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HIGH time now gan it wex for Una fayre To thinke of those her captive Parents deare, And their forwasted 1 kingdom to repayre: Whereto whenas they now approched neare, With hartie wordes her Knight she gan to cheare, And in her modest manner thus bespake; "Deare Knight, as deare as ever Knight was deare, That all these sorrowes suffer for my sake, High heven behold the tedious toyle, ye for me take!


"Now are we come unto my native soyle,

And to the place where all our perilles dwell;

Here hauntes that Feend, and does his daily spoyle; Therefore henceforth bee at your keeping well,

And ever ready for your foeman fell: The sparke of noble corage now awake, And strive your excellent selfe to excell: That shall ye evermore renowmed make Above all Knights on earth, that batteill undertake."

1 Forwasted, much wasted.


And pointing forth, "Lo! yonder is," said she,
"The brasen towre, in which my Parents deare
For dread of that huge Feend emprisond be;
Whom I from far see on the walles appeare,
Whose sight my feeble soule doth greatly cheare:
And on the top of all I do espye

The watchman wayting tydings glad to heare;
That, O my Parents, might I happily
Unto you bring, to ease you of your misery!"


With that they heard a roaring hideous sownd,
That all the ayre with terror filled wyde,
And seemed uneath to shake the stedfast ground.
Eftsoones that dreadful Dragon they espyde,
Where stretcht he lay upon the sunny side

Of a great hill, himselfe like a great hill:
But, all so soone as he from far descryde
Those glistring armes that heven with light did fill,
He rousd himselfe full blyth, and hastned them untill.3


Then badd the Knight his Lady yede aloof,
And to an hill herselfe withdraw asyde;

From whence she might behold that battailles proof,
And eke be safe from daunger far descryde:
She him obayd, and turnd a little wyde.—
Now, O thou sacred Muse, most learned dame,
Fayre ympe5 of Phœbus and his aged bryde,

1 Uneath, beneath. 2 Eftsoones, immediately. 3 Untill, unto. 4 Yede, go. 5 Ympe, child.

III. 8. That, O my Parents, &c.]
V. 7.-Fayre ympe of Phœbus, &c.]

That is, which tidings.

The Muses are generally sup

The nourse of time and everlasting fame,

That warlike handes ennoblest with immortall name;


O, gently come into my feeble brest,

Come gently; but not with that mightie rage,
Wherewith the martiall troupes thou doest infest,
And hartes of great heroës doest enrage,
That nought their kindled corage may aswage:
Soone as thy dreadfull trompe begins to sownd,
The god of warre with his fiers equipage
Thou doest awake, sleepe never he so sownd;
And scared nations doest with horror sterne astownd.


Fayre goddesse, lay that furious fitt1 asyde, Till I of warres and bloody Mars doe sing, And Bryton fieldes with Sarazin blood bedyde, Twixt that great Faery Queene and Paynim King, That with their horror heven and earth did ring; A worke of labour long, and endlesse prayse: But now awhile lett downe that haughtie 2 string, And to my tunes thy second tenor rayse, That I this Man of God his godly armes may blaze.3

1 Fitt, strain. 2 Haughtie, high-toned. 3 Blaze, celebrate.

posed to have been the daughters of Jupiter, and not of Apollo, as Spenser represents them. The "aged bryde" is Mnemosyne, or Memory, who, according to all accounts, was the mother of the Muses.

VII. 2. Till I of warres, &c.] Spenser once or twice gives intimation of a purpose of commemorating the wars between the Faerie Queene and the Paynim King, that is, Queen Elizabeth and King Philip of Spain. See verses to the Earl of Essex, prefixed to this poem; also book I. canto XII. stanza XVIII. It is supposed that this would have formed the subject of some one or more of the last six books of the Faerie Queene, nad he lived to complete his original design of writing twelve books.

VII. 9.-Man of God his.] Man of God's.


By this, the dreadful Beast drew nigh to hand,
Halfe flying and halfe footing in his haste,
That with his largenesse measured much land,
And made wide shadow under his huge waste;
As mountaine doth the valley overcaste.
Approching nigh, he reared high afore

His body monstrous, horrible, and vaste;
Which, to increase his wondrous greatnes more,
Was swoln with wrath and poyson, and with bloody gore;


And over1 all with brasen scales was armd,

Like plated cote of steele, so couched neare

That nought mote perce; ne might his corse be harmd With dint of swerd, nor push of pointed speare: Which, as an eagle, seeing pray appeare,

His aery plumes doth rouze full rudely dight;

So shaked he, that horror was to heare:
For, as the clashing of an armor bright,

Such noyse his rouzed scales did send unto the Knight.


His flaggy winges, when forth he did display,
Were like two sayles, in which the hollow wynd
Is gathered full, and worketh speedy way:
And eke the pennes,3 that did his pineons bynd,
Were like mayne-yardes with flying canvas lynd;
With which whenas him list the ayre to beat,
And there by force unwonted passage fynd,

1 Over all, all over.

2 Flaggy, hanging loosely or in folds. 3 Pennes, feathers.

IX. 2.- So couched neare.] Laid so close to each other.
IX. 5.- Which.] Which scales.

The cloudes before him fledd for terror great,

And all the hevens stood still amazed with his threat.


His huge long tayle, wownd up in hundred foldes,
Does overspred his long bras-scaly back,
Whose wreathed boughtes1 when ever he unfoldes,
And thick-entangled knots adown does slack,
Bespotted as with shieldes of red and blacke,
It sweepeth all the land behind him farre,
And of three furlongs does but little lacke;
And at the point two stinges infixed arre,
Both deadly sharp, that sharpest steele exceeden farre.


But stinges and sharpest steele did far exceed
The sharpnesse of his cruel rending clawes:
Dead was it sure, as sure as death indeed,
What ever thing does touch his ravenous pawes,
Or what within his reach he ever drawes.
But his most hideous head my tongue to tell
Does tremble; for his deepe devouring iawes
Wyde gaped, like the griesly mouth of hell,
Through which into his darke abysse all ravin 3 fell.


And, that more wondrous was, in either iaw
Three ranckes of yron teeth enraunged were,
In which yett trickling blood, and gobbets raw,
Of late devoured bodies did appeare;
That sight thereof bredd cold congealed feare:
Which to increase, and all at once to kill,

1 Boughtes,

folds. 2 Shieldes,

3 Ravin, prey.

XII. 1. But stinges, &c.] The construction is, "But the sharpnesse of his cruel rending clawes did far exceed," &c.


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