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Though all the wealth, which is, or was of yore,
Could gathered be through all the world around,
And that above were added to that under ground.
The charge thereof unto a covetous spright
Commanded was, who thereby did attend,
And warily awaited day and night,
From other covetous fiends it to defend,
Who it to rob and ransack did intend.
Then Mammon, turning to that warrior, said;
"Lo, here the worldes bliss; lo, here the end,
To which all men do aim, rich to be made:
Such grace now to be happy, is before thee laid.”
"Certes" (said he) "I n'ill thine offered grace,
Nor to be made so happy do intend;
Another bliss before mine eyes I place,
Another happiness, another end.
To them that list these base regards I lend:
But I in arms, and in atchievements brave,
Do rather chuse my flitting hours to spend,
And to be lord of those, that riches have, [slave."
Than them to have myself, and be their servile
More sweet and wholesome than the pleasant hill
Of Rhodope, on which the nymph that bore
A giant babe, herself for grief did kill;
Or the Thessalian Tempe, where of yore
Fair Daphne Phoebus' heart with love did gore;
Or Ida, where the Gods lov'd to repair,
Whenever they their heavenly bowers forlore;
Or sweet Parnass, the haunt of Muses fair;
Or Eden, if that aught with Eden might compare.
Much wonder'd Guyon at the fair aspect
Of that sweet place, yet suffered no delight
To sink into his sense, nor mind affect,
But passed forth, and look'd still forward right,
Bridling his will, and mastering his might:
Till that he came unto another gat,
No gate, but like one, being goodly dight
With boughs and branches, which did broad dilaté
Their clasping arms, in wanton wreathings intricate.
So fashioned a porch with rare device,
Arch'd over head with an embracing vine,
Whose bunches hanging down seem'd to entice
All passers by, to taste their luscious wine,
And did themselves into their hands incline,
As freely offering to be gathered:
Some deep empurpled as the hyacint,
Some as the ruby, laughing sweetly red,
Some like fair emeralds, not yet well ripened.
And them amongst, some were of burnish'd gold,
So made by art, to beautify the rest,
Which did themselves amongst the leaves enfold,
As lurking from the view of covetous guest,
That the weak boughs, with so rich load opprest,
Did bow adown, as overburdened.
Under that porch a comely dame did rest,
Clad in fair weeds, but foul disordered, [head.
And garments loose, that seem'd unmeet for woman-
In her left hand a cup of gold she held,
And with her right the riper fruit did reach,
Whose sappy liquor that with fullness swell'd
Into her cup she squeez'd, with dainty breach
Of her fine fingers, without foul impeach,
That so fair wine-press made the wine more sweet;
Thereof she us'd to give to drink to each,
Whom passing by she happened to meet:
It was her guise all strangers goodly so to greet.
So she to Guyon offered it to taste;
Who taking it out of her tender hand,
The cup to ground did violently cast,
That all in pieces it was broken found;
And with the liquor stained all the land:
Whereat Excess exceedingly was wroth,
Yet no'te the same amend, nor yet withstand,
But suffered him to pass, all were she loth;
Who, not regarding her displeasure, forward go`th.
There the most dainty paradise on ground,
Itself doth offer to his sober eye,
In which all pleasures plenteously abound,
And none does others' happiness envy:
The painted flowers, the trees upshooting high,
The dales for shade, the hills for breathing space,
The trembling groves, the chrystal running by ;
And that, which all fair works doth most aggrace,
The art, which all that wrought, appeared in no place.
One would have thought (so cunningly the rude
And scorned parts were mingled with the fine)
That nature had for wantonness ensued
Art, and that art at nature did repine;
So striving each th' other to undermine,
Each did the other's work more beautify;
So differing both in wills, agreed in fine:
So all agreed through sweet diversity,
This garden to adorn with all variety.
