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[archimago, in a last spiteful effort, comes
40 disguised as a messenger and attempts to pre Great joy was made that day of young and vent the betrothal by producing a letter from old, Duessa in which she asserts that the Knight is And solemne feast proclaimd throughout the plighted to her. His ruse, however, is exposed.] land,
That their exceeding merth may not be told:
Suffice it heare by signes to understand But they him layd full low in dungeon deepe, The usuall joyes at knitting of loves band. And bound him hand and foote with yron Thrise happy man the knight himselfe did chains
hold, And with continual watch did warely keepe: Possessed of his Ladies hart and hand, Who then would thinke, that by his subtile And ever, when his eye did her behold, trains
His heart did seeme to melt in pleasures
Her joyous presence, and sweet company
His deare delights were able to annoy:
Yet swimming in that sea of blissfull joy, His owne two hands the holy knots did knit,
He nought forgot how he whilome had sworne, That none but death for ever can devide;
In case he could that monstrous beast destroy, Ilis owne two hands, for such a turne most fit, Unto his Faerie Queene backe to returne; The houslingii fire did kindle and provide,
The which he shortly did, and Una left to And holy water thereon sprinckled wide; At which the bushy Teade12 a groome did light,
42 And sacred lamp in secret chamber hide, Where it should not be quenched day nor night, For we be come unto a quiet rode,
Now strike your sailes ye jolly Mariners, For feare of evill fates, but burnen ever
Where we must land some of our passengers, bright.
And light this wearie vessell of her lode. Then gan they sprinckle all the posts with Till she repaired have her tackles spent,
Here she a while may make her safe abode, wine, And made great feast to solemnize that day; On the long voyage whereto she is bent:
And wants supplide. And then againe abroad They all perfumde with frankencense divine,
Well may she speedle and fairely finish her And precious odours fetcht from far away,
Sweet-breathing Zephyrus did softly playDuring the which there was an heavenly noise A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay Heard sounil through all the Pallace pleasantly, Hot Titan's beams, which then did glister Like as it had bene many an Angels voice
fair; Singing before th' eternall Majesty,
When I, (whom sullen care, In their trinall triplicities13 on hye;
Through discontent of my long fruitless stay Yet wist no creature whence that heavenly In princes' court, and expectation vain sweet
Of idle hopes, which still do fly away Proceeded, yet eachone felt secretly
Like empty shadows, diu afflict my brain) Himselfe thereby reft of his sences meet,
A “Spousall Verse" made in honor of the apAnd ravished with rare impression in his proaching double marriage
Elizabeth and Katherine Somerset in 1596, sprite.
and apparently celebrating,
theirs to Essex House. F. T. Palgrave says 10 banns 11 sacramental 12 torch
of this poem: “Nowhere has Spenser more 13 The thrice three orders of the celestial hier
emphatically displayed himself as the very archy: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Domin- poet of Beauty : The Renaissance impulse in lons, Virtues, Powers, Princedoms, Arch
its highest and angels, Angels.
Walk'd forth to ease my pain
10 | Against their bridal day, which was not long: Along the shore of silver-streaming Thames; Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my Whose ruttyı bank, the which his river hems,
song. Was painted all with variable flowers, And all the meads adorn 'd with dainty gems Eftsoons the nymphs, which now had flowers Fit to deck maidens' bowers,
their fill, And crown their paramours
Ran all in haste to see that silver brood Against the bridal day, which is not long: As they came floating on the crystal flood; Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my Whom when they saw, they stood amazéd still song. Their wondering eyes to fill;
Them seem 'd they never saw a sight so fair There in a meadow by the river's side Of fowls, so lovely, that they sure did deem A flock of nymphs I chancéd to espy, 20 Them heavenly born, or to be that same pair All lovely daughters of the flood thereby, Which through the sky draw Venus' silver With goodly greenish locks all loose untied
team; As each had been a bride;
For sure they did not seem And each one had a little wicker basket To be begot of any earthly seed, Made of fine twigs, entrailéd curiously. But rather Angels, or of Angels' breed; In which they gather'd flowers to fill their Yet were they bred of summer's heat", they flasket,
say, And with fine fingers cropt full feateously? In sweetest season, when each flower and weed The tender stalks on high.
The earth did fresh array; Of every sort which in that meadow grew So fresh they seem 'd as day,
70 They gather 'd some; the violet, pallid blue, 30 Ev 'n as their bridal day, which was not long: The little daisy that at evening closes,
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my The virgin lily and the primrose true,
song With store of vermeil roses, To deck their bridegrooms' posies
Then forth they all out of their baskets drew Against the bridal day, which was not long: Great store of flowers, the onour of the field, Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my That to the sense did fragrant odours yield, song.
All which upon those goodly birds they threw
And all the waves did strew, With that I saw two swanst of goodly hue That like old Peneus' waters they did seem Come softly swimming down along the Lee3; When down along by pleasant Tempe's shore Two fairer birds I yet did never see;
Seatter'd with flowers, through Thessaly they The snow which doth the top of Pindus strow
stream, Did never whiter show,
That they appear, through lilies' plenteous Nor Jove himself, when he a swan would be
store, For love of Leda, whiter did appear;
Like a bride's chamber-floor. Yet Leda was (they say) as white as he, Two of those nymphs meanwhile two garlands Yet not so white as these, por nothing near;
bound So purely white they were
Of freshest flowers which in that mead they That even the gentle stream, the which them
The which presenting all in trim array, Seem'd foul to them, and bade his billows Their snowy
foreheads therewithal they spare
Against their bridal day, which was not long: That shone as Heaven's light
Sweet Thames! run softly till I end my
song. 1 rooty 2 plucked very dexterously
"Ye gentle birds! the world's fair ornament, critics blame him because Prothalamion the subjects of it enter on the And Heaven's glory, whom this happy hour
swans and leave it at Temple Doth lead unto your lovers' blissful bower, Gardens as noble damsels; but to those who are grown familiar with his imaginary world such a transformation seems as natural as in 4 Spenser spelled it Somer's beat (Somerset) and the old legend of the Knight of the Swan,
the pun was no doubt regarded as an orna. Lowell.
Joy may you have, and gentle hearts' content Whose want too well now feels my friendless of your love's couplement;
case; And let fair Venus, that is queen of love, But ah! here fits not well With her heart-quelling son upon you smile, Old woes, but joys to tell Whose smile. they say, hath virtue to remove Against the bridal day, which is not long: All love's dislike, and friendship's faulty guile Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song. For ever to assoil.
100 Let endless peace your steadfast hearts accord, Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer, s And blesséd plenty wait upon your board; And let your bed with pleasures chaste abound, Great England's glory and the world's wide
wonder, That fruitful issue may to you afford Which may your foes confound,
Whose dreadful name late through all Spain
did thunder, And make your joys redound Upon your bridal day, which is not long:
And Hercules' two pillars standing near Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my Did make to quake and fear:
Fair branch of honour, flower of chivalry! 150 song.'
That fillest England with thy triumphs' fame So eniled she; and all the rest around
Joy have thou of thy noble victory, To her redoubled that her undersong,
And endless happiness of thine own name10 Il'hich said their bridal day should not be long: That promiseth the same; And gentle Lcho from the neighbour ground
That through thy prowess and victorious arms Their accents did resound.
Thy country may be freed from foreign harms, So forth those joyous birds did pass along
And great Elisa's glorious name may ring Allown the Lee that to them murmur 'd low,
Through all the world, fill’d with thy wide As he would speak but that he lack ’d a tongue;
alarms, Yet vid by signs his glad affection show,
Which some brave Vuse may sing Making his stream run slow.
To ages following: And all the fowl which in his flood did dwell Upon the bridal day, which is not long: 'Gan flock about these twain, that did excel
Sweet Thames ! run softly, till I end my song! The rest, so far as ('ynthia doth shend5
121 The lesser stars. So they, enrangéd well, From those high towers this noble lord issuing Did on those two attend,
Like Radiant Hesper, when his golden hair And their best service lend
In th’ ocean billows he hath bathéd fair, Against their wedding day, which was not long! Descended to the river's open viewing Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song. With a great train ensuing.
