Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 3, CANTOS 10-12, by EDMUND SPENSER



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 3, CANTOS 10-12, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Paridell rapeth hellenore
Last Line: Where let them wend at will, whilest here I doe respire.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin


CANTO X

Paridell rapeth Hellenore:
Malbecco her poursewes:
Fynds emongst Satyres, whence with him
To turne she doth refuse.

I

THE morow next, so soone as Phoebus lamp
Bewrayed had the world with early light,
And fresh Aurora had the shady damp
Out of the goodly heven amoved quight,
Faire Britomart and that same Faery knight
Uprose, forth on their journey for to wend:
But Paridell complaynd, that his late fight
With Britomart so sore did him offend,
That ryde he could not, till his hurts he did amend.

II

So foorth they far'd, but he behind them stayd,
Maulgre his host, who grudged grivously
To house a guest that would be needes obayd,
And of his owne him left not liberty:
Might wanting measure moveth surquedry.
Two things he feared, but the third was death:
That fiers youngmans unruly maystery;
His money, which he lov'd as living breath;
And his faire wife, whom honest long he kept uneath.

III

But patience perforce, he must abie
What fortune and his fate on him will lay;
Fond is the feare that findes no remedie;
Yet warily he watcheth every way,
By which he feareth evill happen may:
So th' evill thinkes by watching to prevent;
Ne doth he suffer her, nor night nor day,
Out of his sight her selfe once to absent.
So doth he punish her and eke himselfe torment.

IV

But Paridell kept better watch then hee,
A fit occasion for his turne to finde.
False Love, why do men say thou canst not see,
And in their foolish fancy feigne thee blinde,
That with thy charmes the sharpest sight doest binde,
And to thy will abuse? Thou walkest free,
And seest every secret of the minde;
Thou seest all, yet none at all sees thee;
All that is by the working of thy deitee.

V

So perfect in that art was Paridell.
That he Malbeccoes halfen eye did wyle;
His halfen eye he wiled wondrous well,
And Hellenors both eyes did eke beguyle,
Both eyes and hart attonce, during the whyle
That he there sojourned his woundes to heale;
That Cupid selfe, it seeing, close did smyle,
To weet how he her love away did steale,
And bad that none their joyous treason should reveale.

VI

The learned lover lost no time nor tyde,
That least avantage mote to him afford,
Yet bore so faire a sayle, that none espyde
His secret drift, till he her layd abord.
When so in open place and commune bord
He fortun'd her to meet, with commune speach
He courted her, yet bayted every word,
That his ungentle hoste n'ote him appeach
Of vile ungentlenesse, or hospitages breach.

VII

But when apart (if ever her apart)
He found, then his false engins fast he plyde,
And all the sleights unbosomd in his hart;
He sigh'd, he sobd, he swownd, he perdy dyde,
And cast himselfe on ground her fast besyde:
Tho, when againe he him bethought to live,
He wept, and wayld, and false laments belyde,
Saying, but if she mercie would him give,
That he mote algates dye, yet did his death forgive.

VIII

And otherwhyles with amorous delights
And pleasing toyes he would her entertaine,
Now singing sweetly, to surprize her sprights,
Now making layes of love and lovers paine,
Bransles, ballads, virelayes, and verses vaine;
Oft purposes, oft riddles he devysd,
And thousands like, which flowed in his braine,
With which he fed her fancy, and entysd
To take to his new love, and leave her old despysd.

IX

And every where he might, and everie while,
He did her service dewtifull, and sewd
At hand with humble pride and pleasing guile,
So closely yet, that none but she it vewd,
Who well perceived all, and all indewd.
Thus finely did he his false nets dispred,
With which he many weake harts had subdewd
Of yore, and many had ylike misled:
What wonder then, if she were likewise carried?

X

No fort so fensible, no wals so strong,
But that continuall battery will rive,
Or daily siege, through dispurvayaunce long
And lacke of reskewes, will to parley drive;
And peece, that unto parley eare will give,
Will shortly yield it selfe, and will be made
The vassall of the victors will bylive:
That stratageme had oftentimes assayd
This crafty paramoure, and now it plaine displayd.

XI

For through his traines he her intrapped hath,
That she her love and hart hath wholy sold
To him, without regard of gaine or scath,
Or care of credite, or of husband old,
Whom she hath vow'd to dub a fayre cucquold.
Nought wants but time and place, which shortly shee
Devized hath, and to her lover told.
It pleased well: so well they both agree;
So readie rype to ill, ill wemens counsels bee.

XII

Darke was the evening, fit for lovers stealth,
When chaunst Malbecco busie be elsewhere,
She to his closet went, where all his wealth
Lay hid: thereof she countlesse summes did reare,
The which she meant away with her to beare;
The rest she fyr'd for sport, or for despight;
As Hellene, when she saw aloft appeare
The Trojane flames, and reach to hevens hight,
Did clap her hands, and joyed at that dolefull sight.

XIII

This second Helene, fayre Dame Hellenore,
The whiles her husband ran with sory haste,
To quench the flames which she had tyn'd before,
Laught at his foolish labour spent in waste,
And ran into her lovers armes right fast;
Where streight embraced, she to him did cry
And call alowd for helpe, ere helpe were past,
For lo! that guest did beare her forcibly,
And meant to ravish her, that rather had to dy.

XIV

The wretched man, hearing her call for ayd,
And ready seeing him with her to fly,
In his disquiet mind was much dismayd:
But when againe he backeward cast his eye,
And saw the wicked fire so furiously
Consume his hart, and scorch his idoles face,
He was therewith distressed diversely,
Ne wist he how to turne, nor to what place:
Was never wretched man in such a wofull cace.

XV

Ay when to him she cryde, to her he turnd,
And left the fire; love money overcame:
But when he marked how his money burnd,
He left his wife; money did love disclame:
Both was he loth to loose his loved dame,
And loth to leave his liefest pelfe behinde,
Yet sith he n'ote save both, he sav'd that same
Which was the dearest to his dounghill minde,
The god of his desire, the joy of misers blinde.

XVI

Thus whilest all things in troublous uprore were,
And all men busie to suppresse the flame,
The loving couple neede no reskew feare,
But leasure had and liberty to frame
Their purpost flight, free from all mens reclame;
And Night, the patronesse of love-stealth fayre,
Gave them safeconduct, till to end they came:
So beene they gone yfere, a wanton payre
Of lovers loosely knit, where list them to repayre.

XVII

Soone as the cruell flames yslaked were,
Malbecco, seeing how his losse did lye,
Out of the flames, which he had quencht whylere,
Into huge waves of griefe and gealosye
Full deepe emplonged was, and drowned nye
Twixt inward doole and felonous despight:
He rav'd, he wept, he stampt, he lowd did cry,
And all the passions that in man may light
Did him attonce oppresse, and vex his caytive spright.

XVIII

Long thus he chawd the cud of inward griefe,
And did consume his gall with anguish sore:
Still when he mused on his late mischiefe,
Then still the smart thereof increased more,
And seemd more grievous then it was before:
At last, when sorrow he saw booted nought,
Ne griefe might not his love to him restore,
He gan devise how her he reskew mought;
Ten thousand wayes he cast in his confused thought.

XIX

At last resolving, like a pilgrim pore,
To search her forth, where so she might be fond,
And bearing with him treasure in close store,
The rest he leaves in ground: so takes in hond
To seeke her endlong both by sea and lond.
Long he her sought, he sought her far and nere,
And every where that he mote understond
Of knights and ladies any meetings were,
And of eachone he mett he tidings did inquere.

XX

But all in vaine; his woman was too wise,
Ever to come into his clouch againe,
And hee too simple ever to surprise
The jolly Paridell, for all his paine.
One day, as hee forpassed by the plaine
With weary pace, he far away espide
A couple, seeming well to be his twaine,
Which hoved close under a forest side,
As if they lay in wait, or els them selves did hide.

