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united to paint this, on account of the exquisite chiaro-scuro? 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,
Through that late vision which the enchanter wrought,
Through woods and wasteness wide him daily sought,
One day nigh weary of the irksome way,
It fortuned, out of the thickest wood
But to the prey when as he drew more nigh,
And with the sight amaz'd, forgot his furious force.
Instead thereof he kiss'd her weary feet,
"The lion, lord of every beast in field,"
Forgetful of the hungry rage, which late
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 distinguishable 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 favorite quotations from the Faerie Queene.
29" As the god 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-favored witch:
Unless she chanc'd their stubborn mouths to twitch;
So well they sped, that they be come at length
So lay him in her chariot, close in night conceal'd.
And all the while she stood upon the ground,
"Each to each unlich." Unlike.
Then turning back in silence soft they stole,
By that same hole, an entrance, dark and base,
By that same way the direful dames do drive
To gaze on earthly wight, that with the night durst ride.
30" So filthy and so foul."-Why he should say this of Night, except, perhaps, in connection with the witch, I cannot say. It seems to me to hurt the "abhorred face." Night, it is true, may be reviled, or made grand or lovely, as a poet pleases. There is both classical and poetical warrant for all. But the goddess with whom the witch dared to ride (as the poet finely says at the close) should have been exhibited, it would seem, in a more awful, however frightful guise.
31 “Their mournful chariot fill'd with rusty blood.”—There is something wonderfully dreary, strange, and terrible, in this picture. By "rusty blood" (which is very horrid) he must mean the blood half congealing; altered in patches, like rusty iron. Be this as it may, the word rusty," as Warton observes, seems to have conveyed the idea of somewhat very loathsome and horrible to our author."
VENUS IN SEARCH OF CUPID, COMING TO DIANA.
Character, Contrast of Impassioned and Unimpassioned BeautyCold and Warm Colors mixed; Painter, Titian.
(Yet I know not whether Annibal Caracci would not better suit the demand for personal expression in this instance. But the recollection of Titian's famous Bath of Diana is forced upon us.)
Shortly unto the wasteful woods she came,
Some of them washing with the liquid dew
She having hung upon a bough on high
Soon as she Venus saw behind her back,
She was asham'd to be so loose surpris'd,
And wak'd half wrath against her damsels slack,
Be overtaken: soon her garments loose 32