Page images


He glad of life, that lookt for death but late, So soonc as the was entred, rownd abcut

Did yeild himselfe, right willing to prolong his She cast her eies, to see what was become

date; Of all those persons which the faw without, But lo! they (tretght were vanisht, all and some; And rising up, gan streight to over-lookc Ne living wight she saw in all that roome, Those cursed leaves, his charmes backe to reSave that same woefull lady, both whose hands

verse. Were bounden fast, that did her ill become, Full dreadfull thinges out of that balefull booke And her small waste girt rownd with yron bands He red, and measur'd many a sad verse, Unto a brasen pillour, by the which the stands : That horrour gan the virgin's hart to perse, XXXI.

And her faire locks up stared Niffe on end, And her before the vile enchaunter fate,

Hearing him those same bloody lynes rcherse; Figuring straunge characters of his art;

And all the while he red she did extend With living blood he those characters wrate, Her sword high over him, if ought he did offend. Dreadfully dropping from her dying hart,

XXXVII. Secming transfixed with a cruell dart,

Anon she gan perceive the house to quake, And all perforce to make her him to love : And all the dores to rattle round about; Ah! who can love the worker of her smart ? Yet all that did not her dismaied make, A thousand charmes bre formerly did prove, Nor Nack her threatful hand for daungers dout, Yet thousand cbarmes could not her stedfast hart But still with stedfast cye and courage fout remove.

Abode, to weet what end would come of all: XXXII. .

At lait that mightie chaine, which round about Soone as that virgin knight he saw in place, Her tender waste was wound, adowne gan fall, His wicked bookes in haft he overthrew,

And that great brasen pillour broke in peeces Not caring his long labours to desace,

Unall. And fiercely running to that lady trew,

XXXVIII. A murdrous knife out of his pocket drew, The cruel teele, which thrild her dying hart, The which he thought for villeinous despight Fell softly forth, as of his owne accord, In her tormented bodic to embrew;

And the wide wound, which lately did dispart But the stout damzell to him leapiog light, Her bleeding breft, and riven bowels gor'd, His cursed hand withheld, and maistered his was closed up, as it had not beene bor'd; might.

And every part to safety full sownd,

As she were never hurt, was soone restord; From her to whom his fury first he ment,

Tho when she felt herselle to be unbowod, The wicked weapon rafhly he did wrest,

And perfect hole, proftrate she fell unto the And turning to herselfe his fell intent,

grownd; Unwares it strooke into her snowie cheft, That litle drops empurpled her faire breit. Before faire Britomart she sell proflrate, Exceeding wroth therewith the virgin grew, Saying, " Ah, noble Knight! what worthy mcede Albe the wound were gothing decpe impreft, “ Can wretched lady, quite from wofull late, And fiercely forth her niortall blade fhe drew, " Yield you in lieu of this your gracious deed? To give him the reward for such vile outrage Tour vertue felfe her owne reward shall breed, dew.

« Even immortal prayse and glory wyde,

" Which I your vafal, by your prowesle freed, So mightily she smote him, that to ground “ Shall through the world make to be notifyde, He fell halfe dead; next stroke him should have “ And goodly well advaunce that goodly well flaine

was tryde.” Had not the lady, which by him food bound, Dernly unto him ealled to abstaine

But Britomart, upreering her from grownd, From doing him to dy; for else her paine

Said, “ Gentle Dame! reward enough, I weene, Should be reniedilefle, fith none but hee

“ For many labours more then I have found, Which wrought it could the same recure againe : “ This, that in safetie now I have you feene, Therewith me atayd her hand, loth stayd to bee, * And meanс of your deliveraunce have beene: For life the him envyde, and long'd revenge to “ Hcoceforth, faire Lady! comfort to you take, fee;

“And put away remembrance of late teene;

“ Infted thereof, know that your loving make And to him said, “ Thou wicked Man! whose “ Hath no lessé griefe endured for your gentle * meed

« fake." “ For so huge mischiefe and vile villany " Is death, or if that ought doe death exceed, She much was cheard to heare him mentioned, “ Be sure that nought may save thee from to dy; Whom of all living wightes the loved beft : & But if that thou this dame doe presently Then laid the noble championefle Itrong hond « Restore unto her health and former itate, Upon th'enchaunter which had her distreft

This doe and live, cls dye undoubtedly.” So fore, and with soule ouvrages opprç



[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]




With that great chaine, wherewith not long ygoe To have efforst the love of that faire laste, [was.
He bound that pitteous (lady) prisoner, now releft, Seeing his worke now walted, deepe engrieved
Himselfe she bound, more worthy to be so,
And captive with uer led to wretchednesse and But when the victorefle arrived there,

Where late she left the pensive Scudaniore

With her owne truity squire, both fuil of feare, Returning back, those goodly rowmes, which erst Neither of them she found where she them lorer She faw so rich and royally arayd,

