Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

XXXVII.

XXXII.

Where him to sleepe she gently would perswade, « Too well we fee,” faide they, “ and prove too Or bache him in a fountaine by some covert glade: « well

XXXVI. “ Our faulty weakenes and your matchlesse might: And whilft he flept, she over him would spred “ Forthy faire Sir! your's be the damozell, Her mantle, colour'd like the starry skyes, “ Which by her owne law to your lot doth light, And her soft arme lay underneath his hed, " And we your ligemen faith unto you plight." And with ambrofiall kisses bathe his eyes; So underneath her feet their swords they mard, And whilft he bath'd, with her two crafty (pyes And after her besought, well as they might, She secretly would search each daintie lim, To enter in, and scape the dew rewardi

And throw into the well sweet rosemaryes, She graunted; and then in they all cogether far'd. And fragrant violets, and paunces trim; XXXI.

And ever with sweet nectar she did fprinckle him, Long were it to describe the goodly frame, And stately port of Castle loyeous,

So did she steale his heedelesse hart away, (For so that castle hight by commun name) And ioyd his love in secret unespyde; Where they were entertaynd with courteous But for she saw him bent to cruell play, And comely glee of many gratious

To hunt the salvage beast in forest wide, Faire ladies, and of many a gentle knight; Dreadfull of daunger that mote him betyde, Who through a chamber long and spacious, She oft and oft adviz'd him to refraine Eftsoones them brought unto their ladies light, From chase of greater beastes, whose brutish pryde That of them cleped was the Lady of Delight. Mote breed him fcath unwares ; but all in vaine ;

For who can shun the chance that Destiny doth But for to tell the sumptuous aray

ordaine? Of that great chamber should be labour loft;

XXXVIII. For living wit, I weene, cannot display

Lo! where beyond he lyeth languishing, The rojalt riches and exceeding cost

Deadly engored of a great wilde bore, Of every pillour and of every post,

And by his side the goddeffe groveling, Which all of purest bullion framed were,

Makes for him endleffe mone, and evermore And with great perles and precious stones emboft, With her soft garments wipes away the gore That the bright glister of sheir beames cleare Which faynes his snowy skin with hatefull hew: Did sparckle forth great light, and glorious did But when she saw no helpe might him restore, appeare.

Him to a dainiy flowre she did transmew,

Which in that cloth was wrought, as if it lively These Atranger knights, through pasling forth were grew. led

Xxxix. Into an inner rowme, whose royaltee

So was that chamber clad in goodly wize, And rich purveyance might uneath be red; And rownd about it many beds were dight, Mote princes place beseene so deckt to bee : As whylome was the antique worldes guize ; Which stately manner whenas they did see, Sonie for untimely ease, some for delight, (The image of superfluous riotize,

As pleased them to use that use it might : Exceeding much the state of meane degree) And all was full of damzels and of [quyres, 'They greatly wondred whence so fumptuous guize, Dauncing and reveling both day and night, Might be maintaynd, and each gan diversely and swimming deepe in sensuall desyres, devize.

And Cupid ftill emongest them kindled loftful

fyres.
The wals were round about apparelled
With costly clothes of Arras and of Toure, And all the while sweet muficke did divide
In which with cunning hand was pourtrahed Her loofer notes with Lydian harmony;
The love of Venus and her paramoure,

And all the while sweet birdes thereto applide The fayre Adonis, turned to a flowre,

Their daintie layes and dulcet melody, A worke of rare device and wondrous wit.

Ay caroling of love and iollity, First did it thew the bitter balefull ftowre

That wonder was to heare their trim consort; Which her aslayd with many a fervent fit, Which when those knights beheld with scornefall When first her tender hart was with his beautie

eye, smitt.

They sdeigned such lascivious disport,

And loath'd the loose demeanure of that wantoa Then with what fleights and sweet allurements fort.

the Entyst the boy (as well that art she knew) Thence they were brought to that great ladies vev, And wooed him her paramoure to be;

Whom they found fitcing on a sumptuous bed, Now making girlonds of each flowre that grew, That glistred all with gold, and glorious Thew, To crowne his golden lockes with honour dew; As the proud Persian queenes accustoot: Now leading him into a secret shade

She seemd a woman of great houncil From his beauperes, and from bright heaven's vew, And of rare beautie, saving that alkaunce

XXXIII.

