Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 4, CANTOS 4-6, by EDMUND SPENSER



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THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 4, CANTOS 4-6, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Satyrane makes a turneyment
Last Line: Untill another tyde, that I it finish may.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin


CANTO IV

Satyrane makes a turneyment
For love of Florimell:
Britomart winnes the prize from all,
And Artegall doth quell.

I

IT often fals, (as here it earst befell)
That mortall foes doe turne to faithfull frends,
And friends profest are chaungd to foemen fell:
The cause of both, of both their minds depends,
And th' end of both, likewise of both their ends:
For enmitie, that of no ill proceeds,
But of occasion, with th' occasion ends:
And friendship, which a faint affection breeds
Without regard of good, dyes like ill grounded seeds.

II

That well (me seemes) appeares by that of late
Twixt Cambell and Sir Triamond befell,
As els by this, that now a new debate
Stird up twixt Blandamour and Paridell,
The which by course befals me here to tell:
Who having those two other knights espide,
Marching afore, as ye remember well,
Sent forth their squire to have them both descride,
And eke those masked ladies riding them beside.

III

Who backe returning, told as he had seene,
That they were doughtie knights of dreaded name,
And those two ladies their two loves unseene;
And therefore wisht them without blot or blame
To let them passe at will, for dread of shame.
But Blandamour, full of vainglorious spright,
And rather stird by his discordfull dame,
Upon them gladly would have prov'd his might,
But that he yet was sore of his late lucklesse fight.

IV

Yet, nigh approching, he them fowle bespake,
Disgracing them, him selfe thereby to grace,
As was his wont, so weening way to make
To ladies love, where so he came in place,
And with lewd termes their lovers to deface.
Whose sharpe provokement them incenst so sore,
That both were bent t' avenge his usage base,
And gan their shields addresse them selves afore:
For evill deedes may better then bad words be bore.

V

But faire Cambina with perswasions myld
Did mitigate the fiercenesse of their mode,
That for the present they were reconcyld,
And gan to treate of deeds of armes abrode,
And strange adventures, all the way they rode:
Amongst the which they told, as then befell,
Of that great turney which was blazed brode,
For that rich girdle of faire Florimell,
The prize of her which did in beautie most excell.

VI

To which folke-mote they all with one consent,
Sith each of them his ladie had him by,
Whose beautie each of them thought excellent,
Agreed to travell, and their fortunes try.
So as they passed forth, they did espy
One in bright armes, with ready speare in rest,
That toward them his course seem'd to apply;
Gainst whom Sir Paridell himselfe addrest,
Him weening, ere he nigh approcht, to have represt.

VII

Which th' other seeing, gan his course relent,
And vaunted speare eftsoones to disadvaunce,
As if he naught but peace and pleasure ment,
Now falne into their fellowship by chance;
Whereat they shewed curteous countenaunce.
So as he rode with them accompanide,
His roving eie did on the lady glaunce
Which Blandamour had riding by his side:
Whom sure he weend that he some wher tofore had eide.

VIII

It was to weete that snowy Florimell,
Which Ferrau late from Braggadochio wonne;
Whom he now seeing, her remembred well,
How, having reft her from the witches sonne,
He soone her lost: wherefore he now begunne
To challenge her anew, as his owne prize,
Whom formerly he had in battell wonne,
And proffer made by force her to reprize:
Which scornefull offer Blandamour gan soone despize;

IX

And said: 'Sir knight, sith ye this lady clame,
Whom he that hath were loth to lose so light,
(For so to lose a lady were great shame,)
Yee shall her winne, as I have done, in fight:
And lo! shee shall be placed here in sight,
Together with this hag beside her set,
That who so winnes her may her have by right:
But he shall have the hag that is ybet,
And with her alwaies ride, till he another get.'

X

That offer pleased all the company,
So Florimell with Ate forth was brought,
At which they all gan laugh full merrily:
But Braggadochio said, he never thought
For such an hag, that seemed worse then nought,
His person to emperill so in fight:
But if to match that lady they had sought
Another like, that were like faire and bright,
His life he then would spend to justifie his right.

XI

At which his vaine excuse they all gan smile,
As scorning his unmanly cowardize:
And Florimell him fowly gan revile,
That for her sake refus'd to enterprize
The battell, offred in so knightly wize:
And Ate eke provokt him privily
With love of her, and shame of such mesprize.
But naught he car'd for friend or enemy,
For in base mind nor friendship dwels nor enmity.

XII

But Cambell thus did shut up all in jest:
'Brave knights and ladies, certes ye doe wrong
To stirre up strife, when most us needeth rest,
That we may us reserve both fresh and strong
Against the turneiment, which is not long,
When who so list to fight may fight his fill:
Till then your challenges ye may prolong;
And then it shall be tried, if ye will,
Whether shall have the hag, or hold the lady still.'

XIII

They all agreed; so, turning all to game
And pleasaunt bord, they past forth on their way,
And all that while, where so they rode or came,
That masked mock-knight was their sport and play.
Till that at length, upon th' appointed day,
Unto the place of turneyment they came;
Where they before them found in fresh aray
Manie a brave knight and manie a daintie dame
Assembled, for to get the honour of that game.

XIV

There this faire crewe arriving did divide
Them selves asunder: Blandamour with those
Of his on th' one; the rest on th' other side.
But boastfull Braggadocchio rather chose,
For glorie vaine, their fellowship to lose,
That men on him the more might gaze alone.
The rest them selves in troupes did else dispose,
Like as it seemed best to every one;
The knights in couples marcht, with ladies linckt attone.

XV

Then first of all forth came Sir Satyrane,
Bearing that precious relicke in an arke
Of gold, that bad eyes might it not prophane:
Which drawing softly forth out of the darke,
He open shewd, that all men it mote marke.
A gorgeous girdle, curiously embost
With pearle and precious stone, worth many a marke;
Yet did the workmanship farre passe the cost:
It was the same which lately Florimel had lost.

XVI

That same aloft he hong in open vew,
To be the prize of beautie and of might;
The which eftsoones discovered, to it drew
The eyes of all, allur'd with close delight,
And hearts quite robbed with so glorious sight,
That all men threw out vowes and wishes vaine.
Thrise happie ladie, and thrise happie knight,
Them seemd, that could so goodly riches gaine,
So worthie of the perill, worthy of the paine.

XVII

Then tooke the bold Sir Satyrane in hand
An huge great speare, such as he wont to wield,
And vauncing forth from all the other band
Of knights, addrest his maiden-headed shield,
Shewing him selfe all ready for the field.
Gainst whom there singled from the other side
A Painim knight, that well in armes was skild,
And had in many a battell oft bene tride,
Hight Bruncheval the bold, who fiersly forth did ride.

