The Redcrosse knight is captiuecaptive made
By Gyaunt proud opprest,
Prince Arthure meets
with Una great-
ly with those newes
WHatWhat man so wise, what earthly witt so
As to discry the crafty cunning traine,
By which deceipt doth maske in visour faire,
And cast her coulours died deepe in graine,
To seeme like truth, whose shape she well can faine,
And fitting gestures to her purpose frame;
The guiltlesse man with guile to entertaine?
Great maistresse of her art was that false Dame,
The false Duessa, cloked with Fidessaes name.
Who when returning from the drery
She fownd not in that perilous hous of Pryde,
Where she had left, the noble Redcross knight,
Her hoped pray; she would no lenger byde,
But forth she went, to seeke him far and wide.
Ere long she fownd, whereas he wearie sate,
To rest him selfe, foreby a fountaine syde,
Disarmed all of yron-coted Plate,
And by his side his steed the grassy
Hee feedes vponupon the cooling shade, and bayes
His sweatie forehead in the breathing wynd,
Which through the trẽblingtrembling
leauesleaves full gently playes
Wherein the chearefull birds of sundry kynd
Doe chaunt sweet musick, to delight his mynd:mynd,
The witch approching gan him fayrely greet,
And with reproch of carelesnes vnkyndunkynd,
VpbraydUpbrayd, for leauingleaving her in place vnmeetunmeet,
With fowle words tempring faire, soure
gall with hony sweet.
VnkindnesseUnkindnesse past, they gan of solace treat,
And bathe in pleasaunce of the ioyousjoyous shade,
Which shielded them against the boyling heat,
And with greene boughes decking a gloomy glade,
About the fountaine like a girlond made;
Whose bubbling wauewave did euerever freshly well,
Ne euerever would through feruentfervent sommer fade:fade
The sacred Nymph, which therein wont to dwell,
Was out of Dianes
fauorfavor, as it then befell.
The cause was this: one day when Phœbe fayre
With all her band was following the chace,
This Nymph, quite tyr’d with heat of scorching ayre
Satt downe to rest in middest of the race:
The goddesse wroth gan fowly herhe disgrace,
And badd the waters, which from her did flow,
Be such as she her selfe was then in place.
Thenceforth her waters wexed dull and slow,
And all that drinke thereof,
dodrunke thereof, diddrunk therefore, did faint and feeble grow.
Hereof this gentle knight vnweetingunweeting was,
And lying downe vponupon the sandie graile,
Dronke of the streame, as cleare as christall glas;glas,
Eftsoones his manly forces gan to fayle,
And mightie strong was turnd to feeble frayle:
His chaunged powres at first them seluesselves not felt,
Till crudled cold his corage gan assayle,
And chearefull blood in fayntnes chill did melt,
Which like a feuerfever fit through all his body swelt.
Yet goodly court he made still to his
Pourd out in loosnesse on the grassy grownd,
Both carelesse of his health, and of his fame:
Till at the last he heard a dreadfull sownd,
Which through the wood loud bellowing, did rebownd,
That all the earth for terror seemd to shake,
And trees did tremble. Th’Elfe therewith astownd,
VpstartedUpstarted lightly from his looser make,
And his vnreadyunready weapons gan in hand to take.
But ere he could his armour on him
Or gett his shield, his monstrous enimy
With sturdie steps came stalking in his sight,
An hideous Geaunt horrible and hye,
That with his tallnesse seemd to threat the skye,
The ground eke groned vnderunder him for dreed;
His liuingliving like saw neuernever
Ne durst behold: his stature did exceed
The hight of three the tallest sonnes of
The greatest Earth his vncouthuncouth mother was,
AeolusAEolus his boasted syre,
Who with his breath, which through the world doth pas,
Her hollow womb did secretly inspyre,
And fild her hidden cauescaves with stormie yre,
That she conceiu’dconceiv’d; and trebling the dew time,
In which the wombes of wemen doe expyre,
Brought forth this monstrous masse of earthly slyme,
Puft vpup with emptie wynd, and fild with sinfull cryme.
So growen great through arrogant
Of th’high descent, whereof he was yborne,
preſu mptionpresu mption
of his matchlesse might,
All other powres and knighthood he did scorne.
