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Welds kingdomes causes and affaires of
My looser rimes (I wote) doth sharply

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 :
For thy 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 who so 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 Heroes 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


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:
In sted 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



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 softened 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 else 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. 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


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 dealth.
Nathlesse her honor, dearer then her life,


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 other whiles to her she purpos made

Of love, and other whiles of lustfulnesse,

That much she feard his mind would grow to some


His will she feard; for him she surely thought
To be a man, such as indeed he seemed;
And much the more by that he lately wrought,
When her from deadly thraldome he redeemed,
For which no service she too much esteemed :
Yet dread of shame and doubt of fowle dishonor
Made her not yeeld so much as due she deemed.
Yet Britomart attended duly on her,

As well became a knight, and did to her all honor.

It so befell one evening, that they came

Unto a Castell, lodged there to bee,



Where many a knight, and many a lovely Dame
Was then assembled deeds of armes to see:
Amongst all which was none more faire then shee,
That many of them mov'd to eye her sore.
The custome of that place was such, that hee,
Which had no love nor lemman there in store,
Should either winne him one, or lye without the dore.

Amongst the rest there was a jolly knight,
Who, being asked for his love, avow'd
That fairest Amoret was his by his right,
And offred that to justifie alowd.
The warlike virgine, seeing his so prowd
And boastfull chalenge, wexed inlie wroth;
But for the present did her anger shrowd,
And sayd, her love to lose she was full loth,

But either he should neither of them have, or both.


So foorth they went, and both together giusted; 11
But that same younker soone was overthrowne,
And made repent that he had rashly lusted
For thing unlawfull, that was not his owne :
Yet since he seemed valiant, though unknowne,
She, that no lesse was courteous then stout,
Cast how to salve, that both the custome showne
Were kept, and yet that Knight not locked out;
That seem'd full hard t'accord two things so far in dout.

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