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And calm'd his wrath with goodly temperance.
Then, to him stepping, from his arme did reache
Those keyes, and made himselfe free enterance.
Each dore he opened without any breach :
There was no barre to stop, nor foe him to empeach.1


There all within full rich arayd he found,
With royall arras, and resplendent gold,
And did with store of every thing abound,
That greatest princes presence might behold.
But all the floore (too filthy to be told)

With blood of guiltlesse babes, and innocents trew,
Which there were slaine, as sheepe out of the fold,
Defiled was; that dreadfull was to vew;

And sacred

ashes over it was strowed new.


And there beside of marble stone was built
An altare, carv'd with cunning ymagery;
On which trew Christians blood was often spilt,
And holy martyres often doen to dye,

With cruell malice and strong tyranny:

Whose blessed sprites, from underneath the stone,
To God for vengeance cryde continually;

And with great griefe were often heard to grone; 'That hardest heart would bleede to hear their piteous mone.

Sacred, cursed.

1 Empeach, hinder.

XXXV. 6. With blood, &c.] Spenser has been supposed by some to allude here to the persecutions of the Protestants under Queen Mary.

XXXVI. 2. - An altare, &c.] "I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God." - REV. vi. 9.


Through every rowme he sought, and everie bowr;
But no where could he find that wofull Thrall.
At last he came unto an yron doore,

That fast was lockt; but key found not at all
Emongst that bounch to open it withall;
But in the same a little grate was pight,1

Through which he sent his voyce, and lowd did call
With all his powre, to weet 2 if living wight
Were housed therewithin, whom he enlargen might.


Therewith an hollow, dreary, murmuring voyce
These pitteous plaintes and dolours did resound;
"O! who is that, which bringes me happy choyce
Of death, that here lye dying every stound,3
Yet live perforce in balefull darknesse bound?

For now three moones have changed thrice their hew,
And have been thrice hid underneath the ground,
Since I the heavens chearefull face did vew:

O welcome, thou, that doest of death bring tydings trew!


Which when that Champion heard, with percing point
Of pitty deare his hart was thrilled sore;
And trembling horrour ran through every ioynt,
For ruth of gentle Knight so fowle forlore 4:
Which shaking off, he rent that yron dore
With furious force and indignation fell;
Where entred in, his foot could find no flore,

1 Pight, placed.
2 Weet, learn.


3 Stound, moment.

4 Forlore, forlorn.

That wofull Thrall.] The Red-cross Knight.

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But all a deepe descent, as dark as hell,

That breathed ever forth a filthie banefull smell.


But neither darkenesse fowle, nor filthy bands,
Nor noyous smell, his purpose could withhold,
(Entire affection hateth nicer hands,)
But that with constant zele and corage bold,
After long paines and labors manifold,

He found the meanes that Prisoner up to reare;
Whose feeble thighes, unable to uphold

His pined corse, him scarse to light could beare;
A ruefull spectacle of death and ghastly drere.1


His sad dull eies, deepe sunck in hollow pits,
Could not endure th' unwonted sunne to view;
His bare thin cheekes for want of better bits,2
And empty sides deceived of their dew,
Could make a stony hart his hap to rew;

His raw bone armes, whose mighty brawned bowrs 3
Were wont to rive steele plates, and helmets hew,
Were clene consum'd; and all his vitall powres
Decayd; and al his flesh shronk up like withered flowres.


Whom when his Lady saw, to him she ran
With hasty ioy to see him made her glad,
And sad to view his visage pale and wan;

1 Drere, wretchedness.

2 Better bits, proper

3 Bours, muscles.


XL. 3. Entire affection, &c.] This beautiful line has become one of those commonplaces in literature, which a small portion only of those who quote can trace to their source.

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Who earst in flowres of freshest youth was clad.
Tho, when her well of teares she wasted had,
She said; "Ah dearest Lord! what evil starre
On you hath frownd, and pourd his influence bad,
That of your selfe ye thus berobbed arre,

And this misseeming hew your manly lookes doth marre ?


"But welcome now, my Lord, in wele or woe;
Whose presence I have lackt too long a day:
And fye on Fortune mine avowed foe,
Whose wrathfull wreakes3 themselves doe now alay;
And for these wronges shall treble penaunce pay
Of treble good: Good growes of evils priefe."
The chearlesse Man, whom sorrow did dismay,
Had no delight to treaten of his griefe;
His long endured famine needed more reliefe.


"Faire Lady," then said that victorious Knight,
"The things, that grievous were to doe, or beare,
Them to renew, I wote, breeds no delight;
Best musicke breeds delight in loathing eare:
But th' only good, that growes of passed feare,
Is to be wise, and ware of like agein.

This daies ensample hath this lesson deare
Deepe written in my heart with yron pen,
That blisse may not abide in state of mortall men.

2 Tho, then.

1 Earst, before.

3 Wreakes, vengeance.

XLIII. 6. Good growes of evils priefe.] Good grows out of the proof or experience of evil.

XLIV. 4. for delight

Breeds delight.] Warton proposes to substitute dislike this line.

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Henceforth, Sir Knight, take to you wonted strength, And maister these mishaps with patient might:

Loe, where your foe lies stretcht in monstrous length; And loe, that wicked Woman in your sight, The roote of all your care and wretched plight, Now in your powre, to let her live, or die." "To doe her die," quoth Una, "were despight, And shame t' avenge so weake an enimy; But spoile her of her scarlot robe, and let her fly."


So, as she bad, that Witch they disaraid,
And robd of roiall robes, and purple pall,
And ornaments that richly were displaid;
Ne spared they to strip her naked all.
Then, when they had despoyld her tire and call,1
Such, as she was, their eies might her behold,

That her misshaped parts did them appall;

loathly, wrinckled hag, ill favoured, old, Whose secret filth good manners biddeth not be told.


Her crafty head was altogether bald,
And, as in hate of honorable eld,

Was overgrowne with scurfe and filthy scald;
Her teeth out of her rotten gummes were feld,2
And her sowre breath abhominably smeld ;
Her dried dugs, lyke bladders lacking wind,
Hong downe, and filthy matter from them weld;
Her wrizled skin, as rough as maple rind,

So scabby was, that would have loathd all womankind.

1 Tire and call, attire and covering of the head. 2 Feld, fallen.

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