Verse > Edmund Spenser > Complete Poetical Works
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599).  The Complete Poetical Works.  1908.
The Faerie Queene
Book II. The Legend of Sir Guyon
Canto X
        A chronicle of Briton kings,
  From Brute to Uthers rayne;
And rolls of Elfin emperours,
  Till time of Gloriane.

WHO now shall give unto me words and sound,
Equall unto this haughty enterprise?
Or who shall lend me wings, with which from ground
My lowly verse may loftily arise,
And lift it selfe unto the highest skyes?        5
More ample spirit, then hetherto was wount,
Here needes me, whiles the famous auncestryes
Of my most dreaded Soveraigne I recount,
By which all earthly princes she doth far surmount.
Ne under sunne, that shines so wide and faire,
Whence all that lives does borrow life and light,
Lives ought that to her linage may compaire,
Which, though from earth it be derived right,
Yet doth it selfe stretch forth to hevens hight,
And all the world with wonder overspred;        15
A labor huge, exceeding far my might:
How shall fraile pen, with feare disparaged,
Conceive such soveraine glory, and great bountyhed?
Argument worthy of Mœonian quill,
Or rather worthy of great Phoebus rote,        20
Whereon the ruines of great Ossa hill,
And triumphes of Phlegræan Jove, he wrote,
That all the gods admird his lofty note.
But, if some relish of that hevenly lay
His learned daughters would to me report,        25
To decke my song withall, I would assay
Thy name, O soveraine Queene, to blazon far away.
Thy name, O soveraine Queene, thy realme, and race,
From this renowmed Prince derived arre,
Who mightily upheld that royall mace,        30
Which now thou bear’st, to thee descended farre
From mighty kings and conquerours in warre,
Thy fathers and great grandfathers of old,
Whose noble deeds above the northern starre
Immortall Fame for ever hath enrold;        35
As in that old mans booke they were in order told.
The land, which warlike Britons now possesse,
And therein have their mighty empire raysd,
In antique times was salvage wildernesse,
Unpeopled, unmannurd, unprovd, unpraysd;        40
Ne was it island then, ne was it paysd
Amid the ocean waves, ne was it sought
Of merchaunts farre, for profits therein praysd;
But was all desolate, and of some thought
By sea to have bene from the Celticke mayn-land brought.        45
Ne did it then deserve a name to have,
Till that the venturous mariner that way,
Learning his ship from those white rocks to save,
Which all along the southerne sea-coast lay,
Threatning unheedy wrecke and rash decay,        50
For safeties sake that same his sea-marke made,
And namd it ALBION. But later day,
Finding in it fit ports for fishers trade,
Gan more the same frequent, and further to invade.
But far in land a salvage nation dwelt
Of hideous giaunts, and halfe beastly men,
That never tasted grace, nor goodnes felt,
But like wild beastes lurking in loathsome den,
And flying fast as roebucke through the fen,
All naked without shame or care of cold,        60
By hunting and by spoiling liveden;
Of stature huge, and eke of corage bold,
That sonnes of men amazd their sternesse to behold.
But whence they sprong, or how they were begott,
Uneath is to assure; uneath to wene        65
That monstrous error, which doth some assott,
That Dioclesians fifty daughters shene
Into this land by chaunce have driven bene,
Where companing with feends and filthy sprights
Through vaine illusion of their lust unclene,        70
They brought forth geaunts, and such dreadful wights
As far exceeded men in their immeasurd mights.
They held this land, and with their filthinesse
Polluted this same gentle soyle long time:
That their owne mother loathd their beastlinesse,        75
And gan abhorre her broods unkindly crime,
All were they borne of her owne native slime:
Until that Brutus, anciently deriv’d
From roiall stocke of old Assaracs line,
Driven by fatall error, here arriv’d,        80
And them of their unjust possession depriv’d.
But ere he had established his throne,
And spred his empire to the utmost shore,
He fought great batteils with his salvage fone;
In which he them defeated evermore,        85
And many giaunts left on groning flore,
That well can witnes yet unto this day
The westerne Hogh, besprincled with the gore
Of mighty Goëmot, whome in stout fray
Corineus conquered, and cruelly did slay.        90
And eke that ample pitt, yet far renownd
For the large leape which Debon did compell
Coulin to make, being eight lugs of grownd,
Into the which retourning backe he fell:
But those three monstrous stones doe most excell        95
Which that huge sonne of hideous Albion,
Whose father Hercules in Fraunce did quell,
Great Godmer, threw, in fierce contention,
At bold Canutus; but of him was slaine anon.