And in the midst of all, a fountain stood,
Of richest substance that on earth might be,
So pure and shiny, that the silver flood
Through every channel running one might see;
Most goodly it with pure imagery
Was overwrought, and shapes of naked boys,
Of which some seem'd with lively jollity
To fly about, playing their wanton toys,
While others did themselves embathe in liquid joys.
And over all, of purest gold, was spread
A trail of ivy in his native hue:
For, the rich metal was so coloured,
That wight, who did not well advis'd it view,
Would surely deem it to be ivy true:
Low his lascivious arms adown did creep,
That themselves dipping in the silver dew,
Their fleecy flowers they tenderly did steep, [weep.
Which drops of chrystal seem'd for wantonness to
Infinite streams continually did well
Out of this fountain, sweet and fair to see,
The which into an ample laver fell,
And shortly grew to so great quantity,
That like a little lake it seem'd to be;
Whose depth exceeded not three cubits height,
That through the waves one might the bottom see,
All pav'd beneath with jasper shining bright,
That seem'd the fountain in that sea did sail upright.
And all the margin round about was set,
With shady laurel trees, thence to defend
The sunny beams, which on the billows bet,
And those which therein bathed, might offend.
As Guyon happened by the same to wend,
Two naked damsels he therein espied,
Which therein bathing, seemed to contend,
And wrestle wantonly, nor cared to hide
Their dainty parts from view of any which them
Sometimes the one would lift the other quite
Above the waters, and then down again
Her plunge, as over mastered by might,
Where both awhile would covered remain,
And each the other from to rise restrain;
The while their snowy limbs, as through a veil,
So through the chrystal waves appeared plain;
Then suddenly both would themselves unhele,
And th' amorous sweet spoils to greedy eyes reveal.
As that fair star, the messenger of morn,
His dewy face out of the sea doth rear:
Or, as the Cyprian goddess, newly born
Of th' ocean's fruitful froth, did first appear:
Such seemed they, and so their yellow hair
Chrystalline humour dropped down apace.
Whom such when Guyon saw, he drew him near,
And somewhat gan relent his earnest pace;
His stubborn breast gan secret pleasance to embrace.
The wanton maidens him espying, stood
Gazing awhile at his unwonted guise;
Then th' one herself low ducked in the flood,
Abash'd, that her a stranger did avise:
But th' other rather higher did arise,
And her two lily paps aloft display'd,
And all that might his melting heart entice
To her delights, she unto him betray'd:
The rest hid underneath, him more desirous made.
With that, the other likewise up arose,
And her fair locks, which formerly were bound
Up in one knot, she low adown did loose:
Which, flowing long and thick, her cloth'd around
And th' ivory in golden mantle gown'd:
So that fair spectacle from him was reft,
Yet that which reft it, no less fair was found:
So hid in locks and waves from lookers' theft,
Nought but her lovely face she for his looking left.
Withal she laughed, and she blush'd withal,
That blushing to her laughter gave more grace,
And laughter to her blushing, as did fall:
Now when they spied the knight to slack his pace,
Them to behold, and in his sparkling face
The secret signs of kindled lust appear,
Their wanton merriments they did increase,
And to him beckoned, to approach more near, [rear.
And shew'd him many sights that courage cold could
On which when gazing him the Palmer saw,
He much rebuked those wandering eyes of his,
And, counsel'd well, him forward thence did draw.
Now are they come nigh to the Bower of Bliss,
Of her fond favourites so nam'd amiss:
When thus the Palmer; "Now, Sir, well avise;
For, here the end of all our travel is:
Here wonnes Acrasia, whom we must surprise,
Else she will slip away, and all our drift despise."
Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound
Of all that might delight a dainty ear,
Such as at once might not on living ground,
Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere:
Right hard it was for wight which did it hear,
To read what manner music that might be:
For, all that pleasing is to living ear,
Was there consorted in one harmony,
Birds, voices, instruments, winds, waters, all agree.
The joyous birds, shrouded in chearful shade,
Their notes unto the voice attempered sweet;
Th' angelical soft trembling voices made
To th' instruments divine respondence meet:
The silver sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmurs of the water's fall:
The water's fall with difference discreet,
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call:
The gentle warbling wind low answered to all.
There, whence that music seemed heard to be,
Was the fair Witch, herself now solacing
With a new lover, whom through sorcery
And witchcraft, she from far did thither bring;
There she had him now laid aslumbering,
In secret shade, after long wanton joys:
While round about them pleasantly did sing
Many fair ladies, and lascivious boys,
That ever mix'd their song with light licentious toys.
And all the while, right over him she hung,
With her false eyes fast fixed in his sight,
As seeking medecine, whence she was stung,
Or greedily depasturing delight:
And oft inclining down with kisses light,
For fear of waking him, his lips bedew'd,
And through his humid eyes did suck his spright,
Quite molten into lust and pleasure lewd;
Wherewith she sighed soft, as if his case she rued.
The while, some one did chaunt this lovely lay;
"Ah see, whose fair thing dost fain to see,
In springing flower the image of thy day;
Ah see the virgin rose, how sweetly she
Doth first peep forth with bashful modesty,
That fairer seems, the less ye see her may;
Lo, see soon after, how more bold and free
Her bared bosom she doth broad display;
Lo, see soon after, how she fades and falls away.
"So passeth, in the passing of a day,
Of mortal life the leaf, the bud, the flower,
Nor more doth flourish after first decay,
That erst was sought to deck both bed and bower
Of many a lady, and many a paramour :
Gather therefore the rose, while yet is prime,
For soon comes age, that will her pride deflower:
Gather the rose of love, while yet is time,
While loving thou mayst loved be with equal crime."
He ceas'd, and then gan all the quire of birds
Their divers notes t'attune unto his lay,
As in approvance of his pleasing words.
The constant pair heard all that he did say,
Yet swerved not, but kept their forward way,
Through many covert groves, and thickets close,
In which they creeping did at last display
That wanton lady, with her lover loose,
Whose sleepy head she in her lap did soft dispose.
Upon a bed of roses she was laid,
As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin,
And was array'd, or rather disarray'd,
All in a veil of silk and silver thin,
That hid no whit her alabaster skin,
But rather shew'd more white, if more might be:
More subtle web Arachne cannot spin,
Nor the fine nets, which oft we woven see
Of scorched dew do not in th' air more lightly flee.
Her snowy breast was bare to ready spoil
Of hungry eyes which n'ote therewith be fill'd;
And yet through languor of her late sweet toil,
Few drops, more clear than nectar, forth distill'd,
That like pure orient pearls adown it trill'd:
And her fair eyes sweet smiling in delight
Moisten'd their fiery beams, with which she thrill'd
Frail hearts, yet quenched not; like starry light,
Which sparkling on the silent waves, does seem
The young man sleeping by her, seem'd to be
Some goodly swain of honourable place,
That certes it great pity was to see
Him his nobility so foul deface;
A sweet regard, and amiable grace,
Mixed with manly sternness, did appear
Yet sleeping in his well proportion'd face,
And on his tender lips the downy hair [bear.
Did now but freshly spring, and silken blossoms
His warlike arms (the idle instruments
Of sleeping praise) were hung upon a tree,
And his brave shield (full of old moniments)
Was foully ras'd, that none the signs might see;
Nor for them, nor for honour cared he,
Nor aught that did to his advancement tend;
But in lewd loves, and wasteful luxury,
His days, his goods, his body he did spend:
O horrible enchantment, that him so did blend!
The noble elf and careful palmer drew
So nigh them (minding nought but lustful game)
That sudden forth they on them rush'd, and threw
A subtle net, which only for the same
The skilful palmer formally did frame.
So held them under fast, the while the rest
Fled all away for fear of fouler shame.
The fair Enchantress, so unwares opprest, [wrest.
Tried all her arts, and all her sleights, thence out to
And eke her lover strove: but all in vain;
For, that same net so cunningly was wound,
That neither guile nor force might it distrain.
