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But first was question made, which of those knights CANTO V.
That lately turneyd had the wager wonne:
There was it iudged, by those worthie wights, The ladies for the girdle strive
That Satyrane the first day best had donne :
For he last ended, having first begonne.
The second was to Triamond behight,
For that he sav'd the victour from fordonne:
Till by mishap he in his foemens hand did light.
To Britomart was given by good right; For either doth on other much relie:
For that with puissant stroke she downe did beare For he me seemes most fit the faire to serve, The Salvage Knight that victour was whileare, That can her best defend from villenie;
And all the rest which had the best afore, And she most fit his service doth deserve,
And, to the last, unconquer'd did appeare; That fairest is, and from her faith will never swerve. For last is deemed best : to her therefore
The fayrest ladie was adiudged for Paramore. So fitly now here commeth next in place, After the proofe of prowesse ended well,
But thereat greatly grudged Arthegall, The controverse of Beauties soveraine grace; And much repynd, that both of victors meede In which, to her that doth the most excell, And eke of honour she did him forestall: Shall fall the girdle of faire Florimell:
Yet mote he not withstand what was decreede; That many wish to win for glorie vaine,
But inly thought of that despightfull deede
This being.ended thus, and all agreed, Which ladies ought to love, and seeke for to ob- Then next ensew'd the paragon to see taine.
Of beauties praise, and yeeld the fayrest her due fee. That girdle gave the vertue of chast love
Then first Cambello brought into their view And wirehood true to all that did it beare; His faire Cambina covered with a veale; But whosoever contrarie doth prove,
Which, being once withdrawne, most perfect hew Might not the same about her middle weare,
And passing beautie did eftsoones reveale, Bat it would loose, or else asunder teare.
That able was weake harts away to steale. Whilome it was (as Faeries wont report)
Next did sir Triamond unto their sight Dame Venus girdle, by her 'steemed deare The face of his deare Canacee unbeale ; What time she usd to live in wively sort,
Whose beanties beame eftsoones did shine so bright, But layd aside whenso she usd her looser sporte That daz'd the eyes of all, as with exceeding light. Her husband Vulcan whylome for her sake,
And after her did Paridell produce When first he loved her with heart entire,
His false Duessa, that she might be seene ; This pretioas ornament, they say, did make,
Who with her forged beautie did seduce And wrought in Lemnos with unquenched fire:
The hearts of some that fairest her did weene; And afterwards did for her loves first hire
As diverse wits affected divers beene. Give it to her, for ever to remaine,
Then did sir Ferramont unto them shew Therewith to bind lascivious desire,
His Lucida, that was full faire and shecne : And loose affections streightly to restraine;
And after these an hundred ladies moe Which vertue it for ever after did retaine.
Appear'd in place, the which each other did outgoe. The same one day, when she herselfe disposd To visite her beloved paramoure,
All which whoso dare thinke for to enchace,
Him needeth sure a golden pen I weene
To tell the feature of each goodly face.
For, since the day that they created beene, She with the pleasant Graces wont to play.
So many heavenly faces were not seene There Florimell in her first ages flowre
Assembled in one place : ne he that thought Was fostered by those Graces, (as they say)
For Chian folke to pourtraict beauties queene, And brought with her from thence that goodly belt By view of all the fairest to him brought, away.
So many faire did see, as here he might have sought, That goodly belt was Cestus hight by name,
At last, the most redoubted Britonesse And as her life by her esteemed deare:
Her lovely Amoret did open shew; No wonder then, if that to wione the same Whose face, discovered, plainely did expresse So many ladies sought, as shall appeare;
The heavenly pourtraict of bright angels hew. For pearelesse she was thought that did it beare. Well weened all, which her that time did vew, And now by this their feast all being ended, That she should surely beare the bell away; The judges, which thereto selected were,
Till Blandamour, who thought he had the trew Into the Martian field adowne descended (tended. And very Florimell, did her display: To deeme this doutfull case, for which they all con- The sight of whom once seene did all the rest dismay.
