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XXXVI. « Till on a day, as through a desert wyld “ We travelled, both wearie of the way, “ We did alight, and sate in shadow myld, " Where fearelesse I to sleepe me downe did lay; “ But whenas I did out of sleepe abray, “ I found her not where I her left whyleare, “ But thought she wandred was, or gone astray ; “ I cald her loud, I sought her farre and neare, “ But no where could her find, nor tydings of her XXXVII.
[heare." When Scudamour those heavie tydings heard, His hart was thrild with point of deadly feare, Ne in his face or bloud or life appeard, But senselesse stood, like to a mazed steare, That yet of mortall stroke the stound doth beare; Till Glauce thus : “ Faire Sir! be nought dismayd “ With needelesse dread, till certaintie ye heare, “For yet she may be safe, though somewhat strayd: “ Its best to hope the best, though of the worst af. XXXVIII.
[frayd." Nathlesse he hardly of her chearefull speech Did comfort take, or in his troubled sight Shew'd change of better cheare; so sore a breach That sudden newes had made into his spright, Till Britomart him fairely thus behight; “ Great cause of sorrow, certes, Sir, ye have; " But comfort take; for by this heaven's light “ I vow you dead or living not to leave, (reave." « Till I her find, and wreake on him that did her
Therewith he rested, and well pleased was.
So peace being confirm'd amongst them all,
They tooke their steeds, and forward thence did pas
Unto some resting place, which mote befall,
All being guided by Sir Artegall;
Where goodly solace was unto them made,
And dayly feasting both in bowre and hall,
Untill that they their wounds well healed had,
And wearie limmes recur'd after late usage bad,
In all which time Sir Artegall made way
Unto the love of noble Britomart,
And with meeke service and much suit did lay
Continuall siege unto her gentle hart ;
Which being whylone launcht with lovely dart,
More eath was new impression to receive;
However she her paynd with womanish art
To hide her wound, that none might it perceive :
Vaine is the art that seekes itselfe for to deceive.
So well he woo'd her, and so well he wrought her
With faire entreatie and sweet blandishment,
That at the length unto a bay he brought her,
So as she to his speeches was content
To lend an eare, and softly to relent.
At last, through many vowes which forth he pour’d,
And many othes, she yeelded her consent
To be his love, and take him for her lord,
Till they with mariage might finish that accord.
Tho when they had long time there taken rest,
Sir Artegall (who all this while was bound
Upon an hard adventure yet in quest)
Fit time for him thence to depart it found,
To follow that which he did long propound,
And unto her his congé came to take;
But her there-with full sore displeasd he found,
And loth to leave her late betrothed make,
Her dearest love full loth so shortly to forsake.
Yet he with strong perswasions her asswaged,
And wonne her will to suffer him depart;
For which his faith with her he fast engaged,
And thousand vowes from bottome of his hart,
That all so soone as he by wit or art
Could that atchieve wherero he did aspire,
He unto her would speedily revert;
No longer space thereto he did desire,
But till the horned moone three courses did expire.
XLIV. With which she for the present was appeased, And yeelded leave, however malcontent She inly were, and in her mind displeased. So early on the morrow next he went Forth on his way to which he was ybent ; Ne wight him to attend, or way to guide, As whylome was the custome ancient Mongst knights, when on adventures they did ride, Save that she algates him awhile accompanide.
And by the way she sundry purpose
Of this or that the time for to delay,
And of the perills whereto he was bound,
The feare whereof seem'd much her to affray ;
But all she did was but to weare out day.
Full oftentimes she leave of him did take,
And eft againe deviz'd somewhat to say
Which she forgot, whereby excuse to make;
So loth she was his companie for to forsake.
At last, when all her speeches she had spent,
And new occasion fayld her more to find,
She left him to his fortune's government,
And backe returned with right heavie mind
To Scudamour, whom she had left behind;
With whom she went to seek faire Amoret,
Her second care, though in another kind ;
For vertue's onely sake, which doth beget
True love and faithfull friendship, she by her did set.
Backe to that desert forrest they retyred,
Where sorie Britomart had lost her late ;
There they her sought, and every where inquired
Where they might tydings get of her estate ;
Yet found they none : but by what haplesse fate,
Or hard misfortune, she was thence convayd,
And stolne away
from her beloved mate,
Were long to tell ; therefore I here will stay
Untill another tyde, that I it finish may.
GREAT God of Love ! that with thy cruell d'arts
Doest conquer greatest conquerors on ground,
And setst thy kingdome in the eaptive harts
Of kings and Keasars, to thy service bound,
What glorie or what guerdon hast thou found
In feeble ladies tyranning so sore,
And adding anguish to the bitter wound,
With which their lives thou lanchedst long afore,
By heaping stormes of trouble on them daily more?
So whylome didst thou to faire Florimell,
And so and so to noble Britomart;
So doest thou now to her of whom I tell,
The lovely Amoret, whose gentle hart
Thou martyrest with sorow and with smart,
In salvage forrests and in deserts wide
With beares and tygers taking heavie part,
Withouten comfort and withouten guide;
That pittie is to heare the perils which she tride.