The faithfull knight in equall field
subdewes his faithlesse foe,
Whom false Duessa
sauessaves, and for
his cure to hell does goe.
The noble hart, that harbours vertuous
And is with childe of glorious great intent,
Can neuernever rest, vntilluntill it forth hauehave brought
Th’eternall brood of glorie excellent:
Such restlesse passion did all night torment
The flaming corage of that Faery knight,
DeuizingDevizing, how that doughtie turnament
With greatest honour he atchieuenatchieven might;
Still did he wake, and still did watch for
At last the golden Orientall gate
Of greatest heauenheaven gan to open fayre,
And Phoebus fresh, as brydegrome to
Came dauncing forth, shaking his deawie hayre,hayre:,haire:
And hurldhurlshurles his glistring beams through gloomy ayre.
Which whẽwhen the wakeful Elfe perceiudperceivd, streight way
He started vpup, and did him selfe prepayre,
In sunbright armes, and battailous array:
For with that Pagan proud he combatt will
And forth he comes into the commune
Where earely waite him many a gazing eye,
To weet what end to straunger knights may fall.
There many Minstrales maken melody,
To drive away the dull melancholy
And many Bardes, that to the trembling chord
Can tune their timely voices cunningly,
And many Chroniclers, that can record
Old louesloves, and warres for Ladies doen by many a Lord.
Soone after comes the cruell Sarazin,
In wouenwoven maile all armed warily,
And sternly lookes at him, who not a pin
Does care for looke of liuingliving creatures eye.
They bring them wines of Greece and
And daintie spices fetcht from furthest Ynd,
To kindle heat of corage priuilyprivily:
And in the wine a solemne oth they bynd
T’obserueobserve the facred lawes of armes, that are assynd.
At last forth comes that far renowmed
With royall pomp and princely maiestiemajestie;
She is ybrought vntounto a paled greene,
And placed vnderunder stately canapee,
The warlike feates of both those knights to see.
On th’other side in all mens open vew
Duessa placed is, and
on a tree
Sansfoy his shield is
hangd with bloody hew:
Both those the lawrell girlonds to the
A shrilling trompett sownded from on
And vntounto battaill bad them seluesselves addresse:
Their shining shieldes about their wrestes they tye,
And burning blades about their heades doe blesse,
The instruments of wrath and heauinesseheavinesse:
With greedy force each other doth assayle,
And strike so fiercely, that they doe impresse
Deepe dinted furrowes in the battred mayle:
The yron walles to ward their blowes are
weak &and fraile.
The Sarazin was stout and wondrous
And heaped blowes like yron hammers great:
For after blood and vengeance he did long.
The knight was fiers, and full of youthly heat,heat:
And doubled strokes, like dreaded thunders threat:
For all for praise and honour he did fight.
Both stricken stryke, and beaten both doe beat,
That from their shields forth flyeth firie light,
helmetshelmets hewen deepe shew marks of eithers might.
So th’one for wrong, the other striuesstrives for right:
As when a Gryfon seized of his pray,
A Dragon fiers encountreth in his flight,
Through widest ayre making his ydle way,
That would his rightfull rauineravine rend away:
With hideous horror both together smight,
And souce so sore, that they the heauensheavens affray:
The wise Southsayer seeing so sad sight,
Th’amazed vulgar tellesvulgartelles of warres and mortall fight.
So th’one for wrong the other striuesstrives for right,
And each to deadly shame would driuedrive his foe:
The cruell steele so greedily doth bight
In tender flesh, that streames of blood down flow,
With which the armes, that earst so bright did show
Into a pure vermillion now are dyde:
Great ruth in all the gazers harts did grow,
Seeing the gored woundes to gape so wyde,
That victory they dare not wish to either
At last the Paynim chaunst to cast his
His suddein eye, flaming with wrathfull fyre,
VponUpon his brothers shield, which hong thereby:
Therewith redoubled was his raging yre,
And said, Ah wretched sonne of wofull syre,
Doest thou sit wayling by blacke Stygian lake,
Whylest here thy shield is hangd for victors hyre,
And sluggish german doest thy forces slake,
To after-send his foe, that him may ouertakeovertake?
Goe caytiuecaytive Elfe, him quickly ouertakeovertake,
And soone redeeme from his long wandring woe;woe,
Goe guiltie ghost, to him my message make,
That I his shield hauehave quit from dying foe.
Therewith vponupon his crest he stroke him so,
That twise he reeled, readie twise to fall;
End of the doubtfull battaile deemed tho
The lookers on, and lowd to him gan call
The false Duessa, Thine the shield, and I, and
Soone as the Faerie heard his Ladie
Out of his swowning dreame he gan awake,
And quickning faith, that earst was woxen weake,
The creeping deadly cold away did shake:
Tho mou’dmov’d with wrath, and shame, and Ladies sake,
Of all attonce he cast auengdavengd to be,
And with so’exceeding furie at him strake,
That forced him to stoupe vponupon his knee;
Had he not stouped so, he should hauehave
And to him said, Goe now proud
Thy selfe thy message do to german deare,
Alone he wandring thee too long doth want:
Goe say, his foe thy shield with his doth beare.
Therewith his heauieheavie hand he high gan reare,
Him to hauehave slaine; when lo a darkesome clowd
VponUpon him fell: he no where doth appeare,
But vanisht is. The Elfe him calls alowd,
But answer none receiuesreceives: the darknes him does
In haste Duessa from her place arose,
And to him running sayd, O prowest knight,
That euerever Ladie to her louelove did chose,
Let now abate the terrour of your might,
And quench the flame of furious despight,
And bloodie vengeance; lo th’infernall powres
CoueringCovering your foe with cloud of deadly night,
HaueHave borne him hence to Plutoes balefull
The conquest yours, I yours, the shield,
and glory yours.
Not all so satisfide, with greedy eye
He sought all round about, his
To bathe in blood of faithlesse enimy;
Who all that while lay hid in secret shade:
He standes amazed, how he thence should fade.
At last the trumpets Triumph sound on hie,
And running Heralds humble homage made,
Greeting him goodly with new victorie,
And to him brought the shield, the cause
Wherewith he goeth to that souerainesoveraine Queene,
And falling her before on lowly knee,
To her makes present of his seruiceservice seene:
Which she accepts, with thankes, and goodly gree,
Greatly aduauncingadvauncing his gay cheualreechevalree.
So marcheth home, and by her takes the knight,
Whom all the people followe with great glee,
Shouting, and clapping all their hands on hight,
That all the ayre it fils, and flyes to heauenheaven bright.
Home is he brought, and layd in sumptuous
Where many skilfull leaches him abide,
To saluesalve his hurts, that yet still freshly bled.
In wine and oyle they wash his woundes wide,
And softly gancan embalme on euerieeverie side.
And all the while, most heauenlyheavenly melody
About the bed sweet musicke did diuidedivide,
Him to beguile of griefe and agony:
And all the while Duessa wept full bitterly.
As when a wearie traueilertraveiler that strayes
By muddy shore of broad seuenseven-mouthed Nile,
VnweetingUnweeting of the perillous wandring wayes,
Doth meete a cruell craftie Crocodile,
Which in false griefe hyding his harmefull guile,
Doth weepe full sore, and sheddeth tender teares:
The foolish man, that pitties all this while
His mournefull plight, is swallowd vpup
Forgetfull of his owne, that mindes an
So wept Duessa
That shyning lampes in
IouesJoves high house were light:
Then forth she rose, ne lenger would abide,
But comes vntounto the place, where th’Hethen knight
In slombring swownd nigh voyd of vitall spright,
Lay couercover’d with inchaunted cloud all day:
Whom when she found, as she him left in plight,
To wayle his wofull case she would not stay,
But to the Easterne coast of heauenheaven makes speedy way.
Where griesly Night, with visage deadly sad,
That Phœbus chearefull face durst neuernever vew,
And in a foule blacke pitchy mantle clad,
She findes forth comming from her darksome mew,
Where she all day did hide her hated hew.
Before the dore her yron charet stood,
Already harnessed for iourneyjourney new;
And coleblacke steedes yborne of hellish brood,
That on their rusty bits did champ, as
they were wood.
Who when she saw Duessa sunny bright,
Adornd with gold and iewelsjewels shining cleare,
She greatly grew amazed at the sight,
And th’vnacquaintedunacquainted light began to feare:
For neuernever did such brightnes there appeare,
And would hauehave backe retyred to her cauecave,
VntillUntill the witches speach she gan to heare,
Saying, yet O thou dreaded Dame, I crauecrave
Abyde, till I hauehave told the message, which I hauehave.
