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In these and like delights of bloody game.
He trained was, till riper years he raught;
And there abode whilst any beast of name
Walk'd in that forest whom he had not taught
To fear his force: and then his courage haught
Desir'd of foreign foemen to be known,
And far abroad for strange adventures sought;
In which his might was never overthrown, [blown.
But through all fairy land his famous worth was

Yet evermore it was his manner fair,
After long labours and adventures spent,
Unto those native woods for to repair,
To see his sire and offspring ancient.
And now he thither came for like intent;
Where he unwares the fairest Una found,
Strange lady, in so strange habiliment,
Teaching the Satyrs, which her sat around, [dound.
True sacred lore, which from her sweet lips did re-

He wonder'd at her wisdom heavenly rare,
Whose like in women's wit he never knew;
And when her courteous deeds he did compare,
Gan her admire, and her sad sorrows rue,
Blaming of fortune, which such troubles threw,
And joy'd to make proof of her cruelty
On gentle dame, so hurtless and so true:
Thenceforth he kept her goodly company,
And learn'd her discipline of faith and verity.

At last she chanced by good hap to meet
A goodly knight, fair marching by the way,
Together with his squire, arrayed meet:
His glittering armour shined far away,
Like glancing light of Phoebus' brightest ray;
From top to toe no place appeared bare,
That deadly dint of steel endanger may :
Athwart his breast a bauldric brave he ware,
That shin'd like twinkling stars, with stones most
[precious rare.

And in the midst thereof one precious stone
Of wondrous worth, and eke of wondrous mights,
Shap'd like a lady's head, exceeding shone,
Like Hesperus amongst the lesser lights,
And strove for to amaze the weaker sights;
Thereby his mortal blade full comely hung

In ivory sheath, yearv'd with curious slights;
Whose hilts were burnish'd gold, and handle strong
Of mother pearl, and buckled with a golden tongue.

His haughty helmet, horrid all with gold,
Both glorious brightness and great terror bred;
For all the crest a dragon did enfold
With greedy paws, and over all did spread
His golden wings; his dreadful hideous head
Close couched on the beaver, seem'd to throw
From flaming mouth bright sparkles fiery red,
That sudden horror to faint hearts did show;
And scaly tail was stretch'd adown his back full low.

Upon the top of all his lofty crest

A bunch of hairs discolour'd diversely,
With sprinkled pearl, and gold full richly dress'd,
Did shake, and seem'd to dance for jollity,
Like to an almond tree ymounted high
On top of green Selinis all alone,
With blossoms brave bedecked daintily;
Whose tender locks do tremble every one
At every little breath that under heaven is blown.

DESCRIPTION OF BElphebe. Her face so fair as flesh it seemed not, But heavenly portrait of bright angels' hue, Clear as the sky, withouten blame or blot, Through goodly mixture of complexions due; And in her cheeks the vermeil red did shew Like roses in a bed of lilies shed,

The which ambrosial odours from them threw, And gazers' sense with double pleasure fed, Able to heal the sick, and to revive the dead.


In her fair eyes two living lamps did flame,
Kindled above at th' heavenly maker's light,
And darted fiery beams out of the same,
So passing piercing, and so wondrous bright,
That quite bereav'd the rash beholders' sight;
In them the blinded god his lustful fire
To kindle oft essay'd, but had no might;
For with dread Majesty, and awful ire,
She broke his wanton darts, and quenched base de-
Her ivory forehead, full of bounty brave,
Like a broad table did itself dispread,
For love his lofty triumphs to engrave,
And write the battles of his great godhead;
All good and honour might therein be read:
For there their dwelling was. And when she spake,
Sweet words, like dropping honey, she did shed,
And twixt the pearls and rubies softly brake
A silver sound, that heavenly music seem'd to make.

Upon her eyelids many graces sate,
Under the shadow of her even brows,
Working belgards, and amorous retreat,
And every one her with a grace endows:
And every one with meekness to her bows.
So glorious mirror of celestial grace,

And sovereign monument of mortal vows,
How shall frail pen describe her heavenly face,
For fear, through want of skill, her beauty to dis-

So fair, and thousand thousand times more fair
She seem'd, when she presented was to sight.
And was yclad (for heat of scorching air)
All in a silken camus, lily white,
Purfled upon with many a folded plight
Which all above besprinkled was throughout
With golden agulets, that glistered bright,
Like twinkling stars, and all the skirt about
Was hemmed with golden fringe.

