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Cant. VIII. Faire virgin to redeeme her deare Brings Arthure to the fight: Who slayes thethat Gyaunt, wounds the beast, And strips Duessa quight. [1] Ay me, how many perils doe enfold The righteous man, to make him daily fall,fall? Were not that heauenlyheavenly grace doth him vpholduphold, And stedfast truth acquite him out of all:all. Her louelove is firme, her care continuall, So oft as he thorough his own foolish pride, Or weaknes is to sinfull bands made thrall: Els should this Redcrosse knight in bands hauehave dyde, For whose deliuerãcedeliuerancedeliverãcedeliverance she this Prince doth thether guyd. [2]They sadly traueildtraveild thus, vntilluntill they came Nigh to a castle builded strong and hye: Then cryde the Dwarfe, lo yonder is the same, In which my Lord my liege doth lucklesse ly, Thrall to that Gyaunts hatefull tyranny: Therefore, deare Sir, your mightie powres assay. The noble knight alighted by and by From loftie steed, and badd the Ladie stay, To see what end of fight should him befall that day. [3]So with his Squirethe Squire, th'admirer of his might, He marched forth towardes that castle wall; Whose gates he fownd fast shutt, ne liuingliving wight To warde the same, nor answere commers call. Then tooke that Squire an horne of bugle small, Which hong adowne his side in twisted gold, And tasselles gay. Wyde wonders ouerover all Of that same hornes great vertues weren told, Which had approuedapproved bene in vsesuses manifold. [4]Was neuernever wight, that heard that shrilling sownd, But trembling feare did feel in eueryevery vaine; Three miles it might be easy heard arownd, And Ecchoes three aunswerd it selfe againe: No false enchauntment, nor deceiptfull traine Might once abide the terror of that blast, But presently was void and wholly vaine: No gate so strong, no locke so firme and fast, But with that percing noise flew open quite, or brast. [5]The same before the Geaunts gate he blew, That all the castle quaked from the grownd, And eueryevery dore of freewill open flew: The Gyaunt selfe dismaied with that sownd, Where he with his Duessa dalliaunce fownd,fownd.fownd) In hast came rushing forth from inner bowre, With staring countenance sterne, as one astownd, And staggering steps, to weet, what suddein stowre, Had wrought that horror strange, and dar'd his dreaded powre. [6]And after him the proud Duessa came, High mounted on her many headed beast, And eueryevery head with fyrie tongue did flame, And eueryevery head was crowned on his creast, And bloody mouthed with late cruell feast. That when the knight beheld, his mightie shild VponUpon his manly arme he soone addrest, And at him fiersly flew, with corage fild, And eger greedinesse through eueryevery member thrild. [7]Therewith the Gyant buckled him to fight, Inflamd with scornefull wrath and high disdaine, And lifting vpup his dreadfull club on hight, All armd with ragged snubbes and knottie graine, Him thought at first encounter to hauehave slaine. But wiſewise wiſtwist and wary was that noble Pere, And lightly leaping from so monstrous maine, Did fayre auoideavoide the violence him nere; It booted nought, to thinke, such thunderbolts to beare. [8]Ne shame he thought to shonne so hideous might:might, The ydle stroke, enforcing furious way, Missing the marke of his misaymed sight Did fall to ground, and with his heauyheavy sway So deepely dinted in the driuendriven clay, That three yardes deepe a furrow vpup did throw: The sad earth wounded with so sore assay, Did grone full grieuousgrievous vnderneathunderneath the blow, And trembling with strange feare, did like an erthquake show. [9]As when almightie IoueJove in wrathfull mood, To wreake the guilt of mortall sins is bent, Hurles forth his thundring dart with deadly food, Enrold in flames, and smouldring dreriment, Through riuenriven cloudes and molten firmament; The fiers threeforked engin making way, Both loftie towres and highest trees hath rent, And all that might his angry passage stay, And shooting in the earth, castes vpup a mount of clay. [10]His boystrous club, so buried in the grownd, He could not rearen vpup againe so light, But that the knight him at aduantageadvantage fownd, And whiles he strouestrove his combred clubbe to quight, Out of the earth, with blade all burning bright He smott offof his left arme, which like a block Did fall to ground, depriu'ddepriv'd of natiuenative might; Large streames of blood out of the truncked stock Forth gushed, like fresh water streame from riuenriven rocke. [11]Dismayed with so desperate deadly wound, And eke impatient of vnwontedunwonted payne, He lowdly brayd with beastly yelling sownd, That all the fieldes rebellowed