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A dreadfull dragon with an hideous trayne, Ne other grace vouchsafed them to showe And in her hand she held a mirrhour Of princesse worthy; scarse them bad arise. bright,
Her lordes and ladies all this wbile devise Wherein her face she often vewed fayne, Themselves to setten forth to straungers And in her selfe-lov'd semblance tooke de
Some frounce their curled heare in courtly · For she was wondrous faire, as any living guise, wight.
Some prancke their ruffes, and others trimly
Their gay attyre: each others greater pride Of griesly Pluto she the daughter was,
does spight. And sad Proserpina, the queene of hell; Yet did she thinke her pearelesse worth to
Goodly they all that knight doe entertayne, That parentage, with pride so did she swell, Right glad with him to have increast their And thundring Jove, that high in heaven
crew; doth dwell,
But to Duess' each one himselfe did payne And wield the world, she claymed for her All kindnesse and faire courtesie to shew; syre,
For in that court whylome her well they Or if that any else did Jove excell:
knew: For to the highest she did still aspyre, Yet the stout Faery mongst the middest Or, if ought higher were then that, did it
Thought all their glorie vaine in knightly
And that great princesse too exceeding And proud Lucifera men did her call,
prowd, That made her selfe a queene, and crownd That to strange knight no better counteto be;
nance allowd. Yet rightfull kingdome she had none at all, Ne heritage of native soveraintie,
XVI But did usurpe with wrong and tyrannie Suddein upriseth from her stately place Upon the scepter, which she now did hold: | The roiall dame, and for her coche doth call: Ne ruld her realme with lawes, but pol | All hurtlen forth, and she, with princely licie,
pace, And strong advizement of six wisards old, As faire Aurora, in her purple pall, That with their counsels bad her kingdome Out of the east the dawning day doth call, did uphold.
So forth she comes: her brightnes brode
The heapes of people, thronging in the ball, Soone as the Elfin knight in presence came, Doe ride each other, upon her to gaze: And false Duessa, seeming lady fayre, Her glorious glitterand light doth all mens A gentle husher, Vanitie by name,
eies amaze. Made rowme, and passage for them did prepaire:
XVII So goodly brought them to the lowest stayre So forth she comes, and to her coche does Of her high throne, where they, on humble
Adorned all with gold and girlonds gay, Making obeysaunce, did the cause declare, That seemd as fresh as Flora in her prime, Why they were come, her roiall state to see, And strove to match, in roiall rich array, To prove the wide report of her great Great Junoes golden chayre, the which, they majestee.
The gods stand gazing on, when she does XIV
ride With loftie eyes, halfe loth to looke so lowe, To Joves high hous through heavens bras She thancked them in her disdainefull wise, I paved way,
Drawne of fayre pecocks, that excell in And all the way, most like a brutish beast, pride,
He spued up his gorge, that all did him And full of Argus eyes their tayles dis deteast. predden wide.
In greene vine leaves he was right fitly But this was drawne of six unequall beasts,
clad; On which her six sage counsellours did ryde, For other clothes he could not weare for Taught to obay their bestiall beheasts,
heat; With like conditions to their kindes ap- | And on his head an yvie girland had, plyde:
From under which fast trickled downe the Of which the first, that all the rest did
Still as he rode, he somewhat still did Was sluggish Idlenesse, the nourse of sin;
eat, Upon a slouthfull asse he chose to ryde, And in his hand did beare a bouzing can, Arayd in habit blacke, and amis thin, Of which he supt so oft, that on his seat Like to an holy monck, the service to begin. | His dronken corse he scarse upholden can:
In shape and life more like a monster then XIX
a man. And in his hand his portesse still he bare, That much was worne, but therein little
Unfit he was for any worldly thing, For of devotion he had little care,
And eke unhable once to stirre or go; Still drownd in sleepe, and most of his Not meet to be of counsell to a king, daies dedd:
Whose mind in meat and drinke was Scarse could he once uphold his heavie hedd,
drowned so, To looken whether it were night or day: That from his frend he seeldome knew bis May seeme the wayne was very evill ledd,
fo: When such an one had guiding of the way, Full of diseases was his carcas blew, That knew not whether right he went, or And a dry dropsie through his flesh did else astray.
Such one was Gluttony, the second of that From worldly cares himselfe he did es
And next to him rode lustfull Lechery For contemplation sake: yet otherwise
Upon a bearded gote, whose rugged heare, His life he led in lawlesse riotise;
And whally eies (the signe of gelosy,) By which he grew to grievous malady;
Was like the person selfe, whom he did For in his lustlesse limbs, through evill beare: guise,
Who rough, and blacke, and filthy, did apA shaking fever raignd continually.
peare, Such one was Idlenesse, first of this com
Unseemely man to please faire ladies eye; pany.