XVIII

So furiously they both together met,
That neither could the others force sustaine:
As two fierce buls, that strive the rule to get
Of all the heard, meete with so hideous maine,
That both, rebutted, tumble on the plaine;
So these two champions to the ground were feld,
Where in a maze they both did long remaine,
And in their hands their idle troncheons held,
Which neither able were to wag, or once to weld.

XIX

Which when the noble Ferramont espide,
He pricked forth in ayd of Satyran;
And him against Sir Blandamour did ride
With all the strength and stifnesse that he can.
But the more strong and stiffely that he ran,
So much more sorely to the ground he fell,
That on an heape were tumbled horse and man.
Unto whose rescue forth rode Paridell;
But him likewise with that same speare he eke did quell.

XX

Which Braggadocchio seeing, had no will
To hasten greatly to his parties ayd,
Albee his turne were next; but stood there still,
As one that seemed doubtfull or dismayd.
But Triamond, halfe wroth to see him staid,
Sternly stept forth, and raught away his speare,
With which so sore he Ferramont assaid,
That horse and man to ground he quite did beare,
That neither could in hast themselves againe upreare.

XXI

Which to avenge, Sir Devon him did dight,
But with no better fortune then the rest,
For him likewise he quickly downe did smight;
And after him Sir Douglas him addrest,
And after him Sir Paliumord forth prest,
But none of them against his strokes could stand;
But all the more, the more his praise increst:
For either they were left uppon the land,
Or went away sore wounded of his haplesse hand.

XXII

And now by this, Sir Satyrane abraid
Out of the swowne, in which too long he lay;
And looking round about, like one dismaid,
When as he saw the mercilesse affray
Which doughty Triamond had wrought that day
Unto the noble Knights of Maidenhead,
His mighty heart did almost rend in tway
For very gall, that rather wholly dead
Himselfe he wisht have beene, then in so bad a stead.

XXIII

Eftsoones he gan to gather up around
His weapons, which lay scattered all abrode,
And as it fell, his steed he ready found.
On whom remounting, fiercely forth he rode,
Like sparke of fire that from the andvile glode,
There where he saw the valiant Triamond
Chasing, and laying on them heavy lode,
That none his force were able to withstond,
So dreadfull were his strokes, so deadly was his hond.

XXIV

With that, at him his beamlike speare he aimed,
And thereto all his power and might applide:
The wicked steele for mischiefe first ordained,
And having now misfortune got for guide,
Staid not till it arrived in his side,
And therein made a very griesly wound,
That streames of bloud his armour all bedide.
Much was he daunted with that direfull stound,
That scarse he him upheld from falling in a sound.

XXV

Yet as he might, himselfe he soft withdrew
Out of the field, that none perceiv'd it plaine.
Then gan the part of chalengers anew
To range the field, and victorlike to raine,
That none against them battell durst maintaine.
By that the gloomy evening on them fell,
That forced them from fighting to refraine,
And trumpets sound to cease did them compell.
So Satyrane that day was judg'd to beare the bell.

XXVI

The morrow next the turney gan anew,
And with the first the hardy Satyrane
Appear'd in place, with all his noble crew:
On th' other side full many a warlike swaine
Assembled were, that glorious prize to gaine.
But mongst them all was not Sir Triamond;
Unable he new battell to darraine,
Through grievaunce of his late received wound,
That doubly did him grieve, when so himselfe he found.

XXVII

Which Cambell seeing, though he could not salve,
Ne done undoe, yet for to salve his name,
And purchase honour in his friends behalve,
This goodly counterfesaunce he did frame:
The shield and armes, well knowne to be the same
Which Triamond had worne, unwares to wight,
And to his friend unwist, for doubt of blame,
If he misdid, he on himselfe did dight,
That none could him discerne, and so went forth to fight.

XXVIII

There Satyrane lord of the field he found,
Triumphing in great joy and jolity;
Gainst whom none able was to stand on ground;
That much he gan his glorie to envy,
And cast t' avenge his friends indignity.
A mightie speare eftsoones at him he bent;
Who, seeing him come on so furiously,
Met him mid-way with equall hardiment,
That forcibly to ground they both together went.

XXIX

They up againe them selves can lightly reare,
And to their tryed swords them selves betake;
With which they wrought such wondrous marvels there,
That all the rest it did amazed make,
Ne any dar'd their perill to partake;
Now cuffing close, now chacing to and fro,
Now hurtling round advantage for to take:
As two wild boares together grapling go,
Chaufing and foming choler each against his fo.

XXX

So as they courst, and turneyd here and theare,
It chaunst Sir Satyrane his steed at last,
Whether through foundring, or through sodein feare,
To stumble, that his rider nigh he cast;
Which vauntage Cambell did pursue so fast,
That ere him selfe he had recovered well,
So sore he sowst him on the compast creast,
That forced him to leave his loftie sell,
And rudely tumbling downe under his horse feete fell.

XXXI

Lightly Cambello leapt downe from his steed,
For to have rent his shield and armes away,
That whylome wont to be the victors meed;
When all unwares he felt an hideous sway
Of many swords, that lode on him did lay.
An hundred knights had him enclosed round,
To rescue Satyrane out of his pray;
All which at once huge strokes on him did pound,
In hope to take him prisoner, where he stood on ground.

XXXII

He with their multitude was nought dismayd,
But with stout courage turnd upon them all,
And with his brondiron round about him layd;
Of which he dealt large almes, as did befall:
Like as a lion, that by chaunce doth fall
Into the hunters toile, doth rage and rore,
In royall heart disdaining to be thrall.
But all in vaine: for what might one do more?
They have him taken captive, though it grieve him sore.

XXXIII

Whereof when newes to Triamond was brought,
There as he lay, his wound he soone forgot,
And starting up, streight for his armour sought:
In vaine he sought; for there he found it not;
Cambello it away before had got:
Cambelloes armes therefore he on him threw,
And lightly issewd forth to take his lot.
There he in troupe found all that warlike crew,
Leading his friend away, full sorie to his vew.

XXXIV

Into the thickest of that knightly preasse
He thrust, and smote downe all that was betweene,
Caried with fervent zeale, ne did he ceasse,
Till that he came where he had Cambell seene,
Like captive thral two other knights atweene:
There he amongst them cruell havocke makes,
That they which lead him soone enforced beene
To let him loose, to save their proper stakes;
Who being freed, from one a weapon fiercely takes.

XXXV

With that he drives at them with dreadfull might,
Both in remembrance of his friends late harme,
And in revengement of his owne despight;
So both together give a new allarme,
As if but now the battell wexed warme.
As when two greedy wolves doe breake by force
Into an heard, farre from the husband farme,
They spoile and ravine without all remorse;
So did these two through all the field their foes enforce.

XXXVI

Fiercely they followd on their bolde emprize,
Till trumpets sound did warne them all to rest;
Then all with one consent did yeeld the prize
To Triamond and Cambell as the best.
But Triamond to Cambell it relest,
And Cambell it to Triamond transferd;
Each labouring t' advance the others gest,
And make his praise before his owne preferd:
So that the doome was to another day differd.

XXXVII

The last day came, when all those knightes againe
Assembled were their deedes of armes to shew.
Full many deedes that day were shewed plaine:
But Satyrane, bove all the other crew,
His wondrous worth declared in all mens view;
For from the first he to the last endured,
And though some while Fortune from him withdrew,
Yet evermore his honour he recured,
And with unwearied powre his party still assured.

XXXVIII

Ne was there knight that ever thought of armes,
But that his utmost prowesse there made knowen;
That by their many wounds, and carelesse harmes,
By shivered speares, and swords all under strowen,
By scattered shields was easie to be showen.
There might ye see loose steeds at randon ronne,
Whose luckelesse riders late were overthrowen,
And squiers make hast to helpe their lords fordonne:
But still the Knights of Maidenhead the better wonne.

XXXIX

Till that there entred on the other side
A straunger knight, from whence no man could reed,
In queynt disguise, full hard to be descride.
For all his armour was like salvage weed,
With woody mosse bedight, and all his steed
With oaken leaves attrapt, that seemed fit
For salvage wight, and thereto well agreed
His word, which on his ragged shield was writ,
Salvagesse sans finesse, shewing secret wit.

XL

He, at his first incomming, charg'd his spere
At him that first appeared in his sight:
That was to weet the stout Sir Sangliere,
Who well was knowen to be a valiant knight,
Approved oft in many a perlous fight.
Him at the first encounter downe he smote,
And overbore beyond his crouper quight,
And after him another knight, that hote
Sir Brianor, so sore, that none him life behote.

XLI

Then, ere his hand he reard, he overthrew
Seven knights, one after other, as they came:
And when his speare was brust, his sword he drew,
The instrument of wrath, and with the same
Far'd like a lyon in his bloodie game,
Hewing and slashing shields and helmets bright,
And beating downe what ever nigh him came,
That every one gan shun his dreadfull sight,
No lesse then death it selfe, in daungerous affright.

XLII

Much wondred all men, what, or whence he came,
That did amongst the troupes so tyrannize;
And each of other gan inquire his name.
But when they could not learne it by no wize,
Most answerable to his wyld disguize
It seemed, him to terme the Salvage Knight.
But certes his right name was otherwize,
Though knowne to few that Arthegall he hight,
The doughtiest knight that liv'd that day, and most of might.

XLIII

Thus was Sir Satyrane with all his band
By his sole manhood and atchievement stout
Dismayd, that none of them in field durst stand,
But beaten were, and chased all about,
So he continued all that day throughout,
Till evening, that the sunne gan downward bend.
Then rushed forth out of the thickest rout
A stranger knight, that did his glorie shend:
So nought may be esteemed happie till the end.

XLIV

He at his entrance charg'd his powrefull speare
At Artegall, in middest of his pryde,
And therewith smote him on his umbriere
So sore, that, tombling backe, he downe did slyde
Over his horses taile above a stryde:
Whence litle lust he had to rise againe.
Which Cambell seeing, much the same envyde,
And ran at him with all his might and maine;
But shortly was likewise seene lying on the plaine.

XLV

Whereat full inly wroth was Triamond,
And cast t' avenge the shame doen to his freend:
But by his friend himselfe eke soone he fond,
In no lesse neede of helpe then him he weend.
All which when Blandamour from end to end
Beheld, he woxe therewith displeased sore,
And thought in mind it shortly to amend:
His speare he feutred, and at him it bore;
But with no better fortune then the rest afore.

XLVI

Full many others at him likewise ran:
But all of them likewise dismounted were.
Ne certes wonder; for no powre of man
Could bide the force of that enchaunted speare,
The which this famous Britomart did beare;
With which she wondrous deeds of arms atchieved,
And overthrew what ever came her neare,
That all those stranger knights full sore agrieved,
And that late weaker band of chalengers relieved.

XLVII

Like as in sommers day, when raging heat
Doth burne the earth, and boyled rivers drie,
That all brute beasts, forst to refraine fro meat,
Doe hunt for shade, where shrowded they may lie,
And missing it, faine from themselves to flie;
All travellers tormented are with paine:
A watry cloud doth overcast the skie,
And poureth forth a sudden shoure of raine,
That all the wretched world recomforteth againe.

XLVIII

So did the warlike Britomart restore
The prize to Knights of Maydenhead that day,
Which else was like to have bene lost, and bore
The prayse of prowesse from them all away.
Then shrilling trompets loudly gan to bray,
And bad them leave their labours and long toyle
To joyous feast and other gentle play,
Where beauties prize shold win that pretious spoyle:
Where I with sound of trompe will also rest a whyle.

CANTO V

The ladies for the girdle strive
Of famous Florimell:
Scudamour, comming to Cares house,
Doth sleepe from him expell.

I

IT hath bene through all ages ever seene,
That with the praise of armes and chevalrie
The prize of beautie still hath joyned beene;
And that for reasons speciall privitie:
For either doth on other much relie.
For he me seemes most fit the faire to serve,
That can her best defend from villenie;
And she most fit his service doth deserve,
That fairest is and from her faith will never swerve.

II

So fitly now here commeth next in place,
After the proofe of prowesse ended well,
The controverse of beauties soveraine grace;
In which, to her that doth the most excell
Shall fall the girdle of faire Florimell:
That many wish to win for glorie vaine,
And not for vertuous use, which some doe tell
That glorious belt did in it selfe containe,
Which ladies ought to love, and seeke for to obtaine.

III

That girdle gave the vertue of chast love
And wivehood true to all that did it beare;
But whosoever contrarie doth prove
Might not the same about her middle weare:
But it would loose, or else a sunder teare.
Whilome it was (as Faeries wont report)
Dame Venus girdle, by her steemed deare,
What time she usd to live in wively sort;
But layd aside, when so she usd her looser sport.

IV

Her husband Vulcan whylome for her sake,
When first he loved her with heart entire,
This pretious ornament, they say, did make,
And wrought in Lemno with unquenched fire:
And afterwards did for her loves first hire
Give it to her, for ever to remaine,
Therewith to bind lascivious desire,
And loose affections streightly to restraine;
Which vertue it for ever after did retaine.

V

The same one day, when she her selfe disposd
To visite her beloved paramoure,
The God of Warre, she from her middle loosd,
And left behind her in her secret bowre,
On Acidalian mount, where many an howre
She with the pleasant Graces wont to play.
There Florimell in her first ages flowre
Was fostered by those Graces, (as they say)
And brought with her from thence that goodly belt away.

