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The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 12
by [?]


And them before, the fry of children young 55
Their wanton sports and childish mirth did play,
And to the Maydens[*] sounding tymbrels sung,
In well attuned notes, a joyous lay,
And made delightfull musicke all the way,
Untill they came, where that faire virgin stood; 60
As faire Diana in fresh sommers day,
Beholds her Nymphes enraung’d in shadie wood,
Some wrestle, some do run, some bathe in christall flood:


So she beheld those maydens meriment
With chearefull vew; who when to her they came, 65
Themselves to ground with gracious humblesse bent,
And her ador’d by honorable name,
Lifting to heaven her everlasting fame:
Then on her head they set a girland greene,
And crowned her twixt earnest and twixt game; 70
Who in her self-resemblance well beseene,[*]
Did seeme such, as she was, a goodly maiden Queene.


And after, all the raskall many[*] ran,
Heaped together in rude rablement,
To see the face of that victorious man: 75
Whom all admired, as from heaven sent,
And gazd upon with gaping wonderment.
But when they came where that dead Dragon lay,
Stretcht on the ground in monstrous large extent,
The sight with idle feare did them dismay, 80
Ne durst approch him nigh, to touch, or once assay.


Some feard, and fled; some feard and well it faynd;
One that would wiser seeme then all the rest,
Warnd him not touch, for yet perhaps remaynd
Some lingring life within his hollow brest, 85
Or in his wombe might lurke some hidden nest
Of many Dragonets, his fruitfull seed;
Another said, that in his eyes did rest
Yet sparckling fire, and bad thereof take heed;
Another said, he saw him move his eyes indeed. 90


One mother, when as her foolehardie chyld
Did come too neare, and with his talants play,
Halfe dead through feare, her little babe revyld,
And to her gossips gan in counsell say;
How can I tell, but that his talants may 95
Yet scratch my sonne, or rend his tender hand?
So diversly themselves in vaine they fray;
Whiles some more bold, to measure him nigh stand,
To prove how many acres he did spread of land.


Thus flocked all the folke him round about, 100
The whiles that hoarie king, with all his traine,
Being arrived where that champion stout
After his foes defeasance did remaine,
Him goodly greetes, and faire does entertaine
With princely gifts of yvorie and gold, 105
And thousand thankes him yeelds for all his paine.
Then when his daughter deare he does behold,
Her dearely doth imbrace, and kisseth manifold.


And after to his Pallace he them brings,
With shaumes, and trompets, and with Clarions sweet; 110
And all the way the joyous people sings,
And with their garments strowes the paved street:
Whence mounting up, they find purveyance meet
Of all that royall Princes court became,
And all the floore was underneath their feet 115
Bespred with costly scarlot of great name,[*]
On which they lowly sit, and fitting purpose frame.[*]