Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 1, CANTOS 4-6, by EDMUND SPENSER



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THE FAERIE QUEENE: BOOK 1, CANTOS 4-6, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: To sinfull hous of pryde duessa
Last Line: And eke this battels end, will need another place.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin


CANTO IV

To sinfull Hous of Pryde Duessa
Guydes the faithfull knight,
Where, brothers death to wreak, Sansjoy
Doth chaleng him to fight

I

YOUNG knight what ever, that dost armes professe,
And through long labours huntest after fame,
Beware of fraud, beware of ficklenesse,
In choice, and chaunge, of thy deare loved dame,
Least thou of her believe too lightly blame,
And rash misweening doe thy hart remove:
For unto knight there is no greater shame,
Then lightnesse and inconstancie in love:
That doth this Redcrosse Knights ensample plainly prove.

II

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

III

Great troupes of people traveild thetherward
Both day and night, of each degree and place;
But few returned, having scaped hard,
With balefull beggery, or foule disgrace;
Which ever after in most wretched case,
Like loathsome lazars, by the hedges lay.
Thether Duessa badd him bend his pace:
For she is wearie of the toilsom way,
And also nigh consumed is the lingring day.

IV

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

V

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

VI

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

VII

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

VIII

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

IX

Exceeding shone, like Phoebus fayrest childe,
That did presume his fathers fyrie wayne,
And flaming mouthes of steedes unwonted wilde,
Through highest heaven with weaker hand to rayne:
Proud of such glory and advancement vayne,
While flashing beames do daze his feeble eyen,
He leaves the welkin way most beaten playne,
And, rapt with whirling wheeles, inflames the skyen
With fire not made to burne, but fayrely for to shyne.

X

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

XI

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

XII

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

XIII

Soone as the Elfin knight in presence came,
And false Duessa, seeming lady fayre,
A gentle husher, Vanitie by name,
Made rowme, and passage for them did prepaire:
So goodly brought them to the lowest stayre
Of her high throne, where they, on humble knee
Making obeysaunce, did the cause declare,
Why they were come, her roiall state to see,
To prove the wide report of her great majestee.

XIV

With loftie eyes, halfe loth to looke so lowe,
She thancked them in her disdainefull wise,
Ne other grace vouchsafed them to showe
Of princesse worthy; scarse them bad arise.
Her lordes and ladies all this while devise
Themselves to setten forth to straungers sight:
Some frounce their curled heare in courtly guise,
Some prancke their ruffes, and others trimly dight
Their gay attyre: each others greater pride does spight.

XV

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

XVI

Suddein upriseth from her stately place
The roiall dame, and for her coche doth call:
All hurtlen forth, and she, with princely pace,
As faire Aurora, in her purple pall,
Out of the east the dawning day doth call,
So forth she comes: her brightnes brode doth blaze:
The heapes of people, thronging in the hall,
Doe ride each other, upon her to gaze:
Her glorious glitterand light doth all mens eies amaze.

XVII

So forth she comes, and to her coche does clyme,
Adorned all with gold and girlonds gay,
That seemd as fresh as Flora in her prime,
And strove to match, in roiall rich array,
Great Junoes golden chayre, the which, they say,
The gods stand gazing on, when she does ride
To Joves high hous through heavens braspaved way,
Drawne of fayre pecocks, that excell in pride,
And full of Argus eyes their tayles dispredden wide.

XVIII

But this was drawne of six unequall beasts,
On which her six sage counsellours did ryde,
Taught to obay their bestiall beheasts,
With like conditions to their kindes applyde:
Of which the first, that all the rest did guyde,
Was sluggish Idlenesse, the nourse of sin;
Upon a slouthfull asse he chose to ryde,
Arayd in habit blacke, and amis thin,
Like to an holy monck, the service to begin.

XIX

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

XX

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

XXI

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

XXII

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

XXIII

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

XXIV

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

XXV

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

XXVI

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

XXVII

And greedy Avarice by him did ride,
Uppon a camell loaden all with gold:
Two iron coffers hong on either side,
With precious metall full as they might hold,
And in his lap an heap of coine he told;
For of his wicked pelfe his god he made,
And unto hell him selfe for money sold:
Accursed usury was all his trade;
And right and wrong ylike in equall ballaunce waide.

