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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

1 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,1 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 behott4: 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.

4 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.

3 Cast, determined.

2 Enfouldred, mixed with lightning. 4 Grypt, seized.

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

And thrise in vaine to draw it did assay;

It booted nought to thinke to robbe him of his pray.


Tho,1 when he saw no power might prevaile,
His trusty sword he cald to his last aid,
Wherewith he fiersly did his foe assaile,
And double blowes about him stoutly laid,
That glauncing fire out of the yron plaid;
As sparckles from the andvile use to fly,
When heavy hammers on the wedg are swaid;
Therewith at last he forst him to unty

One of his grasping feete, him to defend thereby.


The other foote, fast fixed on his shield,
Whenas no strength nor stroks mote him constraine

To loose, ne yet the warlike pledg to yield;
He smott thereat with all his might and maine,
That nought so wondrous puissaunce might sustaine:
Upon the ioynt the lucky steele did light,

And made such way, that hewd it quite in twaine;
The paw yett missed not his minisht 2 might,
But hong still on the shield, as it at first was pight.3


For griefe thereof and divelish despight,

From his infernall fournace fourth he threw
Huge flames, that dimmed all the hevens light,
Enrold in duskish smoke and brimstone blew:

As burning Aetna from his boyling stew
Doth belch out flames, and rockes in peeces broke,
And ragged ribs of mountaines molten new,

Enwrapt in coleblacke clowds and filthy smoke,

That al the land with stench, and heven with horror, choke.

1 Tho, then. 2 Minisht, diminished.

3 Pight, fastened.


The heate whereof, and harmefull pestilence,
So sore him noyd,1 that forst him to retire
A little backeward for his best defence,
To save his body from the scorching fire,
Which he from hellish entrailes did expire.2
It chaunst, (Eternall God that chaunce did guide,)
As he recoiled backeward, in the mire

His nigh forwearied feeble feet did slide,

And downe he fell, with dread of shame sore terrifide.


There grew a goodly Tree him faire beside,
Loaden with fruit and apples rosy redd,


As they in pure vermilion had been dide,
Whereof great vertues over all were redd 5:
For happy life to all which thereon fedd,
And life eke everlasting did befall:
Great God it planted in that blessed stedd

With his Almighty hand, and did it call

The Tree of Life, the crime of our first Fathers fall.

In all the world like was not to be fownd,

Save in that soile, where all good things did grow,
And freely sprong out of the fruitfull grownd,
As incorrupted Nature did them sow,

Noyd, annoyed.
2 Expire, breathe out.
* As, as if.

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4 Over all, every where.

5 Redd, declared.

6 Stedd, place.

XLVI. 9.- The Tree of Life, the crime, &c.] Crime may be here used in the sense of reproach, and the meaning be, that the tree of life, which Adam might have eaten, had he remained innocent, reproached him for his fall; or it may mean that the great evil of Adam's crime was the loss of the tree of life to him and his posterity.

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