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his picturesque situations, his shady groves and lofty A lovely lady rode him fair beside, trees,

(Not pierceable by power of any star),

his Masque of Cupid, and Bower of Bliss, and all the witcheries of his gardens and wildernesses, without the slightest ambiguity or indistinctness. There is no haze over his finest pictures. We seem to walk in the green alleys of his broad forests, to hear the stream tinkle and the fountain fall, to enter his caves of Mammon and Despair, to gaze on his knights and ladies, or to join in his fierce combats and crowded allegorical processions. There is no perplexity, no intercepted lights, in those fine images and personifications. They may be sometimes fantastic, but they are always brilliant and distinct. When Spenser fails to interest, it is when our coarser taste becomes palled with his sweetness, and when we feel that his scenes want the support of common probability and human passions. We surrender ourselves up for a time to the power of the enchanter, and witness with wonder and delight his marvellous achievements; but we wish to return again to the world, and to mingle with our fellow-mortals in its busy and passionate pursuits. It is here that Shakspeare eclipses Spenser; here that he builds upon his beautiful groundwork of fancy-the high and durable structure of conscious dramatic truth and living reality. Spenser's mind was as purely poetical, and embraced a vast range of imaginary creation. The interest of real life alone is wanting. Spenser's is an ideal world, remote and abstract, yet affording, in its multiplied scenes, scope for those nobler feelings and heroic virtues which we love to see even in transient connexion with human nature. The romantic character of his poetry is its most essential and permanent feature. We may tire of his allegory and 'dark conceit,' but the general impression remains; we never think of the Faery Queen without recalling its wondrous scenes of enchantment and beauty, and feeling ourselves lulled, as it were, by the recollected music of the poet's verse, and the endless flow and profusion of his fancy.

[Una and the Redcross Knight.]

A gentle knight was pricking on the plain,
Yclad in mighty arms and silver shield,
Wherein old dints of deep wounds did remain,
The cruel marks of many a bloody field;
Yet arms till that time did he never wield:
His angry steed did chide his foaming bit,
As much disdaining to the curb to yield:
Full jolly knight he seem'd, and fair did sit,

As one for knightly jousts and fierce encounters fit.

And on his breast a bloody cross he bore,
The dear remembrance of his dying Lord,
For whose sweet sake that glorious badge he wore,
And dead (as living) ever him adored :
Upon his shield the like was also scored,
For sovereign hope, which in his help he had :
Right faithful true he was in deed and word;
But of his cheer did seem too solemn sad:
Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad.

Upon a great adventure he was bound,
That greatest Gloriana to him gave,
(That greatest glorious queen of fairy lond,)
To win him worship, and her grace to have,
Which of all earthly things he most did crave;
And ever as he rode his heart did yearn
To prove his puissance in battle brave
Upon his foe, and his new force to learn;
Upon his foe, a dragon horrible and stern.

Upon a lowly ass more white than snow;
Yet she much whiter, but the same did hide
Under a veil that wimpled was full low,
And over all a black stole she did throw,
As one that inly mourn'd: so was she sad,
And heavy sat upon her palfrey slow;
Seemed in heart some hidden care she had,
And by her in a line a milk-white lamb she led.
So pure and innocent, as that same lamb,
And by descent from royal lineage came
She was in life and every virtuous lore,
Their sceptres stretcht from east to western shore,
Of ancient kings and queens, that had of yore
And all the world in their subjection held;
Till that infernal fiend with foul uproar
Forewasted all their land and them expell'd:
Whom to avenge, she had this knight from far com-

