Page images
PDF
EPUB

With that he thrusts into the thickest throng; From thence into the open fields he fled,
And, even as his right hand adowne descends, Whereas the heardes were keeping of their neat,
He him preventing lays on earth along,

And shepheards singing, to their flockes that fed, And sacrifizeth to th' infernall feends :

Layes of sweet love and youthes delightfull heat: Then to the rest his wrathfull hand he bends; Him thether eke for all his fearefull threat Of whom he makes such havocke and such hew, He followed fast, and chaced him so nie, That swar.nes of damned soules to Hell be sends : That to the folds, where sheepe at night doe seat, The rest, that scape his sword and death eschew, And to the litle cots, where shepherds lie Fly like a flocke of doves before a faulcons vew. In winters wrathfull time, he forced him to flie. From them returning to that ladie backe,

There on a day, as he pursew'd the chace, Whom by the altar he doth sitting find

He chaunst to spy a sort of shepheard groomes Yet fearing death, and next to death the lacke Playing on pypes and caroling apace, Of clothes to cover what she ought by kind; The whyles their beasts there in the budded broomes He first her hands beginneth to unbind,

Beside them fed, and nipt the tender bloomes; And then to question of her present woe;

For other worldly wealth they cared nought: And afterwards to cheare with speaches kind: To whom sir Calidore yet sweating comes, But she, for nought that he could say or doe, And them to tell him courteously besought, One word durst speake, or answere him a whit If such a beast they saw, which he had thether thereto.

brought. So inward shame of her uncomely case

They answer'd him that no such beast they saw, She did conceive, through care of womanhood,

Nor any wicked feend that mote offend That though the night did cover her disgrace,

Their happie flockes, nor daunger to them draw; Yet she in so unwomanly a mood

But if that such there were (as none they kend) Would not bewray the state in which she stood: They prayd high God them farre from them to send: So all that night to him unknown she past:

Then one of them him seeing so to sweat, But day, that doth discover bad and good,

After his rusticke wise, that well he weend, Ensering, made her knowen to himn at last : Offred him drinke to quench his thirstie heat, The end whereof ile keepe untill another cast.

And, if he hungry were, him offred eke to eat.
The knight was nothing nice, where was no need,

And tooke their gentle offer: so adowne
CANTO IX.

They prayd him sit, and gave him for to feed

Such homely what as serves the simple clowne,
Calidore hostes with Melibee,

That doth despise the dainties of the towne:
And loves fayre Pastorell:

Tho, having fed his fill, he there besyde
Coridon envies him, yet he,

Saw a faire damzell, which did weare a crowne
For ill, rewards him well.

Of sundry flowres with silken ribbands tyde, Now turne againe my teme, thou jolly swayne,

Yclad in home-made greene that her owne hands Backe to the furrow which I ately left;

had dyde. I lately left a furrow one or twayne

Upon a litle hillocke she was placed Unplough'd, the which my coulter had not cleft;

Higher then all the rest, and round about Yet seend the soyle both fayre and frutefull eft,

Environ'd with a girland, goodly graced, As I it past; that were too great a shame,

Of lovely lasses; and them all without That so rich frute should be from us bereft;

The lustie shepheard swaynes sate in a rout, Besides the great dishonour and defame,

The which did pype and sing her prayses dew, Which should befall to Calidores immortall name.

And oft reioyce, and oft for wonder shout,

As if some miracle of heavenly hew Great travell hath the gentle Calidore

Were downe to them descended in that earthly vew. And toyle endured, sith I left him last Sewing the Blatant Beast; which I forbore And soothly sure she was full fayre of face, To finish then, for other present hast.

And perfectly well shapt in every lim, Full many pathes and perils he hath past,

Which she did more augment with modest grace Through bils, through dales, through forests, and And comely carriage of her count'nance trim, through plaines,

That all the rest like lesser lamps did dim: In that same quest which fortune on him cast, Who, her admiring as some heavenly wight, Which he atchieved to his owne great gaines, Did for their soveraine goddesse her esteeme, Reaping eternall glorie of his restlesse paines. And, caroling her name both day and night,

The fayrest Pastorella her by name did hight. So sharply he the monster did pursew, That day nor night be suffred him to rest,

Ne was there heard, ne was there shepheards swayne, Ne rested he himselfe (but natures dew)

But ber did honour; and eke many a one For dread of daunger not to be redrest,

Burnt in her love, and with sweet pleasing payne If he for slouth forslackt so famous quest.

