To see a textual note, click on a red square. To see the Latin text, click on a green square. 


1. While thus the tyrant doth provide to arme
Ismen one day comes to him all alone,
Ismen that from the tombes can draw, and warme
Life, breath, and sence give corps whence they were gone:
Ismen that by the sound of mumbled charme
Can Pluto in his court cast feare upon:
And all his divels employ in charges bad,
And bind, and looze, as if them slaves he had.

2. Mahound he serves, that once did Christ professe,
Yet former rites wholy can not forgo,
But oft to use of foulest wickednesse
Confounds both lawes, though wel he neither know:
And now from caves where farre off common presse,
He wonts in hidden arts his time bestow:
He comes, in publicke peril of his Lord,
To wicked king a counsler more abhord.

3. “My liege (he sayes), the campe doth hither speede
His march, that conquering hath so dismayd:
But let us do what us to do may steede, ( (stand in good stead
The skyes, the world, will give the hardy ayd.
Tis well that kings and captaines store at neede
You have, and for all wants foreorder layd.
If that all other ply their charges so,
This land for sepulchre shall serve your foe.

4. “As for my selfe I come my helpe t’ impart,
Compagnion both of perill, and of paine,
What counsell best lyes stor’d in aged hart,
What magicke skill I promise ev’ry graine:
I will constrain to beare of toyle their part,
Th’ angels earst banisht from the heav’nly raine.
But how I meane these my enchantments frame,
And by what meanes, now will I shew the same.

5. “An altar hid in Christian temple lyes,
Lowe under ground and her carv’d picture there,
On whom as goddesse vulgar sort relyes,
And mother that their bury’d god did beare,
Wrapt in a vayle it is, nor ever dyes
The lamp that shines before the image cleare.
Along in rankes their hang hit round about,
The offred vowes of credulous devout.

6. “This image now from them bereft away,
I will that you transport with your owne hand,
And in your great Meschita safe uplay,
Then I by charme will shape so sure a band,
That whiles it there doth dewly guarded stay,
By it ech gate shall fatall fenced stand,
Your empire so twixt walles impregnable
This rare new secret shall make durable.”

7. He sayd, and swayd: then with impatience
The king unto the house of God him hyes,
And forst the priests, and voyde of reverence
On that chast picture sey’zd in rav’ning wise,
And bare hit to that church, whereof offence
Of fond and wicked rites provokes the skyes:
On sacred image in that place profane
Th’ enchaunter whispered his blasphemous bane.

8. But when new dawning peered in the sky,
The sexten who this temple (most uncleene)
Receiv’d in guard, the image cannot spy,
Nor where he sought, nor where it plast had beene:
Straight he enformes the king, whom egerly
This so unwelcome newes incenst with teene: (vexation
And tooke conceipt t’ was stolne by some of those
Who Christ posest, and now conceale it close.
9. Were it the deede of some beleeving wight,
Or wear’ t the heav’n that here his power displayd:
And for his queene and goddesse tooke despight
In so vile place to see her image layd:
(For fame as yet uncertaine doth endight
Where this, or mans, or Gods worke may be sayd)
Godly it is that zeale and godlinesse
Of man give place, and hit heav’ns deede confesse.

10.The king doth cause with search importunest
Each house, ech church, view’d and review’d to bee,
And him that hides, or maketh manifest
The theefe, or theft, proffers great paine, and fee:
Th’ enchaunter gives to all his arts no rest
To hunt the truth, but all in vaine hunts hee,
From where from heav’n or earth the practise came,
Heav’n close it kept, to this enchaunters shame.

11. But when the cruell king saw unespyde
That which he deem’d the faithfuls only feat,
Gainst them a fellon hate he tooke, and fryde
In wrath, and rage immoderate and great,
Respect he quite forgets, what so betyde,
Vengeance he’l take, and quench his furies heat:
“Th’ unknowen theefe (sayth he) shall yet be slaine
In common wracke, nor my wrath tane in vaine.

12. “So that the guiltie be not sav’d, let die
The just and innocent, but which is just?
Ech blame deserves, nor mongst them all see I
So much as one, whom we as friend may trust:
If some with this new fault have non ally,
It serves old faults abuy new penance must. (suffer
Up up my loyals, up in hand goe take
Both fire and sword, burne, and huge slaughter make.”

