Page images
PDF
EPUB

VII.

pame.

XIII.

VIII.

XIV.

ix.

That to this day for terror of his fame Forthwith themselves disguising both in straunge The feendes do quake, when any him to them does And base actyre, that none might them bewray, To Maridunum, that is now by chaunge Of name Cayr-Merdin cald, they touke their way; And footh men say that he was not the fonde There the wise Merlin whylome wont (they say) Of mortall syre or other living wight, To make his wonne, low underneath the ground, But wondrously begotten and beginne In a deepe delve, farre from the vew of day, by false illusion of a guilefull spright That of no living wight he mote be found, On a faire lady nonne, that whilome hight Wheoso he counseld, with his sprights encompatt Matilda, daughter to Pubidius, round.

Who was the lord of Mathtraval by right,

And coofen unto king Ambrosius, And if thou ever happen that same way

Whence he indued was with skill so marveilous, To traseill, go to see that dreadful place : It is an hideous hollow cave (they say)

They here arriving, staid awhile without, Under a rock that lies a little space

Ne durft adventure rashly in to wend, From the swift Barry, tombling downe apace But of their first intent gan make new dout Emong the woody hilles of Dyneuowre : For dread of daunger, which it might portend, Bat dare thou not, I charge, in any cace,

Untill the hardy mayd (with love to frend) To enter into that same balefull bowre,

First entering, the dreadfull mage there fownd For leare the cruel feendes Thould thee unwares Deepe busied 'bout worke of wondrous end, devoure.

And writing straunge characters in the grownd,

With which che stubborne feendes he to his fervice But standing high aloft, low lay thine care,

bound. And there such ghastly noyse of yron chaines

xv. And brafen caudrons thou shalt rombling heare, He naught was moved at their entrance bold, Which thousand sprightes with long-enduring (For of their comming well he wilt afore) paines

Yet list them bid their business to unfold, Doe toće, that it will stona thy feeble braines; As if ought in this world in secrete store And oftentimes great grones and grievous stownds, Were from him hidden, or unknowne of yore. When too huge toile and labour them constraines, | Then Glauce thus, “Let not it thee offend, And oftentimes loud strokes and ringing lowndes “ That we thus rafhly through thy darkfome dors From under that deepe rocke most horribly re “ Unwares have prest; for either fatall end, bowndes,

" Or other mightie cause, us two did hether X

“ fend." The cause, fome fay, is this: A litle whyle Before that Merlin dyde, he did intend

He bad tell on; and then she thus began; A brasen wall in compass to compyle

“ Now have three moones with borrowd brother's About Cairmardin, and did it commend

light Unto these {prights to bring to perfet end; “ Thrise shined faire, and thrise seemd dim and Daring which worke the Lady of the Lake, Whom long he lov’d, for him in hast did fend, « Sith a fore evill, which this virgin bright Who thereby forst his workemen to forsake, Tormenteth and doth plonge in dolefull plight, Than bownd till his retourne their labour not to “ First rooting tooke; but what thing it mote flake.

« Or whence it sprong, I cannot read aright; In the mean time through that false ladies traine “ But this I read, that but if remedee He was surprisd, and buried under beare, “ Thou her afford, full shortly I her dead fhal Ne ever to his worke returnd againe;

see." Nath'lesse those feends may not their work forbeare,

Therewith th' enchaunter Softly gan to smyle So gready his commandement they feare,

At her smooth speeches, weeting inly well But there doe toyle and traveile day and night, That she to him difsembled womanish guyle, Untill thac brasen wall they up doe reare ;

And to her said, “ Beldame, by that tell For Merlin had in magick more insight

· More neede of leach-crafte hath your damozell Then ever hin before or after living wight : " Then of my kill: who helpe may have elle

" where, For he by wordes could call out of the sky " In vaine seekes wonders out of magic spell." Both surne and moone, and make them him obay; The old woman wox half blanck chose words to The land to sea, and sea to maineland dry,

heare, And darksom night he eke could turne to day: And yet was loth to let her purpose plainc appeare; Huge holtes of men he could alone dismay, And holtes of men of meanest things could frame, And to him said, “ Yf any leaches skill, Wbenso him lift his enemies to fray,

“ Or other learned meanes could have redrett

XVI

wan,

« bee,

XVII.

ye

XII.

XVIII.

[ocr errors]

XXIV.

XIX.

XXV.

