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For naturall affection soone doth cesse,
Whom soone as faire Æmylia beheld
Gan both envy, and bitterly to ban ;
But when awhile they had together beene, Shall in this storie find approved plaine ;
And diversly conferred of their case, In which these squires true friendship more did sway She, though full oft she both of them had seene Then either care of parents could refraine,
Asunder, yet not ever in one place, Or love of fairest ladie could constraine.
Beran to doubt, when she thern saw embrace, For though Pæana were as faire as morne,
Which was the captive squire she lord so deare, Yet did this trustie squire with proud disdaine Deceived through great likenesse of their face: For his friends sake her offred favours scorne, For they so like in
appeare, And she herselfe her syre of whom she was y borne. | That she uneath discerned whether whether weare.
Now, after that prince Arthur graunted had And eke the prince whenas he them av zed,
Her worke, and counterfet herselfe so nere,
As if that by one patterne seene somewhere
Or whether it through skill or errour were.
Thus gazing long at them much wondred he; And made it so to ride as it alive was found. So did the other knights and squires which him did Then did he take that chaced squire, and layd Before the ryder, as he captive were,
Then gan they ransacke that same castle strong, And made his dwarfe, though with unwilling ayd, In wliich he found great store of hoorded threasure, To guide the beast that did his maister beare, The which that tyrant gathered had by wrong Till to his castle they approched neare;
And tortious powre, without respect or measure. Whom when the watch, that kept continuall ward, Upon all which the Briton prince made seasure, Saw comming home, all voide of doubtfuil feare And afterwards continu'd there a while He, running downe, the gate to him unbard; To rest himselfe, and solace in soft pleasure Whom stra ght the prince ensuing in together far'd. / Those weaker ladies after weary toile;
To whom he did divide part of his purchast spoile. There did he find in her delitious boure The faire Pæana playing on a rote,
And, for more ioy, that captive lady faire, Complayning of her cruell paramoure,
The faire Pæana, he enlarged free, And singing all her sorrow to the note,
And by the rest did set in sumptuous chaire As she had learned readily by rote;
To feast and frollicke; nathëmore would she That with the sweetnesse of her rare delight Shew glasome countevannce nor pleasaunt glee; The prince half rapt began on her to dote; But grieved was for losse both of her sire, Till, better him bethinking of the right,
And eke of lordship with both land and fee; He her unwares attacht, and captive held by might. But most she touched was with griefe entire
For losse of ber new love, the hope of her desire. Whence being forth produc'd, when she perceived Her owne deare sire, sbe cald to him for aide : But her the prince, through his well-wonted grace, But when of him no aunswere she received, To better termes of myldnesso did entreat But saw him sencelesse by the squire upstaide, From that fowle rudenesse which did her deface; She weened well that then she was betraide : And that same b'tter cor’sive, which did eat Then gan she loudly cry, and weepe, and waile, Her tender hcart and made refraine from meat, And that saine squire of treason to upbraide: He with good thewes and speaches well applyde But all in vaine ; her plaints might not prevaile; Did mollifie, an! calme ber raging heat : Ne none there was to reskue her, ne none to baile. For though she were most faire, and goodly dyde,
Yet she it all did mar with cruelty and pride. Then tooke he that same dwarfe, and him compeld To open unto him the prisou dore,
And, for to shut up all in friendly love, And forth to bring those thrals which there he heid. Sith love was first the ground of all her griefe, Thence forth were brought to him above a score That trusty squire he wisely well did more Of knights and squires to him unknowne afore : Not to despise that dame which lov'd him liefe, All wbich he did from bitter bondage free, Till he had made of her some better priefe ; And unto former liberty restore.
But to accept her to his wedded wife : Amongst the rest that squire of low degree
Thereto be offred for to make him chiefe Came foru full weake and wan, not like himselfe Of all her land and lordship during life : to bee.
He yeelded, and her tooke; so stinted all their strife.
