Spenser's Famous Flight

Table of contents :
Texts and Abbreviations
Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight
1. Displaying the Fluttering Wing: The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet
2. Pastoral, or Proving Tender Wings: Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender
3. Epic, or Making the Greater Flight: Enacting Vatic Virtue in Spenser's Allegory of Ralegh and Elizabeth
4. Love Lyric, or Sporting the Muse in Pleasant Mew: Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion
5. Hymn, or Flying Back to Heaven Apace: Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes
Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion
Works Cited
General Index
Spenser Index

Citation preview

Spenser's Famous Flight A Renaissance Idea of a Literary Career In Spenser's Famous Flight, Patric k Chene y challenge s th e receive d wisdom abou t th e shap e an d goa l o f Spenser s literar y career . H e contends that Spenser's idea of aliterary career is not strictly the conventional Virgilian patter n o f pastora l t o epic , bu t a Christia n revisio n o f tha t pattern in light of Petrarch an d the Reformation. Spenser begin s hi s literar y caree r wit h pastora l i n The Shepheardes Calender and follows with the first instalment of his epic The Faerie Queene, but then insert s th e Petrarcha n lov e lyric, represented b y Amoretti an d Epithalamion, a s a genre of renewal so that he can continue his epic; and eventually he turns from thes e courtly forms to a contemplative one, the Augustinian-based Fowre Hymnes. In the October eclogue he prophesies hi s four-genre career, of which the highest goal is an alignment of th e Virgilia n telos of poetry, fame, wit h th e Augustinia n telos of the Christian life, glory. The Petrarchan eroti c genre exercises a revolutionary bridging power i n that alignment . Chene y demonstrate s that , fa r fro m changing his mind about his career as a result of disillusionment, Spenser embarks upo n and completes a daring progress that secures his status as an Orphic poet. In October, Spenser calls his idea of a literary career the 'famous flight. ' Both classica l an d Christia n cultur e ha d authorize d th e myt h o f th e winged poe t a s a primary myth o f fame an d glory . Chene y show s tha t throughout his poetry Spenser relies on an image of flight t o accomplish his highest goal. i s Associate Professo r o f English an d Comparativ e Literature, Pennsylvania State University.


Frontispiece Dame Poetry with wings, lyre, and book. Raphael, drawing for 'Poetry' in the Stanza della Segnatura, Royal Library, Windsor Castle. Courtesy of The Royal Collection © 1993 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II




A Renaissance Idea of a Literary Career Patrick Cheney

University of Toronto Press Toronto Buffalo London

© University of Toronto Press Incorporated 1993 Toronto Buffalo London Printed in Canada

ISBN: 0-80202934-5 (cloth) © Printed on acid-free paper

Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data Cheney, Patrick Gerard, 1949Spenser's famous flight: a Renaissance idea of a literary career Includes index. ISBN 0-8020-2934-5 l. Spenser, Edmund, 15527-1599. 2. Poets, English - Early Modern, 1500-1700 - Biography. I. Title. PR2364.C541993



Parts of this book appeared in earlier versions as The Laureate Choir: The Dove as a Vocational Sign in Spenser's Allegory of Ralegh and Elizabeth,' HLQ 53 (1990), 257-90; The Old Poet Presents Himself: Prothalamion as a Defense of Spenser's Career/ Spenser Studies vm (New York: AMS Press, 1990), 221-38; and ' "The Nightingale is Sovereigne of Song": The Bird as a Sign of the Virgilian Orphic Poet in The Shepheardes Calender,' ¡MRS 21 (1991), 29-57, published by Duke University Press, reprinted with permission.

This book has been published with the help of a grant from Hollinger Inc. cover illustration: Raphael, Study for the Figure of Poetry.

The Royal Collection © 1093 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

For Debora

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Fleet of wing ... midway between heaven and earth, she flies ... [Fama] filled the nations and sang alike of fact and falsehood. Virgil, Aeneid The excelling glory of your fame, to which it were sacrilege for anyone to aspire, has taken wing and soared aloft. For you sing more than mortal song. Vida, hymn to Virgil, De arte poética For Colin fittes such famous flight to scanne. Spenser, October The heroic urge, the urge to be famous, may not be a human instinct. It is something grander, something more akin to becoming like the gods. Leo Braudy, The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History

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Preface xi Texts and Abbreviations


Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight 3 1. Displaying the Fluttering Wing: The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet 23 Teeced Pyneons': The Evidence of October 27 The Learned Quill': The Orphic Idea of a Literary Career 38 Making the Air One Volary: The Orphic Myth of the Winged Poet 63 The Flight Pattern of the New Poet: A Contour Map 75 2. Pastoral, or Proving Tender Wings: Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender 77 The Warbling Pipe': Philomela and Pastoral 81 Creeping Out of the Nest: The Prefatory Material 86 The Perfecte Paterne of a Poete': The Four-stage Experiential Process 88 Adoring Tityrus' 'High Steppes': The 'Envoy' 108 Proving Tender Wings 109 3. Epic, or Making the Greater Flight: Enacting Vatic Virtue in Spenser's Allegory of Ralegh and Elizabeth in 'Rowsed by Fame': The Avian Myth in the Genre of Epic 115



The Theological Dimension of the Dove Episode: An Allegory of Grace 125 The Vocational Dimension: An Allegory of Epic Poetry 133 The Political Dimension: An Allegory of Power 142 The Dove Episode in Spenser's Career 145 4. Love Lyric, or Sporting the Muse in Pleasant Mew: Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalatnion 149 Brooding on the Laurel Nest: The Avian Myth in the Love-Lyric Genre 154 Illustrating England's Fame: The Prefatory Material 165 'Mantleth Most at Ease': Amoretti 166 Echoing Winged Fame: Epithalamion 186 5. Hymn, or Flying Back to Heaven Apace: Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes 195 The Promised Pinions': The Avian Myth in the Hymnic Genre 201 Epic and Hymn in Book VI and The Mutabilitie Cantos 205 Equivocation in the Dedicatory Epistle 211 Fowre Hymnes as a 'Flying Tale' 211 Fowre Hymnes and the Closing of Spenser's Career 223 Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalatnion 225 Defending the New Poet's Career: Structure and Strategy of Imitation 230 Reopening the New Poet's Career 243 Closing the Orphic Circle 244 Notes 247 Works Cited 297 General Index 331 Spenser Index 355


In this book, I attempt a new reading of Spenser's literary career. My reading weaves together three strands of thought that could form three separate studies but that repeatedly resisted any attempt to unravel them: the generic structure of Spenser's literary career, its telos, and what I believe to be its premier device of literary representation. The generic structure I posit to be a culturally significant Christianization of the famous Virgilian model of pastoral and epic; the telos, an intimate relation between poetic fame and Christian glory; and the representation, avian flight. I argue that Spenser relies on images of flight to represent a Christianized Virgilian career that aims to demonstrate to English culture - and to Western culture past, present, and future - the utility of poetic fame to Christian glory. Spenser's self-reflexive imping of art and salvation I take to be the very centre of his project. It is not the centre of his project alone. The trinal nexus of literary career, fame/glory, and flight is as important to Hesiod as it is to Henry Vaughan, who can be seen to end the Renaissance with the following genesis of the poet's art, communicated to his cousin John Aubrey: I was told by a very sober & knowing person (now dead) that in his time, there was a young lad father & motherless, & soe very poor that he was forced to beg; butt att last was taken up by a rich man, that kept a great stock of sheep upon the mountains not far from the place where I now dwell, who cloathed him & sent him into the mountains to keep his sheep. There in Summer time following the sheep & looking to their lambs, he fell into a deep sleep; In wch he dreamt, that he saw a beautifull young man with a garland of green leafs upon his head, & an hawk upon his fist: with a quiver full of Arrows att his back, coming towards him (whistling several measures



or tunes all the way) & att last lett the hawk fly att him, wch (he dreamt) gott into his mouth & inward parts, & suddenly awaked in a great fear & consternation: butt possessed with such a vein, or gift of poetrie, that he left the sheep & went about the Countrey, making songs upon all occasions, and came to be the most famous Bard in all the Countrey in his time. (696: Letter VII, To Aubrey/ 9 October 1694)

Vaughan's representation of the avian origin of a Welsh poet's famous career merits pause here because it incorporates in primitive form all of the representational elements discussed in the following study: the larger system of patronage in which the poet works (the 'rich man' taking up the 'poor' orphan artist); the divine spirit of eros gracing the poet's art (the 'beautifull young man' with a laurel garland and quiver of arrows who sings 'measures or tunes'); the avian agency of artistic genesis, metamorphosis, and inheritance or imitation (the 'hawk' who flies into the poet's 'mouth'); the generic turn from pastoral to epic (the young man who 'left the sheep & went about the Countrey'); and even the providential quest for fame (the dream vision of a divine visitation that makes the youth a 'famous Bard'). The central element in this story is the only startling one: the divine visitor 'lett the hawk fly at him, wch (he dreamt) gott into his mouth & inward parts.' This element represents the point of touch between divine and human, the imitative inheritance of one poet from another (for Vaughan, the inheritance of George Herbert [Post xv-xvi]), and the transition from dream to waking, vision to action, thinking to writing - essentially, amateur play to laureate career. Vaughan's interest in this story may derive from his recognition that it localizes a broad European myth of the poet that his poetry reveals he understood very well - a myth tracing to Hesiod's Works and Days and the one I aim to articulate in this book. Like Hesiod, Vaughan clearly took the myth very seriously. My assumption is that many of my readers may not. In part, then, my intent is to recuperate the significance of the avian myth of a famous literary career by focusing on a sixteenth-century poet whose works reveal a unique archaeology of that significance. This study turned out to be longer than projected, in part because the three strands of my thesis remain largely separate discourses in contemporary criticism; in part because each of these discourses proved to be insufficient for a study of Spenser. We have a 'career' discourse, but as yet we have no detailed study of Spenser's literary career or, even more remarkably, its prerequisite, the Virgilian model, with its complex permutations extending from Horace, Propertius, and Ovid to St



Augustine, Dante, Chaucer, Petrarch, and Petrarch's sixteenth-century heirs. Similarly, we have a 'fame' discourse, but we have no detailed study of Spenser's idea of fame. Finally, we have a 'flight' discourse, but we have no study of the avian myth of the poet. Of the three strands, I can claim originality of thesis only with respect to the first and third; my thesis about fame and glory in Spenser has been stated before (albeit with controversy), but never investigated and never assimilated to the larger argument I weave. The interdisciplinary and comparatist topics here traversed have often led me into terrain that I have found to be alien, difficult, and at times nearly impassable. Along the way, I have received direction, support, and care from reliable colleagues, faithful friends, and loving family. Individuals who read portions of the manuscript include Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, Elizabeth Bieman, Thomas H. Cain, Heather Dubrow, Alexander Dunlop, Richard Helgerson, John N. King, Paul J. Klemp, and Gordon Teskey. Journal editors who patiently edited articles that eventually formed the nuclei of individual chapters or sections include Patrick Cullen and Thomas P. Roche, Jr, from Spenser Studies (on Prothalamion); Annabel Patterson from the Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (on The Shepheardes Calender); and Guilland Sutherland from the Huntington Library Quarterly (on the Dove episode in Book IV of The Faerie Queene). Individuals who permitted me to read versions of my manuscript at conferences include members of that stalwart institution, the revolving steering committee for 'Spenser at Kalamazoo,' especially Jerome S. Dees, Margaret P. Hannay, William A. Oram, and Donald Stump; Judith H. Anderson, president of the Spenser Society of America for 1988; and Jonathan Crewe, organizer of the 1990 NEH Tulsa conference, 'Refiguring the Renaissance.' Thanks also to those who talked with me about my project in rich and rewarding ways: Frederick A. de Armas, Raymond R. Fleming, Carol V. Kaske, Benjamin G. Lockerd, Jr, David L. Miller, Gregory Nagy, Robert E. Stillman, Jennifer Vaught, Jeffrey Walker, and Germaine Warkentin. Barry Goldfarb translated some passages from the Greek of Pollux; Philip Baldi helped me with the Latin and Sanskrit etymology linking avis and avëna; Lois Svard ushered me into work on the avian origin of musical instruments such as the pan-pipe and the lyre; and Charles Mann and Sandra Stelts at the Rare Books Room of Penn State's Pattee Library helped to prepare the illustrations. Over the years, several students have contributed significantly to my work: Ted Armstrong, Lisa Celovsky, Dominic Delli Carpini, John Curran, Cheryl Hinson, Todd Nilson, the late Herbertian Howard



