A Note on the Renascence Editions text:
This HTML etext of The Faerie Queene was prepared from The Complete Works in Verse and Prose of Edmund Spenser [Grosart, London, 1882] by Risa S. Bear at the University of Oregon. Inside lines of stanzas appear left-justified due to limitations of proportional fonts in html. The text is in the public domain. Unique content is copyright © 1995 University of Oregon; this text is distributed for nonprofit use only.
THE LEGEND OF S. CALIDORE
T He waies, through which my weary steps I guyde,
In this delightfull land of Faery,
Are so exceeding spacious and wyde,
And sprinckled with such sweet variety,
Of all that pleasant is to eare or eye,
That I nigh rauisht with rare thoughts delight,
My tedious trauell doe forget thereby;
And when I gin to feele decay of might,
It strength to me supplies, & chears my dulled spright.
Such secret comfort, and such heauenly pleasures,
Ye sacred imps, that on Parnasso dwell,
And there the keeping haue of learnings threasures,
Which doe all worldly riches farre excell,
Into the mindes of mortall men doe well,
And goodly fury into them infuse;
Guyde ye my footing, and conduct me well
In these strange waies, where neuer foote did vse,
Ne none can find, but who was taught them by the Muse.
Reuele to me the sacred noursery
Of vertue, which with you doth there remaine,
Where it in siluer bowre does hidden ly
From view of men, and wicked worlds disdaine.
Since it at first was by the Gods with paine
Planted in earth, being deriu'd at furst
From heauenly seedes of bounty soueraine,
And by them long with carefull labour nurst,
Till it to ripenesse grew, and forth to honour burst.
Amongst them all growes not a fayrer flowre,
Then is the bloosme of comely courtesie,
Which though it on a lowly stalke doe bowre,
Yet brancheth forth in braue nobilitie,
And spreds it selfe through all ciuilitie:
Of which though present age doe plenteous seeme,
Yet being matcht with plaine Antiquitie,
Ye will them all but fayned showes esteeme,
Which carry colours faire, that feeble eies misdeeme.
But in the triall of true curtesie,
Its now so farre from that, which then it was,
That it indeed is nought but forgerie,
Fashion'd to please the eies of them, that pas,
Which see not perfet things but in a glas:
Yet is that glasse so gay, that it can blynd
The wisest sight, to thinke gold that is bras.
But vertues seat is deepe within the mynd,
And not in outward shows, but inward thoughts defynd.
But where shall I in all Antiquity
So faire a patterne finde, where may be seene
The goodly praise of Princely curtesie,
As in your selfe, O soueraine Lady Queene,
In whose pure minde, as in a mirrour sheene
It showes, and with her brightnesse doth inflame
The eyes of all, which thereon fixed beene;
But meriteth indeede an higher name:
Yet so from low to high vplifted is your fame.
Then pardon me, most dreaded Soueraine,
That from your selfe I doe this vertue bring,
And to your selfe doe it returne againe:
So from the Ocean all riuers spring,
And tribute backe repay as to their King.
Right so from you all goodly vertues well
Into the rest, which round about you ring,
Faire Lords and Ladies, which about you dwell,
And doe adorne your Court, where courtesies excell.
Calidore saues from Maleffort,
A Damzell vsed vylde:
Doth vanquish Crudor, and doth make
Briana wexe more mylde.
O F Court it seemes, men Courtesie doe call,
For that it there most vseth to abound;
And well beseemeth that in Princes hall
That vertue should be plentifully found,
Which of all goodly manners is the ground,
And roote of ciuill conuersation.
Right so in Faery court it did redound,
Where curteous Knights and Ladies most did won
Of all on earth, and made a matchlesse paragon.
But mongst them all was none more courteous Knight,
Then Calidore, beloued ouer all,
In whom it seemes, that gentlenesse of spright
And manners mylde were planted naturall;
To which he adding comely guize withall,
And gracious speach, did steale mens hearts away.
Nathlesse thereto he was full stout and tall,
And well approu'd in batteilous affray,
That him did much renowme, and far his fame display.
Ne was there Knight, ne was there Lady found
In Faery court, but him did deare embrace,
For his faire vsage and conditions sound,
The which in all mens liking gayned place,
And with the greatest purchast greatest grace:
Which he could wisely vse, and well apply,
To please the best, and th'euill to embase.
For he loathd leasing, and base flattery,
And loued simple truth and stedfast honesty.
And now he was in trauell on his way,
Vppon an hard aduenture sore bestad,
Whenas by chaunce he met vppon a day
With Artegall, returning yet halfe sad
From his late conquest, which he gotten had.
Who whenas each of other had a sight,
They knew them selues, and both their persons rad:
When Calidore thus first; Haile noblest Knight
Of all this day on ground, that breathen liuing spright.
Now tell, if please you, of the good successe,
Which ye haue had in your late enterprize.
To whom Sir Artegall gan to expresse
His whole exploite, and valorous emprize,
In order as it did to him arize.
Now happy man (sayd then Sir Calidore)
Which haue so goodly, as ye can deuize,
Atchieu'd so hard a quest, as few before;
That shall you most renowmed make for euermore.
But where ye ended haue, now I begin
To tread an endlesse trace, withouten guyde,
Or good direction, how to enter in,
Or how to issue forth in waies vntryde,
In perils strange, in labours long and wide;
In which although good Fortune me befall,
Yet shall it not by none be testifyde.
What is that quest (quoth then Sir Artegall)
That you into such perils presently doth call?
The Blattant Beast (quoth he) I doe pursew,
And through the world incessantly doe chase,
Till I him ouertake, or else subdew:
Yet know I not or how, or in what place
To find him out, yet still I forward trace.
What is that Blattant Beast? (then he replide)
It is a Monster bred of hellishe race,
(Then answerd he) which often hath annoyd
Good Knights and Ladies true, and many else destroyd.
Of Cerberus whilome he was begot,
And fell Chimaelig;ra in her darkesome den,
Through fowle commixture of his filthy blot;
Where he was fostred long in Stygian fen,
Till he to perfect ripenesse grew, and then
Into this wicked world he forth was sent,
To be the plague and scourge of wretched men:
Whom with vile tongue and venemous intent
He sore doth wound, and bite, and cruelly torment.
Then since the saluage Island I did leaue
Sayd Artegall, I such a Beast did see,
The which did seeme a thousand tongues to haue,
That all in spight and malice did agree,
With which he bayd and loudly barkt at mee,
As if that he attonce would me deuoure.
But I that knew my selfe from perill free,
Did nought regard his malice nor his powre,
But he the more his wicked poyson forth did poure.
That surely is that Beast (saide Calidore)
Which I pursue, of whom I am right glad
To heare these tidings, which of none afore
Through all my weary trauell I haue had:
Yet now some hope your words vnto me add.
Now God you speed (quoth then Sir Artegall)
And keepe your body from the daunger drad:
For ye haue much adoe to deale withall.
So both tooke goodly leaue, and parted seuerall.
Sir Calidore thence trauelled not long,
When as by chaunce a comely Squire he found,
That thorough some more mighty enemies wrong,
Both hand and foote vnto a tree was bound:
Who seeing him from farre, with piteous sound
Of his shrill cries him called to his aide.
To whom approching, in that painefull stound
When he him saw, for no demaunds he staide,
But first him losde, and afterwards thus to him saide.
Vnhappy Squire, what hard mishap thee brought
Into this bay of perill and disgrace?
What cruell hand thy wretched thraldome wrought,
And thee captyued in this shamefull place?
To whom he answerd thus; My haplesse case
Is not occasiond through my misdesert,
But through misfortune, which did me abase
Vnto this shame, and my young hope subuert,
Ere that I in her guilefull traines was well expert.
Not farre from hence, vppon yond rocky hill,
Hard by a streight there stands a castle strong,
Which doth obserue a custome lewd and ill,
And it hath long mayntaind with mighty wrong:
For may no Knight nor Lady passe along
That way, (and yet they needs must passe that way),
By reason of the streight, and rocks among,
But they that Ladies lockes doe shaue away,
And that knights berd for toll, which they for passage pay.
A shamefull vse as euer I did heare,
Sayd Calidore, and to be ouerthrowne.
But by what meanes did they at first it reare,
And for what cause, tell if thou haue it knowne.
Sayd then that Squire: The Lady which doth owne
This Castle, is by name Briana hight.
Then which a prouder Lady liueth none:
She long time hath deare lou'd a doughty Knight,
And sought to win his loue by all the meanes she might.
His name is Crudor, who through high disdaine
And proud despight of his selfe pleasing mynd,
Refused hath to yeeld her loue againe,
Vntill a Mantle she for him doe fynd,
With beards of Knights and locks of Ladies lynd.
Which to prouide, she hath this Castle dight,
And therein hath a Seneschall assynd,
Cald Maleffort, a man of mickle might,
Who executes her wicked will, with worse despight.
He this same day, as I that way did come
With a faire Damzell, my beloued deare,
In execution of her lawlesse doome,
Did set vppon vs flying both for feare:
For little bootes against him hand to reare.
Me first he tooke, vnhable to withstond;
And whiles he her pursued euery where,
Till his returne vnto this tree he bond:
Ne wote I surely, whether her he yet haue fond.
Thus whiles they spake, they heard a ruefull shrieke
Of one loud crying, which they streight way ghest,
That it was she, the which for helpe did seeke.
Tho looking vp vnto the cry to lest,
They saw that Carle from farre, with hand vnblest
Hayling that mayden by the yellow heare,
That all her garments from her snowy brest,
And from her head her lockes he nigh did teare,
Ne would he spare for pitty, nor refraine for feare.
Which haynous sight when Calidore beheld,
Eftsoones he loosd that Squire, and so him left,
With hearts dismay and inward dolour queld,
For to pursue that villaine, which had reft
That piteous spoile by so iniurious theft.
Whom ouertaking, loude to him he cryde;
Leaue faytor quickely that misgotten weft
To him, that hath it better iustifyde,
And turne thee soone to him, of whom thou art defyde.
Who hearkning to that voice, him selfe vpreard,
And seeing him so fiercely towardes make,
Against him stoutly ran, as nought afeard,
But rather more enrag'd for those words sake;
And with sterne count'naunce thus vnto him spake.
Art thou the caytiue, that defyest me,
And for this Mayd, whose party thou doest take,
Wilt giue thy beard, though it but little bee?
Yet shall it not her lockes for raunsome fro me free.
With that he fiercely at him flew, and layd
On hideous strokes with most importune might,
That oft he made him stagger as vnstayd,
And oft recuile to shunne his sharpe despight.
But Calidore, that was well skild in fight,
Him long forbore, and still his spirite spar'd,
Lying in waite, how him he damadge might.
But when he felt him shrinke, and come to ward,
He greater grew, and gan to driue at him more hard.
Like as a water streame, whose swelling sourse
Shall driue a Mill, within strong bancks is pent,
And long restrayned of his ready course;
So soone as passage is vnto him lent,
Breakes forth, and makes his way more violent.
Such was the fury of Sir Calidore,
When once he felt his foeman to relent;
He fiercely him pursu'd, and pressed sore,
Who as he still decayd, so he encreased more.
The heauy burden of whose dreadfull might
When as the Carle no longer could sustaine,
His heart gan faint, and streight he tooke his flight
Toward the Castle, where if need constraine,
His hope of refuge vsed to remaine.
Whom Calidore perceiuing fast to flie,
He him pursu'd and chaced through the plaine,
That he for dread of death gan loude to crie
Vnto the ward, to open to him hastilie.
They from the wall him seeing so aghast,
The gate soone opened to receiue him in,
But Calidore did follow him so fast,
That euen in the Porch he him did win,
And cleft his head asunder to his chin.
The carkasse tumbling downe within the dore,
Did choke the entraunce with a lumpe of sin,
That it could not be shut, whilest Calidore
Did enter in, and slew the Porter on the flore.
With that the rest, the which the Castle kept,
About him flockt, and hard at him did lay;
But he them all from him full lightly swept,
As doth a Steare, in heat of sommers day,
With his long taile the bryzes brush away.
Thence passing forth, into the hall he came,
Where of the Lady selfe in sad dismay
He was ymett, who with vncomely shame
Gan him salute, and fowle vpbrayd with faulty blame.
False traytor Knight, (sayd she) no Knight at all,
But scorne of armes that hast with guilty hand
Murdred my men, and slaine my Seneschall;
Now comest thou to rob my house vnmand,
And spoile my selfe, that can not thee withstand?
Yet doubt thou not, but that some better Knight
Then thou, that shall thy treason vnderstand,
Will it auenge, and pay thee with thy right:
And if none do, yet shame shal thee with shame requight.
Much was the Knight abashed at that word;
Yet answerd thus; Not vnto me the shame,
But to the shamefull doer it afford.
Bloud is no blemish; for it is no blame
To punish those, that doe deserue the same;
But they that breake bands of ciuilitie,
And wicked customes make, those doe defame
Both noble armes and gentle curtesie.
No greater shame to man then inhumanitie.
Then doe your selfe, for dread of shame, forgoe
This euill manner, which ye here maintaine,
And doe in stead thereof mild curt'sie showe
To all, that passe. That shall you glory gaine
More then his loue, which thus ye seeke t'obtaine.
Wherewith all full of wrath, she thus replyde;
Vile recreant, know that I doe much disdaine
Thy courteous lore, that doest my loue deride,
Who scornes thy ydle scoffe, and bids thee be defyde.
To take defiaunce at a Ladies word
(Quoth he) I hold it no indignity;
But were he here, that would it with his sword
Abett, perhaps he mote it deare aby.
Cowherd (quoth she) were not, that thou wouldst fly,
Ere he doe come, he should be soone in place.
If I doe so, (sayd he) then liberty
I leaue to you, for aye me to disgrace
With all those shames, that erst ye spake me to deface.
With that a Dwarfe she cald to her in hast,
And taking from her hand a ring of gould,
A priuy token, which betweene them past,
Bad him to flie with all the speed he could,
To Crudor, and desire him that he would
Vouchsafe to reskue her against a Knight,
Who through stro[n]g powre had now her self in hould,
Hauing late slaine her Seneschall in fight,
And all her people murdred with outragious might.
The Dwarfe his way did hast, and went all night;
But Calidore did with her there abyde
The comming of that so much threatned Knight,
Where that discourteous Dame with scornfull pryde,
And fowle entreaty him indignifyde,
That yron heart it hardly could sustaine:
Yet he, that could his wrath full wisely guyde,
Did well endure her womanish disdaine,
And did him selfe from fraile impatience refraine.
The morrow next, before the lampe of light,
Aboue the earth vpreard his flaming head,
The Dwarfe, which bore that message to her knight,
Brought aunswere backe, that ere he tasted bread,
He would her succour, and aliue or dead
Her foe deliuer vp into her hand:
Therefore he wild her doe away all dread;
And that of him she mote assured stand,
He sent to her his basenet, as a faithfull band.
Thereof full blyth the Lady streight became,
And gan t'augment her bitternesse much more:
Yet no whit more appalled for the same,
Ne ought dismayed was Sir Calidore,
But rather did more chearefull seeme therefore.
And hauing soone his armes about him dight,
Did issue forth, to meete his foe afore;
Where long he stayed not, when as a Knight
He spide come pricking on with al his powre and might.
Well weend he streight, that he should be the same,
Which tooke in hand her quarrell to maintaine;
Ne stayd to aske if it were he by name,
But coucht his speare, and ran at him amaine.
They bene ymett in middest of the plaine,
With so fell fury, and dispiteous forse,
That neither could the others stroke sustaine,
But rudely rowld to ground both man and horse,
Neither of other taking pitty nor remorse.
But Calidore vprose againe full light,
Whiles yet his foe lay fast in sencelesse sound,
Yet would he not him hurt, although he might:
For shame he weend a sleeping wight to wound.
But when Briana saw that drery stound,
There where she stood vppon the Castle wall,
She deem'd him sure to haue bene dead on ground,
And made such piteous mourning therewithall,
That from the battlements she ready seem'd to fall.
Nathlesse at length him selfe he did vpreare
In lustlesse wise, as if against his will,
Ere he had slept his fill, he wakened were,
And gan to stretch his limbs; which feeling ill
Of his late fall, a while he rested still:
But when he saw his foe before in vew,
He shooke off luskishnesse, and courage chill
Kindling a fresh, gan battell to renew,
To proue if better foote then horsebacke would ensew.
There then began a fearefull cruell fray
Betwixt them two, for maystery of might.
For both were wondrous practicke in that play,
And passing well expert in single fight,
And both inflam'd with furious despight:
Which as it still encreast, so still increast
Their cruell strokes and terrible affright;
Ne once for ruth their rigour they releast,
Ne once to breath a while their angers tempest ceast.
Thus long they trac'd and trauerst to and fro,
And tryde all waies, how each mote entrance make
Into the life of his malignant foe;
They hew'd their helmes, and plates asunder brake,
As they had potshares bene; for nought mote slake
Their greedy vengeaunces, but goary blood,
That at the last like to a purple lake
Of bloudy gore congeal'd about them stood,
Which from their riuen sides forth gushed like a flood.
At length it chaunst, that both their hands on hie,
At once did heaue, with all their powre and might,
Thinking the vtmost of their force to trie,
And proue the finall fortune of the fight:
But Calidore, that was more quicke of sight,
And nimbler handed, then his enemie,
Preuented him before his stroke could light,
And on the helmet smote him formerlie,
That made him stoupe to ground with meeke humilitie.
And ere he could recouer foot againe,
He following that faire aduantage fast,
His stroke redoubled with such might and maine,
That him vpon the ground he groueling cast;
And leaping to him light, would haue vnlast
His Helme, to make vnto his vengeance way.
Who seeing, in what daunger he was plast,
Cryde out, Ah mercie Sir, doe me not slay,
But saue my life, which lot before your foot doth lay.
With that his mortall hand a while he stayd,
And hauing somewhat calm'd his wrathfull heat
With goodly patience, thus he to him sayd;
And is the boast of that proud Ladies threat,
That menaced me from the field to beat,
Now brought to this? By this now may ye learne,
Strangers no more so rudely to intreat,
But put away proud looke, and vsage sterne,
The which shal nought to you but foule dishonor yearne.
For nothing is more blamefull to a knight,
That court'sie doth as well as armes professe,
How euer strong and fortunate in fight,
Then the reproch of pride and cruelnesse.
In vaine he seeketh others to suppresse,
Who hath not learnd him selfe first to subdew:
All flesh is frayle, and full of ficklenesse,
Subiect to fortunes chance, still chaunging new;
What haps to day to me, to morrow may to you.
Who will not mercie vnto others shew,
How can he mercy euer hope to haue?
To pay each with his owne is right and dew.
Yet since ye mercie now doe need to craue,
I will it graunt, your hopelesse life to saue;
With these conditions, which I will propound:
First, that ye better shall your selfe behaue
Vnto all errant knights, whereso on ground;
Next that ye Ladies ayde in euery stead and stound.
The wretched man, that all this while did dwell
In dread of death, his heasts did gladly heare,
And promist to performe his precept well,
And whatsoeuer else he would requere.
So suffring him to rise, he made him sweare
By his owne sword, and by the crosse thereon,
To take Briana for his louing fere,
Withouten dowre or composition;
But to release his former foule condition.
All which accepting, and with faithfull oth
Bynding himselfe most firmely to obay,
He vp arose, how euer liefe or loth,
And swore to him true fealtie for aye.
Then forth he cald from sorrowfull dismay
The sad Briana, which all this beheld:
Who comming forth yet full of late affray,
Sir Calidore vpcheard, and to her teld
All this accord, to which he Crudor had compeld.
Whereof she now more glad, then sory earst,
All ouercome with infinite affect,
For his exceeding courtesie, that pearst
Her stubborne hart with inward deepe effect,
Before his feet her selfe she did proiect,
And him adoring as her liues deare Lord,
With all due thankes, and dutifull respect,
Her selfe acknowledg'd bound for that accord,
By which he had to her both life and loue restord.
So all returning to the Castle glad,
Most ioyfully she them did entertaine,
Where goodly glee and feast to them she made,
To shew her thankefull mind and meaning faine,
By all the meanes she mote it best explaine:
And after all, vnto Sir Calidore
She freely gaue that Castle for his paine,
And her selfe bound to him for euermore;
So wondrously now chaung'd, from that she was afore.
But Calidore himselfe would not retaine
Nor land nor fee, for hyre of his good deede,
But gaue them streight vnto that Squire againe,
Whom from her Seneschall he lately freed,
And to his damzell as their rightfull meed,
For recompence of all their former wrong:
There he remaind with them right well agreed,
Till of his wounds he wexed hole and strong,
And then to his first quest he passed forth along.
Calidore sees young Tristram slay
A proud discourteous knight:
He makes him Squire, and of him learnes
his state and present plight.
VV Hat vertue is so fitting for a knight,
Or for a Ladie, whom a knight should loue,
As Curtesie, to beare themselues aright
To all of each degree, as doth behoue?
For whether they be placed high aboue,
Or low beneath, yet ought they well to know
Their good, that none them rightly may reproue
Of rudenesse, for not yeelding what they owe:
Great skill it is such duties timely to bestow.
Thereto great helpe dame Nature selfe doth lend:
For some so goodly gratious are by kind,
That euery action doth them much commend,
And in the eyes of men great liking find;
Which others, that haue greater skill in mind,
Though they enforce themselues, cannot attaine.
For euerie thing, to which one is inclin'd,
Doth best become, and greatest grace doth gaine:
Yet praise likewise deserue good thewes, enforst with paine.
That well in courteous Calidore appeares,
Whose euery act and word, that he did say,
Was like enchantment, that through both the eares,
And both the eyes did steale the hart away.
He now againe is on his former way,
To follow his first quest, when as he spyde
A tall young man from thence not farre away,
Fighting on foot, as well he him descryde,
Against an armed knight, that did on horsebacke ryde.
And them beside a Ladie faire he saw,
Standing alone on foot, in foule array:
To whom himselfe he hastily did draw,
To weet the cause of so vncomely fray,
And to depart them, if so be he may.
But ere he came in place, that youth had kild
That armed knight, that low on ground he lay;
Which when he saw, his hart was inly child
With great amazement, & his thought with wonder fild.
Him stedfastly he markt, and saw to bee
A goodly youth of amiable grace,
Yet but a slender slip, that scarse did see
Yet seuenteene yeares, but tall and faire of face
That sure he deem'd him borne of noble race.
All in a woodmans iacket he was clad
Of Lincolne greene, belayd with siluer lace;
And on his head an hood with aglets sprad,
And by his side his hunters horne he hanging had.
Buskins he wore of costliest cordwayne,
Pinckt vpon gold, and paled part per part,
As then the guize was for each gentle swayne;
In his right hand he held a trembling dart,
Whose fellow he before had sent apart;
And in his left he held a sharpe borespeare,
With which he wont to launch the saluage hart
Of many a Lyon, and of many a Beare
That first vnto his hand in chase did happen neare.
Whom Calidore a while well hauing vewed,
At length bespake; What meanes this, gentle swaine?
Why hath thy hand too bold it selfe embrewed
In blood of knight, the which by thee is slaine,
By thee no knight; which armes impugneth plaine?
Certes (said he) loth were I to haue broken
The law of armes; yet breake it should againe,
Rather then let my selfe of wight be stroken,
So long as these two armes were able to be wroken.
For not I him, as this his Ladie here
May witnesse well, did offer first to wrong,
Ne surely thus vnarm'd I likely were;
But he me first, through pride and puissance strong
Assayld, not knowing what to armes doth long.
Perdie great blame, (then said Sir Calidore)
For armed knight a wight vnarm'd to wrong.
But then aread, thou gentle chyld, wherefore
Betwixt you two began this strife and sterne vprore.
That shall I sooth (said he) to you declare.
I whose vnryper yeares are yet vnfit
For thing of weight, or worke of greater care,
Doe spend my dayes, and bend my carelesse wit
To saluage chace, where I thereon may hit
In all this forrest, and wyld wooddie raine:
Where, as this day I was enraunging it,
I chaunst to meete this knight, who there lyes slaine,
Together with this Ladie, passing on the plaine.
The knight, as ye did see, on horsebacke was,
And this his Ladie, (that him ill became,)
On her faire feet by his horse side did pas
Through thicke and thin, vnfit for any Dame.
Yet not content, more to increase his shame,
When so she lagged, as she needs mote so,
He with his speare, that was to him great blame,
Would thumpe her forward, and inforce to goe,
Weeping to him in vaine, and making piteous woe.
Which when I saw, as they me passed by,
Much was I moued in indignant mind,
And gan to blame him for such cruelty
Towards a Ladie, whom with vsage kind
He rather should haue taken vp behind.
Wherewith he wroth, and full of proud disdaine,
Tooke in foule scorne, that I such fault did find,
And me in lieu thereof reuil'd againe,
Threatning to chastize me, as doth t'a chyld pertaine.
Which I no lesse disdayning, backe returned
His scornefull taunts vnto his teeth againe,
That he streight way with haughtie choler burned,
And with his speare strooke me one stroke or twaine;
Which I enforst to beare though to my paine,
Cast to requite, and with a slender dart,
Fellow of this I beare, throwne not in vaine,
Strooke him, as seemeth, vnderneath the hart,
That through the wound his spirit shortly did depart.
Much did Sir Calidore admyre his speach
Tempred so well, but more admyr'd the stroke
That through the mayles had made so strong a breach
Into his hart, and had so sternely wroke
His wrath on him, that first occasion broke.
Yet rested not, but further gan inquire
Of that same Ladie, whether what he spoke,
Were soothly so, and that th'vnrighteous ire
Of her owne knight, had giuen him his owne due hire.
Of all which, when as she could nought deny,
But cleard that stripling of th'imputed blame,
Sayd then Sir Calidore; Neither will I
Him charge with guilt, but rather doe quite clame:
For what he spake, for you he spake it, Dame;
And what he did, he did him selfe to saue:
Against both which that knight wrought knightlesse shame.
For knights and all men this by nature haue,
Towards all womenkind them kindly to behaue.
