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The roiall virgin which beheld from farre, Then asked he, which way he in might pas :
He could not tell, againe he answered.
And said; “ Old syre, it seemes thou hast not red With sober gladnesse and myld modestie;
How ill it sits with that same silver hed, And, with sweet ioyous cheare, him thus bespake: In vaine to mocke, or mockt in vaine to bee: “ Fayre braunch of noblesse, Aowre of chevalrie, But if thou be, as thou art pourtrahed That with your worth the world amazed make, With Natures pen, in ages grave degree, How shall I quite the paynes, ye suffer for my sake? Aread in graver wise what I demaund of thee." “ And you, fresh budd of vertue springing fast, His answere likewise was, He could not tell. Whom these sad eyes saw nigh unto Deaths dore, Whose sencelesse speach, and doted ignorance, What hath poore virgin for such perill past Whepas the noble prince had marked well, Wherewith you to reward ? Accept therefore He ghest his nature by his countenance; My simple selfe, and service evermore.
And calm’d his wrath with goodly temperance. And He that high does sit, and all things see Then, to him stepping, from his arme did reache With equall eye, their merites to restore,
Those keyes, and made himselfe free enterance. Behold what ye this day have done for mee; Each dore he opened without any breach : And, wbat I cannot quite, requite with usuree! There was no barre to stop, nor foe him to empeach. “ But sith the Heavens, and your faire handëling, There all within full rich arayd he found, Have made you master of the field this day; With royall arras, and resplendent gold, Your fortune maister eke with governing,
And did with store of every thing abound, And, well begonne, end all so well, I pray ! That greatest princes presence might behold. Ne let that wicked woman scape away;
But all the floore (too filthy to be told) For she it is, that did my lord bethrall,
With blood of guiltlesse babes, and innocents trew, My dearest lord, and deepe in dongeon lay; Which there were slaine, as sheepe out of the fold, Where he his better dayes hath wasted all: Defiled was; that dreadfull was to vew; O heare, how piteous hé to you for ayd does call!" | And sacred ashes over it was strowed new. Forthwith he gave in charge unto his squyre,
And there beside of marble stone was built That scarlot whore to keepen carefully ;
An altare, carv'd with cunning ymagery ; Whyles he himseife with greedie great desyre On which trew Christians blood was often spilt, Into the castle entred forcibly,
And holy martyres often doen to dye, Where living creature none he did espye:
With cruell malice and strong tyranny : Then gan he lowdly through the house to call; Whose blessed sprites, from underneath the stone, But no man car'd to answere to his crye:
To God for vengeance cryde continually ; There raignd a solemne silence over all;
And with great griefe were often heard to grone; Nor voice was heard, nor wight was seene in bowre That hardest heart would biecde to hear their pite
or hall ! At last, with creeping crooked pace forth came Through every rowme he sought, and everie bowr; An old old man, with beard as white as snow; But no where could he find that wofull thrall. That on a staffe his feeble steps did frame,
At last he came unto an yron dovre, And guyde his wearie gate both too and fro; That fast was lockt; but key found not at all For his eye sight him fayled long ygo:
Emongst that bounch to open it withall; And on his arme a bounch of keyes he bore, But in the same a little grate was pight, The which unused rust did overgrow:
Through which he sent his voyce, and lowd did call Those were the keyes of every inner dore; (store. With all his powre, to weet if living wight But he could not them use, but kept them still in Were housed therewithin, whom he enlargen might. But very úncouth sight was to behold,
Therewith an hollow, dreary, murmuring voyce How he did fashion his untoward pace;
These pitteous plaintes and dolours did resound; For as he forward moov'd his footing old,
“O! who is that, wbich bringes me happy choyce So backward still was turnd his wrincled face: Of death, that here lye dying every stound, Unlike to men, who ever, as they trace,
Yet live perforce in balefull darknesse bound? Both feet and face one way are wont to lead. For now three moones have changed thrice their hew, This was the auncient keeper of that place, And have been thrice hid underneath the ground, And foster father of the gyaunt dead;
