Faire VnaUna to the Redcrosse knight
betrouthed is with ioyjoy:
Though false Duessa it to barre
her false sleights doe imploy.
BEhold I see the hauenhaven nigh at hand,
To which I meane my wearie course to bend;
Vere the maine shete, and beare vpup with the land,
The which afore is fairely to be kend,
And seemeth safe from stormes, that may offend;
There this faire virgin wearie of her way
Must landed be, now at her iourneyesjourneyes end:
There eke my feeble barke a while may stay,
Till merry wind and weather call her thence away.
Scarsely had Phoebus in the glooming East
Yet harnessed his firie-footed teeme,
Ne reard aboueabove the earth his flaming creast,
When the last deadly smoke aloft did steeme,
That signe of last outbreathed life did seeme,
VntoUnto the watchman on the castle wall;
Who thereby dead that balefull Beast did deeme,
And to his Lord and Ladie lowd gan call,
To tell, how he had seene the Dragons fatall fall,
VproseUprose with hastie ioyjoy, and feeble speed
That aged Sire, the Lord of all that land,
And looked forth, to weet, if true indeede
Those tydings were, as he did vnderstandunderstand,
Which whenas true by tryall he out fond,
He bad to open wyde his brazen gate,
Which long time had bene shut, and out of hond
Proclaymed ioyjoy and peace through all his state;
For dead now was their foe, which them forrayed late.
Then gan triumphant Trompets sound on hie,
That sent to heauenheaven the ecchoed report
Of their new ioyjoy, and happie victorie
Gainst him, that had them long opprest with tort,
And fast imprisoned in sieged fort.
Then all the people, as in solemne feast,
To him assembled with one full consort,
ReioycingRejoycing at the fall of that great beast,
From whose eternall bondage now they were releast.
Forth came that auncient Lord and aged Queene,
Arayd in antique robes downe to the ground,
And sad habiliments right well beseene;
A noble crew about them waited round
Of sage and sober Peres, all grauelygravely gownd;
Whom farre before did march a goodly band
Of tall young men, all hable armes to sownd,
But now they laurell braunches bore in hand;
Glad signe of victorie and peace in all their land.
VntoUnto that doughtie Conquerour they came,
And him before themseluesthemselves prostrating low,
Their Lord and Patrone loud did him proclame,
And at his feet their laurell boughes did throw.
Soone after them all dauncing on a row
The comely virgins came, with girlands dight,
As fresh as flowres in medow greene do grow,
When morning deaw vponupon their leauesleaves doth light:
And in their hands sweet Timbrels all vpheldupheld on hight.
And them before, the fry of children young
Their wanton sports and childish mirth did play,
And to the Maydens sounding tymbrels sung
In well attuned notes, a ioyousjoyous lay,
And made delightfull musicke all the way,
VntillUntill they came, where that faire virgin stood;
As faire Diana in fresh sommers day
Beholds her Nymphes, enraung’d in shadie wood,
Some wrestle, some do run, some bathe in christall flood.
So she beheld those maydens meriment
With chearefull vew; who when to her they came,
ThemseluesThemselves to ground with gratious humblesse bent,
And her ador’d by honorable name,
Lifting to heauenheaven her euerlastingeverlasting fame:
Then on her head they set a girland greene,
And crowned her twixt earnest and twixt game;
Who in her selfe-resemblance well beseene,
Did seeme such, as she was, a goodly maiden Queene.
And after, all the raskall many ran,
Heaped together in rude rablement
To see the face of that victorious man:
Whom all admired, as from heauenheaven sent,
And gazd vponupon with gaping wonderment.
But when they came, where that dead Dragon lay,
Stretcht on the ground in monstrous large extent,
The sight with idle feare did them dismay,
Ne durst approch him nigh, to touch, or once assay.
Some feard, and fled; some feard and well it faynd;
One that would wiser seeme, 10.2. then: thanthenthan all the rest,
Warnd him not touch, for yet perhaps remaynd
Some lingring life within his hollow brest,
Or in his wombe might lurke some hidden nest
Of many Dragonets, his fruitfull seed;
Another said, that in his eyes did rest
Yet sparckling fire, and bad thereof take heed;
Another said, he saw him mouemove his eyes indeed.
