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He cast to punish for his heinous fault;
Where most sweet hymns of this thy famous deed
Fit song of angels carrolled to be;
Shall be t'advance thy goodly chastity,
In th' heart of every honourable dame, His bower is in the bottom of the main,
That they thy virtuous deeds may imitate,
And be partakers of thy endless fame.
THE MASK OF CUPID.
Then when as chearless night ycovered had
In silence and in sleep themselves did shroud,
She heard a shrilling trumpet sound aloud, Thither he brought the sorry Florimell,
Sign of nigh battle, or got victory; And entertained her the best he might;
Nought therewith daunted was her courage proud, And Panope her entertain'd eke well,
But rather stirr'd to cruel enmity, As an immortal might a mortal wight,
Expecting ever when some foe she might descry. To win her liking unto his delight: With flattering words he sweetly wooed her, All suddenly a stormy whirlwind blew And offered fair gifts t'allure her sight:
Throughout the house, that clapped every door : But she both offers and the offerer
With which that iron wicket open flew, Despis’d, and all the fawning of the flatterer. As it with mighty levers had been tore :
And forth issued, as on the ready floor Daily he tempted her with this or that,
Of some theatre, a grave personage, And never suffered her to be at rest :
That in his hand a branch of laurel bore, But evermore she him refused flat,
With comely haviour and count'nance sage,
Yclad in costly garments fit for tragic stage.
Proceeding to the midst, he still did stand,
As if in mind he somewhat had to say; Then he would make himself a mortal wight; And to the vulgar beck’ning with his hand, But then she said she lov'd none but a fairy knight. In sign of silence, as to hear a play,
By lively actions he gan bewray Then like a fairy knight himself he dress’d; Some argument of matter passioned ; For, every shape on him he could endew :
Which done, he back retired soft away: Then like a king he was to her express'd,
And passing by, his name discovered,
Ease, on his robe, in golden letters cyphered.
The noble maid, still standing, all this view'd,
And marvell’d at his strange intendiment ;
With wanton bards and rhymers impudent;
A lay of love's delight, with sweet content:
After whom march'd a jolly company,
In full strange notes was sweetly heard to sound, Down in a dungeon deep he let her fall,
That the rare sweetness of the melody And threatened there to make her his eternal thrall. The feeble senses wholly did confound,
And the frail soul in deep delight nigh drown'd: Eternal thraldom was to her more lief,
And when it ceas'd shrill trumpets loud did bray, Than loss of chastity, or change of love:
That their report did far away rebound, Die had she rather in tormenting grief,
And when they ceas'd, it gan again to play, Than any should of falseness her reprove,
The while the maskers marched forth in trim array. Or looseness, that she lightly did remove. Most virtuous virgin, glory be thy meed,
The first was Fancy, like a lovely boy, And crown of heavenly praise with saints above, Of rare aspect, and beauty without peer ;
Matchable either to that imp of Troy,
On whom she list, and did great liking shew;
And after them Dissemblance and Suspect
March'd in one rank, yet an unequal pair;
Goodly adorned, and exceeding fair :
Yet was that all but painted, and purloined, But painted plumes, in goodly order dight,
And her bright brows were deck'd with borrowed hair, Like as the sun-burnt Indians do array
Her deeds were forged, and her words false coined, Their tawny bodies, in their proudest plight; And always in her hand two clues of silk she twined. As those same plumes, so seem'd he vain and light, That by his gait might easily appear ;
But he was foul, ill-favoured, and grim, For, still he far'd as dancing in delight,
Under his eyebrows looking still askance; And in his hand a windy fan did bear,
And ever as Dissemblance laugh'd on him, That in the idle air he mov'd still here and there. He lour'd on her with dangerous eye-glance ;
Shewing his nature in his countenance; And him beside march'd amorous Desire,
His rolling eyes did never rest in place, Who seem'd of riper years, than th’ other swain; But walk'd each where, for fear of hid mischance, Yet was that other swain this elder's sire,
Holding a lattice still before his face, (pass. And gave him being, common to them twain : Through which he still did peep, as forward he did His garment was disguised very vain, And his embroidered bonnet sat awry;
Next him went Grief and Fury match'd yfere ; Twixt both his hands few sparks he close did strain, Grief, all in sable sorrowfully clad, Which still he blew, and kindled busily, [fly. Down hanging his dull head, with heavy cheer, That soon they life conceiv’d, and forth in flames día Yet inly being more, than seeming sad :
A pair of pincers in his hand he had, Next after him went Doubt, who was yclad
With which he pinched people to the heart, In a discolour'd coat, of strange disguise,
That from thenceforth a wretched life they lad, That at his back å broad capuccio had,
In wilful languor and consuming smart, And sleeves dependent Albanese-wise :
Dying each day with inward wounds of dolour's dart. He look'd askew with his mistrustful eyes, And nicely trod, as thorns lay in his way,
But Fury was full ill appareled Or that the floor to shrink he did avise,
In rags, that naked nigh she did appear, And on a broken reed he still did stay
With ghastful looks and dreadful drearihead; His feeble steps, which shrunk, when hard thereon For, from her back her garments she did tear, he lay.
