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Yet, till that thou thy poeme wilt make knowne,
E. S. SIR FRANCIS WALSINGHAM, KNIGHT,
TO THE RIGHT HON.
PRINCIPALL SECRETARY TO HER MAJESTY, AND ONE OF HER
HONOURABLE PRIVY COUNSELL.
TO THE RIGHT HON. AND MOST VERTUOUS LADY,
THE COUNTESSE OF PEMBROKE.
That Mantuane poets incompared spirit,
REMEMBRAUNCE of that most heroicke spirit,
TO THE RIGHT NOBLE LORD AND MOST VALIAUNT CAPTAINE,
SIR JOHN NORRIS, KNIGHT,
TO THE MOST VERTUOUS AND BEAUTIFULL LADY,
THE LADY CAREW.
LORD PRESIDENT OF MOUNSTER.
Who ever gave more honourable prize
Ne may I, without blot of endlesse blame,
TO ALL THE GRATIOUS AND BEAUTIFULL
TO THE RIGHT NOBLE AND VALOROUS KNIGHT,
LADIES IN THE COURT.
To pourtraict Venus in her perfect hew;
To make his worke more absolute, desir'd To thee, that art the sommers nightingale,
Of all the fairest maides to have the vew. Thy soveraine goddesses most deare delight, Much more me needs, (to draw the semblant trew Why doe I send this rusticke madrigale,
Of beauties queene, the worlds sole wonderment) That may thy tunefull care unseason quite ? To sharpe my sence with sundry beauties vew, Thou onely fit this argument to write, [bowre, And steale from each some part of ornament. In whose high thoughts Pleasure hath built her If all the world to secke I overwent, And dainty Love learnd sweetly to endite.
A fairer crew yet no where could I see My rimes I know unsavory and sowre,
Then that brave court doth to mine eje present; To tast the streames that, like a golden showre, That the world's pride seemes gathered there to bee. Flow from thy fruitfull head of thy love's praise; Of each a part I stole by cunning thefte: Fitter perhaps to thonder martiall stowre,
Forgive it me, faire dames, sith lesse ye have not Whenso thee list thy lofty Muse to raise:
THE FAERIE QUEENE,
LEGEND OF THE KNIGHT OF THE RED CROSSE, OR OF HOLINESSE.
0! I, the man whose Muse whylome did maske,
The patron of true Holinesse
Foule Errour doth defeate;
Hypocrisie, him to entrappe,
Doth to his home entreate.
A Gentle knight was pricking on the plaine,
Ycladd in mightie armes and silver shielde, Help then, O holy virgin, chiefe of nyne,
Wherein old dints of deepe woundes did remaine, Thy weaker novice to perform thy will ;
The cruel markes of many' a bloudy fielde; Lay forth out of thine everlasting scryne
Yet armies till that time did he never wield:
His angry steede did chide his foming bitt,
As much disdayning to the curbe to yield: Sought through the world, and suffered so much inl, Pulliolly knight he seemd, and faire did sitt, That I must rue his undeserved wrong: (tong !
As one for knightly giusts and fierce encounters
fitt. O, belpe thou my weake wit, and sharpen my dull
And on his brest a bloodie crosse he bore, And thoa, most dreaded impe of highest love,
The deare remembrance of his dying Lord, Faire Venus sonne, that with thy cruell dart
For whose sweete sake that glorious badge he At that good knight so cunningly didst rove, That glorious fire it kindled in his hart;
And dead, as living ever, him ador'd : Lay now thy deadly heben bowe apart, And, with thy mother mylde, come to mine ayde; Upon his shield the like was also scord, Come, both; and with you bring triumphant Mart, For soveraine hope, which in his helpe he bad.
Right, faithfull, true he was in deede and word ; In loves and gentle iollities arraid, After his murdrous spoyles and bloudie rage allayd. Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad.
