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28 Therefore since mine he is, or free or bond,
Or false or trew, or living or else dead,
Withhold, O soveraine prince, your hasty hond
From knitting league with him, I you aread;
Ne weene my right with strength adowne to tread,
Through weaknesse of my widowhed, or woe;
For truth is strong her rightfull cause to plead,
And shall finde friends, if need requireth soe.
So bids thee well tó fare, Thy neither friend nor foe,
Fidessa. 29 When he these bitter byting wordes had red,
The tydings straunge did him abashed make,
That still he sate long time astonished,
As in great muse, ne word to creature spake.
At last his solemne silence thus he brake,
With doubtfull eyes fast fixed on his guest;
Redoubted knight, that for mine onely sake
Thy life and honour late adventurest, Let nought be hid from me, that ought to be exprest. 30 What meane these bloody vowes and idle threats,
Throwne out from womanish impatient mind ?
What heavens? what altars ? what enraged heates,
Here heaped up with termes of love unkind,
My conscience cleare with guilty bands would bind?
High God be witnesse, that I guiltlesse ame.
But if yourselfe, sir knight, ye faulty find,
Or wrapped be in loves of former dame,
With crime doe not it cover, but disclose the same.
31 To whom the Redcrosse knight this answere sent;
My lord, my king, be nought hereat dismayd,
Till well ye wote by grave intendiment,
What woman, and wherefore doth me upbrayd
With breach of love and loyalty betrayd.
It was in my mishaps, as hitherward
*I lately traveild, that unwares I strayd
Out of my way, through perils straunge and hard; That day should faile me, ere I had them all declard.
32 There did I find, or rather I was found
Of this false woman, that Fidessa hight,
Fidessa hight the falsest dame on ground,
Most false Duessa, royall richly dight,
That easy was to inveigle weaker sight:
Who by her wicked arts and wylie skill,
Too false and ng for earthly skill or might,
Unwares me wrought unto her wicked will, And to my foe betrayd, when least I feared ill. 33 Then stepped forth the goodly royall mayd,
And on the ground her selfe prostrating low,
With sober countenaunce thus to him sayd;
O pardon me, my soveraine lord, to show
The secret treasons, which of late I know
To have bene wrought by that false sorceresse.
She, onely she, it is, that earst did throw
This gentle knight into so great distresse,
That death him did awaite in dayly wretchednesse.
34 And now it seemes, that she suborned hath
This crafty messenger with letters vaine,
To worke new woe and unprovided scath,
By breaking of the band betwixt us twaine ;
Wherein she used hath the practicke paine
Of this false footman, clokt with simplenesse,
Whom if ye please for to discover plaine,
Ye shall him Archimago find, I ghesse,
The falsest man alive; who tries, shall find no lesse.
35 The King was greatly moved at her speach,
And, all with suddein indignation fraight,
Bad on that messenger rude hands to reach.
Eftsoones the gard, which on his state did wait,
Attacht that faitor false, and bound him strait :
Who seeming sorely chauffed at his band,
As chained beare, whom cruell dogs do bait,
With idle force did faine them to withstand:
And often semblaunce made to scape out of their hand.
36 But they him layd full low in dungeon deepe,
And bound him hand and foote with yron chains :
And with continual watch did warely keepe.
Who then would thinke, that by his subtile trains
He could escape fowle death or deadly pains ?
Thus when that princes wrath was pacifide,
He gan renew the late forbidden bains,
And to the knight his daughter dear he tyde
With sacred rites and vowes for ever to abyde.
37 His owne two hands the holy knots did knit,
That none but death for ever can divide;
His owne two hands, for such a turne most fit,
The housling fire did kindle and provide,
And holy water thereon sprinckled wide;
At which the bushy teade a groome did light,
And sacred lamp in secret chamber hide,
Where it should not be quenched day nor night, For feare of evill fates, but burnen ever bright. 38 Then gan they sprinckle all the posts with wine,
And made great feast to solemnize that day;
They all perfumde with frankincense divine,
And precious odours fetcht from far away,
That all the house did sweat with great aray:
And all the while sweete musicke did apply
Her curious skill, the warbling notes to play,
To drive away the dull melancholy;
The whiles one sung a song of love and jollity.
39 During the which there was an heavenly noise
Heard sound through all the pallace pleasantly,
Like as it had bene many an angels voice
Singing before th' eternall Majesty,
In their trinall triplicities on hye;
Yet wist no creature whence that heavenly sweet
Proceeded, yet eachone felt secretly
Himselfe thereby reft of his sences meet,
And ravished with rare impression in his sprite.
40 Great joy was made that day of young and old,
And solemne feast proclaimd throughout the land,
That their exceeding merth may not be told :
Suffice it heare by signes to understand
The usuall joyes at knitting of loves band.
Thrise happy man the knight himselfe did hold,
Possessed of his ladies hart and hand;
And ever, when his eye did her behold,
His heart did seeme to melt in pleasures manifold.
41 Her joyous presence, and sweet company,
In full content he there did long enjoy;
Ne wicked envy, ne vile gealosy,
His deare delights were able to annoy :
Yet swimming in that sea of blissfull joy,
He nought forgot how he whilome had sworne,
In case he could that monstrous beast destroy,
Unto his Faerie Queene backe to returne; The which he shortly did, and Una left to mourne. 42 Now strike your sailes ye jolly Mariners,
For we be come unto a quiet rode,
Where we must land some of our passengers,
And light this weary vessell of her lode.
Here she a while may make her safe abode,
Till she repaired have her tackles spent,
And wants supplide. And then againe abroad
On the long voyage whereto she is bent :
Well may she speede, and fairely finish her intent.