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Full strongly armed, and on a courser free,
That through his fierceness foamèd all with sweat,
And the sharp iron did for anger eat,
When his hot rider spurred his chafèd side;
His look was stern, and seemèd still to threat
Cruel revenge, which he in heart did hide:
And on his shield Sans loy in bloody lines was dyed.
When nigh he drew unto this gentle pair,
And saw the red cross which the knight did bear,
He burnt in fire; and gan eftsoones prepare
Himself to battle with his couched spear.
Loath was that other, and did faint through fear,
To taste th' untrièd dint of deadly steel:
But yet his lady did so well him cheer,
That hope of new good hap he gan to feel;
So bent his spear, and spurred his horse with iron heel.
But that proud Paynim forward came so fierce
And full of wrath, that, with his sharp-head spear,
Through vainly crossèd shield he quite did pierce;
And, had his staggering steed not shrunk for fear,
Through shield and body eke he should him bear:
Yet, so great was the puissance of his push,
That from his saddle quite he did him bear:
He tumbling rudely down to ground did rush,
And from his gorèd wound a well of blood did gush.
Dismounting lightly from his lofty steed,
He to him leapt, in mind to reave his life,
And proudly said: “Lo, there the worthy meed
Of him that slew Sansfoy with bloody knife;
Henceforth his ghost, freed from repining strife,
In peace may passen over Lethe lake;
When mourning altars, purged with enemy's life,
The black infernal furies do aslake:
Life from Sansfoy thou took’st, Sansloy shall from thee take.”
Therewith in haste his helmet gan unlace,
Till Una cried : “O hold that heavy hand,
Dear sir, whatever that thou be in place:
Enough is that thy foe doth vanquished stand
Now at thy mercy; mercy not withstand;
For he is one the truest knight alive,
Though conquered now he lie on lowly land:
And, whilst him fortune favored, fair did thrive In bloody field; therefore of life him not deprive."
Her piteous words might not abate his rage;
But, rudely rending up his helmet, would
Have slain him straight; but when he sees his age,
And hoary head of Archimago old,
His hasty hand he doth amazed hold,
And, half ashamed, wond'red at the sight:
For the old man well knew he, though untold,
In charms and magic to have wondrous might;
Ne ever wont in field, ne in round lists to fight;
And said: “Why, Archimago, luckless sire,
What do I see? what hard mishap is this,
That hath thee hither brought to taste mine ire ?
Or thine the fault, or mine the error is,
Instead of foe to wound my friend amiss ?”
He answered naught, but in a trance still lay,
And on those guileful dazed eyes of his
The cloud of death did sit; which done away,
He left him lying so, ne would no longer stay:
But to the virgin comes; who all this while
Amazèd stands, herself so mocked to see
By him who has the guerdon of his guile,
For so misfeigning her true knight to be:
Yet is she now in more perplexity,
Left in the hand of that same Paynim bold,
From whom her booteth not at all to flee:
Who, by her cleanly garment catching hold,
Her from her palfrey plucked, her visage to behold.
But her fierce servant, full of kingly awe
And high disdain, whenas his sovereign dame
So rudely handled by her foe he saw,
With gaping jaws full greedy at him came,
And, ramping on his shield, did ween the same
Have reft away with his sharp rending claws:
But he was stout, and lust did now inflame
His courage more, that from his griping paws
He hath his shield redeemed; and forth his sword he draws.
O then, too weak and feeble was the force
Of savage beast, his puissance to withstand !
SIR THOMAS MORE AND HIS DAUGHTER MARGARET OBSERVING FROM HIS PRISON
WINDOW THE MONKS GOING TO EXECUTION, A.D. 1535
From the picture by J. R. Herbert, R.A., in the National Gallery
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
A&NB, LENDI AND TILIEN FOUNDATI
For he was strong, and of so mighty corse,
As ever wielded spear in warlike hand;
And feats of arms did wisely understand.
Eftsoones he piercèd through his chafèd chest
With thrilling point of deadly iron brand,
And lanced his lordly heart: with death opprest
He roared aloud, whiles life forsook his stubborn breast.
Who now is left to keep the fórlorn maid
From raging spoil of lawless victor's will ?
Her faithful guard removed; her hope dismayed;
Herself a yielded prey to save or spill !
He now, lord of the field, his pride to fill,
With foul reproaches and disdainful spite
Her vilely entertains; and, will or nill,
Bears her away upon his courser light:
Her prayers naught prevail : his rage is more of might.
And all the way, with great lamenting pain,
And piteous plaints, she filleth his dull ears,
That stony heart could riven have in twain;
And all the way she wets with flowing tears:
But he, enraged with rancor, nothing hears.
Her servile beast yet would not leave her so,
But follows her far off, ne aught he fears
To be partaker of her wand'ring woe:
More mild in beastly kind, than that her beastly foe.
[Sir Thomas MORE, English statesman and scholar, was born in London, February 7, 1478; son of Sir John More, justice of the King's Bench. He was placed as a page in the household of Archbishop Morton, who sent him to Oxford. Having completed his legal studies in London, he obtained the appointment of undersheriff of London, and was elected a member of Parliament during the last years of Henry VII. ; and in the reign of Henry VIII., to whom he was recommended by Wolsey, became a knight, treasurer of the exchequer, speaker of the House of Commons, and, on the fall of Wolsey, lord chancellor. He resigned the seals in 1532 because he could not conscientiously sanction the divorce of Queen Catherine, and two years later was committed to the Tower for refusing to swear allegiance to the “ Act of Succession.” After a year's imprisonment, he was brought to trial at Westminster, convicted of high treason, and