Page images


At that wide orifice her trembling hart

Was drawne forth, and in silver basin layd,
Quite through transfixed with a deadly dart,
And in her bloud yet steeming fresh embayd :
And those two villeins, which her steps upstayd,
When her weake feete could scarcely her sustaine,
And fading vitall powers gan to fade,

Her forward still with torture did constraine,
And evermore encreased her consuming paine.


Next after her the winged God himselfe

Came riding on a Lion ravenous,
Taught to obay the menage of that Elfe,
That man and beast with powre imperious
Subdeweth to his kingdome tyrannous :
His blindfold eyes he bad a while unbind,
That his proud spoyle of that same dolorous

Faire Dame he might behold in perfect kind ;
Which seene, he much rejoyced in his cruell mind.

Of which full proud, himselfe up rearing hye, xxiii

He looked round about with sterne disdaine ;
And did survay his goodly company: .
And marshalling the evill ordered traine,
With that the darts which his right hand did straine,
Full dreadfully he shooke that all did quake,
And clapt on hie his coulourd winges twaine,

That all his many it affraide did make :
Tho blinding him againe, his way he forth did take.


Behinde him was Reproch, Repentance, Shame ;

Reproch the first, Shame next, Repent behind :
Repentance feeble, sorrowfull, and lame :
Reproch despightfull, carelesse, and unkind ;

Shame most ill favourd, bestiall, and blind :
Shame lowrd, Repentance sigh’d, Reproch did scould ;
Reproch sharpe stings, Repentance whips entwind,

Shame burning brond-yrons in her hand did hold : All three to each unlike, yet all made in one mould.


And after them a rude confused rout

Of persons flockt, whose names is hard to read :.
Emongst them was sterne Strife, and Anger stout,
Unquiet Care, and fond Unthriftihead,
Lewd Losse of Time, and Sorrow seeming dead,
Inconstant Chaunge, and false Disloyaltie,
Consuming Riotise, and guilty Dread

Of heavenly vengeance, faint Infirmitie,
Vile Povertie, and lastly Death with infamie.

There were full many moe like maladies,

xxvi Whose names and natures I note readen well ; So many moe, as there be phantasies In wavering wemens wit, that none can tell, Or paines in love, or punishments in hell ; All which disguized marcht in masking wise, About the chamber with that Damozell,

And then returned, having marched thrise, Into the inner roome, from whence they first did rise.

So soone as they were in, the dore streight way xxvii

Fast locked, driven with that stormy blast,
Which first it opened ; and bore all away.
Then the brave Maid, which all this while was plast
In secret shade, and saw both first and last,
Issewed forth, and went unto the dore,
To enter in, but found it locked fast :

In vaine she thought with rigorous uprore
For to efforce, when charmes had closed it afore.


Book IV, Canto VI, i–xli
What equall torment to the griefe of mind,

And pyning anguish hid in gentle hart,
That inly feeds it selfe with thoughts unkind,
And nourisheth her owne consuming smart ?
What medicine can any Leaches art .
Yeeld such a sore, that doth her grievance hide,
And will to none her maladie impart ?

Such was the wound that Scudamour did gride ;
For which Dan Phebus selfe cannot a salve provide.
Who having left that restlesse house of Care,

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

To haue rencountred him in equall race ;
But soone as th’other nigh approaching, vewed
The armes he bore, his speare he gan abase,
And voide his course : at which so suddain case
He wondred much. But th'other thus can say ;
Ah gentle Scudamour, unto your grace

I me submit, and you of pardon pray,
That almost had against you trespassed this day.
Whereunto thus Scudamour, Small harme it were

For any knight, upon a ventrous knight
Without displeasance for to prove his spere.
But reade you Sir, sith ye my name have hight,

What is your owne, that I mote you requite.
Certes (sayd he) ye mote as now excuse
Me from discovering you my name aright :

For time yet serves that I the same refuse,
But call ye me the Salvage Knight, as others use.

Then this, Sir Salvage Knight (quoth he) areede ;
Or doe you here within this forrest wonne,
That seemeth well to answere to your weede ?
Or have ye it for some occasion donne ?
That rather seemes, sith knowen armes ye shonne.
This other day (sayd he) a stranger knight
Shame and dishonour hath unto me donne;

On whom I waite to wreake that foule despight,
When ever he this way shall passe by day or night.

Shame be his meede (quoth he) that meaneth shame. vi

But what is he, by whom ye shamed were ?
A stranger knight, sayd he, unknowne by name,
But knowne by fame, and by an Hebene speare,
With which he all that met him, downe did beare.
He in an open Turney lately held,
Fro me the honour of that game did reare ;

And having me all wearie earst, downe feld,
The fayrest Ladie reft, and ever since withheld.


When Scudamour heard mention of that speare,

He wist right well, that it was Britomart,
The which from him his fairest love did beare.
Tho gan he swell in every inner part,
For fell despight, and gnaw his gealous hart,
That thus he sharply sayd ; Now by my head,
Yet is not this the first unknightly part,

Which that same knight, whom by his launce I read, Hath doen to noble knights, that many makes him dread.


For lately he my love hath fro me reft,

viii And eke defiled with foule villanie The sacred pledge, which in his faith was left, In shame of knighthood and fidelitie ; The which ere long full deare he shall abie. And if to that avenge by you decreed This hand may helpe, or succour ought supplie,

It shall not fayle, when so ye shall it need. So both to wreake their wrathes on Britomart agreed.


Whiles thus they communed, lo farre away

A Knight soft ryding towards them they spyde,
Attyr'd in forraine armes and straunge aray:
Whom when they nigh approcht, they plaine descryde
To be the same, for whom they did abyde.
Sayd then Sir Scudamour, Sir Salvage knight
Let me this crave, sith first I was defyde,

That first I may that wrong to him requite :
And if I hap to fayle, you shall recure my right.

Which being yeelded, he his threatfull speare

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


But Artegall beholding his mischaunce,

New matter added to his former fire ;
And eft aventring his steeleheaded launce,
Against her rode, full of despiteous ire,

« PreviousContinue »