earst with Archimago slie,
  Foreby that idle strond, of him were told,
That he, wich earst them combatted, was Guyon bold.

Which to auenge on him they dearely vowd,
  Where euer that on ground they mote him fynd;
  False Archimage prouokt their courage prowd,
  And stryfull Atin in their stubborne mynd
  Coles of contention and whot vengeance tynd.
  Now bene they come, whereas the Palmer sate,
  Keeping that slombred corse to him assynd;
  Well knew they both his person, sith of late
With him in bloudie armes they rashly did debate.

Whom when Pyrrochles saw, inflam'd with rage,
  That sire he foule bespake, Thou dotard vile,
  That with thy brutenesse shendst thy comely age,
  Abandone soone, I read, the caitiue spoile
  Of that same outcast carkasse, that erewhile
  Made it selfe famous through false trechery,
  And crownd his coward crest with knightly stile;
  Loe where he now inglorious doth lye,
To proue he liued ill, that did thus foully dye.

To whom the Palmer fearelesse answered;
  Certes, Sir knight, ye bene too much to blame,
  Thus for to blot the honour of the dead,
  And with foule cowardize his carkasse shame,
  Whose liuing hands immortalizd his name.
  Vile is the vengeance on the ashes cold,
  And enuie base, to barke at sleeping fame:
  Was neuer wight, that treason of him told;
Your selfe his prowesse prou'd & found him fiers & bold.

Then said Cymochles; Palmer, thou doest dote,
  Ne canst of prowesse, ne of knighthood deeme,
  Saue as thou seest or hearst. But well I wote,
  That of his puissance tryall made extreeme;
  Yet gold all is not, that doth golden seeme,
  Ne all good knights, that shake well speare and shield:
  The worth of all men by their end esteeme,
  And then due praise, or due reproch them yield;
Bad therefore I him deeme, that thus lies dead on field.

Good or bad (gan his brother fierce reply)
  What doe I recke, sith that he dyde entire?
  Or what doth his bad death now satisfy
  The greedy hunger of reuenging ire,
  Sith wrathfull hand wrought not her owne desire?
  Yet since no way is left to wreake my spight,
will him reaue of armes, the victors hire,
  And of that shield, more worthy of good knight;
For why should a dead dog be deckt in armour bright?

Faire Sir, said then the Palmer suppliaunt,
  For knighthoods loue, do not so foule a deed,
  Ne blame your honour with so shamefull vaunt
  Of vile reuenge. To spoile the dead of weed
  Is sacrilege, and doth all sinnes exceed;
  But leaue these relicks of his liuing might,
  To decke his herce, and trap his tomb-blacke steed.
  What herce or steed (said he) should he haue dight,
But be entombed in the rauen or the kight?

With that, rude hand vpon his shield he laid,
  And th'other brother gan his helme vnlace,
  Both fiercely bent to haue him disaraid;
  Till that they spide, where towards them did pace
  An armed knight, of bold and bounteous grace,
  Whose squire bore after him an heben launce,
  And couerd shield. Well kend him so farre space
  Th'enchaunter by his armes and amenaunce,
When vnder him he saw his Lybian steed to praunce.

And to those brethren said, Rise rise by liue,
  And vnto battell doe your selues addresse;
  For yonder comes the prowest knight aliue,
  Prince Arthur, flowre of grace and nobilesse,
  That hath to Paynim knights wrought great distresse,
  And thousand Sar'zins foully donne to dye.
  That word so deepe did in their harts impresse,
  That both eftsoones vpstarted furiously,
And gan themselues prepare to battell greedily.

But fierce Pyrrochles, lacking his owne sword,
  The want thereof now greatly gan to plaine,
  And Archimage besought, him that afford,
  Which he had brought for Braggadocchio vaine.
  So would I (said th'enchaunter) glad and faine
  Beteeme to you this sword, you to defend,
  Or ought that else your honour might maintaine,
  But that this weapons powre I well haue kend,
To be contrarie to the worke, which ye intend.

For that same knights owne sword this is of yore,
  Which Merlin made by his almightie art
  For that his noursling, when he knighthood swore,
  Therewith to doen his foes eternall smart.
  The metall first he mixt with Medæwart,
  That no enchauntment from his dint might saue;
  That it in flames of Aetna wrought apart,
  And seuen times dipped in the bitter waue
Of hellish Styx, which hidden vertue to it gaue.

The vertue is, that neither steele, nor stone
  The stroke thereof from entrance may defend;
  Ne euer may be vsed by his fone,
  Ne forst his rightfull owner to offend,
  Ne euer will it breake, ne euer bend.
  Wherefore Morddure it rightfully is hight.
  In vaine therefore, Pyrrochles, should I lend
  The same to thee, against his lord to fight,
For sure it would deceiue thy labour, and thy might.

Foolish old man, said then the Pagan wroth,
  That weenest words or charmes may force withstond:
  Soone shalt thou see, and then beleeue for troth,
  That I can carue with this inchaunted brond
  His Lords owne flesh. Therewith out of his hond
  That vertuous steele he rudely snatcht away,
  And Guyons shield about his wrest he bond;
  So readie dight, fierce battaile to assay,
And match his brother proud in battailous array.

By this that straunger knight in presence came,
  And goodly salued them; who nought againe
  Him answered, as courtesie became,
  But with sterne lookes, and stomachous disdaine,
  Gaue signes of grudge and discontentment vaine:
  Then turning to the Palmer, he gan spy
  Where at his feete, with sorrowfull demaine
  And deadly hew, an armed corse did lye,
In whose dead face he red great magnanimity.

Said he then to the Palmer, Reuerend syre,
  What great misfortune hath betidd this knight?
  Or did his life her fatall date expyre,
  Or did he fall by treason, or by fight?
  How euer, sure I rew his pitteous plight.
  Not one, nor other, (said the Palmer graue)
  Hath him befalne, but cloudes of deadly night
  A while his heauie eylids couer'd haue,
And all his senses drowned in deepe senselesse waue.

Which, those his cruell foes, that stand hereby,
  Making aduantage, to reuenge their spight,
  Would him disarme, and treaten shamefully,
  Vnworthy vsage of redoubted knight.
  But you, faire Sir, whose honorable sight
  Doth promise hope of helpe, and timely grace,
  Mote I beseech to succour his sad plight,
  And by your powre protect his feeble cace.
First praise of knighthood is, foule outrage to deface.

Palmer, (said he) no knight so rude, I weene,
  As to doen outrage to a sleeping ghost:
  Ne was there euer noble courage seene,
  That in aduauntage would his puissance bost:
  Honour is least, where oddes appeareth most.
  May be, that better reason will asswage
  The rash reuengers heat. Words well dispost
  Haue secret powre, t'appease inflamed rage:
If not, leaue vnto me thy knights last patronage.

Tho turning to those brethren, thus bespoke,
  Ye warlike payre, whose valorous great might
t seemes, iust wrongs to vengeance doe prouoke,
  To wreake your wrath on this dead seeming knight,
  Mote ought allay the storme of your despight,
  And settle patience in so furious heat?
  Not to debate the chalenge of your right,
  But for this carkasse pardon I entreat,
Whom fortune hath alreadie laid in lowest seat.

To whom Cymochles said; For what art thou,
  That mak'st thy selfe his dayes-man, to prolong
  The vengeance prest? Or who shall let me now,
  On this vile bodie from to wreake my wrong,
  And make his carkasse as the outcast dong?
  Why should not that dead carrion satisfie
  The guilt, which if he liued had thus long,
  His life for due reuenge should deare abie?
The trespasse still doth liue, albe the person die.

Indeed (then said the Prince) the euill donne
  Dyes not, when breath the bodie first doth leaue,
  But from the grandsyre to the Nephewes sonne,
  And all his seed the curse doth often cleaue,
  Till vengeance vtterly the guilt bereaue:
  So streightly God doth iudge. But gentle knight,
  That doth against the dead his hand vpreare,
  His honour staines with rancour and despight,
And great disparagment makes to his former might.

Pyrrochles gan reply the second time,
  And to him said, Now felon sure I read,
  How that thou art partaker of his crime:
  Therefore by Termagaunt thou shalt be dead.
  With that his hand, more sad then lomp of lead,
  Vplifting high, he weened with Morddure,
  His owne good sword Morddure, to cleaue his head.
  The faithfull steele such treason no'uld endure,
But swaruing from the marke, his Lords life did assure.

Yet was the force so furious and so fell,
  That horse and man it made to reele aside;
  Nath'lesse the Prince would not forsake his sell:
  For well of yore he learned had to ride,
  But full of anger fiercely to him cride;
  False traitour miscreant, thou broken hast
  The law of armes, to strike foe vndefide.
  But thou thy treasons fruit, I hope, shalt taste
Right sowre, & feele the law, the which thou hast defast.

With that his balefull speare, he fiercely bent
  Against the Pagans brest, and therewith thought
  His cursed life out of her lodge haue rent:
  But ere the point arriued, where it ought,
  That seuen-fold shield, which he from Guyon brought
  He cast betwene to ward the bitter stound:
  Through all those foldes the steelehead passage wrought
  And through his shoulder pierst; wherwith to grou[n]d
He groueling fell, all gored in his gushing wound.

Which when his brother saw, fraught with great griefe
  And wrath, he to him leaped furiously,
  And fowly said, By Mahoune, cursed thiefe,
  That direfull stroke thou dearely shalt aby.
  Then hurling vp his harmefull blade on hye,
  Smote him so hugely on his haughtie crest,
  That from his saddle forced him to fly:
  Else mote it needes downe to his manly brest
Haue cleft his head in twaine, and life thence dispossest.

Now was the Prince in daungerous distresse,
  Wanting his sword, when he on foot should fight:
  His single speare could doe him small redresse,
  Against two foes of so exceeding might,
  The least of which was match for any knight.
  And now the other, whom he earst did daunt,
  Had reard himselfe againe to cruell fight,
  Three times more furious, and more puissaunt,
Vnmindfull of his wound, of his fate ignoraunt.

So both attonce him charge on either side,
  With hideous strokes, and importable powre,
  That forced him his ground to trauerse wide,
  And wisely watch to ward that deadly stowre:
  For in his shield, as thicke as stormie showre,
  Their strokes did raine, yet did he neuer quaile,
  Ne backward shrinke, but as a stedfast towre,
  Whom foe with double battry doth assaile,
Them on her bulwarke beares, and bids them nought auaile.

So stoutly he withstood their strong assay,
  Till that at last, when he aduantage spyde,
  His poinant speare he thrust with puissant sway
  At proud Cymochles, whiles his shield was wyde,
  That through his thigh the mortall steele did gryde:
  He swaruing with the force, within his flesh
  Did breake the launce, and let the head abyde:
  Out of the wound the red bloud flowed fresh,
That vnderneath his feet soone made a purple plesh.

Horribly then he gan to rage, and rayle,
  Cursing his Gods, and himselfe damning deepe:
  Als when his brother saw the red bloud rayle
  Adowne so fast, and all his armour steepe,
  For very felnesse lowd he gan to weepe,
  And said, Caytiue, cursse on thy cruell hond,
  That twise hath sped; yet shall it not thee keepe
  From the third brunt of this my fatall brond:
Loe where the dreadfull Death behind thy backe doth stond.

With that he strooke, and th'other strooke withall,
  That nothing seem'd mote beare so monstrous might:
  The one vpon his couered shield did fall,
  And glauncing downe would not his owner byte:
  But th'other did vpon his troncheon smyte,
  Which hewing quite a sunder, further way
  It made, and on his hacqueton did lyte,
  The which diuiding with importune sway,
It seizd in his right side, and there the dint did stay.

Wyde was the wound, and a large lukewarme flood,
  Red as the Rose, thence gushed grieuously;
  That when the Paynim spyde the streaming blood,
  Gaue him great hart, and hope of victory.
  On th'other side, in huge perplexity,
  The Prince now stood, hauing his weapon broke;
  Nought could he hurt, but still at ward did ly:
  Yet with his troncheon he so rudely stroke
Cymochles twise, that twise him forst his foot reuoke.

Whom when the Palmer saw in such distresse,
  Sir Guyons sword he lightly to him raught,
  And said; Faire Son, great God thy right hand blesse,
  To vse that sword so wisely as it ought.
  Glad was the knight, & with fresh courage fraught,
  When as againe he armed felt his hond;
  Then like a Lion, which hath long time saught
  His robbed whelpes, and at the last them fond
Emongst the shepheard swaynes, then wexeth wood & yond.

So fierce he laid about him, and dealt blowes
  On either side, that neither mayle could hold,
  Ne shield defend the thunder of his throwes:
  Now to Pyrrochles many strokes he told;
  Eft to Cymochles twise so many fold:
  Then backe againe turning his busie hond,
  Them both attonce compeld with courage bold,
  To yield wide way to his hart-thrilling brond;
And though they both stood stiffe, yet could not both withstond.

As saluage Bull, whom two fierce mastiues bayt,
  When rancour doth with rage him once engore,
  Forgets with warie ward them to awayt,
  But with his dreadfull hornes them driues afore,
  Or flings aloft, or treads downe in the flore,
  Breathing out wrath, and bellowing disdaine,
  That all the forrest quakes to heare him rore:
  So rag'd Prince Arthur twixt his foemen twaine,
That neither could his mightie puissance sustaine.

But euer at Pyrrochles when he smit,
  Who Guyons shield cast euer him before,
  Whereon the Faery Queenes pourtract was writ,
  His hand relented, and the stroke forbore,
  And his deare hart the picture gan adore,
  Which oft the Paynim sau'd from deadly stowre.
  But him henceforth the same can saue no more;
  For now arriued is his fatall howre,
That no'te auoyded be by earthly skill or powre.

For when Cymochles saw the fowle reproch,
  Which them appeached, prickt with guilty shame,
  And inward griefe, he fiercely gan approch,
  Resolu'd to put away that loathly blame,
  Or dye with honour and desert of fame;
  And on the hauberk stroke the Prince so sore,
  That quite disparted all the linked frame,
  And pierced to the skin, but bit no more,
Yet made him twise to reele, that neuer moou'd afore.

Whereat renfierst with wrath and sharpe regret,
  He stroke so hugely with his borrowd blade,
  That it empierst the Pagans burganet,
  And cleauing the hard steele, did deepe inuade
  Into his head, and cruell passage made
  Quite through his braine. He tombling downe on ground,
  Breathd out his ghost, which to th'infernall shade
  Fast flying, there eternall torment found,
For all the sinnes, wherewith his lewd life did abound.

Which when his german saw, the stony feare
  Ran to his hart, and all his sence dismayd,
  Ne thenceforth life ne courage did appeare,
  But as a man, whom hellish feends haue frayd,
  Long trembling still he stood: at last thus sayd;
  Traytour what hast thou doen? how euer may
  Thy cursed hand so cruelly haue swayd
  Against that knight: Harrow and well away,
After so wicked deed why liu'st thou lenger day?

With that all desperate as loathing light,
  And with reuenge desiring soone to dye,
  Assembling all his force and vtmost might,
  With his owne sword he fierce at him did flye,
  And strooke, and foynd, and lasht outrageously,
  Withouten reason or regard. Well knew
  The Prince, with patience and sufferaunce sly
  So hasty heat soone cooled to subdew:
Tho when this breathlesse woxe, that batteil gan renew.

As when a windy tempest bloweth hye,
  That nothing may withstand his stormy stowre,
  The cloudes, as things affrayd, before him flye;
  But all so soone as his outrageous powre
  Is layd, they fiercely then begin to shoure,
  And as in scorne of his spent stormy spight,
  Now all attonce their malice forth do poure;
  So did Sir Guyon[Prince Arthur] beare himselfe in fight,
And suffred rash Pyrrochles wast his idle might.

