**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 4
by [?]


So having solaced themselves a space
With pleasaunce[*] of the breathing fields yfed, 335
They backe retourned to the Princely Place;
Whereas an errant knight in armes ycled,
And heathnish shield, wherein with letters red
Was writ Sans joy, they new arrived find:
Enflam’d with fury and fiers hardy-hed 340
He seemd in hart to harbour thoughts unkind,
And nourish bloudy vengeaunce in his bitter mind.


Who when the shamed shield of slaine Sansfoy
He spide with that same Faery champions page,
Bewraying him, that did of late destroy 345
His eldest brother, burning all with rage
He to him leapt, and that same envious gage
Of victors glory from him snatcht away:
But th’ Elfin knight, which ought that warlike wage
Disdaind to loose the meed he wonne in fray, 350
And him rencountring fierce, reskewd the noble pray.


Therewith they gan to hurtlen greedily,
Redoubted battaile ready to darrayne,
And clash their shields, and shake their swords on hy,
That with their sturre they troubled all the traine; 355
Till that great Queene upon eternall paine
Of high displeasure that ensewen might,
Commaunded them their fury to refraine,
And if that either to that shield had right,
In equall lists they should the morrow next it fight. 360


Ah dearest Dame, (quoth then the Paynim bold,)
Pardon the error of enraged wight,
Whom great griefe made forget the raines to hold
Of reasons rule, to see this recreant knight,
No knight, but treachour full of false despight 365
And shamefull treason, who through guile hath slayn
The prowest knight that ever field did fight,
Even stout Sansfoy (O who can then refrayn?)
Whose shield he beares renverst, the more to heape disdayn.


And to augment the glorie of his guile, 370
His dearest love, the faire Fidessa, loe
Is there possessed of the traytour vile,
Who reapes the harvest sowen by his foe,
Sowen in bloudy field, and bought with woe:
That brothers hand shall dearely well requight, 375
So be, O Queene, you equall favour showe.
Him litle answerd th’ angry Elfin knight;
He never meant with words, but swords to plead his right.


But threw his gauntlet as a sacred pledge,
His cause in combat the next day to try: 380
So been they parted both, with harts on edge
To be aveng’d each on his enimy.
That night they pas in joy and jollity,
Feasting and courting both in bowre and hall;
For Steward was excessive Gluttonie, 385
That of his plenty poured forth to all;
Which doen, the Chamberlain Slowth did to rest them call.


Now whenas darkesome night had all displayed
Her coleblacke curtein over brightest skye,
The warlike youthes on dayntie couches layd, 390
Did chace away sweet sleepe from sluggish eye,
To muse on meanes of hoped victory.
But whenas Morpheus had with leaden mace
Arrested all that courtly company,
Up-rose Duessa from her resting place, 395
And to the Paynims lodging comes with silent pace.