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In vain he fears that which he cannot shone :
For who wotes not, that womans fubtilties
Can guilen Argus, when the list misdone?
It is not iron bands, nor hundred eyes,
Nor brazen walls, nor many wakeful spyes,
That can withhold her wilful wandring feet;
But fast good will with gentle courtesies,
And timely service to her pleasures meet,
May her perhaps contain, that else would algates flect.
Then is he not more mad, said Paridell,
That hath himself unto fuch service sold,
In doleful thraldom all his days to dwell?
For sure a fool I do him firmly hold,
That loves his fetters, though they were of gold.
But why do we devise of others ill,
Whiles thus we suffer this fame dotard old
To keep us out, in scorn of his own will,
And rather do not ransack all, and himself kill ?
Nay let us first, said Satyrane, intreat
The man by gentle means, to let us in,
And afterwards affray with cruel threat,
Ere that we to efforce it do begin :
Then if all fail, we will by force it win,
And eke reward the wretch for his mesprise,
As may be worthy of his heinous sin.
That counsel pleas'd: Then Paridell did rise,
And to the castle gate approcht in quiet wise.
Whereat soft knocking, entrance he desir'd.
The good-man self (which then the Porter playd)
Him answered, that all were now retir'd
Unto their reft ; and all the keys conveyd
Unto their maister, who in bed was layd,
That none him durft awake out of his dream ;
And therefore them of patience gently prayd.
Then Paridell began to change his theme,
And threatncd him with force, and punishınent extreme,
But all in vain; for nought mote him relent.
And now so long before the wicket fast
They waited, that the night was forward spent ;
And the fair welkin, foully over-caft,
Gan blowen up a bitter stormy blast,
With showre and hail so horrible and dred,
That this fair many were compeld at last
To fly for succour to a little shed,
The which beside the gate for swine was ordered,
It fortuned, soon after they were gone,
Another Knight, whom tempelt thither brought,
Came to that castle ; and with earneft mone,
Like as the rest, late entrance dear befought:
But like so as the rest, he prayd for nought;
For fatly he of entrance was refus d.
Sorely thereat he was displeas'd, and thought
How to avenge himself so sore abus'd,
And evermore the Carle of courtesie accus'd.
But to avoid th'intolerable ftowre,
He was compeld to seek some refuge near,
And to that shed (to shrowd him from the showre)
He came, which full of guests he found whylear,
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 disodge, all were they liefe or loth;
And them defied each, and so defide them both.
Both were full loth to leave that needful tent,
And both full loth in darkness to debate;
Yet both full liefe him lodging to have lent,
And both full liefe his boalting to abate ;
But chiefly Paridell his heart did grate,
To hear him threaten so despightfully,
As if he did a Dog to kennel rate,
That durft not bark; and rarher had he dye,
Than when he was defide, in coward corner lye,
Tho hastily remounting to his steed,
He forth issu'd ; like as a boitrous wind,
Which in th’earths hollow caves hath long been hid,
And shut up fast within her prisons blind,
Makes the huge element against her kind
To move, and tremble as it were aghalt,
Untill that it an issue forth may find ;
Then forth it breaks, and with his furious blast Confounds both land and seas, and skies doth over-cast.
Their steel-head spears they strongly coucht, and met
Together with impetuous rage and force;
That with the terrour of their fierce affret,
They rudely drove to ground both man and horse,
That each (awhile) lay like a senfeless corse :
But Paridell, fore bruised with the blow,
Could not arise, the counterchange to scorce,
Till that young Squire him reared from below; Then drew he his bright sword, and’gan abouchim throw,
But Satyrane, forth stepping, did them stay,
And with fair treaty pacifide their ire;
Then, when they were accorded from the fray,
Against that castles Lord they 'gan conspire,
To heap on him due vengeance for his hire,
They been agreed, and to the gates they go .
To burn the same with unquenchable fire,
And that uncourteous Carle (their common foe)
To do foul death to dye, or wrap in grievous woe.
XVIII. Malbecco seeing them resolvd indeed
To flame che gates, and hearing them to call For fire in earnest, ran with fearful speed; And to them calling from the castle wall, Belought them humbly, him to bear withall, As ignorant of servants bad abuse, And nack attendance unto strangers call. The Knights were willing all things to excuse, Though nought believ'd, and entrance late did not refuse.
They been ybrought into a comely bowre,
And serv'd of all things that mote needful be;
Yer secretly their host did on them lowre,
And welcom'd more for fear than charity;
But they dissembled what they did not see,
And welcomed themselves. Each 'gan undighe
Their garments wet, and weary armour free,
To dry themselves by Vulcans flaming light,
And eke their lately bruized parts to bring in plight.
And eke that stranger Knight, emongst the rest,
Was for like need enforst to disarray:
Tho whenas vailed was her lofty crest,
Her golden locks, that were in tramels gay
Up-bounden, did themselves adown display,
And raught unto her heels; like funny beams
That in a cloud their light did long time stay,
Their vapour vaded, Thew their golden gleams,
And through the persent air shoot forth theirazure streams.
She also doft her heavy haberjeon,
Which the fair feature of her limbs did hide ;
And her well plighted frock, which she did won
To tuck about her short when she did ride,
She low let fall, that flow'd from her lank fide
Down to her foot, with careless modesty.
Then of them all the plainly was espide
To be a woman-wight (unwist to be)
The fairest woman-wight that ever eye did see.
Like as Minerva, being late return'd
From Naughter of the giants conquered ;
Where proud Encelade, whose wide nofethrills burn'd
With breathed Aames, like to a furnace red,
Transfixed with her spear, down tumbled dead
From top of Hemus, by him heaped high;
Hath loosid her helmet from her lofty head,
And her Gorgonian shield 'gins to unty,
From her left arm, to rest in glorious victory.
Which whenas they beheld, they smitten were
With great amazement of so wondrous fight;
And each on other, and they all on her
Stood gazing, as if suddain great affright
Had them furpriz'd. At last, avising right,
Her goodly personage and glorious how,
Which they lo much mistook, they took delight
In their first errour, and yet still anew
With wonder of her beauty fed their hungry view.
Yet n'ote their hungry view be satisfide ;
But seeing, still the more desir'd to see,
And ever firmly fixed did abide
In contemplation of divinity :
But most they marvaild at her chevalry
And noble prowess, which they had approv'd,
That much they fain'd to know who the mote be ;
Yet none of all them her thereof amov'd,
Yet every one her likt, and every one her lov’d.
And Paridell, though partly discontent,
With his late fall, and foul indignity,
Yet was soon won his malice to relent,
Through gracious regard of her fair eye,
And knightly worth, which he too late did try,
Yet tryed did adore. Supper was dight;
Then they Malbecco pray'd of courtesy,
That of his Lady they might have the fight, And company at meat, to do them more delight.
But he, to shift their curious request,
'Gan causen why she could not come in place;
Her crazed health, her late recourse to rest,
And humid evening, ill for sick folks cafe :
But none of those excuses could cake place ;
Ne would they eat till the in presence came.
She came in presence with right comely grace,
And fairly them saluted, as became,
And Thew'd her self in all a gentle courteous Dame,