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THE FAERY QUEENE.

BOOK IV. CANTO VIII.

The gentle Squire recovers grace;
Sclaunder her guests doth staine ;
Corftambo chaseth Placidas,
And is by Arthure slaine.

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I.
Well said the wiseman, now prov'd true by this
Which to this gentle squire did happen late,
That the displeasure of the mighty is
Then death itselfe more dread and desperate;
For naught the same may calme, ne mitigate,
Till time the tempest doe thereof delay
With sufferaunce soft, which rigour can abate,
And have the sterne remembrance wypt away
Of bitter thoughts, which deepe therein infixed lay,

II.
Like as it fell to this unhappy boy,
Whose tender heart the faire Belphæbe had
With one sterne look so daunted, that no ioy
In all his life, which afterwards he lad,
He ever tasted, but with penaunce sad,
And pensive sorrow, pind and wore away;
Ne ever laught, ne once shew'd countenance glad,
But alwaies wept and wailed night and day,
As blasted bloosme through heat doth languish and

decay.

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III. Till on a day, as in his wonted wise His doole he made, there chaunst a turtle dove To come, where he his dolors did devise, That likewise late had lost her dearest love, Which losse her made like passion also prove; Who seeing his sad plight, her tender heart With deare compassion deeply did emmove, That she gan mone his undeserved smart, And with her dolefull accent beare with him a part.

IV.
Shee sitting by him, as on ground he lay,
Her mournefull notes full piteously did frame,
And thereof made a lamentable lay,
So sensibly compyld, that in the same
Him seemed oft he heard his owne right name;
With that he forth would poure so plenteous teares,
And beat his breast, unworthy of such blame,
And knocke his head, and rend his rugged heares,
That could haveperst the hearts of tigres and of beares

V.
Thus long this gentle bird to him did use,
Withouten dread of perill, to repaire
Unto his wonne, and with her mournefull muse
Him to recomfort in his greatest care,
That much did ease his mourning and misfare;
And every day for guerdon of her song
He part of his small feast to her would share,
That at the last of all his woe and wrong
Companion she became, and so continued long.

VI.
Upon a day, as she him sate beside,
By chance he certaine miniments forth drew,
Which yet with him as relicks did abide
Of all the bounty which Belphæbe threw
On him, whilst goodly grace she did him shew;
Amongst the rest a iewell rich he found,
That was a ruby of right perfect hew,
Shap'd like a heart yet bleeding of the wound,
And with a litle golden chaine about it bound.

VII.
The same he tooke, and with a riband new,
In which his ladies colours were, did bind
About the turtle's necke, that with the vew
Did greatly solace his engrieved mind.
All unawares the bird, when she did find
Herselfe so deckt, her nimble wings displaid,
And flew away as lightly as the wind;
Which sodaine accident him much dismaid,
And looking after long did marke which way she
VIII.

(straid. But whenas long he looked had in vaine, Yet saw her forward still to make her fight, His weary

eie returnd to him againe, Full of discomfort and disquiet plight, That both his iuell he had lost so light, And eke his deare companion of his care : But that sweet bird departing flew forthright Through the wide region of the wastfull aire, Untill she came where wonned his Belphoebe faire.

IX. There found she her (as then it did betide) Sitting in covert shade of arbors sweet, After late wearie toile, which she had tride In salvage chase, to rest as seem'd her meet : There she alighting, fell before her feet, And gan to her her mournfull plaint to make, As was her wont, thinking to let her weet The great tormenting griefe that for her sake Her gentle squire through her displeasure did pertake.

X.

She her beholding with attentive eye,
At length did marke about her purple brest
That precious iuell, which she formerly
Had knowne right well, with colour’dribbands drest;
Therewith she rose in hast, and her addrest
With ready hand it to have reft away,
But the swift bird obayd not her behest,
But swary'd aside, and there againe did stay ;
She follow'd her, and thought againe it to assay.

XI.
And ever when she nigh approcht, the dove
Would fit a litle forward, and then stay
Till she drew neare, and then againe remove;
So tempting her still to pursue

the

pray,
And still from her escaping soft away,
Till that at length into that forrest wide
She drew her far, and led with slow delay:
In th’end, she her unto that place did guide,
Whereas that wofull man in languor did abide.

XII. Eftsoones she flew unto his fearelesse hand, And there a piteous ditty new deviz’d, As if she would have made him understand His sorrowes cause to be of her despis’d; Whom when she saw in wretched weeds disguiz'd, Whith heary glib deform’d, and meiger face, Like ghost late risen from his grave agryz’d, She knew him not, but pittied much his case, And wisht it were in her to doe him any grace.

XIII. He her beholding at her feet downe fell, And kist the ground on which her sole did tread, And washt the same with water, which did well From his moist eies, and like two streames procead; Yet spake no word, whereby she might aread What mister wight he was, cr what he ment; But as one daunted with her presence dread, Onely few ruefull lookes unto her sent As messengers of his true meaning and intent.

XIV. Yet nathemore his meaning she ared, But wondred much at his so selcouth case, And by his person's secret seemlyhed, Well weend that he had beene some man of place, Before misfortune did his hew deface : That being mov'd with ruth, she thus bespake; “ Ah! wofull Man! what heavens hard disgrace, • Or wrath of cruell wight on thee ywrake, " Or selfe-disliked life, doth thee thus wretched

make ?

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