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THE FIFTH SONG
1. While as Armida treacherous thus-wise
The knight entyceth her loves maze to dread,
Nor on the promisde ten alone relyes,
But trusts her stealth should more a gadding lead,
On whom to charge this daungrous enterprise,
Which she must guide, Godfrey wist not a read. (has no counsel
For ventrers store, and worth in generall
Breeds doubt, nor lesse their bent in speciall.
2. At last he orders with well-ware foresight
That choyce of one from out themselves they take,
Who should succeede to noble Dudons right,
And this election at his pleasure make:
That so no one with just exception might
Complaine, or he their causefull wrath awake,
And show withall how this most worthy band
With him in price doth of high valew stand.
3. Then he them to him cals, and gan to say,
“You have already understood my minde,
Which for the damsels aide gave not a nay,
But to riper season it assigned.
This I propound anew, and well it may
A dew assent of your opinions finde.
For in the world light and chaungeable,
T’is constance oft t ’ensew thoughts variable.
4. “But if yet still you deeme it foully staine
This your degree such perils to refuse,
And if your noble courage seeme disdaine,
What so a counsell oversafe ensewes,
I will not you against your wils retaine,
Nor calling backe my graunt, my faith abuse,
But with you be it, as to be is right,
The bridle of our rule gentle and light.
5. “To go then or to stay, content I rest
That on your pleasure freely it depend.
Yet will that first you make to Duke decest
New successour, who may your charge attend,
And mongst you ten out-cull, as likes him best.
But take of ten, expirde the choice shall end.
For herein I reserve my sov’raignty.
In all els franke be his authority.”
6. So Godfrey spake, and th’anwere to empart
Ech ones consent upon his brother threw,
Like as: “O captaine, this farre seeing art
Of lingring vertue best beseemeth you.
So vigour of the hand and of the hart
Of us is lookt, as debet by us due,
And that ripe firmenesse, which in others case
Is providence, in us were vilety base.
7. “And since light harmes, which from this perill grow,
Weyd with the profit make the ballance rise,
Your liking had, the chosen ten shall go
With this damsell to that brave enterprise.”
Thus he concludes, and with guile tyred so,
Seekes close to vayle the mind, which inly fries
With colour’d zeale. Honors desire did move
The rest (as seem’d), but t’was desire of love.
8. But youngest Bulleyn with repining eye
Upon the sonne, who of Sophia leeres, (looks askance
Whose vertue he admires enviously,
Which in fine feature more it selfe endeeres,
His mateship nould, and suttle jealousy, (did not want
Wary conceipts vp his fancie steeres,
Whence he, his counterstriver drawn apart,
Arraisons him with this besmoothing art: (questions
9. “O of great sire, thou greater sonne that art!
Who, young in price of armes, bearst highest fame
Of this brave band whereof we make a part,
Who shall be graced with commanders name?
I that to famous Dudon scarce my hart
Sole for the honour of his age could frame
T’obey, I, Godfreys brother, cannot see
Whom I should yeeld to save alone to thee.
10. “Thee whose high lynage egals all the rest,
Whose glory me, and merit hath out-gon,
Nor lesse himselfe, in price of martial quest
To hold, disdaynes the greater Boglion.
Thee I for captaine crave, if in thee nest
No will to be this squadrons champion.
Ne thinke I thou wilt for that honour carke,
Which may proceed from deeds obscure and darke.
11. “Nor here wants place where you may betwtify
Your haughtie valour with fames brighter ray.
Now I’le procure (if you it not deny)
This chiefe honour, the rest on you shall lay.
But for I wot not well what way to ply
My hart, which plants in doubts his fickle stay,
Let me obtaine that Armide at my will
I follow may, or with thee tarry still.”
12. Here Eustace held his peace, nor uttered
These later accents without bushing face,
And his hot burning thoughts ill covered
T’other well spide, and smiled at the case.
But for loves flower stroakes scarcely perced
The utter rinde, which did his brest embrace,
Nor at a countermate he takes offence,
Nor to pursew the wench he makes pretence.
