Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I
by Edmund Spenser
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Till now, said then the knight, I weened well, That great Cleopolis,[*] where I have beene, 515 In which that fairest Faerie Queene doth dwell, The fairest citie was that might be seene; And that bright towre all built of christall cleene, Panthea,[*] seemd the brightest thing that was: But now by proofe all otherwise I weene; 520 For this great Citie that does far surpas, And this bright Angels towre quite dims that towre of glas.


Most trew, then said the holy aged man; Yet is Cleopolis, for earthly frame,[*] The fairest peece that eye beholden can; 525 And well beseemes all knights of noble name, That covett in th' immortall booke of fame To be eternized, that same to haunt, And doen their service to that soveraigne dame, That glorie does to them for guerdon graunt: 530 For she is heavenly borne, and heaven may justly vaunt.


And thou faire ymp, sprong out from English race, How ever now accompted Elfins sonne, Well worthy doest thy service for her grace, To aide a virgin desolate fordonne. 535 But when thou famous victory hast wonne, And high emongst all knights hast hong thy shield, Thenceforth the suit of earthly conquest shonne, And wash thy hands from guilt of bloudy field: For blood can nought but sin, and wars but sorrowes yield. 540


Then seek this path, that I to thee presage, Which after all to heaven shall thee send; Then peaceably thy painefull pilgrimage To yonder same Hierusalem do bend, Where is for thee ordaind a blessed end: 545 For thou emongst those Saints, whom thou doest see, Shall be a Saint, and thine owne nations frend And Patrone: thou Saint George shalt called bee, Saint George[*] of mery England, the signe of victoree.


Unworthy wretch (quoth he) of so great grace,[*] 550 How dare I thinke such glory to attaine? These that have it attaind, were in like cace, (Quoth he) as wretched, and liv'd in like paine. But deeds of armes must I at last be faine And Ladies love to leave so dearely bought? 555 What need of armes, where peace doth ay remaine, (Said he,) and battailes none are to be fought? As for loose loves, they're vain, and vanish into nought.


O let me not (quoth he) then turne againe Backe to the world, whose joyes so fruitlesse are; 560 But let me here for aye in peace remaine, Or streight way on that last long voyage fare, That nothing may my present hope empare. That may not be, (said he) ne maist thou yit Forgo that royall maides bequeathed care,[*] 565 Who did her cause into thy hand commit, Till from her cursed foe thou have her freely quit.


Then shall I soone (quoth he) so God me grace, Abet that virgins cause disconsolate, And shortly backe returne unto this place, 570 To walke this way in Pilgrims poore estate. But now aread, old father, why of late Didst thou behight me borne of English blood, Whom all a Faeries sonne doen nominate? That word shall I (said he) avouchen good, 575 Sith to thee is unknowne the cradle of thy blood.


For well I wote thou springst from ancient race Of Saxon kings, that have with mightie hand And many bloody battailes[*] fought in place High reard their royall throne in Britane land, 580 And vanquisht them, unable to withstand: From thence a Faerie thee unweeting reft, There as thou slepst in tender swadling band, And her base Elfin brood there for thee left. Such men do Chaungelings[*] call, so chang'd by Faeries theft. 585


Thence she thee brought into this Faerie lond, And in an heaped furrow did thee hyde, Where thee a Ploughman all unweeting fond, As he his toylesome teme that way did guyde, And brought thee up in ploughmans state to byde 590 Whereof Georgos[*] he gave thee to name; Till prickt with courage, and thy forces pryde, To Faerie court thou cam'st to seeke for fame, And prove thy puissaunt armes, as seemes thee best became.


O holy Sire (quoth he) how shall I quight 595 The many favours I with thee have found, That hast my name and nation red aright, And taught the way that does to heaven bound? This said, adowne he looked to the ground, To have returnd, but dazed were his eyne 600 Through passing brightnesse, which did quite confound His feeble sence and too exceeding shyne. So darke are earthly things compard to things divine.


At last whenas himselfe he gan to find, To Una back he cast him to retire; 605 Who him awaited still with pensive mind. Great thankes and goodly meed to that good syre He thence departing gave for his paines hyre. So came to Una, who him joyd to see, And after little rest, gan him desire 610 Of her adventure mindfull for to bee. So leave they take of Coelia, and her daughters three.

* * * * *


The knight with that old Dragon fights two dayes incessantly; The third him overthrowes, and gayns most glorious victory.


High time now gan it wex for Una faire To thinke of those her captive Parents deare, And their forwasted kingdome to repaire: Whereto whenas they now approched neare, With hartie wordes her knight she gan to cheare, 5 And in her modest manner thus bespake; Deare knight, as deare as ever knight was deare, That all these sorrowes suffer for my sake, High heaven behold the tedious toyle ye for me take.


Now are we come unto my native soyle, 10 And to the place where all our perils dwell; Here haunts that feend, and does his dayly spoyle; Therefore henceforth be at your keeping well,[*] And ever ready for your foeman fell. The sparke of noble courage now awake, 15 And strive your excellent selfe to excell: That shall ye evermore renowmed make, Above all knights on earth that batteill undertake.


And pointing forth, Lo yonder is (said she)[*] The brasen towre in which my parents deare 20 For dread of that huge feend emprisond be, Whom I from far, see on the walles appeare, Whose sight my feeble soule doth greatly cheare: And on the top of all I do espye The watchman wayting tydings glad to heare, 25 That O my parents might I happily Unto you bring, to ease you of your misery.


With that they heard a roaring hideous sound, That all the ayre with terrour filled wide, And seemd uneath[*] to shake the stedfast ground. 30 Eftsoones that dreadful Dragon[*] they espide, Where stretcht he lay upon the sunny side,[*] Of a great hill, himselfe like a great hill. But all so soone as he from far descride Those glistring armes, that heaven with light did fill, 35 He rousd himselfe full blith, and hastned them untill.


Then bad the knight his Lady yede aloofe, And to an hill her selfe withdraw aside: From whence she might behold that battailles proof, And eke be safe from daunger far descryde: 40 She him obayd, and turnd a little wyde. Now O thou sacred muse,[*] most learned Dame, Faire ympe of Phoebus and his aged bride, The Nourse of time and everlasting fame, That warlike hands ennoblest with immortall name; 45


O gently come into my feeble brest Come gently, but not with that mighty rage, Wherewith the martiall troupes thou doest infest, And harts of great Heroes doest enrage, That nought their kindled courage may aswage, 50 Soone as thy dreadfull trompe begins to sownd, The God of warre with his fiers equipage Thou doest awake, sleepe never he so sownd, All scared nations doest with horrour sterne astownd.


Faire Goddesse, lay that furious fit aside, 55 Till I of warres[*] and bloody Mars do sing, And Briton fields with Sarazin bloud bedyde, Twixt that great Faery Queene, and Paynim king, That with their horrour heaven and earth did ring; A worke of labour long and endlesse prayse: 60 But now a while let downe that haughtie string[*] And to my tunes thy second tenor rayse, That I this man of God his godly armes may blaze.


By this the dreadfull Beast drew nigh to hand, Halfe flying, and halfe footing in his haste, 65 That with his largenesse measured much land, And made wide shadow under his huge wast, As mountaine doth the valley overcast. Approching nigh, he reared high afore His body monstrous, horrible, and vaste, 70 Which to increase his wondrous greatnesse more, Was swoln with wrath, and poyson, and with bloudy gore.


And over, all with brasen scales was armd, Like plated coate of steele, so couched neare, That nought mote perce, ne might his corse be harmd 75 With dint of sword, nor push of pointed speare; Which, as an Eagle, seeing pray appeare, His aery plumes doth rouze, full rudely dight; So shaked he, that horrour was to heare, For as the clashing of an Armour bright, 80 Such noyse his rouzed scales did send unto the knight.


His flaggy wings when forth he did display, Were like two sayles, in which the hollow wynd Is gathered full, and worketh speedy way: And eke the pennes, that did his pineons bynd, 85 Were like mayne-yards, with flying canvas lynd; With which whenas him list the ayre to beat, And there by force unwonted passage find, The cloudes before him fled for terrour great, And all the heavens stood still amazed with his threat. 90


His huge long tayle wound up in hundred foldes, Does overspred his long bras-scaly backe, Whose wreathed boughts when ever he unfoldes, And thicke entangled knots adown does slacke, Bespotted as with shields of red and blacke, 95 It sweepeth all the land behind him farre, And of three furlongs does but litle lacke; And at the point two stings in-fixed arre, Both deadly sharpe, that sharpest steele exceeden farre.


But stings and sharpest steele did far exceed 100 The sharpnesse of his cruell rending clawes; Dead was it sure, as sure as death in deed, What ever thing does touch his ravenous pawes, Or what within his reach he ever drawes. But his most hideous head my toung to tell 105 Does tremble: for his deepe devouring jawes Wide gaped, like the griesly mouth of hell, Through which into his darke abisse all ravin fell.


And that more wondrous was, in either jaw Three ranckes of yron teeth enraunged were, 110 In which yet trickling blood, and gobbets raw Of late devoured bodies did appeare, That sight thereof bred cold congealed feare: Which to increase, and as atonce to kill, A cloud of smoothering smoke and sulphure seare, 115 Out of his stinking gorge forth steemed still, That all the ayre about with smoke and stench did fill.


His blazing eyes, like two bright shining shields, Did burne with wrath, and sparkled living fyre: As two broad Beacons,[*] set in open fields, 120 Send forth their flames far off to every shyre, And warning give, that enemies conspyre With fire and sword the region to invade; So flam'd his eyne with rage and rancorous yre: But farre within, as in a hollow glade, 125 Those glaring lampes were set, that made a dreadfull shade.


So dreadfully he towards him did pas, Forelifting up aloft his speckled brest, And often bounding on the brused gras, As for great joyance of his newcome guest. 130 Eftsoones he gan advance his haughtie crest, As chauffed Bore his bristles doth upreare, And shoke his scales to battell ready drest; That made the Redcrosse knight nigh quake for feare, As bidding bold defiance to his foeman neare. 135


The knight gan fairely couch his steadie speare, And fiercely ran at him with rigorous might: The pointed steele arriving rudely theare, His harder hide would neither perce, nor bight, But glauncing by forth passed forward right; 140 Yet sore amoved with so puissaunt push, The wrathfull beast about him turned light, And him so rudely passing by, did brush With his long tayle, that horse and man to ground did rush.


Both horse and man up lightly rose againe, 145 And fresh encounter towards him addrest: But th'idle stroke yet backe recoyld in vaine, And found no place his deadly point to rest. Exceeding rage enflam'd the furious beast, To be avenged of so great despight; 150 For never felt his imperceable brest So wondrous force, from hand of living wight; Yet had he prov'd the powre of many a puissant knight.


Then with his waving wings displayed wyde, Himselfe up high he lifted from the ground, 155 And with strong flight did forcibly divide The yielding aire, which nigh too feeble found Her flitting parts,[*] and element unsound, To beare so great a weight: he cutting way With his broad sayles, about him soared round: 160 At last low stouping[*] with unweldie sway, Snatcht up both horse and man, to beare them quite away.


Long he them bore above the subject plaine, So far as Ewghen bow a shaft may send, Till struggling strong did him at last constraine 165 To let them downe before his flightes end: As hagard hauke,[*] presuming to contend With hardie fowle, above his hable might,[*] His wearie pounces all in vaine doth spend To trusse the pray too heavy for his flight; 170 Which comming downe to ground, does free it selfe by fight.


