George L. Craik: "Canto VIII. (51 stanzas). — This new Canto opens with the following fine lines: — 'Nought under heaven so strongly doth allure | The sense of man, and all his mind possess, | As Beauty's lovely bait, that doth procure | Great warriors oft their rigour to repress, | And mighty hands forget their manliness'.... Yet can it not detain Artegal from proceeding on the enterprize to which he has devoted himself; but, leaving his love, fair Britomart, he rides forward, Talus only accompanying him. 'So travelling, he chanced far off to heed | A damsel flying on a palfrey fast | Before two knights that after her did speed | With all their power, and her full fiercely chased | In hope to have her overhent at last'.... Presently a third knight appears pursuing the other two, and, while he holds his spear in rest, or ready for attack, urges his horse to its utmost speed. He soon overtakes one of the two and forces him to turn round.
"Artegal, to whom the lady as soon as she sees him flies for protection, throws himself between her and the other; and on the encounter the stranger knight is pitched more than two spears' length out of his saddle, and, falling on his head, breaks his neck. Meanwhile his companion has been despatched by the third knight; who, however, as soon as he has achieved that good work, dashes forward in pursuit of the other pagan, but, meeting Artegal, at once attacks him instead, as if he cared not at whom he ran. They have both broken their spears, and then drawn their swords, when the lady runs tip, and, crying and tearing her hair, prevails on them to desist by pointing out to them that their two foes, and hers, lie both dead enough on the ground. The stranger knight is Prince Arthur; and he and Artegal, when they have raised their visors and beheld each other's faces, are struck with reciprocal admiration and respect, and exchange courteous apologies and pardons.
"The lady, whose name turns out to be Samient, now explains to them (for Arthur knows no more about her and the two slain knights than Artegal does) that she serves a queen residing at no great distance from where they are — 'A princess of great power and majesty, | Famous through all the world and honoured far and nigh' — a Maiden Queen, moreover, her name Mercilla. This is plainly Queen Elizabeth. Among the many enemies who envy and endeavour to disturb the felicity of her realm, and to subvert her crown and dignity, Samient goes on to relate, is her powerful neighbour, the Soldan (supposed to mean Philip King of Spain), who is continually either bribing and seducing her good knights, or attacking and despoiling them if they loyally resist his allurements; nay, even plotting against and seeking to destroy her sacred person; being stirred up to all this, it is said, by his bad wife Adicia — by whom must, however, be understood, as the name signifies, merely the principle of Injustice as animating and instigating the hostility of the Spanish king. Or perhaps the Roman Catholic religion and interest may be more especially indicated by this female figure.
"Thinking it best for herself and her kingdom to deal amicably with Adicia, Mercilla had sent Samient to her to negotiate a peace between them; but Adicia, disdaining all agreement, and setting at nought the rights and privileges which all times have accorded to ambassadors, not only received her message with the utmost scorn and contumely, but thrust her out of doors like a dog, and, finally, sent after her, to abuse and dishonour her, the two false knights from whom she has just been so providentially delivered. The allusion here is supposed to be to King Philip's detention of the deputies of the States of Holland when they came to him to complain of and to beg the redress of their grievances.
"On hearing this relation, the prince and Artegal agree instantly to join in revenging the wrongs of Samient and her mistress on the Soldan and his lady; but, deeming it prudent not in such a case to despise the aid of tactics, or stratagem, they arrange that Artegal shall array himself in the armour of one of the dead knights, and, taking Samient with him to present her as his conquered prize to Adicia, find in this way admission into the Soldan's court. Accordingly, as soon as Adicia sees him from her window, she sends a page to conduct him, and he is admitted into the palace, where, however, he declines to allow himself to be disarmed. Presently comes a challenge to the Soldan from the prince, demanding 'that damsel whom he held as wrongful prisoner.' 'Wherewith the Soldan all with fury fraught, | Swearing and banning most blasphemously, | Commanded straight his armour to be brought'....