Since I the Heavens chearefull face did rew: (trew.” His name Ignaro did his nature right aread. O welcome, thou, that doest of death bring tydings His reverend heares and holy gravitee
Which when that champion heard, with percing The knight much honord, as beseemed well; Of pitty deare his hart was thrilled sure; [point And gently askt, where all the people bee,
And trembling horrour ran through every ioynt, Which in that stately building wont to dwell: For ruth of gentle knight so fowle forlore: Who answerd him full soft, He could not tell. Which shaking off, he rent that yrou dore Again he askt, where that same knight was layd, With furious force and indignation fell; Whom great Orgoglio with his puissance fell Where entred in, his font could find no flore, Had made his caytive thrall: againe he sayde, But all a deepe descent, as dark as Hell, He could not tell ; ne ever other answere made. That breathed ever forth a filthie banefull smell,
But neither darkenesse fowle, nor filthy bands, Her crafty head was altogether bald,
Was overgrowne with scurfe and filthy scald; But that with constant zele and corage bold, Her teeth out of her rotten gummes were feld, After long paines and labors manifold,
And her sowre breath abhominably smeld; He found the meanes that prisoner up to reare; Her dried dugs, lyke bladders lacking wind, Whose feeble thighes, unable to uphold
Hong downe, and filthy matter from them weld; His pined corse, him scarse to light could beare; Her wrizled skin, as rough as maple rind, [kind. A ruefull spectacle of death and ghastly drere. So scabby was, that would have loathd all woman
His sad dull eies, deepe sunck in hollow pits, Her neather parts, the shame of all her kind,
A foxes taile, with dong all fowly dight:
And cke her feete most monstrous were in sight; His rawbone armes, whose mighty brawned bowrs For one of them was like an eagles claw, Were wont to rive steele plates, and he mets hew, With griping talaunts armd to greedy fight; Were clene consum'd; and all his vitall powres The other like a beares uneven paw: Decayd ; and al his flesh shronk up like withered More ugly shape yet never living creature saw. flowres.
Which when the knights beheld, amazd they were, Whome when his lady saw, to him she ran
And wondred at so fowle deformed wight. With hasty ioy: to see him made her glad, “ Such then," said Una, “as she seemeth here, And sad to view his visage pale and wan;
Such is the face of Palshood; such the sight Who earst in flowres of treshest youth was clad. Of fowle Duessa, when her borrowed light Tho, when her well of teares she wasted had, Is laid away, and counterfesannce knowne." She said ; “Ah, dearest lord! what evil starre Thus when they had the witch disrobed quight, On you hath frownd, and pourd his intuence bad, And all her filthy feature open sbowne, That of your selfe ye thus berobbed arre, (marre? | They let her goeat will, and wander waies unknowne. And this misseeming hew your manly looks doth
Shee, flying fast from Heavens hated face, “ But welcome now, my lord in wele or woe;
And from the world that her discovered wide, Whose presence I bave lackt too long a day:
Fled to the wastfull wildernesse apate, And fye on Fortune mine avowed foe,
From living eies her open shame tu bide; Whose wrathful wreakes themselves doe now alay; And lurkt in rocks and caves, long unespide. And for these wronges shall treble penaunce pay
But that faire crew of knights, and Una faire, Of treble good: good growes of evils priefe.”
Did in that castle afterwards abide, The chearlesse man, whom sorrow did dismay,
To rest themselves, and weary powres repaire: Had no delight to treaten of bis griefe;
Where store they fownd of al, that dainty was and His long endured famine needed more reliefe.
“ Faire lady," then said that victorious knight,
His loves and lignage Arthure tells :
The knights knitt friendly bands: Is to be wise, and ware of like agein.
Sir Trevisan flies from Despeyre,
Whom Redcros knight withstands.
The vertues linked are in lovely wize;
Nor aid envy to hiin, in need that stands;
How to advance with favourable hands, “ To doe ber die," quoth Loa, were despight,
As this good prince redeemd the Redcrosse knight And shame t'avenge so weake an enimy;
from bands. But spoile her of her scarlot robe, and let her fly.”
Who when their powres, empayred through labor So, as she bad, that witch th y disaraid,
With dew repast they had recured well, [long, And robd ot' roiall roves, and purple pall,
And that weake captive wight now wexed strong; And ornaments hat ricbly were displaid;
Them list no lenger there at leasure dwell, Ne spared they to strip ber naked all.
But forward fare, as their adventures fell : Then, when they had despoy'd ber tire and call, But, ere they parted, Una faire besought Such, as she was, their eies might her behold, That straunger knight his name and nation tell; That her misshaped parts did them appall; Least so great good, as he for her had wrought, A loathly, wrinckled hay, ill favoured, old, Should die unknown, and buried be in tbaukles Whose secret fiith good manners biddeth not be told. thought.
“ Faire virgin," said the prince, “yee me require “ That ydle name of love, and lovers life, A thing without the compas of my witt:
As losse of time, and vertues enimy, For both the lignage, and the certein sire,
I ever scorn'd, and ioyd to stirre np strife, From which I sprong, from me are hidden yitt. In middest of their mournfuil tragedy; For all so soone as life did me admitt
Ay wont to laugh, when them I heard to cry, Into this world, and shewed Hevens light,
And blow the fire, which them to ashes brent: From mother's pap I taken was unfitt,
Their god himselfe, grievd at my libertie, And streight deliver'd to a Fary knight, (might. Shott many a dart at me with fiers intent; To be upbrought in gentle thewes and martiall But I them warded all with wary government. “ Unto old Timon he me brought bylive;
“ But all in vaine ; no fort can be so strong, Old Timon, who in youthly yeares bath beene Ne feshly brest can armed be so sownd, In warlike feates th' expertest man alive,
But will at last be wonne with battrie long, And is the wisest now on Earth I weene:
Or unawares at disadvantage fownd: His dwelling is, low in a valley greene,
Nothing is sure that growes on earthly grownd. Under the foot of Rauran mossy hore,
And who most trustes in arme of Heshly might, From whence the river Dee, as silver cleene, And boastes in beauties chaine not to be bownd, His tombling billowes rolls with gentle rore; Doth soonest fall in disaventrous fight, [spight. There all my daies he traind me up in vertuous lore. And yeeldes his caytive neck to victours most de“ Thether the great magicien Merlin came,
“ Ensample make of him your haplesse ioy, As was his use, ofttimes to visitt mee ;
And of my selfe now mated, as ye see;
Whose prouder vaunt that proud avenging boy Him oft and oft I askt in privity,
Did soone pluck downe, and curbd my libertee.
For on a day, prickt forth with collitee Of what loines and what lignage I did spring,
Of looser life and heat of hardiment, Whose aunswere bad me still assured bee, That I was sonne and heire unto a king, [bring;” The fields, the floods, the Heavens, with one consent,
Raunging the forest wide on courser free, As time in her iust term the truth to light should
Did seeme to laugh on me, and favour mine intent. “ Well worthy impe,” said then the lady gent, “ And pupil fitt for such a tutors hand !
“ Forwearied with my sportes, I did alight But what adventure, or what high intent,
From loftie steed, and downe to sleepe me layd : Hath brought you hether into Fary land,
The verdant gras my couch did goodly dight, Aread, prince Arthure, crowne of martiall band?” And pillow was my helmett fayre displayd: “ Full hard it is,” quoth he, “ to read aright Whiles every sence the humour sweet embayd, The course of heavenly cause, or understand And slombring soft my hart did steale away, The secret meaning of th' eternall Might,
Me seemed, by my side a royall mayd That rules mens waies, and rules the thoughts of Her daintie limbes full softly down did lay: living wight.
