George L. Craik: "Canto XI. (55 stanzas). — The poet now winds his way back to Sir Satyrane and Britomart, who, as will be remembered, had left the castle of Malbecco together, through a brief but passionate anathema of Jealousy, concluding — 'And ye, fair ladies, that your kingdoms make | In the hearts of men, them govern wisely well, | And of fair Britomart ensample take, | That was as true in love as turtle to her make.' As the two ride along they, see at a distance a young man flying from a huge giant, who proves to be Oliphant, the brother of the vile Argante, and as great a monster of the one sex as she is of the other. Britomart immediately dashes forward to attack him, and is quickly followed by Satyrane, on which, abandoning the chase of the youth, he takes to flight, and, being 'long and swift as any roe,' outruns them both. 'It was not Satyrane, whom he did fear, | But Britomart, the flower of chastity; | For he the power of chaste hands might not bear, | But always did their dread encounter fly.' At last he takes refuge in a forest where the Knight and the lady part company in seeking for him.
"Proceeding along by herself, Britomart after some time comes to a fountain, beside which lies on the grass a knight, 'and by him near his habergeon, his helmet, and his spear: | A little off, his shield was rudely thrown, | On which the winged boy in colours clear | Depainted was, full easy to be known, | And he thereby, wherever it in field was shown.' He lies with his face grovelling upon the ground, and, after many sobs and groans, is heard to break forth into a torrent of fervid words, in which he calls impatiently upon the justice of heaven, exclaiming, 'If good find grace, and righteousness reward, | Why then is Amoret in caitiff band, | Sith that more bounteous creature never fared | On foot upon the thee of living land!'... This, in fact, is Sir Scudamore, of whom we have heard as the lover and the beloved of Amoret at the close of the Sixth Canto. She is kept, it appears, in durance and torment by Busirane, 'all for she Scudamore will not denay.' Britomart accosts him, and, after his grief has been somewhat composed by her words of sympathy, he explains further that the tyrant in whose hands Amoret is is a great enchanter, and that he keeps her guarded in her dungeon by many dreadful fiends. Desperate as the case looks, Britomart dues not hesitate to devote herself to the enterprise of the lady's rescue: — 'I will, with proof of last extremity, | Deliver her fro thence, or with her for you die.'
"The castle of Busirane is within a bow-shot of where they are. Riding up to it they dismount from their horses, when they find neither a warder nor even a gate to bar their entry, but within the porch a blazing fire mixed with smoke and sulphur, which so overpowers their senses with horror that they are forced instantly to retire. Even Britomart is dismayed by this reception, and, turning back to Scudamore, exclaims, 'What monstrous enmity provoke we here? | Foolhardy as the earth's children, the which made | Battle against the gods, so we a god invade.' In reply to her, Scudamore can only repeat his old cry of despair; the fire, he assures her, can neither be removed nor extinguished; wherefore, says he, 'What is there else but cease these fruitless pains, | And leave me to my former languishing! | Fair Amoret must dwell in wicked chains, | And Scudamore here die with sorrowing!' Britomart, however, will not so abandon the heroic adventure throwing her shield before her face, and pointing her sword forward, she boldly marches up to and assails the flame.... When Scudamore, however, attempts to follow her, he finds that he cannot pass, and is driven back all scorched and miserably burnt; so that the brave championess remains within the castle alone.
"She has now entered 'The utmost room, and passed the foremost door; | The utmost room abounding with all precious store'.... Great numbers of fair pictures still further adorn the tapestry, 'all of love and all of lustihead'.... Then, 'at the upper end of that fair room | There was an altar built of precious stone | Of passing value and of great renowm, | On which there stood an image all alone | Of massy gold, which with his own light shone'....
"Transfixed with astonishment, Britomart gazes long upon the splendid scene around her; then, looking back, she perceives written over the door the words 'Be Bold;' she cannot make out what the inscription may mean but, 'no whit thereby discouraged,' she advances boldly into the next room. 'Much fairer than the former was that room, | And richlier, by many parts, arrayed; | For not with arras made in painful loom, | But with pure gold it all was overlaid, | Wrought with wild anticks which their follies played | In the rich metal, as they living were'.... Britomart marvels greatly that all this while no living thing has appeared — that there should be nothing but emptiness and solemn silence over all the place. Then, as she looks around, she sees again the words 'Be bold, Be bold,' written over every door; till at last, at the upper end of the room in which she is, she discovers one iron door on which is written 'Be not too bold.' This perplexes her still more; but chance of penetrating the mystery for the present there seems none; night, too, now begins to wrap everything in darkness; so all she can do is to remain where she is, without either laying aside her armour or resigning herself to sleep" Spenser and his Poetry (1845; 1871) 2:66-73.
