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Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599).  The Complete Poetical Works.  1908.
 
The Faerie Queene
Book I. The Legend of the Knight of the Red Crosse
Canto X
 
        Her faithfull knight faire Una brings
  To House of Holinesse,
Where he is taught repentaunce, and
  The way to hevenly blesse.

I
WHAT man is he, that boasts of fleshly might,
And vaine assuraunce of mortality,
Which, all so soone as it doth come to fight
Against spirituall foes, yields by and by,
Or from the fielde most cowardly doth fly?        5
Ne let the man ascribe it to his skill,
That thorough grace hath gained victory.
If any strength we have, it is to ill,
But all the good is Gods, both power and eke will.
 
II
By that which lately hapned, Una saw
        10
That this her knight was feeble, and too faint;
And all his sinewes woxen weake and raw,
Through long enprisonment, and hard constraint,
Which he endured in his late restraint,
That yet he was unfitt for bloody fight:        15
Therefore to cherish him with diets daint,
She cast to bring him, where he chearen might,
Till he recovered had his late decayed plight.
 
III
There was an auncient house not far away,
Renowmd throughout the world for sacred lore        20
And pure unspotted life: so well, they say,
It governd was, and guided evermore,
Through wisedome of a matrone grave and hore;
Whose onely joy was to relieve the needes
Of wretched soules, and helpe the helpelesse pore:        25
All night she spent in bidding of her bedes,
And all the day in doing good and godly deedes.
 
IV
Dame Cœlia men did her call, as thought
From heaven to come, or thether to arise;
The mother of three daughters, well upbrought        30
In goodly thewes, and godly exercise:
The eldest two, most sober, chast, and wise,
Fidelia and Speranza, virgins were,
Though spousd, yet wanting wedlocks solemnize;
But faire Charissa to a lovely fere        35
Was lincked, and by him had many pledges dere.
 
V
Arrived there, the dore they find fast lockt;
For it was warely watched night and day,
For feare of many foes: but when they knockt,
The porter opened unto them streight way.        40
He was an aged syre, all hory gray,
With lookes full lowly cast, and gate full slow,
Wont on a staffe his feeble steps to stay,
Hight Humiltá. They passe in, stouping low;
For streight and narrow was the way which he did shew.        45
 
VI
Each goodly thing is hardest to begin;
But entred in, a spatious court they see,
Both plaine and pleasaunt to be walked in,
Where them does meete a francklin faire and free,
And entertaines with comely courteous glee:        50
His name was Zele, that him right well became;
For in his speaches and behaveour hee
Did labour lively to expresse the same,
And gladly did them guide, till to the hall they came.
 
VII
There fayrely them receives a gentle squyre,
        55
Of myld demeanure and rare courtesee,
Right cleanly clad in comely sad attyre;
In word and deede that shewd great modestee,
And knew his good to all of each degree;
Hight Reverence, He them with speaches meet        60
Does faire entreat; no courting nicetee,
But simple trew, and eke unfained sweet,
As might become a squyre so great persons to greet.
 
VIII
And afterwardes them to his dame he leades,
That aged dame, the lady of the place:        65
Who all this while was busy at her beades:
Which doen, she up arose with seemely grace,
And toward them full matronely did pace.
Where when that fairest Una she beheld,
Whom well she knew to spring from hevenly race,        70
Her heart with joy unwonted inly sweld,
As feeling wondrous comfort in her weaker eld:
 
IX
And her embracing, said: ‘O happy earth,
Whereon thy innocent feet doe ever tread,
Most vertuous virgin, borne of hevenly berth,        75
That to redeeme thy woefull parents head
From tyrans rage, and ever-dying dread,
Hast wandred through the world now long a day,
Yett ceassest not thy weary soles to lead!
What grace hath thee now hether brought this way?        80
Or doen thy feeble feet unweeting hether stray?
 
