Faerie Queene. Book IV. Canto VI.

The Faerie Queene. Disposed into Twelve Bookes, fashioning XII. morall Vertues. The Second Part of the Faerie Queene. Containing the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Bookes.

Edmund Spenser

George L. Craik: "Canto VI. (47 stanzas). — Riding on with Glauce in great dejection of mind, Sir Scudamore suddenly perceives close by a forest an armed knight 'sitting in shade beside his grazing steed,' who at their approach eagerly advances towards them with a threatening demeanour, to which Scudamore is not slow to respond; but, as soon as the stranger observes the arms of his opponent, he lowers his spear, much to the surprise of the other addresses him by name, and entreats his pardon, which Scudamore readily accords, at the same time requesting to know the name of a stranger who has shown himself so well acquainted with his. This information his new acquaintance begs to be excused from giving him for the present, but desires that he may be called, as he is by others, the Salvage Knight. It is, in fact, Sir Arthegal, or Artegal, as, for some unapparent reason, the name is henceforward spelled.

"Sir Scudamore then asks him if he dwells in the forest; to which the other replies that he is waiting to take vengeance, whenever he shall pass that way, on a stranger knight from whom he has suffered shame and dishonour: — 'Shame be his meed, quoth he, that meaneth shame! | But what is he by whom ye shamed were? | A stranger knight, said he, unknown by name, | But known by fame, and by an ebon spear | With which he all that met him down did bear'.... When Scudamore hears of the ebon spear, he knows right well who it is, and his anger and jealousy are immediately roused by the recollection of the supposed wrongs that he has received at the hands of Britomart, whose apparently treacherous conduct he recounts to the Salvage Knight, and offers to join him in chastising their common enemy when an opportunity shall offer. 'So both to wreak their wraths on Britomart agree.'

"While they are thus talking, the subject of their discourse appears, 'soft riding towards them,' 'Attired in foreign arms and strange array.' Scudamore entreats that he may be the first to take his revenge, as his injury is of earlier date than that of his companion. His request is granted, and he proceeds with great fierceness to attack 'the noble maid,' who on her part readily addresses herself to welcome him; 'But entertained him in so rude a wise, | That to the ground she smote both horse and man; | Whence neither greatly hasted to arise, | But on their common harms together did devise.'

"At this mischance of Scudamore, Artegal, with his former rage still farther inflamed, 'eft aventuring,' that is, quickly advancing, his steel-headed lance, rides against the victor, but, to his no small amazement, is also himself unhorsed in an instant. Lightly starting up, however, he attacks his adversary with his sword so furiously that, mounted as she is, she is compelled to give ground; and presently, as she is wheeling round to avoid his blows, one of them, after glancing down her back, falls on her horse, and quite chining, or dividing, the unfortunate beast behind the saddle, compels her to alight.... The vehemence of her first attack is irresistible, and Artegal is forced to fall back, while his blood flows forth through his rent and riven armour; but, as soon as he perceives her heat to be a little abated, he rises in his strength and assails her afresh; 'Heaping huge strokes as thick as shower of hail, | And lashing dreadfully at every part, | As if he thought her soul to disentrail. | Ah! cruel hand, and thrice more cruel heart, | That work'st such wreck on her to whom thou dearest art!'

"As they continue the fight, Artegal recovers the strength he has lost from his wounds, while that of Britomart rather decreases.... 'The wicked stroke upon her helmet chanced, | And with the force which in itself it bore | Her ventail shared away, and thenceforth glanced | Adown in vain, ne harmed her any more. | With that her angel's face, unseen before, Like to the ruddy morn appeared in sight'.... The hand of Artegal is again upraised, but down falls the sword to ground 'out of his fingers slack,' — 'as if the steel had sense, | And felt some ruth, or sense his hand did lack,' — at the view of that overpowering beauty; 'And he himself, long gazing thereupon, | At last fell humbly down upon his knee, | And of his wonder made religion, | Weening some heavenly, goddess he did see, | Or else unweeting what it else might be.' All subdued he beseeches her pardon for the outrage he had done her but the bold Britoness, not in the least softened by his adoration, the remembrance of that last stroke rankling in her mind, still stands over him, and, sternly looking down on him, bids him rise and resume the fight or receive instant death at her hand. She speaks in vain; he continues on his knee, and entreats her to pardon him or punish him as she pleases.

