« PreviousContinue »
And after, all the raskall many ran,
Heaped together in rude rablement,
To see the face of that victorious man :
Whom all admired, as from heaven sent,
And gazd upon with gaping wonderment.
But when they came, where that dead Dragon lay,
Stretcht on the ground in monstrous large extent,
The sight with idle feare did them dismay,
Ne durst approch him nigh, to touch, or once assay.
Some feard, and fled; some feard and well it faynd ; x
One that would wiser seeme, then all the rest,
Warnd him not touch, for yet perhaps remaynd
Some lingring life within his hollow brest,
Or in his wombe might lurke some hidden nest
Of many Dragonets, his fruitfull seed ;
Another said, that in his eyes did rest
Yet sparckling fire, and bad thereof take heed ;
Another said, he saw him move his eyes indeed.
One mother, when as her foolehardie chyld
Did come too neare, and with his talants play, Halfe dead through feare, her little babe revyld, And to her gossips gan in counsell say ; How can I tell, but that his talants may Yet scratch my sonne, or rend his tender hand ? So diversly themselves in vaine they fray; Whiles some more bold, to measure him nigh stand, To prove how many acres he did spread of land.
atch my sonne, in vaine they rayish stand,
Thus flocked all the folke him round about,
The whiles that hoarie king, with all his traine,
Being arrived, where that champion stout
After his foes defeasance did remaine,
Him goodly greetes, and faire does entertaine,
With princely gifts of yvorie and gold,
And thousand thankes him yeelds for all his paine.
Then when his daughter deare he does behold,
Her dearely doth imbrace, and kisseth manifold.
And after to his Pallace he them brings,
With shaumes, and trompets, and with Clarions sweet ;
And all the way the joyous people sings,
And with their garments strowes the paved street :
Whence mounting up, they find purveyance meet
Of all, that royall Princes court became,
And all the floore was underneath their feet
Bespred with costly scarlot of great name,
On which they lowly sit, and fitting purpose frame.
Then forth he called that his daughter faire, xxi
The fairest Un' his onely daughter deare,
His onely daughter, and his onely heyre ;
Who forth proceeding with sad sober cheare,
As bright as doth the morning starre appeare
Out of the East, with flaming lockes bedight,
To tell that dawning day is drawing neare,
And to the world does bring long wished light ;
So faire and fresh that Lady shewd her selfe in sight.
So faire and fresh, as freshest flowre in May;
For she had layd her mournefull stole aside,
And widow-like sad wimple throwne away,
Wherewith her heavenly beautie she did hide,
Whiles on her wearie journey she did ride ;
And on her now a garment she did weare,
All lilly white, withoutten spot, or pride,
That seemd like silke nor silver woven neare,
But neither silke nor silver therein did appeare.
The blazing brightnesse of her beauties beame,
And glorious light of her sunshyny face
To tell, were as to strive against the streame.
My ragged rimes are all too rude and bace,
Her heavenly lineaments for to enchace.
Ne wonder ; for her owne deare loved knight,
All were she dayly with himselfe in place,
Did wonder much at her celestiall sight :
Oft had he seene her faire, but never so faire dight.
His owne two hands the holy knots did knit,
That none but death for ever can devide ;
His owne two hands, for such a turne most fit,
The housling fire did kindle and provide,
And holy water thereon sprinckled wide ;
At which the bushy Teade a groome did light,
And sacred lampe in secret chamber hide,
Where it should not be quenched day nor night,
For feare of evill fates, but burnen ever bright.
Then gan they sprinckle all the posts with wine, xxxviii
And made great feast to solemnize that day ;
They all perfumde with frankincense divine,
And precious odours fetcht from far away,
That all the house did sweat with great aray:
And all the while sweete Musicke did apply
Her curious skill, the warbling notes to play,
To drive away the dull Melancholy;
The whiles one sung a song of love and jollity.
During the which there was an heavenly noise xxxix
Heard sound through all the Pallace pleasantly,
Like as it had bene many an Angels voice,
Singing before th'eternall majesty,
In their trinall triplicities on hye ;
Yet wist no creature, whence that heavenly sweet
Proceeded, yet eachone felt secretly
Himselfe thereby reft of his sences meet,
And ravished with rare impression in his sprite.
Great joy was made that day of young and old,
And solemne feast proclaimd throughout the land,
That their exceeding merth may not be told :
Suffice it heare by signes to understand
The usuall joyes at knitting of loves band.
Thrise happy man the knight himselfe did hold,
Possessed of his Ladies hart and hand,
And ever, when his eye did her behold,
His heart did seeme to melt in pleasures manifold.
Book II, Canto VII, xxi-xxxiii At length they came into a larger space,
xxi That stretcht it selfe into an ample plaine, Through which a beaten broad high way did trace, That streight did lead to Plutoes griesly raine : By that wayes side, there sate infernall Payne, And fast beside him sat tumultuous Strife : The one in hand an yron whip did straine,
The other brandished a bloudy knife, And both did gnash their teeth, and both did threaten life.
On thother side in one consort there sate,
Cruell Revenge, and rancorous Despight,
Disloyall Treason, and hart-burning Hate,
But gnawing Gealousie out of their sight
Sitting alone, his bitter lips did bight,
And trembling Feare still to and fro did fly,
And found no place, where safe he shroud him might,
Lamenting Sorrow did in darknesse lye,
And Shame his ugly face did hide from living eye.
And over them sad Horrour with grim hew,
Did alwayes sore, beating his yron wings;
And after him Owles and Night-ravens flew,
The hatefull messengers of heavy things,
Of death and dolour telling sad tidings;
Whiles sad Celeno, sitting on a clift,
A song of bale and bitter sorrow sings,
That hart of flint a sunder could have rift :
Which having ended, after him she flyeth swift.
All these before the gates of Pluto lay,
xxiv By whom they passing, spake unto them nought. But th’Elfin knight with wonder all the way Did feed his eyes, and fild his inner thought. At last him to a litle dore he brought, That to the gate of Hell, which gaped wide, Was next adjoyning, ne them parted ought :
Betwixt them both was but a litle stride,
That did the house of Richesse from hell-mouth divide.
Before the dore sat selfe-consuming Care,
Day and night keeping wary watch and ward,
For feare least Force or Fraud should unaware
Breake in, and spoile the treasure there in gard :
Ne would he suffer Sleepe once thither-ward
Approch, albe his drowsie den were next;
For next to death is Sleepe to be compard :
Therefore his house is unto his annext;
Here Sleep, there Richesse, and Hel-gate them both