VI

That goodly belt was Cestus hight by name,
And as her life by her esteemed deare.
No wonder then, if that to winne the same
So many ladies sought, as shall appeare;
For pearelesse she was thought, that did it beare.
And now by this their feast all being ended,
The judges which thereto selected were
Into the Martian field adowne descended,
To deeme this doutfull case, for which they all contended.

VII

But first was question made, which of those knights
That lately turneyd had the wager wonne:
There was it judged by those worthie wights,
That Satyrane the first day best had donne:
For he last ended, having first begonne.
The second was to Triamond behight,
For that he sav'd the victour from fordonne:
For Cambell victour was in all mens sight,
Till by mishap he in his foemens hand did light.

VIII

The third dayes prize unto that straunger knight,
Whom all men term'd Knight of the Hebene Speare,
To Britomart, was given by good right;
For that with puissant stroke she downe did beare
The Salvage Knight, that victour was whileare,
And all the rest which had the best afore,
And to the last unconquer'd did appeare;
For last is deemed best. To her therefore
The fayrest ladie was adjudgd for paramore.

IX

But thereat greatly grudged Arthegall,
And much repynd, that both of victors meede
And eke of honour she did him forestall.
Yet mote he not withstand what was decreede;
But inly thought of that despightfull deede
Fit time t' awaite avenged for to bee.
This being ended thus, and all agreed,
Then next ensew'd the paragon to see
Of beauties praise, and yeeld the fayrest her due fee.

X

Then first Cambello brought unto their view
His faire Cambina, covered with a veale;
Which being once withdrawne, most perfect hew
And passing beautie did eftsoones reveale,
That able was weake harts away to steale.
Next did Sir Triamond unto their sight
The face of his deare Canacee unheale;
Whose beauties beame eftsoones did shine so bright,
That daz'd the eyes of all, as with exceeding light.

XI

And after her did Paridell produce
His false Duessa, that she might be seene,
Who with her forged beautie did seduce
The hearts of some, that fairest her did weene;
As diverse wits affected divers beene.
Then did Sir Ferramont unto them shew
His Lucida, that was full faire and sheene:
And after these an hundred ladies moe
Appear'd in place, the which each other did outgoe.

XII

All which who so dare thinke for to enchace,
Him needeth sure a golden pen, I weene,
To tell the feature of each goodly face.
For since the day that they created beene,
So many heavenly faces were not seene
Assembled in one place: ne he that thought
For Chian folke to pourtraict beauties queene,
By view of all the fairest to him brought,
So many faire did see, as here he might have sought.

XIII

At last, the most redoubted Britonesse
Her lovely Amoret did open shew;
Whose face discovered, plainely did expresse
The heavenly pourtraict of bright angels hew.
Well weened all, which her that time did vew,
That she should surely beare the bell away,
Till Blandamour, who thought he had the trew
And very Florimell, did her display:
The sight of whom once seene did all the rest dismay.

XIV

For all afore that seemed fayre and bright,
Now base and contemptible did appeare,
Compar'd to her, that shone as Phebes light
Amongst the lesser starres in evening cleare.
All that her saw with wonder ravisht weare,
And weend no mortall creature she should bee,
But some celestiall shape, that flesh did beare:
Yet all were glad there Florimell to see;
Yet thought that Florimell was not so faire as shee.

XV

As guilefull goldsmith that, by secret skill,
With golden foyle doth finely over spred
Some baser metall, which commend he will
Unto the vulgar for good gold insted,
He much more goodly glosse thereon doth shed,
To hide his falshood, then if it were trew:
So hard this idole was to be ared,
That Florimell her selfe in all mens vew
She seem'd to passe: so forged things do fairest shew.

XVI

Then was that golden belt by doome of all
Graunted to her, as to the fayrest dame.
Which being brought, about her middle small
They thought to gird, as best it her became;
But by no meanes they could it thereto frame.
For, ever as they fastned it, it loos'd
And fell away, as feeling secret blame.
Full oft about her wast she it enclos'd;
And it as oft was from about her wast disclos'd.

XVII

That all men wondred at the uncouth sight,
And each one thought as to their fancies came.
But she her selfe did thinke it doen for spight,
And touched was with secret wrath and shame
Therewith, as thing deviz'd her to defame.
Then many other ladies likewise tride
About their tender loynes to knit the same;
But it would not on none of them abide,
But when they thought it fast, eftsoones it was untide.

XVIII

Which when that scornefull Squire of Dames did vew,
He lowdly gan to laugh, and thus to jest:
'Alas for pittie, that so faire a crew,
As like can not be seene from east to west,
Cannot find one this girdle to invest!
Fie on the man that did it first invent,
To shame us all with this, Ungirt unblest!
Let never ladie to his love assent,
That hath this day so many so unmanly shent.'

XIX

Thereat all knights gan laugh, and ladies lowre:
Till that at last the gentle Amoret
Likewise assayd, to prove that girdles powre;
And having it about her middle set,
Did find it fit withouten breach or let.
Whereat the rest gan greatly to envie:
But Florimell exceedingly did fret,
And snatching from her hand halfe angrily
The belt againe, about her bodie gan it tie.

XX

Yet nathemore would it her bodie fit;
Yet nathelesse to her, as her dew right,
It yeelded was by them that judged it:
And she her selfe adjudged to the knight
That bore the hebene speare, as wonne in fight.
But Britomart would not thereto assent,
Ne her owne Amoret forgoe so light
For that strange dame, whose beauties wonderment
She lesse esteem'd then th' others vertuous government.

XXI

Whom when the rest did see her to refuse,
They were full glad, in hope themselves to get her:
Yet at her choice they all did greatly muse.
But after that, the judges did arret her
Unto the second best, that lov'd her better;
That was the Salvage Knight: but he was gone
In great displeasure, that he could not get her.
Then was she judged Triamond his one;
But Triamond lov'd Canacee, and other none.

XXII

Tho unto Satyran she was adjudged,
Who was right glad to gaine so goodly meed:
But Blandamour thereat full greatly grudged,
And litle prays'd his labours evill speed,
That, for to winne the saddle, lost the steed.
Ne lesse thereat did Paridell complaine,
And thought t' appeale from that which was decreed
To single combat with Sir Satyrane.
Thereto him Ate stird, new discord to maintaine.

XXIII

And eke with these, full many other knights
She through her wicked working did incense,
Her to demaund, and chalenge as their rights,
Deserved for their perils recompense.
Amongst the rest, with boastfull vaine pretense
Stept Braggadochio forth, and as his thrall
Her claym'd, by him in battell wonne long sens:
Whereto her selfe he did to witnesse call;
Who being askt, accordingly confessed all.

