The house of Temperance, in which
doth sober Alma dwell,
Besiegd of many foes, whom straunger
knightes to flight compell.
O F all Gods workes, which do this world adorne,
There is no one more faire and excellent,
Then is mans body both for powre and forme,
Whiles it is kept in sober gouernmentgovernment;
But none 1.5. then: thanthenthan it, more fowle and indecent,
Distempred through misrule and passions bace:
It growes a Monster, and incontinent
Doth loose his dignitie and natiuenative grace.
Behold, who list, both one and other in this place.
After the Paynim brethren conquer’d were,
The Briton Prince recou’ringrecov’ring his stolne sword,
And Guyon his lost shield, they both yfere
Forth passed on their way in faire accord,
Till him the Prince with gentle court did bord;
Sir knight, mote I of you this curt’sie read,
To weet why on your shield so goodly scord
Beare ye the picture of that Ladies head?
Full liuelylively is the semblaunt, though the substance dead.
Faire Sir (said he) if in that picture dead
Such life ye read, and vertue in vaine shew,
What mote ye weene, if the trew liuely-head
Of that most glorious visage ye did vew?
But if the beautie of her mind ye knew,
That is her bountie, and imperiall powre,
Thousand times fairer 3.7. then: thanthenthan her mortall hew,
O how great wonder would your thoughts deuouredevoure,
And infinite desire into your spirite poure!
She is the mighty Queene of Faerie,
Whose faire retrait I in my shield do beare;
She is the flowre of grace and chastitie,
Throughout the world renowmed far and neare,
My liefe, my liege, my SoueraigneSoveraigne, my deare,
Whose glory shineth as the morning starre,
And with her light the earth enlumines cleare;
Far reach her mercies, and her prayses farre,
As well in state of peace, as puissaunce in warre.
Thrise happy man, (said 5.1. then: thanthenthan the Briton knight)
Whom gracious lot, and thy great valiaunce
HaueHave made thee souldier of that Princesse bright,
Which with her bounty and glad countenance
Doth blesse her seruauntsservaunts, and them high aduaunceadvaunce.
How may straunge knight hope euerever to aspire,
By faithfull seruiceservice, and meet amenance,
VntoUnto such blisse? sufficient were that hire
For losse of thousand liueslives, to dye at her desire.
Said Guyon, Noble Lord, what meed so great,
Or grace of earthly Prince so souerainesoveraine,
But by your wondrous worth and warlike feat
Ye well may hope, and easely attaine?
But were your will, her sold to entertaine,
And numbred be mongst knights of Maydenhed,
Great guerdon, well I wote, should you remaine,
And in her fauourfavour high be reckoned,
As Arthegall, and Sophy now beene honored.
Certes (then said the Prince) I God auowavow,
That sith I armes and knighthood first did plight,
My whole desire hath beene, and yet is now,
To serueserve that Queene with all my powre and might.
Now hath the Sunne with his lamp-burning light,
Walkt round about the world, and I no lesse,
Sith of that Goddesse I hauehave sought the sight,
Yet no where can her find: such happinesse
Heauen doth to me enuyenvy, and fortune fauourlessefavourlesse.
Fortune, the foe of famous cheuisauncechevisaunce
Seldome (said Guyon) yields to vertue aide,
But in her way throwes mischiefe and mischaunce,
Whereby her course is stopt, and passage staid.
But you faire Sir, be not herewith dismaid,
But constant keepe the way, in which ye stand;
Which were it not, that I am else delaid
With hard aduentureadventure, which I hauehave in hand,
I labour would to guide you through all Faery land.
Gramercy Sir (said he) but mote I wote,
What straunge aduentureadventure do ye now pursew?
Perhaps my succour, or aduizementadvizement meete
Mote stead you much your purpose to subdew.
Then gan Sir Guyon all the story shew
Of false Acrasia, and her wicked wiles,
Which to auengeavenge, the Palmer him forth drew
From Faery court. So talked they, the whiles
They wasted had much way, and measurd many miles.
