Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 6, CANTOS 7-9, by EDMUND SPENSER



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 6, CANTOS 7-9, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Turpine is baffuld; his two knights
Last Line: Shall more conveniently in other place be ended.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin


CANTO VII

Turpine is baffuld; his two knights
Doe gaine their treasons meed.
Fayre Mirabellaes punishment
For loves disdaine decreed.

I

LIKE as the gentle hart it selfe bewrayes
In doing gentle deedes with franke delight,
Even so the baser mind it selfe displayes
In cancred malice and revengefull spight.
For to maligne, t' envie, t' use shifting slight,
Be arguments of a vile donghill mind,
Which what it dare not doe by open might,
To worke by wicked treason wayes doth find,
By such discourteous deeds discovering his base kind.

II

That well appeares in this discourteous knight,
The coward Turpine, whereof now I treat;
Who notwithstanding that in former fight
He of the Prince his life received late,
Yet in his mind malitious and ingrate
He gan devize to be aveng'd anew
For all that shame, which kindled inward hate.
Therefore, so soone as he was out of vew,
Himselfe in hast he arm'd, and did him fast pursew.

III

Well did he tract his steps, as he did ryde,
Yet would not neare approch in daungers eye,
But kept aloofe for dread to be descryde,
Untill fit time and place he mote espy,
Where he mote worke him scath and villeny.
At last he met two knights to him unknowne,
The which were armed both agreeably,
And both combynd, what ever chaunce were blowne,
Betwixt them to divide, and each to make his owne.

IV

To whom false Turpine comming courteously,
To cloke the mischiefe which he inly ment,
Gan to complaine of great discourtesie,
Which a straunge knight, that neare afore him went,
Had doen to him, and his deare ladie shent:
Which if they would afford him ayde at need
For to avenge, in time convenient,
They should accomplish both a knightly deed,
And for their paines obtaine of him a goodly meed.

V

The knights beleev'd that all he sayd was trew,
And being fresh and full of youthly spright,
Were glad to heare of that adventure new,
In which they mote make triall of their might,
Which never yet they had approv'd in fight;
And eke desirous of the offred meed.
Said then the one of them: 'Where is that wight,
The which hath doen to thee this wrongfull deed,
That we may it avenge, and punish him with speed?'

VI

'He rides,' said Turpine, 'there not farre afore,
With a wyld man soft footing by his syde,
That if ye list to haste a litle more,
Ye may him overtake in timely tyde.'
Eftsoones they pricked forth with forward pryde,
And ere that litle while they ridden had,
The gentle Prince not farre away they spyde,
Ryding a softly pace with portance sad,
Devizing of his love more then of daunger drad.

VII

Then one of them aloud unto him cryde,
Bidding him turne againe, false traytour knight,
Foule woman wronger, for he him defyde.
With that they both at once with equall spight
Did bend their speares, and both with equall might
Against him ran; but th' one did misse his marke,
And being carried with his force forthright,
Glaunst swiftly by; like to that heavenly sparke,
Which, glyding through the ayre, lights all the heavens darke.

VIII

But th' other, ayming better, did him smite
Full in the shield, with so impetuous powre,
That all his launce in peeces shivered quite,
And scattered all about, fell on the flowre.
But the stout Prince, with much more steddy stowre,
Full on his bever did him strike so sore,
That the cold steele, through piercing, did devowre
His vitall breath, and to the ground him bore,
Where still he bathed lay in his owne bloody gore.

IX

As when a cast of faulcons make their flight
At an herneshaw, that lyes aloft on wing,
The whyles they strike at him with heedlesse might,
The warie foule his bill doth backward wring;
On which the first, whose force her first doth bring,
Her selfe quite through the bodie doth engore,
And falleth downe to ground like senselesse thing,
But th' other, not so swift as she before,
Fayles of her souse, and passing by doth hurt no more.

X

By this the other, which was passed by,
Himselfe recovering, was return'd to fight;
Where when he saw his fellow lifelesse ly,
He much was daunted with so dismall sight;
Yet nought abating of his former spight,
Let drive at him with so malitious mynd,
As if he would have passed through him quight:
But the steele-head no stedfast hold could fynd,
But glauncing by, deceiv'd him of that he desynd.

XI

Not so the Prince: for his well learned speare
Tooke surer hould, and from his horses backe
Above a launces length him forth did beare,
And gainst the cold hard earth so sore him strake,
That all his bones in peeces nigh he brake.
Where seeing him so lie, he left his steed,
And to him leaping, vengeance thought to take
Of him, for all his former follies meed,
With flaming sword in hand his terror more to breed.

XII

The fearefull swayne, beholding death so nie,
Cryde out aloud, for mercie, him to save;
In lieu whereof he would to him descrie
Great treason to him meant, his life to reave.
The Prince soone hearkned, and his life forgave.
Then thus said he: 'There is a straunger knight,
The which, for promise of great meed, us drave
To this attempt, to wreake his hid despight,
For that himselfe thereto did want sufficient might.'

XIII

The Prince much mused at such villenie,
And sayd: 'Now sure ye well have earn'd your meed,
For th' one is dead, and th' other soone shall die,
Unlesse to me thou hether bring with speed
The wretch that hyr'd you to this wicked deed.'
He glad of life, and willing eke to wreake
The guilt on him which did this mischiefe breed,
Swore by his sword, that neither day nor weeke
He would surceasse, but him, where so he were, would seeke.

XIV

So up he rose, and forth streight way he went
Backe to the place where Turpine late he lore:
There he him found in great astonishment,
To see him so bedight with bloodie gore
And griesly wounds that him appalled sore.
Yet thus at length he said: 'How now, sir knight?
What meaneth this which here I see before?
How fortuneth this foule uncomely plight,
So different from that which earst ye seem'd in sight?'

XV

'Perdie,' said he, 'in evill houre it fell,
That ever I for meed did undertake
So hard a taske as life for hyre to sell;
The which I earst adventur'd for your sake.
Witnesse the wounds, and this wyde bloudie lake,
Which ye may see yet all about me steeme.
Therefore now yeeld, as ye did promise make,
My due reward, the which right well I deeme
I yearned have, that life so dearely did redeeme.'

XVI

'But where then is,' quoth he halfe wrothfully,
'Where is the bootie, which therefore I bought,
That cursed caytive, my strong enemy,
That recreant knight, whose hated life I sought?
And where is eke your friend, which half"?" it ought?'
'He lyes,' said he, 'upon the cold bare ground,
Slayne of that errant knight, with whom he fought;
Whom afterwards my selfe with many a wound
Did slay againe, as ye may see there in the stound.'

XVII

Thereof false Turpin was full glad and faine,
And needs with him streight to the place would ryde,
Where he himselfe might see his foeman slaine;
For else his feare could not be satisfyde.
So as they rode, he saw the way all dyde
With streames of bloud; which tracting by the traile,
Ere long they came whereas in evill tyde
That other swayne, like ashes deadly pale,
Lay in the lap of death, rewing his wretched bale.

