It was my chance (my chance was faire and good)
There for to find a fresh unproved knight,
Whose manly hands imbrew’d in guiltie blood
Had never bene, ne ever by his might
Had throwne to ground the unregarded right:
Yet of his prowesse proofe he since hath made 415
(I witnesse am) in many a cruell fight;
The groning ghosts of many one dismaide
Have felt the bitter dint of his avenging blade.
And ye the forlorne reliques of his powre,
His byting sword, and his devouring speare, 420
Which have endured many a dreadfull stowre,
Can speake his prowesse, that did earst you beare,
And well could rule: now he hath left you heare
To be the record of his ruefull losse,
And of my dolefull disaventurous deare:[*] 425
O heavie record of the good Redcrosse,
Where have you left your Lord, that could so well you tosse?
Well hoped I, and faire beginnings had,
That he my captive languor[*] should redeeme,
Till all unweeting, an Enchaunter bad 430
His sence abusd, and made him to misdeeme
My loyalty,[*] not such as it did seeme;
That rather death desire, then such despight.
Be judge ye heavens, that all things right esteeme,
How I him lov’d, and love with all my might, 435
So thought I eke of him, and thinke I thought aright.
Thenceforth me desolate he quite forsooke,
To wander, where wilde fortune would me lead,
And other bywaies he himselfe betooke,
Where never foot of living wight did tread, 440
That brought[*] not backe the balefull body dead;
In which him chaunced false Duessa meete,
Mine onely foe, mine onely deadly dread,
Who with her witchcraft, and misseeming sweete,
Inveigled him to follow her desires unmeete. 445
At last by subtill sleights she him betraid
Unto his foe, a Gyant huge and tall,
Who him disarmed, dissolute, dismaid,
Unwares surprised, and with mighty mall
The monster mercilesse him made to fall, 450
Whose fall did never foe before behold;
And now in darkesome dungeon, wretched thrall,
Remedilesse, for aie he doth him hold;
This is my cause of griefe, more great then may be told.
Ere she had ended all, she gan to faint:
But he her comforted and faire bespake,
Certes, Madame, ye have great cause of plaint,
The stoutest heart, I weene, could cause to quake.
But be of cheare, and comfort to you take:
For till I have acquit your captive knight, 460
Assure your selfe, I will you not forsake.
His chearefull wordes reviv’d her chearelesse spright,
So forth they went, the Dwarfe them guiding ever right.