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Now whenas darksome night had all displayd
Her coleblacke curtein over brightest skye;
The warlike youthes, on dayntie couches layd,
Did chace away sweet sleepe from sluggish eye,
To muse on meanes of hoped victory.
But whenas Morpheus had with leaden mace
Arrested all that courtly company,

Uprose Duessa from her resting place,

And to the Paynims lodging comes with silent pace.


Whom broad awake she findes, in troublous fitt, 45
Fore-casting how his foe he might annoy;

And him amoves with speaches seeming fitt:
"Ah deare Sansjoy, next dearest to Sansfoy,
Cause of my new griefe, cause of my new joy;
Joyous to see his ymage in mine eye,
And greevd to thinke how foe did him destroy,
That was the flowre of grace and chevalrye;
Lo! his Fidessa, to thy secret faith I flye."


With gentle wordes he can her fayrely greet,
And bad say on the secrete of her hart:
Then, sighing soft; "I learne that litle sweet
Oft tempred is," (quoth she,) "with muchell smart:
For since my brest was launcht with lovely dart
Of deare Sansfoy, I never joyed howre,

But in eternall woes my weaker hart

Have wasted, loving him with all my powre,

And for his sake have felt full many an heavie stowre.

"At last, when perils all I weened past,
And hop'd to reape the crop of all my care,
Into new woes unweeting I was cast

By this false faytor, who unworthie ware
His worthie shield, whom he with guilefull snare
Entrapped slew, and brought to shamefull grave
Me, silly maid, away with him he bare,

And ever since hath kept in darksom cave,
For that I would not yeeld that to Sansfoy I gave.


"But since faire Sunne hath sperst that lowring clowd,
And to my loathed life now shewes some light,
Under your beames I will me safely shrowd
From dreaded storme of his disdainfull spight:
To you th' inheritance belonges by right

Of brothers prayse, to you eke longes his love.
Let not his love, let not his restlesse spright,
Be unreveng'd, that calles to you above [move."
From wandring Stygian shores, where it doth endlesse

Thereto said he, "Faire Dame, be nought dismaid 49 For sorrowes past; their griefe is with them gone: Ne yet of present perill be affraid,

For needlesse feare did never vantage none; And helplesse hap it booteth not to mone. Dead is Sansfoy, his vitall paines are past, Though greeved ghost for vengeance deep do grone He lives that shall him pay his dewties last, And guiltie Elfin blood shall sacrifice in hast."

"O! but I feare the fickle freakes," (quoth shee) 50 "Of fortune false, and oddes of armes in field." "Why, dame," (quoth he) "what oddes can ever bee, Where both doe fight alike, to win or yield ?" "Yea, but," (quoth she) "he beares a charmed shield, And eke enchaunted armes, that none can perce; Ne none can wound the man that does them wield." "Charmd or enchaunted," (answerd he then ferce) "I no whitt reck; ne you the like need to reherce.

"But, faire Fidessa, sithens fortunes guile,

Or enimies powre, hath now captived you, Returne from whence ye came, and rest a while, Till morrow next that I the Elfe subdew, And with Sansfoyes dead dowry you endew." "Ay me!. that is a double death,” (she said) "With proud foes sight my sorrow to renew: Where ever yet I be, my secret aide

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Shall follow you." So, passing forth she him obaid.

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HE noble hart that harbours vertuous thought, And is with childe of glorious great intent, Can never rest, untill it forth have brought Th' eternall brood of glorie excellent. Such restlesse passion did all night torment The flaming corage of that Faery knight, Devizing how that doughtie turnament With greatest honour he atchieven might: Still did he wake, and still did watch for dawning light.

At last, the golden Orientall gate

Of greatest heaven gan to open fayre;


And Phoebus, fresh as brydegrome to his mate,
Came dauncing forth, shaking his deawie hayre,
And hurls his glistring beams through gloomy ayre.
Which when the wakeful Elfe perceiv'd, streight way,
He started up, and did him selfe prepayre
In sunbright armes, and battailous array;
For with that Pagan proud he combatt will that day.
And forth he comes into the commune hall;

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 loves, and warres for Ladies doen by many a Lord.

Soone after comes the cruell Sarazin,

In woven maile all armed warily;
And sternly lookes at him, who not a pin
Does care for looke of living creatures eye.
They bring them wines of Greece and Araby,
And daintie spices fetch from furthest Ynd,
To kindle heat of corage privily;

And in the wine a solemne oth they bynd T'observe the sacred lawes of armes that are assynd.

At last forth comes that far renowmed Queene: 5
With royall pomp and princely majestie
She is ybrought unto a paled greene,

And placed under 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 victor dew.

A shrilling trompett sownded from on hye,


And unto battaill bad them selves addresse:
Their shining shieldes about their wrestes they tye,
And burning blades about their heades doe blesse,
The instruments of wrath and heavinesse.

With greedy force each other doth assayle,
And strike so fiercely, that they do 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 strong,


And heaped blowes like yron hammers great; For after blood and vengeance he did long : The knight was fiers, and full of youthly 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, And hewen helmets deepe shew marks of eithers might.


So th' one for wrong, the other strives 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 ravine rend away :
With hideous horror both together smight,
And souce so sore that they the heavens affray:
The wise Southsayer, seeing so sad sight,

Th' amazed vulgar telles of warres and mortall fight.

So th' one for wrong, the other strives for right,
And each to deadly shame would drive 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 side.


At last the Paynim chaunst to cast his eye,
His suddein eye flaming with wrathfull fyre,
Upon 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 overtake?

"Goe, caytive Elfe, him quickly overtake,


And soone redeeme from his long-wandring woe: Goe, guiltie ghost, to him my message make, That I his shield have quit from dying foe." Therewith upon 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 all !”

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