XVIII

Much did the craven seeme to mone his case,
That for his sake his deare life had forgone;
And him bewayling with affection base,
Did counterfeit kind pittie, where was none:
For wheres no courage, theres no ruth nor mone.
Thence passing forth, not farre away he found
Whereas the Prince himselfe lay all alone,
Loosely displayd upon the grassie ground,
Possessed of sweete sleepe, that luld him soft in swound.

XIX

Wearie of travell in his former fight,
He there in shade himselfe had layd to rest
Having his armes and warlike things undight,
Fearelesse of foes that mote his peace molest;
The whyles his salvage page, that wont be prest,
Was wandred in the wood another way,
To doe some thing, that seemed to him best,
The whyles his lord in silver slomber lay,
Like to the evening starre adorn'd with deawy ray.

XX

Whom when as Turpin saw so loosely layd,
He weened well that he in deed was dead,
Like as that other knight to him had sayd:
But when he nigh approcht, he mote aread
Plaine signes in him of life and livelihead.
Whereat much griev'd against that straunger knight,
That him too light of credence did mislead,
He would have backe retyred from that sight,
That was to him on earth the deadliest despight.

XXI

But that same knight would not once let him start,
But plainely gan to him declare the case
Of all his mischiefe and late lucklesse smart;
How both he and his fellow there in place
Were vanquished, and put to foule disgrace,
And how that he, in lieu of life him lent,
Had vow'd unto the victor, him to trace
And follow through the world, where so he went,
Till that he him delivered to his punishment.

XXII

He, therewith much abashed and affrayd,
Began to tremble every limbe and vaine;
And softly whispering him, entyrely prayd
T' advize him better then by such a traine
Him to betray unto a straunger swaine:
Yet rather counseld him contrarywize,
Sith he likewise did wrong by him sustaine,
To joyne with him and vengeance to devize,
Whylest time did offer meanes him sleeping to surprize.

XXIII

Nathelesse, for all his speach, the gentle knight
Would not be tempted to such villenie,
Regarding more his faith which he did plight,
All were it to his mortall enemie,
Then to entrap him by false treacherie:
Great shame in lieges blood to be embrew'd.
Thus whylest they were debating diverslie,
The salvage forth out of the wood issew'd
Backe to the place whereas his lord he sleeping vew'd.

XXIV

There when he saw those two so neare him stand,
He doubted much what mote their meaning bee,
And throwing downe his load out of his hand,
To weet great store of forrest frute, which hee
Had for his food late gathered from the tree,
Himselfe unto his weapon he betooke,
That was an oaken plant, which lately hee
Rent by the root; which he so sternely shooke,
That like an hazell wand it quivered and quooke.

XXV

Whereat the Prince awaking, when he spyde
The traytour Turpin with that other knight,
He started up, and snatching neare his syde
His trustie sword, the servant of his might,
Like a fell lyon leaped to him light,
And his left hand upon his collar layd.
Therewith the cowheard, deaded with affright,
Fell flat to ground, ne word unto him sayd,
But holding up his hands, with silence mercie prayd.

XXVI

But he so full of indignation was,
That to his prayer nought he would incline,
But as he lay upon the humbled gras,
His foot he set on his vile necke, in signe
Of servile yoke, that nobler harts repine.
Then, letting him arise like abject thrall,
He gan to him object his haynous crime,
And to revile, and rate, and recreant call,
And lastly to despoyle of knightly bannerall.

XXVII

And after all, for greater infamie,
He by the heeles him hung upon a tree,
And baffuld so, that all which passed by
The picture of his punishment might see,
And by the like ensample warned bee,
How ever they through treason doe trespasse.
But turn we now backe to that ladie free,
Whom late we left ryding upon an asse,
Led by a carle and foole, which by her side did passe.

XXVIII

She was a ladie of great dignitie,
And lifted up to honorable place,
Famous through all the land of Faerie,
Though of meane parentage and kindred base,
Yet deckt with wondrous giftes of Natures grace,
That all men did her person much admire,
And praise the feature of her goodly face,
The beames whereof did kindle lovely fire
In th' harts of many a knight, and many a gentle squire.

XXIX

But she thereof grew proud and insolent,
That none she worthie thought to be her fere,
But scornd them all, that love unto her ment:
Yet was she lov'd of many a worthy pere;
Unworthy she to be belov'd so dere,
That could not weigh of worthinesse aright:
For beautie is more glorious bright and clere,
The more it is admir'd of many a wight,
And noblest she that served is of noblest knight.

XXX

But this coy damzell thought contrariwize,
That such proud looks would make her praysed more;
And that the more she did all love despize,
The more would wretched lovers her adore.
What cared she, who sighed for her sore,
Or who did wayle or watch the wearie night?
Let them that list their lucklesse lot deplore;
She was borne free, not bound to any wight,
And so would ever live, and love her owne delight.

XXXI

Through such her stubborne stifnesse and hard hart,
Many a wretch, for want of remedie,
Did languish long in lifeconsuming smart,
And at the last through dreary dolour die:
Whylest she, the ladie of her libertie,
Did boast her beautie had such soveraine might,
That with the onely twinckle of her eye,
She could or save or spill whom she would hight.
What could the gods doe more, but doe it more aright?

XXXII

But loe! the gods, that mortall follies vew,
Did worthily revenge this maydens pride;
And nought regarding her so goodly hew,
Did laugh at her, that many did deride,
Whilest she did weepe, of no man mercifide.
For on a day, when Cupid kept his court,
As he is wont at each Saint Valentide,
Unto the which all lovers doe resort,
That of their loves successe they there may make report;

XXXIII

It fortun'd then, that when the roules were red,
In which the names of all Loves folke were fyled,
That many there were missing, which were ded,
Or kept in bands, or from their loves exyled,
Or by some other violence despoyled.
Which when as Cupid heard, he wexed wroth,
And doubting to be wronged, or beguyled,
He bad his eyes to be unblindfold both,
That he might see his men, and muster them by oth.

XXXIV

Then found he many missing of his crew,
Which wont doe suit and service to his might;
Of whom what was becomen no man knew.
Therefore a jurie was impaneld streight,
T' enquire of them, whether by force, or sleight,
Or their owne guilt, they were away convayd.
To whom foule Infamie and fell Despight
Gave evidence, that they were all betrayd,
And murdred cruelly by a rebellious mayd.

XXXV

Fayre Mirabella was her name, whereby
Of all those crymes she there indited was:
All which when Cupid heard, he by and by,
In great displeasure, wild a capias
Should issue forth, t'attach that scornefull lasse.
The warrant straight was made, and therewithall
A baylieffe errant forth in post did passe,
Whom they by name there Portamore did call;
He which doth summon lovers to Loves judgement hall.

XXXVI

The damzell was attacht, and shortly brought
Unto the barre, whereas she was arrayned:
But she thereto nould plead, nor answere ought,
Even for stubborne pride, which her restrayned.
So judgement past, as is by law ordayned
In cases like; which when at last she saw,
Her stubborne hart, which love before disdayned,
Gan stoupe, and falling downe with humble awe,
Cryde mercie, to abate the extremitie of laev.