She stayd, and foorth Duessa gan proceede,
O thou most auncient Grandmother of all,
More old 22.3. then: thanthenthan
IoueJove, whom thou at first didst breede,
Or that great house of Gods cælestiall,
Which wast begot in Dæmogorgons
And sawst the secrets of the world vnmadeunmade,
Why suffredst thou thy Nephewes deare to fall
With Elfin sword, most shamefully betrade?
Lo where the stout SansioySansjoy doth sleepe in deadly shade.
And him before, I saw with bitter
The bold Sansfoy shrinck vnderneathunderneath his speare;
And now the pray of fowles in field he lyes,
Nor wayld of friends, nor layd on groning beare,
That whylome was to me too dearely deare.
O what of Gods then boots it to be borne,
If old Aveugles sonnes so euillevill heare?
Or who shall not great Nightes children scorne,
When two of three her Nephews are so
VpUp then, vpup dreary Dame, of darknes Queene,
Go gather vpup the reliques of thy race,
Or else goe them auengeavenge, and let be seene,
That dreaded Night in brightest day hath place,
And can the children of fayre light deface.
Her feeling speaches some compassion mou’dmov’d
In hart, and chaunge in that great mothers face:
Yet pitty in her hart was neuernever
Till then: for euermoreevermore she hated, neuernever
And said, Deare daughter rightly may I
The fall of famous children borne of mee,
And good successes, which their foes ensew:
But who can turne the streame of destinee,
Or breake the chayne of strong necessitee,
Which fast is tyde to
IouesJoves eternall seat.
The sonnes of Day he fauourethfavoureth, I see,
And by my ruines thinkes to make them great:
To make one great by others losse, is bad
Yet shall they not escape so freely
For some shall pay the price of others guilt:
And he the man that made Sansfoy to fall,
Shall with his owne blood price, that he hath spilt.
But what art thou, that telst of Nephews kilt?
I that do seeme not I, Duessa ame,
Quoth she, how euerever now in garments gilt,
And gorgeous gold arayd I to thee came;
Duessa I, the daughter
of Deceipt and Shame.
Then bowing downe her aged backe, she
The wicked witch, saying, In that fayre face
The false resemblaunce of Deceipt, I wist
Did closely lurke; yet so true-seeming grace
It carried, that I scarse in darksome place
Could it discerne, though I the mother bee
Of fashood, and roote of Duessaes race.
O welcome child, whom I hauehave longd to see,
And now hauehave seene vnwaresunwares. Lo now I goe with thee.
Then to her yron wagon she betakes,
And with her beares the fowle welfauourdwelfavourd witch:
Through mirkesome aire her ready way she makes.
Her twyfold Teme, of which two blacke as pitch,
And two were browne, yet each to each vnlichunlich,
Did softly swim away, ne euerever stamp,
VnlesseUnlesse she chaũstchaunst their stubborne mouths to twitch;
Then foming tarre, their bridles they would champ,
And trampling the fine element, would
So well they sped, that they be come at
VntoUnto the place, whereas the Paynim lay,
DeuoidDevoid of outward sence, and natiuenative strength,
CouerdCoverd with charmed cloud from vew of day,
And sight of men, since his late luckelesse fray.
His cruell wounds with cruddy bloud congeald,
They binden vpup so wisely, as they may,
And handle softly, till they can be heald:
So lay him in her charett, close in night
And all the while she stood vponupon the groundgrouud,
The wakefull dogs did neuernever cease to bay,
As giuinggiving warning of th’vnwontedunwonted sound,
With which her yron wheeles did them affray,
And her darke griesly looke them much dismay;
The messenger of death, the ghastly owle
With drery shriekes did also her bewray;
And hungry wolueswolves continually did howle,
At her abhorred face, so filthy and so
Thence turning backe in silence softe
And brought the heauyheavy corse with easy pace
To yawning gulfe of deepe
By that same hole an entraunce darke and bace
With smoake and sulphur hiding all the place,
Descends to hell: there creature neuernever past,
That backe retourned without heauenlyheavenly grace;
But dreadfull Furies, which their
chaines hauehave brast,
And damned sprights sent forth to make
ill men aghast.