13. So he his folke bespake, when forth ech where,
Straightwayes this fame amongst the faithfull flyes,
Who grew astonisht, so doth them the feare
Of death in eye now present quite surpryze,
Nor is there one that dew excuse, or preyre,
Or just defence, or flight, once dares or tryes.
But these so faint, and unresolv’d of mind,
Where least they hoped, did their safetie find.

14. Amongst them was a mayd of maidenhed
To ripenesse growne, of high and noble thought:
Of bewtie rare, but bewtie valewed,
Or nought or sole, for it to vertue brought
Accompt, most priz’d because straight cabyned,
Twixt wals her prices great to hide she sought.
And of her wooers unbepranct and sole, (unadorned
Both from the laud, and from the lookes she stole.

15. But guard is none that wholy can conceale
Bewtie of worth likt and admirde to be,
Nor love consent will give, but it reveale
Unto a young mans hote desires doth hee,
Love that now blinde, now Argos, now with vaile
Dost blind thine eyes, now open wide dost see,
Thou through a thousand watchers into chast
Maides lodgings others sight conveyed hast.

16. Sofronia shee, Olindo he hath name,
One citie both, and one faith both they have,
For modest he, for faire she carries fame,
Desire much, little hope, nought he doth crave.
Nor can it show, or dares not do the same,
And she or scornes, or seeth not, or gave
No semblance, so til then par thrall he peakt, (he slunk about as her slave
Or not not seene, or ill knowne, or smally reakt. (held in esteem 

17. This while runnes out the bruit, how there is prest
A wretched slaughter of this seely flocke, (holy
Shee that is equall noble and honest,
Bethinkes what way to shield them from the shocke,
Valiance her grat minde moves, shame it arrest,
And maidens modestie doth thwart a blocke.
Valiance oercomes, rather accordes, whiles she
Shamefast her selfe, shame valiant makes to be.

18. This maide alone through preace of vulgar went, (press, throng
Bewty she covers not, nor sets to sight,
Shadow’d her eyes, in vayle her bodie pent,
With manner coy, yet coy in noble plight,
I note where car’de, or carelesse ornament,
Where chance, or art her fairest countnance dight.
Friended by heav’ns, by nature, and by love,
Her meere neglects most artifiall prove.

19. Lookt on by ech the stately ladie goes,
But lookes on none, and to the king she came,
Not for he angry seemes, one steppe she flowes,
But his grim sight fearlesse endures the dame.
“I come my Lord,” sayth she, “(your wrath forclose
The while I pray, and your people reclaime)
I come to show, and to you bound to gieve
The wight you seeke, and did you so aggrieve.”

20. At t’ honest boldnesse, at the unforethought
Glympes of her bewtie, stately, and divine,
As if confusde, as conquer’d he were cought,
He bridles rage, and sterne looke doth incline,
Had he a mind, or she a countnance brought
Ought lesse severe, love had him snar’d in line.
But wayward bewtie, wayward hart to move
Serves farr unfit, kindnes is bait of love.

21. T’ was stonishment, t’ was rarenesse, t’ was delite,
If t’ were not love that stir’d his villaine hart:
“Declare (sayes he) the whole, no farder smite
Shall any sword to Christen peoples smart.”
Then shee, “Here standes the guiltie of thy spite,
This hand (o king) did play this theevish part,
Th’ image I tooke away, and I am she
That so thou seekst, and punisht ought to be.”

22. Thus to the publicke fate her hautie hed
She offered, and sole on her it tooke,
Most noble lye, when so embellished,
As thee t’ exceede, can truth selfe ever looke:
Suspenst a while and not so sodaine led
To wrath, this tyrant fierce patience forsooke,
Then he rejoyns thereto, “I will thou show
Who did advise, and who did helpe bestow.”

23. “Of this my glorie I would not pertake
One onely myte to any else (she sayd).
My selfe I sole did hereto privie make,
My selfe sole counsaile gave, sole gave I ayde.”
“Then on thee sole (he out replying brake)
Shall all the wrath of my revenge be layde.”
“Tis just (quoth she), to me it so pertaines,
At honour sole, sole will I be in paynes.”

