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Faynt, wearie, sore, emboyled,1 grieved, brent,2

With heat, toyle, wounds, armes, smart, and inward fire,
That never man such mischiefes did torment;
Death better were; death did he oft desire;

But death will never come, when needes require.

Whom so dismayd when that his foe beheld,
He cast to suffer him no more respire,

But gan his sturdy sterne about to weld,
And him so strongly stroke, that to the ground him feld.


It fortuned, (as fayre it then befell,)


Behynd his backe, unweeting where he stood,
Of auncient time there was a springing Well,
From which fast trickled forth a silver flood,
Full of great vertues, and for med'cine good:
Whylome, before that cursed Dragon got
That happy land, and all with innocent blood
Defyld those sacred waves, it rightly hot 5
The Well of Life; ne yet his vertues had forgot:

For unto life the dead it could restore,

And guilt of sinfull crimes cleane wash away;
Those, that with sicknesse were infected sore,
It could recure; and aged long decay
Renew, as one were borne that very day.
Both Silo this, and Iordan did excell,

And th' English Bath, and eke the German Spau;

1 Emboyled, scorched. 2 Brent, burned. 4 Unweeting, unknowing.

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3 Cast, determined. Hot, was called.

XXX. 6. Both Silo, &c.] "Silo" is the pool of Siloam. "Bath" is the city of that name in England, and "Spau" is Spa, a celebrated watering place in Belgium.

Ne can Cephise, nor Hebrus, match this Well: Into the same the Knight back overthrowen fell.


Now gan the golden Phœbus for to steepe
His fierie face in billowes of the west,

And his faint steedes watred in ocean deepe,
Whiles from their iournall1 labours they did rest;
When that infernall Monster, having kest 2
His wearie Foe into that living Well,

Can high advaunce his broad discolourd brest
Above his wonted pitch, with countenance fell,
And clapt his yron wings, as 3 victor he did dwell.


Which when his pensive Lady saw from farre,
Great woe and sorrow did her soule assay,
As weening that the sad end of the warre;
And gan to Highest God entirely 5 pray
That feared chaunce from her to turne away:
With folded hands, and knees full lowly bent,
All night she watcht; ne once adowne would lay
Her dainty limbs in her sad dreriment,


But praying still did wake, and waking did lament.


The morrow next gan earely to appeare,
That Titan rose to runne his daily race;
But earely, ere the morrow next gan reare
Out of the sea faire Titans deawy face,

Iournall, daily.

2 Kest, cast.
3 As, as if.

Assay, assail.

Entirely, fervently. • Dreriment, distress.

XXX. 8.- Ne can Cephise, &c.] Cephissus is a river in Bœotia; Hebrus, a river in Thrace - both memorable in classical story.

Up rose the gentle Virgin from her place,
And looked all about, if she might spy
Her loved Knight to move his manly pace:
For she had great doubt of his safety,
Since late she saw him fall before his enimy.


At last she saw, where he upstarted brave
Out of the Well wherein he drenched lay:
As eagle, fresh out of the ocean wave,
Where he hath lefte his plumes all hory gray,
And deckt himselfe with fethers youthly gay,
Like eyas1 hauke up mounts unto the skies,
His newly-budded pineons to assay,

And marveiles at himselfe, stil as he flies:

So new this new-borne Knight to battell new did rise.


Whom when the damned Feend so fresh did spy,
No wonder if he wondred at the sight,
And doubted whether his late enimy

It were, or other new supplied Knight.
He now, to prove his late-renewed might,
High brandishing his bright deaw-burning blade,
Upon his crested scalp so sore did smite,
That to the scull a yawning wound it made:
The deadly dint his dulled sences all dismaid.


I wote not, whether the revenging steele
Were hardned with that holy water dew

Eyas, newly-fledged.

XXXIV. 9.-New-borne Knight.] Refreshed and vivified by the well of life.

XXXV. 6. - Deaw-burning.] Bright with the water of life in which it had been steeped.

Wherein he fell; or sharper edge did feele;
Or his baptized hands now greater grew;
Or other secret vertue did ensew;

Els never could the force of fleshly arme,

Ne molten mettall, in his blood embrew:
For, till that stownd,' could never wight him harme
By subtilty, nor slight, nor might, nor mighty charme.


The cruell wound enraged him so sore,
That loud he yelled for exceeding paine ;
As hundred ramping lions seemd to rore,
Whom ravenous hunger did thereto constraine.
Then gan he tosse aloft his stretched traine,
And therewith scourge the buxome 2 aire so sore,
That to his force to yielden it was faine;
Ne ought his sturdy strokes might stand afore,
That high trees overthrew, and rocks in peeces tore:


The same advauncing high above his head, With sharpe intended 3 sting so rude him smott, That to the earth him drove, as stricken dead; Ne living wight would have him life behott1: The mortall sting his angry needle shott Quite through his shield, and in his shoulder seasd,5 Where fast it stucke, ne would thereout be gott: The griefe thereof him wondrous sore diseasd, Ne might his rancling paine with patience be appeasd.

1 Stownd, blow.

2 Buxome, yielding.

3 Intended, stretched out.

▲ Behott, promised.
Seasd, pierced.

XXXVI. 8.- For, till that stownd, &c.] It seems to have escaped the poet's recollection that the dragon had been wounded by the knight's spear in the previous day's encounter.


But yet, more mindfull of his honour deare

Then of the grievous smart which him did wring,
From loathed soile he can him lightly reare,
And strove to loose the far infixed sting:
Which, when in vaine he tryde with struggëling,
Inflam'd with wrath, his raging blade he hefte,1
And strooke so strongly, that the knotty string
Of his huge taile he quite asonder clefte;

Five ioints thereof he hewd, and but the stump him lefte.


Hart cannot thinke, what outrage and what cries,
With fowle enfouldred 2 smoake and flashing fire,
The hell-bred Beast threw forth unto the skies,
That all was covered with darknesse dire:
Then fraught with rancour, and engorged yre,
He cast 3 at once him to avenge for all;
And, gathering up himselfe out of the mire
With his uneven wings, did fiercely fall
Upon his sunne-bright shield, and grypt it fast withall.


Much was the Man encombred with his hold,

In feare to lose his weapon in his paw,
Ne wist yett, how his talaunts to unfold;
Nor harder was from Cerberus greedy iaw
To plucke a bone, then from his cruell claw
To reave by strength the griped gage away:
Thrise he assayd it from his foote to draw,

1 Hefte, raised.

2 Enfouldred, mixed with lightning.

3 Cast, determined.

4 Grypt, seized.

XLI. 6. The griped gage.] The object he had grasped. Gage means literally something pledged or pawned.

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