Pull many a night for her did sigh and grone: Him first from court he to the citties coursed, But most of all the shepheard Coridon And from the citties to the townes him prest, For her did languish, and his deare life spend; And from the townes into the countrie forsed, Yet neither she for him nor other none And from the country back to private farmes he Did care a whit, ne any liking lend: (ascend. scorsed.

Though meane her lot, yet higher did her mind Her whyles sir Calidore there vewed well,

Tho when they had their hunger slaked well,
And markt her rare demeanure, which him seemed And the fayre mayd the table ta'ne away;
So farre the meane of shepheards to excell, "The gentle knight, as he that did excell
As that he in his mind her worthy deemed In courtesie and well could doe and say,
To be a princes paragone esteemed,

For so great kindnesse as he found that day
He was unwares surprisd in subtile bands

Gan greatly thanke his host and his good wife: Of the blynd boy; ne thence could be redeemed And, drawing thence his speach another way, By any skill out of his cruell hands; (stands. Gan highly to commend the happie life (strife Caught like the bird which gazing still on others which shepheards lead, without debate or bitter So stood he still long gazing thereupon,

“ How much,” sayd he, “more happie is the state Ne any will had thence to move away,

In which ye, father, here doe dwell at case,
Although his quest were farre afore him gon: Leading a life so free and fortunate
But after he had fed, yet did he stay

From all the tempests of these worldly seas,
And sate there still, untill the flying day

Which tosse the rest in daungerous disease; Was farre forth spent, discoursing diversly Where warres, and wreckes, and wicked enmitie Of sundry things, as fell, to worke delay ;

Doe them afflict, which no man can appease! And evermore his speach be did apply (tazy. That certes I your happinesse envie, To th' heards, but meant them to the damzels fan- | And wish my lot were plast in such felicitie!"

By this the moystie Night approching fast “ Surely, my sonne," then answer'd he againe,
Her deawy humour gan on th' earth to shed, “ If happie; then it is in this intent,
That warnid the shepheards to their homes to hast That having small yet doe I not complaine
Their tender flocks, now being fully fed,

Of want, ne wish for more it to augment,
For feare of wetting them before their bed: But doe myselfe, with that I have, content;
Then came to them a good old aged syre,

So taught of nature, which doth litle need Whose silver lockes bedeckt his beard and hed, Of forreine helpes to lifes due nourishment: With shepheards hooke in hand, and fit attyre, The fields my food, my flocke my rayment breed; That wil'd the damzell rise; the day did now expyre. No better doe I weare, no better doe I feed. He was to weet, by common voice, esteemed

“ Therefore I doe not any one envy, The father of the fayrest Pastorell,

Nor am envyde of any one therefore; And of herselfe in very deede so deemed;

They, that have much, feare much to loose thereby, Yet was not so; but, as old stories tell,

And store of cares doth follow riches store. Found her by fortane, which to him befell,

The litle that I have growes dayly more In th' open fields an infant left alone;

Without my care, bat onely to attend it; And, taking up, brought home and noursed well My lambes doe every yeare increase their score, As his owne chyld; for other he had none;

And my flockes father daily doth amend it. That she in tract of time accompted was his owne. What have I, but to praise th' Almighty that doth

send it ! She at his bidding meekely did arise, And streight unto her litle flocke did fare:

“ To them, that list, the worlds gay showes Ileave, Then all the rest about her rose likewise,

And to great ones such follies doe forgive; And each his sundrie sheepe with severall care

Which oft through pride do their owne perill weave,

And through ambition downe themselves doe drive Gathered together, and them homeward bare: Whylest everie one with helping hands did strive

To sad decay, that might contented live.

Me no such cares nor combrous thoughts offend, Amongst themselves, and did their labours share,

Ne once my minds unmoved quiet grieve; To helpe faire Pastorella home to drive Her fleecie flocke; but Coridon most helpe did give. And all the day, to what I list, I doe attend.

