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But Belge with her sonnes prostrated low

An huge great beast it was, when it in length Before his feete, in all that peoples sight, (wo, Was stretched forth that nigh fild all the place, Mongst ioyes mixing some tears, mongst wele some And seem'd to be of infinite great strength; Him thus bespake; “O most redoubted knight, Horrible, hideous, and of hellish race, The which hast me, of all most wretched wight, Borne of the brooding of Echidna base, That earst was dead, restor’d to life againe, Or other like infernall Furies kinde: And these weake impes replanted by thy might ; For of a mayd she had the outward face, What guerdon can I give thee for thy paine, To hide the horrour which did lurke behinde, But ev'n that which thou savedst thine still to re- The better to beguile whom she so fond did finde. maine !"

Thereto the body of a dog she had, He tooke her up forby the lilly hand,

Full of fell ravin and fierce greetinesse; And her recomforted the best he might,

A lions clawes, with powre and rigour clad, Saying; “ Deare lady, deedes ought not be scand To rend and teare whatso she can oppresse; By th' authors manhood, nor the doers might, A dragons taile, wlrose sting without redresse But by their trueth and by the causes right: Full deadly wounds whereso it is empigot ; That same is it which fought for you this day. And eagles wings, for scope and speedlinesse, What other meed then need me to requight, Toat nothing may escape her reaching might, But that which yeeldeth vertues meed alway? Whereto she ever list to make her hardy flight. That is, the vertue selfe, which herreward doth pay.”

Much like in foulnesse and deformity She humbly thankt him for that wondrons grace, Unto that monster, whom the Theban kniglit, And further sayd; " Ah! sir, but mote ye please, The father of that fatall progeny, Sith ye thus farre have tendred my poore case, Made kill herselfe for very hearts despight As from my chiefest foe me to release,

That he had red her riddle, which no wight That your victorious arme will not yet cease, Could ever loose, but suffred deadly doole: Till ye have rooted all the relickes out

So also did this monster use like slight Of that vilde race, and stablished my peace." To many a one which came unto her schoole, “ What is there else," sayd he “left of their rout? Whom she did put to death deceived like a foole. Declare it boldly, daine, and doe not stand in dout."

She comming forth, whenas she first beheld “ Then wote you, sir, that in this church hereby

The armed prince with shield so blazing bright There stands an idole of great note and name, Her ready to assaile, was greatly queld, The which this gyant reared first on hie,

And much dismayd with that dismayfull sight, And of his owne vaine fancies thought did frame: That backe she would have turnd for great affright: To whom, for endlesse horrour of his shame,

But he gan her with courage fierce assay, He offred up for daily sacritize

That forst her turne againe in her despight My children and my people, burnt in flame

To save herselfe, least that he did her slay; With all the tortures that he could devize, (guize. And sure he had herslaine, had she not turnd her way. The more t' aggrate bis god with such his blouddy " And underneath this idoll there doth lie

Tho, when she saw that she was forst to fight,

She tiew at him like to an hellish feend, An hideous monster, that doth it defend,

And on his shield tooke hold with all her might, And feedes on all the carkasses that die

As if that it she would in peeces rend,
In sacrifice unto that cursed feend :

Or reare out of the band that did it hend:
Whose ugly shape none ever saw, nor kend,
That ever scap'd : for of a man they say

Strongly he strove out of her greedy gripe

To loose his shield, and long while did contend; It has the voice, that speaches forth doth send,

But, when he could not quite it, with one stripe Even blasphemous words, which she doth bray Out of her poisnous entrails fraught with dire dccay."

Her lions clawes he from her feete away did wipe Which when the prince heard tell, his heart ganearue

With that aloude she gan to bray and yell, For great desire that monster to assay;

And fowle blasphemous speaches forth did cast, And prayd the place of her abode to learne:

And bitter curses, horrible to tell; Which being shew'd, he gan himselfe streightway

That even the temple, wherein she was plast, Thereto addresse, and his bright shield display.

Did quake to beare, and nigh asunder brast; So to the church lie came, where it was told Tho with her huge long taile she at bim strooke, The monster underneath the altar lay;

That made bim stagger and stand halfe aghast There he that idoll saw of massy gold

With trembling joynts, as he for terrous shooke; Most richly made, but there no monster did behold. Who nought was terrifide but greater courage tooke.