For alt afore that seemed fayre and bright, Whom when the rest did see her to refuse,
They were full glad, in hope themselves to get her:
Then was she iudged Triamond his one;
As guilefull goldsmith that by secret skill
Tho unto Satyran she was adiudged, With golden foyle doth finely over-spred
Who was right glad to gaine so goodly meed:
And litle prays'd his labours evill speed,
Ne lesse thereat did Paridell complaine,
And thought t'appeale, from that which was decreed, That Florimell herselfe in all mens vew
To single combat with sir Satyrane : She seem'd to passe: so forged things do fairest shew. Thereto him Atè stird, new discord to maintaine.
Then was that golden belt by doome of all
And eke, with these, full many other knights
That all men wondred at the uncouth sight, Thereat exceeding wroth was Satyran;
So all together stird up strifull stoure,
And readie were new battell to darraine : About their tender loynes to knit the same; Each one profest to be her paramoure, But it would not on none of them abide,
And vow'd with speare and shield it to maintaine ; But when they thought it fast, eftsoones it was untide. Ne judges powre, ne reasons rule, mote them re
restraine. Which when that scornefull Squire of Dames did vew, He lowdly gan to laugh, and thus to iest;
Which troublous stirre when Satyrane aviz'd, “ Alas for pittie that so faire a crew,
He gan to cast how to appease the same, As like cannot be seen from east to west,
And, to accord them all, this meanes deviz'd: Cannot find one this girdle to invest !
First in the midst to set that fayrest dame, Fie on the man that did it first invent,
To whom each one his chalenge should disclame, To shame us all with this, Ungirt unblest!
And he himselfe his right would eke releasse: Let never ladie to his love assent,
Then, looke to whom she voluntarie came, That hath this day so many so unmanly shent.” He should without disturbance her possesse :
Sweete is the love that comes alone with willingnesse. Thereat all knights gan laugh, and ladies lowre: Till that at last the gentle Amoret
They all agreed; and then that snowy mayd Likewise assayd to prove that girdles powre; Was in the middest plast among them all: And, having it about her middle set,
All on ber gazing wisht, and vowd, and prayd, Did find it fit withouten breach or let;
And to the queene of beautie close did call, Whereat the rest gan greatly to envie :
That she unto their portion might befall. But Florimell exceedingly did fret,
Then when she long had lookt upon each one, And, snatching from her hand balfe angrily As though she wished to have pleasd them all, The belt againe, about her bodie gan it tie: At last to Braggadochio selfe alone
She came of her accord, in spight of all his fone. Yet nathëmore would it her bodie fit; Yet nathëlesse to her, as her dew right,
Which when they all beheld, they chaft, and rag'd, It yielded was by them that iudged it;
And woxe nigh mad for very harts despight, And she herselfe adiudged to the knight
That from revenge their willes they scarse asswag'd: That bore the hebene speare, as wonne in fight. Some thought from him her to have reft by might; But Britomart would not thereto 'assent,
Some proffer made with him for her to fight: Ne her owne Amoret forgoe so light
But he nought card for all that they could say ; For that strange dame, whose beauties wonderment For he their words as wind esteemed light: She lesse esteem'd then th' others vertuous govern- Yet not fit place he thought it there to stay, ment.
But secretly from thence that night her bore away.
They which remaynd, so soone as they perceiv'd Rude was his garment, and to rags all rent,
And fingers filthie with long nayles unpared,
His name was Care; a blacksmith by his trade, But now of Britomart it here doth neede
That neither day nor night from working spared, The hard adventures and strange haps to tell; But to small purpose yron wedges made; (vade. Since with the rest she went not after Florimell. Those be unquiet thoughts that carefull minds inFor soone as she them saw to discord set,
In which his worke he had sixe servants prest, Her list no longer in that place abide ;
About the andvile standing evermore But, taking with her lovely Amoret,
With huge great hammers, that did never rest Upon her first adventure forth did ride,
From heaping stroakes which thereon soused sore: To seeke her lov'd, making blind Love her guide. All sixe strong groomes, but one then other more ; Unluckie mayd, to seeke her enemie!
For by degrees they all were disagreed; Unluckie mayd, to seeke him farre and wide, So likewise did the hammers which they bore Whom, when he was unto herselfe most nie, (scrie! Like belles in greatnesse orderly succeed, (ceede. She through his late disguizement could him not de- That he, which was the last, the first did farre exSo much the more her griefe, the more her toyle: He like a monstrous gyant seem'd in sight, Yet neither toyle nor griefe she once did spare, Farre passing Bronteus or Pyracmon great, In seeking him that should her paine assoyle; The which in Lipari doe day and night Whereto great comfort in her sad misfare
Frame thunderbolts for loves avengefull threate. Was Amoret, companion of her care:
So dreadfully he did the andvile beat, Who likewise sought her lover long miswent, That seem'd to dust he shortly would it drive: The gentle Scudamour, whose heart whileare So huge his hammer, and so fierce his heat, That stryfull bag with gealous discontent
That seem'd a rocke of diamond it could rive Had fild, that he to fell reveng was fully bent ; And rend asunder quite, if he thereto list strive. Bent to revenge on blamelesse Britomart
Sir Scudamour there entring much admired The crime which cursed Atè kindled earst, The manner of their worke and wearie paine; The which like thornes did pricke his gealous hart, And, having long beheld, at last enquired And through his soule like poysned arrow perst,
The cause and end thereof; but all in vaine; That by no reason it might be reverst,
For they for nought would from their worke refraine, For ought that Glaucè could or doe or say:
Ne let his speeches come unto their eare. For, age the more that she the same reherst,
And eke the breathfull bellowes blew amaine, The more it gauld and griev'd him night and day, Like to the northren winde, that none could heare; That nought but dire revenge his anger mote defray. Those Pensifenesse did move; and sighes the bel
lows weare. So as they travelled, the drouping night
Which when that warriour saw, he said no more, Covered with cloudie storme and bitter showre, That dreadfull seem'd to every living wight,
But in his armour layd him downe to rest:
To rest he layd him downe upon the flore, l'pon them fell, before her timely howre; That forced them to seeke some covert bowre,
(Whylome for ventrous knights the bedding best)
And thought his wearie limbs to have redrest. Where they might hide their heads in quiet rest,
And that old aged dame, his faithfull squire, And shrowd their persons from that stormnie stowre.
Her feeble joynts layd eke adowne to rest; Not farre away, not meete for any guest, (nest.
That needed much her weake age to desire, They spide a little cottage, like some poore mans
After so long a travell which them both did tire. Under a steepe hilles side it placed was, [banke; There lay sir Sendamour long while expecting There where the mouldred earth had cav'd the When gentle sleepe his heavie eyes would close; And fast beside a little brooke did pas
Oft chaunging sides, and oft new place electing, 1) muddie water, that like puddle stanke, Where better seemd he mote himselfe repose; By which few crooked sallowes grew in ranke: And oft in wrath he thence againe uprose; Whereto approaching nigh, they heard the sound And oft in wrath he layd him downe againe. Of many yron hammers beating ranke,
But, wheresoere he did himselfe dispose, And answering their wearie turnes around, [ground. He by no meanes could wished ease obtaine: That seemed some blacksmíth dwelt in that desert So every place seem'd painefull, and ech changing
vaine. There entring in, they found the goodman selfe Full busily unto his worke ybent;
And evermore, when he to sleepe did thinke, Who was to weet a wretched wearish elfe,
The hammers sound his senses did molest;
The bellowes noyse disturb’d his quiet rest,
Lowde shriking, him afficted to the very sowle.