They took them both, and both them strongly bound
In captive bands, which there they ready found:
But her in chains of adamant he tied;
For nothing else might keep her safe and sound;
But Verdant (so he hight) he soon untied,
And counsel sage instead thereof to him applied.
But all those pleasant bowers, and palace brave,
Guyon broke down, with rigor pitiless;
Nor aught their goodly workmanskip might save
Them from the tempest of his wrathfulness,
But that their bliss he turn'd to balefulness:
Their groves he fell'd, their gardens did deface,
Their arbors spoil'd, their cabinets suppress,
Their banquet-houses burn, their buildings rase,
And of the fairest late, now made the foulest place.
Nor that sage Pylian sire, which did survive
Three ages, such as mortal men contrive,
By whose advice old Priam's city fell,
With these in praise of policies might strive.
These three in these three rooms did sundry dwell,
And counselled fair Alma, how to govern well.
The first of them could things to come foresee:
The next, could of things present best advise;
The third, things past could keep in memory:
So that no time, nor reason could arise,
But that the same could one of these comprise.
For thy, the first did in the fore part sit,
That nought might hinder his quick prejudice:
He had a sharp foresight, and working wit,
That never idle was, nor 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 never yet,
Nor can devised be of mortal wit;
Some daily seen, and knowen by their names,
Such as in idle fantasies do flit:
Infernal hags,centaurs, fiends, hippodames, [dames.
Apes, lions, eagles, owls, fools, lovers, children,
And all the chamber filled was with flies,
Which buzzed all about, and made such sound,
That they encumbered all men's ears and eyes,
Like many swarms of bees assembled round,
After their hives with honey do abound:
All those were idle thoughts and phantasies,
Devices, dreams, opinions unsound,
Shows, visions, soothsays, and prophecies;
And all that feigned is, as leasings, tales, and lies.
Amongst them all sate he which wonned there,
That hight Phantastes by his nature true;
A man of years yet fresh, as might appear,
Of swarth complexion, and of crabbed hue,
That him full of melancholy did shew;
Bent hollow beetle brow, sharp staring eyes,
That mad or foolish seem'd: one by his view
Might deem him born with ill disposed skies,
When oblique Saturn sate in th' house of agonies.
Whom Alma having shewed to her guests, [walls
Thence brought them to the second room, whose
Were painted fair with memorable gestes
Of famous wisards, and with picturals
Of magistrates, of courts, of tribunals,
Of commonwealths, of states, of policy,
Of laws, of judgements, and of decretals;
All arts. all science, all philosophy,
And all that in the world was aye thought wittily.
Of those that room was full: and them among
There sate a man of ripe and perfect age,
Who did them meditate all his life long,
That through continual practise and usage,
He now was grown right wise, and wondrous sage.
Great pleasure had those stranger knights to see
That chamber seemed ruinous and old,
And therefore was removed far behind;
Yet were the walls, that did the same uphold,
Right firm and strong, though somewhat they
And therein sate an old old man, half blind,
And all decrepid in his feeble corse,
Yet lively vigor rested in his mind,
And recompenced him with a better scorce:
Weak body well is chang'd for mind's redoubled
This man of infinite remembrance was,
And things foregone through many ages held,
Which he recorded still as they did pass,
Nor suffered them to perish through long eld,
As all things else, the which this world doth weld,
But laid them up in his immortal scrine,
Where they for ever uncorrupted dwell'd;
The wars he well remembered of king Nine,
Of old Assaracus, and Inachus divine.
Beyond his croup the length of all her lance,
Till sadly sousing on the sandy shore,
He tumbled on an heap, and wallow'd in his gore.
Like as the sacred Ox that careless stands,
With gilded horns, and flow'ry garlands crown'd,
Proud of his dying honor and dear bands,
While th' altars fume with frankincense around,
All suddenly with mortal stroke astound
Doth grovelling fall, and with his streaming gore
Distains the pillars, and the holy ground,
And the fair flowers, that decked him before;
So fell proud Marinell upon the precious shore.