Such now he marcheth to this man forlorne,
And left to losse: his stalking steps are stayde
VponUpon a snaggy Oke, which he had torne
Out of his mothers bowelles, and it made
His mortall mace, wherewith his foemen
That when the knight he spyde, he gan aduaunceadvaunce
With huge force and insupportable mayne,
And towardes him with dreadfull fury praunce;
Who haplesse, and eke hopelesse; all in vaine
Did to him pace, sad battaile to darrayne,
Disarmd, disgraste, and inwardlyinwarldlyinwardly dismayde,
And eke so faint in eueryevery
ioyntjoynt and vayne,
Through that fraile foũtainfountain, which him feeble made,
That scarsely could he weeld his
bootlesse single blade.
The Geaunt strooke so maynly
That could hauehave
ouerthrowneoverthrowne a stony towre,
And were not heuenlyhevenly grace, that him did blesse,
He had beene pouldred all, as thin as flowre:
But he was wary of that deadly stowre,
And lightly lept from vnderneathunderneath the blowblow:blowe:
Yet so exceeding was the villeins powre
That with the winde it did him ouerthrowoverthrow,
And all his sences stoond, that still
he lay full low.
As when that diuelishdivelish yron Engin wrought
In deepest Hell,Hell,, and framd by Furies skill,
With windy Nitre and quick Sulphur fraught,
And ramd with bollet rownd, ordaind to kill,
ConceiuethConceiveth fyre, the heauensheavens it doth fill
With thundring noyse, and all the ayre doth choke,
That none can breath, nor see, nor heare at will,
Through smouldry cloud of duskish stincking smok,
That th’onely breath him daunts, who
hath escapt the stroke.
So daunted when the Geaunt saw the
His heauieheavie hand he heauedheaved
vpup on hye,
And him to dust thought to hauehave battred quight,
Duessa loud to him gan
O great Orgoglio, greatest vnderunder skye,
O hold thy mortall hand for Ladies sake,
Hold for my sake, and doe him not to dye,
But vanquisht thine eternall bondslauebondslave make,
And me thy worthy meed vntounto thy Leman take.
He hearkned, and did stay from further
To gaynesogayne so goodly guerdon, as she spake:
So willingly she came into his armes,
Who her as willingly to grace did take,
And was possessed of his newfound make.
Then vpup he tooke the slombred sencelesse corse,
And ere he could out of his swowne awake,
Him to his castle brought with hastie forse,
And in a Dongeon deep him threw without
From that day forth Duessa was his deare,
And highly honourd in his haughtie eye,
He gauegave her gold and purple pall to weare,
And triple crowne set on her head full hye,
And her endowd with royall maiestyemajestye:
Then for to make her dreadeddteaded more of men,
And peoples hartes with awfull terror tye,
A monstrous beast ybredd in filthy fen
He chose, which he had kept long time
in darksom den.
Such one it was, as that renowmed
Which great Alcides in Stremona slew,
Long fostred in the filth of Lerna
Whose many heades out budding euerever new,
Did breed him endlesse labor to subdew:
But this same Monster much more vglyugly was;
For seuenseven great heads out of his body grew,
An yron brest, and back of scaly bras,
And all embrewd in blood, his eyes did
shine as glas.
His tayle was stretched out in wondrous
That to the hous of heuenlyhevenly gods it raught,
And with extorted powre, and borrow’d strength,
The euerburningeverburning lamps from thence it braught,
And prowdly threw to ground, as things of naught;
And vnderneathunderneath his filthy feet did tread,
The sacred thinges, and holy heastes foretaught.
VponUpon this dreadfull Beast with seuenfoldsevenfold head
He sett the false Duessa, for more aw and
The wofull Dwarfe, which saw his
Whiles he had keeping of his grasing steed,
And valiant knight become a caytiuecaytive thrall,
When all was past, tooke vpup his forlorne weed,
His mightie Armour, missing most at need;
His siluersilver shield, now idle maisterlesse;
His poynant speare, that many made to bleed,
The ruefull moniments of heauinesseheavinesse,
And with them all departes, to tell his
He had not trauaildtravaild long, when on the way
He wofull Lady, wofull VnaUna met,
Fast flying from thatthe Paynims greedy pray,
Whilest Satyrane him from pursuit did let:
Who when her eyes she on the Dwarf had set,
And saw the signes, that deadly tydinges spake,
She fell to ground for sorrowfull regret,
And liuelylively breath her sad brest did forsake,
Yet might her pitteous hart be seene to
pant and quake.
The messenger of so vnhappieunhappie newes,
Would faine hauehave dyde: dead was his hart within,
Yet outwardly some little comfort shewes:
At last recoueringrecovering hart, he does begin
To rubb her temples, and to chaufe her chin,
And euerieeverie tender part does tosse and turne:
So hardly he the flitted life does win,
VntoUnto her natiuenative prison to retourne:
Then gins her grieuedgrieved ghost thus to lament &and mourne.
