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It was a chosen plot of fertile land,
Emongst wide waves set like a little nest,
As if it had by natures cunning hand,
Been choicely picked out from all the rest,
And laid forth for ensample of the best :
No dainty powre or herb that grows on ground,
No arboret with painted blossoms dreft,
And smelling sweet, but there it might be found To bud out fair, and her sweet smells throw all aroundo
No tree, whose branches did not bravely spring;
No branch, whereon a fine bird did not fit :
No bird, but did her shrill notes sweetly fing;
No fong but did contain a lovely dit :
Trees, branches, birds, and songs were framed fit
For to allure frail men to careless ease.
Careless the man foon wox, and his weak wit
Was overcome of thing, that did him please ;
So pleafed, did his wrathful purpose fair appeale.
Thus when she had his eyes and senses fed
With false delights, and filld with pleasures vain,
Into a shady dale she soft him. led,
And laid him down upon a graffy plain;
And her sweet lelf, without dread or disdain
She set, beside, laying his head disarm'd
In her loose lap, it softly to sustain,
Where foon he Numbred, fearing not be harm’d, The whiles with a love lay fhe ghus him sweetly charm'd.
Behold O man, that toylsome pains dost take,
The flowres, the fields, and all that pleasant grows,
How they themselves do thine enfample make,
Whiles nothing envious nature them forth throws
Out of her fruitful lap, how no man knows,
They spring, they bud, they bloffom fresh and fair,
And deck the world with their rich pompous shows ;
Yet no man, for them takech pains or care,
Yet no man to them can his careful pains compare.
The lilly, Lady of the flowring field,
The Rowre-delice, her lovely paramour,
Bid thee to them thy fruitless labours yield,
And soon leave off this toylsome weary stoure;
Lo, lo, how brave she decks her bounteous bowre,
With filken curtains, and gold coverlets,
Therein to shrowd her sumptuous Belamoure,
Yet neither spins, nor cards, ne 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 soveraine,
Wilfully make thy self 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 rew, that swimming in the main,
Will die for thirst, and water doth refuse ?
Refuse such fruitless toyl, and present pleasures chuse.
By this, she had him lulled fast alleep,
That of no worldly thing he care did take ;
Then she with liquors strong his eyes 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 Nothful waves of that great griesy lake;
Soon she that Inand far behind her left,
And now is come to that same place, where first she west.
By this time was the worthy Guyon brought
Unto the other side of that wide strond,
Where she was rowing, and for passage sought :
Him needed not long call, she soon to hond
Her ferry brought, where him she byding fond,
With his fad guide ; himself she took aboard,
But the Black Palmer suffred still to stond,
Ne would for price, or prayers once afford,
To ferry chac old man over that perlous fo'rd,
Guyon was loth to leave his guide behind,
Yet being entred might not back retire ;
For the fit bark, obeying to her mind,
Forth launched quickly, as she did desire,
Ne gave him leave to bid that aged Sire
Adieu, but nimbly ran her wonted course
Through the dull billows thick as troubled mire,
Whom neither wind out of their seat could force, Nor timely tides did drive out of their nuggish fource.
And by the way, as was her wonted guise,
Her merry fit lhe freshly 'gan to rear,
And did of joy and jollity devise,
Her self to cherish, and her guest to chear :
The Knight was courteous, and did not forbear
Her honelt mirth and pleasance to partake;
But when he saw laer toy, and gibe, and gear,
And pass the bounds of modest merimake,
Her dalliance he despis'd, and follies did forsake.
Yet the still followed her former flile,
And said and did all that mote him delight,
Till they arrived in that pleasant Ile,
Where Neeping late she left her other Knight.
But whenas Guyon of that land had sight,
He wilt himself amiss, and angry faid;
Ah Dame, perdy ye have not doen me right,
Thus to mislead me, whiles I you obeyd :
Me little needed from my right way to have strayd.
Fair Sir, quoth she, be not displeas'd at all ;
Who fares on sea, may not commaund his way,
Ne wind and weather at his pleasure call:
The fea is wide, and easie for to stray ;
The wind unstable, and doth never stay.
But here awhile ye may in safety rest,
Till season serve new passage to affay ;
Better safe port than be in seas diftreft.
Therewith the laught, and did her earnest end in jeft.
But he half discontent, mote natheless
Himself appease, and issued forth on shore :
The joys whereof and happy fruitfulness,
Such as he saw The ʼgan him lay before,
And all though plealant, yet she made much more:
The fields did laugh, the Howres did freshly spring,
The trees did bud, and early blossoms bore,
And all the quire of birds did sweetly sing.
And told that gardens pleasures in their caroling.
And she more sweet than any bird on bough,
Would oftentimes emongit them bare a part,
And strive to pass (as the could well enough)
Their native musick by her skilful art :
So did she all, that might his constant heart
Withdraw from thought of warlike enterprise,
And drown in diffoluce delights apart,
Where noyfe of arms, or view of martial guise,
Might not revive desire of Knightly exercise.
But he was wise, and wary of her will,
And ever held his hand upon his heart :
Yet would not seem so rude, and thewed ill,
As to despise fo courteous seeming part,
That gentle Lady did to him impart;
But fairly tempring, fond desire fubdewd,
And ever her desired to depart.
She list not hear, but her disports pursewd,
And ever bade him stay, till time the tide renewd.
And now by this, Cymocbles hour was spent,
That he awoke out of his idle dream,
And shaking off his drowsie dreriment,
Gan him avise, how ill did him beseem,
In slothful Neep his molten heart to steem,
And quench the brond of his conceived ire.
Tho up he started, stird with shame extreem,
Ne stayed for his Damsel to inquire,
Bur marched to the strond, there passage to require.
And in the way, he with Sir Guyon met,
Accompany'd with Phædria the fair:
Eftsoons he 'gan to rage, and inly fret.
Crying, let be that Lady Debonaire,
Thou recreant Knight, and soon thy self prepare
To battle, if thou mean her love to gain :
Lo, lo already, how the fowls in air
Do flock, awaiting shortly to obtain
Thy carcass for their
prey, the guerdon of thy pain.
And therewithall he fiercely at him flew,
And with importune outrage him asfayld;
Who soon prepar’d to field, his sword forth drew,
And him with equal valour countervayld :
Their mighty stroaks their harberjeons dismayld,
And naked made each others manly spalls ;
The mortal steel dispiteously entayld
Deep in their Aesh, quite through the iron walls,
That a large purple stream adown their giambeux falls.
Cymochles, that had never met before
So puissant foe, with envious despight
His proud presumed force increased more,
Disdeigning to be held so long in fight;
Sir Guyon grudging not so much his might,
As those unknightly raylings which he spoke,
With wrathful fire his courage kindled bright,
Thereof devising shortly to be wroke,
And doubling all his powres, redoubled every stroke.
Both of them high attonce their hands enhaunst,
And both attonce their huge blows down did sway ;
Cymocbles sword on Guyons shield yglaunct,
And thereof nigh one quarter shear'd away.;
But Guyons angry blade so fierce did play
On th'others helmet, which as Titan shone,
That quite it clove his plumed crest in tway,
And bared all his head unto the bone;
Wherewith astonisht, ftill he stood as senseless stone.