By that same way the direfull dames doe driuedrive
Their mournefull charett, fild with rusty blood,
And downe to Plutoes house are come biliuebilive:
Which passing through, on eueryevery side them stood
The trembling ghosts with sad amazed mood,
Chattring their iron teeth, and staring wide
With stony eies; and all the hellish brood
Of feends infernall flockt on eueryevery side,
To gaze on erthly wight, that with the
Night durst ride.
They pas the bitter waueswaves of Acheron,
Where many soules sit wailing woefully,
And come to fiery flood of Phlegeton,
Whereas the damned ghosts in torments fry,
And with sharp shrilling shriekes doe bootlesse cry,
IoueJove, the which them thither sent.
The house of endlesse paine is built thereby,
In which ten thousand sorts of punishment
The cursed creatures doe eternally
Before the threshold dreadfull Cerberus
His three deformed heads did lay along,
Curled with thousand adders venemous,
And lilled forth his bloody flaming tong:
At them he gan to reare his bristles strong,
And felly gnarre, vntilluntill Dayes enemy
Did him appease; then downe his taile he hong
And suffered them to passen quietly:
For she in hell and heauenheaven had power equally.
There was Ixion turned on a wheele,
For daring tempt the Queene of heauenheaven to sin;
And Sisyphus an huge round stone did
Against an hill, ne might from labour lin;
Tantalus hong by the
And Tityus fed a vultur on his
ioyntsjoynts were stretched on a gin,
Theseus condemned to endlesse slouth by law
And fifty sisters water in lekelete vessels draw.
They all beholding worldly wights in
LeaueLeave off their worke, vnmindfullunmindfull of their smart,
To gaze on them; who forth by them doe pace,
Till they become vntounto the furthest part:
Where was a CaueCave ywrought by wondrous art,
Deepe, darke, vneasyuneasy, dolefull, comfortlesse,
In which sad Aesculapius far
Emprisond was in chaines remedilesse,
For that Hippolytus rent corse he did redresse.
Hippolytus a iollyjolly huntsman was,
That wont in charett chace the foming bore;
He all his Peeres in beauty did surpas,
But Ladies louelove as losse of time forbore:
His wanton stepdame louedloved him the more,
But when she saw her offred sweets refusd
Her louelove she turnd to hate, and him before
His father fierce of treason false accusd,
And with her gealous termes his open
Who all in rage his Sea-god syre
Some cursed vengeaunce on his sonne to cast:
FrõFrom surging gulf two MõstersMonsters streight were brought,
With dread whereof his chacing steedes aghast,
Both charett swifte and huntsman ouercastovercast.
His goodly corps on ragged clifts yrent,
Was quite dismembred, and his members chast
Scattered on eueryevery mountaine, as he went,
That of Hippolytus was lefte no moniment.
His cruell stepdame seeing what was
Her wicked daies with wretched knife did end,
In death auowingavowing th’innocence of her sonne.
Which hearing his rash Syre, began to rend
His heare, and hasty tong, that did offend:
Tho gathering vpup the relicks of his smart
By Dianes meanes, who was Hippolyts frend,
Them brought to Aesculape, that by
Did heale them all againe, and ioynedjoyned
Such wondrous science in mans witt to
auizdavizd, that could the dead
And fates expired could renew again,
Of endlesse life he might him not depriuedeprive,
But vntounto hell did thrust him downe aliuealive,
With flashing thunderbolt ywounded sore:
Where long remaining, he did alwaies striuestrive
Him selfe with saluessalves to health for to restore,
And slake the heauenlyheavenly sire, that raged euermoreevermore.
There auncient Night arriuingarriving, did alight
From her nighhigh weary wayne, and in her armes
AesculapiusAEsculapius brought the wounded knight:
Whome hauinghaving softly disaraid of armes,
Tho gan to him discouerdiscover all his harmes,
Beseeching him with prayer, and with praise,
If either saluessalves, or oyles, or herbes, or charmes
A fordonne wight from dore of death mote raise,
He would at her request prolong her
Ah Dame (qd.quoth he) thou
temptest me in vaine,
To dare the thing, which daily yet I rew,
And the old cause of my continued paine
With like attempt to like end to renew.
Is not enough, that thrust from heauenheaven dew
Here endlesse penaunce for one fault I pay,
But that redoubled crime with vengeaunce new
Thou biddest me to eeke? Can Night defray
The wrath of thundring
IoueJove, that rules both night and day?