From that day forth in peace and ioyous blis As when Dan Æolus, in great displeasure
For losse of his deare love by Neptune hent,
Sends forth the winds out of his hidden threasure Could shake the safe assuraunce of their state: Upon the sea to wreake his full intent; And she, whom Nature did so faire create
They, breaking forth with rude unruliment That she mote match the fairest of her daies, From all foure parts of Heaven, doe rage full sore, Yet with lewd loves and lust intemperate
And tosse the deepes, and teare the firmament, Had it defaste, thenceforth reformd her waies, And all the world confound with wide uprore; That all men much admyrde her chauye, and spake As if instead thereof they chaos would restore. her praise.
Cause of their discord and so fell debate Thus when the prince had perfectly compylde Was for the love of that same snowy maid, These paires of friends in peace and setled rest; Whoine they had lost in turneyment of late; Hinselfe, whose minde did travell as with chylde And, seeking long to weet which way she straid, Of his old love conceard in secret brest,
Met here together; where, through lewd upbraide Resolved to pursue his former guest;
Of Atè and Duessa, they fell out;
This cruell conflict raised thereabout,
Whose dangerous successe depended yet in doubt : Exchanged out of one into another feare.
For sometimes Paridell and Blandamour Peare of her safety did her not constraine;
The better had, and bet the others backe; For well she wist now in a mighty hond
Eftsoones the others did the field recoure, Her person, late in perill, did remaine,
And on their foes did worke full cruell wracke : Who able was all dauingers to withstond :
Yet nether would their fiend-like fury slacke, Bat now in feare of shame she more did stond, But evermore their malice did augment; Seeing herselfe all soly succourlesse,
Till that uneath they forced were, for lacke Left in the victors powre, like vassall bond; Of breath, their raging rigour to relent, Whose wili or weakenesse could no way represse,
And rest themselves for to recover spirits spent. In case his burning lust should breake into excesse.
There gan they change their sides, and new parts But cause of feare sure had she none at all
For Paridell did take to Druons side, (take; Of him, who goodly learned had of yore
For old despight which now forth newly brake The course of loose affection to forstall,
Gainst Blandamour whom alwaies he envide; And lawlesse lust to rule with reasons lore;
And Blandainour to Claribell relide: That, all the while he by his side her bore, So all afresh gan former figbt renew. She was as safe as in a sanctuary.
As when two barkes, this caried with the tide, Thus many miles they two together wore,
That with the wind, contráry courses sew, (anew. To seeke their lovers dispersed diversly;
If wind and tide doe change, their courses change Yet neither shewed to other their hearts privity.
Thenceforth they much more furiously gan fare, At length they came whereas a troupe of knights As if but then the battell had begonne; They saw together skirmishing, as seemed: Ne helmets bright ne hawberks strong did spare, Sive they were all, all full of fell despight,
That through thechifts the vermeilbloud out sponne, Bat foure of them the battell best beseemed, And all adowne their riven sides did ronne. That which of them was best mote not be deemed. Such mortall malice wonder was to see These foure were they from whom false Florimel In friends profest, and so great outrage donne : By Braggadochio lately was redeemed;
But sooth is said, and tride in each degree, To Feet, sterne Druon, and lewd Claribell, Faint friends when they fall out most cruell fomen bee. Love-lavish Blandamour, and lustfull Paridell.
Thus they long while continued in fight; Druons delight was all in single life,
Till Scudamour and that same Briton maide And unto ladies love would lend do leasure: By fortune in ihat place did chance to light : The more was Claribell enraged rife
Whom soone as they with wrathfull eie bewraide, With fervent flames, and loved out of measure: They gan remember of the fowle upbraide, So eke lor'd Blandamour, but yet at pleasure The which that Britonesse had to tirei donne Would change his liking, and dew lemnans prove: In that late turney for the snowy maide; But Paridell of love did make no threasure, Where she had them both shamefully fordonne, But lust. d after all that him did move :
And eke the famous prize of beauty from them So diversly these foure disposed were to love. But those two other, which beside them stoode, Eftsoones all burning with a fresh desire Were Britomart and gentle Scudamour;
Of fell revenge, in their malicious mood Who all the while beheld their wrathfull moode, They from themselves gan turne their furious ire, And wondred at their impacable stoure,
And cruell blades yet steeming with whot bloud Whose like they never saw till that same houre: Against those two let drive, as they were wood: So dreadfull strokes each did at other drive, Who wondring much at that so sodaine fit, And laid on load with all their might and powre, Yet nought dismayd, them stoutiy well withstood; As if that every dint the ghost would rive
Ne yeelded foote, ne once abacke did fit, Out of their wretched corses, and their lives deprive. But, being doubly smitten, likewise doubly smit.