And now faire Phœbus gan decline in hast
His weary wagon to the Westerne vale,
Whenas they spide a goodly castle, plast
Foreby a riuerriver in a pleasaunt dale,
Which choosing for that eueningsevenings hospitale,
They thither marcht: but when they came in sight,
And from their sweaty Coursers did aualeavale,
They found the gates fast barred long ere night,
And eueryevery loup fast lockt, as fearing foes despight.
Which when they saw, they weened fowle reproch
Was to them doen, their entrance to forstall,
Till that the Squire gan nigher to approch;
And wind his horne vnderunder the castle wall,
That with the noise it shooke, as it would fall:
Eftsoones forth looked from the highest spire
The watch, and lowd vntounto the knights did call,
To weete, what they so rudely did require.
Who gently answered, They entrance did desire.
Fly fly, good knights, (said he) fly fast away
If that your liueslives ye louelove, as meete ye should;
Fly fast, and sauesave your seluesselves from neare decay,
Here may ye not hauehave entraunce, though we would:
We would and would againe, if that we could;
But thousand enemies about vsus rauerave,
And with long siege vsus in this castle hould:
SeuenSeven yeares this wize they vsus besieged hauehave,
And many good knights slaine, that hauehave vsus sought to sauesave.
Thus as he spoke, loe with outragious cry
A thousand villeins round about them swarmd
Out of the rockes and cauescaves adioyningadjoyning nye,
Vile caytiuecaytive wretches, ragged, rude, deformd,
All threatning death, all in straunge manner armd,
Some with vnweldyunweldy clubs, some with long speares,
Some rusty kniuesknives, some stauesstaves in fire warmd.
Sterne was their looke, like wild amazed steares,
Staring with hollow eyes, and stiffe vpstandingupstanding heares.
Fiersly at first those knights they did assaile,
And drouedrove them to recoile: but when againe
They gauegave fresh charge, their forces gan to faile,
VnhableUnhable their encounter to sustaine;
For with such puissaunce and impetuous maine
Those Champions broke on them, that forst them fly,
Like scattered Sheepe, whenas the Shepheards swaine
A Lyon and a Tigre doth espye,
With greedy pace forth rushing from the forest nye.
A while they fled, but soone returnd againe
With greater fury, 15.2. then: thanthenthan before was found;
And euermoreevermore their cruell Captaine
Sought with his raskall routs t’enclose them round,
And ouerrun to tread them to the ground.
But soone the knights with their bright-burning blades
Broke their rude troupes, and orders did confound,
Hewing and slashing at their idle shades;
For though they bodies seeme, yet substance from them fades.
As when a swarme of Gnats at euentideeventide
Out of the fennes of Allan do arise,
Their murmuring small trompets sounden wide,
Whiles in the aire their clustring army flies,
That as a cloud doth seeme to dim the skies;
Ne man nor beast may rest, or take repast,
For their sharpe wounds, and noyous iniuriesinjuries,
Till the fierce Northerne wind with blustring blast
Doth blow them quite away, and in the Ocean cast.
Thus when they had that troublous rout disperst,
VntoUnto the castle gate they come againe,
And entraunce crau’dcrav’d, which was denied erst.
Now when report of that their perilous paine,
And combrous conflict, which they did sustaine,
Came to the Ladies eare, which there did dwell,
She forth issewed with a goodly traine
Of Squires and Ladies equipaged well,
And entertained them right fairely, as befell.
Alma she called was, a virgin bright;
That had not yet felt Cupides wanton rage,
Yet was she woo’d of many a gentle knight,
And many a Lord of noble parentage,
That sought with her to lincke in marriage:
For she was faire, as faire mote euerever bee,
And in the flowre now of her freshest age;
Yet full of grace and goodly modestee,
That eueneven heauenheaven reioycedrejoyced her sweete face to see.
In robe of lilly white she was arayd,
That from her shoulder to her heele downe raught,
The traine whereof loose far behind her strayd,
Braunched with gold & pearle, most richly wrought,
And borne of two faire Damsels, which were taught
That seruiceservice well. Her yellow golden heare
Was trimly wouenwoven, and in tresses wrought,
Ne other tyre she on her head did weare,
But crowned with a garland of sweet Rosiere.