XXI

Well weened hee that those the same mote bee,
And as he better did their shape avize,
Him seemed more their maner did agree;
For th' one was armed all in warlike wize,
Whom to be Paridell he did devize;
And th' other, al yclad in garments light,
Discolourd like to womanish disguise,
He did resemble to his lady bright,
And ever his faint hart much earned at the sight.

XXII

And ever faine he towards them would goe,
But yet durst not for dread approchen nie,
But stood aloofe, unweeting what to doe,
Till that prickt forth with loves extremity,
That is the father of fowle gealosy,
He closely nearer crept, the truth to weet:
But, as he nigher drew, he easily
Might scerne that it was not his sweetest sweet,
Ne yet her belamour, the partner of his sheet.

XXIII

But it was scornefull Braggadochio,
That with his servant Trompart hoverd there,
Sith late he fled from his too earnest foe:
Whom such whenas Malbecco spyed clere,
He turned backe, and would have fled arere;
Till Trompart ronning hastely, him did stay,
And bad before his soveraine lord appere:
That was him loth, yet durst he not gainesay,
And comming him before, low louted on the lay.

XXIV

The boaster at him sternely bent his browe,
As if he could have kild him with his looke,
That to the ground him meekely made to bowe,
And awfull terror deepe into him strooke,
That every member of his body quooke.
Said he, 'Thou man of nought, what doest thou here,
Unfitly furnisht with thy bag and booke,
Where I expected one with shield and spere,
To prove some deeds of armes upon an equall pere?'

XXV

The wretched man at his imperious speach
Was all abasht, and low prostrating, said:
'Good sir, let not my rudenes be no breach
Unto your patience, ne be ill ypaid;
For I unwares this way by fortune straid,
A silly pilgrim driven to distresse,
That seeke a lady --' There he suddein staid,
And did the rest with grievous sighes suppresse,
While teares stood in his eies, few drops of bitternesse.

XXVI

'What lady, man?' said Trompart. 'Take good hart,
And tell thy griefe, if any hidden lye:
Was never better time to shew thy smart
Then now that noble succor is thee by,
That is the whole worlds commune remedy.'
That chearful word his weak heart much did cheare,
And with vaine hope his spirits faint supply,
That bold he sayd: 'O most redoubted pere,
Vouchsafe with mild regard a wretches cace to heare.'

XXVII

Then sighing sore, 'It is not long,' saide hee,
'Sith I enjoyd the gentlest dame alive;
Of whom a knight, no knight at all perdee,
But shame of all that doe for honor strive,
By treacherous deceipt did me deprive;
Through open outrage he her bore away,
And with fowle force unto his will did drive,
Which al good knights, that armes do bear this day,
Are bownd for to revenge and punish if they may.

XXVIII

'And you, most noble lord, that can and dare
Redresse the wrong of miserable wight,
Cannot employ your most victorious speare
In better quarell then defence of right,
And for a lady gainst a faithlesse knight:
So shall your glory bee advaunced much,
And all faire ladies magnify your might,
And eke my selfe, albee I simple such,
Your worthy paine shall wel reward with guerdon rich.'

XXIX

With that out of his bouget forth he drew
Great store of treasure, therewith him to tempt;
But he on it lookt scornefully askew,
As much disdeigning to be so misdempt,
Or a war-monger to be basely nempt;
And sayd: 'Thy offers base I greatly loth,
And eke thy words uncourteous and unkempt:
I tread in dust thee and thy money both,
That, were it not for shame --' So turned from him wroth.

XXX

But Trompart, that his maistres humor knew,
In lofty looks to hide an humble minde,
Was inly tickled with that golden vew,
And in his eare him rownded close behinde:
Yet stoupt he not, but lay still in the winde,
Waiting advauntage on the pray to sease;
Till Trompart, lowly to the grownd inclinde,
Besought him his great corage to appease,
And pardon simple man, that rash did him displease.

XXXI

Big looking like a doughty doucepere,
At last he thus: 'Thou clod of vilest clay,
I pardon yield, and with thy rudenes beare;
But weete henceforth, that all that golden pray,
And all that els the vaine world vaunten may,
I loath as doung, ne deeme my dew reward:
Fame is my meed, and glory vertues pay:
But minds of mortal men are muchell mard
And mov'd amisse with massy mucks unmeet regard.

XXXII

'And more, I graunt to thy great misery
Gratious respect; thy wife shall backe be sent,
And that vile knight, who ever that he bee,
Which hath thy lady reft, and knighthood shent,
By Sanglamort my sword, whose deadly dent
The blood hath of so many thousands shedd,
I sweare, ere long shall dearly it repent;
Ne he twixt heven and earth shall hide his hedd,
But soone he shalbe fownd, and shortly doen be dedd.'

XXXIII

The foolish man thereat woxe wondrous blith,
As if the word so spoken were halfe donne,
And humbly thanked him a thousand sith,
That had from death to life him newly wonne.
Tho forth the boaster marching, brave begonne
His stolen steed to thunder furiously,
As if he heaven and hell would overonne,
And all the world confound with cruelty,
That much Malbecco joyed in his jollity.

XXXIV

Thus long they three together traveiled,
Through many a wood and many an uncouth way,
To seeke his wife, that was far wandered:
But those two sought nought but the present pray,
To weete, the treasure which he did bewray,
On which their eies and harts were wholly sett,
With purpose how they might it best betray;
For sith the howre that first he did them lett
The same behold, therwith their keene desires were whett.

XXXV

It fortuned, as they together far'd,
They spide, where Paridell came pricking fast
Upon the plaine, the which him selfe prepar'd
To giust with that brave straunger knight a cast,
As on adventure by the way he past:
Alone he rode without his paragone;
For having filcht her bells, her up he cast
To the wide world, and let her fly alone;
He nould be clogd. So had he served many one.

XXXVI

The gentle lady, loose at randon lefte,
The greene-wood long did walke, and wander wide
At wilde adventure, like a forlorne wefte,
Till on a day the Satyres her espide
Straying alone withouten groome or guide:
Her up they tooke, and with them home her ledd,
With them as housewife ever to abide,
To milk their gotes, and make them cheese and bredd,
And every one as commune good her handeled:

XXXVII

That shortly she Malbecco has forgott,
And eke Sir Paridell, all were he deare;
Who from her went to seeke another lott,
And now by fortune was arrived here,
Where those two guilers with Malbecco were.
Soone as the oldman saw Sir Paridell,
He fainted, and was almost dead with feare,
Ne word he had to speake, his griefe to tell,
But to him louted low, and greeted goodly well;

XXXVIII

And after asked him for Hellenore.
'I take no keepe of her,' sayd Paridell,
'She wonneth in the forrest there before.'
So forth he rode, as his adventure fell;
The whiles the boaster from his loftie sell
Faynd to alight, something amisse to mend;
But the fresh swayne would not his leasure dwell,
But went his way; whom when he passed kend,
He up remounted light, and after faind to wend.

XXXIX

'Perdy nay,' said Malbecco, 'shall ye not:
But let him passe as lightly as he came:
For litle good of him is to be got,
And mickle perill to bee put to shame.
But let us goe to seeke my dearest dame,
Whom he hath left in yonder forest wyld:
For of her safety in great doubt I ame,
Least salvage beastes her person have despoyld:
Then all the world is lost, and we in vaine have toyld.'

XL

They all agree, and forward them addrest:
'Ah! but, said crafty Trompart, 'weete ye well,
That yonder in that wastefull wildernesse
Huge monsters haunt, and many dangers dwell;
Dragons, and minotaures, and feendes of hell,
And many wilde woodmen, which robbe and rend
All traveilers; therefore advise ye well,
Before ye enterprise that way to wend:
One may his journey bring too soone to evill end.'

