« PreviousContinue »
Which when she saw with sodaine glauncing eye, 36
Her noble heart with sight thereof was fild
With deepe disdaine and great indignity,
That in her wrath she thought them both have thrild
With that selfe arrow which the Carle had kild;
Yet held her wrathfull hand from vengeance sore:
But drawing nigh, ere he her well beheld,
"Is this the faith ?" she said; and said no more, But turnd her face, and fled away for evermore.
He seeing her depart arose up light,
Right sore agrieved at her sharpe reproofe, And follow'd fast; but when he came in sight, He durst not nigh approch, but kept aloofe, For dread of her displeasures utmost proofe: And evermore, when he did grace entreat, And framed speaches fit for his behoofe, Her mortall arrowes she at him did threat, And forst him backe with fowle dishonor to retreat.
At last, when long he follow'd had in vaine,
Yet found no ease of griefe nor hope of grace,
Unto those woods he turned backe againe,
Full of sad anguish and in heavy case;
And finding there fit solitary place
For wofull wight, chose out a gloomy glade,
Where hardly eye mote see bright heavens face
For mossy trees, which covered all with shade
And sad melancholy: there he his cabin made.
His wonted warlike weapons all he broke
And threw away, with vow to use no more,
Ne thenceforth ever strike in battell stroke,
Ne ever word to speake to woman more;
But in that wildernesse, of men forlore,
And of the wicked world forgotten quight,
His hard mishap in dolor to deplore,
And wast his wretched daies in wofull plight:
So on him selfe to wreake his follies owne despight.
And eke his garment, to be thereto meet,
He wilfully did cut and shape anew;
And his faire lockes, that wont with ointment sweet
To be embaulm'd, and sweat out dainty dew,
He let to grow and griesly to concrew,
Uncomb'd, uncurl'd, and carelesly unshed;
That in short time his face they overgrew,
And over all his shoulders did dispred,
That who he whilome was uneath was to be red.
There he continued in this carefull plight,
Wretchedly wearing out his youthly yeares,
Through wilfull penury consumed quight,
That like a pined ghost he soone appeares :
For other food then that wilde forrest beares,
Ne other drinke there did he ever tast
Then running water tempred with his teares,
The more his weakened body so to wast,
That out of all mens knowledge he was worne at last.
For on a day, by fortune as it fell,
His owne deare Lord Prince Arthure came that way,
Seeking adventures where he mote heare tell ;
And, as he through the wandring wood did stray,
Having espide this Cabin far away,
He to it drew, to weet who there did wonne ;
Weening therein some holy Hermit lay,
That did resort of sinfull people shonne, [sunne. Or else some woodman shrowded there from scorching
Arriving there he found this wretched man
Spending his daies in dolour and despaire,
And through long fasting woxen pale and wan,
All overgrowen with rude and rugged haire:
That albeit his owne dear Squire he were,
Yet he him knew not, ne aviz'd at all,
But like strange wight, whom he had seene no where, Saluting him, gan into speach to fall,
And pitty much his plight, that liv'd like outcast thrall
But to his speach he aunswered no whit,
But stood still mute, as if he had beene dum,
Ne signe of sence did shew, ne common wit,
As one with griefe and anguishe overcum,
And unto every thing did aunswere mum :
And ever, when the Prince unto him spake,
He louted lowly, as did him becum,
And humble homage did unto him make, Midst sorrow shewing joyous semblance for his sake.
At which his uncouth guise and usage quaint
The Prince did wonder much, yet could not ghesse
The cause of that his sorrow full constraint;
Yet weend, by secret signes of manlinesse
Which close appeard in that rude brutishnesse,
That he whilome some gentle swaine had beene,
Traind up in feats of armes and knightlinesse;
Which he observ'd, by that he him had seene
To weld his naked sword, and try the edges keene.
And eke by that he saw on every tree,
How he the name of one engraven had
Which likly was his liefest love to be,
From whom he now so sorely was bestad,
Which was by him BELPHEBE rightly rad:
Yet who was that Belphebe he ne wist;
Yet saw he often how he wexed glad
When he it heard, and how the ground he kist Wherein it written was, and how himselfe he blist.
Tho, when he long had marked his demeanor,
And saw that all he said and did was vaine,
Ne ought mote make him change his wonted tenor,
Ne ought mote ease or mitigate his paine,
He left him there in languor to remaine,
Till time for him should remedy provide,
And him restore to former grace againe :
Which, for it is too long here to abide,
I will deferre the end untill another tide.
The gentle Squire recovers grace:
Sclaunder her guests doth staine:
Corflambo chaseth Placidas,
And is by Arthure slaine.
ELL said the wiseman, now prov'd true by this
Which to this gentle Squire did happen late,
That the displeasure of the mighty is
Then death it selfe more dread and desperate;
For nought the same may calme ne mitigate,
Till time the tempest doe thereof delay
With sufferaunce soft, which rigour can abate,
And have the sterne remembrance wypt away
Of bitter thoughts, which deepe therein infixed lay.
Like as it fell to this unhappy boy,
Whose tender heart the faire Belphebe had
With one sterne looke so daunted, that no joy
In all his life, which afterwards he lad,
He ever tasted; but with penaunce sad
And pensive sorrow pind and wore away,
Ne ever laught, ne once shew'd countenance glad,
But alwaies wept and wailed night and day,
As blasted bloosme through heat doth languish and
Till on a day, as in his wonted wise
His doole he made, there chaunst a turtle Dove To come where he his dolors did devise, That likewise late had lost her dearest love, Which losse her made like passion also prove: Who seeing his sad plight, her tender heart With deare compassion deeply did enmove, That she gan mone his undeserved smart, And with her dolefull accent beare with him a part.
Shee sitting by him as on ground he lay,
Her mournefull notes full piteously did frame,
And thereof made a lamentable lay,
So sensibly compyld, that in the same
Him seemed oft he heard his owne right name.
With that he forth would poure so plenteous teares.
And beat his breast unworthy of such blame,
And knocke his head, and rend his rugged heares,
That could have perst the hearts of Tigres and of Beares.
Thus, long this gentle bird to him did use
Withouten dread of perill to repaire
Unto his wonne, and with her mournefull muse
Him to recomfort in his greatest care,
That much did ease his mourning and misfare :
And every day, for guerdon of her song,
He part of his small feast to her would share;
That, at the last, of all his woe and wrong
Companion she became, and so continued long.
Upon a day as she him sate beside,
By chance he certaine miniments forth drew,
Which yet with him as relickes did abide
Of all the bounty which Belphebe threw
On him, whilst goodly grace she him did shew:
Amongst the rest a jewell rich he found,
That was a Ruby of right perfect hew,
Shap'd like a heart yet bleeding of the wound,
And with a litle golden chaine about it bound.
The same he tooke, and with a riband new,
In which his Ladies colours were, did bind
About the turtles necke, that with the vew
Did greatly solace his engrieved mind.
All unawares the bird, when she did find
Her selfe so deckt, her nimble wings displaid,
And flew away as lightly as the wind:
Which sodaine accident him much dismaid,
And looking after long did marke which way she straid.