The Faerie Queene

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For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.

The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. Books I to III were first published in 1590, and then republished in 1596 together with books IV to VI.


The generall end therefore of all the booke is to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline.
  • The generall end therefore of all the booke is to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline.
    • 'A Letter of the Authors expounding his whole Intention in the course of this Worke' (1590)

Book I[edit]

Fierce Warres, and faithful Loves, shall moralize my Song.
  • Fierce Warres, and faithful Loves, shall moralize my Song.
    • Introduction, stanza 1
A Gentle Knight was pricking on the Plain.
  • A Gentle Knight was pricking on the Plain.
    • Canto I, stanza 1
  • But on his Breast a bloody Cross he bore,
    The dear Remembrance of his dying Lord.
    • Canto I, stanza 2
  • But of his Cheere did seem too solemn sad:
    Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad.
    • Canto I, stanza 2
  • The sailing Pine, the Cedar proud and tall,
    The Vine-prop Elm, the Poplar never dry,
    The builder Oak, sole King of Forrests all,
    The Aspine good for Staves, the Cypress Funeral.

    The Laurel, Meed of mighty Conquerors
    And Poets sage, the Firr that weepeth still,
    The Willow, worn of forlorn Paramours,
    The Ewe, obedient to the Bender's will,
    The Birch for Shafts, the Sallow for the Mill,
    the Mirrhe, sweet bleeding in the bitter Wound,
    The warlike Beech, the Ash for nothing ill,
    The fruitful Olive, and the Platane round,
    The Carver Holme, the Maple seldom inward sound.

    • Canto I, stanzas 8–9
  • Oft Fire is without Smoke.
    • Canto I, stanza 12
  • Vertue gives her self Light, through Darkness for to wade.
    • Canto I, stanza 12
  • The noblest Mind the best Contentment has.
    • Canto I, stanza 35
A bold bad Man.
  • A bold bad Man, that dar'd to call by Name
    Great Gorgon, Prince of Darkness and dead Night.
    • Canto I, stanza 37
  • The Northern Waggoner had set
    His sevenfold Teme behind the stedfast Star.
    • Canto II, stanza 1
  • Will was his Guide, and Grief led him astray.
    • Canto II, stanza 12
  • Better new Friend than an old Foe.
    • Canto II, stanza 27
Her Angel's Face,
As the great Eye of Heaven shined bright,
And made a Sun-shine in the shady place.
  • Her Angel's Face,
    As the great Eye of Heaven shined bright,
    And made a Sun-shine in the shady place
    Did never mortal Eye behold such heavenly Grace.
    • Canto III, stanza 4
  • From worldly Cares himself he did esloin,
    And greatly shunned manly Exercise;
    For every Work he challenged Essoin,
    For Contemplation sake: yet otherwise,
    His life he led in lawless Riotise;
    By which he grew to grievous Malady:
    For, in his lustless Limbs through evil Guise
    A shaking Fever reign'd continually:
    Such one was Idleness.
    • Canto IV, stanza 1
  • A stately Palace built of squared Brick,
    Which cunningly was without Mortar laid,
    Whose Walls were high, but nothing strong, nor thick;
    And golden Foil all over them displaid;
    That purest Sky with Brightness they dismaid.
    • Canto IV, stanza 4
  • And all the hinder parts, that few could spy,
    Were ruinous and old, but painted cunningly.
    • Canto IV, stanza 5
  • Was sluggish Idleness, the Nurse of Sin.
    • Canto IV, stanza 18
  • And by his side rode loathsome Gluttony,
    Deformed Creature, on a filthy Swine
    His Belly was up-blown with Luxury,
    And eke with Fatness swollen were his eyne.
    • Canto IV, stanza 21
  • And greedy Avarice by him did ride,
    Upon a Camel loaden all with Gold;
    Two iron Coffers hung on either side,
    With precious Metal, full as they might hold,
    And in his Lap an heap of Coin he told:
    For of his wicked Pelf his God he made,
    And unto Hell himself for Money sold;
    Accursed Usury was all his Trade,
    And right and wrong ylike in equal Ballance weigh'd.

    His Life was nigh unto Death's Door yplac'd,
    And thread-bare Coat and cobled Shoes he ware,
    Ne scarce good Morsel all his Life did taste,
    But both from Back and Belly still did spare,
    To fill his Bags, and Riches to compare:
    Yet Child ne Kinsman living had he none
    To leave them to; but thorough daily Care
    To get, and nightly Fear to lose his own,
    He led a wretched Life unto himself unknown.

    Most wretched Wight, whom nothing might suffice,
    Whose greedy Lust did lack in greatest Store,
    Whose Need had end, but no end Covetise,
    Whose Wealth was Want, whose Plenty made him poor,
    Who had enough, yet wished evermore.