XLI

Malbecco stopt in great astonishment,
And with pale eyes fast fixed on the rest,
Their counsell crav'd, in daunger imminent.
Said Trompart: 'You, that are the most opprest
With burdein of great treasure, I thinke best
Here for to stay in safetie behynd;
My lord and I will search the wide forest.'
That counsell pleased not Malbeccoes mynd;
For he was much afraid, him selfe alone to fynd.

XLII

'Then is it best,' said he, 'that ye doe leave
Your treasure here in some security,
Either fast closed in some hollow greave,
Or buried in the ground from jeopardy,
Till we returne againe in safety:
As for us two, least doubt of us ye have,
Hence farre away we will blyndfolded ly,
Ne privy bee unto your treasures grave.'
It pleased: so he did. Then they march forward brave.

XLIII

Now when amid the thickest woodes they were,
They heard a noyse of many bagpipes shrill,
And shrieking hububs them approching nere,
Which all the forest did with horrour fill:
That dreadfull sound the bosters hart did thrill
With such amazment, that in hast he fledd,
Ne ever looked back for good or ill,
And after him eke fearefull Trompart spedd;
The old man could not fly, but fell to ground half dedd.

XLIV

Yet afterwardes close creeping as he might,
He in a bush did hyde his fearefull hedd.
The jolly Satyres, full of fresh delight,
Came dauncing forth, and with them nimbly ledd
Faire Helenore, with girlonds all bespredd,
Whom their May-lady they had newly made:
She, proude of that new honour which they redd,
And of their lovely fellowship full glade,
Daunst lively, and her face did with a lawrell shade.

XLV

The silly man that in the thickett lay
Saw all this goodly sport, and grieved sore,
Yet durst he not against it doe or say,
But did his hart with bitter thoughts engore,
To see th' unkindnes of his Hellenore.
All day they daunced with great lustyhedd,
And with their horned feet the greene gras wore,
The whiles their gotes upon the brouzes fedd,
Till drouping Phoebus gan to hyde his golden hedd.

XLVI

Tho up they gan their mery pypes to trusse,
And all their goodly heardes did gather rownd,
But every Satyre first did give a busse
To Hellenore: so busses did abound.
Now gan the humid vapour shed the grownd
With perly deaw, and th' earthes gloomy shade
Did dim the brightnesse of the welkin rownd,
That every bird and beast awarned made
To shrowd themselves, whiles sleepe their sences did invade.

XLVII

Which when Malbecco saw, out of his bush
Upon his hands and feete he crept full light,
And like a gote emongst the gotes did rush,
That through the helpe of his faire hornes on hight,
And misty dampe of misconceyving night,
And eke through likenesse of his gotish beard,
He did the better counterfeite aright:
So home he marcht emongst the horned heard,
That none of all the Satyres him espyde or heard.

XLVIII

At night, when all they went to sleepe, he vewd
Whereas his lovely wife emongst them lay,
Embraced of a Satyre rough and rude,
Who all the night did minde his joyous play:
Nine times he heard him come aloft ere day,
That all his hart with gealosy did swell;
But yet that nights ensample did bewray,
That not for nought his wife them loved so well,
When one so oft a night did ring his matins bell.

XLIX

So closely as he could, he to them crept,
When wearie of their sport to sleepe they fell,
And to his wife, that now full soundly slept,
He whispered in her eare, and did her tell,
That it was he, which by her side did dwell,
And therefore prayd her wake, to heare him plaine.
As one out of a dreame not waked well,
She turnd her, and returned backe againe:
Yet her for to awake he did the more constraine.

L

At last with irkesom trouble she abrayd;
And then perceiving, that it was indeed
Her old Malbecco, which did her upbrayd
With loosenesse of her love and loathly deed,
She was astonisht with exceeding dreed,
And would have wakt the Satyre by her syde;
But he her prayd, for mercy or for meed,
To save his life, ne let him be descryde,
But hearken to his lore, and all his counsell hyde.

LI

Tho gan he her perswade to leave that lewd
And loathsom life, of God and man abhord,
And home returne, where all should be renewd
With perfect peace and bandes of fresh accord,
And she receivd againe to bed and bord,
As if no trespas ever had beene donne:
But she it all refused at one word,
And by no meanes would to his will be wonne,
But chose emongst the jolly Satyres still to wonne.

LII

He wooed her till day spring he espyde;
But all in vaine: and then turnd to the heard,
Who butted him with hornes on every syde,
And trode downe in the durt, where his hore beard
Was fowly dight, and he of death afeard.
Early, before the heavens fairest light
Out of the ruddy east was fully reard,
The heardes out of their foldes were loosed quight,
And he emongst the rest crept forth in sory plight.

LIII

So soone as he the prison dore did pas,
He ran as fast as both his feet could beare,
And never looked who behind him was,
Ne scarsely who before: like as a beare,
That creeping close, amongst the hives to reare
An hony combe, the wakefull dogs espy,
And him assayling, sore his carkas teare,
That hardly he with life away does fly,
Ne stayes, till safe him selfe he see from jeopardy.

LIV

Ne stayd he, till he came unto the place,
Where late his treasure he entombed had;
Where when he found it not (for Trompart bace
Had it purloyned for his maister bad)
With extreme fury he became quite mad,
And ran away, ran with him selfe away:
That who so straungely had him seene bestadd,
With upstart haire and staring eyes dismay,
From Limbo lake him late escaped sure would say.

LV

High over hilles and over dales he fledd,
As if the wind him on his winges had borne,
Ne banck nor bush could stay him, when he spedd
His nimble feet, as treading still on thorne:
Griefe, and despight, and gealosy, and scorne
Did all the way him follow hard behynd,
And he himselfe himselfe loath'd so forlorne,
So shamefully forlorne of womankynd;
That, as a snake, still lurked in his wounded mynd.

LVI

Still fled he forward, looking backward still,
Ne stayd his flight, nor fearefull agony,
Till that he came unto a rocky hill,
Over the sea suspended dreadfully,
That living creature it would terrify
To looke adowne, or upward to the hight:
From thence he threw him selfe dispiteously,
All desperate of his fore-damned spright,
That seemd no help for him was left in living sight.

LVII

But through long anguish and selfe-murdring thought,
He was so wasted and forpined quight,
That all his substance was consum'd to nought,
And nothing left, but like an aery spright,
That on the rockes 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 clawes so long did crall,
That at the last he found a cave with entrance small.

LVIII

Into the same he creepes, and thenceforth there
Resolv'd to build his balefull mansion,
In drery darkenes, and continuall feare
Of that rocks fall, which ever and anon
Threates with huge ruine him to fall upon,
That he dare never sleepe, but that one eye
Still ope he keepes for that occasion;
Ne ever rests he in tranquillity,
The roring billowes beat his bowre so boystrously.

LIX

Ne ever is he wont on ought to feed
But todes and frogs, his pasture poysonous,
Which in his cold complexion doe breed
A filthy blood, or humour rancorous,
Matter of doubt and dread suspitious,
That doth with curelesse care consume the hart,
Corrupts the stomacke with gall vitious,
Croscuts the liver with internall smart,
And doth transfixe the soule with deathes eternall dart.

LX

Yet can he never dye, but dying lives,
And doth himselfe with sorrow new sustaine,
That death and life attonce unto him gives,
And painefull pleasure turnes to pleasing paine.
There dwels he ever, miserable swaine,
Hatefull both to him selfe and every wight;
Where he, through privy griefe and horrour vaine,
Is woxen so deform'd, that he has quight
Forgot he was a man, and Gelosy is hight.

CANTO XI

Britomart chaceth Ollyphant;
Findes Scudamour distrest:
Assayes the house of Busyrane,
Where Loves spoyles are exprest.

