The faithfull knight in equall field
subdewes his faithlesse foe,
Whom false Duessa saves, and for
his cure to hell does goe.
THE noble hart, that harbours vertuous thought,
And is with child of glorious great intent,
Can never rest, untill it forth have brought
Th’ eternall brood of glorie excellent.
Such restlesse passion did all night torment 5
The flaming corage of that Faery knight,
Devizing, how that doughtie turnament
With greatest honour he atchieven might;
Still did he wake, and still did watch for dawning light.
At last the golden Orientall gate, 10
Of greatest heaven gan to open faire,
And Phoebus fresh, as bridegrome to his mate,
Came dauncing forth, shaking his deawie haire:
And hurls his glistring beams through gloomy aire.
Which when the wakeful Elfe perceiv’d, streightway 15
He started up, and did him selfe prepaire,
In sunbright armes, and battailous array:
For with that Pagan proud he combat will that day.
And forth he comes into the commune hall,
Where earely waite him many a gazing eye, 20
To weet what end to straunger knights may fall.
There many Minstrales maken melody,
To drive away the dull melancholy,
And many Bardes, that to the trembling chord
Can tune their timely voyces[*] cunningly, 25
And many Chroniclers that can record
Old loves,[*] and warres for Ladies doen by many a Lord.
Soone after comes the cruell Sarazin,
In woven maile[*] all armed warily,
And sternly lookes at him, who not a pin 30
Does care for looke of living creatures eye.
They bring them wines of Greece and Araby,[*]
And daintie spices fetcht from furthest Ynd,[*]
To kindle heat of corage privily:
And in the wine a solemne oth they bynd 35
T’ observe the sacred lawes of armes, that are assynd.
At last forth comes that far renowmed Queene,
With royall pomp and Princely majestie;
She is ybrought unto a paled greene,[*]
And placed under stately canapee, 40
The warlike feates of both those knights to see.
On th’ other side in all mens open vew
Duessa placed is, and on a tree
Sans-foy his[*] shield is hangd with bloody hew:
Both those[*] the lawrell girlonds to the victor dew. 45
A shrilling trompet sownded from on hye,
And unto battaill bad them selves addresse:
Their shining shieldes about their wrestes they tye,
And burning blades about their heads do blesse,
The instruments of wrath and heavinesse: 50
With greedy force each other doth assayle,
And strike so fiercely, that they do impresse
Deepe dinted furrowes in the battred mayle;
The yron walles to ward their blowes are weak and fraile.