Britomart chaseth Ollyphant,
Finds Scudamore distress'd:
Assays the House of Busirane,
Where Love's Spoils are express'd.
O Hateful hellish Snake, what Fury first
Brought thee from baleful House of Proserpine,
Where in her Bosom she thee long had nurs'd,
And fostred up with bitter Milk of Tine,
Foul Jealousy, that turnest Love Divine
To joyless Dread, and mak'st the loving Heart
With hateful Thoughts to languish and to pine,
And feed it self with self-consuming Smart?
Of all the Passions in the Mind thou vilest art.
O! let him far be banished away,
And in his stead let Love for ever dwell;
Sweet Love, that doth his golden Wings embay
In blessed Nectar, and pure Pleasure's Well,
Untroubled of vile Fear, or bitter Fell.
And ye fair Ladies, that your Kingdoms make
In th' Hearts of Men, them govern wisely well,
And of fair Britomart Ensample take,
That was as true in Love, as Turtle to her Make.
Who with Sir Satyrane (as earst ye red)
Forth riding from Malbecco's hostless House,
Far off espy'd a young Man, the which fled
From an huge Giant, that with hideous
And hateful Out-rage long him chased thus;
It was that Ollyphant, the Brother dear
Of that Argante vile and vicious,
From whom the Squire of Dames was reft whylere;
This all as bad as she, and worse, if worse ought were.
For, as the Sister did in Feminine
And filthy Lust exceed all Woman-kind,
So he surpassed his Sex Masculine,
In beastly use, that I did ever find:
Whom when as Britomart beheld behind
The tearful Boy so greedily pursue,
She was emmoved in her noble Mind,
T' imploy her Puissaunce to his Rescue,
And pricked fiercely forward, where she him did view.
Ne was Sir Satyrane her far behind,
But with like Fierceness did ensue the Chace:
Whom, when the Giant saw, he soon resign'd
His former suit, and from them fled apace;
They after both, and boldly bade him bace,
And each did strive the other to out-go:
But he them both out-ran a wondrous space,
For, he was long and swift as any Roe,
And now made better Speed, t' escape his feared Foe.
It was not Satyrane whom he did fear,
But Britomart, the Flower of Chastity;
For, he the Power of chaste Hands might not bear,
But always did their dread Encounter fly:
And now so fast his Feet he did apply,
That he has gotten to a Forest near,
Where he is shrouded in Security:
The Wood they enter, and search every where,
They searched diversly; so both divided were.
Fair Britomart so long him followed,
That she at last came to a Fountain shear,
By which there lay a Knight all wallowed
Upon the grassy Ground, and by him near
His Haberjeon, his Helmet, and his Spear.
A little off, his Shield was rudely thrown,
On which the winged Boy in Colours dear
Depainted was, full easy to be known,
And he thereby, where-ever it in Field was shown.
His Face upon the Ground did groveling lie,
As if he had been slumbring in the Shade
That the brave Maid would not for Courtesy,
Out of his quiet Slumber him abraid,
Nor seem too suddenly him to invade:
Still as she stood, she heard with grievous Throb
Him groan, as if his Heart were pieces made,
And with most painful Pangs to sigh and sob,
That Pity did the Virgin's Heart of Patience rob.
At last, forth breaking into bitter Plaints,
He said: O sovereign Lord that sit'st on high,
And reign'st in Bliss emongst thy blessed Saints,
How suffrest thou such shameful cruelty,
So long unwreaked of thine Enemy?
Or hast thou, Lord, of good Mens Cause no heed?
Or doth thy Justice sleep, and silent lie?
What booteth then the good and righteous Deed,
If Goodness find no Grace? nor Righteousness no Meed?
If Good find Grace, and Righteousness Reward,
Why then is Amoret in caitive Band,
Sith that more bounteous Creature never far'd
On foot, upon the Face of living Land?
Or if that heavenly Justice may withstand
The wrongful Out-rage of unrighteous Men,
Why then is Busirane with wicked hand
Suffred, these seven Months day, in secret Den
My Lady and my Love so cruelly to pen?
My Lady and my Love, is cruell' pend
In doleful Darkness from the view of Day,
Whilst deadly Torments do her chaste Breast rend,
And the sharp Steel doth rive her Heart in tway,
All for she Scudamore will not denay.