But of his cheere did seeme too solemne sad; And with them eke, O goddesse heavenly bright, Mirrour of grace and majestie divine,
Upon a great adventure he was bond, Great ladie of the greatest isle, whose light That greatest Gloriana to bim gave, Like Phæbus lampe throughout the world doth shine, (That greatest glorious queene of Faery lond) Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne, To winne him worshippe, and her grace to have, And raise my thoughtes, too humble and too vile, Which of all earthly thinges he most did crave : To thinke of that true glorious type of thine, And ever, as he rode, his hart did earne The argument of mine afflicted stile:
To prove his puissance in battell brave The which to heare vouchsafe, 0 dearest dread, a l'pon his foo, and his new force to learne; while.
Cpon his foe, a dragon horrible and stearne. VOL. III.
A lovely ladie rode him faire beside,
At last resolving forward still to fare, Upon a lowly asse more white then snow;
Till that some end they finde, or in or out, Yet she much whiter ; but the same did hide That path they take, that beaten seemd most bare, Under a vele, that wimpled was full low;
And like to lead the labyrinth about ; And over all a blacke stole shee did throw : Which when by tract they bunted had throughout, As one that inly mournd, so was she sad,
At length it brought them to a hollowe cave, And heavie sate upon her palfrey slow;
Amid the thickest woods. The champion stout Seemed in heart some hidden care she had; Eftsoones dismounted from his courser brave, And by her in a line a milke-white lambe she lad. And to the dwarfe a while his needlesse spere he gave.
So pure and innocent, as that same lambe, “ Be well aware," quoth then that ladie milde,
“ Least suddaine mischiefe ye too rash provoke: And by descent from royall lynaye came
The danger hid, the place unknowne and wilde, Of ancient kinges and qneenes, that had of yore Breedes dreadfull doubts; oft fire is without smoke, Their scepters stretcht from east to westerne shore, And perill without show: therefore your stroke, And a l the world in their subjection held; Sr Knight, with-hold, till further tryall made." Till that infernal feend with foule uprore
“ Ah, ladie,” sayd he, “ shame were to revoke Forwasted all their land, and them expeld; (peld. The forward footing for an hidden shade: [wade." Whom to avenge, she bad this knight from far com- Vertue gives her selfe light through darknesse for to
Behind her farre away a dwarfe did lag,
“ Yea but,” quoth she, “the perill of this place That lasje seemd, in beng ever last,
I better wot then you: Though nowe too late Or wearied with bearing of her bag
To wish you backe returne with foule disgrace, Of needments at his backe. Thus as they past, Yet wisedome warnes, whilest foot is in the gate, The day with cloudes was suddeine overcast, To stay the steppe, ere forced to retrate. And angry Jove an hidcous storme of raine This is the Wandring Wood, this Errours Den, Did poure into his lemans lap so fast,
A monster vile, whom God and man does hate : That everie wight to shrowd it did constrain; (fain. | Therefore I read beware.”-“Fly, fly," quoth then And this faire couple eke to shroud themselves were The fearefulldwarfe; “this is no place for living men."
Enforst to seeke some covert nigh at hand,
But, full of fire and greedy hardiment,
And foorth they passe, with pleasure forward led, And, as she lay upon the durtie ground,
Their dam upstart out of her den effraide,
About her cursed head; whose folds displaid The eugh, obedient to the benders will;
Were stretcht now forth at length without entraile. The birch for shaftes; the sallow for the mill; She lookt about, and seeing one in mayle, The mirrhe sweete-bleeding in the bitter wound; Armed to point, sought backe to turne againe ; The warlike beech; the ash for nothing ill; For light she hated as the deadly bale, The fruitfull olive; and the platane round; Ay wont in desert darknes to remaine, [plaine. The carver holme; the maple seeldom inward Where plain none might her see, nor sbe see any sound.
Which when the valiant Elfe perceiv'd, he lept Led with delight, they thus beguile the way, As lyon fierce upon the flying pray, Cotill the blustring storme is over blowne;
And with his trenchand blade her boldly kept When, weening to returne whence they did stray, From turning backe, and forced her to stay: They cannot finde that path, which first was showne, Therewith enrag'd she loudly gan to bray, But wander too and fro in waies unknowne, And turning fierce her speckled taile advaunst, Furthest from end then, when they neerest weene, Threatning ber angrie sting, him to dismay; That makesthein doubt their wits be not their owne: Who, nought aghast, his mightie hand enhannst; So many pathes, so many turnings seene, [been. The stroke down from her head unto her shoulder That, which of thein to take, in diverse doubt they glaunst.
