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Till that dredd Dragon all did overthrow.
Another like faire Tree eke grew thereby,

Whereof whoso did eat, eftsoones1 did know
Both good and ill: O mournfull memory!

That Tree through one Mans fault hath doen us all to dy!


From that first Tree forth flowd, as from a well,

A trickling streame of balme, most soveraine
And dainty deare, which on the ground still fell,
And overflowed all the fertile plaine,

As 3 it had deawed bene with timely raine :

Life and long health that gracious ointment gave;
And deadly wounds could heale; and reare againe
The senceless corse appointed for the grave:

Into that same he fell, which did from death him save.

For nigh thereto the ever-damned Beast


Durst not approch, for he was deadly made,
And al that life preserved did detest;

Yet he it oft adventur'd to invade.
By this the drouping Day-light gan to fade,
And yield his rowme to sad succeeding Night,
Who with her sable mantle gan to shade
The face of earth and wayes of living wight,
And high her burning torch set up in heaven bright.


When gentle Una saw the second fall

Of her deare Knight, who, weary of long fight
And faint through losse of blood, moov'd not at all,
But lay, as in a dreame of deepe delight,

2 Dainty deare, precious.

1 Eftsoones, immediately.


As, as if.

• Deadly, for deadly or destructive purposes.

Besmeard with pretious balme, whose vertuous might
Did heale his woundes, and scorching heat alay;
Againe she stricken was with sore affright,

And for his safetie gan devoutly pray,

And watch the noyous 1 night, and wait for ioyous day.


The ioyous day gan early to appeare ;
And fayre Aurora from the deawy bed
Of aged Tithone gan herselfe to reare
With rosy cheekes, for shame as blushing red:
Her golden locks, for hast, were loosely shed
About her eares, when Una her did marke
Clymbe to her charet, all with flowers spred,
From heven high to chace the chearelesse darke;
With mery note her lowd salutes the mounting larke.


Then freshly up arose the doughty Knight,
All healed of his hurts and woundës wide,
And did himselfe to battaile ready dight;
Whose early Foe awaiting him beside
To have devourd, so soone as day he spyde,
When now he saw himself so freshly reare,
As if late fight had nought him damnifyde,"
He woxe dismaid, and gan his fate to feare;
Nathlesse with wonted rage he him advaunced neare;


And in his first encounter, gaping wyde,

He thought attonce him to have swallowd quight,
And rusht upon him with outragious pryde;
Who him rencounting fierce, as hauke in flight,
Perforce rebutted 3 back: The weapon bright,
Taking advantage of his open iaw,


Noyous, baleful.

2 Damnifyde, injured.


Rebutted, repelled.

Ran through his mouth with so impórtune 1 might,
That deepe emperst his darksom hollow maw,
And, back retyrd, his life blood forth withall did draw.


So downe he fell, and forth his life did breath,
That vanisht into smoke and cloudës swift;

So downe he fell, that th' earth him underneath
Did grone, as feeble so great load to lift;

So downe he fell, as an huge rocky clift,

Whose false 3 foundacion waves have washt away, With dreadfull poyse 4 is from the mayneland rift, And, rolling downe, great Neptune doth dismay : So downe he fell, and like an heaped mountaine lay.


The Knight himselfe even trembled at his fall,
So huge and horrible a masse it seemd;

And his deare Lady, that beheld it all,

Durst not approch for dread which she misdeemd;
But yet at last, whenas the direfull Feend
She saw not stirre, off-shaking vaine affright
She nigher drew, and saw that ioyous end:

Then God she praysd, and thankt her faithfull Knight, That had atchievde so great a conquest by his might.*

1 Importune, extreme.
2 Retyrd, drawn.

LV. 4.

3 False, infirm.

4 Poyse, force or weight.

For dread, which she misdeemd.] For fear lest the dragon should revive, which fear was groundless.

* The refreshing and restoring influences of the well, and the tree of life, experienced by the knight in his encounter with the dragon, are susceptible of an obvious allegorical interpretation. In the legendary history of St. George, he is strengthened with the fruit of a goodly tree, which no venomous creature could approach.


Fayre Una to the Redcrosse Knight
Betrouthed is with ioy:

Though false Duessa, it to barre,
Her false sleightes doe imploy.


BEHOLD I see the haven nigh at hand,

To which I meane my wearie course to bend;
Vere the maine shete, and beare up with the land,
The which afore is fayrly to be kend,1

And seemeth safe from storms that may offend:
There this fayre Virgin wearie of her way
Must landed bee, now at her iourneyes end:
There eke my feeble barke a while may stay,


Till mery wynd and weather call her thence away.


Scarsely had Phoebus in the glooming east
Yett harnessed his fyrie-footed teeme,
Ne reard above the earth his flaming creast;
When the last deadly smoke aloft did steeme,
That signe of last outbreathed life did seeme
Unto the watchman on the castle-wall,

Who thereby dead that balefull Beast did deeme,

1 Kend, discerned.

1. 3.

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Vere the maine shete, &c.] Change the direction or inclination of the mainsail, and make for the land.

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And to his Lord and Lady lowd gan call,

To tell how he had seene the Dragons fatall fall.


Uprose with hasty ioy, and feeble speed,
That aged syre, the Lord of all that land,
And looked forth, to weet1 if trew indeed
Those tydinges were as he did understand:
Which whenas trew by tryall he out fond,
He badd to open wyde his brasen gate,

Which long time had beene shut, and out of hond 2 Proclaymed ioy and peace through all his state; For dead now was their Foe, which them forrayed3 late.


Then gan triumphant trompets sownd on hye,
That sent to heven the ecchoed report

Of their new ioy, and happie victory

Gainst him, that had them long opprest with tort,*
And fast imprisoned in sieged fort.

Then all the people, as in solemne feast,
To him assembled with one full consórt,

Reioycing at the fall of that great Beast,

From whose eternall bondage now they were releast.


Forth came that auncient Lord, and aged Queene,
Arayd in antique robes downe to the grownd,
And sad habiliments right well beseene":

A noble crew about them waited rownd
Of sage and sober peres, all gravely gownd;
Whom far before did march a goodly band
Of tall young men, all hable armes to sownd,

Weet, learn.

2 Out of hond, forthwith.

2 Forrayed, ravaged.

4 Tort, injury.

Beseene, becoming, appropriate. 6 Sound, to make use of.

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