"By this time Scudamore has recovered his senses; and he too, looking on 'that peerless pattern of Dame Nature's pride,' is at first struck with terror, and then, his fear converted to faint devotion, thinks it is a divinity that he sees. Glauce now, seeing how matters stand, entreats her mistress to grant the two warriors 'truce awhile;' Britomart consents; and then the knights raise their beavers, and she for the first time sees their countenances. As soon as she beholds 'the lovely face of Artegal, tempered with sterness and stout majesty,' she is startled and appalled by perceiving it to be the same that she had seen long since in the enchanted glass. Her uplifted hand drops down, and, ever as she attempts to raise it anew, all strength to hold the sword leaves it as soon as her eye again meets that manly visage nor will even her tongue obey her as she strives still to appear enraged, but brings forth speeches mild instead of angry words.

"Meanwhile Scudamore, inwardly rejoicing at having found how false and groundless was all his jealous fear, addresses the submissive knight: — 'Certes, Sir Artegal, | I joy to see you lout so low on ground, | And now become to live a lady's thrall, | That whilome in your mind wont to despise them all.' Poor Britomart does not hear that name, giving her full assurance that she has found him she has so long sought, without various violent and conflicting emotions, though she still continues to feign her former angry mood, — 'Thinking to hide the depth by troubling of the flood.'

"Glauce now addresses the three. First, she reminds both Artegal and Scudamore, that they may now lay aside all the fears that had troubled them so much, lest Britomart should 'woo away' their loves. Then she exhorts Artegal not henceforth to make it matter of regret or self-reproach that he has a second time been conquered by a woman's hand: — 'for,' says she, — 'whilome they have conquered sea and land, | And heaven itself, that nought may them withstand:' 'Ne,' she adds, — 'henceforth be rebellious unto love, | That is the crown of knighthood, and the band | Of noble minds derived from above, | Which, being knit with virtue, never will remove.' Britomart she recommends to repress somewhat of her wrathful spirit, the fire of which, she tells her, 'were better turned to other flame,' and to lend a favourable ear to her lover, only, however, on condition that he fulfil the penance she shall lay upon him — 'For lovers' heaven must pass by sorrow's hell.' 'Thereat,' we are told, — 'full inly blushed Britomart; | But Artegal, close-smiling, joyed in secret heart.'

"During all this while Scudamore is longing to hear news of his Amoret; and he now begs Britomart (whom, however, somewhat oddly, he still addresses by the title Sir) to give him the desired information. It would appear that, after releasing her from the hands of the enchanter, Britomart had taken every care of her, preserving her 'from peril and from fear' with all possible tenderness and affection; till one day as they were travelling through a desert, being both weary, they alighted and sate down to rest, when Britomart, having fallen asleep, found on awaking her companion gone; nor were all her subsequent efforts to obtain tidings of her of any avail. Scudamore is overwhelmed with grief and deadly fear at this account; but after a while is somewhat re-assured by Britomart kindly vowing 'by heaven's light' never to leave him till they shall have found his lady love, and avenged themselves on her reaver. Every thing being thus arranged, they take their steeds, and set forward to a resting place to which Artegal undertakes to conduct them; 'Where goodly solace was unto them made, | And daily feasting both in bower and hall, | Until that they their wounds well healed had, | And weary limbs recured after late usage bad.'