X
‘Straunge thing it is an errant knight to see
Here in this place, or any other wight,
That hether turnes his steps: so few there bee,
That chose the narrow path, or seeke the right:        85
All keepe the broad high way, and take delight
With many rather for to goe astray,
And be partakers of their evill plight,
Then with a few to walke the rightest way.
O foolish men! why hast ye to your owne decay?’        90
 
XI
‘Thy selfe to see, and tyred limbes to rest,
O matrone sage,’ quoth she, ‘I hether came,
And this good knight his way with me addrest,
Ledd with thy prayses and broad-blazed fame,
That up to heven is blowne.’ The auncient dame        95
Him goodly greeted in her modest guyse,
And enterteynd them both, as best became,
With all the court’sies that she could devyse,
Ne wanted ought, to shew her bounteous or wise.
 
XII
Thus as they gan of sondrie thinges devise,
        100
Loe! two most goodly virgins came in place,
Ylinked arme in arme in lovely wise;
With countenance demure, and modest grace,
They numbred even steps and equall pace:
Of which the eldest, that Fidelia hight,        105
Like sunny beames threw from her christall face,
That could have dazd the rash beholders sight,
And round about her head did shine like hevens light.
 
XIII
She was araied all in lilly white,
And in her right hand bore a cup of gold,        110
With wine and water fild up to the hight,
In which a serpent did himselfe enfold,
That horrour made to all that did behold;
But she no whitt did chaunge her constant mood:
And in her other hand she fast did hold        115
A booke that was both signd and seald with blood,
Wherin darke things were writt, hard to be understood.
 
XIV
Her younger sister, that Speranza hight,
Was clad in blew, that her beseemed well:
Not all so chearefull seemed she of sight,        120
As was her sister; whether dread did dwell,
Or anguish, in her hart, is hard to tell:
Upon her arme a silver anchor lay,
Whereon she leaned ever, as befell:
And ever up to heven, as she did pray,        125
Her stedfast eyes were bent, ne swarved other way.
 
XV
They, seeing Una, towardes her gan wend,
Who them encounters with like courtesee;
Many kind speeches they betweene them spend,
And greatly joy each other well to see:        130
Then to the knight with shamefast modestie
They turne themselves, at Unaes meeke request,
And him salute with well beseeming glee;
Who faire them quites, as him bessemed best,
And goodly gan discourse of many a noble gest.        135
 
XVI
Then Una thus: ‘But she your sister deare,
The deare Charissa, where is she become?
Or wants she health, or busie is elswhere?’
‘Ah no,’ said they, ‘but forth she may not come:
For she of late is lightned of her wombe,        140
And hath encreast the world with one some more,
That her to see should be but troublesome.’
‘Indeed,’ quoth she, ‘that should her trouble sore;
But thankt be God, and her encrease so evermore.’
 
XVII
Then saide the aged Cœlia: ‘Deare dame,
        145
And you, good sir, I wote that of youre toyle
And labors long, through which ye hether came,
Ye both forweaired be: therefore a whyle
I read you rest, and to your bowres recoyle.’
Then called she a groome, that forth him ledd        150
Into a goodly lodge, and gan despoile
Of puissant armes, and laid in easie bedd:
His name was meeke Obedience rightfully aredd.
 
XVIII
Now when their wearie limbes with kindly rest,
And bodies were refresht with dew repast,        155
Fayre Una gan Fidelia fayre request,
To have her knight into her schoolehous plaste,
That of her heavenly learning he might taste,
And heare the wisedom of her wordes divine.
She graunted, and that knight so much agraste,        160
That she him taught celestiall discipline,
And opened his dull eyes, that light mote in them shine.
 
XIX
And that her sacred Booke, with blood ywritt,
That none could reade, except she did them teach,
She unto him disclosed every whitt,        165
And heavenly documents thereout did preach,
That weaker witt of man could never reach,
Of God, of grace, of justice, of free will,
That wonder was to heare her goodly speach:
For she was hable with her wordes to kill,        170
And rayse againe to life the hart that she did thrill.
 
