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And there-withall he fiersly at him flew,
And with importune outrage him assayld;
Who, soone prepard to field, his sword forth drew,
And him with equall valew countervayld :
Their mightie strokes their haberieons dismayld,
And naked made each others manly spalles;
The mortall steele despiteously entayld
Deepe in their flesh, quite through the yron walles,
That a large purple streame adown their giambeaux
Cymochles, that had never mett before
So puissant foe, with envious despight
His prowd presumed force increased more,
Disdeigning to bee held so long in fight.
Sir Guyon, grudging not so much his might
As those unknightly raylinges which he spoke,
With wrathfull fire his corage kindled bright,
Thereof devising shortly to be wroke,
And doubling all his powres redoubled every
Both of them high attonce their hands enhaunst,
And both attonce their huge blowes down did sway:
Cymochles sword on Guyons shield yglaunst,
And thereof nigh one quarter sheard away:
But Guyons ångry blade so fiers did play
On th' others helmett, which as Titan shone,
That quite it clove his plumed crest in tway,
And bared all his head unto the bone;
Where-with astonisht still he stood as sencelesse
Still as he stood, fayre Phædria, that beheld
That deadly daunger, soone atweene them ran;
And at their feete herselfe most humbly feld,
Crying with pitteous voyce, and countnance wan,
“Ah, well away! most noble lords, how can
Your cruell eyes endure so pitteous sight,
To shed your lives on ground? Wo worth the man,
T'hat first did teach the cursed steele to bight
In his owne flesh, and make way to the living spright!
“If ever love of lady did empierce
Your yron brestes, or pittie could find place,
Withhold your bloody handes from battail fierce;
And, sith for me ye fight, to me this grace
Both yield, to stay your deadly stryfe a space."
They stayd a while ; and forth she gan proceede;
“ Most wretched woman, and of wicked race,
That am the author of this hainous deed,
And cause of death betweene two doughtie knights
do breed !
“But, if for me ye fight, or me will serve,
Not this rude kynd of battail, nor these armes,
Are meet, the which doe men in bale to sterve,
And doolefull sorrowe heape with deadly harmes:
Such cruell game my scarmoges disarmes.
Another warre, and other weapons, I
Doe love where Love does give his sweet alarmes
Without bloodshed, and where the enimy
Does yield unto his foe a pleasaunt victory.
“ Debatefull strife, and cruell enmity,
The famous name of knighthood fowly shend;
But lovely peace, and gentle amity,
And in amours the passing howres to spend,
The mightie martiall handes doe most commend ;
Of love they ever greater glory bore
Then of their armes: Mars is Cupidoes frend,
And is for Venus loves renowmed more [yore.
Then all his wars and spoiles, the which he did of
Therewith she sweetly smyld. They, though full
To prove extremities of bloody fight, (bent
Yet at her speach their rages gan relent,
And calme the sea of their tempestuous spight:
Suche powre have pleasing wordes! Such is the
Of courteous clemency in gentle hart !
Now after all was ceast, the Faery knight
Besought that damzell suffer him depart,
And yield him ready passage to that other part.
She no lesse glad then he desirous was
Of his departure thence; for of her ioy
And vaine delight she saw he light did pas,
A foe of folly and immodest toy,
Still solemne sad, or still disdainfull coy;
Delighting all in armes and cruell warre,
That her sweet peace and pleasures did annoy,
'Troubled with terrour and unquiet iarre,
That she well pleased was thence to amove him farre.
Tho him she brought abord, and her swift bote
Forthwith directed to that further strand;
The which on the dull waves did lightly flote,
And soone arrived on the shallow sand,
Where gladsome Guyon sallied forth to land,
Ind to that damsell thankes gave for reward.
Upon that shore he spyed Atin stand,
There by his maister left, when late he far'd
In Phædrias Aitt barck over that perlous shard.
GUIDED BY THE PALMER, TEMPERANCE, PASSES THE
DANGERS OF THE TEMPLE OF BLISS.
With that the rolling sea, resounding soft,
In his big base them fitly answered;
And on the rocke the waves breaking aloft
A solemne meane unto them measured ;
The whiles sweet Zephyrus lowd whisteled
His treble, a straunge kinde of harmony;
Which Guyons senses softly tickeled,
That he the boteman bad row easily,
And let him heare 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 suddeinly a grosse fog over spred
With his dull vapour all that desert has,
And Hevens chearefull face enveloped,
That all things one, and one as nothing was,
And this great universe seemd one confused mas.
Thereat they greatly were dismayd, ne wist
How to direct theyr way in darkenes wide,
But feard to wander in that wasteful mist,
For tombling into mischiefe unespyde:
Worse is the daunger hidden then descride.
Suddeinly an innumerable Aight
Of harmefull fowles about them fluttering cride,
And with their wicked winges them ofte did smight,
And sore annoyed, groping in that griesly night.
Even all the nation of unfortunate
And fatall birds about them focked were,
Such as by nature men abhorre and hate ;
The ill-faste owle, Deaths dreadfull messengere ;
The hoars night-raven, trump of dolefull drere;
The lether-winged batt, dayes enimy ;
The ruefull strich, still waiting on the bere;
The whistler shrill, that whoso heares doth dy :
The hellish harpyes, prophets of sad destiny:
All those, and all that els does horror breed,
About them flew, and fild their sayles with feare:
Yet stayd they not, but forward did proceed,
Whiles th’ one did row, and th’ other stifly steare;
Till that at last the weather gan to cleare,
And the faire land itselfe did playnly show.
Said then the palmer; “Lo! where does appeare
The sacred soile where all our perills grow?
Therefore, sir Knight, your ready arms about you
He hearkned, and his armes about him tooke,
The whiles the nimble bote so well her sped,
That with her crooked keele the land she strooke :
Then forth the noble Guyon sallied,
And his sage palmer that him governed;
But th’ other by his bote behind did stay,
They marched fayrely forth, of nought ydred,