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Those daintie parts, the dearlings of delight,
To dare not to pollute so sacred threasure
Vow'd to the gods: Religion held even theeves in measure.
So, being stayd, they her from thence directed
In which an altar shortly they erected
To slay her on.
And now the Eventyde
His brode black wings had through the heavens wyde
By this dispred, that was the tyme ordayned
For such a dismall deed, their guilt to hyde:
Of few greene turfes an altar soone they fayned,3
And deckt it all with flowres which they nigh hand obtayned.
Tho, whenas all things readie were aright,
The Damzell was before the altar set,
Being alreadie dead with fearefull fright:
To whom the Priest with naked armes full net 5
Which doen, he gan aloft t' advance his arme,
Then gan the bagpypes and the hornes to shrill1
And made the wood to tremble at the noyce:
Sir Calepine, by chaunce more then by choyce,
Long had he sought her, and through many a soyle
Ne ought was tyred with his endlesse toyle,
And catching up his arms streight to the noise forth past.
There by th' uncertaine glims of starry night,
1 Shrill, sound shrilly.
2 Then, than.
3 Feared, alarmed.
4 Weetlesse, ignorant.
6 Quire, company.
Eftsoones he saw one with a naked knife
Readie to launch her brest, and let out loved life.
With that he thrusts into the thickest throng;
Then to the rest his wrathfull hand he bends;
From them returning to that Ladie backe, Whom by the altar he doth sitting find Yet fearing death, and next to death the lacke Of clothes to cover what she ought by kind 5; He first her hands beginneth to unbind, And then to question of her present woe; And afterwards to cheare with speaches kind: But she, for nought that he could say or doe, One word durst speake, or answere him a whit thereto.
So inward shame of her uncomely case
Would not bewray the state in which she stood:
2 Preventing, anticipating. 3 Hew, hewing.
4 Eschew, escape.
5 Kind, nature, instinct.
LI. 2.- Care of womanhood.] Regard for womanly feeling.
So all that night to him unknown she past: But day, that doth discover bad and good, Ensewing, made her knowen to him at last: The end whereof Ile keepe untill another cast.1
1 Cast, time.
LI. 9.- Untill another cast.] This pledge is not redeemed. We hear no more of Calepine and Serena.
Calidore hostes' with Melibee,
For ill, rewards him well.
Now turne againe my teme, thou iolly swayne,
Unplough'd, the which my coulter had not cleft;
Great travell hath the gentle Calidore
And toyle endured, sith 3 I left him last
Sewing the Blatant Beast; which I forbore
To finish then, for other present hast.5
Full many pathes and perils he hath past,
Through hils, through dales, through forests, and through In that same quest which fortune on him cast,
1 Hostes, takes up his abode.
2 Eft, moreover.
3 Sith, since.
4 Sewing, pursuing.
5 Hast, haste.
Quest, expedition, pursuit.
II. 2.Sith I left him last.] See canto III. stanza XXVI.