At last when as the Sarazin perceiu'd,
  How that straunge sword refusd, to serue his need,
  But when he stroke most strong, the dint deceiu'd,
  He flong it from him, and deuoyd of dreed,
  Vpon him lightly leaping without heed,
  Twixt his two mighty armes engrasped fast,
  Thinking to ouerthrow and downe him tred:
  But him in strength and skill the Prince surpast,
And through his nimble sleight did vnder him down cast.

Nought booted it the Paynim then to striue;
  For as a Bittur in the Eagles claw,
  That may not hope by flight to scape aliue,
  Still waites for death with dread and trembling aw;
  So he now subiect to the victours law,
  Did not once moue, nor vpward cast his eye,
  For vile disdaine and rancour, which did gnaw
  His hart in twaine with sad melancholy,
As one that loathed life, and yet despisd to dye.

But full of Princely bounty and great mind,
  The Conquerour nought cared him to slay,
  But casting wrongs and all reuenge behind,
  More glory thought to giue life, then decay,
  And said, Paynim, this is thy dismall day;
  Yet if thou wilt renounce thy miscreaunce,
  And my trew liegeman yield thy selfe for ay,
  Life will I graunt thee for thy valiaunce,
And all thy wrongs will wipe out of my souenaunce.

Foole (said the Pagan) I thy gift defye,
  But vse thy fortune, as it doth befall,
  And say, that I not ouercome do dye,
  But in despight of life, for death do call.
  Wroth was the Prince, and sory yet withall,
  That he so wilfully refused grace;
  Yet sith his fate so cruelly did fall,
  His shining Helmet he gan soone vnlace,
And left his headlesse body bleeding all the place.

By this Sir Guyon from his traunce awakt,
  Life hauing maistered her sencelesse foe;
  And looking vp, when as his shield he lakt,
  And sword saw not, he wexed wondrous woe:
  But when the Palmer, whom he long ygoe
  Had lost, he by him spide, right glad he grew,
  And said, Deare sir, whom wandring to and fro
  I long haue lackt, I ioy thy face to vew;
Firme is thy faith, whom daunger neuer fro me drew.

But read what wicked hand hath robbed mee
  Of my good sword and shield? The Palmer glad,
  With so fresh hew vprising him to see,
  Him answered; Faire sonne, be no whit sad
  For want of weapons, they shall soone be had.
  So gan he to discourse the whole debate,
  Which that straunge knight for him sustained had,
  And those two Sarazins confounded late,
Whose carcases on ground were horribly prostrate.

Which when he heard, and saw the tokens trew,
  His hart with great affection was embayd,
  And to the Prince bowing with reuerence dew,
  As to the Patrone of his life, thus sayd;
  My Lord, my liege, by whose most gratious ayd
  I liue this day, and see my foes subdewd,
  What may suffise, to be for meede repayd
  Of so great graces, as ye haue me shewd,
But to be euer bound

To whom the Infant thus, Faire Sir, what need
  Good turnes be counted, as a seruile bond,
  To bind their doers, to receiue their meede?
  Are not all knights by oath bound, to withstond
  Oppressours powre by armes and puissant hond?
  Suffise, that I haue done my dew in place.
  So goodly purpose they together fond,
  Of kindnesse and of curteous aggrace;
The whiles false Archimarge and Atin fled apace.

Cant. IX.

The house of Temperance, in which
  doth sober Alma dwell,
Besiegd of many foes, whom straunger
  knightes to flight compell.

O F all Gods workes, which do this world adorne,
  There is no one more faire and excellent,
  Then is mans body both for powre and forme,
  Whiles it is kept in sober gouernment;
  But none then it, more fowle and indecent,
  Distempred through misrule and passions bace:
  It growes a Monster, and incontinent
  Doth loose his dignitie and natiue grace.
Behold, who list, both one and other in this place.

After the Paynim brethren conquer'd were,
  The Briton Prince recou'ring his stolne sword,
  And Guyon his lost shield, they both yfere
  Forth passed on their way in faire accord,
  Till him the Prince with gentle court did bord;
  Sir knight, mote I of you this curt'sie read,
  To weet why on your shield so goodly scord
  Beare ye the picture of that Ladies head?
Full liuely is the semblaunt, though the substance dead.

Faire Sir (said he) if in that picture dead
  Such life ye read, and vertue in vaine shew,
  What mote ye weene, if the trew liuely-head
  Of that most glorious visage ye did vew?
  But if the beautie of her mind ye knew,
  That is her bountie, and imperiall powre,
  Thousand times fairer then her mortall hew,
  O how great wonder would your thoughts deuoure,
And infinite desire into your spirite poure!

She is the mighty Queene of Faerie,
  Whose faire retrait I in my shield do beare;
  She is the flowre of grace and chastitie,
  Throughout the world renowmed far and neare,
  My liefe, my liege, my Soueraigne, my deare,
  Whose glory shineth as the morning starre,
  And with her light the earth enlumines cleare;
  Far reach her mercies, and her prayses farre,
As well in state of peace, as puissaunce in warre.

Thrise happy man, (said then the Briton knight)
  Whom gracious lot, and thy great valiaunce
  Haue made thee souldier of that Princesse bright,
  Which with her bounty and glad countenance
  Doth blesse her seruaunts, and them high aduaunce.
  How may straunge knight hope euer to aspire,
  By faithfull seruice, and meet amenance,
  Vnto such blisse? sufficient were that hire
For losse of thousand liues, to dye at her desire.

Said Guyon, Noble Lord, what meed so great,
  Or grace of earthly Prince so soueraine,
  But by your wondrous worth and warlike feat
  Ye well may hope, and easely attaine?
  But were your will, her sold to entertaine,
  And numbred be mongst knights of Maydenhed,
  Great guerdon, well I wote, should you remaine,
  And in her fauour high be reckoned,
As Arthegall, and Sophy now beene honored.

Certes (then said the Prince) I God auow,
  That sith I armes and knighthood first did plight,
  My whole desire hath beene, and yet is now,
  To serue that Queene with all my powre and might.
  Now hath the Sunne with his lamp-burning light,
  Walkt round about the world, and I no lesse,
  Sith of that Goddesse I haue sought the sight,
  Yet no where can her find: such happinesse
Heauen doth to me enuy, and fortune fauourlesse.

Fortune, the foe of famous cheuisaunce
  Seldome (said Guyon) yields to vertue aide,
  But in her way throwes mischiefe and mischaunce,
  Whereby her course is stopt, and passage staid.
  But you, faire Sir, be not herewith dismaid,
  But constant keepe the way, in which ye stand;
  Which were it not, that I am else delaid
  With hard aduenture, which I haue in hand,
I labour would to guide you through all Faery land.

Gramercy Sir (said he) but mote I wote,
  What straunge aduenture do ye now pursew?
  Perhaps my succour, or aduizement meete
  Mote stead you much your purpose to subdew.
  Then gan Sir Guyon all the story shew
  Of false Acrasia, and her wicked wiles,
  Which to auenge, the Palmer him forth drew
  From Faery court. So talked they, the whiles
They wasted had much way, and measurd many miles.

And now faire Phoebus gan decline in hast
  His weary wagon to the Westerne vale,
  Whenas they spide a goodly castle, plast
  Foreby a riuer in a pleasaunt dale,
  Which choosing for that euenings hospitale,
  They thither marcht: but when they came in sight,
  And from their sweaty Coursers did auale,
  They found the gates fast barred long ere night,
And euery loup fast lockt, as fearing foes despight.

Which when they saw, they weened fowle reproch
  Was to them doen, their entrance to forstall,
  Till that the Squire gan nigher to approch;
  And wind his horne vnder the castle wall,
  That with the noise it shooke, as it would fall:
  Eftsoones forth looked from the highest spire
  The watch, and lowd vnto the knights did call,
  To weete, what they so rudely did require.
Who gently answered, They entrance did desire.

Fly fly, good knights, (said he) fly fast away
  If that your liues ye loue, as meete ye should;
  Fly fast, and saue your selues from neare decay,
  Here may ye not haue entraunce, though we would:
  We would and would againe, if that we could;
  But thousand enemies about vs raue,
  And with long siege vs in this castle hould:
  Seuen yeares this wize they vs besieged haue,
And many good knights slaine, that haue vs sought to saue.

Thus as he spoke, loe with outragious cry
  A thousand villeins round about them swarmd
  Out of the rockes and caues adioyning nye,
  Vile caytiue wretches, ragged, rude, deformd,
  All threatning death, all in straunge manner armd,
  Some with vnweldy clubs, some with long speares,
  Some rusty kniues, some staues in fire warmd.
  Sterne was their looke, like wild amazed steares,
Staring with hollow eyes, and stiffe vpstanding heares.

Fiersly at first those knights they did assaile,
  And droue them to recoile: but when againe
  They gaue fresh charge, their forces gan to faile,
  Vnhable their encounter to sustaine;
  For with such puissaunce and impetuous maine
  Those Champions broke on them, that forst them fly,
  Like scattered Sheepe, whenas the Shepheards swaine
  A Lyon and a Tigre doth espye,
With greedy pace forth rushing from the forest nye.

A while they fled, but soone returnd againe
  With greater fury, then before was found;
  And euermore their cruell Capitaine
  Sought with his raskall routs t'enclose them round,
  And ouerrun to tread them to the ground.
  But soone the knights with their bright-burning blades
  Broke their rude troupes, and orders did confound,
  Hewing and slashing at their idle shades;
For though they bodies seeme, yet substance from them fades.

As when a swarme of Gnats at euentide
  Out of the fennes of Allan do arise,
  Their murmuring small trompets sounden wide,
  Whiles in the aire their clustring army flies,
  That as a cloud doth seeme to dim the skies;
  Ne man nor beast may rest, or take repast,
  For their sharpe wounds, and noyous iniuries,
  Till the fierce Northerne wind with blustring blast
Doth blow them quite away, and in the Ocean cast.

Thus when they had that troublous rout disperst,
  Vnto the castle gate they come againe,
  And entraunce crau'd, which was denied erst.
  Now when report of that their perilous paine,
  And combrous conflict, which they did sustaine,
  Came to the Ladies eare, which there did dwell,
  She forth issewed with a goodly traine
  Of Squires and Ladies equipaged well,
And entertained them right fairely, as befell.

Alma she called was, a virgin bright;
  That had not yet felt Cupides wanton rage,
  Yet was she woo'd of many a gentle knight,
  And many a Lord of noble parentage,
  That sought with her to lincke in marriage:
  For she was faire, as faire mote euer bee,
  And in the flowre now of her freshest age;
  Yet full of grace and goodly modestee,
That euen heauen reioyced her sweete face to see.

In robe of lilly white she was arayd,
  That from her shoulder to her heele downe raught,
  The traine whereof loose far behind her strayd,
  Braunched with gold & pearle, most richly wrought,
  And borne of two faire Damsels, which were taught,
  That seruice well. Her yellow golden heare
  Was trimly wouen, and in tresses wrought,
  Ne other tyre she on her head did weare,
But crowned with a garland of sweet Rosiere.

Goodly she entertaind those noble knights,
  And brought them vp into her castle hall;
  Where gentle court and gracious delight
  She to them made, with mildnesse virginall,
  Shewing her selfe both wise and liberall:
  There when they rested had a season dew,
  They her besought of fauour speciall,
  Of that faire Castle to affoord them vew;
She graunted, & them leading forth, the same did shew.

First she them led vp to the Castle wall,
  That was so high, as foe might not it clime,
  And all so faire, and fensible withall,
  Not built of bricke, ne yet of stone and lime,
  But of thing like to that Ægyptian slime,
  Whereof king Nine whilome built Babell towre;
  But ô; great pitty, that no lenger time
  So goodly workemanship should not endure:
Soone it must turne to earth; no earthly thing is sure.

The frame thereof seemd partly circulare,
  And part triangulare, ô worke diuine;
  Those two the first and last proportions are,
  The one imperfect, mortall, foeminine;
  Th'other immortall, perfect, masculine,
  And twixt them both a quadrate was the base,
  Proportioned equally by seuen and nine;
  Nine was the circle set in heauens place,
All which compacted made a goodly Diapase.

Therein two gates were placed seemly well:
  The one before, by which all in did pas,
  Did th'other far in workmanship excell;
  For not of wood, nor of enduring bras,
  But of more worthy substance fram'd it was;
  Doubly disparted, it did locke and close,
  That when it locked, none might thorough pas,
  And when it opened, no man might it close,
Still open to their friends, and closed to their foes.

Of hewen stone the porch was fairely wrought,
  Stone more of valew, and more smooth and fine,
  Then Iet or Marble far from Ireland brought;
  Ouer the which was cast a wandring vine,
  Enchaced with a wanton yuie twine.
  And ouer it a faire Portcullis hong,
  Which to the gate directly did incline,
  With comely compasse, and compacture strong,
Neither vnseemely short, nor yet exceeding long.

Within the Barbican a Porter sate,
  Day and night duely keeping watch and ward,
  Nor wight, nor word mote passe out of the gate,
  But in good order, and with dew regard;
  Vtterers of secrets he from thence debard,
  Bablers of folly, and blazers of crime.
  His larumbell might lowd and wide be hard,
  When cause requird, but neuer out of time;
Early and late it rong, at euening and at prime.

And round about the porch on euery side
  Twise sixteen warders sat, all armed bright
  In glistring steele, and strongly fortifide:
  Tall yeomen seemed they, and of great might,
  And were enraunged ready, still for fight.
  By them as Alma passed with her guestes,
  They did obeysaunce, as beseemed right,
  And then againe returned to their restes:
The Porter eke to her did lout with humble gestes.

Thence she them brought into a stately Hall,
  Wherein were many tables faire dispred,
  And ready dight with drapets festiuall,
  Against the viaundes should be ministred.
  At th'upper end there sate, yclad in red
  Downe to the ground, a comely personage,
  That in his hand a white rod menaged,
  He Steward was hight Diet; rype of age,
And in demeanure sober, and in counsell sage.

And through the Hall there walked to and fro
  A iolly yeoman, Marshall of the same,
  Whose name was Appetite; he did bestow
  Both guestes and meate, when euer in they came,
  And knew them how to order without blame,
  As him the Steward bad. They both attone
  Did dewty to their Lady, as became;
  Who passing by, forth led her guestes anone
Into the kitchin rowme, ne spard for nicenesse none.

It was a vaut ybuilt for great dispence,
  With many raunges reard along the wall;
  And one great chimney, whose long tonnell thence,
  The smoke forth threw. And in the midst of all
  There placed was a caudron wide and tall,
  Vpon a mighty furnace, burning whot,
  More whot, then Aetn', or flaming Mongiball:
  For day and night it brent, ne ceased not,
So long as any thing it in the caudron got.

But to delay the heat, least by mischaunce
  It might breake out, and set the whole on fire,
  There added was by goodly ordinaunce,
  An huge great paire of bellowes, which did styre
  Continually, and cooling breath inspyre.
  About the Caudron many Cookes accoyld,
  With hookes and ladles, as need did require;
  The whiles the viandes in the vessell boyld
They did about their businesse sweat, and sorely toyld.

The maister Cooke was cald Concoction,
  A carefull man, and full of comely guise:
  The kitchin Clerke, that hight Digestion,
  Did order all th'Achates in seemely wise,
  And set them forth, as well he could deuise.
  The rest had seuerall offices assind,
  Some to remoue the scum, as it did rise;
  Others to beare the same away did mind;
And others it to vse according to his kind.

But all the liquour, which was fowle and wast,
  Not good nor seruiceable else for ought,
  They in another great round vessell plast,
  Till by a conduit pipe it thence were brought:
  And all the rest, that noyous was, and nought,
  By secret wayes, that none might it espy,
  Was close conuaid, and to the back-gate brought,
  That cleped was Port Esquiline, whereby
It was auoided quite, and throwne out priuily.

