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The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 6
by [?]


From lawlesse lust by wondrous grace
fayre Una is releast:
Whom salvage nation does adore,
and learnes her wise beheast.


As when a ship, that flyes faire under saile,
An hidden rocke escaped hath unwares,
That lay in waite her wrack for to bewaile,
The Marriner yet halfe amazed stares
At perill past, and yet in doubt ne dares 5
To joy at his foole-happie oversight:
So doubly is distrest twixt joy and cares
The dreadlesse courage of this Elfin knight,
Having escapt so sad ensamples in his sight.


Yet sad he was that his too hastie speede 10
The faire Duess’ had forst him leave behind;
And yet more sad, that Una his deare dreed
Her truth had staind with treason so unkind;
Yet crime in her could never creature find,
But for his love, and for her owne selfe sake, 15
She wandred had from one to other Ynd,[*]
Him for to seeke, ne ever would forsake,
Till her unwares the fiers Sansloy did overtake.


Who, after Archimagoes fowle defeat,
Led her away into a forest wilde, 20
And turning wrathfull fyre to lustfull heat,
With beastly sin thought her to have defilde,
And made the vassal of his pleasures wilde.
Yet first he cast by treatie, and by traynes,
Her to persuade that stubborne fort to yilde: 25
For greater conquest of hard love he gaynes,
That workes it to his will, then he that it constraines.


With fawning words he courted her awhile,
And looking lovely, and oft sighing sore,
Her constant hart did tempt with diverse guile, 30
But wordes and lookes, and sighes she did abhore;
As rocke of Diamond steadfast evermore,
Yet for to feed his fyrie lustfull eye,
He snatcht the vele that hong her face before;
Then gan her beautie shyne, as brightest skye 35
And burnt his beastly hart t’efforce her chastitye.


So when he saw his flatt’ring artes to fayle,
And subtile engines bett from batteree;
With greedy force he gan the fort assayle,
Whereof he weend possessed soone to bee, 40
And with rich spoile of ransackt chastitee.
Ah heavens! that do this hideous act behold,
And heavenly virgin thus outraged see,
How can ye vengeance just so long withold
And hurle not flashing flames upon that Paynim bold? 45


The pitteous maiden carefull comfortlesse,
Does throw out thrilling shriekes, and shrieking cryes,
The last vaine helpe of womens great distresse,
And with loud plaints importuneth the skyes,
That molten starres do drop like weeping eyes; 50
And Phoebus flying so most shameful sight,
His blushing face in foggy cloud implyes,
And hides for shame. What wit of mortall wight
Can now devise to quit a thrall from such a plight?