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The greatest Earth bis úncouth mother was, From that day forth Dnessa was his deare,
And triple crowne set on her head full hye,
And peoples hartes with awfull terror tye,
Such one it was as that renowmed snake So growen great, through arrogant delight
Which great Alcides in Stremona slew, Of th' high descent whereof he was y borne,
Long fostred in the filth of Lerna lake: And through presimption of his matchlesse might, whose many heades out-budding ever new All other powres and knighthood he did scorne.
Did breed him endlesse labor to subdew. Such now he marcheth to this man for'orne,
But this same monster much more ugly was; And left to losse; his stalking.steps are stayde
For seven great heads out of his body grew, Upon a snaggy oke, which he had torne Out of his mothers bowelles, and it made [mayde. And all embrewd in blood his eyes did shine as glas.
An yron brest, and back of scaly bras, His mortall mace, wherewith his foemen he disThat, when the knight he spyde, he gan advaunce His tayle was stretched out in wondrous length, With buge force and insupportable mayne,
That to the hous of hevenly gods it raught; And towardes him with dreadfull fury praunce;
And with extorted powre, and borrow'd strength, Who haplesse, and eke hopelesse, all in vaine
The everburning lamps from thence it braught, Did to hiin pace sad battaile to darrayne,
And prowdly threw to ground, as things of naught; Disarmd, disgra-te, and inwardly dismayde;
And underneath his filthy feet did tread And eke so faint in every ioynt and vayne,
The sacred thinges, and holy heastes foretaught. Through that fraile fountain, which him feeble made, upon this dreadfull beast with sevenfold head That scarsely could he weeld his bootlesse single He sett the false Duessa, for more aw and dread. blade.
The wofull dwarfe, which saw his maisters fall, The geaunt strouke so maynly mercilesse,
(Whiles he had keeping of his grasing steed) That could have overthrowne a stony towre; And valiant knight become a caytive thrall; Anil, were not hevenly grace that did him blesse, When all was past, tooke up his forlorne weed; He had beene pouldred all, as thin as flowre; His mightie armour, missing most at need; Båt he was wary of that deadly stowre,
His silver shield, now idle, maisterlesse; And I ghtly lept from underneath the blow : His poypant speare, that many made to bleed; Yet so exceeding was the villeins powre,
The rueful moniments of heavinesse; (tresse. That with the winde it did him overthrow,
And with them all departes, to tell his great disAnd all his sences stoond, that still he lay full low.
He had not travaild long, when on the way As when that direlish yron engin, wrought
He wofull lady, wofull Una, met In deepest Hell, and framd by Furies skill,
Fast dying from that Paynims greedy pray, With windy nitre and quick sulphur fraught,
Whilest Satyrane him from pursuit did let : And rame with boilet rownd, ordaind to kill,
Who when her eyes she on the dwarf had set, Conce reth fyre; the Heavens it doth fill With thundring noyse, and all the ayre doth choke, She fell to ground for sorrow full regret,
And saw the signes that deadly tydinges spake, That none can breath, nor see, nor heare at will,
And lively breath her sad brest did forsake; Through sinouldry cloud of duskish stincking smoke; | Yet might her pitteous hart be seen to pant and That th' only breath him daunts, who hath escapt
quake. the stroke. So daunted when the geaunt saw the knight,
The messenger of so unhappie newes His leavie hand he heaved up on hye,
Would faine have dyde; dead was his bart within; And him to dust thought to have battred quight,
Yet outwardly some little comfort shewes: Untill Duessa loud to him gan crye;
At last, recovering hart, he does begin “O great Orgoglio, greatest under skye,
To rub her temples, and to chaufe her chin, O! boirl thy murtall hand for ladies sake; And everje tender part does tosse and turne: Ho'd for my sak , and doe him not to dye,
So hardly he the fitted life does win But van 'isht thine eternall bon'islave make,
Unto her native prison to retourne. [mourne: And me, tly worthy need, unio thy leman take.” Then gins her grieved ghost thus to lament and He bearkned, and did stay from further harmes, “ Ye dreary instruments of dolefull sight, To gayue so goodly gurrdon as she spake: That doe this deadly spectacle behold, So wl ingly she came into his armes,
Why doe ye lenger feed on loathed light, Why her as willingly to grace d d take,
Or liking tind to gaze on earthly mould, And was possessed of his newfound make.