McConaughy, Kelly Parsley, and Sandra Roe. Special thanks go to Jennifer Morrison, who magnanimously proofread the entire book with the eye of an eagle; and to a thorough group of research assistants, who helped with their talent for discipline, enthusiasm, and invention: Jeffrey Morris, Sandra Fennell, James Thomas, and Matthew Kinservik. Without the support and funding from several administrators, I could not have sustained the burden of this research: Christopher Clausen, my former English Department head; Robert A. Secor, my current English Department head; Caroline D. Eckhardt, my Comparative Literature Department head; and David S. Palermo, former Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. Wendell V. Harris, Robert D. Hume, and Stanley Weintraub have offered judicious advice along the way. At the University of Toronto Press, I should like to thank the late Prudence Tracy, who originally expressed enthusiasm for my manuscript; Virgil D. Duff, who has led me safely up the path of publication with efficiency, insight, and goodwill; Darlene Money, who has edited the manuscript with a saving eye for design and detail; and Theresa Griffin, who has kindly overseen the publication process. Finally, some special personal thanks. A.C. Hamilton was instrumental in urging me to write a book on Spenser; although this may not be the book he expected, I hope he will accept the present form in lieu of his warm generosity, extended over many years. Anne Lake Prescott and A. Kent Hieatt read the manuscript for the Press and contributed pages of detailed commentary for revisions; they have generously shaped the book into its present form. Here at Penn State, John D.C. Buck and John W. Moore, Jr, have read nearly everything I have written, but they still animate a model of literary enthusiasm that I am lucky to witness in the halls of my own institution. Abroad, Thomas Bulger and Mark A. Heberle have created the terms of friendship that make our professional community worth working in. Robert R. Edwards deserves credit for the title of my book, for the form and content of my introduction, and for the structure of chapter i - indeed, for the final emphasis allotted to the three strands of thought organizing the study. Bob entered the project at a crucial phase, infusing the judgment of friendship, the likes of which I shall not see again. The origins of this book trace to four mentors who rescued me at decisive phases of my education. In the late sixties, at the University of Montana, the poet Edward Leahy rescued me from the woods - quite literally, for I was majoring in forestry! - with the tragic intensity of his



wonderfully Romantic voice. The late Walter N. King in turn rescued me from the Romantics with his stunning classes on Renaissance drama, Shakespeare, Milton, and especially Spenser, and he alone is responsible for returning me to the woods - the woods of faerie. The learned Miltonist Robert B. Johnstone kindly rescued me from the pastoral retreat of Montana and sent me to the city with the blessing of his faith: RBJ introduced me to the criticism of Northrop Frye (and later Kenneth Burke), and he directed me to graduate school at the University of Toronto. There, James A. Carscallen relied on learning and compassion to rescue me from professional adolescence, and he secured for me a sojourn atop the hymnic hill of Acidale, where in such discourses we together spent, as fit occasion forth us led. Outside the profession, friends have graced the composition of the present study in providential ways. Loanne Snavely and Gary Gyekis have stoically endured several years of conversation about literature and birds; they have been instrumental in developing what little knowledge of ornithology I possess - even helping to secure a critical lens: my first field glasses! Finally, David L. Schleicher has given me the experience of friendship that will comfort me to the grave. Geologist, connoisseur of wine, saving administrator, brilliant teacher, elegant writer, model of integrity - friend: you are the great geologian! My parents, Marion I. Cheney and Thomas M. Cheney, gave me a genesis of earth, breath, and much more, including my brother, Jack, and my sister, Anne, both of whom have contributed essential warmth and lasting direction. My mother has also given me the gift of love and the enactment of faith; she continues to brood near the wellhead of the spring. My father was a geologist and a business executive, but he gave me my first typewriter and generously sent me on my way, down the path of poor poesy. Later, he and Marguerite gave birth to my little brother, Damien. A man of enormous energy, powerful resilience, and, to the end, undaunted courage, my father lived only long enough to see me complete my manuscript; it remains for me a treasured legacy that during his last days he took a father's pride in that accomplishment. As I worked on the final form of the manuscript, I derived special meaning from watching my son, Evan Gerard, grow into life and consciousness. Evan keeps me away from Spenser with his boyish humour, challenging wit, inventive verbal architectonics, and fast feet. He empowers me to return. As both the first and last rite of passage to publication, I dedicate this book to my wife, Debora. A gifted librarian, she has made countless



contributions to my research. But for over twenty years she has inspired and directed my energy. The mystery of our original meeting continues to return me to two special moments of marital miracle in The Faerie Queene. You pressed the grass, Debora, and helped me vow never to unbind the vow; you are the lovely face who long since in that enchanted glass I saw. Patrick Cheney

Texts and Abbreviations

Quotations from Spenser's poetry come from The Poetical Works of Edmund Spenser, éd. J.C. Smith and Ernest de Sélincourt, 3 vols (Oxford: Clarendon P, 1909-10). Quotations and translations from classical authors come from the Loeb Classical Library, unless noted otherwise. Major exceptions include Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, for which I rely on the translations of Richmond Lattimore; Plato's dialogues, for which I rely on the edition of Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns; Aristotle's works, for which I rely on the edition of Richard McKeon; and the Bible, for which I rely on a facsimile of the Geneva edition of 1560 published by the U of Wisconsin P. In the list of works cited at the end, I identify other editions and translations under a given author's name. For the purpose of economy, I include the original language from a non-English author only when my argument depends on it. Throughout, I modernize the archaic i-j and u-v of Renaissance texts, as well as other obsolete typographical conventions such as the italicizing of names and places. In abbreviating the titles of Spenser's works, I follow The Spenser Encyclopedia, ed. A.C. Hamilton, et al. (Toronto: U of Toronto P; London: Routledge, 1990). For formatting and citation, I rely on The MLA Style Manual (1985), although occasionally I veer from it in order to emphasize a particular point - as when I include either the title of a work or an abbreviation of it when not absolutely required. The University of Toronto Press has also brought certain features of the text into conformity with house style. For all classical authors except those mentioned above, I give the citation from the Loeb Classical Library even when I rely on another edition or translation: for example, Aristophanes, Birds 1303; trans.


Texts and Abbreviations

Hadas 274. For citations in multivolume works, I use the following format to distinguish between the citation of the text (for example, book and line number) and the position of the citation in the multivolume series (volume and page): ix.39i; i: 201. For citations in translations of works numbered by chapters and sections, as well as by page, I use the following format: Augustine, Confessions XII.27-8: 293.

Figure i Winged Garland: Poetic Fame and Glory. Peter Short, title-page to the 1595 volume of Amoretti and Epithalamion. Courtesy of the Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California, RB 69571

figure 2 Lady Fame with wings and trumpets. The wings of Fame contain eyes, while the lady blows a trumpet and pirouettes atop a skull. By the skull, Ceres reads a book labeled 'Historia/ while in her left hand she holds a phoenix rising from its ashes. Between Fame, the skull, and Ceres is the winged hourglass of Time. In the background are the ruins of Rome. The poem beneath the engraving complains about the shortness of human glory but finds solace in fame and posterity. Frontispiece to Hendrik Goltzius' Fame and History (1586). Courtesy of the Art Museum, Princeton University. Bequest of Junius S. Morgan

Figure 3 The Prophetic Swan. Ripa, Iconología, 'Augurio buono' (71). Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Figure 4 Mercury and Pegasus. Representing pure fame, Mercury leads or reins in Pegasus, the winged horse that bears famous individuals to the heavens. Ripa, Iconología, 'Fama chiara' (234). Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Figure 5 Poetic furore with wings. Ripa, Iconología, 'Furor poético' (280). Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Figure 6 Orpheus with harp touching bird. Whitney, A Choice of Emblèmes, 'Orphei Música' (186). Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Figure 7 Tityrus as a pastoral dove owner. Sebastian Brant, 'Eclogue i,' from Virgil, Opera (Strasbourg, 1502) f. Aiv. Courtesy of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Figure 8 Cycladic figure of harpist with bird-shaped harp. This is the oldest archaeological artefact we possess of an ancient stringed instrument (c. 2700-2100 BC). Maas and Snyder comment: 'Since the instrument is painted white ... [the harp] is thought to represent [a] swan['s] head' (2). Athens 3908. Courtesy of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece

Figure 9 Hercules with golden chain of eloquence. Alciati, Emblemata, 'Eloquentia fortitudine praestantior' (181). Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Figure w Monstrous winged tongue. Wither, A Collection of Emblèmes, 'Lingua quo tendis' (42). Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries

Figure il The Swan as a Sign of the Poet. Alciati, Emblemata, 'Insignia poetarum' (184). Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State University Libraries

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Spenser's Famous Flight: A Renaissance Idea of a Literary Career

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Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight

For Colin fittes such famous flight to scanne. Spenser, October

This book is a critical study of Spenser's idea of a literary career. It discusses most of Spenser's poetry published between 1579 and 1596, but it concentrates on the chronology of six volumes accepted by modern editors: The Shepheardes Calender (1579); Books l-m of The Faerie Queene (1590); Amoretti and Epithalamion (1595); Books l-vi of The faerie Queene (early 1596); Fowre Hymnes (early autumn 1596); and Prothalamion (late autumn 1596). Beyond their separate topics and occasions, these volumes cohere to create a fiction about the career of the 'new Poete,' as the glossarist E.K. calls Spenser in the Dedicatory Epistle to The Shepheardes Calender (19). As this inaugural volume reveals, the New Poet is to be the new national poet, heir to a long line of poets extending back to his native medieval heir, Chaucer, to his Continental classical heir, Virgil, and eventually to the legendary founder of poetry himself, Orpheus. The idea of Spenser's career emerging from the New Poet's career fiction and its significance for the reading of Spenser's poetry form the primary subject of this book.1 Missing from the six-volume chronology are two volumes in particular: the Complaints (1591) and Colin Clouts Come Home Againe (1595). I justify my neglect of them by arguing that they do not belong to the generic progression organizing the fiction of the New Poet's career. As I suggest in chapter i, both volumes belong roughly to the genre of the complaint, which, as Epithalamion reveals, Spenser understands as something of a metagenre: a genre about genre. Hence, the complaint does not show up in any of the extant maps of Spenser's publishing career


Spenser's Famous Flight

until its penultimate year; and, unlike the other maps that I shall examine, the one opening Spenser's marriage ode is not a projection of an ideal plan but a review of the actual vita. While both the Complaints and Colin Clout provide valuable information about the New Poet's career, then, they necessarily find a subordinate place in the present study.2 In the six-volume chronology that I emphasize, Spenser constructs the fiction of the New Poet's career through fundamental strategies of selfpresentation. These range from his allegorical representation of a persona like Colin Clout in The Shepheardes Calender and The faerie Queene to his narratival representation of a first-person speaker like those in Amoretti, Epithalamion, Fowre Hymnes, and Prothalamion. Through such representations, the New Poet presents himself reflecting on his role as poet, his art, and his career, on his hopes for his texts in the literary and sociopolitical contexts of his culture, and on the problems he encounters because his hopes so often conflict with the power structure resident in those contexts. T ... [with] sullein care, / Through discontent of my long fruitlesse stay / In Princes Court, and expectation vayne / Of idle hopes, which still doe fly away, / ... Walkt forth to ease my payne / Along the shoare of silver streaming Themmes ... / There ... / ... I chaunced to espy ... two Swannes of goodly hewe' (Proth 6-37). Fictional self-reflexivity, however, is not just the register of self-invention; it is the very instrument. In the past three decades, critics have increasingly attended to what Harry Berger, Jr, calls 'Spenser's metadiscursive project': 'One reason Spenser is the poet's poet is that his poems are discourses of discourses, which is to say that they are discourses about the discourses they represent' (Revisionary Play 467, 462). Several important critics have sought to highlight the nature of the conflict in the structure of the New Poet's career. What they have not done is highlight the complete genre-based idea emerging from that structure. The consequences of this seem to me significant. By misunderstanding the idea of Spenser's career, we misunderstand the lelos of his poetics; we blur the general focusing lens of criticism itself; we often misgauge individual poems and what we might call their intracareer relations; and we misread the phenomenon that almost always forms the focusing lens for commentary on Spenser's career: his turn from courtly to contemplative poetry in the mid-i59os. Evidently, the first to note this turn was John Worthington, who wrote in 1660, 'in his latter years ... [Spenser] most relish'd the more divine strain of poésie, [as] appears by several passages in his printed poems' (rpt in R.M. Cummings 197). In our own time, a distinguished line of critics has accounted for Spenser's turn to the 'divine strain of poésie' by tracing, paradoxically,

Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight


a classical, Virgilian, triadic, and semicircular contour to the New Poet's career.3 According to this view, Spenser begins his career exuberantly with a courtly pastoral, The Shepheardes Calender. He continues triumphantly with a courtly epic, the first three books of The Faerie Queene. But then, in the end, he turns - or returns - to a 'pastoral of contemplation' (Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence 10), represented by Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, Amoretti, Epithalamion, the second three books of The Faerie Queene (especially Book vi), The Mutabilitie Cantos (published 1609; written 1595 [RJ. Meyer]), Fowre Hymnes, and Prothalamion. Spenser makes this turn, many critics argue, because he changes his mind about courtly poetry. Disillusioned with the ambitious project of cultural reform laid out in The Letter to Ralegh - 'to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline' - he turns at the end of his career to a less ambitious poetry of private reform. The commonplace of Spenser's 'disillusionment' rests solidly on a generic foundation: the classical, Virgilian pattern of genres, styles, and ideologies known since the Middle Ages as the rota Vergiliana, especially 'the commonplace of Renaissance criticism, the progression from pastoral to epic' (Webb 8). By turning from pastoral to epic and then to 'rejuvenated pastoral' (DeNeef, 'Ploughing Virgilian Furrows' 155), Spenser fails in his Virgilian project. He cannot sustain his belief in the cultural value of courtly poetry. For many critics, a phrase in the Proem to Book VI of The Faerie Queene constitutes a slogan for Spenser's turn to contemplative poetry: 'deepe within the mynd' (5). In this book, I aim primarily to introduce a career model that challenges the commonplace view of Spenser's literary career. I offer this challenge because I do not believe that Spenser works within a strictly Virgilian idea of a literary career, or that he ends his career by turning from courtly to contemplative poetry. By studying the idea of a career diachronically (rather than synchronically, as Helgerson does), we can determine that career models other than the Virgilian were available from the Continental literary system. Of these, I cite two in particular: what I call the Ovidian and the Augustinian. Significantly, both Ovid and St Augustine view their careers as responses to, and rejections of, the Virgilian model. If the Renaissance Virgilian model displays the poet's turn from pastoral to epic to complete a courtly career successfully, the Ovidian model presents the poet's writing of love poetry as a napless interruption to that career. By contrast, the Augustinian model emphasizes the poet's need to end such a career by turning from youthful, courtly, erotic poetry to aged, contemplative, divine poetry (see chapter i). While the Virgilian, the Ovidian, and the Augustinian models consti-


Spenser's Famous Flight

tute competing choices for the contour of the Renaissance poet's career, they also ensure the valuation of four genres central to the Renaissance hierarchy of genres: pastoral, epic, love lyric, and divine poem or hymn. Treatises by such authorities as Scaliger on the Continent and Puttenham in England usually define pastoral as 'low,' epic as 'high,' love lyric as 'low,' and hymn as 'high' (Fowler, Kinds of Literature 70-72, 216-21). Thus a poet actually had two classes of diachronic models to choose from. The progressive model practiced by the poets themselves, such as the Virgilian, the Ovidian, and the Augustinian, offered an exclusive, contoured generic structure for shaping a career. The hierarchical model theorized by the literary critics (some of whom were poets), such as the Scaligerian and the Puttenhamian, offered an inclusive, encyclopaedically arranged generic map for wide formal experimentation. Petrarch is the founder of the Renaissance in part because he combines both classes of models in his career. From our perspective, he does so in a haphazard, confused, and even troubled way, but one that none the less ends up including the Virgilian, Ovidian, and Augustinian career models and their four hierarchically arranged genres: pastoral (Bucolicutn carmen), epic (Africa), love lyric (Rime sparse 'in vita'), and divine poem or hymn (Rime sparse 'in morte'). Most of Petrarch's sixteenth-century heirs - Tasso in Italy, for instance, and Ronsard in France - combine both classes of models as well, although again in a structure that lacks a clear pattern or idea. Spenser's unique genius - his major, original contribution to Western poetics - I believe, lies precisely in his organizing both classes of diachronic models into a coherent career idea. In deference to the legendary founder of poetry, I call this comprehensive diachronic model the Orphic idea of a literary career. Despite the name, the Orphic idea is not narrowly classical, but a synthesis of classical and Christian, as Orpheus himself became such a synthesis for a Renaissance poet like Spenser (Cain, 'Orpheus'). Spenser's commitment to Protestantism, I argue, precludes his acceptance of a classical model that critics agree is political in its telos. Although medieval and Renaissance authorities interpret Virgil's fourth Eclogue as a Messianic prophecy and generally assimilate his poetry into the Christian mainstream, in fact his political telos marginalizes wedded love, on the one hand, and remains ignorant of Christian salvation, on the other. Pastoral, georgic, and epic concentrate on this world, not the next (Coolidge 12-13). Spenser's Protestant ideology demands a comprehensive integration of personal identity, national politics, wedded love, and Christian theology. As John N. Wall puts it, 'the kingdom of

Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight


God, the eternal city of fulfilled promises, is ... to be reached, and built, through the moment-to-moment and day-to-day interactions of men and women in marriage and family and local and national community created, defined, and nurtured in their relationships by the ongoing worship of the Prayer Book' (127). To accomplish this Protestant ideology, Spenser needs forms of poetry beyond Virgilian pastoral and epic. Essential among these forms, I believe, are divine poetry, or what I call the hymn, and a poetry of marriage, or what I call the love lyric.4 Working from such concrete evidence as the publication record itself, the October eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender, a poem by one of Spenser's friends prefacing the Amoretti/Epithalamion volume, a poem exterior to Spenser's canon that traces the career pattern of his great imitator, Michael Drayton, and readings of Spenser's individual poems in the six-volume chronology, I argue that Spenser reinvents the Virgilian Wheel. Rather than the narrowly circumscribed Virgilian idea of pastoral and epic, the New Poet works from the Orphic idea of pastoral, epic, love lyric, and hymn. This progression is typological in its structure, and it represents the poet engaged in a complex providential process fundamental to the salvation, not merely of himself, but also of his readers. In pastoral, the poet relates the self to nature; in epic, he relates the self to the commonwealth; in love lyric, he relates the self to the family; and in the hymn, he relates the self to heaven.5 While the poet's self remains the great constant throughout Spenser's typological generic structure, in each phase he emphasizes a different object. Significantly, this 'Other' recurrently turns out to be feminine: Dame Nature in pastoral; his queen in epic; his wife in love lyric; and the form of woman herself in hymn, whom he calls Sapience (HHB 183). The New Poet's idea of a four-genre career forms a powerful myth of identity, in which the male subject 'sympathize!^]' (HB 192) with feminine power for his poetic authority - for better or for worse. Spenser's status as an Orphic poet, I theorize, depends on his success in prophesying this idea at the beginning of his career and then in fulfilling it by the end. The fiction of the New Poet's career constitutes a dramatic, turbulent attempt to fulfil this Orphic prophecy. The attempt is important because it measures Spenser's success in accomplishing his ultimate goals: fame and glory. In the following study, I distinguish between a classical and horizontal principle of earthly fame in the form of poetic immortality - literary renown among human beings throughout history and in the course of time - and a Christian and vertical principle of divine glory in the form of spiritual salvation - eternal renown among God's elect throughout eternity in the


Spenser's Famous Flight

kingdom of heaven. For medieval and Renaissance writers, St Augustine forges a distinction between earthly fame and heavenly glory. In The City of God, he works from Scripture to argue that 'the two cities were created by two kinds of love: the earthly city was created by self-love reaching the point of contempt for God, the Heavenly City by the love of God carried as far as contempt of self. In fact, the earthly city glories in itself, the Heavenly City glories in the Lord. The former looks for glory from men, the latter finds its highest glory in God, the witness of a good conscience. The earthly lifts up its head in its own glory, the Heavenly City says to its God: "My glory; you lift up my head" ' (XIV.28: 593). Yet in the history of fame, writes Leo Braudy, 'Augustine's argument for the virtue that brings eternal life intriguingly resembles an artist's belief in the vindication by posterity ... In the image of the poet who confers true fame on his subject because he masters time, Augustine has envisioned a God who controls both time and the order of things, who should be worshiped not for what help he can be on earth, "but for a happy life, which can only be eternal" ' (167). Consequently, to open The City of God Augustine accommodates Virgil and Horace on poetic immortality to Scripture on Christian glory: T have taken upon myself the task of defending the glorious City of God against those who prefer their own gods to the Founder of that City. I treat it both as it exists in this world of time, a stranger among the ungodly, living by faith, and as it stands in the security of its everlasting seat' (l.Preface: 5; see Braudy 167). Here St Augustine views his aim as rhetorically defending the glory of the Heavenly City in terms of the fame of the Earthly City. The bridge between fame and glory is thus language. According to Braudy, 'the proper use of language enables the Christian writer to emerge from mere self-obsession into an obsession with God. Instead of being an assertion of one's uniqueness, writing, properly understood, allows the writer to displace the urge for his own fame, instilled by pagan tradition, into an urge to glorify God ... Rather than a way to entertain and to win preferment on earth, mastery of the word would lay up honor in heaven' (169, 172). Most medieval writers follow Augustine (and Boethius) in distinguishing between Virgilian fame and Christian glory. Among them, Chaucer offers the most complete treatment and is especially important to the English tradition following. In The House of Fame, his treatment is suspicious, critical, and ironic, especially as Dante had reformulated the relation between the two kinds of fame. For in the Divine Comedy 'Dante uses fame as a means of salvation' (Boitani 90); in reconstructing

Introduction: Scanning the Famous Right


the Augustinian equation, Dante 'synthesize[s] spiritual with temporal fame' (Braudy 232). For a Renaissance writer, Dante and Chaucer could thus represent two radically different constructions for the same set of terms. Consequently, Renaissance writers inherit a problem that critics from Burckhardt to Kerrigan and Braden suggest is essential to a definition of the period. For Petrarch, the relation between fame and glory becomes not merely a source of deep personal conflict and troubled obsession, but the very centre of his literary enterprise. In the Trionfi, he includes the Triumph of Fame in a complex (incompletely worked out) equation between love, chastity, death, fame, time, and eternity. In this equation, Petrarch does not transcend his desire for fame but refines and perfects it in order to prepare his soul for heaven (Braudy 263): The years no longer in their hands will hold / The governance of fame: the glorious / Will glorious be to all eternity' (Triumph of Eternity no). Yet in the Secretum St Augustine tells Petrarch, 'I greatly fear lest this pursuit of a false immortality of fame may shut for you the way that leads to the true immortality of life' (166). It is supremely characteristic of Petrarch that he should organize his literary project around the idea of fame and then brilliantly express ambivalence about it.6 In the history of fame, Spenser is important because he follows Dante, not Petrarch (or Chaucer), in showing how the 'immortality of fame ... leads to the true immortality of life.' In one of the most important passages representing this paradigm, Spenser likens the Mount of Contemplation first to Mount Sinai, where Moses receives the Old Law (l.x.53), then to the Mount of Olives, which is 'for ever1 crowned with a flowering garland, 'as it were for endlesse memory of that deare Lord/ and finally to Parnassus, 'that is for ay / Through famous Poets verse each where renownd' (54; emphasis added). By associating the Mount of Olives with Parnassus, Spenser is not merely linking Christ with the Muses (Hamilton, FQ 140); he is also linking the eternal glory of Christ with the immortal fame of the poet. Spenser's contemporaries understood that he defined the poet in terms of fame and glory, and they defined his achievement in terms of that paradigm. Bishop Hall speaks of Th'eternall Legends of ... Renowned Spencer' (Virgidemiae l.iii.22-3). In a stunning, self-reflexive moment in The Teares of the Muses, Calliope classicizes the Christian principle driving Spenser's poetics: Therefore the nurse of vertue I am hight, / And golden Trompet of eternitie, / That lowly thoughts lift up to heavens hight, / And mortall men have powre to déifie' (457-60). The thought is by no means explicit (the archallegorist wisely ensures that it is not), but the words 'eternitie' and 'heavens' suggest a Christianization of the idea of poetic fame (Calliope