Yet thou, vile Man, vile Scudamore, art sound,
Ne canst her aid, ne canst her Foe dismay;
Unworthy Wretch to tread upon the Ground,
For whom so fair a Lady feels so sore a Wound.
There an huge heap of Singults did oppress
His struggling Soul, and swelling Throbs empeach
His foltring Tongue with Pangs of Dreariness,
Choaking the Remnant of his plaintive speech,
As if his days were come to their last reach.
Which when she heard, and saw the ghastly Fit,
Threatning into his Life to make a Breach,
Both with great Ruth and Terror she was smit,
Fearing lest from her Cage the weary Soul would flit.
Tho, stooping down, she him amoved light;
Who there-with somewhat starting up 'gan look,
And seeing him behind a stranger Knight,
Where-as no living Creature he mistook,
With great Indignance he that Sight forsook,
And down again himself disdainfully
Abjecting, th' Earth with his fair Forehead strook.
Which the bold Virgin seeing, 'gan apply
Fit Medicine to his Grief, and spake thus courteously:
Ah! gentle Knight, whose deep conceived Grief
Well seems t' exceed the Power of Patience,
Yet if that heavenly Grace some good Relief
You send, submit you to high Providence;
And ever in your noble Heart prepense,
That all the Sorrow in the World, is less
Than Vertue's Might, and Value's Confidence;
For, who nill bide the Burden of Distress,
Must not here drink to live; for, Life is Wretchedness.
Therefore (fair Sir) do Comfort to you take,
And freely read, what wicked Felon so
Hath out-rag'd you, and thrall'd your gentle Make.
Perhaps this hand may help to ease your Woe,
And wreak your Sorrow on your cruel Foe,
At least, it fair Endeavour will apply.
Those feeling words so near the quick did go,
That up his Head he reared easily;
And leaning on his Elbow, these few words let fly:
What boots it 'plain, that cannot be redress'd,
And sow vain Sorrow in a fruitless Ear,
Sith Power of Hand, nor Skill of learned Breast,
Ne worldly Price cannot redeem my Dear
Out of her Thraldom and continual Fear?
For, he (the Tyrant) which her hath in Ward
By strong Enchauntments, and black Magick lear,
Hath in a Dungeon deep her close embar'd,
And many dreadful Fiends hath pointed to her Guard.
There he tormenteth her most terribly,
And Day and Night afflicts with mortal Pain,
Because to yield him Love she doth deny,
Once to me yold, not to be yold again:
But yet by Torture he would her constrain:
Love to conceive in her disdainful Breast;
Till so she do, she must in Dool remain,
Ne may by living means be thence releas'd:
What boots it then to 'plain, that cannot be redress'd?
With this sad Hersal of his heavy stress,
The warlike Damzel was empassion'd sore,
And said; Sir Knight, your Cause is nothing less
Than is your Sorrow, certes if not more;
For, nothing so much Pity doth implore,
As gentle Lady's helpless Misery.
But yet, if please ye listen to my Lore,
I will (with proof of last Extremity)
Deliver her from thence, or with her for you die.
Ah! gentlest Knight alive, said Scudamore;
What huge heroick Magnanimity
Dwells in thy bounteous Breast? What couldst thou move,
If she were thine, and thou as now am I?
O spare thy happy days, and them apply
To better boot, but let me die that ought;
More is more loss: one is enough to die.
Life is not lost, said she, for which is bought
Endless Renown, that more than Death is to be sought.
Thus, she at length persuaded him to rise,
And with her wend, to see what new Success
Mote him befall upon new Enterprize.
His Arms, which he had vow'd to disprofess,
She gather'd up, and did about him dress,
And his forwandred Steed unto him got:
So forth they both yfere make their Progress,
And march not past the Mount'naunce of a Shot,
Till they arriv'd, where-as their purpose they did plot.
There they dismounting, drew their Weapons bold,
And stoutly came unto the Castle-Gate;
Where-as no Gate they found them to with hold,
Nor Ward to wait at Morn and Evening late;
But in the Porch (that did them sore amate)
A flaming Fire, ymix'd with smouldry Smoke,
And stinking Sulphur, that with griesly Hate
And dreadful Horror did all Entrance choake,
Enforced them their forward footing to revoke.
Greatly thereat was Britomart dismay'd,
Ne in that stound wist how her self to bear;
For, Danger vain it were, to have assay'd
That cruel Element, which all things fear,
Ne none can suffer to approachen near:
And turning back to Scudamore, thus said;
What monstrous Enmity provoke we here,
Fool-hardy, as th' Earth's Children, the which made
Battle against the Gods? so we a God invade.
