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Wherewith he gript her gorge with so great | That détestable sight him much amaz’d, pain,
[constrain. To see th' unkindly imps, of heaven accurst, That soon to loose her wicked bands did her Devour their dam ; on whom while so he gaz'd,
Having all satisfied their bloody thirst, Therewith she spu'd out of her filthy maw Their bellies swoln he saw with fulness burst, A flood of poison horrible and black,
And bowels gushing forth : well worthy end Full of great lumps of flesh and gobbets raw,
Of such, as drunk her life, the which them Which stunk so vilely, that it forc'd him slack
nurst! His grasping hold, and from her turn him back : 1 Now needeth him no longer labor spend, Her vomit full of books and papers was,
His foes have slain themselves, with whom he With loathly frogs and toads, which eyes did
should contend. lack, And creeping sought way in the weedy grass : His Lady seeing all, that chanc'd, from far, Her filthy parbreake i all the place defiléd has. Approach'd in haste to greet his victory;
And said, “ Fair Knight, born under happy star, As when old father Nilus gins to swell
Who see your vanquisht foes before you lie ; With timely pride above the Egyptian vale,
Well worthy be you of that armoury, His fatty waves do fertile slime outwell,
Wherein ye have great glory won this day, And overflow each plain and lowly dale :
And prov'd your strength on a strong enemy; But, when his later ebb gins to avale, [breed
Your first adventure: many such I pray, Huge heaps of mud he leaves, wherein there
And henceforth ever wish that like succeed it Ten thousand kinds of creatures, partly male
may!” And partly female, of his fruitful seed; Such ugly monstrous shapes elsewhere may no
Then mounted he upon his steed again, man reed.
And with the Lady backward sought to wend :
That path he kept, which beaten was most The same so sore annoyéd has the Knight, That, well-nigh chokéd with the deadly stink,
Ne ever would to any by-way bend ; His forces fail, ne can no longer fight.
But still did follow one unto the end, Whose courage when the Fiend perceiv'd to
The which at last out of the wood them brought. shrink, She poured forth out of her hellish sink
So forward on his way (with God to friend)
He passéd forth and new adventure sought: Her fruitful cursed spawn of serpents small, I (Deformed monsters, foul, and black as ink,)
Long way he travelled, before he heard of aught. Which swarming all about his legs did crawl,
At length they chanc'd to meet upon the way And him encumber'd sore, but could not hurt at all.
An aged Sire, in long black weeds yclad,
His feet all bare, his beard all hoary gray, As gentle shepherd in sweet eventide,
And by his belt his book he hanging had; When ruddy Phæbus gins to welke? in west,
Sober he seem'd, and very sagely sad; High on an hill, his flock to vewen wide,
And to the ground his eyes were lowly bent, Marks which do bite their hasty supper best;
Simple in show, and yoid of malice bad; A cloud of cumbrous gnats do him molest,
And all the way he prayéd, as he went, All striving to infix their feeble stings,
And often knockt his breast, as one that did reThat from their noyance he no where can rest ; But with his clownish hands their tender wings
pent. He brusheth oft, and oft doth mar their murmur
He fair the Knight saluted, louting low, ings;
Who fair him quited, as that courteous was; Thus ill bested, and fearful more of shame
And after asked him, if he did know Than of the certain peril he stood in,
Of strange adventures, which abroad did pass. Half furious unto his foe he came,
"Ah! my dear son," quoth he,“ how should,
alas! Resolv'd in mind all suddenly to win, Or soon to lose, before he once would lin ; 3
Silly old man, that lives in hidden cell,
Bidding his beads all day for his trespass, And stroke at her with more than manly force, That from her body, full of filthy sin,
Tidings of war and worldly trouble tell ? ' He reft her hateful head without remorse :
With holy father sits not with such things to mell. A stream of coal-black blood forth gushéd from
But if of danger, which hereby doth dwell, her corse.
And homebred evil ye desire to hear, Her scatter'd brood, soon as their parent dear
Of a strange man I can you tidings tell, They saw so rudely falling to the ground,
That wasteth all this country far and near.” Groaning full deadly all with troublous fear,
"Of such,” said he, “I chiefly do inquere ; Gather'd themselves about her body round,
And shall thee well reward to show the place, Weening their wonted entrance to have found
In which that wicked wight his days doth wear: At her wide mouth; but, being there withstood,
For to all knighthood it is foul disgrace, They flocked all about her bleeding wound,
That such a cursed creature lives so long a space." And suckéd up their dying mother's blood; Making her death their life, and eke her hurt “Far hence,” quoth he, “in wasteful wilderness their good.
