Faerie Queene. Book III. Canto IX.

The Faerie Queene. Disposed into Twelve Books, fashioning XII. Morall Vertues.

Edmund Spenser

George L. Craik: "Canto IX. (53 stanzas). — In this castle, it seems, there dwells 'a cankered crabbed carle,' or sour ill-conditioned old man, Malbecco, very wealthy, and with his whole heart set upon gathering and keeping, but who is nevertheless sorely put to it by his with, a beautiful lady much younger than himself, named Helenore, of whom he both is and has good reason to be exceedingly jealous, and whom accordingly he does his best to seclude in close bower, or chamber, from all men's sight. Our two knights, however, are quite agreed that an attempt must be made to get, some way or other, into the churl's stronghold. But, although they get speech of Malbecco, they can make no impression upon him either by soft words or threats; and after a while, a storm having come on, they have nothing for it but to take refuge in a little shed beside the gate, which has been erected for the accommodation of swine.

"Soon after the tempest drives to the same shelter another knight, who at first demands admittance in so lordly a strain that Paridel, whose hot spirit cannot bear 'To hear him threaten so despitefully, | As if he did a dog in kennel rate | That durst not bark; — and rather had he die | Than, when he was defied, in coward corner lie,—' reluctant as he is to fight in the dark, betakes him to his steed, and they have a tilt at one another; the result, however, of which is that both he and his horse are thrown to the ground at the first shock, nor can the Knight get upon his legs again till the Squire of Dames has helped him up. He is, notwithstanding, eager to renew the fight with his sword, but Satyrane now steps forth, and by his persuasion they are induced to make peace. The three now agree to join in an attack upon the castle, which they begin by taking measures to set fire to the inhospitable gates. On this Malbecco consents to admit them, and they are brought into a comely bower, or room, where they throw off their armour and dry their wet clothes at the fire.

"Having also doffed her habergeon, and let fall 'her well-plight frock,' which she was wont 'to tuck about her short when she did ride,' she stands before them a woman at all points — 'The fairest woman-wight that ever eye did see.' It is no other, in fact, than Britomart herself as the effect of the touch of her spear, sure and instantaneous as the lightning, may have prepared the reader to expect. 'Every one,' we are told, 'her liked, and every one her loved;' — 'And Paridel, 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'....

"Paridel, we may now mention, is understood to be the brave but unfortunate Charles Nevil, sixth and last of the Nevils, Earls of Westmoreland, who, having joined what is called the Earl of Northumberland's rebellion in 1569, for the restoration of popery and the liberation of Mary Stuart, had on the failure of that attempt escaped to the Continent, where he was still living in obscurity and poverty when this first portion of the Fairy Queen was published, He was notorious for his devotion to the sex and his innumerable amours.

"When they are about to sit down to supper, Malbecco, on their request to have a sight of his lady, tries to put them off with all sorts of excuses — 'Her crazed health, her late recourse to rest, | And humid evening, ill for sick folk's case;' but they compel him to produce her: — 'She came in presence with right comely grace, | And fairly them saluted, as became, | And showed herself in all a gentle courteous dame.' At table Satyrane is seated over against her, and Paridel by her side; and the latter and she soon come to a good understanding, the luckless husband having his suspicious eye (he seems to have had but one) all the while chiefly directed upon the other much less dangerous knight. It is unnecessary to dwell upon the stratagems by which they are stated to have communicated their secret thoughts. After supper Helenore proposes that each knight should tell his kindred and his name. 'Then Paridel, in whom a kindly, pride | Of gracious speech, and skill his words to frame, | Abounded'....

"After this exordium he proceeds to deduce his own descent from Paris, whose son Parius, by Oenone, carried with him the remnant of the Trojans to the Isle of Paros, previously called Nausa, and there reigned many years, and left his kingdom to his son Pandas; 'from whom,' he concludes, — 'I Paridel by kin descend: | But, for fair lady's love and glorious gain, | My native soil have left, my days to spend | In sueing deeds of arms, my live's and labour's end.' This rueful story, 'of 'Trojan wars and Priam's city sacked,' strongly excites the feelings of Britomart, herself of Trojan extraction; 'For noble Britons sprung from Trojans bold, | And Troynovant was built of old Troy's ashes cold.' 'O lamentable fall of famous town!' she sighing exclaims; and then she describes it as only an illustration of the general fate of all things human — an ensample of man's wretched state, 'That flowers so fresh at morn, and fades at evening late.'

"At her request Paridel relates the fortunes of Aeneas and of the other remnant of the Trojans who followed that chief to Latium, and there founded Alba Longa and Rome. But a third kingdom, says Britomart when he has finished, is yet to arise out of the scattered offspring of the Trojans, and a third town that in its glory shall far surpass both the first and second Troy: 'It Troynovant is hight, that with the waves | Of wealthy Thames washed is along'.... That city, she adds, was founded by the Trojan Brute, who 'Highgate made the mean (or boundary) thereof by west, and Overt-gate by north.' Paridel prays the lady to pardon his heedlessness in forgetting the story which he had heard from aged Mnemon, who said, 'That of the antique Trojan stock there grew | Another plant, that raught to wondrous height, | And far abroad his mighty branches threw | Into the utmost angle of the world he knew.' The Brute, or Brutus, of whom Britomart had spoken, he proceeds to say, was the son of Sylvius, son of Ascathus (or Iulus), and, having by mischance killed his father, left his native Italy with a band of youthful followers, who after long wandering came at last to the island of Britain, then inhabited by 'an huge nation of the giants' brood, | That fed on living flesh, and drunk men's vital blood.' These Brutus subdued 'through weary wars and labours long' — 'A famous history to be enrolled In everlasting monuments of brass, | That all the antique worthies' merits far did pass;' — and founded both great Troynovant (or London) and fair Lincoln — than which no cities are to be found fairer, except only Cleopolis.

"'So ended Paridel: | But all the while, that he these speeches spent, | Upon his lips hung fair Dame Helenore | With vigilant regard and due attent'.... Much to Malbecco's relief; however, it is now time to retire to rest. 'So all unto their bowers were brought'" Spenser and his Poetry (1845; 1871) 2:55-60.

Malbecco will no strange Knights host,
For peevish Jealousy:
Paridel giusts with Britomart;
Both shew their Auncestry.

Redoubted Knights, and honourable Dames,
To whom I level all my Labours end,
Right sore I fear, lest with unworthy Blames
This odious Argument my Rimes should shend,
Or ought your goodly Patience offend;
Whiles of a wanton Lady I do write,
Which with her loose Incontinence doth blend
The shining Glory of your sovereign Light,
And Knighthood foul defaced by a faithless Knight.

But never let th' ensample of the Bad
Offend the Good: for, Good, by Paragone
Of Evil, may more notably be red,
As White seems fairer, match'd with Black attone:
Ne, all are shamed by the Fault of one;
For lo! in Heaven, whereas all Goodness is,
Emongst the Angels, a whole Legion
Of wicked Sprights did fall from happy Bliss;
What Wonder then, if one of Women all did miss?

Then listen Lordings, if ye list to weet
The Cause, why Satyrane and Paridel
Mote not be entertain'd, as seemed meet,
Into that Castle (as that Squire does tell.)
Therin a cancred crabbed Carle does dwell,
That has no Skill of Court nor Courtesy,
Ne cares what Men say of him, ill or well;
For all his Days he drowns in Privity,
Yet has full large to live, and spend at liberty.

But all his Mind is set on mucky Pelf,
To hoard up Heaps of evil-gotten Mass,
For which he others wrongs, and wrecks himself;
Yet is he linked to a lovely Lass,
Whose Beauty doth his Bounty far surpass,
The which to him both far unequal Years,
And also far unlike Conditions has;
For she doth joy to play emongst her Peers,
And to be free from hard Restraint and jealous Fears.

But he is old, and withered like Hay,
Unfit fair Ladies Service to supply;
The privy Guilt whereof makes him alway
Suspect her Truth, and keep continual spy
Upon her with his other blinked Eye:
Ne suffreth he Resort of living Wight
Approach to her, ne keep her company,
But in close Bower her mews from all Mens sight,
Depriv'd of kindly Joy, and natural Delight.

