« PreviousContinue »
Do seize upon some beast, whose flesh is bare,
That all the place with swarmes do overlay,
And with their litle stings right felly fare ;
So many theeves about him swarming are,
All which do him assayle on every side,
And sore oppresse, ne any him doth spare ;
But he doth with his raging brond divide
Their thickest troups, and round about him scattreth wide.
Like as a lion mongst an heard of dere,
Disperseth them to catch his choysest pray ;
So did he fly amongst them here and there,
And all that nere him came did hew and slay,
Till he had strowd with bodies all the way;
That none his daunger daring to abide
Fled from his wrath, and did themselves convay
Into their caves, their heads from death to hide,
Ne any left that victorie to him envide.
Then, backe returning to his dearest Deare,
He her gan to recomfort, all he might,
With gladfull speaches and with lovely cheare;
And forth her bringing to the ioyous light,
Whereof she long had lackt the wishfull sight,
Deviz'd all goodly meanes from her to drive
The sad remembrance of her wretched plight:
So her uneath 3 at last he did revive
That long had lyen dead, and made againe alive.
This doen, into those theevish dens he went,
· Bare, raw.
Felly fare, cruelly deal. 3 Uneath, with difficulty.
And thence did all the spoyles and threasures take,
Which they from many long had robd and rent:
But Fortune now the victors meed did make;
Of which the best he did his Love betakel;
And also all those flockes, which they before
Had rest from Melibee and from his Make,
He did them all to Coridon restore:
So drove them all away, and his Love with him bore.
Fayre Pastorella by great hap
Her parents understands.
Calidore doth the Blatant Beast
Subdew, and bynd in bands.
Like as a ship, that through the ocean wyde
Directs her course unto one certaine cost,
Is met of many a counter winde and tyde,
With which her winged speed is let and crost,
And she herselfe in stormie surges tost;
Yet, making many a borde 2 and many a bay,
Still winneth way, ne hath her compasse
Right so it fares with me in this long way,
Whose course is often stayd, yet never is astray.
For all that hetherto hath long delayd
This gentle Knight from sewing 3 his first quest,
Though out of course, yet hath not bene mis-sayd,5
To shew the courtesie by him profest
Even unto the lowest and the least.
But now I come into my course againe,
To his atchievement of the Blatant Beast;
Who all this while at will did range and raine,
Whilst none was him to stop, nor none him to restraine.
"Let, hindered. ? Borde, (abord, Fr.,) harbor. 3 Sering, following.
Sir Calidore, when thus he now had raught1
Faire Pastorella from those Brigants powre,
Unto the Castle of Belgard her brought,
Whereof was Lord the good Sir Bellamoure;
Who whylome? was, in his youthes freshest flowre,
A lustie Knight as ever wielded speare,
And had endured many a dreadfull stoure 3
In bloudy battell for a Ladie deare,
The fayrest Ladie then of all that living were:
Her name was Claribell; whose father hight 4
The Lord of many ilands, farre renound
For his great riches and his greater might:
He, through the wealth wherein he did abound,
This Daughter thought in wedlocke to have bound
Unto the Prince of Picteland, bordering nere ;
But she, whose sides before with secret wound
Of love to Bellamoure empierced were,
By all meanes shund to match with any forreign fere.5
And Bellamour againe so well her pleased
With dayly service and attendance dew,
That of her love he was entyrely seized,
And closely 6 did her wed, but knowne to few:
Which when her father understood, he grew
In so great rage that them in dongeon deepe
Without compassion cruelly he threw;
Yet did so streightly 7 them asunder keepe,
That neither could to company of th' other creepe.
· Raught, reached, rescued.
? Whylome, formerly. 3 Stoure, assault. * Hight, was called. • Fere, husband. 6 Closely, secretly.
7 Streightly, strictly.
VI. Nathlesse Sir Bellamour, whether through grace Or secret guifts, so with his keepers wrought, That to his Love sometimes he came in place; Whereof her wombe unwist to wight was fraught, And in dew time a Mayden Child forth brought : Which she streightway (for dread least if her syre Should know thereof to slay he would have sought)
Delivered to her handmayd, that for hyre She should it cause be fostred under straunge attyre.
The trustie damzell bearing it abrode
Into the emptie fields, where living wight
Mote not bewray the secret of her lode,
She forth gan lay unto the open light
The litle Babe, to take thereof a sight:
Whom whylest she did with watrie eyne behold,
Upon the litle brest, like christall bright,
She mote perceive a litle purple mold,?
That like a rose her silken leaves did faire unfold.
Well she it markt, and pittied the more,
Yet could not remedie her wretched case;
But, closing it againe like as before,
Bedeaw'd with teares there left it in the place ;
Yet left not quite, but drew a litle space
Behind the bushes, where she her did hyde,
To weet 3 what mortall hand, or heavens grace,
Would for the wretched Infants helpe provyde ;
For which it loudly cald, and pittifully cryde.