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Por during Saturnes ancient raigne it's sayd Wherefore the lady, which Irena hight,
To whom complayning her afflicted plight,
Por Artegall in justice was upbrought Resembling God in his imperiall might;
Even from the cradle of his infancie,
Por, till the world from his perfection fell
Astræa here mongst earthly men did dwell,
To wend with her : so thence bim 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 instrument whereof loe here thy Artegall. And all the discipline of iustice there him taught.
There she him taught to weigh both right and wrong
In equall ballance with due recompence,
And equitie to measure out along
According to the line of conscience,
Whenso it needs with rigour to dispence:
Of all the which, for want there of mankind,
She caused him to make experience
Upon wyld beasts, which she in woods did find,
With wrongfull powre oppressing others of their kind. Though vertue then were beld 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 awfull sight, But evermore 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 dreadfull 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 lustice first her princely rule begonne.
Since he himselfe it us’d in 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 endėwed. 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 :
For of most perfect metall it was made, Whom (as ye lately mote remember well) Tempred with adamant amongst the same, An bard adventure, which did then befall, And garnisht all with gold upon the blade Into redoubted perill forth did call;
In goodly wise, whereof he tooke his name, Toat 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 beritage, which she did clame, But it would pierce or cleave whereso it came; Did with strong hand with bold; Grantorte was his Ne any armour could his dint out-ward ; name.
But wheresoever it did light, it throughly shearą
Now when the world with sinne gan to abound, “ Which when his ladie saw, she follow'd fast,
And on him catching hold gan loud to crie
With that his sword he 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 bath 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 hence so long departed, is but vaine: His name was l'alus, made of yron mould,
But yet he pricked over yonder plaine, Immoveable, resistlesse, without end;
And as I marked bore upon his shieid, Who in his band an yron fale did hould,
By which it 's easie him to know againe, Witb 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.* He now went with him in this new inquest,
No sooner sayd, but streight he after sent Him for to aide, if aide he channst to neede,
His yron page, who him pursew'd so light,
As that it seem'd above the ground he went :
For he was swift as swallow in her fight,
And strong as lyon in his lordly might. And now together on their way they bin,
Sir Sanglier, (so cleeped was that knight)
Whom at the first he ghessed by his looke,
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 be moved at that ruefull sight; Is lightly stricken with some stonës throw; And flam'd with zeale of vengeance inwardly But to him leaping lent him such a knocke, He askt who bad 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 bis 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 he 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,
That did betwixt him and that squire betide: That did his hand in ladies bloud embrew,
Who with steme 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 thereuppon 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 his 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, Then to approve his right with speare and shield, So did the ladies botii, 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 he 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 steed her set to beare her out of sight.
Ånd sayd; " Now sure this doubtfull causes right
Artegall heares of Florimell;
Does with the Pagan fight : Perhaps I may all further quarrell end,
Him slaies; drownes lady Munera ;
Dues race her castle quight. ,
Ne better doth beseeme brave chevalry,
Whilome those great heröes got thereby
Their greatest glory for their rightfull deedes, And each of either take his share aright.
And place deserved with the gods on hy: But looke, who does dissent from this my read, Herein the noblesse of this knight exceedes, He for a twelve moneths day shall in despight Who now to perils great for iustice 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 chietly 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 scarse, Whom when so willing Artegall perceaved; The fortune of her life long time did feare: " Not so, thou squire,” he sayd, “but thine I| But of her health when Artegall did beare, deeme
And safe returne, he was full inly glad, The living lady, which from thee he reaved : And askt hiin 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, Take 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 owpe 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 wonne, And sternly gan repine at his beheast;
That keepes a bridges passage by strong bond, Ne would for ought obay, as did become,
And many errant kuights hath there fordonne; To beare that ladies head before his breast: That inakes all men for feare that passage for to Untill that Talus had his pride represt,
shonne." And forced him, maulgrè, it up to reare. Who when he saw it bootelesse to resist,
“ What mister wight,” quoth he, “and how far He tooke it up, and thence with him did beare;
hence As rated spaniell 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 deedes of armes ; For his great iustice held in high regard;
And more emboldned by the wicked charmes, And as bis 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 be thereto would by no meanes consent; By which he stil them holds, and keepes witle Bat leaving him forth on his journey far'd:
strong effort. Ke wight with him but onely Talus went ; They two enough t' encounter an whole regiment. “ And dayly he his wrongs encreaseth more;
For never wight he lets to passe that way,
“ His name is hight Pollentè, rightly so,
Which oddes whenas sir 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 colier griped fast, And some by sleight he eke doth underfong: That with the straint his wesand nigh he brast. For 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 bong. 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, Into 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,
Such was betwixt these two the troublesome uprore. And either both them drownes, or trayterously slaies.
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 his 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 erent, * Thereto she is full faire, and rich attired,
Uncertaine whether had the better sido: With golden bands 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."
