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When morning deaw upon their leaves doth light; And in their handes sweet timbrells all upheld on

hight.

And, them before, the fry of children yong
Their wanton sportes and childish mirth did play,
And to the maidens sownding tymbrills song.
In well attuned notes a ioyous lay,
And made delightful musick all the way,
Untill they came where that faire virgin stood;
As fayre Diana in fresh sommers day
Beholdes her nymphes enraung'd in shady wood,
Some wrestle, some do run; some bathe in christall

flood;

So she beheld those maydens meriment
With chearfull vew: who, when to her they came,
Themselves to ground with gracious humblesse bent,
And her ador'd by honorable name,
Lifting to Heven her everlasting fame,
Then on her head they sett a girlond greene,
And crowned her twixt earnest and twixt game :
Who, in her self-resemblance well beseene,
Did seeme, such as she was, a goodly maiden

queene,

And after all the raskall many ran,
Heaped together in rude rablement,
To see the face of that victorious man,
Whom all admired as from Heven sent,
And gaz'd upon with gaping wonderment.
But when they came where that dead dragon lay,
Stretcht on the ground in monstrous large extent,

The sight with ydle feare did them dismay,
Ne durst approach him nigh, to touch, or once assay.
Some feard, and Aedd: some feard, and well it

faynd;
One, that would wiser seeme then all the rest,
Warnd him not to touch, for yet perhaps remaynd
Some lingring life within his hollow brest,
Or in his wombe might lurke some hidden nest
Of many dragonettes, his fruitful seede ;
Another saide, that in his eyes did rest
Yet sparckling fyre, and badd thereof take heed ;
Another said, he saw him move his eyes indeed.

One mother, whenas her foolehardy chyld
Did come too neare, and with his talants play,
Halfe dead through feare, her little babe revyld,
And to her gossibs gan in counsell say ;
“How can I tell, but that his talants may
Yet scratch my sonne, or rend his tender hand ?”
So diversly themselves in vaine they fray;
Whiles some more bold to measure him nigh stand,
To prove how many acres he did spread of land.

Thus flocked all the folke him rownd about ;
The whiles that hoarie king, with all his traine,
Being arrived where that champion stout
After his foes defeasaunce did remaine,
Him goodly greetes, and fayre does entertayne
With princely gifts of yvory and gold,
And thousand thankes him yeeldes for all his paine,
Then when his daughter deare he does behold,
Her dearely doth embrace, and kisseth manifold,

And after to his pallace he them bringes,
With shaumes, and trompets, and with clarions
And all the way the ioyous people singes, (sweet.
And with their garments strowes the paved street;
Whence mounting up, they fynd purveyaunce meet
Of all, that royall princes court became;
And all the floore was underneath their feet
Bespredd with costly scarlott of great name,
On which they lowly sitt, and fitting purpose frame.

What needes me tell their feast and goodly guize,
In which was nothing riotous nor vaine?
What needes of dainty dishes to devize,
Of comely services, or courtly trayne?
My narrow leaves cannot in them containe
The large discourse of roiall princes state.
Yet was their manner then but bare and playne;
For th' antique world excesse and pryde did hate:
Such proud luxurious pompe is swollen up but late,

Then, when with meates and drinkes of every kinde
Their fervent appetites they quenched had,
That auncient lord gan fit occasion finde,
Of straunge adventures, and of perils sad,
Which in his travell him befallen had,
For to demaund of his renowmed guest :
Who then with utt'rance grave, and count'nance sad,
From poynt to poynt, as is before exprest,
Discourst his voyage long, according his request.

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Great pleasure, mixt with pittiful regard,
That godly king and queene did psssionate,
Whyles they his pittifull adventures heard ;

That oft they did lament his lucklesse state,
And often blame the too impórtune fate
That heaped on him so many wrathful wreakes;
(For never gentle knight, at he of late,
So tossed was in fortunes cruell freakes;) (cheaks.
And all the while salt teares bedeawd the hearers

Then sayd that royall pere in sober wise ;
“Deare soone, great beene the evils which ye bore
From first to last in your late enterprise,
That I no’te, whether praise or pitty more :
For never living man, I weene, so sore
In sea of deadly daungers was distrest :
But since now safe ye seised haue the shore,
And well arrived are, (high God be blest!)
Let us devize of ease and everlasting rest.”

“ Ah, dearest lord,” said then that doughty knight,
“ Of ease or rest I may not yet devize;
For by the faith, which I to armes have plight,
I bownden am streight after this emprize,
As that your daughter can ye well advize,
Backe to retourne to that great Faery qucene,
And to her serve sise yeares in warlike wize,
Gainst that proud Paynim king that works her teene:
Therefore I ought crave pardon, till I there have

beene.”

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Unhappy falls that hard necessity;"
Quoth he, “the troubler of my happy peace,
And vowed foe of my felicity;
Ne I against the same can justly preace.
But since that band ye cannot now release,

Nor doen undo (for vowes may not be vayne,)
Soone as the terme of those six

yeares

shall

cease, Ye then shall hether backe retourne agayne, The marriage to accomplish vowd betwixt you

twayn:

“ Which, for my part, I covet to performe,
In sort as through the world I did proclame,
That whoso kild that monster most deforme,
And him in hardy battayle overcame,
Should have mine only daughter to his dame,
And of my kingdome heyre apparaunt bee :
Therefore since now to thee perteynes the same,
By dew desert of noble chevalree,
Both daughter and eke kingdome, lo! I yield to

thee.”

Then forth he called that this daughter fayre,
The fairest Un', his onely daughter deare,
His onely daughter and his onely hayre;
Who forth proceeding with sad sober cheare,
As bright as doth the morning starre appeare
Out of the east, with flaming lockes bedight,
To tell that dawning day is drawing neare,
And to the world does bring long-wished light :
So faire and fresh that lady shewd herselfe in sight.

So faire and fresh, as freshest flowre in May;
For she had layd her mournefull stole aside,
And widow-like sad wimple throwne away,
Wherewith her heavenly beautie she did hide,
Whiles on her wearie iourney she did ride ;
And on her now a garment she did weare
Al lilly white, withoutten spot or pride,

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