George L. Craik: "Canto IV. (61 stanzas). — The glory of all antique heroines, the poet assures us, is eclipsed by that of noble Britomart; 'well worthy stock,' he exclaims, 'from which the branches sprong | That in late years so fair a blossom bare, | As thee, O Queen, the matter of my song, | Whose lineage from this lady I derive along.' She and her companion having parted, as has been told, after binding themselves to each other in 'a friendly league of love perpetual,' 'Britomart kept on her former course, | Ne ever doffed her arms; but all the way | Grew pensive through that amorous discourse, | By which the Redcross Knight did erst display | Her lover's shape and chivalrous array'.... At last she and her old squire come to the sea-coast. Here sitting down, she pours out her lament to the waves, not more restless than the billows of passion that toss her heart.... She is soon roused, however, by the approach of an armed and mounted knight, who when he comes up instantly and sternly demands that she should fly without loss of a moment from a way or road which he claims as his own. 'Ythrilled with deep disdain of his proud threat, | She shortly thus; Fly they, that need to fly'.... And with these words, staying for no reply, she dashes against the stranger knight, who at the same time boldly advances and strikes her full in the breast, so as to make her 'down | Decline her head, and touch her crupper with her crown;' but she, nevertheless, sends her spear through the three-square scutcheon on his shield into his left side, and, pitching him the full length of the shaft from his seat, lays him on the sand tumbled together in a heap and wallowing in his blood....
"Marinel, who has been thus overthrown, is the son of black-browed Cymoent, daughter of great Nereus, by an earthly father, 'the famous Dumarin;' he was brought up by his mother in a rocky cave, 'till he became | A mighty man at arms, and mickle fame'.... At the request of Cymoent, his grandfather had endowed him with such abundance of wealth as never was possessed by offspring of earthly womb: — 'his heaped waves he did command | Out of their hollow bosom forth to throw | All the huge threasure which the sea below | Had in his greedy gulf devoured deep'.... Proteus had ere this alarmed Cymoent by foretelling her, though in the usual deluding language of prophecy, what would be the fate of her son: he, 'through foresight of his eternal skill, | Bade her from womankind to keep him well; | For of a woman he should have much ill; | A virgin strange and stout him should dismay or kill'.... Tidings of what has befallen him are now brought to his mother.... At sight of Marinel, his mother, we are told, made such piteous moan, 'That the hard rocks could scarce from tears refrain,' her sister nymphs accompanying her with their sobs and cries. She inveighs against 'Fond Proteus, father of false prophecies,' and those more fond who believe him, for here, as she says, is evidently no work of woman's hand. Then, softly taking off his armour, and spreading on the ground beneath him their 'watchet,' or blue, mantles fringed with silver, they bind up the wound, and pour into it 'sovereign balm and nectar good, | Good both for earthly medicine and for heavenly food. 'The lily-handed Liagore,' who had been taught leech-craft by great Apollo, by whom she was the mother of Paeon, now feels his pulse, and revives some hope in the heart of Cymoent by assuring her that some little spark of life still remains. On this they take him up in their tender hands, and bear him softly to his mother's chariot....
"The story now returns to Prince Arthur and Guyon, who, it may be remembered, were left in the First Canto engaged in the pursuit of Florimel, while Timias, the Prince's squire, went after the wicked foster from whom the lady was flying. After chasing 'the fearful damsel' together for some time, 'Through thick and thin, through mountains and through plains,' the two knights had at last separated, each taking one of two ways into which the road divided. It was the Prince's fortune to choose that which brought him within view of the lady, whom, however, he cannot prevail upon to stop with all his courteous and re-assuring words; so that, after riding till clouds have covered the nocturnal sky and concealed the long risen stars, he is obliged to give up the hopeless attempt to catch her, and, dismounting, he lays himself down on the grass to sleep. But no sleep will come; a thousand fancies beat his idle brain with their light wings; he wishes and half hopes that the lady fair may be his Fairy Queen herself; and he pours out his reproaches on the night, which has reft her from him.... Thus he spends the time 'in restless anguish and unquiet pain,' till the re-appearance of the light, when, 'half in great disdain,' he again mounts his steed, and 'with heavy look and lumpish pace,' the animal accommodating his steps to his master's mood of mind, pursues his way" Spenser and his Poetry (1845; 1871) 2:27-34.
Bold Marinel, of Britomart,
Is thrown on the Rich Strond:
Fair Florimel, of Arthur, is
Long follow'd, but not fond.
Where is the antique Glory now become
That whilome wont in Women to appear?
Where be the brave Atchievements done by some?
Where be the Battles, where the Shield and Spear,
And all the Conquests, which them high did rear,
That Matter made for famous Poets Verse,
And boastful Men so oft abash'd to hear?
Been they all dead, and laid in doleful Herse?
Or doen they only sleep, and shall again reverse?
If they be dead, then woe is me therefore
But if they sleep, O let them soon awake;
For all too long I burn with Envy sore,
To hear the warlike Feats, which Homer spake
Of bold Panthesilee, which made a Lake
Of Greekish Blood so oft in Trojan Plain:
But when I read, how stout Debora strake
Proud Sisera, and how Camil' hath slain
The huge Orsilochus, I swell with great Disdain.
Yet these, and all that else had Puissance,
Cannot with noble Britomart compare,
As well for Glory of great Valiance,
As for pure Chastity and Vertue rare;
That all her goodly Deeds do well declare.
Well worthy Stock, from which the Branches sprong,
That in late Years so fair a Blossom bare,
As thee, O Queen! the Matter of my Song,
Whose Lineage from this Lady I derive along.
Who when thro Speeches with the Redcross Knight,
She learned had th' Estate of Arthegall,
And in each Point her self inform'd aright,
A friendly League of Love perpetual
She with him bound, and Conge took withal.
Then he forth on his Journey did proceed,
To seek Adventures, which mote him befal,
And win him Worship thro his warlike Deed,
Which always of his Pains he made the chiefest Meed.
But Britomart kept on her former Course,
Ne ever doft her Arms, but all the way,
Grew pensive thro that amorous Discourse,
By which the Redcross Knight did earst display
Her Lover's Shape, and chevalrous Array:
A thousand Thoughts she fashion'd in her Mind,
And in her feigning Fancy did pourtray
Him such, as fittest she for Love could find.
Wise, warlike, personable, courteous, and kind.
With such self-pleasing Thoughts her Wound she fed,
And thought so to beguile her grievous Smart;
But so her Smart was much more grievous bred,
And the deep Wound more deep engor'd her Heart,
That nought but Death her Dolour mote depart.
So forth she rode without Repose or Rest,
Searching all Lands and each remotest Part,
Following the Guidance of her blinded Guest,
Till that to the Sea-Coast at length she had address'd.
There she alighted from her light-foot Beast,
And sitting down upon the rocky Shore,
Bade her old Squire unlace her lofty Crest;
Tho, having view'd awhile the Surges hore,
That 'gainst the craggy Clifts did loudly rore,
And in their raging Surquedry disdain'd,
That the fast Earth affronted them so sore,
And their devouring Covetize restrain'd;
Thereat she sighed deep, and after thus complain'd:
Huge Sea of Sorrow, and tempestuous Grief,
Wherein my feeble Bark is tossed long,
Far from the hoped Haven of Relief,
Who do thy cruel Billows beat so strong,
And thy moist Mountains each on others throng,
Threatning to swallow up my fearful Life!
O do thy cruel Wrath and spightful Wrong
At length allay, and stint thy stormy Strife,
Which in these troubled Bowels reigns, and rageth rife.
For else my feeble Vessel craz'd, and crackt
Thro thy strong Buffets and outrageous Blows,
Cannot endure, but needs it must be wreckt
On the rough Rocks, or on the sandy Shallows,
The whiles that Love it steers, and Fortune rows:
Love, my leud Pilot, hath a restless Mind,
And Fortune, Boatswain, no Assurance knows,
But sail withouten Stars, 'gainst Tide and Wind:
How can they other do, sith both are bold and blind?
Thou God of Winds, that reignest in the Seas,
That reignest also in the Continent,
At last blow up some gentle Gale of Ease,
The which may bring my Ship, e'er it be rent,
Unto the gladsom Port of her Intent:
Then when I shall my self in Safety see,
A Table for eternal Monument
Of thy great Grace, and my great Jeopardy,
Great Neptune, I avow to hallow unto thee.
Then sighing softly sore, and inly deep,
She shut up all her 'Plaint in privy Grief;
For her great Courage would not let her weep,
Till that old Glauce 'gan with sharp Reprief
Her to restrain, and give her good Relief,
Thro hope of those, which Merlin had her told
Should of her Name and Nation be chief,
And fetch their Being from the sacred Mold
Of her immortal Womb, to be in Heaven enrol'd.
Thus as she her recomforted, she spy'd,
Where far away one all in Armour bright,
With hastly Gallop towards her did ride:
Her Dolour soon she ceas'd, and on her dight
Her Helmet, to her Courser mounting light;
Her former Sorrow into suddain Wrath,
Both cousin Passions of distroubled Spright,
Converting, forth she beats the dusty Path:
Love and Despight at once her Courage kindled hath.
As when a foggy Mist hath overcast
The face of Heaven, and the clear Air engrost,
The World in Darkness dwells, till that at last
The watry South-wind, from the Sea-bord Coast,
Upblowing, doth disperse the Vapour lost,
And pours it self forth in a stormy Shower:
So the fair Britomart, having disclos'd
Her cloudy Care into a wrathful Stower,
The midst of Grief dissolv'd, did into Vengeance pour.
Eftsoons her goodly Shield addressing fair,
That mortal Spear she in her Hand did take,
And unto Battle did her self prepare:
The Knight approaching, sternly her bespake;
Sir Knight, that dost thy Voyage rashly make
By this forbidden way in my despight,
Ne dost by others Death ensample take,
I read thee soon retire, whiles thou hast Might,
Lest afterwards it be too late to take thy Flight.
Ythrill'd with deep Disdain of his proud Threat,
She shortly thus: Fly they that need to fly;
Words fearen Babes. I mean not thee intreat
To pass; but mauger thee will pass or die.
Ne lenger stay'd for th' other to reply,
But with sharp Spear the rest made dearly known.
Strongly the strange Knight ran, and sturdily
Stroke her full on the Breast, that made her down
Decline her head, and touch her Crouper with her Crown.
But she again him in the Shield did smite
With so fierce Fury and great Puissance,
That thro his threesquare Scuchin piercing quite,
And thro his mailed Hauberque, by mischaunce
The wicked Steel thro his left Side did glaunce;
Him so transfixed, she before her bore
Beyond his Croup, the length of all her Launce,
Till sadly soucing on the sandy Shore,
He tumbled on an heap, and wallow'd in his Gore.
Like as the sacred Ox, that careless stands,
With gilden Horns, and flowry Girlonds crown'd,
Proud of his dying Honour and dear Bands,
Whiles th' Altars fume with Frankincense around;
All suddenly with mortal Stroke astown'd,
Doth groveling fall, and with his streaming Gore
Distains the Pillours, and the holy Ground,
And the fair Flowers that decked him afore:
So fell proud Marinel upon the precious Shore.
The martial Maid stay'd not him to lament,
But forward rode, and kept her ready way
Along the Strond: which as she over-went,
She saw bestrowed all with rich Array
Of Pearls and precious Stones of great Assay,
And all the Gravel mix'd with golden Ore;
Whereat she wondred much, but would not stray
For Gold, or Pearls, or precious Stones an hour,
But them despised all; for all was in her power.
Whiles thus he lay in deadly 'stonishment,
Tidings hereof came to his Mother's Ear;
His Mother was the black-brow'd Cymoent,
The Daughter of great Nereus, which did bear
This warlike Son unto an earthly Peer,
The famous Dumarin; who on a day
Finding the Nymph asleep in secret where,
As he by chance did wander that same way,
Was taken with her Love, and by her closely lay.
There he this Knight of her begot; whom born,
She of his Father Marinel did name,
And in a rocky Cave, as Wight forlorn,
Long time she fostred up, till he became
A mighty Man at Arms, and mickle Fame
Did get thro great Adventures by him done;
For never Man he suffred by that same
Rich Strond to travel, whereas he did wonne,
But that he must do Battle with the Sea-Nymph's Son.
An hundred Knights of honourable Name
He had subdu'd, and them his Vassals made,
That thro all Fairy-Lond his noble Fame
Now blazed was, and Fear did all invade,
That none durst passen thro that perilous Glade:
And to advaunce his Name and Glory more,
Her Sea-God Sire she dearly did persuade
T' endow her Son with Threasure and rich Store,
'Bove all the Sons, that were of earthly Wombs ybore.
The God did grant his Daughter's dear Demaund,
To doen his Nephew in all Riches flow;
Eftsoons his heaped Waves he did commaund,
Out of their hollow Bosom forth to throw
All the huge Threasure, which the Sea below
Had in his greedy Gulf devoured deep,
And him enriched thro the Overthrow
And Wrecks of many Wretches, which did weep,
And often wail their Wealth, which he from them did keep.
Shortly upon that Shore there heaped was
Exceeding Riches and all precious things,
The Spoil of all the World, that it did pass
The Wealth of th' East, and Pomp of Persian Kings;
Gold, Amber, Ivory, Pearls, Owches, Rings,
And all that else was precious and dear,
The Sea unto him voluntary brings,
That shortly he a great Lord did appear,
As was in all the Lond of Fairy, or elsewhere.
Thereto he was a doughty dreaded Knight,
Try'd often to the Scath of many dear,
That none in equal Arms him matchen might:
The which his Mother seeing, 'gan to fear
Lest his too haughty Hardiness might rear
Some hard Mishap, in hazard of his Life;
For-thy she oft him counsel'd to forbear
The bloody Battel, and to stir up Strife,
But after all his War, to rest his weary Knife.
And for his more Assurance, she enquir'd
One day of Proteus by his mighty Spell
(For Proteus was with Prophecy inspir'd)
Her dear Son's Destiny to her to tell,
And the sad end of her sweet Marinell.
Who, through Foresight of his eternal Skill,
Bad her from Woman-kind to keep him well:
For, of a Woman he should have much ill,
A Virgin strange and stout him should dismay, or kill.
For-thy she gave him Warning every day,
The Love of Women not to entertain;
A Lesson too too hard for living Clay,
From Love in course of Nature to refrain:
Yet he his Mother's Lore did well retain,
And ever from fair Ladies Love did fly;
Yet many Ladies fair did oft complain,
That they for love of him would algates die:
Die, whoso list for him, he was Love's Enemy.
But ah! who can deceive his Destiny,
Or ween by Warning to avoid his Fate?
That when he sleeps in most security,
And safest seems, him soonest doth amate,
And findeth due effect or soon or late:
So feeble is the Power of fleshly Arm!
His Mother bad him Womens Love to hate,
For, she of Woman's Force did fear no Harm;
So weening to have arm'd him, she did quite disarm.
This was that Woman, this that deadly Wound,
That Proteus prophesy'd should him dismay;
The which his Mother vainly did expound,
To be heart-wounding Love, which should assay
To bring her Son unto his last decay.
So fickle be the Terms of mortal State,
And full of subtle Sophisms, which do play
With double Senses, and with false Debate,
T' approve the unknown purpose of eternal Fate.
Too true the famous Marinell it found,
Who through late trial, on that wealthy Strond
Inglorious now lies in sensless Swoond,
Through heavy Stroke of Britomartis' hond;
Which when his Mother dear did understond,
And heavy Tidings heard, where-as she play'd
Amongst her watry Sisters by a Pond,
Gathering sweet Daffadillies, to have made
Bay Garlands, from the Sun their Foreheads fair to shade:
Eftsoons both flowers and Garlands far away
She flong, and her fair dewy Locks yrent,
To Sorrow huge she turn'd her former Play,
And gamesome Mirth to grievous Dreriment:
She threw her self down on the Continent,
Ne word did speak, but lay as in a Swoon,
Whiles all her Sisters did for her lament,
With yelling Out-cries, and with shrieking Sound;
And every one did tear her Garland from her Crown.