One mother, when as her foolehardie chyld
Did come too neare, and with his talants play,
Halfe dead through feare, her litle babe reuyldrevyld,
And to her
gossipsgossibs gan in counsell say;
How can I tell, but that his talants may
Yet scratch my sonne, or rend his tender hand?
So diuerslydiversly themseluesthemselves in vaine they fray;
Whiles some more bold, to measure him nigh stand,
To proueprove how many acres he did spread of land.
Thus flocked all the folke him round about,
The whiles that hoarie king, with all his traine,
Being arriuedarrived, where that champion stout
After his foes defeasance did remaine,
Him goodly greetes, and faire does entertaine,
With princely gifts of yuorie and gold,
And thousand thankes him yeelds for all his paine.
Then when his daughter deare he does behold,
Her dearely doth imbrace, and kisseth manifold.
And after to his Pallace he them brings,
With shaumes, & trompets, & with Clarions sweet;
And all the way the ioyousjoyous people sings,
And with their garments strowes the pauedpaved street:
Whence mounting vpup, they find purueyance meet
Of all, that royall Princes court became,
And all the floore was vnderneathunderneath their feet
Bespred with costly scarlot of great name,
On which they lowly sit, and fitting purpose frame.
What needs me tell their feast and goodly guize,
In which was nothing riotous nor vaine?
What needs of daintie dishes to deuizedevize,
Of comely seruicesservices, or courtly trayne?
My narrow leauesleaves cannot in them containe
The large discourse of royall Princes state.
Yet was their manner 14.7. then: thanthenthan but bare and plaine:
For th’antique world excesse and pride did hate;
Such proud luxurious pompe is swollen vpup but late.
Then when with meates and drinkes of eueryevery kinde
Their feruentfervent appetites they quenched had,
That auncient Lord gan fit occasion finde,
Of straunge aduenturesadventures, and of perils sad,
Which in his trauelltravell him befallen had,
For to demaund of his renowmed guest:
Who 15.7. then: thanthenthan with vtt’ranceutt’rance grauegrave, and count’nance sad
From point to point, as is before exprest,
Discourst his voyage long, according his request.
Great pleasure mixt with pittifull regard,
That godly King and Queene did passionate,
Whiles they his pittifull aduenturesadventures heard,
That oft they did lament his lucklesse state,
And often blame the too importune fate,
That heapd on him so many wrathfull wreakes:
For neuernever gentle knight, as he of late,
So tossed was in fortunes cruell freakes;
And all the while salt teares bedeawd the hearers cheaks.
Then said that royall Pere in sober wise;
Deare Sonne, great beene the euilsevils, which ye bore
From first to last in your late enterprise,
That I note, whether prayse, or pitty more:
For neuernever liuingliving man, I weene, so sore
In sea of deadly daungers was distrest;
But since now safe ye seised hauehave the shore,
And well arriuedarrived are, (high God be blest)
Let vsus deuizedevize of ease and euerlastingeverlasting rest.
Ah dearest Lord, said 18.1. then: thanthenthan that doughty knight,
Of ease or rest I may not yet deuizedevize;
For by the faith, which I to armes hauehave plight,
I bounden am streight after this emprize,
As that your daughter can ye well aduizeadvize,
Backe to returne to that great Faerie Queene,
And her to serueserve six yeares in warlike wize,
Gainst that proud Pynim king, that workes her teene:
Therefore I ought crauecrave pardon, till I there hauehave beene.
Vnhappie falles that hard necessitie,
(Quoth he) the troubler of my happie peace,
And vowed foe of my felicitie;
Ne I against the same can iustlyjustly preace:
But since that band ye cannot now release,
Nor doen vndo; (for vowes may not be vaine)
Soone as the terme of those six yeares shall cease,
Ye 19.8. then: thanthenthan shall hither backe returne againe,
The marriage to accomplish vowd betwixt you twain.
Which for my part I couetcovet to performe,
In sort as through the world I did proclame,
That who so kild that monster most deforme,
And him in hardy battaile ouercameovercame,
Should hauehave mine onely daughter to his Dame,
And of my kingdome heire apparaunt bee:
Therefore since now to thee perteines the same,
By dew desert of noble cheualreechevalree,
Both daughter and eke kingdome, lo I yield to thee.
Then forth he called that his daughter faire,
The fairest Vn’ his onely daughter deare,
His onely daughter, and his onely heyre;
Who forth proceeding with sad sober cheare,
As bright as doth the morning starre appeare
Out of the East, with flaming lockes bedight,
To tell the dawning day is drawing neare,
And to the world does bring long wished light;
So faire and fresh that Lady shewd her selfe in sight.