XXVIII

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

XXIX

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

XXX

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

XXXI

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

XXXII

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

XXXIII

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

XXXIV

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

XXXV

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

XXXVI

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

XXXVII

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

XXXVIII

So having solaced themselves a space,
With pleasaunce of the breathing fields yfed,
They backe retourned to the princely place;
Whereas an errant knight, in armes ycled,
And heathnish shield, wherein with letters red
Was writt Sans joy, they new arrived find:
Enflam'd with fury and fiers hardyhed,
He seemd in hart to harbour thoughts unkind,
And nourish bloody vengeaunce in his bitter mind.

XXXIX

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

XL

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

XLI

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

XLII

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

XLIII

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

XLIV

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

XLV

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

XLVI

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

XLVII

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

XLVIII

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

XLIX

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

L

'O! but I feare the fickle freakes,' quoth shee,
'Of Fortune false, and oddes of armes in field.'
'Why, dame,' quoth he, 'what oddes can ever bee,
Where both doe fight alike, to win or yield?'
'Yea, but,' quoth she, 'he beares a charmed shield,
And eke enchaunted armes, that none can perce,
Ne none can wound the man, that does them wield.'
'Charmd or enchaunted,' answerd he then ferce,
'I no whitt reck, ne you the like need to reherce.

LI

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

CANTO V

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

I

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

II

At last, the golden orientall gate
Of greatest heaven gan to open fayre,
And Phoebus, fresh as brydegrome to his mate,
Came dauncing forth, shaking his deawie hayre,
And hurld his glistring beams through gloomy ayre.
Which when the wakeful Elfe perceivd, streight way
He started up, and did him selfe prepayre
In sunbright armes, and battailous array:
For with that Pagan proud he combatt will that day.

III

And forth he comes into the commune hall,
Where earely waite him many a gazing eye,
To weet what end to straunger knights may fall.
There many minstrales maken melody,
To drive away the dull melancholy,
And many bardes, that to the trembling chord
Can tune their timely voices cunningly,
And many chroniclers, that can record
Old loves, and warres for ladies doen by many a lord.

IV

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

V

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

VI

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

VII

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

VIII

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

IX

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

X

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

XI

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

XII

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

XIII

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

XIV

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

XV

Not all so satisfide, with greedy eye
He sought all round about, his thristy blade
To bathe in blood of faithlesse enimy;
Who all that while lay hid in secret shade:
He standes amazed, how he thence should fade.
At last the trumpets triumph sound on hie,
And running heralds humble homage made
Greeting him goodly with new victorie,
And to him brought the shield, the cause of enmitie.

XVI

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

XVII

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

XVIII

As when a wearie traveiler, that strayes
By muddy shore of broad seven-mouthed Nile,
Unweeting of the perillous wandring wayes,
Doth meete a cruell craftie crocodile,
Which, in false griefe hyding his harmefull guile,
Doth weepe full sore, and sheddeth tender teares:
The foolish man, that pitties all this while
His mournefull plight, is swallowd up unwares,
Forgetfull of his owne, that mindes an others cares.

XIX

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

XX

Where griesly Night, with visage deadly sad,
That Phoebus chearefull face durst never vew,
And in a foule blacke pitchy mantle clad,
mew,
Where she all day did hide her hated hew.
Before the dore her yron charet stood,
Already harnessed for journey new;
And coleblacke steedes yborne of hellish brood,
That on their rusty bits did champ, as they were wood.

XXI

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

XXII

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

XXIII

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

XXIV

'Up, then! up, dreary dame, of darknes queene!
Go gather up the reliques of thy race,
Or else goe them avenge, and let be seene
That dreaded Night in brightest day hath place,
And can the children of fayre Light deface.'
Her feeling speaches some compassion mov'd
In hart, and chaunge in that great mothers face:
Yet pitty in her hart was never prov'd
Till then: for evermore she hated, never lov'd:

XXV

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

XXVI

'Yet shall they not escape so freely all;
For some shall pay the price of others guilt:
And he, the man that made Sansfoy to fall,
Shall with his owne blood price that he hath spilt.
But what art thou, that telst of nephews kilt?'
'I, that do seeme not I, Duessa ame,'
Quoth she, 'how ever now, in garments gilt
And gorgeous gold arayd, I to thee came;
Duessa I, the daughter of Deceipt and Shame.'

