ePub 版

With footing worne, and leading inward farr;
Faire harbour that them seems; so in they entred ar.


And foorth they passe, with pleasure forward led,
loving to heare the birdes sweete harmony,
Which, therein shrouded from the tempest dred,
Seemd in their song to scorne the cruell sky.
Much can they praise the trees so straight and hy,
The sayling pine; the cedar proud and tall;
The vine-propp elme; the poplar never dry;
The builder oake, sole king of forrests all;
The aspine good for staves; the cypresse funerall;

The laurell, mecd of mightie conquerours
And poets sage; the firre that weepeth still;
The willow, worne of forlorne paramours;
The eugh, obedient to the benders will;
The birch for shaftes; the sallow for the mill;
The mirrhe sweete-bleeding in the bitter wound;
The warlike beech; the ash for nothing ill;

The fruitfull olive; and the platane round;
The carver holme; the maple seeldom inward sound.

Led with delight, they thus beguile the way, Untill the blustering storme is overblowne; When, weening to returne whence they did stray, They cannot finde that path, which first was showne, But wander too and fro in waies unknowne, Furthest from end then, when they neerest weene, That makes them doubt their wits be not their owne: So many pathes, so many turnings seene, That, which of thein to take, in diverse doubt they becn.


I. Nouglit3 is there under heaven's wide hollownesse That moves more deare compassion of mind, Then beautie brought t' unworthie wretchednesse Through envies snares, or fortunes freakes unkind. I, whether lately through her brightnes blynd, Or through allegeance, and fast fealty, Which I do owe unto all womankynd,

Feele my hart perst with so great agony, When such I see, that all for pitty I could dy.


And now it is empassioned 4 so deepe,
For fairest Unaes sake, of whom I sing,

1 Can they praise-Much they praised. This form of expression is frequently used by Spenser. Some, however, consider 'can' to be put for 'gan,' or 'began.

: Eugh-yew. # Nonght, &c. In this canto the adventures of Una are resumed, from the ninth stanza of the pro reding canto

4 Empassioned-moved.

That my frayle cies these lines with teares da teepe,
To think how she through guyleful handeling,
Though true as touch, though daughter of a king,
Though faire as ever living wight was savre,
Though nor in word nor deede ill meriting,

Is from her Knight divorced in despayre,
And her dew loves deryvod? to that vyle Witches shayre.

III. Yet she, most faithfull Ladie, all this while Forsaken, wofull, solitarie mayd, Far from all peoples preace, as in exile, In wildernesse and wastfull deserts strayd, To seeke her Knight; who, subtily betrayd Through that late vision which th' Enchaunter wrought, Had her abandond: She, of nought affrayd,

Through woods and wastness wide him daily sought, Yet wished tydinges none of him unto her brought.


One day, nigh wearie of the yrkesome way,
From her unhastie beast she did alight;
And on the grasse her dainty limbs did lay
In secrete shadow, far from all mens siglt;
From her fayre head her fillet she undight,
And layd her stole aside: Her angels face,
As the great eye of heaven, shyned bright,

And make a sunshine in the shady place;
Did ever mortall eye behold such heavenly grace?

It fortuned, out of the thickest wood
A ramping lyons rushed suddeinly,
Hunting full greedy after salvage blood :
Soone as the royall Virgin he did spy,
With gaping mouth at her ran greedily,
To have attonce devourd her tender corse:
But to the pray when as he drew more ny,

His bloody rage aswaged with remorse,
And, with the sight amazd, forgat his furious forse.

Instead thereof he kist her wearie feet,
And lickt her lilly hands with fawning tong;
As he her wronged innocence did weet.?
O how can beautie maister the most strong,
And simple truth subilue avenging wrong!
Whose yielded pryde and proud submission,
Still dreading death, when she had marked long,

1 True as touch-l. e. true as the touchstone by which other substances are tried.
! Deryv d-transferred.
8 Preace-press or throng.

4 Undight-took ofr. 6 A ramping lyon.-Upton conjectures the lion to be the English monarch, the defender of the taith. Ke seems rather to represent a manly and courageous people, like the English, and the homage he pays to Una betokens the respect which would be felt by such a people to beauty and innocence. 6 A as los

1 Weet-understand.

Her hart gan melt in great compassion;
And drizling feares did shed for pure affection.


« The lyon, lord of everie beast in field,”
Quoth she, “his princely puissance doth abate,
And mightie proud to humble weake does yield,
Forgetfull of the hungry rage, which late
Hiin prickt, in pittie of my sad estate :
But he, my lyon, and my noble lord,
How does he find in cruell hart to hate

Her, that him lov'd, and ever most adord
As the god of my life? why hath he me abhord ?"

Redonnding' tears did choke th' end of her plaint,
Which softly echoed from the neighbour wood;
And, sad to see her sorrowfull constraint,
The kingly beast upon her gazing stood;
With pittie calmd, downe fell his angry mood,
At last, in close hart shutting up her payne,
Arose the Virgin borne of heavenly brood,
And to her snowy palfrey got agayne,
To seek her strayed Champion if she might attayne.

The lyon would not leave her desolate,
But with her went along, as a strong gard
Of her chast person, and a faythfull mate
Of her sad troubles and misfortunes hard :
Still, when she slept, he kept both watch and ward ;
And, when she wakt, he wayted diligent,
With humble service to her will prepard :

From her fayre eyes he took commandément,
And ever by her lookes conceived her intent.