Goodly she entertaind those noble knights,
And brought them vpup into her castle hall;
Where gentle court and gracious delight
She to them made, with mildnesse virginall,
Shewing her selfe both wise and liberall:
There when they rested had a season dew,
They her besought of fauourfavour speciall,
Of that faire Castle to affoord them vew;
She graunted, & them leading forth, the same did shew.
First she them led vpup to the Castle wall,
That was so high, as foe might not it clime,
And all so faire, and sensible withall,
Not built of bricke, ne yet of stone and lime,
But of thing like to that AEgyptian slime,
Whereof king Nine whilome built Babell towre;
But ô; great pitty, that no lenger time
So goodly workemanship should not endure:
Soone it must turne to earth; no earthly thing is sure.
The frame thereof seemd partly circulare,
And part triangulare, ô worke diuinedivine;
Those two the first and last proportions are,
The one imperfect, mortall, fœminine;
Th’other immortall, perfect, masculine,
And twixt them both a quadrate was the base,
Proportioned equally by seuenseven and nine;
Nine was the circle set in heauensheavens place,
All which compacted made a goodly Dyapase.
Therein two gates were placed seemly well:
The one before, by which all in did pas,
Did th’other far in workmanship excell;
For not of wood, nor of enduring bras,
But of more worthy substance fram’d it was;
Doubly disparted, it did locke and close,
That when it locked, none might thorough pas,
And when it opened, no man might it close,
Still open to their friends, and closed to their foes.
Of hewen stone the porch was fairely wrought,
Stone more of valew, and more smooth and fine,
Then Iet or Marble far from Ireland brought;
OuerOver the which was cast a wandring vine,
Enchaced with a wanton yuieyvie twine.
And ouerover it a faire Portcullis hong,
Which to the gate directly did incline,
With comely compasse, and compacture strong,
Neither vnseemely short, nor yet exceeding long.
Within the Barbican a Porter sate,
Day and night duely keeping watch and ward,
Nor wight, nor word mote passe out of the gate,
But in good order, and with dew regard;
VtterersUtterers of secrets he from thence debard,
Bablers of folly, and blazers of crime.
His larumbell might lowd and wide be hard,
When cause requird, but neuernever out of time;
Early and late it rong, at eueningevening and at prime.
And round about the porch on eueryevery side
Twise sixteen warders sat, all armed bright
In glistring steele, and strongly fortifide:
Tall yeomen seemed they, and of great might,
And were enraunged ready, still for fight.
By them as Alma passed with her guestes,
They did obeysaunce, as beseemed right,
And 26.8. then: thanthenthan againe returned to their restes:
The Porter eke to her did lout with humble gestes.
Thence she them brought into a stately Hall,
Wherein were many tables faire dispred,
And ready dight with drapets festiuallfestivall,
Against the viaundes should be ministred.
At th’upper end there sate, yclad in red
Downe to the ground, a comely personage,
That in his hand a white rod menaged,
He Steward was hight Diet; rype of age,
And in demeanure sober, and in counsell sage.
And through the Hall there walked to and fro
A iollyjolly yeoman, Marshall of the same,
Whose name was Appetite; he did bestow
Both guestes and meate, when euerever in they came,
And knew them how to order without blame,
As him the Steward bad. They both attone
Did dewty to their Lady, as became;
Who passing by, forth led her guestes anone
Into the kitchin rowme, ne spard for nicenesse none.
It was a vaut ybuilt for great dispence,
With many raunges reard along the wall;
And one great chimney, whose long tonnell thence,
The smoke forth threw. And in the midst of all
There placed was a caudron wide and tall,
VponUpon a mighty furnace, burning whot,
More whot, 29.7. then: thanthenthan Aetn’, or flaming Mongiball:
For day and night it brent, ne ceased not,
So long as any thing it in the caudron got.
But to delay the heat, least by mischaunce
It might breake out, and set the whole on fire,
There added was by goodly ordinaunce,
An huge great paire of bellowes, which did styre
Continually, and cooling breath inspyre.
About the Caudron many Cookes accoyld,
With hookes and ladles, as need did require;
The whiles the viandes in the vessell boyld
They did about their businesse sweat, and sorely toyld.
