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So both attonce him charge on either syde
With hideous strokes and importable powre,
That forced him his ground to traverse wyde,
And wisely watch to ward that deadly stowre:
For on his shield, as thicke as stormie showre,
Their strokes did raine; yet did he never quaile,
Ne backward shrinke; but as a stedfast towre,
Whom foe with double battry doth assaile,
Them on her bulwarke beares, and bids them nought availe.
So stoutly he withstood their strong assay;
Till that at last, when he advantage spyde,
Horribly then he gan to rage and rayle,
Cursing his gods, and himselfe damning deepe:
Als when his brother saw the red blood trayle
Adowne so fast, and all his armour steepe,
For felnesse lowd he gan to weepe,
His poynant speare he thrust with puissant sway
At proud Cymochles, whiles his shield was wyde,
That through his thigh the mortall steele did gryde:
He, swarving with the force, within his flesh
Did breake the launce, and let the head abyde:
Out of the wound the red blood flowed fresh,
That underneath his feet soone made a purple plesh.
And said; "Caytive, curse on thy cruell hond, That twise hath spedd; yet shall it not thee keepe From the third brunt of this my fatall brond: Lo,where the dreadfull Death behynd thy backe doth stond!"
With that he strooke, and th' other strooke withall,
That nothing seemd mote beare so monstrous might :
The one upon his covered shield did fall,
And glauncing downe would not his owner byte:
But th' other did upon his troncheon smyte;
Which hewing quite asunder, further way
It made, and on his hacqueton did lyte,
The which dividing with impórtune sway,
It seizd in his right side, and there the dint did stay.
Wyde was the wound, and a large lukewarme flood, 39
Red as the Rose, thence gushed grievously;
That when the Paynym spyde the streaming blood,
Gave him great hart and hope of victory.
On th' other side, in huge perplexity
The Prince now stood, having his weapon broke;
Nought could he hurt, but still at warde did ly:
Yet with his troncheon he so rudely stroke
Cymochles twise, that twise him forst his foot revoke.
Whom when the Palmer saw in such distresse,
Sir Guyons sword he lightly to him raught,
And said; "Fayre sonne, great God thy right hand blesse,
To use that sword so well as he it ought!"
Glad was the Knight, and with fresh courage fraught, When as againe he armed felt his hond:
Then like a Lyon, which had long time saught
His robbed whelpes, and at the last them fond [yond: Emongst the Shepheard swaynes, then wexeth wood and
So fierce he laid about him, and dealt blowes
On either side, that neither mayle could hold,
Ne shield defend the thunder of his throwes :
Now to Pyrochles many strokes he told;
Eft to Cymochles twise so many fold;
Then, backe againe turning his busie hond,
Them both attonce compeld with courage bold
As salvage Bull, whom two fierce mastives bayt,
When rancour doth with rage him once engore,
Forgets with wary warde them to awayt,
But with his dreadfull hornes them drives afore,
Or flings aloft, or treades downe in the flore,
Breathing out wrath, and bellowing disdaine,
That all the forest quakes to hear him rore:
So rag'd Prince Arthur twixt his foemen twaine,
That neither could his mightie puissaunce sustaine.
To yield wide way to his hart-thrilling brond; [stond. And though they both stood stiffe, yet could not both with
But ever at Pyrochles when he smitt,
(Who Guyons shield cast ever him before,
Whereon the Faery Queenes pourtract was writt,)
His hand relented and the stroke forbore,
And his deare hart the picture gan adore;
Which oft the Paynim sav'd from deadly stowre:
But him henceforth the same can save no more;
For now arrived is his fatall howre,
That no'te avoyded be by earthly skill or powre.
For when Cymochles saw the fowle reproch,
Which them appeached; prickt with guiltie shame
And inward griefe, he fiercely gan approch,
Resolv'd to put away that loathly blame,
Or dye with honour and desert of fame;
And on the haubergh stroke the Prince so sore,
That quite disparted all the linked frame,
And pierced to the skin, but bit no more;
Yet made him twise to reele, that never moov'd afore.
