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15 Far off he wonders what them makes so glad,
Or Bacchus merry fruit they did invent,
Or Cybeles franticke rites have made them mad:
They, drawing nigh, unto their God present
That flowre of fayth and beautie excellent.
The God himselfe, vewing that mirrhour rare,
Stood long amazd, and burnt in his intent:
His owne faire Dryope now he thinkes not faire,
And Pholoe fowle, when her to this he doth compaire.
16 The wood borne people fall before her flat,
And worship her as Goddesse of the wood;
And old Sylvanus selfe bethinkes not, what
To thinke of wight so faire; but gazing stood
In doubt to deeme her borne of earthly brood :
Sometimes Dame Venus selfe he seemes to see;
But Venus never had so sober mood:
Sometimes Diana he her takes to be;
But misseth bow, and shaftes, and buskins to her knee. 17 By vew of her he ginneth to revive
His ancient love, and dearest Cyparisse;
And calles to mind his pourtraiture alive,
How faire he was, and yet not faire to this;
And how he slew with glauncing dart amisse
A gentle hynd, the which the lovely boy
Did love as life, above all worldly blisse;
For griefe whereof the lad n'ould after joy;
But pynd away in anguish and selfe-wild annoy.
18 The wooddy Nymphes, faire Hamadryades,
Her to behold do thither runne apace,
And all the troupe of light-foot Naiades
Flocke all about to see her lovely face:
But, when they vewed have her heavenly grace,
They envy her in their malitious mind,
And fly away for feare of fowle disgrace:
But all the Satyres scorne their woody kind,
And henceforth nothing faire, but her, on earth they find.
19 Glad of such lucke, the luckelesse lucky maid
Did her content to please their feeble eyes,
And long time with that salvage people staid,
To gather breath in many miseries :
During which time her gentle wit she plyes,
To teach them truth, which worshipt her in vaine,
And made her th’ Image of Idolatryes:
But when their bootlesse zeale she did restraine
From her own worship, they her Asse would worship fayn. 20 It fortuned, a noble warlike knight
By just occasion to that forrest came
To seeke his kindred, and the lignage right,
From whence he tooke his well deserved name :
He had in armes abroad wonne muchell fame,
And fild far lands with glorie of his might;
Plaine, faithfull, true, and enimy of shame,
And ever lov'd to fight for Ladies right:
But in vaine glorious frayes he litle did delight. 21 A Satyres sonne yborne in forrest wyld,
By straunge adventure as it did betyde,
And there begotten of a Lady myld,
Faire Thyamis, the daughter of Labryde ;
That was in sacred bands of wedlocke tyde
To Therion, a loose, unruly swayne,
Who had more joy to raunge the forrest wyde,
And chase the salvage beast with busie payne,
Then serve his Ladies love, and wast in pleasures vayne.
24 For all he taught the tender ymp was but
To banish cowardize and bastard feare;
His trembling hand he would him force to put
Upon the Lyon and the rugged Beare;
And from the she Beares teats her whelps to teare;
And eke wyld roring Buls he would him make
To tame, and ryde their backes not made to beare;
And the Robuckes in flight to overtake:
That everie beast for feare of him did fly and quake.
25 Thereby so fearlesse and so fell he grew,
That his owne sire and maister of his guise
Did often tremble at his horrid vew,
And oft for dread of hurt would him advise
The angry beastes not rashly to despise,
Nor too much to provoke ; for he would learne
The Lyon stoup to him in lowly wise,
(A lesson hard,) and make the Libbard sterne
Leave roaring, when in rage he for revenge did earne. 26 And for to make his powre approved more,
Wyld beasts in yron yokes he would compell ;
The spotted Panther, and the tusked Bore,
The Pardale swift, and the Tigre cruell,
The Antelope and Wolf, both fierce and fell ;
And them constraine in equall teme to draw.
Such joy he had their stubborne harts to quell,
And sturdie courage tame with dreadfull aw,
That his beheast they feared, as a tyrans law.
27 His loving mother came upon a day
Unto the woods, to see her little sonne;
And chaunst unwares to meet him in the way,
After his sportes and cruell pastime donne;
When after him a Lyonesse did runne,
That roaring all with rage did lowd requere
Her, children deare, whom he away had wonne:
The Lyon whelpes she saw how he did beare,
And lull in rugged armes withouten childish feare.
28 The fearefull Dame all quaked at the sight,
And turning backe gan fast to fly away,
Untill with love revokt from vaine affright,
She hardly yet perswaded was to stay,
And then to him these womanish words gan say:
Ah Satyrane, my dearling and my joy,
For love of me leave off this dreadfull play ;
To dally thus with death is no fit toy:
Go find some other play-fellowes, mine own sweet boy.
29 In these and like delightes of bloudy game
He trayned was, till ryper years he raught;
And there abode, whilst any beast of name
Walkt in that forest, whom he had not taught
To feare his force: and then his courage haught
Desird of forreine foemen to be knowne,
And far abroad for straunge adventures sought;
In which his might was never overthrowne;
But through al Faery lond his famous worth was blown.
30 Yet evermore it was his manner faire,
After long labours and adventures spent,
Unto those native woods for to repaire,
To see his syre and ofspring auncient.
And now he thither came for like intent;
Where he unwares the fairest Una found,
Straunge Lady, in so straunge habiliment,
Teaching the Satyres, which her sat around,
Trew sacred lore, which from her sweet lips did redound.
31 He wondred at her wisedome heavenly rare,
Whose like in womens wit he never knew;
And, when her curteous deeds he did compare,
Gan her admire, and her sad sorrowes rew,
Blaming of Fortune, which such troubles threw,
And joyd to make proofe of her cruelty
On gentle Dame, so hurtlesse and so trew.
Thenceforth he kept her goodly company,
And learnd her discipline of faith and verity.
32 But she, all vowd unto the Redcrosse knight,
His wandring perill closely did lament,
Ne in this new acquaintaunce could delight;
But her deare heart with anguish did torment,
And all her wit in secret counsels spent,
How to escape. At last in privy wise
To Satyrane she shewed her intent;
Who, glad to gain such favour, gan devise,
How with that pensive Maid he best might thence arise,
33 So on a day, when Satyres all were gone
To do their service to Sylvanus old,
The gentle virgin, left behind alone,
He led away with courage stout and bold.
Too late it was to Satyres to be told,
Or ever hope recover her againe ;
In vaine he seekes that having cannot hold.
So fast he carried her with carefull paine,
That they the woods are past, and come now to the plaine.
34 The better part now of the lingring day
They traveild had, whenas they far espide
A weary wight forwandring by the way;
And towards him they gan in hast to ride,
To weete of newes that did abroad betide,
Or tidings of her knight of the Redcrosse;
But he, them spying, gan to turne aside
For feare, as seemd, or for some feigned losse :
More greedy they of newes fast towards him do crosse.
35 A silly man, in simple weedes forworne,
And soild with dust of the long dried way;
His sandales were with toilsome travell torne,
And face all tand with scorching sunny ray,
As he had traveild many a sommers day
Through boyling sands of Arabie and Ynde;
And in his hand a Jacobs staffe, to stay
His weary limbs upon; and eke behind
His scrip did hang, in which his needments he did bind.
36 The knight, approaching nigh, of him inquerd
Tidings of warre, and of adventures new;
But warres, nor new adventures none he herd.
Then Una gan to aske, if ought he knew
Or heard abroad of that her champion trew,
That in his armour bare a croslet red.
Ay me, Deare dame (quoth he) well may I rew
To tell the sad sight which mine eies have red:
These eies did see that knight both living and eke ded.