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At last she her advised, that he which made
So strangely viewed her strange lover's shade,
Forthwith themselves disguising both in strange And base attire, that none might them bewray, To Maridunum, that is now by change
Of name Cayr-Merdin call'd, they took their way; There the wise Merlin whylome wont (they say) To make his wonne, low underneath the ground, In a deep delve, far from the view of day; That of no living wight he mote be found, Whenso he counsell'd, with his sprites encompass'd round.
And if thou ever happen that same way To travel, go to see that dreadful place : It is an hideous hollow cave (they say) Under a rock that lies a little space From the swift Barry, tumbling down apace Amongst the woody hills of Dynevowre: But dare thou not, I charge, in any case, To enter into that same baleful bower, For fear the cruel fiends should thee unwares devour.
But standing high aloft, low lay thine ear,
Do toss, that it will stun thy feeble brains;
The cause, some say, is this: a little while
In the mean time, through that false lady's train,
For he by words could call out of the sky
And sooth men say, that he was not the son
Who was the lord of Mathtraval by right,
They here arriving, stay'd awhile without, Ne durst adventure rashly in to wend, But of their first intent 'gan make new doubt For dread of danger, which it might portend, Until the hardy maid (with love to friend) First entering, the dreadful mage there found Deep busied 'bout work of wond'rous end, And writing strange characters in the ground, With which the stubborn fiends he to his service [bound.
SHE on a day, as she pursued the chace
Of some wild beast, which, with her arrows keen, She wounded had, the same along did trace By tract of blood, which she had freshly seen To have besprinkled all the grassy green; By the great pursue which she there perceived, Well hoped she the beast engored had been, And made more haste the life to have bereaved; But ah! her expectation greatly was deceived.
Shortly she came whereas that woeful squire, With blood deformed, lay in deadly swound; In whose fair eyes, like lamps of quenched fire, The crystal humour stood congealed round; His locks, like faded leaves, fallen to ground, Knotted with blood, in bunches rudely ran, And his sweet lips, on which, before that stound, The bud of youth to blossom fair began, Spoil'd of their rosy red, were waxen pale and wan.
Saw never living eye more heavy sight,
That could have made a rock of stone to rue Or rive in twain ; which when that lady bright Besides all hope, with melting eyes did view, All suddenly abash'd, she changed hue, And with stern horror backward 'gan to start; But when she better him beheld, she grew Full of soft passion and unwonted smart ; The point of pity pierced through her tender heart.
Meekly she bowed down, to weet if life Yet in his frozen members did remain, And feeling by his pulse's beating rife That the weak soul her seat did yet retain, She cast to comfort him with busy pain. His double-folded neck she rear'd upright, And rubb'd his temples and each trembling vein; His mailed haberjon she did undight, And from his head his heavy burganet did light.
Into the woods thenceforth in haste she went,
She found, and brought it to her patient dear, Who all this while lay bleeding out his heart-blood
The sovereign weed, betwixt two marbles plain,
By this he had sweet life recur'd again.
And gifts of heavenly grace, he by him spied,
"Mercy, dear Lord!" said he, "what grace is this That thou hast shewed to me, sinful wight, To send thine angel from her bower of bliss To comfort me in my distressed plight? Angel, or goddess, do I call thee right? What service may I do unto thee meet, That hast from darkness me return'd to light, And with thy heavenly salves and med'cines sweet Hast drest my sinful wounds? I kiss thy blessed feet."
Thereat she blushing said, "Ah! gentle Squire, Nor goddess I, nor angel, but the maid And daughter of a woody nymph, desire No service but thy safety and aid, Which if thou gain, I shall be well apaid. We mortal wights, whose lives and fortunes be To common accidents still open laid, Are bound with common bond of frailty, To succour wretched wights whom we captived see."
By this her damsels, which the former chace
And thereby deem'd the beast had been deprived
Where, when they saw that goodly boy with blood Defouled, and their lady dress his wound, They wonder'd much, and shortly understood How him in deadly case their lady found, And rescued out of the heavy stound: Eftsoons his warlike courser, which was stray'd Far in the woods, whiles that he lay in swownd, She made those damsels search; which being stay'd, They did him set thereon, and forthwith them convey'd.
Into that forest far they thence him led,
Amongst the pumice stones, which seem'd to plain With gentle murmur, that his course they did restrain.
