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HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SUR- In faith, methink, some better ways
On your behalf might well be sought,
Than to compare, as ye have done,
To match the candle with the sun.
DESCRIPTION OF SPRING, WHEREIN EACH THING
RENEWS, SAVE ONLY THE LOVER
The soote1 season that bud and bloom forth
With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale;
The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her make2 hath told her tale:
Summer is come, for every spray now springs;|
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter cote he flings;
The fishes flete with new repaired scale;
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale;
The busy bee her honey now she mings3.
Winter is worn, that was the flowers' bale:
And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.
A PRAISE OF HIS Love, WHEREIN HE
REPROVETH THEM THAT COMPARE THEIR
LADIES WITH HIS
And thereto hath a troth as just
As had Penelope the fair;
For what she saith, ye may it trust
As it by writing sealed were.
And virtues hath she many moe
Than I with pen have skill to show.
I could rehearse, if that I would,
The whole effect4 of Nature's plaint
When she had lost the perfect mold,
The like to whom she could not paint. With wringing hands how she did cry, And what she said, I know it, I.
I know she swore with raging mind,
Her kingdom only set apart,
There was no loss, by law of kind5,
That could have gone so near her heart.
And this was chiefly all her pain:
She could not make the like again.
Sith nature thus gave her the praise
To be the chiefest work she wrought,
2 turtle-dove to her mate
Straight shalt thou see the seas covered with sails,
Give place, ye lovers, here before,
That spent your boasts and brags in vain; The blazing brands the shore all spread with My Lady's beauty passeth more
The best of yours, I dare well sayen,
Than doth the sun the candle light,
Or brightest day the darkest night.
* See note on preceding page.
DEPARTURE OF AENEAS FROM DIDO
Such great complaints brake forth out of her breast;
Whiles Aeneas full minded to depart,
All things prepared, slept in the poop on high.
To whom in sleep the wonted godhead's form
'Gan aye appear, returning in like shape1
As seemed him, and 'gan him thus advise,
Like unto Mercury in voice and hue,
With yellow bush2, and comely limbs of youth:
"O goddess' son, in such case canst thou
Ne yet, bestraughts, the dangers dost foresee That compass thee, nor hear 'st the fair winds blow?
Dido in mind rolls vengeance and deceit;
Determ'd to die, swells with unstable ire.
Wilt thou not flee whiles thou hast time of
And if the morrow steal upon thee here.
Come off, have done, set all delay aside;
For full of change these women be alway."
This said, in the dark night he 'gan him hide.
Aeneas, of this sudden vision
Adread, starts up out of his sleep in haste,
Calls up his feress: "Awake, get up, my
EDMUND SPENSER (1552-1599)*
DOTH IN ALL HUMILITIE
DEDICATE, PRESENT, AND CONSECRATE
THESE HIS LABOURS
TO LIVE WITH THE ETERNITIE
OF HER FAME.
Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome1 did maske, As time her taught, in lowly Shepheards weeds2,
Am now enforst a far unfitter taske,
For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds,
TO THE MOST HIGH,
MIGHTIE, AND MAGNIFICENT EMPRESSE
RENOWMED FOR PIETIE, VERTUE,
AND ALL GRATIOUS GOVERNMENT
Helpe then, O holy Virgin chiefe of nine,
Thy weaker Novice to performe thy will;
Lay forth cut of thine everlasting scrynes
BY THE GRACE OF GOD
QUEENE OF ENGLAND, FRAUNCE, AND IRELAND, The antique rolles, which there lye hidden still,
AND OF VIRGINIA,
DEFENDOUR OF THE FAITH, &C.
HER MOST HUMBLE SERVAUNT
Of Faerie knights and fairest Tanaquill,
Whom that most noble Briton Princes so long
Sought through the world, and suffered so
That I must rue his undeserved wrong:
O helpe thou my weake wit, and sharpen my
And sing of Knights and Ladies gentle3 deeds;
Whose prayses having slept in silence long,
Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds4
To blazon broad emongst her learned throng:
Fierce warres and faithfull loves shall moral-
ize my song.
And thou most dreaded impes of highest Jove,
Faire Venus sonne, that with thy cruell dart
At that good knight so cunningly didst rove,
That glorious fire it kindled in his hart,
Lay now thy deadly Heben10 bow apart,
And with thy mother milde come to mine ayde;
Come both, and with you bring triumphant
In loves and gentle jollities arrayd,
After his murdrous spoiles and bloudy rage
2 Referring to the Shepheardes Calender, a pastoral poem. See Eng. Lit., 89-90.
*The Faerie Queene is an allegory designed to set forth "a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline." The central characters are Gloriana, the queen of an imaginary
("faerie") court, who symbolizes Glory, and And with them eke, O Goddesse heavenly her suitor Prince Arthur, who stands for Magnificence (Munificence), "which virtue is the perfection of all the rest." Besides these,
the twelve moral virtues were to have been separately represented by twelve knights. each performing deeds and overcoming temptations according to his character. But as the poet's design was never finished, only half these virtues get representation, and the central characters receive rather less prominence
than the six several virtues which are set
forth in the six completed books. Each of
these books, consisting of twelve cantos, is
practically a complete story in itself.
first deals with the Knight of the Red Cross,
or Holiness, who, clad in the armor of the
Christian faith, is sent forth by his Queen as
the champion of Ina (Truth) to deliver her
parents, "who had been by an huge dragon
many years shut up in a brasen castle." Be-
neath the moral allegory may be read also a
political one, according to which Gloriana is
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Arthur is Lord
Leicester, Duessa is Mary Queen of Scots, etc.