And, if by fortune any litle nap
Who having left that restlesse House of Care, Upon his heavie eye-lids chaunst to fall,
The next day, as he on his way did ride, Eftsoones one of those villeins him did rap
Full of melancholie and sad misfare Upon his head-peece with his yron mall;
Through misconceipt, all unawares espide That he was soone awaked therewithall,
An armed knight under a forrest side And lightly started up as one affrayd,
Sitting in shade beside his grazing steede ; Or as if one him suddenly did call:
Who, soone as them approaching he descride, So oftentimes he out of sleepe abrayd,
Gan towards them to pricke with eger speede, And then lay musing long on that him ill apayd. That seem'd he was full bent to some mischievous
deede. So long he muzed, and so long he lay, That at the last his wearie sprite opprest
Which Scudamour perceiving forth issewed With fleshly weaknesse, which no creature may
To have rencountred him in equall race; Long time resist, gave place to kindly rest,
But, soone as th' other nigh approaching vowed That all his senses did full soone arrest :
The armes he bore, his speare he gan abase Yet, in his soundest sleepe, his dayly feare
And voịde his course; at which so suddain case His ydle braine gan busily molest,
He wondred much : but th' other thus can say; And made him dreame those two disloyall were:
“ Ah! gentle Scudamour, untu your grace The things, that day most minds, at night Joe most
I me submit, and you of pardon pray,
That almost had against you trespassed this day." appeare.
Whereto thus Scudamour; “ Small harme it were With that the wicked carle, the maister smith,
For any knight upon a ventrous knight A paire of red-whot yron tongs did take
Without displeasance for to prove his spere. Out of the burning cinders, and therewith
But reade you, sir, sith ye my name have hight, Under his side him nipt; that, forst to wake, He felt his hart for very paine to quake,
What is your owne, that I mote you requite.
“ Certes," sayd he, “ ye mote as now excuse And started up avenged for to be On him the which his quiet slomber brake:
Me from discovering you my name aright: Yet, looking round about him, none could see;
For time yet serves that I the same refuse;
But call ye me the Salvage Knight, as others use." Yet did the smart remaine, though he himselfe did fee.
“Then this, sir Salvage Knight,"quoth he, "areede;
Or doe you here within this forrest wonne, In such disquiet and hart-fretting payne
That seemeth well to answere to your weede, He all that night, that too long night, did passe. Or have ye it for some occasion donne? And now the day out of the ocean mayne
That rather seemes, sith knowen armes yeshonne." Began to peepe above this earthly masse,
“ This other day," sayd he, “a stranger knight With pearly dew sprinkling the morning grasse: Shame and dishonour hath unto me doune; Then up he rose like heavie lumpe of lead, On whom I waite to wreake that foule despight, That in his face, as in a looking glasse,
Whenever be this way shall passe by day or night.” The signes of anguish one mote plainely read, And ghesse the man to be dismayd with gealous “ Shame be bis meede," quoth he, “that meaneth dread.
But what is he by whom ye shamed were?” Unto his lofty steede he clombe anone,
A stranger knight," sayd he, “ unknowneby name, And forth upon bis former voiage fared,
But knowne by fame, and by an hebene speare And with him eke that aged squire attone;
With which he all that met him downe did beare, Who, whatsoever perill was prepared,
He, in an open turney lately held, Both equall paines and equall perill shared:
Fró me the honour of that game did reare; The end whereof and daungerous event
And having me, all wearie earst, downe feld, Shall for another canticle be spared :
The fayrest ladie reft, and ever since withheld.” · But here my wearie teeme, nigh over-spent, Shall breath itselfe awhile after so long a went.
When Scudamour heard mention of that speare,
For fell despight, and gnaw his gealous hart,
That thus he sharply sayd ; “ Now by my head,
Yet is not this the first unknightly part,
Which that saine knight, whom by his launce I read,
Hoth doen to noble knights, that many makes him And soone from her depart.
dread: What equall torment to the griefe of mind “ For lately he my love hath fro me reft, And pyning anguish hid in gentle bart,
And eke defiled with foule villanie
The which ere long full deare he shall abie:
This hand may helpe, or succour ought supplie, Such was the wound that Scudamour did gride; It shall not fayle whenso ye shall it need." (agreed. For which Dan Phebus selfe cannot a salve provide. So both to wreake their wrathes on Britoinart
Whiles thus they communed, lo! farre away At length, whenas he saw her hastie heat
Heaping huge strokes as thicke as showre of hayle,
As if he thought her soule to disentrayle. That first I may that wrong to him requite: Ah! cruell hand, and thrise more crueli hart, And, if I hap to fayle, you shall recure my right.” That workst such wrecke on her to whom thoa.
dearest art! Which being yeelded, he his threatfull speare Gan fexter, and against her fiercely ran.
