Her neather parts misshapen, monstruous,
Were hidd in water, that I could not see.
But they did seeme more foule and hideous,
Then womans shape man would beleeve to bee.
Thensforth from her most beastly companie 365
I gan refraine, in minde to slip away,
Soone as appeard safe opportunitie:
For danger great, if not assur’d decay,
I saw before mine eyes, if I were knowne to stray.
The divelish hag by chaunges of my cheare[*]
Perceiv’d my thought, and drownd in sleepie night,[*]
With wicked herbs and ointments did besmeare
My body all, through charms and magicke might,
That all my senses were bereaved quight:
Then brought she me into this desert waste, 375
And by my wretched lovers side me pight,
Where now enclosd in wooden wals full faste,
Banisht from living wights, our wearie dayes we waste.
But how long time, said then the Elfin knight,
Are you in this misformed house to dwell? 380
We may not chaunge (quoth he) this evil plight,
Till we be bathed in a living well;[*]
That is the terme prescribed by the spell.
O how, said he, mote I that well out find,
That may restore you to your wonted well? 385
Time and suffised fates to former kynd
Shall us restore, none else from hence may us unbynd.
The false Duessa, now Fidessa hight,
Heard how in vaine Fradubio did lament,
And knew well all was true. But the good knight 390
Full of sad feare and ghastly dreriment,
When all this speech the living tree had spent,
The bleeding bough did thrust into the ground,
That from the bloud he might be innocent,
And with fresh clay did close the wooden wound: 395
Then turning to his Lady, dead with feare her found.
Her seeming dead he found with feigned feare,
As all unweeting of that well she knew,
And paynd himselfe with busie care to reare
Her out of carelesse swowne. Her eyelids blew 400
And dimmed sight with pale and deadly hew
At last she up gan lift: with trembling cheare
Her up he tooke, too simple and too trew,
And oft her kist. At length all passed feare,[*]
He set her on her steede, and forward forth did beare. 405
* * * * *
Forsaken Truth long seekes
and makes the Lyon mylde,
Marres blind Devotions mart, and fals
in hand of leachour vylde.