In meed of these great conquests by them gott,
Corineus had that province utmost west
To him assigned for his worthy lott,
Which of his name and memorable gest
He called Cornwaile, yet so called best:
And Debons shayre was that is Devonshyre:        105
But Canute had his portion from the rest,
The which he cald Canutium, for his hyre;
Now Cantium, which Kent we comenly inquyre.
Thus Brute this realme unto his rule subdewd,
And raigned long in great felicity,        110
Lov’d of his freends, and of his foes eschewd.
He left three sonnes, his famous progeny,
Borne of fayre Inogene of Italy;
Mongst whom he parted his imperiall state,
And Locrine left chiefe lord of Britany.        115
At last ripe age bad him surrender late
His life, and long good fortune, unto finall fate.
Locrine was left the soveraine lord of all;
But Albanact had all the northerne part,
Which of him selfe Albania he did call;        120
And Camber did possesse the westerne quart,
Which Severne now from Logris doth depart:
And each his portion peaceably enjoyd,
Ne was there outward breach, nor grudge in hart,
That once their quiet government annoyd,        125
But each his paynes to others profit still employd.
Untill a nation straung, with visage swart
And corage fierce, that all men did affray,
Which through the world then swarmd in every part,
And overflow’d all countries far away,        130
Like Noyes great flood, with their importune sway,
This land invaded with like violence,
And did themselves through all the north display:
Untill that Locrine, for his realmes defence,
Did head against them make, and strong munificence.        135
He them encountred, a confused rout,
Foreby the river, that whylome was hight
The ancient Abus, where with courage stout
He them defeated in victorious fight,
And chaste so fiercely after fearefull flight,        140
That forst their chiefetain, for his safeties sake,
(Their chiefetain Humber named was aright,)
Unto the mighty streame him to betake,
Where he an end of batteill, and of life did make.
The king retourned proud of victory,
And insolent wox through unwonted ease,
That shortly he forgot the jeopardy,
Which in his land he lately did appease,
And fell to vaine voluptuous disease:
He lov’d faire Ladie Estrild, leudly lov’d,        150
Whose wanton pleasures him too much did please,
That quite his hart from Guendolene remov’d,
From Guendolene his wife, though alwaies faithful prov’d.
The noble daughter of Corineus
Would not endure to bee so vile disdaind,        155
But, gathering force and corage valorous,
Encountred him in batteill well ordaind,
In which him vanquisht she to fly constraind:
But she so fast pursewd, that him she tooke,
And threw in bands, where he till death remaind:        160
Als his faire leman, flying through a brooke,
She overhent, nought moved with her piteous looke.
But both her selfe, and eke her daughter deare,
Begotten by her kingly paramoure,
The faire Sabrina, almost dead with feare,        165
She there attached, far from all succoure;
The one she slew in that impatient stoure,
But the sad virgin, innocent of all,
Adowne the rolling river she did poure,
Which of her name now Severne men do call:        170
Such was the end that to disloyall love did fall.
Then, for her sonne, which she to Locrin bore,
Madan, was young, unmeet the rule to sway,
In her owne hand the crowne she kept in store,
Till ryper yeares he raught, and stronger stay:        175
During which time her powre she did display
Through all this realme, the glory of her sex,
And first taught men a woman to obay:
But when her sonne to mans estate did wex,
She it surrendred, ne her selfe would lenger vex.        180
Tho Madan raignd, unworthie of his race:
For with all shame that sacred throne he fild:
Next Memprise, as unworthy of that place,
In which being consorted with Manild,
For thirst of single kingdom him he kild.        185
But Ebranck salved both their infamies
With noble deedes, and warreyd on Brunchild
In Henault, where yet of his victories
Brave moniments remaine, which yet that land envies.
An happy man in his first dayes he was,
And happy father of faire progeny:
For all so many weekes as the yeare has,
So many children he did multiply;
Of which were twentie sonnes, which did apply
Their mindes to prayse and chevalrous desyre:        195
Those germans did subdew all Germany,
Of whom it hight; but in the end their syre
With foule repulse from Fraunce was forced to retyre.