His dwelling is, by which no living wight
May ever pass, but thorough great distress." I Vornit. ? Wane.
“Now," said the Lady,“ draweth toward night; And well I wote, that of your later fight
3 Give way.
To aid his friends, or fray his enemies : Ye all forwearied be; for what so strong, Of those he chose out two, the falsest two, But, wanting rest, will also want of might? And fittest for to forge true-seeming lies;
The sun, that measures heaven all day long, The one of them he gave a message to, At night doth bait his steeds the ocean waves | The other by himself stay'd other work to do. among.
He, making speedy way through sperséd air, Then with the sun take, Sir, your timely rest, And through the world of waters wide and deep, And with new day new work at once begin : To Morpheus' house doth hastily repair. Untroubled night, they say, gives counsel best." | Amid the bowels of the earth full steep, “Right well, Sir Knight, ye have advised bin," And low, where dawning day doth never peep, Quoth then that aged man; “the way to win His dwelling is; there Tethys his wet bed Is wisely to advise : now day is spent;
Doth ever wash, and Cynthia still doth steep Therefore with me ye may take up your inn In silver dew his ever-drooping head, For this same night." The Knight was well While sad Night over him her mantle black doth content:
spread. So with that godly Father to his home they went.
Whose double gates he findeth locked fast; A little lowly hermitage it was,
The one fair fram'd of burnisht ivory, Down in a dale, hard by a forest's side,
The other all with silver overcast; Far from resort of people, that did pass
And wakeful dogs before them far do lie, In travel to and fro: a little wide
Watching to banish Care their enemy, There was an holy chapel edified,
Who oft is wont to trouble gentle Sleep. Wherein the Hermit duly wont to say
By them the sprite doth pass in quietly, His holy things each morn and eventide : And unto Morpheus comes, whom drowned deep
Thereby a crystal stream did gently play, In drowsy fit he finds ; of nothing he takes keep. Which from a sacred fountain welléd forth alway.
And, more to lull him in his slumber soft, Arrivéd there, the little house they fill,
A trickling stream from high rock tumbling Ne look for entertainment, where none was ;
down, Rest is their feast, and all things at their will : 1 And ever-drizzling rain upon the loft, [sown The noblest mind the best contentment has. Mixt with a murm'ring wind, much like the With fair discourse the evening so they pass ; Of swarming bees, did cast him in a swown. For that old man of pleasing words had store, No other noise, nor people's troublous cries, And well could file his tongue, as smooth as As still are wont t' annoy the walléd town, glass :
Might there be heard : but careless Quiet lies, He told of saints and popes, and evermore Wrapt in eternal silence far from enemies. He strow'd an Ave-Mary after and before.
The messenger, approaching, to him spake; The drooping night thus creepeth on them fast; But his waste words return'd to him in vain : And the sad humor loading their eye-lids, So sound he slept, that naught might him awake. As messenger of Morpheus, on them cast Then rudely he him thrust, and pusht with pain, Sweet slumb’ring dew, the which to sleep them Whereat he gan to stretch : but he again bids.
Shook him so hard, that forcéd him to speak. Unto their lodgings then his guests he riddes : 1 As one then in a dream, whose drier brain Where when all drown'd in deadly sleep he Is tost with troubled sights and fancies weak, finds,
He mumbled soft, but would not all his silence He to his study goes ; and there amiddes
break. His magic books, and arts of sundry kinds, He seeks out mighty charms to trouble sleepy | The Sprite then gan more boldly him to wake, minds.
And threat'ned unto him the dreaded name
Of Hecaté: whereat he gan to quake, Then choosing out few words most horrible, And, listing up his lumpish head, with blame (Let none them read !) thereof did verses frame; Half angry asked him, for what he came. With which, and other spells like terrible, “ Hither," quoth he, “me Archimago sent, He bade awake black Pluto's griely dame; He that the stubbom sprites can wisely tame; And cursed heaven; and spake reproachful He bids thee to him send for his intent, shame
A fit false dream, that can delude the sleeper's Of highest God, the Lord of life and light.