But sith that he is gone irreuocable,
Please it you Ladie, to vs to aread,
What cause could make him so dishonourable,
To driue you so on foot vnfit to tread,
And lackey by him, gainst all womanhead?
Certes Sir knight (sayd she) full loth I were
To rayse a lyuing blame against the dead:
But since it me concernes, my selfe to clere,
I will the truth discouer, as it chaunst whylere.
This day, as he and I together roade
Vpon our way, to which we weren bent,
We chaunst to come foreby a couert glade
Within a wood, whereas a Ladie gent
Sate with a knight in ioyous iolliment
Of their franke loues, free from all gealous spyes:
Faire was the Ladie sure, that mote content
An hart, not carried with too curious eyes,
And vnto him did shew all louely courtesyes.
Whom when my knight did see so louely faire,
He inly gan her louer to enuy,
And wish, that he part of his spoyle might share.
Whereto when as my presence he did spy
To be a let, he bad me by and by
For to alight: but when as I was loth,
My loues owne part to leaue so suddenly,
He with strong hand down fro[m] his steed me throw'th,
And with presumpteous powre against that knight streight go'th.
Vnarm'd all was the knight, as then more meete
For Ladies seruice, and for loues delight,
Then fearing any foeman there to meete:
Whereof he taking oddes, streight bids him dight
Himselfe to yeeld his loue, or else to fight.
Whereat the other starting vp dismayd,
Yet boldly answer'd, as he rightly might;
To leaue his loue he should be ill apayd,
In which he had good right gaynst all, that it gainesayd.
Yet since he was not presently in plight
Her to defend, or his to iustifie,
He him requested, as he was a knight,
To lend him day his better right to trie,
Or stay till he his armes, which were thereby,
Might lightly fetch. But he was fierce and whot,
Ne time would giue, nor any termes aby,
But at him flew, and with his speare him smot;
From which to thinke to saue himselfe, it booted not.
Meane while his Ladie, which this outrage saw,
Whilest they together for the quarrey stroue,
Into the couert did her selfe withdraw,
And closely hid her selfe within the groue.
My knight hers soone, as seemes, to daunger droue
And left sore wounded: but when her he mist,
He woxe halfe mad, and in that rage gan roue
And range through all the wood, where so he wist
She hidden was, and sought her so long, as him list.
But when as her he by no meanes could find,
After long search and chauff, he turned backe
Vnto the place, where me he left behind:
There gan he me to curse and ban, for lacke
Of that faire bootie, and with bitter wracke
To wreake on me the guilt of his owne wrong.
Of all which I yet glad to beare the packe,
Stroue to appease him, and perswaded long:
But still his passion grew more violent and strong.
Then as it were t'auenge his wrath on mee,
When forward we should fare, he flat refused
To take me vp (as this young man did see)
Vpon his steed, for no iust cause accused,
But forst to trot on foot, and foule misused,
Pounching me with the butt end of his speare,
In vaine complayning, to be so abused.
For he regarded neither playnt nor teare,
But more enforst my paine, the more my plaints to heare.
So passed we, till this young man vs met,
And being moou'd with pittie of my plight,
Spake, as was meet, for ease of my regret:
Whereof befell, what now is in your sight.
Now sure (then said Sir Calidore) and right
Me seemes, that him befell by his owne fault:
Who euer thinkes through confidence of might,
Or through support of count'nance proud and hault
To wrong the weaker, oft falles in his owne assault.
Then turning backe vnto that gentle boy,
Which had himselfe so stoutly well acquit;
Seeing his face so louely sterne and coy,
And hearing th'answeres of his pregnant wit,
He praysd it much, and much admyred it;
That sure he weend him borne of noble blood,
With whom those graces did so goodly fit:
And when he long had him beholding stood,
He burst into these words, as to him seemed good.
Faire gentle swayne, and yet as stout as fayre,
That in these woods amongst the Nymphs dost wonne,
Which daily may to thy sweete lookes repayre,
As they are wont vnto Latonaes sonne,
After his chace on woodie Cynthus donne:
Well may I certes such an one thee read,
As by thy worth thou worthily hast wonne,
Or surely borne of some Heroicke sead,
That in thy face appeares and gratious goodlyhead.
But should it not displease thee it to tell;
(Vnlesse thou in these woods thy selfe conceale,
For loue amongst the woodie Gods to dwell;)
I would thy selfe require thee to reueale,
For deare affection and vnfayned zeale,
Which to thy noble personage I beare,
And wish thee grow in worship and great weale.
For since the day that armes I first did reare,
I neuer saw in any greater hope appeare.
To whom then thus the noble youth; May be
Sir knight, that by discouering my estate,
Harme may arise vnweeting vnto me;
Nathelesse, sith ye so courteous seemed late,
To you I will not feare it to relate.
Then wote ye that I am a Briton borne,
Sonne of a King, how euer thorough fate
Or fortune I my countrie haue forlorne,
And lost the crowne, which should my head by right adorne.
And Tristram is my name, the onely heire
Of good king Meliogras which did rayne
In Cornewale, till that he through liues despeire
Vntimely dyde, before I did attaine
Ripe yeares of reason, my right to maintaine.
After whose death, his brother seeing mee
An infant, weake a kingdome to sustaine,
Vpon him tooke the roiall high degree,
And sent me, where him list, instructed for to bee.
The widow Queene my mother, which then hight
Faire Emiline, conceiuing then great feare
Of my fraile safetie, resting in the might
Of him, that did the kingly Scepter beare,
Whose gealous dread induring not a peare,
Is wont to cut off all, that doubt may breed,
Thought best away me to remoue somewhere
Into some forrein land, where as no need
Of dreaded daunger might his doubtfull humour feed.
So taking counsell of a wise man red,
She was by him aduiz'd, to send me quight
Out of the countrie wherein I was bred,
The which the fertile Lionesse is hight,
Into the land of Faerie, where no wight
Should weet of me, nor worke me any wrong.
To whose wise read she hearkning, sent me streight
Into this land, where I haue wond thus long,
Since I was ten yeares old, now growen to stature strong.
All which my daies I haue not lewdly spent,
Nor spilt the blossome of my tender yeares
In ydlesse, but as was conuenient,
Haue trayned bene with many noble feres
In gentle thewes, and such like seemely leres.
Mongst which my most delight hath alwaies been,
To hunt the saluage chace amongst my peres,
Of all that raungeth in the forrest greene;
Of which none is to me vnknowne, that eu'r was seene.
Ne is there hauke, which mantleth her on pearch,
Whether high towring, or accoasting low,
But I the measure of her flight doe search,
And all her pray, and all her diet know.
Such be our ioyes, which in these forrests grow:
Onely the vse of armes, which most I ioy,
And fitteth most for noble swayne to know,
I haue not tasted yet, yet past a boy,
And being now high time these strong ioynts to imploy.
Therefore, good Sir, sith now occasion fit
Doth fall, whose like hereafter seldome may,
Let me this craue, vnworthy though of it,
That ye will make me Squire without delay,
That from henceforth in batteilous array
I may beare armes, and learne to vse them right;
The rather since that fortune hath this day
Giuen to me the spoile of this dead knight,
These goodly gilden armes, which I haue won in fight.
All which when well Sir Calidore had heard,
Him much more now, then earst he gan admire,
For the rare hope which in his yeares appear'd,
And thus replide; Faire chyld, the high desire
To loue of armes, which in you doth aspire,
I may not certes without blame denie;
But rather wish, that some more noble hire,
(Though none more noble then is cheualrie,)
I had, you to reward with greater dignitie.
There him he causd to kneele, and made to sweare
Faith to his knight, and truth to Ladies all,
And neuer to be recreant, for feare
Of perill, or of ought that might befall:
So he him dubbed, and his Squire did call.
Full glad and ioyous then young Tristram grew,
Like as a flowre, whose silken leaues small,
Long shut vp in the bud from heauens vew,
At length breakes forth, and brode displayes his smyling hew.
Thus when they long had treated to and fro,
And Calidore betooke him to depart,
Chyld Tristram prayd, that he with him might goe
On his aduenture, vowing not to start,
But wayt on him in euery place and part.
Whereat Sir Calidore did much delight,
And greatly ioy'd at his so noble hart,
In hope he sure would proue a doughtie knight:
Yet for the time this answere he to him behight.
Glad would I surely be, thou courteous Squire,
To haue thy presence in my present quest,
That mote thy kindled courage set on fire,
And flame forth honour in thy noble brest:
But I am bound by vow, which I profest
To my dread Soueraine, when I it assayd,
That in atchieuement of her high behest,
I should no creature ioyne vnto mine ayde,
For thy I may not graunt, that ye so greatly prayde.
But since this Ladie is all desolate,
And needeth safegard now vpon her way,
Ye may doe well in this her needfull state
To succour her, from daunger of dismay;
That thankfull guerdon may to you repay.
The noble ympe of such new seruice fayne,
It gladly did accept, as he did say.
So taking courteous leaue, they parted twayne,
And Calidore forth passed to his former payne.
But Tristram then despoyling that dead knight
Of all those goodly implements of prayse,
Long fed his greedie eyes with the faire sight
Of the bright mettall, shyning like Sunne rayes;
Handling and turning them a thousand wayes.
And after hauing them vpon him dight,
He tooke that Ladie, and her vp did rayse
Vpon the steed of her owne late dead knight:
So with her marched forth, as she did him behight.
There to their fortune leaue we them awhile,
And turne we backe to good Sir Calidore;
Who ere he thence had traueild many a mile,
Came to the place, whereas ye heard afore
This knight, whom Tristram slew, had wounded sore
Another knight in his despiteous pryde;
There he that knight found lying on the flore,
With many wounds full perilous and wyde,
That all his garments, and the grasse in vermeill dyde.
And there beside him sate vpon the ground
His wofull Ladie, piteously complayning
With loud laments that most vnluckie stound,
And her sad selfe with carefull hand constrayning
To wype his wounds, and ease their bitter payning.
Which sorie sight when Calidore did vew
With heauie eyne, from teares vneath refrayning,
His mightie hart their mournefull case can rew,
And for their better comfort to them nigher drew.
Then speaking to the Ladie, thus he sayd:
Ye dolefull Dame, let not your griefe empeach
To tell, what cruell hand hath thus arayd
This knight vnarm'd, with so vnknightly breach
Of armes, that if I yet him nigh may reach,
I may auenge him of so foule despight.
The Ladie hearing his so courteous speach,
Gan reare her eyes as to the chearefull light,
And from her sory hart few heauie words forth sigh't.
In which she shew'd, how that discourteous knight
(Whom Tristram slew) them in that shadow found,
Ioying together in vnblam'd delight,
And him vnarm'd, as now he lay on ground,
Charg'd with his speare and mortally did wound,
Withouten cause, but onely her to reaue
From him, to whom she was for euer bound:
Yet when she fled into that couert greaue,
He her not finding, both them thus nigh dead did leaue.
When Calidore this ruefull storie had
Well vnderstood, he gan of her demand,
What manner wight he was, and how yclad,
Which had this outrage wrought with wicked hand.
She then, like as she best could vnderstand,
Him thus describ'd, to be of stature large,
Clad all in gilden armes, with azure band
Quartred athwart, and bearing in his targe
A Ladie on rough waues, row'd in a sommer barge.
Then gan Sir Calidore to ghesse streightway
By many signes, which she described had,
That this was he, whom Tristram earst did slay,
And to her said; Dame be no longer sad:
For he, that hath your Knight so ill bestad,
Is now him selfe in much more wretched plight;
These eyes him saw vpon the cold earth sprad,
The meede of his desert for that despight,
Which to your selfe he wrought, & to your loued knight.
Therefore faire Lady lay aside this griefe,
Which ye haue gathered to your gentle hart,
For that displeasure; and thinke what reliefe
Were best deuise for this your louers smart,
And how ye may him hence, and to what part
Conuay to be recur'd. She thankt him deare,
Both for that newes he did to her impart,
And for the courteous care, which he did beare
Both to her loue; and to her selfe in that sad dreare.
Yet could she not deuise by any wit,
How thence she might conuay him to some place.
For him to trouble she it thought vnfit,
That was a straunger to her wretched case;
And him to beare, she thought it thing too base.
Which when as he perceiu'd, he thus bespake;
Faire Lady let it not you seeme disgrace,
To beare this burden on your dainty backe;
My selfe will beare a part, coportion of your packe.
So off he did his shield, and downeward layd
Vpon the ground, like to an hollow beare;
And powring balme, which he had long puruayd,
Into his wounds, him vp thereon did reare,
And twixt them both with parted paines did beare,
Twixt life and death, not knowing what was donne.
Thence they him carried to a Castle neare,
In which a worthy auncient Knight did wonne:
Where what ensu'd, shall in next Canto be begonne.
Calidore brings Priscilla home,
Pursues the Blatant Beast:
Saues Serena, whilest Calepine
By Turpine is opprest.
T rue is, that whilome that good Poet sayd,
The gentle minde by gentle deeds is knowne.
For a man by nothing is so well bewrayd,
As by his manners, in which plaine is showne
Of what degree and what race he is growne.
For seldome seene, a trotting Stalion get
An ambling Colt, that is his proper owne:
So seldome seene, that one in basenesse set
Doth noble courage shew, with curteous manners met.
But euermore contrary hath bene tryde,
That gentle bloud will gentle manners breed;
As well may be in Calidore descryde,
By late ensample of that courteous deed,
Done to that wounded Knight in his great need,
Whom on his backe he bore, till he him brought
Vnto the Castle where they had decreed.
There of the Knight, the which that Castle ought,
To make abode that night he greatly was besought.
He was to weete a man of full ripe yeares,
That in his youth had beene of mickle might,
And borne great sway in armes amongst his peares:
But now weake age had dimd his candle light.
Yet was he courteous still to euery wight,
And loued all that did to armes incline.
And was the father of that wounded Knight,
Whom Calidore thus carried on his chine,
And Aldus was his name, and his sonnes Aladine.
Who when he saw his sonne so ill bedight,
With bleeding wounds, brought home vpon a Beare
By a faire Lady, and a straunger Knight,
Was inly touched with compassion deare,
And deare affection of so dolefull dreare,
That he these words burst forth; Ah sory boy,
Is this the hope that to my hoary heare
Thou brings? aie me, is this the timely ioy,
Which I expected long, now turnd to sad annoy?
Such is the weakenesse of all mortall hope;
So tickle is the state of earthly things,
That ere they come vnto their aymed scope,
They fall too short of our fraile reckonings,
And bring vs bale and bitter sorrowings,
In stead of comfort, which we should embrace:
This is the state of Keasars and of Kings.
Let none therefore, that is in meaner place,
Too greatly grieue at any his vnlucky case.
So well and wisely did that good old Knight
Temper his griefe, and turned it to cheare,
To cheare his guests, whom he had stayd that night,
And make their welcome to them well appeare:
That to Sir Calidore was easie geare;
But that faire Lady would be cheard for nought,
But sigh't and sorrow'd for her louer deare,
And inly did afflict her pensiue thought,
With thinking to what case her name should now be brought.
For she was daughter to a noble Lord,
Which dwelt thereby, who sought her to affy
To a great pere; but she did disaccord,
Ne could her liking to his loue apply,
But lou'd this fresh young Knight, who dwelt her ny,
The lusty Aladine, though meaner borne,
And of lesse liuelood and hability,
Yet full of valour, the which did adorne
His meanesse much, & make her th'others riches scorne.
So hauing both found fit occasion,
They met together in that luckelesse glade;
Where that proud Knight in his presumption
The gentle Aladine did earst inuade,
Being vnarm'd, and set in secret shade.
Whereof she now bethinking, gan t'aduize,
How great a hazard she at earst had made
Of her good fame, and further gan deuize,
How she the blame might salue with coloured disguize.
But Calidore with all good courtesie
Fain'd her to frolicke, and to put away
The pensiue fit of her melancholie;
And that old Knight by all meanes did assay,
To make them both as merry as he may.
So they the euening past, till time of rest,
When Calidore in seemly good array
Vnto his bowre was brought, and there vndrest,
Did sleepe all night through weary trauell of his quest.
But faire Priscilla (so that Lady hight)
Would to no bed, nor take no kindely sleepe,
But by her wounded loue did watch all night,
And all the night for bitter anguish weepe,
And with her teares his wounds did wash and steepe.
So well she washt them, and so well she watcht him,
That of the deadly swound, in which full deepe
He drenched was, she at the length dispacht him,
And droue away the stound, which mortally attacht him.
The morrow next, when day gan to vplooke,
He also gan vplooke with drery eye,
Like one that out of deadly dreame awooke:
Where when he saw his faire Priscilla by,
He deepely sigh't, and groaned inwardly,
To thinke of this ill state, in which she stood,
To which she for his sake had weetingly
Now brought her selfe, and blam'd her noble blood:
For first, next after life, he tendered her good.
Which she perceiuing, did with plenteous teares
His care more then her owne compassionate,
Forgetfull of her owne, to minde his feares:
So both conspiring, gan to intimate
Each others griefe with zeale affectionate,
And twixt them twaine with equall care to cast,
How to saue hole her hazarded estate;
For which the onely helpe now left them last
Seem'd to be Calidore: all other helpes were past.
Him they did deeme, as sure to them he seemed,
A courteous Knight, and full of faithfull trust:
Therefore to him their cause they best esteemed
Whole to commit, and to his dealing iust.
Earely, so soone as Titans beames forth brust
Through the thicke clouds, in which they steeped lay
All night in darkenesse, duld with yron rust,
Calidore rising vp as fresh as day,
Gan freshly him addresse vnto his former way.
But first him seemed fit, that wounded Knight
To visite, after this nights perillous passe,
And to salute him, if he were in plight,
And eke that Lady his faire louely lasse.
There he him found much better then he was,
And moued speach to him of things of course,
The anguish of his paine to ouerpasse:
Mongst which he namely did to him discourse,
Of former daies mishap, his sorrowes wicked sourse.
Of which occasion Aldine taking hold,
Gan breake to him the fortunes of his loue,
And all his disaduentures to vnfold;
That Calidore it dearly deepe did moue.
In th'end his kyndly courtesie to proue,
He him by all the bands of loue besought,
And as it mote a faithfull friend behoue,
To safeconduct his loue, and not for ought
To leaue, till to her fathers house he had her brought.
Sir Calidore his faith thereto did plight,
It to performe: so after little stay,
That she her selfe had to the iourney dight,
He passed forth with her in faire array,
Fearelesse, who ought did thinke, or ought did say,
Sith his own thought he knew most cleare from wite.
So as they past together on their way,
He can deuize this counter-cast of slight,
To giue faire colour to that Ladies cause in sight.
Streight to the carkasse of that Knight he went,
The cause of all this euill, who was slaine
The day before by iust auengement
Of noble Tristram, where it did remaine:
There he the necke thereof did cut in twaine,
And tooke with him the head, the signe of shame.
So forth he passed thorough that daies paine,
Till to that Ladies fathers house he came;
Most pensiue man, through feare, what of his childe became.
There he arriuing boldly, did present
The fearefull Lady to her father deare,
Most perfect pure, and guiltlesse innocent
Of blame, as he did on his Knighthood sweare,
Since first he saw her, and did free from feare
Of a discourteous Knight, who her had reft,
And by outragious force away did beare:
Witnesse thereof he shew'd his head there left,
And wretched life forlorne for vengement of his theft.
Most ioyfull man her sire was her to see,
And heare th'aduenture of her late mischaunce;
And thousand thankes to Calidore for fee
Of his large paines in her deliueraunce
Did yeeld; Ne lesse the Lady did aduaunce.
Thus hauing her restored trustily,
As he had vow'd, some small continuaunce
He there did make, and then most carefully
Vnto his first exploite he did him selfe apply.
So as he was pursuing of his quest
He chaunst to come whereas a iolly Knight,
In couert shade him selfe did safely rest,
To solace with his Lady in delight:
His warlike armes he had from him vndight:
For that him selfe he thought from daunger free,
And far from enuious eyes that mote him spight.
And eke the Lady was full faire to see,
And courteous withall, becomming her degree.
To whom Sir Calidore approaching nye,
Ere they were well aware of liuing wight,
Them much abasht, but more him selfe thereby,
That he so rudely did vppon them light,
And troubled had their quiet loues delight.
Yet since it was his fortune, not his fault,
Him selfe thereof he labour'd to acquite,
And pardon crau'd for his so rash assault,
That he gainst courtesie so fowly did default.
With which his gentle words and goodly wit
He soone allayd that Knights conceiu'd displeasure,
That he besought him downe by him to sit,
That they mote treat of things abrode at leasure;
And of aduentures, which had in his measure
Of so long waies to him befallen late.
So downe he sate, and with delightfull pleasure
His long aduentures gan to him relate,
Which he endured had through daungerous debate.
Of which whilest they discoursed both together,
The faire Serena (so his Lady hight)
Allur'd with myldnesse of the gentle wether,
And pleasaunce of the place, the which was dight
With diuers flowres distinct with rare delight,
Wandred about the fields, as liking led
Her wauering lust after her wandring sight,
To make a garland to adorne her hed,
Without suspect of ill or daungers hidden dred.
All sodainely out of the forrest nere
The Blatant Beast forth rushing vnaware,
Caught her thus loosely wandring here and there,
And in his wide great mouth away her bare,
Crying aloud to shew her sad misfare
Vnto the Knights, and calling oft for ayde;
Who with the horrour of her haplesse care
Hastily starting vp, like men dismayde,
Ran after fast, to reskue the distressed mayde.
The Beast with their pursuit incited more,
Into the wood was bearing her apace
For to haue spoyled her, when Calidore
Who was more light of foote and swift in chace,
Him ouertooke in middest of his race:
And fiercely charging him with all his might,
Forst to forgoe his pray there in the place,
And to betake him selfe to fearefull flight;
For he durst not abide with Calidore to fight.
Who nathelesse, when he the Lady saw
There left on ground, though in full euill plight,
Yet knowing that her Knight now neare did draw,
Staide not to succour her in that affright,
But follow'd fast the Monster in his flight:
Through woods and hils he follow'd him so fast,
That he nould let him breath nor gather spright,
But forst him gape and gaspe, with dread aghast,
As if his lungs and lites were nigh a sunder brast.
And now by this Sir Calepine, so hight,
Came to the place, where he his Lady found
In dolorous dismay and deadly plight,
All in gore bloud there tumbled on the ground,
Hauing both sides through grypt with griesly wound.
His weapons soone from him he threw away,
And stouping downe to her in drery swound,
Vprear'd her from the ground whereon she lay,
And in his tender armes her forced vp to stay.
So well he did his busie paines apply,
That the faint sprite he did reuoke againe,
To her fraile mansion of mortality.
Then vp he tooke her twixt his armes twaine,
And setting on his steede, her did sustaine
With carefull hands soft footing her beside,
Till to some place of rest they mote attaine,
Where she in safe assuraunce mote abide,
Till she recured were of those her woundes wide.
Now when as Phoebus with his fiery waine
Vnto his Inne began to draw apace;
Tho wexing weary of that toylesome paine,
In trauelling on foote so long a space,
Not wont on foote with heauy armes to trace,
Downe in a dale forby a riuers syde,
He chaunst to spie a faire and stately place,
To which he meant his weary steps to guyde,
In hope there for his loue some succour to prouyde.
But comming to the riuers side, he found
That hardly passable on foote it was:
Therefore there still he stood as in a stound,
Ne wist which way he through the foord mote pas.
Thus whilest he was in this distressed case,
Deuising what to doe, he nigh espyde
An armed Knight approaching to the place,
With a faire Lady lincked by his syde,
The which themselues prepard thorough the foord to ride.
Whom Calepine saluting (as became)
Besought of courtesie in that his neede,
For safe conducting of his sickely Dame,
Through that same perillous foord with better heede,
To take him vp behinde vpon his steed:
To whom that other did this taunt returne.
Perdy thou peasant Knight, mightst rightly reed
Me then to be full base and euill borne,
If I would beare behinde a burden of such scorne.
But as thou hast thy steed forlorne with shame,
So fare on foote till thou another gayne,
And let thy Lady likewise doe the same.
Or beare her on thy backe with pleasing payne,
And proue thy manhood on the billowes vayne.
With which rude speach his Lady much displeased,
Did him reproue, yet could him not restrayne,
And would on her owne Palfrey him haue eased,
For pitty of his Dame, whom she saw so diseased.
Sir Calepine her thanckt, yet inly wroth
Against her Knight, her gentlenesse refused,
And carelesly into the riuer goth,
As in despight to be so fowle abused
Of a rude churle, whom often he accused
Of fowle discourtesie, vnfit for Knight;
And strongly wading through the waues vnused,
With speare in th'one hand, stayd him selfe vpright,
With th'other staide his Lady vp with steddy might.
And all the while, that same discourteous Knight,
Stood on the further bancke beholding him,
At whose calamity, for more despight
He laught, and mockt to see him like to swim.
But when as Calepine came to the brim,
And saw his carriage past that perill well,
Looking at that same Carle with count'nance grim,
His heart with vengeaunce inwardly did swell,
And forth at last did breake in speaches sharpe and fell.
Vnknightly Knight, the blemish of that name,
And blot of all that armes vppon them take,
Which is the badge of honour and of fame,
Loe I defie thee, and here challenge make,
That thou for euer doe those armes forsake,
And be for euer held a recreant Knight,
Vnlesse thou dare for thy deare Ladies sake,
And for thine owne defence on foote alight,
To iustifie thy fault gainst me in equall fight.
The dastard, that did heare him selfe defyde,
Seem'd not to weigh his threatfull words at all,
But laught them out, as if his greater pryde
Did scorne the challenge of so base a thrall:
Or had no courage, or else had no gall.
So much the more was Calepine offended,
That him to no reuenge he forth could call,
But both his challenge and him selfe contemned,
Ne cared as a coward so to be condemned.
But he nought weighing what he sayd or did,
Turned his steede about another way,
And with his Lady to the Castle rid,
Where was his won; ne did the other stay,
But after went directly as he may,
For his sicke charge some harbour there to seeke;
Where he arriuing with the fall of day,
Drew to the gate, and there with prayers meeke,
And myld entreaty lodging did for her beseeke.
