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But right as floures through the cold night
Inclosed stoupen in hir stalke lowe,
Redressen hem ayen the Sunne bright,
And spreden in hir kindlie course by rowe;
Right so began his eyen up to throw
This Troilus, and seth, "O Venus dere,
Thy might, thy grace, yheried be it here."

But right as when the Sunne shineth bright
In Marche that changeth ofttimes his face,
And that a cloud is put with winde to flight
Which oversprad the Sunne, as for a space
A cloudy thought gan through her soule to pace,
That oversprad her bright thoughts all,
So that for fear almost she gan to fall.

And as the newe-abashed nightingale,
That stinteth first whan she beginneth sing,
Whan that she heareth any herdes tale,
Or in the hedges any wight stirring,
And after sicker doth her voice outring;
Right so Creseide whan her dred stent
Opened her hart and told him her intent.

Have ye not seen sometyme a pale face
(Emong a prees) of hem that hath been lad
Toward his deth, wher as him get no grace,
And soch a colour in his face hath had
That men might know his face that was bestad
Emonges all the faces in that rout;

So standeth Custance, and loketh her about.

SPENSER-A. D. 1553-1598.

UNA AND the redcROSS KNIGHT. A gentle knight was pricking on the plain, Yclad in mighty arms and silver shield, Wherein old dints of deep wounds did remain, The cruel marks of many a bloody field; Yet arms till that time did he never wield: His angry steed did chide his foaming bit, As much disdaining to the curb to yield: Full jolly knight he seem'd, and fair did sit,

As one for knightly jousts and fierce encounters fit.

But on his breast a bloody cross he bore,
The dear remembrance of his dying Lord,
For whose sweet sake that glorious badge he wore,
And dead (as living) ever him ador'd:
Upon his shield the like was also scor'd,
For sovereign hope, which in his help he had:
Right faithful true he was in deed and word;
But of his cheer did seem too solemn sad:
Yet nothing did he dread; but ever was ydrad.

Upon a great adventure he was bound,
That greatest Gloriana to him gave,
That greatest glorious queen of fairy lond,
To win him worship, and her grace to have,
Which of all earthly things he most did crave;
And ever as he rode, his heart did yearn
To prove his puissance in battle brave
Upon his foe, and his new force to learn;
Upon his foe, a dragon horrible and stern.

A lovely lady rode him fair beside,
Upon a lowly ass more white than snow;
Yet she much whiter, but the same did hide
Under a veil, that wimpled was full low,
And over all a black stole she did throw,
As one that inly mourn'd: so was she sad,
And heavy sat upon her palfrey slow;
Seemed in heart some hidden care she had,
And by her in a line a milk white lamb she led.

So pure an innocent, as that same lamb,
She was in life and every virtuous lore,
And by descent from royal lineage came
Of ancient kings and queens, that had of yore
Their sceptres stretcht from east to western shore,
And all the world in their subjection held;
Till that infernal fiend with foul uproar
Forewasted all their land and them expell'd:
Whom to avenge, she had this knight from far

Behind her far away a dwarf did lag,
That lazy seem'd in being ever last,
Or wearied with bearing of her bag

Of needments at his back. Thus as they past
The day with clouds was sudden overcast,

And angry Jove an hideous storm of rain
Did pour into his leman's lap so fast,
That every wight to shroud it did constrain, [fain.
And this fair couple eke to shroud themselves were

Enforc'd to seek some covert nigh at hand,

A shady grove not far away they spied,
That promis'd aid the tempest to withstand;
Whose lofty trees, yclad with summer's pride,
Did spread so broad, they heaven's light did hide,
Not pierceable with power of any star:
And all within were paths and alleys wide,
With footing worn, and leading inward far:
Fair harbour, that them seems ; so in they entred are.

And forth they pass, with pleasure forward led,
Joying to hear the bird's sweet harmony,
Which therein shrouded from the tempest's dread,
Seem'd in their song to scorn the cruel sky.
Much can they praise the trees so strait and high,
The sailing Pine, the Cedar proud and tall,
The vine-prop Elm, the Poplar never dry,
The builder Oak, sole king of forests all,
The Aspin good for staves, the Cypress funeral,

The Laurel, meed of mighty conquerors
And poets sage, the Fir that weepeth still,
The Willow, worn of forlorn paramours,
The Yew, obedient to the bender's will,
The Birch for shafts, the Sallow for the mill,
The Myrrh sweet bleeding in the bitter wound,
The warlike Beech, the Ash for nothing ill,
The fruitful Olive, and the Plantain round,
The carver Holme, the Maple seldom inward sound:

Led with delight, they thus beguile the way,
Untill the blustering storm is overblown,
When, weening to return, whence they did stray,
They cannot find that path which first was shown,
But wander to and fro in ways unknown,
Furthest from end then, when they nearest ween,
That makes them doubt their wits be not their own:
So many paths, so many turnings seen, [been.
That which of them to take, in divers doubt they


Sudden upriseth from her stately place
The royal dame, and for her coach doth call:
All hurlen forth, and she with princely pace,
(As fair Aurora in her purple pall,

Out of the East the dawning day doth call)
So forth she comes: her brightness broad doth blaze.
The heaps of people, thronging in the hall,
Do ride each other, upon her to gaze: [amaze.
Her glorious glittering light doth all men's eyes

So forth she comes, and to her coach does climb,
Adorned all with gold, and garlands gay,
That seem'd as fresh as Flora in her prime,
And strove to match, in royal rich array,
Great Juno's golden chair, the which they say
The Gods stand gazing on, when she does ride
To Jove's high house through heaven's brass-pav'd
Drawn of fair peacocks, that excel in pride, [way,
And full of Argus eyes their tails disspreaden wide.

But this was drawn of six unequal beasts,
On which her six sage counsellors did ride,
Taught to obey their bestial behests,
With like conditions to their kinds applied:
Of which the first, that all the rest did guide,
Was sluggish Idleness, the nurse of sin;
Upon a slothful ass he chose to ride,
Array'd in habit black, and amice thin,
Like to an holy monk, the service to begin.

And in his hand his portice still he bare,
That much was worn, but therein little read:
For of devotion he had little care,

Still drown'd in sleep, and most of his days dead;
Scarce could he once uphold his heavy head,
To looken whether it were night or day.
May seem the wain was very evil led,
When such an one had guiding of the way,

That knew not, whether right he went, or else astray.

From worldly cares he did himself essoine,
And greatly shunned manly exercise:
From every work he challenged essoine,
For contemplation-sake: yet otherwise,
His life he led in lawless riotise,

By which he grew to grievous malady;
For in his listless limbs through evil guise
A shaking fever reign'd continually :
Such one was Idleness, first of this company.

And by his side rode loathsome Gluttony,
Deformed creature, on a filthy swine;
His belly was up-blown with luxury,
And eke with fatness swollen were his eyne:
And like a crane his neck was long and fine,
With which he swallowed up excessive feast,
For want whereof poor people oft did pine;

In green vine leaves he was right fitly clad;
For other clothes he could not wear for heat,
And on his head an ivy garland had,
From under which fast trickled down the sweat.
Still as he rode, he somewhat still did eat,
And in his hand did bear a boozing can,
Of which he supt so aft, that on his seat
His drunken corse he scarce upholden can;
In shape and life more like a monster, than a man.

Unfit he was for any worldly thing,
And eke unable once to stir or go;
Not meet to be of counsel to a king,

Whose mind in meat and drink was drowned so,
That from his friend he seldom knew his foe:
Full of diseases was his carcase blue,
And a dry dropsy through his flesh did flow;
Which by misdiet daily greater grew:
Such one was Gluttony, the second of that crew.

And next to him rode lustful Lechery,
Upon a bearded goat, whose rugged hair
And whaly eyes (the sign of jealousy)
Was like the person's self, whom he did bear:
Who rough, and black, and filthy did appear,
Unseemly man to please fair Lady's eye;
Yet he of Ladies oft was loved dear,
When fairer faces were bid standen by:
O! who does know the bent of women's fantasie?

In a green gown he clothed was full fair,
Which underneath did hide his filthiness,
And in his hand a burning heart he bare,
Full of vain follies, and new-fangleness:
For he was false, and fraught with fickleness,
And learned had to love with secret looks,
And well could dance and sing with ruefulness,
And fortunes tell, and read in loving books,
And thousand other ways to bait his fleshly hooks,

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He hated all good works and virtuous deeds,
And him no less that any like did use:
And who with gracious bread the hungry feeds,
His alms for want of faith he doth accuse;
So every good to bad he doth abuse:
And eke the verse of famous poets' wit
He does backbite, and spiteful poison spews
From leprous mouth, on all that ever writ:
Such one vile Envy was, that fifth in row did sit.

And him beside rides fierce revenging Wrath,
Upon a lion loth for to be led:

And in his hand a burning brand he hath,
The which he brandisheth about his head;
His eyes did hurl forth sparkles fiery red,
And stared stern on all that him beheld,
As ashes pale of hue and seeming dead;
And on his dagger still his hand he held, [swell'd.
Trembling through hasty rage, when choler in him

Ilis ruffian raiment all was stain'd with blood
Which he had spilt, and all to rags yrent,
Through unadvised rasliness waxen wood;
For of his hands he had no government;
Nor car'd for blood in his avengement:
But, when the furious fit was overpast,
His cruel acts he often would repent;
Yet wilful man he never would forecast,
How many mischiefs should ensue his heedless


Full many mischiefs follow cruel wrath;
Abhorred bloodshed, and tumultuous strife,
Unmanly murder, and unthrifty scath,
Bitter despight, with rancour's rusty knife,
And fretting grief, the enemy of life;
All these, and many evils more, haunt ire,
The swelling spleen, and phrenzy raging rife,
The shaking palsy, and Saint Francis' fire;
Such one was Wrath, the last of this ungodly tire.

And after all, upon the waggon beam
Rode Satan, with a smarting whip in hand,
With which he forward la-h'd the lazy team,
So oft as Sloth still in the mire did stand;
Huge routs of people did about them band,
Shouting for joy, and still before their way
A foggy mist had covered all the land;
And underneath their feet all scatter'd lay
Dead sculls and bones of men, whose life had gone



The wild wood gods, arrived in the place,
There find the virgin doleful desolate,
As her outrageous foe had left her late;
And trembling yet through fear of former hate;
All stand amazed at so uncouth sight,
And 'gin to pity her unhappy state.
All stand astonished at her beauty bright,
In their rude eyes unworthy of so woful plight.

She more amaz'd in double dread doth dwell;
And every tender part for fear does shake:
As when a greedy wolf through hunger fell
A silly lamb far from the flock does take,
Of whom he means his bloody feast to make,
A lion spies fast running towards him,
The innocent prey in haste he does forsake;
Which quit from death yet quakes in every limbi
With change of fear, to see the lion look so grim.

Such fearful fit assail'd her trembling heart,
Nor word to speak, nor joint to move she had:
The savage nation feel her secret smart,
And read her sorrow in her count'nance sad;
Their frowning foreheads with rough horns yclad,
And rustic horror all aside do lay,

And, gently grinning, shew a semblance glad
To comfort her; and, fear to put away, [obey.
Their backward bent knees teach, her humbly to

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And all the way their merry pipes they sound,
That all the woods with double echo ring,
And with their horned feet do wear the ground,
Leaping like wanton kids in pleasant spring.
So towards old Sylvanus they her bring;
Who, with the noise awaked, cometh out,
To weet the cause, his weak steps governing,
And aged limbs on cypress stadle stout,
And with an ivy twine his waist is girt about.

Far off he wonders what them makes so glad,
If Bacchus' merry fruit they did invent,
Or Cybele's frantic rites have made them mad;
They, drawing nigh, unto their god present
That flower of faith and beauty excellent,
The god himself, viewing that mirror rare,
Stood long amaz'd, and burnt in his intent;
His own fair Driope now he thinks not fair,
And Pholoe foul, when her to this he doth compare.

The wood-born people fall before her flat,
And worship her as goddess of the wood;
And old Sylvanus' self bethinks not what
To think of wight so fair, but gazing stood,
In doubt to deem her born of earthly brood;
Sometimes dame Venus' self he seems to see:
But Venus never had so sober mood;
Sometimes Diana he her takes to be,

But misseth bow, and shafts, and buskins to her knee.

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It fortuned a noble warlike knight
By just occasion to that forest came,
To seek his kindred, and the lineage right,
From whence he took his well deserved name;
He had in arms abroad won mickle fame,
And fill'd far lands with glory of his might,
Plain, faithful, true, and eneiny of shame,
And ever lov'd to fight for ladies' right,
But in vain-glorious frays he little did delight;

A satyr's son yborn in forest wild,
By strange adventure as it did betide,
And there begotten of a lady mild,

Fair Thyamis, the daughter of Labride,
That was in sacred bands of wedlock tied
To Therion, a loose unruly swain;

Who had more joy to range the forest wide,
And chase the savage beast with busy pain, [vain.
Than serve his lady's love, and waste in pleasures

The forlorn maid did with love's longing burn,
And could not lack her lover's company;
But to the wood she goes, to serve her turn,
And seek her spouse, that from her still does fly,
And follows other game and venery:

A satyr chanc'd her wandering for to find,
And kindling coals of lust in brutish eye,
The loyal links of wedlock did unbind,

And made her person thrall unto his beastly kind.

So long in secret cabin there he held
Her captive to his sensual desire,
Till that with timely fruit her belly swell'd,
And bore a boy unto that savage sire:
Then home he suffer'd her for to retire,

For ransom leaving him the late born child;
Whom till to riper years he gan aspire,
He nursed up in life and manners wild,
Amongst wild beasts and woods, from laws of men

For all he taught the tender imp was but

To banish cowardice and bastard fear;


His trembling hand he would him force to put
Upon the lion, and the rugged bear,
And from the she-bear's teats her whelps to tear;
And eke wild roaring bulls he would him make
To tame, and ride their backs not made to bear;
And the roebucks in flight to overtake,
That every beast for fear of him did fly and quake.

Thereby so fearless, and so fell he grew,
That his own sire and master of his guise,
Did often tremble at his horrid view,

And oft for dread of hurt would him advise,

The angry beasts not rashly to despise,
Nor too much to provoke; for he would learn
The lion stoop to him in lowly wise,

(A lesson hard) and make the libbard stern [yearn. Leave roaring, when in rage he for revenge did

And for to make his power approved more,
Wild beasts in iron yokes he would compel;
The spotted panther, and the tusked boar,
The pardale swift, and the tiger cruel;
The antelope, and wolf, both fierce and fell;
And them constrain in equal team to draw.
Such joy he had, their stubborn hearts to quell,
And sturdy courage tame with dreadful awe,
That his behest they feared as proud tyrant's law.

His loving mother came upon a day
Unto the woods, to see her little son;
And chanc'd unwares to meet him in the way,
After his sports and cruel pastime done,
When after him a lioness did run,
That roaring all with rage, did loud requere

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