I

O HATEFULL hellish snake! what Furie furst
Brought thee from balefull house of Proserpine,
Where in her bosome she thee long had nurst,
And fostred up with bitter milke of tine,
Fowle Gealosy! that turnest love divine
To joylesse dread, and mak'st the loving hart
With hatefull thoughts to languish and to pine,
And feed it selfe with selfe-consuming smart?
Of all the passions in the mind thou vilest art.

II

O let him far be banished away,
And in his stead let Love for ever dwell,
Sweete Love, that doth his golden wings embay
In blessed nectar, and pure pleasures well,
Untroubled of vile feare or bitter fell.
And ye, faire ladies, that your kingdomes make
In th' harts of men, them governe wisely well,
And of faire Britomart ensample take,
That was as trew in love as turtle to her make.

III

Who with Sir Satyrane, as earst ye red,
Forth ryding from Malbeccoes hostlesse hous,
Far off aspyde a young man, the which fled
From an huge geaunt, that with hideous
And hatefull outrage long him chaced thus;
It was that Ollyphant, the brother deare
Of that Argante vile and vitious,
From whom the Squyre of Dames was reft whylere;
This all as bad as she, and worse, if worse ought were.

IV

For as the sister did in feminine
And filthy lust exceede all woman kinde,
So he surpassed his sex masculine,
In beastly use, all that I ever finde:
Whom when as Britomart beheld behinde
The fearefull boy so greedily poursew,
She was emmoved in her noble minde
T' employ her puissaunce to his reskew,
And pricked fiercely forward, where she did him vew.

V

Ne was Sir Satyrane her far behinde,
But with like fiercenesse did ensew the chace:
Whom when the gyaunt saw, he soone resinde
His former suit, and from them fled apace:
They after both, and boldly bad him bace,
And each did strive the other to outgoe;
But he them both outran a wondrous space,
For he was long, and swift as any roe,
And now made better speed, t' escape his feared foe.

VI

It was not Satyrane, whom he did feare,
But Britomart the flowre of chastity;
For he the powre of chaste hands might not beare,
But alwayes did their dread encounter fly:
And now so fast his feet he did apply,
That he has gotten to a forrest neare,
Where he is shrowded in security.
The wood they enter, and search everie where;
They searched diversely, so both divided were.

VII

Fayre Britomart so long him followed,
That she at last came to a fountaine sheare,
By which there lay a knight all wallowed
Upon the grassy ground, and by him neare
His haberjeon, his helmet, and his speare:
A little of, his shield was rudely throwne,
On which the Winged Boy in colours cleare
Depeincted was, full easie to be knowne,
And he thereby, where ever it in field was showne.

VIII

His face upon the grownd did groveling ly,
As if he had beene slombring in the shade,
That the brave mayd would not for courtesy
Out of his quiet slomber him abrade,
Nor seeme too suddeinly him to invade:
Still as she stood, she heard with grievous throb
Him grone, as if his hart were peeces made,
And with most painefull pangs to sigh and sob,
That pitty did the virgins hart of patience rob.

IX

At last forth breaking into bitter plaintes
He sayd: 'O soverayne Lord, that sit'st on hye,
And raignst in blis emongst thy blessed saintes,
How suffrest thou such shamefull cruelty,
So long unwreaked of thine enimy?
Or hast thou, Lord, of good mens cause no heed?
Or doth thy justice sleepe, and silently?
What booteth then the good and righteous deed,
If goodnesse find no grace, nor righteousnes no meed?

X

'If good find grace, and righteousnes reward,
Why then is Amoret in caytive band,
Sith that more bounteous creature never far'd
On foot upon the face of living land?
Or if that hevenly justice may withstand
The wrongfull outrage of unrighteous men,
Why then is Busirane with wicked hand
Suffred, these seven monethes day in secret den
My lady and my love so cruelly to pen?

XI

'My lady and my love is cruelly pend
In dolefull darkenes from the vew of day,
Whilest deadly torments doe her chast brest rend,
And the sharpe steele doth rive her hart in tway,
All for she Scudamore will not denay.
Yet thou, vile man, vile Scudamore, art sound,
Ne canst her ayde, ne canst her foe dismay;
Unworthy wretch to tread upon the ground,
For whom so faire a lady feeles so sore a wound.'

XII

There an huge heape of singulfes did oppresse
His strugling soule, and swelling throbs empeach
His foltring toung with pangs of drerinesse,
Choking the remnant of his plaintife speach,
As if his dayes were come to their last reach.
Which when she heard, and saw the ghastly fit,
Threatning into his life to make a breach,
Both with great ruth and terrour she was smit,
Fearing least from her cage the wearie soule would flit.

XIII

Tho stouping downe, she him amoved light;
Who, therewith somewhat starting, up gan looke,
And seeing him behind a stranger knight,
Whereas no living creature he mistooke,
With great indignaunce he that sight forsooke,
And downe againe himselfe disdainefully
Abjecting, th' earth with his faire forhead strooke:
Which the bold virgin seeing, gan apply
Fit medcine to his griefe, and spake thus courtesly:

XIV

'Ah! gentle knight, whose deepe conceived griefe
Well seemes t' exceede the powre of patience,
Yet if that hevenly grace some good reliefe
You send, submit you to High Providence,
And ever in your noble hart prepense,
That all the sorrow in the world is lesse
Then vertues might and values confidence.
For who nill bide the burden of distresse
Must not here thinke to live: for life is wretchednesse.

XV

'Therefore, faire sir, doe comfort to you take,
And freely read what wicked felon so
Hath outrag'd you, and thrald your gentle make.
Perhaps this hand may helpe to ease your woe,
And wreake your sorrow on your cruell foe;
At least it faire endevour will apply.'
Those feeling words so neare the quicke did goe,
That up his head he reared easily,
And leaning on his elbowe, these few words lett fly:

XVI

'What boots it plaine that cannot be redrest,
And sow vaine sorrow in a fruitlesse eare,
Sith powre of hand, nor skill of learned brest,
Ne worldly price cannot redeeme my deare
Out of her thraldome and continuall feare?
For he, the tyrant, which her hath in ward
By strong enchauntments and blacke magicke leare,
Hath in a dungeon deepe her close embard,
And many dreadfull feends hath pointed to her gard.

XVII

'There he tormenteth her most terribly,
And day and night afflicts with mortall paine,
Because to yield him love she doth deny,
Once to me yold, not to be yolde againe:
But yet by torture he would her constraine
Love to conceive in her disdainfull brest;
Till so she doe, she must in doole remaine,
Ne may by living meanes be thence relest:
What boots it then to plaine that cannot be redrest?'

XVIII

With this sad hersall of his heavy stresse
The warlike damzell was empassiond sore,
And sayd: 'Sir knight, your cause is nothing lesse
Then is your sorrow, certes, if not more;
For nothing so much pitty doth implore,
As gentle ladyes helplesse misery.
But yet, if please ye listen to my lore,
I will, with proofe of last extremity,
Deliver her fro thence, or with her for you dy.'

XIX

'Ah! gentlest knight alive,' sayd Scudamore,
'What huge heroicke magnanimity
Dwells in thy bounteous brest? what couldst thou more,
If shee were thine, and thou as now am I?
O spare thy happy daies, and them apply
To better boot, but let me die, that ought;
More is more losse: one is enough to dy.'
'Life is not lost,' said she, 'for which is bought
Endlesse renowm, that more then death is to be sought.'

XX

Thus shee at length persuaded him to rise,
And with her wend, to see what new successe
Mote him befall upon new enterprise:
His armes, which he had vowed to disprofesse,
She gathered up and did about him dresse,
And his forwandred steed unto him gott:
So forth they both yfere make their progresse,
And march not past the mountenaunce of a shott,
Till they arriv'd whereas their purpose they did plott.

