Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 285 pages of information about Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I.

A stately Pallace built of squared bricke,
  Which cunningly was without morter laid,
  Whose wals were high, but nothing strong, nor thick, 30
  And golden foile all over them displaid,
  That purest skye with brightnesse they dismaid: 
  High lifted up were many loftie towres,
  And goodly galleries farre over laid,
  Full of faire windowes and delightful bowres; 35
And on the top a Diall told the timely howres.


It was a goodly heape for to behould,
  And spake the praises of the workmans wit;
  But full great pittie, that so faire a mould
  Did on so weake foundation ever sit:  40
  For on a sandie hill, that still did flit
  And fall away, it mounted was full hie,
  That every breath of heaven shaked it: 
  And all the hinder parts, that few could spie,
Were ruinous and old, but painted cunningly. 45


Arrived there, they passed in forth right;
  For still to all the gates stood open wide: 
  Yet charge of them was to a Porter hight
  Cald Malvenu,[*] who entrance none denide: 
  Thence to the hall, which was on every side 50
  With rich array and costly arras dight: 
  Infinite sorts of people did abide
  There waiting long, to win the wished sight
Of her that was the Lady of that Pallace bright.


By them they passe, all gazing on them round, 55
  And to the Presence mount; whose glorious vew
  Their frayle amazed senses did confound: 
  In living Princes court none ever knew
  Such endlesse richesse, and so sumptuous shew;
  Ne Persia selfe, the nourse of pompous pride 60
  Like ever saw.  And there a noble crew
  Of Lordes and Ladies stood on every side,
Which with their presence faire the place much beautifide.


High above all a cloth of State was spred,
  And a rich throne, as bright as sunny day, 65
  On which there sate most brave embellished
  With royall robes and gorgeous array,
  A mayden Queene, that shone as Titans ray,
  In glistring gold, and peerelesse pretious stone: 
  Yet her bright blazing beautie did assay 70
  To dim the brightnesse of her glorious throne,
As envying her selfe, that too exceeding shone.


Exceeding shone, like Phoebus fairest childe,[*]
  That did presume his fathers firie wayne,
  And flaming mouthes of steedes unwonted wilde 75
  Through highest heaven with weaker hand to rayne;
  Proud of such glory and advancement vaine,
  While flashing beames do daze his feeble eyen,
  He leaves the welkin way most beaten plaine,
  And rapt with whirling wheeles, inflames the skyen, 80
With fire not made to burne, but fairely for to shyne.

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Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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