But the rude Porter that no manners had,
Did shut the gate against him in his face,
And entraunce boldly vnto him forbad.
Nathelesse the Knight now in so needy case,
Gan him entreat euen with submission base,
And humbly praid to let them in that night:
Who to him aunswer'd, that there was no place
Of lodging fit for any errant Knight,
Vnlesse that with his Lord he formerly did fight.
Full loth am I (quoth he) as now at earst,
When day is spent, and rest vs needeth most,
And that this Lady, both whose sides are pearst
With wounds, is ready to forgo the ghost:
Ne would I gladly combate with mine host,
That should to me such curtesie afford,
Vnlesse that I were thereunto enforst.
But yet aread to me, how hight thy Lord,
That doth thus strongly ward the Castle of the ford.
His name (quoth he) if that thou list to learne,
Is hight Sir Turpine, one of mickle might,
And manhood rare, but terrible and stearne
In all assaies to euery errant Knight,
Because of one, that wrought him fowle despight.
Ill seemes (sayd he) if he so valiaunt be,
That he should be so sterne to stranger wight:
For seldome yet did liuing creature see,
That curtesie and manhood euer disagree.
But go thy waies to him, and fro me say,
That here is at his gate an errant Knight,
That house-rome craues, yet would be loth t'assay
The proofe of battell, now in doubtfull night,
Or curtesie with rudenesse to requite:
Yet if he needes will fight, craue leaue till morne,
And tell withall, the lamentable plight,
In which this Lady languisheth forlorne,
That pitty craues, as he of woman was yborne.
The groome went streight way in, and to his Lord
Declar'd the message, which that Knight did moue;
Who sitting with his Lady then at bord,
Not onely did not his demaund [ap]proue,
But both himselfe reuil'd, and eke his loue;
Albe his Lady, that Blandina hight,
Him of vngentle vsage did [re]proue
And earnestly entreated that they might
Finde fauour to be lodged there for that same night.
Yet would he not perswaded be for ought,
Ne from his currish will awhit reclame.
Which answer when the groome returning, brought
To Calepine, his heart did inly flame
With wrathfull fury for so foule a shame,
That he could not thereof auenged bee:
But most for pitty of his dearest Dame,
Whom now in deadly daunger he did see;
Yet had no meanes to comfort, nor procure her glee.
But all in vaine; for why, no remedy
He saw, the present mischiefe to redresse,
But th'vtmost end perforce for to aby,
Which that nights fortune would for him addresse.
So downe he tooke his Lady in distresse,
And layd her vnderneath a bush to sleepe,
Couer'd with cold, and wrapt in wretchednesse,
Whiles he him selfe all night did nought but weepe,
And wary watch about her for her safegard keepe.
The morrow next, so soone as ioyous day
Did shew it selfe in sunny beames bedight,
Serena full of dolorous dismay,
Twixt darkenesse dread, and hope of liuing light,
Vprear'd her head to see that chearefull sight.
Then Calepine, how euer inly wroth,
And greedy to auenge that vile despight,
Yet for the feeble Ladies sake, full loth
To make there lenger stay, forth on his iourney goth.
He goth on foote all armed by her side,
Vpstaying still her selfe vppon her steede,
Being vnhable else alone to ride;
So sore her sides, so much her wounds did bleede:
Till that at length, in his extreamest neede,
He chaunst far off an armed Knight to spy,
Pursuing him apace with greedy speede,
Whom well he wist to be some enemy,
That meant to make aduantage of his misery.
Wherefore he stayd, till that he nearer drew,
To weet what issue would thereof betyde,
Tho whenas he approched nigh in vew,
By certaine signes he plainely him descryde,
To be the man, that with such scornefull pryde
Had him abusde, and shamed yesterday;
Therefore misdoubting, least he should misguyde
His former malice to some new assay,
He cast to keepe him selfe so safely as he may.
By this the other came in place likewise,
And couching close his speare and all his powre,
As bent to some malicious enterprise,
He bad him stand, t'abide the bitter stoure
Of his sore vengeaunce, or to make auoure
Of the lewd words and deedes, which he had done:
With that ran at him, as he would deuoure
His life attonce; who nought could do, but shun
The perill of his pride, or else be ouerrun.
Yet he him still pursew'd from place to place,
Will full intent him cruelly to kill;
And like a wilde goate round about did chace,
Flying the fury of his bloudy will.
But his best succour and refuge was still
Behinde his Ladies backe, who to him cryde,
And called oft with prayers loud and shrill,
As euer he to Lady was affyde,
To spare her Knight, and rest with reason pacifyde.
But he the more thereby enraged was,
And with more eager felnesse him pursew'd:
So that at length, after long weary chace,
Hauing by chaunce a close aduantage vew'd,
He ouer raught him, hauing long eschew'd
His violence in vaine, and with his spere
Strooke through his shoulder, that the blood ensew'd
In great aboundance, as a well it were,
That forth out of an hill fresh gushing did appere.
Yet ceast he not for all that cruell wound,
But chaste him still, for all his Ladies cry;
Not satisfyde till on the fatall ground
He saw his life powrd forth dispiteously:
The which was certes in great ieopardy,
Had not a wondrous chaunce his reskue wrought,
And saued from his cruell villany.
Such chaunces oft exceed all humaine thought:
That in another Canto shall to end be brought.
Calepine by a saluage man
from Turpine reskewed is;
And whylest an Infant from a Beare
he saues, his loue doth misse.
L Ike as a ship with dreadfull storme long tost,
Hauing spent all her mastes and her ground-hold,
Now farre from harbour likely to be lost,
At last some fisher barke doth neare behold,
That giueth comfort to her courage cold.
Such was the state of this most courteous knight
Being oppressed by that faytour bold,
That he remayned in most perilous plight,
And his sad Ladie left in pitifull affright.
Till that by fortune, passing all foresight,
A saluage man, which in those woods did wonne,
Drawne with that Ladies loud and piteous shright,
Toward the same incessantly did ronne,
To vnderstand what there was to be donne.
There he this most discourteous crauen found,
As fiercely yet, as when he first begonne,
Chasing the gentle Calepine around,
Ne sparing him the more for all his grieuous wound.
The saluage man, that neuer till this houre
Did taste of pittie, neither gentlesse knew,
Seeing his sharpe assault and cruell stoure
Was much emmoued at his perils vew,
That euen his ruder hart began to rew,
And feele compassion of his euill plight
Against his foe that did him so pursew:
From whom he meant to free him, if he might,
And him auenge of that so villenous despight.
Yet armes or weapon had he none to fight,
Ne knew the vse of warlike instruments,
Saue such as sudden rage him lent to smite,
But naked without needfull vestiments,
To clad his corpse with meete habiliments,
He cared not for dint of sword nor speere,
No more then for the stroke of strawes or bents:
For from his mothers wombe, which him did beare
He was invulnerable made by Magicke leare.
He stayed not t'aduize, which way were best
His foe t'assayle, or how himselfe to gard,
But with fierce fury and with force infest
Vpon him ran; who being well prepard,
His first assault full warily did ward,
And with the push of his sharp-pointed speare
Full on the breast him strooke, so strong and hard,
That forst him backe recoyle, and reele areare;
Yet in his bodie made no wound nor bloud appeare.
With that the wyld man more enraged grew,
Like to a Tygre that hath mist his pray,
And with mad mood againe vpon him flew,
Regarding neither speare, that mote him flay,
Nor his fierce steed, that mote him much dismay,
The saluage nation doth all dread despize:
Tho on his shield he griple hold did lay,
And held the same so hard, that by no wize
He could him force to loose, or leaue his enterprize.
Long did he wrest and wring it to and fro,
And euery way did try, but all in vaine:
For he would not his greedie grype forgoe,
But hayld and puld with all his might and maine,
That from his steed him nigh he drew againe.
Who hauing now no vse of his long speare,
So nigh at hand, nor force his shield to straine,
Both speare and shield, as things that needlesse were,
He quite forsooke, and fled himselfe away for feare.
But after him the wyld man ran apace
And him pursewed with importune speed,
(For he was swift as any Bucke in chace)
And had he not in his extreamest need,
Bene helped through the swiftnesse of his steed,
He had him ouertaken in his flight.
Who euer, as he saw him nigh succeed,
Gan cry aloud with horrible affright,
And shrieked out, a thing vncomely for a knight.
But when the Saluage saw his labour vaine,
In following of him, that fled so fast,
He wearie woxe, and backe return'd againe
With speede vnto the place, whereas he last
Had left that couple, nere their vtmost cast.
There he that knight full sorely bleeding found
And eke the Ladie fearefully aghast,
Both for the perill of the present stound,
And also for the sharpnesse of her rankling wound.
For though she were right glad, so rid to bee
From that vile lozell, which her late offended,
Yet now no lesse encombrance she did see,
And perill by this saluage man pretended;
Gainst whom she saw no meanes to be defended,
By reason that her knight was wounded sore.
Therefore her selfe she wholy recommended
To Gods sole grace, whom she did oft implore,
To send her succour, being of all hope forlore.
But the wyld man, contrarie to her feare,
Came to her creeping like a fawning hound,
And by rude tokens made to her appeare
His deepe compassion of her dolefull stound,
Kissing his hands, and crouching to the ground;
For other language had he none nor speach,
But a soft murmure, and confused sound
Of senselesse words, which nature did him teach,
T'expresse his passions, which his reason did empeach.
And comming likewise to the wounded knight,
When he beheld the streames of purple blood
Yet flowing fresh, as moued with the sight,
He made great mone after his saluage mood:
And running streight into the thickest wood,
A certaine herbe from thence vnto him brought,
Whose vertue he by vse well vnderstood:
The iuyce whereof into his wound he wrought,
And stopt the bleeding straight, ere he it staunched thought.
Then taking vp that Recreants shield and speare,
Which earst he left, he signes vnto them made,
With him to wend vnto his wonning neare:
To which he easily did them perswade.
Farre in the forrest by a hollow glade,
Couered with mossie shrubs, which spredding brode
Did vnderneath them make a gloomy shade;
Where foot of liuing creature neuer troade,
Ne scarse wyld beasts durst come, there was this wights abode.
Thether he brought these vnacquainted guests;
To whom faire semblance, as he could, he shewed
By signes, by lookes, and all his other gests.
But the bare ground, with hoarie mosse bestrowed,
Must be their bed, their pillow was vnsowed,
And the frutes of the forrest was their feast:
For their bad Stuard neither plough'd nor sowed,
Ne fed on flesh, ne euer of wyld beast
Did taste the bloud, obaying natures first beheast.
Yet howsoeuer base and meane it were,
They tooke it well, and thanked God for all,
Which had them freed from that deadly feare,
And sau'd from being to that caitiue thrall.
Here they of force (as fortune now did fall)
Compelled were themselues a while to rest,
Glad of that easement, though it were but small;
That hauing there their wounds awhile redrest,
They mote the abler be to passe vnto the rest.
During which time, that wyld man did apply
His best endeuour, and his daily paine,
In seeking all the woods both farre and nye
For herbes to dresse their wounds; still seeming faine,
When ought he did, that did their lyking gaine.
So as ere long he had that knightes wound
Recured well, and made him whole againe:
But that same Ladies hurts no herbe he found,
Which could redresse, for it was inwardly vnsound.
Now when as Calepine was woxen strong,
Vpon a day he cast abrode to wend,
To take the ayre, and heare the thrushes song,
Vnarm'd, as fearing neither foe nor frend,
And without sword his person to defend.
There him befell, vnlooked for before,
An hard aduenture with vnhappie end;
A cruell Beare, the which an infant bore
Betwixt his bloodie iawes, besprinckled all with gore.
The litle babe did loudly scrike and squall,
And all the woods with piteous plaints did fill,
As if his cry did meane for helpe to call
To Calepine, whose eares those shrieches shrill
Percing his hart with pities point did thrill;
That after him he ran with zealous haste,
To rescue th'infant, ere he did him kill:
Whom though he saw now somewhat ouerpast,
Yet by the cry he follow'd, and pursewed fast.
Well then him chaunst his heauy armes to want,
Whose burden mote empeach his needfull speed,
And hinder him from libertie to pant:
For hauing long time, as his daily weed,
Them wont to weare, and wend on foot for need,
Now wanting them he felt himselfe so light,
That like an Hauke, which feeling her selfe freed
From bels and iesses, which did let her flight,
Him seem'd his feet did fly, and in their speed delight.
So well he sped him, that the wearie Beare
Ere long he ouertooke, and forst to stay,
And without weapon him assayling neare,
Compeld him soone the spoyle adowne to lay.
Wherewith the beast enrag'd to loose his pray,
Vpon him turned, and with greedie force
And furie, to be crossed in his way,
Gaping full wyde, did thinke without remorse
To be aueng'd on him, and to deuoure his corse.
But the bold knight no whit thereat dismayd,
But catching vp in hand a ragged stone,
Which lay thereby (so fortune him did ayde)
Vpon him ran, and thrust it all attone
Into his gaping throte, that made him grone
And gaspe for breath, that he nigh choked was,
Being vnable to digest that bone;
Ne could it vpward come, nor downward passe,
Ne could he brooke the coldnesse of the stony masse.
Whom when as he thus combred did behold,
Stryuing in vaine that nigh his bowels brast,
He with him closd, and laying mightie hold
Vpon his throte, did gripe his gorge so fast,
That wanting breath, him downe to ground he cast;
And then oppressing him with vrgent paine,
Ere long enforst to breath his vtmost blast,
Gnashing his cruell teeth at him in vaine,
And threatning his sharpe clawes, now wanting powre to straine.
Then tooke he vp betwixt his armes twaine
The litle babe, sweet relickes of his pray;
Whom pitying to heare so sore complaine,
From his soft eyes the teares he wypt away,
And from his face the filth that did it ray,
And euery litle limbe he searcht around,
And euery part, that vnder sweathbands lay,
Least that the beasts sharpe teeth had any wound
Made in his tender flesh, but whole them all he found.
So hauing all his bands againe vptyde,
He with him thought backe to returne againe:
But when he lookt about on euery syde,
To weet which way were best to entertaine,
To bring him to the place, where he would faine,
He could no path nor tract of foot descry,
Ne by inquirie learne, nor ghesse by ayme.
For nought but woods and forrests farre and nye,
That all about did close the compasse of his eye.
Much was he then encombred, ne could tell
Which way to take: now West he went a while,
Then North; then neither, but as fortune fell.
So vp and downe he wandred many a mile,
With wearie trauell and vncertaine toile,
Yet nought the nearer to his iourneys end;
And euermore his louely litle spoile
Crying for food, did greatly him offend.
So all that day in wandring vainely he did spend.
At last about the setting of the Sunne,
Him selfe out of the forest he did wynd,
And by good fortune the plaine champion wonne:
Where looking all about, where he mote fynd
Some place of succour to content his mynd,
At length he heard vnder the forrests syde
A voice, that seemed of some woman kynd,
Which to her selfe lamenting loudly cryde,
And oft complayn'd of fate, and Fortune oft defyde.
To whom approching, when as she perceiued
A stranger wight in place, her plaint she stayd,
As if she doubted to haue bene deceiued,
Or loth to let her sorrowes be bewrayd.
Whom when as Calepine saw so dismayd,
He to her drew, and with faire blandishment
Her chearing vp, thus gently to her sayd;
What be you wofull Dame, which thus lament,
And for what cause declare, so mote ye not repent?
To whom she thus, What need me Sir to tell,
That which your selfe haue earst ared so right?
A wofull dame ye haue me termed well;
So much more wofull, as my wofull plight
Cannot redressed be by liuing wight.
Nathlesse (quoth he) if need doe not you bynd,
Doe it disclose, to ease your grieued spright:
Oftimes it haps, that sorrowes of the mynd
Find remedie vnsought, which seeking cannot fynd.
Then thus began the lamentable Dame;
Sith then ye needs will know the griefe I hoord,
I am th'vnfortunate Matilde by name,
The wife of bold Sir Bruin, who is Lord
Of all this land, late conquer'd by his sword
From a great Gyant, called Cormoraunt;
Whom he did ouerthrow by yonder foord,
And in three battailes did so deadly daunt,
That he dare not returne for all his daily vaunt.
So is my Lord now seiz'd of all the land,
As in his fee, with peaceable estate,
And quietly doth hold it in his hand,
Ne any dares with him for it debate.
But to these happie fortunes, cruell Fate
Hath ioyn'd one euill, which doth ouerthrow
All these our ioyes, and all our blisse abate;
And like in time to further ill to grow,
And all this land with endlesse losse to ouerflow.
For th'heauens enuying our prosperitie,
Haue not vouchsaft to graunt vnto vs twaine
The gladfull blessing of posteritie,
Which we might see after our selues remaine
In th'heritage of our vnhappie paine:
So that for want of heires it to defend,
All is in time like to returne againe
To that foule feend, who dayly doth attend
To leape into the same after our liues end.
But most my Lord is grieued herewithall,
And makes exceeding mone, when he does thinke
That all this land vnto his foe shall fall,
For which he long in vaine did sweat and swinke,
That now the same he greatly doth forthinke.
Yet was it sayd, there should to him a sonne
Be gotten, not begotten, which should drinke
And dry vp all the water, which doth ronne
In the next brooke, by who[m] that feend shold be fordonne.
Well hop't he then, when this was propheside,
That from his sides some noble chyld should rize,
The which through fame should farre be magnifide,
And this proud gyant should with braue emprize
Quite ouerthrow, who now ginnes to despize
The good Sir Bruin, growing farre in yeares;
Who thinkes from me his sorrow all doth rize.
Lo this my cause of griefe to you appeares;
For which I thus doe mourne, and poure forth ceaselesse teares.
Which when he heard, he inly touched was
With tender ruth for her vnworthy griefe:
And when he had deuized of her case,
He gan in mind conceiue a fit reliefe
For all her paine, if please her make the priefe.
And hauing cheared her, thus said; faire Dame,
In euils counsell is the comfort chiefe,
Which though I be not wise enough to frame,
Yet as I well it meane, vouchsafe it without blame.
If that the cause of this your languishment
Be lacke of children, to supply your place,
Lo how good fortune doth to you present
This litle babe, of sweete and louely face,
And spotlesse spirit, in which ye may enchace
What euer formes ye list thereto apply,
Being now soft and fit them to embrace;
Whether ye list him traine in cheualry,
Or noursle vp in lore of learn'd Philosophy.
And certes it hath oftentimes bene seene,
That of the like, whose linage was vnknowne,
More braue and noble knights haue raysed beene,
As their victorious deedes haue often showen,
Being with fame through many Nations blowen,
Then those, which haue bene dandled in the lap.
Therefore some thought, that those braue imps were sowen
Here by the Gods, and fed with heauenly sap,
That made them grow so high t'all honorable hap.
The Ladie hearkning to his sensefull speach,
Found nothing that he said, vnmeet nor geason,
Hauing oft seene it tryde, as he did teach.
Therefore inclyning to his goodly reason,
Agreeing well both with the place and season,
She gladly did of that same babe accept,
As of her owne by liuerey and seisin,
And hauing ouer it a litle wept,
She bore it thence, and euer as her owne it kept.
Right glad was Calepine to be so rid
Of his young charge, whereof he skilled nought:
Ne she lesse glad; for she so wisely did,
And with her husband vnder hand so wrought,
That when that infant vnto him she brought,
She made him thinke it surely was his owne,
And it in goodly thewes so well vpbrought,
That it became a famous knight well knowne,
And did right noble deedes, the which elswhere are showne.
But Calepine, now being left alone
Vnder the greenewoods side in sorie plight,
Withouten armes or steede to ride vpon,
Or house to hide his head from heauens spight,
Albe that Dame by all the meanes she might,
Him oft desired home with her to wend,
And offred him, his courtesie to requite,
Both horse and armes, and what so else to lend,
Yet he them all refusd, though thankt her as a frend.
And for exceeding griefe which inly grew,
That he his loue so lucklesse now had lost,
On the cold ground, maugre himselfe he threw,
For fell despight, to be so sorely crost;
And there all night himselfe in anguish tost,
Vowing, that neuer he in bed againe
His limbes would rest, ne lig in ease embost,
Till that his Ladies sight he mote attaine,
Or vnderstand, that she in safetie did remaine.
The saluage serues Matilda well
till she Prince Arthure fynd,
Who her together with his Squyre
with th'Hermit leaues behynd.
O What an easie thing is to descry
The gentle bloud, how euer it be wrapt
In sad misfortunes foule deformity,
And wretched sorrowes, which haue often hapt?
For howsoeuer it may grow mis-shapt,
Like this wyld man, being vndisciplynd,
That to all vertue it may seeme vnapt,
Yet will it shew some sparkes of gentle mynd,
And at the last breake forth in his owne proper kynd.
That plainely may in this wyld man be red,
Who though he were still in this desert wood,
Mongst saluage beasts, both rudely borne and bred,
Ne euer saw faire guize, ne learned good,
Yet shewd some token of his gentle blood,
By gentle vsage of that wretched Dame.
For certes he was borne of noble blood,
How euer by hard hap he hether came;
As ye may know, when time shall be to tell the same.
Who when as now long time he lacked had
The good Sir Calepine, that farre was strayd,
Did wexe exceeding sorrowfull and sad,
As he of some misfortune were afrayd:
And leauing there this Ladie all dismayd,
Went forth streightway into the forrest wyde,
To seeke, if he perchance a sleepe were layd,
Or what so else were vnto him betyde:
He sought him farre and neare, yet him no where he spyde.
Tho backe returning to that sorie Dame,
He shewed semblant of exceeding mone,
By speaking signes, as he them best could frame;
Now wringing both his wretched hands in one,
Now beating his hard head vpon a stone,
That ruth it was to see him so lament.
By which she well perceiuing, what was done,
Gan teare her hayre, and all her garments rent,
And beat her breast, and piteously her selfe torment.
Vpon the ground her selfe she fiercely threw,
Regardlesse of her wounds, yet bleeding rife,
That with their bloud did all the flore imbrew,
As if her breast new launcht with murdrous knife,
Would streight dislodge the wretched wearie life.
There she long groueling, and deepe groning lay,
As if her vitall powers were at strife
With stronger death, and feared their decay,
Such were this Ladies pangs and dolorous assay.
Whom when the Saluage saw so sore distrest,
He reared her vp from the bloudie ground,
And sought by all the meanes, that he could best,
Her to recure out of that stony swound,
And staunch the bleeding of her dreary wound.
Yet nould she be recomforted for nought,
Ne cease her sorrow and impatient stound,
But day and night did vexe her carefull thought,
And euer more and more her owne affliction wrought.
At length, when as no hope of his retourne
She saw now left, she cast to leaue the place,
And wend abrode, though feeble and forlorne,
To seeke some comfort in that sorie case.
His steede now strong through rest so long a space,
Well as she could, she got, and did bedight,
And being thereon mounted, forth did pace,
Withouten guide, her to conduct aright,
Or gard her to defend from bold oppressors might.
Whom when her Host saw readie to depart,
He would not suffer her alone to fare,
But gan himselfe addresse to take her part.
Those warlike armes, which Calepine whyleare
Had left behind, he gan eftsoones prepare,
And put them all about himselfe vnfit,
His shield, his helmet, and his curats bare.
But without sword vpon his thigh to sit:
Sir Calepine himselfe away had hidden it.
So forth they traueld an vneuen payre,
That mote to all men seeme an vncouth sight;
A saluage man matcht with a Ladie fayre,
That rather seem'd the conquest of his might,
Gotten by spoyle, then purchaced aright.
But he did her attend most carefully,
And faithfully did serue both day and night,
Withouten thought of shame or villeny,
Ne euer shewed signe of foule disloyalty.
Vpon a day as on their way they went,
It chaunst some furniture about her steed
To be disordred by some accident:
Which to redresse, she did th'assistance need
Of this her groome, which he by signes did reede;
And streight his combrous armes aside did lay
Vpon the ground, withouten doubt or dreed,
And in his homely wize began to assay
T'amend what was amisse, and put in right aray.
Bout which whilest he was busied thus hard,
Lo where a knight together with his squire,
All arm'd to point came ryding thetherward,
Which seemed by their portance and attire,
To be two errant knights, that did inquire
After aduentures, where they mote them get.
Those were to weet (if that ye it require)
Prince Arthur and young Timias, which met
By straunge occasion, that here needs forth be set.
After that Timias had againe recured
The fauour of Belphebe, (as ye heard)
And of her grace did stand againe assured,
To happie blisse he was full high vprear'd,
Nether of enuy, nor of chaunge afeard,
Though many foes did him maligne therefore,
And with vniust detraction him did beard;
Yet he himselfe so well and wisely bore,
That in her soueraine lyking he dwelt euermore.
But of them all, which did his ruine seeke
Three mightie en'mies did him most despight,
Three mightie ones, and cruell minded eeke,
That him not onely sought by open might
To ouerthrow, but to supplant by slight.
The first of them by name was cald Despetto,
Exceeding all the rest in powre and hight;
The second not so strong but wise, Decetto;
The third nor strong nor wise, but spightfullest Defetto.
Oftimes their sundry powres they did employ,
And seuerall deceipts, but all in vaine:
For neither they by force could him destroy,
Ne yet entrap in treasons subtill traine.
Therefore conspiring all together plaine,
They did their counsels now in one compound;
Where singled forces faile, conioynd may gaine.
The Blatant Beast the fittest meanes they found,
To worke his vtter shame, and throughly him confound.
Vpon a day as they the time did waite,
When he did raunge the wood for saluage game,
They sent that Blatant Beast to be a baite,
To draw him from his deare beloued dame,
Vnwares into the daunger of defame.
For well they wist, that Squire to be so bold,
That no one beast in forrest wylde or tame,
Met him in chase, but he it challenge would,
And plucke the pray oftimes out of their greedy hould.
The hardy boy, as they deuised had,
Seeing the vgly Monster passing by,
Vpon him set, of perill nought adrad,
Ne skilfull of the vncouth ieopardy;
And charged him so fierce and furiously,
That his great force vnable to endure,
He forced was to turne from him and fly:
Yet ere he fled, he with his tooth impure
Him heedlesse bit, the whiles he was thereof secure.