Thereat her noble hart was stonisht fore, Now vanisht ntterly, and cleane subverst

But more fair Amoret, whose gentle spright She found, and all their glory quite decayd, Now gan to feede on hope, which the before That sight of such a chaunge her much dismayd. Conceived had, to see her own deare knight, Thenceforth descending to that perlous porch, Deing thereof beguyld, was fild with new affright Those dreadfull flames she also found delayd And quenched, quite like a consumed torch, But he (sad man!) when he had long in dredo That erit all entrers wont so cruelly to scorch. Awayted there for Britomart's returne,

Yet law her not, nor signe of her good speede, More cafe iflew now then entrance late

His expectation io despaire did curne, She found; for now the sained-dreadful fame, Mefdeeming sure that her those flames did burre, Which chokt the porch of that inchanted gate, And therefore gan advize with her old squire And passage bard to all that thither came, (Who her deare noursling's losse no lese did Was vanitht quite, as it were not the fame,

mourne) .Ind

gave her leave at pleasure forth to passe : Thence to depart for farther aide t'inquire ; Tb' enchaunter felfe, which all that Iraud did Where let them wend at will, whileft here I doc frame,




[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

In love were either ended or begunne; Tre ragged forhead, that with graye forefight Witnesse the father of Philosophie, Welds kingdomes causes and affairs of state, Which to his Critias, shaded oft from sunne, My looser rimes, I wote, doth sharply witę Of love full manie lessons did apply, For praising love as I have done of late,

The which these Stoicke censours cannot we And magnifying lovers deare debate,

By which fraile youth is ost to follie led
Through false allurement of that pleasing baite, To such, therefore, I do not fing at all,
That better were in vertues discipled,

But to that sacred saint ny foveraigne Quecne, Then with vaine poemes weeds to have their fan- In whose chast brest all bountie naturall

, cies fed.

And treasures of true love, enlocked becne,

Bove all her sexe that ever yet was feene ; Such ones ill ivdge of love that cannot love, To her i ling of love, that loveth beít, Ne in their frosen hearts feele kindly flame; And best is lov'd of all alive 1 weene; Forthy they ought not thing unknowne seprove, To her this song most fitly is addrest, Ne vacurall affection faultlesse blame,

The Queene of Love, and Prince of Peace from For fault of few that have abusd the fame;

heven bleft. For it of honor and all vertue is 'The roote, and brings forth glorious flowres of which that she may the better deigne to heart, fame,

Do thou, dred Infant ! Venus' dearling dove, That crowne true lovers with immortall blis, From her high spirit chace imperious feare, The meed of them that love, and do not live And use of awfull maiettie remove : amille.

Infted thereof, with drops of melting love

Deawd with ambrosiall kisses, by thee gotten Which whoso lift looke backe to former ages, From thy sweete-smyling mother from abuve, And call to count thc things that then were Sprinckle her heart, and haughtie courage fefella donne,

That she may hearke to love, and rcade this albi Shall find that all the workes of those wise sages,

often. And brave exploits which great herocs wonde,





Fayre Britomart Caves Amoret :
Duella discord breedes
Twixt Scudamour and Blandamour :
Their fight and warlike deedes.



O: lovers fad calamities of old

Seven moneths he so her kept in bitter smart, Fall many piteous stories doe remaine,

Because his sinfull luft she would not serve,
Bue none more piceous ever was ytold,

Untill such time as noble Britomart
Then that of An.oret's hart-binding chaine, Released her, that else was like to sterve,
And this of Florimel's unworthie paine ;

Through cruell knife that her deare heart did The deare compassion of whose bitter fit,

kerve; My softned heart so sorely doth constraine, And now she is with her upon the way, That I with teares full of doc pittie it,

Marching in lovely wise, that could deferve And oftentimes doe wish it never had bene writ. No spot of blame, though Spite did oft assay II.

To blot her with dishonor of fo faire a pray.
For from the time that Scudamour her hought
In perilous fight, she never ioyed day;

Yet should it be a pleasant tale to tell
A perilous fight, when he with force her brought The diverse ulage and demeanure daint ,
From twentie knights that did him all assay; That cach to other made, as oft befell;
Yet fairely well he did them all dilmay,

For Amoret right fearefull was and faint,
And with great glorie both the shield of love, Left she with blame her honor should attaint,
And eke the ladie selfe, he brought away, That every word did tremble as she fpake,
Whom having wedded, as did him behove, And everie looke was coy and wondrous quaint,
A new unknowen mischiefe did from him remove. And everie limb that touched her did quake;

Yet could she not but curteous countenance to hey For that same vile enchauntour Busyran,

make. The very felfe same day that she was wedded, Amidit the bridale feast, whileft every man For well she wist, as true it was indeed, Surcharg'd with wine were heedlesse and ill- ! That her live's lord and patrone of her health hedded,