Which goodly order, and great workmans skill
  Whenas those knights beheld, with rare delight,
  And gazing wonder they their minds did fill;
  For neuer had they seene so straunge a sight.
  Thence backe againe faire Alma led them right,
  And soone into a goodly Parlour brought,
  That was with royall arras richly dight,
  In which was nothing pourtrahed, nor wrought,
Not wrought, nor pourtrahed, but easie to be thought.

And in the midst thereof vpon the floure,
  A louely beuy of faire Ladies sate,
  Courted of many a iolly Paramoure,
  The which them did in modest wise amate,
  And each one sought his Lady to aggrate:
  And eke emongst them litle Cupid playd
  His wanton sports, being returned late
  From his fierce warres, and hauing from him layd
His cruell bow, wherewith he thousands hath dismayd.

Diuerse delights they found them selues to please;
  Some song in sweet consort, some laught for ioy,
  Some plaid with strawes, some idly sat at ease;
  But other some could not abide to toy,
  All pleasaunce was to them griefe and annoy:
  This fround, that faund, the third for shame did blush,
  Another seemed enuious, or coy,
  Another in her teeth did gnaw a rush:
But at these straungers presence euery one did hush.

Soone as the gracious Alma came in place,
  They all attonce out of their seates arose,
  And to her homage made, with humble grace:
  Whom when the knights beheld, they gan dispose
  Themselues to court, and each a Damsell chose:
  The Prince by chaunce did on a Lady light,
  That was right faire and fresh as morning rose,
  But somwhat sad, and solemne eke in sight,
As if some pensiue thought co[n]straind her gentle spright.

In a long purple pall, whose skirt with gold,
  Was fretted all about, she was arayd;
  And in her hand a Poplar braunch did hold:
  To whom the Prince in curteous manner said;
  Gentle Madame, why beene ye thus dismaid,
  And your faire beautie do with sadnesse spill?
  Liues any, that you hath thus ill apaid?
  Or doen you loue, or doen you lacke your will?
What euer be the cause, it sure beseemes you ill.

Faire Sir, (said she halfe in disdainefull wise,)
  How is it, that this mood in me ye blame,
  And in your selfe do not the same aduise?
  Him ill beseemes, anothers fault to name,
  That may vnwares be blotted with the same:
  Pensiue I yeeld I am, and sad in mind,
  Through great desire of glory and of fame:
  Ne ought I weene are ye therein behind,
That haue twelue moneths sought one, yet no where can her find.

The Prince was inly moued at her speach,
  Well weeting trew, what she had rashly told;
  Yet with faire semblaunt sought to hide the breach,
  Which chaunge of colour did perforce vnfold,
  Now seeming flaming whot, now stony cold.
  Tho turning soft aside, he did inquire,
  What wight she was, that Poplar braunch did hold:
t answered was, her name was Prays-desire,
That by well doing sought to honour to aspire.

The whiles, the Faerie knight did entertaine
  Another Damsell of that gentle crew,
  That was right faire, and modest of demaine,
  But that too oft she chaung'd her natiue hew:
  Straunge was her tyre, and all her garment blew,
  Close round about her tuckt with many a plight:
  Vpon her fist the bird, which shonneth vew,
  And keepes in couerts close from liuing wight,
Did sit, as yet ashamd, how rude Pan did her dight.

So long as Guyon with her commoned,
  Vnto the ground she cast her modest eye,
  And euer and anone with rosie red
  The bashfull bloud her snowy cheekes did dye,
  That her became, as polisht yuory,
  Which cunning Craftesman hand hath ouerlayd
  With faire vermilion or pure Castory.
  Great wonder had the knight, to see the mayd
So straungely passioned, and to her gently sayd,

Faire Damzell, seemeth, by your troubled cheare,
  That either me too bold ye weene, this wise
  You to molest, or other ill to feare
  That in the secret of your hart close lyes,
  From whence it doth, as cloud from sea arise.
  If it be I, of pardon I you pray;
  But if ought else that I mote not deuise,
  I will, if please you it discure, assay,
To ease you of that ill, so wisely as I may.

She answerd nought, but more abasht for shame,
  Held downe her head, the whiles her louely face
  The flashing bloud with blushing did inflame,
  And the strong passion mard her modest grace,
  That Guyon meruayld at her vncouth cace:
  Till Alma him bespake, Why wonder yee
  Faire Sir at that, which ye so much embrace?
  She is the fountaine of your modestee;
You shamefast are, but Shamefastnesse it selfe is shee.

Thereat the Elfe did blush in priuitee,
  And turnd his face away; but she the same
  Dissembled faire, and faynd to ouersee.
  Thus they awhile with court and goodly game,
  Themselues did solace each one with his Dame,
  Till that great Ladie thence away them sought,
  To vew her castles other wondrous frame.
  Vp to a stately Turret she them brought,
Ascending by ten steps of Alablaster wrought.

That Turrets frame most admirable was,
  Like highest heauen compassed around,
  And lifted high aboue this earthly masse,
  Which it suruew'd, as hils doen lower ground;
  But not on ground mote like to this be found,
  Not that, which antique Cadmus whylome built
  In Thebes, which Alexander did confound;
  Nor that proud towre of Troy, though richly guilt,
From which young Hectors bloud by cruell Greekes was spilt.

The roofe hereof was arched ouer head,
  And deckt with flowers and herbars daintily;
  Two goodly Beacons, set in watches stead,
  Therein gaue light, and flam'd continually:
  For they of liuing fire most subtilly
  Were made, and set in siluer sockets bright,
  Couer'd with lids deuiz'd of substance sly,
  That readily they shut and open might.
O who can tell the prayses of that makers might!

Ne can I tell, ne can I stay to tell
  This parts great workmanship, & wondrous powre,
  That all this other worlds worke doth excell,
  And likest is vnto that heauenly towre,
  That God hath built for his owne blessed bowre.
  Therein were diuerse roomes, and diuerse stages,
  But three the chiefest, and of greatest powre,
  In which there dwelt three honorable sages,
The wisest men, I weene, that liued in their ages.

Not he, whom Greece, the Nourse of all good arts,
  By Phoebus doome, the wisest thought aliue,
  Might be compar'd to these by many parts:
  Nor that sage Pylian syre, which did suruiue
  Three ages, such as mortall men contriue,
  By whose aduise old Priams cittie fell,
  With these in praise of pollicies mote striue.
  These three in these three roomes did sundry dwell,
And counselled faire Alma, how to gouerne well.

The first of them could things to come foresee:
  The next could of things present best aduize;
  The third things past could keepe in memoree,
  So that no time, nor reason could arize,
  But that the same could one of these comprize.
  For thy the first did in the forepart sit,
  That nought mote hinder his quicke preiudize:
  He had a sharpe foresight, and working wit,
That neuer idle was, ne once could rest a whit.

His chamber was dispainted all within,
  With sundry colours, in the which were writ
  Infinite shapes of things dispersed thin;
  Some such as in the world were neuer yit,
  Ne can deuized be of mortall wit;
  Some daily seene, and knowen by their names,
  Such as in idle fantasies doe flit:
  Infernall Hags, Centaurs, feendes, Hippodames,
Apes, Lions, Ægles, Owles, fooles, louers, children, Dames.

And all the chamber filled was with flyes,
  Which buzzed all about, and made such sound,
  That they encombred all mens eares and eyes,
  Like many swarmes of Bees assembled round,
  After their hiues with honny do abound:
  All those were idle thoughts and fantasies,
  Deuices, dreames, opinions vnsound,
  Shewes, visions, sooth-sayes, and prophesies;
And all that fained is, as leasings, tales, and lies.

Emongst them all sate he, which wonned there,
  That hight Phantastes by his nature trew;
  A man of yeares yet fresh, as mote appere,
  Of swarth complexion, and of crabbed hew,
  That him full of melancholy did shew;
  Bent hollow beetle browes, sharpe staring eyes,
  That mad or foolish seemd: one by his vew
  Mote deeme him borne with ill disposed skyes,
When oblique Saturne sate in the house of agonyes.

Whom Alma hauing shewed to her guestes,
  Thence brought th[m] to the second roome, whose wals
  Were painted faire with memorable gestes,
  Of famous Wisards, and with picturals
  Of Magistrates, of courts, of tribunals,
  Of commen wealthes, of states, of pollicy,
  Of lawes, of iudgements, and of decretals;
  All artes, all science, all Philosophy,
And all that in the world was aye thought wittily.

Of those that roome was full, and them among
  There sate a man of ripe and perfect age,
  Who did them meditate all his life long,
  That through continuall practise and vsage,
  He now was growne right wise, and wondrous sage.
  Great pleasure had those stranger knights, to see
  His goodly reason, and graue personage,
  That his disciples both desir'd to bee;
But Alma thence the[m] led to th'hindmost roome of three.

That chamber seemed ruinous and old,
  And therefore was remoued farre behind,
  Yet were the wals, that did the same vphold,
  Right firme & strong, though somewhat they declind;
  And therein sate an old old man, halfe blind,
  And all decrepit in his feeble corse,
  Yet liuely vigour rested in his mind,
  And recompenst him with a better scorse:
Weake body well is chang'd for minds redoubled forse.

This man of infinite remembrance was,
  And things foregone through many ages held,
  Which he recorded still, as they did pas,
  Ne suffred them to perish through long eld,
  As all things else, the which this world doth weld,
  But laid them vp in his immortall scrine,
  Where they for euer incorrupted dweld:
  The warres he well remembred of king Nine,
Of old Assaracus, and Inachus diuine.

The yeares of Nestor nothing were to his,
  Ne yet Mathusalem, though longest liu'd;
  For he remembred both their infancies:
  Ne wonder then, if that he were depriu'd
  Of natiue strength now, that he them suruiu'd.
  His chamber all was hangd about with rolles,
  And old records from auncient times deriu'd,
  Some made in books, some in long parchme[n]t scrolles,
That were all worme-eaten, and full of canker holes.

Amidst them all he in a chaire was set,
  Tossing and turning them withouten end;
  But for he was vnhable them to fet,
  A litle boy did on him still attend,
  To reach, when euer he for ought did send;
  And oft when things were lost, or laid amis,
  That boy them sought, and vnto him did lend.
  Therefore he Anamnestes cleped is,
And that old man Eumnestes, by their propertis.

The knights there entring, did him reuerence dew
  And wondred at his endlesse exercise,
  Then as they gan his Librarie to vew,
  And antique Registers for to auise,
  There chaunced to the Princes hand to rize,
  An auncient booke, hight Briton moniments,
  That of this lands first conquest did deuize,
  And old diuision into Regiments,
Till it reduced was to one mans gouernments.

Sir Guyon chaunst eke on another booke,
  That hight Antiquitie of Faerie lond.
  In which when as he greedily did looke;
  Th'off-spring of Elues and Faries there he fond,
  As it deliuered was from hond to hond:
  Whereat they burning both with feruent fire,
  Their countries auncestry to vnderstond,
  Crau'd leaue of Alma, and that aged sire,
To read those bookes; who gladly graunted their desire.

Cant. X.

A chronicle of Briton kings,
  from Brute to Vthers rayne.
And rolles of Elfin Emperours,
  till time of Gloriane.

W Ho now shall giue vnto me words and sound,
  Equall vnto this haughtie enterprise?
  Or who shall lend me wings, with which from ground
  Lowly verse may loftily arise,
  And lift it selfe vnto the highest skies?
  More ample spirit, then hitherto was wount,
  Here needes me, whiles the famous auncestries
  Of my most dreaded Soueraigne I recount,
By which all earthly Princes she doth farre surmount.

Ne vnder Sunne, that shines so wide and faire,
  Whence all that liues, does borrow life and light,
  Liues ought, that to her linage may compaire,
  Which though from earth it be deriued right,
  Yet doth it selfe stretch forth to heauens hight,
  And all the world with wonder ouerspred;
  A labour huge, exceeding farre my might:
  How shall fraile pen, with feare disparaged,
Conceiue such soueraine glory, and great bountihed?

Argument worthy of Moeonian quill,
  Or rather worthy of great Phoebus rote,
  Whereon the ruines of great Ossa hill,
  And triumphes of Phlegræan Ioue he wrote,
  That all the Gods admird his loftie note.
  But if some relish of that heauenly lay
  His learned daughters would to me report,
  To decke my song withall, I would assay,
Thy name, ô soueraine Queene, to blazon farre away.

Thy name ô soueraine Queene, thy realme and race,
  From this renowmed Prince deriued arre,
  Who mightily vpheld that royall mace,
  Which now thou bear'st, to thee descended farre
  From mightie kings and conquerours in warre,
  Thy fathers and great Grandfathers of old,
  Whose noble deedes aboue the Northerne starre
  Immortall fame for euer hath enrold;
As in that old mans booke they were in order told.

The land, which warlike Britons now possesse,
  And therein haue their mightie empire raysd,
  In antique times was saluage wildernesse,
  Vnpeopled, vnmanurd, vnprou'd, vnpraysd,
  Ne was it Island then, ne was it paysd
  Amid the Ocean waues, ne was it sought
  Of marchants farre, for profits therein praysd,
  But was all desolate, and of some thought
By sea to haue bene fro[m] the Celticke mayn-land brought.

Ne did it then deserue a name to haue,
  Till that the venturous Mariner that way
  Learning his ship from those white rocks to saue,
  Which all along the Southerne sea-coast lay,
  Threatning vnheedie wrecke and rash decay,
  For safeties sake that same his sea-marke made,
  And named it Albion. But later day
  Finding in it fit ports for fishers trade,
Gan more the same frequent, and further to inuade.

But farre in land a saluage nation dwelt,
  Of hideous Giants, and halfe beastly men,
  That neuer tasted grace, nor goodnesse felt,
  But like wild beasts lurking in loathsome den,
  And flying fast as Roebucke through the fen,
  All naked without shame, or care of cold,
  By hunting and by spoiling liued then;
  Of stature huge, and eke of courage bold,
That sonnes of men amazd their sternnesse to behold.

But whence they sprong, or how they were begot,
  Vneath is to assure; vneath to wene
  That monstrous error, which doth some assot,
  That Dioclesians fiftie daughters shene
  Into this land by chaunce haue driuen bene,
  Where companing with feends and filthy Sprights,
  Through vaine illusion of their lust vnclene,
  They brought forth Giants and such dreadfull wights,
As farre exceeded men in their immeasurd mights.

They held this land, and with their filthinesse
  Polluted this same gentle soyle long time:
  That their owne mother loathd their beastlinesse,
  And gan abhorre her broods vnkindly crime,
  All were they borne of her owne natiue slime,
  Vntill that Brutus anciently deriu'd
  From royall stocke of old Assaracs line,
  Driuen by fatall error, here arriu'd,
And them of their vniust possession depriu'd.

But ere he had established his throne,
  And spred his empire to the vtmost shore,
  He fought great battels with his saluage fone;
  In which he them defeated euermore,
  And many Giants left on groning flore;
  That well can witnesse yet vnto this day
  The westerne Hogh, besprincled with the gore
  Of mightie Göemot, whom in stout fray
Corineus conquered, and cruelly did slay.

And eke that ample Pit, yet farre renownd,
  For the large leape, which Debon did compell
  Coulin to make, being eight lugs of grownd;
  Into the which returning backe, he fell:
  But those three monstrous stones doe most excell
  Which that huge sonne of hideous Albion,
  Whose father Hercules in Fraunce did quell,
  Great Godmer threw, in fierce contention,
At bold Canutus; but of him was slaine anon.

In meed of these great conquests by them got,
  Corineus had that Prouince vtmost west,
  To him assigned for his worthy lot,
  Which of his name and memorable gest
  He called Cornewaile, yet so called best:
  And Debons shayre was, that is Deuonshyre:
  But Canute had his portion from the rest,
  The which he cald Canutium, for his hyre;
Now Cantium, which Kent we commenly inquire.