Below her ham her weed did somewhat train,
And her strait legs most bravely were embail'd
In golden buskins of costly cordwain

All barr'd with golden bands, which were entail'd
With curious anticks, and ful fair aumail'd:
Before, they fastened were under her knee
In a rich jewel, and therein entrail'd

The end of all their knots, that none might see,
How they, within their foldings, close enwrapped be.

Like two fair marble pillars they were seen,
Which do the temple of the gods support,
Whom all the people deck with garlands green,
And honour in their festival resort';

Those same with stately grace, and princely port
She taught to tread, when she herself would grace;
But with the woody nymphs when she did play,
Or when the flying libbard she did chace,
She could them nimbly move, and after fly apace.

And in her hand a sharp boar-spear she held,
And at her back a bow and quiver gay, [quell'd
Stuffed with steel-headed darts, wherewith she
The savage beasts in her victorious play,
Knit in a golden bauldrick, which forelay
Athwart her snowy breast, and did divide
Her dainty paps; which, like young fruit in May,
Now little gan to swell, and being tied,
Through her thin weed, their places only signified.

Her yellow locks crisped like golden wire,
About her shoulders weren loosely shed,
And when the wind amongst them did inspire,
They waved like a pennon wide disspread,
And low behind her back were scattered:
And whether art it were, or heedless hap,
As through the flowering forest rash she fled,
In her rude hairs sweet flowers themselves did lap,
And flowering fresh leaves and blossoms did en-



Whoso in pomp of proud estate (quoth she)
Does swim, and bathes himself in courtly bliss,
Does waste his days in dark obscurity,
And in oblivion ever buried is:

Where ease abounds, it's eath to do amiss;
But who his limbs with labours, and his mind

Behaves with cares, cannot so easy miss.
Abroad in arms, at home in studious kind [find.
Who seeks with painful toil, shall honour soonest

In woods, in waves, in wars, she wonts to dwell,
And will be found with peril and with pain;
Nor can the man that moulds in idle cell,
Unto her happy mansion attain;
Before her gate high God did Sweat ordain,
And wakeful Watches ever to abide:
But easy is the way, and passage plain
To pleasure's palace; it may soon be spied,
And day and night her doors to all stand open wide.


A harder lesson to learn continence
In joyous pleasure than in grievous pain:
For, sweetness doth allure the weaker sense
So strongly, that uneathes it can refrain
From that, which feeble nature covets fain
But grief and wrath, that be her enemies,
And foes of life, she better can restrain ;
Yet virtue vaunts in both their victories,
And Guyon in them all shews goodly masteries.

Whom bold Cymochles travelling to find,
With cruel purpose bent to wreak on him
The wrath, which Atin kindled in his mind,
Came to a river, by whose utmost brim
Waiting to pass, he saw whereas did swim
Along the shore, as swift as glance of eye,
A little Gondola, bedecked trim
With boughs and arbours woven cunningly,
That like a little forest seemed outwardly.

And therein sate a lady fresh and fair,
Making sweet solace to herself alone;
Sometimes she sung, as loud as lark in air, [gone:
Sometimes she laughed, that nigh her breath was
Yet was there not with her else any one,
That might to her move cause of merriment:
Matter of mirth enough, though there were none,
She could devise, and thousand ways invent
To feed her foolish humour, and vain jolliment.
Which when far off Cymochles heard and saw,
He loudly call'd to such as were aboard
The little bark unto the shore to draw,
And him to ferry over that deep ford:
The merry mariner unto his word

Soon hearkned, and her painted boat straightway
Turn'd to the shore, where that same warlike lord
She in receiv'd; bnt Atin by no way
She would admit, albe the knight her much did


Eftsoon her shallow ship away did slide,
More swift than swallow shears the liquid sky,
Withouten oar or pilot it to guide,

Or winged canvas with the wind to fly;
Only she turn'd a pin, and by and by
It cut away upon the yielding wave,

Nor cared she her course for to apply:
For it was taught the way, which she would have,
And both from rocks and flats itself could wisely

And all the way, the wanton damsel found
New mirth, her passenger to entertain:
For, she in pleasant purpose did abound,
And greatly joyed merry tales to feign,

Of which a storehouse did with her remain :
Yet seemed, nothing well they her became ;
For, all her words she drown'd with laughter vain,
And wanted grace in utt'ring of the same,
That turned all her pleasance to a scoffing game.

