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Which, therein shrouded from the tempest
Be well aware,'quoth then that ladie milde, Seemd in their song to scorne the cruell sky. Least suddaine mischiefe ye too rash proMuch can they praise the trees so straight
voke: and hy,
The danger hid, the place unknowne and The sayling pine, the cedar proud and tall,
wilde, The vine-propp elme, the poplar never dry, Breedes dreadfull doubts: oft fire is with The builder oake, sole king of forrests all, out smoke, The aspine good for staves, the cypresse And perill without show: therefore your funerall,
stroke, Sir knight, with-hold, till further tryall
made.' The laurell, meed of mightie conquerours • Ah, ladie,' sayd he, shame were to revoke And poets sage, the firre that weepeth still, The forward footing for an hidden shade: The willow worne of forlorne paramours, | Vertue gives her selfe light, through darkeThe eugh obedient to the benders will,
nesse for to wade.' The birch for shaftes, the sallow for the mill, The mirrhe sweete bleeding in the bitter wound,
• Yea, but,' quoth she, “the perill of this The warlike beech, the ash for nothing ill,
place The fruitfull olive, and the platane round, I better wot then you; though nowe too late The carver holme, the maple seeldom in | To wish you backe returne with foule disward sound.
grace, Yet wisedome warnes, whilest foot is in the
gate, Led with delight, they thus beguile the way, To stay the steppe, ere forced to retrate. Untill the blustring storme is overblowne; This is the wandring wood, this Errours den, When, weening to returne whence they did A monster vile, whom God and man does stray,
hate: They cannot finde that path, which first was Therefore I read beware.' • Fly, fly!'quoth
showne, But wander too and fro in waies unknowne, The fearefull dwarfe: “this is no place for Furthest from end then, when they neerest living men.'
weene, That makes them doubt, their wits be not
XIV their owne:
But full of fire and greedy hardiment, So many pathes, so many turnings seene, The youthfull knight could not for ought That which of them to take, in diverse
be staide, doubt they been.
But forth unto the darksom hole he went,
And looked in: his glistring armor made XI
A litle glooming light, much like a shade, At last resolving forward still to fare, By which he saw the ugly monster plaine, Till that some end they finde, or in or out, Halfe like a serpent horribly displaide, That path they take, that beaten seemd most | But th' other halfe did womans shape rebare,
taine, And like to lead the labyrinth about; Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile Which when by tract they hunted had
disdaine. throughout, At length it brought them to a hollowe cave, Amid the thickest woods. The champion And as she lay upon the durtie ground, stout
Her huge long taile her den all overspred, Eftsoones dismounted from his courser Yet was in knots and many boughtes upbrave,
wound, And to the dwarfe a while his needlesse Pointed with mortall sting. Of her there spere he gave.
A thousand yong ones, which she dayly fed, Sucking upon her poisnous dugs, eachone Of sundrie shapes, yet all ill favored: Soone as that uncouth light upon them shone, Into her mouth they crept, and suddain all
XIX | His lady, sad to see his sore constraint, Cride out, “Now, now, sir knight, shew
what ye bee: Add faith unto your force, and be not faint: Strangle her, els she sure will strangle
thee.' That when he heard, in great perplexitie, His gall did grate for griefe and high dis
daine; And knitting all his force, got one hand free, Wherewith he grypt her gorge with so great
paine, That soone to loose her wicked bands did
Their dam upstart, out of her den effraide, And rushed forth, hurling her hideous taile About her cursed head, whose folds dis
plaid Were stretcht now forth at length with
out entraile. She lookt about, and seeing one in mayle, Armed to point, sought backe to turne
againe; For light she hated as the deadly bale, Ay wont in desert darknes to remaine, Where plain none might her see, nor she
see any plaine.
Which when the valiant Elfe perceiv'd, he
Therewith she spewd out of her filthie maw
raw, Which stunck so vildly, that it forst him
slacke His grasping hold, and from her turne him
backe: Her vomit full of bookes and papers was, With loathly frogs and toades, which eyes
did lacke, And creeping sought way in the weedy gras: Her filthie parbreake all the place defiled
As lyon fierce upon the flying pray,
vaunst, Threatning her angrie sting, him to dis
Who, nought aghast, his mightie hand en
haunst: The stroke down from her head unto her
XVIII Much daunted with that dint, her sence was
dazd, Yet kindling rage her selfe she gathered
round, And all attonce her beastly bodie raizd With doubled forces high above the ground: Tho, wrapping up her wrethed sterne
As when old father Nilus gins to swell With timely pride above the Aegyptian vale, His fattie waves doe fertile slime outwell, And overflow each plaine and lowly dale: But when his later spring gins to avale, Huge heapes of mudd he leaves, wherin
there breed Ten thousand kindes of creatures, partly
male And partly femall, of his fruitful seed; Such ugly monstrous shapes elswher may
no man reed.