Securely he did after him pursew,
Thinking by speed to ouertake his flight;
Who through thicke woods and brakes & briers him drew,
To weary him the more, and waste his spight,
So that he now has almost spent his spright.
Till that at length vnto a woody glade
He came, whose couert stopt his further sight,
There his three foes shrowded in guilefull shade,
Out of their ambush broke, and gan him to inuade.
Sharpely they all attonce did him assaile,
Burning with inward rancour and despight,
And heaped strokes did round about him haile
With so huge force, that seemed nothing might
Beare off their blowes, from percing thorough quite.
Yet he them all so warily did ward,
That none of them in his soft flesh did bite,
And all the while his backe for best safegard,
He lent against a tree, that backeward onset bard.
Like a wylde Bull, that being at a bay,
Is bayted of a mastiffe, and a hound,
And a curre-dog; that doe him sharpe assay
On euery side, and beat about him round;
But most that curre barking with bitter sownd,
And creeping still behinde, doth him incomber,
That in his chauffe he digs the trampled ground,
And threats his horns, and bellowes like the thonder,
So did that Squire his foes disperse, and driue asonder.
Him well behoued so; for his three foes
Sought to encompasse him on euery side,
And dangerously did round about enclose.
But most of all Defetto him annoyde,
Creeping behinde him still to haue destroyde:
So did Decetto eke him circumuent,
But stout Despetto in his greater pryde,
Did front him face to face against him bent,
Yet he them all withstood, and often made relent.
Till that at length nigh tyrd with former chace,
And weary now with carefull keeping ward,
He gan to shrinke, and somewhat to giue place,
Full like ere long to haue escaped hard;
When as vnwares he in the forrest heard
A trampling steede, that with his neighing fast
Did warne his rider be vppon his gard;
With noise whereof the Squire now nigh aghast,
Reuiued was, and sad dispaire away did cast.
Eftsoones he spide a Knight approching nye,
Who seeing one in so great daunger set
Mongst many foes, him selfe did faster hye;
To reskue him, and his weake part abet,
For pitty so to see him ouerset.
Whom soone as his three enemies did vew,
They fled, and fast into the wood did get:
Him booted not to thinke them to pursew,
The couert was so thicke, that did no passage shew.
Then turning to that swaine, him well he knew
To be his Timias, his owne true Squire,
Whereof exceeding glad, he to him drew,
And him embracing twixt his armes entire,
Him thus bespake; My liefe, my lifes desire,
Why haue ye me alone thus long yleft?
Tell me what worlds despight, or heauens yre
Hath you thus long away from me bereft?
Where haue ye all this while bin wandring, where bene weft?
With that he sighed deepe for inward tyne:
To whom the Squire nought aunswered againe,
But shedding few soft teares from tender eyne,
His deare affect with silence did restraine,
And shut vp all his plaint in priuy paine.
There they awhile some gracious speaches spent,
As to them seemed fit time to entertaine.
After all which vp to their steedes they went,
And forth together rode a comely couplement.
So now they be arriued both in sight
Of this wyld man, whom they full busie found
About the sad Serena things to dight,
With those braue armours lying on the ground,
That seem'd the spoile of some right well renownd.
Which when that Squire beheld, he to them stept,
Thinking to take them from that hylding hound:
But he it seeing, lightly to him lept,
And sternely with strong hand it from his handling kept.
Gnashing his grinded teeth with griesly looke,
And sparkling fire out of his furious eyne,
Him with his fist vnwares on th'head he strooke,
That made him downe vnto the earth encline;
Whence soone vpstarting much he gan repine,
And laying hand vpon his wrathfull blade,
Thought therewithall forthwith him to haue slaine,
Who it perceiuing, hand vpon him layd,
And greedily him griping, his auengement stayd.
With that aloude the faire Serena cryde
Vnto the Knight, them to dispart in twaine:
Who to them stepping did them soone diuide,
And did from further violence restraine,
Albe the wyld-man hardly would refraine.
Then gan the Prince, of her for to demand,
What and from whence she was, and by what traine
She fell into that saluage villaines hand,
And whether free with him she now were, or in band.
To whom she thus; I am, as now ye see,
The wretchedst Dame, that liue this day on ground;
Who both in minde, the which most grieueth me,
And body haue receiu'd a mortall wound,
That hath me driuen to this drery stound.
I was erewhile, the loue of Calepine:
Who whether he aliue be to be found,
Or by some deadly chaunce be done to pine,
Since I him lately lost, vneath is to define.
In saluage forrest I him lost of late,
Where I had surely long ere this bene dead,
Or else remained in most wretched state,
Had not this wylde man in that wofull stead
Kept, and deliuered me from deadly dread.
In such a saluage wight, of brutish kynd,
Amongst wilde beastes in desert forrests bred,
It is most straunge and wonderfull to fynd
So milde humanity, and perfect gentle mynd.
Let me therefore this fauour for him finde,
That ye will not your wrath vpon him wreake,
Sith he cannot expresse his simple minde,
Ne yours conceiue, ne but by tokens speake:
Small praise to proue your powre on wight so weake.
With such faire words she did their heate asswage,
And the strong course of their displeasure breake,
That they to pitty turnd their former rage,
And each sought to supply the office of her page.
So hauing all things well about her dight,
She on her way cast forward to proceede,
And they her forth conducted, where they might
Finde harbour fit to comfort her great neede.
For now her wounds corruption gan to breed;
And eke this Squire, who likewise wounded was
Of that same Monster late, for lacke of heed,
Now gan to faint, and further could not pas
Through feeblenesse, which all his limbes oppressed has.
So forth they rode together all in troupe,
To seeke some place, the which mote yeeld some ease
To these sicke twaine, that now began to droupe,
And all the way the Prince sought to appease
The bitter anguish of their sharpe disease,
By all the courteous meanes he could inuent;
Somewhile with merry purpose fit to please,
And otherwhile with good encouragement,
To make them to endure the pains, did them torment.
Mongst which, Serena did to him relate
The foule discourt'sies and vnknightly parts,
Which Turpine had vnto her shewed late,
Without compassion of her cruell smarts:
Although Blandina did with all her arts
Him otherwise perswade, all that she might;
Yet he of malice, without her desarts,
Not onely her excluded late at night,
But also trayterously did wound her weary Knight.
Wherewith the Prince sore moued, there auoud,
That soone as he returned backe againe,
He would auenge th'abuses of that proud
And shamefull Knight, of whom she did complaine.
This wize did they each other entertaine,
To passe the tedious trauell of the way;
Till towards night they came vnto a plaine,
By which a little Hermitage there lay,
Far from all neighbourhood, the which annoy it may.
And nigh thereto a little Chappell stoode,
Which being all with Yuy ouerspred,
Deckt all the roofe, and shadowing the roode,
Seem'd like a groue faire braunched ouer hed:
Therein the Hermite, which his life here led
In streight obseruaunce of religious vow,
Was wont his howres and holy things to bed;
And therein he likewise was praying now,
Whenas these Knights arriu'd, they wist not where nor how.
They stayd not there, but streight way in did pas.
Whom when the Hermite present saw in place,
From his deuotion streight he troubled was;
Which breaking of he toward them did pace,
With stayed steps, and graue beseeming grace:
For well it seem'd, that whilome he had beene
Some goodly person, and of gentle race,
That could his good to all, and well did weene,
How each to entertaine with curt'sie well beseene,
And soothly it was sayd by common fame,
So long as age enabled him thereto,
That he had bene a man of mickle name,
Renowmed much in armes and derring doe:
But being aged now and weary to
Of warres delight, and worlds contentious toyle,
The name of knighthood he did disauow,
And hanging vp his armes and warlike spoyle,
From all this worlds incombraunce did himselfe assoyle.
He thence them led into his Hermitage,
Letting their steedes to graze vpon the Green:
Small was his house, and like a little cage,
For his owne turne, yet inly neate and clene,
Deckt with greene boughes, and flowers gay beseene.
Therein he them full faire did entertaine
Not with such forged showes, as fitter beene
For courting fooles, that curtesies would faine,
But with entire affection and appearaunce plaine.
Yet was their fare but homely, such as hee
Did vse, his feeble body to sustaine;
The which full gladly they did take in glee,
Such as it was, ne did of want complaine,
But being well suffiz'd, them rested faine.
But faire Serene all night could take no rest,
Ne yet that gentle Squire, for grieuous paine
Of their late woundes, the which the Blatant Beast
Had giuen them, whose griefe through suffraunce sore increast.
So all that night they past in great disease,
Till that the morning, bringing earely light
To guide mens labours, brought them also ease,
And some asswagement of their painefull plight.
Then vp they rose, and gan them selues to dight
Vnto their iourney; but that Squire and Dame
So faint and feeble were, that they ne might
Endure to trauell, nor one foote to frame:
Their hearts were sicke, their sides were sore, their feete were lame.
Therefore the Prince, whom great affaires in mynd
Would not permit, to make their lenger stay,
Was forced there to leaue them both behynd,
In that good Hermits charge, whom he did pray
To tend them well. So forth he went his way,
And with him eke the saluage, that whyleare
Seeing his royall vsage and array,
Was greatly growne in loue of that braue pere,
Would needes depart, as shall declared be elsewhere.
The Hermite heales both Squire and dame
Of their sore maladies:
He Turpine doth defeate, and shame
For his late villanies.
N O wound, which warlike hand of enemy
Inflicts with dint of sword, so sore doth light,
As doth the poysnous sting, which Infamy
Infixeth in the name of noble wight:
For by no art, nor any leaches might
It euer can recured be againe;
Ne all the skill, which that immortall spright
Of Podalyrius did in it retaine,
Can remedy such hurts; such hurts are hellish paine.
Such were the wounds, the which that Blatant Beast
Made in the bodies of that Squire and Dame;
And being such, were now much more increast,
For want of taking heede vnto the same,
That now corrupt and curelesse they became.
Howbe that carefull Hermite did his best,
With many kindes of medicines meete, to tame
The poysnous humour, which did most infest
Their ranckling wounds, & euery day them duely drest.
For he right well in Leaches craft was seene,
And through the long experience of his dayes,
Which had in many fortunes tossed beene,
And past through many perillous assayes,
He knew the diuerse went of mortall wayes,
And in the mindes of men had great insight;
Which with sage counsell, when they went astray,
He could enforme, and them reduce aright,
And al the passio[n]s heale, which wou[n]d the weaker spright.
For whylome he had bene a doughty Knight,
As any one, that liued in his daies,
And proued oft in many perillous fight,
Of which he grace and glory wonne alwaies,
And in all battels bore away the baies.
But being now attacht with timely age,
And weary of this worlds vnquiet waies,
He tooke him selfe vnto this Hermitage,
In which he liu'd alone, like carelesse bird in cage.
One day, as he was searching of their wounds,
He found that they had festred priuily,
And ranckling inward with vnruly stounds,
The inner parts now gan to putrify,
That quite they seem'd past helpe of surgery,
And rather needed to be disciplinde
With holesome reede of sad sobriety,
To rule the stubborne rage of passion blinde:
Giue salues to euery sore, but counsell to the minde.
So taking them apart into his cell,
He to that point fit speaches gan to frame,
As he the art of words knew wondrous well,
And eke could doe, as well as say the same,
And thus he to them sayd; Faire daughter Dame,
And you faire sonne, which here thus long now lie
In piteous languor, since ye hither came,
In vaine of me ye hope for remedie,
And I likewise in vaine doe salues to you applie.
For in your selfe your onely helpe doth lie,
To heale your selues, and must proceed alone
From your owne will, to cure your maladie.
Who can him cure, that will be cur'd of none?
If therefore health ye seeke, obserue this one.
First learne your outward sences to refraine
From things, that stirre vp fraile affection;
Your eies, your eares, your tongue, your talk restraine
From that they most affect, and in due termes containe.
For from those outward sences ill affected,
The seede of all this euill first doth spring,
Which at the first before it had infected,
Mote easie be supprest with little thing:
But being growen strong, it forth doth bring
Sorrow, and anguish, and impatient paine
In th'inner parts, and lastly scattering
Contagious poyson close through euery vaine,
It neuer rests, till it haue wrought his finall bane.
For that beastes teeth, which wounded you tofore,
Are so exceeding venemous and keene,
Made all of rusty yron, ranckling sore,
That where they bite, it booteth not to weene
With salue, or antidote, or other mene
It euer to amend: ne maruaile ought;
For that same beast was bred of hellish strene,
And long in darksome Stygian den vpbrought,
Begot of foule Echidna, as in bookes is taught.
Echidna is a Monster direfull dred,
Whom Gods doe hate, and heauens abhor to see;
So hideous is her shape, so huge her hed,
That euen the hellish fiends affrighted bee
At sight thereof, and from her presence flee:
Yet did her face and former parts professe
A faire young Mayden, full of comely glee;
But all her hinder parts did plaine expresse
A monstrous Dragon, full of fearefull vglinesse.
To her the Gods, for her so dreadfull face,
In fearefull darkenesse, furthest from the skie,
And from the earth, appointed haue her place,
Mongst rocks and caues, where she enrold doth lie
In hideous horrour and obscurity,
Wasting the strength of her immortall age.
There did Typhaon with her company;
Cruell Typhaon, whose tempestuous rage
Make th'heauens tremble oft, & him with vowes asswage.
Of that commixtion they did then beget
This hellish Dog, that hight the Blatant Beast;
A wicked Monster, that his tongue doth whet
Gainst all, both good and bad, both most and least,
And poures his poysnous gall forth to infest
The noblest wights with notable defame:
Ne euer Knight, that bore so lofty creast,
Ne euer Lady of so honest name,
But he them spotted with reproch, or secrete shame.
In vaine therefore it were, with medicine
To goe about to salue such kynd of sore,
That rather needes wise read and discipline,
Then outward salues, that may augment it more.
Aye me (sayd then Serena sighing sore)
What hope of helpe doth then for vs remaine,
If that no salues may vs to health restore?
But sith we need good counsell (sayd the swaine)
Aread good sire, some counsell, that may vs sustaine.
The best (sayd he) that I can you aduize,
Is to auoide the occasion of the ill:
For when the cause, whence euill doth arize,
Remoued is, th'effect surceaseth still.
Abstaine from pleasure, and restraine your will,
Subdue desire, and bridle loose delight,
Vse scanted diet, and forbeare your fill,
Shun secresie, and talke in open sight:
So shall you soone repaire your present euill plight.
Thus hauing sayd, his sickely patients
Did gladly hearken to his graue beheast,
And kept so well his wise commaundements,
That in short space their malady was ceast,
And eke the biting of that harmefull Beast
Was throughly heal'd. Tho when they did perceaue
Their wounds recur'd, and forces reincreast,
Of that good Hermite both they tooke their leaue,
And went both on their way, ne ech would other leaue.
But each the other vow'd t'accompany,
The Lady, for that she was much in dred,
Now left alone in great extremity,
The Squire, for that he courteous was indeed,
Would not her leaue alone in her great need.
So both together traueld, till they met
With a faire Mayden clad in mourning weed,
Vpon a mangy iade vnmeetely set,
And a lewd foole her leading thorough dry and wet.
But by what meanes that shame to her befell,
And how thereof her selfe she did acquite,
I must a while forbeare to you to tell;
Till that, as comes by course, I doe recite,
What fortune to the Briton Prince did lite,
Pursuing that proud Knight, the which whileare
Wrought to Sir Calidore so foule despight;
And eke his Lady, though she sickely were,
So lewdly had abusde, as ye did lately heare.
The Prince according to the former token,
Which faire Serene to him deliuered had,
Pursu'd him streight, in mynd to bene ywroken
Of all the vile demeane, and vsage bad,
With which he had those two so ill bestad:
Ne wight with him on that aduenture went,
But that wylde man, whom though he oft forbad,
Yet for no bidding, nor for being shent,
Would he restrayned be from his attendement.
Arriuing there, as did by chaunce befall,
He found the gate wyde ope, and in he rode,
Ne stayd, till that he came into the hall:
Where soft dismounting like a weary lode,
Vpon the ground with feeble feete he trode,
As he vnable were for very neede
To moue one foote, but there must make abode;
The whiles the saluage man did take his steede,
And in some stable neare did set him vp to feede.
Ere long to him a homely groome there came,
That in rude wise him asked, what he was,
That durst so boldly, without let or shame,
Into his Lords forbidden hall to passe.
To whom the Prince, him fayning to embase,
Mylde answer made; he was an errant Knight,
The which was fall'n into this feeble case,
Through many wounds, which lately he in fight
Receiued had, and prayd to pitty his ill plight.
But he, the more outrageous and bold,
Sternely did bid him quickely thence auaunt,
Or deare aby, for why his Lord of old
Did hate all errant Knights, which there did haunt,
Ne lodging would to any of them graunt:
And therefore lightly bad him packe away,
Not sparing him with bitter words to taunt;
And therewithall rude hand on him did lay.
To thrust him out of dore, doing his worst assay.
Which when the Saluage comming now in place,
Beheld, eftsoones he all enraged grew,
And running streight vpon that villaine base,
Like a fell Lion at him fiercely flew,
And with his teeth and nailes, in present vew,
Him rudely rent, and all to peeces tore:
So miserably him all helpelesse slew,
That with the noise, whilest he did loudly rore,
The people of the house rose forth in great vprore.
Who when on ground they saw their fellow slaine,
And that same Knight and Saluage standing by,
Vpon them two they fell with might and maine,
And on them layd so huge and horribly,
As if they would haue slaine them presently.
But the bold Prince defended him so well,
And their assault withstood so mightily,
That maugre all their might, he did repell,
And beat them back, whilest many vnderneath him fell.
Yet he them still so sharpely did pursew,
That few of them he left aliue, which fled,
Those euill tidings to their Lord to shew.
Who hearing how his people badly sped,
Came forth in hast: where when as with the dead
He saw the ground all strow'd, and that same Knight
And saluage with their bloud fresh steeming red,
He woxe nigh mad with wrath and fell despight,
And with reprochfull words him thus bespake on hight;
Art thou he, traytor, that with treason vile,
Hast slaine my men in this vnmanly maner,
And now triumphest in the piteous spoile
Of these poore folk, whose soules with black dishonor
And foule defame doe decke thy bloudy baner?
The meede whereof shall shortly be thy shame,
And wretched end, which still attendeth on her.
With that him selfe to battell he did frame;
So did his forty yeomen, which there with him came.
With dreadfull force they all did him assaile,
And round about with boystrous strokes oppresse,
That on his shield did rattle like to haile
In a great tempest; that in such distresse,
He wist not to which side him to addresse.
And euermore that crauen cowherd Knight
Was at his backe with heartlesse heedinesse,
Wayting if he vnwares him murther might:
For cowardize doth still in villany delight.
Whereof whenas the Prince was well aware,
He to him turnd with furious intent,
And him against his powre gan to prepare;
Like a fierce Bull, that being busie bent
To fight with many foes about him ment,
Feeling some curre behinde his heeles to bite,
Turnes him about with fell auengement;
So likewise turnde the Prince vpon the Knight,
And layd at him amaine with all his will and might.
Who when he once his dreadfull strokes had tasted,
Durst not the furie of his force abyde,
But turn'd abacke, and to retyre him hasted
Through the thick prease, there thinking him to hyde.
But when the Prince had once him plainely eyde,
He foot by foot him followed alway,
Ne would him suffer once to shrinke asyde,
But ioyning close, huge lode at him did lay:
Who flying still did ward, and warding fly away.
But when his foe he still so eger saw,
Vnto his heeles himselfe he did betake,
Hoping vnto some refuge to withdraw:
Ne would the Prince him euer foot forsake,
Where so he went, but after him did make.
He fled from roome to roome, from place to place,
Whylest euery ioynt for dread of death did quake,
Still looking after him, that did him chace;
That made him euermore increase his speedie pace.
At last he vp into the chamber came,
Whereas his loue was sitting all alone,
Wayting what tydings of her folke became.
There did the Prince him ouertake anone,
Crying in vaine to her, him to bemone;
And with his sword him on the head did smyte,
That to the ground he fell in senselesse swone:
Yet whether thwart or flatly it did lyte,
The tempred steele did not into his braynepan byte.
Which when the Ladie saw, with great affright
She starting vp, began to shrieke aloud,
And with her garment couering him from sight,
Seem'd vnder her protection him to shroud;
And falling lowly at his feet, her bowd
Vpon her knee, intreating him for grace,
And often him besought, and prayd, and vowd;
That with the ruth of her so wretched case,
He stayd his second strooke, and did his hand abase.
Her weed she then withdrawing, did him discouer,
Who now come to himselfe, yet would not rize,
But still did lie as dead, and quake, and quiuer,
That euen the Prince his basenesse did despize,
And eke his Dame him seeing in such guize,
Gan him recomfort, and from ground to reare.
Who rising vp at last in ghastly wize,
Like troubled ghost did dreadfully appeare,
As one that had no life him left through former feare.
Whom when the Prince so deadly saw dismayd,
He for such basenesse shamefully him shent,
And with sharpe words did bitterly vpbrayd;
Vile cowheard dogge, now doe I much repent,
That euer I this life vnto thee lent,
Whereof thou caytiue so vnworthie art;
That both thy loue, for lacke of hardiment,
And eke thy selfe, for want of manly hart,
And eke all knights hast shamed with this knightlesse part.
Yet further hast thou heaped shame to shame,
And crime to crime, by this thy cowheard feare.
For first it was to thee reprochfull blame,
To erect this wicked custome, which I heare,
Gainst errant Knights and Ladies thou dost reare,
Whom when thou mayst, thou dost of arms despoile,
Or of their vpper garment, which they weare:
Yet doest thou not with manhood, but with guile
Maintaine this euill vse, thy foes thereby to foile.
And lastly in approuance of thy wrong,
To shew such faintnesse and foule cowardize,
Is greatest shame: for oft it falles, that strong
And valiant knights doe rashly enterprize,
Either for fame, or else for exercize,
A wrongfull quarrell to maintaine by fight;
Yet haue, through prowesse and their braue emprize,
Gotten great worship in this worldes sight.
For greater force there needs to maintaine wrong, then right.
Yet since thy life vnto this Ladie fayre
I giuen haue, liue in reproch and scorne;
Ne euer armes, ne euer knighthood dare
Hence to professe: for shame is to adorne
With so braue badges one so basely borne;
But onely breath sith that I did forgiue.
So hauing from his crauen bodie torne
Those goodly armes, he them away did giue
And onely suffred him this wretched life to liue.
There whilest he thus was setling things aboue,
Atwene that Ladie myld and recreant knight,
To whom his life he graunted for her loue,
He gan bethinke him, in what perilous plight
He had behynd him left that saluage wight,
Amongst so many foes, whom sure he thought
By this quite slaine in so vnequall fight:
Therefore descending backe in haste, he sought
If yet he were aliue, or to destruction brought.
There he him found enuironed about
With slaughtred bodies, which his hand had slaine,
And laying yet a fresh with courage stout
Vpon the rest, that did aliue remaine;
Whom he likewise right sorely did constraine,
Like scattred sheepe, to seeke for safetie,
After he gotten had with busie paine
Some of their weapons, which thereby did lie,
With which he layd about, and made them fast to flie.
Whom when the Prince so felly saw to rage,
Approching to him neare, his hand he stayd,
And sought, by making signes, him to asswage:
Whom them perceiuing, streight to him obayd,
As to his Lord, and downe his weapons layd,
As if he long had to his heasts bene trayned.
Thence he him brought away, and vp conuayd
Into the chamber, where that Dame remayned
With her vnworthy knight, who ill him entertayned.
Whom when the Saluage saw from daunger free,
Sitting beside his Ladie there at ease,
He well remembred, that the same was hee,
Which lately sought his Lord for to displease:
Tho all in rage, he on him streight did seaze,
As if he would in peeces him haue rent;
And were not, that the Prince did him appeaze,
He had not left one limbe of him vnrent:
But streight he held his hand at his commaundement.
Thus hauing all things well in peace ordayned,
The Prince himselfe there all that night did rest,
Where him Blandina fayrely entertayned,
With all the courteous glee and goodly feast,
The which for him she could imagine best.
For well she knew the wayes to win good will
Of euery wight, that were not too infest,
And how to please the minds of good and ill,
Through tempering of her words & lookes by wondrous skill.
Yet were her words and lookes but false and fayned,
To some hid end to make more easie way,
Or to allure such fondlings, whom she trayned
Into her trap vnto their owne decay:
Thereto, when needed, she could weepe and pray,
And when her listed, she could fawne and flatter;
Now smyling smoothly, like to sommers day,
Now glooming sadly, so to cloke her matter;
Yet were her words but wynd, & all her teares but water.
Whether such grace were giuen her by kynd,
As women wont their guilefull wits to guyde;
Or learn'd the art to please, I doe not fynd.
This well I wote, that she so well applyde
Her pleasing tongue, that soone she pacifyde
The wrathfull Prince, & wrought her husbands peace,
Who nathelesse not therewith satisfyde,
His rancorous despight did not releasse,
Ne secretly from thought of fell reuenge surceasse.
For all that night, the whyles the Prince did rest
In carelesse couch, not weeting what was ment,
He watcht in close awayt with weapons prest,
Willing to worke his villenous intent
On him, that had so shamefully him shent:
Yet durst he not for very cowardize
Effect the same, whylest all the night was spent.
The morrow next the Prince did early rize,
And passed forth, to follow his first enterprise.
Turpine is baffuld, his two knights
doe gaine their treasons meed;
Fayre Mirabellaes punishment
for loues disdaine decreed.
L Ike as the gentle hart it selfe bewrayes,
In doing gentle deedes with franke delight,
Euen so the baser mind it selfe displayes,
In cancred malice and reuengefull spright.
For to maligne, t'enuie, t'vse shifting slight,
Be arguments of a vile donghill mind;
Which what it dare not doe by open might,
To worke by wicked treason wayes doth find,
By such discourteous deeds discouering his base kind.
That well appeares in this discourteous knight,
The coward Turpine, whereof now I treat;
Who notwithstanding that in former fight
He of the Prince his life receiued late,
Yet in his mind malitious and ingrate
He gan deuize, to be aueng'd anew
For all that shame, which kindled inward hate.
