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


For Gods deare love, Sir knight, do me not stay;
For loe he comes, he comes fast after mee.
Eft looking back would faine have runne away;
But he him forst to stay, and tellen free 220
The secret cause of his perplexitie:
Yet nathemore by his bold hartie speach
Could his bloud-frosen hart emboldned bee,
But through his boldnesse rather feare did reach,
Yet forst, at last he made through silence suddein breach. 225


And am I now in safetie sure (quoth he)
From him, that would have forced me to dye?
And is the point of death now turnd fro mee,
That I may tell this haplesse history?
Feare nought: (quoth he) no daunger now is nye. 230
Then shall I you recount a ruefull cace,
(Said he) the which with this unlucky eye
I late beheld, and had not greater grace[*]
Me reft from it, had bene partaker of the place.


I lately chaunst (would I had never chaunst) 235
With a faire knight to keepen companee,
Sir Terwin hight, that well himselfe advaunst
In all affaires, and was both bold and free,
But not so happy as mote happy bee:
He lov’d, as was his lot, a Ladie gent, 240
That him againe lov’d in the least degree:
For she was proud, and of too high intent,
And joyd to see her lover languish and lament.


From whom returning sad and comfortlesse,
As on the way together we did fare, 245
We met that villen (God from him me blesse)
That cursed wight, from whom I scapt whyleare,
A man of hell, that cals himselfe Despaire:
Who first us greets, and after faire areedes[*]
Of tydings strange, and of adventures rare: 250
So creeping close, as Snake in hidden weedes,
Inquireth of our states, and of our knightly deedes.


Which when he knew, and felt our feeble harts
Embost with bale, and bitter byting griefe,
Which love had launched with his deadly darts, 255
With wounding words and termes of foule repriefe,
He pluckt from us all hope of due reliefe,
That earst us held in love of lingring life;
Then hopelesse hartlesse, gan the cunning thiefe
Perswade us die, to stint all further strife: 260
To me he lent this rope, to him a rustie knife.


With which sad instrument of hasty death,
That wofull lover, loathing lenger light,
A wide way made to let forth living breath.
But I more fearfull, or more luckie wight, 265
Dismayd with that deformed dismall sight,
Fled fast away, halfe dead with dying feare:[*]
Ne yet assur’d of life by you, Sir knight,
Whose like infirmitie[*] like chaunce may beare:
But God[*] you never let his charmed speeches heare. 270