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The second Book of the Faerie Queene, Canto VIII

-XII

The thirde Booke of the Faerie Queene, Canto I

-VIII

239

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THE SECOND BOOK OF

THE FAERIE QUEENE

CANTO VIII.

Sir Guyon, layd in fwowne, is by

Acrates fonnes despoyld;
Whom Arthure foone hath rejkewed,

And Paynim brethren foyld.

I.

AND is there care in heaven? And is there

love In heavenly spirits to these creatures bace, That may compassion of their evils move ? There is :-else much more wretched were

the cace

Of men then beasts : But () ! th’exceeding

grace

1. 1. And is there care in heaven? And is there love &c.1 These fine-turned verses must be felt by every one, that knows the least thing belonging to the power of words and dignity of fentiment.--And, in the beginning of a sentence, is expressive of passion; sometimes of admiration, fometimes too of indignation. UPTON. VOL. IV.

B

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Of Highest God that loves his creatures fo, And all his workes with mercy doth embrace,

That bleffed Angels he sends to and fro,
To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe!

II.
How oft do they their silver bowers leave

To come to fuccour us that fuccour want!
How oft do they with golden pineons cleave
The flitting skyes, like flying pursuivant,
Against fowle feendes to ayd us militant !
They for us fight, they watch and dewly ward,
And their bright squadrons round about us

plant; 1. 9. To serve to wicked man) The old English writers, as they said “ to obey to," so they faid “ to serve to." See Wickliff, Niatt. iv. 10. “ Thou schalt worschippe thi Lord God, and to him aloone thou shalt serve." UPTON.. II. 6. They for us fight, they watch and dewly ward,

And their bright Squadrons round about us plant ;] The guardianship of angels is a favourite theme of Spenser and of Milton. It is difficult to pronounce which of them has decorated the subject with greater elegance and sensibility. Spenser probably might here remember the following lines of Heliod, Op. et Dies, ver. 121.

Δαίμονες είσι Διός μεγάλε δια βελάς, 'Εσθλοι, επιχθόνιοι, φύλακες θνητών ανθρώπων. Italian poetry, I mould observe, delights in describing angelick Squadrons. See my note on Milton's Par. L. B. iv. 977. Milton, indeed, before he had become deeply versed in Italian literature, borrowed from his favourite Spenser, this disposition of the heavenly hoft into Squadrons bright. See his Ode Nativ. ver. 21. And all the spangled host keep watch in Squadrons bright.We may therefore no louger fuppofe that Milton could here be much indebted to Sylvester's “ heaven's glorious host in bimble squadrons," Du Bart. p. 13. See Confiderations on Milton's early Reading, 1800, p. 46. The fact is, that Sylvester otten plunders Spenler, but often also accommodates the theft to his purpose with little talte or judgement. TODD.

III.

And all for love and nothing for reward : O, why should Hevenly God to men have such

regard ! During the while that Guyon did abide In Mammons House, the Palmer, whom

whyleare That wanton Mayd of passage had denide, By further search had paffage found else

where;

And, being on his way, approached neare
Where Guyon lay in traunce; when suddeinly
He heard a voyce that called lowd and cleare,
" Come hether, come hether, O! come

hastily !"

That all the fields resounded with the ruefull cry.

II. 9. 0, why should hedenly God to men have such regard !] See Psal. cxliv. 3. “ Lord, what is man that thou hast fuch respect unto him; or the son of man, that thou so regardest him !” UPTON. III. 3. That wanton Mayd] Phædria. See C. vi. 19.

CHURCH. III. 6.

when suddeinly He heard a voyce that called lowd and cleare,] Browne has elegantly imitated this passage, Brit. Past. 1616. B. 1. S. 5.

When sodainly a voice as sweet as cleare

" With words divine began entice kis eare." TODD. III. 8. Come hether, come hether, &c.] So Spenser's own editions read. But the folio of 1609, (and later editions,]

Come hither, hither, O come hastily !" Which perhaps should thus be printed :

“ Come hither, hither O come hastily!” Printers and transcribers are often guilty of repeating the same words, which is an errour to be met with in all books, inore or less. Upton. I prefer Spenser's own reading; and the judicious reader, I

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