Therefore so soone as he was out of vew,
Himselfe in hast he arm'd, and did him fast pursew.
Well did he tract his steps, as he did ryde,
Yet would not neare approch in daungers eye,
But kept aloofe for dread to be descryde,
Vntill fit time and place he mote espy,
Where he mote worke him scath and villeny.
At last he met two knights to him vnknowne,
The which were armed both agreeably,
And both combynd, what euer chaunce were blowne,
Betwixt them to diuide, and each to make his owne.
To whom false Turpine comming courteously,
To cloke the mischiefe, which he inly ment,
Gan to complaine of great discourtesie,
Which a straunge knight, that neare afore him went,
Had doen to him, and his deare Ladie shent:
Which if they would afford him ayde at need
For to auenge, in time conuenient,
They should accomplish both a knightly deed,
And for their paines obtaine of him a goodly meed.
The knights beleeu'd, that all he sayd, was trew,
And being fresh and full of youthly spright,
Were glad to heare of that aduenture new,
In which they mote make triall of their might,
Which neuer yet they had approu'd in fight;
And eke desirous of the offred meed,
Said then the one of them; Where is that wight,
The which hath doen to thee this wrongfull deed,
That we may it auenge, and punish him with speed?
He rides (said Turpine) there not farre afore,
With a wyld man soft footing by his syde,
That if ye list to haste a litle more,
Ye may him ouertake in timely tyde:
Eftsoones they pricked forth with forward pryde,
And ere that litle while they ridden had,
The gentle Prince not farre away they spyde,
Ryding a softly pace with portance sad,
Deuizing of his loue more, then of daunger drad.
Then one of them aloud vnto him cryde,
Bidding him turne againe, false traytour knight,
Foule womanwronger, for he him defyde.
With that they both at once with equall spight
Did bend their speares, and both with equall might
Against him ran; but th'one did misse his marke,
And being carried with his force forthright,
Glaunst swiftly by; like to that heauenly sparke,
Which glyding through the ayre lights all the heauens darke.
But th'other ayming better, did him smite
Full in the shield, with so impetuous powre,
That all his launce in peeces shiuered quite,
And scattered all about, fell on the flowre.
But the stout Prince, with much more steddy stowre
Full on his beuer did him strike so sore,
That the cold steele through piercing, did deuowre
His vitall breath, and to the ground him bore,
Where still he bathed lay in his owne bloody gore.
As when a cast of Faulcons make their flight
At an Herneshaw, that lyes aloft on wing,
The whyles they strike at him with heedlesse might,
The warie foule his bill doth backward wring;
On which the first, whose force her first doth bring,
Her selfe quite through the bodie doth engore,
And falleth downe to ground like senselesse thing,
But th'other not so swift, as she before,
Fayles of her souse, and passing by doth hurt no more.
By this the other, which was passed by,
Himselfe recouering, was return'd to fight;
Where when he saw his fellow lifelesse ly,
He much was daunted with so dismall sight;
Yet nought abating of his former spight,
Let driue at him with so malitious mynd,
As if he would haue passed through him quight:
But the steele-head no stedfast hold could fynd,
But glauncing by, deceiu'd him of that he desynd.
Not so the Prince: for his well learned speare
Tooke surer hould, and from his horses backe
Aboue a launces length him forth did beare,
And gainst the cold hard earth so sore him strake,
That all his bones in peeces nigh he brake.
Where seeing him so lie, he left his steed,
And to him leaping, vengeance thought to take
Of him, for all his former follies meed,
With flaming sword in hand his terror more to breed.
The fearefull swayne beholding death so nie,
Cryde out aloud for mercie him to saue;
In lieu whereof he would to him descrie,
Great treason to him meant, his life to reaue.
The Prince soone hearkned, and his life forgaue.
Then thus said he, There is a straunger knight,
The which for promise of great meed, vs draue
To this attempt, to wreake his hid despight,
For that himselfe thereto did want sufficient might.
The Prince much mused at such villenie,
And sayd; Now sure ye well haue earn'd your meed,
For th'one is dead, and th'other soone shall die,
Vnlesse to me thou hether bring with speed
The wretch, that hyr'd you to this wicked deed.
He glad of life, and willing eke to wreake
The guilt on him, which did this mischiefe breed,
Swore by his sword, that neither day nor weeke
He would surceasse, but him, where so he were, would seeke.
So vp he rose, and forth streight way he went
Backe to the place, where Turpine late he lore;
There he him found in great astonishment,
To see him so bedight with bloodie gore,
And griesly wounds that him appalled sore.
Yet thus at length he said, How now Sir Knight?
What meaneth this, which here I see before?
How fortuneth this foule vncomely plight,
So different from that, which earst ye seem'd in sight?
Perdie (said he) in euill houre it fell,
That euer I for meed did vndertake
So hard a taske, as life for hyre to sell;
The which I earst aduentur'd for your sake.
Witnesse the wounds, and this wyde bloudie lake,
Which ye may see yet all about me steeme.
Therefore now yeeld, as ye did promise make,
My due reward, the which right well I deeme
I yearned haue, that life so dearely did redeeme.
But where then is (quoth he halfe wrothfully)
Where is the bootie, which therefore I bought,
That cursed caytiue, my strong enemy,
That recreant knight, whose hated life I sought?
And where is eke your friend, which halfe it ought?
He lyes (said he) vpon the cold bare ground,
Slayne of that errant knight, with whom he fought;
Whom afterwards my selfe with many a wound
Did slay againe, as ye may see there in the stound.
Thereof false Turpin was full glad and faine,
And needs with him streight to the place would ryde,
Where he himselfe might see his foeman slaine;
For else his feare could not be satisfyde.
So as they rode, he saw the way all dyde
With streames of bloud; which tracting by the traile,
Ere long they came, whereas in euill tyde
That other swayne, like ashes deadly pale,
Lay in the lap of death, rewing his wretched bale.
Much did the Crauen seeme to mone his case,
That for his sake his deare life had forgone;
And him bewayling with affection base,
Did counterfeit kind pittie, where was none:
For wheres no courage, theres no ruth nor mone.
Thence passing forth, not farre away he found,
Whereas the Prince himselfe lay all alone,
Loosely displayd vpon the grassie ground,
Possessed of sweete sleepe, that luld him soft in swound.
Wearie of trauell in his former fight,
He there in shade himselfe had layd to rest,
Hauing his armes and warlike things vndight,
Fearelesse of foes that mote his peace molest;
The whyles his saluage page, that wont be prest,
Was wandred in the wood another way,
To doe some thing, that seemed to him best,
The whyles his Lord in siluer slomber lay,
Like to the Euening starre adorn'd with deawy ray.
Whom when as Turpin saw so loosely layd,
He weened well, that he in deed was dead,
Like as that other knight to him had sayd:
But when he nigh approcht, he mote aread
Plaine signes in him of life and liuelihead.
Whereat much grieu'd against that straunger knight,
That him too light of credence did mislead,
He would haue backe retyred from that sight,
That was to him on earth the deadliest despight.
But that same knight would not once let him start,
But plainely gan to him declare the case
Of all his mischiefe, and late lucklesse smart;
How both he and his fellow there in place
Were vanquished, and put to foule disgrace,
And how that he in lieu of life him lent,
Had vow'd vnto the victor, him to trace
And follow through the world, where so he went,
Till that he him deliuered to his punishment.
He therewith much abashed and affrayd,
Began to tremble euery limbe and vaine;
And softly whispering him, entyrely prayd,
T'aduize him better, then by such a traine
Him to betray vnto a straunger swaine:
Yet rather counseld him contrarywize,
Sith he likewise did wrong by him sustaine,
To ioyne with him and vengeance to deuize,
Whylest time did offer meanes him sleeping to surprize.
Nathelesse for all his speach, the gentle knight
Would not be tempted to such villenie,
Regarding more his faith, which he did plight,
All were it to his mortall enemie,
Then to entrap him by false treacherie:
Great shame in lieges blood to be embrew'd.
Thus whylest they were debating diuerslie,
The Saluage forth out of the wood issew'd
Backe to the place, whereas his Lord he sleeping vew'd.
There when he saw those two so neare him stand,
He doubted much what mote their meaning bee,
And throwing downe his load out of his hand,
To weet great store of forrest frute, which hee
Had for his food late gathered from the tree,
Himselfe vnto his weapon he betooke,
That was an oaken plant, which lately hee
Rent by the root; which he so sternely shooke,
That like an hazell wand, it quiuered and quooke.
Whereat the Prince awaking, when he spyde
The traytour Turpin with that other knight,
He started vp, and snatching neare his syde
His trustie sword, the seruant of his might,
Like a fell Lyon leaped to him light,
And his left hand vpon his collar layd.
Therewith the cowheard deaded with affright,
Fell flat to ground, ne word vnto him sayd,
But holding vp his hands, with silence mercie prayd.
But he so full of indignation was,
That to his prayer nought he would incline,
But as he lay vpon the humbled gras,
His foot he set on his vile necke, in signe
Of seruile yoke, that nobler harts repine.
Then letting him arise like abiect thrall,
He gan to him obiect his haynous crime,
And to reuile, and rate, and recreant call,
And lastly to despoyle of knightly bannerall.
And after all, for greater infamie,
He by the heeles him hung vpon a tree,
And baffuld so, that all which passed by,
The picture of his punishment might see,
And by the like ensample warned bee,
How euer they through treason doe trespasse.
But turne we now backe to that Ladie free,
Whom late we left ryding vpon an Asse,
Led by a Carle and foole, which by her side did passe.
She was a Ladie of great dignitie,
And lifted vp to honorable place,
Famous through all the land of Faerie,
Though of meane parentage and kindred base,
Yet deckt with wondrous giftes of natures grace,
That all men did her person much admire,
And praise the feature of her goodly face,
The beames whereof did kindle louely fire
In th'harts of many a knight, and many a gentle squire.
But she thereof grew proud and insolent,
That none she worthie thought to be her fere,
But scornd them all, that loue vnto her ment:
Yet was she lou'd of many a worthy pere;
Vnworthy she to be belou'd so dere,
That could not weigh of worthinesse aright.
For beautie is more glorious bright and clere,
The more it is admir'd of many a wight,
And noblest she, that serued is of noblest knight.
But this coy Damzell thought contrariwize,
That such proud looks would make her praysed more;
And that the more she did all loue despize,
The more would wretched louers her adore.
What cared she, who sighed for her sore,
Or who did wayle or watch the wearie night?
Let them that list, their lucklesse lot deplore;
She was borne free, not bound to any wight,
And so would euer liue, and loue her owne delight.
Through such her stubborne stifnesse, and hard hart,
Many a wretch, for want of remedie,
Did languish long in lifeconsuming smart,
And at the last through dreary dolour die:
Whylest she, the Ladie of her libertie,
Did boast her beautie had such soueraine might,
That with the onely twinckle of her eye,
She could or saue, or spill, whom she would hight.
What could the Gods doe more, but doe it more aright?
But loe the Gods, that mortall follies vew,
Did worthily reuenge this maydens pride;
And nought regarding her so goodly hew,
Did laugh at her, that many did deride,
Whilest she did weepe, of no man mercifide.
For on a day, when Cupid kept his court,
As he is wont at each Saint Valentide,
Vnto the which all louers doe resort,
That of their loues successe they there may make report.
It fortun'd then, that when the roules were red,
In wich the names of all loues folke were fyled,
That many there were missing, which were ded,
Or kept in bands, or from their loues exyled,
Or by some other violence despoyled.
Which when as Cupid heard, he wexed wroth,
And doubting to be wronged, or beguyled,
He bad his eyes to be vnblindfold both,
That he might see his men, and muster them by oth.
Then found he many missing of his crew,
Which wont doe suit and seruice to his might;
Of whom what was becomen, no man knew.
Therefore a Iurie was impaneld streight,
T'enquire of them, whether by force, or sleight,
Or their owne guilt, they were away conuayd.
To whom foule Infamie, and fell Despight
Gaue euidence, that they were all betrayd,
And murdred cruelly by a rebellious Mayd.
Fayre Mirabella was her name, whereby
Of all those crymes she there indited was:
All which when Cupid heard, he by and by
In great displeasure, wild a Capias
Should issue forth, t'attach that scornefull lasse.
The warrant straight was made, and therewithall
A Baylieffe errant forth in post did passe,
Whom they by name there Portamore did call;
He which doth summon louers to Loues iudgement hall.
The damzell was attacht, and shortly brought
Vnto the barre, whereas she was arrayned:
But she thereto nould plead, nor answere ought
Euen for stubborne pride, which her restrayned.
So iudgement past, as is by law ordayned
In cases like, which when at last she saw,
Her stubborne hart, which loue before disdayned,
Gan stoupe, and falling downe with humble awe,
Cryde mercie, to abate the extremitie of law.
The sonne of Venus who is myld by kynd,
But where he is prouokt with peeuishnesse,
Vnto her prayers piteously enclynd,
And did the rigour of his doome represse;
Yet not so freely, but that nathelesse
He vnto her a penance did impose:
Which was, that through this worlds wyde wildernes
She wander should in companie of those,
Till she had sau'd so many loues, as she did lose.
So now she had bene wandring two whole yeares
Throughout the world, in this vncomely case,
Wasting her goodly hew in heauie teares,
And her good dayes in dolorous disgrace:
Yet had she not in all these two yeares space,
Saued but two, yet in two yeares before,
Through her dispiteous pride, whilest loue lackt place,
She had destroyed two and twenty more.
Aie me, how could her loue make half amends therefore.
And now she was vppon the weary way,
When as the gentle Squire, with faire Serene,
Met her in such misseeming foule array;
The whiles that mighty man did her demeane
With all the euill termes and cruell meane,
That he could make; And eeke that angry foole
Which follow'd her, with cursed hands vncleane
Whipping her horse, did with his smarting toole
Oft whip her dainty selfe, and much augment her doole.
Ne ought it mote auaile her to entreat
The one or th'other, better her to vse:
For both so wilfull were and obstinate,
That all her piteous plaint they did refuse,
And rather did the more her beate and bruse.
But most the former villaine, which did lead
Her tyreling iade, was bent her to abuse;
Who though she were with wearinesse nigh dead,
Yet would not let her lite, nor rest a little stead.
For he was sterne, and terrible by nature,
And eeke of person huge and hideous,
Exceeding much the measure of mans stature,
And rather like a Gyant monstruous.
For sooth he was descended of the hous
Of those old Gyants, which did warres darraine
Against the heauen in order battailous,
And sib to great Orgolio, which was slaine
By Arthure, when as Vnas Knight he did maintaine.
His lookes were dreadfull, and his fiery eies
Like two great Beacons, glared bright and wyde,
Glauncing askew, as if his enemies
He scorned in his ouerweening pryde;
And stalking stately like a Crane, did stryde
At euery step vppon the tiptoes hie,
And all the way he went, on euery syde
He gaz'd about, and stared horriblie,
As if he with his lookes would all men terrifie.
He wore no armour, ne for none did care,
As no whit dreading any liuing wight;
But in a Iacket quilted richly rare,
Vpon checklaton he was straungely dight,
And on his head a roll of linnen plight,
Like to the Mores of Malaber he wore;
With which his locks, as blacke as pitchy night,
Were bound about, and voyded from before,
And in his hand a mighty yron club he bore.
This was Disdaine, who led that Ladies horse
Through thick and thin, through mountains & through plains,
Compelling her, wher she would not, by force,
Haling her palfrey by the hempen raines.
But that same foole, which most increast her paines,
Was Scorne, who hauing in his hand a whip,
Her therewith yirks, and still when she complaines,
The more he laughes, and does her closely quip,
To see her sore lament, and bite her tender lip.
Whose cruell handling when that Squire beheld,
And saw those villaines her so vildely vse,
His gentle heart with indignation sweld,
And could no lenger beare so great abuse,
As such a Lady so to beate and bruse;
But to him stepping, such a stroke him lent,
That forst him th'halter from his hand to loose,
And maugre all his might, backe to relent:
Else had he surely there bene slaine, or fowlyshent.
The villaine, wroth for greeting him so sore,
Gathered him selfe together soone againe,
And with his yron batton, which he bore,
Let driue at him so dreadfully amaine,
That for his safety he did him constraine
To giue him ground, and shift to euery side,
Rather then once his burden to sustaine:
For bootelesse thing him seemed, to abide
So mighty blowes, or proue the puissaunce of his pride.
Like as a Mastiffe hauing at a bay
A saluage Bull, whose cruell hornes doe threat
Desperate daunger, if he them assay,
Traceth his ground, and round about doth beat,
To spy where he may some aduauntage get;
The whiles the beast doth rage and loudly rore,
So did the Squire, the whiles the Carle did fret,
And fume in his disdainefull mynd the more,
And oftentimes by Turmagant and Mahound swore.
Nathelesse so sharpely still he him pursewd,
That at aduantage him at last he tooke,
When his foote slipt (that slip he dearely rewd,)
And with his yron club to ground him strooke;
Where still he lay, ne out of swoune awooke,
Till heauy hand the Carle vpon him layd,
And bound him fast: Tho when he vp did looke,
And saw him selfe captiu'd, he was dismayd,
Ne powre had to withstand, ne hope of any ayd.
Then vp he made him rise, and forward fare,
Led in a rope, which both his hands did bynd;
Ne ought that foole for pitty did him spare,
But with his whip him following behynd,
Him often scourg'd, and forst his feete to fynd:
And other whiles with bitter mockes and mowes
He would him scorne, that to his gentle mynd
Was much more grieuous, then the others blowes:
Words sharpely wound, but greatest griefe of scorning growes.
The faire Serena, when she saw him fall
Vnder that villaines club, then surely thought
That slaine he was, or made a wretched thrall,
And fled away with all the speede she mought,
To seeke for safety, which long time she sought:
And past through many perils by the way,
Ere she againe to Calepine was brought;
The which discourse as now I must delay,
Till Mirabellaes fortunes I doe further say.
Prince Arthure ouercomes Disdaine,
Quites Mirabell from dreed:
Serena, found of Saluages,
By Calepine is freed.
Y e gentle Ladies, in whose soueraine powre
Loue hath the glory of his kingdome left,
And th'hearts of men, as your eternall dowre,
In yron chaines, of liberty bereft,
Deliuered hath into your hands by gift;
Be well aware, how ye the same doe vse,
That pride doe not to tyranny you lift;
Least if men you of cruelty accuse,
He from you take that chiefedome, which ye doe abuse.
And as ye soft and tender are by kynde,
Adornd with goodly gifts of beauties grace,
So be ye soft and tender eeke in mynde;
But cruelty and hardnesse from you chace,
That all your other praises will deface,
And from you turne the loue of men to hate.
Ensample take of Mirabellaes case,
Who from the high degree of happy state,
Fell into wretched woes, which she repented late.
Who after thraldome of the gentle Squire,
Which she beheld with lamentable eye,
Was touched with compassion entire,
And much lamented his calamity,
That for her sake fell into misery:
Which booted nought for prayers, nor for threat
To hope for to release or mollify;
For aye the more, that she did them entreat,
The more they him misust, and cruelly did beat.
So as they forward on their way did pas,
Him still reuiling and afflicting sore,
They met Prince Arthure with Sir Enias,
(That was that courteous Knight, whom he before
Hauing subdew'd, yet did to life restore,)
To whom as they approcht, they gan augment
Their cruelty, and him to punish more,
Scourging and haling him more vehement;
As if it them should grieue to see his punishment.
The Squire him selfe when as he saw his Lord,
The witnesse of his wretchednesse, in place,
Was much asham'd, that with an hempen cord
He like a dog was led in captiue case,
And did his head for bashfulnesse abase,
As loth to see, or to be seene at all:
Shame would be hid. But whenas Enias
Beheld two such, of two such villaines thrall,
His manly mynde was much emmoued therewithall.
And to the Prince thus sayd; See you Sir Knight,
The greatest shame that euer eye yet saw?
Yond Lady and her Squire with foule despight
Abusde, against all reason and all law,
Without regard of pitty or of awe.
See how they doe that Squire beat and reuile;
See how they doe the Lady hale and draw.
But if ye please to lend me leaue a while,
I will them soone acquite, and both of blame assoile.
The Prince assented, and then he streight way
Dismounting light, his shield about him threw,
With which approching, thus he gan to say;
Abide ye caytiue treachetours vntrew,
That haue with treason thralled vnto you
These two, vnworthy of your wretched bands;
And now your crime with cruelty pursew.
Abide, and from them lay your loathly hands;
Or else abide the death, that hard before you stands.
The villaine stayd not aunswer to inuent,
But with his yron club preparing way,
His mindes sad message backe vnto him sent;
The which descended with such dreadfull sway,
That seemed nought the course thereof could stay:
No more then lightening from the lofty sky.
Ne list the Knight the powre thereof assay,
Whose doome was death, but lightly slipping by,
Vnwares defrauded his intended destiny.
And to requite him with the like againe,
With his sharpe sword he fiercely at him flew,
And strooke so strongly, that the Carle with paine
Saued him selfe, but that he there him slew:
Yet sau'd not so, but that the bloud it drew,
And gaue his foe good hope of victory.
Who therewith flesht, vpon him set anew,
And with the second stroke, thought certainely
To haue supplyde the first, and paide the vsury.
But Fortune aunswerd not vnto his call;
For as his hand was heaued vp on hight,
The villaine met him in the middle fall,
And with his club bet backe his brondyron bright
So forcibly, that with his owne hands might
Rebeaten backe vpon him selfe againe,
He driuen was to ground in selfe despight;
From whence ere he recouery could gaine,
He in his necke had set his foote with fell disdaine.
With that the foole, which did that end awayte,
Came running in, and whilest on ground he lay,
Laide heauy hands on him, and held so strayte,
That downe he kept him with his scornefull sway,
So as he could not weld him any way.
The whiles that other villaine went about
Him to haue bound, and thrald without delay;
The whiles the foole did him reuile and flout,
Threatning to yoke them tow & tame their corage stout.
As when a sturdy ploughman with his hynde
By strength haue ouerthrowne a stubborne steare,
They downe him hold, and fast with cords do bynde,
Till they him force the buxome yoke to beare:
So did these two this Knight oft tug and teare.
Which when the Prince beheld, there standing by,
He left his lofty steede to aide him neare,
And buckling soone him selfe, gan fiercely fly
Vppon that Carle, to saue his friend from ieopardy.
The villaine leauing him vnto his mate
To be captiu'd, and handled as he list,
Himselfe addrest vnto this new debate,
And with his club him all about so blist,
That he which way to turne him scarcely wist:
Sometimes aloft he layd, sometimes alow;
Now here, now there, and oft him neare he mist;
So doubtfully, that hardly one could know
Whether more wary were to giue or ward the blow.
But yet the Prince so well enured was
With such huge strokes, approued oft in fight,
That way to them he gaue forth right to pas.
Ne would endure the daunger of their might,
But wayt aduantage, when they downe did light.
At last the caytiue after long discourse,
When all his strokes he saw auoyded quite,
Resolued in one t'assemble all his force,
And make one end of him without ruth or remorse.
His dreadfull hand he heaued vp aloft,
And with his dreadfull instrument of yre,
Thought sure haue pownded him to powder soft,
Or deepe emboweld in the earth entyre:
But Fortune did not with his will conspire.
For ere his stroke attayned his intent,
The noble childe preuenting his desire,
Vnder his club with wary boldnesse went,
And smote him on the knee, that neuer yet was bent.
It neuer yet was bent, ne bent it now,
Albe the stroke so strong and puissant were,
That seem'd a marble pillour it could bow:
But all that leg, which did his body beare,
It crackt throughout, yet did no bloud appeare;
So as it was vnable to support
So huge a burden on such broken geare,
But fell to ground, like to a lumpe of durt;
Whence he assayd to rise, but could not for his hurt.
Eftsoones the Prince to him full nimbly stept,
And least he should recouer foote againe,
His head meant from his shoulders to haue swept.
Which when the Lady saw, she cryde amaine;
Stay stay, Sir Knight, for loue of God abstaine,
From that vnwares ye weetlesse doe intend;
Slay not that Carle, though worthy to be slaine:
For more on him doth then him selfe depend;
My life will by his death haue lamentable end.
He staide his hand according her desire,
Yet nathemore him suffred to arize;
But still suppressing gan of her inquire,
What meaning mote those vncouth words comprize,
That in that villaines health her safety lies:
That, were no might in man, nor heart in Knights,
Which durst her dreaded reskue enterprize,
Yet heauens them selues, that fauour feeble rights,
Would for it selfe redresse, and punish such despights.
Then bursting forth in teares, which gushed fast
Like many water streames, a while she stayd;
Till the sharpe passion being ouerpast,
Her tongue to her restord, then thus she sayd;
Nor heauens, nor men can me most wretched mayd
Deliuer from the doome of my desart,
The which the God of loue hath on me layd,
And damned to endure this direfull smart,
For penaunce of my proud and hard rebellious hart.
In prime of youthly yeares, when first the flowre
Of beauty gan to bud, and bloosme delight,
And nature me endu'd with plenteous dowre,
Of all her gifts, that pleasde each liuing sight,
I was belou'd of many a gentle Knight,
And sude and sought with all the seruice dew:
Full many a one for me deepe groand and sigh't,
And to the dore of death for sorrow drew,
Complayning out on me, that would not on them rew.
But let them loue that list, or liue or die;
Me list not die for any louers doole:
Ne list me leaue my loued libertie,
To pitty him that list to play the foole:
To loue my selfe I learned had in schoole.
Thus I triumphed long in louers paine,
And sitting carelesse on the scorners stoole,
Did laugh at those that did lament and plaine:
But all is now repayd with interest againe.
For loe the winged God, that woundeth harts,
Causde me be called to accompt therefore,
And for reuengement of those wrongfull smarts,
Which I to others did inflict afore,
Addeem'd me to endure this penaunce sore;
That in this wize, and this vnmeete array,
With these two lewd companions, and no more,
Disdaine and Scorne, I through the world should stray,
Till I haue sau'd so many, as I earst did slay.
Certes (sayd then the Prince) the God is iust,
That taketh vengeaunce of his peoples spoile.
