His louesloves and lignage Arthur tells
The knights knit friendly bands:
Sir TreuisanTrevisan flies from Despayre,
Whom Redcrosse knight withstands.
O Goodly golden chaine, wherewith yfere
The vertues linked are in louelylovely wize:
And noble minds of yore allyed were,
In brauebrave poursuit of cheualrouschevalrous emprize,
That none did others safety despize,
Nor aid enuyenvy to him, in need that stands,
But friendly each did others prayse deuizedevize
How to aduaunceadvaunce with fauourablefavourable hands,
As this good Prince redeemd the Redcrosse knight from bands.
Who when their powres empaird through labour long,
With dew repast they had recured well,
And that weake captiuecaptive wight now wexed strong,
Them list no lenger there at leasure dwell,
But forward fare, as their aduenturesadventures fell,
But ere they parted, VnaUna faire besought
That straunger knight his name and nation tell;
Least so great good,as he for her had wrought,
Should die vnknown, & buried be in thanklesse thought.
Faire virgin(said the Prince)ye me require
A thing without the compas of my wit:
For both the lignage and the certain Sire,
From which I sprong, from me are hidden yit.
For all so soone as life did me admit
Into this world, and shewed heauensheavens light,
From mothers pap I taken was vnfit:
And streight deliuereddelivered to a Faery knight,
To be vpbroughtupbrought in gentle thewes and martiall might.
VntoUnto old Timon he me brought byliuebylive,
Old Timon, who in youthly yeares hath beene
In warlike feates th’expertest man aliuealive,
And is the wisest now on earth I weene;
His dwelling is low in a valley greene,
VnderUnder the foot of Rauran mossy hore,
From whence the riuerriver Dee as siluersilver cleene
His tombling billowes rolls with gentle rore:
There all my dayes he traind me vpup in vertuous lore.
Thither the great Magicien Merlin came,
As was his vseuse, ofttimes to visit me:
For he had charge my discipline to frame,
And Tutours nouriture to ouerseeoversee.
Him oft and oft I askt in priuitie,
Of what loines and what lignage I did spring:
Whose aunswere bad me still assured bee,
That I was sonne and heire vntounto a king,
As time in her iustjust terme the truth to light should bring.
Well worthy impe, said 6.1. then: thanthenthan the Lady gent,
And Pupill fit for such a Tutours hand.
But what aduentureadventure, or what high intent
Hath brought you hither into Faery land,
Aread Prince Arthur, crowne of Martiall band?
Full hard it is (quoth he) to read aright
The course of heauenlyheavenly cause, or vnderstandunderstand
The secret meaning of th’eternall might,
That rules mens wayes, and rules the thoughts of liuingliving wight.
For whither he through fatall deepe foresight
Me hither sent, for cause to me vnghestunghest,
Or that fresh bleeding wound, which day and night
Whilome doth rancle in my riuenriven brest,
With forced fury following his behest,
Me hither brought by wayes yet neuernever found,
You to hauehave helpt I hold my selfe yet blest.
Ah curteous knight (quoth she) what secret wound
Could euerever find,to grieuegrieve the gentlest hart on ground?
Deare Dame(quoth he) you sleeping sparkes awake,
Which troubled once, into huge flames will grow,
Ne euerever will their feruentfervent fury slake,
Till liuingliving moysture into smoke do flow,
And wasted life do lye in ashes low.
Yet sithens silence lesseneth not my fire,
But told it flames, and hidden it does glow,
Iwill reuelerevele, what ye so much desire:
Ah LoueLove,lay downe thy bow, the whiles I may respire.
It was in freshest flowre of youthly yeares,
When courage first does creepe in manly chest,
Then first the coale of kindly heat appeares
To kindle louelove in eueryevery liuingliving brest;
But me had warnd old Timons wise behest,
Those creeping flames by reason to subdew,
Before their rage grew to so great vnrestunrest,
As miserable louerslovers vseuse to rew,
Which still wex old in woe, whiles woe still wexeth new.
That idle name of louelove, and louerslovers life,
As losse of time, and vertues enimy
I euerever scornd, and ioydjoyd to stirre vpup strife,
In middest of their mournfull Tragedy,
Ay wont to laugh, when them I heard to cry,
And blow the fire, which them to ashes brent:
Their God himselfe, grieu’dgriev’d at my libertie,
Shot many a dart at me with fiers intent,
But I them warded all with wary gouernmentgovernment.