XX
And when she list poure out her larger spright,
She would commaund the hasty sunne to stay,
Or backward turne his course from hevens hight:
Sometimes great hostes of men she could dismay;        175
Dry-shod to passe, she parts the flouds in tway;
And eke huge mountaines from their native seat
She would commaund, themselves to beare away,
And throw in raging sea with roaring threat:
Almightie God her gave such powre and puissaunce great.        180
 
XXI
The faithfull knight now grew in little space,
By hearing her, and by her sisters lore,
To such perfection of all hevenly grace,
That wretched world he gan for to abhore,
And mortall life gan loath, as thing forlore,        185
Greevd with remembrance of his wicked wayes,
And prickt with anguish of his sinnes so sore,
That he desirde to end his wretched dayes:
So much the dart of sinfull guilt the soule dismayes.
 
XXII
But wise Speranza gave him comfort sweet,
        190
And taught him how to take assured hold
Upon her silver anchor, as was meet;
Els had his sinnes so great and manifold
Made him forget all that Fidelia told.
In this distressed doubtfull agony,        195
When him his dearest Una did behold,
Disdeining life, desiring leave to dye,
She found her selfe assayld with great perplexity:
 
XXIII
And came to Cœlia to declare her smart;
Who, well acquainted with that commune plight,        200
Which sinfull horror workes in wounded hart,
Her wisely comforted all that she might,
With goodly counsell and advisement right;
And streightway sent with carefull diligence,
To fetch a leach, the which had great insight        205
In that disease of grieved conscience,
And well could cure the same: his name was Patience.
 
XXIV
Who, comming to that sowle-diseased knight,
Could hardly him intreat to tell his grief:
Which knowne, and all that noyd his heavie spright        210
Well searcht, eftsoones he gan apply relief
Of salves and med’cines, which had passing prief,
And there to added wordes of wondrous might:
By which to ease he him recured brief,
And much aswag’d the passion of his plight,        215
That he his paine endur’d, as seeming now more light.
 
XXV
But yet the cause and root of all his ill,
Inward corruption and infected sin,
Not purg’d nor heald, behind remained still,
And festring sore did ranckle yett within,        220
Close creeping twixt the marow and the skin.
Which to extirpe, he laid him privily
Downe in a darksome lowly place far in,
Whereas he meant his corrosives to apply,
And with streight diet tame his stubborne malady.        225
 
XXVI
In ashes and sackcloth he did array
His daintie corse, proud humors to abate,
And dieted with fasting every day,
The swelling of his woundes to mitigate,
And made him pray both earely and eke late:        230
And ever as superfluous flesh did rott,
Amendment readie still at hand did wayt,
To pluck it out with pincers fyrie whott,
That soone in him was lefte no one corrupted jott.
 
XXVII
And bitter Penaunce, with an yron whip,
        235
Was wont him once to disple every day:
And sharpe Remorse his hart did prick and nip,
That drops of blood thence like a well did play:
And sad Repentance used to embay
His body in salt water smarting sore,        240
The filthy blottes of sin to wash away.
So in short space they did to health restore
The man that would not live, but erst lay at deathes dore.
 
XXVIII
In which his torment often was so great,
That like a lyon he would cry and rore,        245
And rend his flesh, and his owne synewes eat.
His owne deare Una, hearing evermore
His ruefull shriekes and gronings, often tore
Her guiltlesse garments and her golden heare,
For pitty of his payne and anguish sore;        250
Yet all with patience wisely she did beare;
For well she wist, his cryme could els be never cleare.
 
XXIX
Whom, thus recover’d by wise Patience
And trew Repentaunce, they to Una brought;
Who, joyous of his cured conscience,        255
Him dearely kist, and fayrely eke besought
Himselfe to chearish, and consuming thought
To put away out of his carefull brest.
By this Charissa, late in child-bed brought,
Was woxen strong, and left her fruitfull nest;        260
To her fayre Una brought this unacquainted guest.
 
XXX
She was a woman in her freshest age,
Of wondrous beauty, and of bounty rare,
With goodly grace and comely personage,
That was on earth not easie to compare;        265
Full of great love, but Cupids wanton snare
As hell she hated, chaste in worke and will;
Her necke and brests were ever open bare,
That ay thereof her babes might sucke their fill:
The rest was all in yellow robes arayed still.        270
 
XXXI
A multitude of babes about her hong,
Playing their sportes, that joyd her to behold;
Whom still she fed, whiles they were weak and young,
But thrust them forth still, as they wexed old:
And on her head she wore a tyre of gold,        275
Adornd with gemmes and owches wondrous fayre,
Whose passing price uneath was to be told;
And by her syde there sate a gentle payre
Of turtle doves, she sitting in an yvory chayre.
 
XXXII
The knight and Una, entring, fayre her greet,
        280
And bid her joy of that her happy brood;
Who them requites with court’sies seeming meet,
And entertaynes with friendly chearefull mood.
Then Una her besought, to be so good
As in her vertuous rules to schoole her knight,        285
Now after all his torment well withstood,
In that sad house of Penaunce, where his spright
Had past the paines of hell and long enduring night.
 
XXXIII
She was right joyious of her just request,
And taking by the hand that Faeries sonne,        290
Gan him instruct in everie good behest,
Of love, and righteousnes, and well to donne,
And wrath and hatred warely to shonne,
That drew on men Gods hatred and his wrath,
And many soules in dolours had fordonne:        295
In which when him she well instructed hath,
From thence to heaven she teacheth him the ready path.
 
XXXIV
Wherein his weaker wandring steps to guyde,
An auncient matrone she to her does call,
Whose sober lookes her wisedome well descryde:        300
Her name was Mercy, well knowne over all
To be both gratious and eke liberall:
To whom the carefull charge of him she gave,
To leade aright, that he should never fall
In all his waies through this wide worldes wave,        305
That Mercy in the end his righteous soule might save.
 
XXXV
The godly matrone by the hand him beares
Forth from her presence, by a narrow way,
Scattred with bushy thornes and ragged breares,
Which still before him she remov’d away,        310
That nothing might his ready passage stay:
And ever when his feet encombred were,
Or gan to shrinke, or from the right to stray,
She held him fast, and firmely did upbeare,
As carefull nourse her child from falling oft does reare.        315
 
XXXVI
Eftsoones unto an holy hospitall,
That was foreby the way, she did him bring,
In which seven bead-men, that had vowed all
Their life to service of high heavens King,
Did spend their daies in doing godly thing:        320
Their gates to all were open evermore,
That by the wearie way were traveiling,
And one sate wayting ever them before,
To call in commers by, that needy were and pore.
 
XXXVII
The first of them, that eldest was and best,
        325
Of all the house had charge and governement,
As guardian and steward of the rest:
His office was to give entertainement
And lodging unto all that came and went:
Not unto such, as could him feast againe,        330
And double quite for that he on them spent,
But such as want of harbour did constraine:
Those for Gods sake his dewty was to entertaine.
 
XXXVIII
The second was as almner of the place:
His office was, the hungry for to feed,        335
And thristy give to drinke, a worke of grace:
He feard not once him selfe to be in need,
Ne car’d to hoord for those whom he did breede:
The grace of God he layd up still in store,
Which as a stocke he left unto his seede;        340
He had enough; what need him care for more?
And had he lesse, yet some he would give to the pore.
 
XXXIX
The third had of their wardrobe custody,
In which were not rich tyres, nor garments gay,
The plumes of pride, and winges of vanity,        345
But clothes meet to keepe keene cold away,
And naked nature seemely to aray;
With which bare wretched wights he dayly clad,
The images of God in earthly clay;
And if that no spare clothes to give he had,        350
His owne cote he would cut, and it distribute glad.
 
XL
The fourth appointed by his office was,
Poore prisoners to relieve with gratious ayd,
And captives to redeeme with price of bras,
From Turkes and Sarazins, which them had stayd;        355
And though they faulty were, yet well he wayd,
That God to us forgiveth every howre
Much more then that, why they in bands were layd,
And He, that harrowd hell with heavie stowre,
The faulty soules from thence brought to his heavenly bowre.        360
 
XLI
The fift had charge sick persons to attend,
And comfort those, in point of death which lay;
For them most needeth comfort in the end,
When sin, and hell, and death doe most dismay
The feeble soule departing hence away.        365
All is but lost, that living we bestow,
If not well ended at our dying day.
O man, have mind of that last bitter throw;
For as the tree does fall, so lyes it ever low.
 
XLII
The sixt had charge of them now being dead,
        370
In seemely sort their corses to engrave,
And deck with dainty flowres their brydall bed,
That to their heavenly spouse both sweet and brave
They might appeare, when he their soules shall save.
The wondrous workmanship of Gods owne mould,        375
Whose face He made, all beastes to feare, and gave
All in his hand, even dead we honour should.
Ah! dearest God me graunt, I dead be not defould.
 
XLIII
The seventh, now after death and buriall done,
Had charge the tender orphans of the dead        380
And wydowes ayd, least they should be undone:
In face of judgement he their right would plead,
Ne ought the powre of mighty men did dread
In their defence, nor would for gold or fee
Be wonne their rightfull causes downe to tread:        385
And when they stood in most necessitee,
He did supply their want, and gave them ever free.
 
XLIV
There when the Elfin knight arrived was,
The first and chiefest of the seven, whose care
Was guests to welcome, towardes him did pas:        390
Where seeing Mercie, that his steps upbare
And alwaies led, to her with reverence rare
He humbly louted in meeke lowlinesse,
And seemely welcome for her did prepare:
For of their order she was patronesse,        395
Albe Charissa were their chiefest founderesse.
 
XLV
There she awhile him stayes, him selfe to rest,
That to the rest more hable he might bee:
During which time, in every good behest
And godly worke of almes and charitee        400
Shee him instructed with great industree:
Shortly therein so perfect he became,
That, from the first unto the last degree,
His mortall life he learned had to frame
In holy righteousnesse, without rebuke or blame.        405
 
XLVI
Thence forward by that painfull way they pas,
Forth to an hill, that was both steepe and hy;
On top whereof a sacred chappell was,
And eke a litle hermitage thereby,
Wherein an aged holy man did lie,        410
That day and night said his devotion,
Ne other worldly busines did apply:
His name was Hevenly Contemplation;
Of God and goodnes was his meditation.
 
XLVII
Great grace that old man to him given had;
        415
For God he often saw from heavens hight,
All were his earthly eien both blunt and bad,
And through great age had lost their kindly sight,
Yet wondrous quick and persaunt was his spright,
As eagles eie, that can behold the sunne.        420
That hill they scale with all their powre and might,
That his fraile thighes, nigh weary and fordonne,
Gan faile; but by her helpe the top at last he wonne.
 
XLVIII
There they doe finde that godly aged sire,
With snowy lockes adowne his shoulders shed,        425
As hoary frost with spangles doth attire
The mossy braunches of an oke halfe ded.
Each bone might through his body well be red,
And every sinew seene, through his long fast:
For nought he car’d his carcas long unfed;        430
His mind was full of spirituall repast,
And pyn’d his flesh, to keepe his body low and chast.
 
XLIX
Who, when these two approaching he aspide,
At their first presence grew agrieved sore,
That forst him lay his hevenly thoughts aside;        435
And had he not that dame respected more,
Whom highly he did reverence and adore,
He would not once have moved for the knight.
They him saluted, standing far afore;
Who, well them greeting, humbly did requight,        440
And asked, to what end they clomb that tedious hight.
 
L
‘What end,’ quoth she, ‘should cause us take such paine,
But that same end, which every living wight
Should make his marke, high heaven to attaine?
Is not from hence the way, that leadeth right        445
To that most glorious house, that glistreth bright
With burning starres and everliving fire,
Whereof the keies are to thy hand behight
By wise Fidelia? Shee doth thee require,
To shew it to this knight, according his desire.’        450
 
LI
‘Thrise happy man,’ said then the father grave,
‘Whose staggering steps thy steady hand doth lead,
And shewes the way, his sinfull soule to save!
Who better can the way to heaven aread
Then thou thy selfe, that was both borne and bred        455
In hevenly throne, where thousand angels shine?
Thou doest the praiers of the righteous sead
Present before the Majesty Divine,
And His avenging wrath to clemency incline.
 
LII
‘Yet, since thou bidst, thy pleasure shalbe donne.
        460
Then come, thou man of earth, and see the way,
That never yet was seene of Faries sonne,
That never leads the traveiler astray,
But, after labors long and sad delay,
Brings them to joyous rest and endlesse blis.        465
But first thou must a season fast and pray,
Till from her bands the spright assoiled is,
And have her strength recur’d from fraile infirmitis.’
 
LIII
That done, he leads him to the highest mount;
Such one, as that same mighty man of God,        470
That blood-red billowes like a walled front
On either side disparted with his rod,
Till that his army dry-foot through them yod,
Dwelt forty daies upon; where writt in stone
With bloody letters by the hand of God,        475
The bitter doome of death and balefull mone
He did receive, whiles flashing fire about him shone.
 
LIV
Or like that sacred hill, whose head full hie,
Adornd with fruitfull olives all arownd,
Is, as it were for endlesse memory        480
Of that deare Lord, who oft thereon was fownd,
For ever with a flowring girlond crownd:
Or like that pleasaunt mount, that is for ay
Through famous poets verse each where renownd,
On which the thrise three learned ladies play        485
Their hevenly notes, and make full many a lovely lay.
 
LV
From thence, far off he unto him did shew
A litle path, that was both steepe and long,
Which to a goodly citty led his vew;
Whose wals and towres were builded high and strong        490
Of perle and precious stone, that earthly tong
Cannot describe, nor wit of man can tell;
Too high a ditty for my simple song:
The Citty of the Greate King hight it well,
Wherein eternall peace and happinesse doth dwell.        495
 
LVI
As he thereon stood gazing, he might see
The blessed angels to and fro descend
From highest heven, in gladsome companee,
And with great joy into that citty wend,
As commonly as frend does with his frend.        500
Whereat he wondred much, and gan enquere,
What stately building durst so high extend
Her lofty towres unto the starry sphere,
And what unknowen nation there empeopled were.
 
LVII
‘Faire knight,’ quoth he, ‘Hierusalem that is,
        505
The New Hierusalem, that God has built
For those to dwell in, that are chosen his,
His chosen people purg’d from sinful guilt,
With pretious blood, which cruelly was spilt
On cursed tree, of that unspotted Lam,        510
That for the sinnes of al the world was kilt:
Now are they saints all in that citty sam,
More dear unto their God, then younglings to their dam.’
 
LVIII
‘Till now,’ said then the knight, ‘I weened well,
That great Cleopolis, where I have beene,        515
In which that fairest Fary Queene doth dwell,
The fairest citty was, that might be seene;
And that bright towre all built of christall clene,
Panthea, seemd the brightest thing that was:
But now by proofe all otherwise I weene;        520
For this great citty that does far surpas,
And this bright angels towre quite dims that towre of glas.’
 
LIX
‘Most trew,’ then said the holy aged man;
‘Yet is Cleopolis, for earthly frame,
The fairest peece that eie beholden can:        525
And well beseemes all knights of noble name,
That covett in th’ immortall booke of fame
To be eternized, that same to haunt,
And doen their service to that soveraigne dame,
That glory does to them for guerdon graunt:        530
For she is hevenly borne, and heaven may justly vaunt.
 
