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Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I
by Edmund Spenser
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XXXII

At last whenas the dreadfull passion 280 Was overpast, and manhood well awake, Yet musing at the straunge occasion, And doubting much his sence, he thus bespake; What voyce of damned Ghost from Limbo lake,[*] Or guilefull spright wandring in empty aire, 285 Both which fraile men do oftentimes mistake, Sends to my doubtfull eares these speaches rare, And ruefull plaints, me bidding guiltlesse bloud to spare?

XXXIII

Then groning deepe, Nor damned Ghost, (quoth he,) Nor guileful sprite to thee these wordes doth speake, 290 But once a man Fradubio,[*] now a tree, Wretched man, wretched tree; whose nature weake A cruell witch her cursed will to wreake, Hath thus transformd, and plast in open plaines, Where Boreas doth blow full bitter bleake, 295 And scorching Sunne does dry my secret vaines: For though a tree I seeme, yet cold and heat me paines.

XXXIV

Say on Fradubio then, or man, or tree, Quoth then the knight, by whose mischievous arts Art thou misshaped thus, as now I see? 300 He oft finds med'cine, who his griefe imparts; But double griefs afflict concealing harts, As raging flames who striveth to suppresse. The author then (said he) of all my smarts, Is one Duessa a false sorceresse, 305 That many errant knights hath brought to wretchednesse.

XXXV

In prime of youthly yeares, when corage hot The fire of love and joy of chevalree First kindled in my brest, it was my lot To love this gentle Lady, whom ye see, 310 Now not a Lady, but a seeming tree; With whom as once I rode accompanyde, Me chaunced of a knight encountred bee, That had a like faire Lady by his syde, Like a faire Lady, but did fowle Duessa hyde. 315

XXXVI

Whose forged beauty he did take in hand, All other Dames to have exceeded farre; I in defence of mine did likewise stand, Mine, that did then shine as the Morning starre. So both to battell fierce arraunged arre, 320 In which his harder fortune was to fall Under my speare: such is the dye of warre: His Lady left as a prise martiall, Did yield her comely person to be at my call.

XXXVII

So doubly lov'd of Ladies unlike faire, 325 Th' one seeming such, the other such indeede, One day in doubt I cast for to compare, Whether in beauties glorie did exceede; A Rosy girlond was the victors meede: Both seemde to win, and both seemde won to bee, 330 So hard the discord was to be agreede. Fraelissa was as faire, as faire mote bee, And ever false Duessa seemde as faire as shee.

XXXVIII

The wicked witch now seeing all this while The doubtfull ballaunce equally to sway, 335 What not by right, she cast to win by guile, And by her hellish science raisd streightway A foggy mist, that overcast the day, And a dull blast, that breathing on her face, Dimmed her former beauties shining ray, 340 And with foule ugly forme did her disgrace: Then was she faire alone, when none was faire in place.[*]

XXXIX

Then cride she out, Fye, fye, deformed wight, Whose borrowed beautie now appeareth plaine To have before bewitched all mens sight; 345 O leave her soone, or let her soone be slaine. Her loathly visage viewing with disdaine, Eftsoones I thought her such, as she me told, And would have kild her; but with faigned paine The false witch did my wrathfull hand with-hold; 350 So left her, where she now is turnd to treen mould.[*]

XL

Then forth I tooke Duessa for my Dame, And in the witch unweeting joyd long time, Ne ever wist but that she was the same,[*] Till on a day (that day is every Prime, 355 When Witches wont do penance for their crime) I chaunst to see her in her proper hew,[*] Bathing her selfe in origane and thyme: A filthy foule old woman I did vew, That ever to have toucht her I did deadly rew. 360

XLI

Her neather parts misshapen, monstruous, Were hidd in water, that I could not see. But they did seeme more foule and hideous, Then womans shape man would beleeve to bee. Thensforth from her most beastly companie 365 I gan refraine, in minde to slip away, Soone as appeard safe opportunitie: For danger great, if not assur'd decay, I saw before mine eyes, if I were knowne to stray.

XLII

The divelish hag by chaunges of my cheare[*] 370 Perceiv'd my thought, and drownd in sleepie night,[*] With wicked herbs and ointments did besmeare My body all, through charms and magicke might, That all my senses were bereaved quight: Then brought she me into this desert waste, 375 And by my wretched lovers side me pight, Where now enclosd in wooden wals full faste, Banisht from living wights, our wearie dayes we waste.

XLIII

But how long time, said then the Elfin knight, Are you in this misformed house to dwell? 380 We may not chaunge (quoth he) this evil plight, Till we be bathed in a living well;[*] That is the terme prescribed by the spell. O how, said he, mote I that well out find, That may restore you to your wonted well? 385 Time and suffised fates to former kynd Shall us restore, none else from hence may us unbynd.

XLIV

The false Duessa, now Fidessa hight, Heard how in vaine Fradubio did lament, And knew well all was true. But the good knight 390 Full of sad feare and ghastly dreriment, When all this speech the living tree had spent, The bleeding bough did thrust into the ground, That from the bloud he might be innocent, And with fresh clay did close the wooden wound: 395 Then turning to his Lady, dead with feare her found.

XLV

Her seeming dead he found with feigned feare, As all unweeting of that well she knew, And paynd himselfe with busie care to reare Her out of carelesse swowne. Her eyelids blew 400 And dimmed sight with pale and deadly hew At last she up gan lift: with trembling cheare Her up he tooke, too simple and too trew, And oft her kist. At length all passed feare,[*] He set her on her steede, and forward forth did beare. 405

* * * * *

CANTO III

Forsaken Truth long seekes her love, and makes the Lyon mylde, Marres blind Devotions mart, and fals in hand of leachour vylde.

I

Nought is there under heav'ns wide hollownesse, That moves more deare compassion of mind, Then beautie brought t' unworthy wretchednesse Through envies snares, or fortunes freakes unkind. I, whether lately through her brightnesse blind, 5 Or through alleageance and fast fealtie, Which I do owe unto all woman kind, Feele my hart perst with so great agonie, When such I see, that all for pittie I could die.

II

And now it is empassioned so deepe, 10 For fairest Unaes sake, of whom I sing, That my fraile eyes these lines with teares do steepe, To thinke how she through guilefull handeling, Though true as touch,[*] though daughter of a king, Though faire as ever living wight was faire, 15 Though nor in word nor deede ill meriting, Is from her knight divorced in despaire, And her due loves[*] deriv'd to that vile witches share.

III

Yet she most faithfull Ladie all this while Forsaken, wofull, solitarie mayd 20 Far from all peoples prease, as in exile, In wildernesse and wastfull deserts strayd, To seeke her knight; who subtilly betrayd Through that late vision, which th' Enchaunter wrought, Had her abandond. She of nought affrayd, 25 Through woods and wastnesse wide him daily sought; Yet wished tydings[*] none of him unto her brought.

IV

One day nigh wearie of the yrkesome way, From her unhastie beast she did alight, And on the grasse her daintie limbes did lay 30 In secret shadow, farre from all mens sight: From her faire head her fillet she undight, And laid her stole aside. Her angels face As the great eye of heaven[*] shyned bright, And made a sunshine in the shadie place; 35 Did never mortall eye behold such heavenly grace.

V

It fortuned out of the thickest wood A ramping Lyon[*] rushed suddainly, Hunting full greedy after salvage blood; Soone as the royall virgin he did spy, 40 With gaping mouth at her ran greedily, To have attonce devourd her tender corse: But to the pray when as he drew more ny, His bloody rage asswaged with remorse, And with the sight amazd, forgat his furious forse. 45

VI

In stead thereof he kist her wearie feet, And lickt her lilly hands with fawning tong, As he her wronged innocence did weet. O how can beautie maister the most strong, And simple truth subdue avenging wrong? 50 Whose yeelded pride[*] and proud submission, Still dreading death, when she had marked long, Her hart gan melt in great compassion, And drizling teares did shed for pure affection.

VII

The Lyon Lord of every beast in field, 55 Quoth she, his princely puissance doth abate, And mightie proud to humble weake does yield, Forgetfull of the hungry rage, which late Him prickt, in pittie of my sad estate: But he my Lyon, and my noble Lord, 60 How does he find in cruell hart to hate, Her that him lov'd, and ever most adord, As the God of my life? why hath he me abhord?

VIII

Redounding teares did choke th' end of her plaint, Which softly ecchoed from the neighbour wood; 65 And sad to see her sorrowfull constraint The kingly beast upon her gazing stood; With pittie calmd, downe fell his angry mood. At last in close hart shutting up her paine, Arose the virgin borne of heavenly brood, 70 And to her snowy Palfrey got againe, To seeke her strayed Champion, if she might attaine.

IX

The Lyon would not leave her desolate, But with her went along, as a strong gard Of her chast person, and a faithfull mate 75 Of her sad troubles and misfortunes hard: Still when she slept, he kept both watch and ward,[*] And when she wakt, he waited diligent, With humble service to her will prepard: From her faire eyes he tooke commaundement, 80 And ever by her lookes conceived her intent.

X

Long she thus traveiled through deserts wyde, By which she thought her wandring knight shold pas, Yet never shew of living wight espyde; Till that at length she found the troden gras, 85 In which the tract of peoples footing was, Under the steepe foot of a mountaine hore; The same she followes, till at last she has A damzell spyde[*] slow footing her before, That on her shoulders sad a pot of water bore. 90

XI

To whom approching she to her gan call, To weet, if dwelling place were nigh at hand; But the rude wench her answerd nought at all; She could not heare, nor speake, nor understand; Till seeing by her side the Lyon stand, 95 With suddaine feare her pitcher downe she threw, And fled away: for never in that land Face of faire Ladie she before did vew, And that dread Lyons looke her cast in deadly hew.[*]

XII

Full fast she fled, ne never lookt behynd, 100 As if her life upon the wager lay,[*] And home she came, whereas her mother blynd[*] Sate in eternall night: nought could she say, But suddaine catching hold, did her dismay With quaking hands, and other signes of feare; 105 Who full of ghastly fright and cold affray, Gan shut the dore. By this arrived there Dame Una, wearie Dame, and entrance did requere.