Which blott his sonne succeeding in his seat,
The second Brute, the second both in name        200
And eke in semblaunce of his puissaunce great,
Right well recur’d, and did away that blame
With recompence of everlasting fame.
He with his victour sword first opened
The bowels of wide Fraunce, a forlorne dame,        205
And taught her first how to be conquered;
Since which, with sondrie spoiles she hath bene ransacked.
Let Scaldis tell, and let tell Hania,
And let the marsh of Esthambruges tell,
What colour were their waters that same day,        210
And all the moore twixt Elversham and Dell,
With blood of Henalois, which therein fell.
How oft that day did sad Brunchildis see
The greene shield dyde in dolorous vermell!
That not scuith guiridh it mote seeme to bee,        215
But rather y scuith gogh, signe of sad crueltee.
His sonne, King Leill, by fathers labour long,
Enjoyd an heritage of lasting peace,
And built Cairleill, and built Cairleon strong.
Next Huddibras his realme did not encrease,        220
But taught the land from wearie wars to cease.
Whose footsteps Bladud following, in artes
Exceld at Athens all the learned preace,
From whence he brought them to these salvage parts,
And with sweet science mollifide their stubborne harts.        225
Ensample of his wondrous faculty,
Behold the boyling bathes at Cairbadon,
Which seeth with secret fire eternally,
And in their entrailles, full of quick brimston,
Nourish the flames which they are warmd upon,        230
That to their people wealth they forth do well,
And health to every forreyne nation:
Yet he at last, contending to excell
The reach of men, through flight into fond mischief fell.
Next him King Leyr in happie peace long raynd,
But had no issue male him to succeed,
But three faire daughters, which were well uptraind
In all that seemed fitt for kingly seed:
Mongst whom his realme he equally decreed
To have divided. Tho, when feeble age        240
Nigh to his utmost date he saw proceed,
He cald his daughters, and with speeches sage
Inquyrd, which of them most did love her parentage.
The eldest Gonorill gan to protest,
That she much more then her owne life him lov’d;        245
And Regan greater love to him profest
Then all the world, when ever it were proov’d;
But Cordeill said she lov’d him as behoov’d:
Whose simple answere, wanting colours fayre
To paint it forth, him to displeasaunce moov’d,        250
That in his crown he counted her no hayre,
But twixt the other twain his kingdom whole did shayre.
So wedded th’ one to Maglan, king of Scottes,
And thother to the king of Cambria,
And twixt them shayrd his realme by equall lottes:        255
But without dowre the wise Cordelia
Was sent to aggannip of Celtica.
Their aged syre, thus eased of his crowne,
A private life ledd in Albania,
With Gonorill, long had in great renowne,        260
That nought him griev’d to beene from rule deposed downe.
But true it is that, when the oyle is spent,
The light goes out, and weeke is throwne away;
So when he had resignd his regiment,
His daughter gan despise his drouping day,        265
And wearie wax of his continuall stay.
Tho to his daughter Regan he repayrd,
Who him at first well used every way;
But when of his departure she despayrd,
Her bountie she abated, and his cheare empayrd.        270
The wretched man gan then avise to late,
That love is not, where most it is profest;
Too truely tryde in his extremest state.
At last, resolv’d likewise to prove the rest,
He to Cordelia him selfe addrest,        275
Who with entyre affection him receav’d,
As for her syre and king her seemed best;
And after all an army strong she leav’d,
To war on those which him had of his realme bereav’d.
So to his crowne she him restord againe,
In which he dyde, made ripe for death by eld,
And after wild, it should to her remaine:
Who peaceably the same long time did weld,
And all mens harts in dew obedience held:
Till that her sisters children, woxen strong,        285
Through proud ambition against her rebeld,
And overcommen kept in prison long,
Till, weary of that wretched life, her selfe she hong.
Then gan the bloody brethren both to raine:
But fierce Cundah gan shortly to envy        290
His brother Morgan, prickt with proud disdaine,
To have a pere in part of soverainty;
And kindling coles of cruell enmity,
Raisd warre, and him in batteill overthrew:
Whence as he to those woody hilles did fly,        295
Which hight of him Glamorgan, there him slew:
Then did he raigne alone, when he none equall knew.
His sonne Rivall’ his dead rowme did supply,
In whose sad time blood did from heaven rayne:
Next great Gurgustus, then faire Cæcily,        300
In constant peace their kingdomes did contayne:
After whom Lago and Kinmarke did rayne,
And Gorbogud, till far in yeares he grew:
Then his ambitious sonnes unto them twayne
Arraught the rule, and from their father drew:        305
Stout Ferrex and sterne Porrex him in prison threw.
But O! the greedy thirst of royall crowne,
That knowes no kinred, nor regardes no right,
Stird Porrex up to put his brother downe;
Who, unto him assembling forreigne might,        310
Made warre on him, and fell him selfe in fight:
Whose death t’ avenge, his mother mercilesse,
Most mercilesse of women, Wyden hight,
Her other sonne fast sleeping did oppresse,
And with most cruell hand him murdred pittilesse.        315
Here ended Brutus sacred progeny,
Which had seven hundred yeares this scepter borne,
With high renowme and great felicity:
The noble braunch from th’ antique stocke was torne
Through discord, and the roiall throne forlorne:        320
Thenceforth this realme was into factions rent,
Whilest each of Brutus boasted to be borne,
That in the end was left no moniment
Of Brutus, nor of Britons glorie auncient.
Then up arose a man of matchlesse might,
And wondrous wit to menage high affayres,
Who, stird with pitty of the stressed plight
Of this sad realme, cut into sondry shayres
By such as claymd themselves Brutes right-full hayres,
Gathered the princes of the people loose,        330
To taken counsell of their common cares;
Who, with his wisedom won, him streight did choose
Their king, and swore him fealty, to win or loose.
Then made he head against his enimies,
And Ymner slew, of Logris miscreate;        335
Then Ruddoc and proud Stater, both allyes,
This of Albany newly nominate,
And that of Cambry king confirmed late,
He overthrew through his owne valiaunce;
Whose countries he redus’d to quiet state,        340
And shortly brought to civile governaunce,
Now one, which earst were many made through variaunce.
Then made he sacred lawes, which some men say
Were unto him reveald in vision,
By which he freed the traveilers high way,        345
The churches part, and ploughmans portion,
Restraining stealth and strong extortion;
The gratious Numa of Great Britany:
For, till his dayes, the chiefe dominion
By strength was wielded without pollicy;        350
Therefore he first wore crowne of gold for dignity.
Donwallo dyde (for what may live for ay?)
And left two sonnes, of pearelesse prowesse both,
That sacked Rome too dearely did assay,
The recompence of their perjured oth,        355
And ransackt Greece wel tryde, when they were wroth;
Besides subjected France and Germany,
Which yet their praises speake, all be they loth,
And inly tremble at the memory
Of Brennus and Belinus, kinges of Britany.        360
Next them did Gurgunt, great Belinus sonne,
In rule succeede, and eke in fathers praise:
He Easterland subdewd, and Denmarke wonne,
And of them both did foy and tribute raise,
The which was dew in his dead fathers daies:        365
He also gave to fugitives of Spayne,
Whom he at sea found wandring from their waies,
A seate in Ireland safely to remayne,
Which they should hold of him, as subject to Britayne.
After him raigned Guitheline his hayre,
The justest man and trewest in his daies,
Who had to wife Dame Mertia the fayre,
A woman worthy of immortall praise,
Which for this realme found many goodly layes,
And wholesome statutes to her husband brought:        375
Her many deemd to have beene of the Fayes,
As was Aegerie, that Numa tought:
Those yet of her be Mertian lawes both nam’d and thought.
Her sonne Sisillus after her did rayne,
And then Kimarus, and then Danius;        380
Next whom Morindus did the crowne sustayne,
Who, had he not with wrath outrageous
And cruell rancour dim’d his valorous
And mightie deedes, should matched have the best:
As well in that same field victorious        385
Against the forreine Morands he exprest:
Yet lives his memorie, though carcas sleepe in rest.