Soon as she up out of her deadly Fit
Arose, she bad her chariot to be brought,
And all her Sisters, that with her did sit,
Bad eke at once their Chariots to be sought:
Tho, full of bitter Grief and pensive Thought,
She to her Waggon clomb; clomb all the rest,
And forth together went, with Sorrow fraught.
The Waves, obedient to their Behest,
Them yielded ready Passage, and their Rage surceas'd.
Great Neptune stood amazed at their sight,
Whiles on his broad round Back they softly slid,
And eke himself mourn'd at their mournful Plight;
Yet wist not what their wailing meant, yet did,
For great Compassion of their Sorrow, bid
His mighty Waters to them buxom be:
Eftsoons the roaring Billows still abid,
And all the griesly Monsters of the Sea
Stood gaping at their Gate, and wondred them to see.
A Teme of Dolphins ranged in array,
Drew the smooth Chariot of sad Cymoent;
They were all taught by Triton, to obey
To the long Trains, at her commaundement:
As swift as Swallows on the Waves they went,
That their broad flaggy Fins no Foam did rear,
Ne bubbling Roundell they behind them sent;
The rest, of other Fishes drawen were,
Which with their finny Oars the swelling Sea did shear.
Soon as they been arriv'd upon the Brim
Of the Rich strond, their Chariots they forlore,
And let their temed Fishes softly swim
Along the Margent of the foamy Shore,
Lest they their Fins should bruise, and surbate sore
Their tender Feet upon the stony Ground:
And coming to the place, where all in Gore
And cruddy Blood enwallowed, they found
The luckless Marinell, lying in deadly Swoond;
His Mother swooned thrice, and the third time
Could scarce recover'd be out of her Pain;
Had she not been devoid of mortal Slime,
She should not then have been reliev'd again:
But soon as Life recover'd had the Rein,
She made so piteous Moan and dear Wayment,
That the hard Rocks could scarce from Tears refrain,
And all her Sister Nymphs with one consent
Supply'd her sobbing Breaches with sad Compliment.
Dear Image of my self, she said, that is
The wretched Son of wretched Mother born,
Is this thine high Advauncement? O! is this
Th' immortal Name, with which thee yet unborn
Thy Gransire Nereus promis'd to adorn?
Now liest thou of Life and Honour reft;
Now liest thou a Lump of Earth forlorn,
Ne of thy late Life memory is left,
Ne can thy irrevocable Destiny be weft.
Fond Proteus, Father of false Prophecies,
And they more fond that Credit to thee give,
Not this the work of Woman's hand ywis,
That so deep Wound through these dear Members drive.
I feared Love: but they that love, do live;
But they that die, do neither love nor hate.
Nath'less, to thee thy Folly I forgive,
And to my self, and to accursed Fate
The Guilt I do ascribe: dear Wisdom bought too late.
O! what avails it of immortal Seed
To been ybred and never born to die?
Far better I it deem to die with speed,
Than waste in Woe and wailful Misery.
Who dies, the utmost Dolour doth able;
But who that lives, is left to wail his Loss:
So Life is Loss, and Death Felicity.
Sad Life worse than glad Death, and greater Cross
To see Friend's Grave, than dead the Grave self to engross.
But if the Heavens did his Days envy,
And my short Bliss malign, yet mote they well
Thus much afford me, ere that he did die,
That the dim Eyes of my dear Marinell
I mote have closed, and him bid farewel,
Sith other Offices for Mother meet
They would not graunt.
Yet mauger them, farewel my sweetest Sweet;
Farewel my sweetest Son, sith we no more shall meet.
Thus when they all had sorrowed their fill,
They softly 'gan to search his griesly Wound:
And that they might him handle more at will,
They him disarm'd, and spreading on the Ground
Their watchet Mantles fring'd with silver round,
They softly wip'd away the jelly Blood
From th' Orifice; which having well up-bound,
They pour'd in sovereign Balm, and Nectar good,
Good both for earthly Med'cine, and for heavenly Food.
Tho, when the Lilly-handed Liagore
(This Liagore whilom had learned Skill
In Leaches craft, by great Apollo's Lore,
Sith her whilom upon high Pindus' Hill
He loved, and at last her Womb did fill
With heavenly Seed, whereof wise Paeon sprong)
Did feel his Pulse, she knew there stayed still
Some little Life his feeble Sprites emong;
Which to his Mother told, Despair she from her flong.