XXXVII

The sonne of Venus, who is myld by kynd,
But where he is provokt with peevishnesse,
Unto her prayers piteously enclynd,
And did the rigour of his doome represse;
Yet not so freely, but that nathelesse
He unto her a penance did impose,
Which was, that through this worlds wyde wildernes
She wander should in companie of those,
Till she had sav'd so many loves as she did lose.

XXXVIII

So now she had bene wandring two whole yeares
Throughout the world, in this uncomely case,
Wasting her goodly hew in heavie teares,
And her good dayes in dolorous disgrace:
Yet had she not in all these two yeares space
Saved but two, yet in two yeares before,
Throgh her dispiteous pride, whilest love lackt place,
She had destroyed two and twenty more.
Aie me! how could her love make half amends therefore?

XXXIX

And now she was uppon the weary way,
When as the gentle squire, with faire Serene,
Met her in such misseeming foule array;
The whiles that mighty man did her demeane
With all the evill termes and cruell meane,
That he could make; and eeke that angry foole
Which follow'd her, with cursed hands uncleane
Whipping her horse, did with his smarting toole
Oft whip her dainty selfe, and much augment her doole.

XL

Ne ought it mote availe her to entreat
The one or th'other, better her to use:
For both so wilfull were and obstinate,
That all her piteous plaint they did refuse,
And rather did the more her beate and bruse.
But most the former villaine, which did lead
Her tyreling jade, was bent her to abuse;
Who, though she were with wearinesse nigh dead,
Yet would not let her lite, nor rest a little stead.

XLI

For he was sterne and terrible by nature,
And eeke of person huge and hideous,
Exceeding much the measure of mans stature,
And rather like a gyant monstruous.
For sooth he was descended of the hous
Of those old gyants, which did warres darraine
Against the heaven in order battailous,
And sib to great Orgolio, which was slaine
By Arthure, when as Unas knight he did maintaine.

XLII

His lookes were dreadfull, and his fiery eies,
Like two great beacons, glared bright and wyde,
Glauncing askew, as if his enemies
He scorned in his overweening pryde;
And stalking stately like a crane, did stryde
At every step uppon the tiptoes hie;
And all the way he went, on every syde
He gaz'd about, and stared horriblie,
As if he with his lookes would all men terrifie.

XLIII

He wore no armour, ne for none did care,
As no whit dreading any living wight;
But in a jacket, quilted richly rare
Upon checklaton, he was straungely dight;
And on his head a roll of linnen plight,
Like to the Mores of Malaber, he wore,
With which his locks, as blacke as pitchy night,
Were bound about, and voyded from before;
And in his hand a mighty yron club he bore.

XLIV

This was Disdaine, who led that ladies horse
Through thick and thin, through mountains and through plains,
Compelling her, wher she would not, by force,
Haling her palfrey by the hempen raines.
But that same foole, which most increast her paines,
Was Scorne, who, having in his hand a whip,
Her thereith yirks, and still when she complaines,
The more he laughes, and does her closely quip,
To see her sore lament, and bite her tender lip.

XLV

Whose cruell handling when that squire beheld,
And saw those villaines her so vildely use,
His gentle heart with indignation sweld,
And could no lenger beare so great abuse,
As such a lady so to beate and bruse;
But to him stepping, such a stroke him lent,
That forst him th'halter from his hand to loose,
And maugre all his might, backe to relent:
Else had he surely there bene slaine, or fowly shent.

XLVI

The villaine, wroth for greeting him so sore,
Gathered him selfe together soone againe,
And with his yron batton which he bore
Let drive at him so dreadfully amaine,
That for his safety he did him constraine
To give him ground, and shift to every side,
Rather then once his burden to sustaine:
For bootelesse thing him seemed, to abide
So mighty blowes, or prove the puissaunce of his pride.

XLVII

Like as a mastiffe, having at a bay
A salvage bull, whose cruell hornes doe threat
Desperate daunger, if he them assay,
Traceth his ground, and round about doth beat,
To spy where he may some advauntage get,
The whiles the beast doth rage and loudly rore;
So did the squire, the whiles the carle did fret
And fume in his disdainefull mynd the more,
And oftentimes by Turmagant and Mahound swore.

XLVIII

Nathelesse so sharpely still he him pursewd,
That at advantage him at last he tooke,
When his foote slipt (that slip he dearely rewd,)
And with his yron club to ground him strooke;
Where still he lay, ne out of swoune awooke,
Till heavy hand the carle upon him layd,
And bound him fast: tho, when he up did looke,
And saw him selfe captiv'd, he was dismayd,
Ne powre had to withstand, ne hope of any ayd.

XLIX

Then up he made him rise, and forward fare,
Led in a rope, which both his hands did bynd;
Ne ought that foole for pitty did him spare,
But with his whip him following behynd,
Him often scourg'd, and forst his feete to fynd:
And other whiles with bitter mockes and mowes
He would him scorne, that to his gentle mynd
Was much more grievous then the others blowes:
Words sharpely wound, but greatest griefe of scorning growes.

L

The faire Serena, when she saw him fall
Under that villaines club, then surely thought
That slaine he was, or made a wretched thrall,
And fled away with all the speede she mought,
To seeke for safety; which long time she sought,
And past through many perils by the way,
Ere she againe to Calepine was brought;
The which discourse as now I must delay,
Till Mirabellaes fortunes I doe further say.

CANTO VIII




I

YE gentle ladies, in whose soveraine powre
Love hath the glory of his kingdome left,
And th'hearts of men, as your eternall dowre,
In yron chaines, of liberty bereft,
Delivered hath into your hands by gift;
Be well aware, how ye the same doe use,
That pride doe not to tyranny you lift;
Least, if men you of cruelty accuse,
He from you take that chiefedome, which ye doe abuse.

II

And as ye soft and tender are by kynde,
Adornd with goodly gifts of beauties grace,
So be ye soft and tender eeke in mynde;
But cruelty and hardnesse from you chace,
That all your other praises will deface,
And from you turne the love of men to hate.
Ensample take of Mirabellaes case,
Who from the high degree of happy state
Fell into wretched woes, which she repented late.

III

Who after thraldome of the gentle squire,
Which she beheld with lamentable eye,
Was touched with compassion entire,
And much lamented his calamity,
That for her sake fell into misery:
Which booted nought for prayers, nor for threat
To hope for to release or mollify;
For aye the more that she did them entreat,
The more they him misust, and cruelly did beat.

IV

So as they forward on their way did pas,
Him still reviling and afflicting sore,
They met Prince Arthure with Sir Enias,
(That was that courteous knight, whom he before
Having subdew'd, yet did to life restore,)
To whom as they approcht, they gan augment
Their cruelty, and him to punish more,
Scourging and haling him more vehement;
As if it them should grieve to see his punishment.

