« PreviousContinue »
It fortuned, soone after they were gone,
Another knight, whom tempest thether brought, Came to that Castle, and with earnest mone, Like as the rest, late entrance deare besought: But, like so as the rest, he prayd for nought; For flatly he of entrance was refusd. Sorely thereat he was displeasd, and thought How to avenge himselfe so sore abusd, And evermore the Carle of courtesie accusd.
But, to avoyde th' intollerable stowre,
He was compeld to seeke some refuge neare,
And to that shed, to shrowd him from the showre,
He came, which full of guests he found whyleare,
So as he was not let to enter there:
Whereat he gan to wex exceeding wroth,
And swore that he would lodge with them yfere,
Or them dislodg, all were they liefe or loth;
And so defyde them each, and so defyde them both.
Both were full loth to leave that needfull tent,
And both full loth in darknesse to debate;
Yet both full liefe him lodging to have lent,
And both full liefe his boasting to abate:
But chiefely Paridell his hart did grate
To heare him threaten so despightfully,
As if he did a dogge in kenell rate
That durst not barke; and rather had he dy
Then, when he was defyde, in coward corner ly.
Tho hastily remounting to his steed
He forth issew'd: like as a boystrous winde,
Which in th' earthes hollow caves hath long ben hid
And shut up fast within her prisons blind,
Makes the huge element, against her kinde,
To move and tremble as it were aghast,
Untill that it an issew forth
Then forth it breakes, and with his furious blast
Confounds both land and seas, and skyes doth overcast.
Their steel-hed speares they strongly coucht, and met Together with impetuous rage and forse,
That with the terrour of their fierce affret
They rudely drove to ground both man and horse,
That each awhile lay like a sencelesse corse.
But Paridell sore brused with the blow
Could not arise, the counterchaunge to scorse,
Till that young Squyre him reared from below;
Then drew he his bright sword, and gan about him throw.
But Satyrane forth stepping did them stay,
And with faire treaty pacifide their yre.
Then, when they were accorded from the fray,
Against that Castles Lord they gan conspire,
To heape on him dew vengeaunce for his hire.
They beene agreed; and to the gates they goe
To burn the same with unquenchable fire,
And that uncurteous Carle, their commune foe,
To doe fowle death to die, or wrap in grievous woe.
Malbecco, seeing them resolvd in deed
To flame the gates, and hearing them to call
For fire in earnest, ran with fearfull speed,
And to them calling from the castle wall,
Besought them humbly him to beare withall,
As ignorant of servants bad abuse
And slacke attendaunce unto straungers call. The knights were willing all things to excuse, [fuse. Though nought belev'd, and entraunce late did not re
They beene ybrought into a comely bowre,
And servd of all things that mote needfull bee; Yet secretly their hoste did on them lowre, And welcomde more for feare then charitee; But they dissembled what they did not see, And welcomed themselves. Each gan undight Their garments wett, and weary armour free, To dry them selves by Vulcanes flaming light, And eke their lately bruzed parts to bring in plight.
And eke that straunger knight emongst the rest 20
Was for like need enforst to disaray :
Tho, whenas vailed was her lofty crest,
Her golden locks, that were in tramells gay
Upbounden, did them selves adowne display
And raught unto her heeles; like sunny beames,
That in a cloud their light did long time stay,
Their vapour vaded, shewe their golden gleames, And through the persant aire shoote forth their azure
Shee also dofte her heavy haberjeon,
Which the faire feature of her limbs did hyde;
And her wellplighted frock, which she did won
To tucke about her short when she did ryde,
Shee low let fall, that flowd from her lanck syde
Downe to her foot with carelesse modestee.
Then of them all she plainly was espyde
To be a woman wight, unwist to bee,
The fairest woman wight that ever eie did see.
Like as Bellona being late returnd
From slaughter of the Giaunts conquered; Where proud Encelade, whose wide nosethrils burnd With breathed flames, like to a furnace redd, Transfixed with her speare downe tombled dedd From top of Hemus by him heaped hye, Hath loosd her helmet from her lofty hedd, And her Gorgonian shield gins to untye From her lefte arme, to rest in glorious victorye. Which whenas they beheld, they smitten were With great amazement of so wondrous sight; And each on other, and they all on her, Stood gazing; as if suddein great affright Had them surprizd. At last, avising right Her goodly personage and glorious hew, Which they so much mistooke, they tooke delight In their first error, and yett still anew
With wonder of her beauty fed their hongry vew.
Yet note their hongry vew be satisfide,
But seeing still the more desir'd to see,
And ever firmely fixed did abide
In contemplation of divinitee:
But most they mervaild at her chevalree
And noble prowesse, which they had approv'd,
That much they faynd to know who she mote bee;
Yet none of all them her thereof amov'd,
Yet every one her likte, and every one her lov'd.
And Paridell, though partly discontent
With his late fall and fowle indignity,
Yet was soone wonne his malice to relent,
Through gratious regard of her faire eye,
And knightly worth which he too late did try,
Yet tried did adore. Supper was dight;
Then they Malbecco prayd of courtesy,
That of his lady they might have the sight
And company at meat, to doe them more delight.
But he, to shifte their curious request,
Gan causen why she could not come in place;
Her crased helth, her late recourse to rest,
And humid evening ill for sicke folkes cace;
But none of those excuses could take place,
Ne would they eate till she in presence came.
Shee came in presence with right comely grace,
And fairely them saluted, as became,
And shewd her selfe in all a gentle courteous Dame.
They sate to meat; and Satyrane his chaunce
Was her before, and Paridell beside;
But he him selfe sate looking still askaunce
Gainst Britomart, and ever closely eide
Sir Satyrane, that glaunces might not glide:
But his blinde eie, that sided Paridell,
All his demeasnure from his sight did hide :
On her faire face so did he feede his fill,
And sent close messages of love to her at will.
And ever and anone, when none was ware,
With speaking lookes, that close embassage bore.
He rov'd at her, and told his secret care;
For all that art he learned had of yore:
Ne was she ignoraunt of that leud lore,
But in his eye his meaning wisely redd,
And with the like him aunswerd evermore.
Shee sent at him one fyrie dart, whose hedd
Empoisned was with privy lust and gealous dredd.
He from that deadly throw made no defence,
But to the wound his weake heart opened wyde:
The wicked engine through false influence
Past through his eies, and secretly did glyde
Into his heart, which it did sorely gryde.
But nothing new to him was that same paine,
Ne paine at all; for he so ofte had tryde
The powre thereof, and lov'd so oft in vaine,
That thing of course he counted love to entertaine.
Thenceforth to her he sought to intimate
His inward griefe, by meanes to him well knowne·
Now Bacchus fruit out of the silver plate
He on the table dasht, as overthrowne,
Or of the fruitfull liquor overflowne;
And by the dauncing bubbles did divine,
Or therein write to lett his love be showne;
Which well she redd out of the learned line:
A sacrament prophane in mistery of wine.
And, when so of his hand the pledge she raught, 31
The guilty cup she fained to mistake,
And in her lap did shed her idle draught,
Shewing desire her inward flame to slake.
By such close signes they secret way did make
Unto their wils, and one eies watch escape:
Two eies him needeth, for to watch and wake,
Who lovers will deceive. Thus was the ape,
By their faire handling, put into Malbeccoes cape.