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And Naestor to have lost his life was like by fortune ere
The siege of Troie, but that he tooke his rist upon his speare:
And leaping quickly up upon a tree that stoode hard by,
Did safely from the place behold his foe whome he did flie.
The Boare then whetting sharpe his tuskes against the Oken wood
To mischiefe did prepare himselfe with fierce and cruell mood.
And trusting to his weapons which he sharpened had anew,
In great Orithyas thigh a wound with hooked groyne he drew.
The valiant brothers, those same twinnes of Tyndarus (not yet
Celestiall signes), did both of them on goodly coursers sit
As white as snow: and ech of them had shaking in his fist
A lightsome Dart with head of steele to throw it where he lyst.
And for to wound the bristled Bore they surely had not mist
But that he still recovered so the coverts of the wood,
That neyther horse could follow him, nor Dart doe any good.
Still after followed Telamon, whom taking to his feete
No heede at all for egernesse, a Maple roote did meete,
Which tripped up his heeles, and flat against the ground him laid.
And while his brother Peleus relieved him, the Maid
Of Tegea tooke an arrow swift, and shot it from hir bow.
The arrow lighting underneath the havers eare bylow,
And somewhat rasing of the skin, did make the bloud to show.
The Maid hirselfe not gladder was to see that luckie blow,
Than was the Prince Meleager. He was the first that saw,
And first that shewed to his Mates the blud that she did draw:
And said: For this thy valiant act due honor shalt thou have.
The men did blush, and chearing up ech other courage gave
With shouting, and disorderly their Darts by heaps they threw.
The number of them hindred them, not suffring to ensew
That any lighted on the marke at which they all did ame.
Behold, enragde against his ende the hardie Knight that came
From Arcadie, rusht rashly with a Pollax in his fist
And said: You yonglings learne of me what difference is betwist
A wenches weapons and a mans: and all of you give place
To my redoubted force. For though Diana in this chase
Should with hir owne shield him defend, yet should this hand of mine
Even maugre Dame Dianas heart confound this orped Swine.
Such boasting words as these through pride presumptuously he crakes:
And streyning out himselfe upon his tiptoes streight he takes
His Pollax up with both his hands. But as this bragger ment
To fetch his blow, the cruell beast his malice did prevent:
And in his coddes (the speeding place of death) his tusshes puts,
And rippeth up his paunche. Downe falles Ancaeus and his guts
Come tumbling out besmearde with bloud, and foyled all the plot.
Pirithous, Ixions sonne, at that abashed not:
But shaking in his valiant hand his hunting staffe did goe
Still stoutly forward face to face t'encounter with his foe
To whome Duke Theseus cride afarre: O dearer unto mee
Than is my selfe, my soule I say, stay: lawfull we it see
For valiant men to keepe aloofe. The over hardie hart
In rash adventring of him selfe hath made Ancaeus smart.
This sed, he threw a weightie Dart of Cornell with a head
Of brasse: which being leveld well was likely to have sped,
But that a bough of Chestnut tree thick leaved by the way
Did latch it, and by meanes therof the dint of it did stay.
Another Dart that Jason threw, by fortune mist the Bore,
And light betwene a Mastifes chaps, and through his guts did gore,
And naild him to the earth. The hand of Prince Meleager
Plaid hittymissie. Of two Darts his first did flie too far,
And lighted in the ground: the next amid his backe stickt fast.
And while the Bore did play the fiend and turned round agast,
And grunting flang his fome about togither mixt with blood,
The giver of the wound (the more to stirre his enmies mood,)
Stept in, and underneath the shield did thrust his Boarspeare through.
Then all the Hunters shouting out demeaned joy inough.
And glad was he that first might come to take him by the hand.
About the ugly beast they all with gladnesse gazing stand
And wondring what a field of ground his carcasse did possesse,
There durst not any be so bolde to touch him. Nerethelesse,
They every of them with his bloud their hunting staves made red.
Then stepped forth Meleager, and treading on his hed
Said thus: O Ladie Atalant, receive thou here my fee,
And of my glorie vouch thou safe partaker for to bee.
Immediatly the ugly head with both the tusshes brave
And eke the skin with bristles stur right griesly, he hir gave.
The Ladie for the givers sake, was in hir heart as glad
As for the gift. The rest repinde that she such honor had.
Through all the rout was murmuring. Of whom with roring reare
And armes displayd that all the field might easly see and heare,
The Thesties cried: Dame, come off and lay us downe this geare.
And thou a woman offer not us men so great a shame,
As we to toyle and thou to take the honor of our game.
Ne let that faire smooth face of thine beguile thee, lest that hee
That being doted in thy love did give thee this our fee,
Be over farre to rescow thee. And with that word they tooke
The gift from hir, and right of gift from him. He could not brooke
This wrong: but gnashing with his teeth for anger that did boyle
Within, said fiersly: learne ye you that other folkes dispoyle
Of honor given, what diffrence is betweene your threats, and deedes.
And therewithall Plexippus brest (who no such matter dreedes)
With wicked weapon he did pierce. As Toxey doubting stood
What way to take, desiring both t'advenge his brothers blood,
And fearing to be murthered as his brother was before,
Meleager (to dispatch all doubts of musing any more)
Did heate his sword for companie in bloud of him againe,
Before Plexippus bloud was cold that did thereon remaine.
Althaea going toward Church with presents for to yild
Due thankes and worship to the Gods that for hir sonne had kild
The Boare, beheld hir brothers brought home dead: and by and by
She beate hir brest, and filde the towne with shrieking piteously,
And shifting all hir rich aray, did put on mourning weede
But when she understoode what man was doer of the deede,
She left all mourning, and from teares to vengeance did proceede.
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