Beside the same a dainty place there lay,
The which was all within most richly dight, That greatest princes living it mote well delight.
Thither they brought that wounded squire, and laid In easy couch his feeble limbs to rest : He rested him a while, and then the maid His ready wound with better salves new drest; Daily she dressed him, and did the best His grievous hurt to guarish that she might, That shortly he his dolour had redrest, And his foul sore reduced to fair plight; It she reduced, but himself destroyed quite.
Thus warred he long time against his will,
His inward parts, and all his entrails waste,
Which seeing, fair Belphoebe 'gan to fear
For, when as day the heaven doth adorn,
LIKE as the culver, on the bared bough,
POETRY OF UNCERTAIN AUTHORS
THE END OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.
THE SOUL'S ERRAND.
FROM DAVISON'S "POETICAL RHAPSODY.'
THIS bold and spirited poem has been ascribed to several authors, but to none on satisfactory authority. It can be traced to MS. of a date as early as 1593, when Francis Davison, who published it in his Poetical Rhapsody, was too young to be supposed, with much probability, to have written it; and as Davison's work was a compilation, his claims to it must be very doubtful. Sir Egerton Brydges has published it among Sir Walter Raleigh's poems, but without a tittle of evidence to show that it was the production of that great man. Mr. Ellis gives it to Joshua Sylvester, evidently by mistake. Whoever looks at the folio vol. of Sylvester's poems, will see
that Joshua uses the beautiful original merely as a text, and has the conscience to print his own stuff in a way that shows it to be interpolated. Among those additions there occur some such execrable stanzas as the following:
Say, soldiers are the sink
Tell townsmen, that because that They prank their brides so proud, Too many times it draws that Which makes them beetle-brow'd.
Ohe jam satis !
THE SOUL'S ERRAND.
Go, Soul, the body's guest,
The truth shall be thy warrant ;
Go, tell the Court it glows,
Tell potentates they live,
Not strong but by their factions;
If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie.
Tell men of high condition
Tell them that brave it most,
Tell Zeal it lacks devotion,
Tell Age it daily wasteth,
Tell Wit how much it wrangles
Tell Physic of her boldness,
Tell Fortune of her blindness, Tell Nature of decay,
Tell Friendship of unkindness, Tell Justice of delay;
And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.
Tell Arts they have no soundness,
If Arts and Schools reply,
Tell Faith it's fled the city,
And when thou hast, as I
No stab the Soul can kill.
FROM DAVISON'S RHAPSODY. EDIT. 1608.
THE golden sun that brings the day,
But thou, my sun, more bright than he
I heard the praise of Beauty's grace,
I gazed on many a lovely face,
Which made me think that beauty bright
But now thy beams have clear'd my sight,
I blush to think I was so blind,
Thy flaming eyes afford me light,
That beauty's blaze each where I find ;
And yet those dames that shine so bright, Are but the shadows of thy light.
FROM THE PHOENIX' NEST. EDIT. 1593.
O NIGHT, O jealous night, repugnant to my pleasure, O night so long desired, yet cross to my content, Trere's none but only thou can guide me to my treasure,
Yet none but only thou that hindereth my intent.
Sweet night, withhold thy beams, withhold them till to-morrow,
Whose joy, in lack so long, a hell of torment breeds, Sweet night, sweet gentle night, do not prolong my
Desire is guide to me, and love no loadstar needs.
Let sailors gaze on stars and moon so freshly shining,
Let them that miss the way be guided by the light, I know my lady's bower, there needs no more divining,
Affection sees in dark, and love hath eyes by night.
Dame Cynthia, couch awhile; hold in thy horns for shining,
And glad not low'ring night with thy too glorious rays;
But be she dim and dark, tempestuous and repining, That in her spite my sport may work thy endless praise.
And when my will is done, then Cynthia shine, good lady,
All other nights and days in honour of that night, That happy, heavenly night, that night so dark and shady,
Yet your sweet lips so soft kiss and delight me ;
Wherein my love had eyes that lighted my delight. Your taunts my life destroying ;
FROM THE SAME.
THE gentle season of the year
The meads are mantled all with green,
And as you see the scarlet rose
In his sweet prime his buds disclose,
Since both have force to kill me,
My ghost from hence shall wander,
THERE is a jewel which no Indian mine can buy,
It makes men rich in greatest poverty,
CHANGE me, O heaven! into the ruby stone