Behind her far away a dwarf did lag,
That lazy seem'd in being ever last,
Or wearied with bearing of her bag
Of needments at his back. Thus as they past
The day with clouds was sudden overcast,
And angry Jove an hideous storm of rain
Did pour into his leman's lap so fast,
That every wight to shroud it did constrain,
And this fair couple eke to shroud themselves were fain.
Enforced to seek some covert nigh at hand,
A shady grove not far away they spied,
That promised aid the tempest to withstand;
Whose lofty trees, yclad with summer's pride,
Did spread so broad, that heaven's light did hide,
Nor pierceable with power of any star:
And all within were paths and alleys wide,
With footing worn, and leading inward far:
Fair harbour, that them seems; so in they entered are.
And forth they pass, with pleasure forward led,
Joying to hear the birds' sweet harmony,
Which therein shrouded from the tempest dread,
Seem'd in their song to scorn the cruel sky.
Much can they praise the trees so straight and high,
The sailing Pine, the Cedar proud and tall,
The vine-prop Elm, the Poplar never dry,
The builder Oak, sole king of forests all,
The Aspin good for staves, the Cypress funeral.
The Laurel, meed of mighty conquerors
And poets sage, the Fir that weepeth still,
The Willow, worn of forlorn paramours,
The Yew obedient to the bender's will,
The Birch for shafts, the Sallow for the mill,
The Myrrh sweet bleeding in the bitter wound,
The warlike Beech, the Ash for nothing ill,
The fruitful Olive, and the Plantain round,
The carver Holme, the Maple seldom inward sound⚫
Led with delight, they thus beguile the way,
Until the blustering storm is overblown,
When, weening to return, whence they did stray,
They cannot find that path which first was shown,
But wander to and fro in ways unknown,
Furthest from end then, when they nearest ween,
That makes them doubt their wits be not their own:
So many paths, so many turnings seen,

That which of them to take, in divers doubt they been.

[Adventure of Una with the Lion.]

Yet she, most faithful lady, all this while
Forsaken, woeful, solitary maid,
Far from all people's prease, as in exile,
In wilderness and wasteful deserts strayed,
To seck her knight; who, subtily betrayed

Through that late vision which th' enchanter wrought,
Had her abandoned; she of nought afraid
Through woods and wasteness wide him daily sought;
Yet wished tidings none of him unto her brought.

One day, nigh weary of the irksome way,
From her unhasty beast she did alight;
And on the grass her dainty limbs did lay,
In secret shadow, far from all men's sight;
From her fair head her fillet she undight,
And laid her stole aside: her angel's face,
As the great eye of Heaven, shined bright,
And made a sunshine in the shady place;

Did never mortal eye behold such heavenly grace.

It fortuned, out of the thickest wood

A ramping lion rushed suddenly,
Hunting full greedy after savage blood:
Soon as the royal virgin he did spy,
With gaping mouth at her ran greedily,

To have at once devour'd her tender corse:
But to the prey when as he drew more nigh,
His bloody rage assuaged with remorse,

And with the sight amazed forgat his furious force.

Instead thereof he kiss'd her weary feet,

And lick'd her lily hands with fawning tongue;
As he her wronged innocence did weet.
O how can beauty master the most strong,
And simple truth subdue avenging wrong!
Whose yielded pride and proud submission,
Still dreading death, when she had marked long,
Her heart gan melt in great compassion,
And drizzling tears did shed for pure affection.

'The lion, lord of every beast in field,'
Quoth she, his princely puissance doth abate,
And mighty proud to humble weak does yield,
Forgetful of the hungry rage, which late
Him prick'd, in pity of my sad estate:
But he, my lion, and my noble lord,
How does he find in cruel heart to hate
Her that him loved, and ever most adored,

As the God of my life? why hath he me abhorred !'

Redounding tears did choke th' end of her plaint,
Which softly echoed from the neighbour wood;
And, sad to see her sorrowful constraint,
The kingly beast upon her gazing stood:
With pity calm'd down fell his angry mood.
At last, in close heart shutting up her pain,
Arose the virgin born of heav'nly brood,
And to her snowy palfrey got again,

To seek her strayed champion if she might attain.

The lion would not leave her desolate,
But with her went along, as a strong guard
Of her chaste person, and a faithful mate
Of her sad troubles and misfortunes hard:
Still when she slept, he kept both watch and ward;
And when she waked, he waited diligent,
With humble service to her will prepared;
From her fair eyes he took commandément,
And ever by her looks conceived her intent.

[The Bower of Bliss.]

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 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 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 curious 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 embaye themselves 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 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,
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 beat,
And those which therein bathed might offend.


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 cheerful shade,
Their notes unto the voice attemper'd sweet;
Th' angelical soft trembling voices made
To th' instruments divine respondence meet;
The silver sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmur 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.
The while, some one did chaunt this lovely lay;
'Ah see, whoso fair thing thou 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.'