Malbecco he, and Hellenore she hight,
Unfitly yok'd together in one Team:
That is the Cause, why never any Knight
Is suffer'd here to enter, but he seem
Such, as no doubt of him he need misdeem.
Thereat Sir Satyrane 'gan smile and say;
Extremely mad the Man I surely deem,
That weens with Watch and hard Restraint to stay
A Woman's Will, which is dispos'd to go astray.

In vain he fears that which he cannot shun:
For who wotes not, that Woman's Subtilties
Can guilen Argus, when she list misdone?
It is not iron Bands, nor hundred eyes,
Nor brazen Walls, nor many wakeful Spies,
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 fleet.

Then, is he not more mad, said Paridel,
That hath himself unto such Service sold,
In doleful Thraldom all his Days to dwell?
For sure a Fool I do him firmly hold,
That loves his Fetters, tho they were of Gold.
But why do we devise of others Ill,
Whiles thus we suffer this same 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,
E'er 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 Paridel did rise,
And to the Castle-Gate approach'd in quiet wise.

Whereat soft-knocking, Entrance he desir'd.
The Good-man self (which then the Porter play'd)
Him answered, that all were now retir'd
Unto their Rest; and all the Keys convey'd
Unto their Maister, who in Bed was laid,
That none him durst awake out of his Dream;
And therefore them of Patience gently pray'd.
Then Paridel began to change his Theme,
And threatned him with Force, and Punishment 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-cast)
'Gan blowen up a bitter stormy Blast,
With Shower and Hail so horrible and dred,
That this fair Many were compel'd 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 Tempest thither brought,
Came to that Castle; and with earnest Mone,
Like as the rest, late Entrance dear besought:
But like so as the rest, he pray'd for nought;
For flatly 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 Courtesy accus'd.

But, to avoid th' intolerable Stower,
He was compel'd to seek some Refuge near,
And to that Shed (to shroud him from the Shower)
He came, which full of Guests he found whyleare,
So as he was not let to enter there:
Whereat he 'gan to wex exceeding wroth,
And swore that he would lodg with them yfere,
Or them dislodg, all were they lief or loth;
And them defied each, and so defy'd them both.

Both were full loth to leave that needful Tent,
And both full loth in Darkness to debate;
Yet both full lief him lodging to have lent,
And both full lief his Boasting to abate:
But chiefly Paridel his Heart did grate,
To hear him threaten so despightfully,
As if he did a Dog to Kennel rate,
That durst not bark; and rather had he die,
Than when he was defy'd, in coward Corner lie.

Tho, hastily remounting to his Steed,
He forth issu'd; like as a boistrous Wind,
Which in th' Earth's 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 agast,
Until that it an Issue forth may find;
Then forth it breaks, and with his furious Blast
Confounds both Land and Seas, and Skys doth overcast.

Their steel-head Spears they strongly couch'd, 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 (a while) lay like a sensless Corse:
But Paridel, sore bruised with the Blow,
Could not arise, the Counter-change to scorce,
Till that young Squire him reared from below;
Then drew he his bright Sword, and 'gan about him throw.

But Satyrane, forth stepping, did them stay,
And with fair Treaty pacify'd their Ire;
Then, when they were accorded from the Fray,
Against that Castle's 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 die, or wrap in grievous Woe.

Malbecco, seeing them resolv'd indeed
To flame the Gates, and hearing them to call
For Fire in earnest, ran with fearful Speed;
And to them calling from the Castle-Wall,
Besought them humbly, him to bear withal,
As ignorant of Servaunts bad Abuse,
And slack Attendance unto Strangers Call.
The Knights were willing all things to excuse,
Tho nought believ'd, and Entrance late did not refuse.

They been ybrought into a comely Bower,
And serv'd of all things that mote needful be;
Yet secretly their Host did on them lour,
And welcom'd more for Fear than Charity;
But they dissembled what they did not see,
And welcomed themselves. Each 'gan undight
Their Garments wet, and weary Armour free
To dry themselves by Vulcan's flaming Light,
And eke their lately bruised Parts to bring in plight.

And eke that stranger Knight, emongst the rest,
Was for like need enforc'd to disarray:
Tho, when-as veiled was her lofty Crest,
Her golden Locks, that were in Tramels gay
Up-bounden, did themselves adown display,
And raught unto her Heels; like sunny Beams,
That in a Cloud their Light did long time stay,
Their Vapour vaded, shew their golden Gleams,
And thro the persent Air shoot forth their azure Streams.