Mach daunted with that dint her sence was dazd; Her scattred brood, soone as their parent deare
Groning full deadly all with troublous feare
They flocked all about her bleeding wound, That hand or foot to stirr he strore-in vaine. And sucked up their dying mothers bloud; (good. Gud helpe the man so wrapt in Errours endlesse Making her death their life, and eke her hurt their
[traine! His lady, sad to see his sore constraint,
That détestable sight him much amazde, (rideout, “ Now, now, sir Knight, shewwhat ye bee; To see th' unkindly impes, of lieaven accurst, Add faith unto your force, and be not faint; Devoure their dam; on whom while so he gazd, Strangle her, els she sure will strangle thee." Having all satisfide their bloudy thurst, That when he heard, in great perplexitie,
Their belies swolne he saw with fulnesse burst, His gall did grate for griefe and high d sdaine ; And bowels gushing forth: well worthy end And, knitting all his force, got one hand free, Of such, as drunke her life, the which them nurst! Wherewith he grypt her gorge with so great paine, Now needeth him no lenger labour spend, That soone to loose her wicked bapds did her con- His foes have slaine themselves, with whom he should straine.
Therewith she spewd out of her filthie maw His lady seeing all, that chaunst, from farre,
Approcht in hast to greet his victorie;
Wherein ye have great glory wonne this day,
Then mounted he upon his steede againe,
That path be kept, which beaten was most plaine, Aud overflow each plaine and lowly dale:
Ne ever would to any by-way bend ;. But, when his later spring gips to avale,
But still did follow one unto the end, Huge heaps of mudd he leaves, wherin there breed | The which at last out of the wood them brought. Ten thousand kindes of creatures, partly male So forward on his way (with God to frend) As partly femall, of his fruitful seed; (reed. He passed forth, and new adventure sought: Such ugly monstrous shapes elswhere may no man Long way he traveiled, before he heard of ought. The same so sore annoyed has the knight, At length they chaunst to meet upon the way Tiat, wel-nigh choked with the deadly stinke, An aged sire, in long blacke weedes yclad, His forces faile, ne can no lenger fight.
His feete all bare, his beard all hoarie gray, Whose corage when the feend perceivd to shrinke, And by his belt his booke he hanging had; She poured forth out of her hellish sinke
Sober he seemde, and very sagely sad;
He faire the knight saluted, louting low,
And after asked him, if he did know
Silly old man, that lives in hidden cell,
He brusbeth oft, and oft doth mar their murmurings. With holy father sits not w.th such thinges to mell.
And homebredd evil ye desire to heare, Halte furious unto his foe he came,
Of a straunge man I can you tidings tell, Resoled in minde all suddenly to win,
That wasteth all this countr'e farre and neare." Or sone to lose, before be once would lin; “ Of such," saide he, “I chiefly due inquere; And stroke at her with more then manly force, And shall thee well rewarde to shew the place, That from her body, full of filthie sin,
In which that wicked wight his dayes doth weare : He raft her hatefull heade without remorse: corse. For to a'l knighthood it is foule disgrace, á streame of cole-black blood fortb gushed frun her That such a cursed creature lives so long a space.”
“ Far hence," quoth he, " in wastfull wildernesse He, making speedy way torough spersed ayre, His dwelling is, by which no living wight
And through the world of waters wide and deepe, May ever passe, but thorough great distresse." To Morpheus house doth hastily repaire. “ Now," saide the ladie, “ draweth toward night; Amid the bowels of the Farth full steepe, And well I wote, that of your later fight
And low, where dawning day doth never peepe, Ye all foruvaried be; for what so strong,
His dwelling is; there Tethys his wet bed But, wanting rest, will also want of inight?
