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


Who thereat wondrous wroth, the sleeping spark
Of native vertue gan eftsoones revive,
And at his haughtie helmet making mark, 165
So hugely stroke, that it the steele did rive,
And cleft his head. He tumbling downe alive,
With bloudy mouth his mother earth did kis.
Greeting his grave: his grudging[*] ghost did strive
With the fraile flesh; at last it flitted is, 170
Whither the soules do fly of men that live amis.


The Lady when she saw her champion fall,
Like the old ruines of a broken towre,
Staid not to waile his woefull funerall,
But from him fled away with all her powre; 175
Who after her as hastily gan scowre,
Bidding the Dwarfe with him to bring away
The Sarazins shield, signe of the conqueroure.
Her soone he overtooke, and bad to stay,
For present cause was none of dread her to dismay. 180


She turning backe with ruefull countenaunce,
Cride, Mercy mercy Sir vouchsafe to show
On silly Dame, subject to hard mischaunce,
And to your mighty will. Her humblesse low
In so ritch weedes and seeming glorious show, 185
Did much emmove his stout heroicke heart,
And said, Deare dame, your suddin overthrow
Much rueth me; but now put feare apart,
And tell, both who ye be, and who that tooke your part.


Melting in teares, then gan she thus lament; 190
The wretched woman, whom unhappy howre
Hath now made thrall to your commandement,
Before that angry heavens list to lowre,
And fortune false betraide me to your powre,
Was, (O what now availeth that I was!) 195
Borne the sole daughter of an Emperour,[*]
He that the wide West under his rule has,
And high hath set his throne, where Tiberis doth pas.


He in the first flowre of my freshest age,
Betrothed me unto the onely haire[*] 200
Of a most mighty king, most rich and sage;
Was never Prince so faithfull and so faire,
Was never Prince so meeke and debonaire;
But ere my hoped day of spousall shone,
My dearest Lord fell from high honours staire 205
Into the hands of his accursed fone,
And cruelly was slaine, that shall I ever mone.


His blessed body spoild of lively breath,
Was afterward, I know not how, convaid
And fro me hid: of whose most innocent death 210
When tidings came to me, unhappy maid,
O how great sorrow my sad soule assaid.
Then forth I went his woefull corse to find,
And many yeares throughout the world I straid,
A virgin widow, whose deepe wounded mind 215
With love long time did languish as the striken hind.