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Look'd deadly duil, and stared as astoun'd;
That darksome cave they enter where they find
His garment naught 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 ARMOR LOOKING INTO A CAVE.
Character, A deep effect of Chiaroscuro, making deformity visible Painter, Rembrandt.
But full of fire and greedy hardiment,
The youthful knight would not for aught be stay'd,
And looked in. His glistering armor made
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 anybody 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,
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,
The whiles their goats upon the browses fed,
Till drooping Phœbus 'gan to hide his golden head.
*"That new honor which they redd.”—Areaded, awarded.
WITH DAMSELS CONVEYING A WOUNDED SQUIRE ON HIS HORSE.
Character, Select Southern Elegance, with an intimation of fine Ar. chitecture; Painter, Claude. (Yet "mighty" woods hardly belong to him.)
Into that forest far they thence him led,
Where was their dwelling, in a pleasant glade
And in the midst a little river play'd
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; Painter, Albano.
Unto this place whereas the elfin knight
Approach'd, him seemed that the merry sound
Of a shrill pipe he playing heard on height,
He durst not enter into the open green,
All they without were ranged in a ring
The whilst the rest them round about did hem,
And like a garland did in compass stem;
And in the midst of those same three were placed
Amidst a ring most richly well enchaced,
That with her goodly presence all the rest much gracea.
Those were the Graces, daughters of delight,
She was, to weet, that jolly shepherd's lass
38" Thy love is there advanc'd," &c.—And there she remains, dancing in the midst of the Graces for ever, herself a Grace, made one by the ordinance of the poor but great poet who here addresses himself under his pastoral title, and justly prides himself on the power of conferring immortality on his love. The apostrophe is as affecting as it is elevating, and the whole scene conceived in the highest possible spirit of mixed wildness and delicacy.
A PLUME OF FEATHERS AND AN ALMOND TREE.
In this instance, which is the one he adduces in proof of his remark on the picturesque, the reader must agree with Coleridge, that the description (I mean of the almond tree), however charming, is not fit for a picture: it wants accessories; to say nothing of the reference to the image illustrated, and the feeling of too much minuteness and closeness in the very distance. Who is to paint the tender locks "every one," and the whisper of "every little breath ?"
Upon the top of all his lofty crest
A bunch of hairs discolor'd diversely,
With sprinkled pearl and gold full richly dress'd,
At every little breath that under heaven is blown.
What an exquisite last line! but the whole stanza is perfection. The word jollity seems to show the plumpness of the plume; what the fop in Molière calls its embonpoint.
Holà, porteurs, holà! Là, là, là, là, là, là. Je pense que ces maraudslà ont dessein de me briser à force de heurter contre les murailles et les pavés.
1 Porteur. Dame, c'est que la porte est étroite. Vous avez voulu aussi que nous soyons entrés jusqu'ici.