13. But deepely grav’d in holdfast thought abides
Dudons sharpe death, whom long to over-to live,
That it audacious Argant so betides,
He counts will blemish of dishonour give,
And part into his eares with pleasing slides
This speech, which him doth to dew honour drive,
And his young courage joyes and well appayes (satisfies
In the sweet sound of this true tuned prayse.
14. Whence thus he answered, “I hold more desire
Chiefe places to deserve then to obtaine,
And if I may to vertues height aspire,
Envy I neede not others haughty raigne.
Yet to this honour, as my fitting hire,
If you me call, I will not churchy straine,
But deere repute, that you so plaine a signe
Expresse how your good wils to me encline.
15. “Thus I it not desire, nor yet refuse,
And I made Duke, you shall be of th’ elect.”
So Eustace leaves him, and gins travaile use,
This with his mates good liking to effect.
But for selfe roome Prince Gernand hotly sewes,
Whom though Armidas poisned shafts enfect,
Yet in proud hart, lesse ladies love prevailes.
Then thirst of honour, which more sharpe assailes.
16. From Norway great kings Gernand came of yore,
Who many realmes swayd with emperiall blade,
Which store of crownes and royal scepters store
Of sire and grandsires him much haughtie made.
Th’ other on his owne worth him haughtie bore,
More then on acts of elders noble trade,
Albe of hundred years many a leace (a length of thread (?)
They were renownd in warre, and knowne in peace.
17. But the barbarian lord, who measur’de sole
So farre as gold and rule can stretch the line,
And deem’d ech vertue darke as quenched cole
Wherein some royall title did not shine,
In no wise brookes that to the craved gole
The knights like merit should their course combine,
And growes so teasty that by teeny spite
Past reasons bounds he is transported quote.
18. So as the sprite malignant of the deepe,
Who open in him saw this largy gate,
Into him gan with covert silent creepe,
And at the helme of this thoughts fleeing sate,
And there his wrath ginnes more in hate to steepe,
And more his hart to pricke, and more to grate,
And worketh so that in his soule still sounds
A voyce, which reasons such to him propounds:
19. “Doth Reynold just with thee? Beares his vaine ranke
Of elder worthies such nobilitie?
Then let him show (since thee he mates so cranke)
The nations thralled to his soveraigntie.
Shew he his realmes, his dead ones let him flanke
With thine that live in royall dignitie.
Ah how this lord presumes of wortelesse rate,
Lord borne in Italy of thrald estate!
20. “Winne he or leese he, he is victor yet, (lose
Ev’n since he was thy countermate at first.
What will the world say (and saying set
His prayse a flaunt)? With Gernand match he durst,
That roome to thee some fame and credit get
Well might, while noble Dudons glory nurst.
But yet thy selfe wouldst it to lesse a grace,
Where by craving it, doth it abase.
21. “And if they, who no longer breath or speake,
To our affaires their knowing thoughts apply,
Into what noble flame of wrath out breake
Doth good old Dudon (thinke you) bove in sky?
Whiles he adviseth this, our copy freake, (imitation man
And on his sawcy boldnesse bends his eye,
Who ev’n with him (scorning his worth and age)
Dares to compare fond over-weening page?
22. “Yea dares, and it attempts and beares away,
In liew of chasticement, honour and laud.
And some there are, who for him do and say
(O common shame!) and unto him applaud.
But if Godfrey it see, and pleasde appay, (be satisfied
That of what is thy dew he thee defraud,
Bear’t not, nor it to beare it is thy thy part,
But shew him what thou canst, and who thou art.”
23. At such a speeches sound upflames disdaine,
And as a tossed brand in him it growes,
Nor stuft and swollen heart it can containe,
But out through eyes and at the tongue it goes.
What so blamefull, undew, he deemes may staine
Rinaldos honour, he doth all disclose.
Him proud and vaine he faines, and his manhood
He termes by name of rashness, fond and wood.