Which when his german saw, the stony feare
Ran to his hart, and all his sence dismayd;
Ne thenceforth life ne corage did appeare:
But, as a man whom hellish feendes have frayd,
Long trembling still he stoode; at last thus sayd;
"Traytour, what hast thou doen! How ever may
Thy cursed hand so cruelly have swayd
Whereat renfierst with wrath and sharp regret,
He stroke so hugely with his borrowd blade,
That it empierst the Pagans burganet;
And, cleaving the hard steele, did deepe invade
Into his head, and cruell passage made [ground,
Quite through his brayne: He, tombling downe on
Breath'd out his ghost, which, to th' infernall shade
Fast flying, there eternall torment found
For all the sinnes wherewith his lewd life did abound.
Against that Knight! Harrow and well away! After so wicked deede why liv'st thou lenger day!"
With that all desperate, as loathing light,
And with revenge desyring soone to dye,
Assembling all his force and utmost might,
With his owne swerd he fierce at him did flye,
And strooke, and foynd, and lasht outrageously,
Withouten reason or regard. Well knew
As when a windy tempest bloweth hye,
That nothing may withstand his stormy stowre,
The clowdes, as thinges affrayd, before him flye;
But, all so soone as his outrageous powre
Is layd, they fiercely then begin to showre;
And, as in scorne of his spent stormy spight,
Now all attonce their malice forth do poure:
So did Prince Arthur beare himselfe in fight,
And suffred rash Pyrochles waste his ydle might.
The Prince, with pacience and sufferaunce sly,
So hasty heat soone cooled to subdew :
Tho, when this breathlesse woxe, that batteil gan renew.
Nought booted it the Paynim then to strive;
For as a Bittur in the Eagles clawe,
At last whenas the Sarazin perceiv'd
How that straunge sword refusd to serve his neede,
But, when he stroke most strong, the dint deceiv'd;
He flong it from him; and, devoyd of dreed,
Upon him lightly leaping without heed
Twixt his two mighty armes engrasped fast,
Thinking to overthrowe and downe him tred:
But him in strength and skill the Prince surpast,
And through his nimble sleight did under him down cast.
That may not hope by flight to scape alive,
Still waytes for death with dread and trembling aw;
So he, now subject to the Victours law,
'Did not once move, nor upward cast his eye,
For vile disdaine and rancour, which did gnaw
His hart in twaine with sad melancholy;
As one that loathed life, and yet despysd to dye.
But, full of Princely bounty and great mind,
The Conqueror nought cared him to slay;
But, casting wronges and all revenge behind,
More glory thought to give life then decay,
And sayd; "Paynim, this is thy dismall day;
Yet if thou wilt renounce thy miscreaunce,
And my trew liegeman yield thyselfe for ay,
Life will I graunt thee for thy valiaunce,
And all thy wronges will wipe out of my sovenaunce.”
"Foole," sayd the Pagan, " I thy gift defye;
But use thy fortune, as it doth befall;
And say, that I not overcome doe dye,
But in despight of life for death doe call."
Wroth was the Prince, and sory yet withall,
That he so wilfully refused grace;
Yet, sith his fate so cruelly did fall,
His shining helmet he gan soone unlace,
And left his headlesse body bleeding all the place.
By this, Sir Guyon from his traunce awakt,
Life having maystered her sencelesse foe;
And looking up, whenas his shield he lakt
And sword saw not, he wexed wondrous woe:
But when the Palmer, whom he long ygoe
Had lost, he by him spyde, right glad he grew,
And saide; "Deare Sir, whom wandring to and fro
I long have lackt, I joy thy face to vew !
Firme is thy faith, whom daunger never fro me drew.
"But read what wicked hand hath robbed mee
Of my good sword and shield?" The Palmer, glad
With so fresh hew uprysing him to see,
Him answered; "Fayre sonne, be no whit sad
For want of weapons; they shall soone be had."
So gan he to discourse the whole debate,
Which that straunge Knight for him sustained had,
And those two Sarazins confounded late,
Whose carcases on ground were horribly prostrate.