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So many warriors, and so stout,
As he had done, and staved it out,
Disdaining to lay down his arms,
And yield on honourable terms.
Enraged thus, some in the rear
Attacked him, and some everywhere,
Till down he fell; yet falling fought,
And, being down, still laid about; 95 As Widdrington, in doleful dumps, Is said to fight upon his stumps.
But all, alas! had been in vain,
And he inevitably slain,
If Trulla and Cerdon, in the nick, 100 To rescue him had not been quick:
For Trulla, who was light of foot,
As shafts which long-field Parthians shoot,
But not so light as to be borne
Upon the ears of standing corn, 105 Or trip it o'er the water quicker
Than witches, when their staves they liquor,
As some report, was got among
The foremost of the martial throng;
There pitying the vanquished bear,
110 She called to Cerdon, who stood near,
Viewing the bloody fight; to whom,
‘Shall we,' quoth she, stand still hum-drum,
And see stout Bruin, all alone,
By numbers basely overthrown?
115 Such feats already he 'as achieved,
In story not to be believed,
And 'twould to us be shame enough,
Not to attempt to fetch him off.'
'I would,' quoth he, venture a limb 720 To second thee, and rescue him;
But then we must about it straight,
Or else our aid will come too late;
Quarter he scorns, he is so stout,
And therefore cannot long hold out.'
This said, they waved their weapons round
About their heads, to clear the ground,
And joining forces, laid about
So fiercely, that th' amazed rout
Turned tail again, and straight begun,
As if the devil drove, to run.
Meanwhile th' approached th' place where Bruin
Was now engaged to mortal ruin:
The conquering foe they soon assailed,
First Trulla staved, and Cerdon tailed,
Until their mastiffs loosed their hold;
And yet, alas ! do what they could,
The worsted bear came off with store
Of bloody wounds, but all before :
For as Achilles, dipped in pond,
140 Was anabaptized free from wound,
Made proof against dead-doing steel
All over, but the pagan heel ;
So did our champion's arms defend
All of him but the other end,
His head and ears, which in the martial
Encounter lost a leathern parcel ;
For as an Austrian archduke once
Had one ear, which in ducatoons
Is half the coin, in battle pared
Close to his head, so Bruin fared ;
But tugged and pulled on th' other side,
Like scrivener newly crucified ;
Or like the late-corrected leathern
Ears of the circumcised brethren.
155 But gentle Trulla into th' ring
He wore in 's nose conveyed a string,
With which she marched before, and led
The warrior to a grassy bed,
As authors write, in a cool shade, 160 Which eglantine and roses made ;
Close by a softly-murmuring stream,
Where lovers used to loll and dream;
There leaving him to his repose,
Secured from pursuit of foes,
165 And wanting nothing but a song,
And a well-tuned theorbo hung
Upon a bough, to ease the pain
His tugged ears suffered, with a strain.
They both drew up, to march in quest 170 Of his great leader, and the rest.
For Orsin, who was more renowned
For stout maintaining of his ground
In standing fights, than for pursuit,
As being not so "quick of foot, 175 Was not long able to keep pace
With others that pursued the chase,
But found himself left far behind,
Both out of heart and out of wind.
Grieved to behold his bear pursued 18c So basely by a multitude,
And like to fall, not by the prowess,
But numbers, of his coward foes,
He raged, and kept as heavy a coil as
Stout Hercules for loss of Hylas; 185 Forcing the valleys to repeat
The accents of his sad regret :
He beat his breast, and tore his hair,
For loss of his dear crony bear;
That Echo, from the hollow ground,
His doleful wailings did resound
More wistfully, by many times,
Than in small poets splay-foot rhymes,
That make her, in their ruthful stories,
To answer to int'rogatories,
195 And most unconscionably depose
To things of which she nothing knows;
And when she has said all she can say,
'Tis wrested to the lover's fancy.
Quoth ho, O whither, wicked Bruin, 200 Art thou fled? to my’-Echo, Ruin.
'I thought th' hadst scorned to budge a step
For fear.' Quoth Echo, Marry guep.
“Am I not here to take thy part ?
Then what has quailed thy stubborn heart? 205 Have these bones rattled, and this head
So often in thy quarrel bled ?
Nor did I ever winch or grudge it
For thy dear sake.' Quoth she, Mum budget.
• Think'st thou 'twill not be laid i'th' dish 210 Thou turn’dst thy back?' Quoth Echo, Pish. • To run from those th' hadst overcome Thus cowardly?' Quoth Echo, Mum. • But what a vengeance makes thee fly
From me too, as thine enemy?
215 Or, if thou hast no thought of me,
Nor what I have endured for thee,
Yet shame and honour might prevail
To keep thee thus from turning tail :
For who would grutch to spend his blood in
His honour's cause ?' Quoth she, A Puddin.
This said, his grief to anger turned,
Which in his manly stomach burned ;
Thirst of revenge, and wrath, in place
Of sorrow, now began to blaze.
He vowed the authors of his woe
Should equal vengeance undergo;
And with their bones and flesh pay dear
For what he suffered, and his bear.
This beʼng resolved, with equal speed
he hasted to proceed
To action straight, and giving o'er
To search for Bruin any more,
He went in quest of Hudibras,
To find him out where'er he was ; 235 And, if he were above ground, vowed He'd ferret him, lurk where he would.
But scarce had he a furlong on
This resolute adventure gone,
When he encountered with that crew
Whom Hudibras did late subdue.
Honour, revenge, contempt, and shame,
Did equally their breasts inflame.
'Mong these the fierce Magnano was,
And Talgol, foe to Hudibras;
Cerdon and Colon, warriors stout,
And resolute, as ever fought;
Whom furious Orsin thus bespoke :
‘Shall we,' quoth he, “thus basely brook
The vile affront that paltry ass,
And feeble scoundrel, Hudibras,
With that more paltry ragamuffin,
Ralpho, with vapouring and huffing,
Have put upon us, like tame cattle,
As if th' had routed us in battle
my part, it shall ne'er be said
I for the washing gave my head :