Thus Brute this Realme vnto his rule subdewd,
  And raigned long in great felicitie,
  Lou'd of his friends, and of his foes eschewd,
  He left three sonnes, his famous progeny,
  Borne of faire Inogene of Italy;
  Mongst whom he parted his imperiall state,
  And Locrine left chiefe Lord of Britany.
  At last ripe age bad him surrender late
His life, and long good fortune vnto finall fate.

Locrine was left the soueraine Lord of all;
  But Albanact had all the Northrene part,
  Which of himselfe Albania he did call;
  And Camber did possesse the Westerne quart,
  Which Seuerne now from Logris doth depart:
  And each his portion peaceably enioyd,
  Ne was there outward breach, nor grudge in hart,
  That once their quiet gouernment annoyd,
But each his paines to others profit still employd.

Vntill a nation straung, with visage swart,
  And courage fierce, that all men did affray,
  Which through the world the[m] swarmd in euery part,
  And ouerflow'd all countries farre away,
  Like Noyes great flood, with their importune sway,
  This land inuaded with like violence,
  And did themselues through all the North display:
  Vntill that Locrine for his Realmes defence,
Did head against them make, and strong munificence.

He them encountred, a confused rout,
  Foreby the Riuer, that whylome was hight
  The auncient Abus, where with courage stout
  He them defeated in victorious fight,
  And chaste so fiercely after fearfull flight,
  That forst their Chieftaine, for his safeties sake,
  (Their Chieftaine Humber named was aright)
  Vnto the mightie streame him to betake,
Where he an end of battell, and of life did make.

The king returned proud of victorie,
  And insolent wox through vnwonted ease,
  That shortly he forgot the ieopardie,
  Which in his land he lately did appease,
  And fell to vaine voluptuous disease:
  He lou'd faire Ladie Estrild, lewdly lou'd,
  Whose wanton pleasures him too much did please.
  That quite his hart from Guendolene remou'd,
Fro[m] Guendolene his wife, though alwaies faithfull prou'd.

The noble daughter of Corineus
  Would not endure to be so vile disdaind,
  But gathering force, and courage valorous,
  Encountred him in battell well ordaind,
  In which him vanquisht she to fly constraind:
  But she so fast pursewd, that him she tooke,
  And threw in bands, where he till death remaind;
  Als his faire Leman, flying through a brooke,
She ouerhent, nought moued with her piteous looke.

But both her selfe, and eke her daughter deare,
  Begotten by her kingly Paramoure,
  The faire Sabrina almost dead with feare,
  She there attached, farre from all succoure;
  The one she slew in that impatient stoure,
  But the sad virgin innocent of all,
  Adowne the rolling riuer she did poure,
  Which of her name now Seuerne men do call:
Such was the end, that to disloyall loue did fall.

Then for her sonne, which she to Locrin bore,
  Madan was young, vnmeet the rule of sway,
  In her owne hande the crowne she kept in store,
  Till ryper yeares he raught, and stronger stay:
  During which time her powre she did display
  Through all this realme, the glorie of her sex,
  And first taught men a woman to obay:
  But when her sonne to mans estate did wex,
She it surrendred, ne her selfe would lenger vex.

Tho Madan raignd, vnworthie of his race:
  For with all shame that sacred throne he fild:
  Next Memprise, as vnworthy of that place,
  In which being consorted with Manild,
  For thirst of single kingdome him he kild.
  But Ebranck salued both their infamies
  With noble deedes, and warreyd on Brunchild
  In Henault, where yet of his victories
Braue moniments remaine, which yet that land enuies.

An happie man in his first dayes he was,
  And happie father of faire progeny:
For all so many weekes as the yeare has,
  So many children he did multiply;
  Of which were twentie sonnes, which did apply,
  Their minds to praise, and cheualrous desire:
  Those germans did subdew all Germany,
  Of whom it hight; but in the end their Sire
With foule repulse from Fraunce was forced to retire.

Which blot his sonne succeeding in his seat,
  The second Brute, the second both in name,
  And eke in semblance of his puissance great,
  Right well recur'd, and did away that blame
  With recompence of euerlasting fame.
  He with his victour sword first opened,
  The bowels of wide Fraunce, a forlorne Dame,
  And taught her first how to be conquered;
Since which, with sundrie spoiles she hath beene ransacked.

Let Scaldis tell, and let tell Hania,
  And let the marsh of Estham bruges tell,
  What colour were their waters that same day,
  And all the moore twixt Eluersham and Dell,
  With bloud of Henalois, which therein fell.
  How oft that day did sad Brunchildis see
  The greene shield dyde in dolorous vermell?
  That not Scuith guiridh it mote seeme to bee
But rather y Scuith gogh, signe of sad crueltee.

His sonne king Leill by fathers labour long,
  Enioyd an heritage of lasting peace,
  And built Cairleill, and built Cairleon strong.
  Next Huddibras his realme did not encrease,
  But taught the land from wearie warres to cease.
  Whose footsteps Bladud following in arts
  Exceld at Athens all the learned preace,
  From whence he brought them to these saluage parts,
And with sweet science mollifide their stubborne harts.

Ensample of his wondrous faculty,
  Behold the boyling Bathes at Cairbadon,
  Which seeth with secret fire eternally,
  And in their entrails, full of quicke Brimston,
  Nourish the flames, which they are warm'd vpon,
  That to their people wealth they forth do well,
  And health to euery forreine nation:
  Yet he at last contending to excell
The reach of men, through flight into fond mischief fell.

Next him king Leyr in happie peace long raind,
  But had no issue male him to succeed,
  But three faire daughters, which were well vptraind,
  In all that seemed fit for kingly seed:
  Mongst whom his realme he equally decreed
  To have diuided. Tho when feeble age
  Nigh to his vtmost date he saw proceed,
  He cald his daughters; and with speeches sage
Inquyrd, which of them most did loue her parentage.

The eldest Gonorill gan to protest,
  That she much more then her owne life him lou'd:
  And Regan greater loue to him profest,
  Then all the world, when euer it were proou'd;
  But Cordeill said she lou'd him, as behoou'd:
  Whose simple answere, wanting colours faire
  To paint it forth, him to displeasance moou'd,
  That in his crowne he counted her no haire,
But twixt the other twaine his kingdome whole did shaire.

So wedded th'one to Maglan king of Scots,
  And th'other to the king of Cambria,
  And twixt them shayrd his realme by equall lots:
  But without dowre the wise Cordelia
  Was sent to Aganip of Celtica.
  Their aged Syre, thus eased of his crowne,
  A priuate life led in Albania,
  With Gonorill, long had in great renowne,
That nought him grieu'd to bene from rule deposed downe.

But true it is, that when the oyle is spent,
  The light goes out, and weeke is throwne away;
  So when he had resigned his regiment,
  His daughter gan despise his drouping day,
  And wearie waxe of his continuall stay.
  Tho to his daughter Rigan he repayrd,
  Who him at first well vsed euery way;
  But when of his departure she despayrd,
Her bountie she abated, and his cheare empayrd.

The wretched man gan then auise too late,
  That loue is not, where most it is profest,
  Too truely tryde in his extreamest state;
  At last resolu'd likewise to proue the rest,
  He to Cordelia him selfe addrest,
  Who with entire affection him receau'd,
  As for her Syre and king her seemed best;
  And after all an army strong she leau'd,
To war on those, which him had of his realme bereau'd.

So to his crowne she him restor'd againe,
  In which he dyde, made ripe for death by eld,
  And after wild, it should to her remaine:
  Who peaceably the same long time did weld:
  And all mens harts in dew obedience held:
  Till that her sisters children, woxen strong
  Through proud ambition, against her rebeld,
  And ouercommen kept in prison long,
Till wearie of that wretched life, her selfe she hong.

Then gan the bloudie brethren both to raine:
  But fierce Cundah gan shortly to enuie
  His brother Morgan, prickt with proud disdaine,
  To haue a pere in part of soueraintie,
  And kindling coles of cruell enmitie,
  Raisd warre, and him in battell ouerthrew:
  Whence as he to those woodie hils did flie,
  Which hight of him Glamorgan, there him slew:
Then did he raigne alone, when he none equall knew.

His sonne Riuallo his dead roome did supply,
  In whose sad time bloud did from heauen raine:
  Next great Gurgustus, then faire Cæcily
  In constant peace their kingdomes did containe,
  After whom Lago, and Kinmarke did raine,
  And Gorbogud, till farre in yeares he grew:
  Then his ambitious sonnes vnto them twaine
  Arraught the rule, and from their father drew,
Stout Ferrex and sterne Porrex him in prison threw.

But ô the greedy thirst of royall crowne,
  That knowes no kinred, nor regardes no right,
  Stird Porrex vp to put his brother downe;
  Who vnto him assembling forreine might,
  Made warre on him, and fell him selfe in fight:
  Whose death t'auenge, his mother mercilesse,
  Most mercilesse of women, VVyden hight,
  Her other sonne fast sleeping did oppresse,
And with most cruell hand him murdred pittilesse.

Here ended Brutus sacred progenie,
  Which had seuen hundred yeares this scepter borne,
  With high renowme, and great felicitie?
  The noble braunch from th'antique stocke was torne
  Through discord, and the royall throne forlorne:
  Thenceforth this Realme was into factions rent,
  Whilest each of Brutus boasted to be borne,
  That in the end was left no moniment
Of Brutus, nor of Britons glory auncient.

Then vp arose a man of matchlesse might,
  And wondrous wit to menage high affaires,
  Who stird with pitty of the stressed plight
  Of this sad Realme, cut into sundry shaires
  By such, as claymd themselues Brutes rightfull haires,
  Gathered the Princes of the people loose,
  To taken counsell of their common cares;
  Who with his wisedom won, him streight did choose
Their king, and swore him fealty to win or loose.

Then made he head against his enimies,
  And Ymner slew, or Logris miscreate;
  Then Ruddoc and proud Stater, both allyes,
  This of Albanie newly nominate,
  And that of Cambry king confirmed late,
  He ouerthrew through his owne valiaunce;
  Whose countreis he redus'd to quiet state,
  And shortly brought to ciuill gouernaunce,
Now one, which earst were many, made through variaunce.

Then made he sacred lawes, which some men say
  Were vnto him reueald in vision,
  By which he freed the Traueilers high way,
  The Churches part, and Ploughmans portion,
  Restraining stealth, and strong extortion;
  The gracious Numa of great Britanie:
  For till his dayes, the chiefe dominion
  By strength was wielded without pollicie;
Therefore he first wore crowne of gold for dignitie.

Donwallo dyde (for what may liue for ay?)
  And left two sonnes, of pearelesse prowesse both;
  That sacked Rome too dearely did assay,
  The recompence of their periured oth,
  And ransackt Greece well tryde, whe[n] they were wroth;
  Besides subiected Fraunce, and Germany,
  Which yet their prayses speake, all be they loth,
  And inly tremble at the memory
Of Brennus and Bellinus, kings of Britany.

Next them did Gurgunt, great Bellinus sonne
  In rule succeede, and eke in fathers prayse;
  He Easterland subdewd, and Danmarke wonne,
  And of them both did foy and tribute raise,
  The which was dew in his dead fathers dayes:
  He also gaue to fugitiues of Spayne,
  Whom he at sea found wandring from their wayes,
  A seate in Ireland safely to remayne,
Which they should hold of him, as subiect to Britayne.

After him raigned Guitheline his hayre,
  The iustest man and trewest in his dayes,
  Who had to wife Dame Mertia the fayre,
  A woman worthy of immortall prayse,
  Which for this Realme found many goodly layes,
  And wholesome Statutes to her husband brought;
  Her many deemd to haue beene of the Fayes,
  As was Aegerie, that Numa tought;
Those yet of her be Mertia[n] lawes both nam'd & thought.

Her sonne Sisillus after her did rayne,
  And then Kimarus, and then Danius;
  Next whom Morindus did the crowne sustaine,
  Who, had he not with wrath outrageous,
  And cruell rancour dim'd his valorous
  And mightie deeds, should matched haue the best:
  As well in that same field victorious
  Against the forreine Morands he exprest;
Yet liues his memorie, though carcas sleepe in rest.

Fiue sonnes he left begotten of one wife,
  All which successiuely by turnes did raine;
  First Gorboman a man of vertuous life;
  Next Archigald, who for his proud disdaine,
  Deposed was from Princedome soueraine,
  And pitteous Elidure put in his sted;
  Who shortly it to him restord againe,
  Till by his death he it recouered;
But Peridure and Vigent him disthronized.

In wretched prison long he did remaine,
  Till they outraigned had their vtmost date,
  And then therein reseized was againe,
  And ruled long with honorable state,
  Till he surrendred Realme and life to fate.
  Then all the sonnes of these fiue brethren raynd
  By dew successe, and all their Nephewes late,
  Euen thrise eleuen descents the crowne retaynd,
Till aged Hely by dew heritage it gaynd.

He had two sonnes, whose eldest called Lud
  Left of his life most famous memory,
  And endlesse moniments of his great good:
  The ruin'd wals he did reædifye
  Of Troynouant, gainst force of enimy,
  And built that gate, which of his name is hight,
  By which he lyes entombed solemnly.
  He left two sonnes, too young to rule aright,
Androgeus and Tenantius, pictures of his might.

Whilst they were young, Cassibalane their Eme
  Was by the people chosen in their sted,
  Who on him tooke the royall Diademe,
  And goodly well long time it gouerned,
  Till the prowd Romanes him disquieted,
  And warlike Caesar, tempted with the name
  Of this sweet Island, neuer conquered,
  And enuying the Britons blazed fame,
(O hideous hunger of dominion) hither came.

Yet twise they were repulsed backe againe,
  And twise renforst, backe to their ships to fly,
  The whiles with bloud they all the shore did staine,
  And the gray Ocean into purple dy:
  Ne had they footing found at last perdie,
  Had not Androgeus, false to natiue soyle,
  And enuious of Vncles soueraintie,
  Betrayd his contrey vnto forreine spoyle:
Nought else, but treason, from the first this la[n]d did foyle.

So by him Caesar got the victory,
  Through great bloudshed, and many a sad assay,
  In which him selfe was charged heauily
  Of hardy Nennius, whom he yet did slay,
  But lost his sword, yet to be seene this day.
  Thenceforth this land was tributarie made
  T'ambitious Rome, and did their rule obay,
  Till Arthur all that reckoning did defray;
Yet oft the Briton kings against them strongly swayd.

Next him Tenantius raigned, then Kimbeline,
  What time th'eternall Lord in fleshly slime
  Enwombed was, from wretched Adams line
  To purge away the guilt of sinfull crime:
  O ioyous memorie of happy time,
  That heauenly grace so plenteously displayd;
  (O too high ditty for my simple rime.)
  Soone after this the Romanes him warrayd;
For that their tribute he refusd to let be payd.

Good Claudius, that next was Emperour,
  An army brought, and with him battell fought,
  In which the king was by a Treachetour
  Disguised slaine, ere any thereof thought:
  Yet ceased not the bloudy fight for ought;
  For Aruirage his brothers place supplide,
  Both in his armes, and crowne, and by that draught
  Did driue the Romanes to the weaker side,
That they to peace agreed. So all was pacifide.

Was neuer king more highly magnifide,
  Nor dred of Romanes, then was Aruirage,
  For which the Emperour to him allide
  His daughter Genuiss' in marriage:
  Yet shortly he renounst the vassalage
  Of Rome againe, who hither hastly sent
  Vespasian, that with great spoile and rage
  Forwasted all, till Genuissa gent
Perswaded him to ceasse, and her Lord to relent.

He dyde; and him succeeded Marius,
  Who ioyd his dayes in great tranquillity,
  Then Coyll, and after him good Lucius,
  That first receiued Christianitie,
  The sacred pledge of Christes Euangely;
  Yet true it is, that long before that day
  Hither came Ioseph of Arimathy,
  Who brought with him the holy grayle, (they say)
And preacht the truth, but since it greatly did decay.