But all the night in silver sleepe I spend, But Melibee (so hight that good old man)

“ Sometimes I hunt the fox, the vowed foe Now seeing Calidore left all alone,

Unto iny lambes, and him dislodge away; And night arrived hard at hand, began

Sometime the fawne I practise from the doe, Him to invite unto his simple home;

Or from the goat her kidde, how to convay; Which though it were a cottage clad with lome,

Another while I baytes and nets display And all things therein meane, yet better so The birds to catch or fishes to beguyle ; To lodge then in the salvage fields to rome.

And, when I wearie am, I downe doe lay The knight full gladly soone agreed thereto, My limbes in every shade to rest from toyle; Being his harts owne wish; and home with him did and drinke of every brooke, when thirst my thrott go.

doth boyle. There he was welcom'd of that honest syre “ The time was once, in my first prime of yeares, And of his aged beldame homely well;

When pride of youth forth pricked my desire, Who him besought himselfe to disattyre,

That I disdain'd amongst mine equall peares And rest himselfe, till supper time befell;

To follow sheepe and shepheards base attire; By which home came the fayrest Pastorell, For further fortune then I would inquire: After her flocke she in their fold bad tyde:

And, leaving home, to roiall court I sought, And, supper readie dight, they to it fell

Where I did sell myselfe for yearely hire, With small adoe, and nature satisfyde,

And in the princes gardin daily wrought: The which doth litle crave contented to abyde. There I beheld sueb vainenesse as I never thought " With sight whereof soone cloyd, and long deluded “ Not that the burden of so bold a guest With idle hopes which them doe entertaine, Shall chargefull be, or chaunge to you at all; After I bad ten yeares myselfe excluded

For your meane food shall be my daily feast, From native home, and spent my youth in vaine, And this your cabin both my bowre and hall: I gan my follies to myselfe to plaine,

Besides, for recompence hereof, I shall And this sweet peace, whose lacke did then appeare: You well reward, and golden guerdon give, Tho, backe returning to my sheepe againe, That may perhaps you better inuch withall, I from thenceforth have learn'd to love more deare And in this quiet make you safer live.” [drive. This lowly quiet life which I inherite here." So forth he drew much gold, and toward him it

Whylest thus he talkt, the knight with greedy eare But the good man, nought tempted with the offer Hong still upon his melting mouth attent;

Of his rich mould, did thrust it farre away, Whose sensefull words empierst his hart so neare,

And thus bespake; “ Sir Knight, your bounteous That he was wrapt with double ravishment, Be farre fro. me, to whom ye ill display (proffer Both of his speach that wrought him great content, That mucky masse, the cause of mens decay, And also of the obiect of bis vew,

That mote empaire my peace with daungers dread: On which bis hungry eye was alwayes bent ; But, if ye algates covet to assay That twixt his pleasing tongue, and her faire hew, This simple sort of life that shepheards lead, He lost himselfe, and like one halfe-entraunced grew. Be it your owne: our rudenesse to yourselfe aread.” Yet to occasion meanes to worke his mind,

So there that night sir Calidore did dwell, And to insinuate his harts desire,

And long while after, whilest him list remaine, He thus replyde; “ Now surely, syre, I find, Daily beholding the faire Pastorell, That all this worlds gay showes, which we admire, And feeding on the bayt of his owne bane: Be but vaine shadows to this safe retyre

During which time he did her entertaine Of life, which here in lowlinesse ye lead,

With all kind courtesies he could invent; Fearelesse of foes, or fortunes wrackfull yre, And every day, her companie to gaine, Which tosseth states, and under foot doth tread When to the field she went, he with her went: The mightie ones affrayd of every chaunges dred. So for to quench his fire he did it more augment. " That even I, which daily doe behold

But she that never had acquainted beene The glorie of the great mongst whom I won, With such quient usage, fit for queens and kings, And now have prov'd what happinesse ye hold Ne ever had such knightly service seene; In this small plot of your dominion,

But, being bred under base shepheards wings, Now loath great lordship and ambition;

