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But Paridell kept better watch then hee,
A fit occasion for his turne to finde.

False Love! why do men say thou canst not see,
And in their foolish fancy feigne thee blinde,
That with thy charmes the sharpest sight doest binde,
And to thy will abuse? Thou walkest free,
And seest every secret of the minde;

Thou seest all, yet none at all sees thee:
All that is by the working of thy Deitee.

So perfect in that art was Paridell,

That he Malbeccoes halfen eye did wyle; His halfen eye he wiled wondrous well, And Hellenors both eyes did eke beguyle, Both eyes and hart attonce, during the whyle That he there sojourned his woundes to heale; That Cupid selfe, it seeing, close did smyle To weet how he her love away did steale, And bad that none their joyous treason should reveale.

The learned Lover lost no time nor tyde

That least avantage mote to him afford,
Yet bore so faire a sayle, that none espyde
His secret drift till he her layd abord.
Whenso in open place and commune bord
He fortun'd her to meet, with commune speach
He courted her; yet bayted every word,
That his ungentle hoste n'ote him appeach
Of vile ungentlenesse or hospitages breach.

But when apart (if ever her apart

He found) then his false engins fast he plyde,
And all the sleights unbosomd in his hart:
He sigh'd, he sobd, he swownd, he perdy dyde,
And cast himselfe on ground her fast besyde:
Tho, when againe he him bethought to live,
He wept, and wayld, and false laments belyde,
Saying, but if she Mercie would him give,
That he mote algates dye, yet did his death forgive.





And otherwhyles with amorous delights
And pleasing toyes he would her entertaine;
Now singing sweetly to surprize her sprights,
Now making layes of love and Lovers paine,
Bransles, Ballads, virelayes, and verses vaine;
Oft purposes, oft riddles, he devysd,

And thousands like which flowed in his braine,
With which he fed her fancy, and entysd
To take to his new love, and leave her old despysd.

And every where he might and everie while
He did her service dewtifull, and sewd

At hand with humble pride and pleasing guile;
So closely yet, that none but she it vewd,
Who well perceived all, and all indewd.
Thus finely did he his false nets dispred,
With which he many weake harts had subdewd
Of yore, and many had ylike misled :
What wonder then if she were likewise carried?

No fort so fensible, no wals so strong,

But that continuall battery will rive,
Or daily siege, through dispurvayaunce long
And lacke of reskewes, will to parley drive;
And Peece, that unto parley eare will give,
Will shortly yield itselfe, and will be made
The vassall of the Victors will bylive:
That stratageme had oftentimes assayd

This crafty Paramoure, and now it plaine display'd:

For throug his traines he her intrapped hath,
That she her love and hart hath wholy sold
To him without regard of gaine, or scath,
Or care of credite, or of husband old,
Whom she hath vow'd to dub a fayre Cucquóld.

It pleased well: So well they both agree;

So readie rype to ill ill wemens counsels bee!



Nought wants but time and place, which shortly shee Devized hath, and to her Lover told.


Darke was the evening, fit for lovers stealth.
When chaunst Malbecco busie be elsewhere,
She to his closet went, where all his wealth
Lay hid; thereof she countlesse summes did reare,
The which she meant away with her to beare;
The rest she fyr'd, for sport or for despight:
As Hellene, when she saw aloft appeare
The Trojane flames and reach hevens hight,
Did clap her hands, and joyed at that doleful sight;

The second Hellene, fayre Dame Hellenore,

The whiles her husband ran with sory haste
To quench the flames which she had tyn'd before,
Laught at his foolish labour spent in waste,
And ran into her Lovers armes right fast;
Where streight embraced she to him did cry
And call alowd for helpe, ere helpe were past;
For lo! that Guest did beare her forcibly,
And meant to ravish her, that rather had to dy!

The wretched man hearing her call for ayd,
And ready seeing him with her to fly,
In his disquiet mind was much dismayd :
But when againe he backeward cast his eye,
And saw the wicked fire so furiously
Consume his hart, and scorch his Idoles face,
He was therewith distressed diversely,

Ne wist he how to turne, nor to what place:
Was never wretched man in such a wofull cace.

Ay when to him she cryde, to her he turnd,


And left the fire; Love Money overcame :
But, when he marked how his money burnd,
He left his wife; Money did Love disclame:
Both was he loth to loose his loved Dame,
And loth to leave his liefest pelfe behinde ;
Yet, sith he no'te save both, he sav'd that same
Which was the dearest to his dounghill minde,
The god of his desire, the joy of misers blinde.





Thus whilest all things in troublous uprore were,
And all men busie to suppresse the flame,
The loving couple neede no reskew feare,
But leasure had and liberty to frame
Their purpost flight, free from all mens reclame;
And Night, the patronesse of love-stealth fayre,
Gave them safe conduct till to end they came :
So beene they gone yfere, a wanton payre
Of lovers loosely knit, where list them to repayre.

Soone as the cruell flames yslaked were,

Malbecco, seeing how his losse did lye,
Out of the flames which he had quencht whylere,
Into huge waves of griefe and gealosye
Full deepe emplonged was, and drowned nye
Twixt inward doole and felonous despight:

Long thus he chawd the cud of inward griefe,

And did consume his gall with anguish sore:
Still when he mused on his late mischiefe,
Then still the smart thereof increased more,
And seemd more grievous then it was before:
At last when sorrow he saw booted nought,
Ne griefe might not his Love to him restore,
gan devise how her he reskew mought;
Ten thousand wayes he cast in his confused thought.

At last resolving, like a pilgrim pore,

To search her forth whereso she might be fond,
And bearing with him treasure in close store,
The rest he leaves in ground: So takes in hond
To seeke her endlong both by sea and lond.
Long he her sought, he sought her far and nere,
And every where that he mote understond

Of Knights and Ladies any meetings were;
And of each one he mett he tidings did inquere.


He rav'd, he wept, he stampt, he lowd did cry; And all the passions, that in man may light, Did him attonce oppresse, and vex his caytive spright.




But all in vaine; his woman was too wise
Ever to come into his clouch againe,
And hee too simple ever to surprise
The jolly Paridell, for all his paine.
One day, as he forpassed by the Plaine
With weary pace, he far away espide
A couple, seeming well to be his twaine,
Which hoved close under a forest side,
As if they lay in wait, or els themselves did hide.

Well weened hee that those the same mote bee;
And, as he better did their shape avize,
Him seemed more their maner did agree;
For th' one was armed all in warlike wize,
Whom to be Paridell he did devize ;
And th' other, al yclad in garments light
Discolourd like to womanish disguise,
He did resemble to his Lady bright;
And ever his faint hart much yearned at the sight:

And ever faine he towards them would goe,

But yet durst not for dread approchen nie,
But stood aloofe, unweeting what to doe;
Till that prickt forth with loves extremity,
That is the father of fowle Gealosy,

He closely nearer crept the truth to weet:
But, as he nigher drew, he easily

Might scerne that it was not his sweetest Sweet,
Ne yet her Belamour, the partner of his sheet:

But it was scornefull Braggadochio,

That with his servant Trompart hoverd there,
Sith late he fled from his too earnest foe:
Whom such whenas Malbecco spyed clere,
He turned backe, and would have fled arere ;
Till Trompart, ronning hastely, him did stay
And bad before his soveraine Lord appere:
That was him loth, yet durst he not gainesay,
And comming him before low louted on the lay.





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