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


Which for my part I covet to performe,
In sort as[*] through the world I did proclame,
That whoso kild that monster most deforme,
And him in hardy battaile overcame, 175
Should have mine onely daughter to his Dame,
And of my kingdome heyre apparaunt bee:
Therefore since now to thee perteines the same,
By dew desert of noble chevalree,
Both daughter and eke kingdome, lo, I yield to thee. 180


Then forth he called that his daughter faire,
The fairest Un’ his onely daughter deare,
His onely daughter, and his onely heyre;
Who forth proceeding with sad sober cheare,
As bright as doth the morning starre appeare 185
Out of the East, with flaming lockes bedight,
To tell that dawning day is drawing neare,
And to the world does bring long wished light:
So faire and fresh that Lady shewd her selfe in sight.


So faire and fresh, as freshest flowre in May; 190
For she had layd her mournefull stole aside,
And widow-like sad wimple throwne away,
Wherewith her heavenly beautie she did hide,
Whiles on her wearie journey she did ride;
And on her now a garment she did weare, 195
All lilly white, withoutten spot, or pride,
That seemd like silke and silver woven neare,
But neither silke nor silver therein did appeare.


The blazing brightnesse of her beauties beame,
And glorious light of her sunshyny face, 200
To tell, were as to strive against the streame;
My ragged rimes are all too rude and bace,
Her heavenly lineaments for to enchace.
Ne wonder; for her owne deare loved knight,
All were she[*] dayly with himselfe in place, 205
Did wonder much at her celestiall sight:
Oft had he seene her faire, but never so faire dight.


So fairely dight, when she in presence came,
She to her Sire made humble reverence,
And bowed low, that her right well became, 210
And added grace unto her excellence:
Who with great wisedome and grave eloquence
Thus gan to say. But eare he thus had said,
With flying speede, and seeming great pretence
Came running in, much like a man dismaid, 215
A Messenger with letters, which his message said.


All in the open hall amazed stood
At suddeinnesse of that unwarie sight,
And wondred at his breathlesse hastie mood.
But he for nought would stay his passage right, 220
Till fast before the king he did alight;
Where falling flat, great humblesse he did make,
And kist the ground, whereon his foot was pight;
Then to his hands that writ he did betake,
Which he disclosing, red thus, as the paper spake. 225


To thee, most mighty king of Eden faire,
Her greeting sends in these sad lines addrest,
The wofull daughter, and forsaken heire
Of that great Emperour of all the West;
And bids thee be advized for the best, 230
Ere thou thy daughter linck in holy band
Of wedlocke to that new unknowen guest:
For he already plighted his right hand
Unto another love, and to another land.