Sith cruell fates the carefull threads unfould, Then up he tooke the slobred sencelesse corse; The which my life and love together tyde? And, ere he coull out of his swowne awake, Now let the stony dart of sencelesse Cold Him to his cast:e brought with hastie force, Perce to my hart, and pas through everie side; And in a dongeon deepe him threw without remoise. And let eternall night so sad sight fro me hyde.
« O, lightsome Day, the lampe of highest love, And, in the midst thereof, one pretious stone First made by him mens wandring wayes to guyde, Of wondrous worth, and eke of wondrous nights, When Darknesse be in deepest dongeon drove; Shapt like a ladies head, exceeding shone, Henceforth thy hated face for ever hyde,
Like Hesperus emongst the lesser lights, And shut up Heavens windowes shyning wyde : And strove for to amaze the weaker sights: For earthly sight can nought but sorrow breed, Thereby his mortail blade full comely hong And late repentance, which shall long abyde. In yvory sheath, ycarv'd with curious slights, Mine eyes no more on vanitie shall ferd, (meed." | Whose hilts were burnisht gold ; and handie strong But, seeled up with death, shall have their deadly Of mother perle; and buckled with a golden tong. Then downe againe she fell unto the ground; His haughtie helmet, horrid all with gold, But he her quickly reared up againe :
Both glorious brightnesse and great terrour bredd: Thrise did sbe sioke aduwne in deadly swownd, For all the crest a dragon did enfold And thrise be her rev v'd with busie paine, With greedie pawes, and over all did spredd At last when L fe recover'd had the raine,
His golden winges; his dreadfull hideous bedd, And over-wrestled his strong enimy,
Close couched on the bever, seemd to throw With foltring tong, and trembling everie vaine, From flaming mouth bright sparckles fiery redd, “ Tell on," quoth she, “the wofull tragedy, That suddeine horrour to faint hartes did show; The which these reliques sad present unto mine eye: And scaly tayle was stretcht adowne his back full
Jow. “ Tempestuous Fortune hath spent all her spight, And thrilling Sorrow throwne his utmost dart : Upon the top of all his loftie crest, Thy sad tong cannot tell more heavy plight A bounch of heares discolourd diversly, Then that I feele, and harbour in mine hart: With sprincled pearle and gold full richly drest, Who hath endur'd the whole, can beare ech part. Did shake, and seemd to daunce for iollity; If death it be; it is not the first wound,
Like to an almond tree ymounted hye That launched hath my brest with bleeding smart. On top of greene Selinis all alone, Begin, and end the bitter balefull stound;
With blossoms brave bedecked daintily ; If lesse then that I feare, more favour I have found.” Whose tender locks do tremble every one
At everie little breath, that under Heaven is blowne. Then gan the dwarfe the whole discourse declare; The subtile traines of Archimago old;
His warlike shield all closely cover'd was, The wanton loves of false Fidessa fayre,
Ne might of mortall eye be ever seene; Bought with the blood of vanquisht Paynim bold ; Not made uf steele, nor of enduring bras, The wretched payre transformd to treën mould ; (Such earthly mettals soon consumed beene) The House of Pryde, and perilles round about; But all of diamond perfect pure and cleene The combat, which he with Sansioy did bould; It framed was, one massy entire mould, The lucklesse conflict with the gyaunt stout, Hew'n out of adamant rocke with engines keene, Wherein captiv'd, of life or death he stood in doubt. That point of speare it never percen could,
Ne dint of direfull sword divide the substance would. She heard with patience all unto the end; And strove to maister sorrowfull assay,
The same to wight be never wont disclose, Which greater grew, the more she did contend, But whenas monsters huge he would dismay, And almost rent her tender bart in tway;
Or daunt unequall armies of his foes, And love fresh coles unto her.fire did lay :
Or when the flying Hearens he would affray: For greater love, the greater is the losse.
For so exceeding shone his glistring ray, Was never lady loved dearer day
That Phæbus golden face it did attaint, Then she did love the knight of the Redcrosse; As when a cloud his beames both over-lay; For whose deare sake so many troubles her did tosse. And silver Cynthia wexcd pale and faynt, (straint.
