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 cause was this:  One day, when Phoebe[*] fayre
  With all her band was following the chace,
  This Nymph, quite tyr’d with heat of scorching ayre,
  Sat downe to rest in middest of the race:  40
  The goddesse wroth gan fowly her disgrace,
  And bad the waters, which from her did flow,
  Be such as she her selfe was then in place. 
  Thenceforth her waters waxed dull and slow,
And all that drinke thereof do faint and feeble grow.[*] 45


Hereof this gentle knight unweeting was,
  And lying downe upon the sandie graile,
  Drunke of the streame, as cleare as cristall glas: 
  Eftsoones his manly forces gan to faile,
  And mightie strong was turned to feeble fraile. 50
  His chaunged powres at first them selves not felt,
  Till crudled cold his corage gan assaile,
  And cheareful bloud in faintnesse chill did melt,
Which like a fever fit through all his body swelt.


Yet goodly court he made still to his Dame, 55
  Pourd[*] out in loosnesse on the grassy grownd,
  Both carelesse of his health, and of his fame: 
  Till at the last he heard a dreadfull sownd,
  Which through the wood loud bellowing did rebownd,
  That all the earth for terrour seemd to shake, 60
  And trees did tremble.  Th’ Elfe therewith astownd,
  Upstarted lightly from his looser make,[*]
And his unready weapons gan in hand to take.


But ere he could his armour on him dight,
  Or get his shield, his monstrous enimy 65
  With sturdie steps came stalking in his sight,
  An hideous Geant,[*] horrible and hye,
  That with his tallnesse seemd to threat the skye,
  The ground eke groned under him for dreed;
  His living like saw never living eye, 70
  Ne durst behold:  his stature did exceed
The hight of three the tallest sonnes of mortall seed.


The greatest Earth his uncouth mother was,
  And blustering Aeolus his boasted syre,
        * * * * *
  Brought forth this monstrous masse of earthly slime 75
Puft up with emptie wind, and fild with sinfull crime.


So growen great through arrogant delight
  Of th’ high descent, whereof he was yborne,
  And through presumption of his matchlesse might,
  All other powres and knighthood he did scorne. 80
  Such now he marcheth to this man forlorne,
  And left to losse:  his stalking steps are stayde
  Upon a snaggy Oke, which he had torne
  Out of his mothers bowelles, and it made
His mortall mace, wherewith his foeman he dismayde. 85


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