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His huge long tayle wound up in hundred foldes,
Does overspred his long bras-scaly backe,
And at the point two stings in-fixed arre,
But stings and sharpest steele did far exceed
The sharpnesse of his cruell rending clawes;
Wide gaped, like the griesly mouth of hell,
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.
His blazing eyes, like two bright shining shields,
Did burne with wrath, and sparkled living fyre;
And warning give, that enemies conspyre,
But farre within, as in hollow glade,
So dreadfully he towards him did pas,
Forelifting up aloft his speckled brest,
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 :
And him so rudely passing by, did brush
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,
At last low stouping with unweldie sway,
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.
He so disseized of his gryping grosse,
The knight his thrillant speare againe assayd
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
His neighbour element in his revenge :
To move the world from off his stedfast henge,
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.
His hideous tayle then hurled he about,
And therewith all enwrapt the nimble thyes
From off the earth, with durty bloud distaynd,
And fiercely tooke his trenchand blade in hand, xxiv
With which he stroke so furious and so fell,
That from thenceforth he shund the like to take,
The knight was wrath to see his stroke beguyld,
And smote againe with more outrageous might;
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,
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