. sent." 2 A bold bad man! that dar'd to call by name Great Gorgon, prince of darkness and dead The god obey'd; and, calling forth straightway night;
[flight. A diverse dream out of his prison dark, At which Cocytus quakes, and Styx is put to Deliver'd it to him, and down did lay
His heavy head, devoid of careful cark; And forth he call'd out of deep darkness dread Whose senses all were straight benumb'd and Legions of sprites, the which, like little flies,
stark. Flutt'ring about his ever-damnéd head,
He, back returning by the ivory door, Await whereto their service he applies,
Remounted up as light as cheerful lark ;
And on his little wings the dream he bore And said, “ Ah sir, my liege lord, and my love, In haste unto his lord, where he him left afore. Shall I accuse the hidden cruel fate,
And mighty causes wrought in heaven above, Who all this while, with charms and hidden Or the blind god, that doth me thus amate, arts,
For hopéd love, to win me certain hate Had made a lady of that other spright,
Yet thus perforce he bids me do, or die. And fram'd of liquid air ber tender parts, Die is my due; yet rue my wretched state, So lively, and so like in all men's sight,
You, whom my hard avenging destiny That weaker sense it could have ravisht quite: / Hath made judge of my life or death indifferently: The maker self, for all his wondrous wit, Was nigh beguiled with so goodly sight. Your own dear sake forc'd me at first to leave Her all in white he clad, and over it
My father's kingdom "_There she stopt with Cast a black stole, most like to seem for Una fit.
Her swollen heart her speech seem'd to be. Now when that idle dream was to him brought, And then again begun; “ My weaker years, Unto that Elfin Knight he bade him fly,
Captiv'd to fortune and frail worldly fears, Where he slept soundly void of evil thought, Fly to your faith for succor and sure aid : And with false shows abuse his fantasy;
Let me not die in languor and long tears.” In sort as he him schooléd privily.
“Why, dame," quoth he, “what hath ye thus And that new creature, born without her due,
[affray'd ?" Full of the maker's guile, with usage sly What frayes ye, that were wont to comfort me
He taught to imitate that Lady true, Whose semblance she did carry under feignéd hue. “Love of yourself,” she said, “and dear con.
straint, Thus, well instructed, to their work they haste; Lets me not sleep, but waste the weary night And, coming where the Knight in slumber lay, In secret anguish and unpitied plaint, The one upon his hardy head him plac'd, Whiles you in careless sleep are drowned And made him dream of loves and lustful play;
(Knight That nigh his manly heart did melt away, Her doubtful words made that redoubted Bathéd in wanton bliss and wicked joy.
Suspect her truth; yet since no' untruth be Then seeméd him his Lady by him lay,
knew, And to him plain'd, how that false wingéd boy Her fawning love with foul disdainful spite Her chaste heart had subdu'd to learn dame Pleas He would not shend ;3 but said, “Dear dame, I ure's toy ;
That for my sake unknown such grief unto you And she herself, of beauty sov'reign queen, Fair Venus, seem'd unto his bed to bring “Assure yourself, it fell not all to ground; Her, whom he, waking, evermore did ween For all so dear, as life is to my heart, To be the chastest flower that aye did spring I deem your love, and hold me to you bound : On earthly branch, the daughter of a king, Ne let vain fears procure your needless smart, Now a looge leman to vile service bound : Where cause is none; but to your rest depart.” And eke the Graces seemed all to sing
Not all content, yet seem'd she to appease Hymen, lö Hymen, dancing all around;
Her mournful plaints, beguiléd of her art, Whilst freshest Flora her with ivy garland And fed with words, that could not choose but crown'd.
So, sliding softly forth, she turn'd as to her ease. In this great passion of unwonted lust, Or wonted fear of doing aught amiss,
Long after lay he musing at her mood, He starteth up, as seeming to mistrust
Much griev'd to think that gentle Dame so light, Some secret ill, or hidden foe of his :
For whose defence he was to shed his blood. Lo, there before his face his Lady is,
At last, dull weariness of former fight Under black stole hiding her baited hook ; Having yrockt asleep his irksome sprite, And, as half blushing offer'd him to kiss, That troublous dream gan freshly toss his brain
With gentle blandishment and lovely look, With bow'rs, and beds, and ladies' dear delight: Most like that Virgin true, which for her Knight But, when he saw his labor all was vain, him took.
