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Who, whiles he livde, was called proud For golden Phoebus, now ymounted hie, Sansfoy:
From fiery wheeles of his faire chariot The eldest of three brethren, all three bred Hurled his beame so scorching cruell hot, Of one bad sire, whose youngest is Sansjoy, That living creature mote it not abide; And twixt them both was born the bloudy And his new lady it endured not. bold Sansloy.
There they alight, in hope themselves to
From the fierce heat, and rest their weary In this sad plight, friendlesse, unfortunate, limbs a tide. Now miserable I Fidessa dwell, Craving of you, in pitty of my state,
XXX To doe none ill, if please ye not doe well.' | Faire seemely pleasaunce each to other He in great passion al this while did dwell,
makes, More busying his quicke eies, her face to With goodly purposes, there as they sit: view,
And in his falsed fancy he her takes Then his dull eares, to heare what shee did To be the fairest wight that lived yit; tell;
Which to expresse, he bends his gentle wit, And said, “Faire lady, bart of flint would rew | And thinking of those braunches greene to The undeserved woes and sorrowes which
frame ye shew.
A girlond for her dainty forehead fit,
He pluckt a bough; out of whose rifte there XXVII
came Henceforth in safe assuraunce may ye rest, Smal drops of gory bloud, that trickled Having both found a new friend you to aid,
down the same. And lost an old foe, that did you molest: Better new friend then an old foe is said.'
XXXI With chaunge of chear the seeming simple Therewith a piteous yelling voice was heard, maid
Crying, 'O spare with guilty hands to teare Let fal her eien, as shamefast, to the earth, My tender sides in this rough rynd embard; And yeelding soft, in that she nought gain But fly, ah ! fly far hence away, for feare said,
Least to you hap that happened to me So forth they rode, he feining seemely merth,
heare, And shee coy lookes: so dainty, they say, And to this wretched lady, my deare love; maketh derth.
O too deare love, love bought with death
too deare!' XXVIII
Astond he stood, and up his heare did Long time they thus together traveiled,
hove, Til, weary of their way, they came at last And with that suddein horror could no Where grew two goodly trees, that faire
member move. did spred Their armes abroad, with gray mosse overcast,
At last, whenas the dreadfull passion And their greene leaves, trembling with Was overpast, and manhood well awake, every blast,
Yet musing at the straunge occasion, Made a calme shadowe far in compasse And doubting much his sence, he thus beround:
spake: The fearefull shepheard, often there aghast, • What voice of damned ghost from Limbo t'nder them never sat, ne wont there sound
lake, His mery oaten pipe, but shund th' unlucky Or guilefull spright wandring in empty aire, ground.
Both which fraile men doe oftentimes mis
Sends to my doubtful eares these speaches But this good knight, soone as he them can
And ruefull plaints, me bidding guiltlesse For the coole shade him thither hastly got: 1 blood to spare?'
XXXVII Then groning deep: Nor damned ghost,' So doubly lov'd of ladies unlike faire, quoth he,
Th' one seeming such, the other such in• Nor guileful sprite to thee these words deede doth speake,
One day in doubt I cast for to compare, But once a man, Fradubio, now a tree; Whether in beauties glorie did exceede; Wretched man, wretched tree ! whose na- | A rosy girlond was the victors meede. ture weake
Both seemde to win, and both seemde won A cruell witch, her cursed will to wreake,
to bee, Hath thus transformd, and plast in open | So hard the discord was to be agreede: plaines,
Frælissa was as faire as faire mote bee, Where Boreas doth blow full bitter bleake, | And ever false Duessa seemde as faire as And scorching sunne does dry my secret
shee. vaines: For though a tree I seme, yet cold and heat
XXXVIII me paines.'
• The wicked witch, now seeing all this while
The doubtfull ballaunce equally to sway, XXXIV.
What not by right, she cast to win by guile; Say on, Fradubio, then, or man or tree,' And by her hellish science raisd streight Quoth then the knight; by whose mis
way chievous arts
A foggy mist, that overcast the day, Art thou misshaped thus, as now I see? And a dull blast, that, breathing on her face, He oft finds med'cine who his griefe im Dimmed her former beauties shining ray, parts;
And with foule ugly forme did her disBut double griefs afflict concealing harts,
grace: As raging flames who striveth to suppresse.' Then was she fayre alone, when none was • The author then,' said he, 'of all my smarts, faire in place. Is one Duessa, a false sorceresse, That many errant knights hath broght to wretchednesse.