Five sonnes he left begotten of one wife,
All which successively by turnes did rayne;
First Gorboman, a man of vertuous life;        390
Next Archigald, who, for his proud disdayne,
Deposed was from princedome soverayne,
And pitteous Elidure put in his sted;
Who shortly it to him restord agayne,
Till by his death he it recovered;        395
But Peridure and Vigent him disthronized.
In wretched prison long he did remaine,
Till they outraigned had their utmost date,
And then therein reseized was againe,
And ruled long with honorable state,        400
Till he surrendred realme and life to fate.
Then all the sonnes of these five brethren raynd
By dew successe, and all their nephewes late;
Even thrise eleven descents the crowne retaynd,
Till aged Hely by dew heritage it gaynd.        405
He had two sonnes, whose eldest, called Lud,
Left of his life most famous memory,
And endlesse moniments of his great good:
The ruin’d wals he did reædifye
Of Troynovant, gainst force of enimy,        410
And built that gate which of his name is hight,
By which he lyes entombed solemnly.
He left two sonnes, too young to rule aright,
Androgeus and Tenantius, pictures of his might.
Whilst they were young, Cassibalane their eme
Was by the people chosen in their sted,
Who on him tooke the roiall diademe,
And goodly well long time it governed;
Till the prowde Romanes him disquieted,
And warlike Cæsar, tempted with the name        420
Of this sweet island, never conquered,
And envying the Britons blazed fame,
(O hideous hunger of dominion!) hether came.
Yet twise they were repulsed backs againe,
And twise renforst backs to their ships to fly,        425
The whiles with blood they all the shore did staine,
And the gray ocean into purple dy:
Ne had they footing found at last perdie,
Had not Androgeus, false to native soyle,
And envious of uncles soveraintie,        430
Betrayd his countrey unto forreine spoyle:
Nought els but treason from the first this land did foyle.
So by him Cæsar got the victory,
Through great bloodshed and many a sad assay,
In which himselfe was charged heavily        435
Of bardy Nennius, whom he yet did slay,
But lost his sword, yet to be seene this day.
Thenceforth this land was tributarie made
T’ambitious Rome, and did their rule obay,
Till Arthur all that reckoning defrayd;        440
Yet oft the Briton kings against them strongly swayd.
Next him Tenantius raignd; then Kimbeline,
What time th’ Eternall Lord in fleshly slime
Enwombed was, from wretched Adams line
To purge away the guilt of sinfull crime:        445
O joyous memorie of happy time,
That heavenly grace so plenteously displayd!
O too high ditty for my simple rime!
Soone after this the Romanes him warrayd,
For that their tribute he refusd to let be payd.        450
Good Claudius, that next was emperour,
An army brought, and with him batteile fought,
In which the king was by a treachetour
Disguised slaine, ere any thereof thought:
Yet ceased not the bloody fight for ought;        455
For Arvirage his brothers place supplyde,
Both in his armes and crowne, and by that draught
Did drive the Romanes to the weaker syde,
That they to peace agreed. So all was pacifyde.
Was never king more highly magnifide,
Nor dredd of Romanes, then was Arvirage;
For which the emperour to him allide
His daughter Genuiss’ in marriage:
Yet shortly he renounst the vassallage
Of Rome againe, who hether hastly sent        465
Vespasian, that with great spoile and rage
Forwasted all, till Genuissa gent
Persuaded him to ceasse, and her lord to relent.
He dide; and him succeeded Marius,
Who joyd his dayes in great tranquillity:        470
Then Coyll, and after him good Lucius,
That first received Christianity,
The sacred pledge of Christes Evangely:
Yet true it is, that long before that day
Hither came Joseph of Arimathy,        475
Who brought with him the Holy Grayle, (they say)
And preacht the truth; but since it greatly did decay.
This good king shortly without issew dide,
Whereof great trouble in the kingdome grew,
That did her selfe in sondry parts divide,        480
And with her powre her owne selfe overthrew,
Whilest Romanes daily did the weake subdew:
Which seeing stout Bunduca, up arose,
And taking armes, the Britons to her drew;
With whom she marched streight against her foes,        485
And them unwares besides the Severne did enclose.
