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HIGH time now gan it wex for Una fayre To thinke of those her captive Parents deare, And their forwasted 1 kingdom to repayre: Whereto whenas they now approched neare, With hartie wordes her Knight she gan to cheare, And in her modest manner thus bespake; "Deare Knight, as deare as ever Knight was deare, That all these sorrowes suffer for my sake, High heven behold the tedious toyle, ye for me take!
"Now are we come unto my native soyle,
And to the place where all our perilles dwell;
Here hauntes that Feend, and does his daily spoyle; Therefore henceforth bee at your keeping well,
And ever ready for your foeman fell: The sparke of noble corage now awake, And strive your excellent selfe to excell: That shall ye evermore renowmed make Above all Knights on earth, that batteill undertake."
1 Forwasted, much wasted.
And pointing forth, "Lo! yonder is," said she,
The watchman wayting tydings glad to heare;
With that they heard a roaring hideous sownd,
Of a great hill, himselfe like a great hill:
Then badd the Knight his Lady yede aloof,
From whence she might behold that battailles proof,
1 Uneath, beneath. 2 Eftsoones, immediately. 3 Untill, unto. 4 Yede, go. 5 Ympe, child.
III. 8. That, O my Parents, &c.]
That is, which tidings.
The Muses are generally sup
The nourse of time and everlasting fame,
That warlike handes ennoblest with immortall name;
O, gently come into my feeble brest,
Come gently; but not with that mightie rage,
Fayre goddesse, lay that furious fitt1 asyde, Till I of warres and bloody Mars doe sing, And Bryton fieldes with Sarazin blood bedyde, Twixt that great Faery Queene and Paynim King, That with their horror heven and earth did ring; A worke of labour long, and endlesse prayse: But now awhile lett downe that haughtie 2 string, And to my tunes thy second tenor rayse, That I this Man of God his godly armes may blaze.3
1 Fitt, strain. 2 Haughtie, high-toned. 3 Blaze, celebrate.
posed to have been the daughters of Jupiter, and not of Apollo, as Spenser represents them. The "aged bryde" is Mnemosyne, or Memory, who, according to all accounts, was the mother of the Muses.
VII. 2. Till I of warres, &c.] Spenser once or twice gives intimation of a purpose of commemorating the wars between the Faerie Queene and the Paynim King, that is, Queen Elizabeth and King Philip of Spain. See verses to the Earl of Essex, prefixed to this poem; also book I. canto XII. stanza XVIII. It is supposed that this would have formed the subject of some one or more of the last six books of the Faerie Queene, nad he lived to complete his original design of writing twelve books.
VII. 9.-Man of God his.] Man of God's.
By this, the dreadful Beast drew nigh to hand,
His body monstrous, horrible, and vaste;
And over1 all with brasen scales was armd,
Like plated cote of steele, so couched neare
That nought mote perce; ne might his corse be harmd With dint of swerd, nor push of pointed speare: Which, as an eagle, seeing pray appeare,
His aery plumes doth rouze full rudely dight;
So shaked he, that horror was to heare:
Such noyse his rouzed scales did send unto the Knight.
His flaggy winges, when forth he did display,
1 Over all, all over.
2 Flaggy, hanging loosely or in folds. 3 Pennes, feathers.
IX. 2.- So couched neare.] Laid so close to each other.
The cloudes before him fledd for terror great,
And all the hevens stood still amazed with his threat.
His huge long tayle, wownd up in hundred foldes,
But stinges and sharpest steele did far exceed
And, that more wondrous was, in either iaw
folds. 2 Shieldes,
3 Ravin, prey.
XII. 1. But stinges, &c.] The construction is, "But the sharpnesse of his cruel rending clawes did far exceed," &c.