With that misforméd sprite he back return'd
The guileful great enchanter parts
The Redcross Knight from Truth: He stay'd his hand; and gan himself advise
Into whose stead fair Falsehood steps, To prove his sense, and tempt her feignéd
And works bim woeful ruth. truth, Wringing her hands, in women's piteous wise, By this the Northern Wagoner 4 had set
Then gan she weep, to stir up gentle ruth His sevenfold team behind the stedfast star 5 Both for her noble blood, and for her tender That was in ocean waves yet never wet, youth.
But firm is fixt, and sendeth light from far
Produced without the due qnalities of a real woman.
To all that in the wide deep wand'ring are; The royal Virgin shook off drowsyhed:
In haste was climbing up the eastern hill, And for her Dwarf, that wont to wait each Full envious that night so long his room did fill :
Then gan she wail and weep to see that woeful When those accurséd messengers of hell,
stowre. That feigning Dream, and that fair - forged Sprite,
And after him she rode with so much speed, Came to their wicked master, and gan tell As her slow beast could make; but all in Their bootless pains and ill-succeeding night:
vain : Who, all in rage to see his skilful might
For him so far had borne his light-foot steed, Deluded so, gan threaten hellish pain
Prickéd with wrath and fiery fierce disdain, And sad Prosérpine's wrath, them to affright. | That him to follow was but fruitless pain : But, when he saw his threat'ning was but Yet she her weary limbs would never rest; vain,
But every hill and dale, each wood and plain, He cast about, and searcht his baleful books again. Did search, sore grieved in her gentle breast,
He so ungently left her, whom she loved best. Eftsoones he took that miscreated Fair, And that false other sprite, on whom he spread But subtile Archimago, when his guests A seeming body of the subtile air,
He saw divided into double parts, Like a young squire, in loves and lustihed And Una wand'ring in woods and forests, His wanton days that ever loosely led,
(Th' end of his drift,) he prais'd his devilish Without regard of arms and dreaded fight:
arts, Those two he took, and in a secret bed,
That had such might over true-meaning hearts : Cover'd with darkness and misdeeming night, i Yet rests not so, but other means doth make, Them both together laid, to joy in vain delight. How he may work unto her farther smarts:
For her he hated as the hissing snake, Forthwith he runs with feignéd-faithful haste | And in her many troubles did most pleasure Unto his guest, who, after troublous sights
take. And dreams, gan now to take more sound repast;
He then devis'd himself how to disguise ; Whom suddenly he wakes with fearful frights, For by his mighty science he could take As one aghast with fiends or damnéd sprites, As many forms and shapes in seeming wise, And to him calls; “Rise, rise, unhappy swain, As ever Proteus to himself could make : That here wax old in sleep, whiles wicked Sometime a fowl, sometime a fish in lake. wights
Now like a fox, now like a dragon fell; Have knit themselves in Venus' shameful chain: That of himself he oft for fear would quake, Come, see where your false Lady doth her honor And oft would fly away. O who can tell
The hidden power of herbs, and might of magic
spell ! All in a maze he suddenly up start With sword in hand, and with the old man went;/ But now seem'd best the person to put on Who soon him brought into a secret part, Of that good Knight, his late beguiléd guest:Where that false couple were full closely menti | In mighty arms he was yclad anon, In wanton lust and lewd embracëment:
And silver shield ; upon his coward breast Which when he saw, he burnt with jealous A bloody cross, and on his craven crest
A bunch of hairs discolor'd diversely. The eye of reason was with rage yblent ; Full jolly Knight he seem'd, and well addrest;
And would have slain them in his furious ire, ! And, when he sate upon his courser free, But hardly was restrainéd of that aged sire. Saint George himself ye would have deeméd him
to be. Returning to his bed in torment great, And bitter anguish of this guilty sight,
But he, the Knight, whose semblance he did He could not rest : but did his stout heart eat,
bear, And waste his inward gall with deep despite, The true Saint George, was wand'red far away, Irksome of life, and too long ling'ring night. Still flying from his thoughts and jealous fear : At last fair Hesperus in highest sky
Will was his guide, and grief led him astray. Had spent his lamp, and brought forth dawning At last him chanc'd to meet upon the way light;
A faithless Saracen, all arm'd to point, Then up he rose, and clad him hastily;
In whose great shield was writ with letters gay The Dwarf him brought his steed: so both away Sans foy; 4 full large of limb and every joint do fly.
