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Where they arriving by the watchmen were
Descried streight; who all the citty warned
How that three warlike persons did appeare,
Of which the one him seem'd a Knight all armed,
And th' other two well likely to have harmed.
Eftsoones the people all to harnesse ran,
And like a sort of Bees in clusters swarmed :
Ere long their queene her selfe, halfe like a man, Came forth into the rout, and them t array began. And now the Knights, being arrived neare, 37
Did beat uppon the gates to enter in ;
And at the Porter, skorning them to feare,
Threw many threats, if they the towne did win,
To teare his flesh in pieces for his sin:
Which when as Radigund there comming heard,
Her heart for rage did grate, and teeth did grin.
She bad that streight the gates should be unbard, And to them way to make with weapons well prepard. Soone as the gates were open to them set,
They pressed forward, entraunce to have made;
But in the middle way they were ymet
With a sharpe showre of arrowes, which them staid,
And better bad advise, ere they assaid
Unknowen perill of bold womens pride.
Then all that rout uppon them rudely laid,
And heaped strokes so fast on every side,
And arrowes haild so thicke, that they could not abide.
But Radigund her selfe, when she espide 39
Sir Terpin, from her direfull doome acquit,
So cruell doale amongst her maides divide
T' avenge that shame they did on him commit,
All sodainely enflam'd with furious fit
Like a fell Lionesse at him she flew,
And on his head-peece him so fiercely smit,
That to the ground him quite she overthrew, Dismayd so with the stroke that he no colours knew.
Soone as she saw him on the ground to grovell, 40
She lightly to him leapt; and in his necke
Her proud foote setting, at his head did levell,
Weening at once her wrath on him to wreake
And his contempt, that did her judgment breake.
As when a Beare hath seiz'd her cruell clawes
Uppon the carkasse of some beast too weake,
Proudly stands over, and a while doth pause
To heare the piteous beast pleading her plaintiffe cause.
Whom when as Artegall in that distresse
41 By chaunce beheld, he left the bloudy slaughter In which he swam, and ranne to his redresse : There her assayling fiercely fresh, he raught her Such an huge stroke, that it of sence distraught her; And had she not it warded warily, It had depriv'd her mother of a daughter:
Nathlesse for all the powre she did apply It made her stagger oft, and stare with ghastly eye. Like to an Eagle, in his kingly pride
42 Soring through his wide Empire of the aire To weather his brode sailes, by chaunce hath spide A Goshauke, which hath seized for her share Uppon some fowle that should her feast prepare; With dreadfull force he flies at her bylive, That with his souce, which none enduren dare,
Her from the quarrey he away doth drive,
And from her griping pounce thegreedy prey doth rive.
But soone as she her sence recover'd had, 43
She fiercely towards him her selfe gan dight,
Through vengeful wrath and sdeignfull pride half
For never had she suffred such despight: [mad;
But ere she could joyne hand with him to fight,
Her warlike maides about her flockt so fast,
That they disparted them, maugre their might,
And with their troupes did far a sunder cast;
But mongst the rest the fight did untill evening last.
And every while that mighty yron man
With his strange weapon, never wont in warre,
Them sorely vext, and courst, and overran,
And broke their bowes, and did their shooting marre,
That none of all the many once did darre
Him to assault, nor once approach him nie;
But like a sort of sheepe dispersed farre
For dread of their devouring enemie,
Through all the fields and vallies did before him flie.
But when as daies faire shinie-beame, yclowded 45
With fearefull shadowes of deformed night,
Warn'd man and beast in quiet rest be shrowded,
Bold Radigund with sound of trumpe on highi,
Causd all her people to surcease from fight;
And gathering them unto her citties gate,
Made them all enter in before her sight;
And all the wounded, and the weake in state,
To be convayed in, ere she would once retrate.
When thus the field was voided all away,
And all things quieted, the Elfin Knight,
Weary of toile and travell of that day,
Causd his pavilion to be richly pight
Before the city gate, in open sight;
Where he him selfe did rest in safety
Together with Sir Terpin all that night :
But Talus usde, in times of jeopardy,
To keepe a nightly watch for dread of treachery
But Radigund, full of heart-gnawing griefe 47
For the rebuke which she sustain'd that day,
Could take no rest, ne would receive reliefe ;
But tossed in her troublous minde what way
She mote revenge that blot which on her lay.
There she resolv'd her selfe in single fight
To try her Fortune, and his force assay,
Rather than see her people spoiled quight,
As she had seene that day, a disaventerous sight
She called forth to her a trusty mayd,
Whom she thought fittest for that businesse;
Her name was Clarin, and thus to her sayd :
“Goe, damzell, quickly, doe thy selfe addresse
To doe the message which I shall expresse.
Goe thou unto that stranger Faery Knight,
Who yeester day drove us to such distresse :
Tell, that to morrow I with him wil fight, And try in equall field whether hath greater might. “ But these conditions doe to him propound : 49
That if I vanquishe him, he shall obay
My law, and ever to my lore be bound;
And so will I, if me he vanquish may,
What ever he shall like to doe or say.
Goe streight, and take with thee to witnesse it
Sixe of thy fellowes of the best array,
And beare with you both wine and juncates fit, And bid him eate: henceforth he oft shall hungry sit.” The Damzell streight obayd, and putting all
50 In readinesse, forth to the Town-gate went; Where sounding loud a Trumpet from the wall, Unto those warlike Knights she warning sent. Then Talus forth issuing from the tent Unto the wall his way did fearelesse take, To weeten what that trumpets sounding ment:
Where that same Damzell lowdly him bespake, And shew'd that with his Lord she would empar
launce make. So he them streight conducted to his Lord; 51
Who, as he could, them goodly well did greete, Till they had told their message word by word : Which he accepting well, as he could weete, Them fairely entertaynd with curt'sies meete, And gave them gifts and things of deare delight. So backe againe they homeward turn'd their feete; But Artegall him selfe to rest did dight, That he mote fresher be against the next daics fight.
CHISWICK PE ESS :-C. WHITTINGHAM AND CO. TOOKS COURT.