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For whoso list into the Heavens looke, The image of the antique world compare, And search the courses of the rowling spheares, Whenas mans age was in his freshest prime, Shall find that from the point where they first tooke And the first blossome of faire vertue bare; Their setting forth, in these few thonsand yeares Such oddes I finde twixt those, and these which are, They all are wandred much; that plaine appeares: As that, through long continuance of his course, For that same golden fleecy Ram, which bore Me seemes the world is runne quite out of square Phrixus and Helle from their stepdames feares, From the first point of his appointed sourse; Hath now forgot where he was plast of yore, And being once amisse growes daily wourse and And shouldred bath the Bull which fayre Europa wourse :

bore: For from the golden age, that first was named, And eke the Bull hath with his bow-bent horne It's now at earst become a stonie one;

So hardly butted those two Twinnes of love, And men themselves, the which at first were framed That they have crusht the Crab, and quite him Of earthly mould, and form'd of flesh and bone, Into the great Nemæan Lions grove. (borne Are now transformed into hardest stone;

So now all range, and doe at random rove Such as behind their backs (so backward bred) Out of their proper places farre away, Were throwne by Pyrrha and Deucalione:

And all this world with them amisse doe move, And if then those may any worse be red,

And all his creatures from their course astray ; They into that ere long will be degendered. Till they arrive at their last ruinous decay. Let none then blame me, if, in discipline

Ne is that same great glorious lampe of light, Of vertue and of civill uses lore,

That doth enlumine all these lesser fyres, I do not forme them to the common line

In better case, ne keepes bis course more right, Of present dayes which are corrupted sore; But is miscaried with the other spheres: But to the antique use which was of yore,

For since the terme of fourteen hundred yeres, When good was onely for itselfe desyred,

That learned Ptolomæe his hight did take, And all men sought their owne, and none no more; He is declyned from that marke of theirs When lustice was not for most meed out-hyred, Nigh thirtie minutes to the southerne lake; But simple Truth did rayne, and was of all admyred. That makes me feare in time he will us quite forsake For that which all men then did vertue call, And if to those Ægyptian wisards old Is now cald vice; and that which vice was hight, (Which in star-read were wont have best insight) Is now hight vertue, and so us'd of all:

Paith may be given, it is by them told Right now is wrong, and wrong that was is right; That since the time they first tookethe Sunnes hight, As all things else in time are chaunged quight: Foure times his place he shifted hath in sight, Ne wonder; for the Heavens revolution

And twice bath risen where he now doth west, Is wandred farre from where it first was pight, And wested twice where he ought rise aright. And so doe make contrárie constitution

But most is Mars amisse of all the rest; Of all this lower world toward his dissolution. And next to him old Saturne, that was wont be best,

For during Saturnes ancient raigne it's sayd Wherefore the lady, which Irena hight,
That all the world with goodnesse did abound; Did to the Faerie queene her way addresse,
All loved vertue, no man was affrayd

To'whom complayning her afflicted plight,
Of force, ne fraud in wight was to be found; She her besought of gratious redresse:
No warre was knowne, no dreadful trompets sound;. That soveraine queene, that mightie emperesse,
Peace universal rayn'd mougst men and beasts : Whose glorie is to aide all suppliants pore,
And all things freely grew out of the ground: And of weake princes to be patronesse,
Iustice sate high ador'd with solemne feasts, Chose Artegall to right her to restore;
And to all people did divide her dred beheasts : For that to her he seem'd best skild in righteous lore.
Most sacred Vertue she of all the rest,

For Artegall in iustice was upbrought Resembling God in his imperiall might;

Even from the cradle of his infancie,
Whose soveraine powre is herein most exprest, And all the depth of rightfull doome was taught
That both to good and bad he dealeth right, By faire Astræa, with great industrie,
And all bis workes with iustice hath bedight. Whilest here on Earth she lived mortallie:
That powre he also doth to princes lend,

For, till the world from his perfection fell
And makes them like himselfe in glorious sight Into all filth and foule iniquitie,
To sit in his own seate, his cause to end,

Astræa here mongst earthly men did dwell,
And rule his people right, as he doth recomiend. And in the rules of iustice them instructed well.
Dread soverayne goddesse, that doest highest sit Whiles through the world she walked in this sort,
In seate of iudgement in th' Almighties stead, Upon a day she found this gentle cbilde
And with magnificke might and wondrous wit Amongst his peres playing his childish sport;
Doest to thy people righteous doome aread, Whom seeing fit, and with no crime defilde,
That furthest nations filles with awfull dread, She did allure with gifts and speaches milde
Pardon the boldnesse of thy basest thrall,

To wend with her : so thence him farre she brought That dare discourse of so divine a read,

Into a cave from companie exilde, As thy great iustice praysed over all;

In which she noursled him, till yeares he raught; The ipstrument whereof loe here thy Artegall. And all the discipline of iustice there him taught.