Spenser's Famous Flight

with her trumpet), so that the subsequent idea of deification resembles Christian apotheosis and glory. The muse of epic possesses the power to nurture a 'vertue' that leads to poetic fame and (I believe) Christian glory. For Spenser, I wish to argue, the new Orphic poet pursues a fourgenre literary career that accomplishes precisely this telos.7 If St Augustine secured a change in the idea of fame for Western culture, he also secured a concomitant change in the generic vehicle for fame, the idea of a literary career. Thus far, critics have argued that Augustine led medieval and Renaissance poets to Christianize primarily a single genre - whether epic, pastoral, love lyric, or hymn. 8 1 wish to suggest that Augustine influences Spenser to Christianize not just a single genre, but the complete Virgilian career model. Under the influence of Augustine, Spenser changes the career idea from the classical paradigm of pastoral, georgic, and epic to a Christian paradigm of pastoral, epic, love lyric, and hymn. Spenser secures this change to demonstrate the way in which poetic immortality functions as a means of salvation.9 To manage and economize a highly complex thesis about Spenser's idea of a literary career, I introduce a focusing lens. This lens is indigenous to Spenser's idea of a career because it both emerges from and precisely merges a traditional representation of fame with what may be his most important mode of self-representation. From his youthful, ambitious beginning in 1579 to his poignant, premature closing in 1596, he communicates his Orphic idea of a literary career by relying on a myth of fame and glory: the myth of the winged poet. By 'myth of the winged poet,' I mean a mythos - a narrative or story valuable to culture (Frye, Great Code 31-3; Ñagy, Greek Mythology and Poetics 8; see White i, 24-5, 44-5) - in which a poet presents himself acquiring the identity or exercising the power of a winged creature: a bee, a cicada, a butterfly, a gnat, a bird. Periodically, we glimpse valuable representations: - 'I give you wings/ says the airborne Theognis to his reader in the Elegies (237; trans. Wender) - The poet is a light and winged thing, and holy,' says Plato in the Ion (534b) - 'Let me be the dainty, the winged one/ says Callimachus in Aetia (1-33) - 'On no common or feeble pinion shall I soar in double form through the liquid air, a poet still ... I am changing to a snowy swan above, and o'er my arms and shoulders is spreading a plumage soft. Soon, a tuneful bird, I shall visit the shores of the moaning Bosphorus,

Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight


more renowned than Icarus, born of Daedalus,' says Horace in the Odes (11.20.1-14) - 'At every step ... I felt my feathers growing for the flight,' says Dante in the Divine Comedy (Purgatorio xxvii.i22~3; trans. Singleton) - That living laurel [is] ... where my high thoughts used to make their nest/ says Petrarch in the Rime sparse (318: 9-10) - 'My heedfull Muse, trayned in true Religion, / Devinely-humane Keepes the middle Region: / Least, if she should too-high a pitch presume, / Heav'ns glowing flame should melt her waxen plume; / Or, if too-low ... she flagge, / Laden with mists her moisted wings should lagge,' says Du Bartas in Divine Weeks and Works (1.1.135-40) Occasionally, we glimpse a corollary to the myth - the winged poem: - 'A poem without wings is not a poem,' says Aristophanes comically in the Birds (1303; trans. Hadas 274) - 'Send this new song on its wings,' says Pindar quite seriously in the Epinician Odes (Isthmian V.6y, trans. Bowra) - 'nightingales are honey-pale / and small poems are sweet/ says Callimachus epigrammatically in Aetia (16-17; trans, reconstructed by Lombardo and Rayor; cf. the Loeb translation) - Tales, idle tales! On what pinions can things of earth rise to Heaven?' asks Petrarch ironically in Bucolicum carmen (xi.og) - 'I thence / Invoke thy aid to my advent'rous Song, / That with no middle flight intends to soar / Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues / Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhyme,' says Milton bardically in Paradise Lost (1.12-16) Because the myth appears recurrently in diverse forms from the beginning of our literary tradition, I concentrate on only a single form: the avian. Among the forms, the avian is not merely the most primeval; it is the most widespread, the most sophisticated, and therefore the most important, authoritative, and venerable. Remarkably, it has never been isolated or identified, classified or analysed. It has never been named.10 In the Stanza della Segnatura, Raphael portrays 'Poetry' in a way that is significant here. She is a woman wearing a laurel garland on her head and bearing a book in her right hand and a lyre in her left hand. She is flanked by two cherubim, who hold a sign displaying the words 'numine afflatur.' She is also winged (see plate 85 in Gombrich; for Raphael's drawing of 'Poetry/ see my frontispiece). In his painting, Raphael brings together traditional attributes of poetry - woman, laurel garland, book, lyre, and wings - not merely to 'signiffy]' the divine origin and end of poetic inspiration but also to 'display ... or express' it (Gombrich 96). Among the attributes, I emphasize two in particular:


Spenser's Famous Flight

the laurel garland, a natural image of immortal fame, and the angelic wings, a supernatural image of eternal glory. In the emblem to William Ponsonby's 1595 edition of Amoretti and Epithalamion, Peter Short brings the two attributes into significant alignment. He presents a curious creature in the form of a winged garland flying amid the clouds, relying on two ribbons to hold an open book illuminated by the sun. Like Raphael, Short brings together the attributes of book, laurel garland, and wings, but he adds the sun of illumination and the clouds of divinity. His Latin legend reads 'et usque ad nubes veritas tua' (your truth [ascends] even all the way to the clouds). The winged garland, I propose, is a representation of fame and glory (fig. i). As we shall see, the figure advertises the consonance between Spenser's volumes of love lyrics and his earlier publications, The Shepheardes Calender and The Faerie Queene. In 'lambicum Trimetrum,' a Latin verse appearing in a letter to Gabriel Harvey, Spenser himself self-reflexively versifies the avian part of the sign: 'Unhappy Verse ... / Make thy self e fluttring wings of thy fast flying / Thought, and fly forth unto my Love' (1-3)." While not as detailed (or as pleasing) as Raphael's painting (or even Short's emblem), Spenser's prosaic verse of Poetry as a winged creature none the less shares a common heritage. The strategies for evoking this heritage vary - from depicting Poetry as a winged creature and the Muse as a winged woman to presenting the poet as a bird and the bird as the companion of the poet - but the rationale behind the strategies remains consistent. Poets use the myth of the winged poet, and its corollary the winged poem, to communicate the workings and goals of their art. The locus classicus of the myth remains the first fable in Western culture: the fable of the hawk and the nightingale in Works and Days. To figure the poet's resistance to a tyrannical power structure, Hesiod tells how a nightingale, who has a 'minstrel's lovely voice' (218; trans. Wender), struggles against an aggressive hawk. From Hesiod, we acquire not merely the locus classicus of the avian myth, but also the locus of all myths about the poet. Such a locus forms a dynamic construct central to the following study: the poet struggles with the power structure in order to enact his divinely sanctioned identity and goals. The myth, in other words, represents the poet as a culturally significant individual dangerously poised on the threshold between earth and heaven, history and eternity, oblivion and fame. Hesiod needs a strategy of representation for simultaneously revealing and concealing this bold self-portrait. He finds it in the myth of the winged poet, because the bird, like the poet, is paradoxically both a humble, harmless, and senti-

Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight


mental creature of nature and a powerful divine intermediary between earth and heaven.12 In the Georgics, Virgil creates a locus classicus for identifying the bird as specifically an Orphic sign when he likens the Thracian bard to the nightingale. After losing Eurydice to Pluto, Orpheus unfolded ... his tale, charming the tigers, and making the oaks attend his strain; even as the nightingale, mourning beneath the poplar's shade, bewails the loss of her brood, that a churlish ploughman hath espied and torn unfledged from the nest: but she weeps all night long, and, perched on a spray, renews her piteous strain, filling the region round with sad laments. (Georgics ^.509-15)

Since Orpheus uses his song to charm the tigers and make the oaks attend his strain, his likeness to the nightingale appears more than natural. In so far as the nightingale is a mother nesting with her young ones in a poplar tree - and thereby subject to the will of a ploughman - she is a figure of nature. But in so far as she resists the ploughman's cruelty with a song that 'fill[s]' the 'region round' - and is herself capable of flight - she is a figure above nature. Through the image of the nightingale, Virgil locates the essence of the poet's Orphic power: he achieves immortality by confronting death with famous song.13 To date, no one has explored what I term the Orphic myth of the winged poet or speculated on its significance for literary studies. Yet research into the origins of poetry and music reveals sustained evidence of a tradition in which the poet-musician invents his art by imitating birdsong. This tradition is theorized by such authorities as Lucretius, Plutarch, Athenaeus, Scaliger, and Drayton; it is represented by Alkman, Aristophanes, and such precursors of Spenser as Virgil, Ovid, Dante, Chaucer, Petrarch, and Du Bartas; and it is archaeologically rendered in the most primitive artefacts of pan-pipes and lyres that we possess.14 We need to acknowledge the importance of this myth simply as a matter of our historical record - of how early culture could theorize the genesis of our literary enterprise. But the myth is also important in today's critical climate because it is a myth of artistic identity - of 'self-fashioning' - of how the poet understands, presents, and actually invents himself. Significantly, in each of the four generic phases of his career, the New Poet identifies with a specific species of bird, and in each case the avian 'Other' turns out to be feminine: in pastoral, the nightingale (Aug 183-6); in epic, the dove (FQ lV.Pr.5 and viii.3-12); in love lyric, the dove


Spenser's Famous Flight

again (Am 89: 1-8); and in hymn, the hawk (HBB 22-8). The New Poet's 'sweete sympathie' (HB 199) with a female bird within the fiction may not invalidate Stephen Greenblatt's principle that 'self-fashioning is achieved in relation to ... [a] threatening Other ... [which] must be discovered or invented in order to be attacked and destroyed' (Renaissance Self-Fashioning 9), but it does interrogate our profession's most powerful theory of literary identity.15 Since critics in other fields have not explored the Orphic avian myth, it is not surprising that Spenser critics have neglected it. Despite the significant work done on Spenser's 'metadiscursive' project, no one has identified the avian myth as a salient metadiscursive sign instrumental to the New Poet's career. Yet Spenser offers at least four formal experiments in the various forms of the myth (Virgils Gnat, Muiopotmos: or The Fate of the Butterflie, the Dove episode in Book IV, canto viii, of The Faerie Queene, and Prothalamion), and perhaps a fifth experiment (the lost Dying Pelican, which may have been about not merely Christ but also a dying poet [Oram et al. 224]). In addition, Spenser relies on more than three hundred avian images throughout his poetry (a considerable amount of verse), with roughly half of them functioning vocationally. That is, they bear on 'the state of Poet' (Oct 97). My argument is that by learning, like Halitherses in the Odyssey, to 'read ... birdflight into accurate speech' (11.159, trans. Fitzgerald), we can acquire a good deal of information about Spenser's sense of his own project. Thus we need to become what Drayton calls in The Owle 'a perfect Linguist of the Wood' (48).16 In this study, I wish to show that Spenser's myth of the winged poet is important precisely because it is a myth of poetic fame and Christian glory: fame with golden wings aloft doth flie, Above the reach of ruinous decay, And with brave plumes doth beate the azure skie, Admir'd of base-borne men from farre away: Then who so will with vertuous deeds assay To mount to heaven, on Pegasus must ride, And with sweete Poets verse be glorified. (The Ruines of Time 421-7)

In representing fame as winged, Spenser is following a long tradition stretching back to Virgil. In using the myth of Pegasus to represent the poet's power to secure fame, he is relying on an equally venerable tradition. As Spenser reveals, his subject's acquisition of winged fame

Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight


depends on moral behaviour: the 'vertuous' individual relies on 'brave plumes' to 'beate the azure skie.' Yet Spenser is likely following a tradition, popularized by Dante, which Christianizes the classical representation - a tradition the Spenserian poet Phineas Fletcher relies on when he coalesces Pegasus with the white horse of Revelation (The Locusts V-34). For Spenser, the heroic poet's 'sweete ... verse' has a utilitarian telos that is boldly salvific. His famous ascent ('admir'd of baseborne men') triumphs over time ('ruinous decay') and ends in Christian glory ('mount to heaven'). The word 'glorified' that emphatically concludes the passage is important to this reading. The words glory, glorify, and glorified recur throughout Scripture, and St Paul is important in the evolution of the terminology because he adjusts the concept of glory from God and Christ to the faithful Christian; the individual not merely witnesses the glory of God and Christ but shares in their glory (Romans 5: 12; see McKenzie 314). As the examples from the OED reveal, the word glorified often refers to the rising of the body and soul to heaven - to resurrection - as in the following: 'we ryse glorifyde in body and saule' (def. i). Literally, Spenser's narration of the Pegasus myth may represent simply the fame of poetic immortality, but his diction and word arrangement function as they do so often elsewhere: as allegory. My theory is that Spenser uses the Pegasus myth to allegorize the way in which the poet imitates Christ in glorifying the faithful believer. As we shall see in chapter i, Spenser's second use of the Pegasus myth in The Ruines of Time, which represents the fame and glory of the great Christian poet-hero Sidney, confirms this interpretation.17 In the October eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender, I find my key phrase: 'For Colin fittes such famous flight to scanne' (88). The 'famous flight' refers to the 'flight that will earn the poet fame' (Cain, Oram et al. 174), but specifically ' "famous flight" means that Colin can repeat Virgil's achievement' (Cain, 'Orpheus' 32; his emphasis). I would also emphasize the second word in the phrase, flight, in order to underscore Spenser's reliance on an avian sign to relate Colin to Virgil's achievement. Spenser could be remembering, not merely Virgil's renowned portrait of the winged monster Fama (rumour) in the Aeneid (IV. 175-90), but also his personalized, virtuous form of poetic immortality in the Georgics: 'I must essay a path whereby I, too, may rise from earth and fly victorious on the lips of men' (111.8-9: 'temptanda via est, qua me quoque possim / tôlière humo victorque virum volitare per ora'). Virgil in the last clause is closely following Ennius (Epigmmmata 10: 'Volito vivus per ora virum'; Putnam, Virgil's Poem of the Earth 166) in order to lift off his own georgic project. Géorgie labour results in poetic immor-


Spenser's Famous Flight

tality. Through an avian sign, Virgil defines the centre of the georgic genre. Although the georgic poet's flight is literally vertical, paradoxically its significance is horizontal - the reward from the power structure for labour within time. The imitatio of Ennius is important to this representation because in combining Theocritus' Idylls, Hesiod's Works and Days, and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey into a coherent career pattern, 'Virgil was developing the possibilities of a precedent set by Ennius.'18 As we shall see in chapter i, Spenser's positioning of the line about the 'famous flight' is an important indicator that he is attempting to link poetic fame with Christian glory. For he inserts the line into a passage not on either Virgilian pastoral ('the base and viler clowne' [37]) or Virgilian epic ('the awful crowne' [40]), but on what I shall argue to be the Augustinian-based hymn: 'And, whence thou camst, flye backe to heaven apace' (84). Through placing the line thus, Spenser in effect imps the Virgilian wings of fama onto the Augustinian wings of glory (see Confessions XH.ay-S: 293). He dramatically represents his attempt to Christianize the Virgilian idea of a literary career. I would further add that the line about the 'famous flight' is deeply rich in resonance and significance, as many of Spenser's avian images are. By the late sixteenth century, several other poets had rendered Virgil's flight 'famous' - including two poets central to the following study, both of whom I have discussed as important in the history of fame. In the Commedia, Dante took Virgil as his guide on his 'flying pilgrimage' (Hart 244-59) and became for Spenser the principal precursor relying on the sign of the poet's salvific flight pattern. Chaucer comically imitated Dante's flying pilgrimage in The House of Fame and became Spenser's English Tityrus' in The Shepheardes Calender (June 81), the direct descendant of Virgil, the 'Romish Tityrus' (Oct 55). The 'famous flight' is intertextual - a sign of the transversive method by which the New Poet imitates the poets he loves best. But the line also evokes the 'famous' telos of this method, as articulated in the Renaissance cult of poetic glory. Summarizing the cult he helped invent, Petrarch relies on its primary representation when he says that poets join historians in thwarting the sun's attempt to destroy fame, 'for they, escaping from the common cage, / Had mounted upward, into soaring flight' (Triumph of Time 98). As Petrarch knew, and as I hope to emphasize, cages and wings are important images in the iconography of fame. Subsequently, Petrarch expresses ambivalence about the idea of fame, but his English Reformation heir is more confident. In October, Spenser's soaring figure of fama is a bird, the sweetly singing 'Swanne' (90), a figure of Neoplatonic or Christian transcendence (see chapter i). By

Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight


representing the idea of fama through an avian image of 'flight/ Spenser is self-consciously identifying the primary metaphorical vehicle by which he aims to 'overgo' Petrarch, Chaucer, Dante, and Virgil to accomplish his highest goal (see fig. 2). Finally, Spenser's line about the 'famous flight' possesses verbal sophistication in its witty identification of the language of poetry with the language of ornithology: to 'scanne' means both 'to analyze (verse)' (OED, def. i) and To climb' (def. 7, citing FQ VII.vi.8). The word also conveys a method of reading prophetic signs: 'It was no time to scan the prophecie' (FQ iv.xii.28). The prophetic tenor of the October line also emerges in the word 'fittes': 'For Colin fûtes such famous flight to scanne.' Literally, the word vacillates between meaning that Colin is qualified for the famous flight (see OED, def. 11.4) and that he will have trouble performing it (see Mallette, 'Spenser's Portrait' 25). But the word may also be connected to poetry (a fit is a 'part or section of a poem' [OED, def. i]) and to poetic prophecy, for Colin's fitness is a prediction, not the realization of a potential: Colin could make the flight if his love for Rosalinde did not currently ground him. Thus Spenser puns on the fit or ecstasy of the prophetic poet (furor poético), as when Merlin falls into a 'suddein fit, and halfe extatick stoure' (FQ Hl.iii.5o). Colin's flight is the frenzy of renown. In being fit for such a flying frenzy, the New Poet is at once prophesying his intention to overgo the Virgilian achievement and intimating the representational strategy through which he will accomplish such a daring and difficult feat. Spenser's literary career is to be that famous flight. One advantage of attending carefully to the avian myth is that we can discover new significance in several images that recur in Spenser that otherwise remain enigmatic or, more likely, 'sentimental.' The most important images of fame for me are those of wings, garlands, nests, cages, including 'leavy cages' (FQ iv.x.45), and echo; but the symbolism extends in at least one important case to golden chains and precious stones. In Book IV of The Faerie Queene, we cannot come to terms with Spenser's allegory of Ralegh and Elizabeth without recognizing in the image of the Dove and its chain-bound ruby the iconography of fame. By recognizing this iconography, we can witness the New Poet brooding over the idea of fame in a place we are not used to looking. I wish to show how often such a place reveals the poet to be relating the idea of fame to a particular generic phase of his literary career - in this case, the phase of epic. Conversely, one disadvantage of neglecting the avian myth is that we isolate ourselves from one of the most ancient and authoritative of


Spenser's Famous Flight

myths by which poets represent themselves in relation to their careers. As his recurrent use of the nightingale in The Shepheardes Calender reveals, Spenser would likely have understood Hesiod's fable of the hawk and the nightingale, and probably he would have been able to trace its intertextual history (through Virgil, Ovid, Petrarch, and Gascoigne). So, too, Spenser's heir in the Virgilian mode, Milton, would have understood the Hesiodic fable, for he adopts the nightingale as a sign of his own 'poetic voice' (Lievsay 36; see J. Kerrigan), thereby motivating its use by Blake and the Romantics, especially Coleridge and Keats (Randel 36, 51-5), and even by Whitman, Stevens, and contemporary American poets like A.R. Ammons (E. Cook 426-8, 441-3). By attending to the famous avian myth, we can find a remarkable, hitherto neglected metaphorical register of a poet's own attempt to enact literary self-invention. To map this register, I construct a critical methodology drawing on the insights of a number of fields: structuralism and post-structuralism, New Criticism and New Historicism, archetypal myth criticism and semiotics, rhetoric and reader-response criticism, theories of imitation and of intertextuality. I draw on these fields from inside my topic, as it were, because it seems to require it. Intertextuality is a case in point. Nearly all of Spenser's avian images imitate a classical, medieval, or biblical source. They imitate art, not nature. The flight indeed is famous. Because Spenser's avian figures have a literary, not an ornithological, origin, we can benefit from recent theories of imitation and intertextuality in trying to respond to them. Among the fields of critical theory, I emphasize one to which my study aims especially to make an original contribution: genre. Tn the Renaissance, role and genre were closely associated ... For Spenser ... genre was ... a sign of the role' (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 4). In role, genre, and sign, I find three of my key terms, but I add image, poem, career fiction, and imitation, and do some reshuffling. I order these terms so as to create the following sign system. The avian image is a sign of the poet in a particular role, writing in a particular genre, and constructing a certain poem through imitation, in order to fictionalize a specified contour to a career. The avian image, in other words, is a precise indicator and accurate representational model of a poet writing generically and intertextually within a prescribed career. By grounding our analysis in such textual authority, we can discover more clearly than we might otherwise do the inner workings of Spenser's mind and project. We can define the shifting roles of the New Poet, the nature of his generic experiments, the intertextual workings of his individual poems, a single unexamined image central to these

Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight


poems, and both the structure and telos of his overall career. Such a sign system functions rhetorically, for Spenser aims to say, with Theognis, 'I give you wings.' In the structure of this system, genre forms the middle term and centre. I argue that Spenser relies on the avian sign of the poet to redefine each of the four genres organizing the New Poet's Orphic career. We need to view each generic experiment, I suggest, not in formalist terms, but in terms of Spenser's vocation - not as obedience to a set of conventions, but as a contribution to a literary career. At least since Plato, theorists have defined certain genres through the lens of the poet's speaking voice - his own creative project or sense of vocation (Plato singles out lyric and epic). Yet no theorist has taken this principle a step further, to define a genre as I see Spenser defining it: through the lens of his own career progression. In practice, for Spenser this means defining pastoral, epic, love lyric, and hymn according to the special site that each occupies along the continuum of the New Poet's career fiction. Thus I wish to approach each poem by reading the avian sign within a larger authorial flight pattern. Pastoral is the genre in which the fledgling poet 'provefs his] ... tender wyngs' (E.K., Epistle to SC 162-3); epic, in which the mature poet 'make[s] a greater flyght' (E.K., Epistle 163); love lyric, in which the tired epic poet 'sport[s his] ... muse' in 'pleasant mew' (Am 89: 9-10); and hymn, in which the old poet 'flye[s] backe to heaven apace' (Oct 84). Thus pastoral forms an inaugural phase to the New Poet's flight pattern; epic, an authorizing phase; love lyric, a renewal phase; and hymn, a valedictory phase. I am particularly intent to identify what artistic experience Spenser believes inaugurates, authorizes, renews, and closes the New Poet's career. Because the avian myth is so deeply connected to the telos of this pattern, fame and glory, it provides a valuable clue to these identifications. By redefining each of the four genres in terms of the myth, we can radically alter our understanding of Spenserian genre and contribute an unobserved principle to the history of genre theory.19 To structure my study, I rely on the four main generic phases of the New Poet's career. I preface chapters on these phases with a theoretical chapter i, in which I introduce the evidence for a four-phase career idea, focusing on my primary text, the October eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender. I also examine in more detail the Orphic idea of a literary career, including its alternative, the commonplace model; and I examine further the Orphic myth of the winged poet. I am particularly intent to rely on the Orphic myth in order to relate two topics that are currently preoccupying Renaissance critics: 'the idea of a literary career'


