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So faire and fresh, as freshest flowre in
May; For she had layd her mournefull stole
aside, And widow-like sad wimple throwne away, Wherewith her heavenly beautie she did
hide, Whiles on her wearie journey she did ride; And on her now a garment she did weare All lilly white, withoutten spot or pride, That seemd like silke and silver woven
neare, But neither silke nor silver therein did
The blazing brightnesse of her beauties
beame, And glorious light of her sunshyny face, To tell, were as to strive against the
streame: My ragged rimes are all too rude and bace, Her heavenly lineaments for to enchace. Ne wonder; for her own deare loved knight, All were she daily with himselfe in place, Did wonder much at her celestiall sight: Oft had he seene her faire, but never so faire dight.
XXIV So fairely dight, when she in presence came, She to her syre made humble reverence, And bowed low, that her right well be
came, And added grace unto her excellence: Who with great wisedome and grave elo
quence Thus gan to
say - But eare he thus had sayd, With flying speede, and seeming great
* To thee, most mighty king of Eden fayre, Her greeting sends in these sad lines ad
drest The wofull daughter and forsaken heyre Of that great Emperour of all the West; And bids thee be advized for the best, Ere thou thy daughter linck in holy band Of wedlocke to that new unknowen guest: For he already plighted his right hand Unto another love, and to another land.
XXVII • To me, sad mayd, or rather widow sad, He was affyaunced long time before, And sacred pledges he both gave, and had, False erraunt knight, infamous, and for
swore ! Witnesse the burning altars, which he swore, And guilty heavens of his bold perjury, Which though he hath polluted oft of yore, Yet I to them for judgement just doe Ay, And them conjure t' avenge this shamefull
• Therefore since mine he is, or free or bond, Or false or trew, or living or else dead, Withhold, O soverayne prince, your hasty
hond From knitting league with him, I you aread; Ne weene my right with strength adowne
to tread, Through weakenesse of my widowhed or woe: For Truth is strong, her rightfull cause to
And shall finde friends, if need requireth
•There did I find, or rather I was fownd So bids thee well to fare, thy neither friend Of this false woman, that Fidessa hight; nor foe,
FIDESSA.' Fidessa hight the falsest dame on grownd,
Most false Duessa, royall richly dight,
That easy was t'inveigle weaker sight: When he these bitter byting wordes had Who by her wicked arts and wiely skill, red,
Too false and strong for earthly skill or The tydings straunge did him abashed might, make,
Unwares me wrought unto her wicked will, That still he sate long time astonished, And to my foe betrayd, when least I feared As in great muse, ne word to creature
ill.' At last his solemne silence thus he brake,
XXXIII With doubtfull eyes fast fixed on his Then stepped forth the goodly royall mayd, guest:
And on the ground her selfe prostrating low, * Redoubted knight, that for myne only With sober countenaunce thus to him sayd: sake
O pardon me, my soveraine lord, to sheow Thy life and honor late adventurest, The secret treasons, which of late I know Let nought be hid from me, that ought to To have bene wrought by that false sorbe exprest.
Shee, onely she, it is, that earst did throw
This gentle knight into so great distresse, What meane these bloody vowes and idle That death him did awaite in daily wretchthreats,
ednesse. Throwne out from womanish impatient
mynd ? What hevens? what altars ? what enraged . And now it seemes, that she suborned hath heates,
This crafty messenger with letters vaine, Here heaped up with termes of love un- To worke new woe and improvided scath, kynd,
By breaking of the band betwixt us twaine; My conscience cleare with guilty bands Wherein she used hath the practicke paine would bynd ?
Of this false footman, clokt with simpleHigh God be witnesse, that I guiltlesse
Whome if ye please for to discover plaine, But if your selfe, sir knight, ye faulty fynd, Ye shall him Archimago find, I ghesse, Or wrapped be in loves of former dame, The falsest man alive; who tries, shall With cryme doe not it cover, but disclose find no lesse.' the same.'
The king was greatly moved at her speach, To whom the Redcrosse Knight this answere And, all with suddein indignation fraight, sent:
Bad on that messenger rude hands to 'My lord, my king, be nought hereat dis- reach. mayd,
Eftsoones the gard, which on his state did Till well ye wote by grave intendiment,
wait, What woman, and wherefore, doth me up- Attacht that faytor false, and bound him brayd
strait: With breach of love and loialty betrayd. Who, seeming sorely chauffed at his band, It was in my mishaps, as hitherward As chained beare, whom cruell dogs doe I lately traveild, that unwares I strayd
bait, Out of my way, through perils straunge With ydle' force did faine them to withand hard;
stand, That day should faile me ere I had them And often semblaunce made to scape out of all declard.