There she him taught to weigh both right and wrods

In equall ballance with due recompence,

And equitie to measure out along

According to the line of conscience,
Artegall trayn'd in lustice lore

Whenso it needs with rigour to dispence:
Irenaes quest pursewed;

Of all the which, for want there of mankind,
He doeth avenge on Sanglier

She caused him to make experience
His ladies bloud embrewed,

Upon wyld beasts, which she in woods did find,

With wrongfull powre oppressing others of their kind, THOUGH vertue then were held in highest price, In those old times of which I doe intreat,

Thus she him trayned, and thus she him taught Yet then likewise the wicked seede of vice

In all the skill of deeming wrong and right, Began to spring; which shortly grew full great, Untill the ripenesse of mans yeares he raught; And with their boughes the gentle plants did beat: That even wilde beasts did feare his awfall sight, But everinore some of the vertuous race

And men admyr'd his over-ruling might; Rose up, inspired with heroicke heat,

Ne any liv'd on ground that durst withstand That cropt the branches of the sient base,

His dr.;adfull heast, much lesse him match in fight, And with strong hand their fruitfull ranknes did de- Or bide the horror of his wreakfull hand, face.

Whenso he list in wrath lift up his steely brand: Such first was Bacchus, that with furious might Which steely brand, to make him dreaded more, All th' east before untam'd did over-ronne, She gave unto him, gotten by her slight And wrong repressed, and establisht right,

And earnest search, where it was kept in store Which lawlesse men had formerly fordonne: In loves eternall house, unwist of wight, There Iustice first her princely rule begonne.

Since he himselfe it us'd iu that great fight Next Hercules his like ensample shewed,

Against the Titans, that whylome rebelled Who all the west with equall conquest wonne, Gainst highest Heaven; Chrysaor it was hight; And monstrous tyrants with his club subdewed; Chrysaor, that all other swords excelled, The club of Iustice dread with kingly powre endewed. Well prov'd in that same day when love those gyants

quelled: And such was he of whom I have to tell, The champion of true Justice, Artegall:

Por of most perfect metall it was made, Whom (as ye lately mote remember well)

Tempred with adamant amongst the same, An hard adventure, which did then befall,

And garnisht all with gold upon the blade Into redoubted perill fortb did call;

In goodly wise, whereof he tooke his name, That was, to succour a distressed dame

And was of no lesse vertue then of fame: Whom a strong tyrant did uniustly thrall,

For there no substance was so firme and hard, And from the heritage, which she did clame, But it would pierce or cleave wbereso it came; Did with strong hand withhold; Grantorto was his Ne any armour could his dint out-ward;

But wheresoever it did light, it throughly sheard


Now when the world with sinne gan to abound, “ Which when his ladie saw, she follow'd fast,
Astræa loathing lenger here to space

And on him catching hold gan loud to crie
Mongst wicked men, in whom no truth she found, Not so to leave her nor away to cast,
Return'd to Heaven, whence she deriv'd her race; Bit rather of his handi besought to die:
Where she bath now an everlastiug place

With that his sword be drew all wrathfully, Mongst those twelve signes, which nightly we do see and at one stroke cropt off her head with scorne, The Heavens bright-shining baudricke to enchace; In that same place whereas it now doth lie. And is the Virgin, fixt in her degree, [bee. So he my love away with him hath borne, And next herselfe her righteous ballance hanging And left me here both his and mine owne love to

morne.” But when she parted hence she left her groome, An yron man, which did on her attend

Aread,” sayd he;" which way then did he make? Always to execute her stedfast doome,

And by what markes may he be knowne againe ?" And willed him with Artegall to wend,

“ To hope," quoth he, “ him soone to overtake, And doe whatever thing he did intend :

That hepce so long departed, is but vaine: His name was l'alus, made of yron mould, But yet he pricked over yonder plaine, lınmoveable, resistlesse, without end;

And as I marked bore upon his shield, Who in his band an yron fiale did hould,

By which it 's easie him to know againe, With which he thresht out falshood, and did truth A broken sword within a bloodie field; unfould.

