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Which that she may the better deigne to heare, THE dlagged forhead, that with grave foresight

Welds kingdomes causes and affaires of state, Do thou, dread infant, Venus dearling dove, My looser rimes, I wote, doth sharply wite From her high spirit chase imperious feare, For praysing love as I have done of late,

And use of awfull maiestie remove: And magnifying lovers deare debate;

Insted thereof with drops of melting love, By which fraile youth is oft to follie led,

Deawd with ambrosiall kisses, by thee gotten
Through false allurement of that pleasing baite, From thy sweete-smyling mother from above,
That better were in vertues discipled, [fed. Sprinckle her heart, and haughtie courage soften,
Then with vaine poemes weeds to have their fancies That she may hearke to love, and reade this lesson

Such ones ill iudge of love, that cannot love,
Ne in their frosen hearts feele kindly flame;
Forthy they onght not thing unknowne reprove,
Ne naturall affection fanltlesse blame
For fault of few that have abusd the same:

For it of honor and all vertue is
The roote, and brings forth glorious flowres of fame,

Fayre Britomart saves Amoret :
That crowne true lovers with immortall blis,

Duessa discord breedes The need of them that love, and do not live amisse.

Twixt Scudamour and Blandamour :

Their fight and warlike deedes.
Which whoso list looke backe to former ages,
And call to count the things that then were donne, Op lovers sad calamities of old
Shall find that all the workes of those wise sages,

Full many piteous stories doe remaine,
And brave exploits which great heroës wonne,

But none more piteous ever was ytold In love were either ended or begunne:

Then that of Amorets bart-binding chaine, Witnesse the Father of Philosophie,

And this of Florimels unworthie paine: Which to his Critias, shaded oft from Sunne,

'The deare compassion of whose bitter fit Of love full manie lessons did apply,

My softned heart so sorely doth constraine, The which these stoicke censours cannot well deny. That I with teares full oft dge pittie it,

And oftentimes doe wish it never had bene writ. To such therefore I do not sing at all ; But to that sacred saint my soveraigne queene, Por, from the time that Scudamour her bought In whose chast brest all bountie naturall

In perilous fight, she never joyed day; And treasures of true love enlocked beene, A perilous fight! when he with force her brought Bove all her sexe that ever yet was seene; From twentie knights that did him all assay; To her I sing of love, that loveth best,

Yet fairely well he did them all dismay, And best is lov'd of all alive I weene;

And with great glorie both the shield of Love To her this song most fitly is addrest,

And eke the ladie selfe he brought away; The Queene of Love, and Prince of Peace from Whom having wedded, as did him behove, Heaven blest.

A new unknowen mischiefe did from him remove,

For that same vile enchauntour Busyran,

Amongst the rest there was a jolly knight, The very selfe same day that she was wedded, Who, being asked for his love, avow'd Amidst the bridale feast, whilest every man That fairest Amoret was his by right, Surcharg'd with wine were heedlesse and ill-hedded, And offred that to justifie alowd. All bent to mirth before the bride was bedded, The warlike virgine, seeing his so prowd Brought in that mask of love which late was showen; And boastfull chalenge, wexed inlie wroth, And there the ladie ill of friends bestedded, But for the present did ber anger shrowd; By way of sport, as oft in maskes is knowen, And sayd, her love to lose she was full loth, Conveyed quite away to living wight unknowen. But either he should neither of them have, or both. Seven moneths he so her kept in bitter smart, So foorth they went, and both together giusted; Because his sinfull lust she would not serve, But that same younker soone was overthrowne, Untill such time as noble Britomart

And made repent that he had rashly lusted Released her, that else was like to sterve

For thing unlawfull that was not his owne: Through cruel! knife that her deare heart did kerve:

Yet since he seemed valiant, though unknowne, And now she is with her upon the way

She, that no lesse was courteous then stout, Marching in lovely wise, that could deserve Cast how to salve, that both the custome showne No spot of blame, though spite did oft assay

Were kept, and yet that knight not locked out; To blot her with dishonor of so faire a prey.

That seem'd full hard t'accord two things so far in

dout. Yet should it be a pleasant tale, to tell

The seneschall was cal'd to deeme the right; The diverse usage, and demeanure daint,

Whom she requir'd, that first fayre Amoret That each to other made, as oft befell:

Might be to her allow'd, as to a knight
For Amoret right fearefull was and faint

That did her win and free from chalenge set :
Lest she with blame her honor should attaint,
That everie word did tremble as she spake,

Which straight to her was yeelded without let:

Then, since that strange knights love from him was And everje looke was coy and wondrous quaint,

quitted, And everie limbe that touched her did quake; Yet could she not but curteous countenance to her He as a knight might iustly be admitted; (fitted.

