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44 The God obayde, and, calling forth straightway
A diverse dreame out of his prison darke,
Delivered it to him, and downe did lay
His heavie head, devoide of careful carke,
Whose sences all were straight benumbd and starke.
He backe returning by the yvorie dore,
Remounted up as light as chearefull larke;
And on his litle winges the dreame he bore
In hast unto his lord, where he him left afore.
45 Who all this while with charmes and hidden artes
Had made a lady of that other spright,
And fram'd of liquid ayre her tender partes
So lively and so like in all mens sight,
That weaker sence it could have ravisht quight:
The makers selfe, for all his wondrous witt,
Was nigh beguiled with so goodly sight:
Her all in white he clad, and over it
Cast a black stole, most like to seeme for Una fit.
46 Now when that ydle dreame was to him brought,
Unto that elfin knight he bad him fly,
Where he slept soundly void of evil thought,
And with false shewes abuse his fantasy;
In sort as he him schooled privily.
And that new creature, borne without her dew,
Full of the makers guile, with usage sly
He taught to imitate that lady trew,
Whose semblance she did carrie under feigned hew.
The guilefull great Enchaunter parts
the Redcrosse Knigbt from Truth : Into wbose stead faire Falsbood steps,
and workes him woefull rutb.
i By this the northerne wagoner had set
His sevenfold teme behind the stedfast starre
That was in ocean waves yet never wet,
But firme is fixt, and sendeth light from farre
To all that in the wide deepe wandring arre:
And chearefull Chaunticlere with his note shrill
Had warned once, that Phoebus fiery carre
In hast was climbing up the easterne hill,
Full envious that night so long his roome did fill.
2 When those accursed messengers of hell,
That feigning dreame, and that faire-forged spright,
Came to their wicked maister, and gan tell
Their bootelesse paines, and ill-succeeding night :
Who all in rage to see his skilfull might
Deluded so, gan threaten hellish paine
And sad Proserpines wrath, them to affright.
But, when he saw his threatning was but vaine,
He cast about, and searcht his baleful bookes againe.
7 Now when the rosy-fingred morning faire,
Weary of aged Tithones saffron bed,
Had spread her purple robe through deawy aire,
And the high hils Titan discovered,
The royall virgin shooke off drowsy-hed;
And, rising forth out of her baser bowre,
Lookt for her knight, who far away was fled,
And for her dwarfe, that wont to waite each houre: Then gan she waile and weepe to see that woefull stowre.
8 And after him she rode with so much speede
As her slow beast could make; but all in vaine:
For him so far had borne his light-foot steede,
Pricked with wrath and fiery fierce disdaine,
That him to follow was but fruitlesse paine;
Yet she her weary limbes would never rest,
But every hil and dale, each wood and plaine,
Did search, sore grieved in her gentle brest,
He so ungently left her, whom she loved best.
9 But subtill Archimago, when his guests
He saw divided into double parts,
And Una wandring in woods and forrests,
Th’ end of his drift, he praisd his divelish arts, ,
That had such might over true meaning harts:
Yet rests not so, but other meanes doth make,
How he may worke unto her further smarts:
For her he hated as the hissing snake,
And in her many troubles did most pleasure take.
10 He then devisde himselfe how to disguise;
For by his mighty science he could take
As many formes and shapes in seeming wise,
As ever Proteus to himselfe could make:
Sometime a fowle, sometime a fish in lake,
Now like a foxe, now like a dragon fell,
That of himselfe he ofte for feare would quake,
And oft would lie away. O who can tell
The hidden power of herbes, and might of magicke spell?
11 But now seemde best the person to put on
Of that good knight, his late beguiled guest:
In mighty armes he was yclad anon,
And silver shield, upon his coward brest
A bloudy crosse, and on his craven crest
A bounch of haires discolourd diversly.
Full jolly knight he seemde, and well addrest,
And when he sate upon his courser free,
Saint George himself ye would have deemed him to be.
12 But he the knight, whose semblaunt he did beare,
The true Saint George, was wandred far away,
Still flying from his thoughts and gealous feare;
Will was his guide, and griefe led him astray.
At last him chaunst to meete upon the way
A faithlesse Sarazin all arm’d to point,
In whose great shield was writ with letters gay
Sans foy: full large of limbe and every joint He was, and cared not for God or man a point. 13 Hee had a faire companion of his way,
A goodly lady clad in scarlot red,
Purfled with gold and pearle of rich assay,
And like a Persian mitre on her hed
Shee wore, with crowns and owches garnished,
The which her lavish lovers to her gave;
Her wanton palfrey all was overspred
With tinsell trappings, woven like a wave,
Whose bridle rung with golden bels and bosses brave.
14 With faire disport and courting dalliaunce,
She intertainde her lover all the way:
But when she saw the knight his speare advaunce,
She soone left off her mirth and wanton play,
And bad her knight addresse him to the fray:
His foe was nigh at hand. He prickt with pride
And hope to winne his ladies hearte that day,
Forth spurred fast: adowne his coursers side
The red bloud trickling staind the way, as he did ride.
15 The knight of the Redcrosse when him he spide
Spurring so hote with rage dispiteous,
Gan fairely couch his speare, and towards ride:
Soone meete they both, both fell and furious,
That daunted with their forces hideous,
Their steeds do stagger, and amazed stand,
And eke themselves, too rudely rigorous,
Astonied with the stroke of their owne hand,
Doe backe rebut, and each to other yeeldeth land.
16 As when two rams, stird with ambitious pride,
Fight for the rule of the rich fleeced flocke,
Their horned fronts so fierce on either side
Do meete, that with the terror of the shocke
Astonied both stand sencelesse as a blocke,
Forgetfull of the hanging victory:
So stood these twaine, unmoved as a rocke,
Both staring fierce, and holding idely
The broken reliques of their former cruelty.
17 The Sarazin sore daunted with the buffe
Snatcheth his sword, and fiercely to him flies;
Who well it wards, and quyteth cuff with cuff:
Each others equall puissaunce envies,
And through their iron sides with cruell spies
Does seeke to perce; repining courage yields
No foote to foe. The flashing fier flies,
As from a forge out of their burning shields, And streams of purple bloud new dies the verdant fields. 18 Curse on that Crosse, (quoth then the Sarazin,)
That keeps thy body from the bitter fit;
Dead long ygoe I wote thou haddest bin,
Had not that charme from thee forwarned it:
But yet I warne thee now assured sitt,
And hide thy head. Therewith upon his crest
With rigor so outrageous he smitt,
That a large share it hewd out of the rest, And glauncing down his shield from blame him fairly blest. 19 Who, thereat wondrous wroth, the sleeping spark
Of native vertue gan eftsoones revive;
And at his haughtie helmet making mark,
So hugely stroke, that it the steele did rive,
And cleft his head. He, tumbling downe alive,
With bloudy mouth his mother earth did kis,
Greeting his grave: his grudging ghost did strive
With the fraile flesh; at last it flitted is,
Whither the soules do fly of men, that live amis.