XXVII

Then bowing downe her aged backe, she kist
The wicked witch, saying: 'In that fayre face
The false resemblaunce of Deceipt, I wist,
Did closely lurke; yet so true-seeming grace
It carried, that I scarse in darksome place
Could it discerne, though I the mother bee
Of Falshood, and roote of Duessaes race.
O welcome, child, whom I have longd to see,
And now have seene unwares! Lo, now I goe with thee.'

XXVIII

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

XXIX

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

XXX

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

XXXI

Thence turning backe in silence softe they stole,
And brought the heavy corse with easy pace
To yawning gulfe of deepe Avernus hole.
By that same hole an entraunce, darke and bace,
With smoake and sulphur hiding all the place,
Descends to hell: there creature never past,
That backe retourned without heavenly grace;
But dreadfull Furies, which their chaines have brast,
And damned sprights sent forth to make ill men aghast.

XXXII

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

XXXIII

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

XXXIV

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

XXXV

There was Ixion turned on a wheele,
For daring tempt the queene of heaven to sin;
And Sisyphus an huge round stone did reele
Against an hill, ne might from labour lin;
There thristy Tantalus hong by the chin;
And Tityus fed a vultur on his maw;
Typhaeus joynts were stretched on a gin;
Theseus condemned to endlesse slouth by law;
And fifty sisters water in leke vessels draw.

XXXVI

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

XXXVII

Hippolytus a jolly huntsman was,
That wont in charett chace the foming bore;
He all his peeres in beauty did surpas,
But ladies love, as losse of time, forbore:
His wanton stepdame loved him the more;
But when she saw her offred sweets refusd,
Her love she turnd to hate, and him before
His father fierce of treason false accusd,
And with her gealous termes his open eares abusd.

XXXVIII

Who, all in rage, his sea-god syre besought,
Some cursed vengeaunce on his sonne to cast:
From surging gulf two monsters streight were brought,
With dread whereof his chacing steedes aghast
Both charett swifte and huntsman overcast.
His goodly corps, on ragged cliffs yrent,
Was quite dismembred, and his members chast
Scattered on every mountaine as he went,
That of Hippolytus was lefte no moniment.

XXXIX

His cruell stepdame, seeing what was donne,
Her wicked daies with wretched knife did end,
In death avowing th' innocence of her sonne.
Which hearing, his rash syre began to rend
His heare, and hasty tong, that did offend:
Tho, gathering up the relicks of his smart,
By Dianes meanes, who was Hippolyts frend,
Them brought to Aesculape, that by his art
Did heale them all againe, and joyned every part.

XL

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

XLI

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

XLII

'Ah! dame,' quoth he, 'thou temptest me in vaine
To dare the thing, which daily yet I rew,
And the old cause of my continued paine
With like attempt to like end to renew.
Is not enough, that, thrust from heaven dew,
Here endlesse penaunce for one fault I pay,
But that redoubled crime with vengeaunce new
Thou biddest me to eeke? Can Night defray
The wrath of thundring Jove, that rules both Night and Day?'

XLIII

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

XLIV

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

XLV

The false Duessa, leaving noyous Night,
Returnd to stately pallace of Dame Pryde;
Where when she came, she found the Faery knight
Departed thence, albee his woundes wyde,
Not throughly heald, unready were to ryde
Good cause he had to hasten thence away;
For on a day his wary dwarfe had spyde
Where, in a dungeon deepe, huge nombers lay
Of caytive wretched thralls, that wayled night and day:

XLVI

A ruefull sight as could be seene with eie:
Of whom he learned had in secret wise
The hidden cause of their captivitie;
How mortgaging their lives to Covetise,
Through wastfull pride and wanton riotise,
They were by law of that proud tyrannesse,
Provokt with Wrath, and Envyes false surmise,
Condemned to that dongeon mercilesse,
Where they should live in wo, and dye in wretchednesse.

XLVII

There was that great proud king of Babylon,
That would compell all nations to adore,
And him as onely God to call upon,
Till, through celestiall doome thrown out of dore,
Into an oxe he was transformd of yore:
There also was King Croesus, that enhaunst
His hart too high through his great richesse store;
And proud Antiochus, the which advaunst
His cursed hand gainst God, and on his altares daunst.