Like as it had bene many an angels voice But they him layd full low in dungeon Singing before th' Eternall Majesty, deepe,
In their trinall triplicities on hye; And bound him hand and foote with yron Yett wist no creature, whence that hevenly chains,
sweet And with continual watch did warely keepe: Proceeded, yet each one felt secretly, Who then would thinke, that by his subtile Himselfe thereby refte of his trains
meet, He could escape fowle death or deadly And ravished with rare impression in his
sprite. Thus when that princes wrath was pacifide, He gan renew the late forbidden bains, And to the knight his daughter deare he Great joy was made that day of young and tyde,
old, With sacred rites and vowes for ever to And solemne feast proclaymd throughout abyde.
the land, That their exceeding merth may not be
told: His owne two hands the holy knotts did Suffice it heare by signes to understand knitt,
The usuall joyes at knitting of loves band. That none but death for ever can divide; Thrise happy man the knight himselfe did His owne two hands, for such a turne most
Possessed of his ladies hart and hand, The housling fire did kindle and provide, And ever, when his eie did her behold, And holy water thereon sprinckled wide; His heart did seeme to melt in pleasures At which the bushy teade a groome did
manifold. light, And sacred lamp in secret chamber hide, Where it should not be quenched day nor Her joyous presence and sweet company night,
In full content he there did long enjoy, For feare of evill fates, but burnen ever Ne wicked envy, ne vile gealosy, bright.
His deare delights were hable to annoy:
Yet, swimming in that sea of blisfull joy, XXXVIII
He nought forgott, how he whilome had Then gan they sprinckle all the posts with
In case he could that monstrous beast deAnd made great feast to solemnize that
Unto his Faery Queene backe to retourne: They all perfumde with frankincense divine, The which he shortly did, and Una left to And precious odours fetcht from far away, That all the house did sweat with great
XLII aray: And all the while sweete musicke did Now strike your sailes, yee jolly mariapply
ners, Her curious skill, the warbling notes to For we be come unto a quiet rode, play,
Where we must land some of our passenTo drive away the dull melancholy;
gers, The whiles one sung a song of love and And light this weary vessell of her lode. jollity.
Here she a while may make her safe abode,
Till she repaired have her tackles spent, XXXIX
And wants supplide; and then againe During the which there was an heavenly abroad noise
On the long voiage whereto she is bent: Heard sownd through all the pallace plea- Well may she speede, and fairely finish her santly,
Bring with you all the nymphes that you
can heare, [Published 1595.)
Both of the rivers and the forrests greene, Ye learned sisters, which have oftentimes And of the sea that neighbours to her neare, Beene to me ayding, others to adorne, Al with gay girlands goodly wel beseene. 40 Whom ye thought worthy of your gracefull And let them also with them bring in hand rymes,
Another gay girland,
Bound truelove wize with a blew silke To heare theyr names sung in your simple
And let them make great store of bridale But joyed in theyr praise;
poses, And when ye list your owne mishaps to And let them eeke bring store of other mourne,
flowers, Which death, or love, or fortunes wreck To deck the bridale bowers.
And let the ground whereas ber foot shall Your string could soone to sadder tenor
For feare the stones her tender foot should And teach the woods and waters to lament
wrong, Your dolefull dreriment:
Be strewed with fragrant flowers all along, Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside, And diapred lyke the discolored mead. And having all your heads with girland Which done, doe at her chamber dore crownd,
awayt, Helpe me mine owne loves prayses to re- For she will waken strayt; sound;
The whiles doe ye this song unto her sing, Ne let the same of any be envide:
The woods shall to you answer, and your So Orpheus did for his owne bride:
eccho ring. So I unto my selfe alone will sing; The woods shall to me answer, and my Ye nymphes of Mulla, which with carefull eccbo ring.
The silver scaly trouts doe tend full well, Early, before the worlds light giving lampe And greedy pikes which use therein to feed, His golden beame upon the hils doth spred, (Those trouts and pikes all others doo exHaving disperst the nights uncbearefuli cell) dampe,
And ye likewise which keepe the rushy Doe ye awake, and, with fresh lustyhed,
lake, Go to the bowre of my beloved love, Where none doo fishes take, My truest turtle dove:
Bynd up the locks the which hang scatterd Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake,
light, And long since ready forth his maske to And in his waters, which your mirror make, move,
Behold your faces as the christall bright, With his bright tead that flames with many That when you come whereas my love doth a flake,
lie, And many a bachelor to waite on him, No blemish she may spie. In theyr fresh garments trim.
And eke ye lightfoot mayds which keepe Bid her awake therefore, and soone her
the dere dight,
That on the hoary mountayne use to towre, For lo! the wished day is come at last, And the wylde wolves, which seeke them That shall, for al the paynes and sorrowes to devoure, past,
With your steele darts doo chace from Pay to her usury of long delight:
comming neer, And whylest she doth her dight,
Be also present heere, Doe ye to her of joy and solace sing, To helpe to decke her, and to help to sing, That all the woods may answer, and your That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring.