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MARRIAGE PROCESSION OF THE THAMES AND MEDWAY.
Character, Genial Strength, Grace, and Luxury, Painter,
First came great Neptune with his three-fork'd mace,
As with a robe, with her own silver hair,
These marched far afore the other crew,
Or take another part of the procession, with dolphins and sea. nymphs listening as they went, to
Then was there heard a most celestial sound
Stood still by him, astonish'd at his lore,
So went he playing on the watery plain.26
26 “ So went he,” &c.
This sweet, placid, and gently progressing
line is one of Spenser's happy samples of alliteration. And how emphatic is the information
That was Arion, crown'd.
SIR GUYON BINDING FUROR.
Character, Superhuman Energy, and Rage; Painter, Michael Angelo
In his strong arms he stiffly him embrac'd,
And both his hands fast bound behind his back,
With hundred iron chains he did him bind,
Shak'd his long locks, color'd like copper wire,27
27 « Colord like copper wire.” A felicity suggested perhaps by the rhyme. It has all the look, however, of a copy from some painting; perhaps one of Julio Romano's.
UNA (OR FAITH IN DISTRESS).
Character, Loving and Sorrowful Purity glorified.
(May I say, that I think it would take Raphael and Correggio 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, 29
Through woods and wasteness wide him daily sought,
One day nigh weary of the irksome way,
And made a sunshine in the shady place ;
It fortunèd, out of the thickest wood
His bloody rage assuaged with remorse,
Instead thereof he kiss'd her weary feet,
Her heart ’gan melt in great compassion:
“ The lion, lord of every beast in field,”
Fürgetful of the hungry rage, which late
Her, that him lov’d, and ever most ador'd
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,
Behold how goodly my fair love does lie
In proud humility!
NIGHT AND THE WITCH DUESSA,
TAKING SANSJOY IN THEIR CHARIOT TO ESCULAPIUS TO BE RESTORED
Character, Dreariness of Scene; Horridness of Aspect and Wicked
Beauty, side by side; Painter, Julio Romano.
Then to her iron waggon she betakes
Then, foaming tar, their bridles they would champ,
So well they sped, that they be come at length
And handle softly, till they can be heal'd,
And all the while she stood upon the ground,
And hungry wolves continually did howl