Tho, him up-taking in their tender Hands,
They easily unto her Chariot bear:
Her Teme at her commaundment quiet stands,
Whiles they the Corse into her Waggon rear,
And strow with Flowers the lamentable Bier:
Then all the rest into their Coaches climb,
And through the brackish Waves their passage shear;
Upon great Neptune's Neck they softly swim,
And to her watry Chamber swiftly carry him.
Deep in the bottom of the Sea, her Bower
Is built, of hollow Billows heaped high,
Like to thick Clouds, that threat a stormy Shower,
And vaulted all within, like to the Sky,
In which the Gods do dwell eternally:
There they him laid in easy Couch well dight,
And sent in haste for Tryphon, to apply
Salves to his Wounds, and Medicines of Might;
For, Tryphon of Sea-Gods the sovereign Leach is hight.
The whiles, the Nymphs sit all about him round,
Lamenting his Mishap and heavy Plight;
And oft his Mother viewing his wide Wound,
Cursed the Hand that did so deadly smite
Her dearest Son, her dearest Heart's Delight.
But none of all those Curses overtook
The warlike Maid, th' ensample of that Might;
But fairly well she thriv'd, and well did brook
Her noble Deeds, ne her right Course for ought forsook.
Yet did false Archimage her still pursue,
To bring to pass his mischievous Intent,
Now that he had her singled from the Crew
Of curteous Knights, the Prince, and Fairy Gent,
Whom late in Chace of Beauty excellent
She left, pursuing that same Foster strong;
Of whose foul Outrage they impatient,
And full of fiery Zeal, him follow'd long,
To rescue her from Shame, and to revenge her Wrong.
Through thick and thin, through Mountains and through Plains,
Those two great Champions did at once pursue
The fearful Damzel, with incessant Pains:
Who from them fled, as light-foot Hare from view
Of Hunters swift, and Scent of Houndes true.
At last, they came unto a double way,
Where, doubtful which to take, her to rescue,
Themselves they did dispart, each to assay,
Whether more happy were, to win so goodly Prey.
But Timias, the Prince's gentle Squire,
That Lady's Love unto his Lord forlent,
And with proud Envy and indignant Ire,
After that wicked Foster fiercely went.
So been they three three sundry ways ybent:
But fairest Fortune to the Prince befel,
Whose chaunce it was, that soon he did repent
To take that way, in which that Damozel
Was fled afore, affraid of him, as Fiend of Hell.
At last, of her far off he gained view:
Then 'gan he freshly prick his foamy Steed,
And ever as he nigher to her drew,
So evermore he did increase his speed,
And of each Turning still kept wary heed:
Aloud to her he oftentimes did call,
To do away vain doubt, and needless dread;
Full mild to her he spake, and oft let fall
Many meek words, to stay and comfort her withal.
But nothing might relent her hasty Flight;
So deep the deadly Fear of that foul Swain
Was earst impressed in her gentle Spright:
Like as a fearful Dove, which through the Rain
Of the wide Air her way does cut amain,
Having far off espy'd a Tassel gent,
Which after her his nimble Wings doth strain,
Doubleth her haste for fear to be fore-hent,
And with her Pinions cleaves the liquid Firmament.
With no less haste, and eke with no less dreed,
That fearful Lady fled from him, that meant
To her no evil Thought, nor evil Deed;
Yet former fear of being foully shent,
Carried her forward with her first intent:
And though, oft looking backward, well she view'd,
Her self freed from that foster insolent,
And that it was a Knight, which now her 'su'd;
Yet she no less the Knight fear'd, than that Villain rude.
His uncouth Shield and strange Arms her dismay'd,
Whose like in Fairy-Lond were seldom seen,
That fast she from him fled, no less afraid
Than of wild Beasts if she had chased been:
Yet he her follow'd still with Courage keen,
So long, that now the golden Hesperus
Was mounted high in top of Heaven sheen,
And warn'd his other Brethren joyeous,
To light their blessed Lamps in Jove's eternal House.