Upon the image with his naked blade
Three times, as in defiance, there he strooke;
And, the third time, out of an hidden shade
There forth issewd from under th' altars smooke
A dreadfull feend with fowle deformed looke,
That stretcht itselfe as it had long lyen still;
And her long taile and fethers strongly shooke,
That all the temple did with terrour fill;
Yet him nought terrifide that feared nothing ill.

As when the mast of some well-timbred hulke
Is with the blast of some outragious storme
Blowne downe, it shakes the bottome of the bulke,
And makes her ribs to cracke as they were tome ;
Wbilest still she stands as stonisht and forlorne;
So was he stound with stroke of her huge taile:
But, ere that it she backe againe had borne,
He with his sword it strooke, that without faile
He ioynted it, and mard the swinging of her faile.
"ihen gan she cry much louder than afore, There as he traveld by the way, he met
That all the people, there without, it heard, An aged wight wayfaring all alone,
And Belgè selfe was therewith stonied sore, Who through his yeares long since aside had set
As if the onely sound thereof she feard.

The use of armes, and battell quite forgone:
But then the feend herselfe more fiercely reard To whom as he approcht, he knew anone
l'ppon her wide great wings, and strongly flew That it was he which whilome did attend
With all her body at his head and beard,

On faire Irete in her affliction, That had he not foreseene with heedfull vew, (rew: When first to Faery court he saw her wend, And thrown his shield atween, she had him done to Unto his soveraine queene her suite for to commend. But, as she prest on him with heavy sway, Whem by bis name saluting, thus he gan; lnder her wombe his fatall sword he thrust, “ Haile, good sir Sergis, truest knight alive, And for her entrailes made an open way

Well tride in all thy ladies troubles than To issue forth; the which, once being brust, When her that tyrant did of crowne deprive; Like to a great mill-damb forth fiercely gusht, What new occasion doth thee hither drive, And powred out of her infernall sinke

Whiles she alone is left, and thou here found?
Most ugly filth; and poyson therewith rusht, Or is she thrall, or doth she not survive?"
That him nigb choked with the deadly stinke : To whom he thus; “ She liveth sure and sound ;
Such loathly matter were small lust to speake or But by that tyrant is in wretched thraldome bound:
thinke.

“ For she presuming on th' appointed tyde,
Then downe to ground fell that deformed masse, In which ye promist, as ye were a knight,
Breathing out clouds of sulphure fowle and blacke, To meete her at the Salvage Ilands syde,
In which a puddle of contagion was,

And then and there for triall of her right
More loathd then Lerna, or then Stygian lake, With her unrighteous enemy to fight,
That any man would nigh awhaped make: Did thither come; where she, afrayd of nought,
Whom when he saw on ground, he was full glad, By guilefull treason and by subtill slight
And streigbt went forth his gladnesse to partake Surprized was, and to Grantorto brought,
With Belgè, who watcht all this while full sad, Who her imprisond hath, and her life often soughts
Wayting what end would be of that same daunger
drad.

“ And now he hath to her prefixt a day, Whom when she saw so joyously come forth,

By which if that no champion doe appeare, She gan reioyce and shew triumphant chere,

Which will her cause in battailous array Lauding and praysing his renowmed worth

Against him justitie, and prove her cleare

Of all those crimes that he gainst her doth reare, By all the names ihat honorable were. Then io be brought her, and her shewed there

She death shall sure aby.” Those tidings sad

Did much abash sir Artegall to heare,
The present of his paines, that monsters spoyle,
And eke that idoll deem'd so costly dere;

And grieved sore, that through his fault she had Whom he did all to peeces breake, and foyle

Fallen into that tyrants hand and usage bad. lo filthy durt, and left so in the loathely soyle.