For were no law in loue, but all that lust,
Might them oppresse, and painefully turmoile,
His kingdome would continue but a while.
But tell me Lady, wherefore doe you beare
This bottle thus before you with such toile,
And eeke this wallet at your backe arreare,
That for these Carles to carry much more comely were?
Here in this bottle (sayd the sory Mayd)
I put the teares of my contrition,
Till to the brim I haue it full defrayd:
And in this bag which I behinde me don,
I put repentaunce for things past and gon.
Yet is the bottle leake, and bag so torne,
That all which I put in, fals out anon;
And is behinde me trodden downe of Scorne,
Who mocketh all my paine, & laughs the more I mourn.
The Infant hearkned wisely to her tale,
And wondred much at Cupids iudg'ment wise,
That could so meekly make proud hearts auale,
And wreake him selfe on them, that him despise.
Then suffred he Disdaine vp to arise,
Who was not able vp him selfe to reare,
By meanes his leg through his late luckelesse prise,
Was crackt in twaine, but by his foolish feere
Was holpen vp, who him supported standing neare.
But being vp, he lookt againe aloft,
As if he neuer had receiued fall;
And with sterne eye-browes stared at him oft,
As if he would haue daunted him with all:
And standing on his tiptoes, to seeme tall,
Downe on his golden feete he often gazed,
As if such pride the other could apall;
Who was so far from being ought amazed,
That he his lookes despised, and his boast dispraized.
Then turning backe vnto that captiue thrall,
Who all this while stood there beside them bound,
Vnwilling to be knowne, or seene at all,
He from those bands weend him to haue vnwound.
But when approching neare, he plainely found,
It was his owne true groome, the gentle Squire,
He thereat wext exceedingly astound,
And him did oft embrace, and oft admire,
Ne could with seeing satisfie his great desire.
Meane while the Saluage man, when he beheld
That huge great foole oppressing th'other Knight,
Whom with his weight vnweldy downe he held,
He flew vpon him, like a greedy kight
Vnto some carrion offered to his sight,
And downe him plucking, with his nayles and teeth
Gan him to hale, and teare, and scratch, and bite;
And from him taking his owne whip, therewith
So sore him scourgeth, that the bloud downe followeth.
And sure I weene, had not the Ladies cry
Procur'd the Prince his cruell hand to stay,
He would with whipping, him haue done to dye:
But being checkt, he did abstaine streight way,
And let him rise. Then thus the Prince gan say;
Now Lady sith your fortunes thus dispose,
That if ye list haue liberty, ye may,
Vnto your selfe I freely leaue to chose,
Whether I shall you leaue, or from these villaines lose.
Ah nay Sir Knight (sayd she) it may not be,
But that I needes must by all meanes fulfill
This penaunce, which enioyned is to me,
Least vnto me betide a greater ill;
Yet no lesse thankes to you for your good will.
So humbly taking leaue, she turnd aside,
But Arthure with the rest, went onward still
On his first quest, in which did him betide
A great aduenture, which did him from them deuide.
But first it falleth me by course to tell
Of faire Serena, who as earst you heard,
When first the gentle Squire at variaunce fell
With those two Carles, fled fast away, afeard
Of villany to be to her inferd:
So fresh the image of her former dread,
Yet dwelling in her eye, to her appeard,
That euery foote did tremble, which did tread,
And euery body two, and two she foure did read.
Through hils & dales, through bushes & through breres
Long thus she fled, till that at last she thought
Her selfe now past the perill of her feares.
Then looking round about, and seeing nought,
Which doubt of daunger to her offer mought,
She from her palfrey lighted on the plaine,
And sitting downe, her selfe a while bethought
Of her long trauell and turmoyling paine;
And often did of loue, and oft of lucke complaine.
And euermore she blamed Calepine,
The good Sir Calepine, her owne true Knight,
As th'onely author of her wofull tine:
For being of his loue to her so light,
As her to leaue in such a piteous plight.
Yet neuer Turtle truer to his make,
Then he was tride vnto his Lady bright:
Who all this while endured for her sake,
Great perill of his life, and restlesse paines did take.
Tho when as all her plaints she had displayd,
And well disburdened her engrieued brest,
Vpon the grasse her selfe adowne she layd;
Where being tyrde with trauell, and opprest
With sorrow, she betooke her selfe to rest.
There whilest in Morpheus bosome safe she lay,
Fearelesse of ought, that mote her peace molest,
False Fortune did her safety betray,
Vnto a straunge mischaunce, that menac'd her decay.
In these wylde deserts, where she now abode,
There dwelt a saluage nation, which did liue
Of stealth and spoile, and making nightly rode
Into their neighbours borders; ne did giue
Them selues to any trade, as for to driue
The painefull plough, or cattell for to breed,
Or by aduentrous marchandize to thriue;
But on the labours of poore men to feed,
And serue their owne necessities with others need.
Thereto they vsde one most accursed order,
To eate the flesh of men, whom they mote fynde,
And straungers to deuoure, which on their border
Were brought by errour, or by wreckfull wynde.
A monstrous cruelty gainst course of kynde.
They towards euening wandring euery way,
To seeke for booty, came by fortune blynde,
Whereas this Lady, like a sheepe astray,
Now drowned in the depth of sleepe all fearelesse lay.
Soone as they spide her, Lord what gladfull glee
They made amongst them selues; but when her face
Like the faire yuory shining they did see,
Each gan his fellow solace and embrace,
For ioy of such good hap by heauenly grace.
Then gan they to deuize what course to take:
Whether to slay her there vpon the place,
Or suffer her out of her sleepe to wake,
And then her eate attonce; or many meales to make.
The best aduizement was of bad, to let her
Sleepe out her fill, without encomberment:
For sleepe they sayd would make her battill better.
Then when she wakt, they all gaue one consent,
That since by grace of God she there was sent,
Vnto their God they would her sacrifize,
Whose share, her guiltlesse bloud they would present,
But of her dainty flesh they did deuize
To make a common feast, & feed with gurmandize.
So round about her they them selues did place
Vpon the grasse, and diuersely dispose,
As each thought best to spend the lingring space.
Some with their eyes the daintest morsels chose;
Some praise her paps, some praise her lips and nose;
Some whet their kniues, and strip their elboes bare:
The Priest him selfe a garland doth compose
Of finest flowres, and with full busie care
His bloudy vessels wash, and holy fire prepare.
The Damzell wakes, then all attonce vpstart,
And round about her flocke, like many flies,
Whooping, and hallowing on euery part,
As if they would haue rent the brasen skies.
Which when she sees with ghastly griefful eies,
Her heart does quake, and deadly pallid hew
Benumbes her cheekes: Then out aloud she cries,
Where none is nigh to heare, that will her rew,
And rends her golden locks, and snowy brests embrew.
But all bootes not: they hands vpon her lay;
And first they spoile her of her iewels deare,
And afterwards of all her rich array;
The which amongst them they in peeces teare,
And of the pray each one a part doth beare.
Now being naked, to their sordid eyes
The goodly threasures of nature appeare:
Which as they view with lustfull fantasyes,
Each wisheth to him selfe, and to the rest enuyes.
Her yuorie necke, her alablaster brest,
Her paps, which like white silken pillowes were,
For loue in soft delight thereon to rest;
Her tender sides, her bellie white and clere,
Which like an Altar did it selfe vprere,
To offer sacrifice diuine thereon;
Her goodly thighes, whose glorie did appeare
Like a triumphall Arch, and thereupon
The spoiles of Princes hang'd, which were in battel won.
Those daintie parts, the dearlings of delight,
Which mote not be prophan'd of common eyes,
Those villeins vew'd with loose lasciuious sight,
And closely tempted with their craftie spyes;
And some of them gan mongst themselues deuize,
Thereof by force to take their beastly pleasure.
But them the Priest rebuking, did aduize
To dare not to pollute so sacred threasure,
Vow'd to the gods: religio[n] held euen theeues in measure.
So being stayd, they her from thence directed
Vnto a litle groue not farre asyde,
In which an altar shortly they erected,
To slay her on. And now the Euentyde
His brode black wings had through the heauens wyde
By this dispred, that was the tyme ordayned
For such a dismall deed, their guilt to hyde:
Of few greene turfes an altar soone they fayned,
And deckt it all with flowres, which they nigh hand obtayned.
Tho when as all things readie were aright,
The Damzell was before the altar set,
Being alreadie dead with fearefull fright.
To whom the Priest with naked armes full net
Approching nigh, and murdrous knife well whet,
Gan mutter close a certaine secret charme,
With other diuelish ceremonies met:
Which doen he gan aloft t'aduance his arme,
Whereat they shouted all, and made a loud alarme.
Then gan the bagpypes and the hornes to shrill,
And shrieke aloud, that with the peoples voyce
Confused, did the ayre with terror fill,
And made the wood to tremble at the noyce:
The whyles she wayld, the more they did reioyce.
Now mote ye vnderstand that to this groue
Sir Calepine by chaunce, more then by choyce,
The selfe same euening fortune hether droue,
As he to seeke Serena through the woods did roue.
Long had he sought her, and through many a soyle
Had traueld still on foot in heauie armes,
Ne ought was tyred with his endlesse toyles,
Ne ought was feared of his certaine harmes:
And now all weetlesse of the wretched stormes,
In which his loue was lost, he slept full fast,
Till being waked with these loud alarmes,
He lightly started vp like one aghast,
And catching vp his arms streight to the noise forth past.
There by th'vncertaine glimse of starry night,
And by the twinkling of their sacred fire,
He mote perceiue a litle dawning sight
Of all, which there was doing in that quire:
Mongst whom a woman spoyld of all attire
He spyde, lamenting her vnluckie strife,
And groning sore from grieued hart entire,
Eftsoones he saw one with a naked knife
Readie to launce her brest, and let out loued life.
With that he thrusts into the thickest throng,
And euen as his right hand adowne descends,
He him preuenting, layes on earth along,
And sacrifizeth to th'infernall feends.
Then to the rest his wrathfull hand he bends,
Of whom he makes such hauocke and such hew,
That swarmes of damned soules to hell he sends:
The rest that scape his sword and death eschew,
Fly like a flocke of doues before a Faulcons vew.
From them returning to that Ladie backe,
Whom by the Altar he doth sitting find,
Yet fearing death, and next to death the lacke
Of clothes to couer, what they ought by kind:
He first her hands beginneth to vnbind,
And then to question of her present woe;
And afterwards to cheare with speaches kind.
But she for nought that he could say or doe,
One word durst speake, or answere him a whit thereto.
So inward shame of her vncomely case
She did conceiue, through care of womanhood,
That though the night did couer her disgrace,
Yet she in so vnwomanly a mood,
Would not bewray the state in which she stood.
So all that night to him vnknowen she past.
But day, that doth discouer bad and good,
Ensewing, made her knowen to him at last:
The end whereof Ile keepe vntill another cast.
Calidore hostes with Meliboe
and loues fayre Pastorell;
Coridon enuies him, yet he
for ill rewards him well.
N Ow turne againe my teme thou iolly swayne,
Backe to the furrow which I lately left;
I lately left a furrow, one or twayne
Vnplough'd, the which my coulter hath not cleft:
Yet seem'd the soyle both fayre and frutefull eft,
As I it past, that were too great a shame,
That so rich frute should be from vs bereft;
Besides the great dishonour and defame,
Which should befall to Calidores immortall name.
Great trauell hath the gentle Calidore
And toyle endured, sith I left him last
Sewing the Blatant beast, which I forbore
To finish then, for other present hast.
Full many pathes and perils he hath past,
Through hils, through dales, throgh forests, & throgh plaines
In that same quest which Fortune on him cast,
Which he atchieued to his owne great gaines,
Reaping eternall glorie of his restlesse paines.
So sharply he the Monster did pursew,
That day nor night he suffred him to rest,
Ne rested he himselfe but natures dew,
For dread of daunger, not to be redrest,
If he for slouth forslackt so famous quest.
Him first from court he to the citties coursed,
And from the citties to the townes him prest,
And from the townes into the countrie forsed,
And from the country back to priuate farmes he scorsed.
From thence into the open fields he fled,
Whereas the Heardes were keeping of their neat,
And shepheards singing to their flockes, that fed,
Layes of sweete loue and youthes delightfull heat:
Him thether eke for all his fearefull threat
He followed fast, and chaced him so nie,
That to the folds, where sheepe at night doe seat,
And to the litle cots, where shepherds lie
In winters wrathfull time, he forced him to flie.
There on a day as he pursew'd the chace,
He chaunst to spy a sort of shepheard groomes,
Playing on pypes, and caroling apace,
The whyles their beasts there in the budded broomes
Beside them fed, and nipt the tender bloomes:
For other worldly wealth they cared nought.
To whom Sir Calidore yet sweating comes,
And them to tell him courteously besought,
If such a beast they saw, which he had thether brought.
They answer'd him, that no such beast they saw,
Nor any wicked feend, that mote offend
Their happie flockes, nor daunger to them draw:
But if that such there were (as none they kend)
They prayd high God him farre from them to send.
Then one of them him seeing so to sweat,
After his rusticke wise, that well he weend,
Offred him drinke, to quench his thirstie heat,
And if he hungry were, him offred eke to eat.
The knight was nothing nice, where was no need,
And tooke their gentle offer: so adowne
They prayd him sit, and gaue him for to feed
Such homely what, as serues the simple clowne,
That doth despise the dainties of the towne.
Tho hauing fed his fill, he there besyde
Saw a faire damzell, which did weare a crowne
Of sundry flowres, with silken ribbands tyde,
Yclad in home-made greene that her owne hands had dyde.
Vpon a litle hillocke she was placed
Higher then all the rest, and round about
Enuiron'd with a girland, goodly graced,
Of louely lasses, and them all without
The lustie shepheard swaynes sate in a rout,
The which did pype and sing her prayses dew,
And oft reioyce, and oft for wonder shout,
As if some miracle of heauenly hew
Were downe to them descended in that earthly vew.
And soothly sure she was full fayre of face,
And perfectly well shapt in euery lim,
Which she did more augment with modest grace,
And comely carriage of her count'nance trim,
That all the rest like lesser lamps did dim:
Who her admiring as some heauenly wight,
Did for their soueraine goddesse her esteeme,
And caroling her name both day and night,
The fayrest Pastorella her by name did hight.
Ne was there heard, ne was there shepheards swayne
But her did honour, and eke many a one
Burnt in her loue, and with sweet pleasing payne
Full many a night for her did sigh and grone:
But most of all the shepheard Coridon
For her did languish, and his deare life spend;
Yet neither she for him, nor other none
Did care a whit, ne any liking lend:
Though meane her lot, yet higher did her mind ascend.
Her whyles Sir Calidore there vewed well,
And markt her rare demeanure, which him seemed
So farre the meane of shepheards to excell,
As that he in his mind her worthy deemed,
To be a Princes Paragone esteemed,
He was vnwares surprisd in subtile bands
Of the blynd boy, ne thence could be redeemed
By any skill out of his cruell hands;
Caught like the bird, which gazing still on others stands.
So stood he still long gazing thereupon,
Ne any will had thence to moue away,
Although his quest were farre afore him gon;
But after he had fed, yet did he stay,
And sate there still, vntill the flying day
Was farre forth spent, discoursing diuersly
Of sundry things, as fell, to worke delay;
And euermore his speach he did apply
To th'heards, but meant them to the damzels fantazy.
By this the moystie night approching fast,
Her deawy humour gan on th'earth to shed,
That warn'd the shepheards to their homes to hast
Their tender flocks, now being fully fed,
For feare of wetting them before their bed;
Then came to them a good old aged syre,
Whose siluer lockes bedeckt his beard and hed,
With shepheards hooke in hand, and fit attyre,
That wild the damzell rise; the day did now expyre.
He was to weet by common voice esteemed
The father of the fayrest Pastorell,
And of her selfe in very deede so deemed;
Yet was not so, but as old stories tell
Found her by fortune, which to him befell,
In th'open fields an Infant left alone,
And taking vp brought home, and noursed well
As his owne chyld; for other he had none,
That she in tract of time accompted was his owne.
She at his bidding meekely did arise,
And streight vnto her litle flocke did fare:
Then all the rest about her rose likewise,
And each his sundrie sheepe with seuerall care
Gathered together, and them homeward bare:
Whylest euerie one with helping hands did striue
Amongst themselues, and did their labours share,
To helpe faire Pastorella, home to driue
Her fleecie flocke; but Coridon most helpe did giue.
But Meliboee (so hight that good old man)
Now seeing Calidore left all alone,
And night arriued hard at hand, began
Him to inuite vnto his simple home;
Which though it were a cottage clad with lome,
And all things therein meane, yet better so
To lodge, then in the saluage fields to rome.
The knight full gladly soone agreed thereto,
Being his harts owne wish, and home with him did go.
There he was welcom'd of that honest syre,
And of his aged Beldame homely well;
Who him besought himselfe to disattyre,
And rest himselfe, till supper time befell.
By which home came the fayrest Pastorell,
After her flocke she in their fold had tyde,
And supper readie dight, they to it fell
With small adoe, and nature satisfyde,
The which doth litle craue contented to abyde.
Tho when they had their hunger slaked well,
And the fayre mayd the table ta'ne away,
The gentle knight, as he that did excell
In courtesie, and well could doe and say,
For so great kindnesse as he found that day,
Gan greatly thanke his host and his good wife;
And drawing thence his speach another way,
Gan highly to commend the happie life,
Which Shepheards lead, without debate or bitter strife.
How much (sayd he) more happie is the state,
In which ye father here doe dwell at ease,
Leading a life so free and fortunate,
From all the tempests of these worldly seas,
Which tosse the rest in daungerous disease?
Where warres, and wreckes, and wicked enmitie
Doe them afflict, which no man can appease,
That certes I your happinesse enuie,
And wish my lot were plast in such felicitie.
Surely my sonne (then answer'd he againe)
If happie, then it is in this intent,
That hauing small, yet doe I not complaine
Of want, ne wish for more it to augment,
But doe my self, with that I haue, content;
So taught of nature, which doth litle need
Of forreine helpes to lifes due nourishment:
The fields my food, my flocke my rayment breed;
No better doe I weare, no better doe I feed.
Therefore I doe not any one enuy,
Nor am enuyde of any one therefore;
They that haue much, feare much to loose thereby,
And store of cares doth follow riches store.
The litle that I haue, growes dayly more
Without my care, but onely to attend it;
My lambes doe euery yeare increase their score,
And my flockes father daily doth amend it.
What haue I, but to praise th'Almighty, that doth send it?
To them, that list, the worlds gay showes I leaue,
And to great ones such follies doe forgiue,
Which oft through pride do their owne perill weaue,
And through ambition downe themselues doe driue
To sad decay, that might contented liue.
Me no such cares nor combrous thoughts offend,
Ne once my minds vnmoued quiet grieue,
But all the night in siluer sleepe I spend,
And all the day, to what I list, I doe attend.
Sometimes I hunt the Fox, the vowed foe
Vnto my Lambes, and him dislodge away;
Sometime the fawne I practise from the Doe,
Or from the Goat her kidde how to conuay;
Another while I baytes and nets display,
The birds to catch, or fishes to beguyle:
And when I wearie am, I downe doe lay
My limbes in euery shade, to rest from toyle,
And drinke of euery brooke, when thirst my throte doth boyle.
The time was once, in my first prime of yeares,
When pride of youth forth pricked my desire,
That I disdain'd amongst mine equall peares
To follow sheepe, and shepheards base attire:
For further fortune then I would inquire.
And leauing home, to roiall court I sought;
Where I did sell my selfe for yearely hire,
And in the Princes gardin daily wrought:
There I beheld such vainenesse, as I neuer thought.
With sight whereof soone cloyd, and long deluded
With idle hopes, which them doe entertaine,
After I had ten yeares my selfe excluded
From natiue home, and spent my youth in vaine,
I gan my follies to my selfe to plaine,
And this sweet peace, whose lacke did then appeare.
Tho backe returning to my sheepe againe,
I from thenceforth haue learn'd to loue more deare
This lowly quiet life, which I inherite here.
Whylest thus he talkt, the knight with greedy eare
Hong still vpon his melting mouth attent;
Whose sensefull words empierst his hart so neare,
That he was rapt with double rauishment,
Both of his speach that wrought him great content,
And also of the obiect of his vew,
On which his hungry eye was alwayes bent;
That twixt his pleasing tongue, and her faire hew,
He lost himselfe, and like one halfe entraunced grew.
Yet to occasion meanes, to worke his mind,
And to insinuate his harts desire,
He thus replyde; Now surely syre, I find,
That all this worlds gay showes, which we admire,
Be but vaine shadowes to this safe retyre
Of life, which here in lowlinesse ye lead,
Fearelesse of foes, or fortunes wrackfull yre,
Which tosseth states, and vnder foot doth tread
The mightie ones, affrayd of euery chaunges dread.
That euen I which daily doe behold
The glorie of the great, mongst whom I won,
And now haue prou'd, what happineesse ye hold
In this small plot of your dominion,
Now loath great Lordship and ambition;
And wish the heauens so much had graced mee,
As graunt me liue in like condition;
Or that my fortunes might transposed bee
From pitch of higher place, vnto this low degree.
In vaine (said then old Meliboe) doe men
The heauens of their fortunes fault accuse,
Sith they know best, what is the best for them:
For they to each such fortune doe diffuse,
As they doe know each can most aptly vse.
For not that, which men couet most, is best,
Nor that thing worst, which men do most refuse;
But fittest is, that all contented rest
With that they hold: each hath his fortune in his brest.
It is the mynd, that maketh good or ill,
That maketh wretch or happie, rich or poore:
For some, that hath abundance at his will,
Hath not enough, but wants in greatest store;
And other, that hath litle, askes no more,
But in that litle is both rich and wise.
For wisedome is most riches; fooles therefore
They are, which fortunes doe by vowes deuize,
Sith each vnto himselfe his life may fortunize.
Since then in each mans self (said Calidore)
It is, to fashion his owne lyfes estate,
Giue leaue awhyle, good father, in this shore
To rest my barcke, which hath bene beaten late
With stormes of fortune and tempestuous fate,
In seas of troubles and of toylesome paine,
That whether quite from them for to retrate
I shal resolue, or backe to turne againe,
I may here with your selfe some small repose obtaine.
Not that the burden of so bold a guest
Shall chargefull be, or chaunge to you at all;
For your meane food shall be my daily feast,
And this your cabin both my bowre and hall.
Besides for recompence hereof, I shall
You well reward, and golden guerdon giue,
That may perhaps you better much withall,
And in this quiet make you safer liue.
So forth he drew much gold, and toward him it driue.
But the good man, nought tempted with the offer
Of his rich mould, did thrust it farre away,
And thus bespake; Sir knight, your bounteous proffe[r]
Be farre fro me, to whom ye ill display
That mucky masse, the cause of mens decay,
That mote empaire my peace with daungers dread.
But if ye algates couet to assay
This simple sort of life, that shepheards lead,
Be it your owne: our rudenesse to your selfe aread.
So there that night Sir Calidore did dwell,
And long while after, whilest him list remaine,
Dayly beholding the faire Pastorell,
And feeding on the bayt of his owne bane.
During which time he did her entertaine
With all kind courtesies, he could inuent;
And euery day, her companie to gaine,
When to the field she went, he with her went:
So for to quench his fire, he did it more augment.
But she that neuer had acquainted beene
With such queint vsage, fit for Queenes and Kings,
Ne euer had such knightly seruice seene,
But being bred vnder base shepheards wings,
Had euer learn'd to loue the lowly things,
Did litle whit regard his courteous guize,
But cared more for Colins carolings
Then all that he could doe, or euer deuize:
His layes, his loues, his lookes she did them all despize.
Which Calidore perceiuing, thought it best
To chaunge the manner of his loftie looke;
And doffing his bright armes, himselfe addrest
In shepheards weed, and in his hand he tooke,
In stead of steelehead speare, a shepheards hooke;
That who had seene him then, would haue bethought
On Phrygian Paris by Plexippus brooke,
When he the loue of fayre Oenone sought,
What time the golden apple was vnto him brought.
So being clad, vnto the fields he went
With the faire Pastorella euery day,
And kept her sheepe with diligent attent,
Watching to driue the rauenous Wolfe away,
The whylest at pleasure she mote sport and play;
And euery euening helping them to fold:
And otherwhiles for need, he did assay
In his strong hand their rugged teats to hold,
And out of them to presse the milke: loue so much could.
Which seeing Coridon, who her likewise
Long time had lou'd, and hop'd her loue to gaine,
He much was troubled at that straungers guize,
And many gealous thoughts conceiu'd in vaine,
That this of all his labour and long paine
Should reap the haruest, ere it ripened were;
That made him scoule, and pout, and oft complaine
Of Pastorell to all the shepheards there,
That she did loue a stranger swayne then him more dere.
And euer when him came in companie,
Where Calidore was present, he would loure,
And byte his lip, and euen for gealousie
Was readie oft his owne hart to deuoure,
Impatient of any paramoure:
Who on the other side did seeme so farre
From malicing, or grudging his good houre,
That all he could, he graced him with her,
Ne euer shewed signe of rancour or of iarre.
And oft, when Coridon vnto her brought
Or litle sparrowes, stolen from their nest,
Or wanton squirrels, in the woods farre sought,
Or other daintie thing for her addrest,
He would commend his guift, and make the best.
Yet she no whit his presents did regard,
Ne him could find to fancie in her brest:
This newcome shepheard had his market mard.
Old loue is litle worth when new is more prefard.
One day when as the shepheard swaynes together
Were met, to make their sports and merrie glee,
As they are wont in faire sunshynie weather,
The whiles their flockes in shadowes shrouded bee,
They fell to daunce: then did they all agree,
That Colin Clout should pipe as one most fit;
And Calidore should lead the ring, as hee
That most in Pastorellaes grace did sit.
Thereat frown'd Coridon, and his lip closely bit.
But Calidore of courteous inclination
Tooke Coridon, and set him in his place,
That he should lead the daunce, as was his fashion;
For Coridon could daunce, and trimly trace.
And when as Pastorella, him to grace,
Her flowry garlond tooke from her owne head,
And plast on his, he did it soone displace,
And did it put on Coridons in stead:
Then Coridon woxe frollicke, that earst seemed dead.
Another time, when as they did dispose
To practise games, and maisteries to try,
They for their Iudge did Pastorella chose;
A garland was the meed of victory.
There Coridon forth stepping openly,
Did chalenge Calidore to wrestling game:
For he through long and perfect industry,
Therein well practisd was, and in the same
Thought sure t'auenge his grudge, & worke his foe great shame.
But Calidore he greatly did mistake;
For he was strong and mightily stiffe pight,
That with one fall his necke he almost brake,
And had he not vpon him fallen light,
His dearest ioynt he sure had broken quight.
Then was the oaken crowne by Pastorell
Giuen to Calidore, as his due right;
But he, that did in courtesie excell,
Gaue it to Coridon, and said he wonne it well.
Thus did the gentle knight himselfe abeare
Amongst that rusticke rout in all his deeds,
That euen they, the which his riuals were,
Could not maligne him, but commend him needs:
For courtesie amongst the rudest breds
Good will and fauour. So it surely wrought
With this faire Mayd, and in her mynde the seeds
Of perfect loue did sow, that last forth brought
The fruite of ioy and blisse, though long time dearely bought.
Thus Calidore continu'd there long time,
To winne the loue of the faire Pastorell;
Which hauing got, he vsed without crime
Or blamefull blot, but menaged so well,
That he of all the rest, which there did [d]well,
Was fauoured, and to her grace commmended.
But what straunge fortunes vnto him befell,
Ere he attain'd the point by him intended,
Shall more conueniently in other place be ended.
Calidore sees the Graces daunce,
To Colins melody:
The whiles his Pastorell is led,
W Ho now does follow the foule Blatant Beast,
Whilest Calidore does follow that faire Mayd,
Vnmyndfull of his vow and high beheast,
Which by the Faery Queene was on him layd,
That he should neuer leaue, nor be delayd
From chacing him, till he had it attchieued?
But now entrapt of loue, which him betrayd,
He mindeth more, how he may be relieued
With grace from her, whose loue his heart hath sore engrieued.
That from henceforth he meanes no more to sew
His former quest, so full of toile and paine;
Another quest, another game in vew
He hath, the guerdon of his loue to gaine:
With whom he myndes for euer to remaine,
And set his rest amongst the rusticke sort,
Rather then hunt still after shadowes vaine
Of courtly fauour, fed with light report,
Of euery blaste, and sayling alwaies on the port.
Ne certes mote he greatly blamed be,
From so high step to stoupe vnto so low.
For who had tasted once (as oft did he)
The happy peace, which there doth ouerflow,
And prou'd the perfect pleasures, which doe grow
Amongst poore hyndes, in hils, in woods, in dales,
Would neuer more delight in painted show
Of such false blisse, as there is set for stales,
T'entrap vnwary fooles in their eternall bales.
For what hath all that goodly glorious gaze
Like to one sight, which Calidore did vew?
The glaunce whereof their dimmed eies would daze,
That neuer more they should endure the shew
Of that sunne-shine, that makes them looke askew.
Ne ought in all that world of beauties rare,
(Saue onely Glorianaes heauenly hew
To which what can compare?) can it compare;
The which as commeth now, by course I will declare.
One day as he did raunge the fields abroad,
Whilest his faire Pastorella was elsewhere,
He chaunst to come, far from all peoples troad,
Vnto a place, whose pleasaunce did appere
To passe all others, on the earth which were:
For all that euer was by natures skill
Deuized to worke delight, was gathered there,
And there by her were poured forth at fill,
As if this to adorne, she all the rest did pill.
It was an hill plaste in an open plaine,
That round about was bordered with a wood
Of matchlesse hight, that seem'd th'earth to disdaine;
In which all trees of honour stately stood,
And did all winter as in sommer bud,
Spredding pauilions for the birds to bowre,
Which in their lower braunches sung aloud;
And in their tops the soring hauke did towre,
Sitting like King of fowles in maiesty and powre.
And at the foote thereof, a gentle flud
His siluer waues did softly tumble downe,
Vnmard with ragged mosse or filthy mud;
Ne mote wylde beastes, ne mote the ruder clowne
Thereto approch, ne filth mote therein drowne:
But Nymphes and Faeries by the bancks did sit,
In the woods shade, which did the waters crowne,
Keeping all noysome things away from it,
And to the waters fall tuning their accents fit.
And on the top thereof a spacious plaine
Did spred it selfe, to serue to all delight,
Either to daunce, when they to daunce would faine,
Or else to course about their bases light;
Ne ought there wanted, which for pleasure might
Desired be, or thence to banish bale:
So pleasauntly the hill with equall hight,
Did seeme to ouerlooke the lowly vale;
Therefore it rightly cleeped was mount Acidale.
They say that Venus, when she did dispose
Her selfe to pleasaunce, vsed to resort
Vnto this place, and therein to repose
And rest her selfe, as in a gladsome port,
Or with the Graces there to play and sport;
That euen her owne Cytheron, though in it
She vsed most to keepe her royall court,
And in her soueraine Maiesty to sit,
She in regard hereof refusde and thought vnfit.
Vnto this place when as the Elfin Knight
Approcht, him seemed that the merry sound
Of a shrill pipe he playing heard on hight,
And many feete fast thumping th'hollow ground,
That through the woods their Eccho did rebound.
He nigher drew, to weete what mote it be;
There he a troupe of Ladies dauncing found
Full merrily, and making gladfull glee,
And in the midst a Shepheard piping he did see.
He durst not enter into th'open greene,
For dread of them vnwares to be descryde,
For breaking of their daunce, if he were seene;
But in the couert of the wood did byde,
Beholding all, yet of them vnespyde.
There he did see, that pleased much his sight,
That euen he him selfe his eyes enuyde,
An hundred naked maidens lilly white,
All raunged in a ring, and dauncing in delight.
All they without were raunged in a ring,
And daunced round ; but in the midst of them
Three other Ladies did both daunce and sing,
The whilest the rest them round about did hemme,
And like a girlond did in compasse stemme:
And in the middest of those same three, was placed
Another Damzell, as a precious gemme,
Amidst a ring most richly well enchaced,
That with her goodly presence all the rest much graced.
Looke how the Crowne, which Ariadne wore
Vpon her yuory forehead that same day
That Theseus her vnto his bridale bore,
When the bold Centaures made that bloudy fray
With the fierce Lapithes, which did them dismay;
Being now placed in the firmament,
Through the bright heauen doth her beams display,
And is vnto the starres an ornament,
Which round about her moue in order excellent.
Such was the beauty of this goodly band,
Whose sundry parts were here too long to tell:
But she that in the midst of them did stand,
Seem'd all the rest in beauty to excell,
Crownd with a rosie girlond, that right well
Did her beseeme. And euer, as the crew
About her daunst, sweet flowres, that far did smell,
And fragrant odours they vppon her threw;
But most of all, those three did her with gifts endew.
Those were the Graces, daughters of delight,
Handmaides of Venus, which are wont to haunt
Vppon this hill, and daunce there day and night:
Those three to men all gifts of grace do graunt,
And all, that Venus in her selfe doth vaunt,
Is borrowed of them. But that faire one,
That in the midst was placed parauaunt,
Was she to whom that shepheard pypt alone,
That made him pipe so merrily, as neuer none.
She was to weete that iolly Shepheards lasse,
Which piped there vnto that merry rout:
That iolly shepheard, which there piped, was
Poore Colin Clout (who knowes not Colin Clout?)
He pypt apace, whilest they him daunst about.
Pype iolly shepheard, pype thou now apace
Vnto thy loue, that made thee low to lout;
Thy Loue is present there with thee in place,
Thy Loue is there aduaunst to be another Grace.
Much wondred Calidore at this straunge sight,
Whose like before his eye had neuer seene,
And standing long astonished in spright,
And rapt with pleasaunce, wist not what to weene;
Whether it were the traine of beauties Queene,
Or Nymphes, or Faeries, or enchaunted show,
With which his eyes mote haue deluded beene.
Therefore resoluing, what it was, to know,
Out of the wood he rose, and toward them did go.
But soone as he appeared to their vew,
The vanisht all away out of his sight,
And cleane were gone, which way he neuer knew;
All saue the shepheard, who for fell despight
Of that displeasure, broke his bag-pipe quight,
And made great mone for that vnhappy turne.
But Calidore, though no lesse sory wight,
For that mishap, yet seeing him to mourne,
Drew neare, that he the truth of all by him mote learne.
And first him greeting, thus vnto him spake;
Haile iolly shepheard, which thy ioyous dayes
Here leadest in this goodly merry make,
Frequented of these gentle Nymphes alwayes,
Which to thee flocke, to heare thy louely layes;
Tell me, what mote these dainty Damzels be,
Which here with thee doe make their pleasant playes?
Right happy thou, that mayst them freely see:
But why when I them saw, fled they away from me?
Not I so happy, answerd then that swaine,
As thou vnhappy, which them thence didst chace,
Whom by no meanes thou canst recall againe;
For being gone, none can them bring in place,
But whom they of them selues list so to grace.
Right sory I, (saide then Sir Calidore,)
That my ill fortune did them hence displace.
But since things passed none may now restore,
Tell, me what were they all, whose lacke thee grieues so sore.
Tho gan that shepheard thus for to dilate;
Then wote thou shepheard, whatsoeuer thou bee,
That all those Ladies, which thou sawest late,
Are Venus Damzels, all within her fee,
But differing in honour and degree:
They all are Graces, which on her depend,
Besides a thousand more, which ready bee
Her to adorne, when so she forth doth wend:
But those three in the midst, doe chiefe on her attend.
They are the daughters of sky-ruling Ioue,
By him begot of faire Eurynome,
The Oceans daughter, in this pleasant groue,
As he this way comming from feastfull glee,
Of Thetis wedding with Æacidee,
In sommers shade himselfe here rested weary.
The first of them hight mylde Euphrosyne,
Next faire Aglaia, last Thalia merry:
Sweete Goddesses all three which me in mirth do cherry.
These three on men all gracious gifts bestow,
Which decke to body or adorne the mynde,
To make them louely or well fauoured show,
As comely carriage, entertainement kynde,
Sweete semblaunt, friendly offices that bynde,
And all the complements of curtesie:
They teach vs, how to each degree and kynde
We should our selues demeane, to low, to hie;
To firends, to foes, which skill men call Ciuility.
Therefore they alwaies smoothly seeme to smile,
That we likewise should mylde and gentle be,
And also naked are, that without guile
Or false dissemblaunce all them plaine may see,
Simple and true from couert malice free:
And eeke them selues so in their daunce they bore,
That two of them still fr[ow]ard seem'd to bee,
But one still towards shew'd her selfe afore;
That good should from vs goe, then come in greater store.
Such were those Goddesses, which ye did see;
But that fourth Mayd, which there amidst the[m] traced,
Who can aread, what creature mote she bee,
Whether a creature, or a goddesse graced
With heauenly gifts from heuen first enraced?
But what so sure she was, she worthy was,
For be the fourth with those three other placed:
Yet was she certes but a countrey lasse,
Yet she all other countrey lasses farre did passe.
So farre as doth the daughter of the day,
All other lesser lights in light excell,
So farre doth she in beautyfull array,
Aboue all other lasses beare the bell,
Ne lesse in vertue that beseemes her well,
Doth she exceede the rest of all her race;
For which the Graces that here wont to dwell,
Haue for more honor brought her to this place,
And graced her so much to be another Grace.
Another Grace she well deserues to be,
In whom so many Graces gathered are,
Excelling much the meane of her degree;
Diuine resemblaunce, beauty soueraine rare,
Firme Chastity, that spight ne blemish dare;
All which she with such courtesie doth grace,
That all her peres cannot with her compare,
But quite are dimmed, when she is in place.
She made me often pipe and now to pipe apace.
Sunne of the world, great glory of the sky,
That all the earth doest lighten with thy rayes,
Great Gloriana, greatest Maiesty,
Pardon thy shepheard, mongst so many layes,
As he hath sung of thee in all his dayes,
To make one minime of thy poore handmayd,
And vnderneath thy feete to place her prayse;
That when thy glory shall be farre displayd
To future age of her this mention may be made.
When thus that shepherd ended had his speach,
Sayd Calidore ; Now sure it yrketh mee,
That to thy blisse I made this luckelesse breach,
As now the author of thy bale to be,
Thus to bereaue thy Loues deare sight from thee:
But gentle Shepheard pardon thou my shame,
Who rashly sought that, which I mote not see.
Thus did the courteous Knight excuse his blame,
And to recomfort him, all comely meanes did frame.
In such discourses they together spent
Long time, as fit occasion forth them led;
With which the Knight him selfe did much content,
And with delight his greedy fancy fed,
Both of his words, which he with reason red;
And also of the place, whose pleasures rare
With such regard his sences rauished,
That thence, he had no will away to fare,
But wisht, that with that shepheard he mote dwelling share.
But that enuenimd sting, the which of yore,
His poysnous point deepe fixed in his hart
Had left, now gan afresh to rancle sore,
And to renue the rigour of his smart:
Which to recure, no skill of Leaches art
Mote him auaile, but to returne againe
To his wounds worker, that with louely dart
Dinting his brest, had bred his restlesse paine,
Like as the wounded Whale to shore flies fro[m] the maine.
So taking leaue of that same gentle swaine,
He backe returned to his rusticke wonne,
Where his faire Pastorella did remaine:
To whome in sort, as he at first begonne,
He daily did apply him selfe to donne
All dewfull seruice voide of thoughts imp[u]re:
Ne any paines ne perill did he shonne,
By which he might her to his loue allure,
And liking in her yet vntamed heart procure.
And euermore the shepheard Coridon,
What euer thing he did her to aggrate,
Did striue to match with strong contention,
And all his paines did closely emulate;
Whether it were to caroll, as they sate
Keeping their sheepe, or games to exercize,
Or to present her with their labours late;
Through which if any grace chaunst to arize
To him, the Shepheard streight with iealousie did frize.
One day as they all three together went
To the greene wood, to gather strawberies,
There chaunst to them a dangerous accident;
A Tigre forth out of the wood did rise,
That with fell clawes full of fierce gourmandize,
And greedy mouth, wide gaping like hell gate,
Did runne at Pastorell, her to surprize:
Whom she beholding, now all desolate
Gan cry to them aloud, to helpe ere all too late.
Which Coridon first hearing, ran in hast
To reskue her, but when he saw the feend,
Through cowherd feare he fled away as fast,
Ne durst abide the daunger of the end;
His life he steemed dearer then his frend.
But Calidore soone comming to her ayde,
When he the beast saw ready now to rend
His Loues deare spoile, in which his heart was prayde,
He ran at him enrag[e]d in stead of being frayde.
He had no weapon, but his shepheards hooke,
To serue the vengeaunce of his wrathfull will;
With which so sternely he the monster strooke,
That to the ground astonished he fell;
Whence ere he could recou'r, he did him quell,
And hewing off his head, [he] it presented
Before the feete of the faire Pastorell;
Who scarcely yet from former feare exempted,
A thousand times him thankt, that had her death preuented.
From that day forth she gan him to affect,
And daily more her fauour to augment;
But Coridon for cowherdize reiect,
Fit to keepe sheepe, vnfit for loues content:
The gentle heart scornes base disparagement.
Yet Calidore did not despise him quight,
But vsde him friendly for further intent,
That by his fellowship, he colour might
Both his estate, and loue from skill of any wight.
So well he wood her, and so well he wrought her,
With humble seruice, and with daily sute,
That at the last vnto his will he brought her;
Which he so wisely well did prosecute,
That of his loue he reapt the timely frute,
And ioyed long in close felicity:
Till fortune fraught with malice, blinde, and brute,
That enuies louers long prosperity,
Blew vp a bitter storme of foule aduersity.
It fortuned one day, when Calidore
Was hunting in the woods (as was his trade)
A lawlesse people, Brigants hight of yore,
That neuer vsde to liue by plough nor spade,
But fed on spoile and booty, which they made
Vpon their neighbours, which did nigh them border,
The dwelling of these shepheards did inuade,
And spoyld their houses, and them selues did murder;
And droue away their flocks, with other much disorder.
Amongst the rest, the which they then did pray,
They spoyld old Melibee of all he had,
And all his people captiue led away;
Mongst which this lucklesse mayd away was lad,
Faire Pastorella, sorrowfull and sad,
Most sorrowfull, most sad, that euer sigh't,
Now made the spoile of theeues and Brigants bad,
Which was the conquest of the gentlest Knight,
That euer liu'd, and th'onely glory of his might.
With them also was taken Coridon,
And carried captiue by those theeues away;
Who in the couert of the night, that none
Mote them descry, nor reskue from their pray,
Vnto their dwelling did them close conuay.
Their dwelling in a little Island was,
Couered with shrubby woods, in which no way
Appeard for people in nor out to pas,
Nor any footing fynde for ouergrowen gras.
For vnderneath the ground their way was made,
Through hollow caues, that no man mote discouer
For the thicke shrubs, which did them alwaies shade
From view of liuing wight, and couered ouer:
But darkenesse dred and daily night did houer
Through all the inner parts, wherein they dwelt,
Ne lightned was with window, nor with louer,
But with continuall candlelight, which delt
A doubtfull sense of things, not so well seene, as felt.
Hither those Brigants brought their present pray,
And kept them with continuall watch and ward,
Meaning so soone, as they conuenient may,
For slaues to sell them, for no small reward,
To merchants, which them kept in bondage hard,
Or sold againe. Now when faire Pastorell
Into this place was brought, and kept with gard
Of griesly theeues, she thought her self in hell,
Where with such damned fiends she should in darknesse dwell.
But for to tell the dolefull dreriment,
And pittifull complaints, which there she made,
Where day and night she nought did but lament
Her wretched life, shut vp in deadly shade,
And waste her goodly beauty, which did fade
Like to a flowre, that feeles no heate of sunne,
Which may her feeble leaues with comfort glade.
But what befell her in that theeuish wonne,
Will in an other Canto better be begonne.
The theeues fall out for Pastorell,
VVhilest Melibee is slaine:
Her Calidore from them redeemes,
And bringeth backe againe.
T He ioyes of loue, if they should euer last,
Without affliction or disquietnesse,
That worldly chaunces doe amongst them cast,
Would be on earth too great a blessednesse,
Liker to heauen, then mortall wretchednesse.
Therefore the winged God, to let men weet,
That here on earth is no sure happinesse,
A thousand sowres hath tempred with one sweet,
To make it seeme more deare and dainty, as is meet.
Like as is now befalne to this faire Mayd,
Faire Pastorell, of whom is now my song,
Who being now in dreadfull darknesse layd,
Amongst those theeues, which her in bondage strong
Detaynd, yet Fortune not with all this wrong
Contented, greater mischiefe on her threw,
And sorrowes heapt on her in greater throng;
That who so heares her heauinesse, would rew
And pitty her sad plight, so chang'd from pleasaunt hew.
Whylest thus she in these hellish dens remayned,
Wrapped in wretched cares and hearts vnrest,
It so befell (as Fortune had ordayned)
That he, which was their Capitaine profest,
And had the chiefe commaund of all the rest,
One day as he did all his prisoners vew,
With lustfull eyes, beheld that louely guest,
Faire Pastorella, whose sad mournefull hew
Like the faire Morning clad in misty fog did shew.
At sight whereof his barbarous heart was fired,
And inly burnt with flames most raging whot,
That her alone he for his part desired
Of all the other pray, which they had got,
And her in mynde did to him selfe allot.
From that day forth he kyndnesse to her showed,
And sought her loue, by all the meanes he mote;
With looks, with words, with gifts he oft her wowed;
And mixed threats among, and much vnto her vowed.
But all that euer he could doe or say,
Her constant mynd could not a whit remoue,
Nor draw vnto the lure of his lewd lay,
To graunt him fauour, or afford him loue.
Yet ceast he not to sew and all waies proue,
By which he mote accomplish his request,
Saying and doing all that mote behoue;
Ne day nor night he suffred her to rest,
But her all night did watch, and all the day molest.
At last, when him she so importune saw,
Fearing least he at length the raines would lend
Vnto his lust, and make his will his law,
Sith in his powre she was to foe or frend;
She thought it best, for shadow to pretend
Some shew of fauour, by him gracing small,
That she thereby mote either freely wend,
Or at more ease continue there his thrall:
A little well is lent, that gaineth more withall.
So from thenceforth, when loue he to her made,
With better tearmes she did him entertaine;
Which gaue him hope, and did him halfe perswade,
That he in time her ioyaunce should obtaine.
But when she saw, through that small fauours gaine,
That further, then she willing was, he prest;
She found no meanes to barre him, but to faine
A sodaine sickenesse, which her sore opprest,
And made vnfit to serue his lawlesse mindes behest.
By meanes whereof she would not him permit
Once to approch to her in priuity,
But onely mongst the rest by her to sit,
Mourning the rigour of her malady,
And seeking all things meete for remedy.
But she resolu'd no remedy to fynde,
Nor better cheare to shew in misery,
Till Fortune would her captiue bonds vnbynde:
Her sickenesse was not of the body but the mynde.
During which space that she thus sicke did lie,
It chaunst a sort of merchants, which were wount
To skim those coastes, for bondmen there to buy,
And by such trafficke after gaines to hunt,
Arriued in this Isle though bare and blunt,
T'inquire for slaues; where being readie met
By some of these same theeues at the instant brunt,
Were brought vnto their Captaine, who was set
By his faire patients side with sorrowfull regret.
To whom they shewed, how those marchants were
Arriu'd in place, their bondslaues for to buy;
And therefore prayd, that those same captiues there
Mote to them for their most commodity
Be sold, and mongst them shared equally.
This their request the Captaine much appalled;
Yet could he not their iust demaund deny,
And willed streight the slaues should forth be called,
And sold for most aduantage not to be forstalled.
Then forth the good old Meliboe was brought,
And Coridon, with many other moe,
Whom they before in diuerse spoyles had caught:
All which he to the marchants sale did showe.
Till some, which did the sundry prisoners knowe,
Gan to inquire for that faire shepherdesse,
Which with the rest they tooke not long agoe,
And gan her forme and feature to expresse,
The more t'augment her price, through praise of comlinesse.
To whom the Captaine in full angry wize
Made answere, that the Mayd of whom they spake,
Was his owne purchase and his onely prize,
With which none had to doe, ne ought partake,
But he himselfe, which did that conquest make;
Litle for him to haue one silly lasse:
Besides, through sicknesse now so wan and weake,
That nothing meet in marchandise to passe.
So shew'd them her, to proue how pale & weake she was.
The sight of whom, though now decayd and mard,
And eke but hardly seene by candle-light:
Yet like a Diamond of rich regard,
In doubtfull shadow of the darkesome night,
With starrie beames about her shining bright,
These marchants fixed eyes did so amaze,
That what through wonder, & what through delight,
Awhile on her they greedily did gaze,
And did her greatly like, and did her greatly praize.
At last when all the rest them offred were,
And prises to them placed at their pleasure,
They all refused in regard of her,
Ne ought would buy, how euer prisd with measure,
Withouten her, whose worth aboue all threasure
They did esteeme, and offred store of gold.
But then the Captaine fraught with more displeasure,
Bad them be still, his loue should not be sold:
The rest take if they would, he her to him would hold.
Therewith some other of the chiefest theeues
Boldly him bad such iniurie forbeare;
For that same mayd, how euer it him greeues,
Should with the rest be sold before him theare,
To make the prises of the rest more deare.
That with great rage he stoutly doth denay;
And fiercely drawing forth his blade, doth sweare,
That who so hardie hand on her doth lay,
It dearely shall aby, and death for handsell pay.
Thus as they words amongst them multiply,
They fall to strokes, the frute of too much talke:
And the mad steele about doth fiercely fly,
Not sparing wight, ne leauing any balke,
But making way for death at large to walke:
Who in the horror of the griesly night,
In thousand dreadful shapes doth mongst them stalke,
And makes huge hauocke, whiles the candlelight
Out quenched, leaues no skill nor difference of wight.
Like as a sort of hungry dogs ymet
About some carcase by the common way,
Doe fall together, stryuing each to get
The greatest portion of the greedie pray;
All on confused heapes themselues assay,
And snatch, and byte, and rend, and tug, and teare;
That who them sees, would wonder at their fray,
And who sees not, would be affrayd to heare:
Such was the conflict of those cruell Brigants there.
But first of all, their captiues they doe kill,
Least they should ioyne against the weaker side,
Or rise against the remnant at their will;
Old Meliboe is slaine, and him beside
His aged wife, with many others wide:
But Coridon escaping craftily,
Creepes forth of dores, whilst darknes him doth hide,
And flyes away as fast as he can hye,
Ne stayeth leaue to take, before his friends doe dye.
But Pastorella, wofull wretched Elfe,
Was by the Captaine all this while defended:
Who minding more her safety then himselfe,
His target alwayes ouer her pretended;
By meanes whereof, that mote not be amended,
He at the length was slaine, and layd on ground,
Yet holding fast twixt both his armes extended
Fayre Pastorell, who with the selfe same wound
Lanc't through the arme, fell down with him in drerie swound.
There lay she couered with confused preasse
Of carcases, which dying on her fell.
Tho when as he was dead, the fray gan ceasse,
And each to other calling, did compell
To stay their cruell hands from slaughter fell.
Sith they that were the cause of all, were gone.
Thereto they all attonce agreed well,
And lighting candles new, gan search anone,
How many of their friends were slaine, how many fone.
Their Captaine there they cruelly found kild,
And in his armes the dreary dying mayd,
Like a sweet Angell twixt two clouds vphild:
Her louely light was dimmed and decayd,
With cloud of death vpon her eyes displayd;
Yet did the cloud make euen that dimmed light
Seeme much more louely in that darknesse layd,
And twixt the twinckling of her eye-lids bright,
To sparke out litle beames, like starres in foggie night.
But when they mou'd the carcases aside,
They found that life did yet in her remaine:
Then all their helpes they busily applyde,
To call the soule backe to her home againe;
And wrought so well with labour and long paine,
That they to life recouered her at last.