"This description has been ingeniously interpreted as shadowing forth the famous Armada. 'The Soldan,' observes Upton, 'is the King of Spain: his swearing and banning most blasphemously may be supposed to hint at those many pious cursings, and papistical excommunications, so liberally thundered out against the Queen and her faithful subjects. Next the Soldan is described mounting straight upon a chariot high. Camden more than once mentions the great height of the Spanish ships, built with lofty turrets on their decks like castles. He [Spenser] says, 'with iron wheels and hooks armed dreadfully.' The Prince of Parma likewise in the Netherlands built ships, says Camden, and prepared piles sharpened at the nether end, 'armed with iron and hooked on the sides.' Let it be added, however, that 'twas reported that this Armada carried various instruments of torture, and thus literally was so armed. 'And drawn of cruel steeds which he had fed with flesh of men:' What were the captains and soldiers of this Armada but persecutors, or those who acted under the command of persecutors, inquisitors, devourers of men?' There were four engagements, the learned commentator further remarks, between the two fleets; and these he supposes to be successively imaged in the progress of the fight that fills the remainder of the Canto.
"The Briton prince in his bright armour awaits the Soldan on the green (the commentators have omitted to remark the propriety of this term as indicating the sea, the scene of the real conflict) and Talus, so directed by his lord, attends at his stirrup as his page.... But 'the bold child,' moving to the side, allows the chariot to fly past, and also dexterously avoids a dart which the pagan throws at him, and which otherwise would certainly have demolished either himself or his horse. The elevation, however, on which the Soldan is placed and the speed of his wing-footed coursers for a long time baffle all Arthur's efforts to get a blow at him; and at length the pagan launches at him another of the many darts with which he is provided, when 'The wicked shaft, guided through the airy wide | By some bad spirit that it to mischief bore, | Stayed not, till through his carat it did glide, | And made a grisly wound in his enriven side.'
"Only more infuriated, the prince redoubles his efforts to get near his adversary, but the rushing chariot still drives him back, and even his good steed, renowned as he is 'for noble courage and for hardy race,' flies in dread from the carrion-eating horses of the pagan. At last, finding all other methods and forces vain against these animals, Arthur uncovers his shield — for the first time, it has been remarked, that he does so voluntarily in the course of the poem — and holds it up full in their view. The effect is instantaneous: — 'Like lightning flash that hath the gazer burned, | So did the sight thereof their sense dismay, | That back again upon themselves they turned, | And with their rider ran perforce away'.... The conquest of the Soldan has therefore been achieved only by supernatural means. Have we not here a covert acknowledgment that the defeat of the Armada was in truth the work rather of the tempest than or any human exertion — as it was expressed on the medal struck at the time with the inscription 'Flavit Jehovah et dissipati sunt' (Jehovah blew and they were scattered)?
"Only the tyrant's shield and armour are left, which, that they may 'remain for an eternal token | To all, mongst whom this story should be spoken, | How worthily, by Heaven's high decree, | Justice that day of wrong herself had wroken,' the prince orders to be suspended on a tree before the door of their late vanquished owner. At this sign Adicia, burning to be revenged, comes running down from the castle with knife in hand, designing to plunge it into the heart of Samient, whom she thinks secure in the keeping of her own knight.... When she is stopped, and the weapon wrested from her, by Artegal, she rushes from the place in ungovernable frenzy, and, breaking forth by a postern door, makes for the woods, where it is said she was soon after transformed to a tigress. Meanwhile, Artegal, discovering himself, has attacked and put to utter rout all the followers of the Soldan, although there were of them 'nigh an hundred knights of name;' after which he commands the gates to be opened wide, when the prince enters in triumph, and takes possession as the Soldan's conqueror of all the immense treasure and spoil found within the castle" Spenser and his Poetry (1845; 1871) 2:227-34.
Prince Arthur, and Sir Arthegal
Free Samient from Fear:
They slay the Souldan, drive his Wife,
Adicia, to Despair.
Nought under Heaven so strongly doth allure
The Sense of Man, and all his Mind possess,
As Beauty's lovely Bait, that doth procure
Great Warriors oft their Rigour to repress;
And mighty Hands forget their Manliness,
Drawn with the Pow'r of an heart-robbing Eye,
And wrapt in Fetters of a golden Tress,
That can with melting Pleasance mollify
Their harden'd Hearts, enur'd to Blood and Cruelty.
So whilom learn'd that mighty Jewish Swain,
Each of whose Locks did match a Man in Might,
To lay his Spoils before his Leman's Train:
So also did that great Oetean Knight
For his Love's sake his Lion's Skin undight:
And so did warlike Anthony neglect
The World's whole Rule, for Cleopatra's sight.
Such wondrous Pow'r hath Womens fair Aspect
To captive Men, and make them all the World reject.
Yet could it not stern Arthegal retain,
Nor hold from Suit of his avowed Quest,
Which he had underta'en to Gloriane;
But left his Love (albe her strong Request,
Fair Britomart, in Languor and Unrest,
And rode himself upon his first Intent:
Ne day nor night did ever idly rest;
Ne Wight but only Talus with him went,
The true Guide of his Way, and vertuous Government.
So travelling, he chaunc'd far off to heed
A Damsel, flying on a Palfry fast
Before two Knights, that after her did speed
With all their pow'r, and her full fiercely chac'd,
In hope to have her overhent at last:
Yet fled she fast, and both them far out-went,
Carry'd with Wings of Fear, like Fowl aghast,
With Locks all loose and Rayment all to rent;
And ever as she rode, her Eye was backward bent.
Soon after these, he saw another Knight
That after those two former rode apace,
With Spear in Rest, and prick'd with all his Might:
So ran they all, as they had been at Base,
They being chased, that did others chace.
At length, he saw the hindmost overtake
One of those two, and force him turn his Face;
However loth he were his way to slake,
Yet mote be algates now abide, and Answer make.
But e' other still pursu'd the fearful Maid;
Who still from him as fast away did fly,
Ne once for ought her speedy Passage staid,
Till that at length she did before her spy
Sir Arthegal, to whom she straight did hie
With gladful Haste, in hope of him to get
Succour against her greedy Enemy:
Who, seeing her approach, 'gan forward set
To save her from her Fear, and him from Force to let.
But he, like Hound full greedy of his Prey,
Being impatient of Impediment,
Continu'd still his Course, and by the way
Thought with his Spear him quite have over-went:
So both together ylike felly bent,
Like fiercely met. But Arthegal was stronger,
And better skill'd in Tilt and Turnament,
And bore him quite out of his Saddle, longer
Than two Spear's length; so Mischief overmatch'd the Wronger.
And in his Fall, Misfortune him mistook;
For on his Head unhappily he pight,
That his own Weight his Neck asunder broke,
And left there dead. Mean while, the other Knight
Defeated had the other Faytour quite,
And all his Bowels in his Body brast:
Whom leaving there in that despiteous Plight,
He ran still on, thinking to follow fast
His other fellow Pagan, which before him past.
Instead of whom, finding there ready prest
Sir Arthegal, without Discretion
He at him ran, with ready Spear in Rest:
Who, seeing him come still so fiercely on,
Against him made again. So both anon
Together met, and strongly either strook
And broke their Spears; yet neither has forgon
His Horse's Back, yet to and fro long shook,
And totter'd like two Tow'rs, which through a Tempest quook.
But when again they had recover'd Sense,
They drew their Swords, in mind to make amends
For what their Spears had fail'd of their Pretence.
Which when the Damsel, who those deadly Ends
Of both her Foes had seen, and now her Friends
For her beginning a more fearful Fray;
She to them runs in haste, and her Hair rends,
Crying to them their cruel Hands to stay,
Until they both do hear what she to them will say.
They stay'd their Hands, when she thus 'gan to speak;
Ah! gentle Knights, what mean ye thus unwise
Upon your selves another's Wrong to wreak?