But all in vaine: no fort can be so strong,
Ne fleshly brest can armed be so sound,
But will at last be wonne with battrie long,
Orvnawares at disauantagedisavantage found;
Nothing is sure, that growes on earthly ground:
And who most trustes in arme of fleshly might,
And boasts, in beauties chaine not to be bound,
Doth soonest fall in disauentrousdisaventrous fight,
And yeeldes his caytiuecaytive neck to victours most despight.
Ensample make of him your haplesse ioyjoy,
And of my selfe now mated, as ye see;
Whose prouder vaunt that proud auengingavenging boy
Did soone pluck downe, and curbd my libertie.
For on a day prickt forth with iollitie
Of looser life, and heat of hardiment,
Raunging the forest wide on courser free,
The fields, the floods, the heauensheavens with one consent
Did seeme to laugh on me, and fauourfavour mine intent.
For-wearied with mysports, I did alight
From loftie steed, and downe to sleepe me layd;
The verdant gras my couch did goodly dight,
And pillow was my helmet faire displayd:
Whiles eueryevery sence the humour sweet embayd,
And slombring soft my hart did steale away,
Me seemed, by my side a royall Mayd
Her daintie limbes full softly down did lay:
So faire a creature yet saw neuernever sunny day.
Most goodly glee and louelylovely blandishment
She to me made, and bad me louelove her deare,
For dearely sure her louelove was to me bent,
As when iustjust time expired should appeare.
But whether dreames delude, or true it were,
Was neuernever hart so rauishtravisht with delight,
Ne liuingliving man like words did euerever heare,
As she to me deliuereddelivered all that night;
And at her parting said, She Queene of Faeries hight.
When I awoke, and found her place deuoyddevoyd,
And nought but pressed gras, where she had lyen,
Isorrowed all so much, as earst I ioydjoyd,
And washed all her place with watry eyen.
From that day forth I lou’dlov’d that face diuinedivine;
From that day forth I cast in carefull mind,
To seeke her out with labour, and long tyne,
And neuernever vow to rest, till her I find,
Nine monethes I seeke in vaine yet ni’ll that vow vnbind.
Thus as he spake, his visage wexed pale,
And chaunge of hew great passion did bewray;
Yet still he strouestrove to cloke his inward bale,
And hide the smoke, that did his fire display,
Till gentle VnaUna thus to him gan say;
O happy Queene of Faeries, that hast found
Mongst many, one that with his prowesse may
Defend thine honour, and thy foes confound:
True LouesLoves are ofte[n] sown, but seldom grow on ground.
Thine, O 17.1. then: thanthenthan, said the gentle Redcrosse knight,
Next to that Ladies louelove, shalbe the place,
O fairest virgin, full of heauenlyheavenly light,
Whose wondrous faith, exceeding earthly race,
Was firmest fixt in mine extremest case,
And you, my Lord, the Patrone of my life,
Of that great Queene may well gaine worthy grace:
For onely worthy you through prowes priefe
Yf liuingliving man mote worthy be, to be her liefe.
So diuerslydiversly discoursing of their louesloves,
The golden Sunne his glistring head gan shew,
And sad remembraunce now the Prince amouesamoves,
With fresh desire his voyage to pursew:
Als VnaUna earnd her traueilltraveill to renew.
Then those two knights, fast friendship for to bynd,
And louelove establish each to other trew,
GaueGave goodly gifts, the signes of gratefull mynd,
And eke as pledges firme, right hands together ioyndjoynd.
Prince Arthur gauegave a boxe of Diamond sure,
Embowd with gold and gorgeous ornament,
Wherein were closd few drops of liquor pure,
Of wondrous worth, and vertue excellent,
That any wound could heale incontinent:
Which to requite, the Redcrosse knight him gauegave
A booke, wherein his SaueoursSaveours testament
Was writ with golden letters rich and brauebrave;
A worke of wondrous grace, and able soules to sauesave.
Thus beene they parted, Arthur on his way
To seeke his louelove, and th’other for to fight
With VnaesUnaes foe, that all her realme did pray.
But she now weighing the decayed plight,
And shrunken synewes of her chosen knight,
Would not a while her forward course pursew,
Ne bring him forth in face of dreadfull fight,
Till he recoueredrecovered had his former hew:
For him to be yet weake and wearie well she knew.
So as they traueildtraveild, lo they gan espy
An armed knight towards them gallop fast,
That seemed from some feared foe to fly,
Or other griesly thing, that him agast.
Still as he fled, his eye was backward cast,
As if his feare still followed him behind;
Als flew his steed, as he his bands had brast,
And with his winged heeles did tread the wind,
As he had beene a fole of Pegasus his kind.
Nigh as he drew, they might perceiueperceive his head
To be vnarmdunarmd, and curld vncombeduncombed heares
VpstaringUpstaring stiffe, dismayd with vncouthuncouth dread;
Nor drop of bloud in all his face appeares
Nor life in limbe: and to increase his feares,
In fowle reproch of knighthoods faire degree,
About his neck an hempen rope he weares,
That with his glistring armes does ill agree;
But he of rope or armes has now no memoree.
The Redcrosse knight toward him crossed fast,
To weet, what mister wight was so dismayd:
There him he finds all sencelesse and aghast,
That of him selfe he seemd to be afrayd;
Whom hardly he from flying forward stayd,
Till he these wordes to him deliuerdeliver might;
Sir knight, aread who hath ye thus arayd,
And eke from whom make ye this hasty flight:
Forneuer knight I saw in such misseeming plight.
He answerd nought at all, but adding new
Feare to his first amazment, staring wide
With stony eyes, and hartlesse hollow hew,
Astonisht stood, as one that had aspide
Infernall furies, with their chaines vntide.
Him yet againe, and yet againe bespake
The gentle knight; who nought to him replide,
But trembling eueryevery ioyntjoynt did inly quake,
And foltring tongue at last these words seemd forth to shake.
For Gods deare louelove, Sir knight, do me not stay;
For loe he comes, he comes fast after mee.
Eft looking backe would faine hauehave runne away;
But he him forst to stay, and tellen free
The secret cause of his perplexitie:
Yet nathemore by his bold hartie speach,
Could his bloud-frosen hart emboldned bee,
But through his boldnesse rather feare did reach,
Yet forst, at last he made through silence suddein breach.
And am I now in safetie sure (quoth he)
From him, that would hauehave forced me to dye?
And is the point of death now turnd fro mee,
That I may tell this haplesse history?
Feare nought: (quoth he) no daunger now is nye?
Then shall I you recount a ruefull cace,
(Said he) the which with this vnluckyunlucky eye
Ilate beheld, and had not greater grace
Me reft from it, had bene partaker of the place.
I lately chaunst (Would I had neuernever chaunst)
With a faire knight to keepen companee,
Sir Terwin hight, that well himselfe aduaunstadvaunst
In all affaires, and was both bold and free,
But not so happie as mote happie bee:
He lou’dlov’d, as was his lot, a Ladie gent,
That him againe lou’dlov’d in the least degree:
For she was proud, and of too high intent,
And ioydjoyd to see her louerlover languish and lament.
From whom returning sad and comfortlesse,
As on the way together we did fare,
We met that villen (God from him me blesse)
That cursed wight, from whom I scapt whyleare,
A man of hell, that cals himselfe Despaire:
Who first vsus greets, and after faire areedes
Of tydings strange, and of aduenturesadventures rare:
So creeping close, as Snake in hidden weedes,
Inquireth of our states, and of our knightly deedes.
Which when he knew, and felt ourfeeble harts
Embost with bale, and bitter byting griefe,
Which louelove had launched with his deadly darts,
With wounding words and termes of foule repriefe
He pluckt from vsus all hope of due reliefe,
That earst vsus held in louelove of lingring life;
Then hopelesse hartlesse, gan the cunning thiefe
Perswade vsus die, to stint all further strife:
To me he lent this rope, to him a rustie knife.
With which sad instrument of hastie death,
That wofull louerlover, loathing lenger light,
A wide way made to let forth liuingliving breath.
But I more fearefull, or more luckie wight,
Dismayd with that deformed dismall sight,
Fled fast away, halfe dead with dying feare:
Ne yet assur’d of life by you, Sir knight,
Whose like infirmitie like chaunce may beare:
But God you neuernever let his charmed speeches heare.
How may a man (said he) with idle speach
Be wonne, to spoyle the Castle of his health?
Iwote (quoth he) whom triall late did teach,
That like would not for all this worldes wealth:
His subtill tongue, like dropping honny, mealt’h
Into the hart, and searcheth eueryevery vaine,
That ere one be aware, by secret stealth
His powre is reft, and weaknesse doth remaine.
O neuernever Sir desire to try his guilefull traine.
Certes (said he) hence shall I neuernever rest,
Till I that treachours art hauehave heard and tride;
And you Sir knight, whose name mote I request,
Of grace do me vntounto his cabin guide.
I that hight TreuisanTrevisan (quoth he) will ride
Against my liking backe, to doe you grace:
But nor for gold nor glee will I abide
By you, when ye arriuearrive in that same place;
For leuerlever had I die, 32.9. then: thanthenthan see his deadly face.