The warlike dame was on her part assaid To whom the prince thus goodly well replied ; Of Clarabell and Blandamour attone;
“ Certes, sir Knight, ye seemen much to blame And Paridell and Druon fiercely laid
To rip up wrong that battell once hath tried; At Scudamour, both his professed fone:
Wherein the honor both of armes ye shame, Foure charged two, and two surcharged one; And eke the love of ladies foule defame; Yet did those two themselves so bravely beare, To whom the world this franchise ever yeelded, That th' other litle gained by the lone,
That of their loves choise they might freedom clame, But with their owne repayed duely weare,
And in that right should by all knights be shielded : And usury withall: such gaine was gotten deare. Gainst which, me seemes, this war ye wrongfully
have wielded." Full oftentimes did Britomart assay To speake to them, and some emparlance move; “ And yet,” quoth she, “a greater wrong remaines : But they for nought their cruell hands would stay, For I thereby my former love have lost; Ne lend an eare to ought that might behore. Whom seeking ever since with endlesse paines As when an eager mastiffe once doth prove
Hath me much sorrow and much travell cost : The tast of bloud of some engored beast,
Aye me, to see that gentle maide so tost !" No words may rate, nor rigour him remove But Scudamour then sighing deepe thus saide ; From greedy hold of that his blouddy feast : “ Certes her losse ought me to sorrow most, So, litle did they hearken to her sweet beheast. Whose right she is, wherever she be straide,
Through many perils wonne, and many fortunes Whom when the Briton prince afarre beheld
waide : With ods of so unequall match opprest, His mighty heart with indignation sweld,
“ For from the first that I her love profest, And inward grudge fild his heroicke brest :
Unto this houre, this present lucklesse howre; Eftsoones bimsclfe he to their aide addrest,
I never ioyed happinesse nor rest; And thrusting fierce into the thickest preace
But thus turmoild from one to other stowre Divided them, however loth to rest;
I wast my life, and doe my daies devowre And would them faine from battell to surceasse,
In wretched anguishe and incessant woe, With gentle words perswading them to friendly That, living thus a wretch and loving so,
Passing the measure of my feeble powre; peace.
I neither can my love ne yet my life forgo." But they so farre from peace or patience were,
The good sir Claribell him thus bespake; That all at once at him gan fiercely flie,
“ Now were it not, sir Scudamour, to you And lay on load, as they him downe would beare;
Dislikefull paine so sad a taske to take, Like to a storme which hovers under skie,
Mote we entreat you, sith this gentle crew Long here and there and round about doth stie,
Is now so well accorded all anew, At length breakes downe in raine, and haile, and sleet,
That, as we ride together on our way, First from one coast, till nought thereof be drie;
Ye will recount to us in order dew And then another, till that likewise fleet;
All that adventure which ye did assay And so from side to side till all the world it weet.
For tbat faire ladies love: past perils well apay." But now their forces greatly were decayd,
So gan the rest him likewise to require : The prince yet being fresh untoucht afore;
But Britomart did him importune hard Who them with speaches milde gan first disswade
To take on bim that paine; whose great desire From such foule outrage, and them long forbore;
He glad to satisfie, himselfe prepard Till, seeing them through suffrance hartned more,
To tell through what misfortune he had far'd Himselfe he bent their furies to abate,
In that atchievement, as to him befell, And layd at them so sharpely and so sore,
And all those daungers unto them declar'd; That shortly them compelled to retrate,
Which sith they cannot in this canto well
Comprised be, I will them in another tell.
Scudamour doth his conquest tell
Of vertuous Amoret : Mongst which the cause of their so cruell heat
Great Venus temple is describ'd;
And lovers life forth set.
