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So travelling, he chanc'd far off to heed
A Damzel Aying on a palfrey fast
Before two Knights, that after her did speed
With all their powre, and her full fiercely chac'd,
In hope to have her overhent at last :
Yet fied she fast, and both them far outwent,
Carried with wings of fear, like fowl aghaft,
With locks all loose, and rayment all to rent;
And ever as she rode, her eye was backward bent.
Soon after these, he saw another Knight,
That after those two former rode apace,
With spear in rest, and prickt with all his might:
So ran they all as they had been at base,
They being chased, that did others chase.
At length he saw the hindmost overtake
One of those two, and force him curn his face;
however loth he were his way to Nake,
Yet mote he algates now abide, and answer make.
But th' other still pursu'd the fearful Maid;
Who ftill from him as fast away did fly,
Ne once for ought her speedy pallage staid,
Till that at length she did before her spy
Sir Arthegal, to whom she straight did hie
With gladful haste, in hope of him to get
Succour against her greedy enemy:
Who seeing her approach, 'gan forward set
To save her from her fear, and him from force to let.
But he like hound full greedy of his prey,
Being impatient of impediment,
Continu'd still his course, and by the way
Thought with his spear him quite have overwent.
So both together ylike felly bent,
Like fiercely met. But Artbegal was stronger,
And better skill'd in tilt and turnament,
And bore him quite out of his saddle, longer (wronger. Than two speass length; fo mischief over-match the
And in his fall misfortune him miftook ;
For on his head unhappily he pight,
That his own weight his neck asunder broke,
And left there dead. Mean while the other Knight
Defeared had the other faytour quight,
And all his boweis in his body brast:
Whom leaving there in that despiteous plight.
He ran ftill on, thinking to follow fast
His other fellow Pagan, which before him paft.
Instead of whom, finding there ready prest
Sir Arthegal, without discretion
He at him ran, with ready spear in rest:
Who seeing him come still fo fiercely on,
Against him made again. so both anon
Together met, and strongly either strook
And broke their spears; yet neither has forgon
His horses back, yet to and fro long shook, [quook. And totter'd like two towres, which through a tempeft
But when again they had recover'd sense,
They drew their swords, in mind to make amends
For what their spears had faild of their pretence.
Which when the Damzel, who those deadly ends
Of both her foes had seen, and now her friends
For her beginning a more fearful fray ;
She to them runs in haste, and her hair rends,
Crying to them their cruel hands to stay,
Untill they both do hear, what she to them will say.
They ftayd their hands, when she thus ’gan to speak;
Ah! gentle Knights, what mean ye thus unwise
Upon your felves anothers wrong to wreak ?
I am the wrong'd, whom ye did enterprise
Both to redress, and both redrest likewise:
Witness the Paynims both, whom ye may fee
There dead on ground. What do ye then devise
Of more revenge? if more, then I am she,
Which was the root of all ; end your revenge on me..
Whom when they heard so say, they lookt about,
To weet if it were true as she had told;
Where when they saw their foes dead out of doubt,
Eftfoons they ’gan their wrathful hands to hold,
And ventails rear each other to behold.
Tho whenas Artbegal did Arthur view,
So fair a creature and so wondrous bold,
He much admired both his heart and hue,
And touched with intire affection, nigh him drew.
Saying, Sir Knight, of pardon I you pray,
That all unweeting have you wrong'd thus fore
Suffring my hand against my heart to stray :
Which if ye please forgive, I will therefore
Yield for amends my self yours evermore,
Or whatso penance shall by you be read.
To whom the Prince; Certes, me needeth more
To crave the same, whom errour lo mised,
As that I did mistake the living for the dead.
But sith ye please, that both our blames shall dye,
Amends may for the trespass soon be made,
Since neither is endamag'd much thereby.
So 'gan they both themlelves full each persuade
To fair accordance, and both faults to shade,
Either embracing other lovingly,
And swearing faith to either on his blade,
Never thenceforth to nourish enmity,
But either others cause to maintain mutually.
Then Artbegal, 'gan of the Prince enquire,
What were those Knights which there on ground were
And had receiv'd their follies worthy hire, (laid,
And for what cause they chased so that maid.
Certes, I wote not well, the Prince then faid;
But by adventure found them faring fo,
As by the way unwectingly I ftrayd :
And lo, the Damzel felt, whence all did grow,
Of whom we may at will the whole occafion know.
Then they that Damzel called to them nigh,
And asked her, what were those two her fone,
From whom she earst so fast away did fly;
And what was she herself so woe-begone,
And for what cause pursu'd of them attone.
To whom she thus; then wote ye well, that I
Do serve a Queen that not far hence doth wonne,
A Princess of great powre and majesty,
Famous through all the world, and honour'd far and nigh.
Her name Mercilla most men use to call;
That is a maiden Queen of high renown,
For her great bounty knowen over all,
And foveraine grace, with which her royal crown
She doth support, and strongly beateth down
The malice of her foes which her envy,
And at her happiness do frèt and frown:
Yer she her self the more doth magnify,
And even to her foes her mercies multiply.
Mongst many which maligne her happy state,
There is a mighty man, which wonnes hereby,
That with most fell despight and deadly hate,
Seeks to subvert her crown and dignity;
And all his powre doch thereunto apply:
And her good Knights (of which so brave a band -
Serves her, as any Princess under sky)
He either spoils, if they against him stand,
Or to his part allures, and bribeth underhand.
Ne him fufficeth all the wrong and ill
Which he unto her people does each day;
But that he seeks by traytrous trains to spill
Her person, and her sacred self to Nay:
That O ye heavens defeud, and turn away
From her unto the miscreant himself,
That neither hach religion nor fay,
Bue makes his God of his ungodly pelf,
And Idols ferves; fo let his Idols serve the Elf.
To all which cruel tyranny they say,
He is provokt, and stird up day and night
By his bad wife that hight Adicia,
Who counsels him (through confidence of might)
To break all bonds of law, and rules of right.
For she herself profefTeth mortal foe
To Justice, and against her still doth fight,
Working to all that love her, deadly woe,
And making all her Knights and people to do so.
Which my liege Lady seeing thought it best,
With that his wife in friendly wise to deal,
For stint of strife, and stablishment of rest
Both to herself, and to her commonweal,
And all forepaft displeasures to repeal.
So me in message unto her she sent,
To treat with her by way of enterdeal,
Of final peace and fair attonement,
Which might concluded be by mutual consent.
All times have wont safe passage to afford
To messengers that come for causes just :
But this proud Dame disdaining all accord,
Not only into bitter terms forth brust,
Reviling me, and railing as she lust;
But lastly, to make proof of utmost shame,
Me like a Dog she out of doors did thrust,
Miscalling me by many a bitter name,
That never did her ill, ne once deserved blame.
And lastly that no shame might wanting be,
When I was gone, soon after me she sent
These two falfe Knighes, whom there ye lying see,
To be by them dishonoured and fhent :
But thankt be God, and your good hardiment,
They have the price of their own folly paid.
So laid this Damzel, that hight Samient;
And to those Knights for their so noble aid,
Herielf most grateful fhew'd, and heaped thanks repaid.