There she with them a cruell batteill tryde,
Not with so good successe as shee deserv’d,
By reason that the captaines on her syde,
Corrupted by Paulinus, from her swerv’d:        490
Yet such as were through former flight preserv’d
Gathering againe, her host she did renew,
And with fresh corage on the victor serv’d:
But being all defeated, save a few,
Rather then fly, or be captiv’d, her selfe she slew.        495
O famous moniment of womens prayse,
Matchable either to Semiramis,
Whom antique history so high doth rayse,
Or to Hypsiphil’, or to Thomiris!
Her host two hundred thousand numbred is;        500
Who, whiles good fortune favoured her might,
Triumphed oft against her enemis;
And yet, though overcome in haplesse fight,
Shee triumphed on death, in enemies despight.
Her reliques Fulgent having gathered,
Fought with Severus, and him overthrew;
Yet in the chace was slaine of them that fled:
So made them victors whome he did subdew.
Then gan Carausius tirannize anew,
And gainst the Romanes bent their proper powre;        510
But him Allectus treacherously slew,
And tooke on him the robe of emperoure:
Nath’lesse the same enjoyed but short happy howre.
For Asclepiodate him overcame,
And left inglorious on the vanquisht playne,        515
Without or robe or rag to hide his shame.
Then afterwards he in his stead did raigne;
But shortly was by Coyll in batteill slaine:
Who after long debate, since Lucies tyme,
Was of the Britons first crownd soveraine.        520
Then gan this realme renew her passed prime:
He of his name Coylchester built of stone and lime.
Which when the Romanes heard, they hether sent
Constantius, a man of mickle might,
With whome King Coyll made an agreement,        525
And to him gave for wife his daughter bright,
Fayre Helena, the fairest living wight;
Who in all godly thewes, and goodly praise,
Did far excell, but was most famous hight
For skil in musicke of all in her daies,        530
Aswell in curious instruments as cunning laies.
Of whom he did great Constantine begett,
Who afterward was emperour of Rome;
To which whiles absent he his mind did sett,
Octavius here lept into his roome,        535
And it usurped by unrighteous doome:
But he his title justifide by might,
Slaying Traherne, and having overcome
The Romane legion in dreadfull fight:
So settled he his kingdome, and confirmd his right.        540
But wanting yssew male, his daughter deare
He gave in wedlocke to Maximian,
And him with her made of his kingdome heyre,
Who soone by meanes thereof the empire wan,
Till murdred by the freends of Gratian.        545
Then gan the Hunnes and Picts invade this land,
During the raigne of Maximinian;
Who dying left none heire them to withstand,
But that they overran all parts with easy hand.
The weary Britons, whose war-hable youth
Was by Maximian lately ledd away,
With wretched miseryes and woefull ruth
Were to those pagans made an open pray,
And daily spectacle of sad decay:
Whome Romane warres, which now fowr hundred yeares        555
And more had wasted, could no whit dismay;
Til by consent of Commons and of Peares,
They crownd the second Constantine with joyous teares.
Who having oft in batteill vanquished
Those spoylefull Picts, and swarming Easterlings,        560
Long time in peace his realme established,
Yet oft annoyd with sondry bordragings
Of neighbour Scots, and forrein scatterlings,
With which the world did in those dayes abound:
Which to outbarre, with painefull pyonings        565
From sea to sea he heapt a mighty mound,
Which from Alcluid to Panwelt did that border bownd.
Three sonnes he dying left, all under age;
By meanes whereof, their uncle Vortigere
Usurpt the crowne during their pupillage;        570
Which th’ infants tutors gathering to feare,
Them closely into Armorick did beare:
For dread of whom, and for those Picts annoyes,
He sent to Germany, straunge aid to reare;
From whence eftsoones arrived here three hoyes        575
Of Saxons, whom he for his safety imployes.
Two brethren were their capitayns, which hight
Hengist and Horsus, well approv’d in warre,
And both of them men of renowmed might;
Who, making vantage of their civile jarre,        580
And of those forreyners which came from farre,
Grew great, and got large portions of land,
That in the realme ere long they stronger arre
Then they which sought at first their helping hand,
And Vortiger have forst the kingdome to aband.        585
But by the helpe of Vortimere his sonne,
He is againe unto his rule restord;
And Hengist, seeming sad for that was donne,
Received is to grace and new accord,
Through his faire daughters face and flattring word.        590
Soone after which, three hundred lords he slew
Of British blood, all sitting at his bord;
Whose dolefull moniments who list to rew,
Th’eternall marks of treason may at Stonheng vew.
