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The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 9
by [?]


For whether he through fatall deepe foresight 55
Me hither sent, for cause to me unghest,
Or that fresh bleeding wound,[*] which day and night
Whilome doth rancle in my riven brest,
With forced fury[*] following his behest,
Me hither brought by wayes yet never found; 60
You to have helpt I hold myself yet blest.
Ah curteous knight (quoth she) what secret wound
Could ever find,[*] to grieve the gentlest hart on ground?


Deare dame (quoth he) you sleeping sparkes awake,[*]
Which troubled once, into huge flames will grow, 65
Ne ever will their fervent fury slake,
Till living moysture into smoke do flow,
And wasted life do lye in ashes low.
Yet sithens silence lesseneth not my fire,
But told[*] it flames, and hidden it does glow; 70
I will revele what ye so much desire:
Ah Love, lay down thy bow, the whiles I may respire.


It was in freshest flowre of youthly yeares,
When courage first does creepe in manly chest,
Then first the coale of kindly heat appeares 75
To kindle love in every living brest;
But me had warnd old Timons wise behest,
Those creeping flames by reason to subdew,
Before their rage grew to so great unrest,
As miserable lovers use to rew, 80
Which still wex old in woe, whiles woe still wexeth new.


That idle name of love, and lovers life,
As losse of time, and vertues enimy,
I ever scornd, and joyd to stirre up strife,
In middest of their mournfull Tragedy, 85
Ay wont to laugh, when them I heard to cry,
And blow the fire, which them to ashes brent:
Their God himselfe, griev’d at my libertie,
Shot many a dart at me with fiers intent,
But I them warded all with wary government. 90


But all in vaine: no fort can be so strong,
Ne fleshly brest can armed be so sound,
But will at last be wonne with battrie long,
Or unawares at disadvantage found:
Nothing is sure, that growes on earthly ground: 95
And who most trustes in arme of fleshly might,
And boasts in beauties chaine not to be bound,
Doth soonest fall in disaventrous fight,
And yeeldes his caytive neck to victours most despight.


Ensample make[*] of him your haplesse joy, 100
And of my selfe now mated, as ye see;
Whose prouder vaunt that proud avenging boy
Did soone pluck downe and curbd my libertie.
For on a day, prickt forth with jollitie
Of looser life, and heat of hardiment, 105
Raunging the forest wide on courser free,
The fields, the floods, the heavens with one consent
Did seeme to laugh on me, and favour mine intent.