[ocr errors]

6. This my deare daughter's deepe-engraffed ill, of Certes i Mhould be loth thee to moleft ;

“ It was nnt, Britomart! thy wandring eye " But this sad evill, which doth her infeft, “ Glauncing unwares in charmed looking-glas, " Doch course of naturall cause farre exceed, “ But the itreight course of hevenly destiny, “ And housed is within her hollow brest,

“ Led with eternall Providence, that has " That either feemes fomes cursed witches deed, “ Guyded thy glaunce, to bring his will to pas : " Or evill spright, that in her doth such torment " Ne is thg late, ne is thy fortunc ill, « breed.

To love the prowest knight that ever was;

“ Therefore fubmit thy wayes unto his will, The wizard could no lenger beare her bord, “ And doe by an dew meanes thy destiny fulfil." But brusting forth in laughter to her fayd, « Glauce, what needes this colourable word “ But read,” “ said Glauce,“ Thou magitiso, " To cloke the caufe that hath itselfe bewragd ? “ What meanes tall she out-fecke, or what waier “ Ne ye, fayre Bricomartis ! thus arayd,

« cake! « More hidden are then sunne in cloudy vele, “ How shall the know, how shall the finde the " Whom thy good fortune, having Fate obayd,

" man? “ Hath hether brought for succour to appele, “ Or what needes her to toyle, fith fates can make “ The which the powres to thee are pleafcd to Way for themselves their purpose to pertake?" u revele."

Then Merlin thus; “ Indeed the Fates are firme,

“ And may not shrinck, though all the world do The doubtfull mayd, seeing herselfe defcryde,

“ shake; Was all abalht, and her pure yvory

" Yet ought mens good endevours them confinire Into a cleare carnation suddeine dyde ;

" And guyde the hevenly causes to their constant As fayre Aurora rysing hastily Doth by her blushing tell that she did ly

XXVI. All night in old Tithonus' frozen bed,

“ The man whom hevens have ordayned to be Whercof the secmes ashamed inwardly;

“ The spouse of Britonart, is Arthegall; But her old nourse was nought difhastened, “ He wonpeth in the land of Fayeree, But vauntage made of that which Merlin had “ Yet is no Fary borne, ne sib at all ared;

To Elfes, but sprong of feed terrestriall,

“ And whylome by falfe Faries stoln away, And sayd, “ Sith then thou knowcft all our griefe, “ Whyles yet in infant cradle he did crall; “ (For what doeft not thou knowe?) of grace I “ Ne other to himselfe is knowne this day; a pray,

“ But that he by an Elfe was gotten of a Fay: " Pitty our playnt, and yield us meet reliefe.” With that the prophet ftill awhile did stay, “ But footh he is the fonne of Gorlois, And then his fpirite thus gan foorth display; “ And brother unto Cador, Cornish king, " Moft roble Virgin, that by fatall lore

“ And for his warlike feates renowmed is “ Hast learn'd to love, lee no whit thee dismay, “ From where the day out of the fea doth spring, “ The hard begione that meetes thee in the dore, “ Untill the clofure of the evening : “ And with sharpe fits thy tender hart opprefleth “ From thence, him firmly bound with faithful

“ To this his native foyle thou backe Malt brings 4 For so must all things excellent begin;

“ Strongly to agde his countrey, to withstand “ And eke enrooted deepe must be that tree, “ The powre of forreine paynims which invade " Whose big embodied braunches shall not lín

" thy land. “ Till they to heven's hight forth stretched be; * For from tlry wombe a famous progenee “ Great ayd thereto his mighty puissaance “ Shall spring out of the auncient Trojan blood, “ And dreaded name shall give in that fad das i “ Which shall revive the sleeping mcmoree " Where also proofe of thy prow valiaunce “ Of those same antique peres, the hevens brood, “ Thou then thalt make, e’increase thy lover's “ Which Greeke and Asian rivers stayned with

pray: * their blood.

“ Long time ye both in armes fhall beare great XXIII. & Renowmed kings and sacred emperours, “ Till thy wombes burden thee from them do cal, * Thy fruitfull of spring, shall from thee descend; “ And his last fate him from thee take away, “ Brave captaines and most mighty warriours, “ Too rathe cut off by pra&ise criminall “ 'That all their conquests through all lands « Of fecrete foes, that him fall make in mifchicke

“ extend, " And their decayed kingdomes Mall amend;

XXIX. « The feeble Britons, broken with long warre, “ With thee yet shall he leave for memory " They shall upreare, and mightily defend “ of his late puissaunce his ymage dead, “ Against their forren for that commes from farre, " That living him in all activity * Till univerfall peace compound all civill iarre. “ To thue thall represent: he from the head

XXVII.

« sore.

“ band,

XXII.

