Spencer's The Faerie Queene
Book V Canto V
Artegall fights with Radigund
And is subdewd by guile:
He is by her emprisoned,
But wrought by Clarins wile.
So soone as day forth dawning from the East,
Nights humid curtaine from the heauens withdrew,
And earely calling forth both man and beast,
Comaunded them their daily workes renew,
These noble warriors, mindefull to pursew
The last daies purpose of their vowed fight,
Them selues thereto preparde in order dew;
The Knight, as best was seeming for a Knight,
And th'Amazon, as best it likt her selfe to dight.
All in a Camis light of purple silke
Wouen vppon with siluer, subtly wrought,
And quilted vppon sattin white as milke,
Trayled with ribbands diuersly distraught
Like as the workeman had their courses taught;
Which was short tucked for light motion
Vp to her ham, but when she list, it raught
Downe to her lowest heele, and thereuppon
She wore for her defence a mayled habergeon.
And on her legs she painted buskins wore,
Basted with bends of gold on euery side,
And mailes betweene, and laced close afore:
Vppon her thigh her Cemitare was tide,
With an embrodered belt of mickell pride;
And on her shoulder hung her shield, bedeckt
Vppon the bosse with stones, that shined wide,
As the faire Moone in her most full aspect,
That to the Moone it mote be like in each respect.
So forth she came out of the citty gate,
With stately port and proud magnificence,
Guarded with many damzels, that did waite
Vppon her person for her sure defence,
Playing on shaumes and trumpets, that from hence
Their sound did reach vnto the heauens hight.
So forth into the field she marched thence,
Where was a rich Pauilion ready pight,
Her to receiue, till time they should begin the fight.
Then forth came Artegall out of his tent,
All arm'd to point, and first the Lists did enter:
Soone after eke came she, with fell intent,
And countenaunce fierce, as hauing fully bent her,
That battels vtmost triall to aduenter.
The Lists were closed fast, to barre the rout
From rudely pressing to the middle center;
Which in great heapes them circled all about,
Wayting, how Fortune would resolue that daungerous dout.
The Trumpets sounded, and the field began;
With bitter strokes it both began, and ended.
She at the first encounter on him ran
With furious rage, as if she had intended
Out of his breast the very heart haue rended:
But he that had like tempests often tride,
From that first flaw him selfe right well defended.
The more she rag'd, the more he did abide;
She hewd, she foynd, she lasht, she laid on euery side.
Yet still her blowes he bore, and her forbore,
Weening at last to win aduantage new;
Yet still her crueltie increased more,
And though powre faild, her courage did accrew:
Which fayling he gan fiercely her pursew.
Like as a Smith that to his cunning feat
The stubborne mettall seeketh to subdew,
Soone as he feeles it mollifide with heat,
With his great yron sledge doth strongly on it beat.
So did Sir Artegall vpon her lay,
As if she had an yron anduile beene,
That flakes of fire, bright as the sunny ray,
Out of her steely armes were flashing seene,
That all on fire ye would her surely weene.
But with her shield so well her selfe she warded,
From the dread daunger of his weapon keene,
That all that while her life she safely garded:
But he that helpe from her against her will discarded.
For with his trenchant blade at the next blow
Halfe of her shield he shared quite away,
That halfe her side it selfe did naked show,
And thenceforth vnto daunger opened way.
Much was she moued with the mightie sway
Of that sad stroke, that halfe enrag'd she grew,
And like a greedie Beare vnto her pray,
With her sharpe Cemitare at him she flew,
That glauncing downe his thigh, the purple bloud forth drew.
Thereat she gan to triumph with great boast,
And to vpbrayd that chaunce, which him misfell,
As if the prize she gotten had almost,
With spightfull speaches, fitting with her well;
That his great hart gan inwardly to swell
With indignation, at her vaunting vaine,
And at her strooke with puissance fearefull fell;
Yet with her shield she warded it againe,
That shattered all to peeces round about the plaine.
Hauing her thus disarmed of her shield,
Vpon her helmet he againe her strooke,
That downe she fell vpon the grassie field,
In sencelesse swoune, as if her life forsooke,
And pangs of death her spirit ouertooke.
Whom when he saw before his foote prostrated,
He to her lept with deadly dreadfull looke,
And her sunshynie helmet soone vnlaced,
Thinking at once both head and helmet to haue raced.
But when as he discouered had her face,
He saw his senses straunge astonishment,
A miracle of natures goodly grace,
In her faire visage voide of ornament,
But bath'd in bloud and sweat together ment;
Which in the rudenesse of that euill plight,
Bewrayd the signes of feature excellent:
Like as the Moone in foggie winters night,
Doth seeme to be her selfe, though darkned be her light.
At sight thereof his cruell minded hart
Empierced was with pittifull regard,
That his sharpe sword he threw from him apart,
Cursing his hand that had that visage mard:
No hand so cruell, nor no hart so hard,
But ruth of beautie will it mollifie.
By this vpstarting from her swoune, she star'd
A while about her with confused eye;
Like one that from his dreame is waked suddenlye.
Soone as the knight she there by her did spy,
Standing with emptie hands all weaponlesse,
With fresh assault vpon him she did fly,
And gan renew her former cruelnesse:
And though he still retyr'd, yet nathelesse
With huge redoubled strokes she on him layd;
And more increast her outrage mercilesse,
The more that he with meeke intreatie prayd,
Her wrathful hand from greedy vengeance to haue stayd.
Like as a Puttocke hauing spyde in sight
A gentle Faulcon sitting on an hill,
Whose other wing, now made vnmeete for flight,
Was lately broken by some fortune ill;
The foolish Kyte, led with licentious will,
Doth beat vpon the gentle bird in vaine,
With many idle stoups her troubling still:
Euen so did Radigund with bootlesse paine
Annoy this noble Knight, and sorely him constraine.
Nought could he do, but shun the dred despight
Of her fierce wrath, and backward still retyre,
And with his single shield, well as he might,
Beare off the burden of her raging yre;
And euermore he gently did desyre,
To stay her stroks, and he himselfe would yield:
Yet nould she hearke, ne let him once respyre,
Till he to her deliuered had his shield,
And to her mercie him submitted in plaine field.
So was he ouercome, not ouercome,
But to her yeelded of his owne accord;
Yet was he iustly damned by the doome
Of his owne mouth, that spake so warelesse word,
To be her thrall, and seruice her afford.
For though that he first victorie obtayned,
Yet after by abandoning his sword,
He wilfull lost, that he before attayned.
No fayrer conquest, then that with goodwill is gayned.
Tho with her sword on him she flatling strooke,
In signe of true subiection to her powre,
And as her vassall him to thraldome tooke.
But Terpine borne to'a more vnhappy howre,
As he, on whom the lucklesse starres did lowre,
She causd to be attacht, and forthwith led
Vnto the crooke t'abide the balefull stowre,
From which he lately had through reskew fled:
Where he full shamefully was hanged by the hed.
But when they thought on Talus hands to lay,
He with his yron flaile amongst them thondred,
That they were fayne to let him scape away,
Glad from his companie to be so sondred;
Whose presence all their troups so much encombred
That th'heapes of those, which he did wound and slay,
Besides the rest dismayd, might not be nombred:
Yet all that while he would not once assay,
To reskew his owne Lord, but thought it iust t'obay.
Then tooke the Amazon this noble knight,
Left to her will by his owne wilfull blame,
And caused him to be disarmed quight,
Of all the ornaments of knightly name,
With which whylome he gotten had great fame:
In stead whereof she made him to be dight
In womans weedes, that is to manhood shame,
And put before his lap a napron white,
In stead of Curiets and bases fit for fight.
So being clad, she brought him from the field,
In which he had bene trayned many a day,
Into a long large chamber, which was sield
With moniments of many knights decay,
By her subdewed in victorious fray:
Amongst the which she causd his warlike armes
Be hang'd on high, that mote his shame bewray;
And broke his sword, for feare of further harmes,
With which he wont to stirre vp battailous alarmes.
There entred in, he round about him saw
Many braue knights, whose names right well he knew,
There bound t'obay that Amazons proud law,
Spinning and carding all in comely rew,
That his bigge hart loth'd so vncomely vew.
But they were forst through penurie and pyne,
To doe those workes, to them appointed dew:
For nought was giuen them to sup or dyne,
But what their hands could earne by twisting linnen twyne.
Amongst them all she placed him most low,
And in his hand a distaffe to him gaue,
That he thereon should spin both flax and tow;
A sordid office for a mind so braue.
So hard it is to be a womans slaue.
Yet he it tooke in his owne selfes despight,
And thereto did himselfe right well behaue,
Her to obay, sith he his faith had plight,
Her vassall to become, if she him wonne in fight.
Who had him seene, imagine mote thereby,
That whylome hath of Hercules bene told,
How for Iolas sake he did apply
His mightie hands, the distaffe vile to hold,
For his huge club, which had subdew'd of old
So many monsters, which the world annoyed;
His Lyons skin chaungd to a pall of gold,
In which forgetting warres, he onely ioyed
In combats of sweet loue, and with his mistresse toyed.
Such is the crueltie of womenkynd,
When they haue shaken off the shamefast band,
With which wise Nature did them strongly bynd,
T'obay the heasts of mans well ruling hand,
That then all rule and reason they withstand,
To purchase a licentious libertie.
But vertuous women wisely vnderstand,
That they were borne to base humilitie,
Vnlesse the heauens them lift to lawfull soueraintie.
Thus there long while continu'd Artegall,
Seruing proud Radigund with true subiection;
How euer it his noble heart did gall,
T'obay a womans tyrannous direction,
That might haue had of life or death election:
But hauing chosen, now he might not chaunge.
During which time, the warlike Amazon,
Whose wandring fancie after lust did raunge,
Gan cast a secret liking to this captiue straunge.
Which long concealing in her couert brest,
She chaw'd the cud of louers carefull plight;
Yet could it not so thoroughly digest,
Being fast fixed in her wounded spright,
But it tormented her both day and night:
Yet would she not thereto yeeld free accord,
To serue the lowly vassall of her might,
And of her seruant make her souerayne Lord:
So great her pride, that she such basenesse much abhord.
So much the greater still her anguish grew,
Through stubborne handling of her loue-sicke hart;
And still the more she stroue it to subdew,
The more she still augmented her owne smart,
And wyder made the wound of th'hidden dart.
At last when long she struggled had in vaine,
She gan to stoupe, and her proud mind conuert
To meeke obeysance of loues mightie raine,
And him entreat for grace, that had procur'd her paine.
Vnto her selfe in secret she did call
Her nearest handmayd, whom she most did trust,
And to her said; Clarinda whom of all
I trust a liue, sith I thee fostred first;
Now is the time, that I vntimely must
Thereof make tryall, in my greatest need:
It is so hapned, that the heauens vniust,
Spighting my happie freedome, haue agreed,
To thrall my looser life, or my last bale to breed.
With that she turn'd her head, as halfe abashed,
To hide the blush which in her visage rose,
And through her eyes like sudden lightning flashed,
Decking her cheeke with a vermilion rose:
But soone she did her countenance compose,
And to her turning, thus began againe;
This griefes deepe wound I would to thee disclose,
Thereto compelled through hart-murdring paine,
But dread of shame my doubtfull lips doth still restraine.
Ah my deare dread (said then the faithfull Mayd)
Can dread of ought your dreadlesse hart withhold,
That many hath with dread of death dismayd,
And dare euen deathes most dreadfull face behold?
Say on my souerayne Ladie, and be bold;
Doth not your handmayds life at your foot lie?
Therewith much comforted, she gan vnfold
The cause of her conceiued maladie,
As one that would confesse, yet faine would it denie.
Clarin (sayd she) thou seest yond Fayry Knight,
Whom not my valour, but his owne braue mind
Subiected hath to my vnequall might;
What right is it, that he should thraldome find,
For lending life to me a wretch vnkind;
That for such good him recompence with ill?
Therefore I cast, how I may him vnbind,
And by his freedome get his free goodwill;
Yet so, as bound to me he may continue still.
Bound vnto me, but not with such hard bands
Of strong compulsion, and streight violence,
As now in miserable state he stands;
But with sweet loue and sure beneuolence,
Voide of malitious mind, or foule offence.
To which if thou canst win him any way,
Without discouerie of my thoughts pretence,
Both goodly meede of him it purchase may,
And eke with gratefull seruice me right well apay.
Which that thou mayst the better bring to pas,
Loe here this ring, which shall thy warrant bee,
And token true to old Eumenias,
From time to time, when thou it best shalt see,
That in and out thou mayst haue passage free.
Goe now, Clarinda, well thy wits aduise,
And all thy forces gather vnto thee;
Armies of louely lookes, and speeches wise,
With which thou canst euen Ioue himselfe to loue entise.
The trustie Mayd, conceiuing her intent,
Did with sure promise of her good indeuour,
Giue her great comfort, and some harts content.
So from her parting, she thenceforth did labour
By all the meanes she might, to curry fauour
With th'Elfin Knight, her Ladies best beloued;
With daily shew of courteous kind behauiour,
Euen at the markewhite of his hart she roued,
And with wide glauncing words, one day she thus him proued.
Vnhappie Knight, vpon whose hopelesse state
Fortune enuying good, hath felly frowned,
And cruell heauens haue heapt an heauy fate;
I rew that thus thy better dayes are drowned
In sad despaire, and all thy senses swowned
In stupid sorow, sith thy iuster merit
Might else haue with felicitie bene crowned:
Looke vp at last, and wake thy dulled spirit,
To thinke how this long death thou mightest disinherit.
Much did he maruell at her vncouth speach,
Whose hidden drift he could not well perceiue;
And gan to doubt, least she him sought t'appeach
Of treason, or some guilefull traine did weaue,
Through which she might his wretched life bereaue.
Both which to barre, he with this answere met her;
Faire Damzell, that with ruth (as I perceaue)
Of my mishaps, art mou'd to wish me better,
For such your kind regard, I can but rest your detter.
Yet weet ye well, that to a courage great
It is no lesse beseeming well, to beare
The storme of fortunes frowne, or heauens threat,
Then in the sunshine of her countenance cleare
Timely to ioy, and carrie comely cheare.
For though this cloud haue now me ouercast,
Yet doe I not of better times despeyre;
And, though (vnlike) they should for euer last,
Yet in my truthes assurance I rest fixed fast.
But what so stonie mind (she then replyde)
But if in his owne powre occasion lay,
Would to his hope a windowe open wyde,
And to his fortunes helpe make readie way?
Vnworthy sure (quoth he) of better day,
That will not take the offer of good hope,
And eke pursew, if he attaine it may.
Which speaches she applying to the scope
Of her intent, this further purpose to him shope.
Then why doest not, thou ill aduized man,
Make meanes to win thy libertie forlorne,
And try if thou by faire entreatie, can
Moue Radigund? who though she still haue worne
Her dayes in warre, yet (weet thou) was not borne
Of Beares and Tygres, nor so saluage mynded,
As that, albe all loue of men she scorne,
She yet forgets, that she of men was kynded:
And sooth oft seene, that proudest harts base loue hath blynded.
Certes Clarinda, not of cancred will,
(Sayd he) nor obstinate disdainefull mind,
I haue forbore this duetie to fulfill:
For well I may this weene, by that I fynd,
That she a Queene, and come of Princely kynd,
Both worthie is for to be sewd vnto,
Chiefely by him, whose life her law doth bynd,
And eke of powre her owne doome to vndo,
And als' of princely grace to be inclyn'd thereto.
But want of meanes hath bene mine onely let,
From seeking fauour, where it doth abound;
Which if I might by your good office get,
I to your selfe should rest for euer bound,
And readie to deserue, what grace I found.
She feeling him thus bite vpon the bayt,
Yet doubting least his hold was but vnsound,
And not well fastened, would not strike him strayt,
But drew him on with hope, fit leasure to awayt.
But foolish Mayd, whyles heedlesse of the hooke,
She thus oft times was beating off and on,
Through slipperie footing, fell into the brooke,
And there was caught to her confusion.
For seeking thus to salue the Amazon,
She wounded was with her deceipts owne dart,
And gan thenceforth to cast affection,
Conceiued close in her beguiled hart,
To Artegall, through pittie of his causelesse smart.
Yet durst she not disclose her fancies wound,
Ne to himselfe, for doubt of being sdayned,
Ne yet to any other wight on ground,
For feare her mistresse shold haue knowledge gayned,
But to her selfe it secretly retayned,
Within the closet of her couert brest:
The more thereby her tender hart was payned.
Yet to awayt fit time she weened best,
And fairely did dissemble her sad thoughts vnrest.
One day her Ladie, calling her apart,
Gan to demaund of her some tydings good,
Touching her loues successe, her lingring smart.
Therewith she gan at first to change her mood,
As one adaw'd, and halfe confused stood;
But quickly she it ouerpast, so soone
As she her face had wypt, to fresh her blood:
Tho gan she tell her all, that she had donne,
And all the wayes she sought, his loue for to haue wonne.
But sayd, that he was obstinate and sterne,
Scorning her offers and conditions vaine;
Ne would be taught with any termes, to lerne
So fond a lesson, as to loue againe.
