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8 So she beheld those maydens meriment

With chearefull vew; who when to her they came,
Themselves to ground with gracious 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 self-resemblance well beseene, Did seeme, such as she was, a goodly maiden queene. 9 And after, all the raskall many ran,

Heaped together in rude rablement,
To see the face of that victorious man;
Whom all admired as from heaven sent,
And gaz'd upon with gaping wonderment.
But when they came where that dead dragon lay,
Stretcht on the ground in monstrous large extent,

The sight with idle feare did them dismay, Ne durst approch him nigh, to touch, or once assay. 10 Some feard, and fled; some feard, and well it faynd;

One, that would wiser seeme then all the rest,
Warnd him not touch, for yet perhaps remaynd
Some lingring life within his hollow brest,
Or in his wombe might lurke some hidden nest
Of many dragonets, his fruitfull seed;
Another said, that in his eyes did rest
Yet sparckling fire, and bad thereof take heed;
Another said, he saw him move his eyes indeed.

11 One mother, whenas her foolehardy chyld

Did come too neare, and with his talants play,
Halfe dead through feare, her litle babe revyld,
And to her gossips gan in counsell say;
How can I tell, but that his talents may
Yet scratch my sonne, or rend his tender hand ?
So diversly themselves in vaine they fray;

Whiles some, more bold, to measure him nigh stand, To prove how many acres he did spread of land.

12 Thus flocked all the folke him round about;

The whiles that hoarie king, with all his traine,
Being arrived where that champion stout
After his foes defeasance did remaine,
Him goodly greetes, and faire does entertaine
With princely gifts of yvory and gold,
And thousand thankes him yeeldes for all his paine.

Then when his daughter deare he does behold,
He dearely doth imbrace, and kisseth manifold.
13 And after to his pallace he them brings,

With shaumes, and trompets, and with clarions sweet;
And all the way the joyous people singes,
And with their garments strowes the paved street;
Whence mounting up, they find purveyaunce meet
Of all, that royall princes court became;
And all the floore was underneath their feet

Bespred with costly scarlot of great name,
On which they lowly sit, and fitting purpose frame.
14 What needs me tell their feast and goodly guize,

In which was nothing riotous nor vaine ?
What needes of dainty dishes to devize,
Of comely services, or courtly trayne,
My narrow leaves cannot in them containe
The large discourse of royall princes state.
Yet was their manner then but bare and plaine;
For th' antique world excesse and pride did hate :

Such proud luxurious pompe is swollen up but late. 15 Then when with meates and drinkes of every kinde

Their fervent appetites they quenched had,
That auncient lord gan fit occasion finde,
Of straunge adventures, and of perils sad
Which in his travell him befallen had,
For to demaund of his renowmed guest :
Who then with utt'rance grave, and count'nance sad,

From int to point, as is before exprest,
Discourst his voyage long, according his request.

16 Great pleasures, mixt with pittiful regard,

That godly king and queene did passionate,
Whiles they his pittifull adventures heard;
That oft they did lament his lucklesse state,
And often blame the too importune fate
That heaped on him so many wrathfull wreakes:
For never gentle knight, as he of late,

So tossed was in fortunes cruell freakes;
And all the while salt teares bedeawd the hearers cheaks.

17 Then says that royall pere in sober wise ;

Deare sonne, great beene the evils which ye bore
From first to last in your late enterprise,
That I note, whether praise, or pitty more:
For never living man, I weene, so sore
In sea of deadly daungers was distrest;
But since now safe ye seised have the shore,

And well arrived are (high God be blest)
Let us devize of ease and everlasting rest.
18 Ah, dearest lord, said then that doughty knight,

Of ease or rest I may not yet devize;
For by the faith, which I to armes have plight,
I bounden am streight after this emprize,
As that your daughter can ye well advize,
Backe to returne to that great Faerie Queene,
And her to serve sixe yeares in warlike wize,

Gainst that proud paynim king that works her teene: Therefore I ought crave pardon, till I there have beene. 19 Unhappy falls that hard necessity,

(Quoth he) the troubler of my happy peace,
And vowed foe of my felicity;
Ne I against the same can justly preace :
But since that band ye cannot now release,
Nor doen undo; (for vowes may not be vaine,)
Soone as the terme of those six yeares shall cease,

Ye then shall hither backe returne againe,
The marriage to accomplish vowd betwixt you twain :

20 Which for my part I covet to performe,

In sort as through the world I did proclame,
That whoso kild that monster most deforme,
And him in hardy battaile overcame,
Should have mine onely daughter to his dame,
And of my kingdome heyre apparaunt bee:
Therefore since now to thee perteines the same,

By dew desert of noble chevalree, Both daughter and eke kingdome, lo I yield to thee. 21 Then forth he called that his daughter faire,

The fairest Un' his onely daughter deare,
His onely daughter, and his onely heyre;
Who forth proceeding with sad sober cheare,
As bright as doth the morning starre appeare
Out of the east, with flaming lockes bedight,
To tell that dawning day is drawing neare,

And to the world does bring long wished light: So faire and fresh that lady shewd her selfe in sight: 22 So faire and fresh, as freshest flowre in May;

For she had layd her mournefull stole aside,
And widow-like sad wimple throwne away,
Wherewith her heavenly beautie she did hide,
Whiles on her wearie journey she did ride;
And on her now a garment she did weare
All lilly white, withoutten spot or pride,

That seemd like silke and woven neare,
But neither silke nor silver therein did appeare.

23 The blazing brightnesse of her beauties beame,

And glorious light of her sunshyny face,
To tell, were as to strive against the streame:
My ragged rimes are all too rude and bace
Her heavenly lineaments for to enchace.
Ne wonder; for her own deare loved knight,
All were she dayly with himselfe in place,

Did wonder much at her celestiall sight:
Oft had he seene her faire, but never so faire dight.

24 So fairely dight, when she in presence came,

She to her sire made humble reverence,
And bowed low, that her right well became,
And added grace unto her excellence :
Who with great wisedome and grave eloquence
Thus gan to say. But eare he thus had said,
With flying speede, and seeming great pretence,

Came running in, much like a man dismaid,
A messenger with letters, which his message said.
25 All in the open hall amazed stood

At suddeinnesse of that unwary sight,
And wondred at his breathlesse hasty mood:
But he for nought would stay his passage right,
Till fast before the king he did alight;
Where falling flat, great humblesse he did make,
And kist the ground, whereon his foot was pight;

Then to his hands that writ he did betake, Which he disclosing, read thus, as the paper spake; 26 To thee, most mighty king of Eden faire,

Her greeting sends in these sad lines addrest
The wofull daughter, and forsaken heire
Of that great emperour of all the West;
And bids thee be advized for the best,
Ere thou thy daughter linck in holy band
Of wedlocke to that new unknowen guest:

For he already plighted his right hand
Unto another love, and to another land.
27 To me sad mayd, or rather widow sad,

He was affiaunced long time before,
And sacred pledges he both gave, and had,
False erraunt knight, infamous, and forswore:
Witnesse the burning altars, which he swore,
And guilty heavens of his bold perjury,
Which though he hath polluted oft of yore,

Yet I to them for judgment just do fly,
And them conjure t'avenge this shamefull injury.

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