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24 Thus ill bestedd, and fearefull more of shame
Then of the certeine perill he stood in,
Halfe furious unto his foe he came,
Resolv'd in minde all suddenly to win,
Or soone to lose, before he once would lin;
And stroke at her with more then manly force,
That from her body full of filthie sin
He raft her hatefull head without remorse : A streame of cole black bloud forth gushed from her corse. 25 Her scattred brood, soone as their parent deare
They saw so rudely falling to the ground,
Groning full deadly, all with troublous feare
Gathred themselves about her body round,
Weening their wonted entrance to have found
At her wide mouth : but being there withstood
They flocked all about her bleeding wound,
And sucked up their dying mothers bloud, Making her death their life, and eke her hurt their good. 26 That detestable sight him much amazde,
To see th' unkindly impes, of heaven accurst,
Devoure their dam; on whom while so he gazd,
Having all satisfide their bloudy thurst,
Their bellies swolne he saw with fulnesse burst,
And bowels gushing forth: well worthy end
Of such, as drunke her life, the which them nurst;
Now needeth him no lenger labour spend, His foes have slaine themselves, with whom he should contend. 27 His lady seeing all that chaunst from farre
Approcht in hast to greet his victorie,
And şaide, Faire knight, borne under happy starrę,
Who see your vanquisht foes before you lye:
Well worthie be you of that armory,
Wherein ye have great glory wonne this day,
And proov'd your strength on a strong enimie,
Your first adventure: many such I pray,
And henceforth ever wish that like succeed it may.
28 Then mounted he upon his steede againe,
And with the lady backward sought to wend;
That path he kept, which beaten was most plaine,
Ne ever would to any by-way bend,
But still did follow one unto the end,
The which at last out of the wood them brought.
So war on his way (with God to frend)
He passed forth, and new adventure sought; Long way he traveiled, before he heard of ought. 29 At length they chaunst to meet upon the way
An aged sire, in long blacke weedes yclad,
His feete all bare, his beard all hoarie gray,
And by his belt his booke he hanging had;
Sober he seemde, and very sagely sad,
And to the ground his eyes were lowly bent,
Simple in shew, and voide of malice bad,
And all the way he prayed, as he went, And often knockt his brest, as one that did repent. 30 He faire the knight saluted, louting low,
Who faire him quited, as that courteous was :
And after asked him, if he did know
Of straunge adventures, which abroad did pas.
Ah my dear sonne (quoth he) how should, alas,
Silly old man, that lives in hidden cell,
Bidding his beades all day for his trespas,
Tydings of warre and worldly trouble tell ? With holy father sits not with such things to mell. 31 But if of daunger which hereby doth dwell,
And homebred evil ye desire to heare,
Of a straunge man I can you tidings tell,
That wasteth all this countrey farre and neare.
Of such (said he) I chiefly do inquere ;
And shall you well reward to shew the place,
In which that wicked wight his dayes doth weare:
For to all knighthood it is foule disgrace,
That such a cursed creature lives so long a space,
32 Far hence (quoth he) in wastfull wildernesse
His dwelling is, by which no living wight
May ever passe, but thorough great distresse.
Now (sayd the lady) draweth toward night,
And well I wote, that of your later fight
Ye all forwearied be: for what so strong,
But wanting rest will also want of might ?
The sunne that measures heaven all day long, At night doth baite his steedes the ocean waves emong. 33 Then with the sunne take, Sir, your timely rest,
And with new day new worke at once begin:
Untroubled night they say gives counsell best.
Right well, Sir knight, ye have advised bin,
(Quoth then that aged man) the way to win
Is wisely to advise : now day is spent;
Therefore with me ye may take up your in
For this same night. The knight was well content So with that godly father to his home they went.
34 A little lowly hermitage it was,
Downe in a dale, hard by a forests side,
Far from resort of people, that did pas
In travell to and froe: a little wyde
There was an holy chappell edifyde,
Wherein the hermite dewly wont to say
His holy things each morne and eventyde:
Thereby a christall streame did gently play,
Which from a sacred fountaine welled forth alway.
35 Arrived there, the little house they fill,
Ne looke for entertainement, where none was :
Rest is their feast, and all thinges at their will;
The noblest mind the best contentment has.
With faire discourse the evening so they pas :
For that olde man of pleasing wordes had store,
And well could file his tongue as smooth as glas,
He told of saintes and popes, and evermore
He strowd an Ave-Mary after and before.
36 The drouping night thus creepeth on them fast,
And the sad humour loading their eye liddes,
As messenger of Morpheus, on them cast
Sweet slombring deaw, the which to sleepe them biddes.
Unto their lodgings then his guestes he riddes:
Where when all drownd in deadly sleepe he findes,
He to this studie goes, and there amiddes
His magick bookes, and artes of sundry kindes,
He seeks out mighty charmes, to trouble sleepy mindes.
37 Then choosing out few words most horrible,
(Let none them read) thereof did verses frame,
With which and other spelles like terrible,
He bad awake blacke Plutoes griesly dame,
And cursed heaven, and spake reprochfull shame
Of highest God, the Lord of life and light; ·
A bold bad man, that dar'd to call by name
Great Gorgon, Prince of darknesse and dead night, At which Cocytus quakes, and Styx is put to flight. 38 And forth he cald out of deepe darknesse dred
Legions of Sprights, the which like little flyes,
Fluttring about his ever damned hed,
Awaite whereto their service he applyes,
To aide his friends, or fray his enimies :
Of those he chose out two, the falsest twoo,
And fittest for to forge true-seeming lyes;
The one of them he gave a message too,
The other by himselfe staide other worke to doo.
39 He making speedy way through spersed ayre,
And through the world of waters wide and deepe,
To Morpheus house doth hastily repaire.
Amid the bowels of the earth full steepe,
And low, where dawning day doth never peepe,
His dwelling is; there Tethys his wet bed
Doth ever wash, and Cynthia still doth steepe
In silver deaw his ever-drouping hed,
Whiles sad night over him her mantle black doth spred.
40 Whose double gates he findeth locked fast,
The one faire fram'd of burnisht yvory,
The other all with silver overcast;
And wakeful dogges before them farre do lye,
Watching to banish Care their enimy,
Who oft is wont to trouble gentle Sleepe.
By them the sprite doth passe in quietly,
And unto Morpheus comes, whom drowned deepe In drowsie fit he findes: of nothing he takes keepe.
41 And more, to lulle him in his slumber soft,
A trickling streame from high rock tumbling downe,
And ever-drizling raine upon the loft,
Mixt with a murmuring winde, much like the sowne
Of swarming bees, did cast him in a swowne:
No other noyse, nor peoples troublous cryes,
As still are wont t' annoy the walled towne,
Might there be heard: but carelesse Quiet lyes,
Wrapt in eternall silence farre from enemyes.
42 The messenger approching to him spake,
But his wast wordes returnd to him in vaine :
So sound he slept, that nought mought him awake.
Then rudely he him thrust, and pusht with paine,
Whereat he gan to stretch: but he againe
Shooke him so hard, that forced him to speake.
As one then in a dreame, whose dryer braine
Is tost with troubled sights and fancies weake,
He mumbled soft, but would not all his silence breake.
43 The sprite then gan more boldly him to wake,
And threatned unto him the dreaded name
Of Hecate: whereat he gan to quake,
And, lifting up his lumpish head, with blame
Halfe angry asked him, for what he came.
Hither (quoth he) me Archimago sent,
He that the stubborne sprites can wisely tame,
He bids thee to him send for his intent
A fit false dreame, that can delude the sleepers sent.