24. And what so of a great and haughty hart,
Of loftie, and of noble, in him shinde,
All this (shading the truth with evill art)
He blames, as it were vice, and fault doth finde,
And prateth so, as fame it gan impart
To counter-knight by vulgars blabbing winde.
Not yet his wrath he slakte, or bridelled
The blindfold bent, which should to death him wed.
25. For that lewd feend, who moving rulde his tong,
In steede of breath and all his words did frame,
Him made renew ech his outragious wrong,
Still beering fewell to his bosomd flame.
Wide place there was in camp, where seemly throng
Of choicest persons ever flocking came,
Where, joynd in wrastling and in turneyment,
More vigour, and more skill, their lims they bent.
26. Now there what time thickest increast the preace, (press
He (as his dest’ny gave) Reynold accusde,
And like keene shaft, against him gan addresse
His tongue, in venom of Averne infused,
And of his speech Reynold was my witnesse,
Nor longer could restraine his wrath unusde,
But cries, “Thou lyest,” and on him sets amaine,
And in right hand doth naked weapon straine.
27. His voice a thunder seemd, lightning his blade,
Which tidings bringeth of the falling flash.
He quakes, nor seeks how fly, or how evade
He may deathes present uneschewed lash.
Yet since the whole campe witnesse stood, he made
Semblant, as nought him could dismay or bash,
And his great foe attends, and weapon barde
(Close setled for defence) he lyes at warde.
28. Seene fiery swords wel-neere a thousand are
That time at once to flame, for there around
In flockt, and shoov’d, and prest of folke unaware
A divers troope, and through the aire rebound
And whirle of voices that uncertaine fare,
And of confused accents doth the sound,
As at sea shore is heard when wind and wave
Murmures divers in one confounded have.
29. But not a whit for other voices slakes
Th’ offended warrour eyther brung or ire.
Fences and cryes he scornes, or what so brakes
A stop, and to revenge doth whole aspire.
And through the men, and through their armes he rakes,
And whirles about his sword of flashy fire,
So as to thousand gaurders shame all lets (restraints
Away he thrusts, and on Gernando sets.
30. And with a hand, ev’n angry, skild in fight
A thousand blowes quartering on him he layes.
Now in the brest, now in the head, no right,
Now left side busie he to wound assayes,
And his right hand so wimble was and wight, (nimble | agile
That eyes and art come short of his sly wayes,
So as unseene and unadvisde it lights,
And strikes, and foines, where least his feare affrights. (stabs
31. Nor ever ceast, till in his brest plunged
Once and againe he had his fierce Morglay.
The wretch fals grroveling on his wound, and she
Foorth soule and spirits by that dubble way.
The vanquisher his sword yet sprinckelled
With bloud upsheathes, nor there brooks longer stay,
But turnes elsewhere, and casteth off withall
His cruell mood and his incensed gall.
32. Good Godfrey, to this tumult drawne the while,
Findes dismall sight of unexpected case:
Gernand out stretcht, his haire and mantle vile
And moyst with bloud, and full of death his face.
He heares the sighes and plaints, and divers stile
Of moanes for warrour slaughtred in the place.
Stonisht he queres, “Here where tis most forbid,
Who ist that so much durst, and so much did?
33. Arnalt, one deerest to the prince deceast,
The case tells, and it telling gan augment,
How Reynold slew him, and how thereto prest
He was by slight cause of a braine-sicke bent,
And how the sword, which guirded was to quest
Of Christ, gainst Christen champions now he bent,
And how he scornde his rule and fore-restraint,
And how herewith all did themselves acquaint,
34. And that death to his guilt by law is dew,
And ought (as was proclaimde) be punished,
Both for the fault selfe beares a heynous hew,
And for in such a place it happened.
For if his errour such pardon accrew,
More by his sample will be couraged,
And that the wronged will to vengeance band
Themselves, which now th’attend at judges hand.
35. Which discord will beget, and bring forth blowes
Twixt such as part with t’one and t’other take.
The dead mans merits up he rips, and showes
What so many pitie or disdaine awake.
But Tancred it denies, and doth oppose
Himselfe, and skusing forth accused spake.
Godfrey listneth, and with a face seveare
Small cause affords of hope, but more of feare.
36. Tancred then addes, “My wise lord, please it you,
What and how Reynold is in mind to call,
What honour in his owne regard is dew,
Both for his stocke renowmed and royall,
And for his unckle Guefe, nor ought ensew
From rulers doome, on each a paine equall:
In divers callings one offence appeeres
Divers, and ev’nesse sole is just with peeres.”
37. “The lower shall (answered the captiane) learne
By sample of the higher to obay.
Tancred, you counsell ill, and ill discerne
To thinke I’le beare with greats unruly sway.
What were my rule, if some with vulgar sterne,
On none but base and vile commaund I may?
A powrelesse scepter, a charge full of shame,
If such law gave it, I renounce the same.
38. “But franke and awfull it was given mee,
Nor this authoritie shall any bate.
And well I know where and when ought to bee
Now price and paines imposde of divers rate,
Now keeping tenour of equalitee,
Not lowest sever’d from the highest state.”
So spake he, t’other answere none affords,
As vanquisht by the rev’rence of his words.
39. Raymond, a follower of the severe
And sterne antiquitie, his speech commends.
“With these arts (sayes he) who so well doth beare
His rule, the subjects to his rev’rence bends.
For discipline is never soundest where
The guilty pardon more than paine attends.
Down fals ech realme, ech mercy ruineth,
Which on the base of feare not fasteneth.”
40. So spake he, and Tancred did well advise
These words, nor there time longer spent,
But to Rinaldo-ward foorthwith him hies
On steed, who seemed winged as he went.
Reynold, when from fierce foe had thuswise
Rest pride and soule, returned to his tent.
There Tancred found him, and makes full report,
What sayd and answred was, in every sort.
41. Then he adjoynes, “Albe no outward show,
As faithfull witnes of the hart I prize,
For in too inward part, and too hollow
The thought of mortall wights conceiled lies,
Yet dare I vouch by that on sight I know,
In the chieftaine (nor it he whole denies)
That to the common law for guilt ordaind
He’ll have you thrald, and in his power restraide.”
42. Rinaldo somewhat smilde, and with a face
In which twixt laughter flashed a disdaine,
“Let him (quoth he) in bonds goe plead his cace,
Thats bend, and fit for bondage hath a graine.
I free was borne, and live, and free in place
Will die, ere base cord hand or foot astaine.
Used to my sword, and used palmes to beare
Is this right hand, and scornes vile gyves to weare.
43. “But if for my deserts such recompence
Godfrey will yeeld, and me in prison cast,
As I of vulgar were, and beare pretence
In common fetters to uptie me fast,
Then let him come or send, I will not hence.
Twixt us shall chance and armes be judges plast.
Ile of a dismall tragedy the shoe
Present for pastime to our forraine foe.”
44. This said, he cals for armes, and head and brest
In steele of finest choice most seemely shrines,
And with his waighty shield his arme he prest,
And fatall blade unto his side combines,
And with a semblant brave and nobellest
(As lightning wonts), he in his armour shines.
Mars, he resembles thee, when from fift heav’n
Thou comst down guirt with ire and ghastly leav’n.
45. Tancred this while his fierce sprites doth procure,
And hart upswolne with pride to mollifie.
“Invict young man (he sayes), to your valure, (indomitable
I know, ech hard and tough attempt will plie
With ease. I know that ever most secure
Midst armes and terrour stands your vertue hie.
But God forbid you make it such appeare
So cruelly to our annoyance heere.
46. “Tell me, what meane you do? Will you go staine
Your yet cleane hands in bloud of civill warre,
And with Christens unworthy wounds againe
Peirce Christ, of whom we part and members are?
And shall respectrs of fading honour vaine
(Which like sea wave soone flow, and ebbe as farre)
Worke more with you then either faith or zeale,
Which glory bring of heavens endlesse weale?
47. ”Ah no (for God), conquer your selfe, and kill
This fiercenesse of your over haughty minde.
Give place, it is no feare but holy will.
For palme is to your giving place assigned,
And in my yeeres of young unripened skill,
If any may sutewoorth example finde, (meriting compaint
I also was provokt, yet never grew
Gainst faithfull fierce, but did my selfe subdew.
48. “For when Cilicia realme by my effort
I wanne, and Christen ensignes there addrest,
Baldwyn comes on, and in unworthy sort
It straightwayes seizd, and made a base conquest,
While bearing of a friend ech way the port.
At his so greedy bent I never ghest.
Yet seeke thereof recovery by fight
I nould, though it perhaps performe I might. (refuse
49. “And if you also prisonment refuse
And fetters fly, as waight unmoble fro,
And th’ uses rather and th’ opinons chuse
On which men name of honours lawes bestow,
Let me alone. I’l you to captike skuse.
Do you to Boemund at Antioch goe,
That he you out in this first brunt may beare,
So gainst his sentence safe bide shall you theare.
50. “Soone will it hap, if the Egyptian state
Or other Painim troope against us warre,
That clearer much your valour of high rate
Will shine, while that from hence it bideth farre,
And campe will seeme (you wanting) out of date,
As corps whose arme and hand off chopped are.”
Here Guelfe comes in, and doth this speech approve,
And wils that thence he speedily remove.
51. To their advises the disdainefull hart
Of this audacious youth beturning plies,
So as foorthwith from thence aside to start
To such well-willers he no more denies.
Friends store (the while) stocke in from every part,
And with him crave to goe in earnest wise.
He thankes them all, and for attendants chose
Two only squires, and so to horse he goes.
52. He parts, and of high glory a large bent
Pertakes, the spurre and rod of noble sprite.
His hart, all vowd t’expoits magnificent,
Doth none but workes of rarest price endite.
Midst foes (as chamtion of the Faith) he ment
That palme or cypresse should his paines acquite.
He’ll Egypt scoure, and pierce ev’n to the hole
Where from his uncouth spring Nile doth outrole.
53. But Guelfe, when as the fierce young man thus wise,
Prest to depart, had bid them all adew,
There brookes no longer stay, but speedy hies,
Where guesse might Godfrey soonest yeeld to view.
Who spying him, with voyce of higher size
Said, “Guelfe, this very time I wisht for you,
And sent but late to sundry wheres about
Some of our herhaults to enquire you out.”
54. Then makes all els withdraw, and turning low,
Begins with him a grave speech to contrive.
“Your nephew verily (my friend Guelfo)
To headlong runnes, where heats his courage drive,
And if his deede (I deeme) can hardly show
Some cause that may to just pretence arrive.
Deere would I hold that so it might before,
But Godfrey stands and equall Duke withal.
55. “And will, of what so lawfull is and right,
In ech case guardeine and defender bee,
Preserving still from tyrant passions might
His unsubdewed hart in judging free.
Now if that Reynold by constraint him dight
To wrong the edict and sacred majestee
Of discipine, as some alleage, behooves
He can, and take our doome, and make his prooves.
56. “Come he to his restraint in liberty,
What may be to his merits I consent.
But if he this disdaine, and stand stiffely
(Well wot I his untamed hardimente),
Do you to bring him your best care apply,
Least he force one of slow and gentle bent
Severe avenger be of his empire
And of the lawes, as reason doth require.”
57. So did he speake, and Guelfe replyed thus:
“No minde that shames what justly may defame
Can speeches heare of scorne injurious,
And not repulse them backe from whence they came.
If wrongers slaughter then the wrong discusse,
Who ist that bounds can to just furie frame?
Who can his blowes, and what to fault is dew,
In heat of bickring wey and measure true?
58. “But that the youth should come in and obey
Your sov’raigne judgement, as you now require,
Me greeves it cannot be. For farre away
He straight his steps did from the hoast retire.
Yet this right hand a gage of proofe I lay
Gainst him that blew this false accusals fire,
Or whho so els beares like malicious hed,
That shame unjust he justly punished.
