Is not he just, that all this doth behold
From highest heaven, and beares an equall eye?
Shall he thy sins up in his knowledge fold,
And guilty be of thine impietie?
Is not his law, Let every sinner die:
Die shall all flesh? what then must needs be donne, 420
Is it not better to doe willinglie,
Then linger, till the glasse be all out ronne?
Death is the end of woes: die soone, O faeries sonne.
The knight was much enmoved with his speach,
That as a swords point through his hart did perse, 425
And in his conscience made a secret breach,
Well knowing true all that he did reherse,
And to his fresh remembraunce did reverse
The ugly vew of his deformed crimes,
That all his manly powres it did disperse, 430
As he were charmed[*] with inchaunted rimes,
That oftentimes he quakt, and fainted oftentimes.
In which amazement, when the Miscreant
Perceived him to waver weake and fraile,
Whiles trembling horror did his conscience dant, 435
And hellish anguish did his soule assaile,
To drive him to despaire, and quite to quaile,
He shew’d him painted in a table[*] plaine,
The damned ghosts, that doe in torments waile,
And thousand feends that doe them endlesse paine 440
With fire and brimstone, which for ever shall remaine.
The sight whereof so throughly him dismaid,
That nought but death before his eyes he saw,
And ever burning wrath before him laid,
By righteous sentence of th’ Almighties law. 445
Then gan the villein him to overcraw,
And brought unto him swords, ropes, poison, fire,
And all that might him to perdition draw;
And bad him choose, what death he would desire:
For death was due to him, that had provokt Gods ire. 450
But when as none of them he saw him take,
He to him raught a dagger sharpe and keene,
And gave it him in hand: his hand did quake,
And tremble like a leafe of Aspin greene,
And troubled bloud through his pale face was seene 455
To come, and goe with tidings from the heart,
As it a running messenger had beene.
At last resolv’d to worke his finall smart,
He lifted up his hand, that backe againe did start.
Which whenas Una saw, through every vaine
The crudled cold ran to her well of life,
As in a swowne: but soone reliv’d againe,
Out of his hand she snatcht the cursed knife,
And threw it to the ground, enraged rife,
And to him said, Fie, fie, faint harted knight, 465
What meanest thou by this reprochfull strife?
Is this the battell, which thou vauntst to fight
With that fire-mouthed Dragon,[*] horrible and bright?