V

The squire him selfe, when as he saw his lord,
The witnesse of his wretchednesse, in place,
Was much asham'd, that with an hempen cord
He like a dog was led in captive case,
And did his head for bashfulnesse abase,
As loth to see, or to be seene at all:
Shame would be hid. But whenas Enias
Beheld two such, of two such villaines thrall,
His manly mynde was much emmoved therewithall;

VI

And to the Prince thus sayd: 'See you, sir knight,
The greatest shame that ever eye yet saw,
Yond lady and her squire with foule despight
Abusde, against all reason and all law,
Without regard of pitty or of awe?
See how they doe that squire beat and revile!
See how they doe the lady hale and draw!
But if ye please to lend me leave a while,
I will them soone acquite, and both of blame assoile.'

VII

The Prince assented, and then he streight way
Dismounting light, his shield about him threw,
With which approching, thus he gan to say:
'Abide, ye caytive treachetours untrew,
That have with treason thralled unto you
These two, unworthy of your wretched bands;
And now your crime with cruelty pursew.
Abide, and from them lay your loathly hands;
Or else abide the death that hard before you stands.'

VIII

The villaine stayd not aunswer to invent,
But with his yron club preparing way,
His mindes sad message backe unto him sent;
The which descended with such dreadfull sway,
That seemed nought the course thereof could stay,
No more then lightening from the lofty sky:
Ne list the knight the powre thereof assay,
Whose doome was death, but lightly slipping by,
Unwares defrauded his intended destiny.

IX

And to requite him with the like againe,
With his sharpe sword he fiercely at him flew,
And strooke so strongly, that the carle with paine
Saved him selfe, but that he there him slew:
Yet sav'd not so, but that the bloud it drew,
And gave his foe good hope of victory.
Who therewith flesht, upon him set anew,
And with the second stroke thought certainely
To have supplyde the first, and paide the usury.

X

But Fortune aunswerd not unto his call;
For as his hand was heaved up on hight,
The villaine met him in the middle fall,
And with his club bet backe his brondyron bright
So forcibly, that with his owne hands might
Rebeaten backe upon him selfe againe,
He driven was to ground in selfe despight;
From whence ere he recovery could gaine,
He in his necke had set his foote with fell disdaine.

XI

With that the foole, which did that end awayte,
Came running in, and whilest on ground he lay,
Laide heavy hands on him, and held so strayte,
That downe he kept him with his scornefull sway,
So as he could not weld him any way.
The whiles that other villaine went about
Him to have bound, and thrald without delay;
The whiles the foole did him revile and flout,
Threatning to yoke them two and tame their corage stout.

XII

As when a sturdy ploughman with his hynde
By strength have overthrowne a stubborne steare,
They downe him hold, and fast with cords do bynde,
Till they him force the buxome yoke to beare:
So did these two this knight oft tug and teare.
Which when the Prince beheld, there standing by,
He left his lofty steede to aide him neare,
And buckling soone him selfe, gan fiercely fly
Uppon that carle, to save his friend from jeopardy.

XIII

The villaine, leaving him unto his mate,
To be captiv'd and handled as he list,
Himselfe addrest unto this new debate,
And with his club him all about so blist,
That he which way to turne him scarcely wist:
Sometimes aloft he layd, sometimes alow,
Now here, now there, and oft him neare he mist;
So doubtfully, that hardly one could know
Whether more wary were to give or ward the blow.

XIV

But yet the Prince so well enured was
With such huge strokes, approved oft in fight,
That way to them he gave forth right to pas;
Ne would endure the daunger of their might,
But wayt advantage, when they downe did light.
At last the caytive after long discourse,
When all his stokes he saw avoyded quite,
Resolved in one t' assemble all his force,
And make one end of him without ruth or remorse.

XV

His dreadfull hand he heaved up aloft,
And with his dreadfull instrument of yre
Thought sure have pownded him to powder soft,
Or deepe emboweld in the earth entyre:
But Fortune did not with his will conspire;
For ere his stroke attayned his intent,
The noble childe, preventing his desire,
Under his club with wary boldnesse went,
And smote him on the knee, that never yet was bent.

XVI

It never yet was bent, ne bent it now,
Albe the stroke so strong and puissant were,
That seem'd a marble pillour it could bow;
But all that leg, which did his body beare,
It crackt throughout (yet did no blond appeare)
So as it was unable to support
So huge a burden on such broken geare,
But fell to ground, like to a lumpe of durt,
Whence he assayd to rise, but could not for his hurt.

XVII

Eftsoones the Prince to him full nimbly stept,
And least he should recover foote againe,
His head meant from his shoulders to have swept.
Which when the lady saw, she cryde amaine:
'Stay, stay, sir knight, for love of God abstaine
From that unwares ye weetlesse doe intend;
Slay not that carle, though worthy to be slaine:
For more on him doth then him selfe depend;
My life will by his death have lamentable end.'

XVIII

He staide his hand according her desire,
Yet nathemore him suffred to arize;
But still suppressing, gan of her inquire,
What meaning mote those uncouth words comprize,
That in that villaines health her safety lies:
That, were no might in man, nor heart in knights,
Which durst her dreaded reskue enterprize,
Yet heavens them selves, that favour feeble rights,
Would for it selfe redresse, and punish such despights.

XIX

Then bursting forth in teares, which gushed fast
Like many water streames, a while she stayd;
Till the sharpe passion being overpast,
Her tongue to her restord, then thus she sayd:
'Nor heavens, nor men can me, most wretched mayd,
Deliver from the doome of my desart,
The which the God of Love hath on me layd,
And damned to endure this direfull smart,
For penaunce of my proud and hard rebellious hart.

XX

'In prime of youthly yeares, when first the flowre
Of beauty gan to bud, and bloosme delight,
And Nature me endu'd with plenteous dowre
Of all her gifts, that pleasde each living sight,
I was belov'd of many a gentle knight,
And sude and sought with all the service dew:
Full many a one for me deepe groand and sight,
And to the dore of death for sorrow drew,
Complayning out on me, that would not on them rew.

XXI

'But let them love that list, or live or die;
Me list not die for any lovers doole:
Ne list me leave my loved libertie,
To pitty him that list to play the foole:
To love my selfe I learned had in schoole.
Thus I triumphed long in lovers paine,
And sitting carelesse on the scorners stoole,
Did laugh at those that did lament and plaine:
But all is now repayd with interest againe.

XXII

'For loe! the winged god, that woundeth harts,
Causde me be called to accompt therefore,
And for revengement of those wrongfull smarts,
Which I to others did inflict afore,
Addeem'd me to endure this penaunce sore;
That in this wize, and this unmeete array,
With these two lewd companions, and no more,
Disdaine and Scorne, I through the world should stray,
Till I have sav'd so many, as I earst did slay.'

XXIII

'Certes,' sayd then the Prince, 'the god is just,
That taketh vengeaunce of his peoples spoile.
For were no law in love, but all that lust
Might them oppresse, and painefully turmoile,
His kingdome would continue but a while.
But tell me, lady, wherefore doe you beare
This bottle thus before you with such toile,
And eeke this wallet at your backe arreare,
That for these carles to carry much more comely were?'

