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.

The pitteous maiden carefull comfortlesse,
  Does throw out thrilling shriekes, and shrieking cryes,
  The last vaine helpe of womens great distresse,
  And with loud plaints importuneth the skyes,
  That molten starres do drop like weeping eyes; 50
  And Phoebus flying so most shameful sight,
  His blushing face in foggy cloud implyes,
  And hides for shame.  What wit of mortall wight
Can now devise to quit a thrall from such a plight?


Eternal providence exceeding thought, 55
  Where none appeares can make herselfe a way: 
  A wondrous way it for this Lady wrought,
  From Lyons clawes to pluck the griped pray. 
  Her shrill outcryes and shriekes so loud did bray,
  That all the woodes and forestes did resownd; 60
  A troupe of Faunes and Satyres[*] far away
  Within the wood were dauncing in a rownd,
Whiles old Sylvanus[*] slept in shady arber sownd: 


Who when they heard that pitteous strained voice,
  In haste forsooke their rurall meriment, 65
  And ran towards the far rebownded noyce,
  To weet, what wight so loudly did lament. 
  Unto the place they come incontinent: 
  Whom when the raging Sarazin espide,
  A rude, mishapen, monstrous rablement, 70
  Whose like he never saw, he durst not bide,
But got his ready steed, and fast away gan ride.


The wyld woodgods arrived in the place,
  There find the virgin dolefull desolate,
  With ruffled rayments, and faire blubbred face, 75
  As her outrageous foe had left her late;
  And trembling yet through feare of former hate: 
  All stand amazed at so uncouth sight,
  And gin to pittie her unhappie state;
  All stand astonied at her beautie bright, 80
In their rude eyes unworthy of so wofull plight.


She more amaz’d, in double dread doth dwell;
  And every tender part for feare doth shake: 
  As when a greedie Wolfe, through hunger fell,
  A seely Lambe farre from the flocke does take, 85
  Of whom he meanes his bloudie feast to make,
  A Lyon spyes fast running towards him,
  The innocent pray in hast he does forsake,
  Which quit from death yet quakes in every lim
With chaunge of feare,[*] to see the Lyon looke so grim. 90


Such fearefull fit assaid her trembling hart,
  Ne word to speake, ne joynt to move she had: 
  The salvage nation feele her secret smart,
  And read her sorrow in her count’nance sad;
  Their frowning forheads with rough hornes yclad, 95
  And rustick horror[*] all a side doe lay;
  And gently grenning, show a semblance glad
  To comfort her, and feare to put away,
Their backward bent knees[*] teach her humbly to obay.

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