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A Booke, that was both signd and seald with blood; Wherein darke things were writt, hard to be understood.
Her younger sister, that Speranza hight,1
Was clad in blew, that her beseemed well;
And ever up to heven, as she did pray,
Her steadfast eyes were bent, ne swarved other way.
They, seeing Una, towardes her gan wend,
Then to the Knight with shamefast modestie
Then Una thus; "But she, your sister deare,
"Ah! no," said they, "but forth she may not come ;
1 Hight, was called.
Quites, salutes in return. 3 Gest, action.
XIV. 2. Was clad in blew.] Blue, the color of the heavens, has always been deemed the appropriate livery of Hope.
That her to see should be but troublesome."
"Indeed," quoth she, "that should her trouble sore; But thankt be God, and her encrease so evermore!"
Then said the aged Cælia; "Deare dame,
I read you rest, and to your bowres 2 recoyle.3"
Of puissant armes, and laid in easie bedd:
His name was meeke Obedience rightfully aredd.*
Now when their wearie limbes with kindly rest,
And opened his dull eyes, that light mote in them shine.
And that her sacred Booke, with blood ywritt,
That none could reade except she did them teach,
And heavenly documents thereout did preach,
1 Read, advise. Aredd, declared.
2 Bowres, chambers.
3 Recoyle, retire.
5 So much agraste, showed him so much grace. • Documents, instructions.
Of God; of Grace; of lustice; of Free-will;
And when she list pour out her larger spright, She would commaund the hasty sunne to stay, Or backward turne his course from hevens hight: Sometimes great hostes of men she could dismay ; Dry-shod to passe she parts the flouds in tway; And eke huge mountaines from their native seat She would commaund themselves to beare away, And throw in raging sea with roaring threat: Almightie God her gave such powre and puissaunce great.
The faithfull Knight now grew in little space,
But wise Speranza gave him comfort sweet,
1 Forlore, deserted or forsaken.
XXI. 1. The faithfull Knight, &c.] In this and the following stanzas, Spenser depicts, with great force, the power of remorse, and its influence in producing repentance and reformation.
Made him forget all that Fidelia told.
When him his dearest Una did behold
Disdeining life, desiring leave to dye,
And came to Calia to declare her smart ;
And well could cure the same; his name was Patience.
Who, comming to that sowle-diseased Knight,
Which knowne, and all, that noyd 2 his heavie spright,
By which to ease he him recured brief,
But yet the cause and root of all his ill,
1 Commune, common.
3 Eftsoones, immediately.
XXIV. 8.— The passion of his plight.] The sufferings of his case.
4 Passing, surpassing.
5 Prief, proof or value.
6 Recured, restored.
Not purg'd nor heald, behind remained still,
In ashes and sackcloth he did array
His daintie corse, proud humors to abate;
The swelling of his woundes to mitigate;
And bitter Penaunce, with an yron whip,
That drops of blood thence like a well did play:
So in short space they did to health restore
The Man that would not live, but erst lay at deathes dore.
In which his torment often was so great,
1 Extirpe, extirpate.
2 Whott, hot.
3 Iott, jot.
5 Embay, bathe.
6 Erst, before.