Spenser's mind always demands this large elbow-room. His thoughts are never pithily expressed, but with a stately and sonorous proclamation, as if under the open sky, that seems to me very noble. For example,—
One's very soul seems to dilate with that last verse. And here is a passage which Milton had read and remembered:—
The noble heart that harbors virtuous thought
And is with child of glorious-great intent
Can never rest until it forth have brought
The eternal brood of glory excellent.Ibid., B. I. c. v. 1.
His natural tendency is to shun whatever is sharp and abrupt. He loves to prolong emotion, and lingers in
And is there care in Heaven? and is there loveHow oft do they their silver bowers leave,
In heavenly spirits to these creatures base,
That may compassion of their evils move?
There is: else much more wretched were the case
Of men than beasts: but O, the exceeding grace
Of highest God, that loves his creatures so,
And all his works with mercy doth embrace,
That blessed angels he sends to and fro,
To serve to wicked man, to serve his wicked foe!
To come to succor us that succor want!
How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
The fleeting skies like flying pursuivant,
Against foul fiends to aid us militant!
They for us fight, they watch and duly ward,
And their bright squadrons round about us plant;
And all for love and nothing for reward;
O, why should heavenly God to men have such regard?Ibid., B. II. c. VIII. 1, 2.