By this the sonnes of Constantine, which fled,
Ambrose and Uther, did ripe yeares attayne,
And here arriving, strongly challenged
The crowne, which Vortiger did long detayne;
Who, flying from his fuilt, by them was slayne,
And Hengist eke soone brought to shamefull death.        600
Thenceforth Aurelius peaceably did rayne,
Till that throught poyson stopped was his breath;
So now entombed lies at Stoneheng by the heath.
After him Uther, which Pendragon hight,
Succeeding —— There abruptly it did end,        605
Without full point, or other cesure right,
As if the rest some wicked hand did rend,
Or th’ author selfe could not at least attend
To finish it: that so untimely breach
The Prince him selfe halfe seemed to offend;        610
Yet secret pleasure did offence empeach,
And wonder of antiquity long stopt his speach.
At last, quite ravisht with delight, to heare
The royall ofspring of his native land,
Gryde out: ‘Deare countrey! O how dearely deare        615
Ought thy remembraunce and perpetual band
Be to thy foster childe, that from thy hand
Did commun breath and nouriture receave!
How brutish is it not to understand
How much to her we owe, that all us gave,        620
That gave unto us all, what ever good we have!’
But Guyon all this while his booke did read,
Ne yet has ended: for it was a great
And ample volume, that doth far excead
My leasure, so long leaves here to repeat:        625
It told, how first Prometheus did create
A man, of many parts from beasts deryv’d,
And then stole fire from heven, to animate
His worke, for which he was by Jove depryv’d
Of life him self, and hart-strings of an aegle ryv’d.        630
That man so made he called Elfe, to weet
Quick, the first author of all Elfin kynd:
Who, wandring through the world with wearie feet,
Did in the gardins of Adonis fynd
A goodly creature, whom he deemd in mynd        635
To be no earthly wight, but either spright
Or angell, th’ authour of all woman kynd;
Therefore a Fay he her according hight,
Of whom all Faryes spring, and fetch their lignage right.
Of these a mighty people shortly grew,
And puissant kinges, which all the world warrayd,
And to them selves all nations did subdew.
The first and eldest, which that scepter swayd,
Was Elfin; him all India obayd,
And all that now America men call:        645
Next him was noble Elfinan, who laid
Cleopolis foundation first of all:
But Elfiline enclosd it with a golden wall.
His sonne was Elfinell, who overcame
The wicked Gobbelines in bloody field:        650
But Elfant was of most renowmed fame,
Who all of christall did Panthea build:
Then Elfar, who two brethren gyauntes kild,
The one of which had two heades, th’ other three:
Then Elfinor, who was in magick skild;        655
He built by art upon the glassy see
A bridge of bras, whose sound hevens thunder seem’d to bee.
He left three sonnes, the which in order raynd,
And all their ofspring, in their dew descents,
Even seven hundred princes, which maintaynd        660
With mightie deedes their sondry governments;
That were too long their infinite contents
Here to record, ne much materiall;
Yet should they be most famous moniments,
And brave ensample, both of martiall        665
And civil rule, to kinges and states imperiall.
After all these Elficleos did rayne,
The wise Elficleos in great majestie,
Who mightily that scepter did sustayne,
And with rich spoyles and famous victorie        670
Did high advaunce the crowne of Faery:
He left two sonnes, of which faire Elferon,
The eldest brother, did untimely dy;
Whose emptie place the mightie Oberon
Doubly supplide, in spousall and dominion.        675
Great was his power and glorie over all
Which, him before, that sacred seate did fill,
That yet remaines his wide memoriall:
He dying left the fairest Tanaquill,
Him to succeede therein, by his last will:        680
Fairer and nobler liveth none this howre,
Ne like in grace, ne like in learned skill;
Therefore they Glorian call that glorious flowre:
Long mayst thou, Glorian, live, in glory and great powre!
Beguyld thus with delight of novelties,
And naturall desire of countryes state,
So long they redd in those antiquities,
That how the time was fled they quite forgate;
Till gentle Alma, seeing it so late,
Perforce their studies broke, and them besought        690
To thinke how supper did them long awaite:
So halfe unwilling from their bookes them brought,
And fayrely feasted, as so noble knightes she ought.

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