He so disseized[*] of his gryping grosse, The knight his thrillant speare again assayd In his bras-plated body to embosse, And three mens strength unto the stroke he layd; 175 Wherewith the stiffe beame quaked, as affrayd, And glauncing from his scaly necke, did glyde Close under his left wing, then broad displayd: The percing steele there wrought a wound full wyde, That with the uncouth smart the Monster lowdly cryde. 180


He cryde, as raging seas are wont to rore, When wintry storme his wrathfull wreck does threat The roaring billowes beat the ragged shore, As they the earth would shoulder from her seat, And greedy gulfe does gape,[*] as he would eat 185 His neighbour element in his revenge: Then gin the blustring brethren[*] boldly threat To move the world from off his steadfast henge, And boystrous battell make, each other to avenge.


The steely head stucke fast still in his flesh, 190 Till with his cruell clawes he snatcht the wood, And quite a sunder broke. Forth flowed fresh A gushing river of blacke goarie blood, That drowned all the land, whereon he stood; The streame thereof would drive a water-mill: 195 Trebly augmented was his furious mood With bitter sence of his deepe rooted ill, That flames of fire he threw forth from his large nosethrill.


His hideous tayle then hurled he about, And therewith all enwrapt the nimble thyes 200 Of his froth-fomy steed, whose courage stout Striving to loose the knot that fast him tyes, Himselfe in streighter bandes too rash implyes, That to the ground he is perforce constraynd To throw his rider: who can quickly ryse 205 From off the earth, with durty blood distaynd, For that reprochfull fall right fowly he disdaynd.


And fiercely tooke his trenchand blade in hand, With which he stroke so furious and so fell, That nothing seemd the puissaunce could withstand: 210 Upon his crest the hardned yron fell, But his more hardned crest was armd so well, That deeper dint therein it would not make; Yet so extremely did the buffe him quell, That from thenceforth he shund the like to take, 215 But when he saw them come, he did them still forsake.


The knight was wroth to see his stroke beguyld, And smote againe with more outrageous might; But backe againe the sparckling steele recoyld, And left not any marke, where it did light, 220 As if in Adamant rocke it had bene pight. The beast impatient of his smarting wound, And of so fierce and forcible despight, Thought with his wings to stye above the ground; But his late wounded wing unserviceable found. 225


Then full of griefe and anguish vehement, He lowdly brayd, that like was never heard, And from his wide devouring oven[*] sent A flake of fire, that, flashing in his beard, Him all amazd, and almost made affeard: 230 The scorching flame sore swinged all his face, And through his armour all his body seard, That he could not endure so cruell cace, But thought his armes to leave, and helmet to unlace.


Not that great Champion[*] of the antique world, 235 Whom famous Poetes verse so much doth vaunt, And hath for twelve huge labours high extold, So many furies and sharpe fits did haunt, When him the poysond garment did enchaunt, With Centaures bloud and bloudie verses charm'd; 240 As did this knight twelve thousand dolours daunt, Whom fyrie steele now burnt, that earst him arm'd, That erst him goodly arm'd, now most of all him harm'd.


Faint, wearie, sore, emboyled, grieved, brent[*] With heat, toyle, wounds, armes, smart, and inward fire, 245 That never man such mischiefes did torment; Death better were, death did he oft desire, But death will never come, when needes require. Whom so dismayd when that his foe beheld, He cast to suffer him no more respire, 250 But gan his sturdy sterne about to weld, And him so strongly stroke, that to the ground him feld.


It fortuned, (as faire it then befell,) Behind his backe unweeting, where he stood, Of auncient time there was a springing well, 255 From which fast trickled forth a silver flood, Full of great vertues, and for med'cine good. Whylome, before that cursed Dragon got That happy land, and all with innocent blood Defyld those sacred waves, it rightly hot 260 The well of life,[*] ne yet his vertues had forgot.


For unto life the dead it could restore, And guilt of sinfull crimes cleane wash away, Those that with sicknesse were infected sore It could recure, and aged long decay 265 Renew, as one were borne that very day. Both Silo[*] this, and Jordan did excell, And th' English Bath,[*] and eke the German Spau; Ne can Cephise,[*] nor Hebrus match this well: Into the same the knight back overthrowen, fell. 270


Now gan the golden Phoebus for to steepe His fierie face in billowes of the west, And his faint steedes watred in Ocean deepe, Whiles from their journall labours they did rest, When that infernall Monster, having kest 275 His wearie foe into that living well, Can high advance his broad discoloured brest Above his wonted pitch, with countenance fell, And clapt his yron wings, as victor he did dwell.


Which when his pensive Ladie saw from farre, 280 Great woe and sorrow did her soule assay, As weening that the sad end of the warre, And gan to highest God entirely pray, That feared chance from her to turne away; With folded hands and knees full lowly bent, 285 All night she watcht, ne once adowne would lay Her daintie limbs in her sad dreriment, But praying still did wake, and waking did lament.


The morrow next gan early to appeare, That Titan rose to runne his daily race; 290 But early ere the morrow next gan reare Out of the sea faire Titans deawy face, Up rose the gentle virgin from her place, And looked all about, if she might spy Her loved knight to move[*] his manly pace: 295 For she had great doubt of his safety, Since late she saw him fall before his enemy.


At last she saw, where he upstarted brave Out of the well, wherein he drenched lay: As Eagle[*] fresh out of the Ocean wave, 300 Where he hath left his plumes all hoary gray, And deckt himselfe with feathers youthly gay, Like Eyas hauke up mounts unto the skies, His newly budded pineons to assay, And marveiles at himselfe, still as he flies: 305 So new this new-borne knight to battell new did rise.


Whom when the damned feend so fresh did spy, No wonder if he wondred at the sight, And doubted, whether his late enemy It were, or other new supplied knight. 310 He, now to prove his late renewed might, High brandishing his bright deaw-burning blade,[*] Upon his crested scalpe so sore did smite, That to the scull a yawning wound it made; The deadly dint his dulled senses all dismaid. 315


I wote not, whether the revenging steele Were hardned with that holy water dew, Wherein he fell, or sharper edge did feele, Or his baptized hands now greater grew; Or other secret vertue did ensew; 320 Else never could the force of fleshly arme, Ne molten mettall in his blood embrew[*]; For till that stownd could never wight him harme, By subtilty, nor slight, nor might, nor mighty charme.


The cruell wound enraged him so sore, 325 That loud he yelded for exceeding paine; As hundred ramping Lyons seem'd to rore, Whom ravenous hunger did thereto constraine: Then gan he tosse aloft his stretched traine, And therewith scourge the buxome aire so sore, 330 That to his force to yeelden it was faine; Ne ought his sturdy strokes might stand afore, That high trees overthrew, and rocks in peeces tore.


The same advauncing high above his head, With sharpe intended sting[*] so rude him smot, 335 That to the earth him drove, as stricken dead, Ne living wight would have him life behot: The mortall sting his angry needle shot Quite through his shield, and in his shoulder seasd, Where fast it stucke, ne would there out be got: 340 The griefe thereof him wondrous sore diseasd, Ne might his ranckling paine with patience be appeasd.


But yet more mindfull of his honour deare, Then of the grievous smart, which him did wring, From loathed soile he can him lightly reare, 345 And strove to loose the far infixed sting: Which when in vaine he tryde with struggeling, Inflam'd with wrath, his raging blade he heft, And strooke so strongly, that the knotty string Of his huge taile he quite a sunder cleft, 350 Five joints thereof he hewd, and but the stump him left.


Hart cannot thinke, what outrage, and what cryes, With foule enfouldred smoake and flashing fire, The hell-bred beast threw forth unto the skyes, That all was covered with darkenesse dire: 355 Then fraught with rancour, and engorged ire, He cast at once him to avenge for all, And gathering up himselfe out of the mire, With his uneven wings did fiercely fall, Upon his sunne-bright shield, and gript it fast withall. 360


Much was the man encombred with his hold, In feare to lose his weapon in his paw, Ne wist yet, how his talaunts to unfold; For harder was from Cerberus greedy jaw To plucke a bone, then from his cruell claw 365 To reave by strength the griped gage[*] away: Thrise he assayd it from his foot to draw, And thrise in vaine to draw it did assay, It booted nought to thinke to robbe him of his pray.


Tho when he saw no power might prevaile, 370 His trustie sword he cald to his last aid, Wherewith he fiercely did his foe assaile, And double blowes about him stoutly laid, That glauncing fire out of the yron plaid; As sparckles from the Andvile use to fly, 375 When heavy hammers on the wedge are swaid; Therewith at last he forst him to unty One of his grasping feete, him to defend thereby.


The other foot, fast fixed on his shield, Whenas no strength, nor stroks mote him constraine 380 To loose, ne yet the warlike pledge to yield, He smot thereat with all his might and maine, That nought so wondrous puissaunce might sustaine; Upon the joint the lucky steele did light, And made such way, that hewd it quite in twaine; 385 The paw yett missed not his minisht might,[*] But hong still on the shield, as it at first was pight.


For griefe thereof and divelish despight,[*] From his infernall fournace forth he threw Huge flames, that dimmed all the heavens light, 390 Enrold in duskish smoke and brimstone blew: As burning Aetna from his boyling stew Doth belch out flames, and rockes in peeces broke, And ragged ribs of mountains molten new, Enwrapt in coleblacke clouds and filthy smoke, 395 That all the land with stench, and heaven with horror choke.


The heate whereof, and harmefull pestilence So sore him noyd, that forst him to retire A little backward for his best defence, To save his body from the scorching fire, 400 Which he from hellish entrailes did expire. It chaunst (eternall God that chaunce did guide,) As he recoiled backward, in the mire His nigh forwearied feeble feet did slide, And downe he fell, with dread of shame sore terrifide. 405


There grew a goodly tree[*] him faire beside, Loaden with fruit and apples rosie red, As they in pure vermilion had beene dide, Whereof great vertues over all were red[*]: For happy life to all which thereon fed, 410 And life eke everlasting did befall: Great God it planted in that blessed sted With his Almighty hand, and did it call The tree of life, the crime of our first fathers fall.[*]


In all the world like was not to be found, 415 Save in that soile, where all good things did grow, And freely sprong out of the fruitfull ground, As incorrupted Nature did them sow, Till that dread Dragon all did overthrow. Another like faire tree eke grew thereby, 420 Whereof whoso did eat, eftsoones did know Both good and ill: O mornefull memory: That tree through one mans fault hath doen us all to dy.


From that first tree forth flowd, as from a well, A trickling streame of Balme, most soveraine 425 And dainty deare, which on the ground, still fell, And overflowed all the fertile plaine, As it had deawed bene with timely raine: Life and long health that gratious ointment gave, And deadly wounds could heale and reare againe 430 The senselesse corse appointed for the grave. Into that same he fell: which did from death him save.


For nigh thereto the ever damned beast Durst not approch, for he was deadly made,[*] And all that life preserved did detest: 435 Yet he is oft adventur'd to invade. By this the drouping day-light gan to fade, And yield his roome to sad succeeding night, Who with her sable mantle gan to shade The face of earth, and wayes of living wight, 440 And high her burning torch set up in heaven bright.


When gentle Una saw the second fall Of her deare knight, who wearie of long fight, And faint through losse of blood, mov'd not at all, But lay, as in a dreame of deepe delight, 445 Besmeard with pretious Balme, whose vertuous might Did heale his wounds, and scorching heat alay, Againe she stricken was with sore affright, And for his safetie gan devoutly pray, And watch the noyous night, and wait for joyous day. 450


The joyous day gan early to appeare, And faire Aurora from the deawy bed Of aged Tithone gan herselfe to reare With rosy cheekes, for shame as blushing red; Her golden locks for haste were loosely shed 455 About her eares, when Una her did marke Clymbe to her charet, all with flowers spred; From heaven high to chase the chearelesse darke, With merry note her loud salutes the mounting larke.