XXXIV.

XL.

XXXV.

XLI.

XLII.

XLVIII.

XLIII.

XLIX.

day.

XLIV.

L.

Her wanton eyes (ill fignes of womanhed) Her fickic' hart conceived hasty fyre,
Did roll too lightly, and too often glaunce, Like sparkes of fire that fali in sclender flext,
Wout regard of grace or comely amenaunce. Thar Mhortly brent into extreme desyre,

And ransackt all her veines with passion entyre.
Long worke it were, and needlefle to devize
Their goodly entertainment and great glee : Eftfoones Thee grew to great impatience,
She caused them be led in courteous wize

And into termies of open outrage brust, Into a bowre, disarmed for to be,

That plaine discovered her incontinence, And cbrared well with wine and spiceree : Ne reckt shee who her meaning did mistrust; The Red-crosse knight was loone disarmed there ; | For she was given all to fleshly lust, But the brave mayd would not disarmed bee, And poured forth in sensuall delight, But onely vented up her umbriere,

That all regard of thame fhe had difcust, And so did let her goodly visage to appere.

And meet rcfpect of honor putt to flight;

So shamleffe beauty soon becomes a loathly light. As when fayre Cynthia in darkfome night Is in a noyous cloud enveloped,

Faire Ladies, that to love captived arre, Where fre may finde the substance thin and light, And chaste desires do nourish in your mind, Breakes forth ber filver beames, and her bright Let noe her fault your sweete'affections marre, hed

Ne blott the bounty of all womankind, Discovers to the world discomfited;

'Mongst thousands good one wanton dame to find: Of the poore traveiler that went altray

Enungst the roses grow some wicked weeds ; With thousand blessings the is heried;

For this was not to love, but luft inclind; Such was the beavrie and the shining ray

For love does alwaies bring forth bounteous With which fayre Bricomart gave light unto the deeds,

And in each gentle hart desire of honor breeds, And eke those fix, which lately with her fought, Nought so of love this looser dame did skill, Nuw were disarmd, and did themselves present But as a cole to kindle fleshly flame, Vato her vew, and company unsought;

Giving the bridle to her wanton will, For they all seemed courteous and gent,

And treading under foote her honeft name; And all fix brethren borne of one parent,

Such love is hate, and such desire is shame. Which had them traynd in all civilitee,

Still did she rove at her with crafty glaunce And goodly taught to tilt and turnament;

Of her falle eies, that at her hart did ayme, Now were they liegmen to this ladie free, And told her meaning in her countenaunce; And ber knights-service ought, to hold of her in But Bricomart dissembled it with ignoraunce. fee.

Supper was fortly dight, and down they satt, The first of them, by name Gardante hight, Where they were served with all sumptuous farc, A jolly person, and of comely vew;

Whiles fruitfull Ceres and Lyæus fatt The second was Parlante, a bold knight ; Pourd out their plenty without spight or spare; And next to him locante did enfew;

Nought wanted there that dainty was, and rare : Basciante did himselfe most courteous shew ; And aye the cups their bancks did overflow; But fierce Bacchante seemd too fell and keene ; And aye betweene the cups she did prepare And yet in armes Nn&tante greater grew ; Way to her love, and secret darts did throw ; All were faire koights, and goodly well befeene : But' Britomart would not such guilfull message But to faire Britomari they all but shadowes know. beene :

So when they faked had the fervent heat For shee was full of amiable grace,

of appetite with meates of every sort, And manly terror mixed therewithall ;

The lady did faire Britomart entreat That as the one stirrd up affections bace,

Her to disarme, and with delightfull sport So th' other did mens rash desires apall,

To loose her warlike limbs and strong effort; And hold them backe, that would in error fall : But when shec mote nnt thereunto be wonne, As hee that hath espide a vermeill rose,

(For shee her sexe, under that straunge purpost To which sharpe thornes and breres the way for- Did use to hide, and plaine apparaunce sonne) (tall,

In playner wise to tell her grievaunce the bes Dare not for dread his hardy hand expose,

gonne ; Bat wishing it far off his ydie wilh doth lose. XLVII.