This good king shortly without issew dide,
  Whereof great trouble in the kingdome grew,
  That did her selfe in sundry parts diuide,
  And with her powre her owne selfe ouerthrew,
  Whilest Romanes dayly did the weake subdew:
  Which seeing stout Bunduca, vp arose,
  And taking armes, the Britons to her drew;
  With whom she marched streight against her foes,
And them vnwares besides the Seuerne did enclose.

There she with them a cruell battell tride,
  Not with so good successe, as she deseru'd;
  By reason that the Captaines on her side,
  Corrupted by Paulinus, from her sweru'd:
  Yet such, as were through former flight preseru'd,
  Gathering againe, her Host she did renew,
  And with fresh courage on the victour seru'd:
  But being all defeated, saue a few,
Rather then fly, or be captiu'd her selfe she slew.

O famous moniment of womens prayse,
  Matchable either to Semiramis,
  Whom antique history so high doth raise,
  Or to Hypsiphil' or to Thomiris:
  Her Host two hundred thousand numbred is;
  Who whiles good fortune fauoured her might,
  Triumphed oft against her enimis;
  And yet though ouercome in haplesse fight,
She triumphed on death, in enemies despight.

Her reliques Fulgent hauing gathered,
  Fought with Seuerus, and him ouerthrew;
  Yet in the chace was slaine of them, that fled:
  So made them victours, whom he did subdew.
  Then gan Carausius tirannize anew,
  And gainst the Romanes bent their proper powre,
  But him Allectus treacherously slew,
  And took on him the robe of Emperoure:
Nath'lesse the same enioyed but short happy howre:

For Asclepiodate him ouercame,
  And left inglorious on the vanquisht playne,
  Without or robe, or rag, to hide his shame.
  Then afterwards he in his stead did rayne;
  But shortly was by Coyll in battell slaine:
  Who after long debate, since Lucies time,
  Was of the Britons first crownd Soueraine:
  Then gan this Realme renewe her passed prime:
He of his name Coylchester built of stone and lime.

Which when the Romanes heard, they hither sent
  Constantius, a man of mickle might,
  With whom king Coyll made an agreement,
  And to him gaue for wife his daughter bright,
  Faire Helena, the fairest liuing wight;
  Who in all godly thewes, and goodly prayse
  Did far excell, but was most famous hight
  For skill in Musicke of all in her dayes,
Aswell in curious instruments, as cunning layes.

Of whom he did great Constantine beget,
  Who afterward was Emperour of Rome;
  To which whiles absent he his mind did set,
  Octauius here lept into his roome,
  And it vsurped by vnrighteous doome:
  But he his title iustifide by might,
  Slaying Traherne, and hauing ouercome
  The Romane legion in dreadfull fight:
So settled he his kingdome, and confirmd his right.

But wanting issew male, his daughter deare
  He gaue in wedlocke to Maximian,
  And him with her made of his kingdome heyre,
  Who soone by meanes thereof the Empire wan,
  Till murdred by the friends of Gratian;
  Then gan the Hunnes and Picts inuade this land,
  During the raigne of Maximinian;
  Who dying left none heire them to withstand,
But that they ouerran all parts with easie hand.

The weary Britons, whose war-hable youth
  Was by Maximian lately led away,
  With wretched miseries, and woefull ruth,
  Were to those Pagans made an open pray,
  And dayly spectacle of sad decay:
  Whom Romane warres, which now foure hundred yeares,
  And more had wasted, could no whit dismay;
  Till by consent of Commons and of Peares,
They crownd the second Constantine with ioyous teares,

Who hauing oft in battell vanquished
  Those spoilefull Picts, and swarming Easterlings,
  Long time in peace his Realme established,
  Yet oft annoyd with sundry bordragings
  Of neighbour Scots, and forrein Scatterlings,
  With which the world did in those dayes abound:
  Which to outbarre, with painefull pyonings
  From sea to sea he heapt a mightie mound,
Which from Alcluid to Panwelt did that border bound.

Three sonnes he dying left, all vnder age;
  By meanes whereof, their vncle Vortigere
  Vsurpt the crowne, during their pupillage;
  Which th'Infants tutors gathering to feare,
  Them closely into Armorick did beare:
  For dread of whom, and for those Picts annoyes,
  He sent to Germanie, straunge aid to reare,
  From whence eftsoones arriued here three hoyes
Of Saxons, whom he for his safetie imployes.

Two brethren were their Capitains, which hight
  Hengist and Horsus, well approu'd in warre,
  And both of them men of renowmed might;
  Who making vantage of their ciuill iarre,
  And of those forreiners, which came from farre,
  Grew great, and got large portions of land,
  That in the Realme ere long they stronger arre,
  Then they which sought at first their helping hand,
And Vortiger enforst the kingdome to aband.

But by the helpe of Vortimere his sonne,
He is againe vnto his rule restord,
  And Hengist seeming sad, for that was donne,
  Receiued is to grace and new accord,
  Through his faire daughters face, & flattring word;
  Soone after which, three hundred Lordes he slew
  Of British bloud, all sitting at his bord;
  Whose dolefull moniments who list to rew,
Th'eternall markes of treason may at Stonheng vew.

By this the sonnes of Constantine, which fled,
  Ambrose and Vther did ripe years attaine,
  And here arriuing, strongly challenged
  The crowne, which Vortiger did long detaine:
  Who flying from his guilt, by them was slaine,
  And Hengist eke soone brought to shamefull death.
  Thenceforth Aurelius peaceably did rayne,
  Till that through poyson stopped was his breath;
So now entombed lyes at Stoneheng by the heath.

After him Vther, which Pendragon hight,
  Succeding There abruptly it did end,
  Without full point, or other Cesure right,
  As if the rest some wicked hand did rend,
  Or th'Authour selfe could not at least attend
  To finish it: that so vntimely breach
  The Prince him selfe halfe seemeth to offend,
  Yet secret pleasure did offence empeach,
And wonder of antiquitie long stopt his speach.

At last quite rauisht with delight, to heare
  The royall Ofspring of his natiue land,
  Cryde out, Deare countrey, ô how dearely deare
  Ought thy remembraunce, and perpetuall band
  Be to thy foster Childe, that from thy hand
  Did commun breath and nouriture receaue?
  How brutish is it not to vnderstand,
  How much to her we owe, that all vs gaue,
That gaue vnto vs all, what euer good we haue.

But Guyon all this while his booke did read,
  Ne yet has ended: for it was a great
  And ample volume, that doth far excead
  My leasure, so long leaues here to repeat:
  It told, how first Prometheus did create
  A man, of many partes from beasts deriued,
  And then stole fire from heauen, to animate
  His worke, for which he was by Ioue depriued
Of life him selfe, and hart-strings of an Ægle riued.

That man so made, he called Elfe, to weet
  Quick, the first authour of all Elfin kind:
  Who wandring through the world with wearie feet,
  Did in the gardins of Adonis find
  A goodly creature, whom he deemd in mind
  To be no earthly wight, but either Spright,
  Or Angell, th'authour of all woman kind;
  Therefore a Fay he her according hight,
Of whom all Faeryes spring, and fetch their lignage right.

Of these a mightie people shortly grew,
  And puissaunt kings, which all the world warrayd,
  And to them selues all Nations did subdew:
  The first and eldest, which that scepter swayd,
  Was Elfin; him all India obayd,
  And all that now America men call:
  Next him was noble Elfinan, who layd
  Cleopolis foundation first of all:
But Elfiline enclosd it with a golden wall.

His sonne was Elfinell, who ouercame
  The wicked Gobbelines in bloudy field:
  But Elfant was of most renowmed fame,
  Who all of Christall did Panthea build:
  Then Elfar, who two brethren gyants kild,
  The one of which had two heads, th'other three:
  Then Elfinor, who was in Magick skild;
  He built by art vpon the glassy See
A bridge of bras, whose sound heaue[n]s thunder seem'd to bee.

He left three sonnes, the which in order raynd,
  And all their Ofspring, in their dew descents,
  Euen seuen hundred Princes, which maintaynd
  With mightie deedes their sundry gouernments; 
  That were too long their infinite contents
  Here to record, ne much materiall:
  Yet should they be most famous moniments,
  And braue ensample, both of martiall,
And ciuill rule to kings and states imperiall.

After all these Elficleos did rayne,
  The wise Elficleos in great Maiestie,
  Who mightily that scepter did sustayne,
  And with rich spoiles and famous victorie,
  Did high aduaunce the crowne of Faery:
  He left two sonnes, of which faire Elferon
  The eldest brother did vntimely dy;
  Whose emptie place the mightie Oberon
Doubly supplide, in spousall, and dominion.

Great was his power and glorie ouer all,
  Which him before, that sacred seate did fill,
  That yet remaines his wide memoriall:
  He dying left the fairest Tanaquill,
  Him to succeede therein, by his last will:
  Fairer and nobler liueth none this howre,
  Ne like in grace, ne like in learned skill;
  Therefore they Glorian call that glorious flowre,
Long mayst thou Glorian liue, in glory and great powre.

Beguild thus with delight of nouelties,
  And naturall desire of countreys state,
  So long they red in those antiquities,
  That how the time was fled, they quite forgate,
  Till gentle Alma seeing it so late,
  Perforce their studies broke, and them besought
  To thinke, how supper did them long awaite.
  So halfe vnwilling from their bookes them brought,
And fairely feasted, as so noble knights she ought.

Cant. XI.

The enimies of Temperaunce
   besiege her dwelling place:
Prince Arthur them repelles, and fowle
  Maleger doth deface.

W Hat warre so cruell, or what siege so sore,
  As that, which strong affections do apply
  Against the fort of reason euermore
  Bring the soule into captiuitie:
  Their force is fiercer through infirmitie
  Of the fraile flesh, relenting to their rage,
  And exercise most bitter tyranny
  Vpon the parts, brought into their bondage:
No wretchednesse is like to sinfull vellenage.

But in a body, which doth freely yeeld
  His partes to reasons rule obedient,
  And letteth her that ought the scepter weeld,
  All happy peace and goodly gouernment
  Is setled there in sure establishment;
  There Alma like a virgin Queene most bright,
  Doth florish in all beautie excellent:
  And to her guestes doth bounteous banket dight,
Attempred goodly well for health and for delight.

Early before the Morne with cremosin ray,
  The windowes of bright heauen opened had,
  Through which into the world the dawning day
  Might looke, that maketh euery creature glad,
  Vprose Sir Guyon, in bright armour clad,
  And to his purposd iourney him prepar'd:
  With him the Palmer eke in habit sad,
  Him selfe addrest to that aduenture hard:
So to the riuers side they both together far'd.

Where them awaited ready at the ford
  The Ferriman, as Alma had behight,
  With his well rigged boate: They go abord,
  And he eftsoones gan launch his barke forthright.
  Ere long they rowed were quite out of sight,
  And fast the land behind them fled away.
  But let them pas, whiles wind and weather right
  Do serue their turnes: here I a while must stay,
To see a cruell fight doen by the Prince this day.

For all so soone, as Guyon thence was gon
  Vpon his voyage with his trustie guide,
  That wicked band of villeins fresh begon
  That castle to assaile on euery side,
  And lay strong siege about it far and wide.
  So huge and infinite their numbers were,
  That all the land they vnder them did hide;
  So fowle and vgly, that exceeding feare
Their visages imprest, when they approched neare.

Them in twelue troupes their Captain did dispart
  And round about in fittest steades did place,
  Where each might best offend his proper part,
  And his contrary obiect most deface,
  As euery one seem'd meetest in that cace.
  Seuen of the same against the Castle gate,
  In strong entrenchments he did closely place,
  Which with incessaunt force and endlesse hate,
They battred day and night, and entraunce did awate.

The other fiue, fiue sundry wayes he set,
  Against the fiue great Bulwarkes of that pile,
  And vnto each a Bulwarke did arret,
  T'assayle with open force or hidden guile,
  In hope thereof to win victorious spoile.
  They all that charge did feruently apply,
  With greedie malice and importune toyle,
  And planted there their huge artillery,
With which they dayly made most dreadfull battery.

The first troupe was a monstrous rablement
  Of fowle misshapen wights, of which some were
  Headed like Owles, with beckes vncomely bent,
  Others like Dogs, others like Gryphons dreare,
  And some had wings, and some had clawes to teare,
  And euery one of them had Lynces eyes,
  And euery one did bow and arrowes beare:
  All those were lawlesse lustes, corrupt enuies,
And couetous aspectes, all cruell enimies.

Those same against the bulwarke of the Sight
  Did lay strong siege, and battailous assault,
  Ne once did yield it respit day nor night,
  But soone as Titan gan his head exault,
  And soone againe as he his light withhault,
  Their wicked engins they against it bent:
  That is each thing, by which the eyes may fault:
  But two then all more huge and violent,
Beautie, and money, they that Bulwarke sorely rent.

The second Bulwarke was the Hearing sence,
  Gainst which the second troupe dessignment makes;
  Deformed creatures, in straunge difference,
  Some hauing heads like Harts, some like to Snakes,
  Some like wild Bores late rouzd out of the brakes;
  Slaunderous reproches, and fowle infamies,
  Leasings, backbytings, and vaine-glorious crakes,
  Bad counsels, prayses, and false flatteries.
All those against that fort did bend their batteries.

Likewise that same third Fort, that is the Smell
  Of that third troupe was cruelly assayd:
  Whose hideous shapes were like to feends of hell,
  Some like to hounds, some like to Apes, dismayd,
  Some like to Puttockes, all in plumes arayd:
  All shap't according their conditions,
  For by those vgly formes weren pourtrayd,
  Foolish delights and fond abusions,
Which do that sence besiege with light illusions.

And that fourth band, which cruell battry bent,
  Against the fourth Bulwarke, that is the Tast,
  Was as the rest, a grysie rablement,
  Some mouth'd like greedy Oystriges, some fast
  Like loathly Toades, some fashioned in the wast
  Like swine; for so deformd is luxury,
  Surfeat, misdiet, and vnthriftie wast,
  Vaine feasts, and idle superfluity:
All those this sences Fort assayle incessantly.

But the fift troupe most horrible of hew,
  And fierce of force, was dreadfull to report:
  For some like Snailes, some did like spyders shew,
  And some like vgly Vrchins thicke and short:
  Cruelly they assayled that fift Fort,
  Armed with darts of sensuall delight,
  With stings of carnall lust, and strong effort
  Of feeling pleasures, with which day and night
Against that same fift bulwarke they continued fight.

Thus these twelue troupes with dreadfull puissance
  Against that Castle restlesse siege did lay,
  And euermore their hideous Ordinance
  Vpon the Bulwarkes cruelly did play,
  That now it gan to threaten neare decay:
  And euermore their wicked Capitaine
  Prouoked them the breaches to assay,
  Somtimes with threats, somtimes with hope of gaine,
Which by the ransack of that peece they should attaine.

On th'other side, th'assieged Castles ward
  Their stedfast stonds did mightily maintaine,
  And many bold repulse, and many hard
  Atchieuement wrought with perill and with paine,
  That goodly frame from ruine to sustaine:
  And those two brethren Giants did defend
  The walles so stoutly with their sturdie maine,
  That neuer entrance any durst pretend,
But they to direfull death their groning ghosts did send.

The noble virgin, Ladie of the place,
  Was much dismayed with that dreadfull sight:
  For neuer was she in so euill cace,
  Till that the Prince seeing her wofull plight,
  Gan her recomfort from so sad affright,
  Offring his seruice, and his dearest life
  For her defence, against that Carle to fight,
  Which was their chiefe and th'author of that strife:
She him remercied as the Patrone of her life.