Ye dreary instruments of dolefull
That doe this deadly spectacle behold,
Why do ye lenger feed on loathed light,
Or liking find to gaze on earthly mould,
Sith cruell fates the carefull thredsthreeds
The which my life and louelove together tyde?
Now let the stony dart of sencelesse cold
Perce to my hart, and pas through euerieeverie side,
And let eternall night
ſo ſad ſightso
fro me hyde.
O lightsome day, the lampe of highest
First made by him, mens wandring wayes to guyde,
When darknesse he in deepest dongeon drouedrove,
Henceforth thy hated face for euerever hyde,
And shut vpup
heauensheavens windowes shyning wyde:
For earthly sight can nought but sorow breed,
And late repentance, which shall long abyde.
Mine eyes no more on vanitie shall feed,
But seeled vpup with death, shall hauehave their deadly meed.
Then downe againe she fell vntounto the ground;
But he her quickly reared vpup againe:
Thrise did she sinke adowne in deadly swownd,
And thrise he her reviu’dreviv’d with busie paine:
At last when life recouerrecover’d had the raine,
And ouerover-wrestled his strong enimy,
With foltring tong, and trembling euerieeverie vaine,
Tell on (quoth she) the wofull Tragedy,
The which these reliques sad present vntounto mine eye.
Tempestuous fortune hath spent all her
And thrilling sorrow throwne his vtmostutmost dart;
Thy sad tong cannot tell more heauyheavy plight,
25.4. Then: ThanThenThan that I feele
feele, and harbour in mine hart:
Who hath endur’d the whole, can beare ech part.
If death it be, it is not the first wound,
That launched hath my brest with bleeding smart.
Begin, and end the bitter balefull stound;
If lesse, 25.9. then: thanthenthan that I feare, more fauourfavour I hauehave found.
Then gan the Dwarfe the whole discourse
The subtile traines of Archimago old;
The wanton louesloves of false Fidessa fayre,
Bought with the blood of vanquisht Paynim bold:
The wretched payre transformd to treen mould;
The house of Pryde, and perilles
The combat, which he with Sansioy did hould;
The lucklesse conflict with the Gyaunt stout,
Wherein captiu’dcaptiv’d, of life or death he stood in doubt.
She heard with patience all vntounto the end,
And strouestrove to maister sorrowfull assay,
Which greater grew, the more she did contend,
And almost rent her tender hart in tway;
And louelove fresh coles vntounto her fire did lay:
For greater louelove, the greater is the losse.
Was neuernever Lady louedloved dearer day,
27.8. Then: ThanThenThan she did louelove the knight of the Redcrosse;
For whose deare sake so many troubles
her did tosse.
At last when feruentfervent sorrow slaked was,
She vpup arose, resoluingresolving him to find
AliueAlive or dead: and forward forth doth pas,
All as the Dwarfe the way to her assynd:
And euerever more in constant carefull mind
She fedd her wound with fresh renewed bale;
Long tost with stormes, and bet with bitter wind,
High ouerover hills, and lowe adowne the dale,
She wandred many a wood, and measurd
many a vale.
At last she chaunced by good hap to
A goodly knight, faire marching by the way
Together with his Squyre, arayed meet:
His glitterand armour shined far away,
Like glauncing light of Phœbus
From top to toe no place appeared bare,
That deadly dint of steele endanger may:
Athwart his brest a bauldrick brauebrave he ware,
That shind, like twinkling stars, with
stones most pretious rare.
And in the midst thereof one pretious
Of wondrous worth, and eke of wondrous mights,
Shapt like a Ladies head, exceeding shone,
Like Hesperus emongst the lesser
And strouestrove for to amaze the weaker sights;
Thereby his mortall blade full comely hong
In yuoryyvory sheath; ycaru’dycarv’d with curious slights;
Whose hilts were burnisht gold, and handle strong
Of mother perle, and buckled with a
His haughtie Helmet, horrid all with
Both glorious brightnesse, and great terrour bredd,bred;
For all the crest a Dragon did enfold
With greedie pawes, and ouerover all did spredd
His golden winges: his dreadfull hideous hedd
Close couched on the beuerbever, seemd to throw
From flaming mouth bright sparckles fiery redd,
That suddeine horrour to faint hartes did show;
And scaly tayle was stretcht adowne his
back full low.