Doth ever wash, and Cynthia still doth stecpe The Sunne, that measures Heaven all day long, In silver deaw his ever-drouping hed, [spred. At night doth baite bis steedes the ocean waves Whiles sad Night over him her mantle black doth emong
Whose double gates he findeth locked fast; “ Then with the Sunne take, sir, your timely rest, The one faire fram'd of burnisht yvory, And with new day new worke at once begin: The other all with silver overcast; Untroubled night, they say, gives counsell best." And wakeful dogges before them farre doe lye, “ light well, sir Knight, ye have advised bin," Watching to banish Care their enimy, Quoth then that aged man; “ the way to win Who oft is wont to trouble gentle Sleepe. Is wisely to advise : now day is spent ;
By then the sprite doth passe in quietly, Therefore with me ye may take up your in And unto Morpheus comes, whom drowned deepe For this same night.” The knight was well content: In drowsie fit he findes; of nothing he takes keepe. So with that godly father to his home they went.
And, more to lulle him in his slumber soft, A litle lowly hermitage it was,
A trickling streame from high rock tumbling downe, Downe in a dale, hard by a forests side,
And ever-drizling raine upon the loft, Far from resort of people, that did pas
Mixt with a murmuring winde, much like the sowne In traveill to and froe: a litle wyde
Of swarming bees, did cast him in a swowne. 'There was an holy chappell edifyde,
No other noyse, nor peoples troublous cryes, Wherein the hermite dewly wont to say
As still are wont t'annoy the walled towne, His holy things each morne and eventyde:
Might there be heard: but carelesse Quiet lyes, Thereby a christall streame did gently play, Wrapt in eternall silence farre from 'enimyes. Which from a sacred fountaine welled forth away.
The messenger approching to him spake; Arrived there, the litle house they fill,
But his waste wordes retournd to him in vaine: Ne looke for entertainement, where none was; So sound he slept, that nought mought him awake. Rest is their feast, and all thinges at their will: Then rudely he bim thrust, and pusht with paine, The noblest mind the best contentinent has. Whereat he gan to stretch: but he againe With faire discourse the evening so they pas; Shooke him so bard, that forced him to speake. For that olde man of pleasing wordes had store, As one then in a dreame, whose dryer braine And well could file his tongue, as smooth as glas: Is tost with troubled sights and fanc'es weake, He told of saintes and popes, and evermore He mumbled soft, but would not all his silence He strowd an Ave-Mary after and before.
breake, The drouping night thus creepeth on them fast; The sprite then gan more boldly him to wake, And the sad humor loading their eye-liddes, And threatned urto him the dreaded name As inessenger of Morpheus, on them cast (biddes. Of Hecate : whereat he gan to quake, Sweet slomnbring deaw, the which to sleep them And, lifting up his lompish head, with blame into their lodgings then his guestes he riddes : Halfe angrie asked him, for what he came. Where when all drownd in deadly sleepe he findes, “ Hether," quoth he, “me Archimago sent, He to his studie goes; and there amiddes
He that the stubborne sprites can wisely tame, Dis magick bookes, and artes of sundrie kindes, He bids thee to him send for his intent Ble seeks out mightycharmes to trouble sleepy minds. | A fit false Dreame, that can clude the sleepers sent.” Then choosing out few words most horrible, The god obayde; and, calling forth straight way (Let none them read!) thereof did verses frame: A diverse dreame out of his prison darke, With which, and other spelles like terrible, Delivered it to him, and downe did lay He bail awake blacke Plutoes griesly dame; His heavie head, devoide of careful carke; And cursed Heven; and spake reprochful shame Whose sences all were straight benumbd and starke. Of highest God, the Lord of life and light.
He, backe returning by the yvorie dore, A bold bad man! that dar'd to call by name Remounted up as light as chearefull larke ; Great Gorgon, prince of darknes and dead night; And on his litle winges the Dreame be bore At which Cocytus quakes, and Styx is put to Hight. In hast unto his lord, where he him left afore.
And forth he cald ont of deepe darknes dredd
Who all this while, with charmes and hidden artes,