Eftsoones himselfe in glitterand armes he dight,
  And his well proued weapons to him hent;
  So taking courteous conge he behight,
  Those gates to be vnbar'd, and forth he went.
  Faire mote he thee, the prowest and most gent,
  That euer brandished bright steele on hye:
  Whom soone as that vnruly rablement,
  With his gay Squire issuing did espy,
They reard a most outrageous dreadfull yelling cry,

And therewith all attonce at him let fly
  Their fluttring arrowes, thicke as flakes of snow,
  And round about him flocke impetuously,
  Like a great water flood, that tombling low
  From the high mountaines, threats to ouerflow
  With suddein fury all the fertile plaine,
  And the sad husbandmans long hope doth throw
  A downe the streame, and all his vowes make vaine,
Nor bounds nor banks his headlong ruine may sustaine.

Vpon his shield their heaped hayle he bore,
  And with his sword disperst the raskall flockes,
  Which fled a sunder, and him fell before,
  As withered leaues drop from their dried stockes,
  Whe[n] the wroth Western wind does reaue their locks;
  And vnder neath him his courageous steed,
  The fierce Spumador trode them downe like docks,
  The fierce Spumador borne of heauenly seed:
Such as Laomedon of Phoebus race did breed.

Which suddeine horrour and confused cry,
  When as their Captaine heard, in haste he yode,
  The cause to weet, and fault to remedy;
  Vpon a Tygre swift and fierce he rode,
  That as the winde ran vnderneath his lode,
  Whiles his long legs nigh raught vnto the ground;
  Full large he was of limbe, and shoulders brode,
  But of such subtile substance and vnsound,
That like a ghost he seem'd, whose graue-clothes were vnbound.

And in his hand a bended bow was seene,
  And many arrowes vnder his right side,
  All deadly daungerous, all cruell keene,
  Headed with flint, and feathers bloudie dide,
  Such as the Indians in their quiuers hide;
  Those could he well direct and streight as line,
  And bid them strike the marke, which he had eyde,
  Ne was their salue, ne was their medicine,
That mote recure their wounds: so inly they did tine.

As pale and wan as ashes was his looke,
  His bodie leane and meagre as a rake,
  And skin all withered like a dryed rooke,
  Thereto as cold and drery as a Snake,
  That seem'd to tremble euermore, and quake:
  All in a canuas thin he was bedight,
  And girded with a belt of twisted brake,
  Vpon his head he wore an Helmet light,
Made of a dead mans skull, that seem'd a ghastly sight.

Maleger was his name, and after him,
  There follow'd fast at hand two wicked Hags,
  With hoarie lockes all loose, and visage grim;
  Their feet vnshod, their bodies wrapt in rags,
  And both as swift on foot, as chased Stags;
  And yet the one her other legge had lame,
  Which with a staffe, all full of litle snags
  She did support, and Impotence her name:
But th'other was Impatience, arm'd with raging flame.

Soone as the Carle from farre the Prince espyde,
  Glistring in armes and warlike ornament,
  His Beast he felly prickt on either syde,
  And his mischieuous bow full readie bent,
  With which at him a cruell shaft he sent:
  But he was warie, and it warded well
  Vpon his shield, that it no further went,
  But to the ground the idle quarrell fell:
Then he another and another did expell.

Which to preuent, the Prince his mortall speare
  Soone to him raught, and fierce at him did ride, 
  To be auenged of that shot whyleare:
  But he was not so hardie to abide
  That bitter stownd, but turning quicke aside
  His light-foot beast, fled fast away for feare:
  Whom to pursue, the Infant after hide,
  So fast as his good Courser could him beare,
But labour lost it was, to weene approch him neare.

For as the winged wind his Tigre fled,
  That vew of eye could scarse him ouertake,
  Ne scarse his feet on ground were seene to tred;
  Through hils and dales he speedie way did make,
  Ne hedge ne ditch his readie passage brake,
  And in his flight the villein turn'd his face,
  (As wonts the Tartar by the Caspian lake,
  When as the Russian him in fight does chace)
Vnto his Tygres taile, and shot at him apace.

Apace he shot, and yet he fled apace,
  Still as the greedy knight nigh to him drew,
  And oftentimes he would relent his pace,
  That him his foe more fiercely should pursew:
  Who when his vncouth manner he did vew,
  He gan auize to follow him no more,
  But keepe his standing, and his shaftes eschew,
  Vntill he quite had spent his perlous store,
And then assayle him fresh, ere he could shift for more.

But that lame Hag, still as abroad he strew
  His wicked arrowes, gathered them againe,
  And to him brought, fresh battell to renew:
  Which he espying, cast her to restraine
  From yielding succour to that cursed Swaine,
  And her attaching, thought her hands to tye;
  But soone as him dismounted on the plaine,
  That other Hag did farre away espy
Binding her sister, she to him ran hastily.

And catching hold of him, as downe he lent,
  Him backward ouerthrew, and downe him stayd
  With their rude hands and griesly graplement,
  Till that the villein comming to their ayd,
  Vpon him fell, and lode vpon him layd;
  Full litle wanted, but he had him slaine,
  And of the battell balefull end had made,
  Had not his gentle Squire beheld his paine,
And commen to his reskew, ere his bitter bane.

So greatest and most glorious thing on ground
  May often need the helpe of weaker hand;
  So feeble is mans state, and life vnsound,
  That in assurance it may neuer stand,
  Till it dissolued be from earthly band.
  Proofe be thou Prince, the prowest man aliue,
  And noblest borne of all in Britayne land;
  Yet thee fierce Fortune did so nearely driue,
That had not grace thee blest, thou shouldest not suruiue.

The Squire arriuing, fiercely in his armes
  Snatcht first the one, and then the other Iade,
  His chiefest lets and authors of his harmes,
  And them perforce withheld with threatned blade,
  Least that his Lord they should behind inuade;
  The whiles the Prince prickt with reprochfull shame,
  As one awakt out of long slombring shade,
  Reuiuing thought of glorie and of fame,
Vnited all his powres to purge himselfe from blame.

Like as a fire, the which in hollow caue
  Hath long bene vnderkept, and downe supprest,
  With murmurous disdaine doth inly raue,
  And grudge, in so streight prison to be prest,
  At last breakes forth with furious vnrest,
  And striues to mount vnto his natiue seat;
  All that did earst it hinder and molest,
  It now deuoures with flames and scorching heat,
And carries into smoake with rage and horror great.

So mightily the Briton Prince him rouzd
  Out of his hold, and broke his caitiue bands,
  And as a Beare whom angry curres haue touzd,
  Hauing off-shakt them, and escapt their hands,
  Becomes more fell, and all that him withstands
  Treads downe and ouerthrowes. Now had the Carle
  Alighted from his Tigre, and his hands
  Discharged of his bow and deadly quar'le,
To seize vpon his foe flat lying on the marle.

Which now him turnd to disauantage deare;
  For neither can he fly, nor other harme,
  But trust vnto his strength and manhood meare,
  Sith now he is farre from his monstrous swarme,
  And of his weapons did himselfe disarme.
  The knight yet wrothfull for his late disgrace,
  Fiercely aduaunst his valorous right arme,
  And him so sore smote with his yron mace,
That groueling to the ground he fell, and fild his place.

Well weened he, that field was then his owne,
  And all his labour brought to happie end,
  When suddein vp the villein ouerthrowne,
  Out of his swowne arose, fresh to contend,
  And gan himselfe to second battell bend,
  As hurt he had not bene. Thereby there lay
  An huge great stone, which stood vpon one end,
  And had not bene remoued many a day;
Some land-marke seem'd to be, or signe of sundry way.

The same he snatcht, and with exceeding sway
  Threw at his foe, who was right well aware
  To shunne the engin of his meant decay;
  It booted not to thinke that throw to beare,
  But ground he gaue, and lightly leapt areare:
  Eft fierce returning, as a Faulcon faire
  That once hath failed of her souse full neare,
  Remounts againe into the open aire,
And vnto better fortune doth her selfe prepaire.

So braue returning, with his brandisht blade,
  He to the Carle himselfe againe addrest,
  And strooke at him so sternely, that he made
  An open passage through his riuen brest,
  That halfe the steele behind his back did rest;
  Which drawing backe, he looked euermore
  When the hart bloud should gush out of his chest,
  Or his dead corse should fall vpon the flore;
But his dead corse vpon the flore fell nathemore.

Ne drop of bloud appeared shed to bee,
  All were the wounde so wide and wonderous,
  That through his carkasse one might plainely see:
  Halfe in a maze with horror hideous,
  And halfe in rage, to be deluded thus,
  Againe through both the sides he strooke him quight,
  That made his spright to grone full piteous:
  Yet nathemore forth fled his groning spright,
But freshly as at first, prepard himselfe to fight.

Thereat he smitten was with great affright,
  And trembling terror did his hart apall,
  Ne wist he, what to thinke of that same sight,
  Ne what to say, ne what to doe at all;
  He doubted, least it were some magicall
  Illusion, that did beguile his sense,
  Or wandring ghost, that wanted funerall,
  Or aerie spirit vnder false pretence,
Or hellish feend raysd vp through diuelish science.

His wonder farre exceeded reasons reach,
  That he began to doubt his dazeled sight,
  And oft of error did himselfe appeach:
  Flesh without bloud, a person without spright,
  Wounds without hurt, a bodie without might,
  That could doe harme, yet could not harmed bee,
  That could not die, yet seem'd a mortall wight,
  That was most strong in most infirmitee;
Like did he neuer heare, like did he neuer see.

A while he stood in this astonishment,
  Yet would he not for all his great dismay
  Giue ouer to effect his first intent,
  And th'vtmost meanes of victorie assay,
  Or th'vtmost issew of his owne decay.
  His owne good sword Morddure, that neuer fayld
  At need, till now, he lightly threw away,
  And his bright shield, that nought him now auayld,
And with his naked hands him forcibly assayld.

Twixt his two mightie armes him vp he snatcht,
  And crusht his carkasse so against his brest,
  That the disdainfull soule he thence dispatcht,
  And th'idle breath all vtterly exprest:
  Tho when he felt him dead, a downe he kest
  The lumpish corse vnto the senselesse grownd;
  Adowne he kest it with so puissant wrest,
  That backe againe it did aloft rebownd,
And gaue against his mother earth a gronefull sownd.

As when Ioues harnesse-bearing Bird from hie
  Stoupes at a flying heron with proud disdaine,
  The stone-dead quarrey fals so forciblie,
  That it rebounds against the lowly plaine,
  A second fall redoubling backe againe.
  Then thought the Prince all perill sure was past,
  And that he victor onely did remaine;
  No sooner thought, then that the Carle as fast
Gan heap huge strokes on him, as ere he downe was cast.

Nigh his wits end then woxe th'amazed knight,
  And thought his labour lost and trauell vaine,
  Against this lifelesse shadow so to fight:
  Yet life he saw, and felt his mightie maine,
  That whiles he marueild still, did still him paine:
  For thy he gan some other wayes aduize,
  How to take life from that dead-liuing swaine,
  Whom still he marked freshly to arize
From th'earth, & from her wombe new spirits to reprize.

He then remembred well, that had bene sayd,
  How th'Earth his mother was, and first him bore;
  She eke so often, as his life decayd,
  Did life with vsury to him restore,
  And raysd him vp much stronger then before,
  So soone as he vnto her wombe did fall;
  Therefore to ground he would him cast no more,
  Ne him commit to graue terrestriall,
But beare him farre from hope of succour vsuall.

Tho vp he caught him twixt his puissant hands,
  And hauing scruzd out of his carrion corse
  The lothfull life, now loosd from sinfull bands,
  Vpon his shoulders carried him perforse
  Aboue three furlongs, taking his full course,
  Vntill he came vnto a standing lake;
  Him thereinto he threw without remorse,
  Ne stird, till hope of life did him forsake;
So end of that Carles dayes, and his owne paines did make.

Which when those wicked Hags from farre did spy,
  Like two mad dogs they ran about the lands,
  And th'one of them with dreadfull yelling cry,
  Throwing away her broken chaines and bands,
  And hauing quencht her burning fier brands,
  Hedlong her selfe did cast into that lake;
  But Impotence with her owne wilfull hands,
  One of Malegers cursed darts did take,
So riu'd her trembling hart, and wicked end did make.

Thus now alone he conquerour remaines;
  Tho comming to his Squire, that kept his steed,
  Thought to haue mounted, but his feeble vaines
  Him faild thereto, and serued not his need,
  Through losse of bloud, which from his wounds did bleed,
  That he began to faint, and life decay:
  But his good Squire him helping vp with speed,
  With stedfast hand vpon his horse did stay,
And led him to the Castle by the beaten way.

Where many Groomes and Squiers readie were,
  To take him from his steed full tenderly,
  And eke the fairest Alma met him there
  With balme and wine and costly spicery,
  To comfort him in his infirmity;
  Eftsoones she causd him vp to be conuayd,
  And of his armes despoyled easily,
  In sumptuous bed she made him to be layd,
And all the while his wounds were dressing, by him stayd.

Cant. XII.

Guyon, by Palmers gouernance,
  passing through perils great,
Doth ouerthrow the Bowre of blisse,
  and Acrasie defeat.

N Ow gins this goodly frame of Temperance
  Fairely to rise, and her adorned hed
  To pricke of highest praise forth to aduance,
  Formerly grounded, and fast setteled
  On firme foundation of true bountihed;
  And this braue knight, that for that vertue fights,
  Now comes to point of that same perilous sted,
  Where Pleasure dwelles in sensuall delights,
Mo[n]gst thousand dangers, & ten thousand magick mights.

Two dayes now in that sea he sayled has,
  Ne euer land beheld, ne liuing wight,
  Ne ought saue perill, still as he did pas:
  Tho when appeared the third Morrow bright,
  Vpon the waues to spred her trembling light,
  An hideous roaring farre away they heard,
  That all their senses filled with affright,
  And streight they saw the raging surges reard
Vp to the skyes, that them of drowning made affeard.

Said then the Boteman, Palmer stere aright,
  And keepe an euen course; for yonder way
  We needes must passe (God do vs well acquight,)
  That is the Gulfe of Greedinesse, they say,
  That deepe engorgeth all this worldes pray:
  Which hauing swallowd vp excessiuely,
  He soone in vomit vp againe doth lay,
  And belcheth forth his superfluity,
That all the seas for feare do seeme away to fly.

On th'other side an hideous Rocke is pight,
  Of mightie Magnes stone, whose craggie clift
  Depending from on high, dreadfull to sight,
  Ouer the waues his rugged armes doth lift,
  And threatneth downe to throw his ragged rift
  On who so commeth nigh; yet nigh it drawes
  All passengers, that none from it can shift:
  For whiles they fly that Gulfes deuouring iawes,
They on this rock are rent, and sunck in helplesse wawes.

Forward they passe, and strongly he them rowes,
  Vntill they nigh vnto that Gulfe arriue,
  Where streame more violent and greedy growes:
  Then he with all his puissance doth striue
  To strike his oares, and mightily doth driue
  The hollow vessell through the threatfull waue,
  Which gaping wide, to swallow them aliue,
  In th'huge abysse of his engulfing graue,
Doth rore at them in vaine, and with great terror raue.

They passing by, that griesly mouth did see,
  Sucking the seas into his entralles deepe,
  That seem'd more horrible then hell to bee,
  Or that darke dreadfull hole of Tartare steepe,
  Through which the damned ghosts doen often creepe
  Backe to the world, bad liuers to torment:
  But nought that falles into this direfull deepe,
  Ne that approcheth nigh the wide descent,
May backe returne, but is condemned to be drent.

On th'other side, they saw that perilous Rocke,
  Threatning it selfe on them to ruinate,
  On whose sharpe clifts the ribs of vessels broke,
  And shiuered ships, which had bene wrecked late,
  Yet stuck, with carkasses exanimate
  Of such, as hauing all their substance spent
  In wanton ioyes, and lustes intemperate,
  Did afterwards make shipwracke violent,
Both of their life, and fame for euer fowly blent.

