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But when the Victoresse arrived there
Where late she left the pensife Scudamore
With her own trusty Squire, both full of feare,
Neither of them she found where she them lore:
Thereat her noble hart was stonisht sore;
But most faire Amoret, whose gentle spright
Now gan to feede on hope, which she before
Conceived had, to see her own deare Knight,
Being thereof beguyld, was fild with new affright.


But he, sad man, when he had long in drede
Awayted there for Britomarts returne,
Yet saw her not, nor signe of her good speed,
His expectation to despaire did turne,
Misdeeming sure that her those flames did burne;
And therefore gan advize with her old Squire,
Who her deare nourslings losse no lesse did mourne,
Thence to depart for further aide t' enquire:
Where let them wend at will, whilest here I doe respire.


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My looser rimes, I wote, doth sharply wite
For praising love as I have done of late,
And magnifying lovers deare debate;
By which fraile youth is oft to follie led,
Through false allurement of that pleasing baite,
That better were in vertues discipled,

Then with vaine poemes weeds to have their fancies fed.

Such ones ill judge of love, that cannot love,

Ne in their frosen hearts feele kindly flame:
Forthy they ought not thing unknowne reprove,
Ne naturall affection faultlesse blame

For fault of few that have abusd the same:

For it of honor and all vertue is

The roote, and brings forth glorious flowres of fame, That crowne true lovers with immortall blis,

The meed of them that love, and do not live amisse.


Which whoso list looke backe to former ages,

And call to count the things that then were donne,
Shall find that all the workes of those wise sages,
And brave exploits which great Heroës wonne,
In love were either ended or begunne :
Witnesse the Father of Philosophie,
Which to his Critias, shaded oft from sunne,
Of love full manie lessons did apply,
The which these Stoicke Censours cannot well deny.


To such therefore I do not sing at all;

But to that sacred Saint my Soveraigne Queene,
In whose chast brest all bountie naturall
And treasures of true love enlocked beene,
Bove all her sexe that ever yet was seene;
To her I sing of love, that loveth best,
And best is lov'd of all alive I weene;

To her this song most fitly is addrest,
The Queene of love, and Prince of peace from heaven blest.

Which that she may the better deigne to heare,
Do thou, dred Infant, Venus dearling dove,
From her high spirit chase imperious feare,
And use of awfull Majestie remove:
Insted thereof with drops of melting love,
Deawd with ambrosiall kisses, by thee gotten
From thy sweete-smyling Mother from above,
Sprinckle her heart, and haughtie courage soften,
That she may hearke to love, and reade this lesson often.




Fayre Britomart saves Amoret:
Duessa discord breedes

Twixt Scudamour and Blandamour:
Their fight and warlike deedes.

F lovers sad calamities of old

Full many piteous stories doe remaine,
But none more piteous ever was ytold
Then that of Amorets hart-binding chaine,
And this of Florimels unworthie paine :
The deare compassion of whose bitter fit
My softned heart so sorely doth constraine,
That I with teares full oft doe pittie it,
And oftentimes doe wish it never had bene writ.

For, from the time that Scudamour her bought
In perilous fight, she never joyed day;
A perilous fight! when he with force her brought
From twentie Knights that did him all assay;
Yet fairely well he did them all dismay,
And with great glorie both the Shield of Love
And eke the Ladie selfe he brought away;
Whom having wedded, as did him behove,
A new unknowen mischiefe did from him remove.



For that same vile Enchauntour Busyran,

The very selfe same day that she was wedded,
Amidst the bridale feast, whilest every man
Surcharg'd with wine were heedlesse and ill-hedded,
All bent to mirth before the Bride was bedded,
Brought in that Mask of Love which late was showen;
And there the Ladie ill of friends bestedded,

By way of sport, as oft in Maskes is knowen,
Conveyed quite away to living wight unknowen.

Seven moneths he so her kept in bitter smart,
Because his sinfull lust she would not serve,
Untill such time as noble Britomart
Released her, that els was like to sterve

Through cruell knife that her deare heart did kerve :
And now she is with her upon the way
Marching in lovely wise, that could deserve

No spot of blame, though spite did oft assay
To blot her with dishonor of so faire a pray.

For well she wist, as true it was indeed,

That her live's Lord and Patrone of her health
Right well deserved, as his duefull meed,
Her love, her service, and her utmost wealth:
All is his justly that all freely deal'th.
Nathlesse her honor dearer then her life

Yet should it be a pleasant tale, to tell

The diverse usage, and demeanure daint, That each to other made, as oft befell: For Amoret right fearefull was and faint Lest she with blame her honor should attaint, That everie word did tremble as she spake, And everie looke was coy and wondrous quaint, And everie limbe that touched her did quake; Yet could she not but curteous countenance to her make.

She sought to save, as thing reserv'd from stealth;
Die had she lever with Enchanters knife
Then to be false in love, profest a virgine wife.




Thereto her feare was made so much the greater
Through fine abusion of that Briton Mayd;
Who, for to hide her fained sex the better
And maske her wounded mind, both did and sayd
Full many things so doubtfull to be wayd,
That well she wist not what by them to gesse:

For otherwhiles to her she purpos made
Of love, and otherwhiles of lustfulnesse,

That much she feard his mind would grow to some excesse.


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