    • Canto IV, stanzas 27–29
  • He hated all good Works and vertuous Deeds,
    And him no less, that any like did use:
    And who with gracious Bread the Hungry feeds,
    His Alms, for want of Faith, he doth accuse;
    So every Good to Bad he doth abuse:
    And eke the Verse of famous Poet's Wit
    He does backbite, and spightful Poison spues
    From leprous Mouth, on all that ever writ:
    Such one vile Envy was, that first in row did sit.
    • Canto IV, stanza 32
  • Full many Mischiefs follow cruel Wrath;
    Abhorred Bloodshed and tumultuous Strife,
    Unmanly Murder, and unthrifty Scath,
    Bitter Despight, with Rancour's rusty Knife,
    And fretting Grief the Enemy of Life;
    All these, and many Evils moe haunt Ire,
    The swelling Spleen, and Phrenzy raging rife,
    The shaking Palsey, and Saint Frauncis' Fire:
    Such one was Wrath, the last of this ungodly Tire.
    • Canto IV, stanza 35
The noble Heart, that harbours vertuous Thought,
And is with child of glorious great Intent,
Can ne'er rest, until it forth have brought
Th' eternal Brood of Glory excellent.
  • The noble Heart, that harbours vertuous Thought,
    And is with child of glorious great Intent,
    Can ne'er rest, until it forth have brought
    Th' eternal Brood of Glory excellent.
    • Canto V, stanza 1
  • At last, the golden Oriental Gate
    Of greatest Heaven 'gan to open fair,
    And Phoebus fresh, as Bridegroom to his Mate,
    Came dauncing forth, shaking his dewy Hair:
    And hurles his glistring Beams through gloomy Air.
    • Canto V, stanza 2
  • A cruel crafty Crocodile,
    Which in false Grief hiding his harmful Guile,
    Doth weep full sore, and sheddeth tender Tears.
    • Canto V, stanza 18
  • Where griesly Night, with Visage deadly sad,
    That Phoebus' cheerful Face durst never view,
    And in a foul black pitchy Mantle clad,
    She finds forth coming from her darksome Mew,
    Where she all day did hide her hated Hew:
    Before the Door her iron Chariot stood,
    Already harnessed for Journy new;
    And cole-black Steeds yborn of hellish Brood,
    That on their rusty Bits did champ, as they were wood.
    • Canto V, stanza 20
  • But who can turn the Stream of Destiny,
    Or break the Chain of strong Necessity?
    • Canto V, stanza 25
  • That cruel word her tender Heart so thrill'd,
    That sudden Cold did run through every Vein,
    And stony Horror all her Senses fill'd
    With dying Fit, that down she fell for Pain.
    • Canto VI, stanza 37
  • There-with they 'gan, both furious and fell,
    To thunder blows, and fiercely to assail
    Each other bent his Enemy to quell,
    That with their Force they pierc'd both Plate and Mail,
    And made wide Furrows in their Fleshes frail,
    That it would pity any living Eye.
    Large floods of Blood adown their Sides did rail:
    But floods of Blood could not them satisfy;
    Both hungred after Death; both chose to win, or die.
    • Canto VI, stanza 43
  • What Man so wise, what earthly Wit so ware,
    As to descry the crafty cunning Train,
    By which Deceit doth mask in Vizor fair,
    And cast her Colours dyed deep in Grain,
    To seem like Truth, whose Shape she well can feign,
    And fitting Gestures to her purpose frame,
    The guiltless Man with Guile to entertain?
    • Canto VII, stanza 1
  • What World's Delight, or Joy of living Speech
    Can Heart so plung'd in Sea of Sorrows deep,
    And helped with so huge Misfortunes reach?
    The careful Cold beginneth for to creep,
    And in my Heart his iron Arrow steep,
    Soon as I think upon my bitter Bale.
    • Canto VII, stanza 39
  • Let me you intreat,
    For to unfold the Anguish of your Heart:
    Mishaps are maistred by advice discreet,
    And Counsel mitigates the greatest Smart.
    • Canto VII, stanza 40
  • Ay me! how many Perils do enfold
    The righteous Man, to make him daily fall?
    • Canto VIII, stanza 1
  • With creeping crooked Pace forth came
    An old old Man, with Beard as white as Snow,
    That on a Staff his feeble Steps did frame,
    And guide his weary Gate both to and fro;
    For his Eye-sight him failed long ygo:
    And on his Arm a Bunch of Keys he bore,
    The which unused Rust did overgrow;
    Those were the Keys of every inner Door,
    But he could not them use, but kept them still in store.

    But very uncouth Sight was to behold
    How he did fashion his untoward Pace:
    For as he forward mov'd his footing old,
    So backward still was turn'd his wrinkled Face:
    Unlike to Men, who ever as they trace,
    Both Feet and Face one way are wont to lead.
    This was the antient Keeper of that Place,
    And Foster-Father of the Giant dead;
    His Name Ignaro did his Nature right aread.

    • Canto VIII, stanzas 30–31
  • Entire Affection hateth nicer Hands.
    • Canto VIII, stanza 40
  • When I awoke, and found her place devoid,
    And nought but pressed Grass where she had lyen,
    I sorrowed all so much, as east I joy'd,
    And washed all her place with watry Eyne.
    • Canto IX, stanza 15
  • Still as he fled, his Eye was backward cast,
    As if his Fear still follow'd him behind
    Als flew his Steed, as he his Bands had brast,
    And with his winged Heels did tread the Winds
    As he had been a Foal of Pegasus his kind.
    • Canto IX, stanza 21
That darksome Cave they enter, where they find
That cursed Man, low sitting on the ground,
Musing full sadly in his sullen Mind.
  • That darksome Cave they enter, where they find
    That cursed Man, low sitting on the ground,
    Musing full sadly in his sullen Mind.
    • Canto IX, stanza 35
  • His raw-bone Cheeks, through Penury and Pine,
    Were shrunk into his Jaws, as he did never dine.
    • Canto IX, stanza 35
Sleep after Toil, Port after stormy Seas,
Ease after War, Death after Life, does greatly please.
  • Sleep after Toil, Port after stormy Seas,
    Ease after War, Death after Life, does greatly please.
    • Canto IX, stanza 40
  • The term of Life is limited,
    Ne may a Man prolong, nor shorten it:
    The Soldier may not move from watchful sted,
    Nor leave his stand, until his Captain bed.
    Who Life did limit by almighty Doom
    (Quoth he) knows best the Terms established;
    And he, that points the Centinel his room,
    Doth license him depart at sound of morning Droom.
    • Canto IX, stanza 41
  • Death is the end of Woes: die soon, O Fairy's Son.
    • Canto IX, stanza 47
  • His Hand did quake,
    And tremble like a Leaf of Aspin green,
    And troubled Blood through his pale Face was seen
    ... As it a running Messenger had been.
    • Canto IX, stanza 51
  • Where Justice grows, there grows eke greater Grace.
    • Canto IX, stanza 53
  • Each goodly thing is hardest to begin.
    • Canto X, stanza 6
  • In Ashes and sackcloth he did array
    His dainty Corse, proud Humours to abate,
    And dieted with Fasting every Day,
    The swelling of his Wounds to mitigate,
    And made him pray both early and eke late:
    And ever as superfluous Flesh did rot,
    Amendment ready still at hand did wait,
    To pluck it out with Pincers fiery hot,
    That soon in him was left no one corrupted jot.
    • Canto X, stanza 26
  • Now 'gan the golden Phoebus for to steep
    His fiery Face in Billows of the West,
    And his faint Steeds water'd in Ocean deep,
    Whiles from their journal Labours they did rest.
    • Canto XI, stanza 31
  • By this, the drouping Day-light 'gan to fade,
    And yield his room to sad succeeding Night,
    Who with her sable Mantle 'gan to shade
    The Face of Earth, and Ways of living Wight,
    And high her burning Torch see up in Heaven bright.
    • Canto XI, stanza 49