•Then cride she out, “Fye, fye ! deformed
Whose borrowed beautie now appeareth • In prime of youthly yeares, when corage hott
To have before bewitched all mens sight; The fire of love and joy of chevalree o leave her soone, or let her soone be First kindled in my brest, it was my lott
slaine." To love this gentle lady, whome ye see Her loathly visage viewing with disdaine, Now not a lady, but a seeming tree; Eftsoones I thought her such as she me With whome as once I rode accompanyde,
told, Me chaunced of a knight encountred bee, And would have kild her; but with faigned That had a like faire lady by his syde;
paine Lyke a faire lady, but did fowle Duessa hyde. The false witch did my wrathfull hand
So left her, where she now is turnd to • Whose forged beauty he did take in hand
treen mould. All other dames to have exceded farre; I in defence of mine did likewise stand,
XL Mine, that did then shine as the morning . Thensforth I tooke Duessa for my dame, starre:
And in the witch unweeting joyd long time, So both to batteill fierce arraunged arre; Ne ever wist but that she was the same: In which his harder fortune was to fall Till on a day (that day is everie prime, Under my speare: such is the dye of warre: | When witches wont do penance for their His lady, left as a prise martiall,
crime) Did yield her comely person, to be at my I chaunst to see her in her proper hew,
Bathing her selfe in origane and thyme:
A filthy foule old woman I did vew, When all this speech the living tree had That ever to have toucht her I did deadly
The bleeding bough did thrust into the
That from the blood he might be innocent, · Her neather partes misshapen, monstruous, || And with fresh clay did close the wooden Were hidd in water, that I could not see,
wound: But they did seeme more foule and hide- Then turning to his lady, dead with feare ous,
her fownd. Then womans shape man would beleeve to bee.
XLV Thensforth from her most beastly com- Her seeming dead he fownd with feigned panie
feare, I gan refraine, in minde to slipp away, As all unweeting of that well she knew, Soone as appeard safe opportunitie:
And paynd himselfe with busie care to reare For danger great, if not assurd decay, Her out of carelesse swowne. Her eylids I saw before mine eyes, if I were knowne to stray. .
And dimmed sigbt, with pale and deadly hew,
At last she up gan lift: with trembling XLII
cheare The divelish hag, by chaunges of my cheare, Her up he tooke, too simple and too trew, Perceiv'd my thought; and drownd in sleepie And oft her kist. At length, all passed feare, night,
He set her on her steede, and forward With wicked herbes and oyntments did be
forth did beare.
Forsaken Truth long seekes her love,
And makes the lyon mylde,
Marres Blind Devotions mart, and fals Where now enclosd in wooden wals full
In hand of leachour vylde. faste, Banisht from living wights, our wearie daies we waste.'
Nought is there under heav'ns wide hol
That moves more deare compassion of mind, But how long time,' said then the Elfin Then beautie brought t'unworthie wretchknight,
ednesse • Are you in this misformed hous to dwell ? ' Through envies snares, or fortunes freakes We may not chaunge,' quoth he, 'this evill
I, whether lately through her brightnes Till we be bathed in a living well;
blynd, That is the terme prescribed by the spell.' Or through alleageance and fast fealty,
O how,' sayd he, mote I that well out find, 1 Which I do owe unto all womankynd,
Time and suffised fates to former kynd | When such I see, that all for pitty I could
dy. us unbynd.'
And now it is empassioned so deepe, The false Duessa, now Fidessa hight, For fairest Unaes sake, of whom I sing, Heard how in vaine Fradubio did lament, That my frayle eies these lines with teares And knew well all was true. But the good
do steepe, knight
To thinke how she through guyleful handeFull of sad feare and ghastly dreriment,
Though true as touch, though daughter of Her hart gan melt in great compassion, a king,
And drizling teares did shed for pure affecThough faire as ever living wight was fayre,
tion. Though nor in word nor deede ill meriting, Is from her knight divorced in despayre,
VII And her dew loves deryy'd to that vile • The lyon, lord of everie beast in field,' witches shayre.
