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Fair Daphne Phæbus' heart with love did gore;
Or Ida, where the Gods loved to repair,
Whenever they their heavenly bowers forlore ;

Or sweet Parnasse, the haunt of Muses fair;
Or Eden self, if ought with Eden might compare.


Much wondered Guyon at the fair aspect
Of that sweet place, yet suffered no delight
To sink into his sense, nor mind affect,
But passed forth, and looked still forward right,
Bridling his will and mastering his might,
Till that he came unto another gate;
No gate, but like one, being goodly dight

With boughs and branches, which did broad dilate Their clasping arms in wanton wreathings intricate:


So fashioned a porch with rare device,
Arched overhead with an embracing vine,
Whose bunches hanging down seemed to entice

passers by to taste their luscious wine,
And did themselves into their hands incline,
As freely offering to be gathered ;
Some deep empurpled as the Hyacine,

Some as the Rubine laughing sweetly red,
Some like fair Emeralds, not yet well ripened.


And them amongst some were of burnished gold,
So made by art to beautify the rest,
Which did themselves amongst the leaves enfold,
As lurking from the view of covetous guest,

That the weak boughs, with so rich load opprest,
Did bow adown as overburdened.
Under that porch a comely dame did rest,

Clad in fair weeds but foul disordered,
And garments loose that seemed unmeet for woman-



In her left hand a cup of gold she held,
And with her right the riper fruit did reach,
Whose sappy liquor, that with fulness swelled,
Into her cup she squeezed with dainty breach
Of her fine fingers, without foul empeach,
That so fair winepress made the wine more sweet :
Thereof she used to give to drink to each,

Whom passing by she happened to meet :
It was her guise all strangers goodly so to greet.


There the most dainty Paradise on ground
Itself doth offer to his sober eye,
In which all pleasures plenteously abound,
And none does other's happiness envy;
The painted flowers, the trees upshooting high,
The dales for shade, the hills for breathing space,
The trembling groves, the crystal running by,

And, that which all fair works doth most aggrace, The art which all that wrought appeared in no place.


One would have thought, (so cunningly the rude
And scorned parts were mingled with the fine)
That Nature had for wantonness ensued
Art, and that Art at Nature did repine;

So striving each th' other to undermine,
Each did the other's work more beautify;
So differing both in wills agreed in fine :

So all agreed, through sweet diversity,
This garden to adorn with all variety.

And in the midst of all a fountain stood,
Of richest substance that on earth might be,
So pure and shining that the silver flood
Through every channel running one might see;
Most goodly it with curious imagery
Was overwrought, and shapes of naked boys,
Of which some seemed with lively jollity

To fly about, playing their wanton toys,
Whilst others did themselves embay in liquid joys.


And over all of purest gold was spread
A trail of ivy in his native hue ;
For the rich metal was so coloured,
That wight who did not well advised it view
Would surely deem it to be ivy true:
Low his lascivious arms adown did creep,
That themselves dipping in the silver dew

Their fleecy flowers they fearfully did steep,
Which drops of crystal seemed for wantonness to weep.


Infinite streams continually did well
Out of this fountain, sweet and fair to see,
The which into an ample laver fell,
And shortly grew into so great quantity,

That like a little lake it seemed to be ;
Whose depth exceeded not three cubits' height,
That through the waves one might the bottom see,

All paved beneath with jasper shining bright,
That seemed the fountain in that sea did sail upright.


And all the margent round about was set
With shady laurel trees, thence to defend
The sunny beams which on the billows bet,
And those which therein bathed might offend.
As Guyon happened by the same to wend,
Two naked damsels he therein espied,
Which therein bathing seemed to contend

And wrestle wantonly, nor cared to hide
Their dainty parts from view of any which them eyed.


Sometimes the one would lift the other quite
Above the waters, and then down again
Her plunge, as overmastered by might,
Where both awhile would covered remain,
And each the other from to rise restrain;
The whiles their snowy limbs, as through a vele,
So through the crystal waves appeared plain ;

Then suddenly both would themselves unhele,
And th' amorous sweet spoils to greedy eyes reveal.


As that fair star, the messenger of morn,
His dewy face out of the sea doth rear ;
Or as the Cyprian goddess, newly born
Of the ocean's fruitful froth, did first appear;

Such seemed they, and so their yellow heare
Crystalline humour dropped down apace.
Whom such when Guyon saw, he drew him near,
And somewhat gan

relent his earnest pace; His stubborn breast gan secret pleasance to embrace.


The wanton maidens, him espying, stood
Gazing awhile at his unwonted guise;
Then th' one herself low ducked in the flood,
Abashed that her a stranger did avise ;
But th' other rather higher did arise,
And her two lily paps aloft displayed,
And all that might his melting heart entice

To her delights she unto him bewrayed ;
The rest hid underneath him more desirous made.


With that the other likewise up arose,
And her fair locks, which formerly were bound
Up in one knot, she low adown did lose,
Which flowing low and thick her clothed around,
And th' ivory in golden mantle gowned;
So that fair spectacle from him was reft,
Yet that which reft it no less fair was found.

So hid in locks and waves from looker's theft, Nought but her lovely face she for his looking left.


Withal she laughed, and she blushed withal,
That blushing to her laughter gave more grace,
And laughter to her blushing, as did fall.
Now when they spied the knight to slack his pace

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