So faire and fresh, as freshest flowre in May;
For she had layd her mournefull stole aside,
And widow-like sad wimple throwne away,
Wherewith her heauenlyheavenly beautie she did hide,
Whiles on her wearie iourneyjourney she did ride;
And on her now a garment she did weare,
All lilly white, withoutten spot, or pride,
That seemd like silke and siluersilver wouenwoven neare,
But neither silke nor siluersilver therein did appeare.
The blazing brightnesse of her beauties beame,
And glorious light of her sunshyny face
To tell, were as to striuestrive against the streame.
My ragged rimes are all too rude and bace,
Her heauenlyheavenly lineaments for to enchace.
Ne wonder; for her owne deare louedloved knight,
All were she dayly with himselfe in place,
Did wonder much at her celestiall sight:
Oft had he seene her faire, but neuernever so faire dight.
So fairely dight, when she in presence came,
She to her Sire made humble reuerencereverence,
And bowed low, that her right well became,
And added grace vntounto her excellence:
Who with great wisedome, and grauegrave eloquence
Thus gan to say. But eare he thus had said,
With flying speede, and seeming great pretence,
Came running in, much like a man dismaid,
A Messenger with letters, which his message said.
All in the open hall amazed stood,
At suddeinnesse of that vnwarie sight,
And wondred at his breathlesse hastie mood.
But he for nought would stay his passage right,
Till fast before the king he did alight;
Where falling flat, great humblesse he did make,
And kist the ground, whereon his foot was pight;
Then to his hands that writ he did betake,
Which he disclosing, red thus, as the paper spake.
To thee, most mighty king of Eden faire,
Her greeting sends in these sad lines addrest,
The wofull daughter, and forsaken heire
Of that great Emperour of all the West;
And bids thee be aduizedadvized for the best,
Ere thou thy daughter linck in holy band
Of wedlocke to that new vnknowenunknowen guest:
For he already plighted his right hand
VntoUnto another louelove, and to another land.
To me sad mayd, or rather widow sad,
He was affiaunced long time before,
And sacred pledges he both gauegave, and had,
False erraunt knight, infamous, and forswore:
Witnesse the burning Altars, which he swore,
And guiltie heauensheavens of his bold periuryperjury,
Which though he hath polluted oft and yore,
Yet I to them for iudgementjudgement iustjust do fly,
And them coniureconjure t’auenge this shamefull iniuryinjury.
Therefore since mine he is, or free or bond,
Or false or trew, or liuingliving or else dead,
Withhold, O souerainesoveraine Prince, your hasty hond
From knitting league with him, I you aread;
Ne weene my right with strength adowne to tread,
Through weakenesse of my widowhed, or woe:
For truth is strong, her rightfull cause to plead,
And shall find friends, if need requireth soe,
So bids thee well to fare, Thy neither friend, nor foe, Fidessa.
When he these bitter byting words had red,
The tydings straunge did him abashed make,
That still he sate long time astonished
As in great muse, ne word to creature spake.
At last his solemne silence thus he brake,
With doubtfull eyes fast fixed on his guest;
Redoubted knight, that for mine onely sake
Thy life and honour late aduenturest,
Let nought be hid from me, that ought to be exprest.
What meane these bloudy vowes, and idle threats,
Throwne out from womanish impatient mind?
What heauensheavens? what altars? what enraged heates
Here heaped vpup with termes of louelove vnkindunkind,
My conscience cleare with guilty bands would bind?
High God be witnesse, that I guiltlesse ame.
But if your selfe, Sir knight, ye faultie find,
Or wrapped be in louesloves of former Dame,
With crime do not it couercover, but disclose the same.
To whom the Redcrosse knight this answere sent,
My Lord, my King, be nought hereat dismayd,
Till well ye wote by grauegrave intendiment,
What woman, and wherefore doth me vpbraydupbrayd
With breach of louelove, and loyalty betrayd.
It was in my mishaps, as hitherward
I lately traueildtraveild, that vnwaresunwares I strayd
Out of my way, through perils straunge and hard;
That day should faile me, ere I had them all declard.
