« PreviousContinue »
Full fiercely laid the Amazon about,
And dealt her blows unmercifully sore:
Which Britomart withstood with courage stout,
And them repaid again with double more.
So long they fought that all the graffy Aore
Was filld with blood, which from their sides did now,
And gushed through their arms, that all in gore
They trode, and on the ground their lives did ftrow, Like fruitless feed, of which
untimely death should grow.
At last proud Radigund with fell despight,
Having by chance espide advantage near,
Let drive at her with all her dreadful might,
And thus upbraiding, said; This token bear
Unto the man whom thou dost love so dear;
And tell him for his sake thy life thou gavest.
Which spiteful words the fore engriev'd to hear.
Thus answer'd ; Lewdly thou my Love depravest, Who shortly must repent that now so vainly bravest.
Nath’less that stroke so cruel passage found,
That glancing on her shoulder plate, it bic
Unto the bone, and made a griesly wound,
That she her shield through raging smart of it
Could scarce uphold ; yet soon she it requit.
For having force increast chrough furious pain,
She her fo rudely on the helmet imit,
That it empierced to the very brain,
And her proud person low prostrated on the plain.
Where being laid, the wrathful Britonness
Stayd not cill she came to her self again,
But in revenge both of her Loves distress,
And her late vile reproach, though vaunted vain,
And also of her wound, which sore did pain,
She with one stroke both head and helinet cieft.
Which dreadful sight, when all her warlike train
There present faw, each one (of fenfe bereft)
Fled fast into the town, and her fole Victor left.
But yet so fast they could not home retrate,
Buc that swift Talus did the foremost win;
And pressing through the preace unto the gate,
Pelmel with them attonce did enter in.
There chen a piteous Naughter did begin:
For all that ever came within his reach,
He with his iron flail did thresh fo chin,
That he no work at all left for the Leach :
Like to an hideous storm, which nothing may empeach.
And now by this the noble conqueress
Herself came in, her glory to partake;
Where though revengeful vow she did profess,
Yet when she saw the heaps which he did make
Of Naughtred carcasses, her heart did quake
For very ruth, which did it almost rive,
That she his fury willed him to sake :
For else he sure had left not one alive,
But all in his revenge of spirit would deprive.
Tho when she had his execution stayd,
She for that iron prison did inquire,
In which her wretched Love was captive layd ;
Which breaking open with indignant ire,
She entred into all the parts entire.
Where when she saw that loathly uncouth sight,
Of men disguiz'd in womanish attire,
Her heart 'gan grudge, for very deep despight
Of so unmanly malk, in misery misdight.
At last whenas to her own Love she came,
Whom like disguize no less deformed had,
At fight thereof abash with secret shame,
She turnd her head aside, as nothing glad,
To have beheld a spectacle so iad :
And then too well believ'd, that which to-fore
Jealous suspect as true untruly drad.
Which vain conceic now flourishing no more,
She fought wich auch to salve his sad misfortunes fore.
Vol. II, .
Not so great wonder and astonishment,
Did the most chaste Penelope possess,
To fee her Lord, that was reported drent,
And dead long since in dolorous distress,
Come home to her in piteous wretchedness,
After long travel of full cwenty years,
That she knew not his favours likeliness,
For many scars, and many hoary hairs :
But stood long staring on him, 'mongst uncertain fears.
Ah! my dear Lord, what fight is this, quoth she,
What May-game hath misfortune made of
? Where is that dreadful manly look? where be Those mighty palms, the which ye wont t'embrue In blood of Kings, and great hosts to subdue ? Couldought on earth fo wondrous change have wrought, As to have robb’d you of that manly hue ?
Could so great courage stooped have to ought? Then farewell Aethly force; I see thy pride is nought.
Thenceforth she straight into a bowre him brought,
And caus’d him those uncomely weeds undight;
And in their stead for other raiment fought,
Whereof there was great store, and armours bright,
Which had been reft from many a noble Knight;
Whom that proud Amazon subdued had,
Whilft Fortune favour'd her success in fight:
In which whenas she him anew had clad,
She was reviv'd, and joy'd much in his semblance glad.
So there awhile they afierwards remain’d,
Him to refitsh, and her late wounds to heal :
During which space she there as Princess reign'd,
And changing all that form of commonweal,
The liberty of women did repeal,
Which they had long ulirpt; and them restoring
To nens subjection, did true Juftice deal :
That all they, as a Goddess-her-adoring;
Her wildom-did'admire, and hearkned to her loring.
For all those Knights, which long in captive shade
Had shrouded been, she did from thraldom free;
And magistrates of all that city made,
And gave to them great living and large fee:
And that they should for ever faithful be,
Made them swear fealty unto Arthegal.
Who when himself now well recour'd did see,
He purpos’d to proceed, what-fo befall,
Upon his first adventure which him forth did call.
Full fad and forrowful was Britomart
For his departure, her new cause of grief;
Yet wisely moderated her own smart,
Seeing his honour, which she tendred chief,
Consisted much in that adventures prief.
The care whereof, and hope of his success
Gave unto her great comfort and relief,
That womanish complaints she did repress,
And tenpred for the time her present heaviness.
There she continu'd for a certain space,
Till through his want her woe did more increase :
Then hopeing that the change of air and place
Would change her pain, and sorrow somewhat cease,
She parted thence, her anguish to appease.
Mean while, her noble Lord Sir Artbegall
Went on his way, ne ever hour did cease,
Till he redeemed had that Lady thrall :
That for another canto will more fitly fall.
Prince Arthur, and Sir Arthegal,
Free Samient from fear :
They say the Souldan, drive his wife
Adicia to despair.
1. Nought under heaven so strongly doth allure
The sense of man, and all his mind possess. As beauty's lovely bait, that doth procure Great warriours oft their rigour to repress, And mighty hands forget their manliness; Drawn with the powre of an heart-robbing eye, And wrapt in fetters of a golden tress, ,
That can with melting pleasance mollify
Their hardned hearts, enur'd to blood and cruelty.
So whylone learn’d that mighty Jewish swain,
Each of whose locks did match a man in might,
To lay his spoils before his Lemans train:
So also did that great Oetcan Knight
For his Loves sake his Lions skin undight :
And fo did warlike Anthony neglect
The worlds whole rule, for Cleopatras sight.
Such wondrous powre hath womens fair aspect,
To captive men; and make them all the world reject.
Yet could it not stern Aribegal retain,
Nor hold from suit of his avowed quest,
Which he had undertane to Gloriane ;
But left his Love (albe her strong request)
Fair Britomart, in languor and unrest,
And rode hiinself upon his first intent:
Ne day nor night did ever idly rest;
Ne wight but only Talus with him went,
The true guide of his way and vertuous government.