24. Fresh rage in tyrant then beginnes accrew,
And asketh her where is the image hid?
“Not hid (quoth she) but I in fire it threw,
To fire the same most praysefull deeme I did:
For so at least, that myscreants hands anew
Might worke it farder wrong, all feare I rid.
Seeke you the theefe, or seeke you (sir) the theft,
Her here you see, that I from sight is reft.

25.“ Albe nor mine is theft, nor theefe am I.
Tis just regayn’d, that wrongfully was got.”
The hearing this doth force the tyrant cry
With threatfull sound, and raynes to wrath allot,
Noble visage, hart shamefast, stomach hye,
Now out may hope of finding pardon blot: (ought
And love in vaine against so cruell wrake
Of deintie bewtie seekes a shield to make.

26. Arrested, and condemned is that faire
Dame, by that fellon king, in flames to die,
And now her vayle and mantle chaste they teare
Away, and with hard wythes armes tender <they> tye.
She silent stands, and still stout hart doth beare,
No whit dismayd, though somewhat mov’d thereby,
And her faire face is taynted with a hew
That doth not palenesse, but a whitenesse shew.

27. Now this great case is knowne, and thither packt
Huge preace of people, and Olindo came,
The person doubtfull is, certaine the fact.
He came as deeming it might be his dame,
When as the prisner faire he found in act
Not of accusde, but cast to be the same.
And sergeants busie bout hard office spide,
Therewith he headlong shooves the presse aside.

28. And cries “(O king) she is not guiltie, she
Not of this theft, through folly vaunts she it,
She thought it not, she durst it not, who see
Did e’re lone woman and unskild commit
Such act? Could watch by her beguilded be?
Had she to steale the sacred image wit?
If yes, tell how? My lord, my selfe it was.”
So love not loving loved he alas.

29. He added then, “I there where aire, and day,
Your stately builded Meschite in doth let,
By night up clammer’d, and ech uncouth way
Assaying, through that narrow hole did get,
Mine only is this prayse, me only slay
You ought, nor she usurpe my penall det,
Mine are these chaines, for me you are too light,
These flames, this pile, is nones but mine of right.”

30. Sofronia mildely lifting up her sight,
With eyes of pittie looketh him upon:
“Whereto comest thou, o wretched guiltles wight?
What counsaile, or what furie leads thee on?
Or drawes thee foorth? Without thee want I might,
To beare the waight of humaine wrath alone?
I eke have hart that thinkes for once to die,
It selfe can serve and craves no companie.”

31. She lover so bespake, but not dispose
Him can, t’ unsay his words, or change his minde.
Oh rare example where contention growes
Twixt noble vertue, and a love as kinde,
Where winners onely price is life to lose,
And harme of vanquisht is safetie to finde!
But feller waxt the king that she and he
Ech to condemne themselves so constant be.

32. He thinkes himselfe scorned by them to see,
Who for despiting him despise the paynes:
“Beleeve we both (he sayes), both I agree
Shall winne, but conquest such as best pertaynes.”
To sergeants then he beckes that readie bee,
The youth to binde with their prepared chaynes.
Both to one stake they tye, and so them place,
As backe to backe is turn’d, not face to face.

33. Then was the pile fram’d up about them round,
And now the bellowes kindle ginnes the flame,
When as the youth to layes of dolefull sound
Brake, and bespake his fellow tyed dame:
“Is this the cord I hoped should have bound
Us two copemates of life? And is this same (helpmates
The fire I deemed should in ech our hart
An equall heat of equall flames impart?

34. “Flames other, other knots love promised,
But diffrent much our hard lot doth prepare.
Farre, ah too farre, it earst us sundered,
And bitter now conjoynes in dying care.
It likes me yet since I am destyned
So strange a death, this stake with thee to share:
That bed I did not, thy fare sorrow I,
And not my owne, since by thy side I die.

35. “And oh most happy death that could betide!
Oh fortunate these sweetest torments mine!
If I obtaine that breast to breast allyde,
My soule breath out into that mouth of thine,
And thee with me, so deaths selfe instant guyde,
As thy last sighes thou into me resigne.”
So sayd he playning, she againe replyes
Sweetly, and with these words doth him advise:

36. “Friend other thoughts, and plaints of other kind,
For cause more urgent this time doth require,
Bethinke you of your sinnes, and call to mind
What God he is, who good gives ample hire.
Suffer for him, so paynes sweet shall you find,
And glad to the supernall seat aspire.
Behold how faire heav’n showes, the sunne behold.
You seemes t’ invite, and comforts to unfold.”

