« AnteriorContinuar »
The messenger approaching, to him fpake;
But his waste words return'd to him in vain :
So found he slept, that nought mought him awake.
Then rudely he him thrust, and pusht with pain,
Whereat he 'gan to ftretch: but he again
Shook him so hard, that forced him to speak.
As one then in a dream, whose drier brain .
Is toft with troubled sights, and fancies weak,
He mumbled foft, but would not all his silence break.
The sprite then 'gan more boldlyhim to wake,
And threatned unto him the dreaded name
Of Hecate : whereat he 'gan to quake,
And lifting up his lumpish head, with blame
Half angry, asked him for what he came.
Hither (quoth he) me Archimago sent,
He that the stubborn sprites can wisely tame,
He bids thee to him fend for his intent
A fit false dream, that can delude the sleepers scent.
The God obeyd, and calling forth straight way
A diverse dream out of his prison dark,
Deliver'd it to him, and down did lay
His heavy head, devoid of careful cark,
Whose senses all were straight benumb'd and stark,
He back returning by the ivory door,
Remounted up as light as chearful Lark,
And on his little wings the dream he bore
In hafte unto his Lord, where he him left afore.
Who all this while, with charms and hidden arts,
Had made a Lady of that other spright,
And fram’d of liquid air her tender parts
So lively, and so like in all mens sight,
That weaker sense it could have ravisht quight :
The maker self, for all his wondrous wit,
Was nigh beguiled with so goodly fight:
Her all in white he clad, and over it
Cast a black stole, most like to seem for Una fit.
Now, when that idle dream was to him brought,
Unto that Elfin Knight he bade him fly,
(Where he slept foundly, void of evil thought,)
And with false Thews abuse his fantasy,
In sort as he him schooled privily :
And that new creature born without her due,
Full of the makers guile, with visage fly
He taught to imitate that Lady true,
Whose semblance she did carry under feigned hue.
Thus well instructed, to their work they hafte :
And coming where the Knight in Number lay,
The one upon his hardy head him plact,
And made him dream of loves and luftful play,
That nigh his manly heart did melt away,
Bathed in wanton bliss and wicked joy :
Then seemed him his Lady by him lay,
And to him plain’d, how that false winged boy,
Her chaste heart had fubdew'd, to learn Dame Pleasures
(toy. And she herself (of beauty soveraine Queen)
Fair Venus, seem'd unto his bed to bring
Her, whom he waking evermore did ween
To be the chaftest flowre, that aye did spring
On earthly branch, the daughter of a King;
Now a loose Leman to vile service bound:
And eke the Graces seemed all to sing,
Hymen io Hymen, dancing all around,
Whilst freshest Flora her with ivy girlond crown'd,
In his great passion of unwonted luft,
Or wonted fear of doing ought amiss,
He starteth up, as seeming to mistrust
Some secret ill, or hidden foe of his :
Lo there before his face his Lady is,
Under black stole hiding her baited hook ;
And as half blushing, offred him to kiss,
With gentle blandishment and lovely look,
Most like that virgin true, which for her Knight him took.
All clean dismayd to see so uncouth fight,
And half enraged at her shameless guise,
He thought have Nain her in his fierce despight :
But hasty heat temp’ring with suffrance wise,
He staid his hand, and 'gan himself advise
To prove his sense, and tempt her feigned truth.
Wringing her hands in womens pitious wise,
Tho'gan fhe weep, to stir up gentle ruth,
Both for her noble blood, and for her tender youth.
And said, Ah Sir, my liege Lord and my love,
Shall I accuse the hidden cruel fate,
And mighty causes wrought in heaven above,
Or the blind God, that doth me thus amate,
For hoped love to win me certain hate?
Yet thus perforce he bids me do, or die.
Die is my due : yet rue my wretched state,
You, whom my hard avenging deftinie
Hath made judge of my life or death indifferently.
Your own dear fake forct me at first to leave
My Fathers kingdom; There she stopt with tears:
Her swollen heart her speech seem'd to bereave;
And then again begun, My weaker years
Captiv'd to fortune and frail worldly fears,
Fly to your faith for succour and sure ayd :
Let me not dye.in languor and long tears.
Why Dame (quoth he) what hath ye thus dismayd ? What frays ye, that were wont to comfort me affrayd?
Love of yourself, she said, and dear constraint
Lets' me not neep, but waste the weary night
In secret anguish and unpitied plaint,
Whilst you in careless sleep are drowned quight.
Her doubtful words made that redoubted Knight
Suspect her truth : yec fince n'untruth he knew,
Her fawning love with foui disdainful spight
He would not shend, but said, Dear dame, rew, That for my fake unknown such grief unto you grew.
Affure yourself it fell not all to ground;
For all so dear as life is to my heart,
I deem your love, and hold me to you bound;
Ne let vain fears procure your needless smart,
Where cause is none, but to your reft depart.
Not all content, yet seem'd she to appease
Her mournful plaints, beguiled of her art,
And fed with words that could not chuse but please ; So sliding softly forth, she turn'd as to her ease.
Long after lay he musing at her mood,
Much griev'd to think that gentle Dame so light,
For whose defence he was to shed his blood. .
At last dull weariness of former fight
Having yrockt asleep his irksome spright,
That troublous dream 'gan freshly toss his brain,
With bowers, and beds, and Ladies dear delight:
But when he saw his labour all was vain,
With that misformed sprite he back return'd again.
The guileful great Enchanter parts
The Red-cross Knight from Truth:
Into whose stead fair Falhood steps,
And works him woeful ruth.
Y this, the northern wagoner had set
His seven-fold teme behind the stedfasť star,
That was in ocean waves yet never wet,
But firm is fixt, and sendeth light from far
To all, that in the wide deep wandring are :
And cheerful Chaunticlere with his note shrill
Had warned once, that Phæbus' fiery car
In haste was climbing up the eastern hill,
Full envious that night fo long his room did fill.
When those accursed messengers of hell,
That feigning dream, and that fair-forged Spright
Came to their wicked master, and ’gan tell
Their bootless pains, and ill succeeding night:
Who, all in rage to see his skilful might
Deluded so ʼgan threaten hellish pain
And fad Proserpines wrath, them to affright.
But when he saw his threatning was but vain, He cast about, and searcht his baleful books again.
Eftsoons he took that miscreated fair,
And that false other sprite, on whom he spred
A seeming body of the subtile air,
Like a young Squire, in loves and lusty-hed
His wanton days that ever loosely led,
Without regard of arms and dreaded fight :
Those two he took; and in a secret bed,
Cover'd with darkness and misdeeming night,
Them both together laid, to joy in vain delight.
Forth-with he runs with feigned faithful haste
Unto his guest, who after troublous sights
And dreams, 'gan now to take more sound repaft,
Whom suddenly he wakes with fearful frights,
As one aghaft with fiends or damned sprights,
And to him calls, rise, rise unhappy swain,
That here wex old in Neep, whiles wicked wights
Have knit themselves in Venus shameful chain;
Come, see where your false Lady doth her honour stain.
All in amaze he suddenly up-start
With sword in hand, and with the old man went;
Who foon him brought into a secret part,
Where that salse couple were full closely ment
In wanton luft and lewd embracement:
Which when he saw, he burnt with jealous fire,
The eye of reason was with rage yblent,
And would have slain them in his furious ire;
But hardly was restrained of that aged Sire.