But if the one be with the other wayd,
A pound of gall doth over it redound: Of two full hard to read the harder theft.
That I too true by triall have approved; But she that wrongfull challenge soone assoyled, For since the day that first with deadly wound And shew'd that she had not that lady reft,
My heart was launcht, and learned to have loved, (As they suppos'd) but her had to her likiny left. I never ioyed howre, but still with care was noved.
" And yet such grace is given them from above, " Which when I red, my heart did inly earne,
Streight forth issewd a knight all arm'd to proofe,
Who, staying nought to question from aloofe, That to disloyalty she will not be allured. Ran fierce at me, that tire glaunst from his horses
hoofe. “ Long were to tell the travell and long toile, Through which this shield of love I late have wonne, “ Whom boldly I encountred (as I could) And purchased this peerelesse beauties spoile, And by good fortune shortly him unseated. That harder may be ended, then begonne : Eftsoones outsprung two more of equall mould ; But since ye so desire, yonr will be donne.
But I them both with equall hap defeated : Then hearke, ye gentle knights and ladies free, So all the twenty I likewise entreated, My hard mishaps that ye may learne to shonne; And left them groning there upon the plaine. For though sweet love to conquer glorious bee, Then, preacing to the pillour, I repeated Yet is the paine thereof much greater then the fee. The read thereof for guerdon of my paine,
And, taking downe the shield, with me did it retaine. What time the fame of this renowmed prise Flew first abroad, and all mens eares possest;
“ So forth without impediment I past, I, having armes then taken, gan avise
Till to the bridges utter gate I came; To winne me honour by some noble gest,
The which I found sure lockt and chained fast. And purchase me some place amongst the best. i knockt, but no man answred me by name; I boldly thought, (so young mens thoughts are bold) I cald, but no man answred to my clame: That this same brave emprize for me did rest, Yet I persever'd still to knocke and call; And that both shield and she whom I behold Till at the last I spide within the same Might be my lucky lot; sith all by lot we hold. Where one stood peeping through a crevis small,
To whom I cald aloud, halfe angry therewithall. " So on that hard adventure forth I went, And to the place of perill shortly came :
“ That was to weet the porter of the place, That was a temple faire and auncient,
Unto whose trust the charge thereof was lent: Which of great mother Venus bare the name, His name was Doubt, that had a double face, And farre renowmed through exceeding fame; Th' one forward looking, th’ other backeward bent, Much more then that which was in Paphos built, Therein resembling lanus auncient Or that in Cyprus, both long since this same, Which hath in charge the ingate of the yeare: Though all the pillours of the one were guilt, And evermore his eyes about him went, And all the others pavement were with yvory spilt: As if some proved perill he did feare, (peare.
Or did misdoubt some ill whose cause did not apo " And it was seated in an island strong, Abounding all with delices most rare,
“ On th' one side he, on th' other sate Delay, And wali'd by nature gainst invaders wrong,
Behinde the gate, that none her might espy; That none mote have accesse, nor inward fare, Whose manner was, all passengers to stay But by one way that passage did prepare.
And entertaine with her occasions sly; It was a bridge ybuilt in goodly wize
Through which some lost great hope unheedily, With curious corbes and pendants graven faire, Which never they recover might againe ; And arched all with porches did arize
And others, quite excluded forth, did ly On stately pillours fram’d after the Doricke guize : Long languishing there in unpittied paine,
And seeking often entraunce afterwards in vaine. “ And for defence thereof on th' other end There reared was a castle faire and strong,
“ Me whenas he had privily espide That warded all which in or out did wend, Bearing the shield which I had conquerd late, And fancked both the bridges sides along,
He kend it streight, and to me opened wide: Gainst all that would it faine to force or wrong : So in I past, and streight he closd the gate. And therein wonged twenty valiant knights; But being in, Delay in close awaite All twenty tride in warres experience long; Caught hold on me, and thought my steps to stay, Whose office was against all manner wights Feiguing full many a fond excuse to prate, By all meanes to maintaine that castels ancient And time to steale, the threasure of mans day, rights.