And all attonce discovered her desire Whom when the lady law so faire a wight, With sighes, and sobs, and plaints, and piteous All ignorant of her contrary sex,

griefe : (For thee her weend a fresh and lusty knight) (The outward sparkes of her in-burning fire) Shee grez y gan enamoured to wex,

Which spent in vaine ; at latt she told her briefe And with wine thoughts her falsed fancy vex : That but if lhe did lend her thort rcliefe,

LI.

XLV.

LII.

XLVI.

[ocr errors]

LIII.

LIV.

LV.

LXI.

LVI.

And doe her comfort, the mote algates dye. Could find no rest in such perplexed plight,
But the chalte damzell, that had never priefe Lightly arose out of her weary bed,
Of such malengine and fine forgerye,

And under the blacke vele of guilty night
Did eafely beleeve her strong extremitye. Her with a scarlote mantle covered,

That was with gold and ermines faire enveloped. Full easy was for her to have beliefe,

LX. Who by self-feeling of her feeble fexe,

Then panting softe, and trembling every ioint, And by long triall of the inward griefe

Her fearfull feete towards the bowre she mov'd, Wherewith imperious love her hart did vexe, Where the for secret purpose did appoynt Could iudge what paines doe loving harts per. To lodge the warlike maide, unwisely loov'd; plexe.

And to her bed approaching, first the prov'd Who meanes no guile, be guiled soonest shall, Whether the slept or wakte ; with her fofte hanc And to faire semblaunce doth light faith annexe : She sostely felt if any member moov'd, The birde that knowes not the false fowler's call, And lent her weary care to understand Into his hidden pett full casely doth fall.

If any pyffe of breath or signe of sense the fond, Forthy she would not in discourteise wise

Which whenas none she fond, with easy shifte, Scorn the faire offer of good will profest,

For feare left her unwares she should abrayd, For great rebuke it is love to despise,

Th' emborder'd quilt the lightly up did lifte, Or rudely [deigne a gentle hart's request; And by her side herselfe she softly layd, But with faire countenaunce, as beseemed best, Of every finest finger's touch affrayd; Her cntertaynd; nach'lesse shee inly deemd Ne any noise she made, ne word she spake, Her love too light to wooe a wandring guest; But inly sighed : at last the royall mayd Which she misconstruing, thereby esteemd Out of her quiet slumber did awake, That from like inward fire that outward smoke And chaunged her weary lide, the better eal had steemd.

to take.

LXII. Therewith a while she her flit fancy fedd, Where feeling one close couched by her side, Till the mote winne fit time for her desire ; She slightly leapt out of her filed bedd, But yet her wound ftill inward freshly bledd, And to her weapon ran, in minde to gride And through her boncs the false instilled fire The loathed leachour; but the dame, halfe dedd Did spread itselfe, and venįme close inspire. Through suddeine feare and ghastly drerihedd, Tho were the tables taken all away,

Did shrieke alowd, that through the hous it rong And every knight, and every gentle squire, And the whole family therewith adredd, Gan choose his dame with basciomani gay, Rafhly out of their rouzed couches (prong, With whom he ment to make his sport and court. And to the troubled chamber all in armes ly play.

throng.

LXIII. Some fell to daunce, fome fell to hazardry, And those fix knightes, that ladies champio Some to make love, fome to make meryment, And eke the Red-crossc knight, ran to the As diverse witts to diverse things apply;

Halfe armd and halfe unarmd, with then And all the while faire Malecasta bent

Where when confusedly they came, they Her crafty engines to her close intent.