The maister Cooke was cald Concoction,
A carefull man, and full of comely guise:
The kitchin Clerke, that hight Digestion,
Did order all th’Achates in seemely wise,
And set them forth, as well he could deuisedevise.
The rest had seuerallseverall offices assind,
Some to remoueremove the scum, as it did rise;
Others to beare the same away did mind;
And others it to vseuse according to his kind.
But all the liquour, which was fowle and wast,
Not good nor seruiceableserviceable else for ought,
They in another great round vessell plast,
Till by a conduit pipe it thence were brought:
And all the rest, that noyous was, and nought,
By secret wayes, that none might it espy,
Was close conuaidconvaid, and to the back-gate brought,
That cleped was Port Esquiline, whereby
It was auoidedavoided quite, and throwne out priuilyprivily.
Which goodly order, and great workmans skill
Whenas those knights beheld, with rare delight,
And gazing wonder they their minds did fill;
For neuernever had they seene so straunge a sight.
Thence backe againe faire Alma led them right,
And soone into a goodly Parlour brought,
That was with royall arras richly dight,
In which was nothing pourtrahed, nor wrought,
Not wrought, nor pourtrahed, but easie to be thought.
And in the midst thereof vponupon the floure,
A louelylovely beuybevy of faire Ladies sate,
Courted of many a iollyjolly Paramoure,
The which them did in modest wise amate,
And each one sought his Lady to aggrate:
And eke emongst them litle Cupid playd
His wanton sports, being returned late
From his fierce warres, and hauinghaving from him layd
His cruell bow, wherewith he thousands hath dismayd.
DiuerseDiverse delights they found them seluesselves to please;
Some song in sweet consort, some laught for ioyjoy,
Some plaid with strawes, some idly sat at ease;
But other some could not abide to toy,
All pleasaunce was to them griefe and annoy:
This fround, that faund, the third for shame did blush,
Another seemed enuiousenvious, or coy,
Another in her teeth did gnaw a rush:
But at these straungers presence eueryevery one did hush.
Soone as the gracious Alma came in place,
They all attonce out of their seates arose,
And to her homage made, with humble grace:
Whom when the knights beheld, they gan dispose
ThemseluesThemselves to court, and each a Damsell chose:
The Prince by chaunce did on a Lady light,
That was right faire and fresh as morning rose,
But somwhat sad, and solemne eke in sight,
As if some pensiuepensive thought cõstraind her gentle spright.
In a long purple pall, whose skirt with gold,
Was fretted all about, she was arayd;
And in her hand a Poplar braunch did hold:
To whom the Prince in curteous manner said;
Gentle Madame, why beene ye thus dismaid,
And your faire beautie do with sadnesse spill?
LiuesLives any, that you hath thus ill apaid?
Or doen your louelove, or doen you lacke your will?
What euerever be the cause, it sure beseemes you ill.
Faire Sir, (said she halfe in disdainefull wise,)
How is it, that this mood in me ye blame,
And in your selfe do not the same aduiseadvise?
Him ill beseemes, anothers fault to name,
That may vnwaresunwares be blotted with the same:
PensiuePensive I yeeld I am, and sad in mind,
Through great desire of glory and of fame;
Ne ought I weene are ye therein behind,
That hauehave tweluetwelve moneths sought one, yet no where can her find.
The Prince was inly mouedmoved at her speach,
Well weeting trew, what she had rashly told;
Yet with faire semblaunt sought to hide the breach,
Which chaunge of colour did perforce vnfoldunfold,
Now seeming flaming whot, now stony cold.
Tho turning soft aside, he did inquire,
What wight she was, that Poplar braunch did hold:
It answered was, her name was Prays-desire,
That by well doing sought to honour to aspire.
The whiles, the Faerie knight did entertaine
Another Damsell of that gentle crew,
That was right faire, and modest of demaine,
But that too oft she chaung’d her natiuenative hew:
Straunge was her tyre, and all her garment blew,
Close round abouther tuckt with many a plight:
VponUpon her fist the bird, which shonneth vew,
And keepes in couertscoverts close from liuingliving wight,
Did sit, as yet ashamd, how rude Pan did her dight.
