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With him went Danger, cloth'd in rugged weed, For, from her back her garments she did tear, Made of bear's skin, that him more dreadful made: And from her head oft rent her snarled hair: Yet his own face was dreadful, nor did need
In her right hand a firebrand she did toss Strange horror to deform his grisly shade;
About her head, still roaming here and there; A net in th’ one hand, and a rusty blade
As a dismayed deer in chace embost, In th’ other was: this mischief, that mishap; Forgetful of his safety, hath his right way lost. With th' one his foes he threatened to invade, With th' other he his friends meant to enwrap;
After them, went Displeasure and Pleasance; For, whom he could not kill, he practis'd to entrap.
He looking lumpish and full sullen sad,
And hanging down his heavy countenance;
That evil matched pair they seemed to be :
Th' other in her's a honey-lady bee ;
Thus marched these six couples forth in fair degree, And evermore on Danger fix'd his eye, Gainst whom he always bent a brazen shield,
After all these there march'd a most fair dame, Which his right hand unarmed fearfully did wield.
Led of two grizly villains, th' one Despight,
The other cleped Cruelty by name : With him went Hope in rank, a handsome maid, She doleful lady, like a dreary spright, Of chearful look and lovely to behold;
Call’d by strong charms out of eternal night, In silken samite she was light array'd,
Had death's own image figur’d in her face, And her fair locks were woven up in gold;
Full of sad signs, fearful to living sight ; She always smil'd, and in her hand did hold Yet in that Horror shew'd a seemly grace, An holy water sprinkle, dipp'd in dew,
And with her feeble feet did move a comely pace. With which she sprinkled favours manifold, On whom she list, and did great liking shew;
Her breast all naked, as neat ivory, Great liking unto many, but true love to few. Without adorn of gold or silver bright,
Wherewith the craftsman wonts it beautify, And after them Dissemblance and Suspect
Of her due honour was despoiled quite, March'd in one rank, yet an unequal pair ;
And a wide wound therein (O rueful sight!) For, she was gentle, and of mild aspect,
Entrenched deep with knife accursed keen, Courteous to all, and seeming debonnair,
Yet freshly bleeding forth her fainting sprite Goodly adorned, and exceeding fair:
(The work of cruel hand) was to be seen, Yet was that all but painted, and purloined, [hair, That dyed in sanguine red her skin all snowy clean. And her bright brows were deck'd with borrowed Her deeds were forged, and her words false coined, At that wide orifice, her trembling heart And always in her hand two clues of silk she twined. Was drawn forth, and in silver bason laid,
Quite through transfixed with a deadly dart, But he was foul, ill-favoured, and grim,
And in her blood yet steaming fresh embay'd; Under his eyebrows looking still askance;
And those two villains, which her steps upstaid, And ever as Dissemblance laugh'd on him,
When her weak feet could scarcely her sustain, He lour'd on her with dangerous eye-glance;
And fading vital powers gan to fade, Shewing his nature in his countenance;
Her forward still with torture did constrain,
And evermore increased her consuming pain.
Taught to obey the manage of that elf,
Subdueth to his kingdom tyrannous: Down hanging his dull head, with heavy cheer, His blindfold eyes he bade awhile unbind, Yet inly being more, than seeming sad:
That his proud spoil of that same dolorous A pair of pincers in his hand he had,
Fair dame, he might behold in perfect kind; With which he pinched people to the heart, Which seen, he much rejoiced in his cruel mind. That from thenceforth a wretched life they lad, In wilful languor and consuming smart,
Of which full proud, himself uprearing high, Dying each day with inward wounds of dolour's dart. He looked round about with stern disdain ;
And did survey his goodly company : But Fury was full ill appareled
And marshalling the evil ordered train, In rags, that naked nigh she did appear,
With that the darts which his right hand did strain, With ghastful looks and dreadful drearihead; Full dreadfully he shook that all did quake,
And clapp'd on high his coloured winges twain, With dear compassion deeply did emmove,
That she gan moan his undeserved smart,
And thereof made a lamentable lay, Reproach despiteful, careless, and unkind;
So sensibly compil'd, that in the same Shame most ill-favour'd, bestial, and blind; [scold; Him seemed oft he heard his own right name. Shame lourd, Repentance sigh’d, Reproach did With that, he forth would pour so plenteous tears, Reproach sharp stings, Repentance whips entwin'd, And beat his breast unworthy of such blame, Shame burning brand-irons in her hand did hold; And knock his head, and rend bis rugged hairs, All three to each unlike, yet all made in one mould. That could have pierc'd the hearts of tigers and of
[bears. And after them, a rude confused rout
Thus long this gentle bird to him did use,
Him to recomfort in his greatest care,
And every day, for guerdon of her song, Consuming Riotise, and guilty Dread
He part of his small feast to her would share; Of heavenly vengeance, faint Infirmity,
That, at the last, of all his woe and wrong, Vile Poverty, and lastly Death with Infamy. Companion she became, and so continued long. There were full many more like maladies,
Upon a day, as she him sate beside,
Which yet with him as relicks did abide
On him, while goodly grace she did him shew: And, which disguised, march’d, in masking wise, Amongst the rest, a jewel rich he found, About the chamber with that Damosel,
That was a ruby of right perfect hue, And then returned (having marched thrice) Shap'd like a heart, yet bleeding of the wound, Into the inner room, from whence they first did rise. And with a little golden chain about it bound.
