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"What be you, wofull dame, which thus lament, And for what cause, declare; so mote ye not repent."


To whom she thus; "What need me, Sir, to tell
That which yourself have earst1ared2 so right?
A wofull Dame ye have me termed well;

So much more wofull, as my wofull plight
Cannot redressed be by living wight!"

"Nathlesse," quoth he, "if need doe not you bynd, Doe it disclose, to ease your grieved spright: Oftimes it haps that sorrowes of the mynd Find remedie unsought, which seeking cannot fynd."


Then thus began the lamentable Dame;

"Sith 3 then ye needs will know the griefe I hoord, I am th' unfortunate Matilde by name,

The wife of bold Sir Bruin, who is Lord
Of all this land, late conquer'd by his sword
From a great Gyant, called Cormoraunt,
Whom he did overthrow by yonder foord;
And in three battailes did so deadly daunt,
That he dare not returne for all his daily vaunt.


"So is my Lord now seiz'd of all the land,
As in his fee, with peaceable estate,
And quietly doth hold it in his hand,
Ne any dares with him for it debate 4:
But to these happie fortunes cruell fate
Hath ioyn'd one evill, which doth overthrow

1 Earst, before.

2 Ared, explained.

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3 Sith, since.

4 Debate, contend.

As in his fee.] With perfect right of property.

All these our ioyes, and all our blisse abate;
And like in time to further ill to grow,
And all this land with endlesse losse to over-flow.


"For th' heavens, envying our prosperitie,
Have not vouchsaft to graunt unto us twaine
The gladfull blessing of posteritie,
Which we might see after ourselves remaine
In th' heritage of our unhappie paine:

So that for want of heires it to defend,
All is in time like to returne againe
To that foule Feend, who dayly doth attend
To leape into the same after our livës end.


"But most my Lord is grieved herewithall, And makes exceeding mone, when he does thinke That all this land unto his foe shall fall, For which he long in vaine did sweat and swinke,1 That now the same he greatly doth forthinke.2 Yet was it sayd, there should to him a sonne Be gotten, not begotten; which should drinke And dry up all the water which doth ronne [donne.3 In the next brooke, by whom that Feend should be for


"Well hop't he then, when this was propheside,

That from his sides some noble chyld should rize,
The which through fame should farre be magnifide,

1 Swinke, toil.

2 Forthinke, think of beforehand. 3 Fordonne, undone.

XXXI. 5. — In th' heritage of our unhappie paine.] To inherit our fortunes, which are made unhappy by the want of offspring. Church proposes to read "happie plaine"-fair estate-for "unhappie paine."

And this proud Gyant should with brave emprize
Quite overthrow, who now ginnes to despize
The good Sir Bruin growing farre in years,
Who thinkes from me his sorrow all doth rize.

Lo! this my cause of griefe to you appeares; [teares." For which I thus doe mourne, and poure forth ceaselesse


Which when he heard, he inly touched was
With tender ruth1 for her unworthy 2 griefe;

And, when he had devized of3 her case,
He gan in mind conceive a fit reliefe

For all her paine, if please her make the priefea:
And, having cheared her, thus said; "Faire Dame,
In evils Counsell is the comfort chiefe ;

Which though I be not wise enough to frame, Yet, as I well it meane, vouchsafe it without blame.


"If that the cause of this your languishment
Be lacke of children to supply your place,
Lo! how good fortune doth to you present
This litle Babe, of sweete and lovely face,
And spotlesse spirit in which ye may enchace 5
Whatever formes ye list thereto apply,

Being now soft and fit them to embrace ;
Whether ye list him traine in Chevalry,
Or noursle up in lore of learn'd Philosophy.


And, certes, it hath oftentimes bene seene, That of the like, whose linage was unknowne,

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1 Ruth, pity.

2 Unworthy, undeserved.

3 Devized of, reflected upon.
Priefe, experiment.

5 Enchace, engrave.
Noursle up, educate.

7 Certes, certainly.

More brave and noble Knights have raysed beene
(As their victorious deedes have often showen,
Being with fame through many nations blowen,)
Then1 those which have bene dandled in the lap.
Therefore some thought that those brave imps2 were


Here by the gods, and fed with heavenly sap,
That made them grow so high t' all honorable hap.3"


The Ladie, harkning to his sensefull 4 speach,
Found nothing that he said unmeet nor geason,5
Having oft seene it tryde as he did teach:
Therefore inclyning to his goodly reason,
Agreeing well both with the place and season,
She gladly did of that same Babe accept,
As of her owne by liverey and seisin ;

And, having over it a litle wept,

She bore it thence, and ever as her owne it kept.


Right glad was Calepine to be so rid

Of his young charge whereof he skilled nought;
Ne she lesse glad; for she so wisely did,

And with her husband under hand so wrought,
That, when that Infant unto him she brought,
She made him think it surely was his owne;
And it in goodly thewes so well upbrought,

1 Then, than.

2 Imps, shoots, grafts.
3 Hap, fortune.

4 Sensefull, sensible.

5 Geason, uncommon.

Thewes, accomplishments.

XXXVII. 7.— By liverey and seisin.] By delivery and possession; a law term.

That it became a famous Knight well knowne,

And did right noble deedes; the which elswhere are showne.


But Calepine, now being left alone

Under the greenewoods side in sorie plight,
Withouten armes or steede to ride upon,

Or house to hide his head from heavens spight;
Albe that Dame, by all the meanes she might,
Him oft desired home with her to wend,2

And offred him, his courtesie to requite,
Both horse and armes and whatso else to lend,
Yet he them all refusd, though thankt her as a frend;


And, for exceeding griefe which inly grew,
That he his Love so lucklesse now had lost,
On the cold ground maugre 3 himselfe he threw
For fell despight, to be so sorely crost;

And there all night himselfe in anguish tost,
Vowing that never he in bed againe
His limbes would rest, ne lig in ease embost,
Till that his Ladies sight he mote attaine,
Or understand that she in safetie did remaine.

1 Albe, although. 2 Wend, go. 3 Maugre, against his will. Lig, lie. 5 Embost, enclosed.

XXXVIII. 9. — Which elswhere are showne.] This promise the poet does not redeem.

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