Then thus replide; “Now sure and by my life, Then all the people which beheld that day Too much am I to blame for that faire maide, Gan shout aloud, that unto Heaven it rong; That have her drawne to all this troublous strife, And all the damzels of that towne in ray

Through promise to afford her timely aide, Came dauncing forth, and joyous carrols song : Which by default I have not yet defraide: So him they led through all their streetes along But witnesse unto me, ve Heavens! that know Crowned with girlonds of immortall baies;

How cleare I am froin blame of this upbraide: And all the vulgar did about them throng

For

ve into like thraldome me did throw, To see the man, whose everlasting praise

And kept from complishing the faith which I didowe. They all were bound to all posterities to raise.

“ Eut now aread, sir Sergis, how long space There he with Delgè did awhile remaine

Hath he her lent a champion to provide.'' Making great feast and ioyous merriment,

“ Ten daies,"quoth be, “he graunted hath of grace, Votill he had her settled in her raine

For that he weeneth well before that tide With safe assuraunce and establishment.

None can bave tidings to assist her side: Then to his first emprize bis mind he lent,

For all the shores, which to the sea accoste, Full loa h to Belge and to all the rest;

He day and night doth ward both farre and wide, Of whom yet taking leave thenceforth he went,

That none can there arrive without an hoste: And to his former iourney him addrest;

So ber he deemes already but a damped ghoste." On which long way he rode, ne ever day did rest. But turne we now to noble Artegall;

“ Now turne againe,” sir Artegall then savd; Who, having lest Mercilla, streightway went “ For, if I live till those ten daies have end, On his first quest, the which him forth did call, Assure yourselfe, sir Knight, she shall have ayd, To weet, to worke Irenaes franchisement,

Though I this dearest life for her doe spend.” And eke Grantortoes worthy punishment.

So backeward he attone with him did wend. So forth he fared, as his manner was,

Tho, as they rode together on their way, With onely Talus wayting diligent,

people they before them kend, Through many périls; and much way did pas, Flocking together in confusde array; Till nigb unto the place at length approcht he has. As if that there were some tumultuous affray,

A rout

To which as they approcht the cause to know, And now he hath this troupe of villains seti
They saw a knight in daungerous distresse By open force to fetch her quite away:
Of a rude rout him chasing to and fro,

Gainst whom myselfe I long in vaine have bent
That sought with lawlesse powre him to oppresse, To rescue her, and daily meanes assay,
And bring in bondage of their brutishnesse : Yet rescue her thence by no meanes I may;
And farre away, amid their rakehell bands, For they doe me with multitude oppresse,
They spide a lady left all succourlesse,

And with unequall might doe overlay, Crying, and holding up her wretched bands (stands. That oft I driven am to great distresse, To him for aide, who long in vaine their rage with. And forced to forgoe th' attempt remédilesse.” Yet still he strives, ne any perill spares,

“ But why have ye,” said Artegall, “ forborne To reskue her from their rude violence;

Your owue good shield in daungerous dismay? And like a lion wood amongst them fares,

That is the greatest shame and foulest scorne, Dealing his dreadfull blowes with large dispence, Which unto any knight behappen may, Gainst which the pallid death findes no defence: To loose the badge that should his deedes display." But all in vaine; their numbers are so great, To whom sir Burbon, blushing halfe for shame; That naught may boot to banishe them from thence; “ That shall I unto you," quoth he, bewray; For, soone as he their outrage backe doth beat, Least ye therefore mote happily me blame, (came. They turne afresh, and oft renew their former threat. And deeme it doen of will, that through inforcement

And now they doe so sharpely him assay,

“ True is that I at first was dubbed knight That they his shield in peeces battred have, By a good knight, the knight of the Redcrosse; And forced him to throw it quite away,

Who, when he gave me armes in field to fight, Fro dangers dread his doubtfull life to save; Gave me a shield, in wbich he did endosse Albe that it most safety to him gave,

His deare Redeemers badge upon the bosse : And much did magnifie bis noble name:

The same long while I bore, and therewithall
For, from the day that he thus did it leave, Pought many battels without wound or losse ;
Amongst all knights he blotted was with blame, Therewith Grandtorto selfe I did appall,
And counted but a recreant knight with endles And made him oftentimes in field before me fall
shame.