I am the wrong'd, whom ye did enterprise
Both to redress, and both redress'd likewise:
Witness the Paynims both, whom ye may see
There dead on ground. What do ye then devise
Of more Revenge? if more, then I am she,
Which was the Root of all: end your Revenge on me.
Whom when they heard so say, they look'd about
To weet if it were true as she had told;
Where, when they saw their Foes dead out of doubt,
Eftsoons they gan their wrathful Hands to hold
And Ventails rear, each other to behold.
Tho, whenas Arthegal did Arthur view,
So fair a Creature, and so wondrous bold,
He much admired both his Heart and Hue,
And touched with intire Affection, nigh him drew:
Saying, Sir Knight, of Pardon I you pray,
That all unweeting have you wrong'd thus sore;
Suff'ring my Hand against my Heart to stray:
Which if ye please Forgive, I will therefore
Yield for amends my self yours evermore,
Or what-so Penance shalt by you be red.
To whom the Prince; Certes, me needeth more
To crave the same, whom Error so misled,
As that I did mistake the Living for the Dead.
But sith ye please, that both our Blames shall die,
Amends may for the Trespass soon be made,
Sith neither is endamag'd much thereby.
So can they both themselves full eath persuade
To fair Acccordance, and both Faults to shade,
Either embracing other lovingly,
And swearing Faith to either on his Blade,
Never thenceforth to nourish Enmity,
But either other's Cause to maintain mutually.
Then Arthegal 'gan of the Prince enquire,
What were those Knights which there on ground were laid,
And had receiv'd their Folly's worthy Hire,
And for what cause they chaced so that Maid.
Certes, I wote not well, the Prince then said;
But by Adventure found them fairing so,
As by the way unweetingly I stray'd:
And lo! the Damsel self, whence all did grow
Of whom we may at will the whole Occasion know.
Then they that Damsel called to them nigh,
And asked her, what were those two her Fone,
From whom she earst so sad away did fly;
And what was the her self so woe begon,
And for what Cause pursu'd of them attone.
To whom she thus; Then wote ye well, that I
Do serve a Queen, that not far hence doth wonne,
A Princess of great Pow'r and Majesty,
Famous through all the World, and honour'd far and nigh.
Her Name Mercilla most Men use to call;
That is a Maiden Queen of high Renown,
For her great Bounty knowen over all,
And sovereign Grace, with which her Royal Crown
She doth support, and strongly beateth down
The Malice of her Foes, which her envy,
And at her Happiness do fret and frown:
Yet she her self the more doth magnify,
And even to her Foes her Mercies multiply.
'Mongst many which malign her happy State,
There is a mighty Man, which wonnes hereby,
That with most fell Despight and deadly Hate,
Seeks to subvert her Crown and Dignity;
And all his Pow'r doth thereunto apply:
And her good Knights (of which so brave a Band
Serves her, as any Princess under Sky)
He either spoils, if they against him stand,
Or to his part allures, and bribeth under hand.
Ne him sufficeth all the Wrong and Ill
Which he unto her People does each day,
But that he seeks by traitrous Trains to spill
Her Person, and her sacred self to slay:
That O ye Heavens defend, and turn away
From her, unto the Miscreant himself,
That neither hath Religion nor Fay,
But makes his God of his ungodly Pelf,
And Idols serves; so let his Idols serve the Elf.
To all which cruel Tyranny, they say,
He is provok'd, and stir'd up day and night
By his bad Wife, that hight Adicia,
Who counsels him (through Confidence of Might)
To break all Bonds of Law, and Rules of Right;
For she her self professeth mortal Foe
To Justice, and against her still doth fight,
Working to all that love her, deadly Woe,
And making all her Knights and People to do so.
Which my Liege Lady seeing, thought it best,
With that his Wife in friendly wise to deal,
For stint of Strife, and stablishment of Rest
Both to her self, and to her Commonweal,
And all fore-past Displeasures to repeal.