Then freshly up arose the doughtie knight, 460 All healed of his hurts and woundes wide, And did himselfe to battell ready dight; Whose early foe awaiting him beside To have devourd, so soone as day he spyde, When now he saw himselfe so freshly reare, 465 As if late fight had nought him damnifyde, He woxe dismayd, and gan his fate to feare; Nathlesse with wonted rage he him advaunced neare.


And in his first encounter, gaping wide,[*] He thought attonce him to have swallowd quight, 470 And rusht upon him with outragious pride; Who him r'encountring fierce, as hauke in flight Perforce rebutted backe. The weapon bright Taking advantage of his open jaw, Ran through his mouth with so importune might, 475 That deepe emperst his darksome hollow maw, And back retyrd,[*] his life blood forth with all did draw.


So downe he fell, and forth his life did breath, That vanisht into smoke and cloudes swift; So downe he fell, that th' earth him underneath 480 Did grone, as feeble so great load to lift; So downe he fell, as an huge rockie clift, Whose false foundation waves have washt away, With dreadfull poyse is from the mayneland rift, And rolling downe, great Neptune doth dismay; 485 So downe he fell, and like an heaped mountaine lay.


The knight himselfe even trembled at his fall, So huge and horrible a masse it seem'd, And his deare Ladie, that beheld it all, Durst not approch for dread, which she misdeem'd;[*] 490 But yet at last, whenas the direfull feend She saw not stirre, off-shaking vaine affright, She nigher drew, and saw that joyous end: Then God she praysd, and thankt her faithfull knight, That had atchieved so great a conquest by his might. 495

* * * * *


Faire Una to the Redcrosse knight, betrouthed is with joy: Though false Duessa it to barre her false sleights doe imploy.


BEHOLD I see the haven nigh at hand, To which I meane my wearie course to bend; Vere the maine shete,[*] and beare up with the land, The which afore is fairely to be kend, And seemeth safe from storms that may offend; 5 There this faire virgin wearie of her way Must landed be, now at her journeyes end: There eke my feeble barke a while may stay Till merry wind and weather call her thence away.


Scarsely had Phoebus in the glooming East 10 Yet harnessed his firie-footed teeme, Ne reard above the earth his flaming creast; When the last deadly smoke aloft did steeme That signe of last outbreathed life did seeme Unto the watchman on the castle wall, 15 Who thereby dead that balefull Beast did deeme, And to his Lord and Ladie lowd gan call, To tell how he had seene the Dragons fatall fall.


Uprose with hastie joy, and feeble speed That aged Sire, the Lord of all that land, 20 And looked forth, to weet if true indeede Those tydings were, as he did understand, Which whenas true by tryall he out found, He bad to open wyde his brazen gate, Which long time had bene shut, and out of hond[*] 25 Proclaymed joy and peace through all his state; For dead now was their foe which them forrayed late.


Then gan triumphant Trompets sound on hie, That sent to heaven the ecchoed report Of their new joy, and happie victorie 30 Gainst him, that had them long opprest with tort, And fast imprisoned in sieged fort. Then all the people, as in solemne feast, To him assembled with one full consort, Rejoycing at the fall of that great beast, 35 From whose eternall bondage now they were releast.


Forth came that auncient Lord and aged Queene, Arayd in antique robes downe to the ground, And sad habiliments right well beseene; A noble crew about them waited round 40 Of sage and sober Peres, all gravely gownd; Whom farre before did march a goodly band Of tall young men,[*] all hable armes to sownd, But now they laurell braunches bore in hand; Glad signe of victorie and peace in all their land. 45


Unto that doughtie Conquerour they came, And him before themselves prostrating low, Their Lord and Patrone loud did him proclame, And at his feet their laurell boughes did throw. Soone after them all dauncing on a row 50 The comely virgins came, with girlands dight, As fresh as flowres in medow greene do grow, When morning deaw upon their leaves doth light: And in their hands sweet Timbrels all upheld on hight.


And them before, the fry of children young 55 Their wanton sports and childish mirth did play, And to the Maydens[*] sounding tymbrels sung, In well attuned notes, a joyous lay, And made delightfull musicke all the way, Untill they came, where that faire virgin stood; 60 As faire Diana in fresh sommers day, Beholds her Nymphes enraung'd in shadie wood, Some wrestle, some do run, some bathe in christall flood:


So she beheld those maydens meriment With chearefull vew; who when to her they came, 65 Themselves to ground with gracious humblesse bent, And her ador'd by honorable name, Lifting to heaven her everlasting fame: Then on her head they set a girland greene, And crowned her twixt earnest and twixt game; 70 Who in her self-resemblance well beseene,[*] Did seeme such, as she was, a goodly maiden Queene.


And after, all the raskall many[*] ran, Heaped together in rude rablement, To see the face of that victorious man: 75 Whom all admired, as from heaven sent, And gazd upon with gaping wonderment. But when they came where that dead Dragon lay, Stretcht on the ground in monstrous large extent, The sight with idle feare did them dismay, 80 Ne durst approch him nigh, to touch, or once assay.


Some feard, and fled; some feard and well it faynd; One that would wiser seeme then all the rest, Warnd him not touch, for yet perhaps remaynd Some lingring life within his hollow brest, 85 Or in his wombe might lurke some hidden nest Of many Dragonets, his fruitfull seed; Another said, that in his eyes did rest Yet sparckling fire, and bad thereof take heed; Another said, he saw him move his eyes indeed. 90


One mother, when as her foolehardie chyld Did come too neare, and with his talants play, Halfe dead through feare, her little babe revyld, And to her gossips gan in counsell say; How can I tell, but that his talants may 95 Yet scratch my sonne, or rend his tender hand? So diversly themselves in vaine they fray; Whiles some more bold, to measure him nigh stand, To prove how many acres he did spread of land.


Thus flocked all the folke him round about, 100 The whiles that hoarie king, with all his traine, Being arrived where that champion stout After his foes defeasance did remaine, Him goodly greetes, and faire does entertaine With princely gifts of yvorie and gold, 105 And thousand thankes him yeelds for all his paine. Then when his daughter deare he does behold, Her dearely doth imbrace, and kisseth manifold.


And after to his Pallace he them brings, With shaumes, and trompets, and with Clarions sweet; 110 And all the way the joyous people sings, And with their garments strowes the paved street: Whence mounting up, they find purveyance meet Of all that royall Princes court became, And all the floore was underneath their feet 115 Bespred with costly scarlot of great name,[*] On which they lowly sit, and fitting purpose frame.[*]


What needs me tell their feast and goodly guize,[*] In which was nothing riotous nor vaine? What needs of dainty dishes to devize, 120 Of comely services, or courtly trayne? My narrow leaves cannot in them containe The large discourse of royall Princes state. Yet was their manner then but bare and plaine: For th' antique world excesse and pride did hate; 125 Such proud luxurious pompe is swollen up but late.


Then when with meates and drinkes of every kinde Their fervent appetites they quenched had, That auncient Lord gan fit occasion finde, Of straunge adventures, and of perils sad, 130 Which in his travell him befallen had, For to demaund of his renowmed guest: Who then with utt'rance grave, and count'nance sad, From point to point, as is before exprest, Discourst his voyage long, according his request. 135


Great pleasures mixt with pittiful regard, That godly King and Queene did passionate, Whiles they his pittifull adventures heard, That oft they did lament his lucklesse state, And often blame the too importune fate, 140 That heaped on him so many wrathfull wreakes: For never gentle knight, as he of late, So tossed was in fortunes cruell freakes; And all the while salt teares bedeawd the hearers cheaks.


Then sayd the royall Pere in sober wise; 145 Deare Sonne, great beene the evils which ye bore From first to last in your late enterprise, That I note whether prayse, or pitty more: For never living man, I weene, so sore In sea of deadly daungers was distrest; 150 But since now safe ye seised have the shore, And well arrived are, (high God be blest) Let us devize of ease and everlasting rest.


Ah, dearest Lord, said then that doughty knight, Of ease or rest I may not yet devize, 155 For by the faith, which I to armes have plight, I bounden am streight after this emprize, As that your daughter can ye well advize, Backe to returne to that great Faerie Queene, And her to serve six yeares in warlike wize, 160 Gainst that proud Paynim king[*] that workes her teene Therefore I ought crave pardon, till I there have beene.


Unhappie falles that hard necessitie, (Quoth he) the troubler of my happie peace, And vowed foe of my felicitie; 165 Ne I against the same can justly preace: But since that band ye cannot now release, Nor doen undo[*]; (for vowes may not be vaine,) Soone as the terme of those six yeares shall cease, Ye then shall hither backe returne againe, 170 The marriage to accomplish vowd betwixt you twain.


Which for my part I covet to performe, In sort as[*] through the world I did proclame, That whoso kild that monster most deforme, And him in hardy battaile overcame, 175 Should have mine onely daughter to his Dame, And of my kingdome heyre apparaunt bee: Therefore since now to thee perteines the same, By dew desert of noble chevalree, Both daughter and eke kingdome, lo, I yield to thee. 180


Then forth he called that his daughter faire, The fairest Un' his onely daughter deare, His onely daughter, and his onely heyre; Who forth proceeding with sad sober cheare, As bright as doth the morning starre appeare 185 Out of the East, with flaming lockes bedight, To tell that dawning day is drawing neare, And to the world does bring long wished light: So faire and fresh that Lady shewd her selfe in sight.


So faire and fresh, as freshest flowre in May; 190 For she had layd her mournefull stole aside, And widow-like sad wimple throwne away, Wherewith her heavenly beautie she did hide, Whiles on her wearie journey she did ride; And on her now a garment she did weare, 195 All lilly white, withoutten spot, or pride, That seemd like silke and silver woven neare, But neither silke nor silver therein did appeare.


The blazing brightnesse of her beauties beame, And glorious light of her sunshyny face, 200 To tell, were as to strive against the streame; My ragged rimes are all too rude and bace, Her heavenly lineaments for to enchace. Ne wonder; for her owne deare loved knight, All were she[*] dayly with himselfe in place, 205 Did wonder much at her celestiall sight: Oft had he seene her faire, but never so faire dight.


So fairely dight, when she in presence came, She to her Sire made humble reverence, And bowed low, that her right well became, 210 And added grace unto her excellence: Who with great wisedome and grave eloquence Thus gan to say. But eare he thus had said, With flying speede, and seeming great pretence Came running in, much like a man dismaid, 215 A Messenger with letters, which his message said.


All in the open hall amazed stood At suddeinnesse of that unwarie sight, And wondred at his breathlesse hastie mood. But he for nought would stay his passage right, 220 Till fast before the king he did alight; Where falling flat, great humblesse he did make, And kist the ground, whereon his foot was pight; Then to his hands that writ he did betake, Which he disclosing, red thus, as the paper spake. 225


To thee, most mighty king of Eden faire, Her greeting sends in these sad lines addrest, The wofull daughter, and forsaken heire Of that great Emperour of all the West; And bids thee be advized for the best, 230 Ere thou thy daughter linck in holy band Of wedlocke to that new unknowen guest: For he already plighted his right hand Unto another love, and to another land.


To me sad mayd, or rather widow sad, 235 He was affiaunced long time before, And sacred pledges he both gave, and had, False erraunt knight, infamous, and forswore: Witnesse the burning Altars, which he swore, And guiltie heavens of his bold perjury, 240 Which though he hath polluted oft of yore, Yet I to them for judgement just do fly, And them conjure t'avenge this shamefull injury.