As when her face is staynd with magicke arts couAt last when fervent sorrow slaked was, She up arose, resolving him to find
No magicke arts hereof had any'might, Alive or dead; and forward forth doth pas, Nor bloody wordes of bold enchannters call; All as the dwarfe the way to her assynd;
But all that was not such as seemd in sight And evermore, in constant carefull mind,
Before that shield did fade, and suddeine fall: She fedd her wound with fresh renewed bale: And, when him list the raskall routes appall, Long tost with stormes, and bet with bitter wind, Men into stones therewith he could transmew, High over hills, and lowe adowne the dale, [vale. And stones to dust, and dust to nought at all: She wandred many a wood, and measurd many a And, when him list the prouder lookes subdew,
He would them gazing blind, or turne to other hew. At last she chaunced by good hap to meet A goodly knight, faire marching by the way, Ne let it seeme that credence this exceedes; Together with his squyre, arraved meet:
For he, that made the same, was knowne right well His glitterand armour shined far away,
To have done much more admirable deedes: Like glauncing light of Phæbus brightest ray; It Merlin was, which whylome did excell From top to toe no place appeared bare,
All living wightes in might of magicke spell: That deadly dint of steele endanger may: Both shield, and sword, and armour all he wrought Athwart his brest a bauldrick brave he ware, For this young prince, when first to armes he fell; That sbind, like twinkling stars, with stones most But, when he dyde, the Faery queene it brought pretious rare:
To Faerie lond; where yet it may be seene, if sought. A gentle youth, his dearely loved squire,
« Till that their cruell cursed enemy, His speare of heben wood behind him bare,
An huge great dragon, horrible in sight, Whose harmeful head, thrise beated in the fire, Bred in the loatbly lakes of Tartary, Had riven many a brest with pikehead square ;
With murdrous ravine, and devouring might, A goodly person; and could menage faire Their kingdome spoild, and countrey wasted quight: His stubborne steed with curbed canon bitt, Themselves, for feare into his iawes to fall, Who under him did trample as the aire,
He forst to castle strong to take their flight; And chauft, that any on his backe should sitt ; Where, fast embard in mighty brasen wall, (thral!. The yron rowels into frothy fome he bitt.
He has them now fowr years besiegd to make them Whenas this knight nigh to the lady drew, “ Full many knights, adventurous and stout, With lovely court he gan her entertaine;
Have enterpriz'd that monster to subdew: But, when he heard her aunswers loth, he knew
From every coast, that Heaven walks about, Some secret sorrow did her heart distraine:
Have thither come the noble martial crew, Which to allay, and calme ber storming paine, That famous harde atchievements still pursew; Faire feeling words he wisely gan display,
Yet never any could that girlond win, Anl, for her humor filting purpose faine,
But all still shronke; and still he greater grew; To tempt the cause it selfe for to bewray ; [to say; All they for want of faith, or guilt of sin, Wherewith enmuvd, these bleeding words she gan The pitteous pray of his fiers cruelty have bin. " What worlds delight, or ioy of living speach, Can hart, so plunged in sea of sorrowes deep,
“ At last, yled with far reported praise, And heaped with so huge m sfortunes, reach?
Which flying fame throughout the world had spred, The carefull Cold beginneth for to creep,
Of doughty knights, whom Fary land did raise, And in my heart his yron arrow steep,
That noble order hight of Maidenhed, Soone as I thinke upon my bitter hale.
Forthwith to court of Gloriane I sped, Such helplesse harmes yts better hidden keep,
Of Gloriane, great queene of glory bright, Then rip up griefe, where it may not availe;
Whose kingdomes seat Cleopolis is red; My last left comfort is my woes to weepe and waile.” There to obtaine some such redoubted knight,
That parents deare from tyrants powre deliver might. “ Ah, lady deare," quoth shen the gentle knight, “Well may I ween your griefe is wondrous great; “ Yt was my chaunce (my chaunce was faire and For wondrous great griefe groneth in my spright, There for to find a fresh unproved knight; (good) Wbi'es thus I heare you of your sorrowes treat. Whose manly hands imbrewd io guilty blood But, woefull lady, let me you intrete
Had never beene, ne ever by his might For to unfold the anguish of your bart:
Had throwne to ground the unregarded right: Mishaps are maistred by advice discrete,
Yet of his prowesse proofe he since hath made And counsell mitigates the greatest smart; (I witnes am) in many a cruell fight; Found never help, who never would his hurts impart." The groning ghosts of many one disinaide
Have felt the bitter dint of his avenging blade. “O! but,"quoth she, “great griefe will not be tould, And can more easily be thought then said."
