Reading Journal

What I'm reading

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

I have to return volume 1 to the library today, so I'm going to record my favorite quotes before I finish the whole thing.

The Redcrosse Knight killed a monster after a three day battle. The knight had found water that miraculously healed him from all his injuries every night.
So downe he fell, and forth his life did breath,
That vanisht into smoke and cloudes swift;
So downe he fell, that th' earth him underneath
Did grone, as feeble so great load to lift;
So downe he fell, as an huge rocky clift,
Whole false foundacion waves have washt away,
With dreadfull poyse is from the mayneland rift,
And rolling down great Neptune doth dismay:
So downe he fell, and like an heaped mountaine lay.

Mammon's temptation of Sir Guyon --
"Vaine glorious Elfe," (saide he) "doest not thou weet,
That money can thy wantes at will supply?
Sheilds, steeds, and armes, and all things for the meet,
It can purvay in twinckling of an eye;
And crownes and kingdomes to thee multiply.
Do not I kings create, and throw the crowne
Sometimes to him that low in dust doth ly,
And him that raigned into his rowme thrust downe,
And whom I lust do heape with glory and renowne?"

Sir Guyon's response --
"All otherwise" (saide he) "I riches read,
And deeme them roote of all disquietnesse;
First got with guile, and then preserv'd with dread,
And after spent with pride and lavishnesse,
Leaving behind them griefe and heavinesse:
Infinite mischiefes of them doe arize,
Strife and debate, bloodshed and bitternesse,
Outrageous wrong, and hellish covetize,
That noble heart as great dishour doth despize."

Spenser's view of how reason is assaulted by the passions:
What warre so cruel, or what siege so sore,
As that which strong affections doe apply
Against the forte of reason evermore,
To bring the sowle into captivity?

More later after I finish volume 2.


Post a Comment

<< Home