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"Thou hadst been gone," quoth she, "sweet boy, ere


But that thou told'st me thou wouldst hunt the boar.
O, be advised: thou know'st not what it is
With javelin's point a churlish swine to gore,
Whose tushes never sheathed he whetteth still,
Like to a mortal butcher, bent to kill.

"On his bow-back he hath a battle set
Of bristly pikes, that ever threat his foes;
His eyes, like glow-worms, shine when he doth fret;
His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes;

Being moved, he strikes whate'er is in his way,
And whom he strikes his crooked tushes slay.

"His brawny sides, with hairy bristles armed,
Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter;
His short thick neck cannot be easily harmed;
Being ireful, on the lion he will venture:

The thorny brambles and embracing bushes,


As fearful of him, part; through whom he rushes. 630

617 tushes] tusks; so infra, line 624.

618 mortal] death-dealing, deadly.

619-630 On his bow-back... he rushes] This description of the boar is copied from Ovid's account of the Calydonian boar in Metam., viii, 284-286. Cf. Ovid's line (286): "stantque velut vallum velut alta hostilia sete" of which Golding's translation was (p. 107 a) “And like a front of armed Pikes set close in battall ray, The sturdie bristles on his back stoode staring up alway."

619 battle] has the common meaning of "army," "battalion.” 626 better proof] better armour, better material of resistance.


Alas, he nought esteems that face of thine,
To which Love's eyes pay tributary gazes;
Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips and crystal eyne,
Whose full perfection all the world amazes;

But having the advantage - wondrous dread!
Would root these beauties as he roots the mead.

“O, let him keep his loathsome cabin still;
Beauty hath nought to do with such foul fiends:
Come not within his danger by thy will;
They that thrive well take counsel of their friends.
When thou didst name the boar, not to dissemble,
I fear'd thy fortune, and my joints did tremble.

"Didst thou not mark my face? was it not white?
Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye?
Grew I not faint? and fell I not downright?
Within my bosom, whereon thou dost lie,

My boding heart pants, beats, and takes no rest,
But, like an earthquake, shakes thee on my breast.

"For where Love reigns, disturbing Jealousy
Doth call himself Affection's sentinel;
Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny,
And in a peaceful hour doth cry 'Kill, kill!'
Distempering gentle Love in his desire,

As air and water do abate the fire.

637 cabin] hovel, den; see line 1038, infra, and Pass. Pilg., xiv, 3.



"This sour informer, this bate-breeding spy, This canker that eats up Love's tender spring, This carry-tale, dissentious Jealousy,

That sometime true news, sometime false doth bring,
Knocks at my heart, and whispers in mine ear,
That if I love thee, I thy death should fear:

"And more than so, presenteth to mine eye
The picture of an angry-chafing boar,
Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie
An image like thyself, all stain'd with gore;

Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed
Doth make them droop with grief and hang the head.

"What should I do, seeing thee so indeed,
That tremble at the imagination?

The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed,
And fear doth teach it divination:

I prophesy thy death, my living sorrow,

If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow.

"But if thou needs wilt hunt, be ruled by me; Uncouple at the timorous flying hare,

655 bate-breeding] quarrel causing. Cf. M. Wives, I, iv, 10-11: "no telltale nor no breed-bate."

656 This canker . . . tender spring] This canker-worm or caterpillar which consumes Love's tender bud or shoot. Cf. Sonnets, xxxv, 4: "loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud " (and ibid., lxx, 7; xcv, 2; and xcix, 13); see also Com. of Errors, III, ii, 3: "Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot."

657 carry-tale] Cf. L. L. L., V, ii, 463: "Some carry-tale, some please-man.” 674 Uncouple] Let slip the leash.



Or at the fox which lives by subtlety,
Or at the roe which no encounter dare:

Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs,
And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy hounds.

"And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare,
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles,
How he outruns the wind, and with what care
He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles:
The many musits through the which he goes
As like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.

"Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell,
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep,
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell;
And sometime sorteth with the herd of deer:

Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear:

680 overshoot] Get beyond the range of. Thus Steevens. The early editions read ouer-shut, which according to Malone may mean shut up, end, conclude. But no parallel passage has come to light. 682 cranks] winds, goes crookedly. Cf. 1 Hen. IV, III, i, 98: "See how this river comes me cranking in." The word is more often used as a substantive in the sense of sharp turn or winding.

683 musits] gaps or holes in a hedge. Under the French word "trouée,” Cotgrave in his Fr.-Engl. Dict. gives the English equivalent as “a gap or muset in a hedge." In The Two Noble Kinsmen, III, i, 97, the right reading gives "enter your musite," i.e., hole, where "Musick," the original reading, gives no sense. "Muse" is found in the same sense, and is especially applied to the lurking hole of a hare. Both forms anglicise the French words "musse," a hole, and "mussette," a little hole.

689 sorteth with] consorteth with.



"For there his smell with others being mingled,
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt,
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out;


Then do they spend their mouths: Echo replies,
As if another chase were in the skies.

By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear,
To hearken if his foes pursue him still:
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;

And now his grief may be compared well
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell.

"Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
Turn, and return, indenting with the way;
Each envious brier his weary leg doth scratch,
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay:

694 fault] interruption of the trail. See note on T. of Shrew, Induction, i, 18.

695 spend their mouths] bark their loudest; give full cry; a technical phrase in hunting.

697 poor Wat] a recognised name of the hare.

702 the passing-bell] the knell of death.

703 dew-bedabbled] Mr. Craig points out that Florio applies the same epithet to the hunted hare in his translation of Montaigne's Essays (1603), Bk. II, Chap. xi. Montaigne's French text gives the hare no epithet at all.

704 indenting] winding. Mr Craig points out that Golding applies the same word to the movement of a wily fox in his translation of Ovid, Metam., bk. vii (line 1017). In As you like it, IV, iii, 111, the snake is credited with "indented glides."

705 envious] malicious.


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