There did I find, or rather I was found
Of this false woman, that Fidessa hight,
Fidessa hight the falsest Dame on ground,
Most false Duessa, royall richly dight,
That easie was to inuegle weaker sight:
Who by her wicked arts, and wylie skill,
Too false and strong for earthly skill or might,
VnwaresUnwares me wrought vntounto her wicked will,
And to my foe betrayd, when least I feared ill.
Then stepped forth the goodly royall Mayd,
And on the ground her selfe prostrating low,
With sober countenaunce thus to him sayd;
O pardon me, my soueraignesoveraigne Lord, to show
The secret treasons, which of late I know
To hauehave bene wroght by that false sorceresse.
She onely she it is, that earst did throw
This gentle knight into so great distresse,
That death him did awaite in dayly wretchednesse.
And now it seemes, that she suborned hath
This craftie messenger with letters vaine,
To worke new woe and improuidedimprovided scath,
By breaking of the band betwixt vsus twaine;
Wherein she vsedused hath the practicke paine
Of this false footman, clokt with simplenesse,
Whom if ye please for to discouerdiscover plaine,
Ye shall him Archimago find, I ghesse,
The falsest man aliuealive; wo tries shall find no lesse.
The king was greatly mouedmoved at her speach,
And all with suddein indignation fraight,
Bad on that Messenger rude hands to reach.
Eftsoones the Gard, which on his state did wait,
Attacht that faitor false, and bound him strait:
Who seeming sorely chauffed at his band,
As chained Beare, whom cruell dogs do bait,
With idle force did faine them to withstand,
And often semblaunce made to scape out of their hand.
But they him layd full low in dungeon deepe,
And bound him hand and foote with yron chains.
And with continuall watch did warely keepe;
Who 36.4. then: thanthenthan would thinke, that by his subtile trains
He could escape fowle death or deadly paines?
Thus when that Princes wrath was pacifide,
He gan renew the late forbidden banes,
And to the knight his daughter deare he tyde,
With sacred rites and vowes for euerever to abyde.
His owne two hands the holy knots did knit,
That none but death for euerever can deuide;
His owne two hands, for such a turne most fit,
The housling fire did kindle and prouideprovide,
And holy water thereon sprinckled wide;
At which the bushy Teade a groome did light,
And sacred lampe in secret chamber hide,
Where it should not be quenched day nor night,
For feare of euillevill fates, but burnen euerever bright.
Then gan they sprinckle all the posts with wine,
And made great feast to solemnize that day;
They all perfumde with frankincense diuinedivine,
And precious odours fetcht from far away,
That all the house did sweat with great aray:
And all the while sweete Musicke did apply
Her curious skill, the warbling notes to play,
To driuedrive away the dull Melancholy;
The whiles one sung a song of louelove and iollityjollity.
During the which there was an heauenlyheavenly noise
Heard sound through all the Pallace pleasantly,
Like as it had bene many an Angels voice,
Singing before th’eternall maiestymajesty,
In their trinall triplicities on hye;
Yet wist no creature, whence that heauenlyheavenly sweet
Proceeded, yet each one felt secretly
Himselfe thereby reft of his sences meet,
And rauishedravished with rare impression in his sprite.
Great ioyjoy was made that day of young and old,
And solemne feast proclaimd throughout the land,
That their exceeding merth may not be told:
Suffice it heare by signes to vnderstandunderstand
The vsuallusuall ioyesjoyes at knitting of louesloves band.
Thrise happy man the knight himselfe did hold,
Possessed of his Ladies hart and hand,
And euerever, when his eye did her behold,
His heart did seeme to melt in pleasures manifold.
Her ioyousjoyous presence and sweet company
In full content he there did long enioyenjoy,
Ne wicked enuie, ne vile gealosy
His deare delights were able to annoy:
Yet swimming in that sea of blisfull ioyjoy,
He nought forgot, how he whilome had sworne,
In case he could that monstrous beast destroy,
VntoUnto his Farie Queene backe to returne:
The which he shortly did, and VnaUna left to mourne.
Now strike your sailes ye iollyjolly Mariners,
For we be come vntounto a quiet rode,
Where we must land some of our passengers,
And light this wearie vessell of her lode.
Here she a while may make her safe abode,
Till she repaired hauehave her tackles spent,
And wants supplide. And 42.7. then: thanthenthan againe abroad
On the long voyage whereto she is bent:
Well may she speede and fairely finish her intent.