[The Squire and the Dove.]

Well said the wise man, now prov'd true by this,
Which to this gentle squire did happen late;
That the displeasure of the mighty is
Than death itself more dread and desperate:
For nought the same may calm, nor mitigate,
Till time the tempest do thereof allay
With sufferance soft, which rigour can abate,
And have the stern remembrance wip'd away
Of bitter thoughts, which deep therein infixed lay.
Like as it fell to this unhappy boy,
Whose tender heart the fair Belphoebe had
With one stern look so daunted, that no joy
In all his life, which afterwards he lad,
He ever tasted; but with penance sad,
And pensive sorrow, pin'd and wore away,

Nor ever laugh'd, nor once show'd countenance glad;
But always wept and wailed night and day,
As blasted blossom, through heat, doth languish and

Till on a day (as in his wonted wise

His dole he made) there chanc'd a turtle-dove
To come, where he his dolours did devise,
That likewise late had lost her dearest love;
Which loss her made like passion also prove.
Who seeing his sad plight, her tender heart
With dear compassion deeply did emmove,
That she gan moan his underserved smart,

And with her doleful accent, bear with him a part.

She, sitting by him, as on ground he lay,
Her mournful notes full piteously did frame,
And thereof made a lamentable lay,

So sensibly compiled, that in the same

Him seemed oft he heard his own right name.

With that, he forth would pour so plenteous tears,
And beat his breast unworthy of such blame,
And knock his head, and rend his rugged hairs,

But, when as long he looked had in vain,
Yet saw her forward still to make her flight,
His weary eye return'd to him again,
Full of discomfort and disquiet plight,
That both his jewel he had lost so light,
And eke his dear companion of his care.
But that sweet bird departing, flew forth right
Through the wide region of the wasteful air,
Until she came where wonned his Belphoebe fair.
There found she her (as then it did betide)
Sitting in covert shade of arbors sweet,
After late weary toil, which she had tried
In savage chace, to rest as seem'd her meet.
There she alighting, fell before her feet,
And gan to her, her mournful plaint to make,
As was her wont: thinking to let her weet
The great tormenting grief, that for her sake
Her gentle squire through her displeasure did partake
She, her beholding with attentive eye,
At length did mark about her purple breast
That precious jewel, which she formerly
Had known right well, with colour'd ribbon drest;
Therewith she rose in haste, and her addrest
With ready hand it to have reft away.
But the swift bird obey'd not her behest,
But swerv'd aside, and there again did stay;
She follow'd her, and thought again it to assay.

And ever when she nigh approach'd, the dove
Would flit a little forward, and then stay
Till she drew near, and then again remove;
So tempting her still to pursue the prey,
And still from her escaping soft away:
Till that at length, into that forest wide
She drew her far, and led with slow delay.
In the end, she her unto that place did guide,
Whereas that woful man in languor did abide.

He her beholding, at her feet down fell,
And kiss'd the ground on which her sole did tread,
And wash'd the same with water, which did well
From his moist eyes, and like two streams proceed;
Yet spake no word, whereby she might aread
What mister wight he was, or what he meant ;
But as one daunted with her presence dread,

That could have pierc'd the hearts of tigers and of Only few rueful looks unto her sent,

Thus long this gentle bird to him did use,

Withouten dread of peril to repair

Unto his wonne; and with her mournful muse
Him to recomfort in his greatest care,

That much did ease his mourning and misfare :
And every day, for guerdon of her song,
He part of his small feast to her would share ;
That, at the last, of all his woe and wrong,
Companion she became, and so continued long.
Upon a day, as she him sate beside,

By chance he certain miniments forth drew,
Which yet with him as relics did abide
Of all the bounty which Belphobe threw
On him, while goodly grace she did him shew:
Amongst the rest, a jewel rich he found,
That was a ruby of right perfect hue,
Shap'd like a heart, yet bleeding of the wound,
And with a little golden chain about it bound.
The same he took, and with a ribbon new
(In which his lady's colours were) did bind
About the turtle's neck, that with the view
Did greatly solace his engrieved mind.
All unawares the bird, when she did find
Herself so deck'd, her nimble wings display'd,
And flew away, as lightly as the wind:
Which sudden accident him much dismay'd,

And looking after long, did mark which way she stray'd.