Who sighing sore, as if her hart in twaine
Had riuen bene, and all her hart strings brast,
With drearie drouping eyne lookt vp like one aghast.
There she beheld, that sore her grieu'd to see,
Her father and her friends about her lying,
Her selfe sole left, a second spoyle to bee
Of those, that hauing saued her from dying,
Renew'd her death by timely death denying:
What now is left her, but to wayle and weepe,
Wringing her hands, and ruefully loud crying?
Ne cared she her wound in teares to steepe,
Albe with all their might those Brigants her did keepe.
But when they saw her now reliu'd againe,
They left her so, in charge of one the best
Of many worst, who with vnkind disdaine
And cruell rigour her did much molest;
Scarse yeelding her due food, or timely rest,
And scarsely suffring her infestred wound,
That sore her payn'd, by any to be drest,
So leaue we her in wretched thraldome bound,
And turne we backe to Calidore, where we him found.
Who when he backe returned from the wood,
And saw his shepheards cottage spoyled quight,
And his Loue reft away, he wexed wood,
And halfe enraged at that ruefull sight;
That euen his hart for very fell despight,
And his owne flesh he readie was to teare:
He chauft, he grieu'd, he fretted, and he sigh't,
And fared like a furious wyld Beare,
Whose whelpes are stolne away, she being otherwhere.
Ne wight he found, to whom he might complaine,
Ne wight he found, of whom he might inquire;
That more increast the anguish of his paine.
He sought the woods; but no man could see there;
He sought the plaines; but could no tydings heare.
The woods did nought but ecchoes vaine rebound;
The playnes all waste and emptie did appeare:
Where wont the shepheards oft their pypes resound,
And feed an hundred flocks, there now not one he found.
At last as there he romed vp and downe,
He chaunst one comming towards him to spy,
That seem'd to be some sorie simple clowne,
With ragged weedes, and lockes vpstaring hye,
As if he did from some late daunger fly,
And yet his feare did follow him behynd:
Who as he vnto him approched nye,
He mote perceiue by signes, which he did fynd,
That Coridon it was, the silly shepherds hynd.
Tho to him running fast, he did not stay
To greet him first, but askt were where the rest;
Where Pastorell? who full of fresh dismay,
And gushing forth in teares, was so opprest,
That he no word could speake, but smit his brest,
And vp to heauen his eyes fast streming threw.
Whereat the knight amaz'd, yet did not rest,
But askt againe, what ment that rufull hew;
Where was his Pastorell? where all the other crew?
Ah well away (sayd he then sighing sore)
That euer I did liue, this day to see,
This dismall day, and was not dead before,
Before I saw faire Pastorella dye.
Die? out alas! then Calidore did cry:
How could the death dare euer her to quell?
But read thou shepheard, read what destiny,
Or other dyrefull hap from heauen or hell
Hath wrought this wicked deed: doe feare away, and tell.
Tho when the shepheard breathed had awhile,
He thus began: Where shall I then commence
This wofull tale? or how those Brigants vyle,
With cruell rage and dreadfull violence
Spoyld all our cots, and caried vs from hence?
Or how faire Pastorell should haue bene sold
To marchants, but was sau'd with strong defence?
Or how those theeues, whilest one sought her to hold,
Fell all at ods, and fought through fury fierce and bold.
In that same conflict (woe is me) befell
This fatall chaunce, this dolefull accident,
Whose heauy tydings now I haue to tell.
First all the captiues, which they here had hent,
Were by them slaine by generall consent;
Old Meliboe and his good wife withall
These eyes saw die, and dearely did lament:
But when the lot to Pastorell did fall,
Their Captaine long withstood, & did her death forstall.
But what could he gainst all them doe alone?
It could not boot, needs mote she die at last:
I onely scapt through great confusione
Of cryes and clamors, which amongst them past,
In dreadfull darknesse dreadfully aghast;
That better were with them to haue bene dead,
Then here to see all desolate and wast,
Despoyled of those ioyes and iollyhead,
Which with those gentle shepherds here I wont to lead.
When Calidore these ruefull newes had raught,
His hart quite deaded was with anguish great,
And all his wits with doole were nigh distraught,
That he his face, his head, his brest did beat,
And death it selfe vnto himselfe did threat;
Oft cursing th'heauens, that so cruell were
To her, whose name he often did repeat;
And wishing oft, that he were present there,
When she was slaine, or had bene to her succour nere.
But after griefe awhile had had his course,
And spent it selfe in mourning, he at last
Began to mitigate his swelling sourse,
And in his mind with better reason cast,
How he might saue her life, if life did last;
Or if that dead, how he her death might wreake,
Sith otherwise he could not mend thing past;
Or if it to reuenge he were too weake,
Then for to die with her, and his liues threed to breake.
Tho Coridon he prayd, sith he well knew
The readie way vnto that theeuish wonne,
To wend with him, and be his conduct trew
Vnto the place, to see what should be donne.
But he, whose hart through feare was late fordonne,
Would not for ought be drawne to former drede,
But by all meanes the daunger knowne did shonne:
Yet Calidore so well him wrought with meed,
And faire bespoke with words, that he at last agreed.
So forth they goe together (God before)
Both clad in shepheards weeds agreeably,
And both with shepheards hookes: But Calidore
Had vnderneath, him armed priuily.
Tho to the place when they approched nye,
They chaunst, vpon an hill not farre away,
Some flockes of sheepe and shepheards to espy;
To whom they both agreed to take their way,
In hope there newes to learne, how they mote best assay.
There did they find, that which they did not feare,
The selfe same flocks, the which those theeues had reft
From Meliboe and from themselues whyleare,
And certaine of the theeues there by them left,
The which for want of heards themselues then kept.
Right well knew Coridon his owne late sheepe,
And seeing them, for tender pittie wept:
But when he saw the theeues, which did them keepe,
His hart gan fayle, albe he saw them all asleepe.
But Calidore recomforting his griefe,
Though not his feare; for nought may feare disswade;
Him hardly forward drew, whereas the thiefe
Lay sleeping soundly in the bushes shade,
Whom Coridon him counseld to inuade
Now all vnwares, and take the spoyle away;
But he, that in his mind had closely made
A further purpose, would not so them slay,
But gently waking them, gaue them the time of day.
Tho sitting downe by them vpon the greene,
Of sundrie things he purpose gan to faine;
That he by them might certaine tydings weene
Of Pastorell, were she aliue or slaine.
Mongst which the theeues them questioned againe,
What mister men, and eke from whence they were.
To whom they answer'd, as did appertaine,
That they were poore heardgroomes, the which whylere
Had from their maisters fled, & now sought hyre elswhere.
Whereof right glad they seem'd, and offer made
To hyre them well, if they their flockes would keepe:
For they themselues were euill groomes, they sayd,
Vnwont with heards to watch, or pasture sheepe,
But to forray the land, or scoure the deepe.
Thereto they soone agreed, and earnest tooke,
To keepe their flockes for litle hyre and chepe:
For they for better hyre did shortly looke,
So there all day they bode, till light the sky forsooke.
Tho when as towards darksome night it drew,
Vnto their hellish dens those theeues them brought;
Where shortly they in great acquaintance grew,
And all the secrets of their entrayles sought.
There did they find, contrarie to their thought,
That Pastorell yet liu'd, but all the rest
Were dead, right so as Coridon had taught:
Whereof they both full glad and blyth did rest,
But chiefly Calidore, whom griefe had most possest.
At length when they occasion fittest found,
In dead of night, when all the theeues did rest
After a late forray, and slept full sound,
Sir Calidore him arm'd, as he thought best,
Hauing of late by diligent inquest,
Prouided him a sword of meanest sort:
With which he streight went to the Captaines nest.
But Coridon durst not with him consort,
Ne durst abide behind, for dread of worse effort.
When to the Caue they came, they found it fast:
But Calidore with huge resistlesse might,
The dores assayled, and the locks vpbrast.
With noyse whereof the theefe awaking light,
Vnto the entrance ran: where the bold knight
Encountring him with small resistance slew;
The whiles faire Pastorell through great affright
Was almost dead, misdoubting least of new
Some vprore were like that, which lately she did vew.
But when as Calidore was comen in,
And gan aloud for Pastorell to call;
Knowing his voice although not heard long sin,
She sudden was reuiued therewithall,
And wondrous ioy felt in her spirits thrall:
Like him that being long in tempest tost,
Looking each houre into deathes mouth to fall,
At length espyes at hand the happie cost,
On which he safety hopes, that earst feard to be lost.
Her gentle hart, that now long season past
Had neuer ioyance felt, nor chearefull thought,
Began some smacke of comfort new to tast,
Like lyfull heat to nummed senses brought,
And life to feele, that long for death had sought;
Ne lesse in hart reioyced Calidore,
When he her found, but like to one distraught,
And robd of reason, towards her him bore,
A thousand times embrast, and kist a thousand more.
But now by this, with noyse of late vprore,
The hue and cry was raysed all about;
And all the Brigants flocking in great store,
Vnto the caue gan preasse, nought hauing dout
Of that was doen, and entred in a rout.
But Calidore in th'entry close did stand,
And entertayning them with courage stout,
Still slew the formost, that came first to hand,
So long till all the entry was with bodies mand.
Tho when no more could nigh to him approch,
He breath'd his sword, and rested him till day:
Which when he spyde vpon the earth t'encroch,
Through the dead carcases he made his way;
Mongst which he found a sword of better say,
With which he forth went into th'open light:
Where all the rest for him did readie stay,
And fierce assayling him, with all their might
Gan all vpon him lay: there gan a dreadfull fight.
How many flyes in whottest sommers day
Do seize vpon some beast, whose flesh is bare,
That all the place with swarmes do ouerlay,
And with their litle stings right felly fare;
So many theeues about him swarming are,
All which do him assayle on euery side,
And sore oppresse, ne any him doth spare:
But he doth with his raging brond diuide
Their thickest troups, & round about him scattreth wide.
Like as a Lion mongst an heard of dere,
Disperseth them to catch his choysest pray;
So did he fly amongst them here and there,
And all that nere him came, did hew and slay,
Till he had strowd with bodies all the way;
That none his daunger daring to abide,
Fled from his wrath, and did themselues conuay
Into their caues, their heads from death to hide,
Ne any left, that victorie to him enuide.
Then backe returning to his dearest deare,
He her gan to recomfort, all he might,
With gladfull speaches, and with louely cheare,
And forth her bringing to the ioyous light,
Whereof she long had lackt the wishfull sight,
Deuiz'd all goodly meanes, from her to driue
The sad remembrance of her wretched plight.
So her vneath at last he did reuiue,
That long had lyen dead, and made againe aliue.
This doen, into those theeuish dens he went,
And thence did all the spoyles and threasures take,
Which they from many long had robd and rent,
But fortune now the victors meed did make;
Of which the best he did his loue betake;
And also all those flockes, which they before
Had reft from Meliboe, and from his make,
He did them all to Coridon restore.
So droue them all away, and his loue with him bore.
Fayre Pastorella by great hap
her parents vnderstands:
Calidore doth the Blatant beast
subdew, and bynd in bands.
L Ike as a ship, that through the Ocean wyde
Directs her course vnto one certaine cost,
Is met of many a counter winde and tyde,
With which her winged speed is let and crost,
And she her selfe in stormie surges tost;
Yet making many a borde, and many a bay,
Still winneth way, ne hath her compasse lost:
Right so it fares with me in this long way,
Whose course is often stayd, yet neuer is astray.
For all that hetherto hath long delayd
This gentle knight, from sewing his first quest,
Though out of course, yet hath not bene mis-sayd,
To shew the courtesie by him profest,
Euen vnto the lowest and the least.
But now I come into my course againe,
To his atchieuement of the Blatant beast;
Who all this while at will did range and raine,
Whilst none was him to stop, nor none him to restraine.
Sir Calidore when thus he now had raught
Faire Pastorella from those Brigants powre,
Vnto the Castle of Belgard her brought,
Whereof was Lord the good Sir Bellamoure;
Who whylome was in his youthes freshest flowre
A lustie knight, as euer wielded speare,
And had endured many a dreadfull stoure
In bloudy battell for a Ladie deare,
The fayrest Ladie then of all that liuing were.
Her name was Claribell: whose father hight
The Lord of Many Ilands, farre renound
For his great riches and his greater might.
He through the wealth, wherein he did abound,
This daughter thought in wedlocke to haue bound
Vnto the Prince of Picteland bordering nere,
But she whose sides before with secret wound
Of loue to Bellamoure empierced were,
By all meanes shund to match with any forrein fere.
And Bellamour againe so well her pleased,
With dayly seruice and attendance dew,
That of her loue he was entyrely seized,
And closely did her wed, but knowne to few.
Which when her father vnderstood, he grew
In so great rage, that them in dongeon deepe
Without compassion cruelly he threw;
Ye did so streightly them a sunder keepe,
That neither could to company of th'other creepe.
Nathlesse Sir Bellamour, whether through grace
Or secret guifts so with his keepers wrought,
That to his loue sometimes he came in place,
Whereof her wombe vnwist to wight was fraught,
And in dew time a mayden child forth brought.
Which she streight way for dread least, if her syre
Should know thereof, to slay he would haue sought,
Deliuered to her handmayd, that for hyre
She should it cause be fostred vnder straunge attyre.
The trustie damzell bearing it abrode
Into the emptie fields, where liuing wight
Mote not bewray the secret of her lode,
She forth gan lay vnto the open light
The litle babe, to take thereof a sight.
Whom whylest she did with watrie eyne behold,
Vpon the litle brest like christall bright,
She mote perceiue a litle purple mold,
That like a rose her silken leaues did faire vnfold.
Well she it markt, and pittied the more,
Yet could not remedie her wretched case;
But closing it againe like as before,
Bedeaw'd with teares there left it in the place:
Yet left not quite, but drew a litle space
Behind the bushes, where she her did hyde,
To weet what mortall hand, or heauens grace
Would for the wretched infants helpe prouyde,
For which it loudly cald, and pittifully cryde.
At length a Shepheard, which there by did keepe
His fleecie flocke vpon the playnes around,
Led with the infants cry, that loud did weepe,
Came to the place, where when he wrapped found
Th'abandond spoyle, he softly it vnbound;
And seeing there, that did him pittie sore,
He tooke it vp, and in his mantle wound;
So home vnto his honest wife it bore,
Who as her owne it nurst, and named euermore.
Thus long continu'd Claribell a thrall,
And Bellamour in bands, till that her syre
Departed life, and left vnto them all.
Then all the stormes of fortunes former yre
Were turnd, and they to freedome did retyre.
Thenceforth they ioy'd in happinesse together,
And liued long in peace and loue entyre,
Without disquiet or dislike of ether,
Till time that Calidore brought Pastorella thether.
Both whom they goodly well did entertaine;
For Bellamour knew Calidore right well,
And loued for his prowesse, sith they twaine
Long since had fought in field. Als Claribell
No lesse did tender the faire Pastorell,
Seeing her weake and wan, through durance long.
There they a while together thus did dwell
In much delight, and many ioyes among,
Vntill the damzell gan to wex more sound and strong.
Tho gan Sir Calidore him to aduize
Of his first quest, which he had long forlore;
Asham'd to thinke, how he that enterprize,
The which the Faery Queene had long afore
Bequeath'd to him, forslacked had so sore;
That much he feared, least reprochfull blame
With foule dishonour him mote blot therefore;
Besides the losse of so much loos and fame,
As through the world thereby should glorifie his name.
Therefore resoluing to returne in hast
Vnto so great atchieuement, he bethought
To leaue his Loue, now perill being past,
With Claribell, whylest he that monster sought
Throughout the world, and to destruction brought.
So taking leaue of his faire Pastorell,
Whom to recomfort, all the meanes he wrought,
With thanks to Bellamour and Claribell,
He went forth on his quest, and did, that him befell.
But first, ere I doe his aduentures tell,
In this exploite, me needeth to declare,
What did betide to the faire Pastorell,
During his absence left in heauy care,
Through daily mourning, and nightly misfare:
Yet did that auncient matrone all she might,
To cherish her with all things choice and rare;
And her owne handmayd, that Melissa hight,
Appointed to attend her dewly day and night.
Who in a morning, when this Mayden faire
Was dighting her, hauing her snowy brest
As yet not laced, nor her golden haire
Into their comely tresses dewly drest,
Chaunst to espy vpon her yuory chest
The rosie marke, which she remembred well
That litle Infant had, which forth she kest,
The daughter of her Lady Claribell,
The which she bore, the whiles in prison she did dwell.
Which well auizing, streight she gan to cast
In her conceiptfull mynd, that this faire Mayd
Was that same infant, which so long sith past
She in the open fields had loosely layd
To Fortunes spoile, vnable it to ayd.
So full of ioy, streight forth she ran in hast
Vnto her mistresse, being halfe dismayd,
To tell her, how the heauens had her graste,
To saue her chylde, which in misfortunes mouth was plaste.
The sober mother seeing such her mood,
Yet knowing not, what meant that sodaine thro,
Askt her, how mote her words be vnderstood,
And what the matter was, that mou'd her so.
My liefe (sayd she) ye know, that long ygo,
Whilest ye in durance dwelt, ye to me gaue
A little mayde, the which ye chylded tho;
The same againe if now ye list to haue,
The same is yonder Lady, whom high God did saue.
Much was the Lady troubled at that speach,
And gan to question streight how she it knew.
Most certaine markes, (sayd she) do me it teach,
For on her brest I with these eyes did vew
The litle purple rose, which thereon grew,
Whereof her name ye then to her did giue.
Besides her countenaunce, and her likely hew,
Matched with equall yeares, do surely prieue
That yond same is your daughter sure, which yet doth liue.
The matrone stayd no lenger to enquire,
But forth in hast ran to the straunger Mayd;
Whom catching greedily for great desire,
Rent vp her brest, and bosome open layd,
In which that rose she plainely saw displayd.
Then her embracing twixt her armes twaine,
She long so held, and softly weeping sayd;
And liuest thou my daughter now againe?
And art thou yet aliue, whom dead I long did faine.
Tho further asking her of sundry things,
And times comparing with their accidents,
She found at last by very certaine signes,
And speaking markes of passed monuments,
That this young Mayd, whom chance to her presents
Is her owne daughter, her owne infant deare.
Tho wondring long at those so straunge euents,
A thousand times she her embraced nere,
With many a ioyfull kisse, and many a melting teare.
Who euer is the mother of one chylde,
Which hauing thought long dead, she fyndes aliue,
Let her by proofe of that, which she hath fylde
In her owne breast, this mothers ioy descriue:
For other none such passion can contriue
In perfect forme, as this good Lady felt,
When she so faire a daughter saw suruiue,
As Pastorella was, that nigh she swelt
For passing ioy, which did all into pitty melt.
Thence running forth vnto her loued Lord,
She vnto him recounted, all that fell:
Who ioyning ioy with her in one accord,
Acknowledg'd for his owne faire Pastorell.
There leaue we them in ioy, and let vs tell
Of Calidore; who seeking all this while
That monstrous Beast by finall force to quell,
Through euery place, with restlesse paine and toile
Him follow'd, by the tract of his outragious spoile.
Through all estates he found that he had past,
In which he many massacres had left,
And to the Clergy now was come at last;
In which such spoile, such hauocke, and such theft
He wrought, that thence all goodnesse he bereft,
That endlesse were to tell. The Elfin Knight,
Who now no place besides vnsought had left,
At length into a Monastere did light,
Where he him fou[n]d despoyling all with maine & might.
Into their cloysters now he broken had,
Through which the Monckes he chaced here & there.
And them pursu'd into their dortours sad,
And searched all their cels and secrets neare;
In which what filth and ordure did appeare,
Were yrkesome to report; yet that foule Beast
Nought sparing them, the more did tosse and teare,
And ransacke all their dennes from most to least,
Regarding nought religion, nor their holy heast.
From thence into the sacred Church he broke,
And robd the Chancell, and the deskes downe threw,
And Altars fouled, and blasphemy spoke,
And th'Images for all their goodly hew,
Did cast to ground, whilest none was them to rew;
So all confounded and disordered there.
But seeing Calidore, away he flew,
Knowing his fatall hand by former feare;
But he him fast pursuing, soone approched neare.
Him in a narrow place he ouertooke,
And fierce assailing forst him turne againe:
Sternely he turnd againe, when he him strooke
With his sharpe steele, and ran at him amaine
With open mouth, that seemed to containe
A full good pecke within the vtmost brim,
All set with yron teeth in raunges twaine,
That terrifide his foes, and armed him,
Appearing like the mouth of Orcus griesly grim.
And therein were a thousand tongs empight,
Of sundry kindes, and sundry quality;
Some were of dogs, that barked day and night,
And some of cats, that wrawling still did cry,
And some of Beares, that groynd continually,
And some of Tygres, that did seeme to gren,
And snar at all, that euer passed by:
But most of them were tongues of mortall men,
Which spake reprochfully, not caring where nor when.
And them amongst were mingled here and there,
The tongues of Serpents with three forked stings,
That spat out poyson and gore bloudy gere
At all, that came within his rauenings,
And spake licentious words, and hatefull things
Of good and bad alike, of low and hie;
Ne Kesars spared he a whit, nor Kings,
But either blotted them with infamie,
Or bit them with his banefull teeth of iniury.
But Calidore thereof no whit afrayd,
Rencountred him with so impetuous might,
That th'outrage of his violence he stayd,
And bet abacke, threatning in vaine to bite,
And spitting forth the poyson of his spight,
That fomed all about his bloody iawes.
Tho rearing vp his former feete on hight,
He rampt vpon him with his rauenous pawes,
As if he would haue rent him with his cruell clawes.
But he right well aware, his rage to ward,
Did cast his shield atweene, and therewithall
Putting his puissaunce forth, pursu'd so hard,
That backeward he enforced him to fall:
And being downe, ere he new helpe could call,
His shield he on him threw, and fast downe held;
Like as a bullocke, that in bloudy stall
Of butchers balefull hand to ground is feld,
Is forcibly kept downe, till he be throughly queld.
Full cruelly the Beast did rage and rore,
To be downe held, and maystred so with might,
That he gan fret and fome out bloudy gore,
Striuing in vaine to rere him selfe vpright.
For still the more he stroue, the more the Knight
Did him suppresse, and forcibly subdew;
That made him almost mad for fell despight.
He grind, hee bit, he scratcht, he venim threw,
And fared like a feend, right horrible in hew.
Or like the hell-borne Hydra, which they faine
That great Alcides whilome ouerthrew,
After that he had labourd long in vaine,
To crop his thousand heads, the which still new
Forth budded, and in greater number grew.
Such was the fury of this hellish Beast,
Whilest Calidore him vnder him downe threw;
Who nathemore his heauy load releast,
But aye the more he rag'd, the more his powre increast.
Tho when the Beast saw, he mote nought auaile,
By force, he gan his hundred tongues apply,
And sharpely at him to reuile and raile,
With bitter termes of shamefull infamy;
Oft interlacing many a forged lie,
Whose like he neuer once did speake, nor heare,
Nor euer thought thing so vnworthily:
Yet did he nought for all that him forbeare,
But strained him so streightly, that he chokt him neare.
At last when as he found his force to shrincke,
And rage to quaile, he tooke a muzzell strong
Of surest yron, made with many a lincke;
Therewith he mured vp his mouth along,
And therein shut vp his blasphemous tong,
For neuer more defaming gentle Knight,
Or vnto louely Lady doing wrong:
And thereunto a great long chaine he tight,
With which he drew him forth, euen in his own despight.
Like as whylome that strong Tirynthian swaine,
Brought forth with him the dreadfull dog of hell,
Against his will fast bound in yron chaine,
And roring horribly, did him compell
To see the hatefull sunne, that he might tell
To griesly Pluto, what on earth was donne,
And to the other damned ghosts, which dwell
For aye in darkenesse, which day light doth shonne:
So led this Knight his captyue with like conquest wonne.
Yet greatly did the Beast repine at those
Straunge bands, whose like till then he neuer bore,
Ne euer any durst till then impose,
And chauffed inly, seeing now no more
Him liberty was left aloud to rore:
Yet durst he not draw backe; nor once withstand
The proued powre of noble Calidore,
But trembled vnderneath his mighty hand,
And like a fearefull dog him followed through the land.
Him through all Faery land he follow'd so,
As if he learned had obedience long,
That all the people where so he did go,
Out of their townes did round about him throng,
To see him leade that Beast in bondage strong,
And seeing it, much wondred at the sight;
And all such persons, as he earst did wrong,
Reioyced much to see his captiue plight,
And much admyr'd the Beast, but more admyr'd the Knight.
Thus was this Monster by the maystring might
Of doughty Calidore, supprest and tamed,
That neuer more he mote endammadge wight
With his vile tongue, which many had defamed,
And many causelesse caused to be blamed:
So did he eeke long after this remaine,
Vntill that, whether wicked fate so framed,
Or fault of men, he broke his yron chaine,
And got into the world at liberty againe.
Thenceforth more mischiefe and more scath he wrought
To mortall men, then he had done before;
Ne euer could by any more be brought
Into like bands, ne maystred any more:
Albe that long time after Calidore,
The good Sir Pelleas him tooke in hand,
And after him Sir Lamoracke of yore,
And all his brethren borne in Britaine land;
Yet none of them could euer bring him into band.
So now he raungeth through the world againe,
And rageth sore in each degree and state;
Ne any is, that may him now restraine,
He growen is so great and strong of late,
Barking and biting all that him doe bate,
Albe they worthy blame, or cleare of crime:
Ne spareth he most learned wits to rate,
Ne spareth he the gentle Poets rime,
But rends without regard of person or of time.
Ne may this homely verse, of many meanest,
Hope to escape his venemous despite,
More then my former writs, all were they clearest
From blamefull blot, and free from all that wite,
With which some wicked tongues did it backebite,
And bring into a mighty Peres displeasure,
That neuer so deserued to endite.
Therfore do you my rimes keep better measure,
And seeke to please, that now is counted wisemens threasure.
Continue on to the Cantos of Mutabilitie.