The martial maid staid not him to lament,
But forward rode, and kept her ready way
Along the strond: which as she overwent,
She saw bestrewed all with rich array
Of pearls and precious stones of great assay,
And all the gravel mix'd with golden ore;
Whereat she wondered much, but would not stay
For gold, or pearls, or precious stones an hour,
But them despised all; for all was in her power.
While thus he lay in deadly 'stonishment,
Tidings hereof came to his mother's ear;
His mother was the black-brow'd Cymoent,
The daughter of great Nereus, which did bear
This warlike son unto an earthly peer,
The famous Dumarin: who on a day
Finding the nymph asleep in secret where
As he by chance did wander that same way,
Was taken with her love, and by her closely lay.
There he this knight of her begot; whom born.
She of his father Marinell did name,
And in a rocky cave as wight forlorn,
Long time she fostered up, till he became
A mighty man at arms, and mickle fame
Did get through great adventures by him done:
For never man he suffered by that same
Rich strond to travel, whereas he did wonne,
But that he must do battle with the sea nymph's son.
An hundred knights of honorable name
He had subdued, and them his vassals made,
That through all fairy land his noble fame
Now blazed was, and fear did all invade,
That none durst passen through that perilous glade:
And to advance his name and glory more,
Her sea-god sire she dearly did persuade
T' endow her son with treasure and rich store,
'Bove all the sons that were of earthly wombs y bore.
The god did grant his daughter's dear demand,
To doen his nephew in all riches flow;
Eftsoons his heaped waves he did command,
Out of their hollow bosom forth to throw
All the huge treasure, which the sea below
Had in his greedy gulf devoured deep,
And him enriched through the overthrow
And wrecks of many wretches, which did weep
And often wail their wealth, which he from them
Shortly upon that shore. there heaped was
Exceeding riches and all precious things,
The spoil of all the world, that it did pass
The wealth of th' East, and pomp of Persian Kings;
Gold, amber, ivory, pearls, owches, rings,
And all that else was precious and dear,
The sea unto him voluntary brings;
That shortly he a great lord did appear,
As was in all the land of fairy, or elsewhere.
Thereto he was a doughty dreaded knight,
Tried often to the scathe of many dear,
That none in equal arms him matchen might:
The which his mother seeing, gan to fear
Least his too haughty hardiness might rear
Some hard mishap, in hazard of his life:
For this she oft him counsel'd to forbear
The bloody battle, and to stir up strife,
But after all his war, to rest his weary knife.
And for his more assurance, she enquir'd
One day of Proteus by his mighty spell
(For Proteus was with prophecy inspir'd)
Her dear son's destiny to her to tell,
And the sad end of her sweet Marinell.
Who, through foresight of his eternal skill,
Bade her from womankind to keep him well:
For of a woman he should have much ilt;
A virgin strange and stout him should dismay or kill.
For this she gave him warning every day,
The love of women not to entertain;
A lesson too too hard for living clay,
From love in course of nature to refrain:
Yet he his mother's love did well retain,
And ever from fair ladies' love did fly;
Yet many ladies fair did oft complain,
That they for love of him would algates die;
Die, whoso list for him, he was love's enemy.
But ah, who can deceive his destiny,
Or ween by warning to avoid his fate;
That when he sleeps in most security,
And safest seems, him soonest doth amate,
And findeth due effect or soon or late!
So feeble is the power of fleshly arm.
His mother bade him women's love to hate,
For she of women's force did fear no harm;
So weening to have arm'd him, she did quite disarm.
This was that woman, this that deadly wound,
That Proteus prophecied should him dismay,
The which his mother vainly did expound,
To be heart-wounding love, which should essay
To bring her son unto his last decay.
So tickle be the terms of mortal state,
And full of subtle sophisms, which do play
With double senses, and with false debate,
T" approve the unknown purpose of eternal fate.
Too true the famous Marinell it found,
Who through late trial on that wealthy strand
Inglorious now lies in senseless swound,