Yet he of ladies oft was loved deare,
When fairer faces were bid standen by: XXI
O who does know the bent of womens fanAnd by his side rode loathsome Gluttony,
tasy? Deformed creature, on a filthie swyne: His belly was upblowne with luxury, And eke with fatnesse swollen were his eyne; In a greene gowne he clothed was full And like a crane his necke was long and fyne,
Which underneath did hide his filthinesse; With which he swallowd up excessive feast, | And in his hand a burning hart he bare, For want whereof poore people oft did pyne: | Full of vaine follies and new fanglenesse;
For he was false, and fraught with fickle | Whose need had end, but no end covetise, nesse,
Whose welth was want, whose plenty made And learned had to love with secret lookes, And well could daunce, and sing with rue- | Who had enough, yett wished ever more, fulnesse,
A vile disease; and eke in foote and hand And fortunes tell, and read in loving bookes, | A grievous gout tormented him full sore, And thousand other waies, to bait his That well he could not touch, nor goe, nor fleshly hookes.
Such one was Avarice, the forth of this XXVI
faire band. Inconstant man, that loved all he saw, And lusted after all that he did love;
XXX We would his looser life be tide to law, | And next to him malicious Envy rode But joyd weake wemens hearts to tempt, Upon a ravenous wolfe, and still did chaw and prove
Betweene his cankred teeth a venemous If from their loyall loves he might them
That all the poison ran about his chaw; Which lewdnes fild him with reprochfull pain But inwardly he chawed his owne maw Of that foule evill, which all men reprove, At neibors welth, that made him ever sad; That rotts the marrow, and consumes the For death it was, when any good he saw; braine.
And wept, that cause of weeping none he Such one was Lechery, the third of all this traine.
But when he heard of harme, he wexed
wondrous glad. XXVII And greedy Avarice by him did ride,
XXXI Uppon a camell loaden all with gold: All in a kirtle of discolourd say Two iron coffers hong on either side, He clothed was, ypaynted full of eies; With precious metall full as they might hold, And in his bosome secretly there lay And in his lap an heap of coine he told; An hatefull snake, the which his taile uptyes For of his wicked pelfe his god he made, In many folds, and mortall sting implyes. And unto hell him selfe for money sold: Still as he rode, he gnasht his teeth, to see Accursed usury was all his trade;
Those heapes of gold with griple Covetyse; And right and wrong ylike in equall bal And grudged at the great felicitee launce waide.
Of proud Lucifera, and his owne companee. XXVIII
XXXII His life was nigh unto deaths dore yplaste; | He hated all good workes and vertuous And thred-bare cote, and cobled shoes, hee
And him no lesse, that any like did use; Ne scarse good morsell all his life did taste, And who with gratious bread the hungry But both from backe and belly still did
His almes for want of faith he doth accuse; To fill his bags, and richesse to compare; So every good to bad he doth abuse: Yet childe ne kinsman living had he none And eke the verse of famous poets witt To leave them to; but thorough daily care He does backebite, and spightfull poison To get, and nightly feare to lose his owne,
spues He led a wretched life, unto him selfe un From leprous mouth on all that ever writt. knowne.
Such one vile Envy was, that fifte in row
did sitt. XXIX Most wretched wight, whom nothing might
And him beside rides fierce revenging Whose greedy lust did lacke in greatest
| Upon a lion, loth for to be led;
And in his hand a burning brond he hath, But that good knight would not so nigh re-
vaine, As ashes pale of hew, and seeming ded; Whose fellowship seemd far unfitt for warAnd on his dagger still his hand he held,
like swaine. Trembling through hasty rage, when choler in him sweld.
So having solaced themselves a space,
With pleasaunce of the breathing fields His ruffin raiment all was staind with blood,
yfed, Which he had spilt, and all to rags yrent, They backe retourned to the princely place; Through unadvized rashnes woxen wood; Whereas an errant knight, in armes ycled, For of his hands he had no governement, And heathnish shield, wherein with letters Ne car'd for blood in his avengement:
red But when the furious fitt was overpast, Was writt Sans joy, they new arrived find: His cruell facts he often would repent; Enflam'd with fury and fiers hardyhed, Yet, wilfull man, he never would forecast, | He seemd in hart to harbour thoughts unHow many mischieves should ensue his I kind, heedlesse hast.