So me in Message unto her she sent,
To treat with her by way of Enterdeal,
Of final Peace and fair Attonement,
Which might concluded be by mutual Consent.
All times have wont safe Passage to afford
To Messengers, that come for Causes just:
But this proud Dame, disdaining all Accord,
Not only into bitter Terms forth brust,
Reviling me, and railing as she lust;
But lastly, to make proof of utmost Shame,
Me like a Dog she out of doors did thrust,
Miscalling me by many a bitter Name,
That never did her Ill, ne once deserved Blame.
And lastly, that no Shame might wanting be,
When I was gone, soon after me she sent
These two false Knights, whom there ye lying see,
To be by them dishonoured and shent:
But thank'd be God, and your good Hardiment,
They have the Price of their own Folly paid.
So said this Damsel, that hight Samient:
And to those Knights, for their so noble Aid,
Her self most grateful shew'd, and heaped Thanks repaid.
But they, now having throughly heard and seen
All those great Wrongs, the which that Maid complain'd
To have been done against her Lady Queen,
By that proud Dame, which her so much disdain'd,
Were moved much thereat, and 'twixt them feign'd,
With all their Force to work Avengement strong
Upon the Souldan' self, which it maintain'd;
And on his Lady, th' author of that Wrong,
And upon all those Knights that did to her belong.
But thinking best, by counterfeit Disguise,
To their Design to make the easier way,
They did this Complot 'twixt themselves devise;
First, that Sir Arthegal should him array,
Like one of those two Knights which dead there lay:
And then that Damsel, the sad Samient,
Should as his purchas'd Prize with him convey
Unto the Souldan's Court, her to present
Unto his scornful Lady, that for her had sent.
So as they had devis'd, Sir Arthegal
Him clad in th' Armour of a Pagan Knight,
And taking with him, as his vanquish'd Thrall,
That Damsel, led her to the Souldan's Right.
Where, soon as his proud Wife of her had sight
(Forth of her Window as she looking lay)
She weened straight it was her Paynim Knight,
Which brought that Damsel, as his purchas'd Prey;
And sent to him a Page, that mote direct his way.
Who, bringing them to their appointed Place,
Offer'd his Service to disarm the Knight;
But he, refusing him to let unlace,
For doubt to be discover'd by his Sight,
Kept himself still in his strange Armour dight.
Soon after whom, the Prince arrived there;
And sending to the Souldan in despight
A bold Defiance, did of him requere
That Damsel, whom he held as wrongful Prisonere.
Wherewith, the Souldan all with Fury fraught,
Swearing and banning most blasphemously,
Commanded straight his Armour to be brought;
And mounted straight upon a Charet high,
With iron Wheels and Hooks arm'd dreadfully,
And drawn of cruel Steeds, which he had fed
With Flesh of Men, whom through fell Tyranny
He slaughter'd had, and e'er they were half dead,
Their Bodies to his Beasts for Provender did spred.
So forth he came all in a Coat of Plate,
Burnish'd with bloody Rust; whiles on a Green
The Briton Prince him ready did await,
In glistring Arms right goodly well beseen,
That shone as bright as doth the Heaven sheen;
And by his Stirrup Talus did attend,
Playing his Page's Part, as he had been
Before directed by his Lord; to th' end
He should his flail to final Execution bend.
Thus go they both together to their Gear,
With like fierce Minds, but Meanings different:
For the proud Souldan with presumptuous Chear,
And Countenance sublime and insolent,
Sought only Slaughter and Avengement:
But the brave Prince for Honour and for Right,
'Gainst tortious Pow'r and lawless Regiment,
In the behalf of wronged Weak did fight:
More in his Cause's Truth he trusted than in Might.
Like to the Thracian Tyrant, who they say
Unto his Horses gave his Guests for Meat,
Till he himself was made their greedy Prey,
And torn in pieces by Alcides great:
So thought the Souldan in his folly's Threat,
Either the Prince in pieces to have torn
With his sharp Wheels, in his first Rage's Heat,
Or under his fierce Horse's Feet have borne
And trampled down in Dust his Thoughts disdained Scorn.