Ere long they come, where that same wicked wight
His dwelling has, low in an hollow cauecave,
Farre vnderneathunderneath a craggie clift ypight,
Darke, dolefull, drearie, like a greedie grauegrave,
That still for carrion carcases doth crauecrave:
On top whereof aye dwelt the ghastly Owle,
Shrieking his balefull note, which euerever drauedrave
Farre from that haunt all other chearefull fowle;
And all about it wandring ghostes did waile and howle.
And all about old stockes and stubs of trees,
Whereon nor fruit, nor leafe was euerever seene,
Did hang vponupon the ragged rocky knees;
On which had many wretches hanged beene,
Whose carcases were scattered on the greene,
And throwne about the cliffs. ArriuedArrived there,
That bare-head knight for dread and dolefull teene,
Would faine hauehave fled, ne durst approchen neare,
But th’other forst him stay, and comforted in feare.
That darkesome cauecave they enter, where they find
That cursed man, low sitting on the ground,
Musing full sadly in his sullein mind;
His griesie lockes, long growen, andvnbound,
Disordred hong about his shoulders round,
And hid his face; through which his hollow eyne
Lookt deadly dull, and stared as astound;
His raw-bone cheekes through penurie and pine,
Were shronke into his iawesjawes, as he did neuernever dine.
His garment nought but many ragged clouts,
With thornes together pind and patched was,
The which his naked sides he wrapt abouts;
And him beside there lay vponupon the gras
A drearie corse, whose life away did pas,
All wallowd in his owne yet luke-warme blood,
That from his wound yet welled fresh alas;
In which a rustie knife fast fixed stood,
And made an open passage for the gushing flood.
Which piteous spectacle, approuingapproving trew
The wofull tale that TreuisanTrevisan had told,
When as the gentle Redcrosse knight did vew,
With firie zeale he burnt in courage bold,
Him to auengeavenge, before his bloud were cold,
And to the villein said, Thou damned wight,
The author of this fact, we here behold,
What iusticejustice can but iudgejudge against thee right,
With thine owne bloud to price his bloud, here shed in sight.
What franticke fit (quoth he) hath thus distraught
Thee, foolish man, so rash a doome to giuegive?
What iusticejustice euerever other iudgementjudgement taught,
But he should die, who merites not to liuelive?
None else to death this man despayring driuedrive,
But his owne guiltie mind deseruingdeserving death.
Is 38.7. then: thanthenthan
vniustunjust to each his due to giuegive?
Or let him die, that loatheth liuingliving breath?
Or let him die at ease, that liuethliveth here vneathuneath?
Who trauels by the wearie wandring way,
To come vntounto his wished home in haste,
And meetes a flood, that doth his passage stay,
Is not great grace to helpe him ouerover past,
Or free his feet, that in the myre sticke fast?
Most enuiousenvious man, that grieuesgrieves at neighbours good,
And fond, that ioyestjoyest in the woe thou hast,
Why wilt not let him passe, that long hath stood
VponUpon the banke, yet wilt thy selfe not passe the flood?
He there does now enioyenjoy eternall rest
And happie ease, which thou doest want and crauecrave,
And further from it daily wanderest:
What if some litle paine the passage hauehave,
That makes fraile flesh to feare the bitter wauewave?
Is not short paine well borne, that brings long ease,
And layes the soule to sleepe in quiet grauegrave?
Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas,
Ease after warre, death after life does greatly please.
The knight much wondred at his suddeine wit,
And said, The terme of life is limited,
Ne may a man prolong, nor shorten it;
The souldier may not mouemove from watchfull sted,
Nor leaueleave his stand, vntilluntill his Captaine bed.
Who life did limit by almightie doome,
(Quoth he) knowes best the termes established;
And he, that points the Centonell his roome,
Doth license him depart at sound of morning droome.
Is not his deed, what euerever thing is donne,
In heauenheaven and earth? did not he all create
To die againe? all ends that was begonne.
Their times in his eternall booke of fate
Are written sure, and hauehave their certaine date.
Who 42.6. then: thanthenthan can striuestrive with strong necessitie,
That holds the world in his still chaunging state,
Or shunne the death ordaynd by destinie?
Whe[n] houre of death is come, let none aske whence, nor why.
The lenger life, I wote the greater sin,
The greater sin, the greater punishment:
All those great battels, which thou boasts to win,
Through strife, and bloud-shed, and auengementavengement,
Now praysd, hereafter deare thou shalt repent:
For life must life, and bloud must bloud repay.
Is not enough thy euillevill life forespent?
For he, that once hath missed the right way,
The further he doth goe, the further he doth stray.
Then do no further goe, no further stray,
But here lie downe, and to thy rest betake,
Th’ill to preuentprevent, that life ensewen may.