Spenser's Famous Flight

and 'the idea of the Renaissance.' I aim to argue that the avian myth constitutes a basic strategy of representation by which the New Poet demonstrates how his construction of a literary career fulfils his Orphic role of rebuilding civilization within a larger salvific program of fame and glory. Through his identity as the earthly minister of grace, that is, the winged Orphic poet constructs a renaissance of culture and cosmos. In chapters 2 to 5, I examine each of Spenser's four main generic experiments in light of the 'famous' avian myth. In chapter 2, on The Shepheardes Calender, I show how Spenser uses Colin Clout's identity as a nightingale, a bird tragically lodged in nature but singing a sweet song that reaches heaven, in order to represent the inaugural phase of the New Poet's career: his vatic vision of the grace ordering nature. Hence, in the November eclogue Colin sings his visionary Song of Dido as 'the Nightingale ... sovereigne of song' (25). The nightingale-poet's vatic vision forms the defining centre of the pastoral genre. The principle of 'transcendence' at work in this inaugural poem resembles that in the final, hymnic one, but it functions in part as a prophecy of the way in which the fledgling poet's poetic fame will lead to Christian glory. Here, then, I respond to the competing views of Colin's transcendence as forming the defining centre of pastoral: that he is either participating in the classical ideal of otium or the Christian ideal of eternity, or that he is foolishly escaping from courtly culture. I suggest, rather, that Spenser is identifying Colin's visionary experience as a necessary inaugural stage within the 'perfecte paterne of a Poete' (Oct, Arg). As such, I reject the commonplace view that Spenser establishes his authority as the New Poet by distancing himself from Colin, who has failed to acquire such authority. Spenser traces Colin's experience in order to idealize the process he himself progressed through to write the Calender and thus to begin his Orphic career. In chapter 3, on Book IV, canto viii, of The Faerie Queene, I show how Spenser uses the identity of a dove, a bird of political peace, erotic love, and divine grace, in order to represent the authorizing phase of the New Poet's courtly career: his enactment of vatic virtue, in the form of poetry itself, to reconcile his quarrelling patrons, Ralegh and Elizabeth. Hence, the Dove relies on a 'piteous ditty new devis'd' (12) in order to reconcile Timias and Belphoebe. The dove-poet's vatic virtue forms the defining centre of the epic genre. In reversing the transcendent movement of pastoral through a process of immanence, epic reverses the process of fame and glory. In this genre, Christian glory precisely authorizes the poet's famous project. Consequently, Spenser uses the iconography of fame in showing the dove relying on a heart-shaped

Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight


ruby bound by a chain in order to reunite Timias and Belphoebe - an iconography usefully excavated by Jonson in his description of Fame from The Masque of Queenes. Here I respond to the conventional definition of epic as 'a long verse narrative about spectacular exploits in a heroic age' (W.J. Kennedy, 'Heroic Poem before Spenser' 363). While critics have long marginalized the Dove episode, I note its position in the structure of The Faerie Queene as itself definitive of the epic genre what Thomas M. Greene calls, relying on the avian-based Mercury myth, 'the descent from heaven.' I also seek to displace another commonplace, that Spenser waits until Book VI, canto x, to insert himself into his epic and that his only self-portrait represents his withdrawal from courtly poetry. In a spectacular imitation of Ariosto, Chaucer, Virgil, and Scripture, Spenser uses the Dove to represent himself in an active, divinely ordained relation to the Elizabethan power structure. In chapter 4, on Amoretti and Epithalamion, I show how Spenser uses the identity of a grounded bird (especially the dove), traditionally an image of failed flight and imprisonment but renovated into an image of regenerative rest, in order to represent the renewal phase of the New Poet's career: his providential grounding as a renewal of his epic strength. Hence, in Amoretti 80 the poet 'sportts his] muse' in a 'pleasant mew' (a cage in which a hawk moults or renews its feathers), while in Amoretti 89 he sits faithfully "lyke as the Culver on the bared bough' (i). The dove-poet's faithful renewal of vatic virtue forms the defining centre of the love-lyric genre. In this work, the interruption of the complex process of transcendence and immanence controlling the interchange of epic and pastoral seriously threatens the poet's 'famous flight.' Yet it is the poet's challenge in this genre to discover in the seeming stasis of the private mew a dynamic space of energizing desire, epic renewal, and poetic fame and glory. The cage imagery of Amoretti is especially important to Spenser in his attempt to situate the love lyric along the continuum of the poet's flight to fame. Thus I here respond to the conventional view of the love lyric as an epideictic celebration of the beloved. I also seek to displace another commonplace, perhaps more important to my larger argument, that Spenser's love lyrics interfere with his epic project. I argue, rather, that they enable him to continue it. In chapter 5, on Fowre Hymnes, I show how Spenser uses the identity of a hawk, traditionally a bird of great sight and powerful flight, in order to represent the valedictory phase of the New Poet's career: his turn from courtly to contemplative poetry.20 Hence, in the Hymne of Heavenly Beautie the poet 'learne[s] to fly' by imitating 'the soare faulcon' (26). The hawk-poet's return to the vatic source forms the


Spenser's Famous Flight

defining centre of the hymnic genre. Here I respond to the conventional view of the hymn as a poem praising the gods. I also respond to the ongoing debate about the relation between the two sets of hymns, earthly and heavenly. First, I show how the flight pattern of the hawk confirms the 'progressive' theory relating earthly love and beauty with heavenly love and beauty. Then I show how this spiritual progression self-reflexively closes the progression of the New Poet's career. In the genre of the hymn, I try to demonstrate, the poet's flight back to heaven supremely enacts the way in which poetic fame leads to Christian glory. Thus those individuals who follow the New Poet's career from The Shepheardes Calender to Fowre Hymnes would trace a trajectory that converts art into salvation. At this point in my argument, it looks as if the avian myth confirms the general thesis undergirding the commonplace view of Spenser's career: his turn from courtly to contemplative poetry. Yet in my conclusion I show how Spenser turns from contemplative poetry back to courtly poetry in the last poem he publishes: Prothalamion. Paradoxically, he uses the self-reflexive myth of the swan, traditionally a bird of transcendence singing sweetly before it dies, in order to trace yet another pattern of artistic immanence. The paradox self-consciously alerts us to a change in career plan. In this last poem, Spenser constructs a complex swan-allegory in which he fashions the feminine 'Other' in the shape of the 'self: 'I saw two Swannes of goodly hewe, / Come softly swimming downe along the Lee' (37-8). Here the New Poet represents the fashioning process underlying his earlier courtly poetry in order to announce the reopening of his literary career. Through renovating the traditional 'swan-song,' he defends the cultural value of his past career and projects its continuation. In this national love lyric, the epic process of immanence suggests a renewed commitment to the goal of fame and glory organizing the New Poet's career. As he says to his new patron, Essex, through 'thy triumphs fame ... / ... great Elisaes glorious name may ring ... / Which some brave muse may sing / To ages following' (151-60). Prothalamion thus contains historically significant information about Spenser's plan to continue The Faerie Queene, and it offers a priceless representation of the visionary experience permitting him to return to history and politics at the very close of his career. For reasons now lost to us, late in the autumn of 1596 Spenser decides to rescan the famous flight.

i Displaying the Fluttering Wing: The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet

There may thy Muse display her fluttryng wing, And stretch her selfe at large from East to West. Spenser, October

Spenser's most significant contribution to Western poetics lies in Christianizing the Virgilian idea of a literary career. Dante may precede Spenser in this enterprise, but he privileges a single Virgilian genre, the epic, and he subordinates this genre's political telos. Spenser's genius lies in constructing a comprehensive career idea that synthesizes the Renaissance version of the Virgilian progression, pastoral and epic, with non-Virgilian genres compatible with Christianity and the Reformation: the Petrarchan love lyric and the Augustinian hymn. For the Renaissance poet, the Virgilian, political telos of the earthly city fulfils the Augustinian, salvific telos of the heavenly city (FQ l.x.59-64). Poetic fame fulfils Christian glory. St Augustine does not merely influence Spenser to rewrite the epic spoke of the rota Vergiliana in light of Christianity. The great Church father influences Spenser to reinvent the entire Virgilian Wheel. I refer to this reinvention as the Orphic idea of a literary career. Spenser's status as an Orphic poet depends on his power to prophesy this idea at the beginning of his career and then to fulfil it by the end. He introduces his prophecy in his inaugural work of 1579, The Shepheardes Calender. He successfully carries out his prophecy by bridging the 1590 and 1596 instalments of The Faerie Queene with the 1595 Amoretti and Epithalamion. And he fulfils his prophecy in his valedictory verse of 1596, Fowre Hymnes. Late in the autumn of 1596, however, Spenser announces that he is reopening his career by publishing what turns out to be his last poem, Prothalamion.


Spenser's Famous Flight

Within this contour, I find evidence of a serious and sustained personal contest. In each poem comprising the contour, the poet struggles to fulfil the ideals of his vocation against the constraints of a publicly advertised career. Indeed, much of the energy we experience in a given poem emerges from Spenser's drive to contend with the anxiety of that struggle. Harry Berger, Jr, rightly advises that we approach The Faerie Queene, not merely 'as a piece of storytelling,' but also 'as a poem that represents storytelling' ('Narrative as Rhetoric' 3). I suggest that Spenser's poems as a whole form a coherent piece of storytelling that represents storytelling - especially about the turbulent, creative process that the poet undergoes when composing each poem within the constraints of a demanding career pattern. In the poetry of 1596, the poet's storytelling struggle accelerates from a contest to a crisis. For reasons now lost to us, Spenser senses that his career is coming to a close prematurely. That he turned out to be prophetic should indeed startle us; it should also alert us to the organizing force of that career: his sense of the poet's prophetic function. To exert this function during his crisis, he exercises a principle I call prophetic equivocation, through which he announces closure to his career and simultaneously acknowledges its open-endedness. This principle helps explain the corresponding crisis in Spenser studies at the end of the twentieth century: the increasingly heated debate over Spenser's attitude toward his art at the end of his career. Did Spenser abandon The Faerie Queene because he became disillusioned with his humanist poetics, or did he continue to work on it despite any disillusionment he may have felt? The principle of prophetic equivocation also accounts for a corollary question underlying most recent commentary. Was Spenser a realistic 'materialist' committed to the exigencies of power politics, or was he an idealistic 'essentialist' committed to the universals of Christian theology?1 We can respond to these questions compellingly by attending to what may be Spenser's most important representation of the poet and his literary career: the avian representation of the 'famous flight' (Oct 88). The generic contour of this flight is one form that a criticism synthesizing 'essentialist' and 'materialist' modes can discover, and it is this contour, I believe, that we need to have in mind when considering whether Spenser becomes 'disillusioned.' Through the avian representation, Spenser constructs a fiction in which the New Poet writes and personally enacts a Christian revision of the 'famous' career pattern established by Virgil. From such texts as Eclogue ix, Georgics IV, and Book IV of the Aeneid, and from the 'eagle-sighted

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


Prophets' of Scripture who are 'heavenly Poets which did see / ... [God's] will' (Donne, The Litanie' 64, 68-9), a Renaissance poet like Spenser could construct a myth of the winged poet. This myth is important because it is a self-reflexive representation of the poet performing a certain role in the enactment of a literary career. The myth functions simultaneously as an authorial sign, a generic indicator, and an imagistic model of the poet's imitative methodology. By presenting himself as undergoing a famous flight, Spenser can imitate a venerable literary sign in order to construct the driving force of his career, itself a spectacular synthesis of classical and Christian: literary fame leads to Christian glory. The avian myth is important thus because it is an authorized representation of the literary and cultural project of the Renaissance poet at large. According to Richard Helgerson, 'the idea of the laureate was, in large measure, the idea of the Renaissance. Each envisioned a rebirth of classical antiquity and, more particularly, a rebirth of the kind of man prescribed by ancient moral philosophy ... The laureates offered themselves as cultural protagonists - aspirants to glory, but unwitting preys to defeat' (Self-Crowned Laureates 50-1). The avian myth thus resurfaces during that momentous period of new historical consciousness, discussed eloquently by Renaissance scholars from Burckhardt to Kerrigan and Braden, when individuals re-evaluated the identity, authority, and goals of the poet as an artistic fashioner of culture and cosmos. What identity did the poet have? By whose authority did he have it? And what goal was he finally seeking? 'Ultimately at issue,' says David Quint, 'was the question whether those fictions were dependent upon systems of revealed truth or belonged instead to an autonomous secular domain' (Origin and Originality x). Nowhere do these questions emerge more compellingly than in the array of classical myths from which Renaissance poets draw when representing themselves and their art. Almost all of these myths have an avian base. Either they are a formal myth of flight (see Wise), as with Pegasus and Bellerophon/Perseus, Daedalus and Icarus, Jove and Ganymede, Philomela and Procne, Apollo and the swans of Délos, and even the nine Muses and the fountain Hippocrene on Mount Helicon; or they have an important avian dimension, as with Orpheus and Eurydice, Pan and Syrinx, Apollo and Daphne, and Pygmalion and his statue. Moreover, many of these avian-based myths link the poet with fame and glory, as the myth of Pegasus most immediately hints. To respond fully to the period-defining questions raised above, and to determine precisely how the idea of the laureate was the idea of the Renaissance, we would need a comprehensive critical construct that