Danger without Discretion to attempt,
Inglorious and Beast-like is: therefore, Sir Knight,
Aread what Course of you is safest dempt,
And how we with our Foe may come to fight.
This is, quoth he, the dolorous Despite,
Which earst to you I 'plain'd: for, neither may
This Fire be quench'd by any Wit or Might,
Ne yet by any means remov'd away,
So mighty be th' Enchauntments, which the same do stay.
What is there else, but cease these fruitless Pains,
And leave me to my former languishing?
Fair Amoret must dwell in wicked Chains,
And Scudamore here die with sorrowing.
Perdy not so, said she; for, shameful thing
It were t' abandon noble Chevisaunce,
For shew of Peril, without venturing:
Rather let try Extremities of Chaunce,
Than enterprized Praise for dread to disavaunce.
There-with, resolv'd to prove her utmost Might,
Her ample Shield she threw before her Face,
And (her Sword's Point directing forward right)
Assail'd the Flame, the which eftsoons gave place,
And did it self divide with equal space,
That through she passed: as a Thunder-bolt
Pierceth the yielding Air, and doth displace
The soaring Clouds into sad Showers ymolt;
So to her yold the Flames, and did their Force revolt.
Whom, when as Scudamore saw past the Fire,
Safe and untouch'd, he likewise 'gan assay,
With greedy Will, and envious Desire,
And bade the stubborn Flames to yield him way:
But cruel Mulciber would not obey
His threatful Pride; but did the more augment
His mighty Rage, and his imperious Sway
Him forc'd (maulger) his fierceness to relent,
And back retire, all scorch'd and pitifully brent.
With huge impatience he inly swelt,
More for great Sorrow that he could not pass,
Than for the burning Torment which he felt,
That with fell Woodness he effierced was;
And wilfully him throwing on the Grass,
Did beat and bounce his Head and Breast full sore:
The whiles, the Championess now entred has
The utmost Room, and past the formost Door;
The utmost Room abounding with all precious Store.
For, round about, the Walls yclothed were
With goodly Arras of great Majesty,
Woven with Gold and Silk so close and near,
That the rich Metal lurked privily,
As feigning to be hid from envious Eye:
Yet here, and there, and every where unwares
It shew'd it self, and shone unwillingly;
Like a discolour'd Snake, whose hidden Snares
Through the green Grass, his long bright burnish'd Back declares.
And in those Tapets weren fashioned
Many fair Pourtraicts, and many a fair Feat;
And all of Love, and all of Lusty-hed,
As seemed by their Semblant, did entreat:
And eke all Cupid's Wars they did repeat,
And cruel Battles, which he whilom fought
'Gainst all the Gods, to make his Empire great;
Besides the huge Massacres which he wrought
On mighty Kings and Caesars, into Thraldom brought.
Therein was writ, how often thundring Jove
Had felt the Point of his heart-piercing Dart,
And leaving Heaven's Kingdom, here did rove
In strange Disguise, to slake his scalding Smart;
Now like a Ram, fair Helle to pervert,
Now like a Bull, Europa to withdraw:
Ah! how the fearful Lady's tender Heart
Did lively seem to tremble, when she saw
The huge Seas under her t' obey her Servant's Law.
Soon after that into a golden Shower
Himself he chang'd, fair Danae to view;
And through the Roof of her strong brazen Tower
Did rain into her Lap an honey Dew;
The whiles her foolish Guard, that little knew
Of such Deceit, kept th' iron Door fast barr'd,
And watch'd, that none should enter nor issue;
Vain was the Watch, and bootless all the Ward,
Whenas the God to golden Hue himself transfer'd.
Then was he turn'd into a snowy Swan,
To win fair Leda to his lovely Trade:
O! wondrous Skill, and sweet Wit of the Man,
That her in Daffadillies sleeping made,
From scorching Heat her dainty Limbs to shade
Whiles the proud Bird ruffing his Feathers wide,
And brushing his fair Breast, did her invade;
She Slept, yet 'twixt her Eye-lids closely spy'd
How towards her he rush'd, and smiled at his Pride.
Then shew'd it, how the Theban Semele,
Deceiv'd of jealous Juno, did require
To see him in his sovereign Majesty,
Arm'd with his Thunder-bolts and lightning Fire,
Whence dearly she with Death bought her Desire.