Book II[edit]

  • But now so wise and wary was the Knight,
    By trial of his former Harms and Cares,
    That he descry'd, and shunned still his slight:
    The Fish, that once was caught, new Bait will hardly bite.
    • Canto I, stanza 4
  • Which when she heard, as in despightful wise,
    She wistfully her Sorrow did augment,
    And offer'd hope of Comfort did despise:
    Her golden Locks most cruelly she rent,
    And scratch'd her Face with ghastly dreriment;
    Ne would she speak, ne see, ne yet be seen,
    But hid her Visage, and her Head down bent,
    Either for grievous Shame, or for great Teen,
    As if her Heart with Sorrow had transfixed been.
    • Canto I, stanza 15
  • Come then, come soon, come sweetest Death to me,
    And take away this long lent loathed Light:
    Sharp be thy Wounds, but sweet the Med'cines be,
    That long captived Souls from weary Thraldom free.
    • Canto I, stanza 36
  • Behold the Image of Mortality,
    And feeble Nature cloth'd with fleshly Tire,
    When raging Passion with fierce Tyranny
    Robs Reason of her due Regality,
    And makes it Servant to her basest part:
    The strong it weakens with Infirmity,
    And with bold Fury arms the weakest Heart;
    The strong, through Pleasure soonest falls, the weak through Smart.
    • Canto I, stanza 57
  • So double was his Pains, so double be his Praise.
    • Canto II, stanza 25
  • But, for in Court gay Portaunce he perceiv'd,
    And gallant Shew to be in greatest gree,
    Eftsoons to Court he cast t' avaunce his first degree.
    • Canto III, stanza 5
  • Vainglorious Man, when fluttring Wind does blow
    In his light Wings, is lifted up to Sky:
    The Scorn of Knighthood and true Chevalry,
    To think without Desert of gentle Deed,
    And noble Worth, to be advaunced high:
    Such praise is Shame; but Honour, Vertue's Meed,
    Doth bear the fairest flower in honourable Seed.
    • Canto III, stanza 10
  • In her fair Eyes two living Lamps did flame,
    Kindled above at th' heavenly Maker's Light,
    And darted fiery Beams out of the same,
    So passing pierceant, and so wondrous bright,
    That quite bereav'd the rash Beholder's Sight.
    • Canto III, stanza 23
  • And when she spake,
    Sweet Words, like dropping Hony, she did shed,
    And 'twixt the Pearls and Rubins softly brake
    A silver Sound, that heavenly Musick seem'd to make.
    • Canto III, stanza 24
  • Upon her Eyelids many Graces sate,
    Under the Shadows of her even Brows.
    • Canto III, stanza 25
  • Whoso in Pomp of proud Estate (quoth she)
    Does swim, and bathes himself in courtly Bliss,
    Does waste his Days in dark Obscurity,
    And in Oblivion ever buried is.
    • Canto III, stanza 40
  • Love that two Hearts makes one, makes eke one Will.
    • Canto IV, stanza 19
  • And therein sat a Lady fresh and fair,
    Making sweet Solace to her self alone:
    Sometimes she sung as loud as Lark in Air,
    Sometimes she laugh'd, that nigh her Breath was gone,
    Yet was there not with her else any one,
    That might to her move cause of Merriment:
    Matter of Mirth enough, though there were none,
    She could devise, and thousand ways invent
    To feed her foolish Humour, and vain Jolliment.
    • Canto VI, stanza 3
  • The Fields did laugh, the Flowers did freshly spring,
    The Trees did bud, and early Blossoms bore,
    And all the Quire of Birds did sweetly sing,
    And told that Garden's Pleasures in their Caroling.
    • Canto VI, stanza 24
  • His iron Coat all overgrown with Rust,
    Was underneath enveloped with Gold,
    Whose glistring Gloss darkned with filthy Dust,
    Well it appeared to have been of old
    A Work of rich Entail, and curious Mold,
    Woven with Anticks and wild Imagery:
    And in his Lap a Mass of Coin he told,
    And turned upsidown, to feed his Eye
    And covetous Desire with his huge Threasury.
    • Canto VII, stanza 4
  • Some thought to raise themselves to high degree,
    By Riches and unrighteous Reward,
    Some by close shouldring, some by Flattery;
    Others thro Friends, others for base Regard;
    And all, by wrong Ways, for themselves prepar'd
    Those that were up themselves, kept others low,
    Those that were low themselves, held others hard,
    Ne suffer'd them to rise or greater grow,
    But every one did drive his Fellow down to throw.
    • Canto VII, stanza 47
  • And is there Care in Heaven? and is there Love
    In heavenly Spirits to these Creatures base,
    That may Compassion of their Evils move?
    There is; else much more wretched were the case
    Of Men, than Beasts. But O th' exceeding Grace
    Of highest God! that loves his Creatures so,
    And all his Works with Mercy doth embrace,
    That blessed Angels he sends to and fro,
    To serve to wicked Man, to serve his wicked Foe.