XXIV

'Here in this bottle,' sayd the sory mayd,
'I put the teares of my contrition,
Till to the brim I have it full defrayd:
And in this bag, which I behinde me don,
I put repentaunce for things past and gon.
Yet is the bottle leake, and bag so torne
That all which I put in fals out anon,
And is behinde me trodden downe of Scorne,
Who mocketh all my paine, and laughs the more I mourn.'

XXV

The infant hearkned wisely to her tale,
And wondred much at Cupids judg'ment wise,
That could so meekly make proud hearts avale,
And wreake him selfe on them that him despise.
Then suffred he Disdaine up to arise,
Who was not able up him selfe to reare,
By meanes his leg, through his late luckelesse prise,
Was crackt in twaine, but by his foolish feare
Was holpen up, who him supported standing neare.

XXVI

But being up, he lookt againe aloft,
As if he never had received fall;
And with sterne eye-browes stared at him oft,
As if he would have daunted him with all:
And standing on his tiptoes, to seeme tall,
Downe on his golden feete he often gazed,
As if such pride the other could apall;
Who was so far from being ought amazed,
That he his lookes despised, and his boast dispraized.

XXVII

Then turning backe unto that captive thrall,
Who all this while stood there beside them bound,
Unwilling to be knowne, or seene at all,
He from those bands weend him to have unwound.
But when, approching neare, he plainely found
It was his owne true groome, the gentle squire,
He thereat wext exceedingly astound,
And him did oft embrace, and oft admire,
Ne could with seeing satisfie his great desire.

XXVIII

Meane while the salvage man, when he beheld
That huge great foole oppressing th' other knight,
Whom with his weight unweldy downe he held,
He flew upon him, like a greedy knight
Unto some carrion offered to his sight,
And downe him plucking, with his nayles and teeth
Gan him to hale, and teare, and scratch, and bite;
And from him taking his owne whip, therewith
So sore him scourgeth, that the bloud downe followeth.

XXIX

And sure I weene, had not the ladies cry
Procur'd the Prince his cruell hand to stay,
He would with whipping him have done to dye:
But being checkt, he did abstaine streight way,
And let him rise. Then thus the Prince gan say:
'Now, lady, sith your fortunes thus dispose,
That, if ye list have liberty, ye may,
Unto your selfe I freely leave to chose,
Whether I shall you leave, or from these villaines lose.'

XXX

'Ah! nay, sir knight,' sayd she, 'it may not be,
But that I needes must by all meanes fulfill
This penaunce, which enjoyned is to me,
Least unto me betide a greater ill;
Yet no lesse thankes to you for your good will.'
So humbly taking leave, she turnd aside:
But Arthure with the rest went onward still
On his first quest, in which did him betide
A great adventure, which did him from them devide.

XXXI

But first it falleth me by course to tell
Of faire Serena, who, as earst you heard,
When first the gentle squire at variaunce fell
With those two carles, fled fast away, afeard
Of villany to be to her inferd:
So fresh the image of her former dread,
Yet dwelling in her eye, to her appeard,
That every foote did tremble, which did tread,
And every body two, and two she foure did read.

XXXII

Through hils and dales, through bushes and through breres
Long thus she fled, till that at last she thought
Her selfe now past the perill of her feares.
Then looking round about, and seeing nought
Which doubt of daunger to her offer mought,
She from her palfrey lighted on the plaine,
And sitting downe, her selfe a while bethought
Of her long travell and turmoyling paine:
And often did of love, and oft of lucks complaine.

XXXIII

And evermore she blamed Calepine,
The good Sir Calepine, her owne true knight,
As th' onely author of her wofull tine:
For being of his love to her so light,
As her to leave in such a piteous plight.
Yet never turtle truer to his make,
Then he was tride unto his lady bright:
Who all this while endured for her sake
Great perill of his life, and restlesse paines did take.

XXXIV

Tho when as all her plaints she had displayd,
And well disburdened her engrieved brest,
Upon the grasse her selfe adowne she layd;
Where, being tyrde with travell, and opprest
With sorrow, she betooke her selfe to rest.
There whilest in Morpheus bosome safe she lay,
Fearelesse of ought that mote her peace molest,
False Fortune did her safety betray
Unto a straunge mischaunce, that menac'd her decay.

XXXV

In these wylde deserts, where she now abode,
There dwelt a salvage nation, which did live
Of stealth and spoile, and making nightly rode
Into their neighbours borders; ne did give
Them selves to any trade, as for to drive
The painefull plough, or cattell for to breed,
Or by adventrous marchandize to thrive;
But on the labours of poore men to feed,
And serve their owne necessities with others need.

XXXVI

Thereto they usde one most accursed order,
To eate the flesh of men, whom they mote fynde,
And straungers to devoure, which on their border
Were brought by errour, or by wreckfull wynde:
A monstrous cruelty gainst course of kynde.
They towards evening wandring every way,
To seeke for booty, came by fortune blynde
Whereas this lady, like a sheepe astray,
Now drowned in the depth of sleepe all fearelesse lay.

XXXVII

Soone as they spide her, lord! what gladfull glee
They made amongst them selves! but when her face
Like the faire yvory shining they did see,
Each gan his fellow solace and embrace,
For joy of such good hap by heavenly grace.
Then gan they to devize what course to take:
Whether to slay her there upon the place,
Or suffer her out of her sleepe to wake,
And then her eate attonce, or many meales to make.

XXXVIII

The best advizement was, of bad, to let her
Sleepe out her fill, without encomberment:
For sleepe, they sayd, would make her battill better.
Then, when she wakt, they all gave one consent,
That since by grace of God she there was sent,
Unto their god they would her sacrifize,
Whose share, her guiltlesse bloud, they would present;
But of her dainty flesh they did devize
To make a common feast, and feed with gurmandize.

XXXIX

So round about her they them selves did place
Upon the grasse, and diversely dispose,
As each thought best to spend the lingring space.
Some with their eyes the daintest morsels chose;
Some praise her paps, some praise her lips and nose;
Some whet their knives, and strip their elboes bare:
The priest him selfe a garland doth compose
Of finest flowres, and with full busie care
His bloudy vessels wash, and holy fire prepare.

XL

The damzell wakes; then all attonce upstart,
And round about her flocke, like many flies,
Whooping and hallowing on every part,
As if they would have rent the brasen skies.
Which when she sees with ghastly griefful eies,
Her heart does quake, and deadly pallid hew
Benumbes her cheekes: then out aloud she cries,
Where none is nigh to heare, that will her rew,
And rends her golden locks, and snowy brests embrew.

XLI

But all bootes not: they hands upon her lay;
And first they spoile her of her jewels deare,
And afterwards of all her rich array;
The which amongst them they in peeces teare,
And of the pray each one a part doth beare.
Now being naked, to their sordid eyes
The goodly threasures of Nature appeare:
Which as they view with lustfull fantasyes,
Each wisheth to him selfe, and to the rest envyes.

XLII

Her yvorie necke, her alablaster brest,
Her paps, which like white silken pillowes were,
For Love in soft delight thereon to rest;
Her tender sides, her bellie white and clere,
Which like an altar did it selfe uprere,
To offer sacrifice divine thereon;
Her goodly thighes, whose glorie did appeare
Like a triumphall arch, and thereupon
The spoiles of princes hang'd, which were in battel won.

