Olindo, blessed be this act of thine,
True witness of thy great and heavenly mind,
Where sun, moon, stars, of love, faith, virtue, shine.
So forth they went and left pale death behind,
To joy the bliss of marriage rites divine,
With her he would have died, with him First
Was she to live that would with her have brent.
The king, as wicked thoughts are most suspicious,
Supposed too fast this tree of virtue grew,
O blessed Lord! why should this Pharaoh vicious,
Thus tyrannize upon thy Hebrews true?
Who to perform his will, vile and malicious,
Exiled these, and all the faithful crew,
All that were strong of body, stout of mind,
But kept their wives and children pledge behind.
A hard division, when the harmless sheep
Must leave their lambs to hungry wolves in charge,
But labor's virtues watching, ease her sleep,
Trouble best wind that drives salvation's barge,
The Christians fled, whither they took no keep,
Some strayed wild among the forests large,
Some to Emmaus to the Christian host,
And conquer would again their houses lost.
Emmaus is a city small, that lies
From Sion's walls distant a little way,
A man that early on the morn doth rise,
May thither walk ere third hour of the day.
Oh, when the Christian lord this town espies
How merry were their hearts? How fresh? How gay?
But for the sun inclined fast to west,
That night there would their chieftain take his rest.
Their canvas castles up they quickly rear,
And build a city in an hour's space.
When lo, disguised in unusual gear,
Two barons bold approachen gan the place;
Their semblance kind, and mild their gestures were,
Peace in their hands, and friendship in their face,
From Egypt's king ambassadors they come,
Them many a squire attends, and many a groom.
The first Aletes, born in lowly shed,
Of parents base, a rose sprung from a brier,
That now his branches over Egypt spread,
No plant in Pharaoh's garden prospered higher;
With pleasing tales his lord's vain ears he fed,
A flatterer, a pick-thank, and a liar:
Cursed be estate got with so many a crime,
Yet this is oft the stair by which men climb.
Argantes called is that other knight,
A stranger came he late to Egypt land,
And there advanced was to honor's height,
For he was stout of courage, strong of hand,
Bold was his heart, and restless was his sprite,
Fierce, stern, outrageous, keen as sharpened brand,
Scorner of God, scant to himself a friend,
And pricked his reason on his weapon's end.
These two entreatance made they might be heard,
Nor was their just petition long denied;
The gallants quickly made their court of guard,
And brought them in where sate their famous guide,
Whose kingly look his princely mind declared,
Where noblesse, virtue, troth, and valor bide.
A slender courtesy made Argantes bold,
So as one prince salute another wold;
Aletes laid his right hand on his heart,
Bent down his head, and cast his eyes full low,
And reverence made with courtly grace and art,
For all that humble lore to him was know;
His sober lips then did he softly part,