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There was the signe of antique Babylon,
Of fatall Thebes, of Rome that raigned long,
Of sacred Salem, and sad Ilion,

For memorie of which on high there hong
The golden Apple, cause of all their wrong,
For which the three faire Goddesses did striue:
There also was the name of Nimrod strong,
Of Alexander, and his Princes fiue,

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And eke of priuate persons many moe,
That were too long a worke to count them all;
Some of sworne friends, that did their faith
forgoe;

;

Some of borne brethren, prov'd vnnaturall
Some of deare louers, foes perpetuall:
Witnesse their broken bandes there to be seene,
Their girlonds rent, their bowres despoyled all;
The moniments whereof there byding beene,
As plaine as at the first, when they were fresh
and greene.
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Such was her house within; but all without,
The barren ground was full of wicked weedes,
Which she her selfe had sowen all about,
Now growen great, at first of little seedes,
The seedes of euill wordes, and factious deedes;
Which when to ripenesse due they growen arre,
Bring foorth an infinite increase, that breedes
Tumultuous trouble and contentious iarre,
The which most often end in bloudshed and
in warre.
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And those same cursed seedes doe also serue
To her for bread, and yeeld her liuing food:
For life it is to her, when others sterue
Through mischieuous debate, and deadly feood,
That she may sucke their life, and drinke their
blood,

With whichshe from her childhood had bene fed.
For she at first was borne of hellish brood,
And by infernall furies nourished,

That by her monstrous shape might easily be red.

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Her face most fowle and filthy was to see, With squinted eyes contrarie wayes intended, And loathly mouth, vnmeete a mouth to bee, That nought but gall and venim comprehended, And wicked wordes that God and man offended: Her lying tongue was in two parts diuided, And both the parts did speake, and both contended;

And as her tongue, so was her hart discided, Which shar'd to them the spoiles that he had That neuer thoght one thing, but doubly stil got aliue.

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And there the relicks of the drunken fray,
The which amongst the Lapithees befell,
And of the bloodie feast, which sent away
So many Centaures drunken soules to hell,
That vnder great Alcides furie fell:
And of the dreadfull discord, which did driue
The noble Argonauts to outrage fell,
That each of life sought others to depriue,
All mindlesse of the Golden fleece, which made
them striue.

was guided.

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Als as she double spake, so heard she double,
With matchlesse eares deformed and distort,
Fild with false rumors and seditious trouble,
Bred in assemblies of the vulgar sort,
That still are led with euery light report.
And as her eares so eke her feet were odde,
And much vnlike, th'one long, the other short,
And both misplast; that when th'one for-
ward yode,

The other backe retired, and contrarie trode.

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Which when his other companie beheld,
They to his succour ran with readie ayd :
And finding him vnable once to weld,
They reared him on horsebacke, and vpstayd,
Till on his way they had him forth conuayd:
And all the way with wondrous griefe of mynd,
And shame, he shewd him selfe to be dismayd,
More for the loue which he had left behynd,

That whether were more false, full hard it is Then that which he had to Sir Paridel resynd. to tell.

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For thy he thus to Paridel bespake,

Faire Sir, of friendship let me now you pray,
That as I late aduentured for your sake,
The hurts whereof me now from battell stay,
Ye will me now with like good turne repay,
And iustifie my cause on yonder knight.
Ah Sir (said Paridel) do not dismay
Your selfe for this, my selfe will for you fight,
ye haue done for me: the left hand rubs
the right.

As

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With that he put his spurres vnto his steed,
With speare in rest, and toward him did fare,
Like shaft out of a bow preuenting speed.
But Scudamour was shortly well aware
Of his approch, and gan him selfe
prepare
Him to receiue with entertainment meete.
So furiously they met, that either bare
The other downe vnder their horses feete,

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Ah gentle knight, then false Duessa sayd,
Why do ye striue for Ladies loue so sore,
Whose chiefe desire is loue and friendly aid
Mongst gentle Knights to nourish euermore?
Ne be ye wroth Sir Scudamour therefore,
That she your loue list loue another knight,
Ne do your selfe dislike a whit the more;
For Loue is free, and led with selfe delight,
Ne will enforced be with maisterdome or might.
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That what of them became, themselues did So false Duessa, but vile Ate thus ;
scarsly weete.

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As when two billowes in the Irish sowndes,
Forcibly driuen with contrarie tydes
Do meete together, each abacke rebowndes
With roaring rage; and dashing on all sides,
That filleth all the sea with fome, diuydes
The doubtfull current into diuers wayes:
So fell those two in spight of both their prydes,
But Scudamour himselfe did soone vprayse,
And mounting light his foe for lying long
vpbrayes.

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Both foolish knights, I can but laugh at both,
That striue and storme with stirre outrageous,
For her that each of you alike doth loth,
And loues another, with whom now she goth
In louely wise, and sleepes, and sports, and
playes;

Whilest both you here with many a cursed oth,
To win a willow bough, whilest other weares
Sweare she is yours, and stirre vp bloudie frayes,
the bayes.

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Vile hag (sayd Scudamour) why dost thou lye ?
And falsly seekst a vertuous wight to shame ?
Fond knight (sayd she) the thing that with

this eye

I saw, why should I doubt to tell the same ? Then tell (quoth Blandamour) and feare no blame,

Tell what thou saw'st, maulgre whoso it heares. I saw (quoth she) a stranger knight, whose name I wote not well, but in his shield he beares (That well I wote) the heads of many broken speares.

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So stood Sir Scudamour, when this he heard,
Ne word he had to speake for great dismay,
But lookt on Glauce grim, who woxe afeard
Of outrage for the words, which she heard say,
Albee vntrue she wist them by assay.
But Blandamour, whenas he did espie
His chaunge of cheere, that anguish did bewray,
He woxe full blithe, as he had got thereby,
And gan thereat to triumph without victorie.
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Lo recreant (sayd he) the fruitlesse end

Of thy vaine boast, and spoile of loue misgotten, Whereby the name of knight-hood thou dost shend,

And all true louers with dishonor blotten, All things not rooted well, will soone be rotten. Fy fy false knight (then false Duessa cryde) Vnworthy life that loue with guile hast gotten, Be thou, where euer thou do go or ryde, Loathed of ladies all, and of all knights defyde.

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But Scudamour for passing great despight
Staid not to answer, scarcely did refraine,
But that in all those knights and ladies sight,
He for reuenge had guiltlesse Glauce slaine :
But being past, he thus began amaine;
False traitour squire, false squire, of falsest
knight,
[abstaine,

Why doth mine hand from thine auenge Whose Lord hath done my loue this foule despight?

Why do I not it wreake, on thee now in my might? 53

Discourteous, disloyall Britomart,

Vntrue to God, and vnto man vniust,
What vengeance due can equall thy desart,
That hast with shamefull spot of sinfull lust
Defil'd the pledge committed to thy trust?
Let vgly shame and endlesse infamy

Colour thy name with foule reproaches rust. Yet thou false Squire his fault shalt deare aby, And with thy punishment his penance shalt supply.

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