XXVIII.

s sway,

fall.

u of his coufen Constantins without dread “ Serving th' ambitious will of Augustine, « Shall take the crowne that was his father's right, “ And palling Dee, with hardy enterprise * And therewith crowne himselfe in th' other's “ Shall backe repulse the valiant Brockwele twise, “ stead :

“ And Bangor with massacred martyrs fill; « Then thall he issew forth with dreadfull might “ But the third time shall rew his fool-hardise; “ Against his Saxon foes in bloody field to fight. “ For Cadwin pittying his peoples ill,

“ Shall stoutly him defcat, and thousand Saxom " Like as a lyon that in drowsie cave

“ kill. " Hath long time Nept, himselfe so shall he shake, " And comming forth, shall spred his banner « But after him, Cadwallin mightily u brave

« On his sonne Edwin all those wrongs fall " Over the troubled South, that it Ihall make

“ wreake; « The warlike Mertians for feare to quake : “ Ne shall availe the wicked sorcery "Thrile fall he fight with them, and twise shall “ Of false Pellite his purposes to breake, “ win,

" But him shall flay, and on a gallowes bicak « But the third time thall fayre accordaunce make; “ Shall give th'enchaunter his unhappy hire : " And if he then with victorie can lin,

“ Then shall the Britons, late dismayd and weake, " He fhall his dayes with peace bring to his “ From their long vaflallage gin to respire, “ carthly in.

“ And on their paynim focs avenge their ranckled

XXXVI.

XXXI.

" ire.

XXXII.

XXXVIII.

XXXIII.

XXXIX.

* His sonne, hight Vortipore, hall him succeede

XXXVII. " In kingdome, but not in felicity;

“ Ne fall he get his wrath so mitigate, " Yet shall he long time warre with happy speed, « Till both the sonnes of Edwin he have fayde, " And with great honour many batteills try ;

« Offricke and Ofricke, twinnes unfortunate, " Bot at th' last to the importunity

“ Both Naine in battaile upon Layburne playne, “ Of froward Fortune shall be forlt to yield; " Together with the king of Louthiane, * But his sonde Malgo fhall full mightily “ Hight Adin, and the king of Orkeny, " Avenge his father's losse with speare and shield, “ Both joynt partakers of the fatall payne ; " And his proud foes discomfit in victorious field. “ But Penda, fearefull of like defteney,

“ Shall yield himselle his liegeman, and swease " Behold the man, and tell me Britomart,

“ fealty : " If ay more goodly creature thou didt fee? " How like a gyaunt in each manly part

“ Him Mall he make his fatall instrument & Beares he himselfe with portly maiestee,

" T'afflict the other Saxons unsubdewd, « That one of th' old heroes secmes to be! “ He marching forth with fury insolent He the fix islands, comprovinciall

“ Against the good King Oswald, who indewd. * In auncient times anto Great Britainee, “ With heavenly powre, and by angels reikewd, • Shail to the same reduce, and to him call “ All holding crofles in their hands on hye, " Their fondry kings to do their homage severall. “ Shall him defeate withouten blood imbrcwd;

« Of which that field for endleffe

memory * All which his sonne Careticus awhile

“ Shall Hevenfield be cald to all posterity. * Shall well defend, and Saxons powre suppresse, * Untill a straunger king from unknowne loyle “ Whereat Cadwallin wroth shall forth issew, .. * Arriving, him with multitude oppresse ; “ And an huge hoste into Northumber lead, * Great Gormond, having with huge mightinefse “ With which he godly Oswald shall subdew, * Irelande subdewd, and therein fixt his throne, " And crowne with martyrdome his sacred “ Like a swift otter (fell through emptinesse) # Shall over-swim the sea with many one

“ Whose brother Oswin, daunted with like * Of his Norveyses, to allist the Britons fone,

“ dread,

“ With price of silver shall his kingdome buy ; He in his furie all shall over-ronne,

“ And Penda seeking him adowne to tread, * And holy church with faithlesse handes deface, “ Shall cread adowne and doe him fowly dye, " That thy lad people, utterly fordonne,

“ But shall with gifts his lord Cadwallin pacily. · Shall to the utmost mountaines fly apace : u Was never so great waste in any place,

“ Then shall Cadwallin die, and then the raine * Nor so fowle outrage doen by living men ; “ Of Britons eke with him attonce hall dye; * For all thy cities they hall facke and race, “ Ne shall the good Cadwallader with paine, * And the greene grasse that groweth they shall " Or powre, be hable it to remedy,

" When the full time prefixt by Destiny * That even the wilde beast fhall dye in starved “ Shall be expird of Britons regiment; " den.

“ For Heven ittelfe fall their successe envy, IXXV.

“And them with plagues and murrins pestilent. • Whiles thus thy Britons doe in languour pinc, “ Consume, till all their warlike puillaunce be Proud Etheldred shall from the North arise,

o spento

“ head;

XXXIV.

XL.

u bren,

« tyhed.

ILI.

“ The fruitfull plaines, and with fell cruelty " Yet after all these forrowes, and huge hills " In their avenge tread downe the victors fur* Of dying people, during eight yeares space,

query. “ Cadwallader not yielding to his ills,

XLVII. “ From Armoricke, where long in wretched cace « Yet shall a third both these and thine subdew : " He liv’d, retourning to his native place,

There shall a Lion from the sca-bord wood * Shall be by vision staide from his intent; “ Of Neustria come roring, with a crew « For th' Hevens have decreed to displace « Of hungry whelpes, his battailous bold brood, “ The Britons for their fincs dew punishment, • Whofe clawes were newly dipe in cruddy “ And to the Saxons over-give their government.

· blood; XLII.

" That from the Daniske tyrant's head fball rend # Then woe, and woe, and everlasting woe, “ Th' osurped crowne, as if that he were wood, « Be to the Briton babe that shall be borne, “ And the spoile of the countrey conquered " To live in thraldome of his facher's foe; " Emongs his young ones shall divide with bous“ Late king, now captive; late lord, now for“ lorne ;

YLVIU. * The world's reproch, the cruell vi&or's scorne, “ Tho when the terme is full accomplishid, “ Banisht from princely bowre to wasteful wood; “ There shall a sparke of fire, which hath longo u O who shall helpe me to lament, and mourne

“ while She royall feed, the antique Trojan blood, " Bene in his ashes raked up and hid, « Whose empire lenger here than ever any stood?" “ Bee freshly kindled in the fruitfull ifle XLIII.

“ Of Mona, where it lurked in exile, The damzell was full deepe empassioned

" Which shall breake forth into bright-burning Both for his griefe and for her peoples sake,

« flame Whofe future woos so plaine he fashioned, “ And reach into the house that beares the stile And sighing fore al length him thus bespake; “ Of royall maiefty and foveraine name : “ Ah! but will Heven's fury never flake, “ So shall the Briton blood their crowne again. “ Nor vengeaunce huge relent itselfe at last?

« reclaime. « Will not long misery late mercy make?

XLIX. « But shall their name for ever be defaste,

“ Thenceforth eternall union shall be made “ And quite from off the earth their memory be

" Betweene the natio 8 different afore, ci raste ?"

“ And sacred Peace shall lovingly persuade

“ The warlike mindes to learne her goodly lore, « Nay but the terme,” fayd he, “ is limited, “ And civile armes to exercise no more : “ That in this thraldome Britons fhall abide, “ Then shall a reyall Virgin raine, which shall “ And the just revolution measured,

« Stretch her white rod over the Belgicke fhore, “ That they as straungers shal be notifide : “ And the great castle (mite fo fore withall, " For twife fowre hundred yeares fhal be sup“ That it shall make him fhake, and thortly leart plide

6 to fall : " Ere they to former rule reftor'd fhal bee,

L. “ And their importune fates all fatisfide ; “ But yet the end is not" -There Merlin Stayd, “ Yet during this their most obscuritee,

As overcomen of the fpirites powre, “ Their beames fhall ofte breake forth, that men Or other ghastly fpectacle dismayd, “ them faire may fee.

That secretly he saw, yet not discoure;

Which suddein fitt, and halfe exracick ftoure « For Rhodoricke, whose surname shal be Great, When the two fcarefull wemen faw, they grew “ Shall of hinifelfe a brave ensanıple fhew, Greatly confused in behaveoure : “ 'That Saxon kings his frendship shall intreat ; At last the fury past, to former hew “ And Howell Dha shall goodly well indew Hee turnd againe, and chearfull lookes as carft did « The salvage minds with skill of iuft and trew :

fhew. “ Then Griffyth Conan also shall up-teare

LI. “ His dreaded head, and the old sparkes renew Then, when themselves they well inftructed bad « Of native corage, that his focs shall feare Of all that needed them to be inquird, " Lcast backe againe the kingdom he from them They both conceiving hope of confort glad, * should beare.