XLVIII

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

XLIX

All these together in one heape were throwne,
Like carkases of beastes in butchers stall.
And, in another corner, wide were strowne
The antique ruins of the Romanes fall:
Great Romulus, the grandsyre of them all,
Proud Tarquin, and too lordly Lentulus,
Stout Scipio, and stubborne Hanniball,
Ambitious Sylla, and sterne Marius,
High Caesar, great Pompey, and fiers Antonius.

L

Amongst these mightie men were wemen mixt,
Proud wemen, vaine, forgetfull of their yoke:
The bold Semiramis, whose sides, transfixt
With sonnes own blade, her fowle reproches spoke;
Fayre Sthenobaea, that her selfe did choke
With wilfull chord, for wanting of her will;
High minded Cleopatra, that with stroke
Of aspes sting her selfe did stoutly kill:
And thousands moe the like, that did that dongeon fill.

LI

Besides the endlesse routes of wretched thralles,
Which thether were assembled day by day,
From all the world, after their wofull falles
Through wicked pride and wasted welthes decay.
But most, of all which in that dongeon lay,
Fell from high princes courtes, or ladies bowres,
Where they in ydle pomp, or wanton play,
Consumed had their goods, and thriftlesse howres,
And lastly thrown themselves into these heavy stowres.

LII

Whose case whenas the carefull dwarfe had tould,
And made ensample of their mournfull sight
Unto his maister, he no lenger would
There dwell in perill of like painefull plight,
But earely rose, and ere that dawning light
Discovered had the world to heaven wyde,
He by a privy posterne tooke his flight,
That of no envious eyes he mote be spyde:
For doubtlesse death ensewed, if any him descryde.

LIII

Scarse could he footing find in that fowle way,
For many corses, like a great lay-stall,
Of murdred men, which therein strowed lay,
Without remorse or decent funerall:
Which al through that great princesse pride did fall
And came to shamefull end. And them besyde,
Forth ryding underneath the castell wall,
A donghill of dead carcases he spyde,
The dreadfull spectacle of that sad House of Pryde.

CANTO VI

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

I

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

II

Yet sad he was, that his too hastie speed
The fayre Duess' had forst him leave behind;
And yet more sad, that Una, his deare dreed,
Her truth had staynd with treason so unkind:
Yet cryme in her could never creature find,
But for his love, and for her own selfe sake,
She wandred had from one to other Ynd,
Him for to seeke, ne ever would forsake,
Till her unwares the fiers Sansloy did overtake.

III

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

IV

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

V

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

VI

The pitteous mayden, carefull comfortlesse,
Does throw out thrilling shriekes, and shrieking cryes,
The last vaine helpe of wemens great distresse,
And with loud plaintes importuneth the skyes;
That molten starres doe drop like weeping eyes,
And Phoebus, flying so most shamefull sight,
His blushing face in foggy cloud implyes,
And hydes for shame. What witt of mortall wight
Can now devise to quitt a thrall from such a plight?

VII

Eternall Providence, exceeding thought,
Where none appeares can make her selfe a way:
A wondrous way it for this lady wrought,
From lyons clawes to pluck the gryped pray.
Her shrill outcryes and shrieks so loud did bray,
That all the woodes and forestes did resownd;
A troupe of Faunes and Satyres far a way
Within the wood were dauncing in a rownd,
Whiles old Sylvanus slept in shady arber sownd.

VIII

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

IX

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

X

She, more amazd, in double dread doth dwell;
And every tender part for feare does shake:
As when a greedy wolfe, through honger fell,
A seely lamb far from the flock does take,
Of whom he meanes his bloody feast to make,
A lyon spyes fast running towards him,
The innocent pray in hast he does forsake,
Which, quitt from death, yet quakes in every lim
With chaunge of feare, to see the lyon looke so grim.

XI

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

XII

The doubtfull damzell dare not yet committ
Her single person to their barbarous truth,
But still twixt feare and hope amazd does sitt,
Late learnd what harme to hasty trust ensu'th:
They, in compassion of her tender youth,
And wonder of her beautie soverayne,
Are wonne with pitty and unwonted ruth,
And all prostrate upon the lowly playne,
Doe kisse her feete, and fawne on her with count'nance fayne.