" But for that many did that shield envie,
Whom when they thus distressed did behold, And cruell enemies increased more;
They drew unto his aide; but that rude rout To stint all strife and troublous enmitie,
Them also gan assaile with outrage bold,

That bloudie scutchin being bat:red sore
And forced them, however strong and stont I layd aside, and have of late forbore ;
They were, as well approv'd in many a doubt, Hoping thereby to have my love obtayned:
Backe to recule; untill that yron man

Yet can I not my love have nathëmore;
With his huge flaile began to lay about;

For she by force is still fro me detayned, (ed." From whose sterne presence they diffused ran, [fan. And with corruptfull brybus is to untruth mistraynLike scattred schaffe, the which the wind away doth

To whom thus Artegall; “ Certes, sir Knight, So when that knight from perill cleare was freed, Hard is the case the which ye doe complaine; He drawing neare began to greete them faire, Yet not so hard (for nought so hard mag light And yeeld great thankes for their so goodly deed, That it to such a streight mote you constraine) In saving him from đaungerous despaire

As to abandon that which doth containe Of those which sought his life for to empaire: Your honours stile, that is, your warlike shield. Of whom sir Artega'l gan then enquere

All perill ought be lesse, and lesse all paine The whole occasion of his late misfare,

Then losse of fame in disa ventrous field: And who he was, and what those villaines were, Dye, rather then doe ought that mote dishonous The which with mortall malice him pursu'd so nere.

yield !”

To whom he thus; " My name is Burbon hight, “ Not so," quoth he; “ for yet, when time doth Well knowne, and far renowmed heretofore, My former shield I may resume againe: (serve, Uotill late mischiefe did uppon me light,

To temporize is not from truth to swerve, That all my former praise hath blemisht sure : Ne for advantage terme to entertaine, And that faire lady, which in that uprore

Whenas necessitie doth it constraine." Ye with those caytives saw, Flourdelis hight, “ Fie on such forgerie,” said Artegall, Is mine owne love, though me she have forlore; “ Under one hood to shadow faces twaine: Whether withheld from me by wrongfull might, Knights ought be true, and truth is one in all: Or with her owne good will, I cannot read aright. Of all things, to dissemble, fogly may befall!" “ But sure to me hier faith she first did plight Yet let me you of courtesie request," To be my love, and take me for her lord;

Said Burbon, " to assist me now at need Till that a tyrant, which Grandtorto hight, Against these pesants which have me opprest, With golden giftes and many a guileful} word And forced me to so infámous deed, Entyced her to him for to accord.

That yet my love may from their hands be freed.” O, who may not with gifts and words be tempted! Sir Artegall, albe he earst did wyte Sith which she hath me ever since abhord,

His wavering mind, yet to his aide agreed, And to my foe hath guilefully consented : And buckling him eftsoones unto the fight (mnight. Ay me, that ever guyle in wemen was invented ! Did set upon these troupes with all his powre and

Who flocking round about them, as a swarme Nathlesse the yron man did still pursew
Of fyes upon a birchen bough doth cluster, That raskall many with unpittied spoyle;
Did them assault with terrible allarme,

Ne ceassed not, till all their scattred crew
And over all the fields themselves did muster, Into the sea he drove quite from that soyle,
With bils and glayves making a dreadfull luster; The which they troubled had with great turmoyle:
That forst at first those knights backe to retyre: But Artegall, seeing his cruell deed,
As when the wrathfull Boreas doth bluster,

Commaunded him from slaughter to recoyle, Nought may abide the tempest of his yre, (quyre. And to his voyage gan againe proceed; Both mau and beast doe fly, and succour doe in- For that the terme, approching fast, required speed

But, whenas overblowen was that brent,
Those knights began afresh them to assa yle,
And all about the fields like squirrels hunt;
But chiefly Talus with his yron flayle,

CANTO XII.
Gainst which no flight nor rescue mote avayle,
Made cruell harocke of the baser crew,

Artegall doth sir Burbon aide,
And chaсed them both over hill and dale:

And blames for changing shield: The raskall manie soone they overthrew; [subdew. He with the grrat Grantorto fights, But the two knights themselves their captains did And slaieth him in field, At last they came whereas that ladie bode, O sacred hunger of ambitious mindes, Whom now her keepers had forsaken quight And impotent desire of men to raine! To save themselves, and scattered were abrode: Whom neither dread of God, that devils bindes, Her halfe dismayd they found in doubtfull plight, Nor lawes of men, that cominon-weales containe, As neither glad nor sorie for their sight;

Nor bands of nature, that wilde beastes restraine, Yet wondrous faire she was, and richly clad Can keepe from outrage and from doing wrong, In rviall robes, and many iewels dight;

Where they may hope a kingdome to obtaine: But that those villeas through their usage bad No faith so firme, no trust can be so strong, Them fouly rent, and shamefully defaced had. No love so lasting then, that may enduren longBut Burbon, streight dismounting from his steed, Witnesse may Burbon be; whom all the bands, Loto her ran with greedie great desyre,

Which may a knight assure, had surely bound, And catching her fast by her ragged weed

Untill the love of lordship and of lands Would have embraced her with hart entyre:

Made him become most faithless aud unsound: But she, backstarting, with disdainefull yre And witnesse be Gerioneo found, Bad him avaunt, ne would unto his lore

Who for like cause faire Belgè did oppresse, Allured be for prayer nor for meed:

And right and wrong most cruelly confound : Whom when those knights so froward and forlore And so be now Grantorto, who no lesse Bebeld, they her rebuked and upbrayded sore. Then all the rest burst out to all outragiousnesse. Sayd Artegall; “What foule disgrace is this Gainst whom sir Artegall long having since To so faire ladie, as ye seeme in sight,

Taken in hand th' exploit, (being theretoo
To blot your beautie, that unblemisht is,

Appointed by that mightie Faerie prince,
With so foule blame as breach of faith once plight, Great Gloriane, that tyrant to fordoo,)
Or change of love for any worlds delight?

Through other great adventures hethertoo k ought on Earth so pretious or deare

Had it forslackt: but now time drawing ny,
As prayse and honour ? or is ought so bright To him assynd her high beheast to doo,
And beautifull as glories beames appeare,

To the sea-shore he gan his way apply, Whose goodly light then Phæbus lampe doth shine To weete if shipping readie he mote there descry, "more cleare?

Tbo, when they came to the sea-coast, they found Why then will ve, fond dame, attempted bee A ship all readie, as good fortune fell, Unto a strangers love, su lightly placed,

To put to sea, with whom they did compound Por guiftes of gold or any worldly glee,

To passe them over where them list to tell : To leave the love that ve before embraced, The winde and weather served them so well, And let your farne with falshood be defaced ? That in one day they with the coast did fall; Fie on the pelse for which good name is sold, Whereas they readie found, them to repell, And honour with indignitie debased!

Great hostes of men in order martiall, Dearer is love then life, and fame then gold; [hold." Which them forbad to land, and footing did forstall. But dearer then them both your faith once plighted

But nathëmore would they from land refraine: Much was the ladie in her gentle mind

But, whenas nigh unto the shore they drew Abasht at his rebuke, that bit her neare;

That foot of man might sound the bottome plaine, Ne ought to answere thereunto did find:

Talus into the sea did forth issew [threw; But, hanging down her head with heavie cheare, Though darts from shore and stones they at him Stood long amaz'd as she amated weare:

And wading through the waves with stedfast sway, Which Burbon seeing, her againe assayd;

Maugre the might of all those troupes in vew, And, clasping twixt his armes, her up did reare

Did win the shore; whence he them chast away Upon his steede, whiles she no whit gainesayd : And made to fly like doves, whom th' eagle doth So bore her qnite away nor well nor ill apayd.

affray.

The whyles sir Artegall with that old knight Like as a tender rose in open plaine,
Did forth descend, there being none them neare, That with untimely drought nigh withered was,
And forward marched to a towne in sight.

