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With hundred iron chains he did him bind,
And hundred knots that him did sore constrain;
Yet his great iron teeth he still did grind
And grimly gnash, threat'ning revenge in vain.
His burning eyes, whom bloody streaks did stain,
Stared full wide, and threw forth sparks of fire ;
And more for rank despite, than for great pain,
Shak'd his long locks, colour'd like copper wire,27
And bit his tawny beard, to show his raging ire.

27 “ Colour'd like copper wire.”—A felicity suggested perhaps by the rhyme. It has all the look, however, of a copy from some painting; perhaps one of Julio Romano's.


Character, Loving and Sorrowful Purity glorified.

(May I say, that I think it would take Raphael and Correggio united to paint this, on account of the exquisite chiaroscuro? Or might not the painter of the Magdalen have it all to himself?)

Yet she, most faithful lady, all this while,28
Forsaken, woeful, solitary maid,

Far from all people's press, as in exile,

In wilderness and wasteful deserts stray'd

To seek her knight, who subtily betray'd

Through that late vision which the enchanter wrought,
Had her abandon'd. She, of nought afraid,

Through woods and wasteness wide him daily sought,

Yet wished tidings none of him unto her brought.


One day nigh weary of the irksome way, From her unhasty beast she did alight, And on the grass her dainty limbs did lay In secret shadow far from all men's sight: From her fair head her fillet she undight And laid her stole aside: her angel's face As the great eye of heaven shined bright, And made a sunshine in the shady place; Did never mortal eye behold such heavenly grace.

It fortunèd, out of the thickest wood
A ramping lion rushed suddenly,
Hunting full greedy after savage blood:
Soon as the royal virgin he did spy,
With gaping mouth at her ran greedily,
To have at once devour'd her tender corse;

But to the prey when as he drew more nigh, His bloody rage assuagèd with remorse, And with the sight amaz'd, forgot his furious force.

Instead thereof he kiss'd her weary feet,

And lick'd her lily hand with fawning tongue;
As he her wrongèd innocence did weet.

O how can beauty master the most strong,
And simple truth subdue avenging wrong!
Whose yielded pride and proud submission,
Still dreading death when she had marked long,
Her heart 'gan melt in great compassion :
And drizzling tears did shed for pure affection.

"The lion, lord of every beast in field,"
Quoth she," his princely puissance doth abate,
And mighty proud to humble weak does yield,
Forgetful of the hungry rage, which late
Him prick'd with pity of my sad estate :-

But he my lion, and my noble lord,

How does he find in cruel heart to hate

Her, that him lov'd, and ever most ador'd

As the god of my life? Why hath he me abhorr'd ?" 29

28" Yet she," &c.—Coleridge quotes this stanza as "a good instance of what he means" in the following remarks in his Lectures :-" As characteristic of Spenser, I would call your particular attention in the first place to the indescribable sweetness and fluent projections of his verse, very clearly distintinguishable from the deeper and more inwoven harmonies of Shakspeare and Milton." Good, however, as the stanza is, and beautiful the second line, it does not appear to me so happy an instance of what Coleridge speaks of as many which he might have selected.

The verses marked in the second stanza are one of the most favourite quotations from the Faerie Queene.

29“ As the gòd of my life?" &c.—Pray let not the reader consent to read this first half of the line in any manner less marked and peremptory. It is a striking instance of the beauty of that "acceleration and retardation of true verse" which Coleridge speaks of. There is to be a hurry on the words as the, and a passionate emphasis and passing stop on the word god; and so of the next three words.


Character, Young and Innocent but Conscious and Sensuous Beauty; Painter, Correggio.

Behold how goodly my fair love does lie
In proud humility!

Like unto Maia, when as Jove her took
In Tempè, lying on the flowery grass,
'Twixt sleep and wake, after she weary was
With bathing in the Acidalian brook.



Character, Dreariness of Scene; Horridness of Aspect and Wicked Beauty, side by side; Painter, Julio Romano.

Then to her iron waggon she betakes

And with her bears the foul well-favoured witch :
Through mirksome air her ready way she makes,
Her twofold team (of which two black as pitch
And two were brown, yet each to each unlich*)
Did softly swim away, nor ever stamp

Unless she chanc'd their stubborn mouths to twitch;
Then, foaming tar, their bridles they would champ,
And trampling the fine element would fiercely ramp.

So well they sped, that they be come at length
Unto the place whereas the Paynim lay

*"Each to each unlich." Unlike.

Devoid of outward sense and native strength,
Cover'd with charmed cloud from view of day
And sight of men, since his late luckless fray.
His cruel wounds, with cruddy blood congeal'd,
They binden up so wisely as they may,

And handle softly, till they can be heal'd,
So lay him in her chariot, close in night conceal'd.

And all the while she stood upon the ground,
The wakeful dogs did never cease to bay ;
As giving warning of the unwonted sound,
With which her iron wheels did they affray,
And her dark griesly look them much dismay.
The messenger of death, the ghastly owl,
With dreary shrieks did also her bewray;
And hungry wolves continually did howl
At her abhorred face, so filthy and so foul.30

Then turning back in silence soft they stole,
And brought the heavy corse with easy pace
To yawning gulf of deep Avernus hole.

By that same hole, an entrance, dark and base,
With smoke and sulphur hiding all the place,
Descends to hell: there creature never pass'd
That back returned without heavenly grace;

But dreadful furies which their chains have brast, And damned sprites sent forth, to make ill men aghast.

By that same way the direful dames do drive
Their mournful chariot fill'd with rusty blood,31
And down to Pluto's house are come belive :
Which passing through, on every side them stood
The trembling ghosts with sad amazed mood,
Chattering their iron teeth, and staring wide
With stony eyes; and all the hellish brood
Of fiends infernal flock'd on every side,

To gaze on earthly wight, that with the night durst ride.

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