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Throughly rooted, and of wonderous hight:
Whilome had bene the King of the field,
And mochell' mast to the husband did yielde,
And with his nuts larded many swine.
But now the gray mosse marred his rine,
His bared boughes were beaten with stormes,
His toppe was bald, and wasted with wormes,
His honor decayed, his braunches sere.

Hard by his side grewe a bragging Brere,
Which prowdly thrust into Thelement,
And seemed to threat the Firmament.
It was embellisht with blossomes fayre,
And thereto aye wonned ? to repayre
The shepheards daughters to gather flowres, 120
To peinct their girlonds with his colowres.
And in his small bushes used to shrowde
The sweete Nightingale singing so lowde:
Which made this foolish Brere wexe so bold,
That on a time hee cast him to scold,
And snebbe the good Oake, for he was old.
“Why standst there (quoth he) thou brutish

blocke? 'Nor for fruict nor for shadowe serues thy stocke: 'Seest how fresh my flowers bene spredde, 'Dyed in Lilly white and Cremsin redde, 130 "With Leaves engrained in lusty greene, 'Colours meete to clothe a mayden Queene. ‘Thy wast bignes : but combers the grownd, And dirks the beautie of my blossomes rownd. "The mouldie mosse, which thee accloieth,“ ‘My Sinamon smell too much annoieth. "Wherefore soone I rede & thee, hence remoue, 'Least thou the price of my displeasure proue.' So spake this bold brere with great disdaine: Little him answered the Oake againe, But yielded, with shame and greefe adawed, That of a weede he was ouerawed.

Yt chaunced after vpon a day,
The Hus-bandman selfe to come that way,
Of custome for to suruewe' his grownd,
And his trees of state in compasse rownd.
Him when the spitefull brere had espyed,
Causlesse complayned, and lowdly cryed
Vnto his Lord, stirring up sterne strife:

"O, my liege Lord! the God of my life, 150 'Pleaseth you ponder your Suppliants plaint, 'Caused of wrong, and cruell constraint, 'Which I your poore vassall dayly endure:

And but your goodnes the same recure, 8 "Am like for desperate doole to dye, “Through felonous force of mine enemie.'

Greatly agast with this piteous plea,

Him rested the goodman on the lea,
And badde the Brere in his plaint proceede.
With painted words tho? gan this proude
weede,

160 (As most vsen Ambitious folke:) His colowred crime with craft to cloke.

“Ah, my soveraigne! Lord of creatures all, 'Thou placer of plants both humble and tall, "Was not I planted of thine owne hand, "To be the primrose of all thy land, "With flowring blossomes, to furnish the prime 'And scarlet berries in Sommer time? 'Howe falls it then that this faded Oake, 'Whose bodie is sere, whose braunches broke, "Whose naked Armes stretch vnto the fyre, 171 "Vnto such tyrannie doth aspire. 'Hindering with his shade my louely light, 'And robbing me of the swete sonnes sight? 'So beate his old boughes my tender side, 'That oft the bloud springeth from wounds

wyde: ‘Untimely my flowres forced to fall, “That bene the honor of your Coronall. *And oft he lets his cancker wormes light Upon my braunches, to worke spight:

180 *And oft his hoarie locks downe doth cast, 'Where with my fresh flowretts bene defast: 'For this, and many more such outrage, ‘Craving your goodlihead ? to aswage "The ranckorous rigour of his might, 'Nought aske I, but onely to hold my right: 'Submitting me to your good sufferance, ‘And praying to be garded from greeuance.'

To this the Oake cast him to replie Well as he couth 3; but his enemie

190 Had kindled such coles of displeasure, That the good man noulde · stay his leasure, But home him hasted with furious heate, Encreasing his wrath with many a threate. His harmefull Hatchet he hent' in hand, (Alas, that it so ready should stand) And to the field alone he speedeth, (Ay little helpe to harme there needeth) Anger nould let him speake to the tree, Enaunter his rage mought cooled be: But to the roote bent his sturdy stroke, And made many wounds in the wast? Oake. The Axes edge did oft turne againe, As halfe unwilling to cutte the graine: Semed, the sencelesse yron dyd feare, Or to wrong holy eld did forbeare. For it had bene an auncient tree,

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THE FAERIE QUEENE

210

BOOK I. CANTO I

I

A gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine,

Ycladd in mightie armes and silver shielde,
Wherein old dints of deepe woundes did re-

maine,
The cruell markes of many a bloody fielde;
Yet armes till that time did he never wield.
His angry steede did chide his foming bitt,
As much disdayning to the curbe to yield:

Full jolly knight he seemd, and faire did sitt, As one for knightly giusts and fierce encounters

fitt.

