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But wond'rously begotten and begone By false illusion of a guileful sprite On a fair lady nun, that whilom hight Matilda, daughter to Pubidius, Who was the lord of Mathtraval by right, And cousin unto king Ambrosius, Whence he endued was with skill 'so marvellous.

They here arriving, stay'd awhile without,
Ne durst adventure rashly in to wend,
But of their first intent 'gan make new doubt
For dread of danger, which it might portend,
Until the hardy maid (with love to friend)
First entering, the dreadful mage there found
Deep busied 'bout work of wond'rous end,
And writing strange characters in the ground,
With which the stubborn fiends he to his service


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She on a day, as she pursu'd the chace
Of some wild beast, which, with her arrows keen,
She wounded had, the same along did trace
By tract of blood, which she had freshly seen
To have besprinkled all the grassy green;

By the great pursue which she there perceiy'd,
Well hoped she the beast engor'd had been,
And made more haste the life to have bereay'd
But ah! her expectation greatly was deceiv'd.

Shortly she came whereas that woeful squire,
With blood deformed, lay in deadly swound;
In whose fair eyes, like lamps of quenched fire,
The crystal humour stood congealed round;
His locks, like faded leaves, fallen to ground,
Knotted with blood, in bunches rudely ran,
And his sweet lips, on which, before that stound,
The bud of youth to blossom fair began,
Spoil'd of their rosy red, were waxen pale and wan.

Saw never living eye more heavy sight,
That could have made a rock of stone to rue
Or rive in twain ; which when that lady bright
Besides all hope, with melting eyes did view,
All suddenly abash’d, she changed hue,
And with stern horror backward gan to start ;
But when she better him beheld, she grew
Full of soft passion and unwonted smart;
The point of pity pierced through her tender heart.

Meekly she bowed down, to weet if life.
Yet in his frozen members did retain,
And feeling by his pulse's beating rife
That the weak soul her seat did yet remain,
She cast to comfort him with busy pain :

His double-folded neck she rear'd upright,

And rubb'd his temples and each trembling vein ; • His mailed haberjon she did undight,

And from his head his heavy burganet did light.

Into the woods thenceforth in haste she went,
To seek for herbs that mote him remedy,
For she of herbs had great intendiment,
Taught of the nymph which from her infancy
Her nursed had in true nobility ;
There, whether it divine tobacco were,
Or panacæa, or polygony,
She found, and brought it to her patient dear,
Who all this while lay bleeding out his heart-blood


The sovereign weed, betwixt two marbles plain,
She pounded small, and did in pieces bruise,
And then atween her lily handes twain
Into his wound the juice thereof did scruze,
And round about (as she could well it use)
The flesh therewith she suppled and did steep,
T'abate all spasm, and soak the swelling bruise ;
And after having search'd the intuse deep,
She with her scarf did bind the wound, from cold to


By this he had sweet life recur'd again,
And groaning inly deep, at last his eyes,
His watery eyes, drizzling like dewy rain,
He up 'gan lift toward the azure skies,

From whence descend all hopeless remedies :
Therewith he sigh'd; and turning him aside,
The goodly maid, full of divinities,
And gifts of heavenly grace, he by him spied,
Her bow and gilden quiver lying him beside.

“Mercy, dear Lord !” said he, “what grace is this
That thou hast shewed to me, sinful wight,
To send thine angel from her bower of bliss
To comfort me in my distressed plight?
Angel, or goddess, do I call thee right?
What service


I do unto thee meet, That hast from darkness me return'd to light, And with thy heavenly salves and med'cines sweet Hast drest my sinful wounds ? I kiss thy blessed


Thereat she blushing said, “ Ah! gentle Squire,
Nor goddess I, nor angel, but the maid
And daughter of a woody nymph, desire
No service but thy safety and aid,
Which if thou gain, I shall be well apaid.
We mortal wights, whose lives and fortunes be
To common accidents still open laid,
Are bound with common bond of frailty,
To succour wretched wights whom we captived see.”

By this her damsels, which the former chace
Had undertaken after her, arriv'd,
As did Belphebe, in the bloody place,
And thereby deem'd the beast had been depriv'd

Of life whom late their lady's arrow riv'd;
Forthy the bloody tract they followed fast,
And every one to run the swiftest striv'd;
But two of them the rest far overpast,
And where their lady was arrived at the last.

Where, when they saw that goodly boy with blood
Defouled, and their lady dress his wound,
They wondered much, and shortly understood
How him in deadly case their lady found,
And rescued out of the heavy stound:
Eftsoons his warlike courser, which was stray'd
Far in the woods, whiles that he lay in swownd,
She made those damsels search ; which being stay'd,
They did him set thereon, and forthwith them con-


Into that forest far they thence hinn led,
Where was their dwelling, in a pleasant glade,
With mountains round about environed,
And mighty woods which did the valley shade
And like a stately theatre it made.
Spreading itself into a spacious plain;
And in the midst a little river play'd
Amongst the pumice stones, which seem'd to plain
With gentle murmur, that his course they did re-


Beside the same a dainty place there lay,
Planted with myrtle trees and laurels green,

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