As messengers of his true meaning and intent.

Yet nathemore his meaning she ared,
But wondered much at his so uncouth case;
And by his person's secret seemlihed

Well ween'd, that he had been some man of place,
Before misfortune did his hue deface:

That being moved with ruth she thus bespake.
Ah! woful man, what heaven's hard disgrace,
Or wrath of cruel wight on thee ywrake,

Or self-disliked life, doth thee thus wretched make?

If heaven, then none may it redress or blame,
Since to his power we all are subject born:
If wrathful wight, then foul rebuke and shame
Be theirs, that have so cruel thee forlorn;
But if through inward grief, or wilful scorn
Of life it be, then better do avise.
For, he whose days in wilful woe are worn,
The grace of his Creator doth despise,
That will not use his gifts for thankless niggardise.
When so he heard her say, eftsoons he brake
His sudden silence, which he long had pent,
And sighing inly deep, her thus bespake;
Then have they all themselves against me bent:
For heaven (first author of my languishment)
Envying my too great felicity,

Did closely with a cruel one consent,
To cloud my days in doleful misery,

And make me loath this life, still longing for to die.

Nor any but yourself, O dearest dread,

Hath done this wrong; to wreak on worthless wight
Your high displeasure, through misdeeming bred:
That when your pleasure is to deem aright,
Ye may redress, and me restore to light.
Which sorry words, her mighty heart did mate
With mild regard, to see his rueful plight,
That her in-burning wrath she gan abate,
And him received again to former favour's state.

[Wedding of the Medway and the Thames.]

[This piece is a remarkable specimen of the allegorical man-
ner of the poet. Natural objects are here personified in an abun
dance, and with a facility which almost bewilders the reader.]
It fortun'd then a solemn feast was there,
To all the sea-gods and their fruitful seed,
In honour of the spousals which then were
Betwixt the Medway and the Thames agreed.
Long had the Thames (as we in records read)
Before that day her wooed to his bed,

But the proud nymph would for no wordly meed,
Nor no entreaty, to his love be led,
Till now at last relenting, she to him was wed.

So both agreed that this, their bridal feast,
Should for the gods in Proteus' house be made,
To which they all repair'd, both most and least,
As well which in the mighty ocean trade
As that in rivers swim, or brooks do wade;
All which not if an hundred tongues to tell,
And hundred mouths, and voice of brass, I had.
And endless memory, that mote excell,

In order as they came could I recount them well.
Help, therefore, O thou sacred imp of Jove!
The nursling of dame memory, his dear,
To whom those rolls, laid up in heaven above,
And records of antiquity appear,

To which no wit of man may comen near;
Help me to tell the names of all those floods,
And all those nymphs, which then assembled were
To that great banquet of the watery gods,
And all their sundry kinds, and all their hid


First came great Neptune, with his threeforkt mace,
That rules the seas, and makes them rise or fall;
His dewy locks did drop with brine apace
Under his diadem imperial;

And by his side his queen with coronal,

Fair Amphitrite, most divinely fair,

Whose ivory shoulders weren cover'd all,

As with a robe, with her own silver hair,

And after him the famous rivers came
Which do the earth enrich and beautify;
The fertile Nile, which creatures now doth frame;
Long Rhodanus, whose course springs from the sky;
Fair Ister, flowing from the mountains high;
Divine Scamander, purpled yet with blood
Of Greeks and Trojans, which therein did die;
Pactolus, glistering with his golden flood,

And Tigris fierce, whose streams of none may be with-

Great Ganges, and immortal Euphrates;
Deep Indus, and Meander intricate;
Swift Rhine and Alpheus still immaculate;
Slow Peneus, and tempestuous Phasides;
Ooraxes, feared for great Cyrus' fate;
Tybris, renowned for the Roman's fame;
Rich Oranochy, though but knowen late;
And that huge river which doth bear his name
Of warlike Amazons, which do possess the same.
Then was there heard a most celestial sound
Of dainty music, which did next ensue
Before the spouse, that was Arion crown'd,
Who playing on his harp, unto him drew
The ears and hearts of all that godly crew:
That even yet the dolphin which him bore
Through the Egean seas from pirate's view,
Stood still by him, astonish'd at his lore,
And all the raging seas for joy forgot to roar.
So went he playing on the watery plain;
Soon after whom the lovely bridegroom came,
The noble Thames, with all his goodly train;
But him before there went, as best became,
His ancient parents, namely th' ancient Thame;
But much more aged was his wife than he,
The Ouse, whom men do Isis rightly name;
Full weak, and crooked creature seemed she,
And almost blind through eld, that scarce her way
could see.