She claim'd that to herselfe, as ladies det, make.

So none should be out shut, sith all of loves were For well she wist, as true it was indeed,

With that, her glistring helmet she unlaced; That her live's lord and patrone of her health

Which doft, her golden lockes, that were opbound Rigbt well deserved, as his ducfull meed,

Still in a knot, unto her beeles downe traced, Her love, brer service, and her utmost wealth:

And like a silken veile in compasse round All is bis justly that all freely dealth.

About her backe and all her bodie wound: Nathlesse her honor dearer then her life She sought to save, as thing reserv'd from stealth ; What time the dayes with scorching heat abound,

Like as the shining skie in summers night, Die had she lever with enchanters knife

Is creasted all with lines of firie light, Then to be false in love, profest a virgine wife.

That it prodigious seemes in common peoples sight. Thereto her feare was made so much the greater Such when those knights and ladies all about Through fine abusion of that Briton mayd; Beheld her, all were with amazemeut smit, Who, for to hide her fained sex the better

And every one gan grow in secret dout And maske her wounded mind, both did and sayd

Of this and that, according to each wit: Full many things so doubtfull to be wayd,

Some thought that some enchantment faygned it; That well she wist not what by them to gesse: Some, that Bellona in that warlike wise For otherwiles to her she purpos made

To them appear'd, with shield and armour fit; Of love, and otherwhiles of lustfulnesse, [excesse. Some, that it was a maske of strange disgnise : That much she feard his mind would grow to some

So diversely each one did sundrie doubts devise. His will she feard; for him she surely thought But that young knight, which through her gentle To be a man, such as indeed he seemed;

Was to that goodly fellowship restor'd, [deed And much the more, by that he lately wrought, Ten thousand thankes did yeeld her for her meed, When her from deadly thraldome he redeemed, And, doubly overcommen, her ador’d: For which no service she too much esteemed :

So did they all their former strife accord; Yet dread of shame and doubt of fowle dishonor And eke fayre Amoret, now freed from feare, Made her not yeeld so much as due she deemed. More franke affection did to her afford; Yet Britomart attended duly on her,

And to her bed, which she was wont forbeare, As well became a knight, and did to her all honor. Now freely drew, and found right safe assurance

theare: It so befell one evening that they came Unto a castell, lodged there to bee,

Where all that night they of their loves did treat, Where many a knight, and many a lovely dame, And bard adventures, twixt themselves alone, Was then assembled deeds of armes to see: That each the other gan with passion great Amongst all which was none more faire then shee, And griefull pittie privately bemone. That many of them mov'd to eye her sore.

The morow next, so soone as Titan shone, The custome of that place was such, that bee, They both uprose and to their waies them dight: Which had no love por lemman there in store, Long wandred they, yet never met with none Should either winne him one, or lye without the That to their willes could them direct aright, dore,

Orto them tydings tell that mote their harts delight.

Lo thus they rode, till at the last they spide And eke of private persons many moe,
Two armed knights that toward them did pace, That were too long a worke to count them all;
And ech of them had ryding by his side

Some, of sworne friends that did their faith forgoe; A ladie, seeming in so farre a space;

Some, of borne brethren prov'd unnaturall; But ladies none they were, albee in face

Some, of deare lovers foes perpetuall; And outward shew faire semblance they did beare; Witnesse their broken bandes there to be seene, For under maske of beautie and good grace Their girlonds rent, their bowres despoyled all; Vile treason and fowle falshood hidden were, The moniments whereof there byding beene, That mote to none but to the warie wise appeare. As plaine as at the first when they were fresh and

greene. The one of them the false Duessa hight,

Such was her house within ; but all without,
That now had chang'd her former wonted hew;
For she could d'on so manie shapes ir sight,

The harren ground was full of wicked weedes,

Which she herselfe had sowen all about,
As ever could cameleon colours new;
So could she forge all colours, save the trew:

Now growen great, at first of little seedes,

The seedes of evill wordes and factious deedes; The other no wbit better was then shee,

Which, when to ripenesse due they growen arre, But that, such as she was, she plaine did shew; Yet otherwise much worse, if worse might bee,

Bring forth an infinite increase that breedes

Tumultuous trouble, and contentious iarre, And dayly more offensive unto each degree:

The which most often end in bloudshed and in warre. Her name was Atė, mother of debate

And those same cursed seedes doe also serve
And all dissention which doth dayly grow

To her for bread, and yeeld her living food :
Amongst frajle men, that many a publike state For life it is to her, when others sterve
And many a private oft doth overthrow,

Through mischievous debate and deadly feood, Her false Duessa, who full well did know

That she may sucke their life and drinke their blood, To be most fit to trouble noble knights

With which she from her childhood had bene fed; Which hunt for honor, raised from below

For she at first was borne of hellish brood, Out of the dwellings of the damned sprights, And by infernall furies nourished; Where she in darknes wastes her cursed daies and That by her monstrous shape might easily be red. nights.