But Artegall was better breath'd beside, « Now by my life,” sayd he, " and God to guide, And towards th' end grew greater in his might, None other way will I this day betake,
That his faint foe no longer could abide But by that bridge whereas he doth abide:
His puissance, ne beare himselfe upright; Therefore me thither lead." No more he spake,
But from the water to the land betooke his flight. But thitherward forthright his ready way did make. Unto 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 smote 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 ynashed with his teeth, as if be band To whom he aunswerd wroth, “ Loe there thy hire;" High God, whose goodnesse he despaired quight, And with that word him strooke, that streight he did Or curst the band which did that vengeance on him expire,
dight. Which 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 witball :
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 peñi. There being both together in the floud,
That done, unto the castle he did wend, They each at other tyraunously flew;
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 new :
Of whom he entrance sought, but was denide, But there the Paynim, who that use well knew And with reprochfull blasphemy defide, To fight in water, great advantage had,
Beaten with stones downe from the battilment, That oftentimes him nigh he overtbrew:
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 besirad. Which way he enter might without endangerment.
Eftsoones his page drew to the castle gate, And lastly all that castle quite he raced,
Even from the sole of his foundation,
And all the hewen stones thereof defaced, The which ere-while spake so reprochfully, That there mote be no hope of reparation, And made them stoupe, that looked earst so hie. Nor menory thereof to any nation. Yet still be bet and bounst uppon the dore, All which when Talus throughly had perfourmed, And thundred strokes thereon so hideouslie, Sir Artegall undid the evil fashion, That all the peece he shaked from the flore, And wicked customes of that bridge refourined: And filled all the house with feare and great uprore. Which done, unto his former iourney he retourned With noise whereof the lady forth appeared In which they measur'd mickle weary way, Uppon the castle wall; and, when she saw Till that at length nigh to the sea they drew; The daungerous state in which she stood, she feared By which as they did travell on a day, The sad effect of her neare overthrow;
They saw before them, far as they could vew, And gan intreat that iron man below
Pull many people gathered in a crew; To cease his outrage, and him faire besought;
Whose great assembly they did much admire ; Sith neither force of stones which they did throw,
For never there the like resort they knew. Nor powr of charms, which she against him wrought, So towardes them they coasted, to enquire Might otherwise prevaile, or make him cease for what thing so many nations met did there desire.
ought. But, whenas yet she saw him to proceede
There they beheld a mighty gyant stand Unmov'd with praiers or with piteous thought,
Upon a rocke, and holding forth on hie She ment him to corrupt with goodly meede;
An huge great paire of ballance in his hand, And causde great sackes with endlesse riches fraught With which he boasted in his surqıedrie Unto the battilment to be upbrought,
That all the world he would weigh equallie, And powred forth over the castle wall,
If ought he had the same to counterpoys: That she might win some time, though dearly bought, And fild his ballaunce full of idle toys:
For want whereof he weighed vanity, Whilest he to gathering of the gold did fall; But he was nothing mord nor tempted therewithall: Yet was admired much of fooles, women, and boys. Bat still continu'd his assault the more,
He says that he would all the earth uptake And layd on load with his huge yron faile,
And all the sea, divided each from either: That at the length he has yrent the dore,
So would he of the fire one ballaunce make, And made way for his maister to assaile :
And one of th’ayre, without or wind or wether : Who being entred, nought did then availe
Then would he ballaunce Heaven and Hell together, For wight against his powre themselves to reare : And all that did within them all containe; Each one did flie; their harts began to faile; Of all whose weight he would not misse a fether : And hid themselves in corners here and there; And looke what surplus did of each remaine, And eke their dame halfe dead did hide herself for He would to his owne part restore the same againe. feare.
For why, he sayd, they all unequall were, Long they her sought, yet no where could they finde And had encroched upon others share ; That sure they ween'd she was escapt away : [her, Like as the sea (which plaine he shewed there) Bat Talus, that could like a lime-hound winde her, Had worne the earth ; so did the fire the aire; And all things secrete wisely could bewray, So all the rest did others parts empaire: At length found out whereas she hidden lay And so were realmes and nations run awry. Under an heape of gold: thence he her drew All which he undertooke for to repaire, By the faire lockes, and fowly did array
In sort as they were formed aunciently;
And all things would reduce unto equality.
Therefore the vulgar did about him flocke,
And cluster thicke unto his leasings vaine; Who rudely hayld her forth without remorse,
Like foolish flies about an hony-crocke ; Still holding up her suppliant hands on hye,
In hope by him great benefite to gaine, And kneeling at his feete submissively:
And uncontrolled freedome to obtaine. But he her suppliant hands, those hands of gold,
All which when Artegall did see and heare, And eke her feete, those feete of silver trye,
How he misled the simple peoples traine, Which sought unrighteousnesse, and iustice sold,
In sdeignfull wize he drew unto bim neare, Chopt off, and nayld on high, that all might
them and thus unto him spake, without regard or behold.
fcare; Herselfe then tooke he by the sclender wast “ Thou, that presum'st to weigh the world anew, In vaine loud crying, and into the flood
And all things to an equall to restore, Over the castle wall adowne ber cast,
Instead of right me seemes great wrong dost shew, And there her drowned in the dirty mud:
And far above thy forces pitch to sore;
What was the poyse of every part of yore:
sire had scrap't by hooke and crooke, And looke then, how much it doth overflow And burning all to ashes powr'd it down the brooke. Or faile thereof, so much is more then iust to trow.