Expressing well his nature which the same did wield."

No sooner sayd, but streight he after sent He now went with him in this new inquest,

His yron page, who him pursew'd so light, Him for to aide, if aide he chaunst to neede,

As that it seem'd above the ground he went :
Against that cruell tyrant, which opprest

For he was swift as swallow in her flight,
The faire Irena with his foule misdeede,
And kept the crowne in which she should succeed ; It was not long before he overtooke

And strong as lyon in his lordly might.
And now together on their way they bin,

Sir Sanglier, (so cleeped was that knight)
Whenas they saw a squire in squallid weed

Whom at the first he ghessed by his looke,
Lamenting sore his sorrowfull sad tyne
With many bitter teares shed from his blubbred eyne.

And by the other markes which of his shield he tooke.

He bad him stay and backe with him retire; To whom as they approched, they espide

Who, full of scorne to be commaunded so, A sorie sight as ever seene with eye,

The lady to alight did eft require, An headlesse ladie lying him beside

Whilest he reformed that uncivill fo; In her owne blood all wallow'd wofully,

And streight at him with all his force did go : That her gay clothes did in discolour die.

Who mov'd no more therewith, then when a rocke Much was he moved at that ruefull sight;

Is lightly stricken with some stonës throw; And Aam'd with zeale of vengeance inwardly But to him leaping lent him such a knocke, He askt who had that dame so fouly dight, That on the ground he layd him like a sencelesse Or whether his owne hand, or whether other wight?

blocke. “ Ah! woe is me, and well away," quoth hee

But, ere he could himselfe recure againe, Bursting forth teares like springs out of a banke,

Him in his iron paw he seized had ; “ That ever I this dismall day did see!

That when he wak't out of his warelesse paine, Full farre was I from thinking such a pranke;

He found himself unwist so ill bestad, Yet litle losse it were, and mickle thanke,

That lim he could not wag: thence he him lad, If I should graunt that I have doen the same,

Bound like a beast appointed to the stall: That I mote drinke the cup whereof she dranke;

The sight whereof the lady sore adrad, But that I should die guiltie of the blame,

And fain'd to fly for feare of being thrall; The which another did who now is filed with shame." But be her quickly stayd, and forst to wend withall.

When to the place they came where Artegall “Who was it then," sayd Artegall, “ that wrought? By that same carefull squire did then abide, And why? doe it declare unto me trew.??

He gently gan him to demaund of all " A knight,” said he, “if knight he may be thought, Thai did betwixt him and that squire betide: That did his hand in ladies bloud embrew,

Who with sterne countenance and indignant pride And for no cause, but as I shall you shew.

Did aunswere, that of all he guiltlesse stood, This day as I in solace sate hereby

And his accuser thereuppou defide; With a fayre love whose losse I now do rew,

For neither he did shed that ladies bloud, There came this knight, having in companie [lie. Nor tooke away his love, but bis owne proper good. This lucklesse ladie which now here doth headlesse

Well did the squire perceive himselfe too weake “ He, whether mine seem'd fayrer in his eye, To aunswere his defiaunce in the field, Or that he wexed weary of his owne,

And rather chose his challenge off to breake Would change with me; but I did it denye, Thep to approve his right with speare and shield, So did the ladies both, as may be knowne:

And rather guilty chose himselfe to yield. But he, whose spirit was with pride upblowne, But Artegall by signes perceiving plaine Would not so rest contented with his right; That lie it was not which that lady kild, But, having from his courser her downe throwne, But that strange knight, the fairer love to gaine, Fro me reft mine away by lawlesse might,

Did cast about by sleight the truth thereout to And on his stecd her set to beare her out of sight.


And sayd; " Now sure this doubtfull causes right
Can hardly but by sacrament be tride,

Or else by ordele, or by blooddy fight;
That ill perhaps mote fall to either side:

Artegall heares of Florimell;
But if ye please that I your cause decide,

Does with the Pagan fight : Perhaps I may all further quarrell end,

: Him slaies; drownes lady Munera; So ye will sweare my iudgement to abide.”

