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but the latter has that sort of unity and simplicity which results from its nature." He discovers the unity of the poem in the "relation of its several adventures to one common original, the appointment of the Fairy Queen;" and to one common end, the completion of her injunctions. It is a unity of design, not of action. The poem is moulded to the moral. Out of the twelve virtues one illustrious character is to be composed; and this circumstance explains the subordinate position of Arthur who is to obtain the object of his labours, Gloriana, not by surpassing every knight in his own peculiar virtue, but by combining "the whole circle of their virtues in himself." Hurd concludes, therefore, that the allegory of the Fairy Queen is governed by the moral, while the narrative is conducted on the ideas and customs of chivalry. Either of the designs might have been clearly carried out; united, they become perplexed and difficult of separation. The allegory entangles the narrative; and the narrative impedes the allegory.

But these objections, though they may exercise the ingenuity of the critic, detract very slightly from the pleasure of the reader; and it has been happily observed, that the heart is won, while the poetical canon is enforced. I look, with an anxious hope, to some future opportunity of bringing Spenser prominently forward as the Sacred Poet of our country. In so doing, I shall be supported and confirmed by the opinion and example of one of the sweetest poets of our age, who with many of Spenser's notes, has also imbibed much of Spenser's enthusiasm *. "He was in every way calculated," observes the excellent writer, "to answer the purposes of his art, especially in an age of excitation and refinement, in which the gentler and more homely beauties, both of character and of scenery, are too apt

* See an article in the thirty-second volume of the Quarterly Review, p. 231, attributed to Professor Keble.

to be despised; with passion and interest enough to attract the most ardent, and grace enough to win the most polished; and yet hy a silent preference everywhere inculcating the love of better and more enduring things." Nor will the lineaments of the Christian character be darkened, to any thoughtful eye, by those "allegorical devises" in which the poet, in his own words, loved cloudily to enwrap them. Spenser should, indeed, he read, as Thomas Warton loved to read him,

At the root of mossy trunk reclined.

Pleasures of Melancholy.

The Muse of his verse seems only to lift her veil before the student in the quiet hour of contemplation; there all the charms of his intellectual physiognomy dawn in their natural lustre,—his touching pathos, his moral dignity^ and his pensive tenderness.

Sir William Temple regretted that Spenser had not more completely enveloped his moral in his fancy. But the Christian may rejoice in the censure. It is this undertone of religious feeling, mingling with, and melting into, all the rich and various music of his fancy, that imparts to the reflective reader so delicate and lasting a pleasure. Truth seems to glimmer through the darkest allegory, and like his own Una, resting in the w8od when fatigued with the search after her knight, "her angel's face," continually pours

A sunshine in the shady place. His pictures glow with a southern sunshine, but their richest colours are frequently employed, to heighten and embellish the portrait of Virtue, and his most gorgeous descriptions often point their moral to the heart. His own exquisite line,

Virtue gives herself light through darkness for to wade, might be prefixed as the motto to his poem.

The Fairy Queen is not, indeed, a perfect poem— breathing throughout the solemn sanctity of Milton, and preserving unruffled the serene aspect of a religious fancy. Although the author was above his age, he was of it. Hurd said that he copied the disorder of Ariosto*; and the image of that Glory, who is the emblem of Virtue, is sometimes disturbed and broken up by new currents of thought; but the ripple subsides, and the image re-appears.

The claim of Spenser to the title of a Sacred Poet is, however, to be estimated by the treasures we have lost, as well as by those which we possess. His translation of Ecclesiastes, of the Song of Songs, the Hours of our Lord, the Sacrifice of a Sinner, and the Seven Psalms, are sought for in vain; but the Hymns of Heavenly Love and Heavenly Beauty are happily preserved. They were written to counteract the prejudicial influence of some lighter compositions, produced, as he told the Countess of Warwick, in the "greener times" of his youth. Warton refers to the sixth canto of the third book of the Fairy Queen, for additional evidence of Spenser's attachment to the Platonic School. His friend Sir Philip Sidney, had already, in the Apology for Poetry, recommended the devotion of the lyre to the "praises of the immortal beauty;" and a simila&train of thought had been diffused by Boethius, the most popular author of the time. The poet might, also, have caught a few notes of the same philosophy from his master Chaucer t. They are written i) in his plainest manner, and breathe a glowing spirit of devotion. The following stanzas are taken from the Hymn of Heavenly Love.

Then let thy flinty heart, that feels no pain
Kmpierced be with pitiful remorse,
And let thy bowels bleed in every vein
At sight of his most sacred heavenly corse,

* Discourse on Poetical Imitation.
t See Todd's Works of Spenser, vol. 8, p. 242.
So torn and mangled with malicious force;
And let thy soul, whose sins his sorrows wrought,
Melt into tears, and groan in grieved thought.
With sense whereof, whilst so thy softened spirit
Is inly toucht, and humbled with meek zeal,
Through meditation of his endless merit,
Lift up thy mind to the Author of thy weal,
And to his soverain mercy do appeal;
Learn him to love that loved thee so dear,
And in thy breast his blessed image bear.
With all thy heart, with all thy soul and mind,
Thou must him love, and his behests embrace;
All other love3, with which the world doth blind
Weake fancies, and stirre up affections base,
Thou must renounce and utterly displace,
And give thyselfe unto him full and free,
'That full and freely gave himselfe to thee.
Then shalt thou feele thy spirit so possest,
And ravisht with devouring great desire
Of his dear self, that shall thy feeble brest
Inflame with love, and set thee all on fire
With burning zeale, through every part entire,
That in no earthly thing thou shalt delight,
But in his sweet and amiable sight.
Thenceforth all world's desire will in thee die,
And all Earthe's gloiie on which men do gaze,
Seeme dust and drosse in thy pure-sighted eye,
Compared to that celestiall beauties blaze,
Whose glorious beames all fleshly sense doth daze
With admiration of their passing -light,
Blinding the eyes, and lumining the spright.
Then shall thy ravisht soul inspired bee
With heavenly thoughts, farre above human skill,
And thy bright radiant eyes shall plainely see
The idee of his pure glorie present still
Before thy face, that all thy spirits shall fill
With sweet enragement of celestial love,
Kindled through sight of those faire things above.

From the Hymn of Heavenly Beauty :—
But whoso may, thrise happie man him hold,
Of all on earth whom God so much doth grace,
And lets his owne beloved to behold;
For in the view of her celestiall face

All joy, all blisse, all happinesse, have place;
Ne ought on earth can want unto the wight
Who of herselfe can win the wishfull sight.

For she, out of her secret treasury,
Plenty of riches forth on him will pour,
Even heavenly riches, which there hidden lie
Within the closet of her chastest bowre,
The eternal portion of her precious dowre,
Which mighty God hath given to her free,
And to all those which thereof worthy bee.

None thereof worthy bee but those whom she
Vouchsafeth to her presence to receive,
And letteth them her lovely face to see,
Whereof such wondrous pleasures they conceive,
And sweet contentment, that it doth bereave
Their soul of sense through infinite delight,
And them transport from flesh into the spright.

In which they see such admirable things,

As carries them into an extasy,

And hear such heavenly notes and carolings

Of God's high praise, that fills the brazen sky,

And feel such joy and pleasure inwardly,

That maketh them all worldly cares forget,

And only think on that before them set.

Ne from thenceforth doth any fleshly sense

Or idle thought of earthly things remain,

But all that earst seemed sweet seems now offence,

And all that pleased earst now seems to pain;

Their joy, their comfort, their desire, their gain,

Is fixed all on that which now they see,

All other sights but fained shadowes bee.

And that fair lanipe which useth to inflame
The hearts of men with self-consuming fire,
Thenceforth seems foul, and full of sinful blame;
And all that pomp to which proud minds aspire,
By name of honour, and so much desire,
Seems to them baseness, and all riches dross,
And all mirth sadness, and all lucre loss.

So full their eyes are of that glorious sight,

And senses fraught with such satietie,

That in nought else on earth they can delight

But in the respect of that felicitie,

Which they have written in their inward eye;

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