She also doft her heavy Habergeon,
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 Side
Down to her Foot, with careless Modesty.
Then of them all she plainly was espy'd
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 Slaughter of the Giants conquered;
Where proud Encelade, whose wide Nostrils burn'd
With breathed Flames, like to a Furnace red,
Transfixed with the Spear, down tumbled dead
From Top of Hemus, by him heaped high;
Hath loos'd her Helmet from her lofty Head,
And her Gorgonian Shield 'gins to unty
From her left Arm, to rest in glorious Victory.

Which when-as they beheld, they smitten were
With great Amazement of so wondrous Sight;
And each on other, and they all on her
Stood gazing, as if suddain great Affright
Had them surpriz'd. At last, avising right,
Her goodly Personage and glorious Hue,
Which they so much mistook, they took delight
In their first Error, and yet still anew
With Wonder of her Beauty fed their hungry View.

Yet no'te their hungry View be satisfy'd;
But seeing, still the more desir'd to see,
And ever firmly fixed did abide
In Contemplation of Divinity:
But most they marvel'd at her Chevalry,
And noble Prowess, which they had approv'd,
That much they feign'd to know who she mote be;
Yet none of all them her thereof amov'd,
Yet every one her lik'd, and every one her lov'd.

And Paridel, tho partly discontent
With his late Fall, and foul indignity,
Yet was soon won his Malice to relent,
Thro gracious Regard of her fair Eye,
And knightly Worth, which he too late did try,
Yet tried did adore. Supper was dight;
Then they Malbecco pray'd of Courtesy,
That of his Lady they might have the sight,
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 Case.
But none of those Excuses could take place;
Ne would they eat, till she in Presence came.
She came in Presence with right comely Grace,
And fairly them saluted, as became,
And shew'd her self in all a gentle courteous Dame.

They sate to Meat, and Satyrane his Chaunce
Was her before, and Paridel beside;
But he himself sate looking still ascaunce,
'Gainst Britomart, and ever closely ey'd
Sir Satyrane, that Glaunces might not glide:
But his blind Eye, that sided Paridel,
All his Demeanure from his sight did hide;
On her fair Face so did he feed his Fill,
And sent close Messages of Love to her at will.

And ever and anon, when none was ware,
With speaking Looks, that close Embassage bore,
He rov'd at her, and told his secret Care;
For all that Art he learned had of yore.
Ne was she ignorant of that leud Lore,
But in his Eye his Meaning wisely red,
And with the like him answer'd evermore:
She sent at him one fiery Dart, whose Head
Empoison'd was with privy Lust, and jealous Dread.

He from that deadly Throw made no Defence,
But to the Wound his weak Heart open'd wide;
The wicked Engin, thro false Influence,
Past thro his Eyes, and secretly did glide
Into his Heart, which it did sorely gride.
But nothing new to him was that same Pain,
Ne Pain at all; for he so oft had try'd
The Power thereof, and lov'd so oft in vain,
That thing of course he counted, Love to entertain.

Thenceforth to her he sought to intimate
His inward Grief, by means to him well known;
Now Bacchus' Fruit out of the silver Plate
He on the Table dash'd, as overthrown,
Or of the fruitful Liquor overflown,
And by the dauncing Bubbles did divine,
Or therein write to let his Love be shown;
Which well she red out of the learned Line;
(A Sacrament profane in Mystery of Wine.)

And when-so of his Hand the Pledg she raught,
The guilty Cup she feigned to mistake,
And in her Lap did shred her idle Draught,
Shewing Desire her inward Flame to slake;
By such close Signs they secret way did make
Unto their Wills, and one Eye's Watch escape;
Two Eyes him needeth, for to watch and wake,
Who Lovers will deceive. Thus was the Ape,
By their fair handling, put into Malbecco's Cape.