    All for Love and nothing for Reward.
    How oft do they their silver Bowers leave,
    To come to succour us, that Succour want?
    How oft do they, with golden Pinions, cleave
    The flitting Skies, like flying Pursuivant,
    Against foul Fiends to aid us militant?
    They for us fight, they watch and duly ward,
    And their bright squadrons round about us plant,
    And all for Love and nothing for Reward:
    O why should heavenly God to Men have such regard!
    • Canto VIII, stanzas 1–2
  • Gold all is not, that doth golden seem.
    • Canto VIII, stanzas 14
  • Of all God's Works, which do this World adorn,
    There is no one more fair and excellent,
    Than is Man's Body both for Power and Form,
    Whiles it is kept in sober Government.
    • Canto IX, stanza 1
  • The wretched Man 'gan then avise too late,
    That Love is not, where most it is profess'd.
    • Canto X, stanza 31
  • What War so cruel, or what Siege so sore,
    As that, which strong Affections do apply
    Against the Fort of Reason, evermore
    To bring the Soul into Captivity!
    • Canto XI, stanza 1
  • Slanderous Reproaches, and foul Infamies,
    Leasings, Back-bitings, and vain-glorious Crakes,
    Bad Counsels, Praises, and false Flatteries;
    All those against that Fort did bend their Batteries.
    • Canto XI, stanza 10
  • As pale and wan as Ashes was his Look,
    His Body lean and meager as a rake,
    And Skin all wither'd like a dryed Rook,
    Thereto as cold and dreary as a Snake,
    That seem'd to tremble evermore, and quake.
    • Canto XI, stanza 22
  • Suddain they see, from midst of all the Main,
    The surging Waters like a Mountain rise,
    And the great Sea puff'd up with proud Disdain,
    To swell above the measure of his guise,
    As threatning to devour all, that his Power despise.
    • Canto XII, stanza 21
  • Here may thy storm-bet Vessel safely ride;
    This is the Port of Rest from troublous Toil,
    The World's sweet Inn, from Pain and wearisom Turmoil.
    • Canto XII, stanza 32
  • Eftsoons they heard a most melodious Sound,
    Of all that mote delight a dainty Ear,
    Such as at once might not on living ground,
    Save in this Paradise, be heard elsewhere:
    Right hard it was for Wight which did it hear,
    To read what manner Musick that mote be;
    For, all that pleasing is to living Ear,
    Was there consorted in one Harmony,
    Birds, Voices, Instruments, Winds, Waters, all agree.
    • Canto XII, stanza 70
  • The joyous Birds, shrouded in chearful Shade,
    Their Notes unto the Voice attempred sweet;
    Th' angelical soft trembling Voices made
    To th' Instruments divine Respondence meet:
    The silver sounding Instruments did meet
    With the base Murmur of the Water's fall:
    The Water's fall with difference discreet,
    Now soft, now loud, unto the Wind did call:
    The gentle warbling Wind low answered to all.
    • Canto XII, stanza 71
So passeth, in the passing of a Day,
Of mortal Life the Leaf, the Bud, the Flower,
Ne more doth flourish after first Decay,
That earst was sought to deck both Bed and Bower
Of many a Lady, and many a Paramour:
Gather therefore the Rose, whilst yet is prime,
For, soon comes Age, that will her Pride deflower;
Gather the Rose of Love, whilst yet is time,
Whilst loving thou mayst loved be with equal Crime.
  • So passeth, in the passing of a Day,
    Of mortal Life the Leaf, the Bud, the Flower,
    Ne more doth flourish after first Decay,
    That earst was sought to deck both Bed and Bower
    Of many a Lady, and many a Paramour:
    Gather therefore the Rose, whilst yet is prime,
    For, soon comes Age, that will her Pride deflower;
    Gather the Rose of Love, whilst yet is time,
    Whilst loving thou mayst loved be with equal Crime.
    • Canto XII, stanza 75
  • But all those pleasant Bowers, and Palace brave,
    Guyon broke down, with Rigour pitiless;
    Ne ought their goodly Workmanship might save
    Them from the Tempest of his Wrathfulness,
    But that their Bliss he turn'd to Balefulness:
    Their Groves he fell'd, their Gardens did deface,
    Their Arbors spoil'd, their Cabinets suppress,
    Their Banket-houses burn, their Buildings raze,
    And of the fairest late, now made the foulest place.
    • Canto XII, stanza 83
  • The Dunghil Kind
    Delights in Filth and foul Incontinence:
    Let Grill be Grill, and have his hoggish Mind.
    • Canto XII, stanza 87

Book III[edit]