So long as Guyon with her commoned,
VntoUnto the ground she cast her modest eye,
And euerever and anone with rosie red
The bashfull bloud her snowy cheekes did dye,
That her became, as polisht yuoryyvory,
Which cunning Craftesman hand hath ouerlaydoverlayd
With faire vermilion or pure lastery.
Great wonder had the knight, to see the mayd
So straungely passioned, and to her gently sayd,
Faire Damzell, seemeth, by your troubled cheare,
That either me too bold ye weene, this wise
You to molest, or other ill to feare
That in the secret of your hart close lyes,
From whence it doth, as cloud from sea arise.
If it be I, of pardon I you pray;
But if ought else that I mote not deuisedevise,
I will, if please you it discure, assay,
To ease you of that ill, so wisely as I may.
She answerd nought, but more abasht for shame,
Held downe her head, the whiles her louelylovely face
The flashing bloud with blushing did inflame,
And the strong passion mard her modest grace,
That Guyon meruayldmervayld at her vncouthuncouth cace:
Till Alma him bespake, why wonder yee
Faire Sir at that, which ye so much embrace?
She is the fountaine of your modestee;
You shamefast are, but Shamefastnesse it selfe is shee.
Thereat the Elfe did blush in priuiteeprivitee,
And turnd his face away; but she the same
Dissembled faire, and faynd to ouerseeoversee.
Thus they awhile with court and goodly game,
ThemseluesThemselves did solace each one with his Dame,
Till that great Ladie thence away them sought,
To vew her castles other wondrous frame.
VpUp to a stately Turret she them brought,
Ascending by ten steps of Alablaster wrought.
That Turrets frame most admirable was,
Like highest heauenheaven compassed around,
And lifted high aboueabove this earthly masse,
Which it suruew’d, as hils doen lower ground;
But not on ground mote like to this be found,
Not that, which antique Cadmus whylome built
In Thebes, which Alexander did confound;
Nor that proud towre of Troy, though richly guilt,
From which young Hectors bloud by cruell Greekes was spilt.
The roofe hereof was arched ouerover head,
And deckt with flowers and herbars daintily;
Two goodly Beacons, set in watches stead,
Therein gauegave light, and flam’d continually:
For they of liuingliving fire most subtilly
Were made, and set in siluersilver sockets bright,
Couer’dCover’d with lids deuiz’ddeviz’d of substance sly,
That readily they shut and open might.
O who can tell the prayses of that makers might!
Ne can I tell, ne can I stay to tell
This parts great workmanship, & wondrous powre,
That all this other worlds worke doth excell,
And likest is vntounto that heauenlyheavenly towre,
That God hath built for his owne blessed bowre.
Therein were diuersediverse roomes, and diuersediverse stages,
But three the chiefest, and of greatest powre,
In which there dwelt three honorable sages,
The wisest men, I weene, that liuedlived in their ages.
Not he, whom Greece, the Nourse of all good arts,
By Phœbus doome, the wisest thought aliuealive,
Might be compar’d to these by many parts:
Nor that sage Pylian syre, which did suruiuesurvive
Three ages, such as mortall men contriuecontrive,
By whose aduiseadvise old Priams cittie fell,
With these in praise of pollicies mote striuestrive.
These three in these three roomes did sundry dwell,
And counselled faire Alma, how to gouernegoverne well.
The first of them could things to come foresee:
The next could of things present best aduizeadvize;
The third things past could keepe in memoree,
So that no time, nor reason could arize,
But that the same could one of these comprize.
For thy the first did in the forepart sit,
That nought mote hinder his quicke preiudizeprejudize:
He had a sharpe foresight, and working wit,
That neuernever idle was, ne once could rest a whit.
His chamber was dispainted all within,
With sundry colours, in the which were writ
Infinite shapes of things dispersed thin;
Some such as in the world were neuernever yit,
Ne can deuizeddevized be of mortall wit;
Some daily seene, and knowen by their names,
Such as in idle fantasies doe flit:
Infernall Hags, Centaurs, feendes, Hippodames,
Apes, Lions, Ægles, Owles, fooles, louerslovers, children, Dames.