XXI

There they dismounting, drew their weapons bold,
And stoutly came unto the castle gate,
Whereas no gate they found, them to withhold,
Nor ward to wait at morne and evening late;
But in the porch, that did them sore amate,
A flaming fire, ymixt with smouldry smoke
And stinking sulphure, that with griesly hate
And dreadfull horror did all entraunce choke,
Enforced them their forward footing to revoke.

XXII

Greatly thereat was Britomart dismayd,
Ne in that stownd wist how her selfe to beare;
For daunger vaine it were to have assayd
That cruell element, which all things feare,
Ne none can suffer to approchen neare:
And turning backe to Scudamour, thus sayd:
'What monstrous enmity provoke we heare,
Foolhardy as th' Earthes children, the which made
Batteill against the gods? so we a god invade.

XXIII

'Daunger without discretion to attempt
Inglorious and beastlike is: therefore, sir knight,
Aread what course of you is safest dempt,
And how we with our foe may come to fight.'
'This is,' quoth he, 'the dolorous despight,
Which earst to you I playnd: for neither may
This fire be quencht by any witt or might,
Ne yet by any meanes remov'd away;
So mighty be th' enchauntments which the same do stay.

XXIV

'What is there ells, but cease these fruitlesse paines,
And leave me to my former languishing?
Faire Amorett must dwell in wicked chaines,
And Scudamore here die with sorrowing.'
'Perdy, not so,' saide shee; 'for shameful thing
Yt were t' abandon noble chevisaunce,
For shewe of perill, without venturing:
Rather let try extremities of chaunce,
Then enterprised praise for dread to disavaunce.'

XXV

Therewith, resolv'd to prove her utmost might,
Her ample shield she threw before her face,
And her swords point directing forward right,
Assayld the flame, the which eftesoones gave place,
And did it selfe divide with equall space,
That through she passed, as a thonder bolt
Perceth the yielding ayre, and doth displace
The soring clouds into sad showres ymolt;
So to her yold the flames, and did their force revolt.

XXVI

Whome whenas Scudamour saw past the fire,
Safe and untoucht, he likewise gan assay,
With greedy will and envious desire,
And bad the stubborne flames to yield him way:
But cruell Mulciber would not obay
His threatfull pride, but did the more augment
His mighty rage, and with imperious sway
Him forst (maulgre) his fercenes to relent,
And backe retire, all scorcht and pitifully brent.

XXVII

With huge impatience he inly swelt,
More for great sorrow that he could not pas
Then for the burning torment which he felt;
That with fell woodnes he effierced was,
And wilfully him throwing on the gras,
Did beat and bounse his head and brest ful sore;
The whiles the championesse now entred has
The utmost rowme, and past the formost dore,
The utmost rowme, abounding with all precious store.

XXVIII

For round about, the walls yclothed were
With goodly arras of great majesty,
Woven with gold and silke so close and nere,
That the rich metall lurked privily,
As faining to be hidd from envious eye;
Yet here, and there, and every where unwares
It shewd it selfe, and shone unwillingly;
Like a discolourd snake, whose hidden snares
Through the greene gras his long bright burnisht back declares.

XXIX

And in those tapets weren fashioned
Many faire pourtraicts, and many a faire feate;
And all of love, and al of lusty-hed,
As seemed by their semblaunt, did entreat;
And eke all Cupids warres they did repeate,
And cruell battailes, which he whilome fought
Gainst all the gods, to make his empire great;
Besides the huge massacres, which he wrought
On mighty kings and kesars, into thraldome brought.

XXX

Therein was writt, how often thondring Jove
Had felt the point of his hart percing dart,
And leaving heavens kingdome, here did rove
In straunge disguize, to slake his scalding smart;
Now like a ram, faire Helle to pervart,
Now like a bull, Europa to withdraw:
Ah! how the fearefull ladies tender hart
Did lively seeme to tremble, when she saw
The huge seas under her t' obay her servaunts law!

XXXI

Soone after that, into a golden showre
Him selfe he chaung'd, faire Danae to vew,
And through the roofe of her strong brasen towre
Did raine into her lap an hony dew,
The whiles her foolish garde, that litle knew
Of such deceipt, kept th' yron dore fast bard,
And watcht, that none should enter nor issew;
Vaine was the watch, and bootlesse all the ward,
Whenas the god to golden hew him selfe transfard.

XXXII

Then was he turnd into a snowy swan,
To win faire Leda to his lovely trade:
O wondrous skill and sweet wit of the man,
That her in daffadillies sleeping made,
From scorching heat her daintie limbes to shade:
Whiles the proud bird, ruffing his fethers wyde
And brushing his faire brest, did her invade!
Shee slept, yet twixt her eielids closely spyde
How towards her he rusht, and smiled at his pryde.

XXXIII

Then shewd it how the Thebane Semelee,
Deceivd of gealous Juno, did require
To see him in his soverayne majestee,
Armd with his thunderbolts and lightning fire,
Whens dearely she with death bought her desire.
But faire Alcmena better match did make,
Joying his love in likenes more entire:
Three nights in one they say that for her sake
He then did put, her pleasures lenger to partake.

XXXIV

Twise was he seene in soaring eagles shape,
And with wide winges to beat the buxome ayre:
Once, when he with Asterie did scape,
Againe, when as the Trojane boy so fayre
He snatcht from Ida hill, and with him bare:
Wondrous delight it was, there to behould
How the rude shepheards after him did stare,
Trembling through feare least down he fallen should,
And often to him calling to take surer hould.

XXXV

In Satyres shape Antiopa he snatcht:
And like a fire, when he Aegin' assayd:
A shepeheard, when Mnemosyne he catcht:
And like a serpent to the Thracian mayd.
Whyles thus on earth great Jove these pageaunts playd,
The Winged Boy did thrust into his throne,
And scoffing, thus unto his mother sayd:
'Lo! now the hevens obey to me alone,
And take me for their Jove, whiles Jove to earth is gone.'

XXXVI

And thou, faire Phoebus, in thy colours bright
Wast there enwoven, and the sad distresse
In which that boy thee plonged, for despight
That thou bewray'dst his mothers wantonnesse,
When she with Mars was meynt in joyfulnesse:
Forthy he thrild thee with a leaden dart,
To love faire Daphne, which thee loved lesse:
Lesse she thee lov'd then was thy just desart,
Yet was thy love her death, and her death was thy smart.

XXXVII

So lovedst thou the lusty Hyacinct,
So lovedst thou the faire Coronis deare:
Yet both are of thy haplesse hand extinct,
Yet both in flowres doe live, and love thee beare,
The one a paunce, the other a sweet breare:
For griefe whereof, ye mote have lively seene
The god himselfe rending his golden heare,
And breaking quite his garlond ever greene,
With other signes of sorrow and impatient teene.

XXXVIII

Both for those two, and for his owne deare sonne,
The sonne of Climene, he did repent,
Who, bold to guide the charet of the sunne,
Himselfe in thousand peeces fondly rent,
And all the world with flashing fire brent:
So like, that all the walles did seeme to flame.
Yet cruell Cupid, not herewith content,
Forst him eftsoones to follow other game,
And love a shephards daughter for his dearest dame.

XXXIX

He loved Isse for his dearest dame,
And for her sake her cattell fedd a while,
And for her sake a cowheard vile became,
The servant of Admetus, cowheard vile,
Whiles that from heaven he suffered exile.
Long were to tell each other lovely fitt,
Now like a lyon, hunting after spoile,
Now like a stag, now like a faulcon flit:
All which in that faire arras was most lively writ.

XL

Next unto him was Neptune pictured,
In his divine resemblance wondrous lyke:
His face was rugged, and his hoarie hed
Dropped with brackish deaw; his threeforkt pyke
He stearnly shooke, and therewith fierce did stryke
The raging billowes, that on every syde
They trembling stood, and made a long broad dyke,
That his swift charet might have passage wyde,
Which foure great hippodames did draw in temewise tyde.

XLI

His seahorses did seeme to snort amayne,
And from their nosethrilles blow the brynie streame,
That made the sparckling waves to smoke agayne,
And flame with gold, but the white fomy creame
Did shine with silver, and shoot forth his beame.
The god himselfe did pensive seeme and sad,
And hong adowne his head, as he did dreame:
For privy love his brest empierced had,
Ne ought but deare Bisaltis ay could make him glad.

XLII

He loved eke Iphimedia deare,
And Aeolus faire daughter, Arne hight,
For whom he turnd him selfe into a steare,
And fedd on fodder, to beguile her sight.
Also to win Deucalions daughter bright,
He turnd him selfe into a dolphin fayre;
And like a winged horse he tooke his flight,
To snaky-locke Medusa to repayre,
On whom he got faire Pegasus, that flitteth in the ayre.

XLIII

Next Saturne was, (but who would ever weene
That sullein Saturne ever weend to love?
Yet love is sullein, and Saturnlike seene,
As he did for Erigone it prove,)
That to a centaure did him selfe transmove.
So proov'd it eke that gratious god of wine,
When, for to compasse Philliras hard love,
He turn himselfe into a fruitfull vine,
And into her faire bosome made his grapes decline.

XLIV

Long were to tell the amorous assayes,
And gentle pangues, with which he maked meeke
The mightie Mars, to learne his wanton playes:
How oft for Venus, and how often eek
For many other nymphes he sore did shreek,
With womanish teares, and with unwarlike smarts,
Privily moystening his horrid cheeke.
There was he painted full of burning dartes,
And many wide woundes launched through his inner partes.

XLV

Ne did he spare (so cruell was the elfe)
His owne deare mother, (ah! why should he so?)
Ne did he spare sometime to pricke himselfe,
That he might taste the sweet consuming woe,
Which he had wrought to many others moe.
But to declare the mournfull tragedyes,
And spoiles, wherewith he all the ground did strow,
More eath to number with how many eyes
High heven beholdes sad lovers nightly theeveryes.

XLVI

Kings, queenes, lords, ladies, knights, and damsels gent
Were heap'd together with the vulgar sort,
And mingled with the raskall rablement,
Without respect of person or of port,
To shew Dan Cupids powre and great effort:
And round about, a border was entrayld
Of broken bowes and arrowes shivered short,
And a long bloody river through them rayld,
So lively and so like that living sence it fayld.

XLVII

And at the upper end of that faire rowme,
There was an altar built of pretious stone,
Of passing valew and of great renowme,
On which there stood an image all alone
Of massy gold, which with his owne light shone;
And winges it had with sondry colours dight,
More sondry colours then the proud pavone
Beares in his boasted fan, or Iris bright,
When her discolourd bow she spreds through hevens hight.

XLVIII

Blyndfold he was, and in his cruell fist
A mortall bow and arrowes keene did hold,
With which he shot at randon, when him list,
Some headed with sad lead, some with pure gold;
(Ah! man, beware how thou those dartes behold.)
A wounded dragon under him did ly,
Whose hideous tayle his lefte foot did enfold,
And with a shaft was shot through either eye,
That no man forth might draw, ne no man remedye.

XLIX

And underneath his feet was written thus,
Unto the victor of the gods this bee:
And all the people in that ample hous
Did to that image bowe their humble knee,
And oft committed fowle idolatree.
That wondrous sight faire Britomart amazd,
Ne seeing could her wonder satisfie,
But ever more and more upon it gazd,
The whiles the passing brightnes her fraile sences dazd.

L

Tho as she backward cast her busie eye,
To search each secrete of that goodly sted,
Over the dore thus written she did spye,
Bee bold: she oft and oft it over-red,
Yet could not find what sence it figured:
But what so were therein or writ or ment,
She was no whit thereby discouraged
From prosecuting of her first intent,
But forward with bold steps into the next roome went.

LI

Much fayrer then the former was that roome,
And richlier by many partes arayd;
For not with arras made in painefull loome,
But with pure gold, it all was overlayd,
Wrought with wilde antickes, which their follies playd
In the rich metall, as they living were:
A thousand monstrous formes therein were made,
Such as false Love doth oft upon him weare,
For Love in thousand monstrous formes doth oft appeare.

LII

And all about, the glistring walles were hong
With warlike spoiles and with victorious prayes
Of mightie conquerours and captaines strong,
Which were whilome captived in their dayes
To cruell Love, and wrought their owne decayes:
Their swerds and speres were broke, and hauberques rent,
And their proud girlonds of tryumphant bayes
Troden in dust with fury insolent,
To shew the victors might and mercilesse intent.

LIII

The warlike mayd, beholding earnestly
The goodly ordinaunce of this rich place,
Did greatly wonder, ne could satisfy
Her greedy eyes with gazing a long space;
But more she mervaild that no footings trace
Nor wight appear'd, but wastefull emptinesse
And solemne silence over all that place:
Straunge thing it seem'd, that none was to possesse
So rich purveyaunce, ne them keepe with carefulnesse.

LIV

And as she lookt about, she did behold
How over that same dore was likewise writ,
Be bolde, be bolde, and every where Be bold,
That much she muz'd, yet could not con strue it
By any ridling skill or commune wit.
At last she spyde at that rowmes upper end
Another yron dore, on which was writ,
Be not too bold; whereto though she did bend
Her earnest minde, yet wist not what it might intend.

LV

Thus she there wayted untill eventyde,
Yet living creature none she saw appeare:
And now sad shadowes gan the world to hyde
From mortall vew, and wrap in darkenes dreare;
Yet nould she d'off her weary armes, for feare
Of secret daunger, ne let sleepe oppresse
Her heavy eyes with natures burdein deare,
But drew her selfe aside in sickernesse,
And her welpointed wepons did about her dresse.

CANTO XII

The maske of Cupid, and th' enchanted
chamber are displayd,
Whence Britomart redeemes faire
Amoret through charmes decayd.

I

THO, when as chearelesse night ycovered had
Fayre heaven with an universall clowd,
That every wight, dismayd with darkenes sad,
In silence and in sleepe themselves did
shrowd,
She heard a shrilling trompet sound alowd,
Signe of nigh battaill, or got victory:
Nought therewith daunted was her courage prowd,
But rather stird to cruell enmity,
Expecting ever when some foe she might descry.

II

With that, an hideous storme of winde arose,
With dreadfull thunder and lightning atwixt,
And an earthquake, as if it streight would lose
The worlds foundations from his centre fixt:
A direfull stench of smoke and sulphure mixt
Ensewd, whose noyaunce fild the fearefull sted,
From the fourth howre of night untill the sixt;
Yet the bold Britonesse was nought ydred,
Though much emmov'd, but stedfast still persevered.

III

All suddeinly a stormy whirlwind blew
Throughout the house, that clapped every dore,
With which that yron wicket open flew,
As it with mighty levers had bene tore;
And forth yssewd, as on the readie flore
Of some theatre, a grave personage,
That in his hand a braunch of laurell bore,
With comely haveour and count'nance sage,
Yclad in costly garments, fit for tragicke stage.

IV

Proceeding to the midst, he stil did stand,
As if in minde he somewhat had to say,
And to the vulgare beckning with his hand,
In signe of silence, as to heare a play,
By lively actions he gan bewray
Some argument of matter passioned;
Which doen, he backe retyred soft away,
And passing by, his name discovered,
Ease, on his robe in golden letters cyphered.

V

The noble mayd, still standing, all this vewd,
And merveild at his straunge intendiment:
With that a joyous fellowship issewd
Of minstrales, making goodly meriment,
With wanton bardes, and rymers impudent,
All which together song full chearefully
A lay of loves delight, with sweet concent:
After whom marcht a jolly company,
In manner of a maske, enranged orderly.

