George L. Craik: "Canto X. (60 stanzas). — The next morning Britomart and Satyrane proceed on their journey; but Paridel complains that the hurts he had received ill his last encounter with Britomart will not yet let him ride, and remains in his quarters, in spite of his sore grudging host. Malbecco thinks to prevent all mischief by carefully watching his slippery concern of a wife; 'Ne doth he suffer her, nor night nor day, | Out of his sight herself once to absent. | But Paridel kept better watch than he, | A fit occasion for his turn to find.' 'The learned lover,' omits no opportunity, nor the least advantage, in his double task of both deceiving the husband and completing his conquest of the lady.... The end is, that 'fair Dame Helenore,' according to a device proposed by herself; is openly carried off one night by Paridel, after she has set fire to the closet in which her husband keeps his treasure, in the confusion and distraction into which the old miser is thrown between his desire to rescue his wife and his counter-desire to save his money....
"He is frantic with rage, however, when, after the fire has been extinguished, he finds the lady to be fairly gone and out of his reach; and, when he somewhat regains self-command, all his thoughts are set to work to contrive how he may recover possession of her. At last, taking part of his treasure with him (his wife had helped herself with a liberal hand before she went off), and burying the rest in the ground, he sets out dressed like a poor pilgrim, and seeks her everywhere by sea and land; but all in vain. In course of time, however, he falls in with Braggadoccio, attended, as usual, by Trompart; and, after some parley, that mock knight agrees to accompany him in his search, and the three travel together for a long time 'through many a wood, and many an uncouth way.' Meanwhile, Paridel and Helenore have parted company after a very brief association; he has turned her off, and let her fly alone; 'He n'ould be clogged; so had he served many one. | The gentle lady, loose at random left, | The green-wood long did walk, and wander wide | At wild adventure, like a forlorn weft; | Till on a day the satyrs her espied | Straying alone withouten groom or guide: | Her up they took, and with them home her led'.... Among her new friends she soon forgets both Malbecco, 'and eke Sir Paridel, all were he dear.'
"Now it so chances that, as Paridel is riding about the world in search of another adventure, he suddenly comes upon his old acquaintance Malbecco, journeying, as has just been told, with Braggadoccio and Trompart. As soon as the old man sees who it is he almost drops down dead with fear; but, recovering his senses though not his courage, he ventures with a lowly greeting to ask in a whisper after Helenore. 'I take no keep of her,' said Paridel, 'She wonneth in the forest there before.' And so he rides off. The three now agree to proceed to the forest; Malbecco, before they enter it, retiring by himself and hiding his treasure for fear of being fallen upon by some of the many 'wild woodmen' who, Trompart tells them, haunt the place, and are wont to rob and rend travellers.... 'Yet afterwards, close creeping as he might, | He in a bush did hide his fearful head. | The jolly satyrs full of fresh delight | Came dancing forth, and with them nimbly led | Fair Helenore with girlands all bespread, | Whom their May-lady they had newly made'....
"Poor Malbecco's power of endurance is after this still more intolerably tormented; nor, although he obtains an opportunity of speaking to his wife, can he persuade her to return with him: she 'by no means would to his will be won, | But chose amongst the jolly satyrs still to won.' He has found it necessary, in order to conceal himself, to assume the appearance of a goat — which, we are told, he managed to do — 'through the help of his fair horns on height, | And misty damp of misconceiving night, | And eke through likeness of his goatish beard;' but now when it is morning, and he has rejoined the rest of the herd, they all fall upon him, butting him on every side, and treading him down in the dirt. As soon as he can make his escape he runs off as fast as his feet will carry him; and first he makes for the place where he had buried his treasure; but the crafty Trompart has been there before him, and all is gone. On this, 'With extreme fury he became quite mad, | And ran away; ran with himself away'.... He never stops till he comes to a rocky hill overhanging the sea, over which he throws himself in desperation: 'But, through long anguish and self murdering thought, | He was so wasted and forpined quite, | That all his substance was consumed to nought, | And nothing left but like an airy sprite | Is woxen so deformed, that he has quite | Forgot he was a man, and Jealousy is hight'" Spenser and his Poetry (1845; 1871) 2:60-66.
Paridel rapeth Hellenore;
Malbecco her pursues:
Finds emongst Satyrs, whence with him
To turn she doth refuse.
The Morrow next, so soon as Phoebus' Lamp
Bewrayed had the World with early Light,
And fresh Aurora had the shady Damp
Out of the goodly Heaven amoved quite,
Fair Britomart and that same Fairy Knight
Uprose, forth on their Journey for to wend:
But Paridel complain'd, that his late Fight
With Britomart, so sore did him offend,
That ride he could not, till his Hurts he did amend.
So forth they far'd; but he behind them stay'd,
Maulgre his Host, who grudged grievously
To house a Guest, that would be needs obey'd,
And of his own him left not Liberty:
(Might, wanting Measure, moveth Surquedry.)
Two things he feared, but the third was Death;
That fierce young Man's unruly Maistery;
His Money, which he lov'd as living Breath;
And his fair Wife, whom honest long he kept uneath.
But Patience perforce: he must aby
What Fortune and his Fate on him will lay:
Fond is the Fear that finds no Remedy;
Yet warily he watcheth every way,
By which he feareth Evil happen may:
So th' Evil thinks, by watching, to prevent;
Ne doth he suffer her, nor Night, nor Day,
Out of his sight her self once to absent:
So doth he punish her, and eke himself torment.
But Paridel kept better watch than he,
A fit Occasion for his turn to find:
False Love, why do Men say, thou canst not see,
And in their foolish Fancy feign thee blind,
That with thy Charm, the sharpest Sight dost bind,
And to thy Will abuse? Thou walkest free,
And seest every Secret of the Mind;
Thou seest all, yet none at all sees thee;
All that is by the working of thy Deity.
So perfect in that Art was Paridel,
That he Malbecco's halfen Eye did wile,
His halfen Eye he wiled wondrous well,
And Hellenore's both Eyes did eke beguile,
Both Eyes and Heart at once, during the while
That he there sojourned his Wounds to heal;
That Cupid' self it seeing, close did smile,
To weet how he her Love away did steal,
And bade, that none their joyous Treason should reveal.
The learned Lover lost no time nor tide,
That least Advantage mote to him afford,
Yet bore so fair a Sail, that none espy'd
His secret Drift, till he her laid aboard.
When-so in open Place, and common Bord
He fortun'd her to meet, with common Speech
He courted her, yet baited every word,
That his ungentle Host no'te him appeach
Of vile Ungentleness, or Hospitage's Breach.
But when apart (if ever her apart)
He found then his false Engins fast he ply'd,
And all the Sleights unbosom'd in his Heart;
He sigh'd, he sob'd he swoon'd, he perdy dy'd,
And cast himself on ground her fast beside:
Tho, when again he him bethought to live,
He wept, and wail'd, and false Laments bely'd,
Saying, but if she Mercy would him give,
That he mote algates die, yet did his Death forgive.
And other-whiles, with amorous Delights,
And pleasing Toys he would her entertain,
Now singing sweetly, to surprise her Sprights,
Now making Lays of Love and Lovers Pain,
Bransles, Ballads, Virelays, and Verses vain:
Oft Purposes, oft Riddles he devis'd,
And thousands like, which flowed in his Brain,
With which he fed her Fancy, and entis'd
To take to his new Love, and leave her old despis'd.
And every where he might, and every while
He did her Service dutiful, and su'd
At hand with humble Pride, and pleasing Guile,
So closely yet, that none but she it view'd,
Who well perceived all, and all endu'd.
Thus finely did he his false Nets disspred,
With which he many weak Hearts had subdu'd
Of yore, and many had ylike misled:
What wonder then, if she were likewise carried?
No Fort so sensible, no Walls so strong,
But that continual Battery will rive,
Or daily Siege, thro Dispurveyance long,
And lack of Rescues, will to Parley drive;
And Peece, that unto Parley ear will give,
Will shortly yield it self, and will be made
The Vassal of the Victor's Will bylive:
That Stratagem had of oftentimes assay'd
This crafty Paramour, and now it plain display'd.
For thro his Trains he her entrapped hath,
That she her Love and Heart hath wholly sold
To him, without regard of Gain or Scath,
Or care of Credit, or of Husband old,
Whom she hath vow'd to dub a fair Cuckold.
Nought wants but Time and Place, which shortly she
Devized hath, and to her lover told.
It pleased well: So well they both agree;
So ready ripe to Ill, ill Womens Counsels be.
Dark was the Evening, fit for Lovers Stealth,
When chaunc'd Malbecco busy be else-where,
She to his Closet went, where all his Wealth
Lay hid: thereof she countless Sums did rear,
The which she meant away with her to bear;
The rest she fir'd for Sport, or for Despight:
As Hellen, when she saw aloft appear
The Trojan Flames, and reach to Heaven's height,
Did clap her Hands, and joyed at that doleful Sight.
This second Hellen, fair Dame Hellenore,
The whiles her Husband ran with sorry haste
To quench the Flames which she had tin'd before,
Laugh'd at his foolish Labour spent in waste;
And ran into her Lover's Arms right fast:
Where strait embraced, she to him did cry,
And call aloud for help, e'er help were past;
For, lo! that Guest would bear her forcibly,
And meant to ravish her, that rather had to die.
The wretched Man, hearing her call for Aid,
And ready seeing him with her to fly,
In his disquiet Mind was much dismay'd:
But when again he backward cast his Eye,
And saw the wicked Fire so furiously
Consume his Heart, and scorch his idol's Face,
He was therewith distressed diversly,
He wist he how to turn, nor to what Place;
Was never wretched Man in such a woful Case.
Ay when to him she cry'd, to her he turn'd,
And left the Fire; Love, Money overcame:
But when he marked how his Money burn'd,
He left his Wife; Money did Love disclaim:
Both was he loth to lose his loved Dame,
And loth to leave his liefest Pelf behind;
Yet sith he no'te save both, he sav'd that same,
Which was the dearest to his dunghil Mind,
The God of his Desire, the Joy of Misers blind.
Thus, whilst all things in troublous Uproar were,
And all been busy to suppress the Flame,
The loving Couple need no Rescue fear,
But Leisure had, and Liberty to frame
Their purpos'd Flight, free from all Mens Reclaim;
And Night (the Patroness of Love-stealth fair)
Gave them safe Conduct, till to end they came:
So been they gone yfear (a wanton Pair
Of Lovers loosely knit) where list them to repair.
Soon as the cruel Flames yslaked were,
Malbecco, seeing how his Loss did lie,
Out of the Flames, which he had quench'd whylere,
Into huge Waves of Grief and Jealousy
Full deep emplonged was, and drowned nigh
'Twixt inward Dool and felonous Despight;
He rav'd, he wept, he stampt, he loud did cry,
And all the Passions that in Man may light,
Did him at once oppress, and vex his caitive Spright.
Long thus he chaw'd the Cud of inward Grief,
And did consume his Gall with Anguish sore:
Still when he mused on his late Mischief,
Then still the Smart thereof increased more,
And seem'd more grievous than it was before.
At last, when Sorrow he saw booted nought,
Ne Grief might not his Love to him restore,
He 'gan devise, how her he rescue mought,
Ten thousand ways he cast in his confused Thought.
At last, resolving like a Pilgrim poor
To search her forth, where so she might be found,
And bearing with him Threasure in close store,
The rest he leaves in ground: So takes in hond
To seek her end-long, both by Sea and Lond.
Long he her sought, he sought her far and near,
And every where that he more understond
Of Knights and Ladies any Meetings were,
And of each one he met, he Tidings did inquire.
But all in vain, his Woman was too wise,
Ever to come into his Clouch again,
And he too simple ever to surprise
The jolly Paridel, for all his Pain.
One day, as he forepassed by the Plain
With weary Pace, he far away espy'd
A Couple (seeming well to be his Twain)
Which hoved close under a Forest side,
As if they lay in wait, or else themselves did hide.
Well weened he, that those the same mote be;
And as he better did their Shape avize,
Him seemed more their Manner did agree,
For th' one was armed all in warlike wize,
Whom, to be Paridel he did devise,
And th' other, all yclad in Garments light,
Discolour'd like to womanish Disguise,
He did resemble to his Lady bright:
And ever his faint Heart much yearned at the sight.
And ever fain he towards them would go,
But yet durst not for Dread approachen nigh,
But stood aloof, unweeting what to do;
Till that prickt forth with Love's Extremity,
That is the Father of foul Jealousy,
He closely nearer crept, the Truth to weet;
But as he nigher drew, he easily
Might 'scern, that it was not his sweetest Sweet,
Ne yet her Belamour, the Partner of his Sheet.
But it was scornful Braggadochio,
That with his Servant Trompart hover'd there,
Since late he fled from his too earnest Foe:
Whom such when-as Malbecco spyed clear,
He turned back, and would have fled arear;
Till Trompart running hastily, him did stay,
And bade before his sovereign Lord appear;
That was him loth, yet durst he not gainsay,
And coming him before, low louted on the Lay.
The Boaster at him sternly bent his Brow,
As if he could have kill'd him with his Look,
That to the Ground him meekly made to bow,
And awful Terror deep into him strook,
That every Member of his Body quook.
Said he, thou Man of nought, what dost thou here,
Unfitly furnish'd with thy Bag and Book,
Where I expected one with Shield and Spear,
To prove some Deeds of Arms upon an equal Peer?
The wretched Man, at his imperious Speech,
Was all abash'd, and low prostrating, said;
Good Sir, let not my Rudeness be no Breach
Unto your Patience, ne be ill ypaid;
For I unwares this way by Fortune stray'd,
A silly Pilgrim driven to Distress,
That seek a Lady. There he sudden stay'd,
And did the rest with grievous Sighs suppress,
While Tears stood in his Eyes (few Drops of Bitterness.)
What Lady, Man? said Trompart, take good heart,
And tell thy Grief, if any hidden lie;
Was never better time to shew thy Smart
Than now, that noble Succour is thee by,
That is the whole World's common Remedy.
That chearful Word his weak Heart much did chear,
And with vain Hope his Spirits faint supply,
That bold he said; O most redoubled Peer,
Vouchsafe with mild Regard a Wretch's Case to hear.
Then sighing sore, It is not long, said he,
Since I enjoy'd the gentlest Dame alive;
Of whom a Knight, no Knight at all perdy,
But shame of all that do for Honour strive,
By treacherous Deceit did me deprive:
Thro open Outrage he her bore away,
And with foul Force unto his Will did drive;
Which all good Knights, that Arms do bear this day,
Are bound for to revenge, and punish if they may.
And you (most noble Lord) that can and dare
Redress the Wrong of miserable Wight,
Cannot employ your most victorious Spear
In better Quarrel, than Defence of Right,
And for a Lady, 'gainst a faithless Knight:
So shall your Glory be advaunced much,
And all fair Ladies magnify your Might,
And eke my self (albe I simple such)
Your worthy Pain shall well reward with Guerdon rich.
With that, out of his Bouget forth he drew
Great store of Treasure, there-with him to tempt;
But he on it look'd scornfully askew,
As much disdaining to be so misdempt,
Or a War-monger to be basely nempt:
And said, Thy Offers base I greatly loath,
And eke thy Words uncourteous and unkempt;
I tread in Dust thee and thy Mony both,
That, were it not for shame: So turned from him wroth.
But Trompart, that his Maister's Humour knew
In lofty Looks to hide an humble Mind,
Was inly tickled with that golden view,
And in his Ear him rounded close behind:
Yet stoup'd he not, but lay still in the Wind,
Waiting Advantage on the Prey to seize;
Till Trompart lowly to the Ground inclin'd,
Besought him his great Courage to appease,
And pardon simple Man, that rash did him displease.