And all the chamber filled was with flyes,
Which buzzed all about, and made such sound,
That they encombred all mens eares and eyes,
Like many swarmes of Bees assembled round,
After their hiueshives with honny do abound:
All those were idle thoughts and fantasies,
DeuicesDevices, dreames, opinions vnsoundunsound,
Shewes, visions, sooth-sayes, and prophesies;
And all that fained is, as leasings, tales, and lies.
Emongst them all sate he, which wonned there,
That hight Phantastes by his nature trew;
A man of yeares yet fresh, as mote appere,
Of swarth complexion, and of crabbed hew,
That him full of melancholy did shew;
Bent hollow beetle browes, sharpe staring eyes,
That mad or foolish seemd: one by his vew
Mote deeme him borne with ill disposed skyes,
When oblique Saturne sate in the house of agonyes.
Whom Alma hauinghaving shewed to her guestes,
Thence brought thẽ to the second roome, whose wals
Were painted faire with memorable gestes,
Of famous Wisards, and with picturals
Of Magistrates, of courts, of tribunals,
Of commen wealthes, of states, of pollicy,
Of lawes, of iudgements, and of decretals;
All artes, all science, all Philosophy,
And all that in the world was aye thought wittily.
Of those that roome was full, and them among
There sate a man of ripe and perfect age,
Who did them meditate all his life long,
That through continuall practise and vsageusage,
He now was growne right wise, and wondrous sage.
Great pleasure had those stranger knights, to see
His goodly reason, and grauegrave personage,
That his disciples both desir’d to bee;
But Alma thence thẽ led to th’hindmost roome of three.
That chamber seemed ruinous and old,
And therefore was remouedremoved farre behind,
Yet were the wals, that did the same vpholduphold,
Right firme & strong, though somewhat they declind;
And therein sate an old oldman, halfe blind,
And all decrepit in his feeble corse,
Yet liuelylively vigour rested in his mind,
And recompenst him with a better scorse:
Weake body well is chang’d for minds redoubled forse.
This man of infinite remembrance was,
And things foregone through many ages held,
Which he recorded still, as they did pas,
Ne suffred them to perish through long eld,
As all things else, the which this world doth weld,
But laid them vpup in his immortall scrine,
Where they for euerever incorrupted dweld:
The warres he well remembred of king Nine,
Of old Assaracus, and Inachus diuinedivine.
The yeares of Nestor nothing were to his,
Ne yet Mathusalem, though longest liu’dliv’d;
For he remembred both their infancies:
Ne wonder 57.4. then: thanthenthan, if that he were depriu’ddepriv’d
Of natiuenative strength now, that he them suruiu’dsurviv’d.
His chamber all was hangd about with rolles,
And old records from auncient times deriu’dderiv’d,
Some made in books, some in long parchmẽt scrolles,
That were all worme-eaten, and full of canker holes.
Amidst them all he in a chaire was set,
Tossing and turning them withouten end;
But for he was vnhableunhable them to fet,
A litle boy did on him still attend,
To reach, when euerever he for ought did send;
And oft when things were lost, or laid amis,
That boy them sought, and vntounto him did lend.
Therefore he Anamnestes cleped is,
And that old man Eumnestes, by their propertis.
The knights there entring, did him reuerencereverence dew
And wondred at his endlesse exercise,
Then as they gan his Librarie to vew,
And antique Registers for to auiseavise,
There chaunced to the Princes hand to rize,
An auncient booke, hight Briton moniments,
That of this lands first conquest did deuizedevize,
And old diuisiondivision into Regiments,
Till it reduced was to one mans gouernmentsgovernments.
Sir Guyon chaunst eke on another booke,
That hight Antiquitie of Faerie lond.
In which when as he greedily did looke;
Th’off-spring of EluesElves and Faries there he fond,
As it deliuereddelivered was from hond to hond:
Whereat they burning both with feruentfervent fire,
Their countries auncestry to vnderstondunderstond,
Crau’dCrav’d leaueleave of Alma, and that aged sire,
To read those bookes; who gladly graunted their desire.