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The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 8
by [?]


The royall Virgin which beheld from farre,
In pensive plight, and sad perplexitie,
The whole atchievement of this doubtfull warre,
Came running fast to greet his victorie,
With sober gladnesse, and myld modestie, 230
And with sweet joyous cheare him thus bespake:
Faire braunch of noblesse, flowre of chevalrie,
That with your worth the world amazed make,
How shall I quite the paines ye suffer for my sake?


And you fresh budd of vertue springing fast, 235
Whom these sad eyes saw nigh unto deaths dore,
What hath poore Virgin for such perill past
Wherewith you to reward? Accept therefore
My simple selfe, and service evermore;
And he that high does sit, and all things see 240
With equall eyes, their merites to restore,
Behold what ye this day have done for mee,
And what I cannot quite, requite with usuree.


But sith the heavens, and your faire handeling
Have made you master of the field this day, 245
Your fortune maister[*] eke with governing,
And well begun end all so well, I pray.
Ne let that wicked woman scape away;
For she it is, that did my Lord bethrall,
My dearest Lord, and deepe in dongeon lay, 250
Where he his better dayes hath wasted all.
O heare, how piteous he to you for ayd does call.


Forthwith he gave in charge unto his Squire,
That scarlot whore to keepen carefully;
Whiles he himselfe with greedie great desire 255
Into the Castle entred forcibly,
Where living creature none he did espye;
Then gan he lowdly through the house to call:
But no man car’d to answere to his crye.
There raignd a solemne silence over all, 260
Nor voice was heard, nor wight was seene in bowre or hall.


At last with creeping crooked pace forth came
An old old man, with beard as white as snow,
That on a staffe his feeble steps did frame,
And guide his wearie gate both to and fro: 265
For his eye sight him failed long ygo,
And on his arme a bounch of keyes he bore,
The which unused rust[*] did overgrow:
Those were the keyes of every inner dore,
But he could not them use, but kept them still in store. 270


But very uncouth sight was to behold,
How he did fashion his untoward pace,
For as he forward moov’d his footing old,
So backward still was turnd his wrincled face,
Unlike to men, who ever as they trace, 275
Both feet and face one way are wont to lead.
This was the auncient keeper of that place,
And foster father of the Gyant dead;
His name Ignaro did his nature right aread.


His reverend haires and holy gravitie 280
The knight much honord, as beseemed well,
And gently askt, where all the people bee,
Which in that stately building wont to dwell.
Who answerd him full soft, he could not tell.
Again he askt, where that same knight was layd, 285
Whom great Orgoglio with his puissance fell
Had made his caytive thrall, againe he sayde,
He could not tell: ne ever other answere made.