  • Thro thick and thin, both over Bank and Bush,
    In hope her to attain by hook or crook.
    • Canto I, stanza 17
  • Like dastard Curs, that having at a Bay
    The salvage Beast emboss'd in weary Chace,
    Dare not adventure on the stubborn Prey,
    Ne bite before, but rome from place to place,
    To get a Snatch, when turned is his Face.
    • Canto I, stanza 22
  • For she was full of amiable Grace,
    And manly Terrour mixed there-with-all,
    That as the one stir'd up Affections base,
    So th' other did Mens rash Desires appall,
    And hold them back, that would in Error fall:
    As he that hath espy'd a vermeil Rose,
    To which sharp Thorns and Briers the way forestall,
    Dare not for Dread his hardy Hand expose;
    wishing it far off, his idle Wish doth lose.
    • Canto I, stanza 46
  • She greatly 'gan enamoured to wex,
    And with vain Thoughts her falsed Fancy vex:
    Her fickle Heart conceived hasty Fire,
    Like Sparks of Fire which fall in slender Flex,
    That shortly brent into extreme Desire,
    And ransack'd all her Veins with Passion entire.
    • Canto I, stanza 47
  • Nought so of Love this looser Dame did skill,
    But as a Coal to kindle fleshly Flame,
    Giving the Bridle to her wanton Will,
    And treading under foot her honest Name.
    • Canto I, stanza 50
  • His feeling Words her feeble Sense much pleas'd,
    And softly sunk into her molten Heart;
    Heart, that is inly hurt, is greatly eas'd
    With hope of thing, that may allay his Smart;
    For pleasing Words are like to magick Art,
    That doth the charmed Snake in Slumber lay.
    • Canto II, stanza 15
  • Discord oft in music makes the sweeter lay.
    • Canto II, stanza 15
  • But as it falleth in the gentlest Hearts
    Imperious Love hath highest set his Throne,
    And tyrannizeth in the bitter Smarts
    Of them, that to him buxom are and prone.
    • Canto II, stanza 23
  • Sad, solemn, sour, and full of Fancies frail
    She wox; yet wist she neither how, nor why;
    She wist not, silly Maid, what she did ail;
    Yet wist, she was not well at ease perdy,
    Yet thought it was not Love, but some Melancholy.
    • Canto II, stanza 27
  • Ne ought it mote the noble Maid avail,
    Ne slake the Fury of her cruel Flame,
    But that she still did waste, and still did wail,
    That through long Languor, and heart-burning Brame
    She shortly like a pined Ghost became.
    • Canto II, stanza 52
  • Oh! sacred Fire, that burnest mightily
    In living Breasts, ykindled first above,
    Emongst th' eternal Spheres and ramping Sky,
    And thence pour'd into Men, which Men call Love.
    • Canto III, stanza 1
  • For, he by words could call out of the Sky
    Both sun end Moon, and make them him obey:
    The Land to Sea, and Sea to Main-land dry,
    And darksom Night he eke could turn to Day:
    Huge Hosts of Men he could alone dismay,
    And Hosts of Men of meanest things could frame,
    When so him list his Enemies to fray:
    That to this day, for Terror of his Fame,
    The Fiends do quake, when any him to them does name.
    • Canto III, stanza 12
  • Whereof she seems ashamed inwardly.
    • Canto III, stanza 20
  • Where is the antique Glory now become
    That whilome wont in Women to appear?
    Where be the brave Atchievements done by some?
    Where be the Battles, where the Shield and Spear,
    And all the Conquests, which them high did rear,
    That Matter made for famous Poets Verse,
    And boastful Men so oft abash'd to hear?
    Been they all dead, and laid in doleful Herse?
    Or doen they only sleep, and shall again reverse?
    • Canto IV, stanza 1
  • She shortly thus: Fly they that need to fly;
    Words fearen Babes. I mean not thee intreat
    To pass; but mauger thee will pass or die.
    • Canto IV, stanza 15
  • But ah! who can deceive his Destiny,
    Or ween by Warning to avoid his Fate?
    • Canto IV, stanza 27
  • But well I wote, that to an heavy Heart
    Thou art the Root and Nurse of bitter Cares,
    Breeder of new, Renewer of old Smarts:
    In stead of Rest thou lendest railing Tears,
    In stead of Sleep thou sendest troublous Fears,
    And dreadful Visions, in the which alive
    The dreary Image of sad Death appears;
    So from the weary Spirit thou dost drive
    Desired Rest, and Men of Happiness deprive.
    • Canto IV, stanza 57
  • Under thy Mantle black there hidden lie
    Light-shunning Theft, and traitorous Intent,
    Abhorred Bloodshed, and vile Felony,
    Shameful Deceit, and Danger imminent;
    Foul Horror, and eke hellish Dreriment.
    • Canto IV, stanza 58
Whether it divine Tobacco were,
Or Panachaea, or Poligony,
She found, and brought it to her Patient dear.
  • Whether it divine Tobacco were,
    Or Panachaea, or Poligony,
    She found, and brought it to her Patient dear.
    • Canto V, stanza 32
  • Thus warry'd he long time against his will,
    Till that (thro Weakness) he was forc'd at last
    To yield himself unto the mighty Ill:
    Which, as a Victor proud, 'gan ransack fast
    His inward Parts, and all his Entrails waste,
    That neither Blood in Face, nor Life in Heart
    It left, but both did quite dry up, and blast;
    As piercing Leven, which the inner part
    every thing consumes, and calcineth by Art.
    • Canto V, stanza 48
  • Little she ween'd, that Love he close conceal'd:
    Yet still he wasted, as the Snow congeal'd,
    When the bright Sun his Beams thereon doth beat.
    • Canto V, stanza 49
  • Her Birth was of the Womb of Morning-Dew,
    And her Conception of the joyous Prime.
    • Canto VI, stanza 3
  • Roses red, and Violets blue,
    And all the sweetest Flowers that in the Forest grew.
    • Canto VI, stanza 6
  • All that in this delightful Garden grows,
    Should happy be, and have immortal Bliss.
    • Canto VI, stanza 41
  • There is continual Spring, and Harvest there
    Continual, both meeting at one time:
    For both the Boughs do laughing Blossoms bear,
    And with fresh Colours deck the wanton Prime,
    And eke at once the heavy Trees they climb,
    Which seem to labour under their Fruits Load:
    The whiles the joyous Birds make their Pastime
    Emongst the shady Leaves, their sweet Abode,
    And their true Loves without Suspicion tell abroad.
    • Canto VI, stanza 42
  • And in the thickest Covert of that Shade,
    There was a pleasant Arbour, not by Art,
    But of the Trees own Inclination made,
    Which knitting their rank Branches part to part,
    With wanton Ivy-Twine entrail'd athwart;
    And Eglantine, and Caprisole emong,
    Fashion'd above within their inmost Part,
    That neither Phoebus' Beams could thro them throng,
    Nor Aeolus' sharp Blast could work them any Wrong.
    • Canto VI, stanza 44
  • With that, adown out of her crystal Eyne,
    Few trickling Tears she softly forth let fall,
    That like to orient Pearls, did purely shine
    Upon her snowy Cheek.
    • Canto VII, stanza 9
Hard is to teach an old Horse amble true.
  • Hard is to teach an old Horse amble true.
    • Canto VIII, stanza 26
  • A Fool I do him firmly hold,
    That loves his Fetters, tho they were of Gold.
    • Canto IX, stanza 8
  • And other-whiles, with amorous Delights,
    And pleasing Toys he would her entertain,
    Now singing sweetly, to surprise her Sprights,
    Now making Lays of Love and Lovers Pain,
    Bransles, Ballads, Virelays, and Verses vain:
    Oft Purposes, oft Riddles he devis'd,
    And thousands like, which flowed in his Brain,
    With which he fed her Fancy, and entis'd
    To take to his new Love, and leave her old despis'd.
    • Canto X, stanza 8
  • Yet can he never die, but dying lives,
    And doth himself with Sorrow new sustain,
    That Death and Life at once unto him gives,
    And painful Pleasure turns to pleasing Pain.
    • Canto X, stanza 60
  • Foul Jealousy, that turnest Love Divine
    To joyless Dread, and mak'st the loving Heart
    With hateful Thoughts to languish and to pine,
    And feed it self with self-consuming Smart?
    Of all the Passions in the Mind thou vilest art.
    • Canto XI, stanza 1
Be bold, Be bold, and every where Be bold...
Be not too bold.
  • And as she look'd about, she did behold,
    How over that same Door was likewise writ,
    Be bold, Be bold, and every where Be bold
    That much she mus'd, yet could not construe it
    By any riddling Skill, or common Wit.
    At last she spy'd, at that Room's upper end,
    Another iron Door, on which was writ,
    Be not too bold.
    • Canto XI, stanza 54
  • Next him was Fear, all arm'd from top to toe,
    Yet thought himself not safe enough thereby,
    But fear'd each Shadow moving to and fro:
    And his own Arms when glittering he did spy,
    Or clashing heard, he fast away did fly,
    As Ashes pale of hue, and wingy-heel'd;
    And evermore on Danger fix'd his Eye,
    'Gainst whom he always bent a brazen Shield,
    Which his right Hand unarmed, fearfully did wield.
    • Canto XII, stanza 12
  • With him went Hope in Rank, a handsom Maid,
    Of chearful Look and lovely to behold;
    In silken Samite she was light array'd,
    And her fair Locks were woven up in Gold:
    She alway smil'd, and in her Hand did hold
    An holy-water Sprinkle, dipt in Dew,
    With which she sprinkled Favours manifold,
    On whom she list, and did great Liking shew;
    Liking unto many, but true Love to few.
    • Canto XII, stanza 13
  • He lour'd on her with dangerous Eye-glaunce;
    Shewing his Nature in his Countenaunce:
    His rolling Eyes did never rest in place,
    But walk'd each where, for fear of hid Mischaunce,
    Holding a Lattice still before his Face,
    Thro which he still did peep, as forward he did pace.
    • Canto XII, stanza 15

