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But now they laurell braunches bore in hand; Glad signe of victory and peace in all their land.


Unto that doughtie Conquerour they came, And, him before themselves prostrating low, Their Lord and Patrone loud did him proclame, And at his feet their lawrell boughes did throw. Soone after them, all dauncing on a row, The comely virgins came, with girlands dight, As fresh as flowres in medow greene doe grow, When morning deaw upon their leaves doth light; And in their hands sweet timbrells all upheld on hight.


And, them before, the fry of children yong

Their wanton sportes and childish mirth did play,
And to the maydens sownding tymbrels song
In well attuned notes a ioyous lay,

And made delightfull musick all the way,

Untill they came, where that faire Virgin stood:
As fayre Diana in fresh sommers day

Beholdes her nymphes enraung'd in shady wood, Some wrestle, some do run, some bathe in christall flood;


So she beheld those maydens meriment

With chearefull vew; who, when to her they came, Themselves to ground with gracious humblesse1 bent, And her ador'd by honorable name,

Lifting to heven her everlasting fame:

Then on her head they sett a girlond greene,

And crowned her twixt earnest and twixt game:

Who, in her self-resemblance well beseene,

Did seeme, such as she was, a goodly Maiden Queene.

1 Humblesse, humility.



And after all the raskall many 1 ran,
Heaped together in rude rablement,
To see the face of that victorious Man,
Whom all admired as from heaven sent,
And gaz'd upon with gaping wonderment.

But when they came where that dead Dragon lay,
Stretcht on the ground in monstrous large extent,
The sight with ydle feare did them dismay,
Ne durst approch him nigh, to touch, or once assay.


Some feard and fledd; some feard, and well it faynd;
One, that would wiser seeme than all the rest,
Warnd him not touch, for yet perhaps remaynd
Some lingring life within his hollow brest,
Or in his wombe might lurke some hidden nest
Of many dragonettes, his fruitfull seede;
Another saide, that in his eyes did rest

Yet sparckling fyre, and badd thereof take heed;
Another said, he saw him move his eyes indeed.


One mother, whenas her foolehardy chyld
Did come too neare, and with his talants play,
Halfe dead through feare, her litle babe revyld,
And to her gossibs 2 gan in counsell say;
"How can I tell, but that his talants may
Yet scratch my sonne, or rend his tender hand?”
So diversly themselves in vaine they fray 3;

1 Raskall many, common multitude.

2 Gossibs, companions.

3 Fray, alarm.

X. 1. Some feard, and well it faynd.] Some were afraid, and yet pretended not to be.

Whiles some more bold to measure him nigh stand, To prove how many acres he did spred of land.


Thus flocked all the folke him rownd about;
The whiles that hoarie King, with all his traine,
Being arrived where that Champion stout
After his Foes defeasaunce1 did remaine,
Him goodly greetes, and fayre does entertayne
With princely gifts of yvory and gold,

And thousand thankes him yeeldes for all his paine.

Then when his Daughter deare he does behold, Her dearely doth imbrace, and kisseth manifold.


And after to his pallace he them bringes,

With shaumes, and trompets, and with clarions sweet; And all the way the ioyous people singes, And with their garments strowes the paved street; Whence mounting up, they fynd purveyaunce meet Of all, that royall princes court became ; And all the floore was underneath their feet Bespredd with costly scarlott of great name,2 On which they lowly sitt, and fitting purpose 3 frame.


What needes me tell their feast and goodly guize,*
In which was nothing riotous nor vaine?
What needes of dainty dishes to devize,
Of comely services, or courtly trayne?
My narrow leaves cannot in them contayne
The large discourse of roiall princes state.

Yet was their manner then but bare and playne;

1 Defeasaunce, defeat.


Name, value.

3 Purpose, discourse.

4 Guize, manner of entertainment.

For th' antique world excesse and pryde did hate: Such proud luxurious pompe is swollen up but late.


Then, when with meates and drinkes of every kinde
Their fervent appetites they quenched had,

That auncient Lord gan fit occasion finde,
Of straunge adventures, and of perils sad
Which in his travell him befallen had,
For to demaund of his renowmed guest:

Who then with utt'rance grave, and count'nance sad,
From poynt to poynt, as is before exprest,
Discourst his voyage long, according1 his request.


Great pleasure, mixt with pittiful regard,
That godly King and Queene did passionate,2
Whyles they his pittifull adventures heard;
That oft they did lament his lucklesse state,
And often blame the too impórtune 3 fate
That heapd on him so many wrathfull wreakes 4;
(For never gentle Knight, as he of late,

So tossed was in fortunes cruell freakes ;)

And all the while salt teares bedeawd the hearers cheaks.


Then sayd that royall pere in sober wise;

"Deare sonne, great beene the evils which ye bore From first to last in your late enterprise,

That I no'te whether praise or pitty more:

For never living man, I weene, so sore

1 According, granting.

2 Passionate, feelingly express.

3 Importune, cruel.

4 Wreakes, afflictions.

XVII. 4. — That I no'te, &c.] That I do not know whether to praise or pity them more.

In sea of deadly daungers was distrest:

But since now safe ye seised have the shore, And well arrived are, (High God be blest!) Let us devize of ease and everlasting rest."


"Ah dearest Lord," said then that doughty Knight,
'Of ease or rest I may not yet devize ;
For by the faith, which I to armes have plight,
I bownden am streight after this emprize,
As that your Daughter can ye well advize,
Backe to retourne to that great Faery Queene,
And her to serve sixe yeares in warlike wize,

Gainst that proud Paynim King that works her teene1: Therefore I ought crave pardon, till I there have beene."


"Unhappy falls that hard necessity,"

Quoth he, "the troubler of my happy peace,

And vowed foe of my felicity;

Ne I against the same can justly preace.2

But since that band ye cannot now release,
Nor doen undo, (for vowes may not be vayne,)

Soone as the terme of those six yeares

shall cease,

Ye then shall hether backe retourne agayne,

The marriage to accomplish vowd betwixt you twayn:


"Which, for my part, I covet to performe,
In sort 3 as through the world I did proclame,
That whoso kild that Monster most deforme,
And him in hardy battayle overcame,

1 Teene, harm.

2 Preace, remonstrate. 3 In sort, inasmuch as.

XVIII. 8.- Gainst that proud Paynim King.] See the seventh stanza of the preceding canto.

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