Quoth she, his princely puissance doth
And mightie proud to humble weake does Yet she, most faithfull ladie, all this while
yield, Forsaken, wofull, solitarie mayd,
Forgetfull of the hungry rage, which late Far from all peoples preace, as in exile, Him prickt, in pittie of my sad estate: In wildernesse and wastfull deserts strayd, But he, my lyon, and my noble lord, To seeke her knight; who, subtily betrayd How does he find in cruell hart to hate Through that late vision which th' en Her that him lov'd, and ever most adord chaunter wrought,
As the god of my life? why hath he me Had her abandond. She, of nought affrayd,
abhord ?' Through woods and wastnes wide him daily
sought; Yet wished tydinges none of him unto her Rodounding teares did choke th’end of her brought.
plaint, Which softly ecchoed from the neighbour
wood; One day, nigh wearie of the yrkesome way, And sad to see her sorrowfull constraint, From her unhastie beast she did alight, The kingly beast upon her gazing stood; And on the grasse her dainty limbs did lay With pittie calmd, downe fell his angry In secrete shadow, far from all mens sight:
mood. From her fayre bead her fillet she undight, | At last, in close hart shutting up her payne, And layd her stole aside. Her angels face | Arose the virgin borne of heavenly brood, As the great eye of heaven shyned bright, And to her snowy palfrey got agayne, And made a sunshine in the shady place; To seeke her strayed champion if she might Did never mortall eye behold such heavenly
It fortuned, out of the thickest wood
The lyon would not leave her desolate,
In stead thereof he kist her wearie feet,
shold pas, Whose yielded pryde and proud submission, | Yet never shew of living wight espyde; Still dreading death, when she had marked | Till that at length she found the troden gras, long,
In which the tract of peoples footing was,
Under the steepe foot of a mountaine hore: and next her wrinkled skin rough sackeThe same she followes, till at last she has
cloth wore, A damzell spyde slow footing her before, And thrise three times did fast from any bitt: That on her shoulders sad a pot of water But now for feare her beads she did forbore.
Whose needelesse dread for to remove away,
Faire Una framed words and count'naunce To whom approching, she to her gan call,
fitt: To weet if dwelling place were nigh at hand; Which hardly doen, at length she gan them But the rude wench her answerd nought
pray at all;
That in their cotage small that night she She could not heare, nor speake, nor under
rest her may. stand; Till, seeing by her side the lyon stand,
XV With suddeine feare her pitcher downe she | The day is spent, and commeth drowsie threw,
night, And fled away: for never in that land When every creature shrowded is in sleepe: Face of fayre lady she before did vew, Sad Una downe her laies in weary plight, And that dredd lyons looke her cast in And at her feete the lyon watch doth keepe: deadly hew.
In stead of rest, she does lament, and weepe
And sighes, and grones, and evermore does Full fast she fled, ne ever lookt behynd,
steepe As if her life upon the wager lay,
Her tender brest in bitter teares all night; And home she came, whereas her mother | All night she thinks too long, and often blynd
lookes for light. Sate in eternall night: nought could she say, But, suddeine catching hold, did her dis
Now when Aldeboran was mounted hye With quaking hands, and other signes of Above the shinie Cassiopeias chaire, feare:
And all in deadly sleepe did drowned lye, Who, full of ghastly fright and cold affray, One knocked at the dore, and in would fare; Gan shut the dore. By this arrived there He knocked fast, and often curst, and sware, Dame Una, weary dame, and entrance did That ready entraunce was not at his call: requere.
For on his backe a heavy load he bare
Of nightly stelths and pillage severall, XIII
Which he had got abroad by purchas Which when none yielded, her unruly page
criminall. With his rude clawes the wicket open rent, And let her in; where, of his cruell rage
XVII Nigh dead with feare, and faint astonish- | He was, to weete, a stout and sturdy thiefe, ment,
Wont to robbe churches of their ornaments, Shee found them both in darkesome corner And poore mens boxes of their due reliefe, pent;
Which given was to them for good intents; Where that old woman day and night did The boly saints of their rich vestiments pray
He did disrobe, when all men carelesse slept, Upon her beads, devoutly penitent:
And spoild the priests of their habiliments; Nine hundred Pater nosters every day, Whiles none the holy things in safety kept, And thrise nine hundred Aves, she was wont Then he by conning sleights in at the winto say.
dow crept. XIV
XVIII And to augment her painefull penaunce And all that he by right or wrong could more,
find Thrise every weeke in ashes shee did sitt, Unto this house he brought, and did bestow