Page images
PDF
EPUB

They reared him on horse-backe and upstayd, Till on his way they had him forth convayd: And all the way, with wondrous griefe of mynd And shame, he shewd himselfe to be dismayd More for the Love which he had left behynd, Then that which he had to Sir Paridel resynd.

as Nathlesse he forth did march, well as he might,
And made good semblance to his companie,
Dissembling his disease and evill plight;
Till that ere long they chaunced to espie
Two other Knights, that towards them did ply
With speedie course, as bent to charge them new.
Whom when as Blandamour approching nie
Perceiv'd to be such as they seemd in vew,
He was full wo, and gan his former griefe renew.

89 For th' one of them he perfectly descride
To be Sir Scudamour, (by that he bore
The God of Love with wings displayed wide,)
Whom mortally he hated evermore,

Both for his worth, that all men did adore,
And eke because his Love he wonne by right:
Which when he thought, it grieved him full sore,
That, through the bruses of his former fight,
He now unable was to wreake his old despight.

1 Wo, sad.

XXXIX. 3. — The God of Love.] See Book III. Canto XI. 7. The family of Scudamore derived this surname from their bearing the Shield of Divine Love (scudo d'amore) for their arms.

Forthy he thus to Paridel bespake:

"Faire Sir, of friendship let me now you pray, That as I late adventured 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 Yourselfe for this; myselfe will for you fight, As ye have done for me: the left hand rubs the right."

With that he put his spurres unto his steed,
With speare in rest, and toward him did fare,
Like shaft out of a bow preventing1 speed.
But Scudamour was shortly well aware
Of his approch, and gan himselfe prepare
Him to receive with entertainment meete.
So furiously they met, that either bare

The other downe under their horses feete,

That what of them became themselves did scarsly

weete.

2 As when two billowes in the Irish sowndes,
Forcibly driven with contrárie tydes,
Do meete together, each abacke rebowndes
With roaring rage; and dashing on all sides,
That filleth all the sea with fome, divydes
The doubtfull current into divers wayes:
So fell those two in spight of both their prydes;

1 Preventing, coming before, surpassing.

XI. 9. "Una mano lava l'altra." "Eine Hand wäscht die Andere." "One good turn deserves another." C

But Scudamour himselfe did soone uprayse, And, mounting light, his foe for lying long upbrayes1

43 Who, rolled on an heape, lay still in swound,
All carelesse of his taunt and bitter rayle2;
Till that the rest, him seeing lie on ground,
Ran hastily, to weete what did him ayle:
Where finding that the breath gan him to fayle,
With busie care they strove him to awake,
And doft his helmet, and undid his mayle:

So much they did, that at the last they brake His slomber, yet so mazed that he nothing spake.

44 Which whenas Blandamour beheld, he sayd:
"False faitour Scudamour, that hast by slight
And foule advantage this good knight dismayd,"
A knight much better then thyselfe behight,
Well falles it thee that I am not in plight,
This day, to wreake the dammage by thee donne!
Such is thy wont, that still when any knight
Is weakned, then thou doest him overronne:
So hast thou to thyselfe false honour often wonne."

15 He little answer'd, but in manly heart His mightie indignation did forbeare;

Which was not yet so secret, but some part
Thereof did in his frouning face appeare:
Like as a gloomie cloud, the which doth beare

1 Upbrayes, upbraids.

2 Rayle, railing.

6 Dismayd, overpowered.

6 Behight, bespoken, reputed

False faitour, false-doer, traitor. 7 I. e. it is well for you. • Slight, sleight.

[ocr errors]

An hideous storme, is by the northerne blast
Quite overblowne, yet doth not passe so cleare
But that it all the skie doth overcast

With darknes dred, and threatens all the world to

wast.

16"Ah! gentle Knight," then false Duessa sayd,
"Why do ye strive for ladies love so sore,
Whose chiefe desire is love and friendly aid
Mongst gentle knights to nourish evermore!
Ne be ye wroth, Sir Scudamour, therefore,
That she your Love list love another knight,
Ne do yourselfe dislike a whit the more;
For love is free, and led with selfe-delight,
Ne will enforced be with maisterdome or might."

47 So false Duessa: but vile Atè thus:
"Both foolish knights, I can but laugh at both,
That strive and storme, with stirre outrageous,
For her, that each of you alike doth loth,
And loves another, with whom now she goth
In lovely wise, and sleepes, and sports, and playes;
Whilest both you here with many a cursed oth
Sweare she is yours, and stirre up bloudie frayes,
To win a willow bough, whilest other weares the
bayes.

18 "Vile hag," said Scudamour, "why dost thou lye,
And falsly seekst a vertuous wight to shame?"
"Fond knight," sayd she, "the thing that with this

eye

1 Lovely, amorous.

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;

49 "I saw him have your Amoret at will;

I saw him kisse; I saw him her embrace;
I saw him sleepe with her all night his fill;
All manie nights; and manie by in place.
That present were to testifie the case."

Which when as Scudamour did heare, his heart Was thrild with inward griefe; as when in chace The Parthian strikes a stag with shivering dart, The beast astonisht stands in middest of his smart:

50 So stood Sir Scudamour when this he heard,
Ne word he had to speake for great dismay,
But lookt on Glaucè grim, who woxe afeard
Of outrage for the words which she heard say,
Albee untrue she wist them by assay.1
But Blandamour, whenas he did espie

His chaunge of cheere that anguish did bewray, He woxe full blithe, as he had got 2 thereby, And gan thereat to triumph without victorie.

51 "Lo! recreant," sayd he, "the fruitlesse end Of thy vaine boast, and spoile of love misgotten,

1 Assy, experience, knowledge.

2 Got, gained.

« PreviousContinue »