Therefore since mine he is, or free or bond, Or false or trew, or living or else dead, 245 Withhold, O soveraine Prince, your hasty hond From knitting league with him, I you aread; Ne weene my right with strength adowne to tread, Through weaknesse of my widowhed, or woe; For truth is strong her rightfull cause to plead, 250 And shall find friends, if need requireth soe. So bids thee well to fare, Thy neither friend, nor foe, Fidessa.


When he these bitter byting wordes had red, The tydings straunge did him abashed make, That still he sate long time astonished, 255 As in great muse, ne word to creature spake. At last his solemne silence thus he brake, With doubtfull eyes fast fixed on his guest; Redoubted knight, that for mine onely sake Thy life and honour late adventurest, 260 Let nought be hid from me, that ought to be exprest.


What meane these bloody vowes, and idle threats, Throwne out from womanish impatient mind? What heavens? what altars? what enraged heates Here heaped up with termes of love unkind, 265 My conscience cleare with guilty bands would bind? High God be witnesse, that I guiltlesse ame. But if your selfe, Sir knight, ye faultie find, Or wrapped be in loves of former Dame, With crime do not it cover, but disclose the same. 270


To whom the Redcrosse knight this answere sent My Lord, my King, be nought hereat dismayd, Till well ye wote by grave intendiment, What woman, and wherefere doth me upbrayd With breach of love, and loyalty betrayd. 275 It was in my mishaps, as hitherward I lately traveild, that unwares I strayd Out of my way, through perils straunge and hard; That day should faile me, ere I had them all declard.


There did I find, or rather I was found 280 Of this false woman, that Fidessa hight, Fidessa hight the falsest Dame on ground, Most false Duessa, royall richly dight, That easy was to invegle weaker sight: Who by her wicked arts, and wylie skill, 285 Too false and strong for earthly skill or might, Unwares me wrought unto her wicked will, And to my foe betrayd, when least I feared ill.


Then stepped forth the goodly royall Mayd, And on the ground her selfe prostrating low, 290 With sober countenaunce thus to him sayd; O pardon me, my soveraigne Lord, to show The secret treasons, which of late I know To have bene wroght by that false sorceresse. She onely she it is, that earst did throw 295 This gentle knight into so great distresse, That death him did awaite in dayly wretchednesse.


And now it seemes, that she suborned hath This craftie messenger with letters vaine, To worke new woe and unprovided scath, 300 By breaking of the band betwixt us twaine; Wherein she used hath the practicke paine Of this false footman, clokt with simplenesse, Whom if ye please for to discover plaine, Ye shall him Archimago find, I ghesse, 305 The falsest man alive; who tries shall find no lesse.


The king was greatly moved at her speach, And, all with suddein indignation fraight, Bad on that Messenger rude hands to reach. Eftsoones the Gard, which on his state did wait, 310 Attacht that faitor false, and bound him strait: Who seeming sorely chauffed at his band, As chained Beare, whom cruell dogs do bait,[*] With idle force did faine them to withstand, And often semblaunce made to scape out of their hand. 315


But they him layd full low in dungeon deepe, And bound him hand and foote with yron chains And with continual watch did warely keepe: Who then would thinke, that by his subtile trains He could escape fowle death or deadly paines? 320 Thus when that princes wrath was pacifide, He gan renew the late forbidden bains, And to the knight his daughter dear he tyde, With sacred rites and vowes for ever to abyde.


His owne two hands the holy knots did knit, 325 That none but death for ever can devide; His owne two hands, for such a turne most fit, The housling fire[*] did kindle and provide, And holy water thereon sprinckled wide; At which the bushy Teade a groome did light, 330 And sacred lamp in secret chamber hide, Where it should not be quenched day nor night, For feare of evill fates, but burnen ever bright.


Then gan they sprinckle all the posts with wine, And made great feast to solemnize that day; 335 They all perfumde with frankencense divine, And precious odours fetcht from far away, That all the house did sweat with great aray: And all the while sweete Musicke did apply Her curious skill, the warbling notes to play, 340 To drive away the dull Melancholy; The whiles one sung a song of love and jollity.


During the which there was an heavenly noise Heard sound through all the Pallace pleasantly, Like as it had bene many an Angels voice 345 Singing before th' eternall Majesty, In their trinall triplicities[*] on hye; Yet wist no creature whence that heavenly sweet Proceeded, yet eachone felt secretly Himselfe thereby reft of his sences meet, 350 And ravished with rare impression in his sprite.


Great joy was made that day of young and old, And solemne feast proclaimd throughout the land, That their exceeding merth may not be told: Suffice it heare by signes to understand 355 The usuall joyes at knitting of loves band. Thrise happy man the knight himselfe did hold, Possessed of his Ladies hart and hand, And ever, when his eye did her behold, His heart did seeme to melt in pleasures manifold. 360


Her joyous presence, and sweet company In full content he there did long enjoy; Ne wicked envie, ne vile gealosy, His deare delights were able to annoy: Yet swimming in that sea of blissfull joy, 365 He nought forgot how he whilome had sworne, In case he could that monstrous beast destroy, Unto his Faerie Queene backe to returne; The which he shortly did, and Una left to mourne.


Now strike your sailes ye jolly Mariners, 370 For we be come unto a quiet rode, Where we must land some of our passengers, And light this wearie vessell of her lode. Here she a while may make her safe abode, Till she repaired have her tackles spent,[*] 375 And wants supplide. And then againe abroad On the long voyage whereto she is bent: Well may she speede and fairely finish her intent.

* * * * *


LINE 1. LO I THE MAN.... An imitation of the opening lines of Vergil's Aeneid:—

"Ille ego, qui quondam gracili modulatus avena Carmen,... Gratum opus agricolis, at nunc horrentia Martis."

Referring to his Shepheards Calender (1579) Spenser thus gracefully indicates his change from pastoral to epic poetry.

5-9. KNIGHTS AND LADIES. The poet here imitates the opening of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso.

10. O HOLY VIRGIN CHIEFE OF NINE, refers to Clio, the muse of history. Spenser should have invoked Calliope, the muse of poetry.

14. OF FAERIE KNIGHTS, the the champions of Gloriana, the queen of Faerieland. FAIREST TANAQUILL, a British princess, daughter of Oberon, king of Faerieland. In the allegory she is Queen Elizabeth.

15. THAT MOST NOBLE BRITON PRINCE is Prince Arthur, the perfect knight, who is in love with Gloriana. In the allegory the Earl of Leicester is probably meant, though by one tradition Sir Philip Sidney is identified with Prince Arthur.

19. IMPE OF HIGHEST JOVE, Cupid, the god of love, and son of Jupiter and Venus. He is represented as armed with an ebony bow (l. 23).

25. TRIUMPHANT MART, Mars, the god of war. The spelling is that of the Italians and Chaucer.

28. O GODDESSE HEAVENLY BRIGHT, Queen Elizabeth (aged 56), who was fond of such extravagant flattery, and expected it of all her courtiers.

31. PHOEBUS LAMPE, Apollo, the sun-god.

34. GLORIOUS TYPE OF THINE, the Lady Una, who stands for Truth in the allegory.

35. THE ARGUMENT OF MINE AFFLICTED STILE, the subject of my humble pen. "Afflicted" has the original Latin sense of "cast down."

36. O DEAREST DRED, O beloved object of reverence; a common salutation of royalty.


I. The Plot: At the bidding of Gloriana, the Redcross Knight undertakes to deliver Una's parents from a dragon who holds them captive. He sets out upon his quest attended by a dwarf and guided by Una, mounted on an ass and leading a lamb. They are driven by a storm into a forest, where they discover the cave of Error, who is slain by the Knight. They are then beguiled into the house of Archimago, an old enchanter. By his magic he leads the Knight in a dream to believe that Una is false to him, and thus separates them.

II. The Allegory: 1. Holiness, the love of God, united with Truth, the knowledge of God, is to deliver man from the thraldom of the Devil. Together they are able to overthrow Error; but Hypocrisy deceitfully alienates Holiness from Truth by making the latter appear unworthy of love.

2. There is a hint of the intrigues of the false Roman church and the treacherous Spanish king, Philip II, to undermine the religious and political freedom of the English people. The English nation, following the Reformed church, overthrows the Catholic faith, but is deceived by the machinations of Spanish diplomacy.

LINE 1. A GENTLE KNIGHT, the Redcross Knight, representing the church militant, and Reformed England. He is the young, untried champion of the old cause whose struggles before the Reformation are referred to in ll. 3, 4. His shield bore "a cross gules upon a field argent," a red cross on a silver ground. See The Birth of St. George in Percy's Reliques, iii, 3, and Malory's Morte d'Arthur, iii, 65.

15. FOR SOVERAINE HOPE, as a sign of the supreme hope.

20. GREATEST GLORIANA, Queen Elizabeth. In other books of The Faerie Queene she is called Belphoebe, the patroness of chastity, and Britomart, the military genius of Britain.

27. A DRAGON, "the great dragon, that old serpent, called the devil," Revelation, xii, 9, also Rome and Spain. Cf. legend of St. George and the dragon, and Fletcher's Purple Island, vii seq.

28. A LOVELY LADIE, Una, the personification of truth and true religion. Her lamb symbolizes innocence.

46. A DWARFE, representing prudence, or common sense; according to Morley, the flesh.

56. A SHADIE GROVE, the wood of Error. "By it Spenser shadows forth the danger surrounding the mind that escapes from the bondage of Roman authority and thinks for itself."—Kitchin. The description of the wood is an imitation of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, i, 37, Chaucer's Assembly of Foules, 176, and Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, iii, 75. Morley sees in this grove an allegory of man's life, the trees symbolizing trade, pleasure, youth, etc.

69. THE SAYLING PINE. Ships were built of pine.

70. THE LOPLAR NEVER DRY, because it grows best in moist soil.

71. THE BUILDER OAKE. In the Middle Ages most manor houses and churches were built of oak.

72. THE CYPRESSE FUNERALL, an emblem of death among the ancients, and sacred to Pluto. Sidney says that they were wont to dress graves with cypress branches in old times.

73. THE LAURELL. Victors at the Pythian games and triumphing Roman generals were crowned with laurel. It was also sacred to Apollo, the god of poetry, hence "meed of poets sage."

74. THE FIRRE THAT WEEPETH STILL. The fir exudes resinous substance.

75. THE WILLOW. "Willows: a sad tree, whereof such who have lost their love make their mourning garlands."—Fuller's Worthies, i, 153. Cf. Heywood's Song of the Green Willow, and Desdemona's song in Othello, IV, iii, 39.

76. THE EUGH. Ascham in his Toxophilus tells us that the best bows were made of yew.

78. THE MIRRHE, the Arabian myrtle, which exudes a bitter but fragrant gum. The allusion is to the wounding of Myrrha by her father and her metamorphosis into this tree.

79. THE WARLIKE BEECH, because lances and other arms were made of it. THE ASH FOR NOTHING ILL. "The uses of the ash is one of the most universal: it serves the souldier, the carpenter, the wheelwright, cartwright, cooper, turner, and thatcher."—Evelyn's Sylva. The great tree Igdrasil in the northern mythology was an ash.

81. THE CARVER HOLME, or evergreen oak, was good for carving.

106. SHAME WERE TO REVOKE, etc., it would be cowardly not to go forward for fear of some suspected unseen danger.

114. THE WANDRING WOOD, i.e. which causes men to go astray.

123. MONSTER. The description of the monster Error, or Falsehood, is based on Hesiod's Echidna, Theog. 301, and the locusts in Revelation, ix, 7-10. She is half human, half serpent, because error is partly true and partly false. Dante's Fraud and Milton's Sin are similar monsters.

126. FULL OF VILE DISDAINE, full of vileness that bred disgust in the beholder.

130. OF HER THERE BRED, etc., of her were born a thousand young ones. Her offspring are lies and rumors of many shapes.

141. ARMED TO POINT, completely armed. Cf. Fr. a point, to a nicety.

145. THE VALIANT ELFE, because he was the reputed son of an Elfin or Faerie, though really sprung from "an ancient race of Saxon kings." Three kinds of elves are mentioned in the Edda: the black dwarfs, and brownies, who both dwelt under ground, and the fair elves, who dwelt in Fairyland or Alfheim. "The difference between Spenser's elves and these Teutonic elves shows how he perverts Fairy mythology in the same way as he does Classical myths."—Percival.

168. HIS GALL DID GRATE FOR GRIEFE, his anger was aroused on account of pain. In the old anatomy anger had its seat in the gallbladder. See Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, I, i, 2.

177. HER VOMIT FULL OF BOOKES, etc. From 1570, when Pope Sixtus V issued his bull of deposition against Queen Elizabeth, to 1590, great numbers of scurrilous pamphlets attacking the Queen and the Reformed church had been disseminated by Jesuit refugees.

181. NILUS. Pliny believed that the mud of the Nile had the power of breeding living creatures like mice. Hist. Nat. ix, 84. So Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, II, vii, 29.

199. GENTLE SHEPHEARD. In this pastoral simile, Spenser imitates Homer's Iliad, ii, 469, and xvii, 641, and Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, xiv, 109.

208. THUS ILL BESTEDD. There is a similar combat in the old romance Guy of Warwick, ix, between the hero and a man-eating dragon.

217. HER SCATTRED BROOD. The poet here follows a belief as old as Pliny that the young of serpents fed on their mother's blood. In this entire passage the details are too revolting for modern taste.

232. THE WHICH THEM NURST. The antecedent of which is her. In the sixteenth century the was frequently placed before which, which was also the equivalent of who. Cf. the Lord's Prayer.

234. HE SHOULD CONTEND, he should have had to contend.

237. BORNE UNDER HAPPY STARRE. Belief in astrology was once common, and Spenser being a Pythagorean would hold the doctrine of the influence of the stars on human destiny.

239. THAT ARMORIE, the armor of the Christian warrior. Ephesians, vi, 13.

243. THAT LIKE SUCCEED IT MAY, that like successful adventures may succeed it. The word order is inverted for the sake of the rhyme.

250. TO FREND, as his friend.

254. AN AGED SIRE, the false enchanter, Archimago, or Hypocrisy, who is supposed to represent Pope Sixtus V or King Philip II of Spain. In general he stands for false religion or the Church of Rome. The character and adventure are taken from Orlando Furioso, ii, 12, in which there is a hypocritical hermit. The Knight at first takes Archimago to be a palmer, and inquires for the foreign news.

295. TAKE UP YOUR IN, take lodging.

301. A LITTLE WYDE, a little way off.

315. AN AVE-MARY, Hail Mary, a prayer to the Virgin. Cf. Luke, i, 28.

317. THE SAD HUMOUR, the heavy moisture, or "slombring deaw."

318. MORPHEUS, the son of Somnus and god of sleep and dreams, who sprinkled the dew of sleep on the brow of mortals from his horn or wings or from a bough dipped in Lethe.

323. HIS MAGICK BOOKES AND ARTES. Monks engaged in scientific investigation, such as Friar Roger Bacon, were popularly supposed to use cabalistic books, and to make compacts with the Devil by means of necromancy, or the black art, as in st. xxxvii. Before the close of the century Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, both based on the popular belief in magic, were presented on the London stage.

328. BLACKE PLUTOES GRIESLY DAME, Proserpine, the avenger of men, and inflicter of curses on the dead. She is identified with Shakespeare's Hecate, the goddess of sorcery, and with Milton's Cotytto, goddess of lust. To this latter sin the knight is tempted.

332. GREAT GORGON, Demogorgon, whose name might not be uttered, a magician who had power over the spirits of the lower world. The poet is here imitating the Latin poets Lucan and Statius.

333. COCYTUS, the river of wailing, and STYX, the river of hate, both in Hades. There were two others, Acheron, the river of sorrow, and Phlegethon, the river of fire.

335. LEGIONS OF SPRIGHTS. In this stanza and the preceding Spenser follows Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, xiii, 6-11, where the magician Ismeno, guarding the Enchanted Wood, conjures "legions of devils" with the "mighty name" (l. 332).

339. CHOSE. Imitation of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, ii, 15, in which a false spirit is called up by a hypocritical hermit. The description of the House of Sleep in st. xxxix seq. is modelled on the same poet, Orlando Furioso, ii, 15 seq. The influence of Homer's Odyssey, xi, 16 is seen in st. xxxix, ll. 348 seq.

348. TETHYS, the ocean. In classical mythology she is the daughter of Uranus (heaven) and Gaea (earth), and the wife of Oceanus.

349. CYNTHIA, the moon. The allusion is to the story of Diana and Endymion. See Lyly's play Endymion.

352. WHOSE DOUBLE GATES. Homer, Odyssey, xix, 562, and Vergil, Aeneid, vi, 893, give the House of Dreams a horn and an ivory gate. Spenser substitutes silver for horn, mirrors being overlaid with silver in his time. From the ivory gate issued false dreams; from the other, true ones.

361. SLUMBER SOFT. This stanza shows Spenser's wonderful technique. His exquisite effects are produced, it will be noticed, partly by the choice of musical words and partly by the rhythmical cadence of the verse phrases. It is an example of perfect "keeping," or adaptation of sound to sense. Cf. Chaucer's description of the waterfalls in the Cave of Sleep in his Boke of the Duchesse, 162.

376. WHOSE DRYER BRAINE, whose brain too dry. In the old physiology, a dry brain was the cause of slow and weak perception, and a moist brain of quickness.

378. ALL, entirely, altogether.

381. HECATE, queen of phantoms and demons in Hades, and mistress of witches on earth. See xxxvii.

387. THE SLEEPERS SENT, the sleeper's sense.

405. MOST LIKE TO SEEME, etc.. most likely fit to seem for (represent) Una. Like is an adv. A very awkward inversion.

411. BORNE WITHOUT HER DEW, i.e. created by him in an unnatural manner.

425. FAYRE VENUS, the daughter of Jupiter, or Zeus, and the sea-nymph Dione. She is the same as Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

430. THE GRACES, Euphrosyne, Aglaia, and Thalia, daughters of Zeus and Aphrodite.

431. HYMEN IO HYMEN, refrain of an old Roman nuptial song. Hymen, the son of Apollo and the Muse Urania, was the god of marriage.

432. FRESHEST FLORA, the goddess of flowers. She typified spring.

447. TO PROVE HIS SENSE, etc. To test his perception and prove her feigned truth.

449. THO CAN SHE WEEPE, then did she weep. Can here is the Northern dialect form for the middle English gan, past tense of ginnen, to begin, which was used as an auxiliary.

454. THE BLIND GOD, Cupid, Eros, or Amor, the god of love.

478. Like other knights of romance, e.g. Sir Galahad and Sir Gareth in Malory's Morte d'Arthur, iii, 65, etc., the Redcross Knight does not yield to the temptation of the flesh, but overcomes it.


(Canto I)

1. Tell in your own words the story of this canto. 2. Which muse does Spenser invoke? 3. Who were the nine muses? 4. What is the difference between pastoral and epic poetry? 5. Illustrate by The Shepheards Calender and the The Faerie Queene. 6. Point out imitations of Homer, Vergil, Lucan, Statius, Ariosto, Tasso, and Chaucer. 7. Explain the reference to the religious questions and politics of Queen Elizabeth's reign. 8. Where does Spenser use classical mythology—mediaeval legends? 9. What references to the Bible do you find? 10. Try to make a mental picture of the Knight—of Una—of Error—of Archimago. 11. Is Spenser's character drawing objective or subjective? 12. Is the description of the wood in vii true to nature? Could so many trees grow together in a thick wood? 13. Study the Rembrandt-like effects of light and shade in xiv. 14. What infernal deities are conjured up by Archimago?

15. Paraphrase in your own language ll. 88, 106-107, 116, 267-268.

16. Explain use of of in l. 75. 17. What part of speech is wandering l. 114? to viewen l. 201? parse which l. 232; him and spend l. 233; you and shew l. 276. 18. Find examples of Euphuistic hyperbole in iv, of alliteration in xiv. 19. Explain the use and form of eyne, edified, afflicted, weeds, Hebean, impe, compeld, areeds, blazon, ycladd.


I. The Plot: Deceived by Archimago's phantoms, the Redcross Knight suspects the chastity of Una, and flies at early dawn with his dwarf. He chances to meet the Saracen Sansfoy in company with the false Duessa. They do battle and Sansfoy is slain. Duessa under the name of Fidessa attaches herself to the Knight, and they ride forward. They stop to rest under some shady trees, On breaking a bough, the Knight discovers that the trees are two lovers, Fradubio and Fraelissa, thus imprisoned by the cruel enchantment of Duessa.

II. The Allegory: 1. Hypocrisy under a pious disguise is attractive to Holiness. Truth is also deceived by it, and shamefully slandered. Holiness having abandoned Truth, takes up with Falsehood, who is attended by Infidelity. Unbelief when openly assailing Holiness is overthrown, but Falsehood under the guise of Faith remains undiscovered. The fate of the man (Fradubio) is set forth who halts between two opinions,—False Religion (Duessa) and Heathen Philosophy, or Natural Religion (Fraelissa).

2. The Reformed Church, no longer under the guidance of Truth, rushes headlong into Infidelity, and unwittingly became the defender of the Romish Faith under the name of the True Faith. There is a hint of the intrigues of Mary Queen of Scots and the libels of the Jesuits on Queen Elizabeth designed to bring back the English nation to Romish allegiance.

LINE 1. THE NORTHERNE WAGONER, the constellation Bootes.

2. HIS SEVENFOLD TEME, the seven stars of Ursa Major, or Charles's Wain. THE STEDFAST STARRE, the Pole-star, which never sets.

6. CHEAREFULL CHAUNTICLERE, the name of the cock in the fabliaux and beast epics, e.g. Roman de Renart and Reineke Fuchs.


11. THAT FAIRE-FORGED SPRIGHT, fair but miscreated spirit (I, xiv). Spenser took suggestions for this stanza from Ariosto and Tasso.

51. FAIRE HESPERUS, the evening star.

55. THE ROSY-FINGRED MORNING. This beautiful epithet of Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, is borrowed from Homer, Hesiod, and other ancient poets.

56. AGED TITHONES, son of Laomedon, King of Troy. Aurora conferred upon him immortality without youth, hence the epithet "aged."

58. TITAN, the sun-god in the Roman myths.

85. PROTEUS, a sea-god who was endowed with the power of prophecy. He could change himself into any shape in order to avoid having to prophesy. See Homer, Odyssey, iv, 366 seq., and Vergil, Georgics, iv, 387.

90. HERBES. In the sixteenth century the belief in potions, magic formulas, etc., was still strongly rooted in the popular mind. The Spanish court and the priests were supposed to employ supernatural agencies against the Protestants.