XIII

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

XIV

And all the way their merry pipes they sound,
That all the woods with doubled eccho ring,
And with their horned feet doe weare the ground,
Leaping like wanton kids in pleasant spring.
So towards old Sylvanus they her bring;
Who with the noyse awaked, commeth out
To weet the cause, his weake steps governing
And aged limbs on cypresse stadle stout;
And with an yvie twyne his waste is girt about.

XV

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

XVI

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

XVII

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

XVIII

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

XIX

Glad of such lucke, the luckelesse lucky mayd
Did her content to please their feeble eyes,
And long time with that salvage people stayd,
To gather breath in many miseryes.
During which time her gentle wit she plyes,
To teach them truth, which worshipt her in vaine,
And made her th' image of idolatryes;
But when their bootlesse zeale she did restrayne
From her own worship, they her asse would worship fayn.

XX

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

XXI

A Satyres sonne yborne in forrest wyld,
By straunge adventure as it did betyde,
And there begotten of a lady myld,
Fayre Thyamis the daughter of Labryde,
That was in sacred bandes of wedlocke tyde
To Therion, a loose unruly swayne,
Who had more joy to raunge the forrest wyde,
And chase the salvage beast with busie payne,
Then serve his ladies love, and waste in pleasures vayne.

XXII

The forlorne mayd did with loves longing burne,
And could not lacke her lovers company,
But to the wood she goes, to serve her turne,
And seeke her spouse, that from her still does fly,
And followes other game and venery.
A Satyre chaunst her wandring for to finde,
And kindling coles of lust in brutish eye,
The loyall linkes of wedlocke did unbinde,
And made her person thrall unto his beastly kind.

XXIII

So long in secret cabin there he held
Her captive to his sensuall desyre,
Till that with timely fruit her belly sweld,
And bore a boy unto that salvage syre:
Then home he suffred her for to retyre,
For ransome leaving him the late-borne childe;
Whom, till to ryper yeares he gan aspyre,
He nousled up in life and manners wilde,
Emongst wild beastes and woods, from lawes of men exilde.

XXIV

For all he taught the tender ymp was but
To banish cowardize and bastard feare:
His trembling hand he would him force to put
Upon the lyon and the rugged beare,
And from the she beares teats her whelps to teare;
And eke wyld roring buls he would him make
To tame, and ryde their backes not made to beare;
And the robuckes in flight to overtake:
That everie beast for feare of him did fly and quake.

XXV

Thereby so fearelesse and so fell he grew,
That his owne syre and maister of his guise
Did often tremble at his horrid vew,
And oft, for dread of hurt, would him advise
The angry beastes not rashly to despise,
Nor too much to provoke: for he would learne
The lyon stoup to him in lowly wise,
(A lesson hard) and make the libbard sterne
Leave roaring, when in rage he for revenge did earne.

XXVI

And for to make his powre approved more,
Wyld beastes in yron yokes he would compell;
The spotted panther, and the tusked bore,
The pardale swift, and the tigre cruell,
The antelope, and wolfe both fiers and fell;
And them constraine in equall teme to draw.
Such joy he had their stubborne harts to quell,
And sturdie courage tame with dreadfullaw,
That his beheast they feared, as a tyrans law.

XXVII

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

XXVIII

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

XXIX

In these and like delightes of bloody game
He trayned was, till ryper yeares he raught;
And there abode, whylst any beast of name
Walkt in that forrest, whom he had not taught
To feare his force: and then his courage haught
Desyrd of forreine foemen to be knowne,
And far abroad for straunge adventures sought:
In which his might was never overthrowne,
But through al Faery Lond his famous worth was blown.

XXX

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

XXXI

He wondred at her wisedome hevenly rare,
Whose like in womens witt he never knew;
And when her curteous deeds he did compare,
Gan her admire, and her sad sorrowes rew,
Blaming of Fortune, which such troubles threw,
And joyd to make proofe of her cruelty
On gentle dame, so hurtlesse and so trew:
Thenceforth he kept her goodly company,
And learned her discipline of faith and verity.

