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The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 2
by [?]


He had a faire companion[*] of his way,
A goodly Lady clad in scarlot red, 110
Purfled with gold and pearle of rich assay,
And like a Persian mitre on her hed
She wore, with crowns and owches garnished,
The which her lavish lovers to her gave;
Her wanton palfrey all was overspred 115
With tinsell trappings, woven like a wave,
Whose bridle rung with golden bels and bosses brave.


With faire disport and courting dalliaunce
She intertainde her lover all the way:
But when she saw the knight his speare advaunce, 120
She soone left off her mirth and wanton play,
And bade her knight addresse him to the fray:
His foe was nigh at hand. He prickt with pride
And hope to winne his Ladies heart that day,
Forth spurred fast: adowne his coursers side 125
The red bloud trickling staind the way, as he did ride.


The knight of the Redcrosse when him he spide,
Spurring so hote with rage dispiteous,
Gan fairely couch his speare, and towards ride:
Soone meete they both, both fell and furious, 130
That daunted with their forces hideous,
Their steeds do stagger, and amazed stand,
And eke themselves, too rudely rigorous,
Astonied with the stroke of their owne hand
Doe backe rebut, and each to other yeeldeth land. 135


As when two rams[*] stird with ambitious pride,
Fight for the rule of the rich fleeced flocke,
Their horned fronts so fierce on either side
Do meete, that with the terrour of the shocke
Astonied both, stand sencelesse as a blocke, 140
Forgetfull of the hanging victory:[*]
So stood these twaine, unmoved as a rocke,
Both staring fierce, and holding idely
The broken reliques[*] of their former cruelty.


The Sarazin sore daunted with the buffe 145
Snatcheth his sword, and fiercely to him flies;
Who well it wards, and quyteth cuff with cuff:
Each others equall puissaunce envies,[*]
And through their iron sides[*] with cruell spies
Does seeke to perce: repining courage yields 150
No foote to foe. The flashing fier flies
As from a forge out of their burning shields,
And streams of purple bloud new dies the verdant fields.


Curse on that Crosse (quoth then the Sarazin),
That keepes thy body from the bitter fit;[*] 155
Dead long ygoe I wote thou haddest bin,
Had not that charme from thee forwarned it:
But yet I warne thee now assured sitt,[*]
And hide thy head. Therewith upon his crest
With rigour so outrageous[*] he smitt, 160
That a large share[*] it hewd out of the rest,
And glauncing down his shield from blame him fairly blest.[*]