Not so (qd.quoth she) but
sith that heauensheavens king
From hope of heauenheaven hath thee excluded quight,
Why fearest thou, that canst not hope for thing,
And fearest not, that more thee hurten might,
Now in the powre of euerlastingeverlasting Night?
Goe to then, O thou far renowmedrenouned sonne
Of great Apollo, shew thy famous
In medicine, that els hath to thee wonne
Great pains, and greater praise, both neuernever to be donne.
Her words preuaildprevaild: And then the learned leach
His cunning hand gan to his wounds to lay,
And all things els, the which his art did teach:
Which hauinghaving seene, from thence arose away
The mother of dredd darkenesse, and let stay
AueuglesAveugles sonne there in the leaches cure,
And backe retourning tooke her wonted way,
To ronne her timely race, whilst Phoebus pure
In westerne waueswaves his weary wagon did recure.
The false Duessa
leauingleaving noyous Night,
Returnd to stately pallace of Dame Pryde;
Where when she came, she found the Faery knight
Departed thence, albee his woundes wyde
Not throughly heald, vnreadyunready were to ryde.
Good cause he had to hasten thence away;
For on a day his wary Dwarfe had spyde,
Where in a dungeon deepe huge nombers lay
Of caytiuecaytive wretched thralls, that wayled night and day.
A ruefull sight, as could be seene with
Of whom he learned had in secret wise
The hidden cause of their captiuitiecaptivitie,
How mortgaging their liueslives to
Through wastfull Pride, and wanton Riotise,
They were by law of that proud Tyrannesse
ProuoktProvokt with Wrath, and
EnuyesEnvyes false surmise,
Condemned to that Dongeon mercilesse,
Where they should liuelive in wo, &and dye in wretchednesse.
There was that great proud king of Babylon,
That would compell all nations to adore,
And him as onely God to call vponupon,
Till through celestiall doome thrown out of dore,
Into an Oxe he was transformd of yore:
There also was king
, that enhaunst
His hart too high through his great richesse store;
And proud Antiochus, the which aduaunstadvaunst
His cursed hand gainst God, and on his
And them long time before, great Nimrod was,
That first the world with sword and fire warrayd;
And after him old Ninus far did
In princely pomp, of all the world obayd;
There also was that mightie Monarch layd
Low vnderunder all, yet aboueabove all in pride,
That name of natiuenative syre did fowle vpbraydupbrayd,
And would as Ammons sonne be
Till scornd of God and man a shamefull
death he dide.
All these together in one heape were
Like carkases of beastes in butchers stall.
And in another corner wide were strowne
The Antique ruins of the Romanes
Great Romulus the Grandsyre of them
Proud Tarquin, and too lordly Lentulus,
Stout Scipio, and stubborne Hanniball,
Ambitious Sylla, and sterne Marius,
High Caesar, great Pompey, and fiers Antonius.
Amongst these mightie men were wemen
Proud wemen, vaine, forgetfull of their yoke:
The bold Semiramis, whose sides
With sonnes own blade, her fowle reproches spoke;
Fayre Sthenobœa, that herselfe did
With wilfull chord, for wanting of her will;
High minded Cleopatra, that with
Of Aspes sting herselfe did stoutly kill:
And thousands moe the like, that did that
Besides the endlesse routes of wretched
Which thether were assembled day by day,
From all the world after their wofull falles,
Through wicked pride, and wasted welthes decay.
But most of all, which in thatthe Dongeon lay
Fell from high Princes courtes, or Ladies bowres,
Where they in ydle pomp, or wanton play,
Consumed had their goods, and thriftlesse howres,
And lastly thrown themseluesthemselves into these heauyheavy stowres.
Whose case whenas the carefull Dwarfe had
And made ensample of their mournfull sight
VntoUnto his maister, he no lenger would
There dwell in perill of like painefull plight,
But earely rose, and ere that dawning light
DiscoueredDiscovered had the world to heauenheaven wyde,
He by a priuyprivy Posterne tooke his flight,
That of no enuiousenvious eyes he mote be spyde:
For doubtlesse death ensewed, if any him
Scarse could he footing find in that
For many corses, like a great Lay-stall
Of murdred men which therein strowed lay,
Without remorse, or decent funerall:
Which al through that great Princesse pride did fall
And came to shamefull end. And them besyde
Forth ryding vnderneathunderneath the castell wall,
A Donghill of dead carcases he spyde,
The dreadfull spectacle of that sad house