Prince Arthur heares of Florimell:
three fosters Timias wound,
Belphebe findes him almost dead,
and reareth out of sownd.
it is to see, in diuersediverse mindes,
louelove doth ,
And shewes his powre in variable
The baser wit, whose ydle thoughts alway
Are wont to cleauecleave
vntounto the lowly ,
It stirreth vpup to sensuall desire,
And in slouth to wast
his carelesse day:
But in brauebrave sprite it kindles goodly fire,
That to all high desert and honour doth
In his free thought to build her sluggish nest:
Ne suffereth it thought of vngentlenesseungentlenesse,
EuerEver to creepe into his noble brest,
But to the highest and the worthiest
Lifteth it vpup, that els would lowly fall:
To finde some issue thence, till that at last
He met a Dwarfe, that seemed terrifyde
With some late perill, which he hardly past,
Or other accident, which
Of whom he asked, whence he lately came,
And whether now he traueiledtraveiled so fast:
For , and ronning through that same
Thicke forest, was bescracht, &and both his feet nigh lame.
Panting for breath, and almost ,
The Dwarfe him answerd, Sir, ill
mote I stay
To tell the same. I lately did depart
From Faery court, where I hauehave many a day
SeruedServed a gentle Lady of great sway,
And high accompt through
out all Elfin land,
Who lately left the same, and tooke this way:
Her now I seeke, and if ye vnderstandunderstand
Which way she fared hath, good Sir tell .
What mister wight, (ſaide he)wight, (saide he)wight (ſaide he)wight (saide he)wight
Royally clad (quoth he) in cloth of gold,
As meetest may beseeme a noble mayd;
Now certes swaine (saide he) such one I
Fast flying through this forest from her fo,
A foule ill fauouredfavoured foster, I hauehave seene;
Her selfe, well as I might, I reskewd tho,
But could not stay; so fast she did ,
Carried away with wings of speedy feare.
Ah dearest God (quoth he) that is great woe,
And wondrous ruth to all, that shall it heare.
But can ye read Sir, how I may her finde, or
(Saide he) 7.2. then: thanthenthan ransome of the richest knight,
Or all the good that euerever yet I gat:
Such happinesse did, maulgre, to me spight,
And fro me reft both life and light attone.
But Dwarfe aread, what is that Lady bright,
That through this forrest wandreth thus alone;
For of her I hauehave great ruth and mone.
That Ladie is (quoth he) where so she bee,
The bountiest virgin, and
LiuesLives none this day, that may with her compare
In stedfast chastitie and vertue rare,
The goodly ornaments of beautie bright;
But he sets nought at all by Florimell:
And vowed neuernever to returne againe,
Till him aliuealive or dead she did .
Therefore, faire Sir, for louelove of knighthood gent,
And honour of trew Ladies, if ye may
By your ,
Or succour her, or me direct the way,
Do one, or other good, I you most humbly
So may yeyou gaine to you full great renowme,
Of all good Ladies through the world so wide,
shall you abide.
To whom the Prince; Dwarfe, comfort to thee take,
For till thou tidings learne, what her betide,
I here auowavow thee neuernever to forsake.
Ill weares he armes, that nill them vseuse for Ladies sake.
HauingHaving him trew and faithfullfaithfall
And bold, as euerever Squyre that waited by knights side.
Who all this while full hardly was assayd
Of deadly daunger, which
to him betidd;
For whiles his Lord pursewd that noble Mayd,
Nathlesse the villein sped himselfe so
Whether through swiftnesse of his speedie beast;beast,
Or knowledge of those woods, where he did dwell,
That shortly he from daunger was releast,
Of his bad deedes, which daily he increast,
Ne ceased not, till him oppressed hard
The heauieheavie plague, that for such leachours is prepard.
For soone as he was vanisht out of sight,
His coward courage gan emboldned bee,
And cast t’auengeavenge him of that fowle despight,
Which he had borne of his bold enimee.