For what hath life, that may it louedloved make,
And giuesgives not rather cause it to forsake?
Feare, sicknesse, age, losse, labour, sorrow, strife,
Paine, hunger, cold, that makes the hart to quake;
And euerever fickle fortune rageth rife,
All which, and thousands mo do make a loathsome life.
Thou wretched man, of death hast greatest need,
If in true ballance thou wilt weigh thy state:
For neuernever knight, that dared warlike deede,
More lucklesse disauentures did amate:
Witnesse the dongeon deepe, wherein of late
Thy life shut vpup, for death so oft did call;
And though good lucke prolonged hath thy date,
Yet death 45.8. then: thanthenthan, would the like mishaps forestall,
Into the which hereafter thou maiest happen fall.
Why 46.1. then: thanthenthan doest thou, ô man of sin, desire
To draw thy dayes forth to their last degree?
Is not the measure of thy sinfull hire
High heaped vpup with huge iniquitie,
Against the day of wrath, to burden thee?
Is not enough, that to this Ladie milde
Thou falsed hast thy faith with periurie,
And sold thy selfe to serueserve Duessa vilde,
With whom in all abuse thou hast thy selfe defilde?
Is not he iustjust, that all this doth behold
From highest heauenheaven, and beares an equall eye?
Shall he thy sins vpup in his knowledge fold,
And guiltie be of thine impietie?
Is not his law, Let eueryevery sinner die:
Die shall all flesh? what 47.6. then: thanthenthan must needs be donne,
Is it not better to doe willinglie,
Then linger, till the glasse be all out ronne?
Death is the end of woes: die soone, O faeries sonne.
The knight was much enmouedenmoved with his speach,
That as a swords point through his hart did perse,
And in his conscience made a secret breach,
Well knowing true all, that he did reherse,
And to his fresh remembrance did reuersereverse
The vglyugly vew of his deformed crimes,
That all his manly powres it did disperse,
As he were charmed with inchaunted rimes,
That oftentimes he quakt, and fainted oftentimes.
In which amazement, when the Miscreant
PerceiuedPerceived him to wauerwaver weake and fraile,
Whiles trembling horror did his conscience dant,
And hellish anguish did his soule assaile,
To driuedrive him to despaire, and quite to quaile,
He shew’d him painted in a table plaine,
The damned ghosts, that doe in torments waile,
And thousand feends that doe them endlesse paine
With fire and brimstone, which for euerever shall remaine.
The sight whereof so throughly him dismaid,
That nought but death before his eyes he saw,
And euerever burning wrath before him laid,
By righteous sentence of th’Almighties law:
Then gan the villein him to ouercrawovercraw,
And brought vntounto him swords, ropes, poison, fire,
And all that might him to perdition draw;
And bad him choose, what death he would desire:
For death was due to him, that had prouoktprovokt Gods ire.
But when as none of them he saw him take,
He to him raught a dagger sharpe and keene,
And gauegave it him in hand: his hand did quake,
And tremble like a leafe of Aspin greene,
And troubled bloud through his pale face was seene
To come, and goe with tydings from the hart,
As it a running messenger had beene.
At last resolu’dresolv’d to worke his finall smart,
He lifted vpup his hand, that backe againe did start.
Which when as VnaUna saw, through eueryevery vaine
The crudled cold ran to her well of life,
As in a swowne: but soone reliu’dreliv’d againe,
Out of his hand she snatcht the cursed knife,
And threw it to the ground, enraged rife,
And to him said, Fie, fie, faint harted knight,
What meanest thou by this reprochfull strife?
Is this the battell, which thou vauntst to fight
With that fire-mouthed Dragon, horrible and bright?
Come, come away, fraile, seely, fleshly wight,
Ne let vaine words bewitch thy manly hart,
Ne diuelishdivelish thoughts dismay thy constant spright.
In heauenlyheavenly mercies hast thou not a part?
Why shouldst thou 53.5. then: thanthenthan despeire, that chosen art?
Where iusticejustice growes, there grows eke greater grace,
The which doth quench the brond of hellish smart,
And that accurst hand-writing doth deface,
Arise, Sir knight arise, and leaueleave this cursed place.
So vpup he rose, and thence amounted streight.
Which when the carle beheld, and saw his guest
Would safe depart, for all his subtill sleight,
He chose an halter from among the rest,
And with it hung himselfe, vnbidunbid vnblestunblest.
But death he could not worke himselfe thereby;
For thousand times he so himselfe had drest,
Yet nathelesse it could not doe him die,
Till he should die his last, that is eternally.