But after all, the poetry of the poem is
worth far more than the elaborate allegory.
The language and spelling are deliberately
and sometimes falsely archaic. See Eng. Lit.,
3 noble (as distinguished
5 Clio, Muse of History.
6 shrine, chest
7 The daughter of Obe-
ron; here another
name for Gloriana.
Mirrour of grace and Majestie divine,
Great Lady of the greatest Isle, whose light
Like Phoebus lampe12 throughout the world
Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne,
And raise my thoughts, too humble and too
To thinke of that true glorious type of thine,
The argument of mine afflicted stile13:
The which to heare, vouchsafe, O dearest
8 Prince Arthur
12 the sun
13 subject of my lowiy pen
14 object of reverence
THE KNIGHT OF THE RED CROSS AND HIS FIGHT | Seemed in heart some hidden care she had, WITH THE MONSTER ERROR. THE WILES And by her in a line a milke white lambe she lad.*
OF ARCHIMAGO. FROM BOOK I, CANTO I.
At last resolving forward still to fare,
Till that some end they finde or in or out,
That path they take, that beaten seemd most
At length it brought them to a hollow cave
Amid the thickest woods. The Champion stout
Eftsoones18 dismounted from his courser brave,
And to the Dwarfe awhile his needlesse spere
Be well aware, quoth then that Ladie milde,
Least suddaine mischiefe ye, too rash provoke:
The danger hid, the place unknowne and wilde,
Breedes dreadfull doubts: Oft fire is without
And peril without show: therefore your stroke,
Sir Knight, with-hold, till further triall made.
Ah Ladie, (said he) shame were to revoke
The forward footing for an hidden shade:
Vertue gives her selfe light, through darke-
nesse for to wade19.
Yea but (quoth she) the perill of this place
I better wot then you, though now too late
To wish you backe returne with foule disgrace,
Yet wisdome warnes, whilest foot is in the
To stay the steppe, ere forced to retrate.
This is the wandring wood21, this Errours den,
A monster vile, whom God and man does hate:
Therefore I read22 beware. Fly, fly (quoth then'
The fearcfull Dwarfe) this is no place for
But full of fire and greedy hardiment,
The youthfull knight could not for ought be
And like to lead the labyrinth about;
Which when by tracti they hunted had A thousand yong ones25, which she dayly fed,
Sucking upon her poisnous dugs, eachone
Of sundry shapes, yet all ill favored:
Soone as that uncouth light upon them shone,
Into her mouth they crept, and suddain all
But forth unto the darksome hole he went,
And looked in: his glistring armor made
A litle glooming light, much like a shade,
By which he saw the ugly monster plaine,
Halfe like a serpent horribly displaide,
But th'other halfe did womans shape retaine,
Most lothsom, filthie, foule, and full of vile
And as she lay upon the durtie ground,
Her huge long taile her den all overspred,
Yet was in knots and many boughtes2 up-
Pointed with mortall sting. Of her there
She lookt about, and seeing one in mayle
Armed to point26, sought backe to turne
For light she hated as the deadly bale,
Ay wont in desert darknesse to remaine,
Where plain none might her see, nor she see
Who see your vanquisht foes before you lye:
Well worthie be you of that Armorie32,
Wherein ye have great glory wonne this day,
And proov'd your strength on a strong enimie,
Which when the valiant Elfe perceiv'd, he lept | Your first adventure: many such I pray,
As Lyon fierce upon the flying pray,
And henceforth ever wish that like succeed it
And with his trenchand blade her boldly kept
From turning backe, and forced her to stay:
Therewith enrag'd she loudly gan to bray,
And turning fierce, her speckled taile advaunst,
Threatning her angry sting, him to dismay:
Who nought aghast his mightie hand en-
Much daunted with that dint28, her sence was
Yet kindling rage, her selfe she gathered round,
And all attonce her beastly body raizd
With doubled forces high above the ground:
Tho 29 wrapping up her wrethed sterne arownd,
Lept fierce upon his shield, and her huge traine
All suddenly about his body wound,
That hand or foot to stirre he strove in vaine:
God.helpe the man so wrapt in Errours end-
Ne33 ever would to any by-way bend, The stroke down from her head unto her But still did follow one unto the end, shoulder glaunst.
The which at last out of the wood them
So forward on his way (with God to frend)
He passed forth, and new adventure sought;
Long way he travelled, before he heard of
His Ladie seeing all that chaunst, from farre
Approcht in hast to greet his victorie,
And said, Faire knight, borne under happy
30 his anger was stirred
* Stanzas 20-26 describe, in language made purposely coarse for the sake of the allegory, the monster's foul tactics in self-defense. until from her body the knight "raft her hatefull heade without remorse,' and the young ones gorged themselves to death upon her "blood.
Then mounted he upon his Steede againe,
And with the Lady backward sought to wend;
That path he kept which beaten was most