Book IV[edit]

Dan Chaucer (Well of English undefil'd)
On Fame's eternal Bead-roll worthy to be fil'd.
  • Dan Chaucer (Well of English undefil'd)
    On Fame's eternal Bead-roll worthy to be fil'd.
    • Canto II, stanza 32
  • Sweet is the Love that comes alone with Willingness.
    • Canto V, stanza 25
  • Rude was his Garment, and to Rags all rent,
    Ne better had he, ne for better car'd:
    With blister'd Hands emongst the Cinders brent,
    And Fingers filthy, with long Nails unpar'd,
    Right fit to rend the Food, on which he far'd.
    His Name was Care; a Blacksmith by his Trade,
    That neither Day nor Night from working spar'd,
    But to small purpose iron Wedges made;
    Those be unquiet Thoughts, that careful Minds invade.
    • Canto V, stanza 35
  • What equal Torment to the Grief of Mind,
    And pining Anguish hid in gentle Heart,
    That inly feeds it self with Thoughts unkind,
    And nourisheth her own confusing Smart?
    What Medicine can any Leech's Art
    Yield such a Sore, that doth her Grievance bide,
    And will to none her Malady impart?
    • Canto VI, stanza 1
  • All she did was but to wear out Day.
    Full oftentimes she Leave of him did take;
    And eft again deviz'd somewhat to say,
    Which she forgot, whereby excuse to make:
    So loth she was his Company for to forsake.
    • Canto VI, stanza 45
  • A foul and loathly Creature sure in Sight,
    And in Conditions to be loath'd no less:
    For she was stuft with Rancour and Despight
    Up to the Throat; that oft with Bitterness
    It forth would break, and gush in great Excess,
    Pouring out Streams of Poison and of Gall,
    'Gainst all that Truth or Vertue do profess;
    Whom she with Leasings leudly did miscall,
    And wickedly back-bite; Her Name Men Slaunder call.
    • Canto VIII, stanza 24
  • From that day forth, in Peace and joyous Bliss,
    They liv'd together long without Debate:
    Ne private Jar, ne Spite of Enemis
    Could shake the safe assurance of their state.
    • Canto IX, stanza 16
  • True he it said, what-ever Man it said,
    That Love with Gall and Hony doth abound:
    But if the one be with the other weigh'd,
    For every Dram of Hony therein found,
    A Pound of Gall doth over it redound.
    • Canto X, stanza 1
  • His Name was Doubt, that had a double Face,
    Th' one forward looking, th' other backward bent,
    Therein resembling Janus auncient,
    Which had in Charge the Ingate of the Year:
    And evermore his Eyes about him went,
    As if some proved Peril he did fear,
    Or did mis-doubt some Ill, whose Cause did not appear.
    • Canto X, stanza 12
  • For all that Nature by her Mother Wit
    Could frame in Earth.
    • Canto X, stanza 21
  • And her against sweet Chearfulness was plac'd,
    Whose Eyes like twinkling Stars in Evening clear,
    Were deck'd with Smiles, that all sad Humours chac'd,
    And darted forth relights, the which her goodly grac'd.
    • Canto X, stanza 50
  • Ne less was she in secret Heart affected,
    But that she masked it with Modesty,
    For fear she should of Lightness be detected.
    • Canto XII, stanza 35

Book V[edit]

Ill can he rule the Great, that cannot reach the Small.
  • Me seems the World is run quite out of square,
    ... And being once amiss, grows daily worse and worse.
    • Proem, stanza 1
  • For that which all Men then did Vertue call,
    Is now call'd Vice; and that which Vice was hight,
    Is now hight Vertue, and so us'd of all:
    Right now is Wrong, and Wrong that was is Right.
    • Proem, stanza 4
  • Nought is more honourable to a Knight,
    Ne better doth beseem brave Chevalry,
    Than to defend the Feeble in their Right,
    And Wrong redress in such as wend awry.
    • Canto II, stanza 1
  • For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.
    • Canto II, stanza 39
  • Ill can he rule the Great, that cannot reach the Small.
    • Canto II, stanza 43
  • After long Storms and Tempests over-blown,
    The Sun at length his joyous Face doth clear;
    So when-as Fortune all her Spight hath shown,
    Some blissful Hours at last must needs appear;
    Else would afflicted Wights oft-times despair.
    • Canto III, stanza 1
  • All suddenly enflam'd with furious Fit,
    Like a fell Lioness at him she flew,
    And on his Head-piece him so fiercely smit,
    That to the Ground him quite she overthrew,
    Dismay'd so with the Stroke, that he no Colours knew.
    • Canto IV, stanza 39
  • Nought is on Earth more Sacred or Divine,
    That Gods and Men do equally adore,
    Than this same Vertue, that doth Right define:
    For th' Heavers themselves, whence mortal Men implore
    Right in their Wrongs, are rul'd by righteous Lore
    Of highest Jove, who doth true Justice deal
    To his inferior Gods, and evermore
    Therewith contains his heavenly Commonweal:
    The Skill whereof to Princes Hearts he doth reveal.
    • Canto VII, stanza 1
  • Nought under Heaven so strongly doth allure
    The Sense of Man, and all his Mind possess,
    As Beauty's lovely Bait, that doth procure
    Great Warriors oft their Rigour to repress;
    And mighty Hands forget their Manliness,
    Drawn with the Pow'r of an heart-robbing Eye,
    And wrapt in Fetters of a golden Tress,
    That can with melting Pleasance mollify
    Their harden'd Hearts, enur'd to Blood and Cruelty.
    • Canto VIII, stanza 1
  • Some Clarks do doubt in their deviceful Art,
    Whether this heavenly Thing whereof I treat,
    To weten Mercy, be of Justice part,
    Or drawn forth from her by divine Extreat.
    This well I wote, that sure she is as Great,
    And meriteth to have as high a Place,
    Sith in th' almighty's everlasting Seat
    She first was bred, and born of heavenly Race;
    From thence pour'd down on Men, by Influence of Grace.
    • Canto X, stanza 1
  • It often falls in Course of common Life,
    That Right, long time, is overborne of Wrong,
    Through Avarice, or Pow'r, or Guile, or Strife,
    That weakens her, and makes her Parry strong:
    But Justice, though her Doom she do prolong,
    Yet at the last she will her own Cause right.
    • Canto XI, stanza 1
  • Dearer is Love than Life, and Fame than Gold;
    But dearer than them both, your faith once plighted hold.
    • Canto XI, stanza 63
O Sacred Hunger of ambitious Minds,
And impotent Desire of Men to reign!
  • O Sacred Hunger of ambitious Minds,
    And impotent Desire of Men to reign:
    Whom neither Dread of God, that Devils binds,
    Nor Laws of Men, that Commonweals contain,
    Nor Bands of Nature, that wild Beasts restrain,
    Can keep from Outrage, and from doing wrong,
    Where they may hope a Kingdom to obtain.
    No Faith so firm, no Trust can be so strong,
    No Love so lasting then, that may enduren long.
    • Canto XII, stanza 1
  • Her Hands were foul and dirty, never wash'd
    In all her Life, with long Nails over-raught,
    Like Puttock's Claws with th' one of which she scratch'd
    Her cursed Head, although it itched naught;
    The other held a Snake with Venom fraught,
    On which she fed, and gnawed hungerly,
    As if that long she had not eaten nought;
    That round about her Jaws one might descry
    The bloody Gore and Poison dropping loathsomly.
    • Canto XII, stanza 30
  • Her Face was ugly, and her Mouth distort,
    Foaming with Poison round about her Gills,
    In which her cursed Tongue (full sharp and short)
    Appear'd like Aspis Sting, that closely kills,
    Or cruelly does wound whomso she wills.
    A Distaff in her other Hand she had,
    Upon the which she little spins, but spills,
    And fains to weave false Tales, and Leasings bad,
    To throw among the good, which others had dissprad.
    • Canto XII, stanza 36
A Monster, which the Blatant Beast Men call;
A dreadful Fiend, of Gods and Men ydrad.
  • A Monster, which the Blatant Beast Men call;
    A dreadful Fiend, of Gods and Men ydrad.
    • Canto XII, stanza 37

Book VI[edit]

  • Yet is that Glass so gay, that it can blind
    The wisest Sight, to think Gold that is Brass.
    • Proem, stanza 5
  • No greater Shame to Man than Inhumanity.
    • Canto I, stanza 26
  • In vain he seeketh others to suppress,
    Who hath not learn'd himself first to subdue.
    • Canto I, stanza 41
  • Who will not Mercy unto others shew,
    How can he Mercy ever hope to have?
    • Canto I, stanza 42
  • True is, that whilom that good Poet said,
    The gentle Mind by gentle Deeds is known.
    For, Man by nothing is so well bewray'd,
    As by his Manners
    ; in which plain is shown
    Of what Degree and what Race he is grown.
    • Canto III, stanza 1. Compare: "He is gentil that dooth gentil dedis", Geoffrey Chaucer, Wife of Bath's Tale, line 1170.
  • Such is the Weakness of all mortal Hope;
    So fickle is the State of earthly Things,
    That e'er they come unto their aimed Scope,
    They fall too short of our frail Reckonings,
    And bring us Bale and bitter Sorrowings,
    Instead of Comfort, which we should embrace.
    • Canto III, stanza 5
  • Ill seems, said he, if he so valiant be,
    That he should be so stern to stranger Wight:
    For seldom yet did living Creature see,
    That Courtesy and Manhood ever disagree.
    • Canto III, stanza 40
  • Therein he them full fair did entertain,
    Not with such forged Shows, as fitter been
    For courting Fools, that Courtesies would fain,
    But with entire Affection and Appearance plain.
    • Canto V, stanza 38
  • No wound, which warlike Hand of Enemy
    Inflicts with dint of Sword, so sore doth light,
    As doth the poisonous Sting, which Infamy
    Infixeth in the Name of noble Wight
    For, by no Art, nor any Leach's Might
    It ever can recured be again;
    Ne all the Skill which that immortal Spright
    Of Podalyrius did in it retain,
    Can remedy such hurts; such hurts are hellish Pain.
    • Canto VI, stanza 1
  • Give Salves to every Sore, but Counsel to the Mind.
    • Canto VI, stanza 5
  • Thereto when needed, she could weep and pray,
    And when her listed, she could fawn and flatter;
    Now smiling smoothly, like to Summers-day,
    Now glooming sadly, so to cloke her Matter;
    Yet were her Words but Wind, and all her Tears but Water.
    • Canto VI, stanza 42
  • Ye gentle Ladies, in whose sovereign Pow'r
    Love hath the Glory of his Kingdom left,
    And th' Hearts of Men, as your eternal Dow'r,
    In iron Chains, of Liberty bereft,
    Deliver'd hath into your hands by Gift;
    Be well aware how ye the same do use,
    That Pride do not to Tyranny you lift;
    Lest if Men you of Cruelty accuse,
    He from you take that Chiefdom, which ye do abuse.
    • Canto VIII, stanza 1
  • Then to the rest his wrathful Hand he bends;
    Of whom he makes such Havock and such Hue,
    That Swarms of damned Souls to Hell he sends:
    The rest, that scape his Sword, and Death eschew,
    Fly like a Flock of Doves before a Faulcon's View.
    • Canto VIII, stanza 49
  • It is the Mind that maketh good or ill,
    That maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor.
    • Canto IX, stanza 30
  • Old love is little worth when new is more prefarred.
    • Canto IX, stanza 40
  • The Joys of Love, if they should ever last,
    Without Affliction or Disquietness,
    That worldly Chaunces do among them call,
    Would be on Earth too great a Blessedness,
    Liker to Heaven than mortal Wretchedness.
    the winged God, to let Men weet,
    That here on Earth is no sure Happiness,
    A thousand Sours hath tempred with one Sweet,
    To make it seem more dear and dainty, as is meet.
    • Canto XI, stanza 1
  • And therein were a thousand Tongues empight,
    Of sundry Kinds, and sundry Quality;
    Some were of Dogs, that barked Day and Night;
    And some of Cats, that wrawling still did cry;
    And some of Bears, that groynd continually;
    And some of Tygers, that did seem to gren,
    And snar at all, that ever passed by:
    But most of them were Tongues of mortal Men,
    Which spake reproachfully, nor caring where nor when.