All suddenly dim wox the dampish Air,
And griesly Shadows cover'd Heaven bright,
That now with thousand Stars was decked fair;
Which when the Prince beheld (a loathful sight!)
And that perforce, for wane of lenger light,
He mote surcease his Suit, and lose the hope
Of his long Labour, he 'gan foully wite
His wicked Fortune, that had turn'd aslope,
And cursed Night, that reft from him so goodly scope.
Tho, when her ways he could no more descry,
But to and fro at disadventure stray'd;
Like as a Ship, whose Load-star suddenly
Cover'd with Clouds, her Pilot hath dismay'd;
His wearisom Pursuit perforce he stay'd,
And from his lofty Steed dismounting low,
Did let him forage. Down himself he laid
Upon the grassy Ground, to sleep a throw;
The cold Earth was his Couch, the hard Steel his Pillow.
But gentle Sleep envy'd him any Rest;
In stead thereof sad Sorrow, and Disdain
Of his hard Hap did vex his noble Breast,
And thousand Fancies bet his idle Brain
With their light Wings, the sights of Semblants vain:
Oft did he wish, that Lady fair mote be
His Fairy Queen, for whom he did complain;
Or that his Fairy Queen were such as she;
And ever hasty Night he blamed bitterly.
Night, thou foul Mother of Annoyance sad,
Sister of heavy Death, and Nurse of Woe,
Which wall begot in Heaven; but for thy bad
And brutish Shape, thrust down to Hell below,
Where, by the grim Flood of Cocytus slow,
Thy dwelling is, in Herebus' black House
(Black Herebus, thy Husband, is the Foe
Of all the Gods) where thou ungracious,
Half of thy days doost lead in Horror hideous.
What had th' eternal Maker need of thee,
The World in his continual Course to keep,
That doost all things deface, ne lettest see
The Beauty of his Work? Indeed in sleep,
The slothful Body, that doth love to steep
His rustless Limbs, and drown his baser Mind,
Doth praise thee oft, and oft from Stygian Deep
Calls thee his Goddess, in his Error blind,
And great Dame Nature's Hand-maid, cheering every kind.
But well I wote, that to an heavy Heart
Thou art the Root and Nurse of bitter Cares,
Breeder of new, Renewer of old Smarts:
In stead of Rest thou lendest railing Tears,
In stead of Sleep thou sendest troublous Fears,
And dreadful Visions, in the which alive
The dreary Image of sad Death appears;
So from the weary Spirit thou dost drive
Desired Rest, and Men of Happiness deprive.
Under thy Mantle black there hidden lie
Light-shunning Theft, and traitorous Intent,
Abhorred Bloodshed, and vile Felony,
Shameful Deceit, and Danger imminent;
Foul Horror, and eke hellish Dreriment:
All these (I wote) in thy Protection be,
And Light do shun, for fear of being shent:
For, Light ylike is loath'd of them and thee,
And all that Lewdness love, do hate the Light to see.
For, Day discovers all dishonest ways,
And sheweth each thing as it is indeed:
The Praises of high God he fair displays,
And his large Bounty rightly doth areed.
Day's dearest Children be the blessed Seed,
Which Darkness shall subdue, and Heaven win:
Truth is his Daughter; he her first did breed,
Most sacred Virgin, without Spot of Sin.
Our Life is Day: but Dead, with Darkness doth begin.
O! when will Day then turn to me again,
And bring with him his long expected Light?
O Titan, haste to rear thy joyous Wain;
Speed thee to spread abroad thy Beamez bright,
And chase away this too long lingring Night;
Chase her away, from whence she came, to Hell.
She, she it is, that hath me done despight,
There let her with the damned Spirits dwell,
And yield her Room to Day, that can it govern well.
Thus did the Prince that weary Night out-wear,
In restless Anguish and unquiet Pain:
And early, e'er the Morrow did up-rear
His dewy Head out of the Ocean Main,
He up arose, as half in great disdain,
And clomb unto his Steed. So forth he went,
With heavy Look and lumpish Pace, that plain
In him bewray'd great Grudg and Maltalent:
His Steed eke seem'd t' apply his Steps to his intent.
[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 2:414-29]