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But to make humble prefent of good will:
Which, whenas timely meanes it purchase may,
In ampler wife it felfe will forth display.

E. S.

To all the gratious and beautifull Ladies in the Court. HE Chian Peincter, when he was requirde

To pourtraict Venus in her perfect hew, To make his worke more abfolute, defird Of all the fairest Maides to have the vew. Much more me needs, to draw the femblant trew Of beauties Queene, the worlds fole wonderment, To sharpe my fence with fundry beauties vew, And steale from each fome part of ornament. If all the world to feeke I overwent,

A fairer crew yet no where could I fee

Then that brave court doth to mine eie prefent;

That the worlds pride feemes gathered there to bee. Of each a part I ftole by cunning thefte: Forgive it me, faire Dames, fith lesse ye have not lefte.

E. S.

b Ladies in the Court.] This Sonnet, as well as the preceding, was not reprinted in the later impreffions of the Faery Queene; for what reafon, is, we believe, nowhere stated. C.






O! I, the man whofe Mufe whylome
did maske,

As time her taught, in lowly Shep-
hards weeds,


Am now enforft, a farre unfitter For trumpets fterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds, And fing of Knights and Ladies gentle deeds; Whose praises having flept in filence long, Me, all too meane, the facred Mufe areeds To blazon broade emongft her learned throng: Fierce warres and faithful loves fhall moralize my fong.


Helpe then, O holy virgin! chiefe of nyne,"

Thy weaker Novice to performe thy will;
Lay forth out of thine everlasting scryneb

O holy virgin! chiefe of nyne.] This invocation is addreffed to Clio. So, in vii. vii. 1," Thou greater Mufe." See too F. Q. iii. iii. 4, and vii. vi. 37. CHURCH.

bthine everlasting feryne.] An efcritoir, or defk, from the Latin fcri

The antique rolles, which there lye hidden still, Of Faerie knights, and fayreft Tanaquill, Whom that most noble Briton Prince fo long Sought through the world, and fuffered fo much ill, That I must rue his undeferved wrong: O, helpe thou my weake wit, and sharpen my dull tong!


And thou, most dreaded impe of highest Jove,

Faire Venus fonne, that with thy cruell dart
At that good knight so cunningly didst rove,
That glorious fire it kindled in his hart;
Lay now thy deadly Heben bowe apart,
And with thy mother mylde come to mine ayde;
Come, both; and with you bring triumphant Mart,
In loves and gentle jollities arraid,

After his murdrous fpoyles and bloudie rage allayd.


And with them eke, O Goddeffe heavenly bright!
Mirrour of grace and Majestie divine,
Great Ladie of the greatest Ifle, whofe light

Like Phoebus lampe throughout the world doth shine, Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne,d

And raise my thoughtes, too humble and too vile,
To thinke of that true glorious type of thine,

The argument of mine afflicted ftile:

The which to heare vouchsafe, O dearest dread, a while!

nium. "Scryn, afbrine; anciently a cheft or cofer:" Verstegan. UPTON. Spenfer ufes the word again in B. ii. C. 9, ft. 56. C.

with you bring triumphant Mart.] So the Italians, Marte, the god of war; and fo too our poets: Fairfax, “Taff.” ii. 89. "Thou proud despiser of inconftant Marte." Chaucer, “Kn. Tale,” v. 2023.

"Nought was forgett the infortune of Mart." And Lydgate, "Of the Troj. War," B. ii.

"For aye of Mart doubtous is the cure." UPTON.

d into my feeble eyne.] In the first edit. the text is "into mine feeble eyne," an obvious error, corrected in fubfequent impreffions. C.

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Ycladd in mightie armes and filver

Wherein old dints of deepe woundes did remaine,

The cruell markes of many a bloody fielde;
Yet armes till that time did he never wield.
His angry fteede did chide his foming bitt,
As much difdayning to the curbe to yield :
Full jolly knight he feemd, and faire did fitt,

As one for knightly giufts and fierce encounters fitt.

Ycladd in mightie armes and filver fhielde.] Hardyng, from Nennius, says in his Chronicle, printed in 1543, that, when Joseph of Arimathea converted Arviragus, he


- gave hym then a fhilde of filver white,
"A croffe endlong and overtwart full perfecte:
"Thefe armes were used through all Britain

"For a common figne eche manne to know his nacion
"From enemies; which now we call certain

"Saint Georges armes." CHURCH.

b Full jolly knight.] Handfome: Fr. joli. Cotgrave's translation of joli minutely paints a hero of romance, viz. "gay, trim, fine, gallant, neat, handfome, feat, well-fashioned, minion, compt, polite." TODD.

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