And vntounto them complayned, how that he
Had vsedused beene of that foolehardie Squyre;
So them with bitter words he stird to bloodie
themseluesthemselves with their sad instruments
Of spoyle and murder they gan arme byliuebylive,
And with him foorth into the forrest went,
To wreake the wrath, which he did earst reuiuerevive
In their sterne brests, on him which late did driuedrive
Their brother to reproch and shamefull flight:
For they had vow’d, that neuernever he aliuealive
Out of that forest should escape their might;
Vile rancour their rude harts had fild with
that wood there was a couertcovert glade,
it was ouerflowneoverflowne:
There in await, with thicke woods ouerover growne,
And all the while their malice they did whet
With cruell threats, his passage through the
ford to let.
fortuned, as they deuizeddevized had,
The gentle Squyre came ryding that same way,
VnweetingUnweeting of their wile and treason bad,
And through the ford to passen did assay;
But that fierce foster, which late fled away,
Stoutly foorth stepping on the further shore,
Him boldly bad his passage there to stay,
Till he had made amends, and full restore
For all the damage, which he had him doen
With that at him a quiu’ringquiv’ring dart he threw,
That through his the forkehead flew,
And through the linked mayles empierced quite,
But had nonow powre in his soft flesh to bite:
That stroke the hardy Squire did sore displease,
For by no meanes the high banke he could ,
But labour’d long in that deepe ford with
And still the foster with his long
Him kept from landing at his wished will,will;
Anone one sent out of the thicket neare
A cruell shaft, headed with deadly ill,
And fethered with an vnluckyunlucky quill;
The wicked steele stayd not, till it did light
Exceeding griefe that wound in him empight,
He on the bancke arryudarryvd with mickle payne,
Where the third brother him did sore assay,
And drove at him with all his might and mayne
A , which both
his hands did strayne,
But warily he did auoideavoide the blow,
And with his speare requited him agayne,
That both his sides were thrilled with the throw,
And a large streame of bloudﬂood out of the wound did flow.
Into the balefull house of endlesse night,
Where wicked ghosts doe waile their former sin.
Tho gan the battaile freshly to begin;
For nathemore for that bad,
Did th’other two their cruell vengeaunce blin,
But both attonce on both sides him bestad,
And load vponupon him layd, his life for to hauehave had.
Tho when that villayn he auiz’daviz’d, which late
Affrighted had the fairest Florimell,
Full of fiers fury, and indignant hate,
To him he turned, and with rigor fell
Smote him so rudely on the Pannikell,
That to the chin he clefte his head in twaine:
Downe on the ground his carkas grouelinggroveling fell;
His sinfull sowle with desperate disdaine,
Out of her fleshly fled to the place of painepa inepaine.
Who with that wicked shafte him wounded had,
Trembling with horror, as
that did foresee
The fearefull end of his auengementavengement sad,
Through which he follow should his brethren bad,
His bootelesse bow in feeble hand vpcaughtupcaught,
And therewith shott an arrow at the lad;
Which fayntly fluttring, scarce his helmet raught,
And glauncing fel to ground, but him annoyed
With that he would hauehave fled into the wood;
But Timias him
Right as he entring was into the flood,
And strooke at him with force so violent,
That headlesse him into the foord he sent:
The carcas with the streame was carried downe,
But th’head fell backeward on the Continent.
They three be dead with shame, the Squire liueslives with renowne.
He liueslives, but takes small ioyjoy of his renowne;
For of that cruell wound he bled so sore,
That from his steed he fell in deadly swowne;
Yet still the blood forth gusht in so great store,
Now God thee keepe, thou gentlest squire aliuealive,
Els shall thy louingloving Lord thee see no more,
But both of comfort him thou shalt depriuedeprive,
And eke thy selfe of honor, which thou didst atchiueatchive.
And doth for wretched mens reliefe make way;
Comfort to him, that comfortlesse now lay.
on a day, as shee pursewd the chace
Of some wilde beast, which with her arrowes keene
She wounded had, the same along did trace
By tract of blood, which she had freshly seene,
To hauehave besprinckled all the grassy greene,
which she there perceau’dperceav’d,
Well hoped shee therhethe beast engor’d had beene,
And made more haste, the life to hauehave bereav’d:
But ah, herhether expectation greatly was deceau’ddeceav’d.
Shortly she came, whereas that woefull
With blood deformeddeforweddeformed, lay in deadly swownd:
In whose faire eyes, like lamps of quenched fire,
The Christall humor stood
His locks, like faded leauesleaves fallen to grownd,
Knotted with blood, in bounches rudely ran,
And his sweete lips, on which before that stownd
The bud of youth to blossome faire began,
Spoild of their rosy red, were woxen pale and
liuingliving eie more heauyheavy sight,
That could hauehave made a rocke of stone to rew,
Or riuerive in twaine: which when that Lady bright
with melting eies
AllAndAll suddeinly abasht shee chaunged hew,
AndAllAnd with sterne horror backward gan to start:
But when shee betterbitter him beheld shee grew
Meekely shee bowed downe, to weete if
Yett in his frosen members did remaine,
And feeling by his pulses beating rife,
That the weake sowle her seat did yett retaine,
She cast to comfort him
with busy paine:
His double folded necke she reard vprightupright,
And rubd his temples, and each trembling vaine;
His mayled she did vndightundight,
And from his head his heauyheavy
burganet did light.
Into the woods thenceforth in haste shee went,
To seeke for hearbes, that mote him remedy;
For shee of herbes had great intendiment,
Taught of the Nymphe, which from her infancy
Her nourced had in trew Nobility:
Shee fownd, and brought it to her patient deare
Who al this while lay bledingbleeding out his hart-blood neare.
The souerainesoveraine weede betwixt two marbles
Shee pownded small, and did in peecespeeees
And then atweene her lilly handes twaine,
Into his wound the iuicejuice thereof did ,
And round about, as she could well it vzeuze,
The flesh therewith shee suppled and did steepe,
T’abate all spasme, and soke the swelling bruze,
And after hauinghaving searcht the intuse deepe,
She with her scarf did bind the woũdwound
frõfrom cold to keepe.
By this he had sweet life recur’d agayne,
Her bow and gilden
quiuerquiver lying him beside.
Mercy deare Lord (said he) what grace is
That thou hast shewed to me sinfull wight,
To send thine Angell from her bowre of blis,
To comfort me in my distressed plight?
What seruiceservice may I doe vntounto thee meete,
And with thy heuenlyhevenly
saluessalves and med’cines sweete,
Hast drest my ? I kisse thy blessed
Thereat she blushing said, Ah gentle
Nor Goddesse I, nor Angell, but the Mayd,
And daughter of a , desire
No seruiceservice, but thy safety and ayd,
Which if thou gaine, I shalbe well apayd.
Wee mortall wights, whose liueslives and fortunes bee
To commun accidents stil open layd,
Are bownd with commun bond of fraïltee,
To succor wretched wights, whom we captiuedcaptived see.
By this her Damzells, which the
As did Belphœbe, in the bloody place,
And thereby deemd the beast had bene depriu’ddepriv’d
Of life, whom late their ladies arrow ryu’dryv’d:
For thy the bloody tract they followdfollow fast,
And eueryevery one to ronne the swiftest stryu’dstryv’d;
But two of them the rest far ouerpastoverpast,
And where their Lady was, arriuedarrived at the last.
Where when they saw that goodly , withwlth blood
Defowled, and their Lady dresse his wownd,
They wondred much, and shortly vnderstoodunderstood,
How him in deadly case theyr Lady fownd,
And reskewed out of the heauyheavy stownd.
Eftsoones his warlike courser, which was strayd
Farre in the woodes, whiles that he lay in swownd,
She made those Damzels search, which being stayd,
They did him set theron, and forth with them conuaydconvayd.
that forest farre they thence him led,
Where was their dwelling, in a pleasant glade,
With mountaines rownd about enuironedenvironed,
And mightie woodes, which did the valley shade,
And like a stately Theatre it made,
Spreading it selfe into a spatious plaine.
And in the midst a little riuerriver plaide
Beside the same a dainty place there lay,
As it an earthly Paradize had beene:
In whose enclosed shadow there was pight
A faire PauilionPavilion, scarcely to be seene,
The which was al within most richly dight,
That greatest Princes likingliuingliving it mote well delight.
Thether they brought that wounded Squyre, and
In easie couch his feeble limbes to reſ⁀t,rest,reſ⁀trest
He rested him a while, and then the Mayd
His readie wound with
better saluessalves new dreſ⁀t,drest,dreſ⁀tdrest
Daily she dressed him, and did the best
His grieuousgrievous hurt to guarish, that she
That shortly she his dolour hath ,
And his foule sore reduced to faire plight:
It she reduced, but himselfe destroyed
foolish physick, and vnfruitfullunfruitfull paine,
That heales vpup one and makes another wound:
She his hurt thigh to him recurd againe,
But hurt his hart, the which before was sound,
Through an vnwaryunwary dart, which did rebownd
From her faire eyes and gratious countenaunce.
What bootes it him from death to be vnbowndunbownd,
To be captiuedcaptived in endlesse duraunce
Of sorrow and despeyre without ?
So still his hart woxe sore, and health decayd:
Madnesse to sauesave a part, and lose the whole.
