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THE FAERY QUEENE,

BOOK VI. CANTO IX,

Callidore hostes with Melibee,
And loves fayre Pastorell;
Coridon envies him, yet he
For Ill rewards him well.

I.
Now turne againe my teme, thou jolly Swayne,
Backe to the furrow which I lately left;
I lately left a furrow one or twayne ,
Unplough'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 us bereft;
Besides the great dishonour and defame
Which should befall to Calidore's immortall name.

II.
Great travell 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,
Thro’hils, thro'dales, thro'forests, and thro' plaines,
In that same quest which Fortune on him cast,
Which he atchieved to his owne great gaines,
Reaping eternall glorie of his restlesse paines.

III. So sharply he the monster did pursew, That day nor night he suffered him to rest, Ne rested he bimselfe, (but Nature's 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 private farmes he

IV.

[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 sweet love and youths delightfull heat; Him thether eke for all his fearefull threat He followed fast, and chased him so nie, That to the folds, where sheepe at night doe seat, And to the litle cots, where shepheards lie In winter's wrathfull time, he forced him to fie.

V. There on a day as he pursew'd the chace, He chaunst to spy a sort of shepheard groomes, Playing on pypes and caroling Space, 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

VI. 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 them farre froin 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.

VII. The knight was nothing nice, where was no need, And tooke their gentle offer ; so adowne They prayd him sit, and gave him offer for to feed Such homely what as serves the simple clowne, That doth despise the dainties of the towne : Tho having 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 VIII.

[dyde. Upon a litle hillocke she was placed Higher then all the rest, and round about Environd with a girland, goodly graced, Of lovely 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 heavenly hew Were downe to them descended in that earthly vew. Volume VI.

H

IX. And soothly sure she was full fayre of face, And perfectly well shapt in every 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 heavenly wight, Did for their soveraine goddesse her esteeme, And caroling her name both day and night, The fayrest Pastorella her by name did hight.

X. Ne was there heard, ne was there shepheard's swayne But her did honour, and eke many a one Burnt in her love, 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; [ascend. Though meane her lot, yet higher did her mind

XI. 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 prince's paragone esteemed, He was unwares surpris'd 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.

XII.
So stood he still long gazing thereupon,
Ne
any

will had thence to move away,
Although his quest were farre afore him gon;
But after he had fed, yet did he stay,
And sate there still, untill the flying day
Was farre forth spent, discoursing diversly
Of sundry things, as fell, to worke delay,
And evermore his speach he did apply
Toth'heards, but meant them to the damzel's fantazy.

XIII. By this the moystie Night approaching 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 silver lockes bedeckt his beard and hed, With shepheards hooke in hand, and fit attyre, That wild the damzell rize; the day did now expyre.

XIV. He was to weet by common voice esteemed The father of the fayrest Pastorell, And of herselfe 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 up brought home, and noursed well As his owne chyld ; for other he had none; That she in tract of time accompted was his owne.

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