XIII

Which when none yeelded, her unruly Page[*] With his rude claws the wicket open rent, 110 And let her in; where of his cruell rage Nigh dead with feare, and faint astonishment, She found them both in darkesome corner pent; Where that old woman day and night did pray Upon her beads devoutly penitent; 115 Nine hundred Pater nosters[*] every day, And thrise nine hundred Aves she was wont to say.

XIV

And to augment her painefull pennance more, Thrise every weeke in ashes she did sit, And next her wrinkled skin rough sackcloth wore, 120 And thrise three times did fast from any bit: But now for feare her beads she did forget. Whose needlesse dread for to remove away, Faire Una framed words and count'nance fit: Which hardly doen, at length she gan them pray, 125 That in their cotage small that night she rest her may.

XV

The day is spent, and commeth drowsie night, When every creature shrowded is in sleepe; Sad Una downe her laies in wearie plight, And at her feete the Lyon watch doth keepe: 130 In stead of rest, she does lament, and weepe For the late losse of her deare loved knight, And sighes, and grones, and ever more does steepe Her tender brest in bitter teares all night, All night she thinks too long, and often lookes for light. 135

XVI

Now when Aldeboran[*] was mounted hie Above the shynie Cassiopeias chaire,[*] And all in deadly sleepe did drowned lie, One knocked at the dore,[*] and in would fare; He knocked fast, and often curst, and sware, 140 That readie entrance was not at his call: For on his backe a heavy load he bare Of nightly stelths, and pillage severall, Which he had got abroad by purchase criminall.

XVII

He was, to weete, a stout and sturdy thiefe, 145 Wont to robbe Churches of their ornaments, And poore mens boxes of their due reliefe, Which given was to them for good intents; The holy Saints of their rich vestiments He did disrobe, when all men carelesse slept, 150 And spoild the Priests of their habiliments, Whiles none the holy things in safety kept; Then he by conning sleights in at the window crept.

XVIII

And all that he by right or wrong could find, Unto this house he brought, and did bestow 155 Upon the daughter of this woman blind, Abessa, daughter of Corceca slow, With whom he whoredome usd, that few did know, And fed her fat with feast of offerings, And plentie, which in all the land did grow; 160 Ne spared he to give her gold and rings: And now he to her brought part of his stolen things.

XIX

Thus long the dore with rage and threats he bet, Yet of those fearfull women none durst rize, The Lyon frayed them, him in to let: 165 He would no longer stay him to advize,[*] But open breakes the dore in furious wize, And entring is; when that disdainfull beast Encountring fierce, him suddaine doth surprize, And seizing cruell clawes on trembling brest, 170 Under his Lordly foot him proudly hath supprest.

XX

Him booteth not resist,[*] nor succour call, His bleeding hart is in the vengers hand, Who streight him rent in thousand peeces small, And quite dismembred hath: the thirsty land 175 Drunke up his life; his corse left on the strand. His fearefull friends weare out the wofull night, Ne dare to weepe, nor seeme to understand The heavie hap, which on them is alight, Affraid, least to themselves the like mishappen might. 180

XXI

Now when broad day the world discovered has, Up Una rose, up rose the Lyon eke, And on their former journey forward pas, In wayes unknowne, her wandring knight to seeke, With paines farre passing that long wandring Greeke,[*] 185 That for his love refused deitie; Such were the labours of his Lady meeke, Still seeking him, that from her still did flie; Then furthest from her hope, when most she weened nie.

XXII

Soone as she parted thence, the fearfull twaine, 190 That blind old woman and her daughter deare,[*] Came forth, and finding Kirkrapine there slaine, For anguish great they gan to rend their heare, And beat their brests, and naked flesh to teare. And when they both had wept and wayld their fill, 195 Then forth they ran like two amazed deare, Halfe mad through malice, and revenging will, To follow her, that was the causer of their ill.

XXIII

Whom overtaking, they gan loudly bray, With hollow howling, and lamenting cry, 200 Shamefully at her rayling all the way, And her accusing of dishonesty, That was the flowre of faith and chastity; And still amidst her rayling, she did pray, That plagues, and mischiefs, and long misery 205 Might fall on her, and follow all the way, And that in endlesse error she might ever stray.

XXIV

But when she saw her prayers nought prevaile, She backe returned with some labour lost; And in the way as shee did weepe and waile, 210 A knight her met in mighty armes embost, Yet knight was not for all his bragging bost, But subtill Archimag, that Una sought By traynes into new troubles to have tost: Of that old woman tidings he besought, 215 If that of such a Ladie she could tellen ought.

XXV

Therewith she gan her passion to renew, And cry, and curse, and raile, and rend her heare, Saying, that harlot she too lately knew, That caused her shed so many a bitter teare, 220 And so forth told the story of her feare: Much seemed he to mone her haplesse chaunce, And after for that Ladie did inquere; Which being taught, he forward gan advaunce His fair enchaunted steed, and eke his charmed launce. 225

XXVI

Ere long he came where Una traveild slow, And that wilde Champion wayting her besyde: Whom seeing such, for dread he durst not show Himselfe too nigh at hand, but turned wyde Unto an hill; from whence when she him spyde, 230 By his like seeming shield, her knight by name She weend it was, and towards him gan ryde: Approaching nigh, she wist it was the same, And with faire fearefull humblesse towards him shee came:

XXVII

And weeping said, Ah my long lacked Lord, 235 Where have ye bene thus long out of my sight? Much feared I to have bene quite abhord, Or ought have done,[*] that ye displeasen might, That should as death[*] unto my deare heart light: For since mine eye your joyous sight did mis, 240 My chearefull day is turnd to chearelesse night, And eke my night of death the shadow is; But welcome now my light, and shining lampe of blis.

XXVIII

He thereto meeting said, My dearest Dame, Farre be it from your thought, and fro my will, 245 To thinke that knighthood I so much should shame, As you to leave, that have me loved still, And chose in Faery court[*] of meere goodwill, Where noblest knights were to be found on earth: The earth shall sooner leave her kindly skill,[*] 250 To bring forth fruit, and make eternall derth, Then I leave you, my liefe, yborne of heavenly berth.

XXIX

And sooth to say, why I left you so long, Was for to seeke adventure in strange place, Where Archimago said a felon strong 255 To many knights did daily worke disgrace; But knight he now shall never more deface: Good cause of mine excuse; that mote ye please Well to accept, and evermore embrace My faithfull service, that by land and seas 260 Have vowd you to defend: now then your plaint appease.

XXX

His lovely words her seemd due recompence Of all her passed paines: one loving howre For many yeares of sorrow can dispence: A dram of sweet is worth a pound of sowre: 265 She has forgot, how many a woful stowre For him she late endurd; she speakes no more Of past: true is, that true love hath no powre To looken backe; his eyes be fixt before. Before her stands her knight, for whom she toyld so sore. 270

XXXI

Much like, as when the beaten marinere, That long hath wandred in the Ocean wide, Oft soust in swelling Tethys saltish teare, And long time having tand his tawney hide With blustring breath of heaven, that none can bide, 275 And scorching flames of fierce Orions hound,[*] Soone as the port from farre he has espide, His chearefull whistle merrily doth sound, And Nereus crownes with cups[*]; his mates him pledg around.

XXXII

Such joy made Una, when her knight she found; 280 And eke th' enchaunter joyous seemd no lesse, Then the glad marchant, that does vew from ground[*] His ship farre come from watrie wildernesse, He hurles out vowes, and Neptune oft doth blesse: So forth they past, and all the way they spent 285 Discoursing of her dreadful late distresse, In which he askt her, what the Lyon ment: Who told her all that fell in journey as she went.

XXXIII

They had not ridden farre, when they might see One pricking towards them with hastie heat, 290 Full strongly armd, and on a courser free, That through his fiercenesse fomed all with sweat, And the sharpe yron did for anger eat, When his hot ryder spurd his chauffed side; His looke was sterne, and seemed still to threat 295 Cruell revenge, which he in hart did hyde, And on his shield Sans loy[*] in bloudie lines was dyde.

XXXIV

When nigh he drew unto this gentle payre And saw the Red-crosse, which the knight did beare, He burnt in fire, and gan eftsoones prepare 300 Himselfe to battell with his couched speare. Loth was that other, and did faint through feare, To taste th' untryed dint of deadly steele; But yet his Lady did so well him cheare, That hope of new goodhap he gan to feele; 305 So bent his speare, and spurd his horse with yron heele.

XXXV

But that proud Paynim forward came so fierce, And full of wrath, that with his sharp-head speare, Through vainly crossed shield[*] he quite did pierce, And had his staggering steede not shrunke for feare, 310 Through shield and bodie eke he should him beare: Yet so great was the puissance of his push, That from his saddle quite he did him beare: He tombling rudely downe to ground did rush, And from his gored wound a well of bloud did gush. 315

XXXVI

Dismounting lightly from his loftie steed, He to him lept, in mind to reave his life, And proudly said, Lo there the worthie meed Of him that slew Sansfoy with bloudie knife; Henceforth his ghost freed from repining strife, 320 In peace may passen over Lethe lake,[*] When mourning altars purgd with enemies life, The blacke infernall Furies[*] doen aslake: Life from Sansfoy thou tookst, Sansloy shall from thee take.