105. A FAITHLESS SARAZIN. Spenser uses the word Saracen in the general sense of pagan. During the Middle Ages the Saracen power was a menace to Europe, and the stronghold of infidelity. The names of the three Paynim brethren, Sansfoy, Sansjoy, and Sansloy,—faithless, joyless, and lawless,—suggest the point of view of Spenser's age.

109. A FAIRE COMPANION, the enchantress Duessa, or Falsehood, who calls herself Fidessa. In the allegory Spenser intended her to represent the Romish church and Mary Queen of Scots. Her character and appearance were suggested by the woman of Babylon, in Revelation, viii, 4, Ariosto's Alcina, and Tasso's Armida.

136. AS WHEN TWO RAMS. This figure is found in Vergil, Apollonius, Malory, Tasso, Dante, and other poets and romancers.

141. THE HANGING VICTORY, the victory which hung doubtful in the balance.

144. THE BROKEN RELIQUES, the shattered lances.

148. EACH OTHERS EQUALL PUISSAUNCE ENVIES, each envies the equal prowess of the other.

149. THROUGH THEIR IRON SIDES, etc., through their armored sides with cruel glances, etc.

155. THE BITTER FIT, the bitterness of death.

158. ASSURED SITT, etc., sit firm (in the saddle), and hide (cover) thy head (with thy shield).

160. WITH RIGOUR SO OUTRAGEOUS, with force so violent.

161. THAT A LARGE SHARE, etc., that a large piece it (the sword) hewed, etc.

162. FROM BLAME HIM FAIRLY BLEST. 1, fairly preserved him from hurt; 2, fairly acquitted him of blame. Him in (1) refers to the knight, in (2) to the Saracen. (1) is the better interpretation.

169. GRUDGING. Because reluctant to part from the flesh.

196. DAUGHTER OF AN EMPEROUR. Duessa represents the Pope, who exercised imperial authority in Rome, though the seat of the empire had been transferred to Constantinople in 476.

200. THE ONLY HAIRE. The dauphin of France, the first husband of Mary Queen of Scots, afterwards King Francis II, son of Henry II. Duessa's story is full of falsehoods.

244. SO DAINTY THEY SAY MAKETH DERTH, coyness makes desire. The knight is allured on by Duessa's assumed shyness.

251. NE WONT THERE SOUND, nor was accustomed to sound there.

254. COOL SHADE. The Reformed Church, weakened by Falsehood, is enticed by doubt and skepticism.

262. FAIRE SEEMLY PLEASAUNCE, pleasant courtesies.

263. WITH GOODLY PURPOSES, with polite conversation. This whole stanza refers to Mary's candidacy for the English throne and its dangers to Protestantism.

269. HE PLUCKT A BOUGH. In this incident Spenser imitates Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, vi, 26, in which Ruggiero addresses a myrtle which bleeds and cries out with pain. The conception of men turned into trees occurs also in Ovid, Vergil, Tasso, and Dante.

272. O SPARE WITH GUILTY HANDS, etc. Cf Vergil's account of Polydorus in Aeneid, iii, 41, in which a myrtle exclaims, Parce pias scelerare manus, etc.

284. FROM LIMBO LAKE, here, the abode of the lost. With the Schoolmen, Limbo was a border region of hell where dwelt the souls of Old Testament saints, pious heathen, lunatics, and unbaptized infants. Cf. Milton's Paradise of Fools, Paradise Lost, iii, 495.

291. FRADUBIO, as it were "Brother Doubtful," one who hesitates between false religion and pagan religion, Duessa and Fraelissa (Morley). Fraelissa is fair but frail, and will not do to lean upon.

342. FAIRE IN PLACE, fair in that place.

351. TO TREEN MOULD, to the form of a tree. Treen is an adj. like wooden.

354. THE SAME. Supply "as she appeared to be," i.e. fair and true.

357. PROPER HEW. Witches had to appear in their "proper hew" one day in spring and undergo a purifying bath. The old romances make frequent mention of the enchanted herb bath.

370. BY CHAUNGES OF MY CHEARE, by my changed countenance or expression.

371. DROWND IN SLEEPIE NIGHT. The phrase modifies "body," or is equivalent to "while I was drowned in sleep."

382. IN A LIVING WELL, in a well of running water. This well signifies the healing power of Christianity. John, iv, 14. In Spenser's story this well is never found, and the wretched couple are never restored to human shape.

404. ALL PASSED FEARE, all fear having passed.


(Canto II)

1. How does the knight feel and act while under Archimago's spell? 2. What becomes of Una? 3. How does Archimago plan to deceive her? 4. Tell the story of the lovers turned into trees. 5. Who was Sansfoy? 6. Describe the appearance and character of Duessa. 7. What did she have to do with Fradubio and Fraelissa? 8. What was the old belief about the penance of witches? 9. How only could the lovers be restored to their human shape? Was it done? 10. Who were St. George, Phoebus, Titan, Tithonius? 11. Explain the reference to Chaunticlere in l. 6.

12. Find examples of alliteration in xix; of balance in xxxvii; and of Latinizing in xix; xxxvi; xxxviii, and xl.

13. Paraphrase in your own words ll. 111, 134-135, 162 (giving two interpretations); 335, 386-387.

14. What figure of speech is used in xiii, xvi, and xx?

15. Study the rich word-painting in the description of sunrise in vii. Find other examples of this poet's use of "costly" epithets.

16. Scan the following passages: 148, 174, 178, 193, and 299.

17. Find example of tmesis (separation of prep. from ob.) in xlv.

18. What is the difference between the two wells in xliii?

19. To whom do the pronouns in ll. 174, 175 refer?

20. What is the case of heavens in l. 193? of Sarazin in l. 217?

21. What words are omitted in ll. 188, 313, 398?


I. The Plot: Una wandering in quest of her Knight is guarded by a Lion. With difficulty they gain entrance to the cottage of Corceca and her daughter Abessa, the paramour of Kirkrapine. The latter is killed by the Lion. Fleeing the next day, Una falls in with Archimago disguised as the Redcross Knight. They journey on and meet a second Saracen knight, Sansloy. In the fight which ensues Archimago is unhorsed and his deception unmasked. The Lion is slain, and Una becomes the captive of Sansloy.

II. The Allegory: 1. Truth finds temporary protection in Reason, or Natural Honor (Lion), and with its help puts a stop to the Robbing of Churches (Kirkrapine), which is connived at by Blind Devotion (Corceca) and Secret Sin (Abessa). Truth is then associated with Hypocrisy under the guise of Holiness, but it is soon unmasked by Lawlessness (Sansloy), with which Truth is forced into an unnatural alliance.

2. "The lion is said to represent Henry VIII, overthrowing the monasteries, destroying church-robbers, disturbing the dark haunts of idleness, ignorance and superstition."—Kitchin. The battle between Archimago and Sansloy refers to the contests of the Catholic powers with the Moslems. The whole canto also has a hint of the violence and lawlessness connected with the English conquest of Ireland.

LINE 14. THOUGH TRUE AS TOUCH, though true as if tested on the touchstone (by which true gold was distinguished from counterfeit).

18. AND HER DUE LOVES, etc., the love due to her diverted, etc.

27. YET WISHED TYDINGS, etc., yet none brought unto her the wished-for tidings of him. An awkward transposition.

34. THE GREAT EYE OF HEAVEN, the sun. Cf. Paradise Lost, v. 171.

38. A RAMPING LYON. Reason or Natural Honor; also Henry VIII. According to the ancient belief, no lion would attack a true virgin or one of royal blood. Similar scenes are found in Sir Bevis of Hampton, The Seven Champions of Christendom, etc. Cf. I Henry IV, ii, 4. The allegory signifies that man guided merely by reason will recognize Truth and pay it homage.

51. WHOSE YEELDED PRIDE, etc., object of had marked, l. 52.

77. HE KEPT BOTH WATCH AND WARD, he kept awake and guarded her.

89. A DAMZELL SPYDE, Abessa, who symbolizes Flagrant or Secret Sin.

99. HER CAST IN DEADLY HEW, threw her into a deathly paleness.

101. UPON THE WAGER LAY, was at stake.

102. WHEREAS HER MOTHER BLYND, where her blind mother, Corceca, or Blind Devotion.

109. UNRULY PAGE. This refers to the violence with which Henry VIII forced Protestantism upon the people. In his Present State of Ireland (p. 645), Spenser speaks of the ignorance and blind devotion of the Irish Papists in the benighted country places.

116. PATER NOSTERS, the Lord's Prayer; AVES, prayers to the Virgin.

136. ALDEBORAN, the Bull's Eye, a double star of the first magnitude in the constellation Taurus.

137. CASSIOPEIAS CHAIRE, a circumpolar constellation having a fancied resemblance to a chair.

139. ONE KNOCKED AT THE DORE, Kirkrapine, the plunderer of the Church. Spenser represents in him the peculiar vices of the Irish clergy and laity.

166. STAY HIM TO ADVIZE, stop to reflect.

172. HIM BOOTETH NOT RESIST, it does him no good to resist. This whole passage refers, perhaps, to Henry VIII's suppression of the monasteries and convents in 1538-39.

185. THAT LONG WANDRING GREEKE. Ulysses, or Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey, who wandered ten years and refused immortality from the goddess Calypso in order that he might return to Penelope.

xxii. Note the rhymes deare, heare, and teare (air). This 16th century pronunciation still survives in South Carolina. See Ellis's Early English Pronunciation, III, 868. This stanza reads like the description of an Irish wake.

238. OR OUGHT HAVE DONE, or have done something to displease you.

239. THAT SHOULD AS DEATH, etc., that should settle like death, etc.

248. AND CHOSE IN FAERY COURT. See Spenser's letter to Sir W. Raleigh, p. 6.

250. HER KINDLY SKILL, her natural power.

276. FIERCE ORIONS HOUND, Sirius, the Dog-star, the brightest of the fixed stars. The constellation Orion was named from a giant hunter who was beloved by Aurora and slain by Diana.

279. AND NEREUS CROWNES WITH CUPS, and Nereus drinks bumpers in his honor. Nereus was a sea-god, son of Ocean and Earth.

282. FROM GROUND, from the land.

297. SANS LOY symbolizes the pagan lawlessness in Ireland. There is also a wider reference to the struggles between the Turks and the allied Christian powers, which had been going on since the siege of Vienna in 1529.

309. VAINLY CROSSED SHIELD, Archimago's false cross lacked the protecting power of St. George's charmed true cross.

321. LETHE LAKE, a lake or river of Hades, whose water brought oblivion or forgetfulness to all who drank of it.

322. Refers to the ancient custom of sacrificing an enemy on the funeral altar to appease the shade of the dead.

323. THE BLACKE INFERNALL FURIES, the Erinyes, or goddesses of vengeance, who dwelt in Erebus. They were robed in black, bloody garments befitting their gloomy character.

325. In romance it was customary for the victor to unlace the helmet of the knight whom he had unhorsed before slaying him. Friends and relatives were sometimes discovered by this precaution.

342. NE EVER WONT IN FIELD, etc., was never accustomed to fight in the battle-field or in the lists of the tournament.

xliii. Contrast Sansloy's rude treatment of Una with the chivalrous respect and courtesy always shown by a true knight to woman.


(Canto III)

1. What moral reflections does the poet make in the introductory stanza? Note the reference to the Queen. 2. What do you learn of the laws, customs, and sentiments of chivalry in this canto? 3. Give an account of Una's meeting with the Lion. 4. Explain the allegory of the incident of the Lion. 5. Describe the character, appearance, and actions of Corceca, and explain the allegory. 6. Note the use of the stars to indicate time. 7. Under what circumstances does Una meet Archimago? 8. Explain the allegory in ix. 9. Note the Euphuistic balance in xxvii. 10. What figure do you find in xxxi? Note the Homeric style. 11. Describe the fight between Archimago and Sansloy, and explain the double allegory. 12. What is the moral interpretation of xli-xlii?

13. Explain the Latinisms in ll. 37 and 377. 14. How are the adjectives used in l. 57? 15. Note change of pronouns in vii from third person to first. 16. Explain tense of shold pas in l. 83. 17. Note confusion of pronouns in xxii and xxxv. 18. Examine the nominative absolute construction in st. xiv and xxxix. 19. Explain the ambiguous construction in l. 165. 20. Parse her in l. 262. 21. Note careless use of relative in l. 288.


I. The Plot: In this and the following canto the adventures of the Redcross Knight are continued from Canto II. Guided by Duessa, he enters the House of Pride. There he sees Lucifera, the Queen of Pride, attended by her sinful court. Her six Counselors are described in detail, with an account of a pleasure trip taken by the Queen and her court. Sansjoy unexpectedly arrives and challenges the Knight to mortal combat for the shield of Sansfoy. That night Duessa holds a secret conference with the Saracen knight.

II. The Allegory: 1. The Christian Soldier, under the influence of false ideals (Duessa), is exposed to the temptations of the Seven Deadly Sins, chief among which is Pride. In the midst of these sinful pleasures, he is assailed by Joylessness, on whose side is Falsehood secretly.

2. The religious and political allegory is here vague and somewhat discontinuous. There is a hint, however, of the attempts of Mary Queen of Scots to bring England back to Romanism. The pride and corruption of the false church and its clergy are set forth. There is also a suggestion of the perilous position of the English in Ireland.

20. OF EACH DEGREE AND PLACE, of every rank and order of society.

21. HAVING SCAPED HARD, having escaped with difficulty.

24. LAZARS. Leprosy was a common disease in England even as late as the sixteenth century.

49. MALVENU, ill-come, as opposed to Bienvenu, welcome.

73. LIKE PHOEBUS FAIREST CHILDE, Phaethon, the son of Helios. He was killed by a thunderbolt from the hand of Zeus, as a result of his reckless driving of the chariot of the sun.

86. A DREADFULL DRAGON, Fallen Pride.

94. This genealogy of Pride is invented by the poet in accord with the Christian doctrine concerning this sin.

107. SIX WIZARDS OLD, the remaining six of the Seven Deadly Sins, Wrath, Envy, Lechery, Gluttony, Avarice, and Idleness. See Chaucer's Parson's Tale for a sermon on these mortal sins, Gower's Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins, and Laugland's Piers Plowman.

145. COCHE. Spenser imitates Ovid and Homer in this description of Juno's chariot. The peacock was sacred to the goddess, who transferred to its tail the hundred eyes of the monster Argus. See Ovid's Metamorphoses, i, 625 seq.

157. WITH LIKE CONDITIONS, etc. The behests were of a kind similar to the nature of the six Sins.

174. HE CHALENGED ESSOYNE, he claimed exemption.

185. LIKE A CRANE. This refers to Aristotle's story of a man who wished that his neck were as long as a crane's, that he might the longer enjoy the swallowing of his food. Nic. Ethics, iii, 13.

205. A DRY DROPSIE, a dropsy causing thirst.

236. UPON A CAMELL, etc. The reference is to a story in Herodotus' History (iii, 102 seq.), in which the Indians are described as carrying off on camels gold dust hoarded by enormous ants.

252. UNTO HIM SELFE UNKNOWNE, i.e. being ignorant of his own wretchedness.

309. UNTHRIFTY SCATH, wicked damage, or mischief that thrives not.

313. THE SWELLING SPLENE. The spleen was the seat of anger.

314. SAINT FRAUNCES FIRE, St. Anthony's fire, or erysipelas. Diseases were named from those who were supposed to be able to heal them.

335. WITH PLEASAUNCE, etc. Fed with enjoyment of the fields, the fresh air of which they went to breathe.

437. AND HELPLESSE HAP, etc. It does no good to bemoan unavoidable chance.

440. PAY HIS DEWTIES LAST, pay his last duty to the shade of the slain man by sacrificing his murderer.

443. ODDES OF ARMES, chances of mishap in arms due to some advantage of one's antagonist.


(Canto IV)

1. What are the moral reflections in stanza i? 2. What suggestion of the condition of the English roads do you find in st. ii? 3. But few returned, l. 21. What became of the rest? 4. Give a description of the House of Pride. Note resemblance to a typical Elizabethan hall. 5. Explain the allegory of the House, noting the association of ugliness and beauty. 6. How is expectation aroused in vi? 7. Describe the dramatic appearance and character of Pride. Cf. description of Satan on his throne in Paradise Lost, iii. 8. What do you learn in this canto of Elizabethan or chivalric manners and customs? 9. Describe the procession at the court of Pride. 10. What satire of the Romish priesthood in xviii-xx? 11. Note examples of Spenser's humor in xiv and xvi. 12. Point out the classical influence (Dionysus and Silenus) in the description of Gluttony. 13. Subject of the interview between Duessa and Sansjoy. 14. Point out the archaisms in l. 10; alliteration in xxxix and l; the Latinisms in xlvi and xlvii. 15. In what case is way in l. 17? 16. Explain the meaning and historical significance of lazar, l. 24, and diall, l. 36. 17. Explain the references of the pronouns in l. 55, and ll. 418-419. 18. Note the Euphuistic balance and antithesis in xxix and xlv. 19. Explain the suffix in marchen in l. 325. 20. Note the double negative in iv, xlix. 21. Paraphrase in your own words ll. 239, 243, 360, 437.


I. The Plot: (a continuation of Canto IV). The Knight fights in the lists with Sansjoy and defeats him, but is prevented by Duessa's magic from slaying him. Duessa descends to Erebus and obtains the aid of Night, who conveys the wounded Saracen in her chariot to Aesculapius to be healed of his wounds. The tortures of some of the souls in Erebus are described, particularly the cause of Aesculapius' punishment. A roll of the prisoners whom the dwarf discovers in Pride's dungeon is given. The Knight flees with the dwarf from her house.

II. The Allegory: When the Christian Soldier is attacked by Joylessness, he has a far more desperate struggle than that with Infidelity, and comes out wounded though victorious. Joylessness when crushed by Holiness is restored by Pagan Philosophy. The backsliding Christian is warned in time by Prudence of the fearful consequences of sin, and hastens to turn his back on Pride and the other sins. The soul is led to dread Pride, not by Truth, but by its sufferings and other inferior motives.

25. THEIR TIMELY VOYCES, their voices keeping time with their harps.

27. OLD LOVES, famous love-affairs, the subject of the Minnesaengers.

29. IN WOVEN MAILE, in chain armor.

32. ARABY, probably here the Orient in general.

33. FROM FURTHEST YND, from farthest India.

39. UNTO A PALED GREENE, a green inclosure (lists for a tournament) surrounded by a palisade.

44. HIS. An old method of forming the possessive, based on a misapprehension of the original Anglo-Saxon suffix -es, which was shortened in middle English to -is, and finally to s.

45. BOTH THOSE, etc. Both Duessa and the shield are to go to the victor.

65. A GRYFON, a fabulous animal, part lion and part eagle. Gryfon is subject of encountereth with Dragon as object.

89. AND SLUGGISH GERMAN, etc., and sluggish brother dost relax thy strength to send his (Sansfoy's) foe after him, that he may overtake him. In ll. 86-88 Sansjoy addresses his brother, in ll. 89-90 himself. German is any blood relation.

100. The Knight supposed that Duessa's encouraging words were addressed to him.

114. Spenser here, with fine dramatic effect, imitates Homer, who saves Paris and Aeneas by a similar device. Iliad, iii, 380, and v, 345.

159. TEARES. This mention of the man-eating crocodile's tears is based on an old Latin proverb. Sir John Mandeville repeats the story.

172. GRIESLY NIGHT. According to mythology (Hesiod's Theog., 123), one of the first things created, the daughter of Chaos, and mother of Aether (sky) and Hemera (day); also of Deceit, Strife, Old Age, and Vengeance. See xxii and xxvii.

202. ON GRONING BEARE, on a bier with groaning friends around.

204. O WHAT OF GODS, etc., O what is it to be born of gods, if old Aveugle's (the father of the three Saracens) sons are so ill treated.

219. AND GOOD SUCCESSES, etc., and good results which follow their foes.

221. OR BREAKE THE CHAYNE, refers to Jove's proposition to fasten a golden chain to the earth by which to test his strength. Homer's Iliad, viii, 19. Cf. Milton's Paradise Lost, ii, 1051.

225. BAD EXCHEAT, bad gain by exchange. Escheat is an old legal term, meaning any lands or goods which fall to the lord of a fief by forfeiture. Cf. "rob Peter to pay Paul."

229. SHALL WITH HIS OWNE BLOUD, etc., shall pay the price of the blood that he has spilt with his own.

263. Here Spenser imitates Homer's Odyssey, xvi, 163.

267. THE GHASTLY OWLE. The poet follows the Latin rather than the Greek poets, who regard the owl as the bird of wisdom.

273. OF DEEP AVERNUS HOLE. Avernus in the poets is a cavern (in an ancient crater), supposed to be the entrance to the infernal regions. Cf. Vergil's Aeneid, vi, 237. In Strabo's Geography it is a lake in Campania.

298. CERBERUS, the dog which guarded the lower regions. This stanza is an imitation of Vergil's Aeneid, vi, 417 seq. In Dante's Inferno Vergil appeases him by casting handfuls of earth into his maw.

xxxv. In this stanza we see the influence of Homer and Vergil. Ixion, the king of Lapithae, was chained by order of Zeus to a fiery-winged wheel for aspiring to the love of the goddess Hera (Juno). Sisyphus had to roll a huge stone forever up a hill for betraying the designs of the gods. Tantalus, for divulging the secrets of Zeus, was condemned to stand tormented by thirst in a lake. Tityus, for an assault on Artemis, was pinioned to the ground with two vultures plucking at his vitals. Typhoeus, a hundred-headed giant, was slain by Zeus' thunderbolt, and buried under Aetna. The gin on which he was tortured was probably the rack of the Middle Ages. Cf. the bed of Procrustes. Theseus, for attempting to carry off Persephone, was fixed to a rock in Tartarus. The "fifty sisters" are the fifty Danaides, who, for slaying their husbands, were condemned to pour water forever into a vessel full of holes.

322. SAD AESCULAPIUS, the god of medicine, slain by Zeus for arresting death and diseases.

354. AND FATES EXPIRED, and the threads of life which the fates (Parcae) had severed.

387. GREAT PAINES, AND GREATER PRAISE, etc. His praise, like his pain, is to be eternal.

xlvii. This list of the thralls of Pride is in imitation of a similar one in Chaucer's Monk's Tale, which was based on Boccaccio's De Casibus Illustrium Virorum.

415. PROUD KING OF BABYLON, Nebuchadnezzar. See Daniel, iii and iv.

420. KING CROESUS, the last king of Lydia, who was overthrown by Cyrus in B.C. 646. Herodotus, i, 26.

422. PROUD ANTIOCHUS, Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, who captured Jerusalem twice, and defiled God's altar. He died raving mad B.C. 164. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, xiii, 5-9.

424. GREAT NIMROD, "the mighty hunter" (Genesis, x, 8), whose game, according to Spenser, was man. Josephus tells us that through pride he built the tower of Babel.

426. OLD NINUS, the legendary founder of Nineveh, and put to death by his wife, Semiramis.

428. THAT MIGHTY MONARCH, Alexander the Great (B.C. 366-323), king of Macedon. While consulting the oracle of Jupiter Ammon in the Libyan desert he was saluted by the priests as "Ammons Sonne." He died either of poison (Plutarch) or of excessive drink (Diodorus).

437. GREAT ROMULUS, legendary founder of Rome (B.C. 753). See Livy, i, 16.

438. PROUD TARQUIN, Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of Rome. He was banished B.C. 510.

438. TOO LORDLY LENTULUS, surnamed Sura, member of a haughty patrician family, who conspired with Catiline, and was strangled B.C. 62.

439. STOUT SCIPIO, Cornelius Scipio Africanus (B.C. 287?-183?), the conqueror of Hannibal, and self-exiled from Rome. Livy speaks of his inordinate pride, xxxviii, 50.

439. STUBBORNE HANNIBALL (B.C. 247-183), the great Carthaginian general, who died by poison to avoid falling into the hands of the Romans.

440. AMBITIOUS SYLLA (B.C. 138-78), Cornelius Sulla, the Dictator, who died a loathsome death.

440. STERNE MARIUS (B.C. 157-86), after being seven times consul, he was obliged to take refuge from his rival Sulla amid the ruins of Carthage.

441. HIGH CAESAR, Caius Julius Caesar (B.C. 100-44), who was murdered by Brutus and other conspirators.

441. GREAT POMPEY. Cn. Pompeius Magnus (B.C. 106-48). After his defeat at Pharsalia, he fled to Egypt, where he was murdered.

441. FIERCE ANTONIUS, Marcus (B.C. 83-30), the great triumvir, who after his defeat at Actium killed himself in Egypt.

444. THE BOLD SEMIRAMIS, the legendary queen of Assyria.

446. FAIRE STHENOBOEA, the wife of Proteus, who on account of her unrequited love for Bellerophon, died by hemlock. Aristophanes' Frogs, 1049 seq.

448. HIGH MINDED CLEOPATRA (B.C. 69-30), the beautiful queen of Egypt, who is said by Plutarch to have died in the manner mentioned.


(Canto V)

1. How did Redcross spend the night before the fight with Sansjoy?

2. Study in detail the fine description of Duessa's descent to Erebus.

3. What elements of beauty are seen in the description of dawn and sunrise in ii? and compare Psalms, xix, 5. 4. What arbitrary classification of musicians does Spenser make in iii? 5. Who is the far renowmed Queene in v? 6. Describe the joust between the Knight and Sansjoy. 7. Where do you learn of the laws governing such contests? 8. Observe the dramatic way in which Duessa saves Sansjoy. 9. What dramatic stroke in xxvii? 10. Describe Night and her team. 11. Give an account of her descent to Erebus with Sansjoy. 12. What were some of the tortures of the damned? 13. What effect is produced in xxx and how? 14. Point out some instances in which Spenser has imitated Homer—Vergil.

15. Where does he follow the Latin rather than the Greek poets?

16. Why did Aesculapius hesitate to heal Sansjoy? 17. Whom did the dwarf see in the dungeons of Pride? 18. Why did the Knight flee from the House of Pride?

19. Examine the following grammatical forms: maken, l. 22; woundes, l. 400. 20. What figure of speech is employed in xviii? 21. What illustration is used in viii? 22. Find example of balanced structure in vii; alliteration in viii, xv, xviii. 23. Scan l. 23. 24. Note nom. abs. construction in xlv.

25. Paraphrase the involved constructions in xlii, xix, viii, xxxvi.


I. The Plot: (Continuation of Canto III). Una is delivered from Sansloy by a band of Satyrs. She remains with them as their teacher. There a knight of the wild-wood, Sir Satyrane, discovers her, and by his assistance, Una succeeds in making her way out of the forest to the plain. On the way they meet Archimago, disguised as a pilgrim, and he deceives them and leads them to Sansloy. While Sir Satyrane and Sansloy are engaged in a bloody battle, Una flees. She is pursued by Archimago but makes her escape.

II. The Allegory: 1. Truth is saved from destruction by Lawless Violence (Sansloy) by the aid of Barbarism or Savage Instinct, which terrorizes Lawlessness but offers natural homage to Truth. Truth finds a temporary home among Ignorant and Rude Folk (Satyrs) and in return imparts divine truth to their unregenerate minds. Natural Heroism or Manly Courage (Sir Satyrane) sides with Truth and defends it against Lawlessness.

2. The religious allegory signifies the extension of Protestantism through the outlying rural districts of England and in Ireland. Upton thinks that Sir Satyrane represents "Sir John Perrot, whose behaviour, though honest, was too coarse and rude for a court. 'Twas well known that he was a son of Henry VIII." Holinshed says that as Lord President of Munster, Sir John secured such peace and security that a man might travel in Ireland with a white stick only in his hand.

16. FROM ONE TO OTHER YND, from the East to the West Indies.

61. A TROUPE OF FAUNES AND SATYRES. The Fauns were the wood-gods of the Romans, the Satyrs the wood-gods of the Greeks. They were half human, half goat, and represented the luxuriant powers of nature.

63. OLD SYLVANUS, the Roman god of fields and woods, young and fond of animal pleasures. Spenser represents him as a feeble but sensuous old man.

90. WITH CHAUNGE OF FEARE, from the wolf to the lion.

96. RUSTICK HORROR, bristling hair.

99. THEIR BACKWARD BENT KNEES, like the hinder legs of a goat.

101. THEIR BARBAROUS TRUTH, their savage honor.

103. LATE LEARND, having been recently taught. She had shown too "hasty trust" in Archimago.

112. WITHOUT SUSPECT OF CRIME, without suspicion of blame.

117. The olive is the emblem of peace, as the ivy (l. 126) is of sensuousness.

120. WITH THEIR HORNED FEET, with their hoofs.

128. OR BACCHUS MERRY FRUIT, etc., whether they did discover grapes.

129. OR CYBELES FRANTICKE RITES, the wild dances of the Corybantes, priestesses of Cybele, or Rhea, the wife of Chronos and mother of the gods.

132. THAT MIRRHOUR RARE, that model of beauty. So Sidney was called "the mirror of chivalry."

134. FAIRE DRYOPE, a princess of Aechalia, who became a forest nymph. Pholoe, mentioned in l. 135, is probably a fictitious creation of the author's.

146. DEAREST CYPARISSE, a youth of Cea, who accidentally killed his favorite stag and dying of grief was changed into a cypress. He was beloved by Apollo and Sylvanus.

148. NOT FAIRE TO THIS, i.e. compared to this.

152. N'OULD AFTER JOY, would not afterwards be cheerful.

153. SELFE-WILD ANNOY, self-willed distress.

154. FAIRE HAMADRYADES, the nymphs who dwelt in the forest trees and died with them.

156. LIGHT-FOOT NAIADES, the fresh water nymphs, companions of the fauns and satyrs.

161. THEIR WOODY KIND, the wood-born creatures of their own kind, e.g. nymphs or satyrs.

163. Una was "luckelesse" in having lost her knights, but "lucky" in the friendship of the Satyrs. Note the Euphuistic phrasing.

169. IDOLATRYES. The allegory has reference to the idolatrous practices of the ignorant primitive Christians, such as the worship of images of the Saints, the pageant of the wooden ass during Lent (see Matthew, xxi, and Brand's Popular Antiquities, i, 124), and the Feast of the Ass (see Matthew, ii, 14).

172. A NOBLE WARLIKE KNIGHT, Sir Satyrane, in whom are united rude untaught chivalry and woodland savagery. He represents natural heroism and instinctive love of truth.

173. BY JUST OCCASION, just at the right moment.

184. THYAMIS is the symbol of Animal Passion; LABRYDE of the lower appetites; THERION, the human wild beast, who deserts his wife.

xxiv. This account of Sir Satyrane's education is based on that of Rogero by his uncle Atlante in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, vii, 5, 7.

213. MAISTER OF HIS GUISE, his instructor.

214. AT HIS HORRID VEW, his shaggy, uncouth appearance.

256. HIS FAMOUS WORTH WAS BLOWN, i.e. blazoned by Fame's trumpet.

308. A JACOBS STAFFE. According to Nares, "A pilgrim's staff; either from the frequent pilgrimages to St. James of Comfortella (in Galicia), or because the apostle St. James is usually represented with one."

371. See Canto III, xxxviii, where Archimago was disguised as St. George.

372. TH' ENCHAUNTER VAINE, etc., the foolish enchanter (Archimago) would not have rued his (St. George's) crime (i.e. slaying Sansfoy).

373. BUT THEM HIS ERROUR SHALT, etc., thou shalt by thy death pay the penalty of his crime and thus prove that he was really guilty. A very obscure passage. Look up the original meaning of shall.

386. This simile is found frequently in the old romances. Cf. Malory's Morte d'Arthur, ii, 104, and Chaucer's Knight's Tale, l. 1160.

416. According to a usage of chivalry, the lover wore a glove, sleeve, kerchief, or other token of his lady-love on his helmet. By "lover's token" Sansloy ironically means a blow.

425. TO HER LAST DECAY, to her utter ruin.

426. Spenser leaves the fight between Sansloy and Sir Satyrane unfinished. Both warriors appear in later books of the Faerie Queene.


(Canto VI)

1. Who rescued Una from Sansloy? 2. How does Una repay their kindness? 3. How was she treated by them? 4. Explain the references to the various classes of nymphs. 5. Look up the classical references in xvi and xviii. 6. Why is Una described as "luckelesse lucky"? 7. What customs of the early Christians are referred to in xix? 8. What does Sir Satyrane symbolize in the allegory? 9. What was his character and education? 10. Note the Elizabethan conception of the goddess Fortune in xxxi. 11. Did Una act ungratefully in leaving the Satyrs as she did? 12. Who is the weary wight in xxxiv? 13. What news of St. George did he give? Was it true? 14. Who is the Paynim mentioned in xl? 15. Note Euphuistic antithesis in xlii. 16. Explain the figures in iv, vi, x, xliv. 17. Paraphrase ll. 289, 296. 18. Find Latinisms in xxv; xxvi; xxviii; xxxi; and xxxvii. 19. Describe the fight at the end of the Canto.


I. The Plot: (Continuation of Canto V). Duessa pursues the Redcross Knight, and overtakes him sitting by an enchanted fountain, weary and disarmed. He is beguiled into drinking from the fountain, and is quickly deprived of strength. In this unnerved and unarmed condition he is suddenly set upon by the giant Orgoglio. After a hopeless struggle he is struck down by the giant's club and is thrust into a dungeon. Una is informed by the dwarf of the Knight's misfortune and is prostrated with grief. Meeting Prince Arthur, she is persuaded to tell her story and receives promise of his assistance.

II. The Allegory: 1. The Christian soldier, beguiled by Falsehood, doffs the armor of God, and indulges in sinful pleasures, and loses his purity. He then quickly falls into the power of Carnal Pride, or the brutal tyranny of False Religion (Orgoglio). He can then be restored only by an appeal to the Highest Honor or Magnificence (Prince Arthur) through the good offices of Truth and Common Sense.

2. In the reaction from the Reformation, Protestant England by dallying with Romanism (Duessa, Mary Queen of Scots) falls under the tyrannic power of the Pope (Orgoglio), with whom Catholic England was coquetting. At this juncture National Honor and Consciousness comes to the relief of Protestantism. There is personal compliment to either Lord Leicester or Sir Philip Sidney.

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