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And several deceipts, but all in vaine ;
For neither they by force could him destroy,
Ne

yet entrap in treasons subtill traine:
Therefore, conspiring all together plaine,
They did their counsels now in one compound:
Where singled forces faile, conioynd may gaine.

The Blatant Beast the fittest meanes they found
To worke his utter shame, and throughly 1 him confound.

XV.
Upon a day, as they the time did waite
When he did raunge the wood for salvage game,
They sent that Blatant Beast to be a baite
To draw him from his deare beloved Dame
Unwares into the daunger of defame:
For well they wist that Squire to be so bold,
That no one beast in forrest wylde or tame

Met him in chase, but he it challenge would,
And plucke the pray oftimes out of their greedy hould.

XVI.
The hardy Boy, as they devised had,
Seeing the ugly Monster passing by,
Upon him set, of perill nought adrad,
Ne skilfull of the uncouth 5 jeopardy;
And charged him so fierce and furiously,
That, his great force unable to endure,
He forced was to turne from him and fly:

Yet, ere he fled, he with his tooth impure
Him heedlesse bit, the whiles he was thereof secure.6

4

· Throughly, thoroughly.
2 Defame, disgrace.
3 Wist, knew.

* Adrad, fearful.
6 Uncouth, strange, uncommon.
6 Secure, careless, unheeding.

XV. 4. Deare beloved Dame.] Belphæbe.

XVII.
Securely he did after him pursew,
Thinking by speed to overtake his flight; [drew,
Who through thicke woods and brakes and briers him
Το
weary

him the more and waste his spight,
So that he now has almost spent his spright:
Till that at length unto a woody glade
He came, whose covert stopt his further sight;

There his three foes shrowded in guilefull shade
Out of their ambush broke, and gan hiin to invade.

XVIII.
Sharpely they all attonce did him assaile,
Burning with inward rancour and despight,
And heaped strokes did round about him haile
With so huge force, that seemed nothing might
Beare off their blowes from percing thorough ? quite:
Yet he them all so warily did ward,
That none of them in his soft flesh did bite;

And all the while his backe for best safegard
He lent against a tree, that backeward onset bard.

XIX.
Like a wylde bull, that, being at a bay,
Is bayted of a mastiffe and a hound
And a curre-dog, that doe him sharpe assay
On every side, and beat about him round;
But most that curre, barking with bitter sownd,
And creeping still behinde, doth him incomber,

a

a

Thorough, through.

XVII. 4. And waste his spight.) To exhaust his violence or eagerness. XVII. 5. — Spent his spright.] Run himself out of breath.

8

VOL. IV.

That in his chauffe he digs the trampled ground,

And threats his horns, and bellowes like the thonder: So did that Squire his foes disperse and drive asоnder.

XX.
Him well behoved so; for his three foes
Sought to encompasse him on every side,
And dangerously did round about enclose:
But, most of all, Defetto him annoyde,
Creeping behinde him still to have destroy de ;
So did Decetto eke him circumvent;
But stout Despetto in his greater pryde

Did front him, face to face against him bent:
Yet he them all withstood, and often made relent.

XXI.
Till that at length nigh tyrd with former chace,
And weary now with carefull keeping ward,
He gan to shrinke and somewhat to give place,
Full like ere long to have escaped hard;
Whenas unwares he in the forrest heard
A trampling steede, that with his neighing fast
Did warne his rider be uppon his gard;

With noise whereof the Squire, now nigh aghast,
Revived was, and sad dis paire away did cast.

XXII.

Eftsoones 3 he spide a Knight approaching nye;
Who, seeing one in so great daunger set
Mongst many foes, himself did faster hye
To reskue bim, and his weake part abet,
For pitty so to see him overset 6 :

Chauffe, chafe, irritation. ? Relent, abate, slacken.

Eftsoones, immediately.

* Hye, hurry.
5 Abet, support.
& Overset, overmatched.

3

Whom soone as his three enemies did vew,
They fled, and fast into the wood did get:

Him booted not to thinke them to pursew;
The covert was so thicke, that did no passage shew.

XXIII.
Then, turning to that Swaine, bim well he knew
To be his Timias, his owne true Squire;
Whereof exceeding glad, he to him drew,
And, him embracing twixt his armes entire,
Him thus bespake; “My liefe, my lifes desire,
Why have ye me alone thus long yleft ?
Tell me what worlds despight, or heavens yre,

Hath you thus long away from me berest: [weft 3? Where have ye all this while bin wandring, where bene

XXIV.
With that he sighed deepe for inward tyne 4:
To whom the Squire nought aunswered againe,
But, shedding few soft teares from tender eyne,
His dear affect' with silence did restraine,
And shut up all his plaint in privy paine.
There they awhile some gracious speeches spent,
As to them seem'd fit time to entertaine:

After all which up to their steedes they went,
And forth together rode, a comely couplernent.

XXV.
So now they be arrived both in sight
of this Wyld Man, whom they full busie found
About the sad Serena things to dight,
With those brave armours lying on the ground,

5

| Entire, affectionately.
? Liefe, love.
: Weft, cast, thrown.

* Time, sorrow.
Affect, affection.
6 Dight, adjust.

That seem’d the spoile of some right well renownd. Which when that Squire beheld, he to them stept, Thinking to take them from that hylding hound ? ;

But he it seeing lightly to him lept, And sternely with strong hand it from his handling kept:

XXVI.
Gnashing his grinded teeth with griesly looke,
And sparkling fire out of his furious eyne,
Him with his fist unwares upon th' head he strooke,
That made him downe unto the earth encline;
Whence soone upstarting, much he gan repine,
And laying hand upon his wrathfull blade
Thought therewithall forthwith hiin to have slaine ;

Who it perceiving hand upon him layd,
And greedily him griping his avengement stayd.

XXVII.
With that aloude the faire Serena cryde
Unto the Knight, them to dispart in twaine:
Who to them stepping did them soone divide,
And did from further violence restraine,
Albe? the Wyld Man hardly would refraine.
Then gan the Prince of her for to demand
What and from whence she was; and by what traine

She fell into that Salvage Villaines hand; And whether free with him she now were, or in band.

XXVIII. To whom she thus; “I am, as now ye see, The wretchedst Dame that lives this day on ground, Who both in minde (the which most grieveth me)

| Hylding hound, base creature.

1

? Albe, although.

2

XXV.5. – Of some.] Of some person.

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