« AnteriorContinuar »
The fame so fore annoyed has the Knight,
That well-nigh choked with the deadly stink,
His forces fail, ne can no longer fight,
Whose courage when the fiend perceiv'd to shrink,
She poured forth out of her hellish fink
Her fruitful cursed spawn of ferpents small,
Deformed monsters, foul, and black as ink;
Which swarming all about his legs did crawi, And him encumbred fore, but could not hurt at all.
As gentle Shepherd in sweet even-tide,
When ruddy Phæbus 'gins to welk in west,
High on an hill, his fock to viewen wide,
Marks which do bite their hafty supper best;
A cloud of cumbrous Gnats do him molest,
All striving to infix their feeble stings,
That from their noyance he no where can rest,
But with his clownish hands their tender wings
He brushech oft, and oft doth mar their murmurings.
Thus ill-beftedd and fearful more of shame,
Than of the certain peril he stood in,
Half furious unto his foe he came,
Resolv'd in mind all suddainly to win,
Or foon to lose, before he once would lin;
And strook at her with more than manly force,
That from her body full of filthy fin
He raft her hateful head without remorse;
Astream of coal-black blood forth gushed from her corfe.
Her scattred brood, foon as their parent dear
They saw so rudely falling to the ground,
Groaning full deadly, all with troublous fear,
Gathred themselves about her body round,
Weening their wonted entrance to have found
At her wide mouth : but, being there with-stood,
They flocked all about her bleeding wound,
And fucked up their dying mothers blood;
Making her death their life, and eke her hurt their good.
That detestable sight him much amaz'd,
To see th' unkindly imps of heaven accurst,
Devour their dam; on whom while so he gaz'd,
Having all satisfy'd their bloody thirst,
Their bellies (wolne he saw with fulness burst,
And bowels gushing forth : well worthy end
Of such as drunk her life, the which them nurst;
Now needeth him no longer labour spend: (tend. His foes have Nain themselves, with whom he should con
His Lady, seeing all that chance from far,
Approcht in hafte to greet his victory;
And said, fair Knight, born under happy star,
Who see your vanquisht foes before you lye:
Well worthy be you of that armory,
Wherein ye have great glory won this day,
And prov'd your strength on a strong enemy,
Your first advencure : many such I pray,
And henceforth ever wish, that like succeed it may.
Then mounted he upon his steed again,
And with the Lady backward sought to wend;
That path he kept, which beaten was most plain,
Ne ever would to any by-way bend,
But still did follow one unto the end,
The which at last out of the wood them brought.
So forward on his way (with God to friend)
He passed forth, and new adventure sought;
Long way he travelled before he heard of ought.
At length they chanct to meet upon the way
An aged Sire, in long black weeds yclad,
His feet all bare, his beard all hoary gray,
And by his belt his book he hanging had;
Sober he seem'd, and very sagely sad,
And to the ground his eyes were lowly bent,
Simple in shew, and void of malice bad,
And all the way he prayed as he went,
And often knockt his breast, as one that did repent.
He fair the Knight faluted, louting low ;
Who fair him quited, as that courteous was :
And after asked him, if he did know
Of strange adventures, which abroad did pass.
Ah! my dear son (quoth he) how should, alas!
Silly old man, that lives in hidden cell,
Bidding his beads all day for his trespass,
Tidings of war and wordly trouble tell?
With holy father fits not with such things to mell.
But if of danger which hereby doth dwell,
And home-bred evil ye desire to hear,
Of a strange man I can you tidings tell,
That wasteth all this country far and near.
Of fuch (faid he) I chiefly do inquear,
And shall thee well reward to shew the place,
In which that wicked wight his days doth wear :
For to all knighthood it is foul disgrace,
That such a cursed creature lives so long a space.
Far hence (quoth he) in waftful wilderness
His dwelling is, by which no living wight
May ever pass, but thorough great distress.
Now (said the Lady) draweth toward night,
And weil I wote, that of your later fight
Ye all forwearied be: for what so strong,
But wanting rest, will also want of might?
The sun that measures heaven all day long,
At night doth bait his steeds the Ocean waves among:
Then with the sun, take sir, your timely rest,
And with new day new work at once begin:
Untroubled night (they say, gives counsel best,
Right well Sir Knight ye have advised bin
(Quoth then that aged man;) the way to win
Is wisely to advise ; now day is spent;
Therefore with me ye may take up your inn
For this same night. The Knight was well content; So with that godly father to his home they went.
A little lowly hermitage it was,
Down in a dale, hard by a forests side,
Far from resort of people, that did pass
In travel to and fro: a little wide
There was an holy chappel edifide,
Wherein the Hermit duly wont to say
His holy things each morn and even-ride :
Thereby a chrystal stream did gently play,
Which from a sacred fountain welled forth alway.
Arrived there, the little house they fill,
Ne look for entertainment, where none was:
Rest is their feast, and all things at their will;
The noblest mind the best contentment has.
With fair discourse the evening so they pass :
For that old man of pleasing words had store,
And well could file his tongue as smooth as glass 3
He told of Saints and Popes and evermore
He strow'd an Ave-mary after and before.
XXXVI. The drooping night thus creepeth on them fast, And the sad humour loading their eye-lids, As messenger of Morpheus on them caft Sweet Numbring dew, the which to Neep them bids. Unto their lodgings then his guests he rids: Where when all drown'd in deadly Neep he finds, He to his study goes, and there amids
His magick books and arts of fundry kinds, He seeks out mighty charms, to trouble seepy minds.
XXXVII. Then chusing out few words most horrible, (Let none them read) thereof did verses frame, With which, and other spells like terrible, He bade awake black Pluto's griefly dame, And cursed heaven, and spake reproachful shame, Of highest God, the lord of life and light; A bold bad man, that dar'd to call by name
Great Gorgon, Prince of darkness and dead night, At which Cocytus quakes, and Styx is put to flight.
And forth he call'd out of deep darkness dread
Legions of sprites the which like little flies
Fluttring abour hiš ever damned head,
Await whereto their service he applies,
To aid his friends, or fray his enemies :
Of those he chofe out two, the falsest two,
And fittest for to forge true-seeming lyės;
The one of them he gave a message to,
The other by himself staid other work to do.
He making speedy way through íperfed air,
And through the world of waters wide and deep,
To Morpbeus house doth hastily repair :
Amid the bowels of the earth full steep
And low, where dawning day doth never peep;
His dwelling is ; there Tetbys his wet bed
Doth ever wash, and Cynthia ftill doth steep
In silver dew his ever-drooping head,
While fad Night over him her mantle black doth spread.
Whose double gates he findeth locked fast,
The one fair fram'd of burnisht ivory;
The other, all with silver overcast;
And wakeful dogs before them far do lie,
Watching to banish care their enemy,
Who oft is wont to trouble gentle sleep.
By them the sprite doth pass in quietly,
And unto Morpheus comes, whom drowned deep In drowsie fit he finds : of nothing he takes keep.
And more to lull him in his slumber foft,
A trickling stream from high rock tumbling down,
And ever-drizling rain upon the loft,
Mixt with a murmuring wind, much like the fown'
Of fwarming bees, did caft him in a swoun:
No other noise, nor peoples troublous cries.
As still are wont t'annoy the walled town,
Might there be heard: but careless quiet lies,
Wrapt in eternal filence, far from enemies.