"In all this time Sir Artegal, too, we are told, was making way 'unto the love of noble Britomart;' and that, notwithstanding the pains she took 'with womanish art' to conceal the impression he had made on her heart, 'So well he wooed her, and so well he wrought her, | With fair entreaty and sweet blandishment, | That at the length unto a bay he brought her, | So as she to his speeches was content | To lend an ear, and softly to relent'.... But at last, after they have rested here for a long while, Artegal, to the great grief of Britomart, finds it necessary to depart in order to proceed upon an adventure in which he had been engaged when they met. It is with much difficulty that he obtains her permission to go; but on his pledging his faith to her by a 'thousand vows from bottom of his heart,' and promising to return to her as soon as he shall have achieved his object, for which he only demands three months, she yields her consent. 'So, early on the morrow next, he went | Forth on his way to which he was ybent'.... However, at last, when all her speeches are spent, she leaves him to himself; and, returning to Scudamore, sets out with him in quest of Amoret — 'her second care, though in another kind.' They go back to the forest where she had disappeared, and seek her there and every where, without success" Spenser and his Poetry (1845; 1871) 2:117-24.

Both Scudamore and Arthegal
Do fight with Britomart:
He sees her Face, doth fall in Love,
And soon from her depart.

What equal Torment to the Grief of Mind,
And pining Anguish hid in gentle Heart,
That inly feeds it self with Thoughts unkind,
And nourisheth her own confusing Smart?
What Medicine can any Leech's Art
Yield such a Sore, that doth her Grievance bide,
And will to none her Malady impart?
Such was the Wound that Scudamore did gride:
For which, Dan Phoebus' self cannot a Salve provide.

Who, having left that restless House of Care,
The next day, as he on his way did ride,
Full of Melancholy, and sad Misfare,
Thro Mis-conceit; all unawares he spy'd
An armed Knight under a Forest side,
Sitting in Shade beside his grazing Steed;
Who soon as them approaching he descry'd,
'Gan towards them to prick with eager Speed,
That seem'd he was full bent to some mischievous Deed.

Which Scudamore perceiving, forth issu'd
To have r'encounter'd him in equal Race;
But soon as th' other, nigh approaching, view'd
The Arms he bore, his Spear he 'gan abase,
And void his Course: at which so sudden Case
He wonder'd much. But th' other thus 'gan say;
Ah! gentle Scudamore, unto your Grace
I me submit, and of you Pardon pray,
That almost had against you trespassed this Day.

Whereto, thus Scudamore; Small harm it were
For any Knight, upon a ventrous Knight
Without Displeasance for to prove his Spear.
But read you Sir, sith ye my Name have hight,
What is your own? that I mote you requite.
Certes, said he, ye mote as now excuse
Me from discovering you my Name aright:
For time yet serves that I the same refuse,
But call ye me the Salvage Knight, as others use.

Then this Sir Salvage Knight, quoth he, areed;
Or do you here within this Forest wonne?
(That seemeth well to answer to your weed)
Or have ye it for some Occasion done?
That rather seems, sith knowen Arms ye shun.
This other day, said he, a Stranger Knight
Shame and Dishonour hath unto me done;
On whom I wait to wreak that foul Despight,
Whenever he this way shall pass by day or night.

Shame be his Meed, quoth he, that meaneth Shame:
But what is he, by whom ye shamed were?
A Stranger Knight, said he, unknown by Name,
But known by Fame, and by an Hebene Spear
With which, he all that met him, down did bear.
He in an open Turney lately held,
From me the Honour of that Game did rear;
And having me, all weary earst, down feld,
The fairest Lady reft, and ever since with-held.

When Scudamore heard mention of that Spear,
He wist right well, that it was Britomart,
The which from him his fairest Love did bear.
Tho 'gan he swell in every inner Part,
For fell Despight, and gnaw his jealous Heart,
That thus he sharply said; Now by my Head,
Yet is not this the first unknightly Part,
Which that same Knight, whom by his Launce I read,
Hath done to noble Knights, that many makes him dread.