Big looking, like a doughty Douzepere,
At last, he thus: Thou Clod of vilest Clay,
I Pardon yield, and with thy Rudeness bear;
But weet henceforth, that all that golden Prey,
And all that else the vain World vaunter may,
I loath as Dung, ne deem my due Reward:
Fame is my Meed, and Glory Vertue's Pay.
But Minds of mortal Men are muchell marr'd,
And mov'd amiss with massy Muck's unmeet regard.
And more I graunt to thy great Misery
Gracious Respect, thy Wife shall back be sent:
And that vile Knight, who ever that he be,
Which hath thy Lady reft, and Knighthood shent,
By Sanglamort my Sword, whose deadly Dent
The Blood hath of so many thousands shed,
I swear, e'er long shall dearly it repent;
He he 'twixt Heaven and Earth shall hide his Head,
But soon he shall be found, and shortly doen be dead.
The foolish Man thereat wox wondrous blith,
As if the Word so spoken, were half done,
And humbly thanked him a thousand sith,
That had from Death to Life him newly won.
Tho, forth the Boaster marching, brave begun
His stolen steed to thunder furiously,
As if he Heaven and Hell would over-run,
And all the World confound with Cruelty,
That much Malbecco joyed in his Jollity.
Thus, long they three together travelled
Through many a Wood, and many an uncouth Way,
To seek his Wife, that was far wandered:
But those two sought nought but the present Prey,
To weet the Treasure, which he did bewray,
On which their Eyes and Hearts were wholly set,
With purpose how they might it best betray;
For, sith the Hour that first he did them let
The same behold, there-with their keen Desires were whet.
It fortuned as they together far'd,
They spy'd where Paridel came pricking fast
Upon the Plain, the which himself prepar'd
To giust with that brave stranger Knight a cast,
As on Adventure by the way he past:
Alone he rode without his Paragon;
For, having filch'd her Bells, her up he cast
To the wide World, and let her fly alone,
He n'ould be clog'd. So had he served many one.
The gentle Lady, loose at random left,
The green Wood long did walk, and wander wide
At wild Adventure, like a forlorn Weft,
Till on a day the Satyres her espy'd
Straying alone withouten Groom or Guide;
Her up they took, and with them home her led,
With them as Housewife ever to abide,
To milk their Goats, and make them Cheese and Bread,
And every one as common Good her handeled:
That shortly she Malbecco has forgot,
And eke Sir Paridel, all were he dear;
Who from her went to seek another Lot,
And now (by Fortune) was arrived here,
Where those two Guilers with Malbecco were.
Soon as the old Man saw Sir Paridel,
He fainted, and was almost dead with Fear,
Ne word be had to speak, his Grief to tell,
But to him louted low, and greeted goodly well:
And after, asked him for Hellenore;
I take no keep of her, said Paridel:
She wonneth in the Forest there before.
So forth he rode, as his Adventure fell;
The whiles, the Boaster from his lofty Sell
Feign'd to alight, something amiss to mend,
But the fresh Swain would not his Leisure dwell,
But went his way: whom when he passed kend,
He up remounted light, and after feign'd to wend.
Perdy, nay, said Malbecco, shall ye not;
But let him pass as lightly as he came;
For, little good of him is to be got,
And mickle Peril to be put to shame.
But, let us go to seek my dearest Dame,
Whom he hath left in yonder Forest wild;
For, of her Safety in great doubt I am,
Lest salvage Beasts her Person have despoil'd:
Then all the World is lost, and we in vain have toil'd.
They all agree, and forward them address'd:
Ah! but said crafty Trompart, weet ye well,
That yonder in that wasteful Wilderness
Huge Monsters haunt, and many Dangers dwell;
Dragons, and Minotaurs, and Fiends of Hell,
And many wild Wood-men, which rob and rend
All Travellers; therefore avise ye well,
Before ye enterprise that way to wend:
One may his Journey bring too soon to evil end.