And from her head oft rent her snarled hair:
In her right hand a firebrand she did toss
Forgetful of his safety, hath his right way lost.
After them, went Displeasure and Pleasance;
She chearful, fresh, and full of joyance glad,
That evil matched pair they seemed to be:
Thus marched these six couples forth in fair degree.
After all these there march'd a most fair dame, As ashes pale of hue, and wingy-heel'd;
Led of two grizly villains, th' one Despight,
The other cleped Cruelty by name:
Had death's own image figur'd in her face,
Yet in that Horror shew'd a seemly grace, In silken samite she was light array'd,
And with her feeble feet did move a comely pace. And her fair locks were woven up in gold ; She always smild, and in her hand did hold Her breast all naked, as neat ivory, An holy water sprinkle, dipp'd in dew,
Without adorn of gold or silver bright, With which she sprinkled favours manifold, Wherewith the craftsman wonts it beautify,
Of her due honour was despoiled quite,
THE SQUIRE AND THE DOVE.
Well said the wise man, now prov'd true by this, Yet freshly bleeding forth her fainting sprite Which to this gentle squire did happen late; (The work of cruel hand) was to be seen,
That the displeasure of the mighty is
For, nought the same may calm, nor mitigate,
Till time the tempest do thereof allay Was drawn forth, and in silver bason laid,
With sufferance soft, which rigour can abate, Quite through transfixed with a deadly dart,
And have the stern remembrance wip'd away And in her blood yet steaming fresh embay'd; Of bitter thoughts, which deep therein infixed lay. And those two villains, which her steps upstaid, When her weak feet could scarcely her sustain, Like as it fell to this unhappy boy, And fading vital powers gan to fade,
Whose tender heart the fair Belphebe had Her forward still with torture did constrain,
With one stern look so daunted, that no joy And evermore increased her consuming pain.
In all his life, which afterwards he lad,
He ever tasted ; but with penance sad, Next after her, the winged God himself
And pensive sorrow, pin’d and wore away, Came riding on a lion ravenous,
Nor ever laugh’d, nor once shew'd countenance glad; Taught to obey the manage of that elf,
But always wept and wailed night and day, (decay; That man and beast with power imperious
As blasted blossom, through heat, doth languish and Subdueth to his kingdom tyrannous : His blindfold eyes he bade awhile unbind,
Till on a day (as in his wonted wise That his proud spoil of that same dolorous
His dole he made) there chanc'd a turtle-dove Fair dame, he might behold in perfect kind; To come, where he his dolours did devise, Which seen, he much rejoiced in his cruel mind. That likewise late had lost her dearest love ;
Which loss her made like passion also prove. Of which full proud, himself uprearing high, Who seeing his sad plight, her tender heart He looked round about with stern disdain ;
With dear compassion deeply did emmove, And did survey his goodly company:
That she gan moan his underserved smart, · And marshalling the evil ordered train,
And with her doleful accent, bear with him a part. With that the darts which his right hand did strain, Full dreadfully he shook that all did quake, She, sitting by him, as on ground he lay, And clapp'd on high his coloured winges twain, Her mournful notes full piteously did frame, That all his many it afraid did make:
And thereof made a lamentable lay, Then, blinding him again, his way he forth did take. So sensibly compil'd, that in the same
Him seemed oft he heard his own right name. Behind him was Reproach, Repentance, Shame; With that, he forth would pour so plenteous tears, Reproach the first, Shame next, Repent behind : And beat his breast unworthy of such blame, Repentance feeble, sorrowful and lame:
And knock his head, and rend his rugged hairs, Reproach despiteful, careless, and unkind;
That could have pierc'd the hearts of tigers and of Shame most ill-favour'd, bestial, and blind ;
(bears. Shame lour’d, Repentance sigh’d, Reproach did scold; Thus long this gentle bird to him did use, Reproach sharp stings, Repentance whips entwin'd, Withouten dread of peril to repair Shame burning brand-irons in her hand did hold; Unto his wonne; and with her mournful muse All three to each unlike, yet all made in one mould. Him to recomfort in his greatest care,
That much did case his mourning and misfare :
And every day, for guerdon of her song,
Companion she became, and so continued long.
Upon a day, as she him sate beside,
By chance he certain moniments forth drew, Of heavenly vengeance, faint Infirmity,
Which yet with him as relicks did abide Vile Poverty, and lastly Death with Infamy. Of all the bounty, which Belphebe threw
On him, while goodly grace she did him shew:
Amongst the rest, a jewel rich he found,
Shap'd like a heart, yet bleeding of the wound,
(In which his lady's colours were) did bind And then returned (having marched thrice)
About the turtle's neck, that with the view Into the inner room, from whence they first did rise. Did greatly solace his engrieved mind.
All unawares the bird, when she did find
If heaven, then none may it redress or blame,
If wrathful wight, then foul rebuke and shame
Of life it be, then better do avise.
For, he whose days in wilful woe are wom, But, when as long he looked had in vain,
The grace of his Creator doth despise, Yet saw her forward still to make her fight, That will not use his gifts for thankless niggardise. His weary eye return'd to him again, Full of discomfort and disquiet plight,
When so he heard her say, eftsoons he brake That both his jewel he had lost so light,
His sudden silence, which he long had pent,
And sighing inly deep, her thus bespake;
Did closely with a cruel one consent,
To cloud my days in doleful misery, Sitting in covert shade of arbors sweet,
And make me loath this life, still longing for to die. After late weary toil, which she had tried In savage chace, to rest as seem'd her meet.
Nor any but yourself, O dearest dread, There she alighting, fell before her feet,
Hath done this wrong; to wreak on worthless wight And gan to her, her mournful plaint to make, Your high displeasure, through misdeeming bred : As was her wont: thinking to let her weet
That when your pleasure is to deem aright,
With mild regard, to see his rueful plight,
That her in-burning wrath she gan abate,
Then did he set her by that snowy one,
Like the true saint beside the image set; She follow'd her, and thought again it to assay.
Of both their beauties to make paragon,
And trial whether should the honour get. And ever when she nigh approach'd, the dove Straightway so soon as both together met, Would fit a little forward, and then stay
Th'enchanted damsel vanish'd into nought: Till she drew near, and then again remove;
Her snowy substance melted as with heat, So tempting her still to pursue the prey,
Nor of that goodly hue remained ought, ( wrought. And still from her escaping soft away :
But th’ empty girdle, which about her waist was
As when the daughter of Thaumantes fair,
That all men wonder at her colour's pride;
All suddenly, ere one can look aside,
COMBAT BETWEEN PRINCE ARTHUR As messengers of his true meaning and intent.
AND THE SOLDAN DESCRIBED. Yet nathemore his meaning she ared,
WHEREWITH, the Soldan all with fury fraught, But wondered much at his so uncouth case ; Swearing, and banning most blasphemously, And by his person's secret seemlihed
Commanded strait his armour to be brought; Well ween'd, that he had been some man of place, And mounting strait upon a chariot high, Before misfortune did his hue deface:
With iron wheels and hooks arm'd dreadfully, That being mov'd with ruth she thus bespake. And drawn of cruel steeds, which he had fed Ah! woful man, what heaven's hard disgrace, With flesh of men, whom through fell tyranny Or wrath of cruel wight on thee ywrake,
He slaughtered had, and ere they were half dead, Or self disliked life, doth thee thus wretched make? Their bodies to his beasts for provender did spread.
So, forth he came all in a coat of plate,
Cannot come near him in the covert wood,
And fenc'd himself about with many a flaming brand.
His chariot wheels about him whirled round,
And made him back again as fast to fly; Before directed by his lord; to th' end
And eke his steeds, like to an hungry hound, He should his flail to final execution bend.
That hunting after game hath carrion found,
So cruelly did him pursue and chace, Thus go they both together to their gear,
That his good steed, all were he much renown'd With like fierce minds, but meanings different :
For noble courage, and for hardy race, (place.
Durst not endure their sight, but fled from place to
Thus long they trac'd, and travers'd to and fro,
Yet could the Prince not nigh unto him go, In the behalf of wronged weak did fight:
That one sure stroke he might unto him reach, More in his cause's truth he trusted than in might. Whereby his strength's essay he might him teach.
At last, from his victorious shield he drew Like to the Thracian tyrant, who they say
The veil, which did his powerful light impeach ; Unto his horses gave his guests for meat,
And coming full before his horses' view,
As they upon him press'd, it plain to them did shew.
Like lightening flash, that hath the gazer burned,
So did the sight thereof their sense dismay,
That back again upon themselves they turned,
With reins, or wonted rule, as well he knew.
Nought feared they, what he could do or say, If he too rashly to his chariot drew,
But th' only fear that was before their view;
From which, like mazed deer, dismayfully they flew.
Fast did they fly, as them their feet could bear,
High over hills, and lowly over dales,
The resty reins, regarded now no more:
He to them calls and speaks, yet nought avails; In hope some stroke to fasten on him near ;
They hear him not, they have forgot his lore, (lore.
But go which way they list, their guide they have for.
As when the fiery-mouthed steeds, which drew
The sun's bright wain to Phaeton's decay, Yet still he him did follow every where,
Soon as they did the monstrous scorpion view, And followed was of him likewise full fast:
With ugly craples crawling in their way, So long as in his steeds the flaming breath did last. The dreadful sight did them so sore affray,
That their well knowen courses they forwent ; Again, the Pagan threw another dart,
And leading the ever burning lamp astray, Of which he had with him abundant store,
This lower world nigh all to ashes brent;
And left their scorched path yet in the firmament.
Such was the fury of these headstrong steeds,
That all obedience, both to words and deeds,
The iron chariot, and the wheels did tear, (draw
Crying to them in vain, that n'ould his crying hear.
Yet still the Prince pursued him close behind,