Whom when his Lady saw, to him she ran
With hasty joy: to see him made her glad,
And sad to view his visage pale and wan,
Who earst in flowres of freshest youth was clad.
Tho when her well of teares she wasted had,
She said, Ah dearest Lord, what evill starre[*] 375
On you hath fround, and pourd his influence bad,
That of your selfe ye thus berobbed arre,
And this misseeming hew your manly looks doth marre?
But welcome now my Lord, in wele or woe,
Whose presence I have lackt too long a day; 380
And fie on Fortune mine avowed foe,[*]
Whose wrathful wreakes them selves doe now alay.
And for these wrongs shall treble penaunce pay
Of treble good: good growes of evils priefe.[*]
The chearelesse man, whom sorrow did dismay, 385
Had no delight to treaten of his griefe;
His long endured famine needed more reliefe.
Faire Lady, then said that victorious knight,
The things, that grievous were to do, or beare,
Them to renew, I wote, breeds no delight; 390
Best musicke breeds delight[*] in loathing eare:
But th’ onely good, that growes of passed feare,
Is to be wise, and ware of like agein.
This dayes ensample hath this lesson deare
Deepe written in my heart with yron pen, 395
That blisse may not abide in state of mortall men.
Henceforth sir knight, take to you wonted strength,
And maister these mishaps with patient might;
Loe where your foe lyes stretcht in monstrous length,
And loe that wicked woman in your sight, 400
The roote of all your care, and wretched plight,
Now in your powre, to let her live, or dye.
To do her dye (quoth Una) were despight,
And shame t’avenge so weake an enimy;
But spoile her of her scarlot robe, and let her fly. 405
So as she bad, that witch they disaraid,[*]
And robd of royall robes, and purple pall,
And ornaments that richly were displaid;
Ne spared they to strip her naked all.
Then when they had despoiled her tire and call, 410
Such as she was, their eyes might her behold,
That her misshaped parts did them appall,
A loathly, wrinckled hag, ill favoured, old,
Whose secret filth good manners biddeth not be told.
* * * * *
Which when the knights beheld, amazd they were,
And wondred at so fowle deformed wight.
Such then (said Una) as she seemeth here,
Such is the face of falshood, such the sight
Of fowle Duessa, when her borrowed light
Is laid away, and counterfesaunce knowne. 420
Thus when they had the witch disrobed quight,
And all her filthy feature open showne,
They let her goe at will, and wander wayes unknowne.