    And them amongst, were mingled here and there
    The Tongues of Serpents, with three-forked Stings,
    That spat out Poison and gore bloody Gere
    At all that came within his Ravenings;
    And spake licentious Words, and hateful Things
    Of good and bad alike, of low and high;
    Ne Cesars spared he a whit, nor Kings,
    But either blotted them with Infamy,
    Or bit them with his baneful Teeth of Injury.

    • Canto XII, stanzas 27–28

Book VII[edit]

What Man that sees the ever-whirling Wheel
Of Change, the which all mortal things doth sway,
But that thereby doth find, and plainly feel,
How Mutability in them doth play
Her cruel Sports, to many Mens decay?
  • What Man that sees the ever-whirling Wheel
    Of Change, the which all mortal things doth sway,
    But that thereby doth find, and plainly feel,
    How Mutability in them doth play
    Her cruel Sports, to many Mens decay?
    • Canto VI, stanza 1
  • Wars and Alarums unto Nations wide.
    • Canto VI, stanza 3
  • So forth issu'd the Seasons of the Year;
    First, lusty Spring, all dight in Leaves of Flow'rs
    That freshly budded, and new Bloosms did bear
    (In which a thousand Birds had built their Bow'rs,
    That sweetly sung, to call forth Paramours:)
    And in his Hand a Javelin he did bear,
    And on his Head (as fit for warlike Stours)
    A gilt engraven Morion he did wear;
    That as some did him love, so others did him fear.
    • Cantos VII, stanza 28
  • Then came the jolly Summer, being dight
    In a thin silken Cassock colour'd green,
    That was unlined all, to be more light:
    And on his Head a Girlond well beseen
    He wore, from which as he had chauffed been
    The Sweat did drop; and in his Hand he bore
    A Bow and Shafts, as he in Forest green
    Had hunted late the Libbard or the Boar,
    And now would bathe his Limbs, with Labour heated sore.
    • Cantos VII, stanza 29
  • Then came the Autumn all in Yellow clad,
    As though he joyed in his plenteous Store,
    Laden with Fruits that made him laugh, full glad
    That he had banish'd Hunger, which to-fore
    Had by the Belly oft him pinched sore.
    Upon his Head a Wreath, that was enroll'd
    With Ears of Corn of every sort, he bore:
    And in his Hand a Sickle he did hold,
    To reap the ripen'd Fruits, the which the Earth had yold.
    • Cantos VII, stanza 30
  • Lastly, came Winter clothed all in Frize,
    Chattering his Teeth for Cold that did him chill,
    Whilst on his hoary Beard his Breath did freeze;
    And the dull Drops, that from his purpled Bill,
    As from a Limbeck did adown distill.
    In his right Hand a tipped Staff he had,
    With which his feeble Steps he stayed still:
    For he was faint with Cold, and weak with Eld;
    That scarce his loosed limbs he able was to weld.
    • Cantos VII, stanza 31
  • First, sturdy March, with Brows full sternly bent,
    And armed strongly, rode upon a Ram,
    The same which over Hellepontus swam:
    Yet in his Hand a Spade he also hent,
    And in a Bag all sorts of Seeds ysame,
    Which on the Earth he strowed as he went,
    And fill'd her Womb with fruitful Hope of Nourishment.
    • Canto VII, stanza 32
  • Jolly June, array'd
    All in green Leaves, as he a Player were.
    • Canto VII, stanza 35
  • Next was November, he full gross and fat,
    As fed with Lard, and that right well might seem;
    For he had been a fatting Hogs of late.
    • Canto VII, stanza 40
  • And after all came Life, and lastly Death:
    Death with most grim and griesly Visage seen,
    Yet is he nought but parting of the Breath;
    Ne ought to see, but like a Shade to ween,
    Unbodied, unsoul'd, unheard, unseen.
    • Cantos VII, stanza 46
  • But Times do change and move continually.
    • Canto VII, stanza 47
  • For, all that moveth, doth in Change delight:
    But thence-forth all shall rest eternally
    With Him that is the God of Sabbaoth hight:
    O that great Sabbaoth God, graunt me that Sabbaoth's sight.
    • Canto VIII, stanza 2

External links[edit]

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