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Thither he brought these unacquainted guests;
To whom faire semblance,1 as he could, he shewed
By signes, by lookes, and all his other gests 2:
But the bare ground with hoarie mosse bestrowed
Must be their bed; their pillow was unsowed;
And the frutes of the forrest was their feast:
For their bad Stuard neither plough'd nor sowed,
Ne fed on flesh, ne ever of wyld beast
Did taste the bloud, obaying Natures first beheast.
Yet, howsoever base 3 and meane it were,
They tooke it well, and thanked God for all,
Which had them freed from that deadly feare,
And sav'd from being to that Caytive thrall.
Here they of force (as fortune now did fall)
Compelled were themselves awhile to rest,
Glad of that easement, though it were but small;
That, having there their wounds awhile redrest,
They mote the abler be to passe unto the rest.
During which time that Wyld Man did apply
His best endevour and his daily paine 1
In seeking all the woods both farre and nye
For herbes to dresse their wounds; still seeming faine 5
When ought he did, that did their lyking gaine.
So as ere long he had that Knightës wound
Recured well, and made him whole againe :
2 Gests, actions. 4 Paine, pains. 5 Faine, pleased.
1 Faire semblance, kind treatment. 3 Base, humble.
XIV. 5.- Unsowed.]
XIV. 7.- Bud Stuard.]
Not sewed; not made with a needle.
Unthrifty steward or provider.
But that same Ladies hurts no herbe he found Which could redresse, for it was inwardly unsound.
Now whenas Calepine was woxen strong,
Upon a day he cast abrode to wend,1
To take the ayre and heare the thrushes song,
Unarm'd, as fearing neither foe nor frend,
And without sword his person to defend;
There him befell, unlooked for before,
An hard adventure with unhappie end,
A cruell beare, the which an Infant bore,
Betwixt his bloodie iawes, besprinckled all with gore.
The litle Babe did loudly scrike 2 and squall,
And all the woods with piteous plaints did fill,
As if his cry did meane for helpe to call
To Calepine, whose eares those shrieches shrill,
Percing his hart, with pities point did thrill;
That after him he ran with zealous haste
To rescue th' Infant, ere he did him kill:
Whom though he saw now somewhat overpast,3
Yet by the cry he follow'd, and pursewed fast.
Well then him chaunst his heavy armes to want,
1 Wend, go.
2 Scrike, shriek. 3 Overpast, passed on or beyond.
XVI. 9.- For it was inwardly unsound.] The lady had been wounded by the envenomed tooth of the Blatant Beast, or Slander. See canto III. stanza XXIV.
XVII. 7.- Unhappie end.] "The end surely is not unhappy; for the infant is saved and the bear destroyed."- TODD.
The adventure was "unhappie" so far as Calepine and Serena were concerned, because it separated them for a long time.
Whose burden mote empeach1 his needfull speed,
And hinder him from libertie to pant:
For having long time, as his daily weed,2
Them wont to weare, and wend 3 ca foot for need,
Now wanting them he felt hinisele sɔ light,
That like an hauke, which feeling herselfe freed From bels and iesses which did let her flight, Him seem'd his feet did fly and in their speed delight.
So well he sped him, that the wearie beare
Ere long he overtooke and forst to stay;
And, without weapon him assayling neare,
Compeld him soone the spoyle adowne to lay.
Wherewith the beast enrag'd to loose his pray
Upon him turned, and, with greedie force
And furie, to be crossed in his way,
Gaping full wyde, did thinke without remorse
To be aveng'd on him and to devoure his corse.
But the bold Knight, no whit thereat dismayd,
But catching up in hand a ragged stone
Which lay thereby (so fortune him did ayde)
Upon him ran, and thrust it all attone
Into his gaping throte, that made him grone
And gaspe for breath, that he nigh choked was,
Being unable to digest that bone;
Ne could it upward come, nor downward passe,
Ne could he brooke 5 the coldnesse of the stony masse.
1 Empeach, hinder.
4 Let, hinder.
XIX. 8.- Iesses.] Jesses, straps of leather tied round the legs of a hawk, with which she is held upon the fist.
Whom whenas he thus combred did behold,
Stryving in vaine that nigh his bowels brast,1
He with him closd, and, laying mightie hold
Upon his throte, did gripe his gorge 2 so fast,
That wanting breath him downe to ground he cast;
And, then oppressing him with urgent paine,
Ere long enforst to breath his utmost blast,3
Gnashing his cruell teeth at him in vaine,
And threatning his sharpe clawes, now wanting powre to
Then tooke he up betwixt his armës twaine
The litle Babe, sweet relickes of his pray;
Whom pitying to heare so sore complaine,
From his soft eyes the teares he wypt away,
And from his face the filth that did it ray4;
And every litle limbe he searcht around,
And every part that under sweath-bands 5 lay,
Least that the beasts sharpe teeth had any wound
Made in his tender flesh; but whole them all he found.
So, having all his bands againe uptyde,
He with him thought backe to returne againe ;
But when he lookt about on every syde,
To weet which way were best to entertaine 7
To bring him to the place where he would faine,8
He could no path nor tract of foot descry,
Ne by inquirie learne, nor ghesse by ayme;
1 Brast, burst.
2 Gorge, throat.
Utmost blast, last breath.
• Ray, soil.
5 Sweath-bands, swathing-bands.
6 Weet, learn.
7 Entertaine, take.
8 Faine, desire, wish.
For nought but woods and forrests farre and nye, That all about did close the compasse of his eye.
Much was he then encombred, ne could tell
Which way to take: now west he went awhile,
Then north, then neither, but as fortune fell:
So up and downe he wandred many a mile
With wearie travell and uncertaine toile,
Yet nought the nearer to his iourneys end;
And evermore his lovely litle Spoile
Crying for food did greatly him offend1 :
So all that day, in wandring, vainely he did spend.
At last, about the setting of the sunne,
Himselfe out of the forest he did wynd,
And by good fortune the plaine champion 2 wonne :
Where, looking all about where he mote fynd
Some place of succour to content his mynd,
At length he heard under the forrests syde
A voice, that seemed of some womankynd,
Which to herselfe lamenting loudly cryde,
And oft complayn'd of fate, and fortune oft defyde.
To whom approaching, whenas she perceived
A stranger wight in place, her plaint she stayd,
As if she doubted 3 to have bene deceived,
Or loth to let her sorrowes be bewrayd:
Whom whenas Calepine saw so dismayd,
He to her drew, and, with faire blandishment
Her chearing up, thus gently to her sayd;