“ And ye, the forlorne reliques of his powre, .“ Right so," quoth he; “ but he, that never would,
His biting Sword, and his devouring Speare, Could never: will to might gives greatest aid.” “But griefe," quoth she', “ does greater grow dis
Which have endured many a dreadfull stowre,
Can speake his prowesse, that did earst you beare, plaid,
And well could rule; now he hath left you heare If then it find not helpe, and breeds despaire."
To be the record of his ruefull losse, “Despaire breeds not," quoth be,“ where faith is
And of iny dolefull disaventurous deare: staid.”
( heavie record of the good Redcrosse, “ No faith so fast,” quoth she, “but flesh does
Where have ye left your lord, that could so well “ Flesh may empaire," quoth he, “but reason can
repa re." His goodly reason, and well-guided speach,
“ Well hoped I, and faire beginnings had, So deepe did settle in her gracious thought,
That he my captive languor should redeeme: That her perswaded to disclose the breach
Till all unweeting an enchaunter bad
My loyalty, not such as it did seeme,
That rather death desire then such despight. Or that your wisdome will direct my thought;
Be iudge, ye Heavens, that all things right esteeme, Or that your prowesse can me yield reliefe ; [briefe.
How I him lov'd, and love with all my might! Then heare the story sad, which I shall tell you
So thought I eke of him, and think I thought aright. “ 'The forlorne maiden, whom your eies have seene “ Thenceforth me desolate he quite forsooke, The laughing stocke of Fortunes mockeries, To wander, where wilde Fortune wonld me lead, Am th' onely daughter of a king and queene, And other bywajes he himselfe betooke, Whose parents deare (whiles equal destinies Where never foote of living wight did tread, Did ronne about, and their felicities
That brought not backe the balefull body dead; The favourable Heavens did not envy)
In which him chaunced false Duessa meete, Did spred their rule through all the territories, Mine onely foe, mine onely deadly dread ; Which Phison and Euphrates floweth by,
Who with her witchcraft, and misseeming sweete, And Gehons golden waves doe wash continually: Inveigled him to follow her desires unmeete.
you tosse ?
« At last, by subtile sleights she him betraid The same before the geaunts gate he blew, Unto his foe, a gyaunt huge and tall;
That all the castle quaked from the grownd, Who him disarmed, dissolute, dismaid,
And every dore of free-will open flew. Unwares surprised, and with mighty mall
The gyaunt selfe dismaied with that sownd, The monster mercilesse him made to fall,
Where he with his Duessa dalliaunce fownd, Whose fall did never foe before behold :
In hast came rushing forth from inner bowre, And now in darkesome dungeon, wretched thrall, With staring countenannce sterne, as one astownd, Remédilesse, for ale he doth him hold: (told.” And staggering steps, to weet what sudden stowre This is my cause of griefe, more great then may be Had wrought that horror strange, and dar'd his
dreaded powre. Ere she had ended all, she gan to faint:
And after him the proud Duessa came, But he her conforted, and faire bespake;
High mounted on her many-beaded beast; “ Certes, madáme, ye have great cause of plaint, That stoutest heart, I weene, could cause to quake. And every head was crowned on his creast,
And every head with fyrie tongue did fame, But be of cheare, and comfort to you take;
And bloody mouthed with iate cruell feast. For, till I have acquit your captive knight,
That when the knight bebeld, his mightie shild Assure your selfe, I will you not forsake.", His chearefull words reviv'd her chearelesse spright: Upon his manly arine he soone addrest,
And at him fiersly flew, with corage fild, So forth they went, the dwarfe them guiding ever
And eger greedinesse through every meinber thrild. right.
Therewith the gyaunt buckled him to fight,
And lifting up his dreadfull club on hight,
All armd with ragged snubbes and knottie graine,
Him thought at first encounter to have slaine.
