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But they like tyrants merciless, the more
Rejoiced at his miserable case,
And him reviled, and reproached fore
With bitter taunts and terms of vile disgrace.
Now whenas Arthegal arriv'd in place,
Did ask, what cause brought that man to decay,
They round about him 'gan to swarm apace,
Meaning on him their cruel hands to lay,
And to have wrought unwares some villanous assay.
But he was soon aware of their ill mind,
And drawing back deceived their intent;
Yer though himself did shame on womankind
His mighty hand to shen, he Talus sent
To wreck on them their follies hardiment:
Who with few souses of his iron faile,
Dispersed all their troop incontinent,
And sent them home to tell a piteous tale
Of their vain prowess, turned to their proper bale.
But that same wretched man, ordain’d to dye,
They left behind them, glad to be so quit :
Him Talus took out of perplexity,
And horrour of foul death for Knight unfit,
Who more than loss of life ydreaded it;
And him restoring unto living light,
So brought unto his Lord, where he did fit,
Beholding all that womanish weak fight;
Whom soon as he beheld, he knew, and thus behight.
Sir Terpine, hapłefs man, what make you here?
Or have you lost your self, and your discretion,
That ever in this wretched case ye were ?
Or have ye yielded you to proud opprefiion
Of womens powre, that boast of mens subjection ?
Or elle, what other deadly dismal day
Is faln on you, by heavens hard direction,
That ye were run so fondly far astray,
As for to lead your self unto your own decay?
Much was the man confounded in his mind,
Partly with shame, and partly with dismay,
That all astonisht he himself did find,
And little had for his excuse to say,
But only thus; Moft haplefs well ye may
Me justly term, that to this shame am brought,
And made the scorn of knighthood this same day.
But who can scape what his own fate hath wrought ? The work of heavens will furpafseth human thought.
Right true : but faulty men use oftentimes
To attribute their folly unto fate,
And lay on heaven the guilc of their own crimes.
But tell, Sir Terpine, ne let you amate
Your misery, how fell ye in this state.
Then fith ye needs, quoth he, will know my shame,
And all the ill which chanc'd to me of late,
I shortly will to you rehearse the same,
In hope ye will not turn misfortune to my blame.
Being desirous (as all Knights are wont)
Through hard adventures deeds of arms to try,
And after fame and honour for to hunt,
I heard report that far abroad did Ay,
That a proud Amazon did late defy
All the brave Knights that hold of Maidenhead,
And unto them wrought all the villany
That the could forge in her malicious head,
Which some hath put to shame, and many done be dead.
The cause, they fay, of this her cruel hate,
Is for the sake of Bellodant the bold,
To whom she bore most fervent love of late,
And wooed him by all the ways she could :
But when she saw at last, that he ne would
For ought or nought be won unto her will,
She turn'd her love to hatred manifold,
And for his sake, vow'd to do all the ill [fulfill Which she could do to Knights : which now the doth
For all those Knights, the which by force or guile
She doth subdue, she fouly doth intreat.
First she doth them of warlike arms despoil,
And clothe in womens weeds : and then with threat
Doth them compell to work, to earn their meat,
To spin, to card, to sew, to wash, to wring;
Ne doth she give them other thing to eat
But bread and water, or like feeble thing,
Them to disable from revenge adventuring.
But if through stout disdain of manly mind,
Any her proud observance will withstand,
Upon that gibbet, which is there behind,
She causech them be hang'd up out of hand;
In which condition I right now did stand.
For being overcome by her in fight,
And, put to that bale service of her band,
I rather chose to dye in life's despight,
Than lead that shameful life, unworthy of a Knight.
How hight that Amazon (faid Artbegal)?
And where, and how far hence does she abide ?
Her name, quoth he, they Radigund do call,
A Princess of great powre, and greater pride,
And Queen of Amazons in arms well tride,
And sundry battles which she hath atchiev'd
With great success, that her hath glorifide,
And made her famous, more than is believ'd ;
Ne would I it have ween'd, had I not late it priev'd.
Now sure, said he, and by the faith that I
To Maidenhead and noble knighthood owe,
I will not rest, till I her might do try,
And venge the shame, that she to Knights doth show.
Therefore Sir Terping from you lightly throw
This squalid weed, the pattern of despair,
And wend with me, that ye may see and know, , How fortune will your ruin's name repair, (pair. And Knights of Maidenhead, whose praise the would em
With that, like one that hopeless was repriev'd
From deathës door, at which he lately lay,
Those iron fecters, wherewith he was gyv'd,
The badges of reproach, he threw away,
And nimbly did him dight to guide the way
Unto the dwelling of that Amazone.
Which was from thence not past a mile or tway;
A goodly city, and a mighty one,
The which of her own name Me called Radigone.
Where they arriving by the watchmen were
· Descried straight; who all the city warn'd,
How that three warlike persons did appear,
Of which the one him seem'd a Knight all arm’d,
And th' other two well likely to have harm'd.
Eftsoons the people all to harness ran,
And like a sort of bees in clusters swarm'd :
Ere long, their Queen her self arm'd like a man, Came forth into the rout, and them t array began.
And now the Knights, being arrived near,
Did beat upon the gates to enter in,
And at the Porter, scorning them fo few,
Threw many threats, if they the town did win,
To tear his flesh in pieces for his sin.
Which whenas Radigund there coming heard,
Her heart for rage did grate, and teeth did grin:
She bade that straight the gates should be unbar'd, And to them way to make, with weapons well prepar'd.
Soon as the gates were open to them set,
They pressed forward, entrance to have made.
But in the middle way they were ymet
With a sharp showre of arrows, which them staid,
And better bade advise, ere they affaid,
Unknowen peril of bold womens pride.
Then all that rout upon them rudely laid,
And heaped strokes to fast on every side,
And arrows haild so thick, that they could not abide.
But Radigund her self, when she espide
Sir Terpine, from her direful doom acquit,
So cruel dole amongst her maids divide.
T'avenge that shame, they did on him commit;
All suddainly enflam’d with furious fit,
Like a fell Lioness at him the fiew,
And on his head-piece him so fiercely smit,
That to the ground him quite she overthrew, Dismay'd fo with the stroke, that he no colours knew,
Soon as she saw him on the ground to grovel,
She lightly to him leapt; and in his neck
Her proud foot setting, at his head did level,
Weening at once her wrath on him to wreak,
And his contempt, that did her judgment break :
As when a Bear hach seiz'd her cruel claws
Upon the carcass of some beast too weak,
Proudly stands over, and a while doth pause,
To hear the piteous beast pleading her plaintiff cause.
Whom whenas Arthegal in that distress
By chance beheld, he left the bloody Naughter,
In which he swam, and ran to his redress.
There her assailing fiercely fresh, he raught her
Such an huge stroke, that it of sense distraught her :
And had the not it warded warily,
It had depriv'd her mother of a daughter.
Nath'less for all the powre she did apply,
It made her stagger oft, and stare with ghastly eye.
Like to an Eagle in his kingly pride,
Soaring through his wide empire of the air,
To weather his broad fails, by chance hath spide
A Goshawk, which hath seized for her share
Upon some fowl, that should her feast prepare ;
With dreadful force he Aies at her bylive,
That with his souse, which none enduren dare,
Her from the quarry he away doth drive,
And from her griping pounce the greedy prey doth rive: