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xi

His huge long tayle wound up in hundred foldes,

Does overspred his long bras-scaly backe,
Whose wreathed boughts when ever he unfoldes,
And thicke entangled knots adown does slacke,
Bespotted as with shields 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 stings in-fixed arre,
Both deadly sharpe, that sharpest steele exceeden farre.

xji

But stings and sharpest steele did far exceed

The sharpnesse of his cruell rending clawes;
Dead was it sure, as sure as death in deed,
What ever thing does touch his ravenous pawes,
Or what within his reach he ever drawes.
But his most hideous head my toung to tell
Does tremble : for his deepe devouring jawes

Wide gaped, like the griesly mouth of hell,
Through which into his darke abisse all ravin fell.

And that more wondrous was, in either jaw

xiii Three ranckes of yron teeth enraunged were In which yet trickling bloud and gobbets raw Of late devoured bodies did appeare, That sight thereof bred cold congealed feare : Which to increase, and all atonce to kill, A cloud of smoothering smoke and sulphur seare

Out of his stinking gorge forth steemed still, That all the ayre about with smoke and stench did fill.

xiv

His blazing eyes, like two bright shining shields,

Did burne with wrath, and sparkled living fyre;
As two broad Beacons, set in open fields,
Send forth their flames farre off to every shyre,

And warning give, that enemies conspyre,
With fire and sword the region to invade;
So flam'd his eyne with rage and rancorous yre :

But farre within, as in hollow glade,
Those glaring lampes were set, that made a dreadfull shade.

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So dreadfully he towards him did pas,

Forelifting up aloft his speckled brest,
And often bounding on the brused gras,
As for great joyance of his newcome guest.
Eftsoones he gan advance his haughtie crest,
As chauffed Bore his bristles doth upreare,
And shoke his scales to battell readie drest ;

That made the Redcrosse knight nigh quake for feare, As bidding bold defiance to his foeman neare.

The knight gan fairely couch his steadie speare, xvi

And fiercely ran at him with rigorous might :
The pointed steele arriving rudely theare,
His harder hide would neither perce, nor bight,
But glauncing by forth passed forward right ;
Yet sore amoved with so puissant push,
The wrathfull beast about him turned light,

And him so rudely passing by, did brush
With his long tayle, that horse and man to ground did rush.

Both horse and man up lightly rose againe,

xvii And fresh encounter towards him addrest : But th’idle stroke yet backe recoyld in vaine, And found no place his deadly point to rest. Exceeding rage enflam'd the furious beast, To be avenged of so great despight ; For never felt his imperceable brest

So wondrous force, from hand of living wight; Yet had he prov'd the powre of many a puissant knight. Then with his waving wings displayed wyde, xviii

Himselfe up high he lifted from the ground,
And with strong flight did forcibly divide
The yielding aire, which nigh too feeble found
Her flitting partes, and element unsound,
To beare so great a weight : he cutting way
With his broad sayles, about him soared round :

At last low stouping with unweldie sway,
Snatcht up both horse and man, to beare them quite away.

Long he them bore above the subject plaine,

xix So farre as Ewghen bow a shaft may send, Till struggling strong did him at last constraine, To let them downe before his flightes end : As hagard hauke presuming to contend With hardie fowle, above his hable might, His wearie pounces all in vaine doth spend,

To trusse the pray too heavie for his flight ; Which comming downe to ground, does free it selfe by fight.

XX

He so disseized of his gryping grosse,

The knight his thrillant speare againe assayd
In his bras-plated body to embosse,
And three mens strength unto the stroke he layd ;
Wherewith the stiffe beame quaked, as affrayd,
And glauncing from his scaly necke, did glyde
Close under his left wing, then broad displayd.

The percing steele there wrought a wound full wyde, That with the uncouth smart the Monster lowdly cryde.

He cryde, as raging seas are wont to rore,

xxi When wintry storme his wrathfull wreck does threat, The rolling billowes beat the ragged shore, As they the earth would shoulder from her seat, And greedie gulfe does gape, as he would eat

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His neighbour element in his revenge :
Then gin the blustring brethren boldly threat,

To move the world from off his stedfast henge,
And boystrous battell make, each other to avenge.

The steely head stucke fast still in his flesh,

xxii Till with his cruell clawes he snatcht the wood, And quite a sunder broke. Forth flowed fresh A gushing river of blacke goarie blood, That drowned all the land, whereon he stood ; The streame thereof would drive a water-mill. Trebly augmented was his furious mood

With bitter sense of his deepe rooted ill, That flames of fire he threw forth from his large nosethrill.

xxiii

His hideous tayle then hurled he about,

And therewith all enwrapt the nimble thyes
Of his froth-fomy steed, whose courage stout
Striving to loose the knot, that fast him tyes,
Himselfe in streighter bandes too rash implyes,
That to the ground he is perforce constraynd
To throw his rider : who can quickly ryse

From off the earth, with durty bloud distaynd,
For that reprochfull fall right fowly he disdaynd.

And fiercely tooke his trenchand blade in hand, xxiv

With which he stroke so furious and so fell,
That nothing seemd the puissance could withstand :
Upon his crest the hardned yron fell,
But his more hardned crest was armd so well,
That deeper dint therein it would not make;
Yet so extremely did the buffe him quell,

That from thenceforth he shund the like to take,
But when he saw them come, he did them still forsake.

xxy

The knight was wrath to see his stroke beguyld,

And smote againe with more outrageous might;
But backe againe the sparckling steele recoyld,
And left not any marke, where it did light;
As if in Adamant rocke it had bene pight.
The beast impatient of his smarting wound,
And of so fierce and forcible despight,

Thought with his wings to stye above the ground; But his late wounded wing unserviceable found.

Then full of griefe and anguish vehement,

xxvi He lowdly brayd, that like was never heard, And from his wide devouring over sent A flakė of fire, that flashing in his beard, Him all amazd, and almost made affeard : The scorching flame sore swinged all his face, And through his armour all his bodie seard,

That he could not endure so cruell cace, But thought his armes to leave and helmet to unlace.

Not that great Champion of the antique world, xxvii

Whom famous Poetes verse so much doth vaunt,
And hath for twelve huge labours high extold,
So many furies and sharpe fits did haunt,
When him the poysoned garment did enchaunt
With Centaures bloud, and bloudie verses charm'd,
As did this knight twelve thousand dolours daunt,

Whom fyrie steele now burnt, that earst him arm'd, That erst him goodly arm'd, now most of all him harm'd.

Faint, wearie, sore, emboyled, grieved, brent xxviii

With heat, toyle, wounds, armes, smart, and inward fire
That never man such mischiefes did torment;
Death better were, death did he oft desire,

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