Had ever learn'd to love the lowly things; And wish the Heavens so much had graced mee,

Did litle whit regard his courteous guize, As graunt me live in like condition ;

But cared more for Colins carolings Or that my fortunes might transposed bee

Then all that he could doe, or e'er devize; (spize. From pitch of higher place unto this low degree.” His layes, his loves, his lookes, she did them all de" In vaine,” said then old Melibee, “ doe men Which Calidore perceiving, thought it best The Heavens of their fortunes fault accuse; To chaunge the manner of his loftie looke; Sith they know best what is the best for them: And doffing his bright armes himselfe addrest For they to each such fortune doe diffuse,

In shepheards weed; and in his hand he tooke, As they doe know each can most aptly use. Instead of steele-head speare, a shepheards hooke; For not that, which men covet most, is best; That who had seene him then, would have bethought Nor that thing worst, which men do most refuse; On Phrygian Paris by Plexippus brooke, Bat fittest is, that all contented rest

When he the love of fayre Benone sought, With that they hold: each hath his fortune in his What time the golden apple was unto him brought. brest.

So being clad unto the fields he went “ It is the mynd, that maketh good or ill, With the faire Pastorella every day, That maketh wretch or happie, rich or poore :

And kept her sheepe with diligent attent,
For some, that hath abundance at his will, Watching to drive the ravenous wolfe away,
Hath not enough, but wants in greatest store;

The whylest at pleasure she mote sport and play; And other, that hath litle, asks no more,

And every evening helping them to fold: But in that litle is both rich and wise;

And otherwhiles, for need, he did assay For wisedome is most riches: fooles therefore In his strong hand their rugged teats to hold, They are, which fortunes doe by vowes devize ; And out of them to presse the milke; love so much Sith each unto himselfe his life may fortunize.”

could. “ Since then in each mans self,” said Calidore, Which seeing Corridon, who her likewise “ It is to fashion his owne lyfes estate,

Long time had lov'd, and hop'd her love to gaine, Give leave awhyle, good father, in this shore He much was troubled at that straungers guize, To rest my barcke, which hath bene beaten late And many gealous thoughts conceiv'd in vaine, With stormes of fortune and tempestuous fate. That this of all his labour and long paine In seas of troables and of toylesome paine;

Should reap the harvest ere it ripened were; That, whether quite from them for to retrate That made him scoule, and pout, and oft complaine I shall resolve or backe to turne againe,

Of Pastorell to all the shepheards there, [dere. I may here with yourselfe some small repose obtaine. That she did love a stranger swayne then him more

And ever, when he came in companie

Thus Calidore continu'd there long time Where Calidore was present, he would loure To winne the love of the faire Pastorell; And byte his lip, and even for gealousie

Which having got, he used without crime Was readie oft his owne hart to devoure,

Or blamefull blot; but menaged so well, Impatient of any paramoure :

That he, of all the rest which there did dwell, Who on the other side did seeme so farre

Was favoured and to her grace commended : From malicing, or grudging his good houre, But what straunge fortunes unto him befell, That, all he could, he graced him with her, Ere he attain'd the point by him intended, Ne ever shewed signe of rancour or of jarre. Shall more conveniently in other place be ended.

And oft, when Coridon unto her brought
Or litle sparrowes stolen from their nest,
Or wanton squirrels in the woods farre sought,

CANTO X,
Or other daintie thing for ber addrest,
He would commend his guift, and make the best : Calidore sees the Graces daunce
Yet she no whit his presents did regard,

To Colins melody :
Ne him could find to fancie in her brest :

The whiles his Pastorell is led This new-come shepheard had his market mard.

Into captivity. Old love is litle worth when new is more prefard.