For lately he my Love hath from me reft,
And eke defiled with foul Villany
The sacred Pledge, which in his Faith was left.
In shame of Knighthood and Fidelity;
The which e'er long full dear he shall aby.
And if to that Avenge by you decreed
This Hand may help, or Succour ought supply,
It shall not fail, when-so ye shall it need.
So both to wreak their Wraths on Britomart agreed.

While thus they communed, lo far away
A Knight soft riding towards them they spy'd,
Attir'd in foreign Arms and strange Array:
Whom when they nigh approach'd, they plain descry'd
To be the same, for whom they did abide.
Said then Sir Scudamore, Sir Salvage Knight,
Let me this crave, sith first I was defy'd,
That first I may that Wrong to him requite;
And if I hap to fail, you shall recure my Right.

Which being yielded, he his threatful Spear
'Gan fewter, and against her fiercely ran.
Who soon as she him saw approaching near
With so fell Rage, her self she lightly 'gan
To dight, to welcome him, well as she can:
But entertain'd him in so rude a wise,
That to the ground she smote both Horse and Man;
Whence neither greatly hasted to arise,
But on their common Harms together did devise.

But Arthegal, beholding his Mischaunce,
New Matter added to his former fire;
And eft aventring his steel-headed Launce,
Against her rode, full of dispiteous Ire,
That nought but Spoil and Vengeance did require,
But to himself his felonous Intent
Returning, disappointed his Desire,
Whiles unawares his Saddle he forwent,
And found himself on ground in great Amazement.

Lightly he started up out of that Stound;
And snatching forth his direful deadly Blade,
Did leap to her, as doth an eager Hound
Thrust to an Hind within some covert Glade,
Whom without Peril he cannot invade.
With such fell Greediness he her assail'd,
That tho she mounted were, yet he her made
To give him ground (so much his Force prevail'd)
And shun his mighty Strokes, 'gainst which no Arms avail'd.

So as they coursed here and there, it chaunc'd,
That in her wheeling round, behind her Crest
So sorely he her strook, that thence it glaunc'd
Adown her Back, the which it fairly blest
From foul Mischaunce; ne did it ever rest,
Till on her Horse's hinder Parts it fell;
Where biting deep, so deadly it impress'd,
That quite it chin'd his Back behind the Sell,
And to alight on foot her algates did compel.

Like as the lightning Brond from riven Sky,
Thrown out by angry Jove in his Vengeaunce,
With dreadful Force falls on some Steeple high;
Which battring, down it on the Church doth glaunce,
And tears it with all terrible Mischaunce.
Yet she no whit dismay'd, her Steed forsook,
And casting from her that enchaunted Launce,
Unto her Sword and Shield her soon betook;
And therewithal at him right furiously she strook.

So furiously she strook in her first Heat,
Whiles with long Fight on foot he breathless was,
That she him forced backward to retreat,
And yield unto her Weapon way to pass:
Whose raging Rigour neither Steel nor Brass
Could stay, but to the tender Flesh it went,
And pour'd the purple Blood forth on the Grass;
That all his Mail yriv'd, and Plates yrent,
Shew'd all his Body bare unto the cruel Dent.

At length, when-as he saw her hasty Heat
Abate, and panting Breath begin to fail,
He thro long Sufferance growing now more great,
Rose in his Strength, and 'gan her fresh assail,
Heaping huge Strokes, as thick as Shower of Hail.
And lashing dreadfully at every Part,
As if he thought her Soul to disentrail.
Ah! cruel Hand, and thrice more cruel Heart,
That work'st such Wreck on her, to whom thou dearest art.

What iron Courage ever could endure,
To work such Outrage on so fair a Creature?
And in his Madness think with Hands impure
To spoil so goodly Workmanship of Nature,
The Maker self resembling in her Feature?
Certes, some hellish Fury, or some Fiend
This Mischief fram'd, for their first Love's Defeature,
To bathe their Hands in Blood of dearest Friend,
Thereby to make their Love's Beginning, their Live's End.

Thus long they trac'd, and travers'd to and fro,
Sometimes pursuing, and sometimes pursu'd,
Still as advantage they espy'd thereto:
But toward th' end, Sir Arthegal renew'd
His Strength still more, but she still more decrew'd.
At last, his luckless Hand he heav'd on high,
Having his Forces all in one accru'd;
And therewith strook at her so hideously,
That seemed nought but Death mote be her Destiny.

The wicked Stroke upon her Helmet chaunc'd,
And with the Force, which in it self it bore,
Her Ventail shar'd away, and thence forth glaunc'd
Adown in vain, ne harm'd her any more.
With that, her Angel's Face (unseen afore)
Like to the ruddy Morn appear'd in sight,
Dewed with silver Drops, thro sweating sore;
But somewhat redder than beseem'd aright,
Thro toilsome Heat, and Labour of her weary Fight.

And round about the same, her yellow Hair
Having thro stirring loos'd their wonted Band,
Like to a golden Border did appear,
Framed in Goldsmith's Forge with cunning Hand:
Yet Goldsmith's Cunning could not understand
To frame such subtle Wire, so shiny clear.
For it did glister like the golden Sand,
The which Pactolus with his Waters sheer,
Throws forth upon the Rivage round about him near.

And as his Hand he up again did rear,
Thinking to work on her his utmost Wrack,
His powerless Arm benumb'd with secret Fear,
From his revengeful Purpose shrunk aback;
And cruel Sword out of his Fingers slack
Fell down to ground, as if the Steel had Sense,
And felt some Ruth, or Sense his Hand did lack:
Or both of them did think, Obedience
To do to so divine a Beauty's Excellence.

And he himself, long gazing thereupon,
At last fell humbly down upon his Knee,
And of his Wonder made Religion,
Weening some heavenly Goddess he did see,
Or else unweeting what it else might be;
And Pardon her besought his Error frail,
That had done Outrage in so high degree:
Whilst trembling Horrour did his Sense assail,
And made each Member quake, and manly Heart to quail.

Nath'less, she full of Wrath for that late Stroke,
All that long while up-held her wrathful Hand,
With fell intent, on him to been yroke,
And looking stern, still over him did stand,
Threatning to strike, unless he would withstand:
And bade him rise, or surely he should die.
But die or live, for nought he would up-stand,
But of her Pardon pray'd more earnestly,
Or wreak on him her Will for so great Injury.

Which when-as Scudamore, who now abray'd,
Beheld, whereas he stood not far aside,
He was therewith right wondrously dismay'd:
And drawing nigh, when-as he plain descry'd
That peerless Pattern of Dame Nature's Pride,
And heavenly Image of Perfection,
He blest himself, as one sore terrify'd;
And turning Fear to faint Devotion,
Did worship her as some celestial Vision.

But Glauce, seeing all that chaunced there,
Well weeting how their Error to assoil,
Full glad of so good End, to them drew near,
And her salew'd with seemly Bel-Accoil,
Joyous to see her safe after long Toil.
Then her besought, as she to her was dear,
To graunt unto those Warriors truce awhile;
Which yielded, they their Bevers up did rear,
And shew'd themselves to her, such as indeed they were.

When Britomart, with sharp avizeful Eye,
Beheld the lovely Face of Arthegal,
Temper'd with Sternness and stout Majesty,
She 'gan eftsoons it to her Mind to call,
To be the same which in her Father's Hall
Long since in that enchaunted Glass she saw.
Therewith her wrathful Courage 'gan appall,
And haughty Spirits meekly to adaw,
That her enhaunced Hand she down 'gan soft withdraw.

Yet she it forc'd to have again upheld,
As faining Choler, which was turn'd to Cold:
But ever when his Visage she beheld,
Her Hand fell down, and would no longer hold
The wrathful Weapon 'gainst his Count'nance bold.
But when in vain to fight she oft assay'd,
She arm'd her Tongue, and thought at him to scold;
Nath'less her Tongue not to her Will obey'd,
But brought forth Speeches mild, when she would have missaid.

But Scudamore, now waxen inly glad,
That all his jealous Fear he false had found,
And how that Hag his Love abused had
With Breach of Faith, and Loyalty unsound,
The which long time his grieved Heart did wound,
He thus bespake; Certes, Sir Arthegal,
I joy to see you lout so low on ground,
And now become to live a Lady's Thrall,
That whilom in your Mind wont to despise them all.

Soon as he heard the Name of Arthegal,
Her Heart did leap, and all her Heart-strings tremble,
For sudden Joy, and secret Fear withall,
And all her vital Powers with Motion nimble,
To succour it, themselves 'gan there assemble;
That by the swift Recourse of flushing Blood
Right plain appear'd, tho she it would dissemble,
And feigned still her former angry Mood,
Thinking to hide the Depth by troubling of the Flood.

When Glauce thus 'gan wisely all up-knit;
Ye gentle Knights, whom Fortune here hath brought
To be Spectators of this uncouth Fit,
Which secret Fate hath in this Lady wrought,
Against the Course of Kind; ne marvel nought,
Ne henceforth fear the thing that hitherto
Hath troubled both your Minds with idle Thought,
Fearing lest she your Loves away should woe;
Feared in vain, sith means ye see there wants thereto.

And you Sir Arthegal, the salvage Knight,
Henceforth may not disdain, that Woman's Hand
Hath conquer'd you anew in second fight:
For whilom they have conquer'd Sea and Land,
And Heaven it self, thee nought may them withstand.
Ne henceforth be rebellious unto Love,
That is the Crown of Knighthood, and the Band
Of noble Minds derived from above:
Which, being knit with Vertue, never will remove.

And you fair Lady Knight, my dearest Dame,
Relent the Rigour of your wrathful Will,
Whose Fire were better turn'd to other Flame;
And wiping out Remembrance of all Ill,
Graunt him your Grace; but so that he fulfil
The Penaunce, which ye shall to him impart:
For Lover's Heaven must pass by Sorrow's Hell.
Thereat full inly blushed Britomart:
But Arthegal, close smiling, joy'd in secret Heart.

Yet durst he not make Love so suddenly,
Ne think th' Affection of her Heart to draw
From one to other so quite contrary:
Besides, her modest Countenance he saw
So goodly grave, and full of princely Awe,
That it his ranging Fancy did refrain,
And looser Thoughts to lawful Bounds with-draw;
Whereby the Passion grew more fierce and fain,
Like to a stubborn Steed whom strong Hand would restrain.

But Scudamore, whose Heart 'twixt doubtful Fear
And feeble Hope hung all this while suspense,
Desiring of his Amoret to hear
Some gladful News and sure Intelligence,
Her thus bespake; But, Sir, without Offence
Mote I request you Tidings of my Love,
My Amoret sith you her freed from thence,
Where she captived long, great Woes did prove;
That where ye left, I may her seek, as doth behove.

To whom thus Britomart; Certes, Sir Knight,
What is of her become, or whither reft,
I cannot unto you aread aright.
For from that time I from Enchaunter's Theft
Her freed, in which ye her all hopeless left,
I her preserv'd from Peril and from Fear,
And evermore from Villany her kept:
Ne ever was there Wight to me more dear
Than she, ne unto whom I more true Love did bear.

Till on a day, as thro a Desart wild
We travelled, both weary of the way,
We did alight, and sate in Shadow mild;
Where fearless I to sleep me down did lay.
But when-as I did out of Sleep abray,
I found her not, where I her left whileare,
But thought she wandred was, or gone astray.
I call'd her loud, I sought her far and near;
But no where could her find, nor Tidings of her hear.

When Scudamore those heavy Tidings heard
His Heart was thrill'd with point of deadly Fear;
Ne in his Face or Blood or Life appear'd,
But sensless stood, like to amazed Steer,
That yet of mortal Stroke the Stound doth bear;
Till Glauce thus; Fair Sir, be nought dismay'd
With needless Dread, till Certainty ye hear:
For yet she may be safe, tho somewhat stray'd;
It's best to hope the best, tho of the worse afraid.

