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The litle babe did loudly scrike and squall, Much was he then encombred, ne could tell And all the woods with piteous plaints did fill, Which way to take: now west he went awhile, As if his cry did meane for helpe to call
Then north, then neither, but as fortune fell: To Calepine, whose eares those shrieches sbrill, So up and downe he wandred many a mile Percing his hart, with pities point did thrill; With wearie travell and uncertaine toile, That after him he ran with zealous haste
Yet nought the nearer to his iourueys end ; To rescue th' infant, ere he did him kill:
And evermore his lovely litle spoile Whom though he saw now somewhat overpast, Crying for food did greatly him offend : Yet by the cry he follow'd, and pursewed fast. So all that day, in wandring, vainely he did spend. Well then him chaunst his heavy armes to want, At last, about the setting of the Sunne, Whose burden mote empeach his needfull speed, Himselfe out of the forest he did wynd, And hinder him from libertie to pant:
And by good fortune the plaine champion wonne: For having long time, as bis daily weed,
Where, looking all about where he mote fynd Them wont to weare, and wend on foot for need, Some place of succour to content his mynd, Now wanting them be felt bimselfe so light, At length he heard under the forrests syde That Mke an hauke, which feeling herselfe freed A voice, that seemd of some womankynd, from bels and iesses which did let her flight, Which to herselfe lamenting loudly cryde, Him seem'd his feet did fly and in their speed de- And oft complayu'd of fate, and fortune oft defyde. light.
To whom approaching, whenas she perceived So well he sped him, that the wearie beare Ere long he overtooke and forst to stay ;
A stranger wight in place, her plaint she stayd,
As if she doubted to have bene deceived,
Or loth to let her sorrowes be bewrayd :
Whom whenas Calepine saw so dismayd,
He to her drew, and, with faire blandishment Upon him tumed, and, with greedie force
Her chearing up, thus gently to her sayd; And furie, to be crossed in his way,
“ What be you, wofull dame, which thus lament, Gaping full wyde, did thinke without remorse
And for what cause, declare ; so mote ye not reTo be aveng'd on him and to deroure his corse.
pent." But the bold knight no whit thereat dismayd,
To whom she thus; “ What need me, sir, to tell But catching up in hand a ragged stone Which lay thereby (so fortune bim did ayde)
That which yourself have earst ared so right?
A wofull dame ye havę me termed well ;
So much more wofull, as my wofull pligbt
Cannot redressed be by living wigbt!"
Nathlesse," quoth he, “if need doe not you bynd, Ne could it upward come, nor downward passe,
Doe it disclose, to ease your grieved spright: Ne could he brooke the coldnesse of the stony masse.
Oftimes it haps that sorrowes of the mynd
Find remedie unsought, which seeking cannot fynd." Whom whenas he thus combred did behold, Stryving in vaine that nigh his bowels brast, Then thus began the lamentable dame; He with him closd, and, laying mightie hold
“ Sith then ye needs will know the griefe I hoord, Upon his throte, did gripe his gorge so fast,
I am th' unfortunate Matilde by name,
The wife of bold sir Bruin, who is lord
From a great gyant, called Cormoraunt,
Whom he did overthrow by yonder foord; And threatning his sharpe clawes, now wanting and in three battailes did so deadly daunt, powre to straine,
That he dare not returne for all his daily vaunt. Then tooke he up betwixt his armës twaine
“ So is my lord now seiz'd of all the land, The litle babe, sweet relickes of his pray;
As in his fee, with peaceable estate, Whom pitying to heare so sore complaine,
And quietly doth hold it in his hand, From bis soft eyes the teares he wypt away,
Ne any dares with him for it debate: And from his face the filth that did it ray;
But to these happie fortunes cruell fate And every litle limbe he searcht around,
Hath joyn'd one evill, which doth overthrow And every part that under sweath-bands lay, All these our ioyes, and all our blisse abate ; Least that the beasts sharpe teeth had any wound
And like in time to further ill to grow, Made in his tender flesh, but whole them all he found. And all this land with endlesse losse to over-flow. So, having all bis bands againe uptyde,
“ For th' Heavens, envying our prosperitie, He with him thought backe to returne againe; Have not vouchsaft to graunt unto us twaine But when he lookt about on every syde,
The gladfull blessing of posteritie,
Which we might see after ourselves remaine
So that for want of heires it to defend,
“ But most my lord is grieved herewithall, But Calepine, now being left alone
Withouten armes or steede to ride upon,
Him oft desired home with her to wend, Be gotten, not begotten ; which should drinke And offred him, his courtesie to requite, And dry up all the water which doth ronne [donne. Both horse and armes and whatso else to lend, Ir the nert brooke, by whom that seend should be for- Yet he them all refusd, though thankt her as a frend; " Well hop't he then, when this was propheside, And, for exceeding griefe wbich inly grew, That from his side some moble chyld should rize, That he his love so lucklesse now had lost, The which through fame should farre be magnifide, On the cold ground mangre himselfe he threw And this proud gyant should with brave enprize For fell despight, to be so sorely crost; Quite overthrow, who now ginnes to despize And there all night himseife in anguish tost, The good sir Bruin growing farre in years,
Vowing that never he in bed againe Who thinkes from me his sorrow all doth rize.
