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Till that dredd Dragon all did overthrow.
Whereof whoso did eat, eftsoones1 did know
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
As 3 it had deawed bene with timely raine :
Life and long health that gracious ointment gave;
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,
Yet he it oft adventur'd to invade.
When gentle Una saw the second fall
Of her deare Knight, who, weary of long fight
2 Dainty deare, precious.
1 Eftsoones, immediately.
As, as if.
• Deadly, for deadly or destructive purposes.
Besmeard with pretious balme, whose vertuous might
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 ;
Then freshly up arose the doughty Knight,
And in his first encounter, gaping wyde,
He thought attonce him to have swallowd quight,
2 Damnifyde, injured.
Ran through his mouth with so impórtune 1 might,
So downe he fell, and forth his life did breath,
So downe he fell, that th' earth him underneath
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,
And his deare Lady, that beheld it all,
Durst not approch for dread which she misdeemd;
Then God she praysd, and thankt her faithfull Knight, That had atchievde so great a conquest by his might.*
1 Importune, extreme.
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
Though false Duessa, it to barre,
BEHOLD I see the haven nigh at hand,
To which I meane my wearie course to bend;
And seemeth safe from storms that may offend:
Till mery wynd and weather call her thence away.
Scarsely had Phoebus in the glooming east
Who thereby dead that balefull Beast did deeme,
1 Kend, discerned.
Vere the maine shete, &c.] Change the direction or inclination of the mainsail, and make for the land.
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,
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,
Of their new ioy, and happie victory
Gainst him, that had them long opprest with tort,*
Then all the people, as in solemne feast,
Reioycing at the fall of that great Beast,
From whose eternall bondage now they were releast.
Forth came that auncient Lord, and aged Queene,
A noble crew about them waited rownd
2 Out of hond, forthwith.
2 Forrayed, ravaged.
4 Tort, injury.
Beseene, becoming, appropriate. 6 Sound, to make use of.