Malbecco stop'd in great Astonishment,
And with pale Eyes fast fixed on the rest,
Their Counsel crav'd, in Danger imminent.
Said Trompart: You that are the most opprest
With Burden of great Treasure, I think best
Here for to stay in Safety behind;
My Lord and I will search the wide Forest.
That Counsel pleased not Malbecco's Mind;
For, he was much affraid, himself alone to find.
Then is it best, said he, that ye do leave
Your Treasure here in some Security,
Either fast closed in some hollow Greave,
Or buried in the Ground from Jeopardy,
Till we return again in Safety:
As for us two, lest doubt of us ye have,
Hence far away we will blindfolded lie,
Ne privy be unto your Threasure's Grave.
It pleased; so he did: Then they march forward brave.
Now, when amid the thickest Woods they were,
They heard a Noise of many Bag-pipes shrill,
And shrieking Hubbubs them approaching near,
Which all the Forest did with Horror fill:
That dreadful Sound the Boaster's Heart did thrill
With such Amazement, that in haste he fled,
Ne ever looked back for Good or Ill,
And after him eke fearful Trompart sped;
The old Man could not fly, but fell to ground half dead.
Yet afterwards, close creeping as he might,
He in a Bush did hide his fearful Head:
The jolly Satyres, full of fresh Delight,
Came dauncing forth, and with them nimbly led
Fair Hellenore, with Girlonds all bespred,
Whom their May-lady they had newly made:
She proud of that new Honour, which they red,
And of their lovely Fellowship full glad,
Daunc'd lively, and her Face did with a Laurel shade.
The silly Man that in the Thicket lay,
Saw all this goodly Sport, and grieved sore,
Yet durst he not against it do or say,
But did his Heart with bitter Thoughts engore,
To see th' unkindness of his Hellenore.
All day they daunced with great Lustihed,
And with their horned Feet the green Grass wore.
The whiles their Goats upon the Brouzes fed,
Till drouping Phoebus 'gan to hide his golden Head.
Tho, up they 'gan their merry Pipes to truss,
And all their goodly Herds did gather round;
But every Satyre first did give a Buss
To Hellenore: so Busses did abound.
Now 'gan the humid Vapour shed the Ground
With pearly Dew, and the Earth's gloomy Shade
Did dim the brightness of the Welkin round,
That every Bird and Beast awarned made
To shrowd themselves, whiles Sleep their Senses did invade.
Which when Malbecco saw, out of the Bush
Upon his Hands and Feet he crept full light,
And like a Goat emongst the Goats did rush,
That through the help of his fair Horns on hight,
And misty Damp of misconceiving Night,
And eke through likeness of his goatish Beard,
He did the better counterfeit aright:
So home he march'd emongst the horned Herd,
That none of all the Satyres him espy'd or heard.
At Night, when all they went to sleep, he view'd,
Where-as his lovely Wife emongst them lay,
Embraced of a Satyr, rough and rude,
Who all the Night did mind his joyous play:
Nine times he heard him come aloft e'er day,
That all his Heart with Jealousy did swell;
But yet that Night's Ensample did bewray,
That not for nought his Wife them lov'd so well,
When one so ought a Night did ring his Matin's Bell.
So closely as he could, he to them crept,
When weary of their Sport to sleep they fell;
And to his Wife, that now full soundly slept,
He whispered in her Ear, and did her tell,
That it was he, which by her side did dwell,
And therefore pray'd her wake, to hear him plain.
As one out of a Dream not waked well,
She turn'd her, and returned back again:
Yet her for to awake he did the more constrain.
At last, with irksome Trouble she abraid;
And then perceiving, that it was indeed
Her old Malbecco, which did her upbraid
With Looseness of her Love, and loathly Deed;
She was astonish'd with exceeding Dreed,
And would have wak'd the Satyre by her side;
But he her pray'd, for Mercy, or for Meed,
To save his Life, ne let him be descry'd,
But hearken to his Lore, and all his Counsel hide.
