« AnteriorContinuar »
On every side they placed were along.
But all the grownd with sculs was scattered
And dead mens bones, which round about were flong;
Whose lives, it seemed, whilome there were shed,
And their vile carcases now left unburied.
They forward passe; ne Guyon yet spoke word,
Till that they came unto an yron dore,
Which to them opened of his owne accord,
And shewd of richesse such exceeding store,
As eie of man did never see before,
Ne ever could within one place be fownd,
Though all the wealth which is, or was of yore,
Could gathered be through all the world arownd,
And that above were added to that under grownd.
The charge thereof unto a covetous spright
Commaunded was, who thereby did attend,
And warily awaited day and night,
From other covetous feends it to defend,
Who it to rob and ransacke did intend.
Then Mammon, turning to that warriour, said:
“Loe, here the worldës blis! loe, here the end,
To which al men doe ayme, rich to be made!
Such grace now to be happy is before thee laid."
“ Certes,” said he, “I n’ill thine offred grace,
Ne to be made so happy doe intend !
Another blis before mine eyes I place,
Another happines, another end.
To them that list, these base regardes I lend:
But I in armes, and in atchievements brave,
Do rather choose my flitting houres to spend,
And to be lord of those that riches have, Then them to have myselfe, and be their servile sclave.”
Thereat the Feend his gnashing teeth did grate,
And griev'd, so long to lacke his greedie pray;
For well he weened that so glorious bayte
Would tempt his guest to take thereof assay:
Had he so doen, he had him snatcht away
More light then culver in the faulcons fist:
Eternall God thee save from such decay!
But, whenas Mammon saw his purpose mist,
Him to entrap unwares another way he wist.
[The poet then goes on to tell of the further temptations to which Guyon is subjected, and of how the Knight withstands them. At length, after three days have passed, according to men's reckoning, Guyon begs to be taken back into the world, and Mammon, though loth, is constrained to comply with the request. But as soon as Guyon reaches the vital air he swoons, and lies as one dead. The next Canto (which ends with the Knight's recovery and re-union with the Palmer, his appointed guide,) begins with the following stanzas on the care of God for man, thus leading us to anticipate the happy ending.]
And is there care in heaven? And is there love
In heavenly spirits to these creatures bace,
That may compassion of their evils move?
There is: else much more wretched were the cace
Of men then beasts. But O! th' exceeding grace
Of highest God that loves his creatures so,
And all his workes with mercy doth embrace,
That blessed Angels he sends to and fro,
To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe.
How oft do they their silver bowers leave, To come to succour us that succour want! How oft do they with golden pineons cleave The flitting skyes, like flying Pursuivant, Against fowle feendes to ayd us militant! They for us fight, they watch and dewly ward, And their bright sqadrons round about us plant; And all for love, and nothing for reward. 0! why should hevenly God to men have such regard ?
(From Mother Hubberd's Tale, 1591)
Most miserable man, whom wicked fate
Hath brought to court, to sue for had ywist,
That few have found, and manie one hath mist!
Full little knowest thou that hast not tride,
What hell it is in suing long to bide:
To loose good dayes, that might be better spent;
To wast long nights in pensive discontent;
To speed to day, to be put back tomorrow;
To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow;
To have thy Princes grace, yet want her Peeres ;
To have thy asking, yet waite manie yeeres;
To fret thy soule with crosses and with cares;
To eate thy heart through comfortlesse dispaires;
To fawne, to crowche, to waite, to ride, to ronne,
To spend, to give, to want, to be undonne.
Unhappie wight, borne to desastrous end,
That doth his life in so long tendance spend !
Who ever leaves sweete home, where meane estate
In safe assurance, without strife or hate,
Findes all things needfull for contentment meeke,
And will to court for shadowes vaine to seeke,
Or hope to gaine, himselfe will one daie crie,
That curse God send unto mine enemie!
Mark when she smiles with amiable cheare,
And tell me whereto can ye lyken it;
When on each eyelid sweetly doe appeare
An hundred Graces as in shade to sit.
Lykest it seemeth, in my simple wit,
Unto the fayre sunshine in somers day;
That, when a dreadfull storm away is flit,
Thrugh the broad world doth spred his goodly ray:
At sight whereof, each bird that sits on spray:
And every beast that to his den was fled,
Comes forth afresh out of their late dismay,
And to thy light lift up their drouping hed.
So my storme-beaten hart likewise is cheared
With that sunshine, when cloudy looks are cleared.
One day I wrote her name upon the strand;
But came the waves and washed it away:
Agayne, I wrote it with a second hand;
And came the tyde, and made my paynes his pray.
"Vayne man,” sayd she,“ that doest in vayne assay
A mortall thing so to immortalize; For I myselve shall lyke to this decay, And eek my name bee wyped out lykewize.” "Not so " (quod I);"let baser things devize To dy in dust, but you shall live by fame: My verse your vertues rare shall eternize, And in the hevens wryte your glorious name; Where, when as death shall all the world subdew, Our love shall live, and later life renew.”