Friday, 10 November 2017

CAVES! - FQ Book 2 Canto 7

This is a long, un-dramatic Canto with some fun poetry and cool scenes. A good one if you like caves or deep places.

Guyon meets Mammon, who takes him into the earth to offer him money. Guyon says no thanks. mammon offers again. Guyon keeps saying no. Eventually Mammon brings him back.

Its un-dramatic becasue at no point is Guyons temperance challenged in any meaningful way. Even though his Palmer isn't there, the moral threat is obvious, direct, never changes and is easy to resist in exactly the same way every time. There are no wierd mysteries here and no Renaissance moral-mazes.


So; Guyon is seperated  from his 'Blacke Palmer' and goes forth into the wilderness.

Then, sitting in secret shade, he finds a strange dude;

"His face with smoke was tand, and eyes were bleard,
His head and beard with sout were ill bedight,
His cole-blacke hands did seeme to have beene seard
In smithes fire-spitting forge, and nayles like clawes appeared.

His yron cote all overgrowne with rust,
Was underneath enveloped all with gold,
Whose glistring glosse darkned with filthy dust,
Well it appeared, to have beene of old
A worke of rich entayle, and curious mould,
Woven with antickes and wild Imagery:
And in his lap a masse of coyne he told,
And turned upsidedown, to feed his eye
And coverous desire with his huge treasury."

This is;

"God of the world and worldlings I me call,
Great Mammon greatest god below the skye,"

And the first thing he does on seeing Guyon is to start tipping allhis many treasures;

"Into the hollow earth, them there to hide."

Then he calms down, realises who he's talking to and begins to make the customary offer;

"Wherefore if me thou deine to serve and sew,
At thy command lo all these mountains bee;"

There is no chance of this happening, Guyon prefers;

"Faire shields, gay steeds, bright armes be my delight:"

Then they argue about the corrupting and interlocking nature of money and power. Then about the simplicity and purity of antique times. The invention of mining;

"Then gan a curded hand the quiet wombe
Of his great Grandmother with steele to wound,
And the hid treasures in her sacred tombe,
With sacrilidge to dig."

Then Mammon leads Guyon into the earth;

"A darkesome way which no man could descry,
That deepe descended through the hollow ground,
And was with dread and horrour compassed round."

And there we have magnificent horrors personified, but I will leave that to the verse.

We see the doors to 'Richnesse', guarded by self-consuming care, and the door to Sleep, both very near the door to Hell. Guyon enters and is followed contiously by a monster;

"Ab ugly feend, more fowle than dismall day,
The which with monsterous stalke behind him stept,
And ever as he went, dew watch upon him kept.

Well hoped he, ere long that hardy guest,
If ever covetous hand, or lustfull eye,
Or lips he layed on thing, that liked him best,
Or ever sleepe his eye-strings did untye,
Should be his pray. And therefore still on hye
He over him did hild his cruell clawes,
Threatening with greedy gripe to do him dye
And rend in peeces with his ravenous pawes,
If ever he transgrest the fatall Stygian lawes."

Really, if you are tyring to bribe someone, the monster is mistake.

We see a cave with treasures. Guyon says no. Mammon tries another tactic and takes him to the Hieronomous Bosh room

"Therein an hundred raunges weren pight,
And hundred fornaces all burning bright;
By evert fornace many feends did bide,
Deformed creatures, horrible in sight,
And every feend his busy pains applied,
To melt the golden metall, ready to be tried."

Guyon gives no fucks,

They visit a golden golem;

"A sturdy villien, striding stiff and bold,
As if that highest God defie he would;
In his right hand and yron club he held,
But he mimself was all of golden mould,
Yet had both life and sense, and well could wield
That cursd weapon, when his cruell foes he queld.

Disdayne he called was, and did disdaine
To be so cald, and who so did him call:
Sterne was his looke, and full of stomacke vaine,
His portuance terrible, and stature tall,
Far passing th'height of men terrestriall;
Like an huge Gyant of the Titans race;
That made him scorne all creatures great and small,
And with his pride all others powre deface:
More fit amongst blacke fiendes, then men to have his place."

The halls of Ambition (who is a hot dame);

"Some though to raise themselves to high degree,
By riches and unrighteous reward,
Some by close shouldring, some by flateree;
Other through friends, others for base regard;
And all by wrong ways for themselves prepared.
Those that were up themselves, kept other low,
Those that were low themselves, held others hard,
Ne suffred them to rise of greater grow,
But every one did strive his fellow downe to throw."

Then the Garden of Prosperina;

"..Into a gardin goodly garnished
With hearbs and fruits, whose kinds mote not be red:
Not such, as earth out of her fruitful woomb
Throwes forth to men, sweet and well savoured,
But direful deadly blacke both leafe and bloom,
Fit to adorne the dead, and decke the drery toombe.

There mournfull Cypresse grew in greatest store,
And trees of bitter Gall and Hebren sad,
Dead sleeping Poppy, and black Hellebore,
Cold Coloquintida and Tetra mad,
Mortal Samnitis, and Cicuta bad,
Which with th' unjust Atheniens made to dy
Wise Socrates, who thereof quaffing glad
Pourd out his life, and last Philosophy
To the faire Critas his dearest Belamy."

Mournfull Cypress
(Ok apparently this isn't a correct mournful cypress, see comments below, but the one that is correct doesn't look mournful enough to me so I'm leaving it in.)

Black Hellebore
Bitter Gall
sleeping poppy

Which I would like to visit, except a rive of dammned souls goes right outside and you can hear the screaming continualy.

Then a loooot a greek metaphors.

Guyon says no, no, no thank you, nein, neit, non, nah, and NO. Eventually Mammon has to take him back to the surface. Since Guyon has been without food and drink for three days, he passes out. And that's Canto Seven.


  1. Thats not a cypress. Well, is a cypress for its taxon, but is not the mournful cypress (i.e. the tre we mediterranean people plant in graveyards). This is a cypress:

    1. I believe you, but the actual mournful cypress doesn't look mournful enough so I'm sticking with the hollywood option. Apologies. I did put a note in the post though.