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In glistring gold and perelesse pretious stone;
Exceeding shone, like Phoebus fayrest childe,
And, rapt with whirling wheeles, inflames the skyen With fire not made to burne, but fayrely for to shyne.
So proud she shyned in her princely state,
Of griesly Pluto she the daughter was,
1 Assay, attempt.
2 Welkin, heavenly.
3 Pas, surpass.
Or if that any else did love excell;
For to the highest she did still aspyre;
Or, if ought higher were then that, did it desyre.
And proud Lucifera men did her call,
That made her selfe a Queene, and crownd to be;
But did usurpe with wrong and tyrannie Upon the scepter, which she now did hold: Ne ruld her realme with lawes, but pollicie, And strong advizement of six Wisards old, That with their counsels bad her kingdome did uphold.
Soone as the Elfin Knight in presence came,
A gentle husher, Vanitie by name,
Made rowme, and passage for them did prepaire: So goodly brought them to the lowest stayre Of her high throne; where they, on humble knee Making obeysaunce, did the cause declare, Why they were come, her roiall state to see, To prove the wide report of her great maiestee.
With loftie eyes, halfe loth to looke so lowe,
1 Frounce, plait, or fold.
Some prancke1 their ruffes; and others trimly dight Their gay attyre: each others greater pride does spight.
Goodly they all that Knight doe entertayne, Right glad with him to have increast their crew; But to Duess' each one himselfe did payne All kindnesse and faire courtesie to shew; For in that court whylome 3 her well they knew: Yet the stout Faery mongst the middest crowd Thought all their glorie vaine in knightly vew, And that great Princesse too exceeding prowd, That to strange Knight no better countenance allowd.
Suddein upriseth from her stately place
The roiall Dame, and for her coche doth call:
All hurtlen forth; and she, with princely pace,
Out of the east the dawning day doth call,
So forth she comes; her brightnes brode doth blaze.
Her glorious glitterand light doth all mens eies amaze.
So forth she comes, and to her coche does clyme,
That seemd as fresh as Flora in her prime;
1 Prancke, adjust.
2 Payne, exert.
3 Whylome, formerly.
4 Hurtlen, rush.
5 Chayre, chariot.
Each others greater pride does spight.] Each one is annoyed by the greater attractions of another.
The gods stand gazing on, when she does ride
But this was drawne of six unequall beasts,
And in his hand his portesse 2 still he bare,
Still drownd in sleepe and most of his daies dedd:
May seeme the wayne3 was very evil ledd,
From worldly cares himselfe he did esloyne,
1 Amis, robe.
2 Portesse, breviary.
3 Wayne, chariot.
4 Esloyne, withdraw.
XVIII. 2.— Six sage counsellours.] Pride is one of the seven deadly sins, and her six counsellors are the other six. The description of these vices contains some of Spenser's most striking excellences and defects-his vivid coloring and matchless power of personification, and his occasional coarseness of expression.
From everie worke he chalenged essoyne,1
And by his side rode loathsome Gluttony,
greene vine leaves he was right fitly clad; For other clothes he could not wear for heate: And on his head an yvie girland had,
From under which fast trickled downe the sweat:
In shape and life more like a monster then a man.
Unfit he was for any worldly thing,
2 Lustlesse, feeble. 3 Bouzing can, a drinking-can.
1 Essoyne, excuse.