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A foxes taile, with dong all fowly dight:
And eke her feete most monstrous were in sight;
For one of them was like an eagles claw,
With griping talaunts armed to greedy fight;
The other like a beares uneven paw :
More ugly shape yet never living creature saw.
Which when the knights beheld, amazd they were,
And wondred at so fowle deformed wight.
“Such then,” said Una, “as she seemeth here,
Such is the face of Falshood: such the sight
Of fowle Duessa, when her borrowed light
Is laid away, and counterfesaunce knowne.”
Thus when they had the witch disrobed quight,
And all her filthy feature open showne,
They let her goe at will, and wander waies un-
Shee, flying fast from Heavens hated face,
And from the world that her discovered wide,
Fled to the wastfull wildernesse apace,
From living eies her open shame to hide ;
And lurkt in rocks and caves, long unespide.
But that faire crew of knights, and Una faire,
Did in that castle afterwards abide,
To rest themselves, and weary powres repaire :
Where store they fownd of all that dainty was and
His loves and lignage Arthure tells:
The knights knitt friendly bands :
Sir Trevisan flies from Despeyre,
Whom Redcross knight withstands.
0! GOODLY golden chayne, wherewith yfere
The vertues linked are in lovely wize;
And noble mindes of yore allyed were,
In brave poursuitt of chevalrous emprize,
That none did others safëțy despize,
Nor aid envy to him, in need that stands;
But friendly each did others praise devize,
How to advaunce with favourable hands,
As this good prince redeemd the Redcrosse knight
Who, when their powres empayred through labor
With dew repast they had recured well, [long,
And that weake captive wight now wexed strong ;
Them list no lenger there at leasure dwell,
But forward fare, as their adventures fell :
But, ere they parted, Una faire besought
That straunger knight his name and nation tell;
Least so great good, as he for her had wrought,
Should die unknown, and buried be in thankles
thought. “Faire virgin,” said the prince, “yee me require A thing without the compas of my witt: For both the lignage, and the certein sire, From which I sprong, from me are hidden yitt,
For all so soone as life did me admitt
Into this world, and shewed Heavens light,
From mothers pap I taken was unfitt,
And streight deliver'd to a Faery knight, (might.
To be upbrought in gentle thewes and martial!
“ Unto old Timon he me brought by live;
Old Timon, who in youthly yeares hath beene
In warlike feates th' expertest man alive,
And is the wisest now on Earth I weene :
llis dwelling is, low in a valley greene,
Under the foot of Rauran mossy hore,
From whence the river Dee, as silver cleene,
His tombling billowes rolls with gentle rore;
There all my daies he traind me up in vertuous lore.
“ Thether the great magician Merlin came,
As was his use, ofttimes to visitt mee;
For he had charge my discipline to frame,
And tutors nouriture to oversee.
Him oft and oft I askt in privity,
Of what loines and what lignage I did spring,
Whose aunswere bad me still assured bee,
That I was sonne and heire unto a king, [bring.”
As time in her iust term the truth to light should
“Well worthy impe,” said then the lady gent,
“ And pupil fitt for such a tutors hand!
But what adventure, or what high intent,
Hath brought you hether into Faery land,
Aread, prince Arthure, crowne of martiall band ?"
“Full hard it is," quoth he, “ to read aright
The course of heavenly cause, or understand
The secret meaning of th' eternall Might,
That rules mens waies, and rules the thoughts of
“For whether he, through fatal deepe foresight, Me hither sent, for cause to me unghest ; Or that fresh bleeding wound, which day and night Whilome doth rancle in my riven brest, With forced fury following his behest, Me bether brought by wayes, yet never found; You to have helpt I hold myself yet blest.” “Ah! courteous knight," quoth she, “ what secret wound
[ground ?” Could ever find to grieve the gentlest hart on
“Dear dame," quoth 'he, "you sleeping sparkes
awake, Which, troubled once, into huge flames will grow; Ne ever will their fervent fury slake, Till living moysture into smoke do flow, And wasted life doe lye in ashes low. Yet sithens silence lesseneth not my fire, But, told, it flames; and, hidden, it does glow; I will revele what ye so much desire : [spyre. Ah! Love, lay down thy bow, the whiles I may re
“It was in freshest Aowre of youthly yeares,
When corage first does creepe in manly chest ;
Then first that cole of kindly heat appeares
To kindle love in every living brest :
But me had warnd old Timons wise behest,
Those creeping flames by reason to subdew,
Before their rage grew to so great unrest,
As miserable lovers use to rew,
[new Which still wex old in woe, whiles woe stil wexeth
“ That ydle name of love, and lovers life,
As losse of time, and vertues enimy,
I ever scorn'd, and ioyd to stirre up strife,
In middest of their mournfull tragedy ;
Ay wont to laugh, when them I heard to cry,
And blow the fire, which them to ashes brent :
Their god himselfe, grievd at my libertie,
Shott many a dart at me with fiers intent;
But I them warded all with wary government.
“ But all in vaine ; no fort can be so strong,
Ne fleshly brest can armed be so sownd,
But will at last be wonne with battrie long,
Or unawares at disadvantage fownd:
Nothing is sure that growes on earthly grownd.
And who most truste's arme of fleshly might,
And boastes in beauties chaine not to be bownd,
Doth soonest fall in disaventrous fight, (spight.
And yeeldes his caytive neck to victours most de-
“Ensample make of him your haplesse ioy,
And of my selfe now mated, as ye see;
Whose prouder vaunt that proud avenging boy
Did soone pluck downe, and curbd my libertee.
For on a day, prickt forth with iollitee
Of looser life and heat of hardiment,
Raunging the forest wide on courser free,
The fields, the floods, the Heavens, with one consent
Did seeme to laugh on me, and favour mine intent.