againe,againe; As great a noyse, as when in Cymbrian plaine An heard of Bulles, whom kindly rage doth sting, Doe for the milky mothers want complaine, And fill the fieldes with troublous bellowing, The neighbor woods arownd with hollow murmur ringmurmuring. [12]That when his deare Duessa heard, and saw The euillevill stownd, that daungerd her estate, VntoUnto his aide she hastily did draw Her dreadfull beast, who swolne with blood of late Came ramping forth with proud presũpteouspresumpteous gate, And threatned all his heades like flaming brandes. But him the Squire made quickly to retrate, Encountring fiers with single sword in hand, And twixt him and his Lord did like a bulwarke stand. [13]The proud Duessa full of wrathfull spight, And fiers disdaine, to be affronted so, Enforst her purple beast with all her might That stop out of the way to ouerthroeoverthroe, Scorning the let of so vnequallunequall foe: But nathemore would that corageous swayne To her yeeld passage, gainst his Lord to goe, But with outrageous strokes did him restraine, And with his body bard the way atwixt them twaine. [14]Then tooke the angrie witch her golden cup, Which still she bore, replete with magick artes; Death and despeyre did many thereof sup, And secret poyson through their inner partes, Th'eternall bale of heauieheavie wounded harts; Which after charmes and some enchauntments said, She lightly sprinkled on his weaker partes; Therewith his sturdie corage soone was quayd, And all his sences were with suddein dread diſmayd.dismayd. diſmayddismayd diſmaid.dismaid. [15]So downe he fell before the cruellcrnellcruell beast, Who on his neck his bloody clawes did seize, That life nighnight crusht out of his panting brest: No powre he had to stirre, nor will to rize. That when the carefull knight gan well auiseavise, He lightly left the foe, with whom he fought, And to the beast gan turne his enterprise; For wondrous anguish in his hart it wrought, To see his louedloved Squyre into such thraldom brought. [16]And high aduauncingadvauncing his blood-thirstie blade, Stroke one of those deformed heades so sore, That of his puissaunce proud ensample made; His monstrous scalpe downe to his teeth it tore, And that misformed shape misshaped more: A sea of blood gusht from the gaping wownd, That her gay garments staynd with filthy gore, And ouerflowedoverflowed all the field arownd; That ouerover shoes in blood he waded on the grownd. [17]Thereat he rored for exceedingexcecding paine, That to hauehave heard, great horror would hauehave bred, And scourging th'emptie ayre with his long trayne, Through great impatience of his grieuedgrieved hed His gorgeous ryder from her loftie sted Would hauehave cast downe, and trodd in durty myre, Had not the Gyaunt soone her succoured; Who all enrag'd with smart and frantick yre, Came hurtling in full fiers, and forst the knight retyre. [18]The force, which wont in two to be disperst, In one alone left hand he now vnitesunites, Which is through rage more strong 18.3. then: thanthenthan both were erst; With which his hideous club aloft he dites, And at his foe with furious rigor smites, That strongest Oake might seeme to ouerthrowoverthrow: The stroke vponupon his shield so heauieheavie lites, That to the ground it doubleth him full low What mortall wight could euerever beareso monstrous blow? [19]And in his fall his shield, that coueredcovered was, Did loose his vele by chaunce, and open flew: The light whereof, that heuens light did pas, Such blazing brightnesse through the ayer threw, That eye mote not the same endure to vew. Which when the Gyaunt spyde with staring eye, He downe let fall his arme, and soft withdrew His weapon huge, that heauedheaved was on hye, For to hauehave slain the man, that on the ground did lye. [20]And eke the fruitfull-headed beast, amazd At flashing beames of that sunshiny shield, Became stark blind, and all his sences dazd That downe he tumbled on the durtie field, And seemd himselfe as conquered to yield. Whom when his maistresse proud perceiu'dperceiv'd to fall, Whiles yet his feeble feet for faintnesse reeld, VntoUnto the Gyaunt lowdly she gan call, O helpe Orgoglio, helpe, or els we perish all. [21]At her so pitteous cry was much amoou'damoov'd, Her champion stout, and for to ayde his frend, Againe his wonted angry weapon proou'dproov'd: But all in vaine: for he has redd his end In that bright shield, and all their forces spend Them seluesselves in vaine: for since that glauncing sight, He hath no poure to hurt, nor to defend; As where th'Almighties lightning brond does light, It dimmes the dazed eyen, and daunts the sences quight. [22]Whom when the Prince, to batteill new addrest, And threatning high his