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Look'd deadly dull, and starèd as astoun'd;
His raw-bone cheeks, through penury and pine,
His griesly locks, long growen and unbound,
His garment nought but many ragged clouts,
And made an open passage for the gushing flood.
Still finer than this description are the morbid sophistry and the fascinations of terror that follow it in the original; but as they are less poetical or pictorial than argumentative, the extract is limited accordingly. There is a tradition that when Sir Philip Sidney read this part of the Faerie Queene, he fell into transports of admiration.
A KNIGHT IN BRIGHT ARMOUR LOOKING INTO A CAVE.
Character, A deep effect of Chiaro-scuro, making deformity visible; Painter, Rembrandt.
But full of fire and greedy hardiment,
The youthful knight would not for aught be stay'd,
A little glooming light, much like a shade; 57
But th' other half did woman's shape retain,
Most loathsome, filthy foul, and full of vile disdain.
37 “ A little glooming light, much like a shade."-Spenser is very fond of this effect, and has repeatedly painted it. I am not aware that any body noticed it before him. It is evidently the original of the passage in Milton :
Where glowing embers through the room
Observe the pause at the words lookèd in.
MALBECCO SEES HELLENORE DANCING WITH THE SATYRS.
Character, Luxurious Abandonment to Mirth; Painter, Nicholas Poussin.
-Afterwards, close creeping as he might,
He in a bush did hide his fearful head:
Came dancing forth, and with them nimbly led
Danc'd lively; and her face did with a laurel shade.
The silly man then in a thicket lay,
Saw all this goodly sport, and grievèd sore,
Yet durst he not against it do or say,
But did his heart with bitter thoughts engore
To see the unkindness of his Hellenore.
All day they danced with great lustyhead,
And with their hornèd feet the green grass wore,
* "That new honour which they redd.”—Areaded, awarded.
WITH DAMSELS CONVEYING A WOUNDED SQUIRE ON HIS HORSE.
Character, Select Southern Elegance, with an intimation of fine Architecture; Painter, Claude. (Yet "mighty" woods hardly belong to him.)
Into that forest far they thence him led,
With mountains round about environèd;
Spreading itself into a spacious plain;
Amongst the pumy stones, which seem'd to plain
Beside the same a dainty place there lay,
Of God's high praise and of their sweet love's teen,
As it an earthly paradise had been ;
In whose enclosed shadows there was pight
A fair pavilion, scarcely to be seen.
THE NYMPHS AND GRACES DANCING TO A SHEPHERD'S
APOTHEOSIS OF A POET'S MISTRESS.
Character, Nakedness without Impudency; Multitudinous and Innocent Delight; Exaltation of the principal Person from Circumstances rather than her own Ideality;
Unto this place whereas the elfin knight
And in the midst a shepherd piping he did see.
He durst not enter into the open green,
All they without were rangèd in a ring