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CANTO VI.

From lawlesse lust by wondrous grace
Fayre Una is releast:

-

Whom salvage nation does adore,
And learnes her wise beheast.

1.

As when a ship, that flyes fayre under sayle,
An hidden rocke escaped hath unwares,
That lay in waite her wrack for to bewaile;
The mariner yet halfe amazed stares
At perill past, and yet in doubt ne dares
To ioy at his foolhappie1 oversight 2:
So doubly is distrest twixt ioy and cares
The dreadlesse corage of this Elfin Knight,
Having escapt so sad ensamples in his sight.

II.

Yet sad he was, that his too hastie speed
The fayre Duess' had forst him leave behind;
And yet more sad, that Una, his deare Dreed,3
Her truth had staynd with treason so unkind;
Yet cryme in her could never creature find:

1 Foolhappie, lucky without design.

2 Oversight, escape; literally, his being overlooked, and thus allowed to escape.

3 Dreed, object of reverence.

I. 3. For to bewaile, &c.] Bewaile here means to choose or select; and the idea conveyed is that the rock lies in wait for the ship, or selects her for the purpose of wrecking her.

VOL. I.

11

But for his love, and for her own selfe sake,
She wandred had from one to other Ynd,
Him for to seeke, ne ever would forsake;
Till her unwares the fiers Sansloy did overtake:

III.

Who, after Archimagoes fowle defeat,
Led her away into a forest wilde;
And, turning wrathfull fyre to lustfull heat,
With beastly sin thought her to have defilde,
And made the vassall of his pleasures vilde.
Yet first he cast by treatie, and by traynes,1
Her to persuade that stubborne fort to yielde:
For greater conquest of hard love he gaynes,
That workes it to his will, then he that it constraines.

IV.

With fawning wordes he courted her a while;
And, looking lovely 2 and oft sighing sore,

Her constant hart did tempt with diverse guile:
But wordes, and lookes, and sighes she did abhore;
As rock of diamond stedfast evermore.

Yet, for to feed his fyrie lustfull eye,

He snatcht the vele that hong her face before: Then gan her beautie shyne as brightest skye, And burnt his beastly hart t' enforce her chastitye.

V.

So when he saw his flatt'ring artes to fayle,
And subtile engines bett from batteree;
With greedy force he gan the fort assayle,
Whereof he weend possessed soone to bee,

1 Traynes, persuasion.

2 Lovely, lovingly.

11. 9. Till her unwares, &c.] The adventures of Una are now resumed from canto III.

And win rich spoile of ransackt chastitee. Ah heavens! that doe this hideous act behold, And heavenly Virgin thus outraged see, How can ye vengeance iust so long withhold, And hurle not flashing flames upon that Paynım bold?

VI.

The pitteous Mayden, carefull,1 comfortlesse,

Does throw out thrilling shriekes, and shrieking cryes; (The last vaine helpe of wemens greate distresse,) And with loud plaintes impórtuneth the skyes; That molten starres doe drop like weeping eyes; And Phoebus, flying so most shameful sight, His blushing face in foggy cloud implyes,2 And hydes for shame. What witt of mortall wight Can now devise to quitt a thrall 3 from such a plight?

VII.

Eternall Providence, exceeding thought,

Where none appeares can make her self a way A wondrous way it for this Lady wrought, From lyons clawes to pluck the gryped pray. Her shrill outcryes and shrieks so loud did bray, That all the woodes and forestes did resownd: A troupe of Faunes and satyres far away Within the wood were dauncing in a rownd, Whiles old Sylvanus slept in shady arber sownd:

VIII.

Who, when they heard that pitteous strained voice,
In haste forsooke their rural meriment,

1 Carefull, sorrowful.

2 Implyes, envelopes.

3 Thrall, a person subjected to the power of another.

VII. 9. Old Sylvanus.] Sylvanus was a rural deity, in figure resembling a satyr.

And ran towardes the far rebownded noyce,
To weet what wight so loudly did lament.
Unto the place they come incontinent1:
Whom when the raging Sarazin espyde,
A rude, misshapen, monstrous rablement,
Whose like he never saw, he durst not byde ;
But got his ready steed, and fast away gan ryde.

IX.

The wyld woodgods, arrived in the place,
There find the Virgin, doolfull, desolate,
With ruffled rayments, and fayre blubbred 2 face,
As her outrageous foe had left her late;
And trembling yet through feare of former hate:
All stand amazed at so uncouth 3 sight,
And gin to pittie her unhappie state;
All stand astonied at her beautie bright,
In their rude eyes unworthy of so wofull plight.

X.

She, more amazd, in double dread doth dwell;
And every tender part for feare does shake.
As when a greedy wolfe, through honger fell,
A seely lamb far from the flock does take,
Of whom he meanes his bloody feast to make,
A lyon spyes fast running towards him,

The innocent pray in hast he does forsake;
Which, quitt from death, yet quakes in every lim
With chaunge of feare, to see the lyon looke so grim.

1 Incontinent, immediately. 2 Blubbred, stained with tears.
3 Uncouth, strange.
4 Seely, simple.

IX. 3.- Blubbred face.] This word, in Spenser's times, had not acquired those associations which in modern times forbid its use in dignified or pathetic passages.

XI.

Such fearefull fitt assaid her trembling hart;
Ne word to speake, ne ioynt to move, she had
The salvage nation feele her secret smart,
And read her sorrow in her count'nance sad;
Their frowning forheads, with rough hornes yclad
And rustick horror, all asyde doe lay;

And, gently grenning,1 shew a semblance glad
To comfort her; and, feare to put away,

Their backward-bent knees teach her humbly to obay.

XII.

The doubtfull 2 Damzell dare not yet committ
Her single person to their barbarous truth;
But still twixt feare and hope amazd does sitt,
Late learnd what harme to hasty truth ensu'th:
They, in compassion of her tender youth
And wonder of her beautie soverayne,
Are wonne with pitty and unwonted ruth;
And, all prostráte upon the lowly playne,

Doe kisse her feete, and fawne on her with count'nance fayne.3

XIII.

Their harts she ghesseth by their humble guise,
And yieldes her to extremitie of time:

So from the ground she fearlesse doth arise,
And walketh forth without suspect of crime:
They, all as glad as birdes of joyous pryme,
Thence lead her forth, about her dauncing round,
Shouting, and singing all a shepheards ryme;

3 2 Doubtfull, fearful.

1 Grenning, grinning.

Fayne, glad.

XIII. 4. — Without suspect of crime.] Without suspecting or anticipating any evil.

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