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And now by this Cymochles' hour was spent,
But marched to the strand, there passage to
And in the way he with Sir Guyon met,
Thou recreant knight, and soon thyself prepare
Lo, lo, already how the fowls in air
Do flock, awaiting shortly to obtain
"If ever love of lady did empierce
Both yield, to stay your deadly strife a space;"
"But if for me ye fight, or me will serve,
Do love, where love does give his sweet alarms
Thy carcass for their prey, the guerdon of thy pain." Does yield unto his foe a pleasant victory.
And therewithal he fiercely at him flew,
Deep in their flesh, quite through the iron walls,
Cymochles, that had never met before
Sir Guyon, grudging not so much his might,
Both of them high at once their hands enhaunst,
Wherewith astonish'd still he stood as senseless
Still as he stood, fair Phædria (that beheld
That deadly danger) soon atweene them ran,
And at their feet herself most humbly fell'd,
"Debateful strife and cruel enmity
The famous name of knighthood foully shend;
And in amours the passing hours to spend,
Than of their arms: Mars is Cupido's friend,
Therewith she sweetly smiled. They, though
She no less glad than he desirous was
That her sweet peace and pleasures did annoy,
That she well pleased was thence to amove him
Tho' him she brought aboard, and her swift boat
SIR GUYON, GUIDED BY THE PALMER TEMPERANCE, PASSES THE DANGERS OF THE BOWER OF BLISS.
WITH that the rolling sea resounding soft,
And let him hear some part of their rare melody.
But him the palmer from that vanity With temperate advice discounselled, That they it past, and shortly 'gan descry The land to which their course they levelled; When suddenly a gross fog overspread With his dull vapour all that desert has, And heaven's cheerful face enveloped, That all things one, and one as nothing was, And this great universe seem'd one confused mass. Thereat they greatly were dismay'd, ne wist How to direct their way in darkness wide, But fear'd to wander in that wasteful mist, For tumbling into mischief unespied : Worse is the danger hidden than descried. Suddenly an innumerable flight
Of harmful fowls about them fluttering cried, And with their wicked wings them oft did smite, And sore annoy'd, groping in that griesly night.
Even all the nation of unfortunate And fatal birds about them flocked were, Such as by nature men abhor and hate; The ill-faced owl, death's dreadful messenger; The hoarse night-raven, trump of doleful drear; The leather-winged bat, day's enemy; The rueful strich, still waiting on the bier; The whistler shrill, that whoso hears doth die ; The hellish harpies, prophets of sad destiny;
All those, and all that else does horror breed, About them flew, and fill'd their sails with fear : Yet stay'd they not, but forward did proceed, Whiles th' one did row, and th' other stiffly steer; Till that at last the weather gan to clear, And the fair land itself did plainly show. Said then the palmer, "Lo where does appear The sacred soil where all our perils grow, Therefore, Sir Knight, your ready arms about you throw."
He hearken'd, and his arms about him took, The whiles the nimble boat so well her sped, That with her crooked keel the land she struck; Then forth the noble Guyon sallied, And his sage palmer that him governed; But the other by his boat behind did stay. They marched fairly forth, of nought ydred, Both firmly arm'd for every hard assay, With constancy and care, gainst danger and dismay.
Ere long they heard an hideous bellowing Of many beasts, that roar'd outrageously. As if that Hunger's point, or Venus' sting, Had them enraged with fell surquedry; Yet nought they fear'd, but past on hardily, Until they came in view of those wild beasts, Who all at once, gaping full greedily, And rearing fiercely their upstarting crests, Ran towards to devour those unexpected guests.
But soon as they approach'd with deadly threat, The palmer over them his staff upheld, His mighty staff, that could all charms defeat; Eftsoons their stubborn courages were quell'd, And high-advanced crests down meekly fell'd: Instead of fraying they themselves did fear, And trembled, as them passing they beheld: Such wond'rous power did in that staff appear, All monsters to subdue to him that did it bear.
Of that same wood it framed was cunningly
With which he wont the Stygian realms invade
Thence passing forth, they shortly do arrive Whereat the Bower of Bliss was situate; A place pick'd out by choice of best alive, That Nature's work by art can imitate: In which whatever in this worldly state Is sweet and pleasing unto living sense, Or that may daintiest fantasy aggrate, Was poured forth with plentiful dispense, And made there to abound with lavish affluence.
Goodly it was, enclosed round about,
Rather for pleasure than for battery or fight.
It framed was of precious ivory,
That seem'd a work of admirable wit,
Her mighty charms, her furious loving fit,
The wondered Argo, which, in venturous peace, First through the Euxine seas bore all the flower of Greece.
So she to Guyon offer'd 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 fond, And with the liquor stained all the land: Whereat Excess exceedingly was wroth, Yet no'te the same amend, ne yet withstand, But suffered him to pass, all were she lothe, Who, nought regarding her displeasure, forward goeth.
There the most dainty paradise on ground Itself doth offer to his sober eye, In which all pleasures plenteously abound, And none does other's happiness envy ; The painted flowers, the trees upshooting high; The dales for shade, the hills for breathing space; That trembling groves, the crystal 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 in the midst of all a fountain stood,
Was over-wrought, and shapes of naked boys,
And over all of purest gold was spread A trayle of ivy in his native hue; For the rich metal was so coloured, That wight, who did not well advised 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 fearfully did steep, Which drops of crystal seem'd for wantonness to weep.
Infinite streams continually did well
Out of this fountain, sweet and fair to see,
On which when gazing him the palmer saw,
Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound,