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And, catching up in hast his three-square shield And shining helmet, soone him buckled to the field;
And, drawing nigh him, said; "Ah! misborn Elfe,
That with their force they perst both plate and maile,
That it would pitty any living eie:
Large floods of blood adowne their sides did raile 3;
Both hongred after death; both chose to win, or die.
So long they fight, and full revenge pursue,
That, fainting, each themselves to breathen lett;
As when two bores, with rancling malice mett,
1 Blent, stained.
2 Perdie, in truth.
3 Raile, flow.
XLII. 7. — But had he beene, &c.] But had he been in the place of Archimago, (see canto III. stanzas XXXVII., XXXVIII.,) he, and not the Enchanter, should have suffered for it. "His," in the eighth and ninth line, means the Enchanter's.
Their gory sides fresh bleeding fiercely frett; 1 Til breathlesse both themselves aside retire, Where, foming wrath, their cruell tuskes they whett, And trample th' earth, the whiles they may respire; Then backe to fight againe, new breathed and entire.
So fiersly, when these Knights had breathed once, They gan to fight retourne; increasing more Their puissant force, and cruell rage attonce, With heaped strokes more hugely then 2 before; That with their drery wounds, and bloody gore, They both deformed, scarsely could bee known. By this, sad Una fraught with anguish sore, Led with their noise which through the air was thrown, Arriv'd, wher they in erth their fruitles blood had sown.
Whom all so soone as that proud Sarazin
"O foolish Faeries sonne, what fury mad
To love another: Lo then, for thine ayd,
But that false Pilgrim, which that leasing1 told,
And eke this battels end, will need another place.
1 Leasing, falsehood.
Last decay, final destruction.
XLVIII. 9. And eke this battels end.] The poet never redeems the promise here made to tell us the issue of this battle. Sir Satyrane reappears in the third book, canto VII.
In Una's residence with the Satyrs, the poet may give us to understand that Truth, in a corrupt age, may be found hidden among a rural population, and in "huts where poor men lie;" and in Sir Satyrane, to personify the restoring energy which resides in the heart of a virtuous people. The explanation, however, is suggested, not asserted.
The Redcrosse Knight is captive made,
By Gyaunt proud opprest:
Prince Arthure meets with Una great-
WHAT man so wise, what earthly witt so ware,'
By which Deceipt doth maske in visour faire,
To seeme like Truth whose shape she well can faine,
The guiltlesse man with guile to entertaine?
Great maistresse of her art was that false Dame, The false Duessa, cloked with Fidessaes name.
Who when, returning from the drery Night,
1 Ware, cautious.
2 Foreby, near.
What man, &c.] The narrative now returns to the Redcross Knight, who had escaped from the house of Pride, at the end of canto V.
Disarmed all of yron-coted plate;
And by his side his steed the grassy forage ate.
Hee feedes upon the cooling shade, and bayes1
Doe chaunt sweet musick, to delight his mynd:
The Witch approching gan him fayrely greet,
With fowle words tempring faire, soure gall with hony sweet.
Unkindnesse past, they gan of solace treat,
And bathe in pleasaunce of the ioyous shade,
The cause was this: One day, when Phoebe fayre
1 Bayes, bathes.
2 Disgrace, upbraid.