But the bold Child that Peril well espying,
If he too rashly to his Charet drew,
Gave way unto his Horse's speedy flying,
And their resistless Rigour did eschew.
Yet as he passed by, the Pagan threw
A shivering Dart with so impetuous Force,
That had he not it shun'd with heedful View,
It had himself transfixed, or his Horse,
Or made them both one Mass withouten more remorse.
Oft drew the Prince unto his Charet nigh,
In hope some Stroke to fasten on him near;
But he was mounted in his Seat so high,
And his wing-footed Coursers him did bear
So fast away, that e'er his ready Spear
He could advance, he far was gone and past.
Yet still he him did follow every where,
And follow'd was of him likewise full fast;
So long as in his Steeds the flaming Breath did last.
Again, the Pagan threw another Dart,
Of which he had with him abundant Store,
On every side of his embattled Cart,
And of all other Weapons less or more,
Which warlike Uses had devis'd of yore.
The wicked Shaft guided through th' airy Wide,
By some bad Spirit, that it to Mischief bore,
Stay'd not, till through his Curass it did glide,
And made a griesly Wound in his enriven Side.
Much was he grieved with that hapless Throw,
That open'd had the Well-spring of his Blood;
But much the more that to his hateful Foe
He mote not come, to wreak his wrathful Mood:
That made him rave, like to a Lion wood,
Which being wounded of the Huntsman's Hand
Cannot come near him in the covert Wood,
Where he with Boughs hath built his shady Stand,
And fenc'd himself about with many a flaming Brand.
Still when he sought t' approach unto him nigh,
His Charet Wheels about him whirled round,
And made him back again as fast to fly;
And eke his Steeds, like to an hungry Hound,
That hunting after Game hath Carrion found,
So cruelly did him pursue and chace,
That his good Steed, all were he much renown'd
For noble Courage, and for hardy Race,
Durst not endure their Sight, but fled from place to place.
Thus long they trac'd, and traverst to and fro,
Seeking by every way to make some Breach:
Yet could the Prince not nigh unto him go,
That one sure Stroke he might unto him reach,
Whereby his Strength's Assay he might him teach.
At last, from his victorious Shield he drew
The Veil, which did his pow'rful Light empeach;
And coming full before his Horse's View,
As they upon him press'd, it plain to them did shew.
Like Lightning Flash, that hath the Gazer burn'd,
So did the Sight thereof their Sense dismay,
That back again upon themselves they turn'd,
And with their Rider ran perforce away:
Ne could the Souldan them from flying stay
With Reins, or wonted Rule, as well he knew.
Nought feared they what he could do or say,
But th' only Fear that was before their View;
From which, like mazed Deer, dismayfully they flew.
Fast did they fly, as them their Feet could bear,
High over Hills, and lowly over Dales,
As they were follow'd of their former Fear.
In vain the Pagan bans, and swears, and rails,
And back with both his Hands unto him hails
The resty Reins, regarded now no more:
He to them calls and speaks, yet nought avails;
They hear him not, they have forgot his Lore,
But go which way they list, their Guide they have forlore.
As when the fiery-mouthed Steeds, which drew
The Sun's bright Wain to Phaeton's Decay,
Soon as they did the monstrous Scorpion view,
With ugly Craples crawling in their way,
The dreadful Sight did them so sore affray,
That their well-knowen Courses they forwent;
And leading th' ever-burning Lamp astray,
This lower World nigh all to Ashes brent,
And left their scorched Path yet in the Firmament.
Such was the Fury of these head-strong Steeds,
Soon as the Infant's Sun-like Shield they saw,
That all Obedience both to Words and Deeds
They quite forgot, and scorn'd all former Law;
Through Woods, and Rocks, and Mountains they did draw
The iron Charet, and the Wheels did tear,
And toss'd the Paynim without Fear or Awe;
From side to side they toss'd him here and there,
Crying to them in vain, that n'ould his Crying hear.