Tho, w Towndbon his
Lept fierce upon his shield, and her huge
traine All suddenly about his body wound, That hand or foot to stirr he strove in
vaine: God helpe the man so wrapt in Errours
XXII The same so sore annoyed has the knight, That, welnigh choked with the deadly stinke, His forces faile, ne can no lenger fight. Whose corage when the feend perceivd to
shrinke, She poured forth out of her hellish sinke Her fruitfull cursed spawne of serpents
Deformed monsters, fowle, and blacke as Devoure their dam; on whom while so he inke,
gazd, Which swarming all about his legs did crall, Having all satisfide their bloudy thurst, And him encombred sore, but could not Their bellies swolne he saw with fulnesse hurt at all.
And bowels gushing forth: well worthy XXIII
end As gentle shepheard in sweete eventide, Of such as drunke her life, the which them When ruddy Phebus gins to welke in west,
nurst! High on an hill, his flocke to vewen wide, Now needeth him no lenger labour spend; Markes which doe byte their hasty supper His foes have slaine themselves, with whom best;
he should contend. A cloud of cumbrous gnattes doe him mo
lest, All striving to infixe their feeble stinges, His lady, seeing all that chaunst, from That from their noyance he no where can
Approcht in hast to greet his victorie, But with his clownish hands their tender | And saide, ‘Faire knight, borne under hapwings
pie starre, He brusheth oft, and oft doth mar their Who see your vanquisht foes before you lye, murmurings.
Well worthie be you of that armory,
Wherein ye have great glory wonne this XXIV
day, Thus ill bestedd, and fearefull more of And proov'd your strength on a strong enishame
mie, Then of the certeine perill he stood in, Your first adventure: many such I pray, Halfe furious unto his foe he came,
And henceforth ever wish that like succeed Resolvd in minde all suddenly to win,
it may.' Or soone to lose, before he once would lin; And stroke at her with more then manly
Then mounted he upon his steede againe, That from her body, full of filthie sin, And with the lady backward sought to wend; He raft her hatefull heade without remorse: That path he kept which beaten was most A streame of cole black blood forth gushed
plaine, from her corse.
Ne ever would to any by way bend,
But still did follow one unto the end,
The which at last out of the wood them Her scattred brood, soone as their parent
So forward on his way (with God to frend) They saw so rudely falling to the ground, | He passed forth, and new adventure sought: Groning full deadly, all with troublous feare, Long way he traveiled, before he heard of Gathred themselves about her body round,
ought. Weening their wonted entrance to have found
XXIX At her wide mouth: but being there with At length they chaunst to meet upon the stood,
way They flocked all about her bleeding wound, An aged sire, in long blacke weedes yclad, And sucked up their dying mothers bloud, His feete all bare, his beard all hoarie gray, Making her death their life, and eke her And by his belt his booke he hanging had; hurt their good.
Sober he seemde, and very sagely sad,
And to the ground his eyes were lowly bent, XXVI
Simple in shew, and voide of malice bad, That detestable sight him much amazde, And all the way he prayed as he went, To see th' unkindly impes, of heaven ac- | And often knockt his brest, as one that did curst,
Is wisely to advise: now day is spent; He faire the knight saluted, louting low, Therefore with me ye may take up your in Who faire him quited, as that courteous For this same night. The knight was well was;
content: And after asked him, if he did know So with that godly father to his home they Of straunge adventures, which abroad did
went. pas. * Ah! my dear sonne,' quoth he, how should,
A litle lowly hermitage it was, Silly old man, that lives in hidden cell, Downe in a dale, hard by a forests side, Bidding his beades all day for his trespas, Far from resort of people, that did pas Tydings of warre and worldly trouble tell? In traveill to and froe: a litle wyde With holy father sits not with such thinges There was an holy chappell edifyde, to mell.