Still whenas he beheld the heauenlyheavenly Mayd,
Whiles dayly playsters to
his wownd she layd,
So still his Malady the more increast,
The whiles her matchlesse beautie him dismayd.
Ah God, what other could he doe at least,
But louelove so fayre a Lady, that his life releast?
Long while he strouestrove in his corageous brest,
And louelove for to dislodge out of his nest:
Still when her excellencies he did vew,
Her , and celestiall hew,
The same to louelove he strongly was :
But when his meane estate he did
He from such hardy boldnesse was restraynd,
And of his lucklesse lott and cruell louelove thus playnd.
wretch (said he) is this the meed,
With which her thou doest quight?
Thy life she sauedsaved by her gratious deed,
But thou doest weene with villeinous despight,
To blott her honour, and her heauenlyheavenly light.
Dye rather, dye, 45.6. then: thanthenthan so disloyally
Deeme of her high desert, or seeme so light:
Fayre death it is to shonne more shame, to dy:
Dye rather, dy, 45.9. then: thanthenthan
But if to louelove disloyalty it bee,
Shall I then hate her, that from deathes dore
Sith I her dew reward cannot restore:
But foolish boy, what bootes thy seruiceservice bace
To her, to whom the heuenshevens doe serueserve and sew?
Thou a meane Squyre, of meeke and lowly place,
She heuenlyhevenly borne, and of celestiall hew.
How then? of all louelove taketh equall vew:
And doth not highest God vouchsafe to take
The louelove and seruiceservice of the basest crew?
If she will not, dye meekly for her sake;
Dye rather, dye, 47.9. then: thanthenthan
euerever so faire louelove forsake.
Thus he long time ,
Till that through weaknesse he was forst at last,
To yield himselfe vntounto the mightie ill:
Which as a victour proud, gan ransack fast
His inward partes, and all his entrayles wast,
That neither blood in face, nor life in hart
It left, but both did quite drye vpup, and blast;
As percing leuinlevin, which the inner part
Of eueryevery thing consumes, and .
Which seeing fayre Belphoebe, gan to feare,
Least that his wound were inly well not heald,
Or that the wicked steele empoysned were:
Litle shee weend, that louelove he close conceald;
Yet neuernever he his hart to her reuealdreveald,
But rather chose to dye for sorow great,
49.9. Then: ThanThenThan with dishonorable termes her to entreat.
She gracious Lady, yet no paines did
To doe him ease, or doe him remedyhi remedyhim remedyhim remedie:
Many RestoratiuesRestoratives of vertues rare,
which can restore
A louelove-sick hart, she did to him enuyenvy;
To him, and to all th’vnworthyunworthy world forlore
She did enuyenvy
, in secret store.
daintie Rose, the daughter of her Morne,
More deare 51.2. then: thanthenthan life she tendered, whose flowre
The girlond of her honour did adorne:
Ne suffred she the Middayes scorching powre,
Ne the sharp Northerne wind thereon to showre,
But lapped vpup her silken leauesleaves most chayre,
When so the froward skye began to lowre;
But soone as calmed was the christall ayre,
She did it fayre dispred, and let to florish
God in his almightie powre,
To make ensample of his heauenlyheavenly grace,
In Paradize whylome did plant this flowre;
Whence he it fetcht out of her natiuenative place,
And did in stocke of earthly flesh enrace,
That mortall men her glory should admire:admyreadmire
In gentle Ladies breste, and bounteous race
Of woman kind it fayrest flowre doth spyre,
And beareth fruit of honour and all chast
Adorne the world with like to heauenlyheavenly light,
And to your willes both royalties and ReamesRealmes
Subdew, through cõquestconquest of your wondrous might,
With this fayre flowre your goodly girlonds dight,
Of chastity and vertue virginall,
That shall embellish more your beautie bright,
And crowne your heades with heauenlyheavenly coronall,
Such as the Angels wereweare before Gods tribunall.
Of this faire virgin, this Belphebe fayre,
To whom in perfect louelove, and spotlesse fame
Of chastitie, none liuingliving may compayre:
iustlyjustly can empayre
The prayse of her fresh flowring Maydenhead;
For thy she standeth on the highest stayre
Of th’honorable stage of womanhead,
That Ladies all may follow .
In so great of stedfast chastity,
Nathlesse she was so courteous and kynde,
Tempred with grace, and goodly modesty,
strouestrove to fynd
The higher place in her Heroick mynd: