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THE

SQUIRE of D A M E S.

A PO E M.

In SPENSE R's STIL E.

ADVERTISEMENT.

In the seventh Canto of the Legend of Chastity, in Spen

ser's Fairy Queen, the Squire of Dames tells Satyrane, that by order of his mistress Columbel (after having served the ladies for a year) he was sent out a second time, not to return till be could

find three hundred women incapable of yielding to any temptation. The bad fuccess he met with in the course of three years, which is slightly touch'd upon by Spenser, is the foundation of the following poem. PROLOGU E.

1.
ARD is the heart that never knew to love,

Ne felt the pleasing anguish of desire.
Ye British maids, more fair than Venus' dove,
For you alone I tune my humble lyre;
Adopt me, nymphs, receive me in your quire,
Make me your bard; for that is all my care:
Then shall I envy not that aged fire,

Who doth for court his annual song prepare :
I lever myrtle wreath than Kefar's laurel wear.

II. Think

H Н

II.
Think not because I write of Columbel
I thence would blast the sex with impious tale ;
Transactions vile of foreign stronds I tell,
Ne 'gainst a British female would I rail
For all the wealth that rolls on Indian grail.
Here, beauty, truth, and chastity are found :
Eleonora here, with visage pale,

Did fuck the poison from her Edward's wound,
And Anna's nuptial faith shall stond for aye

renown'd.

III.
See the fair swans on Thamis' lovely tide,
The which do trim their pennons silver bright,
In shining ranks they down the waters ride;
Oft have mine eyes devour'd the gallant sight.
Then cast thy looks with wonder and delight,
Where yon sweet nymphs enjoy the ev'ning air,
Some daunce along the green, like fairies light,

Some flow'rets cull to deck their flowing hair
Then tell me, soothly, swain, which sight thou deem'st

[most fair.

IV.
To you, bright stars, that sparkle on our ise,
I give my life, my fortune, and my fame;
For my whole guerdon grant me but a smile,
A smile from you is all I hope or claim ;
I 3

Nor

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Nor age's ice my ardent zeal shall tame,
Το
my

life's end I shall your names adore, Not hermits bosoms feel so pure a fame,

Warm’d by approval I more high shall soar : Receive my humble lays, my heart was yours before.

V. Should you consent, I'll quit my shepherd's grey, And don more graceful and more costly gear, My crook and scrip I'll throw with scorn away, And in a samite garment appear. Farewell, ye groves, which once I held so dear; Farewell, ye glens, I other joys pursue; Then shall the world your matchless pow'r revere,

And own what wonders.your sweet smiles can do, That could a simple clown into a bard transmew.

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CANTO 1.

ARGUMENT.

The Squire of Dames to Satyrane

His history doth tell,
With all the toils be underwent

To gain his Columbel.

TH

I.
HE Squire of Dames his tale thus 'gan to tell;

Sith you command my tongue, fir Satyrane,
I now will all declare that me befell,
The cause of muchel scath and dol'rous pain,
Ne shall thy gentle eye from tears refrain.
Me Columbel commanded far to go
'Till I should full three hundred nymphs attain,

Whose hearts should aye with Virtue's leffons glow, And to all fwains but one cry out for ever, No.

II.
To find the fortilage that ne'er will yield
Is not an easy matter, good sir Knight ;
Troy town, they say, is now a grafs-mown field,
That long withstood the force of Grecian might;
And castles fall though deep in earth empight;
Ne ought so strong is found but what may fail,
The fun at last shall lose his glorious light,

And vows or bribes o'er women may prevail ;
Their hearts are made of Aesh, and mortal fefh is frail.

III.
With heavy heart, and full of cark I go
And take my congé of my blooming maid,
I kiss'd her hond, and louting very low,
To her beheft at length myself array’d:
I 4

The

The fair we love expects to be obey'd,
Although she bid us with the kestrel Aly;
So forth I prick, though much by doubt dismay'd,

The hard experiment resolv'd to try :
For she was wond'rous fair, and much in love was I.

IV. A grove I reach'd, where tuneful throstles sung, The linnet here did ope his little throat, His twitting jests around the cuckoo fung, And the proud goldfinch show'd his painted coat, And hail'd us with no inharmonious note: The robin eke here tun'd his sonnet fhrill, And told the soothing ditty all by rote,

How he with leaves his pious beak did fill, To shroud those pretty babes, whom Sib unkind would

V. And many a fair Narcissus deck'd the plain, That seem'd anew their passions to admire ; Here Ajax told his dolors o'er again, And am'rous Clytie sicken'd with desire ; Here the blown rose her odors sweet did spire; Through the dun grove a murm’ring river led His chrystal streams that wound in many a gyre;

The baleful willow all the banks bespread, And ever to the breeze ycurl'd his hoary head.

VI. Soon

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