And hung the head, soone as few drops of raine By this came tydings to the tyrants eare,

Thereon distill and deaw her daintie face, By those which earst did' fly away for feare, Gins to look up, and with fresh wonted grace Of their arrivall :, wherewith troubled sore Dispreds the glorie of her leavës gay; He all his forces streight to him did reare,

Such was Irenas countenance, such her case,
And, forth issuing with his scouts afore, [shore: When Artegall she saw in that array,
Meant them to have incountred ere they left the There wayting for the tyrant till it was farre day:
But ere he marched farre he with them met, Who came at length with proud presumpteous gate
And fiercely charged them with all his force; Into the field, as if he fearelesse were,
But Talus sternely did upon them set,

All armed in a cote of yron plate
And brusht and battred them without remorse, Of great defence to ward the deadly feare,
That on the ground he left full many a corse; And on his bead a steele-cap he did weare
Ne any able was him to withstand,

Of colour rustie-browne, but sure and strong ; But he them overthrew both man and horse, And in his hand an huge polaxe did beare, That they lay scattred over all the land,

Whose steale was yron-studded, but not long, As thicke as doth the seede after the sowers hand: With which he wont to fight, to justifie his wrong: Till Artegall him seeing so to rage

Of stature huge and hideous he was, Willd him to stay, and signe of truce did make: Like to a giant for his monstrous hight, To which all harkning did awhile asswage

And did in strength most sorts of men surpas, Their forces furie, and their terror slake;

Ne ever any found bis match in might; Till be an herauld cald, and to him spake,

There'o be had great skill in single fight: Willing him wend unto the tyrant streight,

His face was ugly and his countenance sterne, And tell him that not for such slaughters sake That could have frayd one with the very sight, He thether came, but for to trie the right

And gaped like a gulfe when he did gerne; Of fayre Irenaes cause with him in single fight: That whether man or monster one could scarse disAnd willed bim for to reclayme with speed His scattred people, ere they all were slaine ;

Soone as he did within the listes appeare, And time and place convenient to areed,

With dreadfull looke he Artegall beheld, In which they two the combat might darraine, As if he would have daunted bim with feare; Which message when Grantorto heard, full fayne And, grinning griesly, did against him weld And glad he was the slaughter so to stay;

His deadly weapon which in hand he held: And pointed for the combat twixt them twayne But th’ Elfin swayne, that oft had seene like sight, The morrow next, ne gave him longer day: Was with his ghastly count'nance nothing queld: So sounded the retraite, and drew his folke away. But gan him streight to buckle to the fight,

And cast his shield about to be in readie plight. That night sir Artegall did cause his tent There to be pitched on the open plaine;

The trompets sound; and they together goe For he had given streight commaandëment With dreadfull terror and with fell intent; That none should dare him once to entertaine : And their huge strokes full dangerously bestow, Which none durst breake, though many would right To doe most dammage whereas most they ment: For faire Irena whom they loved deare: (faine But with such force and furie violent But yet old Sergis did so well him paine,

The tyrant thundred his thicke blowes so fast, That from close friends, tliat dar'd not to appeare, That through the yron walles their way they rent, He all things did purvay which for them needfull And even to the vitali parts they past, [brast.

Ne ought could them endure, but all they cleft or The morrow next that was the dismall day Which cruell outrage whenas Artegall Appointed for Irenas death before,

Did well avize, thenceforth with warie heed So soone as it did to the world display

He shund his strokes, where-ever they did fall

, His chearefull face, and light to men restore, And way did give unto their gracelesse speed: The heavy mayd, to whom none tydings bore As when a skilfull marriner doth reed Of Artegals arrivall her to free,

A storme approching that doth perill threat, Lookt up with eyes full sad and hart full sore, He will not bide the daunger of such dread, Weening her lifes last howre then neare to bee; But strikes his sayles, and vereth his main-sheat, Sith no redemption nigh she did nor heare nor see. And lends unto it leave the emptie ayre to beat.

cerne.

weare.

Then up she rose, and on herselfe did dight So did the Faerie knight himselfe abeare,
Most squalid garments, fit for such a day;

And stouped oft his head from shame to shield:
And with dull countenance and with doleful spright No shame to stoupe, ones head more high to reare ;
She forth was brought in sorrowfull dismay And, much to gaine, a litle for to yield:
For to receive the doome of her decay:

So stoutest knights doen oftentimes in field. But comming to the place, and finding there But still the tyrant sternely at him layd, Sir Artegall in battailous array

And did his yron axe so nimbly wield, Warting his foe, it did her dead hart cheare, That many wounds into his flesh it made, (lade. And new life to her lent in midst of deadly feare. And with his burdenous blowes him sore did over

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