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Th' Enchaunter greatly ioyed in the vaunt,
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,
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,
1 Louting, bending.
3 Wreak, avenge.
4 Gag'd, pledged.
7 Decay, defeat, or destruction.
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;
Speake they, which have beheld the battailes which it wan."
The man was much abashed at his boast;
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;
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
The northerne winde his wings did broad display
They lookt about, but no where could espye
They both nigh were, and each bad other flye:
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 ;
Of what might hap. Eftsoone3 there stepped foorth
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,
The which ambrosiall odours from them threw,
In her faire eyes two living lamps did flame,
1 Eft, afterwards.
3 Eftsoone, immediately.
4 Portance, demeanor.
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,
Purfled upon with many a folded plight,
1 Rubins, rubies.
2 Belgardes, sweet looks.
3 Retrate, picture.
4 Camus, thin dress.
5 Purfled, embroidered.
6 Plight, plait.