Their lady lying on the sencelese ground By this th' eternal lampes wherewith high love On the other side they saw the warlike Doth light the lower worlde, were halfe yspent, Alin her snow-white smocke, with lock And the moist daughters of huge Atlas (trove Threatning the point of her avenging Into the ocean deepe to drive their weary drove. That with so troublous terror they v

mayd. High time it seemed then for everie wight

LIIV. 'Them to betake unto their kindly reft;

About their lady first they flockt ar Eftsoones long waxen torches weren light Whom having laid in comfortable « Unto their bowres to guyden everie guest : Shortly they reard out of her fros Tho when the Britonefle saw all the rest

And afterwardes they gan with fr Avoided quite, she gan herselfe despoile,

To stirre up strife, and troublou: And safe committ co her soft fethered nest; But by ensample of the last day Wher through long watch, and late daies weary None of them rafhly durft to her. toile,

Ne in so glorious spoile themselves She foundly slept, and carefull thoughts did quite Her fuccourd eke the champion of alloile.

Crofle. Eow whenas all the worlde in silence deepe But one of those fixe knights, Gardante hight, Arrowded was, and every mortal wight

Drew out a deadly bow and arrow keene, Nras drowned in the depth of deadly ilcepe, Which forth he sent with felonous despight. Ture Malecafa, whose engrieved spright And fell intent against the virgia fecoc : Now leac. From his be

LVII.

LVIII.

LIX.

LXV.

LXVII.

The mortal steele fayd not, till it was seene Ay ioyning foot to foot, and fyde to fyde,
To gore ber lide, yet was the wound not deepe, That in short space their foes they have quite
Bu: lightly rased her soft silken skin,

terrifyde. That drops of purple blood thereout did weepe, Which did ber lilly (mock with staines of vermeil Tho whenas all were put to shamefull flight, steep.

The noble Britomartis her arayd,
LXVI.

And her bright armes about her body dight ;
Wherewith enrag'd the fiercely at them flew, For nothing would she lenger there be stayd,
Add with her flaming sword about her layd,' Where fo loofe life, and so ungentle trade
That wone of them foule mischiefe could eschew, Was usd of knightes and ladies seeming gent :
But with her dreadfull ftrokes were all dismayd: So early ere the grosse earthes gryesy thade
Hers, there, and every where about her, fwayd Was all disperft out of the firmament,
Her wrathfuil fteele, that none mote it abyde; They tooke their steeds, and forth upon their
Aad eke the Red-crolle knighe gave her good iourney went.

ayd,

1

THE FAERY QUEEN E.

BOOK III.

CANTO II.

The Red-crofle knight to Britomart
Describeth Artegall ;
The wondrous mirrhour by which the
In love with him did fall.

IV.

II.

When in so high an obiect doe lyte, Here have I cause in men iuft blame to find, And striving fit to make, I seare do marre; That in their proper praise too partiall bee, Thyfelfe thy prayses tell, and make them knowen And not indifferent to woman-kind,

farre. To whom no share in armes and chevalec They doe impart, ne maken memoree

Shc traveiling with Guyon, by the way of their brave gestes and prowesse martiall : Of fondry thinges faire purpose gan to find, Scarse doe they spare to one, or two, or three, T'abridge their iourney long and lingring dayi Rowme in their writtes; yet the same writing | Mongst which it fell into that Fairies mind small

To aske this Briton maid what uncouth wind Does all their deedes deface, and dims their glo Brought her into those partes, and what inqueft ries all.

Made her diffemble her disguised kind :

Faire lady she him seemd like lady dreft, But by record of antique times I finde

But faireft knight alive when armed was het That women wont in warres to bear most sway, breft. And to all great exploites themselves inclin'd, Of which they still the girlond bore away, Thereat she fighing softly had no powre Till envious men, (fearing their rules decay) To speake a while, ne ready answer make, Gan coyne freight lawes to curb their liberty : But with hart-thrilling throbs and bitter, Rowen Yet Gith they warlike armes have laide away, As if she had a fever fitt, did quake, They have exceld in artes and pollicy,

And every daintie limbe with horrour fhake; That now we foolish men that prayse gio eke And ever and anode the rofy red t'envy.

Flasht through her face, as it hnat

Of lightning through briel: of warlike puissaunce in ages spent,

At last the pallian
Be thou, faire Britomart! whose prayse I wryte,
But of all wisdom bee thou precedent,

« Faire Sir O soveraine Queene! whose prayse I would en-“ [tab

dyte: Endyte I would as dewtie doth excyte: But ab! my rymes too rude and rugged arc,

III.

« ПредишнаНапред »