The same he took, and with a ribbon new
(In which his lady's colours were) did bind THE SQUIRE AND THE DOVE.
About the turtle's neck, that with the view Well said the wise man, now prov'd true by this, Did greatly solace his engrieved mind. Which to this gentle squire did happen late; All unawares the bird, when she did find That the displeasure of the mighty is
Herself so deck'd, her nimble wings display'd, Than death itself more dread and desperate: And flew away, as lightly as the wind: For, nought the same may calm, nor mitigate, Which sudden accident him much dismay'd, Till time the tempest do thereof allay
And looking after long, did mark which way she With sufferance soft, which rigour can abate,
(stray'd. And have the stern remembrance wip'd away But, when as long he looked had in vain, Of bitter thoughts, which deep therein infixed lay. Yet saw her forward still to make her flight,
His weary eye return'd to him again, Like as it fell to this unhappy boy,
Full of discomfort and disquiet plight, Whose tender heart the fair Belphebe had
That both his jewel he had lost so light, With one stern look so daunted, that no joy
And eke his dear companion of his care. In all his life, which afterwards he lad,
But that sweet bird departing, flew forth right He ever tasted; but with penance sad,
Through the wide region of the wasteful air, And pensive sorrow, pin’d and wore away, [glad; Until she came where wonned his Belphebe fair. Nor ever laugh’d, nor once shew'd countenance But always wept and wailed night and day, [decay; There found she her (as then it did betide) As blasted blossom, through heat, doth languish and Sitting in covert shade of arbors sweet,
After late weary toil, which she had tried
In savage chace, to rest as seem'd her meet.
And gan to her, her mournful plaint to make,
She, her beholding with attentive eye,
That when your pleasure is to deem aright, At length did mark about her purple breast
Ye may redress, and me restore to light.
Which sorry words, her mighty heart did mate
And him receiv'd again to former favour's state.
Then did he set her by that snowy one, Would flit a little forward, and then stay
Like the true saint beside the image set; Till she drew near, and then again remove;
Of both their beauties to make paragon, So tempting her still to pursue the prey,
And trial whether should the honour get. And still from her escaping soft away:
Straightway so soon as both together met, Till that at length, into that forest wide
Th’ enchanted damsel vanish'd into nought:
Her snowy substance melted as with heat,
As when the daughter of Thaumantes fair,
So did this lady's goodly form decay,
COMBAT BETWEEN PRINCE ARTHUR
AND THE SOLDAN DESCRIBED.
Wherewith, the Soldan all with fury fraught,
Commanded strait his armour to be brought';
And mounting strait upon a chariot high,
And drawn of cruel steeds, which he had fed
He slaughtered had, and ere they were half dead,
So, forth he came all in a coat of plate,
Burnish'd with bloody rust; while on the green For, he whose days in wilful woe are worn,
The Briton Prince him ready did await, The grace of his Creator doth despise,
In glittering arms right goodly well beseen, That will not use his gifts for thankless niggardise. That shone as bright as doth the heaven sheen;
And by his stirrup Talus did attend, When so he heard her say, eftsoons he brake Playing his page's part, as he had been His sudden silence, which he long had pent,
Before directed by his lord; to th' end
He should his flail to final execution bend.
With like fierce minds, but meanings different:
For, the proud Soldan with presumptuous chear, To cloud my days in doleful misery,
And countenance sublime and insolent, And make me loath this life, still longing for to die. Sought only slaughter and avengement:
But the brave Prince for honour and for right,
Gainst tortious power and lawless regiment,
Like to the Thracian tyrant, who they say
That one sure stroke he might unto him reach, Unto his horses gave his guests for meat,
Whereby his strength’s essay he might him teach. Till he himself was made their greedy prey, At last, from his victorious shield he drew And torn in pieces by Alcides great ;
The veil, which did his powerful light impeach ; So thought the Soldan in his folly's threat,
And coming full before his horses' view, Either the Prince in pieces to have torn
As they upon him press’d, it plain to them did shew. With his sharp wheels, in his first rage's heat, Or under his fierce horses' feet have borne (scorn. Like lightening flash, that hath the gazer burned, And trampled down in dust his thought's disdained So did the sight thereof their sense dismay,
That back again upon themselves they turned, But the bold child that peril well espying,
And with their rider ran perforce away: If he too rashly to his chariot drew,
Nor could the Soldan them from flying stay, Gave way unto his horse's speedy flying,
With reins, or wonted rule, as well he knew. And their resistless rigour did eschew.