Who now does follow the foule Blatant Bcast, One day, whenas the shepheard swaynes together Whilest Calidore does follow that faire mayd, Were met to make their sports and merrie glee, Unmyndfull of his vow, and high beheast As they are wont in faire sunshynie weather, Which by the Faery queene was on him layd, The whiles their fockes in shadowes shrouded bee; That he should never leave, nor be delayd They fell to daunce: then did they all agree From chacing him, till he had it attchieved ? That Colin Clout should pipe, as one most fit; But now, entrapt of love which him betrayd, And Calidore should lead the ring, as hee

He mindeth more how he may be relieved That most in Pastorellaes grace did sit :

With grace from her, whose love his heart hath sore Thereat frown'd Coridon, and his lip closely bit.

engrieved. But Calidore, of courteous inclination,

That from henceforth he meanes no more to sew Tooke Coridon and set him in his place, That he should lead the daunce, as was his fashion; Another quest, another game in vew

His former quest, so full of toile and paine; For Coridon could daunce, and trimly trace;

He hath, the guerdon of his love to gaine ; And whenas Pastorella, hiin to grace,

With whom he myndes for ever to remaine, Her flowry garlond tooke from her owne head,

And set his rest amongst the rusticke sort, And plast on his, he did it soone displace,

Rather then hunt still after shadowes vaine And did it put on Coridons instead :

Of courtly favour fed with light report Then Coridon woxe frollicke, that earst seemed dead. Of every blast, and sayling alwaies in the port. Another time, whenas they did dispose To practise games and maisteries to try,

Ne certes mote he greatly blamed be They for their judge did Pastorella chose ;

From so high step to stoupe unto so low; A garland was the meed of victory :

For who had tasted once, as oft did he, There Coridon, forth stepping, openly

The happy peace which there doth overflow, Did chalenge Calidore to wrestling game;

And prov'd the perfect pleasures which doe grow For he, through long and perfect industry,

Amongst poore hyndes, in hils, in woods, in dales; Therein well practisd was, and in the same

Would never more delight in painted show Thought sure t avenge his grudge, and worke his of such false blisse, as there is set for stales foe great shame.

T' entrap unwary fooles in their eternall bales. But Calidore he greatly did mistake;

For what bath all that goodly glorious gaze For he was strong and mightily stiffe pight, Like to one sight which Calidore did vew? That with one fall his necke he almost brake; The glaunce whereof their dimmed ejes wonld daze, And, had he not upon him fallen light,

That never more they should endure the shew His dearest joynt he sure had broken quight. Of that shunne-shine, that makes them looke askew: Then was the oaken crowne by Pastorell

Ne ought, in all that world of beauties rare, Given to Calidore as his due right;

(Save onely Glorianaes heavenly hew, But he, that did in courtesie excell,

To which what can compare?) can it compare ; Gave it to Coridon, and said he wonne it well. The which, as commeth now by course, I will de

clare. Thus did the gentle knight himselfe abeare Amongst that rusticke rout in all his deeds, One day, as he did raunge the fields abroad, That even they, the which his rivals were, Whilest his faire Pastorella was elsewhere, Could not maligne him, but commend him needs: He chaunst to come, far from all peoples troad, For courtesie amongst the rudest breeds

Unto a place, whose pleasaunce did appere Good will and favour : so it surely wrought To passe all others on the Earth which were: With this faire mayd, and in her mynde the seeds for all that ever was by Natures skill Of perfect love did sow, that last forth brought Deviz'd'to worke delight was gathered there; The fruite of ioy and blisse, though long time dearely And there by her were poured forth at fill, bought,

As if, this to adorne, she all the rest did pill.

It was an hill plaste in an open plaine,

Looke! how the crowne, which Ariadne wore That round about was bordered with a wood Upon her yvory forehead that same day of matchlesse hight, that seem'd th' earth to dis- That Theseus her unto his bridale bore, In which all trees of honour stately stood, [daine; When the bold Centaures made that bloudy fray And did all winter as in sommer bud,

With the fierce Lapithes which did them dismay; Spredding pavilions for the birds to bowre, Being now placed in the firmament, Which in their lower braunches sung aloud; Through the bright Heaven doth her beams display, And in their tops the soring hauke did towre, And is unto the starres an ornament, Sitting like king of fowles in maiesty and powre : Which round about her move in order excellent. And at the foote thereof a gentle flud

Such was the beauty of this goodly band, His silver waves did softly tuinble downe,

Whose sundry parts were here too long to tell : Unmard with ragged mosse or filthy mud;