Therefore on either side she was sustain'd

Of two small grooms, which by their names were hight
The Churn and Charwell, two small streams which
Themselves her footing to direct aright, [pain'd
Which failed oft through faint and feeble plight;
But Thame was stronger, and of better stay,
Yet seem'd full aged by his outward sight,
With head all hoary and his beard all gray,
Dewed with silver drops that trickled down alway:
And eke somewhat seemed to stoop afore
With bowed back, by reason of the load
And ancient heavy burden which he bore
Of that fair city, wherein make abode
So many learned imps, that shoot abroad,

And deck'd with pearls which the Indian seas for her And with their branches spread all Britany,


These marched far afore the other crew,
And all the way before them, as they went,
Triton his trumpet shrill before them blew,
For goodly triumph and great jollyment,

That made the rocks to roar as they were rent;
And after them the royal issue came,
Which of them sprung by lineal descent;
First the sea-gods, which to themselves do claim

No less than do her elder sister's brood:
Joy to you both, ye double nursery

Of arts, but Oxford ! thine doth Thame most glorify

But he their son full fresh and jolly was,

All decked in a robe of watchet hue,

On which the waves, glittering like crystal glass,

So cunningly inwoven were, that few

Could weenen whether they were false or true;
And on his head like to a coronet

He wore, that seemed strange to common view,

The power to rule the billows, and the waves to In which were many towers and castles set,


Next came the aged ocean and his dame,
Old Tethys, th' oldest two of all the rest,
For all the rest of those two parents came,
Which afterward both sea and land possest.
Of all which Nereus, th' eldest and the best,
Did first proceed, than which none more upright,
Ne more sincere in word and deed profest,
Most void of guile, most free from foul despite,
Doing himself, and teaching others to do right.

That it encompass'd round as with a golden fret.
Like as the mother of the gods they say,
In her great iron chariot wonts to ride,
When to love's palace she doth take her way,
Old Cybele, array'd with pompous pride,
Wearing a diadem embattled wide
With hundred turrets, like a turribant ;
With such an one was Thamis beautified,
That was to weet the famous Troynovant,

In which her kingdom's throne is chiefly resiant.

And round about him many a pretty page
Attended duly, ready to obey;

All little rivers which owe vassalage

To him, as to their lord, and tribute pay;
The chalky Kennet, and the Thetis gray;
The moorish Cole, and the soft-sliding Breane;
The wanton Lee, that oft doth lose his way,
And the still Darent in whose waters clean,
Ten thousand fishes play, and deck his pleasant stream.
Then came his neighbour floods which nigh him dwell,
And water all the English soil throughout;
They all on him this day attended well,
And with meet service waited him about,
Ne none disdained low to him to lout;
No, not the stately Severn grudg'd at all,
Ne storming Humber, though he looked stout,
But both him honor'd as their principal,


And let their swelling waters low before him fall.
There was the speedy Tamar, which divides
The Cornish and the Devonish confines,
Through both whose borders swiftly down it glides,
And meeting Plim, to Plymouth thence declines
And Dart, nigh chok'd with sands of tinny mines;
But Avon marched in more stately path,
Proud of his adamants with which he shines
And glisters wide, as als' of wondrous Bath,
And Bristow fair, which on his waves he builded hath.
Next there came Tyne, along whose stony bank
That Roman monarch built a brazen wall,
Which mote the feebled Britons strongly flank
Against the Picts, that swarmed over all,
Which yet thereof Gualsever they do call;
And Tweed, the limit betwixt Logris' land
And Albany; and Eden, though but small,
Yet often stain'd with blood of many a band
Of Scots and English both, that tyned on his strand.
These after came the stony shallow Lone,
That to old Loncaster his name doth lend,
And following Dee, which Britons long ygone,
Did call divine, that doth by Chester tend;
And Conway, which out of his stream doth send
Plenty of pearls to deck his dames withal;
And Lindus, that his pikes doth most commend,
Of which the ancient Lincoln men do call:
All these together marched toward Proteus' hall.
Then came the bride, the lovely Medua came,
Clad in a vesture of unknowen gear,
And uncouth fashion, yet her well became,
That seem'd like silver sprinkled here and there,
With glittering spangs that did like stars appear,
And wav'd upon like water chamelot,
To hide the metal, which yet everywhere
Bewray'd itself, to let men plainly wot,