But wise and wary was that noble pere;
And, lightly leaping from so monstrous maine, Who slayes the gvaunt, wounds the beast,
Did fayre avoide the violence him nere; [beare; And strips Duessa quight.
It booted nought to thinke such thunderbolts to Ay me, how many perils doe enfold
Ne shame he thought to shonne so hideous might: The righteous man, to make him daily fall, The ydle stroke, enforcing furious way, Were not that heavenly grace doth him uphold, Missing the marke of his misaymed sight, And stedfast Truth acquite him out of all!
Did fail to ground, and with his heavy sway Her love is firme, her care continuall,
So deepely dinted in the driven clay, So oft as he, through his own foolish pride
That three yardes deepe a furrow up did throw : Or weaknes, is to sinfull bands made thrall : The sad earth, wounded with so sore assay, Els should this redcrosse knight in bands have dyde, Did grone full grievous underneath the blow; For whose deliverance she this prince doth theiher And, trembling with strange feare, did like an erthguyd.
quake show. They sadly traveild thus, untill they came
As when almightie love, in wratbfull mood, Nigh to a castle builded strong and hye:
To wreake the guilt of mortall sins is bent, Then cryde the dwarfe, “ Lo! yonder is the same,
Hurles forth his thundring dart with deadly food,
Enrold in flames, and smouldung dreriment,
Through riven cloudes and molten firmament; Therefore, deare sir, your mightie powres assay." Both loftie towres aud highest trees hath rent,
The fiers threeforked engin, making way,
And all that might his angry passage stay; (clay. To see what end of fight should him befall that day. And, shooting in the earth, castes up a mount of
His boystrous club, so buried in the grownd, So with his squire, th' admirer of his might, He could not rearen up againe so light, He marched forth towardes that castle wall; But that the knight him at advantage fownd; Whose gates he fownd fast shutt, ne living wight And, whiles he strove his combred ciubbe to quight To warde the same, nor answere commers call. Out of the earth, with blade all burning bright Then tooke that squire an horne of bugle smail, He smott off his left arme, which like a block Which hong adowne his side in twisted gold Did fall to ground, depriv'd of vative might; And tasselles gay; wyde wonders over all
Large streames of blood out of the truncked stock Of that same hornes great vertues weren told,
Furth gushed, like fresh-water streame from riven Which had approved bene in uses manifold.
rocke. Was never wight that heard that shrilling sownd, Dismayed with so desperate deadly wound, But trembling feare did feel in every vaine: And eke impatient of unwonted payne, Three miles it might be easy heard arownd, He lowdly brayd with beastly yelling sownd, And ecchoes three aunswer'd it selfe againe: That all the fieldes rebellowed againe: No faulse enchauntment, por deceiptfull traine, As great a noyse, as when in Cymbrian plaine Might once abide the terror of that blast,
An heard of bulles, whom kindly rage doth sting, But presently was void and wholly vaine :
Doe for the milky mothers want complaine, No gate so strong, no locke so firme and fast, And fill the fieldes with troublous bellowing: [ring. But with that percing noise flew open quite, or brast. The neighbor woods arownd with hollow murmur
That when his deare Duessa heard, and saw And in his fall his shield, that covered was,
Did loose his vele by chaunce, and open few; Unto his aide she hastily did draw
The light whereof, that Hevens light did pas, Her dreadfull beast; who, swo'ne with blood of late, Such blazing brightnesse through the ayër threw, Came ramping forth with proud presumpteous gate, That eye mute not the same endure to vew. And threatned all bis heades like faming brandes. Which when the gyaunt spyde with staring eye, But him the squire made quickly to retrate, He downe let fall his arme, and soft withdrew Encountring fiers with single sword in hand; His weapon huge, that heaved was on hye (lye. And twixt him and his lord did like a bulwarke stand. For to have slain the man, that on the ground did The proud Duessa, full of wrathfull spight
And eke the fruitfull-headed beast, amazd And fiers disdaine, to be affronted so,
At flashing beames of that sunshiny shield, Enforst her purple beast with all her might, Became stark blind, and all his sences dazd, That stop out of the way to orerthroe,
That downe he tumbled on the durtie field, Scorn ng the let of so unequall foe:
And seemd himselfe as conquered to yield. But nathëmore would that corageous swayne
Whom when bis maistresse proud perceiv'd to fall, To her yeeld passage, gainst his lord to goe; Whiles yet his feeble feet for faintncese reeld, But with outrageous strokes did him restraine, Unto the gyaunt loudly she gan call; And with his body bard the way atwixt them twaine. “0! helpe, Orgoglio; helpe, or els we perish all." Then tooke the angry witch her golden cup,
At her so pitteous cry was much amoov'd Which still she bore, replete with magick artes;
Her champion stout; and, for to ayde his frend, Death and despeyre did many thereof sup,
Againe his wonted angry weapon proovid, And secret posson through their inner partes;
But all in vajne; for he has redd bis end Th' eteruall bale of beavie wounded harts:
In that bright shield, and all their forces spend Which, after charmes and some enchauntments said, Themselves in vaine: for, since that glauncing sight, She lightly sprinkled on his weaker partes : He hath no powie to hurt, nor to defend. Therewith his sturdie corage soon was quayd,
As where th' Almighties lightning brond does light, And all his sences were with suddein dread dismayd. It dimmes the dazed eyen, and daunts the sences.