dreadfull stroke did see, His sparkling blade about his head he blest, And smote off quite his right leg by the knee, That downe he tombled; as an aged tree, High growing on the top of rocky clift, Whose hartstrings with keene steele nigh hewen be, The mightie trunck halfe rent, with ragged rift Doth roll adowne the rocks, and fall with fearefull drift. [23]Or as a Castle reared high and round, By subtile engins and malitious slight Is vnderminedundermined from the lowest ground, And her foundation forst, and feebled quight, At last downe falles, and with her heaped hight Her haſtieHer hastie HerhaſtieHerhastie ruine does more heauieheavie make, And yields it selfe vntounto the victours might; Such was this Gyaunts fall, that seemd to shake The stedfast globe of earth, as it for feare did quake. [24]The knight then lightly leaping to the pray, With mortall steele him smot againe so sore, That headlesse his vnweldyunweldy bodie lay, All wallowd in his owne fowle bloody gore, Which flowed from his wounds in wondrous ſtore.store. ſtore,store, ſtore:store: But soone as breath out of herhis brest did pas, That huge great body, which the Gyaunt bore, Was vanisht quite, and of that monstrous mas Was nothing left, but like an emptie blader was. [25]Whose grieuousgrievous fall, when false Duessa spyde, Her golden cup she cast vntounto the ground, And crowned mitre rudely threw asyde; Such percing griefe her stubborne hart did wound, That she could not endure that dolefull stound, But leauingleaving all behind her, fled away: The light-foot Squyre her quickly turnd around, And by hard meanes enforcing her to stay, So brought vntounto his Lord, as his deserueddeserved pray. [26]The roiall Virgin, which beheld from farre, In pensiuepensive plight, and sad perplexitie, The whole atchieuementatchievement of this doubtfull warre, Came running fast to greet his victorie, With sober gladnesse, and myld modestie, And with sweet ioyousjoyous cheare him thus bespake; Fayre braunch of noblesse, flowre of chevalrie, That with your worth the world amazed make, How shall I quite the paynes, ye suffer for my sake? [27]And you fresh budd of vertue springing fast, Whom these sad eyes saw nigh vntounto deaths dore, What hath poore Virgin for such perill past, Where with you to reward? Accept therefore My simple selfe, and seruiceservice euermoreevermore: And he that high does sit, and all things see With equall eyeeyes, their merites to restore, Behold what ye this day hauehave done for mee, And what I cannot quite, requite with vsureeusuree. [28]But sith the heauensheavens, and your faire handeling HaueHave made you master of the field this day, Your fortune maister eke with gouerninggoverning, And well begonne end all so well, I pray, Ne let that wicked woman scape away; For she it is, that did my Lord bethrall, My dearest Lord, and deepe in dongeon lay, Where he his better dayes hath wasted all. O heare, how piteous he to you for ayd does call. [29]Forthwith he gauegave in charge vntounto his Squyre, That scarlot whore to keepen carefully; Whyles he himselfe with greedie great desyre Into the Castle entred forcibly,forcibly.forcibly; Where liuingliving creature none he did espye; Then gan he lowdly through the house to call: But no man car'd to answere to his crye. There raignd a solemne silence ouerover all, Nor voice was heard, nor wight was seene in bowre or hall. [30]At last with creeping crooked pace forth came AnAnd old old man, with beard as white as snow, That on a staffe his feeble steps did frame, And guyde his wearie gate both 30.4. too: totooto and fro; For his eye sight him fayled long ygo, And on his arme a bounch of keyes he bore, The which vnusedunused rust did ouergrowovergrow: Those were the keyes of eueryevery inner dore, But he could not them vseuse, but kept them still in store. [31]But very vncouthuncouth sight was to behold, How he did fashion his vntowarduntoward pace, For as he forward mooudmoovd his footing old, So backward still was turnd his wrincled face, VnlikeUnlike to men, who euerever as they trace, Both feet and face one way are wont to lead. This was the auncient keeper of that place, And foster father of the Gyaunt dead; His name Ignaro did his nature right aread. [32]His reuerendreverend heares and holy grauiteegravitee The knight much honord, as beseemed well, And gently askt, where all the people bee, Which in that stately building wont to dwell. Who answerd him full soft, he could not tell. Againe he askt, where that same knight was layd, Whom great Orgoglio with his puissaunce fell Had made his caytiuecaytive thrall; againe he sayde, He could not tell: ne euerever other answere made. [33]Then asked he, which way he in might pas: He could