Now when of Meats and Drinks they had their Fill,
Purpose was moved by that gentle Dame,
Unto those Knights adventurous, to tell
Of Deeds of Arms, which unto them became,
And every one his Kindred, and his Name.
Then Paridel (in whom a kindly Pride
Of gracious Speech, and Skill his Words to frame
Abounded) being glad of so fit Tide
Him to commend to her, thus spake, of all well ey'd:

Troy, that art now nought but an idle Name
And in thine Ashes bury'd low dost lie,
Tho whilom far much greater than thy Fame,
Before that angry Gods, and cruel Sky
Upon thee heap'd a direful Destiny;
What boots it boast thy glorious Descent,
And fetch from Heaven thy great Genealogy,
Sith all thy worthy Praises being blent,
Their Offspring hath embas'd, and later Glory shent?

Most famous Worthy of the World, by whom
That War was kindled, which did Troy inflame,
And stately Towers of Ilion whilom
Brought unto baleful Ruin, was by Name
Sir Paris, far renown'd thro noble Fame;
Who, thro great Prowess, and bold hardiness,
From Lacedaemon fetch'd the fairest Dame
That ever Greece did boast, or Knight possess,
Whom Venus to him gave for Meed of Worthiness.

Fair Helen, Flower of Beauty excellent,
And Girlond of the mighty Conquerours,
That madest many Ladies dear lament
The heavy Loss of their brave Paramours,
Which they far off beheld from Trojan Towers,
And saw the Fields of fair Scamander grown
With Carcases of noble Warriours,
Whose fruitless Lives were under Furrow sown,
And Xanthus sandy Banks with Blood all overflown.

From him my Lineage I derive aright,
Who long before the ten Years Siege of Troy,
Whiles yet on Ida he a Shepherd hight,
On fair Oenone got a lovely Boy:
Whom, for Remembrance of her passed Joy,
She of his Father, Parius did name;
Who, after Greeks did Priam's Realm destroy,
Gather'd the Trojan Relicks sav'd from Flame,
And with them sailing thence, to th' Isle of Paros came.

That was by him call'd Paros, which before
Hight Nausa: there he many Years did reign,
And built Nausicle by the Pontick Shore;
The which, he dying, left next in remain
To Paridas his Son:
From whom I Paridel by kin descend;
But for fair Lady's Love, and Glory's Gain,
My native Soil have left, my Days to spend
In suing Deeds of Arms, my Life's and Labours end.

When-as the noble Britomart heard tell
Of Trojan Wars, and Priam's City sackt
(The rueful Story of Sir Paridel)
She was empassion'd, at that piteous Act,
With zealous Envy of Greeks cruel Fact
Against that Nation, from whose Race of old
She heard that she was lineally extract:
For noble Britons sprung from Trojans bold,
And Troynovant was built of old Troy's Ashes cold.

Then sighing soft awhile, at last she thus:
O lamentable Fall of famous Town!
Which reign'd so many Years victorious,
And of all Asia bore the sovereign Crown,
In one sad Night consum'd, and throwen down
What stony Heart, that hears thy hapless Fate,
Is not empierc'd with deep Compassion,
And makes Ensample of Man's wretched State,
That flowers so fresh at Morn, and fades at Evening late?

Behold, Sir, how your pitiful Complaint
Hath found another Partner of your Pain
For nothing may impress so dear Constraint,
As Country's Cause, and common Foes Disdain.
But it it should not grieve you back again
To turn your Course, I would to hear desire
What to Aeneas fell; sith that Men say
He was not in the City's woeful Fire
Consum'd, but did himself to Safety retire.

Anchyses' Son, begot of Venus fair,
Said he, out of the Flames for Safeguard fled,
And with a Remnant did to Sea repair,
Where he thro fatal Error long was led
Full many Years, and weetless wandered
From Shore to Shore, emongst the Lybick Sands,
E'er Rest he found. Much there he suffered,
And many Perils past in foreign Lands,
To save his People sad from Victor's vengeful Hands.

At last, in Latium he did arrive,
Where he with cruel War was entertain'd
Of th' inland Folk, which sought him back to drive;
Till he with old Latinus was constrain'd
To contract Wedlock, (so the Fates ordain'd;)
Wedlock contract in Blood, and eke in Blood
Accomplished, that many dear complain'd:
The Rival slain, the Victor (thro the Flood
Escaped hardly) hardly prais'd his Wedlock good.