And other whiles vain lays she would devise,
As her fantastic wit did most delight.
Sometimes her head she fondly would aguise
With gaudy garlands, or fresh flowrets dight
About her neck, or rings of rushes plight;
Sometimes to do him laugh, she would essay
To laugh at shaking of the leaves light,
Or to behold the water work, and play
About her little frigate therein making way.

Her light behaviour, and loose dalliance,
Gave wondrous great contentment to the knight,
That of his way he had no souvenance,
Nor care of vow'd revenge, and cruel fight,
But to weak wench did yield his martial might.
So easy was to quench his flamed mind
With one sweet drop of sensual delight:
So easy is t' appease the stormy wind
Of malice in the calm of pleasant womankind.

Divers discourses in their way they spent,
Mongst which Cymochles of her questioned,
Both what she was, and what that usage meant,
Which in her cot she daily practised.
Vain man, said she, that would'st be reckoned
A stranger in thy home, and ignorant
Of Phedria (for so my name is read)
Of Phedria, thine own fellow servant;
For thou to serve Acrasia thyself dost vaunt.

In this wide inland sea, that hight by name
The Idle Lake, my wandring ship I rove,
That knows her port, and thither sails by aim,
Nor care, nor fear I, how the wind do blow,
Or whether swift I wend, or whether slow:
Both slow and swift alike do serve my turn,
Nor swelling Neptune, nor loud thund'ring Jove,
Can change my cheer, or make me ever mourn;
My little boat can safely pass this perilous bourne.

While thus she talked, and while thus she toy'd,
They were far past the passage which he spake,
And came unto an island waste and void,
That floated in the midst of that great lake:
There her smart gondola her port did make,
And that gay pair issuing on the shore
Disburdened her. Their way they forward take,
Into the land that lay them fair before, [store.
Whose pleasance she him shew'd, and plentiful great

It was a chosen plot of fertile land,
Amongst wide waves set like a little nest;
As if it had by Nature's cunning hand,
Been choicely picked out from all the rest,
And laid forth for ensample of the best:
No dainty flower or herb that grows on ground,
No arboret with painted blossoms drest,
And smelling sweet, but there it might be found
To bud out fair, and her sweet smells throw all
No tree, whose branches did not bravely spring;
No branch, whereon a fine bird did not sit;
No bird, but did her shrill notes sweetly sing;
No song, but did contain a lovely dit:
Trees, branches, birds, and songs, were framed fit
For to allure frail mind to careless ease;
Careless the man soon wax, and his weak wit
Was overcome of thing that did him please;
So pleased, did his wrathful purpose fair appease.

Thus when she had his eyes and senses fed
With false delights, and fill'd with pleasures vain,
Into a shady dale she soft him led,

And laid him down upon a grassy plain;

And her sweet self, without dread or disdain,
She set beside, laying his head disarin'd

In her loose lap, it softly to sustain,
Where soon he slumber'd, fearing not be harm'd,
The while with a loud lay she thus him sweetly

"Behold! O man, that toilsome pains dost take,
The flowers, the fields, and all that pleasant grows,
How they themselves do thine ensample make,
While nothing envious Nature them forth throws
Out of her fruitful lap; how, no man knows,
They spring, they bud, they blossom fresh and fair,
And deck the world with their rich pompous shows;
Yet no man for them taketh pains or care,
Yet no man to them can his careful pains compare.

"The lily, lady of the flowering field,
The flower de luce her lovely paramour,
Bid thee to them thy fruitless labours yield,
And soon leave off this toilsome weary stour;
Lo, lo, how brave she decks her bounteous bower,
With silken curtains and gold coverlets,
Therein to shroud her sumptuous belamour,
Yet neither spins nor cards, nor cares nor frets,
But to her mother Nature all her care she lets.