Die rather would he in penurious paine,
And his abridged dayes in dolour wast,
Then his foes loue or liking entertaine:
His resolution was both first and last,
His bodie was her thrall, his hart was freely plast.
Which when the cruell Amazon perceiued,
She gan to storme, and rage, and rend her gall,
For very fell despight, which she conceiued,
To be so scorned of a base borne thrall,
Whose life did lie in her least eye-lids fall;
Of which she vow'd with many a cursed threat,
That she therefore would him ere long forestall.
Nathlesse when calmed was her furious heat,
She chang'd that threatfull mood, & mildly gan entreat.
What now is left Clarinda? what remaines,
That we may compasse this our enterprize?
Great shame to lose so long employed paines,
And greater shame t'abide so great misprize,
With which he dares our offers thus despize.
Yet that his guilt the greater may appeare,
And more my gratious mercie by this wize,
I will a while with his first folly beare,
Till thou haue tride againe, & tempted him more neare.
Say, and do all, that may thereto preuaile;
Leaue nought vnpromist, that may him perswade,
Life, freedome, grace, and gifts of great auaile,
With which the Gods themselues are mylder made:
Thereto adde art, euen womens witty trade,
The art of mightie words, that men can charme;
With which in case thou canst him not inuade,
Let him feele hardnesse of thy heauie arme:
Who will not stoupe with good, shall be made stoupe with harme.
Some of his diet doe from him withdraw;
For I him find to be too proudly fed.
Giue him more labour, and with streighter law,
That he with worke may be forwearied.
Let him lodge hard, and lie in strawen bed,
That may pull downe the courage of his pride;
And lay vpon him, for his greater dread,
Cold yron chaines, with which let him be tide;
And let, what euer he desires, be him denide.
When thou hast all this doen, then bring me newes
Of his demeane: thenceforth not like a louer,
But like a rebell stout I will him vse.
For I resolue this siege not to giue ouer,
Till I the conquest of my will recouer.
So she departed, full of griefe and sdaine,
Which inly did to great impatience moue her.
But the false mayden shortly turn'd againe
Vnto the prison, where her hart did thrall remaine.
There all her subtill nets she did vnfold,
And all the engins of her wit display;
In which she meant him warelesse to enfold,
And of his innocence to make her pray.
So cunningly she wrought her crafts assay,
That both her Ladie, and her selfe withall,
And eke the knight attonce she did betray:
But most the knight, whom she with guilefull call
Did cast for to allure, into her trap to fall.
As a bad Nurse, which fayning to receiue
In her owne mouth the food, ment for her chyld,
Withholdes it to her selfe, and doeth deceiue
The infant, so for want of nourture spoyld:
Euen so Clarinda her owne Dame beguyld,
And turn'd the trust, which was in her affyde,
To feeding of her priuate fire, which boyld
Her inward brest, and in her entrayles fryde,
The more that she it sought to couer and to hyde.
For comming to this knight, she purpose fayned,
How earnest suit she earst for him had made
Vnto her Queene, his freedome to haue gayned;
But by no meanes could her thereto perswade:
But that in stead therof, she sternely bade
His miserie to be augmented more,
And many yron bands on him to lade.
All which nathlesse she for his loue forbore:
So praying him t'accept her seruice euermore.
And more then that, she promist that she would,
In case she might finde fauour in his eye,
Deuize how to enlarge him out of hould.
The Fayrie glad to gaine his libertie,
Can yeeld great thankes for such her curtesie,
And with faire words, fit for the time and place,
To feede the humour of her maladie;
Promist, if she would free him from that case,
He wold by all good means he might, deserue such grace.
So daily he faire semblant did her shew,
Yet neuer meant he in his noble mind,
To his owne absent loue to be vntrew:
Ne euer did deceiptfull Clarin find
In her false hart, his bondage to vnbind;
But rather how she mote him faster tye.
Therefore vnto her mistresse most vnkind
She daily told, her loue he did defye,
And him she told, her Dame his freedome did denye.
Yet thus much friendship she to him did show,
That his scarse diet somewhat was amended,
And his worke lessened, that his loue mote grow:
Yet to her Dame him still she discommended,
That she with him mote be the more offended.
Thus he long while in thraldome there remayned,
Of both beloued well, but litle frended;
Vntill his owne true loue his freedome gayned,
Which in an other Canto will be best contayned.
On to Canto VI
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