Wherein the hermite dewly wont to say
His holy thinges each morne and even-tyde: XXXI
Thereby a christall streame did gently play, • But if of daunger, which hereby doth dwell, Which from a sacred fountaine welled And homebredd evil ye desire to heare,
forth alway. Of a straunge man I can you tidings tell, That wasteth all this countrie farre and
Arrived there, the litle house they fill, "Of such,' saide he, 'I chiefly doe inquere, Ne looke for entertainement, where none And shall you well rewarde to shew the
Rest is their feast, and all thinges at their In which that wicked wight his dayes doth
The noblest mind the best contentment has. For to all knighthood it is foule disgrace, With faire discourse the evening so they pas: That such a cursed creature lives so long a For that olde man of pleasing wordes had space.'
And well could file his tongue as smooth XXXII
as glas: • Far hence,' quoth he, “in wastfull wilder He told of saintes and popes, and evermore nesse,
He strowd an Ave-Mary after and before. His dwelling is, by which no living wight May ever passe, but thorough great dis
The drouping night thus creepeth on them • Now,' saide the ladie, draweth toward night,
And the sad humor loading their eye liddes, And well I wote, that of your later fight As messenger of Morpheus, on them cast Ye all forwearied be: for what so strong, Sweet sIombring deaw, the which to sleep But, wanting rest, will also want of might ?
them biddes: The Sunne, that measures heaven all day Unto their lodgings then his guestes he long,
riddes: At night doth baite his steedes the ocean Where when all drownd in deadly sleepe waves emong.
He to his studie goes, and there amiddes XXXIII
His magick bookes and artes of sundrie • Then with the Sunne take, sir, your timely
He seekes out mighty charmes, to trouble And with new day new worke at once begin: sleepy minds. Untroubled night, they say, gives counsell best.'
XXXVII • Right well, sir knight, ye have advised | Then choosing out few words most horrible, bin,'
(Let none them read) thereof did verses Quoth then that aged man; “the way to win
With which and other spelles like terrible,
XLI He bad awake blacke Plutoes griesly dame, And more, to lulle him in his slumber soft, And cursed heven, and spake reprochful A trickling streame from high rock tumshame
bling downe, Of highest God, the Lord of life and light: And ever drizling raine upon the loft, A bold bad man, that dar'd to call by name Mixt with a murmuring winde, much like Great Gorgon, prince of darknes and dead the sowne night,
Of swarming bees, did cast him in a swowne: At which Cocytus quakes, and Styx is put No other noyse, nor peoples troublous cryes, to flight.
As still are wont t'annoy the walled towne,
Might there be heard: but carelesse Quiet XXXVIII
lyes, And forth he cald out of deepe darknes Wrapt in eternall silence farre from enidredd
myes. Legions of sprights, the which, like litle
XLII Fluttring about his ever damned hedd, | 'The messenger approching to him spake, Awaite whereto their service be applyes, But his waste wordes retournd to him in To aide his friendes, or fray his enimies:
vaine: Of those he chose out two, the falsest twoo, So sound he slept, that nought mought him And fittest for to forge true-seeming lyes;
awake. The one of them he gave a message too, Then rudely he him thrust, and pusht with The other by him selfe staide, other worke
paine, to doo.
Whereat he gan to stretch: but he againe
Shooke him so hard, that forced him to XXXIX
speake. He, making speedy way through spersed As one then in a dreame, whose dryer braine ayre,
Is tost with troubled sights and fancies And through the world of waters wide and
He mumbled soft, but would not all his To Morpheus house doth hastily repaire.
silence breake. Amid the bowels of the earth full steepe, And low, where dawning day doth never peepe,
The sprite then gan more boldly him to His dwelling is; there Tethys his wet
And threatned unto him the dreaded name Doth ever wash, and Cynthia still doth Of Hecate: whereat he gan to quake, steepe
And, lifting up his lompish head, with blame In silver deaw his ever-drouping bed, Halfe angrie asked him, for what he came. Whiles sad Night over him her mantle • Hether,' quoth he, me Archimago sent, black doth spred.
He that the stubborne sprites can wisely
He bids thee to him send for his intent Whose double gates he findeth locked fast, | A fit false dreame, that can delude the The one faire fram'd of burnisht yvory,
sleepers sent.' The other all with silver overcast; And wakeful dogges before them farre doe
The god obayde, and calling forth straight Watching to banish Care their enimy,
way Who oft is wont to trouble gentle Sleepe. A diverse dreame out of his prison darke, By them the sprite doth passe in quietly, | Delivered it to him, and downe did lay And unto Morpheus comes, whom drowned His heavie head, devoide of careful carke; deepe
Whose sences all were straight benumbd In drowsie fit he findes: of nothing he
and starke. takes keepe.
| He, backe returning by the yvorie dore,