Right well deserved, as his duefull meed, All bent to mirth before the bride was bedded, Her love, her service, and her atmost wealth : Brought in that mask of Love which late was all is his inftly that all freely dealth : Mowen,

Nathleffe her honor dearer then her life And there the ladie, ill of friends bestedded, She fought to save, as thing reserv'd from stealth; By way of sport, as oft in maskes is known, Die had the lever with enchanter's knife, Cenveyed quite away, to living wight unknowen. | Then to be false in love, profelt a virgin wife. Vol. II,








[ocr errors]

He as a knight might iuftly be admitted : Thereto her feare was made so much the greater So none should be out-thut, lith all of loves were Through fine abusion of that Briton mayd,

fitted. Who for to ljile her fained sex the beiter, And make her wounded mind, both did and with that her glistring helmet she unlaced, fayd

Which doft, her golden lockes, that were upo For many things so doubtfull to be wayd,

bound That well the wilt not what by them to guesse; Still in a knot, unto her heeles downe traced, For otherwhiles to her she purpos made

And like a filken veile in compasse round Of love, and otherwhiles of luftfulnesse,

About her backe and all her bodie wound; That much the seard his mind would grow to Like as the shining lkie in sunimer's night, some excesse.

What time the dayes with scorching heat abound,

Is creasted all with lines of fierie light, His will the feard, for him she surely thought 1 hat it prodigious seenies in common peoples To be a man, such as indeed he seemed,

sight. And much the more by that he lately wrought, When her from deadly thraldome he redeemed, Such when those knights and ladies all about For which no service she too much esteemed; Beheld her, all were with amazement (mit, Yet dread of shame, and doubt of fowle dishonor, And cvery one gan grow in secret dout Made her not yeeld so much as due shee deemed; of this and that, according to each wit : Yet Britomart attended duly on her,

Some thought that some enchantment faygned it; As well became a knight, and did to her all honor. Some that Bellona, in that warlike wise,

'To them appear'd, with shield and armour fit; It so befell one evening, that they camc

Some that it was a male of strange disguise : Unto a castel, lodged there to bee,

So diversely each one did sundrie doubts devisc. Where many a knight and many a lovely dame Was then assembled deeds of armes to see ; But that young knight, which through her genti: Amongst all which was none more faire then shee,

deed That many of them mov'd to eye her sore : Was to that goodly fellowship restorid, The custome of that place was such, that hee Ten thousand thankes did yeeld her for her moed, Which had no love nor lemman there in store, And doubly over-commen her ador'd; Should either winne him one, or lye without the So did they all their former strife accord; dore.

And eke fayre Anioret, now freed from feare,

More franke affection did to her afford, Amongst the rest there was a jolly knight, And to her bed, which she was wont forbeure, Who being asked for his love, avow'd

Now freely drew, and found right safe assurance That fairelt Amoret was his by right,

theare. And offred that to iustifie alowd. The warlike virgine, feeing his po prowd

Where all that night they of their loves did trezi, And boastfull chalenge, wexed inlie wroth, And hard adventures, twixt themselves alone, But for the present did her anger Mrowd; That each the other gan with pallion great, And sayd her love to lose she was full loth, And griefe-full pittie, privately bemone. But either he should neither of them have, or The morrow next, so soone as Titan fhone, both.

They both uprose, and to their waies them dighe;

Long wandered they, yet never met with noc Sn foorth they went, and both together ginsted; That to their willes could them dire& aright, But that same younker soone was overthrowne, Or to them tydings tell that mote their harts And made repent that he had rafhly lufted

delight. For thing unlawfull, that was not his owne; Yet fince he seemed valiant, though unknowne, Lo thus they rode, till at the last they spide She, that no leffe was courteous then stout, 'Two armed knights that toward them did pace, Cult how to falve, that both the custome showne And cach of them had ryding by his side Were kept, and yet that knight not locked out; A lady, seeming in so farre a space; That seem'd full hard t'accord iwo things lo far But ladies nose they were, albee in face in dout.

And outward thew faire semblance they did beare;

For under mafke of beautie and good grace The feneschall was cal'd to deeme the right; Vile trealon and fowle falfhood hidden were, Whom she requir'd that first fayre Amoret That more to nonc but to the wearie wisc appcare. Might be to her allow'd, as to a knight That did her win and free from chalenge set; The one of them the falle Duessa hight, Which Itraight to her was yeelded without let. That now had chang'd her former wonted hew; Then since that ftrange knight's love fronı him was | For The could do'n fo manie shapes in light, quitted,

As ever could cameleon colours new; She claim'd that to herselfe, as ladies det, So could the forge all colours save the trcw:





« PreviousContinue »