For thy, this hight The Rocke of vile Reproch,
  A daungerous and detestable place,
  To which nor fish nor fowle did once approch,
  But yelling Meawes, with Seagulles hoarse and bace,
  And Cormoyrants, with birds of rauenous race,
  Which still sate waiting on that wastfull clift,
  For spoyle of wretches, whose vnhappie cace,
  After lost credite and consumed thrift,
At last them driuen hath to this despairefull drift.

The Palmer seeing them in safetie past,
  Thus said; Behold th'ensamples in our sights,
  Of lustfull luxurie and thriftlesse wast:
  What now is left of miserable wights,
  Which spent their looser daies in lewd delights,
  But shame and sad reproch, here to be red,
  By these rent reliques, speaking their ill plights?
  Let all that liue, hereby be counselled,
To shunne Rocke of Reproch, and it as death to dred.

So forth they rowed, and that Ferryman
  With his stiffe oares did brush the sea so strong,
  That the hoare waters from his frigot ran,
  And the light bubbles daunced all along,
  Whiles the salt brine out of the billowes sprong.
  At last farre off they many Islands spy,
  On euery side floting the floods emong:
  Then said the knight, Loe I the land descry,
Therefore old Syre thy course do thereunto apply.

That may not be, said then the Ferryman
  Least we vnweeting hap to be fordonne:
  For those same Islands, seeming now and than,
  Are not firme land, nor any certein wonne,
  But straggling plots, which to and fro do ronne
  In the wide waters: therefore are they hight
  The wandring Islands. Therefore doe them shonne;
  For they haue oft drawne many a wandring wight
Into most deadly daunger and distressed plight.

Yet well they seeme to him, that farre doth vew,
  Both faire and fruitfull, and the ground dispred
  With grassie greene of delectable hew,
  And the tall trees with leaues apparelled,
  Are deckt with blossomes dyde in white and red,
  That mote the passengers thereto allure;
  But whosoeuer once hath fastened
  His foot thereon, may neuer it recure,
But wandreth euer more vncertein and vnsure.

As th'Isle of Delos whylome men report
  Amid th'Aegæan sea long time did stray,
  Ne made for shipping any certaine port,
  Till that Latona traueiling that way,
  Flying from Iunoes wrath and hard assay,
  Of her faire twins was there deliuered,
  Which afterwards did rule the night and day;
  Thenceforth it firmely was established,
And for Apolloes honor highly herried.

They to him hearken, as beseemeth meete,
  And passe on forward: so their way does ly,
  That one of those same Islands, which doe fleet
  In the wide sea, they needes must passen by,
  Which seemd so sweet and pleasant to the eye,
  That it would tempt a man to touchen there:
  Vpon the banck they sitting did espy
  A daintie damzell, dressing of her heare,
By whom a litle skippet floting did appeare.

She them espying, loud to them can call,
  Bidding them nigher draw vnto the shore;
  For she had cause to busie them withall;
  And therewith loudly laught: But nathemore
  Would they once turne, but kept on as afore:
  Which when she saw, she left her lockes vndight,
  And running to her boat withouten ore,
  From the departing land it launched light,
And after them did driue with all her power and might.

Whom ouertaking, she in merry sort
  Them gan to bord, and purpose diuersly,
  Now faining dalliance and wanton sport,
  Now throwing forth lewd words immodestly;
  Till that the Palmer gan full bitterly
  Her to rebuke, for being loose and light:
  Which not abiding, but more scornefully
  Scoffing at him, that did her iustly wite,
She turnd her bote about, and from them rowed quite.

That was the wanton Phoedria, which late
  Did ferry him ouer the Idle lake:
  Whom nought regarding, they kept on their gate,
  And all her vaine allurements did forsake,
  When them the wary Boateman thus bespake;
  Here now behoueth vs well to auyse,
  And of our safetie good heede to take;
  For here before a perlous passage lyes,
Where many Mermayds haunt, making false melodies.

But by the way, there is a great Quicksand,
  And a whirlepoole of hidden ieopardy,
  Therefore, Sir Palmer, keepe an euen hand;
  For twixt them both the narrow way doth ly.
  Scarse had he said, when hard at hand they spy
  That quicksand nigh with water couered;
  But by the checked waue they did descry
  It plaine, and by the sea discoloured:
It called was the quicksand of Vnthriftyhed.

They passing by, a goodly Ship did see,
  Laden from far with precious merchandize,
  And brauely furnished, as ship might bee,
  Which through great disauenture, or mesprize,
  Her selfe had runne into that hazardize;
  Whose mariners and merchants with much toyle,
  Labour'd in vaine, to haue recur'd their prize,
  And the rich wares to saue from pitteous spoyle,
But neither toyle nor trauell might her backe recoyle.

On th'other side they see that perilous Poole,
  That called was the VVhirlepoole of decay,
  In which full many had with haplesse doole
  Beene suncke, of whom no memorie did stay:
  Whose circled waters rapt with whirling sway,
  Like to a restlesse wheele, still running round,
  Did couet, as they passed by that way,
  To draw their boate within the vtmost bound
Of his wide Labyrinth, and then to haue them dround.

But th'heedfull Boateman strongly forth did stretch
  His brawnie armes, and all his body straine,
  That th'vtmost sandy breach they shortly fetch,
  Whiles the dred daunger does behind remaine.
  Suddeine they see from midst of all the Maine,
  The surging waters like a mountaine rise,
  And the great sea puft vp with proud disdaine,
  To swell aboue the measure of his guise,
As threatning to deuoure all, that his powre despise.

The waues come rolling, and the billowes rore
  Outragiously, as they enraged were,
  Or wrathfull Neptune did them driue before
  His whirling charet, for exceeding feare:
  For not one puffe of wind there did appeare,
  That all the three thereat woxe much afrayd,
  Vnweeting, what such horrour straunge did reare.
  Eftsoones they saw an hideous hoast arrayd,
Of huge Sea monsters, such as liuing sence dismayd.

Most vgly shapes, and horrible aspects,
  Such as Dame Nature selfe mote feare to see,
  Or shame, that euer should so fowle defects
  From her most cunning hand escaped bee;
  All dreadfull pourtraicts of deformitee:
  Spring-headed Hydraes, and sea-shouldring Whales,
  Great whirlpooles, which all fishes make to flee,
  Bright Scolopendraes, arm'd with siluer scales,
Mighty Monoceroses, with immeasured tayles.

The dreadfull Fish, that hath deseru'd the name
  Of Death, and like him lookes in dreadfull hew,
  The griesly Wasserman, that makes his game
  The flying ships with swiftnesse to pursew,
  The horrible Sea-satyre, that doth shew
  His fearefull face in time of greatest storme,
  Huge Ziffius, whom Mariners eschew
  No lesse, then rockes, (as trauellers informe,)
And greedy Rosmarines with visages deforme.

All these, and thousand thousands many more,
  And more deformed Monsters thousand fold,
  With dreadfull noise, and hollow rombling rore,
  Came rushing in the fomy waues enrold,
  Which seem'd to fly for feare, them to behold:
  Ne wonder, if these did the knight appall;
  For all that here on earth we dreadfull hold,
  Be but as bugs to fearen babes withall,
Compared to the creatures in the seas entrall.

Feare nought, (then said the Palmer well auiz'd;)
  For these same Monsters are not these in deed,
  But are into these fearefull shapes disguiz'd
  By that same wicked witch, to worke vs dreed,
  And draw from on this iourney to proceede.
  Tho lifting vp his vertuous staffe on hye,
  He smote the sea, which calmed was with speed,
  And all that dreadfull Armie fast gan flye
Into great Tethys bosome, where they hidden lye.

Quit from that daunger, forth their course they kept,
  And as they went, they heard a ruefull cry
  Of one, that wayld and pittifull[y] wept,
  That through the sea the resounding plaints did fly:
  At last they in an Island did espy
  A seemely Maiden, sitting by the shore,
  That with great sorrow and sad agony,
  Seemed some great misfortune to deplore,
And lowd to them for succour called euermore.

Which Guyon hearing, streight his Palmer bad,
  To stere the boate towards that dolefull Mayd,
  That he might know, and ease her sorrow sad:
  Who him auizing better, to him sayd;
  Faire Sir, be not displeasd, if disobayd:
  For ill it were to hearken to her cry;
  For she is inly nothing ill apayd,
  But onely womanish fine forgery,
Your stubborne hart t'affect with fraile infirmity.

To which when she your courage hath inclind
  Through foolish pitty, then her guilefull bayt
  She will embosome deeper in your mind,
  And for your ruine at the last awayt.
  The knight was ruled, and the Boateman strayt
  Held on his course with stayed stedfastnesse,
  Ne euer shruncke, ne euer sought to bayt
  His tyred armes for toylesome wearinesse,
But with his oares did sweepe the watry wildernesse.

And now they nigh approched to the sted,
  Where as those Mermayds dwelt: it was a still
  And calmy bay, on th'one side sheltered
  With the brode shadow of an hoarie hill,
  On th'other side an high rocke toured still,
  That twixt them both a pleasaunt port they made,
  And did like an halfe Theatre fulfill:
  There those fiue sisters had continuall trade,
And vsd to bath themselues in that deceiptfull shade.

They were faire Ladies, till they fondly striu'd
  With th'Heliconian maides for maistery;
  Of whom they ouer-comen, were depriu'd
  Of their proud beautie, and th'one moyity
  Transform'd to fish, for their bold surquedry,
  But th'vpper halfe their hew retained still,
  And their sweet skill in wonted melody;
  Which euer after they abusd to ill,
T'allure weake trauellers, whom gotten they did kill.

So now to Guyon, as he passed by,
  Their pleasaunt tunes they sweetly thus applide;
  O thou faire sonne of gentle Faery,
  That art in mighty armes most magnifide
  Aboue all knights, that euer battell tride,
  O turne thy rudder hither-ward a while:
  Here may thy storme-bet vessell safely ride;
  This is the Port of rest from troublous toyle,
The worlds sweet In, from paine & wearisome turmoyle.

With that the rolling sea resounding soft,
  In his big base them fitly answered,
  And on the rocke the waues breaking aloft,
  A solemne Meane vnto them measured,
  The whiles sweet Zephirus lowd whisteled
  His treble, a straunge kinde of harmony;
  Which Guyons senses softly tickeled,
  That he the boateman bad row easily,
And let him heare some part of their rare melody.

But him the Palmer from that vanity,
  With temperate aduice discounselled,
  That they it past, and shortly gan descry
  The land, to which their course they leueled;
  When suddeinly a grosse fog ouer spred
  With his dull vapour all that desert has,
  And heauens chearefull face enueloped,
  That all things one, and one as nothing was,
And this great Vniuerse seemd one confused mas.

Thereat they greatly were dismayd, ne wist
  How to direct their way in darkenesse wide,
  But feard to wander in that wastfull mist,
  For tombling into mischiefe vnespide.
  Worse is the daunger hidden, then descride.
  Suddeinly an innumerable flight
  Of harmefull fowles about them fluttering, cride,
  And with their wicked wings them oft did smight,
And sore annoyed, groping in that griesly night.

Euen all the nation of vnfortunate
  And fatall birds about them flocked were,
  Such as by nature men abhorre and hate,
  The ill-faste Owle, deaths dreadfull messengere,
  The hoars Night-rauen, trump of dolefull drere,
  The lether-winged Bat, dayes enimy,
  The ruefull Strich, still waiting on the bere,
  The Whistler shrill, that who so heares, doth dy,
The hellish Harpies, prophets of sad destiny.

All those, and all that else does horrour breed,
  About them flew, and fild their sayles with feare:
  Yet stayd they not, but forward did proceed,
  Whiles th'one did row, and th'other stifly steare;
  Till that at last the weather gan to cleare,
  And the faire land it selfe did plainly show.
  Said then the Palmer, Lo where does appeare
  The sacred soile, where all our perils grow;
Therefore, Sir knight, your ready armes about you throw.

He hearkned, and his armes about him tooke,
  The whiles the nimble boate so well her sped,
  That with her crooked keele the land she strooke,
  Then forth the noble Guyon sallied,
  And his sage Palmer, that him gouerned;
  But th'other by his boate behind did stay.
  They marched fairly forth, of nought ydred,
  Both firmely armd for euery hard assay,
With constancy and care, gainst daunger and dismay.

Ere long they heard an hideous bellowing
  Of many beasts, that roard outrageously,
  As if that hungers point, or Venus sting
  Had them enraged with fell surquedry;
  Yet nought they feard, but past on hardily,
  Vntill they came in vew of those wild beasts:
  Who all attonce, gaping full greedily,
  And rearing fiercely their vpstarting crests,
Ran towards, to deuoure those vnexpected guests.

But soone as they approcht with deadly threat,
  The Palmer ouer them his staffe vpheld,
  His mighty staffe, that could all charmes defeat:
  Eftsoones their stubborne courages were queld,
  And high aduaunced crests downe meekely feld,
  In stead of fraying, they them selues did feare,
  And trembled, as them passing they beheld:
  Such wondrous powre did in that staffe appeare,
All monsters to subdew to him, that did it beare.

Of that same wood it fram'd was cunningly,
  Of which Caduceus whilome was made,
  Caduceus the rod of Mercury,
  With which he wonts the Stygian realmes inuade,
  Through ghastly horrour, and eternall shade;
  Th'infernall feends with it he can asswage,
  And Orcus tame, whom nothing can perswade,
  And rule the Furyes, when they most do rage:
Such vertue in his staffe had eke this Palmer sage.

Thence passing forth, they shortly do arriue,
  Whereas the Bowre of Blisse was situate;
  A place pickt out by choice of best aliue,
  That natures worke by art can imitate:
  In which what euer in this worldly state
  Is sweet, and pleasing vnto liuing sense,
  Or that may dayntiest fantasie aggrate,
  Was poured forth with plentifull dispence,
And made there to abound with lauish affluence.

Goodly it was enclosed round about,
  Aswell their entred guestes to keepe within,
  As those vnruly beasts to hold without;
  Yet was the fence thereof but weake and thin;
  Nought feard their force, that fortilage to win,
  But wisedomes powre, and temperaunces might,
  By which the mightiest things efforced bin:
  And eke the gate was wrought of substaunce light,
Rather for pleasure, then for battery or fight.

Yt framed was of precious yuory,
  That seemd a worke of admirable wit;
  And therein all the famous history
  Of Iason and Medæa was ywrit;
  Her mighty charmes, her furious louing fit,
  His goodly conquest of the golden fleece,
  His falsed faith, and loue too lightly flit,
  The wondred Argo, which in venturous peece
First through the Euxine seas bore all the flowr of Greece.

Ye might haue seene the frothy billowes fry
  Vnder the ship, as thorough them she went,
  That seemd the waues were into yuory,
  Or yuory into the waues were sent;
  And other where the snowy substaunce sprent
  With vermell, like the boyes bloud therein shed,
  A piteous spectacle did represent,
  And otherwhiles with gold besprinkeled;
Yt seemd th'enchaunted flame, which did Creüsa wed.

All this, and more might in that goodly gate
  Be red; that euer open stood to all,
  Which thither came: but in the Porch there sate
  A comely personage of stature tall,
  And semblaunce pleasing, more then naturall,
  That trauellers to him seemd to entize;
  His looser garment to the ground did fall,
  And flew about his heeles in wanton wize,
Not fit for speedy pace, or manly exercize.

They in that place him Genius did call:
  Not that celestiall powre, to whom the care
  Of life, and generation of all
  That liues, pertaines in charge particulare,
  Who wondrous things concerning our welfare,
  And straunge phantomes doth let vs oft forsee,
  And oft of secret ill bids vs beware:
  That is our Selfe, whom though we do not see,
Yet each doth in him selfe it well perceiue to bee.