So fayre a creature yet saw never sunny day. “ For whether he, through fatal deepe foresight,
“ Most goodly glee and lovely blandishment Me hither sent, for cause to me unghest;
She to me made, and badd me love her deare; Or that fresh bleeding wound, which day and night For dearely sure her love was to me bent, Whilome doth rancle in my riven brest,
As, when just time expired, should appeare. With forced fury following his behest,
But, whether dreames delude, or true it were, Me hether brought by wayes yet never found;
Was never hart so ravisht with delight, You to have helpt I hold myself yet blest.”
Ne living man like wordes did ever heare, “ Ab! courteous knight," quoth she, "what secret
As she to me delivered all that night; wound
And at her parting said, she queene of Faries hight. Could ever find to grieve the gentlest hart on “ Dear dame," quoth hé, you sleeping sparkes
“ When I awoke, and found her place devoyd, awake,
And nought but pressed gras where she had lyen, Which, troubled once, into huge flames will grow; and washed all her place with watry eyen.
I sorrowed all so much as earst I joyd,
From that day forth I lov'd that face divyne; And wasted life doe lye in ashes low.
From that day forth I cast in carefull mynd, Yet sithens silence lesseneth not my fire,
To seek her out with labor and long tyne, But, told, it flames; and, hidden, it does glow;
And never vowd to rest till her I fynd: [bynd.” I will revele what ye so much desire: [spyre.
Nyne monethes I seek in vain, yet ni'll that vow unAh! Love, lay down thy bow, the whiles I may re
Thus as he spake, his visage wexed pale, “ It was in freshest flowre of youthly yeares, And chaunge of hew great passion did bewray; When corage first does creepe in manly chest; Yett still he strove to cloke his inward bale, Then first that cole of kindly beat appeares
And hide the smoke that did his fire display; To kindle love in every living brest :
Till gentle Una thus to him gan say; But me bad warnd old Timons wise behest, “ O happy queene of Faries, that hast fownd, Those creeping fames by reason to subdew, Mongst many, one that with his prowes e may Before their rage grew to so great unrest, Defend thine honour, and thy foes confownd ! As miserable lovers use to rew,
(new. True loves are often sown, but seldom grow on Which still wex old in woe, whiles woe stil wexeth grownd.”
“Thine, O! then," said the gentle Redcrosse knight, He answerd nought at all ; but adding new
With stony eyes and bartlesse hollow hew,
Infernall Furies with their chaines nntyde. And you, my lord, the patrone of my life, Him yett againe, and yett againe, bespake Of that great queene may we'l gaine worthie grace; The gentle knight; who nought to him replyde ; For onely worthie you through prowes priefe, But, trembling every jovnt, did inly quake, Yf living man mote worthie be, to be her liefe.” And foltring tongue at last these words seemd forth
to shake; So diversly discoursing of their loves, The golden Sunne his glistring head gan shew,
“For Gods deare love, sir Knight, doe me not stay; And sad remembraunce now the prince amores
For loe! be comes, he comes fast after mee !" With fresh desire his voyage to pursew:
Eft looking back would faine have runne away; Als Una earnd her trareill to renew.
But he him forst to stay, and tellen free Then those two knights, fast frendship for to bynd,
The secrete cause of his perplexitie: And love establish each to other trew.
Yet nathëmore by his bold hartie speach Gave goodly gifts, the signes of gratefull mynd,
Could his blood-frosen bart emboldned bee, And eke, as pledges firme, right hands together Yett, forst, at last he made through silence suddein
But through his boldnes rather feare did reach ; joynd.
breach: Prince Arthur gave a boxe of diamond sure,
“ And am I now in safetie sure," qnoth he, Embowd with gold and gorgeous ornament,
“ From bim, that would have forced me to dye ? Wherein were closd few drops of liquor pure,
And is the point of death now turnd fro mee, Of wondrous worth, and vertue excellent,
That I may tell this haplesse history?" That any wownd could heale incontinent.
“Fear nought," quoth he, “no daunger now is nye.” Which to requite, the Redcrosse knight him gave
“ Then shall I you recount a ruefull cace," A booke, wherein his Sueours Testament
Said he, “the which with this unlucky eye Was writt with golden letters rich and brave;
Ilate beheld; and, had not greater grace A workeof wondrous grace, and hable soules to save.
Me reft from it, had bene partaker of the place. Thus beene they parted; Arthur on his way “ | lately chaunst (would I had never chaunst!) To seeke his love, and th' other for to fight With a fayre knight to keepen companee, With Unaes foe, that all her realme did pray.
Sir Terwin hight, that well bimselfe advaunst But she, now weighing the decayed plight
In all asfayres, and was both bold and free;
For she was proud, and of too high intent,
Aud ioyd to see her lover languish and lament: So as they traveild, lo! they gan espy
“ From whom retourning sad and comfortlesse, An armed knight towards them gallop fast,
As on the way together we did fare, That seemed from some feared foe to fly,
We met that villen, (God from him me blesse!) Or other griesly thing, that bim aghast.
That cursed wight, from whom I scapt whyleare, Still, as he fledd, his eye was backward cast, A man of Hell, that calls himselfe Despayre: As if his feare still followed him behynd:
Who first us greets, and after fayre areedes Als fiew his steed, as he his bandes had brast, Of tydinges straunge, and of adventures rare: And with his winged heeles did tread the wynd, So creeping close, as snake in hidden weedes, As he had been a fole of Pegasus his kynd. Inquireih of our states, and of our knightly deedes. Nigh as he drew, they might perceive his head “ Which when he knew, and felt our feeble harts To be umarınd, and curld uncombed heares Embost with bale, and bitter byting griefe, Upstaring stiffe, dismaid with úncouth dread: Which Love bad launched with his deadly darts; Nor drop of blood in all his face appeares,
With wounding words, and termes of foule repriefe, Nor life in limbe; and, to increase his feares, He pluckt froin us all hope of dew reliefe, In fowle reprch of knighthoodes fayre degree, That earst us held in love of lingring life: About his neck an hempen rope he weares, Then hopelesse, bartlesse, gan the cunning thiefe That with his glistring arines does ill agree: Perswade us dye, to stint all further str fe ; But he of rope, or arnies, has now no memoree. To me he lent this rope, to bim a rusty knife: The Redcrosse knight toward him crossed fast, “ With which sad instrument of basty death, To wert what mister "ight was so dismayd : That wofull lover, loathing lenger light, There bim he fins als sencelease and aghast, A wyde way made to let forth living breath. That of himselfe he seemd to be afrayd ;
But I, more fearf ll or more lucky wight, Whom hardly he from flying forward stayd, Dismavd w.th that deformed dismall sight, Til he these wordes to h m deliver might;
Fledd fast away, halfe dead with dying feare; “ Sir Knight, aread who ha h ye thus gravd, Ne yet assurd of life by you, sir Knight, And eke from whom make ye this hasty fight? Whose like infirmity like chaunce may beare: For never knight I saw in such misseeuning plight.” But God you never let his charmed speaches heare!"
" How may a man," said he, “ with idle speach “ What franticke fit,” quoth he, “ hath thus disBe wonne to spoyle the castle of his health?"
traught “I wote," quoth he, “whom tryall late did teach, Thee, foolish man, so rash a doome to give ? That like would not for all this worldës wealth. What iustice ever other judgement taught, His subtile tong, like dropping honny, mealth But he should dye, who merites not to live? Into the heart, and searcheth every vaine; None els to death this man despayring drive That, ere one be aware, by secret stealth
But bis owne guiltie mind, deserving death.
Or let him die at ease, that liveth here uneath? “ Certes,” sayd he, “ hence shall I never rest, Till I that treachours art have heard and tryde:
“ Who travailes by the wearie wandring way, And you, sir Knight, whose name mote I request,
To come unto his wished home in haste, Of grace do me unto his cabin guyde.”