XXIV

Thereat exceeding wroth was Satyran;
And wroth with Satyran was Blandamour;
And wroth with Blandamour was Erivan;
And at them both Sir Paridell did loure.
So all together stird up strifull stoure,
And readie were new battell to darraine.
Each one profest to be her paramoure,
And vow'd with speare and shield it to maintaine;
Ne judges powre, ne reasons rule, mote them restraine.

XXV

Which troublous stirre when Satyrane aviz'd,
He gan to cast how to appease the same,
And, to accord them all, this meanes deviz'd:
First in the midst to set that fayrest dame,
To whom each one his chalenge should disclame,
And he himselfe his right would eke releasse:
Then looke, to whom she voluntarie came,
He should without distrubance her possesse:
Sweete is the love that comes alone with willingnesse.

XXVI

They all agreed, and then that snowy mayd
Was in the middest plast among them all:
All on her gazing wisht, and vowd, and prayd,
And to the Queene of Beautie close did call,
That she unto their portion might befall.
Then when she long had lookt upon each one,
As though she wished to have pleasd them all,
At last to Braggadochio selfe alone
She came of her accord, in spight of all his fone.

XXVII

Which when they all beheld, they chaft, and rag'd,
And woxe nigh mad for very harts despight,
That from revenge their willes they scarse asswag'd:
Some thought from him her to have reft by might;
Some proffer made with him for her to fight.
But he nought car'd for all that they could say:
For he their words as wind esteemed light.
Yet not fit place he thought it there to stay,
But secretly from thence that night her bore away.

XXVIII

They which remaynd, so soone as they perceiv'd
That she was gone, departed thence with speed,
And follow'd them, in mind her to have reav'd
From wight unworthie of so noble meed.
In which poursuit how each one did succeede,
Shall else be told in order, as it fell.
But now of Britomart it here doth neede,
The hard adventures and strange haps to tell;
Since with the rest she went not after Florimell.

XXIX

For soone as she them saw to discord set,
Her list no longer in that place abide;
But taking with her lovely Amoret,
Upon her first adventure forth did ride,
To seeke her lov'd, making blind Love her guide.
Unluckie mayd, to seeke her enemie!
Unluckie mayd, to seeke him farre and wide,
Whom, when he was unto her selfe most nie,
She through his late disguizement could him not descrie!

XXX

So much the more her griefe, the more her toyle:
Yet neither toyle nor griefe she once did spare,
In seeking him that should her paine assoyle;
Whereto great comfort in her sad misfare
Was Amoret, companion of her care:
Who likewise sought her lover long miswent,
The gentle Scudamour, whose hart whileare
That stryfull hag with gealous discontent
Had fild, that he to fell reveng was fully bent.

XXXI

Bent to revenge on blamelesse Britomart
The crime which cursed Ate kindled earst,
The which like thornes did pricke his gealous hart,
And through his soule like poysned arrow perst,
That by no reason it might be reverst,
For ought that Glauce could or doe or say.
For aye the more that she the same reherst,
The more it gauld and griev'd him night and day,
That nought but dire revenge his anger mote defray.

XXXII

So as they travelled, the drouping night,
Covered with cloudie storme and bitter showre,
That dreadfull seem'd to every living wight,
Upon them fell, before her timely howre;
That forced them to seeke some covert bowre,
Where they might hide their heads in quiet rest,
And shrowd their persons from that stormie stowre.
Not farre away, not meete for any guest,
They spide a little cottage, like some poore mans nest.

XXXIII

Under a steepe hilles side it placed was,
There where the mouldred earth had cav'd the banke;
And fast beside a little brooke did pas
Of muddie water, that like puddle stanke,
By which few crooked sallowes grew in ranke:
Wherto approaching nigh, they heard the sound
Of many yron hammers beating ranke,
And answering their wearie turnes around,
That seemed some blacksmith dwelt in that desert ground.

XXXIV

There entring in, they found the goodman selfe
Full busily unto his worke ybent;
Who was to weet a wretched wearish elfe,
With hollow eyes and rawbone cheekes forspent,
As if he had in prison long bene pent:
Full blacke and griesly did his face appeare,
Besmeard with smoke that nigh his eyesight blent;
With rugged beard, and hoarie shagged heare,
The which he never wont to combe, or comely sheare.

XXXV

Rude was his garment, and to rags all rent,
Ne better had he, ne for better cared:
With blistred hands emongst the cinders brent,
And fingers filthie, with long nayles unpared,
Right fit to rend the food on which he fared.
His name was Care; a blacksmith by his trade,
That neither day nor night from working spared,
But to small purpose yron wedges made;
Those be unquiet thoughts, that carefull minds invade.

XXXVI

In which his worke he had sixe servants prest,
About the andvile standing evermore,
With huge great hammers, that did never rest
From heaping stroakes, which thereon soused sore:
All sixe strong groomes, but one then other more:
For by degrees they all were disagreed;
So likewise did the hammers which they bore
Like belles in greatnesse orderly succeed,
That he which was the last the first did farre exceede.

XXXVII

He like a monstrous gyant seem'd in sight,
Farre passing Bronteus or Pyracmon great,
The which in Lipari doe day and night
Frame thunderbolts for Joves avengefull threate.
So dreadfully he did the andvile beat,
That seem'd to dust he shortly would it drive:
So huge his hammer and so fierce his heat,
That seem'd a rocke of diamond it could rive,
And rend a sunder quite, if he thereto list strive.

XXXVIII

Sir Scudamour, there entring, much admired
The manner of their worke and wearie paine;
And having long beheld, at last enquired
The cause and end thereof: but all in vaine;
For they for nought would from their worke refraine,
Ne let his speeches come unto their eare;
And eke the breathfull bellowes blew amaine,
Like to the northren winde, that none could heare:
Those Pensifenesse did move; and Sighes the bellows weare.

XXXIX

Which when that warriour saw, he said no more,
But in his armour layd him downe to rest:
To rest he layd him downe upon the flore,
(Whylome for ventrous knights the bedding best,)
And thought his wearie limbs to have redrest.
And that old aged dame, his faithfull squire,
Her feeble joynts layd eke a downe to rest;
That needed much her weake age to desire,
After so long a travell, which them both did tire.

XL

There lay Sir Scudamour long while expecting
When gentle sleepe his heavie eyes would close;
Oft chaunging sides, and oft new place electing,
Where better seem'd he mote himselfe repose;
And oft in wrath he thence againe uprose;
And oft in wrath he layd him downe againe.
But wheresoever he did himselfe dispose,
He by no meanes could wished ease obtaine:
So every place seem'd painefull, and ech changing vaine.

XLI

And evermore, when he to sleepe did thinke,
The hammers sound his senses did molest;
And evermore, when he began to winke,
The bellowes noyse disturb'd his quiet rest,
Ne suffred sleepe to settle in his brest.
And all the night the dogs did barke and howle
About the house, at sent of stranger guest:
And now the crowing cocke, and now the owle
Lowde shriking, him afflicted to the very sowle.

