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.


And them long time before, great Nimrod[*] was,
  That first the world with sword and fire warrayd; 425
  And after him old Ninus[*] farre did pas
  In princely pompe, of all the world obayd;
  There also was that mightie Monarch[*] layd
  Low under all, yet above all in pride,
  That name of native syre did fowle upbrayd, 430
  And would as Ammons sonne be magnifide,
Till scornd of God and man a shamefull death he dide.


All these together in one heape were throwne,
  Like carkases of beasts in butchers stall. 
  And in another corner wide were strowne 435
  The antique ruines of the Romaines fall: 
  Great Romulus[*] the Grandsyre of them all,
  Proud Tarquin,[*] and too lordly Lentulus,[*]
  Stout Scipio,[*] and stubborne Hanniball,[*]
  Ambitious Sylla,[*] and sterne Marius,[*] 440
High Caesar, great Pompey,[*] and fierce Antonius.[*]


Amongst these mightie men were wemen mixt,
  Proud wemen, vaine, forgetfull of their yoke: 
  The bold Semiramis,[*] whose sides transfixt
  With sonnes own blade, her fowle reproches spoke; 445
  Faire Sthenoboea,[*] that her selfe did choke
  With wilfull cord, for wanting of her will;
  High minded Cleopatra,[*] that with stroke
  Of Aspes sting her selfe did stoutly kill: 
And thousands moe the like, that did that dongeon fill; 450


Besides the endlesse routs of wretched thralles,
  Which thither were assembled day by day,
  From all the world after their wofull falles
  Through wicked pride, and wasted wealthes decay. 
  But most of all, which in the Dongeon lay, 455
  Fell from high Princes courts, or Ladies bowres;
  Where they in idle pompe, or wanton play,
  Consumed had their goods, and thriftlesse howres,
And lastly throwne themselves into these heavy stowres.


Whose case when as the carefull Dwarfe had tould, 460
  And made ensample of their mournefull sight
  Unto his maister, he no lenger would
  There dwell in perill of like painefull plight,
  But early rose, and ere that dawning light
  Discovered had the world to heaven wyde, 465
  He by a privie Posterne tooke his flight,
  That of no envious eyes he mote be spyde: 
For doubtlesse death ensewd, if any him descryde.


Scarse could he footing find in that fowle way,
  For many corses, like a great Lay-stall, 470
  Of murdred men which therein strowed lay,
  Without remorse, or decent funerall: 
  Which all through that great Princesse pride did fall
  And came to shamefull end.  And them beside
  Forth ryding underneath the castell wall, 475
  A donghill of dead carkases he spide,
The dreadfull spectacle of that sad house of Pride.

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