Yet still the Prince pursu'd him close behind,
Oft making offer him to smite, but found
No easy Means according to his Mind.
At last, they have all overthrown to ground
Quite topside-turvey, and the Pagan Hound
Amongst the iron Hooks and Grapples keen,
Torn all to rags, and rent with many a Wound;
That no whole piece of him was to be seen,
But scatter'd all about, and strow'd upon the Green.
Like as the cursed Son of Theseus,
That following his Chace in dewy Morn,
To fly his Stepdame's Love outrageous,
Of his own Steeds was all to pieces torn,
And his fair Limbs left in the Woods forlorn;
That for his sake Diana did lament,
And all the woody Nymphs did wail and mourn:
So was this Souldan rapt and all to rent,
That of his Shape appear'd no little Monument.
Only his Shield and Armour, which there lay,
Though nothing whole, but all so bruis'd and broken,
He up did take, and with him brought away,
That mote remain for an eternal Token
To all, 'mongst whom this Story should be spoken,
How worthily, by Heaven's high Decree,
Justice that Day of Wrong her self had wroken;
That all Men which that Spectacle did see,
By like Ensample mote for ever warned be.
So on a Tree, before the Tyrant's Door,
He caused them be hung in all Mens sight;
To be a Monument for evermore.
Which when his Lady from the Castle's Height
Beheld, it much appall'd her troubled Spright:
Yet not as Women wont in doleful Fit,
She was dismay'd, or fainted through Affright,
But gather'd unto her her troubled Wit,
And 'gan eftsoons devise to be aveng'd for it.
Straight down she ran, like an enraged Cow
That is berobbed of her Youngling dear,
With Knife in hand, and fatally did vow,
To wreak her on that Maiden Messenger,
Whom she had caus'd be kept as Prisoner
By Arthegal, misween'd for her own Knight,
That brought her back. And coming present there,
She at her ran with all her Force and Might,
All flaming with Revenge and furious Despight.
Like raging Ino, when with Knife in hand
She threw her Husband's murder'd Infant out;
Or fell Medea, when on Colchick Strand
Her Brother's Bones she scatter'd all about;
Or as that madding Mother, 'mongst the Rout
Of Bacchus' Priests her own dear Flesh did tear.
Yet neither Ino, nor Medea stout,
Nor all the Moenades so furious were,
As this bold Woman, when she saw that Damsel there.
But Arthegal, being thereof aware,
Did stay her cruel Hand, e'er she her raught;
And as she did her self to strike prepare,
Out of her Fist the wicked Weapon caught;
With that, like one enfelon'd or distraught,
She forth did roam, whither her Rage her bore,
With frantick Passion, and with Fury fraught;
And breaking forth out at a Postern Door,
Unto the wild Wood ran, her Dolours to deplore.
As a mad Bitch, whenas the frantick Fit
Her burning Tongue with Rage enflamed hath,
Doth run at random, and with furious Bit
Snatching at every thing, doth wreak her Wrath
On Man and Beast that cometh in her Path.
There they do say, that she transformed was
Into a Tyger, and that Tyger's Scath
In Cruelty and Outrage she did pass,
So prove her Sirname true, that she imposed has.
Then Arthegal, himself discovering plain,
Did issue forth 'gainst all that warlike Rout
Of Knights and armed Men, which did maintain
That Lady's Part, and to the Souldan lout:
All which he did assault with Courage stout,
All were they nigh an hundred Knights of Name,
And like wild Goats them chaced all about,
Flying from place to place with coward Shame
So that with final Force them all he overcame.
Then caused he the Gates be open'd wide;
And there the Prince, as Victor of that Day,
With Triumph entertain'd and glorify'd,
Presenting, him with all the rich Array,
And Royal Pomp, which there long hidden lay,
Purchas'd through lawless Pow'r and tortious Wrong
Of that proud Souldan, whom he earst did slay.
So both, for Rest there having staid not long,
March'd with that Maid, fit Matter for another Song.
[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 3:791-803]