quight. So downe he fell before the cruell beast, Who on his neck his bloody clawes did seize,
Whom when the prince, to batteill new addrest That life nigh crnisht out of his panting brest :
And threatning high his dreadfull stroke, did see, No powre he had to stirre, nor will to rize.
His sparkling blade about head he blest, That when the carefull knight gan well avise,
And smote off quite his left leg by the knee, He lightly left the foe with whom he fought,
That downe he tombled; as an aged tree, And to the beast gan turne bis enterprise;
High growing on the top of rocky clift, For wondrous anguish in his hart it wrought,
Whose hart-strings with keene steele nigh hewen be; To see his loved squyre into such thraldom brought: The mightie trunck halfe rent with ragged rift
Doth roll adowne the rocks, and fall with fearefull And, high advauncing his blood-thirstie blade,
drift. Stroke one of those deformed heades so sure,
Or as a castle, reared high and round, That of his puissaunce proud ensample made;
By subtile engins and malitious slight His monstrous scalpe down to his teeth it tore,
Is undermined from the lowest ground, And that misformed shape misshaped more:
And her foundation forst, and feebled quight, A sea of blood gusht from the gaping wownd,
At last downe falls; and with her heaped hight That her gay garments staynd with filthy gore, Her bastie ruine does more heavie make, And overflowed all the field arownd;
And yields it selfe unto the victours might: That over shoes in blood he waded on the grownd.
Such was this gyaunts fall, that seemd to shake
The stedfast globe of Earth, as it for feare did quake Thereat he rored for exceeding paine, That, to have heard, great horror would have bred; | The knight then, lightly leaping to the pray, And scourging th' emptie a yre with his long trayne, With mortall steele him smot againe so sore, Through great impatience of his grieved hed, That headlesse his unweldy bodie lay, His gorgeous ryder from her loftie sted
All wallowd in his owne fuwle bloody gore, Would bave cast downe, and trodd in durty myre, Which flowed from his wounds in wondrous store. Had not the gyaunt soone her succouved;
But, soone as breath out of his brest did pas, Who, all enrag'd with smart and frantick yre, (tyre. That huge great body, which the gyaunt bore, Caine hurtling in full fiers, and forst the knight re- Was vanisht quite; and of that monstrous mas
Was nothing left, but like an emptie blader was. The force, which wont in two to be disperst, In one alone left hand he now unites, [erst; Whose grievous fall when false Duessa spyde, Which is through rage more strong than both were Her golden cup she cast unto the ground, With which his hideous club alott he dites,
And crowned mitre rudely threw asyde: And at his foe with furious rigor smites,
Such percing griefe her stubborne hart did wound, That strongest oake might seeme to overthrow: That she could not endure that dolefull stound; The stroke upon his shield so heavie lites,
But, leaving all behind her, fled away: That to the ground it doubleth him full low:- The light-foot squire her quickly turnd around, What mortail wight could ever beare so monstrous And, by hard meanes enforcing her to stay, blow?
So brought unto his lord, as his deserved pray.