His limbes would rest, ne lig in ease embost,
The salvage serves Serena well,
Till she prince Arthure fynd; Io evils coupsell is the comfort chiefe;
Who her, together with his squyre,
With the hermit leaves behynd.
And wretched sorrowes, which have often hapt ! And spotlesse spirit in which ye may enchace For howsoever it may grow mis-shapt, Wbatever formes ye list thereto apply,
Like this wyld man being undisciplynd, Being now soft and fit them to embrace;
That to all vertue it may seeme unapt; Whether ye list him traine in chevalry,
Yet will it shew some sparkes of gentle mynd, Or noursle up in lore of learn’d philosophy. And at the last breake forth in his owne proper kynd. « And, certes, it bath oftentimes bene seene,
That plainely may in this wyld man be red, That of the like, whose linage was unknowne,
Who, though he were still in this desert wood, More brave and noble knights have raysed beene
Mongst salvage beasts, both rudely borne and bred, (As their victorious deedes have often showen,
Ne ever saw faire guize, ne learned good, Being with fame through many nations blowen)
Yet shewd some token of his gentle blood Then those which hare bene dandled in the lap.
By gentle usage of that wretched dame : Therefore some thought that those brave imps were
For certes he was borne of noble blood,
However by hard hap he hether came; Here by the gods, and fed with heavenly sap,
As ye may know, when timeshall be to tell the same. That made them grow so high tall honorable hap." The ladie, hearkning to his sensefull speach,
Who, whenas now long time he lacked had Found nothing that he said unmeet nor geason,
The good sir Calepine, that farre was strayd, Having oft seene it tryde as he did teach:
Did wexe exceeding sorrowfull and sad, Therefore inclyning to his goodly reason,
As he of some misfortune were afrayd; Agreeing well both with the place and season,
And, leaving there this ladie all dismayd, She gladly did of that same babe accept,
Went forth streightway into the forrest wyde As of her owne by liverey and seisin;
To seeke if he perchance asleep were layd, And, having over it a litle wept,
Or whatso else were unto him betyde : She bore it thence, and ever as her owne it kept.
He sought himn farre and neare, yet him no where
He shewed semblant of exceeding mone
Now beating his hard head upon a stone, And it in goodly thewes so well upbrought, That ruth it was to see him so lament: Tbat it became a famous knight well knowne, By which she well perceiving what was done, And did right noble deedes; the which elswhere Gan teare her bayre, and all her garments rent, are showne.
And beat her breast, and piteously herselfe torment.
Upon the ground herselfe she fiercely threw, After that Timias bad againe recured
And with uniust detraction him did beard ;
But, of them all which did his ruine seeke,
Three mightie enemies did him most despight, And sought, by all the meanes that he could best, Three mightie ones, and cruell minded eeke, Her to recure out of that stony swound,
That him not onely sought by open might And staunch the bleeding of her dreary wound:
To overthrow, but to supplant by slight: Yet nould she be recomforted for nought,
The first of them by name was cald Despetto, Nor cease her sorrow and impatient stound,
Exceeding all the rest in powre and hight; But day and night did wexe her carefull thought,
The second, not so strong but wise, Decetto;
For neither they by force could him destroy,
Ne yet entrap in treasons subtill traine :
The Blatant Beast tbe fittest meanes they found Or guard her to defend from bold oppressors might. To worke his utter sbame, and throughly him con
found. Whom when her host saw readie to depart, He would not suffer her alone to fare,
Upon a day, as they the time did waite But gan himselfe addresse to take her part.
When he did raunge the wood for salvage game, Those warlike armes, which Calepine whyleare
They sent that Blatant Beast to be a baite Had left behind, he gan eftsoones prepare,
To draw him from his deare beloved dame And put them all about himself unfit,
Unwares into the daunger of defame: His shield, his helmet, and his curats bare,
For well they wist that squire to be so bold, But without sword upon his thigh to sit :
That no one beast in forrest wylde or tame Sir Calepine himselfe away had hidden it.
Met him in chase, but he it challenge would, [hould.
And plucke the pray oftimes out of their greedy So forth they traveld an uneven payre,
The hardy boy, as they devised bad, That mote to all men seeme an uncouth sight ; Seeing the ugly monster passing by, A salvage man matcht with a ladie fayre
Upon him set, of perill nought adrad, That rather seem'd the conquest of his might Ne skilfull of the uncouth jeopardy; Gotten by spoyle then purchaсed aright:
And charged him so fierce and furiously, But he did her attend most carefully,
That, his great force unable to endure, And faithfully did serve both day and night He forced was to turne from him and fly: Withouten thought of shame or villeny,
Yet, ere he fled, he with his tooth impure Ne ever shewed signe of foule disloyalty.
Him heedlesse bit, the whiles he was thereof secure.
Securely he did after him pursew,
Thinking by speed to overtake his flight;
Who through thicke woods and brakes and briers Which to redresse she did th' assistance need
him drew, Of this her groome ; which he by signes did reede; So that he now has almost spent his spright:
To weary him the more and waste his spight,
Till that at length unto a woody glade
He came, whose covert stopt his further sight;
There his three foes shrowded in guilefull shade
That none of them in his soft flesh did bite;
Like a wylde bull, that, being at a bay,
Gnashing his grinded teeth with griesly looke, Is bayted of a mastiffe and a hound
And sparkling fire out of his furious eyne, And a curre-dog, that doe him sharpe assay Him with his fist unwares on th' head he strooke, On every side, and beat about him round; That made him downe unto the earth encline; But most that curre, barking with bitter sownd, Whence soone upstarting, much he gan repine, And creeping still behinde, doth him incomber, And laying hand upon his wrathfull blade That in his chauffe he digs the trampled ground, Thought therewithall furthwith him to have slaine; And threats his horns, and bellowes like the thonder: Who it perceiving hand upon him layd, So did that squire his focs disperse and drive asоnder. And greedily him griping his avengement stayd. Him well behoved so; for his three foes
With that aloude the faire Serena cryde Sought to encompasse him on every side,
Unto the knight, them to dispart in twaine : And dangerously did round about enclose: Who to them stepping did them soone divide, But, most of all, Defetto him annoyde,
And did from further violence restraine, Creeping behinde him still to have destroyde; Albe the wyld man hardly would refraine. So did Decetto eke him circumvent ;
Then gan the prince of her for to demand But stout Despetto in his greater pryde
What and from whence she was; and by what traine Did front him, face to face against him bent: She fell into that salvage villaines hand; Yet he them all withstood, and often made relent. And whether free with him she now were, or in band. Till that at length nigh tyrd with former chace, To whom she thus; “ I am, as now ye see, And weary now with carefull keeping ward, The wretchedst dame that lives this day on ground, He gan to shrinke and somewhat to give place, Who both in minde (the which most grieveth me) Full like ere long to have escaped hard ;
And body bave receiv'd a mortall wound,
That hath me driven to this drery stound.
Who whether be alive be to be found,
Where I had surely long ere this bene dead,
Or else remained in most wretched state, To reskue him, and his weake part abet,
Had not this wylde man in that wofull stead For pilty so to see him overset :
Kept and delivered ine from deadly dread. Whom soone as his three enemies did vew,
In such a salvage wight, of brutish kynd, They fled, and fast into the wood did get:
Amongst wilde beastes in desert forrests bred, Him booted not to thinke them to pursew;
It is most straunge and wonderful to fynd The covert was so thicke, that did no passage shew. So milde humanity and perfect gentle mynd. Then, turning to that swaine, him well he knew “ Let me therefore this favour for him finde, To be his Timias, his owne true squire;
That ye will not your wrath upon him wreake, Whereof exceeding glad, he to him drew,
Sith he cannot expresse his simple minde, And, him embracing twixt bis armes entire, Ne yours conceive, ne but by tokens speake: Him thus bespake; “My liefe, my lifes desire, Small praise to prove your powre on wight so weake!" Why have ye me alone thus long yleft?
With such faire words she did their heate asswage, Tell me what worlds despight, or Heavens yre, And the strong course of their displeasure breake, Hath you thus long away from me bereft? That they to piity turnd their former rage, Where have ye all this while bin wandring, where And each sought to supply the office of her page. bene weft ?”
So, having all things well about her dight, With that he sighed deepe for inward tyne : She on her way cast forward to proceede; To wbom the squire nought aunswered againe, And they her forth conducted, where they might But, shedding few soft teares from tender eyne, Finde harbour fit to comfort her great neede; His dear affect with silence did restraine,
For now her wounds corruption gan to breed: And shut up all his plaint in privy paine.