Why then dost thou, O man, that of them all
Art lord, and eke of nature sovereign,
Wilfully make thyself a wretched thrall,
And waste thy joyous hours in needless pain,
Seeking for danger and adventures vain ?
What boots it all to have, and nothing use?
Who shall him rue, that swimming in the main,
Will die for thirst, and water doth refuse?
Refuse such fruitless toil, and present pleasures

By this, she had him lulled fast asleep,
That of no worldly thing he care did take;
Then she with liquors strong his


did steep,

That nothing should him hastily awake:

So she him left, and did herself betake
Unto her boat again, with which she cleft
The slothful waves of that great grisly lake:
Soon she that island far behind her left, [weft.
And now is come to that same place where first she


At last, he came unto a gloomy glade,

Cover'd with boughs and shrubs from heaven's light,
Whereas he sitting found, in secret shade,
An uncouth, savage, and uncivil wight,

Of grizly hue, and foul ill-favour'd sight; [blear'd,
His face with smoke was tann'd, and eyes were
His head and beard with soot were ill bedight,
His coal-black hands did seem to have been sear'd
In smith's fire-spitting forge, and nails like claws

His iron coat all overgrown with rust,
Was underneath enveloped with gold,
Whose glittering gloss darkned with filthy dust,
Well it appeared to have been of old

A work of rich entail, and curious mould,
Woven with anticks and wild imagery:
And in his lap a mass of coin he told,
And turned upside down, to feed his eye
And covetous desire with his huge treasury.

And round about him lay on every side
Great heaps of gold that never could be spent ;
Of which some were rude ore, not purified
Of Mulciber's devouring element;
Some others were new riven, and distent
Into great ingots, and to wedges square;
Some in round plates withouten moniment;
But most were stamped, and in their metal bare
The antique shapes of kings and kesars strange and

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"What art thou, man, (if man at all thou art)
That here in desart hast thy habitance,
And these rich heaps of wealth dost hide apart
From the world's eye, and from her right usance ?"
Thereat, with staring eyes fixed askance,
In great disdain, he answer'd; " Hardy elf,
That darest view my direful countenance,
I read thee rash, and heedless of thyself,

To trouble my still seat, and heaps of precious pelf.

"God of the world and worldlings I me call,
Great Mammon, greatest God below the sky,
That of my plenty pour out unto all,
And unto none my graces do envy:

Riches, renown, and principality,

Honour, estate, and all this worldes good,
For which men swink and sweat incessantly,
From me do flow into an ample flood,

And in the hollow earth have their eternal brood.

Wherefore if me thou deign to serve and sue,
At thy command lo all these mountains be;
Or if to thy great mind, or greedy view,
All these may not suffice, there shall to thee
Ten times so much be numbered frank and free."
"Mammon" (said he)" thy godhead's vaunt is vain,
And idle offers of thy golden fee;

To them that covet such eye-glutting gain,
Proffer thy gifts, and fitter servants entertain.

"Me ill befits, that in dear-doing arms,
And honour's suit my vowed days do spend,
Unto thy bounteous baits, and pleasing charms,
With which weak men thou witchest, to attend:
Regard of worldly muck doth foully blend
And low abase the high heroic spright,
That joys for crowns and kingdoms to contend;
Fair shields, gay steeds, bright arms, be my delight:
Those be the riches fit for an advent'rous knight."

"Vain-glorious elf" (said he)" dost not thou weet,
That money can thy wants at will supply? [meet,
Shields, steeds, and arms, and all things for thee
It can purvey in twinkling of an eye;
And crowns and kingdoms to thee multiply.
Do not I kings create, and throw the crown
Sometimes to him, that low in dust doth lie?
And him that reign'd, into his room thrust down,
And whom I list, do heap with glory aud renown."

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"The antique world, in his first flow'ring youth,
Found no defect in his Creator's grace;
But with glad thanks, and unreproved truth,
The gifts of sovereign bounty did embrace:
Like angels' life was then men's happy case;
But later ages' pride (like corn-fed steed)
Abus'd her plenty, and fat swoln increase
To all licentious lust, and gan exceed
The measure of her means, and natural first need.

"Then gan a cursed hand the quiet womb
Of his great grandmother with steel to wound,
And the hid treasures in her sacred tomb,
With sacrilege to dig. Therein he found
Fountains of gold and silver to abound,
Of which the matter of his huge desire
And pompous pride eftsoons he did compound;
Then avarice gan through his veins inspire
His greedy flames, and kindled life-devouring fire."
"Son" (said he then) "let be thy bitter scorn,
And leave the rudeness of that antique age
To them, that liv'd therein in state forlorn;

Thou that dost live in later times, must wage
Thy works for wealth, and life for gold engage;
If then thee list my offer'd grace to use,
Take what thou please of all this surplusage;
If thee list not, leave have thou to refuse:
But thing refused, do not afterward accuse."

