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There grew a goodly tree him faire beside,
Loaden with fruit and apples rosie red,
As they in pure vermilion had beene dide,
Whereof great vertues over all were red :
For happie life to all, which thereon fed,
And life eke everlasting did befall : .
Great God it planted in that blessed sted
With his almightie hand, and did it call
The tree of life, the crime of our first fathers fall.
In all the world like was not to be found,
xlvii Save in that soile, where all good things did grow, And freely sprong out of the fruitfull ground, As incorrupted Nature did them sow, Till that dread Dragon all did overthrow. Another like faire tree eke grew thereby, Whereof who so did eat, eftsoones did know
Both good and ill : O mornefull memory : That tree through one mans fault hath doen us all to dy.
From that first tree forth flowd, as from a well, xlviii
A trickling streame of Balme, most soveraine
And daintie deare, which on the ground still fell,
And overflowed all the fertill plaine,
As it had deawed bene with timely raine :
Life and long health that gratious ointment gave,
And deadly woundes could heale, and reare againe
The senselesse corse appointed for the grave.
Into that same he fell : which did from death him save.
For nigh thereto the ever damned beast
Durst not approch, for he was deadly made,
And all that life preserved, did detest :
Yet he it oft adventur'd to invade.
By this the drouping day-light gan to fade,
To moment And yeeld his roome to sad succeeding night, Who with her sable mantle gan to shade
The face of earth, and wayes of living wight, And high her burning torch set up in heaven bright.
When gentle Una saw the second fall
Of her deare knight, who wearie of long fight,
And faint through losse of bloud, mov'd not at all,
But lay as in a dreame of deepe delight,
Besmeard with pretious Balme, whose vertuous might
Did heale his wounds, and scorching heat alay,
Againe she stricken was with sore affright,
And for his safetie gan devoutly pray ;
And watch the noyous night, and wait for joyous day.
The joyous day gan early to appeare,
And faire Aurora from the deawy bed
Of aged Tithone gan her selfe to reare,
With rosie cheekes, for shame as blushing red ;
Her golden lockes for haste were loosely shed
About her eares, when Una did her marke
Clymbe to her charet, all with flowers spred,
From heaven high to chase the chearelesse darke ;
With merry note her loud salutes the mounting larke.
Then freshly up arose the doughtie knight,
All healed of his hurts and woundes wide,
And did himselfe to battell readie dight;
Whose early foe awaiting him beside
To have devourd, so soone as day he spyde,
When now he saw himselfe so freshly reare,
As if late fight had nought him damnifyde,
He woxe dismayd, and gan his fate to feare ;
Nathlesse with wonted rage he him advanced neare.
And in his first encounter, gaping wide,
liii He thought attonce him to have swallowd quight, And rusht upon him with outragious pride ; Who him r'encountring fierce, as hauke in flight, Perforce rebutted backe. The weapon bright Taking advantage of his open jaw, Ran through his mouth with so importune might,
That deepe emperst his darksome hollow maw, And back retyrd, his life bloud forth with all did draw.
So downe he fell, and forth his life did breath,
That vanisht into smoke and cloudes swift ;
So downe he fell, that th'earth him underneath
Did grone, as feeble so great load to lift ;
So downe he fell, as an huge rockie clift,
Whose false foundation waves have washt away,
With dreadfull poyse is from the mayneland rift,
And rolling downe, great Neptune doth dismay;
So downe he fell, and like an heaped mountaine lay.
The knight himselfe even trembled at his fall,
So huge and horrible a masse it seem'd ;
And his deare Ladie, that beheld it all,
Durst not approch for dread, which she misdeem'd,
But yet at last, when as the direfull feend
She saw not stirre, off-shaking vaine affright,
She nigher drew, and saw that joyous end :
Then God she praysd, and thankt her faithfull knight, That had atchiev'd so great a conquest by his might.
Book I, Canto XII, ii-xiii, xxi-xxiii, xxxvii-xl
SCARSELY had Phæbus in the glooming East
Yet harnessed his firie-footed teeme,
Ne reard above the earth his flaming creast,
When the last deadly smoke aloft did steeme,
That signe of last outbreathed life did seeme
Unto the watchman on the castle wall ;
Who thereby dead that balefull Beast did deeme,
And to his Lord and Ladie lowd gan call,
To tell, how he had seene the Dragons fatall fall.
Uprose with hastie joy, and feeble speed
That aged Sire, the Lord of all that land,
And looked forth, to weet, if true indeede
Those tydings were, as he did understand,
Which whenas true by tryall he out fond,
He bad to open wyde his brazen gate,
Which long time had bene shut, and out of hond
Proclaymed joy and peace through all his state ;
For dead now was their foe, which them forrayed late.
Then gan triumphant Trompets sound on hie, 1 iv
That sent to heaven the ecchoed report
Of their new joy, and happie victorie
Gainst him, that had them long opprest with tort,
And fast imprisoned in sieged fort.
Then all the people, as in solemne feast,
To him assembled with one full consort,
Rejoycing at the fall of that great beast,
From whose eternall bondage now they were releast.
Forth came that auncient Lord and aged Queene,
Arayd in antique robes downe to the ground,
And sad habiliments right well beseene;
A noble crew about them waited round
Of sage and sober Peres, all gravely gownd;
Whom farre before did march a goodly band
Of tall young men, all hable armes to sownd,
But now they laurell braunches bore in hand ;
Glad signe of victorie and peace in all their land.
Unto that doughtie Conquerour they came,
vi And him before themselves prostrating low, Their Lord and Patrone loud did him proclame, And at his feet their laurell 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 do grow,
When morning deaw upon their leaves doth light : And in their hands sweet Timbrels all upheld on hight.
And them before, the fry of children young
Their wanton sports and childish mirth did play,
And to the Maydens sounding tymbrels sung
In well attuned notes, a joyous lay,
And made delightfull musicke all the way,
Untill they came, where that faire virgin stood ;
As faire Diana in fresh sommers day
Beholds her Nymphes, enraung'd in shadie 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 gratious humblesse bent,
And her ador'd by honorable name,
Lifting to heaven her everlasting fame :
Then on her head they set a girland greene,
And crowned her twixt earnest and twixt game;
Who in her selfe-resemblance well beseene,
Did seeme such, as she was, a goodly maiden Quecne.