Nath'less, he hardly of her chearful Speech
Did Comfort take, or in his troubled Sight
Shew'd Change of better Chear: so sore a Breach
That sudden News had made into his Spright;
Till Britomart him fairly thus behight;
Great cause of Sorrow, certes Sir ye have:
But Comfort take; for by this Heaven's Light
I vow, you dead or living not to leave,
Till I her find, and wreak on him that her did reave.

Therewith she rested, and well pleased was.
So Peace being confirm'd amongst them all,
They took their Steeds, and forward thence did pass
Unto some Resting-place which mote befal;
All being guided by Sir Arthegal.
Where goodly Solace was unto them made,
And daily feasting both in Bower and Hall,
Until that they their Wounds well healed had,
And weary Limbs recur'd, after late Usage bad.

In all which time, Sir Arthegal made way
Unto the Love of noble Britomart:
And with meek Service and much Suit did lay
Continual Siege unto her gentle Heart;
Which being whilom launc'd with lovely Dart,
More eath was new Impression to receive,
However she her pain'd with womanish Art
To hide her Wound, that none might it perceive:
Vain is the Art that seeks it self for to deceive.

So well he woo'd her, and so well he wrought her,
With fair Entreaty and sweet Blandishment,
That at the length unto a Bay he brought her,
So as she to his Speeches was content
To lend an Ear, and softly to relent:
At last, thro many Vows which forth he pour'd,
And many Oaths, she yielded her Consent
To be his Love, and take him for her Lord,
Till they with Marriage meet might finish that accord.

Tho when they had long time there taken Rest,
Sir Arthegal (who all this while was bound
Upon an hard Adventure yet in quest)
Fit time for him thence to depart it found,
To follow that, which he did long propound;
And unto her his Congee came to take.
But her therewith full sore displeas'd he found,
And loth to leave her late betrothed Make;
Her dearest Love full loth so shortly to forsake.

Yet be with strong Persuasions her assuag'd,
And won her Will to suffer him depart;
For which his Faith with her he fast engag'd,
And thousand Vows from bottom of his Heart,
That all so soon as he by Wit or Art
Could that atchieve, whereto he did aspire,
He unto her would speedily revert:
No longer Space thereto he did desire,
But till the horned Moon three Courses did expire.

With which she for the present was appeas'd,
And yielded Leave, however malecontent
She inly were, and in her Mind displeas'd.
So early on the morrow next he went
Forth on his way, to which he was ybent;
Ne Wight him to attend, or way to guide,
As whilom was the Custom antient
'Mongst Knights, when on Adventures they did ride,
Save that she algates him awhile accompany'd.

And by the way, she sundry Purpose found
Of this or that, the time for to delay,
And of the Perils whereto he was bound,
The Fear whereof seem'd much her to affray:
But all she did was but to wear out Day.
Full oftentimes she Leave of him did take;
And eft again deviz'd somewhat to say,
Which she forgot, whereby excuse to make:
So loth she was his Company for to forsake.

At last, when all her Speeches she had spent,
And new Occasion fail'd her more to find,
She left him to his Fortune's Government,
And back returned with right heavy Mind,
To Scudamore, whom she had left behind;
With whom she went to seek fair Amoret,
Her second Care, tho in another kind;
For Vertue's only sake (which doth beget
True Love and faithful Friendship) she by her did set.

Back to that desert Forest they retir'd,
Where sorry Britomart had lost her late;
There they her sought, and every where enquir'd,
Where they might Tidings get of her Estate:
Yet found they none. But by what hapless Fate,
Or hard Misfortune she was thence convey'd,
And stoln away from her beloved Mate,
Were long to tell; therefore I here will stay
Until another Tide, that I it finish may.

[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 3:615-26]