37. The Painims lift their playning voyce aloft,
And faithfull plaine, but in a lower sound.
I wot nere what unused earth, and soft,
To kings hard hart seemes hath a passage found,
Him it fortels and scornes, nor will be brost
To bend, but turnes his eyes and left the ground.
Thou sole Sofronia dost not pertake
This common dole, nor plaint dost playned make.

38. In such their plight a knight comes ryding loe
(For so they ghesse) of goodly woorth and port,
Whom stranger by the armes and tire they trow,
That from farre parts now hither made restort.
The tygre which on helme for crest doth show
Draws on ech eye, as badge of rare report,
A badge in battaile by Clorinda usde,
They think it’s she, nor is their thought abusde.

39. Of womens fashions and their usuall guise
Ev’n from her greenest yeares she takes disdaine,
Proud hand doth with Arachnes worke despise,
With spindle, or with needle it selfe to staine:
Gay clothing, and close cabbanes eke she flyes,
For goodnes ev’n in fields may safe remaine:
She armes with pride her looke, and holds a bent,
Sterne it to make, yet sterne it doth content.

40. Tender as yet with daintie hand she straines,
And flips the raines unto some courser brave,
She handles speare, and sword in armes she traines,
Enduring breath, and lims enur’d to have:
Then through the wildest woods, and on mountaines
Chase to the lions fierce and bears she have,
She warre enswes, in which, and in forreasts,
Men savage her, man her deeme savage beasts

41. From Persian realmes she hither journeyed,
That Christens to her power resist she may,
Albe tofore their members scattered
She had in fields, and mixt their bloud with sea.
Now here arriv’d, first fight was offered
Of those, who debt to death were prest to pay.
Willing to see, and know what fault did force
Them to such end, she forward spurres her horse.

42. The preace gives place, she doth some stay pretend,
The tyed paire more neerely to survay:
She markes t’ one silent, t’ other sighes out send,
And sexe lesse strong more courage to display:
She sees him wayle, as one that pittie bends,
Not dole, or dole not for himselfe doth sway.
And silent her, with eyes so fixt on sky,
As parted hence, she seemes before she dy.

43. Clorinda moody grew, and griefe doth take
For both their sakes, and teares her visage taint,
Yet more bemones her that no mone doth make,
The silence moves her more, lesse the complaint:
Without long stay a man she thus bespake,
Whose haire old age did with new colour paint:
“Ah tell me what are these, and to this death
What fate, or fault of theirs them conduceth?”

44. So him she prayd, and he short answered,
But full exprest what she to learne was bent.
She wonders much, and soone imagined
That both these wights were equall innocent:
Straight to forbid their death she purposed,
So farr as prayer or force could make extent.
She nyres the flame, she bids take it away
(That fast approcht) and doth to sergeants say:

45. “Not one amongst you once so hardy bee,
This office hard, yet harder to pursew,
Till with the king I speake, and trust you mee,
This lingring shall none your annoyance brew.”
The sergeants yeeld, as moved much to see
That her so stately port, and royall hew.
Then to the king she goes, and met him here
Midway, he going likewise towards her.

46. “I am (quoth she) Clorinda, you my name
Perhaps have heard, and for defence
Of our beliefe, and of your raygne I came.
Like prest for ech exploit, do you dispence
What I shall undertake, I neither shame
The base, nor dread of highest daunts my sense.
Will you in open field, or will you use
My service closed in walles? I none refuse.”

47. She peac’d, “What land so wide,” the king replyes,
“From Asia standes, or from the source of sunne,
Where (glorious maide) thy honour great not flyes,
Or where thy fame hath not arrivall wonne?
Now that thy sword his edge with mine allyes,
My feare is past, and comfort is begunne.
Not if an armie great my part should take,
My hope more sured could that army make.