XLIII

Those daintie parts, the dearlings of delight,
Which mote not be prophan'd of common eyes,
Those villeins vew'd with loose lascivious sight,
And closely tempted with their craftie spyes;
And some of them gan mongst themselves devize,
Thereof by force to take their beastly pleasure:
But them the priest rebuking, did advize
To dare not to pollute so sacred threasure,
Vow'd to the gods: religion held even theeves in measure.

XLIV

So being stayd, they her from thence directed
Unto a litle grove not farre asyde,
In which an altar shortly they erected,
To slay her on. And now the eventyde
His brode black wings had through the heavens wyde
By this dispred, that was the tyme ordayned
For such a dismall deed, their guilt to hyde:
Of few greene turfes an altar soone they fayned,
And deckt it all with flowres, which they nigh hand obtayned.

XLV

Tho, when as all things readie were aright,
The damzell was before the altar set,
Being alreadie dead with fearefull fright.
To whom the priest with naked armes full net
Approching nigh, and murdrous knife well whet,
Gan mutter close a certaine secret charme,
With other divelish ceremonies met:
Which doen, he gan aloft t' advance his arme,
Whereat they shouted all, and made a loud alarme.

XLVI

Then gan the bagpypes and the hornes to shrill,
And shrieke aloud, that, with the peoples voyce
Confused, did the ayre with terror fill,
And made the wood to tremble at the noyce:
The whyles she wayld, the more they did rejoyce.
Now mote ye understand that to this grove
Sir Calepine, by chaunce more then by choyce,
The selfe same evening fortune hether drove,
As he to seeke Serena through the woods did rove.

XLVII

Long had he sought her, and through many a soyle
Had traveld still on foot in heavie armes,
Ne ought was tyred with his endlesse toyle,
Ne ought was feared of his certaine harmes:
And now, all weetlesse of the wretched stormes,
In which his love was lost, he slept full fast,
Till, being waked with these loud alarmes,
He lightly started up like one aghast,
And catching up his arms, streight to the noise forth past.

XLVIII

'There by th' uncertaine glims of starry night,
And by the twinkling of their sacred fire,
He mote perceive a litle dawning sight
Of all which there was doing in that quire:
Mongst whom a woman spoyld of all attire
He spyde, lamenting her unluckie strife,
And groning sore from grieved hart entire;
Eftsonnes he saw one with a naked knife
Readie to launch her brest, and let out loved life.

XLIX

With that he thrusts into the thickest throng,
And even as his right hand adowne descends,
He him preventing, layes on earth along,
And sacrifizeth to th' infernall feends.
Then to the rest his wrathfull hand he bends,
Of whom he makes such havocke and such hew,
That swarmes of damned soules to hell he sends:
The rest, that scape his sword and death eschew,
Fly like a flocke of doves before a faulcons vew.

L

From them returning to that ladie backe,
Whom by the altar he doth sitting find,
Yet fearing death, and next to death the lacke
Of clothes to cover what they ought by kind,
He first her hands beginneth to unbind,
And then to question of her present woe,
And afterwards to cheare with speaches kind.
But she, for nought that he could say or doe,
One word durst speake, or answere him a whit thereto.

LI

So inward shame of her uncomely case
She did conceive, through care of womanhood,
That though the night did cover her disgrace,
Yet she in so unwomanly a mood
Would not bewray the state in which she stood.
So all that night to him unknowen she past.
But day, that doth discover bad and good,
Ensewing, made her knowen to him at last:
The end whereof Ile keepe untill another cast.

CANTO IX

Calidore hostes with Meliboe
And loves fayre Pastorell;
Coridon envies him, yet he
For ill rewards him well.

I

Now turne againe my teme, thou jolly swayne,
Backe to the furrow which I lately left;
I lately left a furrow, one or twayne,
Unplough'd, the which my coulter hath not cleft:
Yet seem'd the soyle both fayre and frutefull eft,
As I it past, that were too great a shame,
That so rich frute should be from us bereft;
Besides the great dishonour and defame,
Which should befall to Calidores immortall name.

II

Great travell hath the gentle Calidore
And toyle endured, sith I left him last
Sewing the Blatant Beast, which I forbore
To finish then, for other present hast.
Full many pathes and perils he hath past,
Through hils, through dales, throgh forests, and throgh plaines,
In that same quest which fortune on him cast,
Which he atchieved to his owne great gaines,
Reaping eternall glorie of his restlesse paines.

III

So sharply he the monster did pursew,
That day nor night he suffred him to rest,
Ne rested he himselfe but natures dew,
For dread of daunger, not to be redrest,
If he for slouth forslackt so famous quest.
Him first from court he to the citties coursed,
And from the citties to the townes him prest,
And from the townes into the countrie forsed,
And from the country back to private farmes he scorsed.

IV

From thence into the open fields he fled,
Whereas the heardes were keeping of their neat,
And shepheards singing to their flockes, that fed,
Layes of sweete love and youthes delightfull heat:
Him thether eke for all his fearefull threat
He followed fast, and chaced him so nie,
That to the folds, where sheepe at night doe seat,
And to the litle cots, where shepherds lie
In winters wrathfull time, he forced him to flie.

V

There on a day, as he pursew'd the chace,
He chaunst to spy a sort of shepheard groomes,
Playing on pypes, and caroling apace,
The whyles their beasts there in the budded broomes
Beside them fed, and nipt the tender bloomes:
For other worldly wealth they cared nought.
To whom Sir Calidore yet sweating comes,
And them to tell him courteously besought,
If such a beast they saw, which he had thether brought.

VI

They answer'd him that no such beast they saw,
Nor any wicked feend that mote offend
Their happie flockes, nor daunger to them draw:
But if that such there were (as none they kend)
They prayd High God them farre from them to send.
Then one of them him seeing so to sweat,
After his rusticke wise, that well he weend,
Offred him drinke, to quench his thirstie heat,
And if he hungry were, him offred eke to eat.

VII

The knight was nothing nice, where was no need,
And tooke their gentle offer: so adowne
They prayd him sit, and gave him for to feed
Such homely what as serves the simple clowne,
That doth despise the dainties of the towne.
Tho, having fed his fill, he there besyde
Saw a faire damzell, which did weare a crowne
Of sundry flowres, with silken ribbands tyde,
Yclad in home-made greene that her owne hands had dyde.

VIII

Upon a litle hillocke she was placed
Higher then all the rest, and round about
Environ'd with a girland, goodly graced,
Of lovely lasses, and them all without
The lustie shepheard swaynes sate in a rout,
The which did pype and sing her prayses dew,
And oft rejoyce, and oft for wonder shout,
As if some miracle of heavenly hew
Were downe to them descended in that earthly vew.

IX

And soothly sure she was full fayre of face,
And perfectly well shapt in every lim,
Which she did more augment with modest grace
And comely carriage of her count'nance trim,
That all the rest like lesser lamps did dim:
Who, her admiring as some heavenly wight,
Did for their soveraine goddesse her esteeme,
And caroling her name both day and night,
The fayrest Pastorella her by name did hight.

