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XLIV. For all that night, the whyles the Prince did rest In carelesse couch not weeting what was ment, He watcht in close awayt with weapons prest, Willing to worke his villenous intent On him, that had so shamefully him shent 3: Yet durst he not for very cowardize Effect the same, whylest all the night was spent.
The morrow next the Prince did early rize, And passed forth to follow his first enterprize.
1 Weeting, knowing.
? Prest, ready. 3 Shent, rebuked, disgraced.
Turpine is baffuld ; his two Knights
Doe gaine their treasons meed.
Fayre Mirabellaes punishment
For Loves disdaine decreed.
LIKE as the gentle hart itselfe bewrayes
In doing gentle deedes with franke delight,
Even so the baser mind itselfe displayes
In cancred malice and revengefull spight:
For to maligne, t'envie, t' use shifting slight,
Be arguments of a vile donghill mind;
Which, what it dare not doe by open might,
To worke by wicked treason wayes doth find,
By such discourteous deeds discovering his base kind.?
That well appears in this discourteous Knight,
The coward Turpine, whereof now I treat;
Who notwithstanding that in former fight
He of the Prince his life received late,
Yet in his mind malitious and ingrate
gan devize to be aveng'd anew
For all that shame, which kindled inward hate:
Arg. 1. — Turpine is baffuld.] Baffled, or disgraced. — For the manner of his disgrace, see stanza XXVII.
Therefore, so soone as he was out of vew,
Himselfe in hast he arm'd, and did him fast pursew.
Well did he tract his steps as he did ryde,
Yet would not neare approch in daungers eye,
But kept aloofe for dread to be descryde,
Untill fit time and place he mote espy,
Where he mote worke him scath and villeny.
At last he met two Knights to him unknowne,
The which were armed both agreeably,"
And both combynd, whatever chaunce were blowne, Betwixt them to divide and each to make his owne.
IV. To whom false Turpine comming courteously, To cloke the mischiefe which he inly ment, Gan to complaine of great discourtesie, Which a straunge Knight, that neare afore him went, Had doen to him, and his deare Ladie shent 3; Which if they would afford him ayde at need For to avenge in time convenient,
They should accomplish both a knightly deed,
And for their paines obtaine of him a goodly meed.
The Knights beleev'd that all he sayd was trew;
And, being fresh and full of youthly spright,
Were glad to heare of that adventure new,
In which they mote make triall of their might
Which never yet they had approv'd in fight,
And eke desirous of the offred meed:
Said then the one of them; “Where is that wight,
2 Agreeably, alike, in a manner to agree. 3 Shent, disgraced.
The which hath doen to thee this wrongfull deed,
That we may it avenge, and punish him with speed ? ”
“ He rides," said Turpine, “there not farre afore,
With a Wyld Man soft footing by his syde;
list to haste a litle more,
Ye may him overtake in timely tyde.”
Eftsoones ? they pricked forth with forward pryde;
And, ere that litle while they ridden had,
The gentle Prince not farre away they spyde,
Ryding a softly pace with portance 3 sad,
Devizing 4 of his Love more then of daunger drad.
Then one of them aloud unto him cryde,
Bidding him turne againe; “False traytour Knight,
Foule woman-wronger!” – for he him defyde.
With that they both at once with equall spight
Did bend their speares, and both with equall might
Against him ran; but th' one did misse his marke,
And being carried with his force forthright
Glaunst swiftly by; like to that heavenly sparke,
Which glyding through the ayre lights all the heavens darke.
But th’ other, ayming better, did him smite
Full in the shield with so impetuous powre,
That all his launce in peeces shivered quite,
And scattred all about fell on the flowre 7:
But the stout Prince with much more steddy stowre 8
Full on his bever did him strike so sore,
That the cold steele through piercing did devowre
His vitall breath, and to the ground him bore,
Where still he bathed lay in his own bloody gore.
As when a cast of faulcons make their flight
At an herneshaw, that lyes aloft on wing,
The whiles they strike at him with heedlesse might,
The warie foule his bill doth backward wring;
On which the first, whose force her first doth bring,
Herselfe quite through the bodie doth engore,
And falleth downe to ground like senselesse thing;
But th' other, not so swift as she before,
Fayles of her souse, and passing by doth hurt no more.
By this the other, which was passed by,
Himselfe recovering, was return'd to fight;
Where when he saw his fellow lifelesse ly,
He much was daunted with so dismal sight;
Yet, nought abating of his former spight,
Let drive at him with so malitious mynd,
As if he would have passed through him quight:
But the steele-head no stedfast hold could fynd,
But glauncing by deceiv’d him of that he desynd.
Not so the Prince; for his well-learned speare
Tooke surer hould, and from his horses backe
Above a launces length him forth did beare,
And gainst the cold hard earth so sore him strake,
IX. 2. — An herneshaw.] A heron. — Thus the proverbial expression, “ to know a hawk from a hernshaw," corrupted into “handsaw."'