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XXV.
“Such were those goddesses which ye did see:
But that fourth Mayd, which there amidst them traced,
Who can aread 2 what creature mote she bee,
Whether a creature, or a goddesse graced
With heavenly gifts from heven first enraced 3!
But whatso sure she was, she worthy was
To be the Fourth with those Three other placed :

Yet was she certes 4 but a countrey lasse;
Yet she all other countrey lasses farre did passe :

XXVI.
“So farre, as doth the Daughter of the Day
All other lesser lights in light excell;
So farre doth she in beautyfull array
Above all other lasses beare the bell;
Ne lesse in vertue that beseemes her well
Doth she exceede the rest of all her race;
For which the Graces, that here wont to dwell,

Have for more honor brought her to this place,
And graced her so much to be another Grace.

XXVII.
“ Another Grace she well deserves to be,
In whom so many graces gathered are,
Excelling much the meane of her degree;
Divine resemblaunce, beauty soveraine rare,
Firme chastity, that spight ne blemish dare !

5

| Traced, stepped, moved. ? Aread, declare. ? Enraced, implanted. 4 Certes, surely. 5 Meane, measure.

XXV. 2. That fourth Mayd.] In this and the succeeding stanzas Spenser is supposed to pay an affectionate tribute to the merits of his own wife, which he does in a manner honorable alike to the warmth of his heart and the delicacy of his taste.

All which she with such courtesie doth

grace, That all her peres cannot with her compare,

But quite are dimmed when she is in place:
She made me often pipe, and now to pipe apace.

XXVIII.
“Sunne of the world, great glory of the sky,
That all the earth doest lighten with thy rayes,
Great Gloriana, greatest Maiesty!
Pardon thy Shepheard, mongst so many layes
As he hath sung of Thee in all his dayes,
To make one minime of thy poore Handmayd,
And underneath thy feete to place her prayse;

That, when thy glory shall be farre displayd
To future age, of her this mention may be made!”

XXIX.
When thus that Shepheard ended had his speach,
Sayd Calidore; “ Now sure it yrketh mee,
That to thy blisse I made this luckelesse breach,
As now the author of thy balel to be,
Thus to bereave thy Loves deare sight from thee:
But, gentle Shepheard, pardon thou my shame,
Who rashly sought that which I mote not see.”

Thus did the courteous Knight excuse his blame,
And to recomfort him all comely meanes did frame.

XXX.
In such discourses they together spent
Long time, as fit occasion forth them led;
With wbich the Knight himselfe did much content,
And with delight his greedy fancy fed

1 Bale, sorrow.

XXVIII. 6. - One minime.] A minim is, literally, a musical note, and it means here a triling song.

Both of his words, which he with reason red,
And also of the place, whose pleasures rare
With such regard his sences ravished,

That thence he had no will away to fare,
But wisht that with that Shepheard he mote dwelling share.

XXXI.
But that envenimd sting, the which of yore
His poysnous point deepe fixed in his hart
Had left, now gan afresh to rancle sore,
And to renue the rigour of his smart;
Which to recure, no skill of leaches art
Mote him availe, but to returne againe
To his wounds worker, that with lovely dart

Dinting 2 his brest had bred his restlesse paine;
Like as the wounded whale to shore flies from the maine.

XXXII.
So, taking leave of that same gentle Swaine,
He backe returned to his rusticke wonne,3
Where his faire Pastorella did remaine :
To whome in sort, as he at first begonne,
He daily did apply himselfe to donne 4
All dewfull service, voide of thoughts impure;
Ne any paines ne perill did he shonne,

By which he might her to his love allure,
And liking in her yet untamed heart procure.

XXXIII.
And evermore the shepheard Coridon,
Whatever thing he did her to aggrate,
Did strive to match with strong contention,

3

5

1 Red, declared, spoke. ? Dinting, striking.
3 Wonne, dwelling. 4 Donne, do. Aggrate, please.

5

XXXI. 7. His wounds worker.]

Her who had inflicted his wound.

a

And all his paines did closely emulate;
Whether it were to caroll, as they sate
Keeping their sheepe, or games to exercize,
Or to present her with their labours late;

Through which if any grace chaunst to arize
To him, the Shepheard straight with iealousie did frize.

XXXIV.
One day, as they all three together went
To the greene wood to gather strawberies,
There chaunst to them a dangerous accident:
A tigre forth out of the wood did rise,
That with fell clawes full of fierce gourmandize,
And greedy mouth wide-gaping like hell-gate,
Did runne at Pastorell her to surprize”;

Whom she beholding, now all desolate,
Gan cry to them aloud to helpe her all too late.

XXXV.
Which Coridon first hearing, ran in hast
To reskue her ; but, when he saw the feend,
Through cowherd feare he fled away as fast,
Ne durst abide the daunger of the end;
His life he steemed 3 dearer then 4 his frend :
But Calidore soone comming to her ayde,
When he the beast saw ready now to rend

His Loves deare spoile, in which his heart was prayde, He ran at him enraged, instead of being frayde.

XXXVI.
He had no weapon but his shepheards hooke

| Frize, freeze. ? Surprize, seize. 3 Steemed, esteemed.
4 Then, than.

6 Frayde, afraid.

XXXV. 8. — In which his heart was prayde.] Of which his own heart was the prey.

To serve the vengeaunce of his wrathfull will ;
With which so sternely he the monster strooke,
That to the ground astonished he fell;
Whence ere he could recou'r, he did him quell,?
And hewing off his head, it presented
Before the feete of the faire Pastorell;

Who, scarcely yet from former feare exempted,
A thousand times him thankt that had her death prevented.

XXXVII.
From that day forth she gan him to affect
And daily more her favour to augment;
But Coridon for cowherdize reiect,
Fit to keepe sheepe, unfit for loves content:
The gentle heart scornes base disparagement.
Yet Calidore did not despise him quight,
But usde him friendly for further intent,

That by his fellowship he colour might
Both his estate 3 and love from skill 4 of any wight.

XXXVIII.
So well he wood her, and so well he wrought her,
With humble service, and with daily sute,
That at the last unto his will he brought her;
Which he so wisely well did prosecute,
That of his love he reapt the timely frute,
And ioyed long in close felicity:
Till Fortune, fraught with malice, blinde and brute,

That envies lovers long prosperity,
Blew up a bitter storme of foule adversity.

3

I Recou'r, recover.
? Quell, kill.

3 Estate, state,

condition. 4 Skill, knowledge.

un.

XXXVII. 5. Disparagement.] Disparagement here means worthiness, referring to Coridon's want of courage.

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