VponUpon the top of all his loftie crest,
A bounch of heares discolourd diuerslydiversly,
With sprincled pearle, and gold full richly drest,
Did shake, and seemd to daunce for iollityjollity,
Like to an Almond tree ymounted hye
On top of greene Selinis all
With blossoms brauebrave bedecked daintily;
tender locks do tremble eueryevery one
At euerieeverie little breath, that vnderunder
heauenheaven is blowne.
His warlike shield all closely couercover’d was,
Ne might of mortall eye be euerever seene;
Not made of ﬅeelesteeleﬅeeldsteeld, nor of enduring bras,
Such earthly mettals soone consumed beene:
But all of Diamond perfect pure and cleene
It framed was, one massy entire mould,
Hewen out of Adamant rocke with engines keene,
That point of speare it neuernever percen could,
Ne dint of direfull sword diuidedivide the substance would.
The same to wight he neuernever wont disclose,
But when as monsters huge he would dismay,
Or daunt vnequallunequall armies of his foes,
Or when the flying heauensheavens he would affray:
For so exceeding shone his glistring ray,
That Phœbus golden face it did
As when a cloud his beames doth ouerover-lay
Cynthia wexed pale and faynt,
As when her face is staynd with magicke
No magicke arts hereof had any
Nor bloody wordes of bold Enchaunters call,
But all that was not such, as seemd in sight,
Before that shield did fade, and suddeine fall:
And when him list the raskall routes appall,
Men into stones therewith he could transmew,
And stones to dust, and dust to nought at all;
And when him list the prouder lookes subdew
He would them gazing blind, or turne to
Ne let it
that credence this exceedes,
For he that made the same, was knowne right well
To hauehave done much more admirable deedes.
It Merlin was, which whylome did excell
All liuingliving wightes in might of magicke spell:
Both shield, and sword, and armour all he wrought
For this young Prince, when first to armes he fell,fell;
But when he dyde, the Faery Queene it brought
To Faerie lond, where yet it may be
seene, if sought.
A gentle youth, his dearely louedloved Squire
fpeare of heben wood behind him bare,
Whose harmeful head, thrise heated in the fire,
Had riuenriven many a brest with pikehead square;
A goodly person, and could menage faire,
His stubborne steed with curbed canon bitt,
Who vnderunder him did ambletrample as the aire,
And chauftchanﬅchanst, that any on his backe should sitt;
The yron rowels into frothy fome he
When as this knight nigh to the Lady
With louelylovely court he gan her entertaine;
But when he heard her aunswers loth, he knew
Some secret sorrow did her heart distraine:
Which to allay and calme her storming paine,
Faire feeling words he wisely gan display,
And for her humor fitting purpose faine,
To tempt the cause it selfe for to bewray;
Wherewith enmoudenmovd, these bleeding words she gan to say.
What worlds delight, or ioyjoy of liuingliving speach
Can hart, so plungd in sea of sorrowes deep,
And heaped with so huge misfortunes, reach?
The carefull cold beginneth for to creep,
And in my heart his yron arrow steep,
Soone as I thinke vponupon my bitter bale:
Such helplesse harmes yts better hidden keep,
39.8. Then: ThanThenThan rip vpup griefe, where it may not auaileavaile,
My last left comfort is, my woes to
weepe and waile.
Ah Lady deare,
qd.quoth then the gentle knight,
Well may I ween, your grief is wondrous great;
For wondrous great griefe groneth in my spright,
Whiles thus I heare you of your sorrowes treat.
But woefull Lady, let me you intrete,
For to vnfoldunfold the anguish of your hart:
Mishaps are maistred by aduiceadvice discrete,
And counsell mitigates the greatest smart;
Found neuernever help, who neuernever would his hurts impart.
O but (qd.quoth she)
great griefe will not be tould,
And can more easily be thought, 41.2. then: thanthenthan said.
(qd.quoth he) but he, that neuernever would,
Could neuernever: will to might giuesgives greatest aid.
But griefe (qd.quoth she) does
greater grow displaid,
If then it find not helpe, and breeds despaire.
Despaire breeds not (qd.quoth he) where
faith is ﬅaidstaidﬅ[inverted]aidst[inverted]aidﬅaidstaid.
No faith so fast (qd.quoth she) but
flesh does paire.
Flesh may empaire
(qd.quoth he) but reason can repaire.