But fair Alcmena better Match did make,
Joying his Love in likeness more entire;
Three Nights in one, they say, that for her sake
He then did put, his Pleasures lenger to partake.
Twice was he seen in soaring Eagle's shape,
And with wide Wings to beat the buxom Air:
Once when he with Asterie did 'scape;
Again, when as the Trojan Boy so fair
He snatch'd from Ida Hill, and with him bare:
Wondrous delight it was, there to behold,
How the rude Shepherds after him did stare,
Trembling, through Fear, lest down he fallen should,
And often to him calling, to take surer hold.
In Satyr's Shape, Antiopa he snatch'd:
And like a Fire, when he Aegin' assay'd:
A Shepherd, when Mnemosyne he catch'd:
And like a Serpent to the Thracian Maid.
Whiles thus on Earth great Jove these Pageants play'd,
The winged Boy did thrust into his Throne,
And scoffing, thus unto his Mother said:
Lo! now the Heavens obey to me alone.
And take me for their Jove, while Jove to Earth is gone.
And thou, fair Phoebus, in thy Colours bright
Was't there enwoven, and the sad Distress
In which that Boy thee plonged, for despite
That thou betrayd'st his Mother's Wantonness,
When she with Mars was meynt in Joyfulness:
For-thy he thrill'd thee with a leaden Dart,
To love fair Daphne, which thee loved less;
Less she thee lov'd, than was thy just Desert:
Yet was thy Love her Death, and her Death was thy Smart.
So lovedst thou the lusty Hyacinth,
So lovedst thou the fair Coronis dear;
Yet both are of thy hapless Hand extinct,
Yet both in Flowers do live, and Love thee bear,
The one a Paunce, the other a Sweet-briar:
For Grief whereof, ye mote have lively seen
The God himself rending his golden Hair,
And breaking quite his Girlond ever green,
With other signs of Sorrow and impatient Teen.
Both for those two, and for his own dear Son,
The Son of Clymene he did repent,
Who bold to guide the Chariot of the Sun,
Himself in thousand pieces fondly rent,
And all the World with flashing Fire brent,
So like, that all the Walls did seem to flame
Yet cruel Cupid, not herewith content,
Forc'd him eftsoons to follow other Game,
And love a Shepherd's Daughter for his dearest Dame.
He loved Isse for his dearest Dame,
And for her sake her Cattle fed awhile,
And for her sake a Cow-herd vile became,
The Servant of Admetus' Cow-herd vile,
Whiles that from Heaven he suffered Exile.
Long were to tell each other lovely Fit,
Now like a Lion, hunting after Spoil,
Now like a Hag, now like a Falcon flit:
All which in that fair Arras was most lively writ.
Next unto him was Neptune pictured,
In his divine Resemblance wondrous like:
His Face was rugged, and his hoary Head
Dropped with brackish Dew; his three-fork'd Pike
He sternly shook, and therewith fierce did strike
The raging Billows, that on every side
They trembling stood, and made a long broad Dike,
That his swift Chariot might have Passage wide,
Which four great Hippodames did draw in Team-wise ty'd.
His Sea-horses did seem to snort amain,
And from their Nostrils blow the briny Stream,
That made the sparkling Waves to smoke again,
And flame with Gold: but the white foamy Cream
Did shine with Silver, and shoot forth his Beam.
The God himself did pensive seem and sad,
And hung adown his Head, as he did dream:
For, privy Love his Breast empierced had;
Ne ought, but dear Bisaltis, ay could make him glad.
He loved eke Iphimedia dear,
And Aeolus' fair Daughter, Arne hight;
For whom he turn'd himself into a Steer,
And fed on Fodder, to beguile her sight.
Also to win Deucalion's Daughter bright,
He turn'd himself into a Dolphin fair;
And like a winged Horse he took his flight,
To snaky-lock Medusa to repair,
On whom he got fair Pegasus, that flitteth in the Air.
Next Saturn was, (but who would ever ween,
That sullen Saturn ever ween'd to love?
Yet Love is sullen, and Saturn-like seen,
As he did for Erigone it prove)
That to a Centaure did himself transmove.
So prov'd it eke that gracious God of Wine,
When for to compass Philliras' hard Love,
He turn'd himself into a fruitful Vine,
And into her fair Bosom made his Grapes decline.
Long were to tell the amorous Assays,
And gentle Pangs, with which he maked meek
The mighty Mars, to learn his wanton plays:
How oft for Venus, and how often eke
For many other Nymphs he sore did shriek;
With womanish Tears, and with unwarlike Smarts
Privily moistening his horrid Cheek.