Tho 'gan he her persuade, to leave that leud
And loathsome Life, of God and Man abhor'd,
And home return, where all should be renew'd
With perfect Peace, and Bands of fresh Accord,
And she receiv'd again to Bed and Board,
As if no Trespass ever had been done;
But she it all refused at one word,
And by no means would to his Will be won,
But chose emongst the jolly Satyres still to wonne.
He wooed her, till Day-spring he espy'd;
But all in vain: and then turn'd to the Herd,
Who butted him with Horns on every side,
And trod down in the Dirt, where his hore Beard
Was foully dight, and he of Death affeard.
Early before the Heaven's fairest Light
Out of the ruddy East was fully rear'd,
The Herds out of their Folds were loosed quite,
And he emongst the rest crept forth in sorry Plight.
So soon as he the Prison-Door did pass,
He ran as fast as both his Feet could bear,
And never looked who behind him was,
Ne scarcely who before: like as a Bear
That creeping close, emongst the Hives to rear
An Hony-comb, the wakeful Dogs espy,
And him assailing, sore his Carcass tear,
That hardly he away with Life does fly,
Ne stays, till safe himself he see from Jeopardy.
Ne stay'd he, till he came unto the place
Where late his Treasure he entombed had,
Where when he found it not (for, Trompart base
Had it purloined for his Maister bad)
With extream Fury he became quite mad,
And ran away, ran with himself away:
That who so strangely had him seen bestad,
With upstart Hair, and staring Eyes dismay,
From Limbo Lake him late escaped sure would say.
High over Hills and over Dales he fled,
As if the Wind him on his Wings had borne,
Ne Bank nor Bush could stay him, when he sped
His nimble Feet, as treading still on Thorn:
Grief, and Despite, and Jealousy, and Scorn
Did all the way him follow hard behind;
And he himself, himself loath'd so forlorn,
So shamefully forlorn of Woman-kind:
That, as a Snake, still lurked in his wounded Mind.
Still fled he forward, looking backward still,
Ne staid his Flight, nor fearful Agony,
Till that he came unto a rocky Hill,
Over the Sea suspended dreadfully,
That living Creature it would terrify
To look adown, or upward to the height:
From thence he threw himself dispiteously,
All desperate of his fore-damned Spright,
That seem'd no help for him was left in living sight.
But through long Anguish, and Self-murd'ring Thought,
He was so wasted and fore-pined quite,
That all his Substance was consum'd to nought,
And nothing left, but like an airy Spright,
That on the Rocks he fell so flit and light,
That he thereby receiv'd no hurt at all,
But chaunced on a craggy Cliff to light;
Whence he with crooked Claws so long did craul,
That at the last he found a Cave with entrance small.
Into the same he creeps, and thence-forth there
Resolv'd to build his baleful Mansion,
In dreary Darkness, and continual Fear
Of that Rock's Fall, which ever and anon
Threats with huge Ruin him to fall upon,
That he dare never sleep, but that one Eye
Still ope he keeps for that occasion;
Ne ever rests he in Tranquillity,
The roaring Billows beat his Bower so boistrously.
Ne ever is he wont on ought to feed,
But Toads and Frogs (his Pasture poisonous)
Which in his cold Complexion do breed
A filthy Blood, or Humour rancorous,
Matter of Doubt and Dread suspicious,
That doth with cureless Care consume the Heart,
Corrupts the Stomach with Gall vicious,
Cross cuts the Liver with internal Smart,
And doth transfix the Soul with Death's eternal Dart.
Yet can he never die, but dying lives,
And doth himself with Sorrow new sustain,
That Death and Life at once unto him gives,
And painful Pleasure turns to pleasing Pain:
There dwells he ever, miserable Swain,
Hateful both to himself, and every Wight;
Where he through privy Grief, and Horror vain,
Is woxen so deform'd, that he has quite
Forgot he was a Man, and Jealousy is hight.
[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 2:502-17]