not tell, againe he answered. Thereat the courteous knight displeased was, And said, Old syre, it seemes thou hast not red How ill it ſitssits fits with that same siluersilver hed, In vaine to mocke, or mockt in vaine to bee: But if thou be, as thou art pourtrahed With natures pen, in ages grauegrave degree, Aread in grauergraver wise, what I demaund of thee. [34]His answere likewise was, he could not tell. Whose sencelesse speach, and doted ignorance When as the noble Prince had marked well, He ghest his nature by his countenance, And calmd his wrath with goodly temperance. Then to him stepping, from his arme did reach Those keyes, and made himselfe free enterance. Each dore he opened without any breach; There was no barre to stop, nor foe him to empeach. [35]There all within full rich arayd he found, With royall arras and resplendent gold,gold. And did with store of euery thing abound, That greatest Princes presence might behold. But all the floore (too filthy to be told) With blood of guiltlesse babes, and innocents trew, Which there were slaine, as sheepe out of the fold, Defiled was, that dreadfull was to vew, And sacred ashes ouerover it was strowed new. [36]And there beside of marble stone was built An Altare, caru'dcarv'd with cunning ymagery, On which trew Christians blood was often spilt, And holy Martyres often doen to dye, With cruell malice and strong tyranny: Whose blessed sprites from vnderneathunderneath the stone To God for vengeance cryde continually, And with great griefe were often heard to grone, That hardest heart would bleede, to heare their piteous mone. [37]Through eueryevery rowme he sought, and euerieeverie bowr, But no where could he find that wofull thrall: At last he came vntounto an yron doore, That fast was lockt, but key found not at all Emongst that bounch, to open it withall; But in the same a little grate was pight, Through which he sent his voyce, and lowd did call With all his powre, to weet, if liuingliving wight Were housed therewithin, whom he enlargen might. [38]Therewith an hollow, dreary, murmuring voyce These pitteous plaintes and dolours did resound; O who is that, which bringes me happy choyce Of death, that here lye dying eueryevery stound, Yet liuelive perforce in balefull darkenesse bound? For now three Moones hauehave chãgedchanged thrice their hew, And hauehave beene thrice hid vnderneathunderneath the ground, Since I the heauensheavens chearefull face did vew, O welcome thou, that doest of death bring tydings trew. [39]Which whẽwhen that Champion heard, with percing point Of pitty deare his hart was thrilled sore, And trembling horrour ran through eueryevery ioyntjoynt, For ruth of gentle knight so fowle forlore: Which shaking off, he rent that yron dore, With furious force, and indignation fell; Where entred in, his foot could find no flore, But all a deepe descent, as darke as hell, That breathed euerever forth a filthie banefull smell. [40]But nether darkenesse fowle, nor filthy bands, Nor noyous smell his purpose could withhold, (Entire affection hateth nicer hands) But that with constant zele, and corage bold, After long paines and labors manifold, He found the meanes that Prisoner vpup to reare; Whose feeble thighes, vnhableunhable to vpholduphold His pined corse, him scarse to light could beare, A ruefull spectacle of death and ghastly drere. [41]His sad dull eies deepe sunck in hollow pits, Could not endure th'vnwontedunwonted sunne to view; His bare thin cheekes for want of better bits, And empty sides deceiueddeceived of their dew, Could make a stony hart his hap to rew; His rawbone armes, whose mighty brawned bowrs Were wont to riuerive steele plates, andplates, plates, & helmets hew, Were clene consum'd, and all his vitall powres Decayd, and al his flesh shronk vpup like withered flowres. [42]Whome when his Lady saw, to him she ran With hasty ioyjoy: to see him made her glad, And sad to view his visage pale and wan, Who earst in flowres of freshest youth was clad. Tho when her well of teares she wasted had, She said, Ah dearest Lord, what euillevill starre On you hath frownd, and pourd his influence bad, That of your selfe ye thus berobbed arre, And this misseeming hew your mãlymanly looks doth marre? [43]But welcome now my Lord, in wele or woe, Whose presence I hauehave kauekave lackt too long a day; And fyefie on Fortune mine auowedavowed foe, Whose wrathful wreakes them seluesselves doe now alay. And for these wronges shall treble penaunce pay Of treble good: good growes of euilsevils priefe. The chearelesse man, whom sorow did dismay, Had no delight to treaten of his griefe; His long endured famine needed more reliefe. [44]Faire Lady, then said that victorious knight, The things, that grieuousgrievous were to doe, or beare, Them to renew, I wote, breeds no delight; Best musicke breeds delight in loathing eare: But th'only good, that growes of passed feare, Is to be wise, and ware of like agein. This daies ensample hath this lesson deare Deepe written in my heart with yron pen, That blisse may not abide in state of mortall men. [45]Henceforth Sir knight, take to you wonted strength, And maister these mishaps with patient might; Loe wher your foe lies stretcht in monstrous length, And loe that wicked woman in your sight, The roote of all your care, and wretched plight, Now in your powre, to let her liuelive, or die. To doe her die (qd.quoth VnaUna) were despight, And shame t'auengeavenge so weake an enimy; But spoile her of her scarlot robe, and let her fly. [46]So as she bad, that witch they disaraid, And robd of roiall robes, and purple pall, And ornaments that richly were displaid; Ne spared they to strip her naked all. Then when they had despoyld her tire and call, Such as she was, their eies might her behold, That her misshaped parts did them appall, A loathly, wrinckled hag; ill fauouredfavoured, old, Whose secret filth good manners biddeth not be told.told, [47]Her crafty head was altogether bald, And as in hate of honorable eld, Was ouergrowneovergrowne with scurfe and filthy scald; Her teeth out of her rotten gummes were feld, And her sowre breath abhominably smeld; Her dried dugs, lyke bladders lacking wind, Hong downe, and filthy matter from them weld; Her wrizled skin as rough, as maple rind, So scabby was, that would hauehave loathd all womankind. [48]Her neather parts, the shame of all her kind, My chaster Muse for shame doth blush to write;writewrite: But at her rompe she growing had behind A foxes taile, with dong all fowly dight; And eke her feete most monstrous were in sight; For one of them was like an Eagles claw, With griping talaunts armd to greedy fight, The other like a beares vneuenuneven paw: More vglyugly shape yet neuernever liuingliving creature saw. [49]Which when the knights beheld, amazd they were, And wondred at so fowle deformed wight. Such then (said VnaUna) as she seemeth here, Such is the face of falshood, such the sight Of fowle Duessa, when her borrowed light Is laid away, and counterfesaunce knowne. Thus when they had the witch disrobed quight, And all her filthy feature open showne, They let her goe at will, and wander waies vnknowneunknowne. [50]Shee flying fast from heauensheavens hated face, And from the world that her discouereddiscovered wide, Fled to the wastfull wildernesse apace, From liuingliving eies her open shame to hide, And lurkt in rocks and cauescaves long vnespideunespide. But that faire crew of knights, and VnaUna faire Did in that castle afterwards abide, To rest them seluesselves, and weary powres repaire, Where store they fownd of al, that dainty was and rare.
3. the] 1590FE; that 1590, 1596, 1609
1.2. fall,] 1590; fall? 1596, 1609
1.4. all:] 1590; all. 1596, 1609
3.1. his Squire] 1590; the Squire 1596, 1609
5.5. fownd,] 1596; fownd. 1590, ; fownd) 1609
7.6. wiſewise ] 1590FE, 1596, 1609; wiſtwist 1590
8.1. might:] 1590FE, 1596, 1609; might, 1590
10.6. off] 1596, 1609; of 1590
11.4. againe,] 1590; againe; 1596, 1609
11.9. murmur ring] 1590FE; murmuring 1590, 1596, 1609
14.9. diſmayd.dismayd. ] 1596; diſmayddismayd 1590, ; diſmaid.dismaid. 1609
15.1. cruell] 1590 state 3; crnell 1590 state 1,2, ; cruell 1596, 1609
15.3. nigh] 1590, 1609; night 1596
17.1. exceeding] 1596, 1609; excecding 1590
23.6. Her haſtieHer hastie ] 1590 state 2; HerhaſtieHerhastie 1590 state 1
24.5. ſtore.store. ] 1590; ſtore,store, 1596, ; ſtore:store: 1609
24.6. her] 1590; his 1596, 1609
27.7. eye] 1590; eyes 1596, 1609
29.4. forcibly,] 1590; forcibly. 1596, ; forcibly; 1609
30.2. An] 1590, 1609; And 1596
33.5. ſitssits ] 1590; fits 1596, 1609
35.2. gold,] 1590; gold. 1596, 1609
41.7. plates, and] 1590; plates, 1596, ; plates, & 1609
43.2. hauehave ] 1590, 1609; kauekave 1596
43.3. fye] 1590FE; fie 1590, 1596, 1609
46.9. told.] 1596, 1609; told, 1590
48.2. write;] 1590; write 1596, ; write: 1609
Editorial policy for this edition is to silently close up compounds, there being no warrant to assume that details like spacing and orthography reflect authorial intention. We make an exception here because it is just possible that the 1590 reading accurately renders copy that gave an outdated form deliberately as part of the effort to lend an archaic feel to the language. "Ther to" and "there to" are at least as frequent as "thereto" in Medieval texts; the close-up form appears to have become standard during the sixteenth century.
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Introduction