LX
‘And thou, faire ymp, sprong out from English race,
How ever now accompted Elfins sonne,
Well worthy doest thy service for her grace,
To aide a virgin desolate foredonne.        535
But when thou famous victory hast wonne,
And high emongst all knights hast hong thy shield,
Thenceforth the suitt of earthly conquest shonne,
And wash thy hands from guilt of bloody field:
For blood can nought but sin, and wars but sorrows yield.        540
 
LXI
‘Then seek this path, that I to thee presage,
Which after all to heaven shall thee send;
Then peaceably thy painefull pilgrimage
To yonder same Hierusalem doe bend,
Where is for thee ordaind a blessed end:        545
For thou, emongst those saints whom thou doest see,
Shalt be a saint, and thine owne nations frend
And patrone: thou Saint George shalt called bee,
Saint George of mery England, the signe of victoree.’
 
LXII
‘Unworthy wretch,’ quoth he, ‘of so great grace,
        550
How dare I thinke such glory to attaine?’
‘These, that have it attaynd, were in like cace,’
Quoth he, ‘as wretched, and liv’d in like paine.’
‘But deeds of armes must I at last be faine
And ladies love to leave, so dearely bought?’        555
‘What need of armes, where peace doth ay remaine,’
Said he, ‘and battailes none are to be fought?
As for loose loves, they’ are vaine, and vanish into nought.’
 
LXIII
‘O let me not,’ quoth he, ‘then turne againe
Backe to the world, whose joyes so fruitlesse are,        560
But let me heare for aie in peace remaine,
Or streight way on that last long voiage fare,
That nothing may my present hope empare.’
‘That may not be,’ said he, ‘ne maist thou yitt
Forgoe that royal maides bequeathed care,        565
Who did her cause into thy hand committ,
Till from her cursed foe thou have her freely quitt.’
 
LXIV
‘Then shall I soone,’ quoth he, ‘so God me grace,
Abett that virgins cause disconsolate,
And shortly back returne unto this place,        570
To walke this way in pilgrims poore estate.
But now aread, old father, why of late
Didst thou behight me borne of English blood,
Whom all a Faeries sonne doen nominate?’
‘That word shall I,’ said he, ‘avouchen good,        575
Sith to thee is unknowne the cradle of thy brood.
 
LXV
‘For well I wote, thou springst from ancient race
Of Saxon kinges, that have with mightie hand
And many bloody battailes fought in place
High reard their royall throne in Britane land,        580
And vanquisht them, unable to withstand:
From thence a Faery thee unweeting reft,
There as thou slepst in tender swadling band,
And her base Elfin brood there for thee left:
Such men do chaungelings call, so chaungd by Faeries theft.        585
 
LXVI
‘Thence she thee brought into this Faery lond,
And in an heaped furrow did thee hyde;
Where thee a ploughman all unweeting fond,
As he his toylesome teme that way did guyde,
And brought thee up in ploughmans state to byde,        590
Whereof Georgos he thee gave to name;
Till prickt with courage, and thy forces pryde,
To Fary court thou cam’st to seeke for fame,
And prove thy puissaunt armes, as seemes thee best became.’
 
LXVII
‘O holy sire,’ quoth he, ‘how shall I quight
        595
The many favours I with thee have fownd,
That hast my name and nation redd aright,
And taught the way that does to heaven bownd?’
This saide, adowne he looked to the grownd,
To have returnd, but dazed were his eyne,        600
Through passing brightnes, which did quite confound
His feeble sence, and too exceeding shyne:
So darke are earthly thinges compard to things divine.
 
LXVIII
At last, whenas himselfe he gan to fynd,
To Una back he cast him to retyre;        605
Who him awaited still with pensive mynd.
Great thankes and goodly meed to that good syre
He thens departing gave, for his paynes hyre.
So came to Una, who him joyd to see,
And after litle rest, gan him desyre,        610
Of her adventure myndfull for to bee.
So leave they take of Cœlia and her daughters three.
 
 
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