X

Ne was there heard, ne was there shep-heards swayne,
But her did honour, and eke many a one
Burnt in her love, and with sweet pleasing payne
Full many a night for her did sigh and grone:
But most of all the shepheard Coridon
For her did languish, and his deare life spend;
Yet neither she for him nor other none
Did care a whit, ne any liking lend:
Though meane her lot, yet higher did her mind ascend.

XI

Her whyles Sir Calidore there vewed well,
And markt her rare demeanure, which him seemed
So farre the meane of shepheards to excell,
As that he in his mind her worthy deemed
To be a princes paragone esteemed,
He was unwares surprisd in subtile bands
Of the Blynd Boy, ne thence could be redeemed
By any skill out of his cruell hands,
Caught like the bird which gazing still on others stands.

XII

So stood he still long gazing thereupon,
Ne any will had thence to move away,
Although his quest were farre afore him gon;
But after he had fed, yet did he stay,
And sate there still, untill the flying day
Was farre forth spent, discoursing diversly
Of sundry things, as fell, to worke delay;
And evermore his speach he did apply
To th' heards, but meant them to the damzels fantazy.

XIII

By this the moystie night approching fast,
Her deawy humour gan on th' earth to shed,
That warn'd the shepheards to their homes to hast
Their tender flocks, now being fully fed,
For feare of wetting them before their bed;
Then came to them a good old aged syre,
Whose silver lockes bedeckt his beard and hed,
With shepheards hooke in hand, and fit attyre,
That wild the damzell rise; the day did now expyre.

XIV

He was, to weet, by common voice esteemed
The father of the fayrest Pastorell,
And of her selfe in very deede so deemed;
Yet was not so, but, as old stories tell,
Found her by fortune, which to him befell,
In th' open fields an infant left alone,
And taking up brought home, and noursed well
As his owne chyld; for other he had none;
That she in tract of time accompted was his owne.

XV

She at his bidding meekely did arise,
And streight unto her litle flocke did fare:
Then all the rest about her rose likewise,
And each his sundrie sheepe with severall care
Gathered together, and them homeward bare:
Whylest everie one with helping hands did strive
Amongst themselves, and did their labours share,
To helpe faire pastorella home to drive
Her fleecie flocke; but Coridon most helpe did give.

XVI

But Meliboee (so hight that good old man)
Now seeing Calidore left all alone,
And night arrived hard at hand, began
Him to invite unto his simple home;
Which though it were a cottage clad with lome,
And all things therein meane, yet better so
To lodge then in the salvage fields to rome.
The knight full gladly soone agreed thereto,
Being his harts owne wish, and home with him did go.

XVII

There he was welcom'd of that honest syre,
And of his aged beldame homely well;
Who him besought himselfe to disattyre,
And rest himselfe, till supper time befell;
By which home came the fayrest Pastorell,
After her flocke she in their fold had tyde;
And, supper readie dight, they to it fell
With small adoe, and nature satisfyde,
The which doth litle crave, contented to abyde.

XVIII

Tho when they had their hunger slaked well,
And the fayre mayd the table ta'ne away,
The gentle knight, as he that did excell
In courtesie, and well could doe and say,
For so great kindnesse as he found that day
Gan greatly thanke his host and his good wife;
And drawing thence his speach another way,
Gan highly to commend the happie life
Which shepheards lead, without debate or bitter strife.

XIX

'How much,' sayd he, 'more happie is the state,
In which ye, father, here doe dwell at ease,
Leading a life so free and fortunate
From all the tempests of these worldly seas,
Which tosse the rest in daungerous disease;
Where warres, and wreckes, and wicked enmitie
Doe them afflict, which no man can appease!
That certes I your happinesse envie,
And wish my lot were plast in such felicitie.'

XX

'Surely, my sonne,' then answer'd he againe,
'If happie, then it is in this intent,
That, having small, yet doe I not complaine
Of want, ne wish for more it to augment,
But doe my selfe, with that I have, content;
So taught of nature, which doth litle need
Of forreine helpes to lifes due nourishment:
The fields my food, my flocke my rayment breed;
No better doe I weare, no better doe I feed.

XXI

'Therefore I doe not any one envy,
Nor am envyde of any one therefore;
They that have much, feare much to loose thereby,
And store of cares doth follow riches store.
The litle that I have growes dayly more
Without my care, but onely to attend it;
My lambes doe every yeare increase their score,
And my flockes father daily doth amend it.
What have I, but to praise th' Almighty, that doth send it?

XXII

'To them that list, the worlds gay showes I leave,
And to great ones such follies doe forgive,
Which oft through pride do their owne perill weave,
And through ambition downe themselves doe drive
To sad decay, that might contented live.
Me no such cares nor combrous thoughts offend,
Ne once my minds unmoved quiet grieve,
But all the night in silver sleepe I spend,
And all the day, to what I list I doe attend.

XXIII

'Sometimes I hunt the fox, the vowed foe
Unto my lambes, and him dislodge away;
Sometime the fawne I practise from the doe,
Or from the goat her kidde how to convay;
Another while I baytes and nets display,
The birds to catch, or fishes to beguyle:
And when I wearie am, I downe doe lay
My limbes in every shade, to rest from toyle,
And drinke of every brooke, when thirst my throte doth boyle.

XXIV

'The time was once, in my first prime of yeares,
When pride of youth forth pricked my desire,
That I disdain'd amongst mine equall peares
To follow sheepe, and shepheards base attire:
For further fortune then I would inquire,
And leaving home, to roiall court I sought;
Where I did sell my selfe for yearely hire,
And in the princes gardin daily wrought:
There I beheld such vainenesse, as I never thought.

XXV

'With sight whereof soone cloyd, and long deluded
With idle hopes, which them doe entertaine,
After I had ten yeares my selfe excluded
From native home, and spent my youth in vaine,
I gan my follies to my selfe to plaine,
And this sweet peace, whose lacke did then appeare.
Tho backe returning to my sheepe againe,
I from thenceforth have learn'd to love more deare
This lowly quiet life, which I inherite here.'

XXVI

Whylest thus he talkt, the knight with greedy eare
Hong still upon his melting mouth attent;
Whose sensefull words empierst his hart so neare,
That he was rapt with double ravishment,
Both of his speach, that wrought him great content,
And also of the object of his vew,
On which his hungry eye was alwayes bent;
That twixt his pleasing tongue and her faire hew
He lost himselfe, and like one halfe entraunced grew.

XXVII

Yet to occasion meanes to worke his mind,
And to insinuate his harts desire,
He thus replyde: 'Now surely, syre, I find,
That all this worlds gay showes, which we admire,
Be but vaine shadowes to this safe retyre
Of life, which here in lowlinesse ye lead,
Fearelesse of foes, or Fortunes wrackfull yre,
Which tosseth states, and under foot doth tread
The mightie ones, affrayd of every chaunges dread.