Spenser's Famous Flight

would account for a large number of Renaissance poets drawing on a wide array of artistic myths as they fashion their individual identity and the identity of their culture. As a more practical alternative, I propose a construct that accounts for merely one of these poets, with the caveat that even here a construct must remain incomplete. I discuss many but not all of the avian-based myths of the poet on which Spenser relies (for example, I do not examine the myth of Pygmalion, which I believe intertextually directs the 'metadiscursive' allegory of the witch, her son, and his statuelike idol the False Florimell in Book ill of The Faerie Queene; see chapter 3, note 15). I organize my construct around the Orpheus myth in part because this myth appears in all the poems I examine, but also because it is the arch-myth of artistic fame and glory (Koonce 199), a self-reflexive representation of 'the poet's quest for enduring fame' (Cain, Praise 12; see 13-17). Hence, I wish to argue that Spenser relies on the Orphic myth of the winged poet in order to organize the four-genre structure of his literary career around the quest for fame and glory. Within this organizing myth, however, I identify two kinds of generic structures, both based on traditional divisions, both shedding light on Spenser's poetry. The first is that which divides the kinds of poetry into pastoral and lyric, lower and higher, Panic and Apollonian forms. The Shepheardes Calender represents Spenser's pastoral; and his Faerie Queene, Amoretti/Epithalamion, Fowre Hymnes, and Prothalamion all represent his movement into lyric - the word lyric meaning literally a song produced by the lyre (rather than by the competing instrument, the syrinx or panpipe). As we shall see, an archaeology of poetic origins reveals that pastoral poetry traces to a nightingale myth of artistic fame; lyric poetry, to a swan myth of artistic fame. This first structure becomes important mainly when we examine the avian representation of fame in Spenser's first and last works, the pastoral Calender with its dominant nightingale imagery, and the lyric Prothalamion with its dominant swan imagery. The second structure overlaps with the first, but it divides poetry into courtly and contemplative forms, those that primarily serve the court of the sovereign civically and those that primarily serve the kingdom of God salvifically. As we shall also see, an archaeology of poetic origins reveals that courtly poetry traces for Spenser to the myth of Pegasus, and contemplative poetry to a Jovian and Jehovist myth of the eagle/ hawk/falcon. This second structure explains why Spenser refers or alludes to Pegasus in The Shepheardes Calender, The Faerie Queene, The Ruines of Time, and Amoretti, but not in Fowre Hymnes; it also explains why he refers only to the eagle/hawk/falcon in his concluding hymn.

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


In this chapter, I discuss both bifold generic structures, with one exception in the service of economy. I suspend full analysis of the eagle/hawk/falcon myth from the second structure until chapter 5, because, unlike the other parts of my construct, it comes into prominence only in the hymnic experiment (I say 'full' because I do discuss the eagle myth briefly here). Through this comprehensive, albeit unfinished and incomplete construct, I aim to show how Spenser relies on the avian-based representation of a 'famous flight' in order to prophesy and then fulfil a four-genre Orphic career. Quite literally, the poet's Orphic flight works to secure his fame and glory - and, in the process, ours. Teeced Pyneons': The Evidence of October To begin analysis of the famous flight, we need to return to its primary source: the October dialogue between Piers and Cuddie on 'the state of Poet' (97). As the elder shepherd, Piers opens by remonstrating with the younger Cuddie for abandoning his useful art: 'Whilome thou wont the shepheards laddes to leade, / In rymes, in ridles, and in bydding base: / Now they in thee, and thou in sleepe art dead' (4-6). Cuddie explains that he has 'pyped erst so long with payne' that all his 'oten reedes bene rent and wore'; even though he has 'spent' his Muse, he 'little good hath got, and much less gayne': like the Aesopic 'Grashopper,' he has sung all summer only to starve in 'Winter' (7-12). To his dismay, he has devised 'dapper ditties' to 'feede youths fancie,' but 'they han the pleasure, I a sclerider prise. / I beate the bush, the byrds to them doe flye' (13-17). To counter Cuddie's disillusionment, Piers offers a program of poetic inspiration. Asserting that 'the prayse is better, then the price, / The glory eke much greater then the gayne,' he reminds Cuddie of the 'honor' awarded his Orphic art, which enacts the three aims of poetry later articulated by Sidney in The Defence of Poesy: the poet 'restrained],' pleasantly 'prickets],' and 'enticefs]' the 'trayned willes' of 'lawlesse youth' (19-24) - 'All as the shepheard, that did fetch his dame / From Plutoes balefull bowre withouten leave: / His musicks might the hellish hound did tame' (28-30). But when Cuddie objects, 'So praysen babes the Peacoks spotted traine / ... / Sike prayse is smoke' (31-5), Piers responds with a program of practical reform: Abandon then the base and viler clowne, Lyft up thy selfe out of the lowly dust:


Spenser's Famous Flight And sing of bloody Mars, of wars, of giusts, Turne thee to those, that weld the awful crowne. To doubted Knights, whose woundlesse armour rusts, And helmes unbruzed wexen dayly browne. There may thy Muse display her fluttryng wing, And stretch her selfe at large from East to West: Whither thou list in fayre Elisa rest, Or if thee please in bigger notes to sing, Advaunce the worthy whome shee loveth best, That first the white beare to the stake did bring. And when the stubborne stroke of stronger stounds, Has somewhat slackt the tenor of thy string: Of love and lustihead tho mayst thou sing. And carrol lowde, and leade the Myllers rownde, All were Elisa one of thilke same ring. So mought our Cuddies name to Heaven sownde.

(October 37-54)

According to Piers, Cuddie is disillusioned because he misunderstands his poetic vocation. He thinks that writing pastoral poetry 'dapper ditties' devised on 'oaten reedes' about the 'viler clowne' warrants 'glory' from the great. To achieve the goal of true glory, Piers indicates, the poet must 'turne' from the 'lowly dust' of pastoral to the 'awful crowne' of epic, because this genre will enable him to advertise the national utility of his art by celebrating such powerful patrons as Queen Eliza and 'the worthy whome shee loveth best,' the 'white beare' - identified elsewhere as 'Lobbin/ an anagram for Robert Dudley, the earl of Leicester (Nov 113,167: '[R]obbin L.' [Maclean ed. 459, n. 2]; see Colin Clout 735-8). By writing heroic poetry, that is, the poet appeals directly to those divinely appointed ministers of power who can best fulfil his goal of glory. But, adds Piers, when the poet needs to slacken the discipline required by epic, he can turn to the 'love and lustihead' of lyric, because this genre will enable him to sing about and lead a playful dance of beautiful women, including the queen, thereby renewing the strength his epic has diminished. Such lyric pastimes are happily consonant with the rest of the program, because they, like heroic poetry, advance the poet's goal of glory: 'So mought our Cuddies name to Heaven sownde.' The three-phase career program that Piers proposes reminds Cuddie of Virgil's model career of pastoral, georgic, and epic, together with its

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


consequence, Virgil's divine glory: 'Indeede the Romish Tityrus, I heare, / Through his Mecoenas left his Oaten reede, / Whereon he earst had taught his flocks to feede, / And laboured lands to yield the timely eare, / And eft did sing of warres and deadly drede, / So as the Heavens did quake his verse to here' (55-60). As E.K. observes in his gloss, 'in these three verses are the three severall workes of Virgile intended/ Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid (196-9). But in thinking of Virgil, Cuddie laments the absence of a patron like 'Mecoenas' in his own age, so that now 'sunnebright honour' is merely 'pend in shamefull coupe' (72). According to Cuddie, the poet is endangered not merely by his own misunderstanding of his vocation, but by the misunderstanding of those who wield the awful crown. Poet and patron share the guilt for crowning as current laureate the hapless Tom Piper' (78). According to Piers, however, such a sad 'state of Poet' provides the poet with the opportunity to fulfil his transcendent goal of glory: O pierlesse Poesye, where is then thy place? If nor in Princes pallace thou doe sitt: (And yet is Princes pallace the most fitt) Ne brest of baser birth doth thee embrace. Then make thee winges of thine aspyring wit, And, whence thou camst, flye backe to heaven apace.

(October 79-84)

In Piers's view, the poet's highest duty on earth ('most fitt') is service to 'Princes pallace.' But, when he discovers that he can no longer find a 'place' for his art at court, he should turn away from court poetry, with its politics of patronage binding the poet to sovereign and courtier, to write a divine hymn, with its more comforting theology of salvation binding the poet to God.2 Faced with Piers's ambitious program of vocational reform, Cuddie humbly acknowledges his artistic impotence, but generously he then asserts the possibility of Colin Clout's power: Ah Percy it [pierlesse Poesye] is all to weake and wanne, So high to sore, and make so large a flight: Her peeced pyneons bene not so in plight, For Colin fittes such famous flight to scanne: He, were he not with love so ill bedight, Would mount as high, and sing as soote as Swanne. (October 85-90)

Although Cuddie believes his own poetry powerless to acquire divine


Spenser's Famous Flight

status ('high to sore'), he asserts that poetry is not so by its nature ('in plight'). As evidence, he cites Colin Clout, who, like the swan, could sing sweetly and make a transcendent flight if his love for Rosalinde did not currently ground him. With stern affection, however, Piers corrects Cuddie's misunderstanding about Colin's power: 'Ah fon, for love does teach him climbe so hie, / And lyftes him up out of the loathsome myre: / Such immortall mirrhor, as he doth admire, / Would rayse ones mynd above the starry skie' (91-4). According to Piers, love permits Colin to fly back to heaven apace, because it links him with the divine. Through erotic love, the poet does not merely urge an earthly union with an actual woman; through admiration of 'such immortall mirrhor,' he simultaneously achieves a heavenly union with 'the starry skie.' By writing about erotic love, the poet transcribes a trajectory that powerfully converts poetic fame into Christian glory. To conclude the dialogue, Cuddie responds to Piers's optimism about Colin's power with a final injection of cynicism (The vaunted verse a vacant head demaundes'), punctuated comically but tenderly by a short blast of Bacchic fury CO if my temples were distained with wine, / ... / How I could reare the Muse on stately stage'), and rounded by his original desire to abandon the utility of his art: 'content us in thys humble shade: / Where no such troublous tydes han us assayde' (100-17). The two shepherds then retire. What are we to make of this dialogue? Oddly, critics make very little. They tend to emphasize the 'tension' between Piers's essentialist spirit of enthusiasm and Cuddie's materialist demon of disillusionment, insisting that Spenser identifies himself with neither position. Of the few critics who locate the dialogue in the context of Spenser's career, most cite Cuddie's reference to the rota Vergiliana as evidence of Spenser's intention to follow Virgil in organizing his career around the triadic progression: pastoral, georgic, and epic.3 By arguing that the structure of October is dialectical and that its idea of a literary career is Virgilian, however, critics overlook what seem to me the two features most valuable to our understanding of Spenser's unfolding career: Piers's career program as a projected solution in a problem-solution structure and the avian imagery used to represent the program. October does not create merely a tension between two dialectical spirits of poetry, for it constructs a concrete solution to an actual career problem faced by the New Poet in the late 15705. Lines 1-36 identify the problem: the fledgling poet writing dapper pastoral ditties merely to delight the youth suffers from professional impotence. Lines 37-120 introduce the solution: the mature poet moving beyond pastoral poetry