Nought feared they, what he could do or say, Yet, as he passed by, the Pagan threw
But th' only fear that was before their view; A shivering dart with so impetuous force,
From which, like mazed deer, dismayfully they flew. That had he not it shunn'd with heedful view, It had himself transfixed, or his horse, [morse. Fast did they fly, as them their feet could bear, Or made them both one mass withouten more re- High over hills, and lowly over dales,
As they were follow'd of their former fear. Oft drew the Prince unto his chariot nigh,
In vain the Pagan banns, and swears, and rails, In hope some stroke to fasten on him near ;
And back with both his hands unto him hailes But he was mounted in his seat so high,
The resty reins, regarded now no more : And his wing-footed coursers him did bear
He to them calls and speaks, yet nought avails; So fast away, that ere his ready spear
They hear him not, they have forgot his lore, [lore. He could advance, he far was gone and past. But go which way they list, their guide they have forYet still he him did follow every where, And followed was of him likewise full fast:
As when the fiery-mouthed steeds, which drew So long as in his steeds the flaming breath did last. The sun's bright wain to Phaeton's decay,
Soon as they did the monstrous scorpion view, Again, the Pagan threw another dart,
With ugly craples crawling in their way, Of which he had with him abundant store,
The dreadful sight did them so sore affray, On every side of his embattled cart,
That their well knowen courses they forwent; And of all other weapons less or more,
And leading the ever burning lamp astray, Which warlike uses had deviz'd of yore.
This lower world nigh all to ashes brent; The wicked shaft guided through th' airie wide,
And left their scorched path yet in the firmament. By some bad spirit, that it to mischief bore, Staid not, till through his curat it did glide,
Such was the fury of these headstrong steeds,
Soon as the infant's sun-like shield they saw, And made a grisly wound in his enriven side.
That all obedience, both to words and deeds, Much was he grieved with that hapless throe, They quite forgot, and scorn'd all former law; That opened had the well-spring of his blood; Through woods, and rocks, and mountains they did But much the more that to his hateful foe
The iron chariot, and the wheels did tear, (draw He might not come, to wreak his wrathful mood, And toss'd the Paynim, without fear or awe; That made him rave, like to a lion wood;
From side to side they toss'd him here and there, Which being wounded of the huntsman's hand Crying to them in vain, that n'ould his crying hear. Cannot come near him in the covert wood, Where he with boughs hath built his shady stand,
Yet still the Prince pursued him close behind, And fenc'd himself about with many a flaming brand.
Oft making offer him to smite, but found
No easy means according to his mind.
Amongst the iron hooks and grapples keen,
But scattered all about, and strow'd upon the green. That his good steed, all were he much renown'd For noble courage, and for hardy race,
Like as the cursed son of Theseus, Durst not endure their sight, but fled from place to
That following his chace in dewy morn,
To fly his stepdame's love outrageous,
That for his sake Diana did lament,
And all the woody nymphs did wail and mourn : Devis'd to work delight, was gathered there,
And there by her were poured forth at fill,
Approach'd, him seemed that the merry sound He up did take, and with him brought away, Of a shrill pipe he playing heard on hight, That might remain for an eternal token
And many feet fast thumping th' hollow ground, To all, mongst whom this story should be spoken, That through the woods their echo did rebound. How worthily, by heaven's high decree,
He nigher drew, to weet what might it be; Justice that day of wrong herself had wroken; There he a troop of ladies dancing found That all men which that spectacle did see,
Full merrily, and making gladful glee, By like example might for ever warned be.
And in the midst a shepherd piping he did see.
He durst not enter into the open green
For dread of them unwares to be descried,
But in the covert of the wood did bide,
Beholding all, yet of them unespied.
That even he himself his eyes envied,
An hundred naked maidens lily wbite,
All they without were ranged in a ring, engrieved;
And danced round; but in the midst of them
Three other ladies did both dance and sing, That from henceforth he means no more to sue That while the rest them round about did hem, His former guest, so full of toil and pain;
And like a garland did in compass stem: Another guest, another game in view
And in the midst of those same three was placed He hath, the guerdon of his love to gain ;
Another damsel, as a precious gem With whom he minds for ever to remain,
Amidst a ring most richly well enchaced, [graced.
That with her goodly presence all the rest much
Look how the crown, which Ariadne wore
Upon her ivory forehead that same day
That Theseus her unto his bridal bore Nor certes might he greatly blamed be,
(When the bold Centaurs made that bloody fray From so high step, to stoop unto so low.
With the fierce Lapithes which did them dismay)
Being now placed in the firmament,
Such was the beauty of this goodly band,
But she that in the midst of them did stand,
But most of all, those three did her with gifts endue.
Those were the Graces, daughters of delight, The which, as cometh now by course, I will declare.
Handmaids of Venus, which are wont to haunt
Upon this hill, and dance there day and night: One day as he did range the fields abroad,
Those three to men all gifts of grace do grant, While his fạir Pastorella was elsewhere,
And all, that Venus in herself doth vaunt,
That in the midst was placed paravant,
That made him pipe so merrily, as never none.