And meetes a flood, that doth his passage stay; “I, that hight Trevisan," quoth he, “will ryde,
Is not great grace to helpe him over past, Against my liking, backe to doe you grace:
Or free his feet that in the myre sticke fast? But not for gold nor glee will I abyde
Most envious man, that grieves at neighbours good ; By you, when ye arrive in that same place;
And fond, that ioyest in the woe thou hast; For lever had I die then see his deadly face." Why wilt not let him passe, that long hath stood
Upon the bancke, yet wilt thy selfe not pas the flood ? Ere long they come, where that same wicked wight
“ He there does now enjoy eternall rest His dwelling has, low in an hollow cave,
And happy ease, which thou doest want and crave, Par underneath a craggy cliff ypight,
And further from it daily wanderest: Darke, dolefull, dreary, like a greedy grave,
What if some little payne the passage have, That still for carrion carcases doth crave:
That makes frayle flesh to feare the bitter wave; On top whereof ay dwelt the ghastly owle,
Is not short payne well borne, that bringes long ease, Shrieking his balefull note, which ever drave
And layes the soule to sleepe in quiet grave? Far from that haunt all other chearefull fowle; And all about it wandring ghostes did wayle and Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly
Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie sexy, (please.' howe:
The knight much wondred at his suddeine wit, And all about old stockes and stubs of trees,
And sayd; “ The terme of life is limited, Whereon nor fruit nor leafe was ever seen,
Ne may a man prolong, nor shorten, it: Did hang upon the ragged rocky knees;
The souldier may not move from watchfull sted, On which had many wretches hanged beene,
Nor leave his stand untill his captaine bed.” Whose carcases were scattred on the greene,
" Who life did limit by Almightie doome,” And throwne about the cliffs. Arrived there, That bare-head knight, for dread and doleful teeae, And he, that points the centonell his roome,
Quoth he, “knowes best the termes established; Would faine hare Aed, ne durst approchen neare ; But th’ other forst him staye, and comforted in feare, Doth license bim depart at sound of morning droome:
• Is not his deed, what ever thing is donne That darkesome cave they enter, where they find
In Heaven and Earth? Did not he all create That cursed man, low sitting on the ground,
To die againe ? All ends, that was begonne: Musing full sadly in his sullein mind :
Their times in his eternall booke of fate His griesie lockes, long growen and unbound,
Are written sure, and have their certein date. Disordred hong about his shoulders round,
Who then can strive with strong necessitie, And hid his face; through which his hollow eyne
That holds the world in his still chaunging state; Lookt deadly dall, and stared as astound;
Or shunne the death ordaynd by destinie? His raw-bone cheekes, through penurie and pine,
When houre of death is come, let none aske whence; Were shronke into his iawes, as he did never dine.
nor why. His garment, nought but many ragged clouts, With thornes together pind and patched was,
“ The lenger life, I wote the greater sin ; The which his naked sides he wrapt abouts :
The greater sin, the greater punishment : And him beside there lay upon the gras
All those great battels, which thou boasts to win A dreary corse, whose life away did pas,
Through strife, and blood-shed, and avengëment, All wallowd in his own yet luke-warme blood,
Now praysd, hereafter deare thou shalt repent:
For lite must life, and blood must blood, repay. That from his wound yet welled fresh, alas! In which a rusty knife fast fixed stood,
Is not enough thy evill life forespent?
For he tbat once hath missed the right way, And made an open passage for the gushing flood.
The further he doth goe, the further he doth stray: Which piteous spectacle, approving trew The wofull tale that Trevisan had told,
“ Then doe no further goe, no further stray; Whenas the gentle Redcrosse knight did vew; But here ly downe, and to thy rest betake, With firie zeale he burnt in courage bold
Th’ill to prevent, that life ensewen may. Him to avenge, before his blood were cold; For what hath life, that may it loved make, And to the villein sayd; “ Thou damned wight, And gives not rather cause it to forsake ? The authour of this fact we here behold,
Feare, sicknesse, age, losse, labour, sorrow, strife, What iustice can bút iudge against thee right, Payne, hunger, cold that makes the heart to quake; With thine owne blood to price his blood, here and ever fickle fortune rageth rife ; [life. shed in sight ?”
All which, and thousands mo, do make a loathsome VOL. III.