Her face most fowle and filthy was to see, Hard by the gates of Hell her dwelling is;

With-squinted eyes contrárie wayes intended, There, whereas all the plagues and harmes abound And loathly mouth, unmeete a mouth to bee, Which punish wicked men that walke amisse:

That nought but gall and venim comprehended, It is a darksome delve farre under ground,

And wicked wordes that God and man offended : With thornes and barren brakes environd round,

Her lying tongue was in two parts divided, "That none the same may easily out win ;

And both the parts did speake, and both contended; Yet many waies to enter may be found,

And as her tongue so was her hart discided, But none to issue forth when one is in:

That never thoght one thing, but doubly stil was For discord harder is to end then to begin.

guided. And all within, the riven walls were hung

Als as she double spake, so heard she double, With ragged monuments of times forepast, With matchlesse eares deformed and distort, All which the sad effects of discord sung:

Fild with false rumors and seditious trouble,
There were rent robes and broken scepters plast; Bred in assemblies of the vulgar sort,
Altars defyld, and holy things defast;

That still are led with every light report :
Disshivered speares, and shields ytorne in twaine ; And as her eares, so eke her feet were odde,
Great cities ransackt, and strong castles rast; And much unlike; th' one long, the other short,
Nations captíved, and huge armies slaine: And both misplast; that, when th' one forward yode,
Of all which ruines there some relicks did remaine. The other backe retired and contrárie trode.
There was the signe of antique Babylon;

Likewise unequall were her bandës twaine ; Of fatall Thebes; of Rome that raigned long; That one did reach, the other pusht away ; Of sacred Salem; and sad Ilion,

That one did make, the other mard againe, For memorie of which on high there hong

And sought to bring all things unto decay; The golden 'apple, cause of all their wrong, Whereby great riches, gathered manie a day, For which the three faire goddesses did strive: She in short space did often bring to nought, There also was the name of Nimrod strong; And their possessours often did dismay: Of Alexander, and his princes fire [alive: For all her studie was and all her thought Which shar'd to them the spoiles that he had got How she might overthrow the things that Concord

wrought. And there the relicks of the drunken fray, The which amongst the Lapithees befell;

So much her malice did her might surpas, And of the bloodie feast, which sent away

That even th' Almightie selfe she did maligne, So many Centaures drunken soules to Hell, Because to man so mercifull he was, That under great Alcides furie fell :

And unto all his creatures sò benigne, And of the dreadfull discord, which did drive Sith she herselfe was of his grace indigne: The noble Argonauts to outrage fell,

For all this worlds faire workmanship she tride That each of life sought others to deprive,

Unto his last confusion to bring, All mindlesse of the golden fleece, which made them And that great golden chaine quite to divide, strive.

With which it blessed Concord hath together tide.

Such was that hag, which with Duessa roade; Nathlesse he forth did march, well as he might,
And, serving her in her malitious use

And made good semblance to his companie,
To hurt good knights, was, as it were, her baude Dissembling his disease and evill plight;
To sell her borrowed beautic to abuse:

Till that ere long they chaunced to espie
For though, like withered tree that wanteth iuyce, Two other knights, that towards them did ply
She old and crooked were, yet now of late

With speedie course, as bent to charge them new : As fresh and fragrant as the foure-deluce

Whom whenas Blandamour approching nie She was become, by chaunge of her estate, [mate: Perceiv'd to be such as they seemd in vew, And made full goodly joyance to her new-found He was full wo, and gan bis former griefe renew.