Yet after all, he Victor did survive,
And with Latinus did the Kingdom part.
But after, when both Nations 'gan to strive,
Into their Names the Title to convert,
His Son Iulus did from thence depart,
With all the warlike Youth of Trojans Blood,
And in long Alba plac'd his Throne apart,
Where fair it flourished, and long time stood,
Till Romulus renewing it, to Rome remov'd.

There, there, said Britomart, afresh appear'd
The Glory of the later World to spring,
And Troy again out of her Dust was rear'd,
To sit in second Seat of sovereign King
Of all the World, under her governing.
But a third Kingdom yet is to arise,
Out of the Trojans scattered Off-spring,
That in all Glory and great Enterprise,
Both first and second Troy shall dare to equalize.

It Troynovant is hight, that with the Waves
Of wealthy Thamis washed is along,
Upon whose stubborn Neck (whereat he raves
With roaring Rage, and sore himself does throng,
That all Men fear to tempt his Billows strong)
She fastned hath her Foot, which stands so high,
That it a Wonder of the World is song
In foreign Lands; and all which passen by,
Beholding it from far, do think it threats the Sky.

The Trojan Brute did first that City found,
And Hygate made the Meare thereof by West,
And Overt-gate by North: that is the Bound
Toward the Land; two Rivers bound the rest.
So huge a Scope at first him seemed best,
To be the Compass of his Kingdom's Seat;
So huge a Mind could not in lesser rest,
Ne in small Meares contain his Glory great,
That Albion had conquered first by warlike Feat.

Ah! fairest Lady-Knight, said Paridel,
Pardon (I pray) my heedless Over-sight,
Who had forgot, that whilom I heard tell,
From aged Mnemon; for, my wits been light.
Indeed, he said, it I remember right,
That of the antick Trojan Stock there grew
Another Plant, that rought to wondrous height,
And far abroad his mighty Branches threw,
Into the utmost Angle of the World he knew.

For that same Brute (whom much he did advaunce
In all his Speech) was Sylvius his Son,
Whom having Pain, thro luckless Arrow's glaunce,
He fled for fear of that he had misdone,
Or else for shame, so foul Reproach to shun;
And with him led to Sea a youthly Train,
Where weary wandring they long time did wonne,
And many fortunes prov'd in th' Ocean main,
And great Adventures found, that now were long to sayn.

At last, by fatal Course they driven were
Into an Island spacious and broad,
The furthest North, that did to them appear:
And (after Rest they seeking far abroad)
Found it the fittest Soil for their Abode;
Fruitful of all things fit for living Food,
But wholly waste, and void of Peoples Trode,
Save an huge Nation of the Giants Brood,
That fed on living flesh, and drunk Mens vital Blood.

Whom he, thro weary Wars and Labours long,
Subdu'd with Loss of many Britons bold:
In which the great Goemagot of strong
Corineus, and Coulin of Debon old
Were overthrown, and laid on th' Earth full cold,
Which quaked under their so hideous Mass:
A famous History to be enrol'd
In everlasting Monuments of Brass,
That all the antique Worthies Merits far did pass.

His Work, great Troynovant, his Work is eke
Fair Lincoln, both renowned far away,
That who from East to West will end-long seek,
Cannot two fairer Cities find this Day,
Except Cleopolis: so heard I say
Old Mnemon. Therefore, Sir, I greet you well
Your Country kin, and you entirely pray
Of Pardon for the Strife, which late befel
Betwixt us both unknown. So ended Paridel.

But all the while that he these Speeches spent,
Upon his Lips hung fair Dame Hellenore,
With vigilant Regard, and due Attent,
Fashioning Worlds of Fancies evermore
In her frail Wit, that now her quite forlore:
The whiles, unwares away her wondring Eye,
And greedy Ears, her weak Heart from her bore;
Which he perceiving, ever privily
In speaking, many false Belgards at her let fly.

So long these Knights discoursed diversly
Of strange Affairs, and noble Hardiment,
Which they had past with mickle Jeopardy,
That now the humid Night was far-forth spent,
And heavenly Lamps were halfendeal ybrent:
Which th' old Man seeing well (who too long thought
Every Discourse, and every Argument,
Which by the Hours he measured) besought
Them go to rest. So all unto their Bowers were brought.

[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 2:488-501]