Page images

And that this Lady, both whose sides are pearst With wounds, is ready to forgo the ghost; Ne would I gladly combate with mine host, That should to me such curtesie afford, Unlesse that I were thereunto enforst: But yet aread to me, how hight 3 thy Lord, That doth thus strongly ward the Castle of the Ford."


"His name," quoth he, "if that thou list to learne, Is hight 3 Sir Turpine, one of mickle 5 might And manhood rare, but terrible and stearne In all assaies to every Errant Knight, Because of one that wrought him fowle despight." "Ill seemes," sayd he, "if he so valiaunt be, That he should be so sterne to stranger wight: For seldome yet did living creature see That curtesie and manhood ever disagree.


"But go thy waies to him, and fro me say That here is at his gate an Errant Knight, That house-rome craves; yet would be loth t' assay

The proofe of battell now in doubtfull night,

Or curtesie with rudenesse to requite:

Yet, if he needes will fight, crave leave till morne, And tell withall the lamentable plight

In which this Lady languisheth forlorne,

That pitty craves, as he of woman was yborne."



The Groome went streightway in, and to his Lord

1 Forgo, give up.

2 Aread, explain.

3 Hight, is called.

▲ Ward, guard.

5 Mickle, much.

6 Assaies, assaults, contests.

7 Groome, servant.

Declar'd the message which that Knight did move;
Who, sitting with his Lady then at bord,
Not onely did not his demaund approve,
But both himselfe revil'd and eke his Love;
Albe1 his Lady, that Blandina hight,2
Him of ungentle usage did reprove,

And earnestly entreated that they might
Finde favour to be lodged there for that same night.


Yet would he not perswaded be for ought,

Ne from his currish will awhit reclame.3

Which answer when the Groome returning brought

To Calepine, his heart did inly flame
With wrathfull fury for so foule a shame,
That he could not thereof avenged bee:
But most for pitty of his dearest Dame,
Whom now in deadly daunger he did see;

Yet had no meanes to comfort, nor procure her glee.5


But all in vaine; for why? no remedy

He saw the present mischiefe to redresse,
But th' utmost end perforce for to aby,6
Which that nights fortune would for him addresse.
So downe he tooke his Lady in distresse,

And layd her underneath a bush to sleepe, Cover'd with cold, and wrapt in wretchednesse; Whiles he himselfe all night did nought but weepe, And wary watch about her for her safegard keepe.


The morrow next, so soone as ioyous day

1 Albe, although.

2 Hight, was called.

3 Reclame, withdraw.

4 Groome, servant.

5 Glee, alleviation of pain.

6 Aby, abide.

Did shew itselfe in sunny beames bedight,1
Serena full of dolorous dismay,

Twixt darkenesse dread and hope of living light,
Uprear'd her head to see that chearefull sight.
Then Calepine, however inly wroth,

And greedy to avenge that vile despight,

Yet for the feeble Ladies sake, full loth

To make there lenger 2 stay, forth on his iourney go'th.


He go❜th on foote all armed by her side,

Upstaying still herselfe uppon her steede,

Being unhable else alone to ride;

So sore her sides, so much her wounds did bleede:

Till that at length, in his extreamest neede, He chaunst far off an armed Knight to spy Pursuing him apace with greedy speede; Whom well he wist 3 to be some enemy, That meant to make advantage of his misery.


Wherefore he stayd, till that he nearer drew,
To weet what issue would thereof betyde:
Tho, whenas he approched nigh in vew,
By certaine signes he plainly him descryde
To be the man that with such scornfull pryde
Had him abusde and shamed yesterday;


Therefore, misdoubting least he should misguyde7
His former malice to some new assay,8

He cast to keepe himselfe so safely as he may.

1 Bedight, adorned.

Lenger, longer.

3 Wist, knew.

4 West, learn.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

XLVII. 9. He cast to keepe himselfe, &c.] He resolved to protect himself as effectually as he could.




By this the other came in place likewise,
And couching close his speare and all his powre,
As bent to some malicious enterprise,

He bad him stand t' abide the bitter stoure1

Of his sore vengeaunce, or to make avoure

Of the lewd2 words and deedes which he had done:

With that ran at him, as he would devoure

His life attonce; who nought could do but shun The perill of his pride, or else be over-run.


Yet he him still pursew'd from place to place,
With full intent him cruelly to kill,

And like a wilde goate round about did chace
Flying the fury of his bloudy will:

But his best succour and refuge was still

Behind his Ladies back; who to him cryde,
And called oft with prayers loud and shrill,
As ever he to Lady was affyde,3

To spare her Knight, and rest with reason pacifyde:


But he the more thereby enraged was,

And with more eager felnesse 4 him pursew'd ;
So that at length, after long weary chace,
Having by chaunce a close advantage vew'd,
He over-raught 5 him, having long eschew'd 6

1 Stoure, assault.

2 Lered, impudent.


Affyde, affianced.

4 Felnesse, fury.

5 Over-raught, overtook.

6 Eschew'd, avoided.

XLVIII. 2. And all his powre.] Upton conjectures that and is a misprint for with.

XLVIII. 5. — To make avoure.] To justify or maintain; from the French avouer.

His violence in vaine; and with his spere

Strooke through his shoulder, that the blood ensew'd1 In great aboundance, as a well it were,

That forth out of an hill fresh gushing did appere.


Yet ceast he not for all that cruell wound,
But chaste him still for all his Ladies cry;

Not satisfyde till on the fatall ground

He saw his life powrd forth dispiteously;
The which was certes 3 in great ieopardy,
Had not a wondrous chaunce his reskue wrought,
And saved from his cruell villany:

Such chaunces oft exceed all humaine thought!
That in another Canto shall to end be brought.

1 Ensew'd, followed. 2 Chaste, chased. 3 Certes, certainly.

« PreviousContinue »