Her mate, he was a iollie youthfull knight For th' one of them he perfectly descride
That bore great sway in armes and chivalrie, To be sir Scudamour, (by that he bore
And was indeed a man of mickle might;

The god of love with wings displayed wide)
His name was Blandamour, that did descrie

Whom mortally he hated evermore, Ilis fickle mind full of inconstancie :

Both for his worth, that all men did adore, And now himselfe be fitted had right well

And eke because his love he wonne by right: With two companions of like qualitie,

Which when he thought, it grieved him full sore, Faithlesse Duessa, and false Paridell,

That, through the bruses of his former fight, That whether were more false, full hard it is to tell. He now unable was to wreake his old despight. Now when this gallant with his goodly crow

Forthy he thus to Paridel bespake; From farre espide the famous Britomart,

“ Faire sir, of friendship let me now you pray, Like knight adventurous in outward vew,

That as I late adventured for your sake, With his faire paragno, bis conquests part, The hurts whereof me now from battell stay, Approching nigh; eftsoones his wanton bart

Ye will me now with like good turne repay, Was tickled with delight, and iesting sayd;

And justife my cause on yonder knight.” “ Lo! there, sir Paridel, for your desart,

" Ah! sir," said Paridel, “ do not dismay Good lucke presents you with yond lovely mayd,

Yourselfe for this; myselfe will for you fight, Por pitie that ye want a fellow for your ayd.”

As ye have done forme; the left hand rubs the right." By that the lovely paire drew nigh to hond:

With that he put his spurres unto his steed, Whom whenas Paridel more plaine beheld,

With speare in rest, and toward him did fare, Albee in heart he like affection fond,

Like shaft out of a bow preventing speed.
Yet mindfull how he late by one was feld
That did those armes and that same scutchion weld, Of his approch, and gan bimselfe prepare

But Scudamour was shortly well aware
He had small Just to buy his love so deare,

Him to receive with entertainment meete.
But answered; “Sir, him wise I never held,
That, having once escaped perill ncare,

So furiously they met, that either bare

The other downe under their horses feete, (weeto. Would afterwards afresh the sleeping evill reare.

That what of them became themselves did scarsly “ This knight too late his manhood and his might As when two billowes in the Irish sowndes, I did assay, that me right dearely cost; Ne list I for revenge provoke new fight,

Forcibly driven with contrárie tydes, Ne for light ladies love, that soone is lost.”

Do meete together, each abacke rebowndes The hot-spurre youth so scorning to be crost,

With roaring rage; and dashing on all sides, “ Take then to you this dame of mine," quoth hee, That filleth all the sea with fome, divydes “ And I, without your perill or your cost,

The doubtfull current into divers wayes : Will chalenge yond same other for my fee.” (see. So fell those two in spight of both their prydes; So forth he fiercely prickt, that one him scarce could But Scudamour himselfe did soone uprayse,

And, mounting light, his foe for lying long upbrayes : The warlike Britonesse her soone addrest, And with such uncouth welcome did reccave Who, rolled on an beape, lay still in swound Her fayned paramour, her forced guest,

All carelesse of his taunt and bitter rayle; That, being furst bis saddle soone to leave,

Till that the rest him seeing lie on ground Himselfe he did of his new love deceave;

Ran hastily, to weete what did him ayle; And made himselfe th' ensample of his follie. Where finding that the breath gan him to fayle, Which done, she passed forth, not taking leave,

With busie care they strove him to awake, And left him now as sad as whilome iollie,

And doft his helmet, and undid his mayle: Well warned to beware with whom he dard to So much they did, that at the last they brake dallie.

His slomber, yet so mazed that he nothing spake.

Which when his other companie beheld,
They to his succour ran with readie ayd;
And, finding him unable once to weld,
They reared him on horse-backe and upstayd,
Till on his way they had him forth convayd:
And all the way, with wondrous griefe of mynd
And shame, he shewd himselfe to be dismayd
More for the love which he had left behynd,
Then that which he had to sir Paridel resynd.

Which whenas Blandamour beheld, he sayd;
“ False faitour Scudamour, that hast by slight
And foule advantage this good knight dismayd,
A knight much better then thyselfe behight,
Well falles it thee that I am not in plight
This day, to wreake the dammage by thee donne !
Such is thy wont, that still when any knight
Is weakned, then thou doest him overronne:
So hast thou to thyselfe false honour often wonne."

