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At last she her advised, that he which made That mirror wherein the sick damosel
So strangely viewed her strange lover's shade, To weet the learned Merlin, well could tell Under what coast of heaven the man did dwell, And by what means his love might best be wrought; For though beyond the Afric Ismael,
Or th' Indian Peru he were, she thought Him forth through infinite endeavour to have sought. Forthwith themselves disguising both in strange And base attire, that none might them bewray, To Maridunum, that is now by change
Of name Cayr-Merdin call'd, they took their way; There the wise Merlin whylome wont (they say) To make his wonne, low underneath the ground, In a deep delve, far from the view of day; That of no living wight he mote be found, Whenso he counsell'd, with his sprites encompass'd round.
And if thou ever happen that same way To travel, go to see that dreadful place : It is an hideous hollow cave (they say) Under a rock that lies a little space From the swift Barry, tumbling down apace Amongst the woody hills of Dynevowre: But dare thou not, I charge, in any case, To enter into that same baleful bower, For fear the cruel fiends should thee unwares
But standing high aloft, low lay thine ear,
Do toss, that it will stun thy feeble brains; And oftentimes great groans and grievous stounds, When too huge toil and labour them constrains, And oftentimes loud strokes and ringing sounds, From under that deep rock most horribly rebounds.
The cause, some say, is this: a little while
In the mean time, through that false lady's train,
For Merlin had in magic more insight
Than ever him before or after living wight.
For he by words could call out of the sky
That to this day, for terror of his fame,
The fiends do quake when any hinto them does name.
And sooth men say, that he was not the son
They here arriving, stay'd awhile without,
BELPHOEBE FINDS TIMIAS WOUNDED, AND CON-
BOOK III. CANTO V.
SHE on a day, as she pursued the chace
Of some wild beast, which, with her arrows keen, She wounded had, the same along did trace By tract of blood, which she had freshly seen To have besprinkled all the grassy green; By the great pursue which she there perceived, Well hoped she the beast engored had been, And made more haste the life to have bereaved; But ah! her expectation greatly was deceived.
Shortly she came whereas that woeful squire, With blood deformed, lay in deadly swound ; In whose fair eyes, like lamps of quenched fire, The crystal humour stood congealed round; His locks, like faded leaves, fallen to ground, Knotted with blood, in bunches rudely ran, And his sweet lips, on which, before that stound, The bud of youth to blossom fair began, Spoil'd of their rosy red, were waxen pale and wan.
Saw never living eye more heavy sight,
THIS bold and spirited poem has been ascribed to several authors, but to none on satisfactory authority. It can be traced to MS. of a date as early as 1593, when Francis Davison, who published it in his Poetical Rhapsody, was too young to be supposed, with much probability, to have written it; and as Davison's work was a compilation, his claims to it must be very doubtful. Sir Egerton Brydges has published it among Sir Walter Raleigh's poems, but without a tittle of evidence to show that it was the production of that great man. Mr. Ellis gives it to Joshua Sylvester, evidently by mistake. Whoever looks at the folio vol. of Sylvester's poems, will see
THE SOUL'S ERRAND.
FROM DAVISON'S "POETICAL RHAPSODY."
that Joshua uses the beautiful original merely as a text, and has the conscience to print his own stuff in a way that shows it to be interpolated. Among those additions there occur some such execrable stanzas as the following:
Say, soldiers are the sink
Tell townsmen, that because that They prank their brides so proud, Too many times it draws that Which makes them beetle-brow'd.
Ohe jam satis !