What yron courage ever could endure Who soone as she him saw approching neare
To worke such outrage on so fayre a creature ! With so fell rage, berselfe she lightly gan
And in his madnesse thinke with bands impure To dight, to welcome him well as she can;
To spoyle so goodly workmanship of Nature, But entertaind him in so rude a wise,
The Maker selfe resembling in her feature! That to the ground she smote both horse and man;
Certes some hellish furie or some feend Whence neither greatly basted to arise,
This mischiefe framd, for their first loves defeature, But on their common harmes together did devise.
To bath their hands in bloud of dearest freend,
Thus long they trac'd and traverst to and fro, And, eft aventring his steele-headed launce,
Sometimes pursewing, and sometimes pursewed, Against her rode, full of despiteous ire,
Still as advantage they espyde thereto : That nought but spoyle and vengeance did require: But toward th' end sir Arthegall renewed But to himselfe his felonous intent
His strength still more, but she still more decrewed. Returning disappointed his desire,
At last bis lucklesse hand he heav'd on hie,
Having his torces all in one accrewed,
That seemed nought but death mote be her destinie.
And with the force, which in itselfe it bore, Thrust to an hynd within some covert glade, Her ventayle shard away, and thence forth glaunst Whom without perill he cannot invade:
Adowne in vaine, ne harm'd her any more. With such fell greedines he her assayled,
With that, her angels face, unseene afore, That though she mounted were, yet he her made Like to the ruddie morne appeard in sight, To give him ground, (so much his force prevayled) Deawed with silver drops through sweating sore; And shun his mightie strokes, gainst which no armes But somewhat redder then beseem'd aright, (tight: avayled.
Through toylesome heat and labour of her weary So, as they coursed here and there, it chaunst
And round about the same her yellow heare, That, in her wheeling round, behind her crest Having through stirring loosd their wonted band, So sorely he her strooke, that thence it glaunst
Like to a golden border did appeare, Adowne her backe, the which it fairely blest Framed in goldsmithes forge with cunning hand: From foule mischance; ne did it ever rest,
Yet goldsmithes cunning could not understand Till on her horses hinder parts it fell;
To frame such subtile wire, so shinie cleare; Where byting deepe so deadly it imprest,
For it did glister like the golden sand, That quite it chynd his backe behind the sell, The which Pactolus with his waters shere And to alight on foote her algates did compell:
Throwes forth upon the rivage round about him nere.
And as his hand he up againe did reare, Like as the lightning-brond from riven skie,
Thinking to worke on her his utmost wracke, Throwne out by angry love in his vengeance,
His powrelesse arme benumbd with secret feare With dreadfull force falles on some steeple hje; Which battring downe, it on the church doth glance, And cruell sword out of his fingers slacke
From his revengefull purpose shronke abacke, And teares it all with terrible mischance.
Fell downe to ground, as if the steele had sence Yet she, no whit dismayd, her steed forsooke;
And felt some ruth, or sence his hand did lacke, And, casting from her that enchaunted lance,
Or both of them did thinke obedience
And he himselfe, long gazing thereupon,
At last fell humbly downe upon his knee,
Weening some heavenly goddesse he did see, And yeeld unto her weapun way to pas :
Or else unweeting what it else might bee; Whose raging rigour neither steele nor bras And pardon her besought his errour frayle, Could stay, but to the tender flesh it went, That had done outrage in so bigh degree: And pour'd the purple bloud forth on the gras; Whilest trembling horrour did his sense assayle, That all his mayle yriv'd, and plates yrent, And made ech member quake, and manly hart to Shew'd all his bodie bare unto the cruell dent.