There was he painted full of burning Darts,
And many wide Wounds lanced through his inward Parts.
Ne did he spare (so cruel was the Elf)
His own dear Mother, (ah why should he so!)
Ne did he spare sometime to prick himself,
That he might taste the sweet consuming Woe,
Which he had wrought to many others moe.
But, to declare the mournful Tragedies,
And Spoils, wherewith he all the Ground did strow,
More eath to number with how many Eyes
High Heaven beholds sad Lovers nightly Thieveries.
Kings, Queens, Lords, Ladies, Knights and Damzels gent
Were heap'd together with the vulgar sort,
And mingled with the rascal Rabblement,
Without respect of Person or of Port,
To shew Dan Cupid's Power and great Effort:
And round about, a Border was entrail'd
Of broken Bows and Arrows shiver'd short;
And a long bloody River through them rail'd,
So lively and so like, that living Sense it fail'd.
And at the upper end of that fair Room,
There was an Altar built of precious Stone,
Of passing Value, and of great Renown,
On which there stood an Image all alone
Of massy Gold, which with his own Light shone;
And Wings it had with sundry Colours dight,
More sundry Colours than the proud Pavone
Bears in his boasted Fan, or Iris bright,
When her discolour'd Bow she spreads through Heaven bright.
Blindfold he was, and in his cruel Fist
A mortal Bow and Arrows keen did hold,
With which he shot at random, when him list,
Some headed with sad Lead, some with pure Gold;
(Ah! Man beware, how thou those Darts behold!)
A wounded Dragon under him did lie,
Whose hideous Tail his left Foot did enfold,
And with a Shaft was shot through either Eye,
That no Man forth might draw, ne no Man remedy.
And underneath his Feet was written thus,
Unto the Victor of the Gods this be:
And all the People in that ample House
Did to that Image bow their humble Knee,
And oft committed foul Idolatry.
That wondrous sight fair Britomart amaz'd,
Ne seeing could her wonder satisfy,
But ever more and more upon it gaz'd,
The whiles the passing Brightness her frail Senses daz'd.
Tho, as she backward cast her busy Eye,
To search each Secret of that goodly Sted,
Over the Door thus written she did spy,
Be bold: She oft and oft it over-read,
Yet could not find what Sense it figured:
But what-so were therein or writ or meant,
She was no whit thereby discouraged
From prosecuting of her first Intent,
But forward with bold steps into the next Room went.
Much fairer than the former was that Room,
And richlier by many parts array'd;
For, not with Arras made in painful Loom,
But with pure Gold it all was over-laid,
Wrought with wild Anticks, which their Follies play'd
In the rich Metal, as they living were:
A thousand monstrous Forms therein were made,
Such as false Love doth oft upon him wear;
For, Love in thousand monstrous Forms doth oft appear.
And all about, the glistring Walls were hong
With warlike Spoils, and with victorious Preys
Of mighty Conquerors and Captains strong,
Which were whilom captived in their days
To cruel Love, and wrought their own Decays:
Their Swords and Spears were broke, and Hauberques rent:
And their proud Girlonds of triumphant Bays
Trodden in Dust with Fury insolent,
To shew the Victor's Might and merciless Intent.
The warlike Maid, beholding earnestly
The goodly Ordinance of this rich place,
Did greatly wonder, ne could satisfy
Her greedy Eyes with gazing a long space:
But more she mervail'd, that no Footing's Trace,
Nor Wight appear'd, but wasteful Emptiness,
And solemn Silence over all that place:
Strange thing it seem'd, that none was to possess
So rich Purveyance, ne them keep with carefulness.
And as she look'd about, she did behold,
How over that same Door was likewise writ,
Be bold, Be bold, and every where Be bold;
That much she mus'd, yet could not construe it
By any riddling Skill, or common Wit.
At last she spy'd, at that Room's upper end,
Another iron Door, on which was writ,
Be not too bold; whereto though she did bend
Her earnest Mind, yet wist not what it might intend.
Thus there she waited until Eventide,
Yet living Creature none she saw appear:
And now sad Shadows 'gan the World to hide
From mortal view, and wrap in Darkness drear;
Yet n'ould she doff her weary Arms, for fear
Of secret Danger, ne let Sleep oppress
Her heavy Eyes with Nature's burden dear,
But drew her self aside in Sickerness,
And her well-pointed Weapons did about her dress.
[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 2:517-31]