And nourish bloody vengeaunce in his bit
ter mind. XXXV Full many mischiefes follow cruell Wrath;
XXXIX Abhorred bloodshed, and tumultuous strife, Who, when the shamed shield of slaine Unmanly murder, and unthrifty scath,
Sansfoy Bitter despight, with rancours rusty knife, He spide with that same Fary champions And fretting griefe, the enemy of life:
| page, All these, and many evils moe haunt Ire; Bewraying him that did of late destroy The swelling splene, and frenzy raging rife, His eldest brother, burning all with rage, The shaking palsey, and Saint Fraunces fire. He to him lept, and that same envious gage Such one was Wrath, the last of this un Of victors glory from him snacht away: godly tire.
But th’ Elfin knight, which ought that war
like wage, XXXVI
Disdaind to loose the meed he wonne in fray, And after all, upon the wagon beame, And him rencountring fierce, reskewd the Rode Sathan, with a smarting whip in hand,
noble pray. With which he forward lasht the laesy
teine, So oft as Slowth still in the mire did stand. Therewith they gan to hurtlen greedily, Huge routs of people did about them band, | Redoubted battaile ready to darrayne, Showting for joy; and still before their And clash their shields, and shake their way
swerds on hy, A foggy mist had covered all the land; That with their sturre they troubled all the And underneath their feet, all scattered lay
traine; Dead sculls and bones of men, whose life Till that great queene, upon eternall paine had gone astray.
Of high displeasure, that ensewen might,
Commaunded them their fury to refraine, XXXVII
And if that either to that shield had right, So forth they marchen in this goodly sort, In equall lists they should the morrow next To take the solace of the open aire,
it fight. And in fresh flowring fields themselves to
XLI Emongst the rest rode that false lady faire, Ah! dearest dame,' quoth then the Paynim The foule Duessa, next unto the chaire
bold, Of proud Lucifer', as one of the traine: 1. Pardon the error of enraged wight,
Whome great griefe made forgett the raines
XLV to hold
Whom broad awake she findes, in trouOf reasons rule, to see this recreaunt knight, blous fitt, No knight, but treachour full of false de Forecasting, how his foe he might annoy, spight
And him amoves with speaches seeming fitt: And shameful treason, who through guile Ah deare Sansjoy, next dearest to Sansfoy, bath slayn
Cause of my new griefe, cause of my new The prowest knight that ever field did fight,
joy, Even stout Sansfoy, (O who can then re Joyous, to see his ymage in mine eye, frayn?)
And greevd, to thinke how foe did him deWhose shield he beares renverst, the more
stroy, to heap disdayn.
That was the flowre of grace and cheval
Lo! his Fidessa, to thy secret faith I flye.' * And to augment the glorie of his guile, His dearest love, the faire Fidessa, loe!
XLVI Is there possessed of the traytour vile, With gentle wordes he can her fayrely Who reapes the harvest sowen by his foe,
greet, Sowen in bloodie field, and bought with | And bad say on the secrete of her hart. woe:
Then, sighing soft, I learne that litle sweet That brothers hand shall dearely well re- | Oft tempred is,' quoth she, with muchell quight,
smart: So be, O Queene, you equall favour showe.' For since my brest was launcht with lovely Him litle answerd th' angry Elfin knight;
dart He never meant with words, but swords, to Of deare Sansfoy, I never joyed howre, plead his right:
But in eternall woes my weaker hart
Have wasted, loving him with all my powre, XLIII
And for his sake have felt full many an But threw his gauntlet as a sacred pledg,
heavie stowre. His cause in combat the next day to try: So been they parted both, with harts on edg
XLVII To be aveng'd each on his enimy.
\ • At last, when perils all I weened past, That night they pas in joy and jollity, And hop'd to reape the crop of all my care, Feasting and courting both in bowre and Into new woes unweeting I was cast hall;
By this false faytor, who unworthie ware For steward was excessive Gluttony, His worthie shield, whom he with guilefull That of his plenty poured forth to all;
snare Which doen, the chamberlain Slowth did to Entrapped slew, and brought to shamefull rest them call.
Me, silly maid, away with him he bare, XLIV
And ever since hath kept in darksom cave, Now whepas darkesome Night had all dis- | For that I would not yeeld that to Sansfoy playd
• But since faire sunne hath sperst that Did chace away sweet sleepe from slug
lowring clowd, gish eye,
And to my loathed life now shewes some To muse on meanes of hoped victory.
light, But whenas Morpheus had with leaden Under your beames I will me safely shrowd
From dreaded storme of his disdainfull Arrested all that courtly company,
spight: Uprose Duessa from her resting place, To you th: inheritance belonges by right And to the Paynims lodging comes with Of brothers prayse, to you eke longes his silent pace.