VI

The whiles a most delitious harmony
In full straunge notes was sweetly heard to sound,
That the rare sweetnesse of the melody
The feeble sences wholy did confound,
And the frayle soule in deepe delight nigh drownd:
And when it ceast, shrill trompets lowd did bray,
That their report did far away rebound,
And when they ceast, it gan againe to play,
The whiles the maskers marched forth in trim aray.

VII

The first was Fansy, like a lovely boy,
Of rare aspect and beautie without peare,
Matchable ether to that ympe of Troy,
Whom Jove did love and chose his cup to beare,
Or that same daintie lad, which was so deare
To great Alcides, that, when as he dyde,
He wailed womanlike with many a teare,
And every wood and every valley wyde
He fild with Hylas name; the nymphes eke Hylas cryde.

VIII

His garment nether was of silke nor say,
But paynted plumes, in goodly order dight,
Like as the sunburnt Indians do aray
Their tawney bodies, in their proudest plight:
As those same plumes, so seemd he vaine and light,
That by his gate might easily appeare;
For still he far'd as dauncing in delight,
And in his hand a windy fan did beare,
That in the ydle ayre he mov'd still here and theare.

IX

And him beside marcht amorous Desyre,
Who seemd of ryper yeares then th' other swayne,
Yet was that other swayne this elders syre,
And gave him being, commune to them twayne:
His garment was disguysed very vayne,
And his embrodered bonet sat awry;
Twixt both his hands few sparks he close did strayne,
Which still he blew, and kindled busily,
That soone they life conceiv'd, and forth in flames did fly.

X

Next after him went Doubt, who was yclad
In a discolour'd cote of straunge disguyse,
That at his backe a brode capuccio had,
And sleeves dependaunt Albanese-wyse:
He lookt askew with his mistrustfull eyes,
And nycely trode, as thornes lay in his way,
Or that the flore to shrinke he did avyse,
And on a broken reed he still did stay
His feeble steps, which shrunck when hard thereon he lay.

XI

With him went Daunger, cloth'd in ragged weed,
Made of beares skin, that him more dreadfull made,
Yet his owne face was dreadfull, ne did need
Straunge horrour to deforme his griesly shade:
A net in th' one hand, and a rusty blade
In th' other was, this Mischiefe, that Mishap;
With th' one his foes he threatned to invade,
With th' other he his friends ment to enwrap:
For whom he could not kill he practizd to entrap.

XII

Next him was Feare, all arm'd from top to toe,
Yet thought himselfe not safe enough thereby,
But feard each shadow moving too or froe,
And his owne armes when glittering he did spy,
Or clashing heard, he fast away did fly,
As ashes pale of hew, and wingyheeld;
And evermore on Daunger fixt his eye,
Gainst whom he alwayes bent a brasen shield,
Which his right hand unarmed fearefully did wield.

XIII

With him went Hope in rancke, a handsome mayd,
Of chearefull looke and lovely to behold;
In silken samite she was light arayd,
And her fayre lockes were woven up in gold;
She alway smyld, and in her hand did hold
An holy water sprinckle, dipt in deowe,
With which she sprinckled favours manifold
On whom she list, and did great liking sheowe,
Great liking unto many, but true love to feowe.

XIV

And after them Dissemblaunce and Suspect
marcht in one rancke, yet an unequall paire:
For she was gentle and of milde aspect,
Courteous to all and seeming debonaire,
Goodly adorned and exceeding faire:
Yet was that all but paynted and pourloynd,
And her bright browes were deckt with borrowed haire:
Her deeds were forged, and her words false coynd,
And alwaies in her hand two clewes of silke she twynd.

XV

But he was fowle, ill favoured, and grim,
Under his eiebrowes looking still askaunce;
And ever as Dissemblaunce laught on him,
He lowrd on her with daungerous eyeglaunce,
Shewing his nature in his countenaunce;
His rolling eies did never rest in place,
But walkte each where, for feare of hid mischaunce;
Holding a lattis still before his face,
Through which he stil did peep, as forward he did pace.

XVI

Next him went Griefe and Fury matcht yfere;
Griefe all in sable sorrowfully clad,
Downe hanging his dull head, with heavy chere,
Yet inly being more then seeming sad:
A paire of pincers in his hand he had,
With which he pinched people to the hart,
That from thenceforth a wretched life they ladd,
In wilfull languor and consuming smart,
Dying each day with inward wounds of dolours dart.

XVII

But Fury was full ill appareiled
In rags, that naked nigh she did appeare,
With ghastly looks and dreadfull drerihed;
For from her backe her garments she did teare,
And from her head ofte rent her snarled heare:
In her right hand a firebrand shee did tosse
About her head, still roming here and there;
As a dismayed deare in chace embost,
Forgetfull of his safety, hath his right way lost.

XVIII

After them went Displeasure and Pleasaunce,
He looking lompish and full sullein sad,
And hanging downe his heavy countenaunce;
She chearfull fresh and full of joyaunce glad,
As if no sorrow she ne felt ne drad;
That evill matched paire they seemd to bee:
An angry waspe th' one in a viall had,
Th' other in hers an hony-laden bee.
Thus marched these six couples forth in faire degree.

XIX

After all these there marcht a most faire dame,
Led of two grysie villeins, th' one Despight,
The other cleped Cruelty by name:
She, dolefull lady, like a dreary spright
Cald by strong charmes out of eternall night,
Had deathes owne ymage figurd in her face,
Full of sad signes, fearfull to living sight,
Yet in that horror shewd a seemely grace,
And with her feeble feete did move a comely pace.

XX

Her brest all naked, as nett yvory,
Without adorne of gold or silver bright,
Wherewith the craftesman wonts it beautify,
Of her dew honour was despoyled quight,
And a wide wound therein (O ruefull sight!)
Entrenched deep with knyfe accursed keene,
Yet freshly bleeding forth her fainting spright,
(The worke of cruell hand) was to be seene,
That dyde in sanguine red her skin all snowy cleene.

XXI

At that wide orifice her trembling hart
Was drawne forth, and in silver basin layd,
Quite through transfixed with a deadly dart,
And in her blood yet steeming fresh embayd:
And those two villeins, which her steps upstayd,
When her weake feete could scarcely her sustaine,
And fading vitall powers gan to fade,
Her forward still with torture did constraine,
And evermore encreased her consuming paine.

XXII

Next after her, the Winged God him selfe
Came riding on a lion ravenous,
Taught to obay the menage of that elfe,
That man and beast with powre imperious
Subdeweth to his kingdome tyrannous:
His blindfold eies he bad a while unbinde,
That his proud spoile of that same dolorous
Faire dame he might behold in perfect kinde,
Which seene, he much rejoyced in his cruell minde.

XXIII

Of which ful prowd, him selfe up rearing hye,
He looked round about with sterne disdayne,
And did survay his goodly company:
And marshalling the evill ordered trayne,
With that the darts which his right hand did straine
Full dreadfully he shooke, that all did quake,
And clapt on hye his coulourd winges twaine,
That all his many it affraide did make:
Tho, blinding him againe, his way he forth did take.

XXIV

Behinde him was Reproch, Repentaunce, Shame;
Reproch the first, Shame next, Repent behinde:
Repentaunce feeble, sorowfull, and lame;
Reproch despightful, carelesse, and unkinde;
Shame most ill favourd, bestiall, and blinde:
Shame lowrd, Repentaunce sigh'd, Reproch did scould;
Reproch sharpe stings, Repentaunce whips entwinde,
Shame burning brond-yrons in her hand did hold:
All three to each unlike, yet all made in one mould.

XXV

And after them a rude confused rout
Of persons flockt, whose names is hard to read:
Emongst them was sterne Strife, and Anger stout,
Unquiet Care, and fond Unthriftyhead,
Lewd Losse of Time, and Sorrow seeming dead,
Inconstant Chaunge, and false Disloyalty,
Consuming Riotise, and guilty Dread
Of Heavenly Vengeaunce, faint Infirmity,
Vile Poverty, and lastly Death with Infamy.

XXVI

There were full many moe like maladies,
Whose names and natures I note readen well;
So many moe, as there be phantasies
In wavering wemens witt, that none can tell,
Or paines in love, or punishments in hell;
All which disguized marcht in masking wise
About the chamber with that damozell,
And then returned, having marched thrise,
Into the inner rowme, from whence they first did rise.

XXVII

So soone as they were in, the dore streight way
Fast locked, driven with that stormy blast
Which first it opened; and bore all away.
Then the brave maid, which al this while was plast
In secret shade, and saw both first and last,
Issewed forth, and went unto the dore,
To enter in, but fownd it locked fast:
It vaine she thought with rigorous uprore
For to efforce, when charmes had closed it afore.

XXVIII

Where force might not availe, there sleights and art
She cast to use, both fitt for hard emprize:
Forthy from that same rowme not to depart
Till morrow next shee did her selfe avize,
When that same maske againe should forth arize.
The morrowe next appeard with joyous cheare,
Calling men to their daily exercize:
Then she, as morrow fresh, her selfe did reare
Out of her secret stand, that day for to outweare.

XXIX

All that day she outwore in wandering,
And gazing on that chambers ornament,
Till that againe the second evening
Her covered with her sable vestiment,
Wherewith the worlds faire beautie she hath blent:
Then, when the second watch was almost past,
That brasen dore flew open, and in went
Bold Britomart, as she had late forecast,
Nether of ydle showes nor of false charmes aghast.

XXX

So soone as she was entred, rownd about
Shee cast her eies, to see what was become
Of all those persons which she saw without:
But lo! they streight were vanisht all and some,
Ne living wight she saw in all that roome,
Save that same woefull lady, both whose hands
Were bounden fast, that did her ill become,
And her small waste girt rownd with yron bands,
Unto a brasen pillour, by the which she stands.

XXXI

And her before, the vile enchaunter sate,
Figuring straunge characters of his art:
With living blood he those characters wrate,
Dreadfully dropping from her dying hart,
Seeming transfixed with a cruell dart;
And all perforce to make her him to love.
Ah! who can love the worker of her smart?
A thousand charmes he formerly did prove;
Yet thousand charmes could not her stedfast hart remove.

XXXII

Soone as that virgin knight he saw in place,
His wicked bookes in hast he overthrew,
Not caring his long labours to deface;
And fiercely running to that lady trew,
A murdrous knife out of his pocket drew,
The which he thought, for villeinous despight,
In her tormented bodie to embrew:
But the stout damzell to him leaping light,
His cursed hand withheld, and maistered his might.

XXXIII

From her, to whom his fury first he ment,
The wicked weapon rashly he did wrest,
And turning to herselfe his fell intent,
Unwares it strooke into her snowie chest,
That litle drops empurpled her faire brest.
Exceeding wroth therewith the virgin grew,
Albe the wound were nothing deepe imprest,
And fiercely forth her mortall blade she drew,
To give him the reward for such vile outrage dew.

XXXIV

So mightily she smote him, that to ground
He fell halfe dead; next stroke him should have slaine,
Had not the lady, which by him stood bound,
Dernly unto her called to abstaine
From doing him to dy; for else her paine
Should be remedilesse, sith none but hee,
Which wrought it, could the same recure againe.
Therewith she stayd her hand, loth stayd to bee;
For life she him envyde, and long'd revenge to see:

XXXV

And to him said: 'Thou wicked man! whose meed
For so huge mischiefe and vile villany
Is death, or if that ought doe death exceed,
Be sure that nought may save thee from to dy,
But if that thou this dame doe presently
Restore unto her health and former state;
This doe and live, els dye undoubtedly.'
He, glad of life, that lookt for death but late,
Did yield him selfe right willing to prolong his date:

XXXVI

And rising up, gan streight to overlooke
Those cursed leaves, his charmes back to reverse;
Full dreadfull thinges out of that balefull booke
He red, and measur'd many a sad verse,
That horrour gan the virgins hart to perse,
And her faire locks up stared stiffe on end,
Hearing him those same bloody lynes reherse;
And all the while he red, she did extend
Her sword high over him, if ought he did offend.

XXXVII

Anon she gan perceive the house to quake,
And all the dores to rattle round about;
Yet all that did not her dismaied make,
Nor slack her threatfull hand for daungers dout,
But still with stedfast eye and courage stout
Abode, to weet what end would come of all.
At last that mightie chaine, which round about
Her tender waste was wound, adowne gan fall,
And that great brasen pillour broke in peeces small.

XXXVIII

The cruell steele, which thrild her dying hart,
Fell softly forth, as of his owne accord,
And the wyde wound, which lately did dispart
Her bleeding brest, and riven bowels gor'd,
Was closed up, as it had not beene bor'd,
And every part to safety full sownd,
As she were never hurt, was soone restor'd:
Tho, when she felt her selfe to be unbownd,
And perfect hole, prostrate she fell unto the grownd.

XXXIX

Before faire Britomart she fell prostrate,
Saying: 'Ah, noble knight! what worthy meede
Can wretched lady, quitt from wofull state,
Yield you in lieu of this your gracious deed?
Your vertue selfe her owne reward shall breed,
Even immortall prayse and glory wyde,
Which I, your vassall, by your prowesse freed,
Shall through the world make to be notifyde,
And goodly well advaunce, that goodly well was tryde.'

XL

But Britomart, uprearing her from grownd,
Said: 'Gentle dame, reward enough I weene,
For many labours more then I have found,
This, that in safetie now I have you seene,
And meane of your deliverance have beene:
Henceforth, faire lady, comfort to you take,
And put away remembraunce of late teene;
In sted thereof, know that your loving make
Hath no lesse griefe endured for your gentle sake.'

XLI

She much was cheard to heare him mentiond,
Whom of all living wightes she loved best.
Then laid the noble championesse strong hond
Upon th' enchaunter, which had her distrest
So sore, and with foule outrages opprest:
With that great chaine, wherewith not long ygoe
He bound that pitteous lady prisoner, now relest,
Himselfe she bound, more worthy to be so,
And captive with her led to wretchednesse and wo.

XLII

Returning back, those goodly rowmes, which erst
She saw so rich and royally arayd,
Now vanisht utterly and cleane subverst
She found, and all their glory quite decayd,
That sight of such a chaunge her much dismayd.
Thence forth descending to that perlous porch,
Those dreadfull flames she also found delayd,
And quenched quite, like a consumed torch,
That erst all entrers wont so cruelly to scorch.

XLIII

More easie issew now then entrance late
She found: for now that fained dreadfull flame,
Which chokt the porch of that enchaunted gate,
And passage bard to all that thither came,
Was vanisht quite, as it were not the same,
And gave her leave at pleasure forth to passe.
Th' enchaunter selfe, which all that fraud did frame,
To have efforst the love of that faire lasse,
Seeing his worke now wasted, deepe engrieved was.

XLIV

But when the victoresse arrived there
Where late she left the pensife Scudamore
With her own trusty squire, both full of feare,
Neither of them she found where she them lore:
Thereat her noble hart was stonisht sore;
But most faire Amoret, whose gentle spright
Now gan to feede on hope, which she before
Conceived had, to see her own deare knight,
Being thereof beguyld, was fild with new affright.

XLV

But he, sad man, when he had long in drede
Awayted there for Britomarts returne,
Yet saw her not, nor signe of her good speed,
His expectation to despaire did turne,
Misdeeming sure that her those flames did burne;
And therefore gan advize with her old squire,
Who her deare nourslings losse no lesse did mourne,
Thence to depart for further aide t' enquire:
Where let them wend at will, whilest here I doe respire.






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