48. “Now now, me seems, Godfrey beyond his dew
Protractes the time, and where you please, demaund
Employed to be, sole fit I deeme for you
Exploytes, where hazard hath most honour pawned.
To you the charge of all my martiall crew
I here assigne: tis law what you commaund.”
So spake the king, she courteous money payes
Of thankes for prayse, and then thus farder sayes:

49. “A strange case may it seeme to ech ones sense,
That service unperform’d should guerdon have:
Your bounty yet me cheeres, for recompence
Of service ment, those two condemn’d I crave:
Though if the fault do want sure evidence,
T’ was cruell reason that such judgement gave.
But this I silence, and I silence signes
Expresse, through which their innocency shines.

50. “I only say ech one holdes vaine to doubt,
That Christians have this image stolne away.
But from you I dissent, ne am without
Sound reason, whereon this my gheasse I stay:
Th’ enchanter, who this practise went about,
A pranke urev’rend gainst our law did play.
It not beseemes to make our church a neast
For idols, and for others idols least.

51. “To Mahound rather I impute above
This straungy myracle, and he it wrought, (strange, miraculous
To shew into his temples did behoove
No new defilde religion be brought:
Let Ismen his enchauntments utmost proove,
He that in stead of armes with charmes hath fought:
To handle steele is of us knights the scope,
This is our grade, this is our only hope.”

52. This sayd, she ceast, and though an irefull hart
To pittie hardly can be drawne, yet would
The king her gratifie, and reason part
Perswades, part sway of her intreatie could.
“Him move, have they of life and freedeom mart,
(Quoth he) no nay, finde such an asker should.
Be it pardon, or be it justice dew,
Guiltlesse I quit, guiltie I give them you.”

53. So were they looz’d of all haps happiest,
The fate was certes, that Olinda prov’d:
What act could show that in a noble brest,
Love in the end another love hath mov’d?
From stake to wedding goes he, spowse addrest,
Of one condem’d, not sole of lover lov’d:
He would with her have dyde, her will doth give,
Since with her he dyde not, with him to live.

54. But this suspitioius king doth parlous judge
So great united vertuous neighbour-hed:
And gives straight charge that both to exile trudge,
Beyond the bounds that Jury lymited: (Jewry
Then following his earst resolved grudge,
Some faithfull he confines, some banished:
Oh! how the auncient syres, surpryz’d with woe,
Their tender younglings and sweete beds forgoe.

55. (A sev’rancehard) he drives them sole away,
That strong of bodie, and are stout of mind,
But pawnd as hostages, doth force to stay
The milder sexe, and weaker yeares behind:
Many went wandring, some the rebels play,
Whom more than feare could quench, anger doth tind. (irritate
These joynd with Frankes, and them encountered,
Selfe day when they Emaus entered.

56. Emaus is a citie, which small space
Doth from royall Hierusalem deprive,
And he that for his pleasure walks soft pace,
Parting at morne, may there at nine arrive:
Oh! how to Frankes this newes seems full of grace,
Oh! how their longing doth to hasting strive!
But for the sunne was now from south declinde,
Their captaine there to pitch his tents assigned.

57. And pitcht they were, and Phebus fostring light,
From Ocean was remov’d but litle space,
When two great barons in strange vesture dight,
And of a port as strange approch in place:
Their fashions framed to a peacefull plight,
Witnesse of captaines friends they beare a face.
Ambassadours from great Egyptian
They come, and store of squires and pages bring.

58. Aletes is the one, from worthles rable
Mongst basest commons dregs who up did spring:
Yet him to kingdoms highest honours able
Did these: a speech, sly, currant, carrying
Fashions pliant, demeanure variable,
In faining prompt, skillful in cousening:
A biter at the backe by such quaint wayes,
As when he carpeth most, he seemes to prayse.

59. The tother is Circasian Argant cald,
Who stranger first, did court of Egypt haunt,
But now is mongst th’ imperiall nobles stald,
And may of martiall chiefe preferments vaunt:
Untreatable, unpatient, unappald,
In armes linelesse, and peerelesse valiaunt:
Despiser of ech god, alike as one
That law and right sets in his sword alone.

60. These craving audience straight unto the sight
Of famous Godfrey by admittance drew,
Whom on low seat, and in meane vesture dight,
Sitting amidst his coronets they view:
But very valure, though in recklesse plight,
Doth to it selfe sufficing grace accrew.
Argant a signe but slight of honour sparde,
As one of great estate, and small reguarde.

61. But right hand layd Aletes on his brest,
And bow’d his head, and cast to ground his eyes,
And honour’d him in ev’ry sort at best,
As of his nation can import the guise.
Then he began, and from his mouth sweetest
Rivers of eloquence flow honey-wise.
And for the Frankes now Sirian speech had learnd,
That which he sayd was perfectly discernd.

62. “O worthy sole, whom deigne may to obey
This famous troup of ech heroicke knight,
Who conquests past, and realmes that now they sway,
Knowledge as yours, and your advices right,
Within Alcides boundes your name to stay
Brookes not, but ev’n mongst us takes farder flight,
And fame hath through ech part of Egypt spred
The tidings cleare of your great manlihed.

63. “Nor of so many any one not lent,
(As men to mavailes use) hath listning eare,
But them my king, not with astonishment
Alone, but with like great delight doth heare,
And glad in their report oft time hath spent,
Loving in you what they envy and feare.
He loves your valure, and doth free elect
With you to joyne in love, if not in sect.

64. “So faire occasion him doth onward guide,
With you of friendship and of peace to treat,
And that ech sure may rest to other tyde,
If faith cannot, let vertue worke it yeat:
But for he learnes, you force of armes provide,
His friend to chase from out his royall set.
He chose ere any farder harme might growe
We should you make his mind at full to know.

65. “His mind is this, if pleasde you will remaine,
With what the warre already yours hath made,
NotJury seeke, nor th’ other parts t’ obtaine,
Which he with fauour of his raigne doth shade:
He promise plights you to assure againe,
Your yet not fettled rule, if double blade
Of yours be joyned, the hope is out of date
For Turkes or Persians to regaine estate.

66. “My lord, great things in smal space have you wrought
Which in oblivion long age cannot cast,
Armies, cities vanquisht, destroyd to nought,
Wayes earst untrode, distresses ouerpast:
So by your fame to fright and stoyning brought (astonishment
Are realmes about, both farre and neerely plast.
And though more kingdomes rest as yet to gaine,
To gaine more glory you aspire in vaine.

67. “Your glory highest top hath wonne its dew.
Henceforth you fly of warre the doubtfull chaunce,
By winning you can onely state accrew,
But no way more your glory ought advaunce,
Where all is lost that earst you did subdew,
And honour too, if Fortune looke askaunce:
Tis game of Fortune, fond and bold away,
Gainst small uncertaine, certaine much to play.

68. “But somes advice, whom it perhaps imports,
That others farder conquests theirs assure,
And end to ech attempt that lucky sorts,
And that instinct which fervent doth enure
High flaming harts to more and more efforts,
Whereby thral’d people may their yoke endure:
Will (peradventure) make you fly as farre
From having peace, as others do the warre.

69. “They will exhort you to ensew the way
That is by fate so largely opened,
And not aside this famous sword to lay,
Whose edge hath conquest still ascertained,
Till Mahounds sect be brought to full decay,
Till Asia be quite abandoned:
Sweete things to heare, entrappings very sweet,
Which yet not feel’d extreamest dammage meet.

70. “But if that courage blindfold not your sight,
Nor in you darken reasons clearest ray,
You shall perceive in making choice to fight,
Well feare of much, but little hope you may:
For Fortune here below oft changeth plight,
While haps now good, now bad do joy of fray,
And those who over high and hasty flye,
To steepest downefals come the sooner nye.

71. “Tell me if to thy dammage Egypt rise,
In gold, in armes, in counsell great of might,
If Persian, Turke, Cassans sonne likewise
Conspirde in one hap to renew the fight,
What force gainst such a fury can suffize?
What place give scape to such a parlous plight?
May be you on the Greekes lewd king affie, (make an alliance
Whom sacred league of cov’nants doth allie.

72. “Who knoweth not in Greeks what faith their raines?
Yet by one treason ghesse the residew,
Nay by a thousand, for with thousand traines
Brewd hath your bane that myser faithlesse crew.
Then who to stop your passage earst tooke paines,
Prepares he now his life to spend for you?
Who bare high wayes common to all that live
Denide, will he his proper bloud you give?

73. “May be you placed have your hope alone
In bandes, of which this circuit maketh showe,
And whom disperst you vanquisht, knit in one
Now eke assoone to overcome you trowe,
Though of your troopes that store is scald and gone
Through wars and want, your selfe do see and knowe.
And though new foes against you still encrease,
Egyptians, Persians, Turkes, a hugy prease.