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Textual Changes

The vagaries of early modern printing often required that lines or words be broken. Toggling Modern Lineation on will reunite divided words and set errant words in their lines.

Off: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, (blest. And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely (FQ I.ii.18.8-9) On: That a large share it hewd out of the rest, And glauncing downe his shield, from blame him fairely blest.

Toggling Expansions on will undo certain early modern abbreviations.

Off: Sweet slõbring deaw, the which to sleep them biddes: (FQ I.i.36.4)

Toggling Modern Characters on will convert u, v, i, y, and vv to v, u, j, i, and w. (N.B. the editors have silently replaced ſ with s, expanded most ligatures, and adjusted spacing according contemporary norms.)

Off: And all the world in their subiection held, Till that infernall feend with foule vprore (FQ I.i.5.6-7) On: And all the world in their subjection held, Till that infernall feend with foule uprore

Toggling Lexical Modernizations on will conform certain words to contemporary orthographic standards.

Off: But wander too and fro in waies vnknowne (FQ I.i.10.5) On: But wander to and fro in waies vnknowne.

Toggling Emendations on will correct obvious errors in the edition on which we base our text and modernize its most unfamiliar features.

Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile disdaine (FQ I.i.14.9) 14.9. Most lothsom] this edn.; Mostlothsom 1590

(The text of 1590 reads Mostlothsom, while the editors’ emendation reads Most lothsom.)

Apparatus

Toggling Collation Notes on will highlight words that differ among printings.

And shall thee well rewarde to shew the place, (FQ I.i.31.5) 5. thee] 1590; you 15961609

(The text of 1590 reads thee, while the texts of 1596 and 1609 read you.)

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Toggling Stanza Numbers on will show the number of the stanza within each canto.

Toggling Glosses on will show the definitions of unfamiliar words or phrases.

To my long approoved and singular good frende, Master G.H. (Letters I.1) 1. long aprooved: tried and true, found trustworthy over a long period