Whose smallest minute lost no riches render may. “ Before that castle was an open plaine,
“ But by no meanes my way I would forslow And in the midst thereof a pillar placed ;
For ought that ever she could doe or say; On which this shield, of many sought in vaine, But from my lofty steede dismounting low THE SHIELD OF LOVE, whose guerdon me hath graced, Past forth on foote, beholding all the way Was hangd on high with golden ribbands laced ; The goodly workes, and stones of rich assay, And in the marble stone was written this,
Cast into sundry shapes by wondrous skill, With golden letters goodly well enchaced ; That like on Larth no where I recken may ; Blessed the man that well can use this blis :
And underneath, the river rolling still [mans will. Whose ever be the shield, faire Amoret be his. With murmure soft, that seem'd to serve the work
“ Thence forth I passed to the second gate,
In such luxurious plentie of all pleasure,
So lavishly enricht with Natures threasure,
Th’ Elysian fields and live in lasting blesse,
Should happen this with living eye to see,
Fresh shadowes, fit to shroud from sunny ray;
Sweet springs, in which a thousand nymphs did play; And faint-heart fooles, whom shew of perill hard Soft-rombling brookes, that gentle slomber drew; Could terrifie from fortunes faire adward :
High-reared mounts, the lands about to view; For oftentimes faint hearts, at first espiall
Low-looking dales, disloignd from common gaze; Of his grim face, were from approaching scard: Delightfull bowres, to solace lovers trew; Unworthy they of grace, whom one denial!
False labyrinthes, fond runners eyes to daze; Excludes from fairest hope withouten fur hertriall. All which by Nature made did Nature selfe amaze. “ Yet many doughty warriours, often tride “ And all without were walkes and alleyes dight In greater perils to be stout and bold,
With divers trees enrang'd in even rankes; Durst not the sternnesse of his looke abide;
And here and there were pleasant arbors pight, But, soone as they his countenance did behold, And shadie seates, and sundry flowring bankes, Began to faint, and feele their corage cold.
To sit and rest the walkers wearie shankes: Againe, some other, that in hard assaies
Aud therein thousaud payres of lovers walkt, Were cowards knowne, and litle count did hold, Praysing their God, and yeelding him great thankes, Either through gifts, or guile, or such like waies,
Ne ever ought but of their true loves talkt, Crept in by stouping low, or stealing of the kaies. Ne ever for rebuke or blame of any balkt.
“ All these together by themselves did sport “ But I, though meanest man of many moe,
Their spotlesse pleasures and sweet loves content. Yet much disdaining unto him to lout,
But, farre away from these, another sort Or creepe betweene his legs, so in to goe,
Of lovers lincked in true harts consent; Resolv'd him to assault with manhood stout,
Which loved not as these for like intent, And either beat him in or drive him out.
But on chaste vertue grounded their desire, Eftsoones, advaunting that enchaunted shield,
Farre from all fraud or fayned blandishment; With all my might I gan to lay about:
Which, in their spirits kindling zealous fire, (pire. Which when he saw, the glaive which he did wield Brave thoughts and noble deedes did evermore asHe gan forthwith t'avale, and way unto me yield.
“ Such were great Hercules, and Hyllus deare ; " So, as I entred, I did backeward lonke,
Trew Tonathan, and David trustie tryde;
Myld Titus, and Gesippus without pryde;
Damon, and Pythias, whom death could not sever:
Whose lives although decay'd, yet loves decayed
“ Which whenas I, that never tasted blis “ Thus having past all perill, I was come
Nor happy howre, beheld with gazefull eye, Within the compasse of that islands space;
I thought there was none other Heaven then this; The which did seeme, unto iny simple duome,
And gan their endlesse happinesse envye, The onely pleasant and delightfull place
That being free from feare and gealosye
Might frankely there their loves desire possesse;
Whilest I, through pains and perlous jeopardie,
Much dearer be the things which come through Art, playing second Natures part, supplyed it.
« No tree, that is of count, in greenewood growes, “ Yet all those sights, and all that else I saw, From lowest iuniper to ceder tall;
Mght not my steps withhold but that fortbright
Unto that purposd place I did me draw,
The temple of great Venus, that is hight
The queene of Beautie, and of Love the mother,