The Brutons thus departed hence, seven kingdoms here begun,--
Where diversely in divers broils the Saxons lost and won,--
King Edel and king Adelbright in Diria jointly reign;
In loyal concord during life these kingly friends remain.
When Adelbright should leave his life, to Edel thus he says:
'By those same bonds of happy love, that held us friends always,
By our bi-parted crown, of which the moiety is mine,
By God, to whom my soul must pass, and so in time may thine,
I pray thee, nay I conjure thee, to nourish as thine own
Thy niece, my daughter Argentile, till she to age be grown;
And then, as thou receivest it, resign to her my throne.'
A promise had for this bequest, the testator he dies;
But all that Edel undertook, he afterward denies.
Yet well he fosters for a time the damsel, that was grown
The fairest lady under Heaven; whose beauty being known,
A many princes seek her love, but none might her obtain:
For gripple Edel to himself her kingdom sought to gain,
And for that cause from sight of such he did his ward restrain.
By chance one Curan, son unto a prince in Danske, did see
The maid, with whom he fell in love as much as one might be.
Unhappy youth, what should he do? his saint was kept in mew,
Nor he, nor any noble man admitted to her view.
One while in melancholy fits he pines himself away,
Anon he thought by force of arms to win her, if he may,
And still against the king's restraint did secretly inveigh.