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II

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Sacred with many a mysteree,
And often crost with the priestes crewe,
And often halowed with holy water dewe.
But sike' fancies weren foolerie,
And broughten this Oake to this miserye.
For nought mought they quitten him from

decay:
For fiercely the good man at him did laye.
The blocke oft groned vnder the blow,
And sighed to see his neare ouerthrow.
In fine, the steele had pierced his pitth,
Tho? downe to the earth bee fell forth-

with. His wonderous weight made the grounde to

quake, Thearth shronke vnder him, and seemed to

shake.
There lyeth the Oake, pitied of none.

Now stands the Brere like a Lord alone,
Puffed vp with pryde and vaine pleasaunce:
But all this glee had no continuaunce:
For eftsones : Winter gan to approche,
The blustring Boreas did encroche,
And beate upon the solitarie Brere:
For nowe no succoure was seene him nere.
Now gan he repent his pride to late;
For naked left and disconsolate,

230
The byting frost nipt his stalke dead,
The watrie wette weighed downe his head,
And heaped snowe burdned him so sore,
That nowe vpright he can stand no more:
And, being downe, is trodde in the durt
Of cattell, and brouzed, and sorely hurt.
Such was thend of this Ambitious brere,
For scorning Eld
CUD. Now I pray thee shepheard, tel it not

forth:
Here is a long tale, and little worth.
So longe haue I listened to thy speche,
That graffed to the ground is my breche;
My hartblood is welnigh frorne. I feele,
And my galage 6 growne fast to my heele:
But little ease of thy lewd tale I tasted:
Hye thee home shepheard, the day is nigh
wasted.

Thenots Embleme.
Iddio perche é vecchio
Fa suoi al suo essempio.

And on his brest a bloodie Crosse he bore,

The deare remembrance of his dying Lord,
For whose sweete sake that glorious badge he

wore,
And dead, as living, ever him ador'd:
Upon his shield the like was also scor'd,
For soveraine hope which in his helpe he had.
Right faithfull true he was in deede and word;

But of his cheere did seeme too solemne sad; Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad.

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IV

A lovely Ladie rode him faire beside,

Upon a lowly Asse more white then snow,
Yet she much whiter; but the same did hide
Under a vele,' that wimpled was full low; 31
And over all a blacke stole shee did throw:
As one that inly mournd, so was she sad,
And heavie sate upon her palfrey slow;

Seemed in heart some hidden care she had, And by her, in a line, a milkewhite lambe she lad.

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“Yea, but” (quoth she) “the perill of this place

I better wot than you: though nowe too late To wish you backe returne with foule disgrace; Yet wisdome warnes, whilest foot is in the gate, To stay the steppe ere forced to retrate.

113 This is the wandring wood, this Errours den, A monster vile, whom God and man does hate: Therefore, I read,' beware.” “Fly, fly!"

(quoth then The fearefull Dwarfe) "this is no place for living

men."

"But if of daunger, which hereby doth dwell,

And homebredd evil ye desire to heare,
Of a straunge man I can you tidings tell,
That wasteth all this countrie, farre and neare."
“Of such,” (saide he,) “I chiefly doe inquere,
And shall thee well rewarde to shew the place,
In which that wicked wight his dayes doth

weare; For to all knighthood it is foule disgrace, 278 That such a cursed creature lives so long a

space.”

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XXIX

At length they chaunst to meet upon

the

way An aged Sire, in long blacke weedes yclad, His feete all bare, his beard all hoarie gray, And by his belt his booke he hanging had: Sober he seemde, and very sagely sad, And to the ground his eyes were lowly bent, Simple in shew, and voide of malice bad; And all the way he prayed as he went,

260 And often knockt his brest, as one that did re

pent.

“Then with the Sunne take, Sir, your timely

rest, And with new day new worke at once begin: Untroubled night, they say, gives counsell best.” “Right well, Sir knight, ye have advised

bin," Quoth then that aged man: "the way to win Is wisely to advise; now day is spent: Therefore with me ye may take up your In For this same night.” The knight was well content;

296 So with that godly father to his home they went.

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He faire the knight saluted, louting ? low,

Who faire him quited, as that courteous was;
And after asked him, if he did know
Of straunge adventures, which abroad did

pas? "Ah! my dear sonne,” (quoth he) “how should, alas!

266 Silly old man, that lives in hidden cell, Bidding his beades all day for his trespas,

Tydings of warre and worldly trouble tell ? With holy father sits not with such thinges to

mell.

A litle lowly Hermitage it was,

Downe in a dale, hard by a forests side,
Far from resort of people that did pas
In traveill to and froe: a litle wyde
There was an holy chappell edifyde,
Wherein the Hermite dewly wont to say
His holy thinges each morne and eventyde;

Thereby a christall streame did gently play, Which from a sacred fountaine welled forth alway.

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