Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 225 pages of information about Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I.

A shrilling trompet sownded from on hye,
  And unto battaill bad them selves addresse: 
  Their shining shieldes about their wrestes they tye,
  And burning blades about their heads do blesse,
  The instruments of wrath and heavinesse:  50
  With greedy force each other doth assayle,
  And strike so fiercely, that they do impresse
  Deepe dinted furrowes in the battred mayle;
The yron walles to ward their blowes are weak and fraile.

VII

The Sarazin was stout, and wondrous strong, 55
  And heaped blowes like yron hammers great;
  For after bloud and vengeance he did long. 
  The knight was fiers, and full of youthly heat,
  And doubled strokes, like dreaded thunders threat: 
  For all for prayse and honour he did fight. 60
  Both stricken strike, and beaten both do beat,
  That from their shields forth flyeth firie light,
And helmets hewen deepe show marks of eithers might.

VIII

So th’ one for wrong, the other strives for right;
  As when a Gryfon[*] seized of his pray, 65
  A Dragon fiers encountreth in his flight,
  Through widest ayre making his ydle way,
  That would his rightfull ravine rend away;
  With hideous horror both together smight,
  And souce so sore that they the heavens affray:  70
  The wise Soothsayer seeing so sad sight,
Th’ amazed vulgar tels of warres and mortall fight.

IX

So th’ one for wrong, the other strives for right,
  And each to deadly shame would drive his foe: 
  The cruell steele so greedily doth bight 75
  In tender flesh that streames of bloud down flow,
  With which the armes, that earst so bright did show,
  Into a pure vermillion now are dyde: 
  Great ruth in all the gazers harts did grow,
  Seeing the gored woundes to gape so wyde, 80
That victory they dare not wish to either side.

X

At last the Paynim chaunst to cast his eye,
  His suddein eye, flaming with wrathful fyre,
  Upon his brothers shield, which hong thereby: 
  Therewith redoubled was his raging yre, 85
  And said, Ah wretched sonne of wofull syre,
  Doest thou sit wayling by blacke Stygian lake,
  Whilest here thy shield is hangd for victors hyre,
  And sluggish german[*] doest thy forces slake
To after-send his foe, that him may overtake? 90

XI

Goe caytive Elfe, him quickly overtake,
  And soone redeeme from his long wandring woe;
  Goe guiltie ghost, to him my message make,
  That I his shield have quit from dying foe. 
  Therewith upon his crest he stroke him so, 95
  That twise he reeled, readie twise to fall;
  End of the doubtfull battell deemed tho
  The lookers on, and lowd to him gan call
The false Duessa, Thine the shield, and I, and all.

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