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.


Whom when his Lady saw, to him she ran 370
  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, 415
  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.

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