74. “But as thing fatall grant we this pretence,
That never weapon shall your force subdew,
Graunt that the heav’ns thereof give evidence,
And as your selfe expound, so be it trew,
Yet famine shall you vanquish: what defence,
What refuge gainst this ill (for God) have you?
Against tis set your launce in rest, go trie
Your sword, and faine your selfe the victorie.

75. “The fields about burnt and destroy’d to nought
Hath the inhabitants fore-seeing hand,
And to closde walles, and to high turrets rought
And stowd their fruites ere you approcht the land.
Now you that (hardy) have them hither brought,
Whence hope you seede ech foot and horsed band?
And doth your living then on windes depend?
You’ ll say your navy shall us vittailes send,

76. “And doth your fortune then commaund the windes,
And bind and looze them, as you best may please?
The sea whom ech at plaints and prayer findes
Still deafe, sole heres it you? Sole you obeyes?
Or when a league the Turke or Persian bindes
With warlicke force of ours, then cannot these
Assembly make of such a mightie fleete
As is t’ oppose against your navie meete?

77. “My lord, a double victorie you neede,
If you expect the honour of this warre,
Whereas one onely losse will doubtles breede
Great shame to you, but dammage greater farre.
For if then yours our navie better speede,
Foorthwith in campe you hunger-starved are:
And if your losse light on the land, in vaine
Your shipping shall a fruitlesse conquest gaine.

78. “Now if in this estate you yet refuse
A peace and truce with great Egyptian king,
(Pardon the truth) to other your vertues
This your counsaile is no way answering:
But heav’ns vouchsafe that newer thoughts you chuse
If old likt warre, and divers end they bring,
That Asias waylments so take breath at last,
And of your conquests you the fruit may tast.

79. “Nor you, who of the perill and the paines,
And of the glory are with him consort,
Be not so farre mis-led by fortunes traines,
That to new warres the powerfull you exhort,
But like the pilot, who from sea, where raignes
Mis-hap, hath brought his ship to wished port:
So strike you now the sayles you hoysed hie, (hoisted
And do no more in ruthlesse flouds affie.”

80. Aletes peac’d, his speech doth straight ensew
A murmur soft of that heroicke race,
And well their actions disdainefull shew
How much against their bent his tale did trace.
The generall about him castes his view,
And his lookes thrice or fouretimes in the face,
And then his eye on tothers countnance stayd,
Who answere did attend, and thus he sayd:

81. “Your kings message sweetly you have exprest,
Part with a milde and part with threatfull grace.
If I in love, or deedes in price doe rest
With him, t’ is kind, and I his love embrace:
But where (ambassadour) you do protest
United warre of Painims in this case,
I answere will, as still mine use affordes,
Franke senses in as single meaning wordes.

82. “Know that till now thus much we suffered
At sea, on land, by day, and in the night,
Only a way to have recovered
To sacred walles of most respected sight,
That merit might with God be favoured
Of freeing them from such hard thralled plight:
Nor can he grievous seeme for so good end,
This world honour, life, and raigne to spend.

83. “For no ambitious bent or covetise
To this exployt edgde on, or us addrest.
Purge from our breasts, o Father of the skies,
So dismall plague if it in any nest,
Ne suffer it may spread infecting wise
Sweete venom, which bids death, as pleasures ghuest,
But let his hand that hardest harts gently
Doth pierce, them both unstone and mollifie.

84. “This hand us raysd, this hath us forward led,
From perils us, from us removing stayes,
This playnes the hils, and dries ech rivers bed,
The summers heat and winters cold allayes,
Calmes flouds of sea, with tempests billowed,
This fast and loose with windes in Lybume plays:
From it are highest walles pierst and reverst,
From it the armed rankes slaine and disperst.

85. “Courage from it, from it our hope doth breed,
Not from our forces, frayle and tyred out,
Not from our navie, nor from those whom feed
Doth Greece, nor from the armes of Frankish rout,
Let that not faile, nor us forsake at neede.
All other wants we lesse than nothing doubt:
Who knowes how this defends, and how it strikes,
Like this no succour for his perill likes.

