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With hundred iron chains he did him bind,
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.
UNA (OR FAITH IN DISTRESS).
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
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,
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
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;
O how can beauty master the most strong,
"The lion, lord of every beast in field,"
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.
JUPITER AND MAIA.
Character, Young and Innocent but Conscious and Sensuous Beauty; Painter, Correggio.
Behold how goodly my fair love does lie
Like unto Maia, when as Jove her took
NIGHT AND THE WITCH DUESSA,
TAKING SANSJOY IN THEIR CHARIOT TO ESCULAPIUS TO BE RESTORED TO LIFE.
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 :
Unless she chanc'd their stubborn mouths to twitch;
So well they sped, that they be come at length
*"Each to each unlich." Unlike.
Devoid of outward sense and native strength,
And handle softly, till they can be heal'd,
And all the while she stood upon the ground,
Then turning back in silence soft they stole,
By that same hole, an entrance, dark and base,
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
To gaze on earthly wight, that with the night durst ride.