He was, and cared not for God or man a point.
Now when the rosy-finger'd Morning fair,
He had a fair companion of his way,
4 Without faith.
She wore, with crowns and owches garnished,
With tinsel trappings, woven like a wave,
And cleft his head : he, tumbling down alive,
With fair disport, and courting dalliance, The lady, when she saw her champion fall, She entertain'd her lover all the way:
Like the old ruins of a broken tower, But, when she saw the Knight his spear ad. Star'd not to wail his woeful funeral; vance,
But from him fled away with all her power: She soon left off her mirth and wanton play, Who after her as hastily gan scour, And bade her knight address him to the fray; / Bidding the Dwarf with him to bring away His foe was nigh at hand. He, prick'd with The Saracen's shield, sign of the conqueror ;. pride,
Her soon he overtook, and bade to stay; And hope to win his lady's heart that day, For present cause was none of dread her to disForth spurréd fast; adown his courser's side
may. The red blood trickling stain'd the way, as he did ride.
She turning back, with rueful countenance,
(ried, “Mercy, mercy, Sir, vouchsafe to show The Knight of the Redcross, when him he On silly dame, subject to hard mischance, spied
And to your mighty will." Her humblesse Spurting so hot with rage dispiteous,
low Gan fairly couch his spear, and towards ride: In so rich weeds, and seeming glorious show, Soon meet they both, both fell and furious, Did much emmove his stout heroic heart ; That, daunted with their forces hideous,
And said, “ Dear dame, your sudden overthrow Their steeds do stagger, and amazéd stand; Much mueth me; but now put fear apart, And eke themselves, too rudely rigorous, | And tell, both who ye be, and who that took your Astonied with the stroke of their own hand,
part." Do back rebut, and each to other yieldeth land.
Melting in tears, then gan she thus lament; As when two rams, stirr'd with ambitious “ The wretched woman, whom unhappy hour pride,
Hath now made thrall to your commandement, Fight for the rule of the rich-fleecéd flock, Before that angry heavens list to lower, Their hornéd fronts so fierce on either side And fortune false betray'd me to your power, Do meet, that, with the terror of the shock Was, (O what now availeth that I was !) Astonied, both stand senseless as a block, Born the sole daughter of an emperor ; Forgetful of the hanging victory:
He that the wide west under his rule has, So stood these twain, unmoved as a rock, | And high hath set his throne where Tiberis doth Both staring fierce, and holding idlely
pass. The broken reliques of their former cruelty.
“ He, in the first flower of my freshest age, The Saracen, sore daunted with the buffe, Betrothéd me unto the only heir Snatcheth his sword, and fiercely to him flies;
Of a most mighty king, most rich and sage; Who well it wards, and quiteth cuff with cutt': Was never prince so faithful and so fair, Each other's equal puissaunce envies,
Was never prince so meek and debonair ! And through their iron sides with cruel spies But, ere my hopéd day of spousal shone, Does seek to pierce; repining courage yields
My dearest lord fell from high honor's stair No foot to foe : the flashing fiër flies,
Into the hands of his accursed fone, i As from a forge, out of their burning shields ; | And cruelly was slain ; that shall I ever moan! And streams of purple blood now dye the verdant fields.
“ His blessed body, spoild of living breath,
Was afterward, I know not how, convey'd, “Curse on that Cross," quoth then the Saracen, And from me hid ; of whose most innocent " That keeps thy body from the bitter fitt;
death Dead long ago, I wot, that haddest bin,
When tidings came to me, unhappy maid, Had not that charm from thee forewarnéd it: 0, how great sorrow my sad soul assaid ! But vet I warn thee now assured sit,
Then forth I went his woeful corse to find, And hide thy head.” Therewith upon his And many years throughout the world I
stray'd, With rigor so outragéous he smit,
A virgin widow; whose deep-wounded mind That a large share it hew'd out of the rest. With love long time did languish, as the stricken And glancing down his shield from blame him
hind. fairly blest.
“At last it chancéd this proud Saracen Who, thereat wondrous wroth, the sleeping To meet me wand'ring; who perforce me led spark
With him away ; but yet could never win Of native virtue gan eftsoones revive;
The fort, that ladies hold in sovereign dread. And, at his haughty helmet making mark, So hugely stroke, that it the steel did rive,