Above the rest were goodly to be seen At length they all to merry London came, Two gentle knights of lovely face and feature, To merry London, my most kindly nurse,
Beseeming well the bower of any queen,
170 That to me gave this life's first native source, With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature, Though from another place I take my name, 130 Fit for so goodly stature, An house of ancient fame:
That like the twins of Jovell they seem'd in There when she came whereas those bricky sight towers
Which deck the baldric of the Heavens bright; The which on Thames' broad agéd back do | They two, forth pacing to the river's side, ride,
Received those two fair brides, their love's Where now the studious lawyers have their
Which, at th' appointed tide, There whilome wont the Templar-knights to Each one did make his bride bide,
Against their bridal day, which is not long: Till they decay'd through pride;
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song. Next whereunto there stands a stately place, Where oft I gained gifts and goodly grace Of that great lord?, which therein wont to dwell,
8 Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex
10 Apparently an allusion to the fact that the 5 the moon doth shame 7 Lord Leicester, Spen. words ever and heureux (Fr., "happy") can 6 where
ser's patron, whose be seen in the name Devereur.
stars as the constellation Gemini.
ELIZABETHAN SONNETS* Base things that to her love too bold aspire!
Such heavenly forms ought rather worshipt be
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY (1554-1586)
ASTROPHEL AND STELLA I.†
show, For lo, my love doth in herself contain
That she, dear she, might take some pleasure
make her know,
obtain,If ivory, her forehead ivory ween;
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sun-
tion's stay?; She doth attire under a net of gold,
Invention, Nature's child, fled step-dame
in my throes,
and write. In which if ever ye entrapped are,
ASTROPHEL AND STELLA XXXI.
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the
skies! To covet fetters, though they golden be!
How silently, and with how wan a face!
What, may it be that e’en in heavenly place
That busy archer his sharp arrows tries!
Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case,
Then, e'en of fellowship, O Moon, tell me,
Is constant love deem'd there but want of wit?
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess!
SAMUEL DANIEL (1562-1619) i folly Sonnet groups
To DELIA LI. feature of Elizabethan verse. The Amoretti are a series of eighty.eight, recording Spensers Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night, courtship of Elizabeth Boyle, his marriage to Brother to Death, in silent darkness born,
the occasion Epithalamion. The Astrophel and Stella † See last note. “After Shakespeare's sonnets, Sid. series, of one hundred and ten, chronicles Sid- ney's Astrophel and stella offers the most inney's love for Penelope Devereux. The in
tense and powerful picture of the passion of spirers of most of the other series seem more love in the whole range of our poetry."-F. T. or less imaginary. See Eng. Lit., pp. 95, 107. Palgrave.
Relieve my languish, and restore the light;
SonNet Xxx. With dark forgetting of my care return.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought And let the day be time enough to mourn
I summon up remembrance of things past, The shipwreck of my ill-adventured youth:
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, Let waking eyes suffice to wail their scorn,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's Without the torment of the night's untruth.
waste; Cease, dreams, the images of day.desires,
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, To model forth the passions of the morrow; Never let rising Sun approve you liars,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless
night, To add more grief to aggravate my sorrow:
And weep afresh love's long-since-cancell'd woe, Still let me sleep, embracing clouds in vain,
And moan the expenset of many a vanished And never wake to feel the day's disdain.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, MICHAEL DRAYTON (1563-1631)
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoanéd moan, IDEA LXI.
Which I new pay as if not paid before:
-But if the while I think on thee, dear Since there's no help, come let us kiss and
All losses are restored, and sorrows end. Say I have done, you get no more of me; And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart,
SONNET LXIV. That thus so cleanly I myself can free;
When I have seen by Time's fell hand defaced Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
The rich proud cost of out-worn buried age; And when we meet at any time again,
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed, Be it not seen in either of our brows
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage; That we one jot of former love retain.
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store; -Now if thou would'st, when all have given Or state itself confounded to decay,
When I have seen such interchange of state, him over, From death tó life thou might 'st him yet That Time will come and take my Love away:
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate recover!
-This thought is as a death, which cannot
But weep to have that which it fears to lose. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616)
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
sea, I all alone beweep my outcast state,
But sad mortality o'ersways their power, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea, cries,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower ? And look upon myself, and curse my fate;
O how shall summer's honey breath hold out Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Against the wreckful siege of battering days, Featured like him, like him with friends possest, When rocks impregnable are not so stout Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays? With what I most enjoy contented least;
(fearful meditation! where, alack! Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, Shall Time's best jewels from Time's chest lie Haply I think on thee;—and then my state,
hid ? Like to the lark at break of day arising
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back, From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid ! gate;
0! none, unless this miracle have might, For thy sweet lore remember'd, such wealth
That in black ink my love may still shine brings
bright. That then I scorn to change my state with
3 Legal phraseology 5 i. e., the poet's friend. kings.
4 the cost (in grief)