59. “I say, with reason he Gernando hault, (halted
Downe forst the hornes of his stout pride to bend.
Your broken charge (if any) was his fault.
This sole I sorrow, nor will it commend.”
He peac’d. “Let him (quoth Godfrey) fetch his fault,
And brawles beare other where, nor I intend
That you more seede here of new quarrels sow.
Ah no (for-God), let old strifes also go.”
60. This while her proffred succour to procure
The lewd deceitful wench no time forslowes.
All day she spends in prayers, an puts in ure (into ise
What helpe from art, or wit, or bewtie growes.
But when the night, spreading her robe obscure,
The day light in the West gan up to close,
Twixt her two knights, and matrons twaine aside,
Where her pavilion pitched was, she hide.
61. But though for art of wiles the price she bare,
And kind her port were, and her manners quent,
And she so faire as never greater share
The heav’ns tofore on any woman spent,
So as in campe most of the champions rare
She with a strong and holdfast pleasure hent, (siezed
Yet on the bayt of any her delite
No tycing could good Godfrey winne to bite.
62. In vaine she sought to slocke, or with mortall (entice
Sweetnings t’enroll him in Cupidos pay.
For as a gorged hawke stoupes not at call (swoops
Of Falkners lure upon his traine to pray,
So he, full of the world, frayle pleasures all
Scornes, and mounts to the sky by uncouth way.
And so snares, unfaithfull love contrives,
Gainst his faire flight he of effect deprives.
63. Nor any let could make his steps retrace (obstacle
From path which God points holy thoughts t’enswe.
With him a thousand arts she tryes, and face
Of thousand formes him showes (as Prote new) (Proteus
Well might her gestures sweet and seemely grace
Wake love, where cold sleepe did it most imbew.
But here (mercy the Lord) ech proffer vaine
Proved, ne bootes it to beginne againe.
64. The faire dame, who to kindle did suppose
Ech chaseth hart with onely blincke of eye,
O how the haultnes (now) and pride foregoes! (haughtiness
How this her spite with mervaile gan allay!
At last, where lesse doubt of gainestriving showes,
She now resolves her forces to appy,
Like tired captaine, who leaves seidge of fort
Impregnable, and makes elsewhere resort.
65. But gainst this wenches armes his hart no lesse
Invict to be Tancredi will approve,
For other longings his whole brest possess,
Nor any new heat may the old remove.
For as one venom useth to represse
The tothers force, so t’one doth t’other love.
Thes sole, not much or little could she gaine,
Ech els, her fairest fire enflamde amaine.
66. She though it greev’d that not a thorow sway
Fortune allowd her purpose and her art,
Yet of so many champions a pray
So noble, somedeale comforteth her hart. (somewhat
And ere some one her fraudes discover may,
Thinkes to conduct them to a safer part,
Where them she will in other chaines enfold
Then those wher with them thral she now doth hold.
67. So when the tearme was present come that dayd (appointed the day
The captaine had some succour her to yeeld,
Before him rev’rent she appeares, and sayd,
“Time out doth date (sir) of your promise weeld,
And if fell tirant learne that under ayd
Of these your armes I seeke my selfe to sheeld,
He will prepare his forces for defence.
Nor shall we easly compasse our pretence.
68. “Then ere the newes herof come certaine spy
Him beare, or flying flames uncertaine winde,
Let of your valiantst men, by your pitty,
Some few with me to march be straight assignde.
For if the heavn’s view not with froward eye
Mens workes, nor innoncence cast out of minde,
I shall my realme regaine, and towne and field,
In peace and warre shall you still tribute yeeld.”
69. So said she, and the captaine to her woordes
Graunteth what could not be denyde,
Though whiles to parture she no stay affordes,
He sees himselfe to this election tyde.
But of the ten, ech one the number boordes,
And with strange instance to be be chosen plyde,
And emulation, which in them awakes,
More in the suit importunate them makes.
70. She, that in them wide open sees the hart,
It having seene, takes a new argument,
And jealousies grim feare lasheth a part
On their haunches, as scourge of dire torment.