His goodly reason, and well guided
So deepe did settle in her gracious thought,
That her perswaded to disclose the breach,
Which louelove and fortune in her heart had wrought,
faire Sir, I hope good hap hath brought
You to inquere the secrets of my griefe,
Or that your wisedome will direct my thought,
Or that your prowesse can me yield reliefe:
Then heare the story sad, which I shall
tell you briefe.
The forlorne Maiden, whom your eies hauehave seene
The laughing stocke of fortunes mockeries,
Am th’onely daughter of a King and Queene,
Whose parents deare whiles equal destinies,
Did ronnecomerunne about, and their felicities
heauensheavens did not enuyenvy,
Did spred their rule through all the territories,
Which Phison and Euphrates floweth by,
golden waueswaves doe wash continually.
Till that their cruell cursed
An huge great Dragon horrible in sight,
Bred in the loathly lakes of Tartary,
With murdrous rauineravine, and deuouringdevouring might
Their kingdome spoild, and countrey wasted quight:
ThemseluesThemselves, for feare into his iawesjawes to fall,
He forst to castle strong to take their flight,
Where fast embard in mighty brasen wall,
He has them now fowr years besiegd to
make thẽthem thrall.
Full many knights aduenturousadventurous and stout
HaueHave enterprizd that Monster to subdew;
From eueryevery coast that heauenheaven walks about,
HaueHave thither come the noble Martial crew,
That famous harde atchieuementsatchievements still pursew,
Yet neuernever any could that girlond win,
But all still shronke, and still he greater grew:
All they for want of faith, or guilt of sin,
The pitteous pray of his fiers cruelty hauehave bin.
At last yled with far reported
Which flying fame throughout the world had spred,
Of doughty knights, whom Fary
land did raise,
That noble order hight of maidenhed,
Forthwith to court of Gloriane I sped,
Of Gloriane great Queene of glory bright,
Whose kingdomes seat Cleopolis is
There to obtaine some such redoubted knight,
That Parents deare from tyrants powre deliuerdeliver might.
Yt was my chaunce (my chaunce was faire
There for to find a fresh vnprouedunproved knight,
Whose manly handshand imbrewd in guilty blood
Had neuernever beene, ne euerever by his might
Had throwne to groundgtound the vnregardedunregarded right:
Yet of his prowesse proofe he since hath made
(I witnes am) in many a cruell fight;
The groning ghosts of many one dismaide
HaueHave felt the bitter dint of his auengingavenging blade.
And ye the forlorne reliques of his
His biting sword, and his deuouringdevouring speare,
Which hauehave endured many a dreadfull stowre,
Can speake his prowesse, that did earst you beare,
And well could rule: now he hath left you heare,
To be the record of his ruefull losse,
And of my dolefull disauenturousdisaventurous deare:
O heauieheavie record of the good Redcrosse,
yeeyou left your lord, that could so well you tosse?
Well hoped I, and faire beginnings
That he my captiuecaptive languor should redeeme,
Till all vnweetingunweeting, an Enchaunter bad
His sence abusd, and made him to misdeeme
My loyalty, not such as it did
That rather death desire, 49.6. then: thanthenthan such despight.
Be iudgejudge ye heauensheavens, that all things right esteeme,
How I him lou’dlov’d, and louelove with all my might,
So thought I eke of him, and think I
Thenceforth me desolate he quite
To wander, where wilde fortune would me lead,
And other bywaies he himselfe betooke,
Where neuernever foote of liuingliving wight did tread,
That brought not backe the balefull body dead;
In which him chaunced false Duessa meete,
Mine onely foe, mine onely deadly dread,
Who with her witchcraft and misseeming sweete,
InueigledInveigled him to follow her desires vnmeeteunmeete.
At last by subtile sleights she him
VntoUnto his foe, a Gyaunt huge and tall,
Who him disarmed, dissolute, dismaid,
VnwaresUnwares surprised, and with mighty mall
The monster mercilesse him made to fall,
Whose fall did neuernever foe before behold;
And now in darkesome dungeon, wretched thrall,
Remedilesse, for aie he doth him hold;
This is my cause of griefe, more great, 51.9. then: thanthenthan may be told.
Ere she had ended all, she gan to
But he her comforted, and faire bespake,
Certes, Madame, ye hauehave great cause of plaint,
That stoutest heart, I weene, could cause to quake.
But be of cheare, and comfort to you take:
For till I hauehave acquitt your captiuecaptive knight,
Assure your selfe, I will you not forsake.
His chearefull words reviu’dreviv’d her chearelesse spright,
So forth they went, the Dwarfe thẽthen guiding euerever right.