XLII

And if by fortune any litle nap
Upon his heavie eye-lids chaunst to fall,
Eftsoones one of those villeins him did rap
Upon his headpeece with his yron mall,
That he was soone awaked therewithall,
And lightly started up as one affrayd,
Or as if one him suddenly did call:
So oftentimes he out of sleepe abrayd,
And then lay musing long on that him ill apayd.

XLIII

So long he muzed, and so long he lay,
That at the last his wearie sprite opprest
With fleshly weaknesse, which no creature may
Long time resist, gave place to kindly rest,
That all his senses did full soone arrest:
Yet, in his soundest sleepe, his dayly feare
His ydle braine gan busily molest,
And made him dreame those two disloyall were:
The things that day most minds, at night doe most appeare.

XLIV

With that, the wicked carle, the maister smith,
A paire of redwhot yron tongs did take
Out of the burning cinders, and therewith
Under his side him nipt, that, forst to wake,
He felt his hart for very paine to quake,
And started up avenged for to be
On him the which his quiet slomber brake:
Yet, looking round about him, none could see;
Yet did the smart remaine, though he himselfe did flee.

XLV

In such disquiet and hartfretting payne
He all that night, that too long night, did passe.
And now the day out of the ocean mayne
Began to peepe above this earthly masse,
With pearly dew sprinkling the morning grasse:
Then up he rose like heavie lumpe of lead,
That in his face, as in a looking glasse,
The signes of anguish one mote plainely read,
And ghesse the man to be dismayd with gealous dread.

XLVI

Unto his lofty steede he clombe anone,
And forth upon his former voiage fared,
And with him eke that aged squire attone;
Who, whatsoever perill was prepared,
Both equall paines and equall perill shared:
The end whereof and daungerous event
Shall for another canticle be spared:
But here my wearie teeme, nigh over spent,
Shall breath it selfe awhile, after so long a went.

CANTO VI

Both Scudamour and Arthegall
Doe fight with Britomart:
He sees her face; doth fall in love,
And soone from her depart.

I

WHAT equall torment to the griefe of mind,
And pyning anguish hid in gentle hart,
That inly feeds it selfe with thoughts unkind,
And nourisheth her owne consuming smart?
What medicine can any leaches art
Yeeld such a sore, that doth her grievance hide,
And will to none her maladie impart?
Such was the wound that Scudamour did gride;
For which Dan Phebus selfe cannot a salve provide.

II

Who having left that restlesse House of Care,
The next day, as he on his way did ride,
Full of melancholie and sad misfare,
Through misconceipt, all unawares espide
An armed knight under a forrest side,
Sitting in shade beside his grazing steede;
Who, soone as them approaching he descride,
Gan towards them to pricke with eger speede,
That seem'd he was full bent to some mischievous deede.

III

Which Scudamour perceiving, forth issewed
To have rencountred him in equall race;
But soone as th' other, nigh approaching, vewed
The armes he bore, his speare he gan abase,
And voide his course: at which so suddain case
He wondred much. But th' other thus can say:
'Ah! gentle Scudamour, unto your grace
I me submit, and you of pardon pray,
That almost had against you trespassed this day.'

IV

Whereto thus Scudamour: 'Small harme it were
For any knight upon a ventrous knight
Without displeasance for to prove his spere.
But reade you, sir, sith ye my name have hight,
What is your owne, that I mote you requite?'
'Certes,' sayd he, 'ye mote as now excuse
Me from discovering you my name aright:
For time yet serves that I the same refuse;
But call ye me the Salvage Knight, as others use.'

V

'Then this, Sir Salvage Knight,' quoth he, 'areede;
Or doe you here within this forrest wonne,
That seemeth well to answere to your weede?
Or have ye it for some occasion donne?
That rather seemes, sith knowen armes ye shonne.'
'This other day,' sayd he, 'a stranger knight
Shame and dishonour hath unto me donne;
On whom I waite to wreake that foule despight,
When ever he this way shall passe by day or night.'

VI

'Shame be his meede,' quoth he, 'that meaneth shame.
But what is he by whom ye shamed were?'
'A stranger knight,' sayd he, 'unknowne by name,
But knowne by fame, and by an hebene speare,
With which he all that met him downe did beare.
He in an open turney, lately held,
Fro me the honour of that game did reare;
And having me, all wearie earst, downe feld,
The fayrest ladie reft, and ever since withheld.'

VII

When Scudamour heard mention of that speare,
He wist right well that it was Britomart,
The which from him his fairest love did beare.
Tho gan he swell in every inner part,
For fell despight, and gnaw his gealous hart,
That thus he sharply sayd: 'Now by my head,
Yet is not this the first unknightly part,
Which that same knight, whom by his launce I read,
Hath doen to noble knights, that many makes him dread.

VIII

'For lately he my love hath fro me reft,
And eke defiled with foule villanie
The sacred pledge which in his faith was left,
In shame of knighthood and fidelitie;
The which ere long full deare he shall abie.
And if to that avenge by you decreed
This hand may helpe, or succour aught supplie,
It shall not fayle, when so ye shall it need.'
So both to wreake their wrathes on Britomart agreed.

IX

Whiles thus they communed, lo! sbrre away
A knight soft ryding towards them they spyde,
Attyr'd in forraine armes and straunge aray:
Whom when they nigh approcht, they plaine descryde
To be the same for whom they did abyde.
Sayd then Sir Scudamour, 'Sir Salvage Knight,
Let me this crave, sith first I was defyde,
That first I may that wrong to him requite:
And, if I hap to fayle, you shall recure my right.'

X

Which being yeelded, he his threatfull speare
Gan fewter, and against her fiercely ran.
Who soone as she him saw approaching neare
With so fell rage, her selfe she lightly gan
To dight, to welcome him well as she can:
But entertaind him in so rude a wise,
That to the ground she smote both horse and man;
Whence neither greatly hasted to arise,
But on their common harmes together did devise.

XI

But Artegall, beholding his mischaunce,
New matter added to his former fire;
And eft aventring his steeleheaded launce,
Against her rode, full of despiteous ire,
That nought but spoyle and vengeance did require.
But to himselfe his felonous intent
Returning, disappointed his desire,
Whiles unawares his saddle he forwent,
And found himselfe on ground in great amazement.

XII

Lightly he started up out of that stound,
And snatching forth his direfull deadly blade,
Did leape to her, as doth an eger hound
Thrust to an hynd within some covert glade,
Whom without perill he cannot invade.
With such fell greedines he her assayled,
That though she mounted were, yet he her made
To give him ground, (so much his force prevayled)
And shun his mightie strokes, gainst which no armes avayled.

XIII

So as they coursed here and there, it chaunst
That, in her wheeling round, behind her crest
So sorely he her strooke, that thence it glaunst
Adowne her backe, the which it fairely blest
From foule mischance; ne did it ever rest,
Till on her horses hinder parts it fell;
Where byting deepe, so deadly it imprest,
That quite it chynd his backe behind the sell,
And to alight on foote her algates did compell.

XIV

Like as the lightning brond from riven skie,
Throwne out by angry Jove in his vengeance,
With dreadfull force falles on some steeple hie;
Which battring, downe it on the church doth glance,
And teares it all with terrible mischance.
Yet she no whit dismayd, her steed forsooke,
And casting from her that enchaunted lance,
Unto her sword and shield her soone betooke;
And therewithall at him right furiously she strooke.

XV

So furiously she strooke in her first heat,
Whiles with long fight on foot he breathlesse was,
That she him forced backward to retreat,
And yeeld unto her weapon way to pas:
Whose raging rigour neither steele nor bras
Could stay, but to the tender flesh it went,
And pour'd the purple bloud forth on the gras;
That all his mayle yriv'd, and plates yrent,
Shew'd all his bodie bare unto the cruell dent.

XVI

At length, when as he saw her hastie heat
Abate, and panting breath begin to fayle,
He, through long sufferance growing now more great,
Rose in his strength, and gan her fresh assayle,
Heaping huge strokes, as thicke as showre of hayle,
And lashing dreadfully at every part,
As if he thought her soule to disentrayle.
Ah! cruell hand, and thrise more cruell hart,
That workst such wrecke on her to whom thou dearest art!

XVII

What yron courage ever could endure,
To worke such outrage on so faire a creature?
And in his madnesse thinke with hands impure
To spoyle so goodly workmanship of nature,
The Maker selfe resembling in her feature?
Certes some hellish furie, or some feend,
This mischiefe framd, for their first loves defeature,
To bath their hands in bloud of dearest freend,
Thereby to make their loves beginning their lives end.

XVIII

Thus long they trac'd and traverst to and fro,
Sometimes pursewing, and sometimes pursewed,
Still as advantage they espyde thereto:
But toward th' end Sir Arthegall renewed
His strength still more, but she still more decrewed.
At last his lucklesse hand he heav'd on hie,
Having his forces all in one accrewed,
And therewith stroke at her so hideouslie,
That seemed nought but death mote be her destinie.

XIX

The wicked stroke upon her helmet chaunst,
And with the force which in it selfe it bore
Her ventayle shard away, and thence forth glaunst
Adowne in vaine, ne harm'd her any more.
With that, her angels face, unseene afore,
Like to the ruddie morne appeard in sight,
Deawed with silver drops, through sweating sore,
But somewhat redder then beseem'd aright,
Through toylesome heate and labour of her weary fight.

XX

And round about the same, her yellow heare,
Having through stirring loosd their wonted band,
Like to a golden border did appeare,
Framed in goldsmithes forge with cunning hand:
Yet goldsmithes cunning could not understand
To frame such subtile wire, so shinie cleare.
For it did glister like the golden sand,
The which Pactolus, with his waters shere,
Throwes forth upon the rivage round about him nere.

XXI

And as his hand he up againe did reare,
Thinking to worke on her his utmost wracke,
His powrelesse arme, benumbd with secret feare,
From his revengefull purpose shronke abacke,
And cruell sword out of his fingers slacke
Fell downe to ground, as if the steele had sence,
And felt some ruth, or sence his hand did lacke,
Or both of them did thinke, obedience
To doe to so divine a beauties excellence.

XXII

And he himselfe long gazing thereupon,
At last fell humbly downe upon his knee,
And of his wonder made religion,
Weening some heavenly goddesse he did see,
Or else unweeting what it else might bee;
And pardon her besought his errour frayle,
That had done outrage in so high degree:
Whilest trembling horrour did his sense assayle,
And made ech member quake, and manly hart to quayle.

XXIII

Nathelesse she, full of wrath for that late stroke,
All that long while upheld her wrathfull hand,
With fell intent on him to bene ywroke:
And looking sterne, still over him did stand,
Threatning to strike, unlesse he would withstand:
And bad him rise, or surely he should die.
But, die or live, for nought he would upstand,
But her of pardon prayd more earnestlie,
Or wreake on him her will for so great injurie.

XXIV

Which when as Scudamour, who now abrayd,
Beheld, where as he stood not farre aside,
He was therewith right wondrously dismayd,
And drawing nigh, when as he plaine descride
That peerelesse paterne of Dame Natures pride,
And heavenly image of perfection,
He blest himselfe, as one sore terrifide,
And turning feare to faint devotion,
Did worship her as some celestiall vision.

XXV

But Glauce, seeing all that chaunced there,
Well weeting how their errour to assoyle,
Full glad of so good end, to them drew nere,
And her salewd with seemly belaccoyle,
Joyous to see her safe after long toyle:
Then her besought, as she to her was deare,
To graunt unto those warriours truce a whyle;
Which yeelded, they their bevers up did reare,
And shew'd themselves to her, such as indeed they were.

XXVI

When Britomart with sharpe avizefull eye
Beheld the lovely face of Artegall,
Tempred with sternesse and stout majestie,
She gan eftsoones it to her mind to call,
To be the same which in her fathers hall
Long since in that enchaunted glasse she saw.
Therewith her wrathfull courage gan appall,
And haughtie spirits meekely to adaw,
That her enhaunced hand she downe can soft withdraw.

XXVII

Yet she it forst to have againe upheld,
As fayning choler, which was turn'd to cold:
But ever when his visage she beheld,
Her hand fell downe, and would no longer hold
The wrathfull weapon gainst his countnance bold:
But when in vaine to fight she oft assayd,
She arm'd her tongue, and thought at him to scold;
Nathlesse her tongue not to her will obayd,
But brought forth speeches myld, when she would have missayd.

XXVIII

But Scudamour now woxen inly glad,
That all his gealous feare he false had found,
And how that hag his love abused had
With breach of faith and loyaltie unsound,
The which long time his grieved hart did wound,
Him thus bespake: 'Certes, Sir Artegall,
I joy to see you lout so low on ground,
And now become to live a ladies thrall,
That whylome in your minde wont to despise them all.'

XXIX

Soone as she heard the name of Artegall,
Her hart did leape, and all her hart-strings tremble,
For sudden joy, and secret feare withall,
And all her vitall powres, with motion nimble,
To succour it, themselves gan there assemble,
That by the swift recourse of flushing blood
Right plaine appeard, though she it would dissemble,
And fayned still her former angry mood,
Thinking to hide the depth by troubling of the flood.

XXX

When Glauce thus gan wisely all upknit:
'Ye gentle knights, whom fortune here hath brought,
To be spectators of this uncouth fit,
Which secret fate hath in this ladie wrought,
Against the course of kind, ne mervaile nought,
Ne thenceforth feare the thing that hethertoo
Hath troubled both your mindes with idle thought,
Fearing least she your loves away should woo,
Feared in vaine, sith meanes ye see there wants theretoo.

XXXI

'And you, Sir Artegall, the Salvage Knight,
Henceforth may not disdaine that womans hand
Hath conquered you anew in second fight:
For whylome they have conquerd sea and land,
And heaven it selfe, that nought may them withstand:
Ne henceforth be rebellious unto love,
That is the crowne of knighthood, and the band
Of noble minds derived from above,
Which being knit with vertue, never will remove.

XXXII

'And you, faire ladie knight, my dearest dame,
Relent the rigour of your wrathfull will,
Whose fire were better turn'd to other flame;
And wiping out remembrance of all ill,
Graunt him your grace, but so that he fulfill
The penance which ye shall to him empart:
For lovers heaven must passe by sorrowes hell.'
Thereat full inly blushed Britomart;
But Artegall, close smyling, joy'd in secret hart.

XXXIII

Yet durst he not make love so suddenly,
Ne thinke th' affection of her hart to draw
From one to other so quite contrary:
Besides her modest countenance he saw
So goodly grave, and full of princely aw,
That it his ranging fancie did refraine,
And looser thoughts to lawfull bounds withdraw;
Whereby the passion grew more fierce and faine,
Like to a stubborne steede whom strong hand would restraine.

XXXIV

But Scudamour, whose hart twixt doubtfull feare
And feeble hope hung all this while suspence,
Desiring of his Amoret to heare
Some gladfull newes and sure intelligence,
Her thus bespake: 'But, sir, without offence
Mote I request you tydings of my love,
My Amoret, sith you her freed fro thence,
Where she, captived long, great woes did prove;
That where ye left, I may her seeke, as doth behove.'

XXXV

To whom thus Britomart: 'Certes, sir knight,
What is of her become, or whether reft,
I can not unto you aread a right.
For from that time I from enchaunters theft
Her freed, in which ye her all hopelesse left,
I her preserv'd from perill and from feare,
And evermore from villenie her kept:
Ne ever was there wight to me more deare
Then she, ne unto whom I more true love did beare.

XXXVI

'Till on a day, as through a desert wyld
We travelled, both wearie of the way,
We did alight, and sate in shadow myld;
Where fearelesse I to sleepe me downe did lay.
But when as I did out of sleepe abray,
I found her not where I her left whyleare,
But thought she wandred was, or gone astray.
I cal'd her loud, I sought her farre and neare;
But no where could her find, nor tydings of her heare.'

XXXVII

When Scudamour those heavie tydings heard,
His hart was thrild with point of deadly feare;
Ne in his face or bloud or life appeard,
But senselesse stood, like to a mazed steare
That yet of mortall stroke the stound doth beare;
Till Glauce thus: 'Faire sir, be nought dismayd
With needelesse dread, till certaintie ye heare:
For yet she may be safe though somewhat strayd;
Its best to hope the best, though of the worst affrayd.'

XXXVIII

Nathlesse he hardly of her chearefull speech
Did comfort take, or in his troubled sight
Shew'd change of better cheare, so sore a breach
That sudden newes had made into his spright;
Till Britomart him fairely thus behight:
'Great cause of sorrow certes, sir, ye have:
But comfort take: for by this heavens light
I vow, you dead or living not to leave,
Till I her find, and wreake on him that did her reave.'

XXXIX

Therewith he rested, and well pleased was.
So peace being confirm'd amongst them all,
They tooke their steeds, and forward thence did pas
Unto some resting place, which mote befall,
All being guided by Sir Artegall:
Where goodly solace was unto them made,
And dayly feasting both in bowre and hall,
Untill that they their wounds well healed had,
And wearie limmes recur'd after late usage bad.

XL

In all which time, Sir Artegall made way
Unto the love of noble Britomart,
And with meeke service and much suit did lay
Continuall siege unto her gentle hart:
Which being whylome launcht with lovely dart,
More eath was new impression to receive,
How ever she her paynd with womanish art
To hide her wound, that none might it perceive:
Vaine is the art that seekes it selfe for to deceive.

XLI

So well he woo'd her, and so well he wrought her,
With faire entreatie and sweet blandishment,
That at the length unto a bay he brought her,
So as she to his speeches was content
To lend an eare, and softly to relent.
At last, through many vowes which forth he pour'd,
And many others, she yeelded her consent
To be his love, and take him for her lord,
Till they with mariage meet might finish that accord.

XLII

Tho, when they had long time there taken rest,
Sir Artegall, who all this while was bound
Upon an hard adventure yet in quest,
Fit time for him thence to depart it found,
To follow that which he did long propound;
And unto her his congee came to take.
But her therewith full sore displeasd he found,
And loth to leave her late betrothed make,
Her dearest love full loth so shortly to forsake

XLIII

Yet he with strong perswasions her asswaged,
And wonne her will to suffer him depart;
For which his faith with her he fast engaged,
And thousand vowes from bottome of his hart,
That all so soone as he by wit or art
Could that atchieve, whereto he did aspire,
He unto her would speedily revert:
No longer space thereto he did desire,
But till the horned moone three courses did expire.

XLIV

With which she for the present was appeased,
And yeelded leave, how ever malcontent
She inly were, and in her mind displeased.
So, early in the morrow next, he went
Forth on his way, to which he was ybent;
Ne wight him to attend, or way to guide,
As whylome was the custome ancient
Mongst knights, when on adventures they did ride,
Save that she algates him a while accompanide.

XLV

And by the way she sundry purpose found
Of this or that, the time for to delay,
And of the perils whereto he was bound,
The feare whereof seem'd much her to affray:
But all she did was but to weare out day.
Full oftentimes she leave of him did take;
And eft againe deviz'd some what to say,
Which she forgot, whereby excuse to make:
So loth she was his companie for to forsake.

XLVI

At last, when all her speeches she had spent,
And new occasion fayld her more to find,
She left him to his fortunes government,
And backe returned with right heavie mind
To Scudamour, who she had left behind:
With whom she went to seeke faire Amoret,
Her second care, though in another kind:
For vertues onely sake, which doth beget
True love and faithfull friendship, she by her did set.

XLVII

Backe to that desert forrest they retyred,
Where sorie Britomart had lost her late;
There they her sought, and every where inquired,
Where they might tydings get of her estate;
Yet found they none. But by what haplesse fate
Or hard misfortune she was thence convayd,
And stolne away from her beloved mate,
Were long to tell; therefore I here will stay
Untill another tyde, that I it finish may.





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