With lighter hearts unto their home retird;

Where they in secret counfell clofe confpird, “ Ne Mall the Saxons felves all peaceably

How to affe& fo hard an enterprize, “ Enjoy the crowne, which they from Britons And to possesse the purpose they delird:

Now this, now that, twixt them they did devize,' “ First ill, and after ruled wickedly ;

And diverse plots did frame to make in ftrang: “ For ere iwo hundred yeares be full outronne,

disguise. " There shall a Raven, far from rising sunne, " With his wide wings upon them fiercely fly, At last the nourse in her foo!-hardy wit « And bid his faithleffc chickens overronne Conceiv'd a bold devise, and thus bespuke

XLIV.

XLV.

XLVI.

wonne

Lit.

LVIU.

LIII.

" peach,

#

LIX.

* tiall.

LIV.

LX.

[ocr errors]

Daugbrer, I decme that counsel ay most fit, Advent'rous knighthood on herselfe to don, # That of the time doth dew advauntage take : And counseld with her nourse her maides at" Ye see that good King Uther now doth make

tyre Sereng warre upon the paynim brethren hight To turne into a maffy habergeon, * Oda and Oza, whome hee lately brake And bad her all thinges put in readiness anon. * Beide Cayr Verolame in victorious fight, " That now all Britany doth burne in armes Th 'old woman nought that needed did omit, * bright.

But all thinges did conveniently purvay.

It fortuned (so time their turne did fitt) . That therefore nought our passage may em

A band of Britons ryding on forray

Few dayes before had gotten a great pray Let us in feigned armes ourselves disguize, Of Saxon goodes, emongst the which was seeno And our weake hands (need makes good schol- A goodly armour, and full rich aray, * lers) teach

Which long'd to Angela, the Saxon queene, * The dreadfull speare and shield to exercize : All fretted round with gold, and goodly wel beNe certes, Daughter, that same warlike wise,

seene. "I weene, would you misseeme; for ye beene " tall

The same, with all the other ornaments, * And large of limbe t'atchieve an hard em- King Ryence caused to be hanged hy prize;

In his chiefe church, for endlesie moniments * Ne ought ye want but skil, which practize of his successe and gladfull victory; « small

Of which herselfe avising readily * Will bring, and shortly make you a mayd mar In th' evening late old Glauce thcther led

Faire Britonart, and that same armory

Downe taking, her therein appareled, And fooch it ought your corage much inflame Well as she might, and with brave bauldrick * To heare so often in that royall hous,

garnifhed. " From whence to none inferior ye came, * Bards tell of many wemen valorous,

Beside those armes there stood a mightie speare, Which have full many feats adventurous

Which Bladud made by magick art of yore, Performd, in paragone of proudest men :

And usd the same in batteill aye to beare; • The bold Bunduca, whose victorious

Sith which it had beene here perserv'd in store, Exployts made Rome to quake, stout Guen For his great vertues proved long afore;

For never wight fo fast in fell could fit, Renowned Martia, and redoubted Emmilen. But him perforce unto the ground it bore :

Both speare she tooke and Shielde which hong * And that, which more then all the reft may “ sway,

Both speare and shield of great powre for her purLate dayes ensample, which thefe eyes beheld; In the last field before Menevia, Which Uther with those forrein pagans held,

Thus when she had the virgin all arrayd, * I faw a Saxon virgin, the which feld

Another harnesse which did hang thereby Great Ulfin thrise upon the bloody playne;

About herfelfe fhe dight, that the yong mayd * And had not Carados her hand withheld She might in equali armes accompany, From rafh revenge, she had him surely Nayne; And as her squire attend her carefully : * Yet Carados himselfe from her efcapt with Tho to their ready steedes they clombe full "payne."

light,

And through back waies, that none might them * Ah read," quoth Britomart, “ how is thee espy, hight?”

Covered with secret cloude of filent night, Fayre Angela," quoth the, “ men do her call, Themselves they forth convaid, and passed forward "No whit lesse fayre then terrible in fight:

right. She hath the leading of a martiall * And mightie people, dreaded more then all Ne rested they till that to Faery Lond * The other Saxons, which doe for her Cake They came, as Merlin them directed late; * And love themselves of her name Angles call : Where meeting with this Red-crosse knight, the "Therefore faire Infant! her ensample make

fond " Unto thyselse, and equall corage to thee take.” Of diverse thinges discourses to dilate, LVII.

But most of Arthegall and his estate : Her harty wordes so deepe into the mynd At last their wayes so fell, that they mote part :

the young damzell funkc, that great desire Then each to other, well affectionate, Of warlike armes in her forthwith they tynd, Friendship professed with unfained hart, And generous stout courage did inspyre,

The Red-crosse knight diverit, but forth rode Thas be resolv'd, unweeting to ber fyre,

Bricomart.

& dolen,

pose fit.

LXI.

$

LVI.

[ocr errors]

LXII.

1

« PreviousContinue »