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With shining gold, and arched over lied, She wondred at the workmans passing skill, Whofe like before she never saw nor red;

And thereuppon long while stood gazing ftill, But thought that she thereon could never gaze

her fill.



Thenceforth unto the Idoll they her brought;

The which was framed all of silver fine,
So well as could with cunning hand be

And clothed all in garments made of line,
Hemd all about with fringe of silver twine :
Uppon her head she wore a crowne of gold;
To thew that she had powre in-things divine:

And at her feete a crocodile was rold, That with her 'Wreathed taile her middle did enfold.

VII. One foote was fet


the crocodile, And on the ground the other fast did ftand; So meaning to fuppreffe both forged guile And open

force': and in her other hand She stretched forth a long white fclender

wand. Such was the goddesse : whom when BritoHad long beheld, herselfe uppon the land


VI. 9.

her wreathed &c.] So all the editions. It thould be “ his wreathed &c." See it. 15, 16. CHURCH.

She did prostrate, and with right humble hart Unto herselfe her filent


did impart.


To which the Idoll as it were inclining

Her wand did move with amiable looke,
By outward Thew her inward fence desining :
Who well perceiving how her wand she shooke,
It as a token of good fortune tooke.
By this the day with dampe was overcast,
And ioyous light the house of love forsooke:

Which when she saw, her helmet she unlaste, And by the altars side herselfe to Number plaste.


For other beds the priests there used none,

But on their mother Earths deare lap did lie, And bake their fides uppon the cold hard

stone, Tenure themselves to fufferaunce thereby, And proud rebellious flesh to mortify:

VIII. 3.

defining :) So spelt for the sake of the rhyme. Tonfon's edition in 1758 gives it dehgning. Spenser here uses the word in the Latin sente, signifying, from defigno, as Mr. Church has observed. Some editions read defining. Topd.

VII. 5. It as a token of good fortune tooke.] “ Accepit omen,” Virgil, Æn. xii. 260. "Tis frequently mentioned that the idols, by some sign or other, gave tokens of their favouring or disfavouring the request of their votaries. Upton. IX. 3.

bake] Quære, harden their fides as a thing baked ? Unless we might read bare, i. e. did make bare their sides &c. CHURCII.

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For, by the vow of their religion,
They tied were to stedfast chastity

And continence of life; that, all forgon, They mote the better tend to their devotion.


Therefore they note not taste of fleshly food, Ne feed on ought the which doth bloud

containe, Ne drinke of wine; for wine they say is blood, Even the bloud of gyants, which were Naine By thundring love in the Phlegrean plaine: For which the Earth (as they the story tell) Wroth with the gods, which to perpetuall paine Had damn'd her sonnes which gainst them

did rebell, With inward griefe and malice did against them

swell :

X. 1. Therefore they mote not taste &c.] Concerning the temperance requisite in the priests of Ifis, fee Plutarch De Ihd. p. 353. "Ηρξαλλο δε πίνειν από Ψαμμητίχε, κ. τ. λ. JORTIN. X. 3.

For wine they say is blood, Even the bloud of gyants,] “ The Ægyptian priests were next in dignity to the king: they drank no wine until the time of Pfammeticus, the last of the Pharaoes, esteeming it to have sprung from the blood of the giants, &c.” Sandys Travels, p. 103. From Plut. De Ifid, et Ofir. The following Epigram is worth reading, viz. Cælii Calcugnini Ferrarienhs, de vini origine :

“ Terrigenæ vi&i; vi&or Saturnius; altis

Undique Phlegræis molibus horror erat. “ Mæsta parens Tellus in vites ossa redegit

Cæsorum, et vinum eft qui modo fanguis erat. “ Ah ne quis mala vina bibat! de fanguine nata

" Qui biberit, cædes exitiumque bibet.” Upton..


And of their vitall bloud, the which was shed

Into her pregnant bofome, forth she brought The fruitfull vine; whose liquor blouddy red, Having the mindes of men with fury fraught, Mote in them ftirre


old rebellious thought To make new warre against the gods againe : Such is the powre of that same fruit, that

nought The fell contagion may thereof restraine, Ne within reasons rule her madding mood con



There did the warlike Maide herselfe repose,

Under the wings of Ilis all that night;


XII. 1. There did the warlike Maide herselfe repose,

Under the wings &c.] That is, under the protection of Isis. 'Tis a Hebrew phrase; and frequently used by the Pfalmift. Our poet certainly had in view the story told by Geoff. of Monmouth, that Brutus had a vision in the temple of Diana, and that the goddess foretold his success. Geoffry says, Brutus laid himself down“ upon a barts skin, which he had spread before the altar:" this was according to ancient superftition ; see the commentators on Virgil, vii. 88. Pellibus inçubuit stratis." In like manner Britomart bas a vision figuring the future glory of Britain, st. 13. The Scarlet robe, and crown of gold, are the dress of the British Kings and Queens, ft. 14. The tempeft, and outrageous flames, image her troubles; which are put an end to by the crocodile, (ft. 15.) imaging Arthegal. The crocodile is the guardian Genius of the place, and among the Ægyptians, according to their facred emblems, represented Providence. Then follows,

" That of his game the foone enwombed grew

“ And forth did bring a lion :" meaning a British King. See ft. 23. This is no new invention

And with sweete rest her heavy eyes did

close, After that long daies toile and weary plight: Where whileft her earthly parts with soft

delight Of fenceleffe Neepe did deeply drowned lie, There did appeare unto her heavenly fpright

A wondrous vision, which did close implie The course of all her fortune and posteritie.

Her feem'd, as she was doing facrifize

To Isis, deckt with mitre on her hed
And linnen stole after those priestës guize,
All fodainely she faw transfigured
Her linnen stole to robe of scarlet red,
And moone-like mitre to a crowne of gold";
That even she herselfe much wondered

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of our poet; for the mothers of Alexander the Great, and of Auguftus Cæsar, were both enwombed of a dragou; fo likewise the mother of Scipio: see Milton, Par. L. ix. 509. Upron.XII. 8.

implie] Wrap up.


to robe] The second and third 'folios, and Hughes's first edition, read “ to be.". CHURCH. Ibid.

- Scarlet red,] See F. Q. i. ii. 13. A goodly Lady clad in scurlot red;" but the allulion there is to the fiarlet \l'hore mentioned in the Revelations. Compare Napier's Notes on the Revelations of St. John, 4to. 1593, p. 209. “ As al red coullours betoken bloudshead in the Scriptures, and sKarler is a more glorious red than semple red: So betokeneth it this Romaine kingdom not onely simplie to be bloodthirstie, but euen to glorie in their bloodthiead and murthers." TODD.

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