XXXII

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

XXXIII

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

XXXIV

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

XXXV

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

XXXVI

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

XXXVII

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

XXXVIII

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

XXXIX

'Ah, dearest Lord!' quoth she, 'how might that bee,
And he the stoutest knight, that ever wonne?'
'Ah, dearest dame,' quoth hee, 'how might I see
The thing, that might not be, and yet was donne?'
'Where is,' said Satyrane, 'that Paynims sonne,
That him of life, and us of joy, hath refte?'
'Not far away,' quoth he, 'he hence doth wonne,
Foreby a fountaine, where I late him lefte
Washing his bloody wounds, that through the steele were cleft.'

XL

Therewith the knight thence marched forth in hast,
Whiles Una, with huge heavinesse opprest,
Could not for sorrow follow him so fast;
And soone he came, as he the place had ghest,
Whereas that Pagan proud him selfe did rest
In secret shadow by a fountaine side:
Even he it was, that earst would have supprest
Faire Una: whom when Satyrane espide,
With foule reprochfull words he boldly him defide;

XLI

And said: 'Arise, thou cursed miscreaunt,
That hast with knightlesse guile and treacherous train
Faire knighthood fowly shamed, and doest vaunt
That good Knight of the Redcrosse to have slain:
Arise, and with like treason now maintain
Thy guilty wrong, or els thee guilty yield.'
The Sarazin, this hearing, rose amain,
And catching up in hast his three square shield
And shining helmet, soone him buckled to the field;

XLII

And, drawing nigh him, said: 'Ah, misborn Elfe!
In evill houre thy foes thee hither sent,
Anothers wrongs to wreak upon thy selfe:
Yet ill thou blamest me, for having blent
My name with guile and traiterous intent:
That Redcrosse Knight, perdie, I never slew;
But had he beene where earst his armes were lent,
Th' enchaunter vaine his errour should not rew:
But thou his errour shalt, I hope, now proven trew.'

XLIII

Therewith they gan, both furious and fell,
To thunder blowes, and fiersly to assaile
Each other, bent his enimy to quell;
That with their force they perst both plate and maile,
And made wide furrowes in their fleshes fraile,
That it would pitty any living eie.
Large floods of blood adowne their sides did raile;
But floods of blood could not them satisfie:
Both hongred after death: both chose to win, or die.

XLIV

So long they fight, and fell revenge pursue,
That, fainting each, them selves to breathen lett,
And, ofte refreshed, battell oft renue:
As when two bores, with rancling malice mett,
Their gory sides fresh bleeding fiercely frett,
Til breathlesse both them selves aside retire,
Where, foming wrath, their cruell tuskes they whett,
And trample th' earth, the whiles they may respire;
Then backe to fight againe, new breathed and entire.

XLV

So fiersly, when these knights had breathed once,
They gan to fight retourne, increasing more
Their puissant force and cruell rage attonce,
With heaped strokes more hugely then before,
That with their drery wounds and bloody gore
They both deformed, scarsely could bee known.
By this, sad Una fraught with anguish sore,
Led with their noise, which through the aire was thrown,
Arriv'd, wher they in erth their fruitles blood had sown.

XLVI

Whom all so soone as that proud Sarazin
Espide, he gan revive the memory
Of his leud lusts, and late attempted sin,
And lefte the doubtfull battell hastily,
To catch her, newly offred to his eie:
But Satyrane, with strokes him turning, staid,
And sternely bad him other businesse plie
Then hunt the steps of pure unspotted maid:
Wherewith he al enrag'd, these bitter speaches said:

XLVII

'O foolish Faeries sonne! what fury mad
Hath thee incenst to hast thy dolefull fate?
Were it not better I that lady had
Then that thou hadst repented it too late?
Most sencelesse man he, that himselfe doth hate,
To love another. Lo then, for thine ayd,
Here take thy lovers token on thy pate.'

So they two fight; the whiles the royall mayd
Fledd farre away, of that proud Paynim sore afrayd.

XLVIII

But that false pilgrim, which that leasing told,
Being in deed old Archimage, did stay
In secret shadow, all this to behold,
And much rejoyced in their bloody fray:
But when he saw the damsell passe away,
He left his stond, and her pursewd apace,
In hope to bring her to her last decay.
But for to tell her lamentable cace,
And eke this battels end, will need another place.





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