And eke this squire, who likewise wounded was There they awhile some gracious speeches spent, Of that same monster late, for lacke of beed As to them seem'd fit time to entertaine:
Now gan to faint, and further could not pas [has. After all which up to their steedes they went, Through feeblenesse, which all his limbes oppressed And forth together rode, a comely couplement.
So forth they rode together all in troupe [ease So now they be arrived both in sight
To seeke some place, the which mote yeeld some Of this wyld man, whom they full busie found To these sicke twaine that now began to droupe: About the sad Serena things to dight,
And all the way the prince sought to appease With those brave armours lying on the ground, The bitter anguish of their sharpe disease That seem'd the spoile of some right well renownd. By all the courteous meanes he could invent; Which when that squire beheld, he to them stept Somewhile with merry pnrpose, fit to please, Thinking to take them from that hylding hound; And otherwhile with good encouragement; But he it seeing lightly to him lept, [kept: To make them to endure the pains did them torAnd sternely with strong hand it from his handling
Mongst which, Serena did to him relate
So all that night they past in great disease, The foule discourt'sies and unknightly parts, Till that the morning, bringing earely light Which Turpine had unto her shewed late
To guide mens labours, brought them also ease, Without compassion of her cruell smarts :
And some asswagement of their painefull plight. Although Blandina did with all her arts
Then up they rose, and gan themselves to dight Him otherwise perswade all that she might, Unto their iourney; but that squire and dame Yet he of malice, without her desarts,
So faint and feeble were, that they ne might Not onely her excluded late at night,
Endure to travell, nor one foote to frame: But also trayterously did wound her weary knight. Their bearts were sicke; their sides were sore;
their feete were lame. Wherewith the prince sore moved there avoud That, soone as he returned backe againe,
Therefore the prince, whom great affaires in mynd He would avenge th' abuses of that proud
Would not permit to make there lenger stay, And shameful knight, of whom she did complaine. Was forced there to leave them both behynd This wize did they each other entertaine
In that good hermits charge, whom he did pray T:) passe the tedious travell of the way;
To tend them well: so forth he went his way, Till towards night they came unto a plaine,
And with bim eke the salvage (that whyleare By which a little hermitage there lay,
Seeing his royall usage and array Far from all neighbourhood, the which annoy it may. Was greatly growne in love of that brave pere)
Would needes depart; as shall declared be else And nigh thereto a little chappel stoode,
The hermite heales both squire and dame Was wont his howres and holy things to bed ;
Of their sore maladies : And therein he likewise was praying now, (por how.
He Turpine doth defeate and shame Whenas these knights arriv’d, they wist not where
For his late villanies. They stayd not there, but streightway in did pas:
No wound, which warlike hand of enemy
Inflicts with dint of sword, so sore doth light
As doth the poysnous sting, which infamy
Infixeth in the name of noble wight : With stayed steps and grave beseeming grace:
For, by no art nor any leaches might, For well it seem'd that whilome he had beene
It ever can recured be againe ; Some goodly person, and of gentle race,
Ne all the skill, which that immortall spright
Of Podałyrius did in it retaine,
Such were the wounds the which that Blatant Beast That be had bene a man of mickle name,
Made in the bodies of that squire and dame; Renowmed much in armes and derring doe:
And, being such, were now much more increast But being aged now, and weary to
For want of taking heede unto the same, Of warres delight and worlds contentious toyle,
That now corrupt and curelesse they became : The name of knighthood he did disavow;
Howbe that carefull hermite did his best, And, hanging up his armes and warlike spoyle,
With many kindes of medicines meete, to tame From all this worlds incumbrance did himselfe as- The poysnous humour which did most infest [drest. soyle.
Their ranckling wounds, and every day them duely He thence them led into his hermitage,
For he right well in leaches craft was seene; Letting their steedes to graze upon the greene : And, through the long experience of his dayes, Small was his house, and, like a little cage, Which had in many fortunes tossed beene For his owne turne; yet inly neate and clene, And past through many perillous assayes, Deckt with greene boughes and flowers gay beseene: He knew the diverse went of mortall wayes, Therein he them full faire did entertaine
And in the mindes of men had great insight; Not with such forged showes, as fitter beene Which with sage counsell, wben they went astray, For courting fooles that curtesies would faine, He could enforme, and them reduce aright; But with entire affection and appearaunce plaine. And all the passions heale, which wound the weaker
For whylome he had bene a doughts knight,
And proved oft in many perilloas fight,
In which he liv'd alone, like carelesse bird in cage.