"Me list not (said the elfin knight) "receive
Thing offered, till I know it well be got:
Nor wot I, but thou didst these goods bereave
From rightful owner by unrighteous lot,
Or that blood-guiltiness or guile them blot."
"Perdy" (quoth he)" yet never eye did view
Nor tongue did tell, nor hand these handled not,
But safe I have them kept in secret mew, [pursue."
From heaven's sight, and power of all which them

"What secret place,” (quoth he) “can safely hold
So huge a mass, and hide from heaven's eye?
Or where hast thou thy wonne, that so much gold
Thou canst preserve from wrong and robbery?"
"Come thou," (quoth he) “and see." So, by and by
Through that thick covert he him led, and found
A darksome way, which no man could descry,
That deep descended through the hollow ground,
And was with dread and horror compassed around.

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On th' other side, in one consort their sate
Cruel Revenge, and rancorous Despite,
Disloyal Treason, and heart-burning Hate;
But gnawing Jealousy, out of their sight
Sitting alone, his bitter lips did bite,
And trembling Fear still to and fro did fly,
And found no place, where safe he shroud him might,
Lamenting Sorrow did in darkness lie,

And Shame his ugly face did hide from living eye.

And over them sad Horror with grim hue,
Did always soar, beating his iron wings;
And after him, owls and night-ravens flew,
The hateful messengers of heavy things,
Of death and dolour telling sad tidings;
While sad Celeno, sitting on a clift,
A song of bale and bitter sorrow sings,
That heart of flint asunder could have rift:
Which having ended, after him she flyeth swift.

All these before the gates of Pluto lay,
By whom they passing, spake unto them nought,
But th' elfin knight with wonder all the way
Did feed his eyes, and fill'd his inner thought.
At last, he to a little door him brought,
That to the gate of hell, which gaped wide,

Was next adjoining, nor them parted ought;
Betwixt them both was but a little stride,
That did the house of riches from hell mouth divide.
Before the door sat self-consuming Care,
Day and night keeping wary watch and ward,
For fear least force or fraud should unaware
Break in; and spoil the treasure there in guard:
Nor would he suffer Sleep once thitherward
Approach, albe his drowsy den were next;
For, next to death is sleep to be compar'd;
Therefore his house is unto his annex'd; [betwixt.
Here sleep, there riches, and hell gate them both

So soon as Mammon there arriv'd, the door
To him did open, and afforded way;
Him followed eke Sir Guyon evermore,
Nor darkness him, nor danger might dismay.
Soon as he entered was, the door straightway
Did shut, and from behind it forth there leap'd
An ugly fiend, more foul than dismal day,
The which with monstrous stalk behind him stepp'd,
And ever as he went, due watch upon him kept.
Well hoped he, ere long that hardy guest,
If ever covetous hand, or lustful eye,
Or lips he laid on thing, that liked him best,
Or ever sleep his eyestrings did untie,
Should be his prey. And therefore still on high
He over him did hold his cruel claws,
Threatening with greedy gripe to do him die,
And rend in pieces with his ravenous paws,
If ever he transgress'd the fatal Stygian laws.

That house's form within was rude and strong,
Like an huge cave hewn out of rocky clift


Both roof, and floor, and walls, were all of gold,
But overgrown with dust and old decay,
And hid in darkness, that none could behold
The hue thereof: for, view of chearful day
Did never in that house itself display,
But a faint shadow of uncertain light;
Such as a lamp, whose life does fade away:

Or as the moon clothed with cloudy night, [fright.
Does shew to him, that walks in fear and sad af-

In all that room was nothing to be seen,

But huge great iron chests and coffers strong,
All barr'd with double bands, that none could ween
Them to enforce by violence or wrong;

On every side they placed were along:
But all the ground with sculls was scattered,
And dead men's bones,which round about were flung,
Whose lives (it seemed) whilome there were shed,
And their vile carcases now left unburied.

They forward pass, nor Guyon yet spake word,
Till that they came unto an iron door,
Which to them opened of its own accord,
And shew'd of riches such exceeding store,
As eye of man did never see before;
Nor ever could within one place be found,

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