But she, that in the midst of them did stand, Ne mote wylde beastes, ne mote the ruder clowne, Seem'd all the rest in beauty to excell, Thereto approch; ne filth mote therein drowne: Crownd with a rosie girlond that right well But nymphes and Faeries by the bancks did sit Did her beseeme: and ever, as the crew In the woods shade which did the waters crowne, About her daunst, sweet flowres that far did smell Keeping all noysome things away from it,

And fragrant odours they uppon her threw; (dew. And to the waters fall tuning their accents fit. But, most of all, those three did her with gifts enAnd on the top thereof a spacious plaine

Those were the Graces, daughters of delight, Did spred itselfe, to serve to all delight,

Handmaides of Venus, which are wont to haunt Either to daunce, when they to daunce would faine, Cppon this hill, and daunce there day and night: Or else to course-about their bases light;

Those three to men all gifts of grace do graunt; Ne ought there wanted, which for pleasure might And all, that Venus in herself doth vaunt, Desired be, or thence to banish bale:

Is borrowed of them: but that faire one, So pleasa untly the hill with equall hight

That in the midst was placed paravaunt, Did seeme to overlooke the lowly vale;

Was she to whom that shepheard pypt alone; Therefore it rightly cleeped was Mount Acidale. That made him pipe so merrily, as never none. They say that Venus, when she did dispose She was, to weete, that iolly shepheards lasse, Herselfe to pleasaunce, used to resort

Which piped there unto that merry rout; Unto this place, and therein to repose

That iolly shepheard, which there piped, was And rest herselfe as in a gladsome port,

Poor Colin Clout, (who knows not Colin Clout?) Or with the Graces there to play and sport; He pypt apace, whilest they him daunst about. That even her owne Cytheron, though in it Pype, iolly shepheard, pype thou now apace She used most to keepe her royall court

Unto thy love that made thee low to lout; and in her soveraine majesty to sit,

Thy love is present there with thee in place ; She in regard hereof refúsde and thought unfit. Thy love is there advaunst to be another Grace. Unto this place whenas the Elfin knight

Much wondred Calidore at this straunge sight, Approcht, him seemed that the merry sound Whose like before his eye had never seene; Of a shrill pipe be playing heard on hight, And standing long astonished in spright, And many feete fast thumping th' hollow ground, And rapt with pleasa unce, wist not what to weene; That through the woods their eccho did rebound. Whether it were the traine of beauties queene, He nigher drew, to weete what mote it be: Or nymphes, or Faeries, or enchaunted show, There he a troupe of ladies dauncing found With which his eyes mote have deluded beene. Full merrily, and inaking gladfull glee,

Therefore, resolving what it was to know, And in the midst a shepheard pipin: he did see. Out of the wood be rose, and toward them did go. He durst not enter iuto th' open greene,

But, soone as he appeared to their vew, For dread of them unwares to be descryde, They vanisht all away out of his sight, For breaking of their daunce, if he were seene ; And cleane were gone, which way he never knew; But in the covert of the wood did byde,

All save the shepheard, who, for fell despight Beholding all, yet of them unespyde:

Of that displeasure, broke his bag-pipe quight, There he did see, that pleased much his sight, And made great mone for that unhappy turne: That even he himselfe his eyes envyde,

But Calidore, though no lesse sory wight An hundred naked maidens lilly white

For that mishap, yet seeing lrim to mourne, All raunged in a ring and dauncing in delight. Drew neare, that he the truth of all by him mote

learne: All they without were raunged in a ring, And daunced round; but in the midst of them And, first him greeting, thus unto him spake; Three other ladies did both daunce and sing, “ Haile, iolly shepheard, which thy joyous dayes The whilest the rest them round about did hemme, Here leadest in this goodly merry-make, And like a girlond did in compasse stemme: Frequented of these gentle nymphes alwayes, And in the middest of those same three was placed which to thee flocke to heare thy lovely layes ! Another damzell, as a precious gemme

Tell me what mote these dainty damzelsbe, (playes: Amidst a ring most richly well enchaced,

Which here with thee doe make their pleasant That with her goodly presence all the rest much Right happy thou, that mayest them freely see! graced.

But why, when I them saw, fed they away from me?'

« PreviousContinue »