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For who so list into the heauens looke,

And search the courses of the rowling spheres, Shall find that from the point, where they first tooke

Theirsetting forth, in these few thousand yeares They all are wandred much; that plaine appeares.

For that same golden fleecy Ram, which bore
Phrixus and Helle from their stepdames feares,
Hath now forgot, where he was plast of yore,
And shouldred hath the Bull, which fayre
Europa bore.

And eke the Bull hath with his bow-bent horne
So hardly butted those two twinnes of Ioue,
That they haue crusht the Crab, and quite him
Into the great Nemaan lions groue. [borne
So now all range, and doe at randon roue
Out of their proper places farre away,
And all this world with them amisse doe moue,
And all his creatures from their course astray,
Till they arrive at their last ruinous decay.

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Most sacred vertue she of all the rest,
Resembling God in his imperiall might;
Whose soueraine powre is herein most exprest,
That both to good and bad he dealeth right,
And all his workes with Iustice hath bedight.
That powre he also doth to Princes lend,
And makes them like himselfe in glorious sight,
To sit in his owne seate, his cause to end,
And rule his people right, as he doth recom-


Dread Souerayne Goddesse, that doest highest sit
In seate of iudgement, in th'Almighties stead,
And with magnificke might and wondrous wit
Doest to thy people righteous doome aread,
That furthest Nations filles with awfull dread,
Pardon the boldnesse of thy basest thrall,
That dare discourse of so diuine a read,
The instrument whereof loe here thy Artegall.
As thy great iustice praysed ouer all:

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And such was he, of whom I haue to tell,
The Champion of true Iustice Artegall,
Whom (as ye lately mote remember well)
An hard aduenture, which did then befall,
Into redoubted perill forth did call;
That was to succour a distressed Dame,
Whom a strong tyrant did vniustly thrall,
And from the heritage, which she did clame,
Did with strong hand withhold: Grantorto was
his name.


Wherefore the Lady, which Irena hight,
Did to the Faery Queene her way addresse,
To whom complayning her afflicted plight,
She her besought of gratious redresse.
That soueraine Queene, that mightie Em-

Whose glorie is to aide all suppliants pore,
And of weake Princes to be Patronesse,
Chose Artegall to right her to restore;
For that to her he seem'd best skild in righteous


For Artegall in iustice was vpbrought
Euen from the cradle of his infancie,
And all the depth of rightfull doome was taught
By faire Astrea, with great industrie,
Whilest here on earth she liued mortallie.
For till the world from his perfection fell
Into all filth and foule iniquitie,

Astrea here mongst earthly men did dwell, And in the rules of iustice them instructed well.


Whiles through the world she walked in this sort. Vpon a day she found this gentle childe, Amongst his peres playing his childish sport: Whom seeing fit, and with no crime defilde, She did allure with gifts and speaches milde, To wend with her. So thence him farre she Into a caue from companie exilde, [brought In which shenours led him, till yeares he raught, Andall the discipline of iustice there himtaught.


There she him taught to weigh both right and wrong

In equall ballance with due recompence,
And equitie to measure out along,
According to the line of conscience,
When so it needs with rigour to dispence.
Of all the which, for want there of mankind,
She caused him to make experience

Vpon wyld beasts, which she in woods did find, With wrongfull powre oppressing others of their kind.

8 Thus she him trayned, and thus she him taught In all the skill of deeming wrong and right, Vntill the ripenesse of mans yeares he raught; That euen wilde beasts did feare his awfullsight, And men admyr'd his ouerruling might; Ne any liu'd on ground, that durst withstand His dreadfull heast, much lesse him match in fight,

Or bide the horror of his wreakfull hand, When so he list in wrath lift vp his steely brand.


Which steely brand, to make him dreaded more,
gaue vnto him, gotten by her slight
And earnest search, where it was kept in store
In Ioues eternall house, vnwist of wight,
Since he himselfe it vs'd in that great fight
Against the Titans, that whylome rebelled
Gainst highest heauen; Chrysaor it was hight;
Chrysaor that all other swords excelled,
Well prou'd in that same day, when Ioue those
Gyants quelled. ΙΟ

For of most perfect metall it was made,
Tempred with Adamant amongst the same,
In goodly wise, whereof it tooke his name,
And garnisht all with gold vpon the blade
And was of no lesse vertue, then of fame.
For there no substance was so firme and hard,
But it would pierce or cleaue, where soit came;
Ne any armour could his dint out ward,
But wheresoeuer it did light,it throughly shard.


Now when the world with sinne gan to abound,
Astræa loathing lenger here to space
Mongst wicked men, in whom no truth she found,
Return'd to heauen, whence she deriu'd her

doe see


Where she hath now an euerlasting place, Mongst those twelue signes, which nightly we [chace; The heauens bright-shining baudricke to enAnd is the Virgin, sixt in her degree, And next her selfe her righteous ballance hanging bee. But when she parted hence, she left her groome An yron man, which did on her attend Alwayes, to execute her stedfast doome, And willed him with Artegall to wend, And doe what euer thing he did intend. His name was Talus, made of yron mould, Immoueable, resist lesse, without end. Who in his hand an yron flale did hould, With which he thresht out falshood, and did truth vnfould.

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And sayd, Now sure this doubtfull causes right
Can hardly but by Sacrament be tride,
Or else by ordele, or by blooddy fight;
That ill perhaps mote fall to either side.
But if ye please, that I your cause decide,
Perhaps I may all further quarrell end,
So ye will sweare my iudgement to abide.
Thereto they both did franckly condiscend,
And to his doome with listfull eares did both

Sith then (sayd he) ye both the dead deny,
And both the liuing Lady claime your right,
Let both the dead and liuing equally
Deuided be betwixt you here in sight,
And each of either take his share aright.
But looke who does dissent from this my read,
He for a twelue moneths day shall in despight
Beare for his penaunce that same Ladies head;
To witnesse to the world, that she by him is

Well pleased with that doome was Sangliere,
And offred streight the Lady to be slaine.
But that same Squire, to whom she was more

When as he saw she should be cut in twaine,
Did yield, she rather should with him remaine
Aliue, then to him selfe be shared dead;
And rather then his loue should suffer paine,
He chose with shame to beare that Ladies head.
True loue despiseth shame, when life is cald in

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Much did that Squire Sir Artegall adore,
For his great iustice, held in high regard ;
And as his Squire him offred euermore
To serue, for want of other meete reward,
And wend with him on his aduenture hard.
But he thereto would by no meanes consent;
But leauing him forth on his iourney far'd:
Ne wight with him but onely Talus went.
They two enough t'encounter an whole Regi-

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