To sinfull house of Pride, Duessa
guides the faithfull knight,
Where brother’s death to wreak Sansjoy
doth chalenge him to fight.
Young knight whatever that dost armes professe,
And through long labours huntest after fame,
Beware of fraud, beware of ficklenesse,
In choice, and change of thy deare loved Dame,
Least thou of her beleeve too lightly blame, 5
And rash misweening doe thy hart remove:
For unto knight there is no greater shame,
Then lightnesse and inconstancie in love;
That doth this Redcrosse knights ensample plainly prove.
Who after that he had faire Una lorne, 10
Through light misdeeming of her loialtie,
And false Duessa in her sted had borne,
Called Fidess’, and so supposd to bee;
Long with her traveild, till at last they see
A goodly building, bravely garnished, 15
The house of mightie Prince it seemd to bee:
And towards it a broad high way that led,
All bare through peoples feet, which thither traveiled.
Great troupes of people traveild thitherward
Both day and night, of each degree and place,[*] 20
But few returned, having scaped hard,[*]
With balefull beggerie, or foule disgrace;
Which ever after in most wretched case,
Like loathsome lazars,[*] by the hedges lay.
Thither Duessa bad him bend his pace: 25
For she is wearie of the toilesome way,
And also nigh consumed is the lingring day.
A stately Pallace built of squared bricke,
Which cunningly was without morter laid,
Whose wals were high, but nothing strong, nor thick, 30
And golden foile all over them displaid,
That purest skye with brightnesse they dismaid:
High lifted up were many loftie towres,
And goodly galleries farre over laid,
Full of faire windowes and delightful bowres; 35
And on the top a Diall told the timely howres.
It was a goodly heape for to behould,
And spake the praises of the workmans wit;
But full great pittie, that so faire a mould
Did on so weake foundation ever sit: 40
For on a sandie hill, that still did flit
And fall away, it mounted was full hie,
That every breath of heaven shaked it:
And all the hinder parts, that few could spie,
Were ruinous and old, but painted cunningly. 45
Arrived there, they passed in forth right;
For still to all the gates stood open wide:
Yet charge of them was to a Porter hight
Cald Malvenu,[*] who entrance none denide:
Thence to the hall, which was on every side 50
With rich array and costly arras dight:
Infinite sorts of people did abide
There waiting long, to win the wished sight
Of her that was the Lady of that Pallace bright.