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Th' Enchaunter greatly ioyed in the vaunt,
And weened well ere long his will to win,
And both his foen with equall foyle to daunt:
Tho to him louting1 lowly did begin

To plaine of wronges, which had committed bin By Guyon, and by that false Redcrosse Knight; Which two, through treason and deceiptfull gin,2 Had slayne Sir Mordant and his Lady bright: That mote him honour win, to wreak3 so foule despight.


Therewith all suddeinly he seemd enrag'd,

And threatned death with dreadfull countenaunce,
As if their lives had in his hand beene gag'd4;
And with stiffe force shaking his mortall launce,
To let him weet 5 his doughtie valiaunce,
Thus said; "Old man, great sure shal be thy meed,

If, where those Knights for feare of dew vengeaúnce Doe lurke, thou certeinly to mee areed,

That I may wreake 3 on them their hainous hateful deed.”


"Certes, my Lord," said he, "that shall I soone,
And give you eke good helpe to their decay,7
But mote I wisely you advise to doon 8;
Give no ods to your foes, but doe purvay 9
Yourselfe of sword before that bloody day;
(For they be two the prowest Knights on grownd,
And oft approv'd in many hard assay 10 ;)

1 Louting, bending.
2 Gin, plot.

3 Wreak, avenge.

4 Gag'd, pledged.
5 Weet, know.

Areed, inform.

7 Decay, defeat, or destruction.
8 Doon wisely, act considerately.

9 Purray, provide.

10 Assay, enterprise.

And eke of surest steele, that may be fownd, Do arme yourselfe against that day, them to confownd."


"Dotard," said he, "let be1 thy deepe advise;
Seemes that through many yeares thy wits thee faile,
And that weake eld2 hath left thee nothing wise,
Els never should thy iudgement be so frayle
To measure manhood by the sword or mayle.
Is not enough fowre quarters of a man,
Withouten sword or shield, an hoste to quayle?
Thou litle wotest 3 that this right-hand can:

Speake they, which have beheld the battailes which it wan."


The man was much abashed at his boast;
Yet well he wist that whoso would contend
With either of those Knightes on even coast,
Should neede of all his armes him to defend ;
Yet feared least his boldnesse should offend:
When Braggadocchio saide; "Once I did sweare,
When with one sword seven Knightes I brought to end,
Thenceforth in battaile never sword to beare,

But it were that which noblest Knight on earth doth weare."

1 Let be, away with. 2 Eld, age.

3 Wotest, knowest.


"Perdy, Sir Knight," saide then th' Enchaunter blive,5 "That shall I shortly purchase to your hond:

For now the best and noblest Knight alive

4 Perdy, in truth; corrupted from Par Dieu. 5 Blive, presently.

6 Purchase, procure.

XV. 9.-Do arme yourselfe.] Braggadochio, it will be remembered,

had neither sword nor shield-only the stolen spear.

XVI. 2.-Seemes.] It seems.

XVII. 3.- Even coast.] Fair ground, or equal terms.


Prince Arthur is, that wonnes 1 in Faerie lond;
He hath a sword, that flames like burning brond:
The same, by my device, I undertake

Shall by to morrow by thy side be fond."

At which bold word that Boaster gan to quake,

And wondred in his minde what mote that monster make.


He stayd not for more bidding, but away
Was suddein vanished out of his sight:

The northerne winde his wings did broad display
At his commaund, and reared him up light
From off the earth to take his aerie flight.

They lookt about, but no where could espye
Tract of his foot: then dead through great affright

They both nigh were, and each bad other flye:
Both fled attonce, ne ever backe retourned eye;


Till that they come unto a forrest greene,

In which they shrowd themselves from causeles feare: Yet feare them followes still, where so they beene: Each trembling leafe and whistling wind they heare, As ghastly bug, does greatly them affeare: Yet both doe strive their fearefulnesse to faine. At last they heard a horne that shrilled cleare Throughout the wood that ecchoed againe, And made the forrest ring, as 2 it would rive in twaine.

1 Wonnes, lives.

2 As, as if.

XVIII. 9. What mote that monster make.] What that strange person meant, or, perhaps, what he might do.

XIX. 1.- He, &c.] Archimago.

XX. 5. — As ghastly bug.] Bug was formerly used for any monstrous or frightful appearance. Shakspeare says, (K. Henry VI. Part I.) "For Warwick was a bug that feared us all;" that is, was a formidable being, that frightened us all.


Eft1 through the thicke they heard one rudely rush ;
With noyse whereof he from his loftie steed
Downe fell to ground, and crept into a bush,
To hide his coward head from dying dreed.
But Trompart stoutly stayd to taken heed

Of what might hap. Eftsoone3 there stepped foorth
A goodly Ladie clad in hunters weed,

That seemd to be a woman of great worth,

And by her stately portance borne of heavenly birth.


Her face so faire, as flesh it seemed not,

But hevenly pourtraict of bright angels hew,
Cleare as the skye, withouten blame or blot,
Through goodly mixture of complexions dew;
And in her cheekes the vermeill red did shew
Like roses in a bed of lillies shed,

The which ambrosiall odours from them threw,
And sence with double pleasure fed,
Hable to heale the sicke and to revive the ded.

In her faire eyes two living lamps did flame,
Kindled above at th' Hevenly Makers light,
And darted fyrie beames out of the same,
So passing persant,5 and so wondrous bright,
That quite bereav'd the rash beholders sight:
In them the blinded god his lustfull fyre

1 Eft, afterwards.
2 Thicke, thickets.

3 Eftsoone, immediately.


4 Portance, demeanor.
5 Persant, piercing.

XXI. 7. -A goodly Ladie, &c.] In the beautiful and elaborate portrait of Belphœbe, Spenser has drawn a flattered likeness of Queen Elizabeth.


To kindle oft assayd, but had no might;

For, with dredd maiestie and awfull yre,

She broke his wanton darts, and quenched bace desyre.


Her yvorie forhead, full of bountie brave, Like a broad table did itselfe dispred, For Love his loftie triumphes to engrave, And write the battailes of his great godhed: All good and honour might therein be red; For there their dwelling was. And, when she spake, Sweete wordes, like dropping honny, she did shed; And twixt the perles and rubins1 softly brake A silver sound, that heavenly musicke seemd to make.


Upon her eyelids many Graces sate, Under the shadow of her even browes, Working belgardes 2 and amorous retrate 3; And everie one her with a grace endowes, And everie one with meekenesse to her bowes: So glorious mirrhour of celestiall grace, And soveraine moniment of mortall vowes, How shall frayle pen descrive her heavenly face, For feare, through want of skill, her beauty to disgrace!


So faire, and thousand thousand times more faire,
She seemd, when she presented was to sight;
And was yclad, for heat of scorching aire,
All in a silken camus lilly whight,


Purfled upon with many a folded plight,
Which all above besprinckled was throughout

1 Rubins, rubies.

2 Belgardes, sweet looks.

3 Retrate, picture.

4 Camus, thin dress.

5 Purfled, embroidered.

6 Plight, plait.

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