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


Prince Arthur gave a boxe of Diamond sure,
Embowd with gold and gorgeous ornament,
Wherein were closd few drops of liquor pure, 165
Of wondrous worth, and vertue excellent,
That any wound could heale incontinent:
Which to requite, the Redcrosse knight him gave
A booke,[*] wherein his Saveours testament
Was writ with golden letters rich and brave; 170
A worke of wondrous grace, and able soules to save.


Thus beene they parted, Arthur on his way
To seeke his love, and th’ other for to fight
With Unaes foe, that all her realme did pray.
But she now weighing the decayed plight, 175
And shrunken synewes of her chosen knight,
Would not a while her forward course pursew,
Ne bring him forth in face of dreadfull fight,
Till he recovered had his former hew:
For him to be yet weake and wearie well she knew. 180


So as they traveild, lo they gan espy
An armed knight[*] towards them gallop fast,
That seemed from some feared foe to fly,
Or other griesly thing, that him aghast.
Still as he fled, his eye was backward cast, 185
As if his feare still followed him behind;
Als flew his steed, as he his bands had brast,
And with his winged heeles did tread the wind,
As he had beene a fole of Pegasus[*] his kind.


Nigh as he drew, they might perceive his head 190
To be unarmd, and curld uncombed heares
Upstaring stiffe, dismayd with uncouth dread;
Nor drop of bloud in all his face appeares
Nor life in limbe: and to increase his feares
In fowle reproch of knighthoods faire degree, 195
About his neck an hempen rope he weares,
That with his glistring armes does ill agree;
But he of rope or armes has now no memoree.


The Redcrosse knight toward him crossed fast,
To weet, what mister wight was so dismayd: 200
There him he finds all sencelesse and aghast,
That of him selfe he seemd to be afrayd;
Whom hardly he from flying forward stayd,
Till he these wordes to him deliver might;
Sir knight, aread who hath ye thus arayd, 205
And eke from whom make ye this hasty flight:
For never knight I saw in such misseeming plight.


He answerd nought at all, but adding new
Feare to his first amazment, staring wide
With stony eyes, and hartlesse hollow hew, 210
Astonisht stood, as one that had aspide
Infernall furies, with their chaines untide.
Him yet againe, and yet againe bespake
The gentle knight; who nought to him replide,
But trembling every joint did inly quake, 215
And foltring tongue at last these words seemd forth to shake.