86. “But if through secred judgements he denie,
Or for our sinnes, the aide from him we crave,
Who ist of us will there a buriall flie,
Where earst our God his body layd in grave?
Die will we, nor the living ought envie,
Die will we, nor our death unvenged have,
Nor Asia shall at our mischance rejoice,
Nor ours our death mone with one wailing voice.

87. “Thinke not that we flie farre from peacefull ease,
As mortall warre-men fled and feared see:
Much would the friendship of your king us please,
Nor with him to ally ought grievous bee.
But where or no Jury his rules obeyes
You know, why then thereof such care hath hee?
Strange realms to winne let him us not gainesay,
And his safe, glad, in peace long mote he sway.”

88. So answer’d he, and this his answre knowne
Pearst Argants hart with pricking furious,
Nor it conceald he, but with lips up blowne,
Forth to the captaine steps, replying thus:
“Who list not peace, warre take he as his owne,
For store of brawles was never penurous:
And well you show that farre from peace you flie,
Since our first speech you cannot pacifie.”

89. Then by the edge he doth his mantle take,
He bowes it, plaites it, reacheth towards him
The plait, and to these farder speeches brake,
More than tofore of visage spitefull grim:
“O though that scorne of hardest brunts dost make!
I peace and warre bring in this plaited brim,
Thine be the choice, thy selfe well counsell now,
And stailesse take, which thou dost best allow.” (without delay 

90. At this fierce act and speech they all betooke
Themselves to call for warre, conjoyn’d in cry,
Nor stay could for their noble chiefetaine brooke,
That Godfrey in his owne words might reply:
He fell unfolds the plait, and mantle shooke,
And sayed, “To mortall warre I you defy”:
He sayd it in so fierce and fellon sort,
That seem’d he op’ned Ianus temple port.

91. Seem’d he the plait op’ning, thence haled came
Besotted rage, and discord cruellest,
And in his skowling eyes bigge torches flame
Of hags Alecto and Megera rest,
That Giant earst, who raysd that loftie frame
Of errour gainst the heavens, may such be ghest:
And in such semblant him saw Babel great
Vaunce up his forehead, and the starres to threat.

92. Godfrey adjoynes, “Now to your king resort,
And bid him come, and bid him hast a pace,
For we except your threatned warres effort.
And if he come not, looke he in short space
For us at Nyle, in milde and gratefull sort.”
Them licence give, and with choice guifts them grace
He doth, Aletes hath a helme of price,
Which mongst the bootie he had wonne at Nice.

93. A sword he Argant gives of gold and stone,
The hilts and pommell wrought so curiously
By workmans skill, that valew there is none
In that rich substance, if with forme it try.
When his long busie sight had skand upon
The temper, richnesse, trymming thoroughly,
Argant to Bolleyn sayd, “Soone shall you newes
Heare, how your guift I have the skill to use.”

94. Then leave receiv’d, he to his fellowe spake:
“Now will we ech of us a divers way,
I to Hierusalem, you t’ Egypt take,
You with the new sunne, I with the nightly ray.
My letter or my presence nothing make
Ought needfull whither you are faring may:
Beare you the answere backe, hence I depart
Will not where is of armes proclaymed a mart.”

95. Thus of a messenger he growes a foe,
Be it a timelesse, or a ripened hast,
Where law of nations he offend or no,
Or old use breake, no doubts he list to cast.
Answere not reaket, friended by silence so
Of twinckling starres, to those high walles he past,
Brooking no stoppe, the t’other eke that stayd,
What ere might linger, makes as ill apayd. (satisfied 

96. Now it was night, when in deepe rest enfold
Are waves and windes, and mute the world doth show.
Weari’d the beasts, and those that bottome hold
Of billow’d sea, and of moyst streames that flow,
And who are lodgde in cave, or pend in fold,
And painted flyers in oblivion low,
Under their secret horrours silenced,
Stilled their cares, and their harts suppelled. (subdued 

97. But neyther faithfuls campe, nor Francks chieftaine
Betake themselves to sleepe, nor t’ ease apply,
So much they long to see once shine againe
Th’ expected gladsome dawning in the sky:
That it may show the way, and guide the traine
To towne, where doth of their great passage lye
The bound, now and now prying if there peere
One ray, or darke of night beginne to cleere.

Go to Book III