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XLIII.

Those daintie parts, the dearlings of delight,
Which mote not be prophan'd of common eyes,
Those Villeins vew'd with loose lascivious sight,
And closely tempted with their craftie spyes1;
And some of them gan mongst themselves devize
Thereof by force to take their beastly pleasure:
But them the Priest rebuking did advize
To dare not to pollute so sacred threasure

Vow'd to the gods: Religion held even theeves in measure.

XLIV.

So, being stayd, they her from thence directed
Unto a litle grove not farre asyde,

In which an altar shortly they erected

To slay her on. And now the Eventyde

His brode black wings had through the heavens wyde

By this dispred, that was the tyme ordayned

For such a dismall deed, their guilt to hyde:

Of few greene turfes an altar soone they fayned,3

And deckt it all with flowres which they nigh hand obtayned.

XLV.

Tho, whenas all things readie were aright,
The Damzell was before the altar set,

Being alreadie dead with fearefull fright:

To whom the Priest with naked armes full net 5
Approching nigh, and murdrous knife well whet,
Gan mutter close a certain secret charme,
With other divelish ceremonies met 6:
Which doen, he gan aloft t' advance his arme,
Whereat they shouted all, and made a loud alarme.

1 Spyes, glances.

3 Fayned, constructed.

5 Net, neat, clean.

2 Measure, moderation, restraint.

4 Tho, then. Met, joined, added.

XLVI.

Then gan the bagpypes and the hornes to shrill 1
And shrieke aloud, that, with the peoples voyce
Confused, did the ayre with terror fill,
And made the wood to tremble at the noyce:
The whyles she wayld, the more they did reioyce.
Now mote ye understand that to this grove

Sir Calepine, by chaunce more then by choyce,
The selfe same evening fortune hether drove,
As he to seeke Serena through the woods did rove.

XLVII.

Long had he sought her, and through many a soyle
Had traveld still on foot in heavie armes,

Ne ought was tyred with his endlesse toyle,

4

Ne ought was feared 3 of his certaine harmes :
And now, all weetlesse of the wretched stormes
In which his Love was lost, he slept full fast;

Till, being waked with these loud alarmes,

He lightly started up like one aghast,

And catching up his arms streight to the noise forth past.

XLVIII.

There by th' uncertaine glims 5 of starry night,
And by the twinkling of their sacred fire,
He mote perceive a litle dawning sight
Of all which there was doing in that quire 6:
Mongst whom a Woman spoyled of all attire
He spyde lamenting her unluckie strife,7
And groning sore from grieved hart entire 8:

1 Shrill, sound shrilly.

2 Then, than.

3 Feared, alarmed.

4 Weetlesse, ignorant.

5 Glims, gleams.

VOL. IV.

13

6 Quire, company.

7 Strife, fate, something
striven against.

s Entire, wholly, deeply.

Eftsoones1 he saw one with a naked knife

Readie to launch her brest, and let out loved life.
XLIX.

With that he thrusts into the thickest throng;
And, even as his right hand adowne descends,
He him preventing 2 lays on earth along,
And sacrifizeth to th' infernall feends:

Then to the rest his wrathfull hand he bends; Of whom he makes such havocke and such hew,3 That swarmes of damned soules to hell he sends: The rest, that scape his sword and death eschew,4 Fly like a flocke of doves before a faulcons vew.

L.

From them returning to that Ladie backe, Whom by the altar he doth sitting find Yet fearing death, and next to death the lacke Of clothes to cover what she ought by kind 5; He first her hands beginneth to unbind, And then to question of her present woe; And afterwards to cheare with speaches kind: But she, for nought that he could say or doe, One word durst speake, or answere him a whit thereto.

LI.

So inward shame of her uncomely case
She did conceive, through care of womanhood,
That though the night did cover her disgrace,
Yet she in so unwomanly a mood
Would not bewray the state in which she stood:

1 Eftsoones, immediately.

2 Preventing, anticipating.

3 Hew, hewing.

[blocks in formation]

4 Eschew, escape.

5 Kind, nature, instinct.

Care of womanhood.] Regard for womanly feeling.

So all that night to him unknown she past : But day, that doth discover bad and good, Ensewing, made her knowen to him at last: The end whereof Ile keepe untill another cast.1

1 Cast, time.

LI. 9.- Untill another cast.] This pledge is not redeemed. We hear no more of Calepine and Serena.

1

CANTO IX.

Calidore hostes' with Melibee,
And loves fayre Pastorell:
Coridon envies him, yet he,
For ill, rewards him well.

1.

Now turne againe my teme, thou iolly swayne,
Backe to the furrow which I lately left;
I lately left a furrow one or twayne
Unplough'd, the which my coulter had not cleft;
Yet seem'd the soyle both fayre and frutefull eft,2
As I it past; that were too great a shame,

That so rich frute should be from us bereft ;
Besides the great dishonour and defame,
Which should befall to Calidores immortall name.
II.

Great travell hath the gentle Calidore
And toyle endured, sith 3 I left him last
Sewing the Blatant Beast; which I forbore
To finish then, for other present hast.5

Full many pathes and perils he hath past, [plaines, Through hils, through dales, through forests, and through In that same quest which fortune on him cast,

6

1 Hostes, takes up his abode.

4 Sewing, pursuing.

2 Eft, moreover.

5 Hast, haste.

3 Sith, since.

Quest, expedition, pursuit.

II. 2.- Sith I left him last.] See canto III. stanza XXVI.

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