Does race her castle quight.
Thereto they both did franckly condiscend,
And to his doome with listfull eares did both attend. "Nougat is more honourable to a knight,

Ne better doth beseemne brave chevalry,
“ Sith then,” sayd he, “ye both the dead deny; Then to defend the feeble in their right,
And both the living lady claime your right, And wrong redresse in such as wend awry:
Let both the dead and living equally

Whilome those great heroes got thereby
Devided be betwixt you here in sight,

Their greatest glory for their rightfull deedes, And each of either take his share aright.

And place deserved with the gods ou hy : But looke, who does dissent from this my read, Herein the woblesse of this knight exceedes, He for a twelve moneths day shall in despight Who now to perils great for justice sake proceedes: Beare for his penaunce that same ladies head; To witnesse to the world that she by him is dead." To which as he now was uppon the way,

*He chaunst to meet a dwarfe in hasty course; Well pleased with that doome was Sangliere, Whom he requir'd his forward hast to stay, And offred streight the lady to be slaine :

Till he of tidings mote with him discourse. But that same squire to whom she was more dere, Loth was the dwarfe, yet did he stay perforse, Whenas he saw she should be cut in twaine, And gan of sundry newes his store to tell, Did yield she rather should with him remaine As to his memory they had recourse ; Alive then to himselfe be shared dead;

But chiefly of the fairest Florimell, And rather then his love should suffer paine, How she was found againe, and spousde to Marinell. He chose with shame to beare that ladies head: True love despiseth shame when life is cald in For this was Dony, Florimells owne dwarfe, dread.

Whom having lost (as ye have heard whyleare)

And finding in the way the scattred scarfe, Whom when so willing Artegall perceaved; The fortune of her life long time did feare: “ Not so, thou squire,” he sayd, “but thine But of her health when Artegall did heare, deeme

And safe returne, he was full inly glad, The living lady, which from thee he reaved : And askt him where and when her bridale cheare For worthy thou of her doest rightly seeme. Should be solemniz'd; for, if time he had, And you, sir Knight, that love so light esteeme, He would be there, and honor to her spousall ad. As that ye would for little leave the same, Také here your owne that doth you best beseeme, “ Within three daies,” quoth he, “as I do heare, And with it beare the burden of defame;

It will be at the Castle of the Strond ; Your owne dead ladies head, to tell abrode your What time, if naught me let, I will be there shame."

To do her service so as I am bond.

But in my way a little here beyond But Sangliere disdained much his doome,

A cursed cruell Sarazin doth woune, And sternly gan repine at his bebeast ;

That keepes a bridges passage by strong hond, Ne would for ought obay, as did become,

And many errant knights hath there fordonne; To beare that ladies head before his breast: That inakes all men for feare that passage for to Untill that Talus bad his pride represt,

shonpe." And forced him, maulgre, it up to reare. Who when he saw it bootelesse to resist,

" What mister wight,” quotli he, “and how far He tooke it up, and thence with him did beare;

hence As rated spanjell takes his burden up for feare. Is he, that doth to travellers such harmes ?”

" He is," said he, “a man of great defence; Much did that squire sir Artegall adore

Expert in battell and in reedes of armes; for his great justice held in high regard;

And more emboldned by the wicked charmes, And as his squire him offred evermore

With which his daughter doth him still support; To serve, for want of other meete reward,

Having great lordships got and goodly farmes And wend with him or his adventure hard : Through strong oppression of his powre extort; But he thereto would by no meanes consent; By which he stil their holds, and keepes with But leaving him forth on his journey farid:

strong effort. Ne wight with him but onely Talus went; They two enough t' encounter an wbole regiment. “ And dayly he his wrongs encreaseth more;

For never wight he lets to passe that way,
Over his bridge, albee he rich or poore,
But he him makes his passage-pemiy pay:
Else he doth bold him backe or beat away.
Thereto he hath a groome of evill guize,
Whose scalp is bare, that bondage doth bewray,
Which pols and pils the poore in piteous wize;
But be himselfe upon the rich doth tyrannize.

His name is hight Pollente, rightly so,

Which oddes whena's sír Artegall espide; For that he is so puissant and strong,

He saw no way but close with him in hast; That with his powre he all doth over-go,

And to him driving strongly downe the tide And makes them subiect to his mighty wrong; Uppon his iron coller griped fast, And some by sleight he eke doth underfong : That with the straint his wesand nigh he brasta Por on a bridge he custometh to fight,

There they together strove and struggled long, Which is but narrow, but exceeding long; Either the other from his steed to cast; And in the same are many trap-fals pight, Ne ever Artegall his griple strong Through which the rider downe doth fall through For any thinge wold slacke, but still upon him hongo oversight.

As when a dolphin and a sele are met * And underneath the same a river flowes,

In the wide champian of the ocean plaine, That is both swift and dangerous deepe withall; With cruell chaufe their courages they whet, hto the which whomso he overthrowes,

The maysterdome of each by force to gaine, All destitute of helpe doth headlong fall;

And dreadfull battaile twixt them do darraine; But he himselfe through practise usuall

They snuf, they snort, they bounce, they rage, they Leapes forth into the foud, and there assaies

That all the sea, disturbed with their traine, (rore, His foe confused through his sodaine fall,

Doth frie with fome above the surges hore: That horse and man he equally dismaies, And either both them drownes, or trayterously slajes. Such was betwixt these two the troublesome uprore.

So Artegall at length him forst forsake " Then doth he take the spoile of them at will,

His horses backe for dread of being drownd, And to his daughter brings, that dwells thereby :

And to his handy swimming him betake. Who all that comes doth take, and therewith fill

Eftsoones himselfe he from bis hold unbownd,. The coffers of her wicked threasury;

And then no ods at all in him he fownd; Which she with wrongs hath heaped up so hy

For Artegall in swimming skilfull was, That many princes she in wealth exceedes,

And durst the depth of any water sownd. And purchast all the countrey lying ny

So ought each knight, that use of perill has, With the revenue of her plenteous meedes:

In swimming be expert, through waters force to pas. Her name is Munera, agreeing with her deedes.

Then very doubtfull was the warres event, “ Thereto she is full faire, and rich attired,

Uncertaine whether had the better side: With golden hands and silver feete beside,

For both were skild in that experiment, That many lords have her to wife desired;

And both in armes well traind and throughly tride. But she them all despiseth for great pride." « Now by my life,” sayd he, " and God to guide, And towards th' end grew greater in bis might,

But Artegall was better breath'd beside,
None other way will I this day betake,

That his faint foe no longer could abide
But by that bridge whereas he doth abide:
Therefore me thither lead.” No more he spake,

His puissance, ne beare himselfe upright;
But thitherward forthright his ready way did make. But from the water to the land betooke his flight.
Onto the place he came within a while,

But Artegall pursewd him still so neare Where on the bridge he ready armed saw

With bright Chrysaor in his cruell hand, The Sarazin, awayting for some spoile :

That, as his head he gan a litle reare Who as they to the passage gan to draw,

Above the brincke to tread upon the land, A villaine to them came with scull all raw,

He sinote it off, that tumbling on the strand That passage-money did of them require,

It bit the earth for very fell despight, According to the custome of their law:

And gnashed with his teeth, as if he band To whom he aunswerd wroth, “ Loe there thy hire;" High God, whose goodnesse he despaired quight, And with that word bim strooke, that streight he did Or curst the hand which did that vengeance on hits expire.

dight. Whicb when the Pagan saw he wexed wroth, His corps was carried downe along the lee, And streight himselfe unto the fight addrest;

Whose waters with his filthy bloud it stayned: Ne was sir Artegall behinde: so both

But his blasphemous head, that all might see, Together ran' with ready speares in rest.

He pitcht upon a pole on high ordayned;
Right in the midst, whereas they brest to brest Where many years it afterwards remayned,
Should meete, a trap was letten downe to fall To be a mirrour to all mighty men,
Into the floud: streight leapt the carle unblest,

In whose right hands great power is contayned,
Well weening that his foe was falne withall : That none of them the feeble over-ren,
But he was well aware, and leapt before his fall. But alwaies doe their powre within iust compasse pen.
There being both together in the floud,

That done, unto the castle he did wend, They each at other tyrannoasly few;

In which the Paynims daughter did abide, Ne ought the water cooled their whot bloud, Guarded of many which did her defend : But rather in them kindled choler newt:

Of whom he entrance sought, but was denide, But there the Paynim, who that use well knew And with reprochfull blasphemy defide, To figlit in water, great advantage bad,

Beaten with stones downe from the battilment, That oftentimes him nigh he overthrew:

That he was forced to withdraw aside ; And eke the courser whereuppon he rad

And bad his servant Talus to invent Could swim like to a-fish whiles he his backe vestrad. Which way he enter might without endangerment.

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