Well weeting that last without such art (knowing
Love waxeth old and slow, and slaketh bent,
Much like a steede who never gallops swift
Unlesse some after, some tofore him shift.
71. And in such wise she can her words allot,
And her entycing looke and lovely smile,
That none there is who t’other envies not,
Nor so they feare, but that they hope the while.
Thus the fond rout of each inamourd sot,
Spurd on by show of hew all shapte to guile,
Unbridled runs, nor shame restraines them ought,
And captaine backe to rayne them vainly sought.
72. He that to please ech partie doth aspire
With equall bent, and leanes to neither side,
Though somewhat now with shame, and now with ire,
At these his knights such peevishnes he fride,
Yet since so obstinate grew their desire,
On a new fetch (t’accord them) he relide.
“Write you your names, and in a vessell place
Me them (quoth he), and lots shall try the cace.”
73. Foorthwith then ech ones name is papered,
And in small pitcher cast, and all too shooke,
And drawne by hap,and first that issued
Artemedoro was, Earle of Pembrooke.
Next Gherards name fild eares that listened,
And passage after these Wincelay tooke,
Wincelay who, so grave and sage tofore,
Now old is lover, and a princox hore. (saucy old man
74. O how these three that first with chosen have
Their countnance mery, and their eyes with child
Of joy, which doth from brinefull hart out-wave!
Fortune (loves friend) speed ev’ry plot they build.
The rest whose names the pitcher held in grave
Showd doubt, and jealousie were not exilde,
And at his mouth they hang, whose hand forth drew
The opned briefes, and red the residew.
75. Guasco the fourth came forth, to whom succeedes
Ridolfo, and to Ridofe, Olderice.
Then of Ronciglio he Gulielmo reedes,
And Evrard the Bavier, and Francke Henrick.
Rambaldo was the last, who, changing creedes,
Made choice gainst Jesus damned foe to kick.
Ev’n so much love could do. Tennes number he
There closed up, the rest excluded be.
76. Which rest with wrath, envie and jealousy
Enflamde, fortune unjust and brothell call,
And blame thee, love, that didst her not deny,
Within thy realme her judgement throne to stall.
But (for egraffed in mankind we try
That most forbidden, most we covet all)
In spite of fortune many them dispose
To follow her when darke the welkin growes.
77. They will her follow still in sunne and shade,
And for her (fighting) hazard life and soule.
She spares some becks, and with chopt words that wade
Halfe-way, and with sweet sighes them on doth toule. (draw
And that, them left, her parture must be made
With t’one and ’other eft she gan condoule.
Buskled in armes this while, them ready make
The ten knights, and of Godfrey congey take. (congée
78. This wise man ech one monisheth apart,
How Painims faith uncertaine is and light,
And ill assured pledge, and by what art
Men snares may shunne, and haps of heavy plight.
But with the wind his words away do start,
Nor love bookes counsell of advised wight.
At last he gives them licence, and the dame
Stayes not her parting till the morrow came.
79. The conqueresse departs, and her before
Those rivals she in triumph marshalled
As prisoners, and to harmes hugy store
The rest of all her loves abandoned.
But under wings, when night out issew’d, bore
Silence, and swevins roaming idlehed. (dreams
Then secretly (as love them counsell lent)
Tracing Armidas steps, full many went.
80. Eustace her follows first, who scarce abide
Could till nights shadow day-light had yshrinde,
But hasty hyes where him best pleasd to guide
Through blind darkenes a chieftaine all as blind.
That faire coole night his wandring way he plide,
But when the joyous light appearing shined,
Armide appeared likewise with her troupe
Where a burgage had beene their lodging coope. (field (?)
81. To her-ward fast he fares, and by his crest
Rambalo soone him knowes, and asking cryde
Why there he came, and what he had in quest.
“I come to follow (answerd he) Armide,
Nor (if unscornd) less shall mine aide be prest,
Nor lesse my faith be in her service tryde.”