Therefore a God him sage Antiquity
  Did wisely make, and good Agdistes call:
  But this same was to that quite contrary,
  The foe of life, that good enuyes to all,
  That secretly doth vs procure to fall,
  Through guilefull semblaunts, which he makes vs see.
  He of this Gardin had the gouernall,
  And Pleasures porter was deuizd to bee,
Holding a staffe in hand for more formalitee.

With diuerse flowres he daintily was deckt,
  And strowed round about, and by his side
  A mighty Mazer bowle of wine was set,
  As if it had to him bene sacrifide;
  Wherewith all new-come guests he gratifide:
  So did he eke Sir Guyon passing by:
  But he his idle curtesie defide,
  And ouerthrew his bowle disdainfully;
And broke his staffe, with which he charmed semblants sly.

Thus being entred, they behold around
  A large and spacious plaine, on euery side
  Strowed with pleasauns, whose faire grassy ground
  Mantled with greene, and goodly beautifide
  With all the ornaments of Floraes pride,
  Wherewith her mother Art, as halfe in scorne
  Of niggard Nature, like a pompous bride
  Did decke her, and too lauishly adorne,
When forth from virgin bowre she comes in th'early morne.

Thereto the Heauens alwayes Iouiall,
  Lookt on them louely, still in stedfast state,
  Ne suffred storme nor frost on them to fall,
  Their tender buds or leaues to violate,
  Nor scorching heat, nor cold intemperate
  T'afflict the creatures, which therein did dwell,
  But the milde air with season moderate
  Gently attempred, and disposd so well,
That still it breathed forth sweet spirit & holesome smell.

More sweet and holesome, then the pleasaunt hill
  Of Rhodope, on which the Nimphe, that bore
  A gyaunt babe, her selfe for griefe did kill;
  Or the Thessalian Tempe, where of yore
  Faire Daphne Phoebus hart with loue did gore;
  Or Ida, where the Gods lou'd to repaire,
  When euer they their heauenly bowres forlore;
  Or sweet Parnasse, the haunt of Muses faire;
Or Eden selfe, if ought with Eden mote compaire.

Much wondred Guyon at the faire aspect
  Of that sweet place, yet suffred no delight
  To sincke into his sence, nor mind affect,
  But passed forth, and lookt still forward right,
  Bridling his will, and maistering his might:
  Till that he came vnto another gate,
  No gate, but like one, being goodly dight
  With boughes and braunches, which did broad dilate
Their clasping armes, in wanton wreathings intricate.

So fashioned a Porch with rare deuice,
  Archt ouer head with an embracing vine,
  Whose bounches hanging downe, seemed to entice
  All passers by, to tast their lushious wine,
  And did themselues into their hands incline,
  As freely offering to be gathered:
  Some deepe empurpled as the Hyacint,
  Some as the Rubine, laughing sweetly red,
Some like faire Emeraudes, not yet well ripened.

And them amongst, some were of burnisht gold,
  So made by art, to beautifie the rest,
  Which did themselues emongst the leaues enfold,
  As lurking from the vew of couetous guest,
  That the weake bowes, with so rich load opprest,
  Did bow adowne, as ouer-burdened.
  Vnder that Porch a comely dame did rest,
  Clad in faire weedes, but fowle disordered,
And garments loose, that seemd vnmeet for womanhed.

In her left hand a Cup of gold she held,
  And with her right the riper fruit did reach,
  Whose sappy liquor, that with fulnesse sweld,
  Into her cup she scruzd, with daintie breach
  Of her fine fingers, without fowle empeach,
  That so faire wine-presse made the wine more sweet:
  Thereof she vsd to giue to drinke to each,
  Whom passing by she happened to meet:
It was her guise, all Straungers goodly so to greet.

So she to Guyon offred it to tast;
  Who taking it out of her tender hond,
  The cup to ground did violently cast,
  That all in peeces it was broken fond,
  And with the liquor stained all the lond:
  Whereat Excesse exceedingly was wroth,
  Yet no'te the same amend, ne yet withstond,
  But suffered him to passe, all were she loth;
Who nought regarding her displeasure forward goth.

There the most daintie Paradise on ground,
  It selfe doth offer to his sober eye,
  In which all pleasures plenteously abound,
  And none does others happinesse enuye:
  The painted flowres, the trees vpshooting hye,
  The dales for shade, the hilles for breathing space,
  The trembling groues, the Christall running by;
  And that, which all faire workes doth most aggrace,
The art, which all that wrought, appeared in no place.

One would haue thought, (so cunningly, the rude,
  And scorned parts were mingled with the fine,)
  That nature had for wantonesse ensude
  Art, and that Art at nature did repine;
  So striuing each th'other to vndermine,
  Each did the others worke more beautifie;
  So diff'ring both in willes, agreed in fine:
  So all agreed through sweete diuersitie,
This Gardin to adorne with all varietie.

And in the midst of all, a fountaine stood,
  Of richest substaunce, that on earth might bee,
  So pure and shiny, that the siluer flood
  Through euery channell running one might see;
  Most goodly it with curious imageree
  Was ouer-wrought, and shapes of naked boyes,
  Of which some seemd with liuely iollitee,
  To fly about, playing their wanton toyes,
Whilest others did them selues embay in liquid ioyes.

And ouer all, of purest gold was spred,
  A trayle of yuie in his natiue hew:
  For the rich mettall was so coloured,
  That wight, who did not well auis'd it vew,
  Would surely deeme it to be yuie trew:
  Low his lasciuious armes adown did creepe,
  That themselues dipping in the siluer dew,
  Their fleecy flowres they tenderly did steepe,
Which drops of Christall seemd for wantones to weepe.

Infinit streames continually did well
  Out of this fountaine, sweet and faire to see,
  The which into an ample lauer fell,
  And shortly grew to so great quantitie,
  That like a little lake it seemd to bee;
  Whose depth exceeded not three cubits hight,
  That through the waues one might the bottom see,
  All pau'd beneath with Iaspar shining bright,
That seemd the fountaine in that sea did sayle vpright.

And all the margent round about was set,
  With shady Laurell trees, thence to defend
  The sunny beames, which on the billowes bet,
  And those which therein bathed, mote offend.
  As Guyon hapned by the same to wend,
  Two naked Damzelles he therein espyde,
  Which therein bathing, seemed to contend,
  And wrestle wantonly, ne car'd to hyde,
Their dainty parts from vew of any, which them eyde.

Sometimes the one would lift the other quight
  Aboue the waters, and then downe againe
  Her plong, as ouer maistered by might,
  Where both awhile would couered remaine,
  And each the other from to rise restraine;
  The whiles their snowy limbes, as through a vele,
  So through the Christall waues appeared plaine:
  Then suddeinly both would themselues vnhele,
And th'amarous sweet spoiles to greedy eyes reuele.

As that faire Starre, the messenger of morne,
  His deawy face out of the sea doth reare:
  Or as the Cyprian goddesse, newly borne
  Of th'Oceans fruitfull froth, did first appeare:
  Such seemed they, and so their yellow heare
  Christalline humour dropped downe apace.
  Whom such when Guyon saw, he drew him neare,
  And somewhat gan relent his earnest pace,
His stubborne brest gan secret pleasaunce to embrace.

The wanton Maidens him espying, stood
  Gazing a while at his vnwonted guise;
  Then th'one her selfe low ducked in the flood,
  Abasht, that her a straunger did avise:
  But th'other rather higher did arise,
  And her two lilly paps aloft displayd,
  And all, that might his melting hart entise
  To her delights, she vnto him bewrayd:
The rest hid vnderneath, him more desirous made.

With that, the other likewise vp arose,
  And her faire lockes, which formerly were bownd
  Vp in one knot, he low adowne did lose:
  Which flowing long and thick, her cloth'd arownd,
  And th'yuorie in golden mantle gownd:
  So that faire spectacle from him was reft,
  Yet that, which reft it, no lesse faire was fownd:
  So hid in lockes and waues from lookers theft,
Nought but her louely face she for his looking left.

Withall she laughed, and she blusht withall,
  That blushing to her laughter gaue more grace,
  And laughter to her blushing, as did fall:
  Now when they spide the knight to slacke his pace,
  Them to behold, and in his sparkling face
  The secret signes of kindled lust appeare,
  Their wanton meriments they did encreace,
  And to him beckned, to approch more neare,
And shewd him many sights, that courage cold could reare.

On which when gazing him the Palmer saw,
  He much rebukt those wandring eyes of his,
  And counseld well, him forward thence did draw.
  Now are they come nigh to the Bowre of blis
  Of her fond fauorites so nam'd amis:
  When thus the Palmer; Now Sir, well auise;
  For here the end of all our trauell is:
  Here wonnes Acrasia, whom we must surprise,
Else she will slip away, and all our drift despise.

Etfsoones they heard a most melodious sound,
  Of all that mote delight a daintie eare,
  Such as attonce might not on liuing ground,
  Saue in this Paradise, be heard elswhere:
  Right hard it was, for wight, which did it heare,
  To read, what manner musicke that mote bee:
  For all that pleasing is to liuing eare,
  Was there consorted in one harmonee,
Birdes, voyces, instruments, windes, waters, all agree.

The ioyous birdes shrouded in chearefull shade,
  Their notes vnto the voyce attempred sweet;
  Th'Angelicall soft trembling voyces made
  To th'instruments diuine respondence meet:
  The siluer sounding instruments did meet
  With the base murmure of the waters fall:
  The waters fall with difference discreet,
  Now soft, now loud, vnto the wind did call:
The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.

There, whence that Musick seemed heard to bee,
  Was the faire Witch her selfe now solacing,
  With a new Louer, whom through sorceree
  And witchcraft, she from farre did thither bring:
  There she had him now layd a slombering,
  In secret shade, after long wanton ioyes:
  Whilst round about them pleasauntly did sing
  Many faire Ladies, and lasciuious boyes,
That euer mixt their song with light licentious toyes.

And all that while, right ouer him she hong,
  With her false eyes fast fixed in his sight,
  As seeking medicine, whence she was stong,
  Or greedily depasturing delight:
  And oft inclining downe with kisses light,
  For feare of waking him, his lips bedewd,
  And through his humid eyes did sucke his spright,
  Quite molten into lust and pleasure lewd;
Wherewith she sighed soft, as if his case she rewd.

The whiles some one did chaunt this louely lay;
  Ah see, who so faire thing doest faine to see,
  In springing flowre the image of thy day;
  Ah see the Virgin Rose, how sweetly shee
  Doth first peepe forth with bashfull modestee,
  That fairer seemes, the lesse ye see her may;
  Lo see soone after, how more bold and free
  Her bared bosome she doth broad display;
Loe see soone after, how she fades, and falles away.

So passeth, in the passing of a day,
  Of mortall life the leafe, the bud, the flowre,
  Ne more doth flourish after first decay,
  That earst was sought to decke both bed and bowre,
  Of many a Ladie, and many a Paramowre:
  Gather therefore the Rose, whilest yet is prime,
  For soone comes age, that will her pride deflowre:
  Gather the Rose of love, whilest yet is time,
Whilest louing thou mayst loued be with equall crime.

He ceast, and then gan all the quire of birdes
  Their diuerse notes t'attune vnto his lay,
  As in approuance of his pleasing words.
  The constant paire heard all, that he did say,
  Yet swarued not, but kept their forward way,
  Through many couert groues, and thickets close,
  In which they creeping did at last display
  That wanton Ladie, with her louer lose,
Whose sleepie head she in her lap did soft dispose.

Vpon a bed of Roses she was layd,
  As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin,
  And was arayd, or rather disarayd,
  All in a vele of silke and siluer thin,
  That hid no whit her alablaster skin,
  But rather shewd more white, if more might bee:
  More subtile web Arachne can not spin,
  Nor the fine nets, which oft we wouen see
Of scorched deaw, do not in th'aire more lightly flee.

Her snowy brest was bare to readie spoyle
  Of hungry eies, which n'ote therewith be fild,
  And yet through languour of her late sweet toyle,
  Few drops, more cleare then Nectar, forth distild,
  That like pure Orient perles adowne it trild,
  And her faire eyes sweet smyling in delight,
  Moystened their fierie beames, with which she thrild
  Fraile harts, yet quenched not; like starry light
Which sparckling on the silent waues, does seeme more bright.

The young man sleeping by her, seemd to bee
  Some goodly swayne of honorable place,
  That certes it great pittie was to see
  Him his nobilitie so foule deface;
  A sweet regard, and amiable grace,
  Mixed with manly sternnesse did appeare
  Yet sleeping, in his well proportiond face,
  And on his tender lips the downy heare
Did now but freshly spring, and silken blossomes beare.

His warlike armes, the idle instruments
  Of sleeping praise, were hong vpon a tree,
  And his braue shield, full of old moniments,
  Was fowly ra'st, that none the signes might see;
  Ne for them, ne for honour cared hee,
  Ne ought, that did to his aduauncement tend,
  But in lewd loues, and wastfull luxuree,
  His dayes, his goods, his bodie he did spend:
O horrible enchantment, that him so did blend.

The noble Elfe, and carefull Palmer drew
  So nigh them, minding nought, but lustfull game,
  That suddein forth they on them rusht, and threw
  A subtile net, which onely for the same
  The skilfull Palmer formally did frame.
  So held them vnder fast, the whiles the rest
  Fled all away for feare of fowler shame.
  The faire Enchauntresse, so vnwares opprest,
Tryde all her arts, & all her sleights, thence out to wrest.

And eke her louer stroue: but all in vaine;
  For that same net so cunningly was wound,
  That neither guile, nor force might it distraine.
  They tooke them both, & both them strongly bound
  In captiue bandes, which there they readie found:
  But her in chaines of adamant he tyde;
  For nothing else might keepe her safe and sound;
  But Verdant (so he hight) he soone vntyde,
And counsell sage in steed thereof to him applyde.

But all those pleasant bowres and Pallace braue,
  Guyon broke downe, with rigour pittilesse;
  Ne ought their goodly workmanship might saue
  Them from the tempest of his wrathfulnesse,
  But that their blisse he turn'd to balefulnesse:
  Their groues he feld, their gardins did deface,
  Their arbers spoyle, their Cabinets suppresse,
  Their banket houses burne, their buildings race,
And of the fairest late, now made the fowlest place.

Then led they her away, and eke that knight
  They with them led, both sorrowfull and sad:
  The way they came, the same retourn'd they right,
  Till they arriued, where they lately had
  Charm'd those wild-beasts, that rag'd with furie mad.
  Which now awaking, fierce at them gan fly,
  As in their mistresse reskew, whom they lad;
  But them the Palmer soone did pacify.
Then Guyon askt, what meant those beastes, which there did ly.

Said he, These seeming beasts are men indeed,
  Whom this Enchauntresse hath transformed thus,
  Whylome her louers, which her lusts did feed,
  Now turned into figures hideous,
  According to their mindes like monstruous.
  Sad end (quoth he) of life intemperate,
  And mournefull meed of ioyes delicious:
  But Palmer, if it mote thee so aggrate,
Let them returned be vnto their former state.

Streight way he with his vertuous staffe them strooke,
  And streight of beasts they comely men became;
  Yet being men they did vnmanly looke,
  And stared ghastly, some for inward shame,
  And some for wrath, to see their captiue Dame:
  But one aboue the rest in speciall,
  That had an hog beene late, hight Grille by name,
  Repined greatly, and did him miscall,
That had from hoggish forme him brought to naturall.

Said Guyon, See the mind of beastly man,
  That hath so soone forgot the excellence
  Of his creation, when he life began,
  That now he chooseth, with vile difference,
  To be a beast, and lacke intelligence.
  To whom the Palmer thus, The donghill kind
  Delights in filth and foule incontinence:
  Let Grill be Grill, and haue his hoggish mind,
But let vs hence depart, whilest wether serues and wind.

Finis Book II.

Go on to Book III.