He little answer'd, but in manly heart

But Scudamour, for passing great despight, His mightie indignation did forbeare;

Staid not to answer; scarcely did refraine Which was not yet so secret, but some part But that in all those knights and ladies sight Thereof did in his frouning face appeare:

He for revenge had guiltlesse Glauce slaine:
Like as a gloomie cloud, the which doth beare But, being past, he thus began amaine ;
An hideous storme, is by the northerne blast “ False traitour squire, false squire of falsest knight,
Quite overblowne, yet doth not passe so cleare Who doth mine hand from thine avenge abstaine,
But that it all the skie doth overcast [wast. Whose lord hath done my love this foule despight,
With darknes dred, and threatens all the world to Why do I not it wreake on thee now in my might?
“ Ah! gentle knight," then false Duessa sayd, “ Discourteous, disloyall Britomart,
* Why do ye strive for ladies love so sore, Untrue to God, and unto man uniust!
Whose chiefe desire is love and friendly aid What vengeance due can equall thy desart,
Mongst gentle knights to nourish evermore? That hast with shamefull spot of sinfull lust
Ne be ye wroth, sir Scudamour, therefore,

Defild the pledge committed to thy trust!
That she your love list love another knight, Let ugly shame and endlesse infamy
Ne do yourselfe dislike a whit the more;

Colour thy name with foule reproaches rust!
For love is free, and led with selfc-delight, Yet thou, false squire, his fault shall deare aby,
Ne will enforced be with maisterdome or might.” And with thy punishment his penance shalt supply."

this eye

So false Duessa : but vile Atè thus;

The aged dame him seeing so enraged “ Both foolish knights, I can but laugh at both, Was dead with feare; nathiesse as neede required That strive and storme with stirre outrageous His flaming furie sought to have assuaged For her, that each of you alike doth loth,

With sober words, that sufferance desired And loves another, with whom now she go'th Till time the tryall of her truth expyred; In lovely wise, and sleepes, and sports, and playes; And evermore sought Britomart to cleare: Whilest both you here with many a cursed oth But he the more with furious rage was fyred, Sweare she is yours, and stirre up bloudie frayes, And thrise his hand to kill her did upreare, To win a willow bough, whilest other weares the bayes. And thrise he drew it backe: so did at last forbeare. “ Vile hag,” sayd Scudamour, “why dost thou lye, And falsly seekst a virtuous wight to shame?" Fond knight,” sayd she, “the thing that with

CANTO II. I saw, why should I doubt to tell the same?” " Then tell,” quoth Blandainour, “and feare no Blandamour winnes false Florimell; blame ;

Paridell for her strives: Tell what thou saw'st, maulgre whoso it heares." They are accorded : Agape “I saw, "quoth she,“ a straungerknight, whose name Doth lengthen her sonnes lives. I wote not well, but in his shield he beares (That well I wote) the heads of many broken speares; Firebrand of Hell first tynd in Phlegeton “ I saw him bave your Amoret at will;

By thousand furies, and from thence outthrowen

Into this world to worke confusion I saw him kisse; I saw him her embrace ;

And set it all on fire by force unknowen, I saw him sleepe with her all night his fill;

Is wicked Discord; whose small sparkes once blowen All, manie nights; and manie by in place

None but a god or godlike man can slake: That present were to testifie the case.”

Such as was Orpheus, that, when strife was growen Which whenas Scudamour did heare, his heart

Amongst those famous ympes of Greece, did take Was thrild with inward griefe: as when in chace The Parthian strikes a stag with shivering dart,

His silver harpe in hand and shortly friends thern

make: The beast astonisht stands in middest of his smart; So stood sir Scudamour when this he heard,

Or such as that celestial psalmist was, Ne word be had to speake for great dismay,

That, when the wicked feend his lord tormented, But lookt on Glaucè grim, who woxe afeard

With heavenly notes, that did all other pas, Of outrage for the words which she heard say,

The outrage of his furious fit relented. Albee untrue she wist them by assay.

Such musicke is wise words with time concented, But Blandamour, whenas he did espie

To moderate stiffe mindes dispusd to strive: His chaunge of cheere that anguish did bewray,

Such as that prudent Romane well invented; He woxe full blithe, as he had got thereby,

What time his people into partes did rive, [drive, And gan thereat to triumph without victorie.

Them reconcyld againe, and to their homes did “Lo! recreant,” sayd he, “ the fruitlesse end Such us'd wise Glauce to that wrathfull knight, Of thy vaine boast, and spoile of love misgotten, To calme the tempest of bis troubled thought: Whereby the name of knight-hood thou dost shend, Yet Blandamour, with termes of foule despight, And all true lovers with dishonor blotten:

And Paridell her scornd, and set at nought, All things not rooted well will soone be rotten." As old and crooked and not good for ought. “ Fy, fy, false knight,” then false Duessa cryde, Both they unwise, and warelesse of the evill “ Unworthy life, that love with guile hast gotten; That by themselves unto themselves is wrought, Be thou, whereever thou do go or ryde,

Through that false witch, and that foule aged drevill, Loathed of ladies all, and of all knights defyde!" The one a feend, the other an incarnate devill,

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