XXXVII

Therewith in haste his helmet gan unlace,[*] 325 Till Una cried, O hold that heavie hand, Deare Sir, what ever that thou be in place: Enough is, that thy foe doth vanquisht stand Now at thy mercy: Mercie not withstand: For he is one the truest knight alive, 330 Though conquered now he lie on lowly land, And whilest him fortune favourd, faire did thrive In bloudie field: therefore of life him not deprive.

XXXVIII

Her piteous words might not abate his rage, But rudely rending up his helmet, would 335 Have slaine him straight: but when he sees his age, And hoarie head of Archimago old, His hasty hand he doth amazed hold, And halfe ashamed, wondred at the sight: For that old man well knew he, though untold, 340 In charmes and magicke to have wondrous might, Ne ever wont in field,[*] ne in round lists to fight;

XXXIX

And said, Why Archimago, lucklesse syre, What doe I see? what hard mishap is this, That hath thee hither brought to taste mine yre? 345 Or thine the fault, or mine the error is, Instead of foe to wound my friend amis? He answered nought, but in a traunce still lay, And on those guilefull dazed eyes of his The cloude of death did sit. Which doen away, 350 He left him lying so, ne would no lenger stay:

XL

But to the virgin comes, who all this while Amased stands, her selfe so mockt to see By him, who has the guerdon of his guile, For so misfeigning her true knight to bee: 355 Yet is she now in more perplexitie, Left in the hand of that same Paynim bold, From whom her booteth not at all to flie; Who, by her cleanly garment catching hold, Her from her Palfrey pluckt, her visage to behold. 360

XLI

But her fierce servant, full of kingly awe And high disdaine, whenas his soveraine Dame So rudely handled by her foe he sawe, With gaping jawes full greedy at him came, And ramping on his shield, did weene the same 365 Have reft away with his sharpe rending clawes: But he was stout, and lust did now inflame His corage more, that from his griping pawes He hath his shield redeem'd, and foorth his swerd he drawes.

XLII

O then too weake and feeble was the forse 370 Of salvage beast, his puissance to withstand: For he was strong, and of so mightie corse, As ever wielded speare in warlike hand, And feates of armes did wisely understand. Eftsoones he perced through his chaufed chest 375 With thrilling point of deadly yron brand, And launcht his Lordly hart: with death opprest He roar'd aloud, whiles life forsooke his stubborne brest.

XLIII

Who now is left to keepe the forlorne maid From raging spoile of lawlesse victors will? 380 Her faithfull gard remov'd, her hope dismaid, Her selfe a yielded pray to save or spill. He now Lord of the field, his pride to fill, With foule reproches, and disdainfull spight Her vildly entertaines, and will or nill, 385 Beares her away upon his courser light: Her prayers nought prevaile, his rage is more of might.[*]

XLIV

And all the way, with great lamenting paine, And piteous plaints she filleth his dull eares, That stony hart could riven have in twaine, 390 And all the way she wets with flowing teares: But he enrag'd with rancor, nothing heares. Her servile beast yet would not leave her so, But followes her farre off, ne ought he feares, To be partaker of her wandring woe, 395 More mild in beastly kind, then that her beastly foe.

* * * * *

CANTO IV

To sinfull house of Pride, Duessa guides the faithfull knight, Where brother's death to wreak Sansjoy doth chalenge him to fight.

I

Young knight whatever that dost armes professe, And through long labours huntest after fame, Beware of fraud, beware of ficklenesse, In choice, and change of thy deare loved Dame, Least thou of her beleeve too lightly blame, 5 And rash misweening doe thy hart remove: For unto knight there is no greater shame, Then lightnesse and inconstancie in love; That doth this Redcrosse knights ensample plainly prove.

II

Who after that he had faire Una lorne, 10 Through light misdeeming of her loialtie, And false Duessa in her sted had borne, Called Fidess', and so supposd to bee; Long with her traveild, till at last they see A goodly building, bravely garnished, 15 The house of mightie Prince it seemd to bee: And towards it a broad high way that led, All bare through peoples feet, which thither traveiled.

III

Great troupes of people traveild thitherward Both day and night, of each degree and place,[*] 20 But few returned, having scaped hard,[*] With balefull beggerie, or foule disgrace; Which ever after in most wretched case, Like loathsome lazars,[*] by the hedges lay. Thither Duessa bad him bend his pace: 25 For she is wearie of the toilesome way, And also nigh consumed is the lingring day.

IV

A stately Pallace built of squared bricke, Which cunningly was without morter laid, Whose wals were high, but nothing strong, nor thick, 30 And golden foile all over them displaid, That purest skye with brightnesse they dismaid: High lifted up were many loftie towres, And goodly galleries farre over laid, Full of faire windowes and delightful bowres; 35 And on the top a Diall told the timely howres.

V

It was a goodly heape for to behould, And spake the praises of the workmans wit; But full great pittie, that so faire a mould Did on so weake foundation ever sit: 40 For on a sandie hill, that still did flit And fall away, it mounted was full hie, That every breath of heaven shaked it: And all the hinder parts, that few could spie, Were ruinous and old, but painted cunningly. 45

VI

Arrived there, they passed in forth right; For still to all the gates stood open wide: Yet charge of them was to a Porter hight Cald Malvenu,[*] who entrance none denide: Thence to the hall, which was on every side 50 With rich array and costly arras dight: Infinite sorts of people did abide There waiting long, to win the wished sight Of her that was the Lady of that Pallace bright.

VII

By them they passe, all gazing on them round, 55 And to the Presence mount; whose glorious vew Their frayle amazed senses did confound: In living Princes court none ever knew Such endlesse richesse, and so sumptuous shew; Ne Persia selfe, the nourse of pompous pride 60 Like ever saw. And there a noble crew Of Lordes and Ladies stood on every side, Which with their presence faire the place much beautifide.

VIII

High above all a cloth of State was spred, And a rich throne, as bright as sunny day, 65 On which there sate most brave embellished With royall robes and gorgeous array, A mayden Queene, that shone as Titans ray, In glistring gold, and peerelesse pretious stone: Yet her bright blazing beautie did assay 70 To dim the brightnesse of her glorious throne, As envying her selfe, that too exceeding shone.

IX

Exceeding shone, like Phoebus fairest childe,[*] That did presume his fathers firie wayne, And flaming mouthes of steedes unwonted wilde 75 Through highest heaven with weaker hand to rayne; Proud of such glory and advancement vaine, While flashing beames do daze his feeble eyen, He leaves the welkin way most beaten plaine, And rapt with whirling wheeles, inflames the skyen, 80 With fire not made to burne, but fairely for to shyne.

X

So proud she shyned in her Princely state, Looking to heaven; for earth she did disdayne: And sitting high; for lowly she did hate: Lo underneath her scornefull feete was layne 85 A dreadfull Dragon[*] with an hideous trayne, And in her hand she held a mirrhour bright, Wherein her face she often vewed fayne, And in her selfe-lov'd semblance tooke delight; For she was wondrous faire, as any living wight. 90

XI

Of griesly Pluto she the daughter was, And sad Proserpina the Queene of hell; Yet did she thinke her pearlesse worth to pas That parentage,[*] with pride so did she swell; And thundring Jove, that high in heaven doth dwell, 95 And wield the world, she claymed for her syre, Or if that any else did Jove excell: For to the highest she did still aspyre, Or if ought higher were then that, did it desyre.

XII

And proud Lucifera men did her call, 100 That made her selfe a Queene, and crownd to be, Yet rightfull kingdome she had none at all, Ne heritage of native soveraintie, But did usurpe with wrong and tyrannie Upon the scepter, which she now did hold: 105 Ne ruld her Realmes with lawes, but pollicie, And strong advizement of six wisards old,[*] That with their counsels bad her kingdome did uphold.

XIII

Soone as the Elfin knight in presence came, And false Duessa seeming Lady faire, 110 A gentle Husher, Vanitie by name Made rowme, and passage for them did prepaire: So goodly brought them to the lowest staire Of her high throne, where they on humble knee Making obeyssance, did the cause declare, 115 Why they were come, her royall state to see, To prove the wide report of her great Majestee.

XIV

With loftie eyes, halfe loth to looke so low, She thanked them in her disdainefull wise; Ne other grace vouchsafed them to show 120 Of Princesse worthy, scarse them bad arise. Her Lordes and Ladies all this while devise Themselves to setten forth to straungers sight: Some frounce their curled haire in courtly guise, Some prancke their ruffes, and others trimly dight 125 Their gay attire: each others greater pride does spight.

XV

Goodly they all that knight do entertaine, Right glad with him to have increast their crew: But to Duess' each one himselfe did paine All kindnesse and faire courtesie to shew; 130 For in that court whylome her well they knew: Yet the stout Faerie mongst the middest crowd Thought all their glorie vaine in knightly vew, And that great Princesse too exceeding prowd, That to strange knight no better countenance allowd. 135

XVI

Suddein upriseth from her stately place The royall Dame, and for her coche did call: All hurtlen forth, and she with Princely pace, As faire Aurora in her purple pall, Out of the east the dawning day doth call: 140 So forth she comes: her brightnesse brode doth blaze; The heapes of people thronging in the hall, Do ride each other, upon her to gaze: Her glorious glitterand light doth all mens eyes amaze.

XVII

So forth she comes, and to her coche[*] does clyme, 145 Adorned all with gold, and girlonds gay, That seemd as fresh as Flora in her prime, And strove to match, in royall rich array, Great Junoes golden chaire, the which they say The Gods stand gazing on, when she does ride 150 To Joves high house through heavens bras-paved way Drawne of faire Pecocks, that excell in pride, And full of Argus eyes their tailes dispredden wide.

XVIII

But this was drawne of six unequall beasts, On which her six sage Counsellours did ryde, 155 Taught to obay their bestiall beheasts, With like conditions[*] to their kinds applyde: Of which the first, that all the rest did guyde, Was sluggish Idlenesse the nourse of sin; Upon a slouthful Asse he chose to ryde, 160 Arayd in habit blacke, and amis thin, Like to an holy Monck, the service to begin.

XIX

And in his hand his Portesse still he bare, That much was worne, but therein little red, For of devotion he had little care, 165 Still drownd in sleepe, and most of his dayes ded; Scarse could he once uphold his heavie hed, To looken, whether it were night or day: May seeme the wayne was very evill led, When such an one had guiding of the way, 170 That knew not, whether right he went, or else astray.

XX

From worldly cares himselfe he did esloyne, And greatly shunned manly exercise, From every worke he chalenged essoyne,[*] For contemplation sake: yet otherwise, 175 His life he led in lawlesse riotise; By which he grew to grievous malady; For in his lustlesse limbs through evill guise A shaking fever raignd continually: Such one was Idlenesse, first of this company. 180

XXI

And by his side rode loathsome Gluttony, Deformed creature, on a filthie swyne; His belly was up-blowne with luxury, And eke with fatnesse swollen were his eyne, And like a Crane[*] his necke was long and fyne, 185 With which he swallowed up excessive feast, For want whereof poore people oft did pyne; And all the way, most like a brutish beast, He spued up his gorge, that all did him deteast.

XXII

In greene vine leaves he was right fitly clad; 190 For other clothes he could not weare for heat, And on his head an yvie girland had, From under which fast trickled downe the sweat: Still as he rode, he somewhat still did eat, And in his hand did beare a bouzing can, 195 Of which he supt so oft, that on his seat His dronken corse he scarse upholden can, In shape and life more like a monster, then a man.

XXIII

Unfit he was for any worldly thing, And eke unhable once to stirre or go, 200 Not meet to be of counsell to a king, Whose mind in meat and drinke was drowned so, That from his friend he seldome knew his fo: Full of diseases was his carcas blew, And a dry dropsie[*] through his flesh did flow: 205 Which by misdiet daily greater grew: Such one was Gluttony, the second of that crew.

XXIV

And next to him rode lustfull Lechery, Upon a bearded Goat, whose rugged haire, And whally eyes (the signe of gelosy), 210 Was like the person selfe, whom he did beare: Who rough, and blacke, and filthy did appeare, Unseemely man to please faire Ladies eye; Yet he of Ladies oft was loved deare, When fairer faces were bid standen by: 215 O who does know the bent of womens fantasy?

XXV

In a greene gowne he clothed was full faire, Which underneath did hide his filthinesse, And in his hand a burning hart he bare, Full of vaine follies, and new fanglenesse, 220 For he was false, and fraught with ficklenesse; And learned had to love with secret lookes; And well could daunce, and sing with ruefulnesse, And fortunes tell, and read in loving bookes, And thousand other wayes, to bait his fleshly hookes. 225

XXVI

Inconstant man, that loved all he saw, And lusted after all that he did love; Ne would his looser life be tide to law, But joyd weak wemens hearts to tempt and prove, If from their loyall loves he might them move; 230 Which lewdnesse fild him with reprochfull paine Of that fowle evill, which all men reprove, That rots the marrow and consumes the braine: Such one was Lecherie, the third of all this traine.

XXVII

And greedy Avarice by him did ride, 235 Upon a Camell[*] loaden all with gold; Two iron coffers hong on either side, With precious mettall full as they might hold; And in his lap an heape of coine he told; For of his wicked pelfe his God he made, 240 And unto hell him selfe for money sold; Accursed usurie was all his trade, And right and wrong ylike in equall ballaunce waide.

XXVIII

His life was nigh unto deaths doore yplast, And thred-bare cote, and cobled shoes he ware, 245 Ne scarse good morsell all his life did tast, But both from backe and belly still did spare, To fill his bags, and richesse to compare; Yet chylde ne kinsman living had he none To leave them to; but thorough daily care 250 To get, and nightly feare to lose his owne, He led a wretched life unto him selfe unknowne.[*]

XXIX

Most wretched wight, whom nothing might suffise, Whose greedy lust did lacke in greatest store, Whose need had end, but no end covetise, 255 Whose wealth was want, whose plenty made him pore, Who had enough, yet wished ever more; A vile disease, and eke in foote and hand A grievous gout tormented him full sore, That well he could not touch, nor go, nor stand; 260 Such one was Avarice, the fourth of this faire band.

XXX

And next to him malicious Envie rode, Upon a ravenous wolfe, and still did chaw Betweene his cankred teeth a venemous tode, That all the poison ran about his chaw; 265 But inwardly he chawed his owne maw At neighbours wealth, that made him ever sad; For death it was when any good he saw, And wept, that cause of weeping none he had, But when he heard of harme, he wexed wondrous glad. 270

XXXI

All in a kirtle of discolourd say He clothed was, ypainted full of eyes; And in his bosome secretly there lay An hatefull Snake, the which his taile uptyes In many folds, and mortall sting implyes. 275 Still as he rode, he gnasht his teeth, to see Those heapes of gold with griple Covetyse; And grudged at the great felicitie Of proud Lucifera, and his owne companie.

XXXII

He hated all good workes and vertuous deeds, 280 And him no lesse, that any like did use, And who with gracious bread the hungry feeds, His almes for want of faith he doth accuse; So every good to bad he doth abuse: And eke the verse of famous Poets witt 285 He does backebite, and spightfull poison spues From leprous mouth on all that ever writt: Such one vile Envie was, that fifte in row did sitt.

XXXIII

And him beside rides fierce revenging Wrath, Upon a Lion, loth for to be led; 290 And in his hand a burning brond he hath, The which he brandisheth about his hed; His eyes did hurle forth sparkles fiery red, And stared sterne on all that him beheld, As ashes pale of hew and seeming ded; 295 And on his dagger still his hand he held, Trembling through hasty rage, when choler in him sweld.

XXXIV

His ruffin raiment all was staind with blood, Which he had spilt, and all to rags yrent, Through unadvized rashnesse woxen wood; 300 For of his hands he had no governement, Ne car'd for bloud in his avengement: But when the furious fit was overpast, His cruell facts he often would repent; Yet wilfull man he never would forecast, 305 How many mischieves should ensue his heedlesse hast.

XXXV

Full many mischiefes follow cruell Wrath; Abhorred bloodshed and tumultuous strife, Unmanly murder, and unthrifty scath,[*] Bitter despight, with rancours rusty knife, 310 And fretting griefe the enemy of life; All these, and many evils moe haunt ire, The swelling Splene,[*] and Frenzy raging rife, The shaking Palsey, and Saint Fraunces fire:[*] Such one was Wrath, the last of this ungodly tire. 315

XXXVI

And after all, upon the wagon beame Rode Sathan, with a smarting whip in hand, With which he forward lasht the laesie teme, So oft as Slowth still in the mire did stand. Hugh routs of people did about them band, 320 Showting for joy, and still before their way A foggy mist had covered all the land; And underneath their feet, all scattered lay Dead sculs and bones of men, whose life had gone astray.

XXXVII

So forth they marchen in this goodly sort, 325 To take the solace of the open aire, And in fresh flowring fields themselves to sport; Emongst the rest rode that false Lady faire, The foule Duessa, next unto the chaire Of proud Lucifera, as one of the traine: 330 But that good knight would not so nigh repaire, Him selfe estraunging from their joyaunce vaine, Whose fellowship seemd far unfit for warlike swaine.

XXXVIII

So having solaced themselves a space With pleasaunce[*] of the breathing fields yfed, 335 They backe retourned to the Princely Place; Whereas an errant knight in armes ycled, And heathnish shield, wherein with letters red Was writ Sans joy, they new arrived find: Enflam'd with fury and fiers hardy-hed 340 He seemd in hart to harbour thoughts unkind, And nourish bloudy vengeaunce in his bitter mind.

XXXIX

Who when the shamed shield of slaine Sansfoy He spide with that same Faery champions page, Bewraying him, that did of late destroy 345 His eldest brother, burning all with rage He to him leapt, and that same envious gage Of victors glory from him snatcht away: But th' Elfin knight, which ought that warlike wage Disdaind to loose the meed he wonne in fray, 350 And him rencountring fierce, reskewd the noble pray.

XL

Therewith they gan to hurtlen greedily, Redoubted battaile ready to darrayne, And clash their shields, and shake their swords on hy, That with their sturre they troubled all the traine; 355 Till that great Queene upon eternall paine Of high displeasure that ensewen might, Commaunded them their fury to refraine, And if that either to that shield had right, In equall lists they should the morrow next it fight. 360

XLI

Ah dearest Dame, (quoth then the Paynim bold,) Pardon the error of enraged wight, Whom great griefe made forget the raines to hold Of reasons rule, to see this recreant knight, No knight, but treachour full of false despight 365 And shamefull treason, who through guile hath slayn The prowest knight that ever field did fight, Even stout Sansfoy (O who can then refrayn?) Whose shield he beares renverst, the more to heape disdayn.

XLII

And to augment the glorie of his guile, 370 His dearest love, the faire Fidessa, loe Is there possessed of the traytour vile, Who reapes the harvest sowen by his foe, Sowen in bloudy field, and bought with woe: That brothers hand shall dearely well requight, 375 So be, O Queene, you equall favour showe. Him litle answerd th' angry Elfin knight; He never meant with words, but swords to plead his right.

XLIII

But threw his gauntlet as a sacred pledge, His cause in combat the next day to try: 380 So been they parted both, with harts on edge To be aveng'd each on his enimy. That night they pas in joy and jollity, Feasting and courting both in bowre and hall; For Steward was excessive Gluttonie, 385 That of his plenty poured forth to all; Which doen, the Chamberlain Slowth did to rest them call.

XLIV

Now whenas darkesome night had all displayed Her coleblacke curtein over brightest skye, The warlike youthes on dayntie couches layd, 390 Did chace away sweet sleepe from sluggish eye, To muse on meanes of hoped victory. But whenas Morpheus had with leaden mace Arrested all that courtly company, Up-rose Duessa from her resting place, 395 And to the Paynims lodging comes with silent pace.

XLV

Whom broad awake she finds, in troublous fit, Forecasting, how his foe he might annoy, And him amoves with speaches seeming fit: Ah deare Sansjoy, next dearest to Sansfoy, 400 Cause of my new griefe, cause of my new joy, Joyous, to see his ymage in mine eye, And greev'd, to thinke how foe did him destroy, That was the flowre of grace and chevalrye; Lo his Fidessa to thy secret faith I flye. 405

XLVI

With gentle wordes he can her fairely greet, And bad say on the secret of her hart. Then sighing soft, I learne that litle sweet Oft tempred is (quoth she) with muchell smart: For since my brest was launcht with lovely dart 410 Of deare Sans foy, I never joyed howre, But in eternall woes my weaker hart Have wasted, loving him with all my powre, And for his sake have felt full many an heavie stowre.

XLVII

At last when perils all I weened past, 415 And hop'd to reape the crop of all my care, Into new woes unweeting I was cast, By this false faytor, who unworthy ware His worthy shield, whom he with guilefull snare Entrapped slew, and brought to shamefull grave. 420 Me silly maid away with him he bare, And ever since hath kept in darksome cave, For that I would not yeeld, that to Sans foy I gave.

XLVIII

But since faire Sunne hath sperst that lowring clowd, And to my loathed life now shewes some light, 425 Under your beames I will me safely shrowd, From dreaded storme of his disdainfull spight: To you th' inheritance belongs by right Of brothers prayse, to you eke longs his love. Let not his love, let not his restlesse spright, 430 Be unreveng'd, that calles to you above From wandring Stygian shores, where it doth endlesse move.

XLIX

Thereto said he, Faire Dame, be nought dismaid For sorrowes past; their griefe is with them gone: Ne yet of present perill be affraid; 435 For needlesse feare did never vantage none And helplesse hap[*] it booteth not to mone. Dead is Sansfoy, his vitall paines are past, Though greeved ghost for vengeance deepe do grone: He lives, that shall him pay his dewties last,[*] 440 And guiltie Elfin blood shall sacrifice in hast.

L

O but I feare the fickle freakes (quoth shee) Of fortune false, and oddes of armes[*] in field. Why Dame (quoth he) what oddes can ever bee, Where both do fight alike, to win or yield? 445 Yea but (quoth she) he beares a charmed shield, And eke enchaunted armes, that none can perce, Ne none can wound the man that does them wield. Charmd or enchaunted (answerd he then ferce) I no whit reck, ne you the like need to reherce. 450

LI

But faire Fidessa, sithens fortunes guile, Or enimies powre, hath now captived you, Returne from whence ye came, and rest a while Till morrow next, that I the Elfe subdew, And with Sansfoyes dead dowry you endew. 455 Ay me, that is a double death (she said) With proud foes sight my sorrow to renew: Where ever yet I be, my secret aid Shall follow you. So passing forth she him obaid.

* * * * *

CANTO V

The faithfull knight in equall field subdewes his faithlesse foe, Whom false Duessa saves, and for his cure to hell does goe.

I

THE noble hart, that harbours vertuous thought, And is with child of glorious great intent, Can never rest, untill it forth have brought Th' eternall brood of glorie excellent. Such restlesse passion did all night torment 5 The flaming corage of that Faery knight, Devizing, how that doughtie turnament With greatest honour he atchieven might; Still did he wake, and still did watch for dawning light.

II

At last the golden Orientall gate, 10 Of greatest heaven gan to open faire, And Phoebus fresh, as bridegrome to his mate, Came dauncing forth, shaking his deawie haire: And hurls his glistring beams through gloomy aire. Which when the wakeful Elfe perceiv'd, streightway 15 He started up, and did him selfe prepaire, In sunbright armes, and battailous array: For with that Pagan proud he combat will that day.

III

And forth he comes into the commune hall, Where earely waite him many a gazing eye, 20 To weet what end to straunger knights may fall. There many Minstrales maken melody, To drive away the dull melancholy, And many Bardes, that to the trembling chord Can tune their timely voyces[*] cunningly, 25 And many Chroniclers that can record Old loves,[*] and warres for Ladies doen by many a Lord.

IV

Soone after comes the cruell Sarazin, In woven maile[*] all armed warily, And sternly lookes at him, who not a pin 30 Does care for looke of living creatures eye. They bring them wines of Greece and Araby,[*] And daintie spices fetcht from furthest Ynd,[*] To kindle heat of corage privily: And in the wine a solemne oth they bynd 35 T' observe the sacred lawes of armes, that are assynd.

V

At last forth comes that far renowmed Queene, With royall pomp and Princely majestie; She is ybrought unto a paled greene,[*] And placed under stately canapee, 40 The warlike feates of both those knights to see. On th' other side in all mens open vew Duessa placed is, and on a tree Sans-foy his[*] shield is hangd with bloody hew: Both those[*] the lawrell girlonds to the victor dew. 45

VI

A shrilling trompet sownded from on hye, And unto battaill bad them selves addresse: Their shining shieldes about their wrestes they tye, And burning blades about their heads do blesse, The instruments of wrath and heavinesse: 50 With greedy force each other doth assayle, And strike so fiercely, that they do impresse Deepe dinted furrowes in the battred mayle; The yron walles to ward their blowes are weak and fraile.

VII

The Sarazin was stout, and wondrous strong, 55 And heaped blowes like yron hammers great; For after bloud and vengeance he did long. The knight was fiers, and full of youthly heat, And doubled strokes, like dreaded thunders threat: For all for prayse and honour he did fight. 60 Both stricken strike, and beaten both do beat, That from their shields forth flyeth firie light, And helmets hewen deepe show marks of eithers might.

VIII

So th' one for wrong, the other strives for right; As when a Gryfon[*] seized of his pray, 65 A Dragon fiers encountreth in his flight, Through widest ayre making his ydle way, That would his rightfull ravine rend away; With hideous horror both together smight, And souce so sore that they the heavens affray: 70 The wise Soothsayer seeing so sad sight, Th' amazed vulgar tels of warres and mortall fight.

IX

So th' one for wrong, the other strives for right, And each to deadly shame would drive his foe: The cruell steele so greedily doth bight 75 In tender flesh that streames of bloud down flow, With which the armes, that earst so bright did show, Into a pure vermillion now are dyde: Great ruth in all the gazers harts did grow, Seeing the gored woundes to gape so wyde, 80 That victory they dare not wish to either side.

X

At last the Paynim chaunst to cast his eye, His suddein eye, flaming with wrathful fyre, Upon his brothers shield, which hong thereby: Therewith redoubled was his raging yre, 85 And said, Ah wretched sonne of wofull syre, Doest thou sit wayling by blacke Stygian lake, Whilest here thy shield is hangd for victors hyre, And sluggish german[*] doest thy forces slake To after-send his foe, that him may overtake? 90

XI

Goe caytive Elfe, him quickly overtake, And soone redeeme from his long wandring woe; Goe guiltie ghost, to him my message make, That I his shield have quit from dying foe. Therewith upon his crest he stroke him so, 95 That twise he reeled, readie twise to fall; End of the doubtfull battell deemed tho The lookers on, and lowd to him gan call The false Duessa, Thine the shield, and I, and all.

XII

Soone as the Faerie heard his Ladie speake,[*] 100 Out of his swowning dreame he gan awake, And quickning faith, that earst was woxen weake, The creeping deadly cold away did shake: Tho mov'd with wrath, and shame, and Ladies sake, Of all attonce he cast avengd to bee, 105 And with so' exceeding furie at him strake, That forced him to stoupe upon his knee; Had he not stouped so, he should have cloven bee.

XIII

And to him said, Goe now proud Miscreant, Thy selfe thy message do to german deare; 110 Alone he wandring thee too long doth want: Goe say, his foe thy shield with his doth beare. Therewith his heavie hand he high gan reare, Him to have slaine; when loe a darkesome clowd[*] Upon him fell: he no where doth appeare, 115 But vanisht is. The Elfe him calls alowd, But answer none receives: the darkness him does shrowd.

XIV

In haste Duessa from her place arose, And to him running said, O prowest knight, That ever Ladie to her love did chose, 120 Let now abate the terror of your might, And quench the flame of furious despight, And bloudie vengeance; lo th' infernall powres, Covering your foe with cloud of deadly night, Have borne him hence to Plutoes balefull bowres. 125 The conquest yours, I yours, the shield, the glory yours.

XV

Not all so satisfide, with greedie eye He sought all round about, his thristie blade To bath in bloud of faithlesse enemy; Who all that while lay hid in secret shade: 130 He standes amazed, how he thence should fade. At last the trumpets Triumph sound on hie, And running Heralds humble homage made, Greeting him goodly with new victorie, And to him brought the shield, the cause of enmitie. 135

XVI

Wherewith he goeth to that soveraine Queene, And falling her before on lowly knee, To her makes present of his service seene: Which she accepts, with thankes, and goodly gree, Greatly advauncing his gay chevalree. 140 So marcheth home, and by her takes the knight, Whom all the people follow with great glee, Shouting, and clapping all their hands on hight, That all the aire it fils, and flyes to heaven bright.

XVII

Home is he brought, and laid in sumptuous bed: 145 Where many skilfull leaches him abide, To salve his hurts, that yet still freshly bled. In wine and oyle they wash his woundes wide, And softly can embalme on every side. And all the while, most heavenly melody 150 About the bed sweet musicke did divide, Him to beguile of griefe and agony: And all the while Duessa wept full bitterly.

XVIII

As when a wearie traveller that strayes By muddy shore of broad seven-mouthed Nile, 155 Unweeting of the perillous wandring wayes, Doth meete a cruell craftie Crocodile, Which in false griefe hyding his harmefull guile, Doth weepe full sore, and sheddeth tender teares:[*] The foolish man, that pitties all this while 160 His mournefull plight, is swallowed up unawares, Forgetfull of his owne, that mindes anothers cares.

XIX

So wept Duessa untill eventide, That shyning lampes in Joves high house were light: Then forth she rose, ne lenger would abide, 165 But comes unto the place, where th' Hethen knight In slombring swownd nigh voyd of vitall spright, Lay cover'd with inchaunted cloud all day: Whom when she found, as she him left in plight, To wayle his woefull case she would not stay, 170 But to the easterne coast of heaven makes speedy way.

XX

Where griesly Night,[*] with visage deadly sad, That Phoebus chearefull face durst never vew, And in a foule blacke pitchie mantle clad, She findes forth comming from her darkesome mew, 175 Where she all day did hide her hated hew. Before the dore her yron charet stood, Alreadie harnessed for journey new; And coleblacke steedes yborne of hellish brood, That on their rustie bits did champ, as they were wood. 180

XXI

Who when she saw Duessa sunny bright, Adornd with gold and jewels shining cleare, She greatly grew amazed at the sight, And th' unacquainted light began to feare: For never did such brightnesse there appeare, 185 And would have backe retyred to her cave, Until the witches speech she gan to heare, Saying, Yet, O thou dreaded Dame, I crave Abide, till I have told the message which I have.

XXII

She stayd, and foorth Duessa gan proceede 190 O thou most auncient Grandmother of all, More old then Jove, whom thou at first didst breede, Or that great house of Gods caelestiall, Which wast begot in Daemogorgons hall, And sawst the secrets of the world unmade, 195 Why suffredst thou thy Nephewes deare to fall With Elfin sword, most shamefully betrade? Lo where the stout Sansjoy doth sleepe in deadly shade.

XXIII

And him before, I saw with bitter eyes The bold Sansfoy shrinke underneath his speare; 200 And now the pray of fowles in field he lyes, Nor wayld of friends, nor layd on groning beare,[*] That whylome was to me too dearely deare. O what of Gods[*] then boots it to be borne, If old Aveugles sonnes so evill heare? 205 Or who shall not great Nightes children scorne, When two of three her Nephews are so fowle forlorne?

XXIV

Up then, up dreary Dame, of darknesse Queene, Go gather up the reliques of thy race, Or else goe them avenge, and let be seene, 210 That dreaded Night in brightest day hath place, And can the children of faire light deface. Her feeling speeches some compassion moved In hart, and chaunge in that great mothers face: Yet pittie in her hart was never proved 215 Till then: for evermore she hated, never loved.

XXV

And said, Deare daughter rightly may I rew The fall of famous children borne of mee, And good successes,[*] which their foes ensew: But who can turne the streame of destinee, 220 Or breake the chayne[*] of strong necessitee, Which fast is tyde to Joves eternall seat? The sonnes of Day he favoureth, I see, And by my ruines thinkes to make them great: To make one great by others losse, is bad excheat.[*] 225

XXVI

Yet shall they not escape so freely all; For some shall pay the price of others guilt: And he the man that made Sansfoy to fall, Shall with his owne bloud[*] price that he has spilt. But what art thou, that telst of Nephews kilt? 230 I that do seeme not I, Duessa am, (Quoth she) how ever now in garments gilt, And gorgeous gold arrayd I to thee came; Duessa I, the daughter of Deceipt and Shame.

XXVII

Then bowing downe her aged backe, she kist 235 The wicked witch, saying; In that faire face The false resemblance of Deceipt I wist Did closely lurke; yet so true-seeming grace It carried, that I scarce in darkesome place Could it discerne, though I the mother bee 240 Of falshood, and roote of Duessaes race. O welcome child, whom I have longd to see, And now have seene unwares. Lo now I go with thee.

XXVIII

Then to her yron wagon she betakes, And with her beares the fowle welfavourd witch: 245 Through mirkesome aire her readie way she makes. Her twyfold Teme, of which two blacke as pitch, And two were browne, yet each to each unlich, Did softly swim away, ne ever stampe, Unlesse she chaunst their stubborne mouths to twitch; 250 Then foming tarre, their bridles they would champe, And trampling the fine element would fiercely rampe.

XXIX

So well they sped, that they be come at length Unto the place, whereas the Paynim lay, Devoid of outward sense, and native strength, 255 Coverd with charmed cloud from vew of day And sight of men, since his late luckelesse fray. His cruell wounds with cruddy bloud congeald They binden up so wisely, as they may, And handle softly, till they can be healed: 260 So lay him in her charet close in night concealed.

XXX

And all the while she stood upon the ground, The wakefull dogs did never cease to bay,[*] As giving warning of th' unwonted sound, With which her yron wheeles did them affray, 265 And her darke griesly looke them much dismay: The messenger of death, the ghastly Owle[*] With drery shriekes did also her bewray; And hungry Wolves continually did howle, At her abhorred face, so filthy and so fowle. 270

XXXI

Thence turning backe in silence soft they stole, And brought the heavie corse with easie pace To yawning gulfe of deepe Avernus hole.[*] By that same hole an entrance darke and bace With smoake and sulphure hiding all the place, 275 Descends to hell: there creature never past, That backe returned without heavenly grace; But dreadfull Furies which their chaines have brast, And damned sprights sent forth to make ill men aghast.

XXXII

By that same way the direfull dames doe drive 280 Their mournefull charet, fild with rusty blood, And downe to Plutoes house are come bilive: Which passing through, on every side them stood The trembling ghosts with sad amazed mood, Chattring their yron teeth, and staring wide 285 With stonie eyes; and all the hellish brood Of feends infernall flockt on every side, To gaze on earthly wight that with the Night durst ride.

XXXIII

They pas the bitter waves of Acheron, Where many soules sit wailing woefully, 290 And come to fiery flood of Phlegeton, Whereas the damned ghosts in torments fry, And with sharpe shrilling shriekes doe bootlesse cry, Cursing high Jove, the which them thither sent. The house of endlesse paine is built thereby, 295 In which ten thousand sorts of punishment The cursed creatures doe eternally torment.

XXXIV

Before the threshold dreadfull Cerberus[*] His three deformed heads did lay along, Curled with thousand adders venemous, 300 And lilled forth his bloudie flaming tong: At them he gan to reare his bristles strong, And felly gnarre, until Dayes enemy Did him appease; then downe his taile he hong And suffred them to passen quietly: 305 For she in hell and heaven had power equally.

XXXV

There was Ixion turned on a wheele,[*] For daring tempt the Queene of heaven to sin; And Sisyphus an huge round stone did reele Against an hill, ne might from labour lin; 310 There thirsty Tantalus hong by the chin; And Tityus fed a vulture on his maw; Typhoeus joynts were stretched on a gin, Theseus condemnd to endlesse slouth by law, And fifty sisters water in leake vessels draw. 315

XXXVI

They all beholding worldly wights in place, Leave off their worke, unmindfull of their smart, To gaze on them; who forth by them doe pace, Till they be come unto the furthest part; Where was a Cave ywrought by wondrous art, 320 Deepe, darke, uneasie, dolefull, comfortlesse, In which sad Aesculapius[*] farre apart Emprisond was in chaines remedilesse, For that Hippolytus rent corse he did redresse.

XXXVII

Hippolytus a jolly huntsman was 325 That wont in charett chace the foming Bore: He all his Peeres in beauty did surpas, But Ladies love as losse of time forbore: His wanton stepdame loved him the more, But when she saw her offred sweets refused, 330 Her love she turnd to hate, and him before His father fierce of treason false accused, And with her gealous termes his open eares abused.

XXXVIII

Who all in rage his Sea-god syre besought, Some cursed vengeaunce on his sonne to cast, 335 From surging gulf two monsters straight were brought, With dread whereof his chasing steedes aghast, Both charet swift and huntsman overcast. His goodly corps on ragged cliffs yrent, Was quite dismembred, and his members chast 340 Scattered on every mountaine, as he went, That of Hippolytus was left no moniment.

XXXIX

His cruell step-dame seeing what was donne, Her wicked dayes with wretched knife did end, In death avowing th' innocence of her sonne, 345 Which hearing, his rash Syre began to rend His haire, and hastie tongue that did offend. Tho gathering up the relicks of his smart, By Dianes meanes, who was Hippolyts frend, Them brought to Aesculape, that by his art 350 Did heale them all againe, and joyned every part.

XL

Such wondrous science in mans wit to raine When Jove avizd, that could the dead revive, And fates expired[*] could renew againe, Of endlesse life he might him not deprive, 355 But unto hell did thrust him downe alive, With flashing thunderbolt ywounded sore: Where long remaining, he did alwaies strive Himselfe with salves to health for to restore, And slake the heavenly fire, that raged evermore. 360

XLI

There auncient Night arriving, did alight From her nigh wearie waine, and in her armes To Aesculapius brought the wounded knight: Whom having softly disarayd of armes, Tho gan to him discover all his harmes, 365 Beseeching him with prayer, and with praise, If either salves, or oyles, or herbes, or charmes A fordonne wight from dore of death mote raise, He would at her request prolong her nephews daies.

XLII

Ah Dame (quoth he) thou temptest me in vaine, 370 To dare the thing, which daily yet I rew, And the old cause of my continued paine With like attempt to like end to renew. Is not enough, that thrust from heaven dew Here endlesse penance for one fault I pay, 375 But that redoubled crime with vengeance new Thou biddest me to eeke? can Night defray The wrath of thundring Jove that rules both night and day?

XLIII

Not so (quoth she) but sith that heavens king From hope of heaven hath thee excluded quight, 380 Why fearest thou, that canst not hope for thing; And fearest not, that more thee hurten might, Now in the powre of everlasting Night? Goe to then, O thou farre renowmed sonne Of great Apollo, shew thy famous might 385 In medicine, that else hath to thee wonne Great paines, and greater praise,[*] both never to be donne.

XLIV

Her words prevaild: And then the learned leach His cunning hand gan to his wounds to lay, And all things else, the which his art did teach: 390 Which having seene, from thence arose away The mother of dread darknesse, and let stay Aveugles sonne there in the leaches cure, And backe returning tooke her wonted way, To runne her timely race, whilst Phoebus pure, 395 In westerne waves his weary wagon did recure.

XLV

The false Duessa leaving noyous Night, Returnd to stately pallace of Dame Pride; Where when she came, she found the Faery knight Departed thence, albe his woundes wide 400 Not throughly heald, unreadie were to ride. Good cause he had to hasten thence away; For on a day his wary Dwarfe had spide Where in a dongeon deepe huge numbers lay Of caytive wretched thrals, that wayled night and day. 405

XLVI

A ruefull sight, as could be seene with eie; Of whom he learned had in secret wise The hidden cause of their captivitie, How mortgaging their lives to Covetise, Through wastfull Pride and wanton Riotise, 410 They were by law of that proud Tyrannesse, Provokt with Wrath, and Envies false surmise, Condemned to that Dongeon mercilesse, Where they should live in woe, and die in wretchednesse.

XLVII

There was that great proud king of Babylon,[*] 415 That would compell all nations to adore, And him as onely God to call upon, Till through celestiall doome throwne out of dore, Into an Oxe he was transform'd of yore: There also was king Croesus,[*] that enhaunst 420 His hart too high through his great riches store; And proud Antiochus,[*] the which advaunst His cursed hand gainst God and on his altars daunst.

XLVIII

And them long time before, great Nimrod[*] was, That first the world with sword and fire warrayd; 425 And after him old Ninus[*] farre did pas In princely pompe, of all the world obayd; There also was that mightie Monarch[*] layd Low under all, yet above all in pride, That name of native syre did fowle upbrayd, 430 And would as Ammons sonne be magnifide, Till scornd of God and man a shamefull death he dide.

XLIX

All these together in one heape were throwne, Like carkases of beasts in butchers stall. And in another corner wide were strowne 435 The antique ruines of the Romaines fall: Great Romulus[*] the Grandsyre of them all, Proud Tarquin,[*] and too lordly Lentulus,[*] Stout Scipio,[*] and stubborne Hanniball,[*] Ambitious Sylla,[*] and sterne Marius,[*] 440 High Caesar, great Pompey,[*] and fierce Antonius.[*]

L

Amongst these mightie men were wemen mixt, Proud wemen, vaine, forgetfull of their yoke: The bold Semiramis,[*] whose sides transfixt With sonnes own blade, her fowle reproches spoke; 445 Faire Sthenoboea,[*] that her selfe did choke With wilfull cord, for wanting of her will; High minded Cleopatra,[*] that with stroke Of Aspes sting her selfe did stoutly kill: And thousands moe the like, that did that dongeon fill; 450

LI

Besides the endlesse routs of wretched thralles, Which thither were assembled day by day, From all the world after their wofull falles Through wicked pride, and wasted wealthes decay. But most of all, which in the Dongeon lay, 455 Fell from high Princes courts, or Ladies bowres; Where they in idle pompe, or wanton play, Consumed had their goods, and thriftlesse howres, And lastly throwne themselves into these heavy stowres.

LII

Whose case when as the carefull Dwarfe had tould, 460 And made ensample of their mournefull sight Unto his maister, he no lenger would There dwell in perill of like painefull plight, But early rose, and ere that dawning light Discovered had the world to heaven wyde, 465 He by a privie Posterne tooke his flight, That of no envious eyes he mote be spyde: For doubtlesse death ensewd, if any him descryde.

LIII

Scarse could he footing find in that fowle way, For many corses, like a great Lay-stall, 470 Of murdred men which therein strowed lay, Without remorse, or decent funerall: Which all through that great Princesse pride did fall And came to shamefull end. And them beside Forth ryding underneath the castell wall, 475 A donghill of dead carkases he spide, The dreadfull spectacle of that sad house of Pride.

* * * * *

CANTO VI

From lawlesse lust by wondrous grace fayre Una is releast: Whom salvage nation does adore, and learnes her wise beheast.

I

As when a ship, that flyes faire under saile, An hidden rocke escaped hath unwares, That lay in waite her wrack for to bewaile, The Marriner yet halfe amazed stares At perill past, and yet in doubt ne dares 5 To joy at his foole-happie oversight: So doubly is distrest twixt joy and cares The dreadlesse courage of this Elfin knight, Having escapt so sad ensamples in his sight.

II

Yet sad he was that his too hastie speede 10 The faire Duess' had forst him leave behind; And yet more sad, that Una his deare dreed Her truth had staind with treason so unkind; Yet crime in her could never creature find, But for his love, and for her owne selfe sake, 15 She wandred had from one to other Ynd,[*] Him for to seeke, ne ever would forsake, Till her unwares the fiers Sansloy did overtake.

III

Who, after Archimagoes fowle defeat, Led her away into a forest wilde, 20 And turning wrathfull fyre to lustfull heat, With beastly sin thought her to have defilde, And made the vassal of his pleasures wilde. Yet first he cast by treatie, and by traynes, Her to persuade that stubborne fort to yilde: 25 For greater conquest of hard love he gaynes, That workes it to his will, then he that it constraines.

IV

With fawning words he courted her awhile, And looking lovely, and oft sighing sore, Her constant hart did tempt with diverse guile, 30 But wordes and lookes, and sighes she did abhore; As rocke of Diamond steadfast evermore, Yet for to feed his fyrie lustfull eye, He snatcht the vele that hong her face before; Then gan her beautie shyne, as brightest skye 35 And burnt his beastly hart t'efforce her chastitye.

V

So when he saw his flatt'ring artes to fayle, And subtile engines bett from batteree; With greedy force he gan the fort assayle, Whereof he weend possessed soone to bee, 40 And with rich spoile of ransackt chastitee. Ah heavens! that do this hideous act behold, And heavenly virgin thus outraged see, How can ye vengeance just so long withold And hurle not flashing flames upon that Paynim bold? 45

VI

The pitteous maiden carefull comfortlesse, Does throw out thrilling shriekes, and shrieking cryes, The last vaine helpe of womens great distresse, And with loud plaints importuneth the skyes, That molten starres do drop like weeping eyes; 50 And Phoebus flying so most shameful sight, His blushing face in foggy cloud implyes, And hides for shame. What wit of mortall wight Can now devise to quit a thrall from such a plight?

VII

Eternal providence exceeding thought, 55 Where none appeares can make herselfe a way: A wondrous way it for this Lady wrought, From Lyons clawes to pluck the griped pray. Her shrill outcryes and shriekes so loud did bray, That all the woodes and forestes did resownd; 60 A troupe of Faunes and Satyres[*] far away Within the wood were dauncing in a rownd, Whiles old Sylvanus[*] slept in shady arber sownd:

VIII

Who when they heard that pitteous strained voice, In haste forsooke their rurall meriment, 65 And ran towards the far rebownded noyce, To weet, what wight so loudly did lament. Unto the place they come incontinent: Whom when the raging Sarazin espide, A rude, mishapen, monstrous rablement, 70 Whose like he never saw, he durst not bide, But got his ready steed, and fast away gan ride.

IX

The wyld woodgods arrived in the place, There find the virgin dolefull desolate, With ruffled rayments, and faire blubbred face, 75 As her outrageous foe had left her late; And trembling yet through feare of former hate: All stand amazed at so uncouth sight, And gin to pittie her unhappie state; All stand astonied at her beautie bright, 80 In their rude eyes unworthy of so wofull plight.

X

She more amaz'd, in double dread doth dwell; And every tender part for feare doth shake: As when a greedie Wolfe, through hunger fell, A seely Lambe farre from the flocke does take, 85 Of whom he meanes his bloudie feast to make, A Lyon spyes fast running towards him, The innocent pray in hast he does forsake, Which quit from death yet quakes in every lim With chaunge of feare,[*] to see the Lyon looke so grim. 90

XI

Such fearefull fit assaid her trembling hart, Ne word to speake, ne joynt to move she had: The salvage nation feele her secret smart, And read her sorrow in her count'nance sad; Their frowning forheads with rough hornes yclad, 95 And rustick horror[*] all a side doe lay; And gently grenning, show a semblance glad To comfort her, and feare to put away, Their backward bent knees[*] teach her humbly to obay.

XII

The doubtfull Damzell dare not yet commit 100 Her single person to their barbarous truth;[*] But still twixt feare and hope amazd does sit, Late learnd[*] what harme to hasty trust ensu'th: They in compassion of her tender youth, And wonder of her beautie soveraine, 105 Are wonne with pitty and unwonted ruth, And all prostrate upon the lowly plaine, Do kisse her feete, and fawne on her with count'nance faine.

XIII

Their harts she ghesseth by their humble guise, And yieldes her to extremitie of time; 110 So from the ground she fearlesse doth arise, And walketh forth without suspect of crime:[*] They all as glad, as birdes of joyous Prime, Thence lead her forth, about her dauncing round, Shouting, and singing all a shepheards ryme, 115 And with greene braunches strowing all the ground, Do worship her, as Queene, with olive[*] girlond cround.

XIV

And all the way their merry pipes they sound, That all the woods with doubled Eccho ring, And with their horned feet[*] do weare the ground, 120 Leaping like wanton kids in pleasant Spring. So towards old Sylvanus they her bring; Who with the noyse awaked commeth out To weet the cause, his weake steps governing, And aged limbs on Cypresse stadle stout; 125 And with an yvie twyne his wast is girt about.

XV

Far off he wonders, what them makes so glad, Or Bacchus merry fruit[*] they did invent, Or Cybeles franticke rites[*] have made them mad, They drawing nigh, unto their God present 130 That flowre of faith and beautie excellent. The God himselfe, vewing that mirrhour rare,[*] Stood long amazd, and burnt in his intent; His owne faire Dryope[*] now he thinkes not faire, And Pholoe fowle when her to this he doth compaire. 135

XVI

The woodborne people fall before her flat, And worship her as Goddesse of the wood; And old Sylvanus selfe bethinkes not, what To thinke of wight so faire, but gazing stood, In doubt to deeme her borne of earthly brood; 140 Sometimes Dame Venus selfe he seemes to see, But Venus never had so sober mood; Sometimes Diana he her takes to bee, But misseth bow, and shaftes, and buskins to her knee.

XVII

By vew of her he ginneth to revive 145 His ancient love, and dearest Cyparisse,[*] And calles to mind his pourtraiture alive, How faire he was, and yet not faire to this,[*] And how he slew with glauncing dart amisse A gentle Hynd, the which the lovely boy 150 Did love as life, above all worldly blisse; For griefe whereof the lad n'ould after joy,[*] But pynd away in anguish and selfe-wild annoy.[*]

XVIII

The wooddy Nymphes, faire Hamadryades,[*] Her to behold do thither runne apace, 155 And all the troupe of light-foot Naiades[*] Flocke all about to see her lovely face: But when they vewed have her heavenly grace, They envy her in their malitious mind, And fly away for feare of fowle disgrace: 160 But all the Satyres scorne their woody kind,[*] And henceforth nothing faire but her on earth they find.

XIX

Glad of such lucke, the luckelesse[*] lucky maid, Did her content to please their feeble eyes, And long time with that salvage people staid, 165 To gather breath in many miseries. During which time her gentle wit she plyes, To teach them truth, which worshipt her in vaine, And made her th' Image of Idolatryes[*]; But when their bootlesse zeale she did restraine 170 From her own worship, they her Asse would worship fayn.

XX

It fortuned a noble warlike knight[*] By just occasion[*] to that forrest came, To seeke his kindred, and the lignage right, From whence he tooke his well deserved name: 175 He had in armes abroad wonne muchell fame, And fild far lands with glorie of his might, Plaine, faithfull, true, and enimy of shame, And ever lov'd to fight for Ladies right: But in vaine glorious frayes he litle did delight. 180

XXI

A Satyres sonne yborne in forrest wyld, By straunge adventure as it did betyde, And there begotten of a Lady myld, Faire Thyamis[*] the daughter of Labryde, That was in sacred bands of wedlocke tyde 185 To Therion, a loose unruly swayne; Who had more joy to raunge the forrest wyde, And chase the salvage beast with busie payne, Then serve his Ladies love, and wast in pleasures vayne.

XXII

The forlorne mayd did with loves longing burne 190 And could not lacke her lovers company, But to the wood she goes, to serve her turne, And seeke her spouse that from her still does fly, And followes other game and venery: A Satyre chaunst her wandring for to finde, 195 * * * * * And made her person thrall unto his beastly kind.

XXIII

So long in secret cabin there he held * * * * * Then home he suffred her for to retyre, For ransome leaving him the late borne childe; Whom till to ryper yeares he gan aspire, 200 He noursled up in life and manners wilde, Emongst wild beasts and woods, from lawes of men exilde.

XXIV

For all he taught the tender ymp, was but[*] To banish cowardize and bastard feare; His trembling hand he would him force to put 205 Upon the Lyon and the rugged Beare; And from the she Beares teats her whelps to teare; And eke wyld roaring Buls he would him make To tame, and ryde their backes not made to beare; And the Robuckes in flight to overtake, 210 That every beast for feare of him did fly and quake.

XXV

Thereby so fearlesse, and so fell he grew, That his owne sire and maister of his guise[*] Did often tremble at his horrid vew,[*] And oft for dread of hurt would him advise, 215 The angry beasts not rashly to despise, Nor too much to provoke; for he would learne The Lyon stoup to him in lowly wise, (A lesson hard) and make the Libbard sterne Leave roaring, when in rage he for revenge did earne. 220

XXVI

And for to make his powre approved more, Wyld beasts in yron yokes he would compell; The spotted Panther, and the tusked Bore, The Pardale swift, and the tigre cruell, The Antelope, and Wolfe both fierce and fell; 225 And them constraine in equall teme to draw. Such joy he had, their stubborne harts to quell, And sturdie courage tame with dreadfull aw, That his beheast they feared, as a tyrans law.

XXVII

His loving mother came upon a day 230 Unto the woods, to see her little sonne; And chaunst unwares to meet him in the way, After his sportes, and cruell pastime donne; When after him a Lyonesse did runne, That roaring all with rage, did lowd requere 235 Her children deare, whom he away had wonne: The Lyon whelpes she saw how he did beare, And lull in rugged armes, withouten childish feare.

XXVIII

The fearefull Dame all quaked at the sight, And turning backe, gan fast to fly away, 240 Untill with love revokt from vaine affright, She hardly yet perswaded was to stay, And then to him these womanish words gan say; Ah Satyrane, my dearling, and my joy, For love of me leave off this dreadfull play; 245 To dally thus with death is no fit toy, Go find some other play-fellowes, mine own sweet boy.

XXIX

In these and like delights of bloudy game He trayned was, till ryper yeares he raught; And there abode, whilst any beast of name 250 Walkt in that forest, whom he had not taught To feare his force: and then his courage haught Desird of forreine foemen to be knowne, And far abroad for straunge adventures sought; In which his might was never overthrowne; 255 But through all Faery lond his famous worth was blown.[*]

XXX

Yet evermore it was his manner faire, After long labours and adventures spent, Unto those native woods for to repaire, To see his sire and offspring auncient. 260 And now he thither came for like intent; Where he unwares the fairest Una found, Straunge Lady, in so straunge habiliment, Teaching the Satyres, which her sat around, Trew sacred lore, which from her sweet lips did redound. 265

XXXI

He wondred at her wisedome heavenly rare, Whose like in womens wit he never knew; And when her curteous deeds he did compare, Gan her admire, and her sad sorrowes rew, Blaming of Fortune, which such troubles threw, 270 And joyd to make proofe of her crueltie, On gentle Dame, so hurtlesse, and so trew: Thenceforth he kept her goodly company, And learnd her discipline of faith and veritie.

XXXII

But she all vowd unto the Redcrosse knight, 275 His wandring perill closely did lament, Ne in this new acquaintaunce could delight, But her deare heart with anguish did torment, And all her wit in secret counsels spent, How to escape. At last in privie wise 280 To Satyrane she shewed her intent; Who glad to gain such favour, gan devise How with that pensive Maid he best might thence arise.

XXXIII

So on a day when Satyres all were gone To do their service to Sylvanus old, 285 The gentle virgin left behind alone He led away with courage stout and bold. Too late it was, to Satyres to be told, Or ever hope recover her againe: In vaine he seekes that having cannot hold. 290 So fast he carried her with carefull paine, That they the woods are past, and come now to the plaine.

XXXIV

The better part now of the lingring day, They traveild had, whenas they farre espide A weary wight forwandring by the way, 295 And towards him they gan in haste to ride, To weete of newes, that did abroad betide, Or tydings of her knight of the Redcrosse. But he them spying, gan to turne aside, For feare as seemd, or for some feigned losse; 300 More greedy they of newes, fast towards him do crosse.

XXXV

A silly man, in simple weedes forworne, And soild with dust of the long dried way; His sandales were with toilsome travell torne, And face all tand with scorching sunny ray, 305 As he had traveild many a sommers day, Through boyling sands of Arabie and Ynde; And in his hand a Jacobs staffe,[*] to stay His wearie limbes upon: and eke behind, His scrip did hang, in which his needments he did bind. 310

XXXVI

The knight approaching nigh, of him inquerd Tidings of warre, and of adventures new; But warres, nor new adventures none he herd. Then Una gan to aske, if ought he knew, Or heard abroad of that her champion trew, 315 That in his armour bare a croslet red. Aye me, Deare dame (quoth he) well may I rew To tell the sad sight which mine eies have red. These eies did see that knight both living and eke ded.

XXXVII

That cruell word her tender hart so thrild, 320 That suddein cold did runne through every vaine, And stony horrour all her sences fild With dying fit, that downe she fell for paine. The knight her lightly reared up againe, And comforted with curteous kind reliefe: 325 Then, wonne from death, she bad him tellen plaine The further processe of her hidden griefe: The lesser pangs can beare, who hath endur'd the chiefe.

XXXVIII

Then gan the Pilgrim thus, I chaunst this day, This fatall day, that shall I ever rew, 330 To see two knights in travell on my way (A sory sight) arraung'd in battell new, Both breathing vengeaunce, both of wrathfull hew: My fearefull flesh did tremble at their strife, To see their blades so greedily imbrew, 335 That drunke with bloud, yet thristed after life: What more? the Redcrosse knight was slaine with Paynim knife.

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