It was no mortal work, that seem'd and yet was not.
Her goodly locks adown her back did flow
Unto her waist, with flowers bescattered,
The which ambrosial odours forth did throw
To all about, and all her shoulders spread,
As a new spring; and likewise on her head
A chapelet of sundry flowers she wore,
From under which the dewy humour shed
Did trickle down her hair, like to the hoar
Congealed little drops, which do the morn adore.
On her two pretty handmaids did attend,
One call'd the Theise, the other call'd the Crane,
Which on her waited, things amiss to mend,
And both behind upheld her spreading train,
Under the which her feet appeared plain,
Her silver feet, fair wash'd against this day:
And her before there paced pages twain,
Both clad in colours like, and like array

In the above extracts from the Faery Queen, we have, for the sake of perspicuity, modernised the spelling, without changing a word of the original. The following two highly poetical descriptions are given in the poet's own orthography :

[The House of Sleep.]

He making speedy way through spersed ayre,
To Morpheus' house doth hastily repaire.
And through the world of waters wide and deepe,
Amid the bowels of the earth full steepe,
And low, where dawning day doth never peepe,
His dwelling is, there Tethys his wet bed
Doth ever wash, and Cynthia still doth steepe,
In silver deaw, his ever drouping hed,
Whiles sad Night over him her mantle black doth

Whose double gates he findeth locked fast,
The one fayre fram'd of burnisht yvory,
The other all with silver overcast;

And wakeful dogges before them farre doe lye,
Watching to banish Care their enimy,

Who oft is wont to trouble gentle sleepe.
By them the sprite doth passe in quietly,
And unto Morpheus comes, whom drowned deepe
In drowsie fit he findes; of nothing he takes keepe.

And more to lulle him in his slumber soft,

A trickling streame from high rock tumbling downe,
And ever-drizling raine upon the loft,
Mixt with a murmuring winde, much like the sowne
Of swarming bees, did cast him in a swowne.
No other noyse, nor peoples troublous cryes,
As still are wont t' annoy the walled towne,
Might there be heard; but careless Quiet lyes
Wrapt in eternal silence farre from enimyes.

[Description of Belphabe.]

In her faire eyes two living lamps did flame,
Kindled above at th' heavenly Maker's light,
And darted fyrie beames out of the same,
So passing persant, and so wondrous bright,
That quite bereav'd the rash beholders sight:
In them the blinded god his lustfull fyre
To kindle oft assayd, but had no might;
For, with dredd majestie and awfull yre,

She broke his wanton darts, and quenched base desyre.

Her yvorie forhead, full of bountie brave,
Like a broad table did itselfe dispred,
For Love his loftie triumphes to engrave,
And write the battailes of his great godhed:
All good and honour might therein be red;

For there their dwelling was. And, when she spake,
Sweete wordes, like dropping honey, she did shed;
And 'twixt the perles and rubins softly brake
A silver sound, that heavenly musicke seemd to make.

Upon her eyelids many Graces sate,
Under the shadow of her even browes,
Working belgardes and amorous retrate;
And everie one her with a grace endowes,
And everie one with meekenesse to her bowes :
So glorious mirrhour of celestiall grace,
And soveraine moniment of mortall vowes,
How shall frayle pen descrive her heavenly face,
For feare, through want of skill, her beauty to disgrace!

So faire, and thousand thousand times more faire,
She seemd, when she presented was to sight;
And was yclad, for heat of scorching aire,
All in a silken Camus lily white,

Purfled upon with many a folded plight,
Which all above besprinckled was throughout

The Doun and eke the Frith, both which prepared her With golden aygulets.


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