XXVIII

'That even I, which daily doe behold
The glorie of the great, mongst whom I won,
And now have prov'd what happinesse ye hold
In this small plot of your dominion,
Now loath great lordship and ambition;
And wish the heavens so much had graced mee,
As graunt me live in like condition;
Or that my fortunes might transposed bee
From pitch of higher place unto this low degree.'

XXIX

'In vaine,' said then old Meliboee, 'doe men
The heavens of their fortunes fault accuse,
Sith they know best what is the best for them:
For they to each such fortune doe diffuse,
As they doe know each can most aptly use.
For not that which men covet most is best,
Nor that thing worst which men do most refuse;
But fittest is, that all contented rest
With that they hold: each hath his fortune in his brest.

XXX

'It is the mynd that maketh good or ill,
That maketh wretch or happie, rich or poore:
For some, that hath abundance at his will,
Hath not enough, but wants in greatest store;
And other, that hath litle, askes no more,
But in that litle is both rich and wise;
For wisedome is most riches; fooles therefore
They are, which fortunes doe by vowes devize,
Sith each unto himselfe his life may fortunize.'

XXXI

'Since then in each mans self,' said Calidore,
'It is, to fashion his owne lyfes estate,
Give leave awhyle, good father, in this shore
To rest my barcke, which hath bene beaten late
With stormes of fortune and tempestuous fate,
In seas of troubles and of toylesome paine,
That, whether quite from them for to retrate
I shall resolve, or backe to turne againe,
I may here with your selfe some small repose obtaine.

XXXII

'Not that the burden of so bold a guest
Shall chargefull be, or chaunge to you at all;
For your meane food shall be my daily feast,
And this your cabin both my bowre and hall.
Besides, for recompence hereof, I shall
You well reward, and golden guerdon give,
That may perhaps you better much withall,
And in this quiet make you safer live.'
So forth he drew much gold, and toward him it drive.

XXXIII

But the good man, nought tempted with the offer
Of his rich mould, did thrust it farre away,
And thus bespake: 'Sir knight, your bounteous proffer
Be farre fro me, to whom ye ill display
That mucky masse, the cause of mens decay,
That mote empaire my peace with daungers dread.
But, if ye algates covet to assay
This simple sort of life, that shepheards lead,
Be it your owne: our rudenesse to your selfe aread.'

XXXIV

So there that night Sir Calidore did dwell,
And long while after, whilest him list remaine,
Dayly beholding the faire Pastorell,
And feeding on the bayt of his owne bane.
During which time he did her entertaine
With all kind courtesies he could invent;
And every day, her companie to gaine,
When to the field she went, he with her went:
So for to quench his fire, he did it more augment.

XXXV

But she, that never had acquainted beene
With such queint usage, fit for queenes and kings,
Ne ever had such knightly service seene,
But, being bred under base shepheards wings,
Had ever learn'd to love the lowly things,
Did litle whit regard his courteous guize,
But cared more for Colins carolings
Then all that he could doe, or ever devize:
His layes, his loves, his lookes she did them all despize.

XXXVI

Which Calidore perceiving, thought it best
To chaunge the manner of his loftie looke;
And doffing his bright armes, himselfe addrest
In shepheards weed, and in his hand he tooke,
In stead of steelehead speare, a shepheards hooke,
That who had seene him then would have bethought
On Phrygian Paris by Plexippus brooke,
When he the love of fayre Oenone sought,
What time the golden apple was unto him brought.

XXXVII

So being clad, unto the fields he went
With the faire Pastorella every day,
And kept her sheepe with diligent attent,
Watching to drive the ravenous wolfe away,
The whylest at pleasure she mote sport and play;
And every evening helping them to fold:
And otherwhiles, for need, he did assay
In his strong hand their rugged teats to hold,
And out of them to presse the milke: love so much could.

XXXVIII

Which seeing Coridon, who her likewise
Long time had lov'd, and hop'd her love to gaine,
He much was troubled at that straungers guize,
And many gealous thoughts conceiv'd in vaine,
That this of all his labour and long paine
Should reap the harvest, ere it ripened were;
That made him scoule, and pout, and oft complaine
Of Pastorell to all the shepheards there,
That she did love a stranger swayne then him more dere.

XXXIX

And ever, when he came in companie
Where Calidore was present, he would loure
And byte his lip, and even for gealousie
Was readie oft his owne hart to devoure,
Impatient of any paramoure:
Who on the other side did seeme so farre
From malicing, or grudging his good houre,
That all he could, he graced him with her,
Ne ever shewed signe of rancour or of jarre.

XL

And oft, when Coridon unto her brought
Or litle sparrowes, stolen from their nest,
Or wanton squirrels, in the woods farre sought,
Or other daintie thing for her addrest,
He would commend his guift, and make the best.
Yet she no whit his presents did regard,
Ne him could find to fancie in her brest:
This newcome shepheard had his market mard.
Old love is litle worth when new is more prefard.

XLI

One day when as the shepheard swaynes together
Were met, to make their sports and merrie glee,
As they are wont in faire sunshynie weather,
The whiles their flockes in shadowes shrouded bee,
They fell to daunce: then did they all agree,
That Colin Clout should pipe, as one most fit;
And Calidore should lead the ring, as hee
That most in Pastorellaes grace did sit.
Thereat frown'd Coridon, and his lip closely bit.

XLII

But Calidore, of courteous inclination,
Tooke Coridon and set him in his place,
That he should lead the daunce, as was his fashion;
For Coridon could daunce, and trimly trace.
And when as Pastorella, him to grace,
Her flowry galond tooke from her owne head,
And plast on his, he did it soone displace,
And did it put on Coridons in stead:
Then Coridon woxe frollicke, that earst seemed dead.

XLIII

Another time, when as they did dispose
To practise games, and maisteries to try,
They for their judge did Pastorella chose;
A garland was the meed of victory.
There Coridon, forth stepping openly,
Did chalenge Calidore to wrestling game:
For he, through long and perfect industry,
Therein well practisd was, and in the same
Thought sure t' avenge his grudge, and worke his foe great shame.

XLIV

But Calidore he greatly did mistake;
For he was strong and mightily stiffe pight,
That with one fall his necke he almost brake,
And had he not upon him fallen light,
His dearest joynt he sure had broken quight.
Then was the oaken crowne by Pastorell
Given to Calidore, as his due right;
But he, that did in courtesie excell,
Gave it to Coridon, and said he wonne it well.

XLV

Thus did the gentle knight himselfe abeare
Amongst that rusticke rout in all his deeds,
That even they the which his rivals were
Could not maligne him, but commend him needs:
For courtesie amongst the rudest breeds
Good will and favour. So it surely wrought
With this faire mayd, and in her mynde the seeds
Of perfect love did sow, that last forth brought
The fruite of joy and blisse, though long time dearely bought.

XLVI

Thus Calidore continu'd there long time,
To winne the love of the faire Pastorell;
Which having got, he used without crime
Or blamefull blot, but menaged so well,
That he, of all the rest which there did dwell,
Was favoured, and to her grace commended.
But what straunge fortunes unto him befell,
Ere he attain'd the point by him intended,
Shall more conveniently in other place be ended.





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net