T’other replies, “So great honour to prove,
Who hath thee chosne?” And he rejoyned, “Love.
82. “Love chused me, thee Fortune. Now decree
Who choicest right from justest chuser hath.”
Quoth Rambalt then, “Nothing avayleth thee.
This title false, these arts are way to skath, (work harm
Nor mongst her lawfull champions mayst thou be
Allow’d to trace this royall virgins path,
Servant of lawlesse rate.” “And who (replies
The youth now waxeth hoat) it me denies?”
83. “I it forfend,” then answer’d he againe,
And with that word against him marching went.
And, holding will of equalling disdaine,
t’other him moves with equall hardiment.
But here, her hand out stretcht atwixt them twaine,
Steps their soules tyrant midst their furious bent,
And sayes to th’ one, “Ah, this your grudging cease,
That you compagnion I a champion crease.
84. “If you my safety love, why me deprive,
In such neede, do you, of this new supply?”
Then says to him, “You fit and thankt arrive,
On whose defence my fame, my life, rely.
No reason would that I should packing drive
So welcome and so noble company.”
Thus talking, whiles on way they vantage win,
Some new come champion hourely droppeth in.
85. Some come from thence, and some hence, ne knowes
T’one of t’other, but ech looke askance.
She glad them entertaines, and all she showes,
For such their comming, mirth and jouyssance.
But when the dimmy ayre now cleerer growes,
Godfrey gate of their parture cognisance,
And his mind (which their damage did foregeeve)
At some their future ill seem’d to aggreeve.
86. Whilst more hereon he casts, there doth appeere
A messenger, dusty, panting, with grace
All sad, and port which newes of heavy cheere
Brings, and beares sorrow written in his face.
“My lord (quoth he), there will at sea appeere
Th’ Egyptian great fleete within little space.
William (to whome the Gene ships subject bee) (Genoan
This fresh adviso sendeth you by mee.
87. Hee addes, whiles a convoy was conducted
Of vittailes to the campe-ward from the fleet,
Their horse and camels heavy burdened,
Amids the way a grievous cumber meet,
So as, guarders all slav’d or slaughtered
In fight, none could his fellowes safely greet,
And that th’ Arabian theeves, at front and backe
Them in a vale assayling, wrought this wracke.
88. And how the mad rage and licentiousnesse
Of those barbarian rogues so greatly grow,
That, like a hugy floud past all redresse,
Around they spred, and ech place over-flow.
Whence needs (to th’ end some awe may them represse)
A band of men gainst them be sent to go,
Who from the sands of Palestina sea
Scowring, may to the campe assure the way.
89. From one to th’ other language straight the fame
Hereof passeth, and soone extendeth wide,
And common souldier to himselfe doth frame
Great feare of famine, which will soone betide.
The generall discreete, who findes now lame
The haughtie courage wont in them to bide,
Doth by this cheerefull looke and words procure
Their drooping to revive and reassure.
90. “Oh you that with me past have here and there
A thousand perils and a thousand woes,
Champions of God, whom His Faith to repaire
Even from your birth, deere Christians, he chose,
You that Greeke guiles and Persian armes ech where
Vanquished, and hils, and seas, and winter throwes,
And thirst, and pinching famines hard distresse,
Shall daunting feare your spirits now possesse?
91. “Can then the Lord, Who you doth stirre and guide,
Well knowen earst in oft more grievous case,
Not now assure you? As if turn’d aside
His hand of mercy were, or holy face?
One day t’will joy to thinke what harmes betide
Us did, and vowes to pay to the’ heavenly grace.
Now hold couragious on, and keepe, I pray,
Your selves to fortune of a better day.”
92. With these words he their minds, tofore dismaide,
Comforts, and with a cleere and cheerrefull looke.
But yet, amid his brest, in heapes uplaid
A thousand sad sharpe cares their lodging tooke:
How he so man ymen may feed and aide
Twixt want and dearth his thoughtfull mind it shooke,
How he may fleete at sea withstand, and how
Th’ Arabian robbers he make breake or bow.