Book I. Canto III.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


At last she claunced by good hap to meet
A goodly Knight, faire marching by the way,
Together with his Squyre, arrayed meet:
His glitterand armour shined far away,
Like glauncing light of Phæbus brightest ray;
From top to toe no place appeared bare,
That deadly dint of stecle endanger may:
Athwart his brest a bauldrick brave he ware,
That shind, like twinkling stars, with stones most pretious rare:

And, in the midst thereof, one pretious stone
Of wondrous worth, and eke of wondrous mights,

ook of er of the e homage nocrocs

1 Redoanding-flowing.

A goodly Knight. This is Prince Arthur, in whose faultless excellence Spenser is supposed to bave represented his flustrious friend, Sir Philip Sidney, whose beautiful character and splendid Accomplishments kindled a warmth of admiration among his contemporaries, of which we find it duficult to conceive in our colder and more prosaic age.

Shape like a Ladies head, exceeding shone,
Like Hesperus emongst the lesser lights,
And strove for to amaze the weaker sights:
Thereby his mortall blade full comely hong
In yvory sheath, ycary'd with curious slights,

Whose hilts were burnisht gold; and handle strong
Of mother perle; and buckled with a golden tong.

His haughtie helmet, horrid all with gold,
Both glorious brightnesse and great terrour bredd:
For all the crest a dragon did enfold
With greedie pawes, and over all did spredd
His golden winges; his dreadfull hideous hedd,
Close couched on the bever, seemd to throw
From flaming mouth bright sparckles fiery redd,

That suddeine horrour to faint hartes did show;
And scaly tayle was stretcht adowne his back full low.

Upon the top of all his loftie crest,
A bounch of heares discolourd diversly,
With sprincled pearle and gold full richly drest,
Did shake, and seemd to daunce for iollity;
Like to an almond tree ymounted hye
On top of greene Selinis? all alone,
With blossoms brave bedecked daintily;

Whose tender locks do tremble every one
At everie little breath, that under heaven is blowne.

Book I. Canto VII.



Eftsoone3 there stepped foorth
A goodly Ladie' clad in hunters weed,

That seemd to be a woman of great worth,
And by her stately portances borne of heavenly birth.

Her face so faire, as flesh it seemed not,
But hevenly pourtraict of bright angels hew,
Cleare as the skye, withouten blame or blot,
Through goodly mixture of complexions dew;
And in her cheekes the vermeill red did shew
Like roses in a bed of lillies shed,
The which ambrosiall odours from them threw,

1 Slights-devices.

2 Greene Selinis.--Sellnis is evidently the name of some bill or mountain, which I do not And In any book of reference within reach. Upton, strangely enough, supposes it to be Selinus, a city In Cilicia, to which he applies an epithet, " Palmosa," applied by Virgil to another city of the same name in Sicily. After this double blunder, he remarks, with amusing simplicity, “The simile of the almondtree is exceeding elegant, and much after the cast of that admired image in Homer," &c. Todd copies the wliole without comment.--Huurd.

8 Eftsoone- immediately. 4 A goodly Ladie, &c.-In the beautiful and elaborate portrait of Belphoebe, Sperser has drawn & dattered likeness of Queen Elizabeth.

6 Portance-demeanor. And la city in

And gazers sence with double pleasure fed, Hable to heale the sicke and to revive the ded.

XXIII. In her faire eyes two living lamps did flame, Kindled above at th' Hevenly Makers light, And darted fyrie beames out of the same, So passing persant,' and so wondrous bright, That quite bereavd the rash beholders sight; In them the blinded god his lustful fyre To kindle oft assayd, but had no might; For, with dredd maiestie and awfull yre She broke his wanton darts, and quenched bace desyre.

XXIV. Her yvoire forhead, full of bountie brave, Like a broad table did itselle dispred, For Love his loftie triumphes to engrave, And write the battailes of his great godhed: All good and honour might therein be red; For there their dwelling was. And, when she spake, Sweete wordes, like dropping honny, she did shed;

And twixt the perles and rubins? softly brake
A silver sound, that heavenly musicke seemd to make.

Upon her eyelids many Graces sate,
Under the shadow of her even browes,
Working belgardess and amorous retrate;'
And everie one her with a grace endowes,
And everie one with meekenesse to her bowes:
So glorious mirrhour of celestiall grace,
And soveraine moniment of mortall vowes,

How shall frayle pen descrive her heavenly face,
For feare, through want of skill, her beauty to disgrace!

So faire, and thousand thousand times more faire,
She seemd, when she presented was to sight;
And was yclad, for heat of scorching aire,
All in a silken camush lilly whight,
Purfled 6 upon with many a folded plight,7
Which all above besprinckled was throughout
With golden aygulets, that glistred bright

Like twinckling starres; and all the skirt about
Was hemd with golden fringe.

Her yellow lockes, crisped like golden wyre,
About her shoulders weren loosely shed,
And, when the winde emongst them did inspyre, 10
They waved like a penon wyde dispred.

Dame Lorond


1 Persant-piercing. Rubins---rubies. 8 Belgardes-sweet looks. Retrate-picture. Camokthin dress. Purfled-embroidered. 7 Plight-plait. $ Aygulets-tagged potta

The yellow locks of Queen Elizabeth enter largely into the descriptions of beauty by the poets of her reign.

10 Inspyre-brea ho.

Taverne meer

« 上一頁繼續 »