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


to the higher lyric genres exercises professional power because he aims to fashion and actually save, not merely the youth, but also both himself and those wielding the awful crown. As lines 79-95 especially insist, the poet's ultimate telos is not political but salvific. Thus the generic contour that Piers identifies differs from the Virgilian contour that Cuddie recollects. Piers follows Virgil in beginning with the pastoral, but he evidently ousts the georgic (in keeping with Renaissance practice [Fowler, Kinds of Literature 240]), moves the epic into the second position, adds love poetry, and concludes with the hymn. Remarkably, Piers's program looks like the actual publication record of the four main works that end up ordering Spenser's career. The 'lowly dust' of pastoral corresponds to the 1579 Calender; the 'awful crowne' of epic, to the 1590-6 Faerie Queene; the 'love and lustihead' of lyric, to the 1595 volume bridging the two instalments of the epic, Amoretti and Epithalamion; and the 'heaven[ly]' flight of hymn, to the 1596 Fowre Hymnes.* October thus entertains a compelling idea that I believe Spenser wishes to display: the poet can achieve his goal of glory by penning a series of poetic forms that trace his own progression through the important sources of earthly glory (self, sovereign, and beloved) to the heavenly source itself (God). This progression is not strictly Virgilian; it is a Christian revision of the Virgilian progression that I choose to call, taking Piers's cue, Orphic. Spenser's idea of a literary career is Orphic in part because it enacts what Angus Fletcher calls the 'method of prophecy': 'to hold the eternal and the ephemeral in simultaneous copresence, balancing stable principle against unstable reality' (5).' Spenser is not, however, says Fletcher, a 'futuristic prophe[t]' who 'gives a sharp, unequivocal vision of the future'; rather, 'he belongs to the broader tradition, which is only partially predictive, a tradition that balances anticipation of the future with a concern for the past and, even more important, for the present' (3-4). Thus Spenser follows St Paul's dictum that the prophet sees through a glass darkly: 'He contemplates the eternal verities of his faith - his moral, political, and religious principles - which remain his standards of truth. At the same time he observes the tangle of human experience, which provides the image of a wayfaring life to be directed by his prophecy' (5). The poet, Fletcher concludes, does not passively balance and formally contain a dialectical tension between competing modes of reality; he 'studies' and 'interpretts]' that tension in order to construct a 'wholeness' dynamically creating 'historicism' (5). Fletcher's 'method of prophecy' helps clarify Spenser's position on, and relation to, the dialectic of his two speakers. The first to speculate


Spenser's Famous Flight

on this relation was E.K.: 'I doubte whether by Cuddie be specified the authour selfe' (130). Modern critics take E.K.'s cue: 'it is perhaps more rewarding to recognize the combination in Spenser's personality of elements represented by the frustrated Cuddie ... and by the deeply confident Piers' (Maclean ed. 449, n. 2). While we misinterpret the prophetic method by equating Spenser with either Cuddie or Piers, we also misinterpret it by denying a relation altogether.6 Spenser uses Piers's prophecy of a potential career for the poet, misinterpreted and rejected by Cuddie, in order to model the prophetic poet who holds the eternal and the ephemeral in simultaneous copresence. The 'historicism' that results, says Fletcher, serves 'the double function of liberating the mind from excessively narrow vision and constraining it within the bounds of fact... The poet's thought flies up, "above the smoke and stir of this dim spot, / Which men call earth," but at this exact moment a sense of fact restrains his flight and saves him from an exaggerated purity' (6). As Fletcher's metaphor for the prophetic method hints, the language Spenser uses to display his prophetic Orphic career idea is often an avian language. This is accurate representational scholarship. The Latin word for bird, avis, 'meton.[ymically], = omen, a sign, omen, portent' (Lewis and Short 215; see Plato, Phaedrus 244c-d; Aristophanes, Birds 716-36; Plutarch, The Cleverness of Animals' in Moralia 975A). As Vida puts it in De arte poética, poets 'take delight in the songs of birds, and the omens which a feather implies' (11.355: Turn volucrum captant cantus, atque omina pennae'; imitating Virgil, Aeneid 111.361; see fig. 3). In the October dialogue as a whole, the New Poet relies on seven avian images. All seven function vocationally. Such imagery coheres to form an Orphic myth of the winged poet, in which the poet divinely acquires an avian identity in order to accomplish his personal, political, familial, and salvific goals. Thus Spenser's passage on Orpheus allegorizes an action that is to become the model for the New Poet's entire career. Motivated by desire, Orpheus relies on his art to save Eurydice from hell. Like Orpheus, the New Poet is destined to pen a salvific poetics of desire.7 In light of the Orphic avian myth, images in October that otherwise seem gratuitous turn out to be consistent with the eclogue's overall network of significance. Cuddie's image of himself as a fowler beating the bush for birds is an antique strategy of self-presentation (Greek Anthology ix.337; Ovid, Ars amatoria 111.669; Dante, Purgatorio xxni.i-3; Petrarch, Bucolicum carmen 11.78); it is also a traditional image of earthly fame (Koonce 251-3). Cuddie is a poet futilely inventing a poetry of

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


fame. Similarly, Cuddie's simile comparing the 'rurall routes' Orphically affected by his 'notes' (25-6) to 'babes' praising 'the Peacoks spotted traine' (31) depends on a conventional trope, in which the multicoloured tail of the peacock figures the diverse charm of eloquence (Alain de Lille, Complaint of Nature Prose IX. 117-18). Those who praise Cuddie's art are merely children immaturely attracted to delightful toys. Finally, Cuddie's image of honour penned in shameful coop has a long history (Aelian, On Animals 111.40; Ovid, Ex Ponto 1.111.39-40; Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy 3-Poem 2; Romance of the Rose 63.73-92 [3941-66]; Chaucer, Squire's Tale V.6n-2O and Manciple's Tale ix.i63~74). It is a punning representation of the poet's current disgrace. On the one hand, the word pen means 'a small enclosure for domestic animals, as cows, sheep, swine, or poultry' (OED, def. i); on the other, it means 'a writing tool' (OED, def. 2.II) made of a 'quill-feather' (It. penna, feather [OED, def. 2. 11.4]). Since the honour is penned, it is both written and imprisoned (for a well-known pun in this vein, see FQ lll.xi.ii). The poet's writing is a form of imprisonment. Importantly, the coop or cage is also a crucial image of fame (Chaucer, House of Fame 1935-44, ^9^5' see Koonce 251-3; Boitani 178-9). As Drayton writes, imitating Spenser directly, 'these yonkers reachen after fame ... / With filed quill to glorifie their name, / which otherwise were pend in shamefull coupe' (Shepheards Garland 7111.17-20). For Cuddie, poets currently write a poetics of dishonour because they lack freedom to do otherwise through bondage to a corrupt patronage system. Spenser uses an avian cage image - confirmed by the hawking term 'stoupe' in line 67 - to model a politicized inversion of the transcendent poet's 'famous flight.' If these seemingly gratuitous images sustain such playful yet pertinent significance, surely the more obvious ones - Piers's image of the Muse displaying her fluttering wing and of peerless poesy flying back to heaven apace, and Cuddie's related image of poesy with her pieced pinions and of Colin Clout singing as sweet as swan - will prove to be even more productive. For Spenser, avian imagery is indigenous to poetic language because poetry has a primeval avian origin: 'pierlesse Poesye' has 'pyneons' in 'plight' (see frontispiece). For him, the language of poetry and the language of ornithology are one and the same: 'Colin fittes such famous flight to scanne.' Significantly, this line of avian intertextuality appears in the hymnic phase of the Orphic program, rather than in the pastoral or epic phase. Thus the flight is famous for more than the Virgilian reason. Colin's flight does not model Astraea's (D.L. Miller, 'Spenser's Vocation' 216; Berger, 'Orpheus, Pan' 38, 46) so much as Urania's (see Heninger,


Spenser's Famous Flight

Sidney and Spenser 318): 'In contemplation of things heavenlie wrought: / So, loathing earth, I looke up to the sky, / And being driven hence, I thether fly' (Teares 526-8). Urania's lines are consistent with Piers's in the hymnic passage of October, for she says that she is 'driven' from earth to heaven. Like Piers's poet, she can find no place in prince's palace. For both Urania and Piers, the poet turns to contemplative, divine poetry only when s/he discovers that the door to courtly poetry is closed. By positioning the Virgilian line about the famous flight in a passage on the Augustinian genre, Spenser implies that he is imping the Augustinian career model onto the Virgilian one. Spenser Christianizes the Virgilian Wheel in light of St Augustine and his late-medieval and Renaissance heirs, especially Dante and Du Bartas. The phrase 'famous flight' also constitutes impressive representational scholarship. Throughout his poetry, Spenser represents the idea of flying fame six additional times (Aprill 213-14; June 75; FQ l.vii.46, lll.v.g; Time 421-7; FQ IV.X.4). The idea itself originates in Virgil's representation of Fama in the Aeneid: 'Speed lends her strength, and she wins vigour as she goes, small at first through fear, soon she mounts up to heaven, and walks the ground with head hidden in the clouds ... Swift of foot, and fleet of wing, a monster awful and huge, who for the many feathers in her body has as many watchful eyes below ... Midway between heaven and earth, she flies ... She filled the nations and sang alike of fact and falsehood' (^.175-90). According to Leo Braudy, Fama is 'essentially Virgil's own creation,' although 'he is inspired by the literary model of Eris in the Iliad' (124). Virgil's flying monster is a figure of destructive rumour and gossip, an antithesis to Mercury, 'a flying deliverer of true news' and its consequence, 'glory and praise' (Braudy 125-6). The image of flight is essential to these representations, I propose, because 'the heroic urge, the urge to be famous, may not be a human instinct. It is something grander, something more akin to becoming like the gods' (Braudy 126). From Statius to Drayton, the idea of winged fame forms an important representation for the telos of language or poetry (Statius, Thebaid 111.425-9; Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde iv.659-6i; Sidney, Astrophil and Stella 75: 4, 91: 1-6,13-14, Song 5: 20-2; Drayton, Owle 667-74; Shepheards Garland ¥1.115-20, 133-44; Peirs Gaveston 13; Mortimeriados 71-7; and Idea [1619 éd.] 16: 13-14; see figs. 2 and 4). The idea of a famous flight also forms a sophisticated metaphorical construct. In 'Creativity in Language,' Paul Ricoeur says of metaphor that 'we learn from it, that it teaches us something' (131): 'metaphor has the extraordinary power of redescribing reality'; it does this by relying

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


on a 'concept of likeness as the tension between sameness and difference' (132). Ricoeur assumes that 'this reality as redescribed is itself novel reality' (132), and he argues that the purpose of this 'strategy of discourse' is 'to shatter and to increase our sense of reality by shattering and increasing our language': The strategy of metaphor is heuristic fiction for the sake of redescribing reality' (132-3). 'With metaphor,' he concludes, 'we experience the metamorphosis of both language and reality' (133). Spenser's metaphor of the famous flight teaches us about the intimate idea ordering his career, the idea of fame and glory. The equation between the poet and the bird, the poet's action and the flight pattern of a winged creature, depends on a tension between sameness and difference. It is a strategy of discourse by which Spenser novelly redescribes reality - by which he shatters and increases our language. The famous flight qualifies as heuristic fiction, for through it we experience the metamorphosis of both language and reality. Avian wings are a precise metaphor for fame and glory because they consolidate all the features of Spenser's project; these features fall into that concept of criticism controlling our discipline from Aristotle to Kenneth Burke: action (Robert B. Johnstone, personal communication). For Spenser, the action of the poet's career that he wishes to emphasize is maturation, the creative soul's progress from narcissistic selfhood to union with the Godhead. The maturing action begins with the conversion of the poet in nature and time, marked by his vision of the grace ordering nature (pastoral); it continues with his subsequent translation of empire in a sociopolitical environment, marked by his power to use language to order the chief wielders of the awful crown (epic); it includes his ensuing transformation of desire within marriage, marked by his recognition that eros renews his epic spirit (love lyric); and it concludes with his transcendence through the soul in eternity, marked by his withdrawal from court and his consequent flight to heaven (hymn). The thread that connects these four generic actions in the progress to maturation is the transversive nature of language itself. This thread explains Spenser's sewing metaphor for translatio studii, which is itself stitched to a hawking procedure, the imping of literary imitation ordering the flight of pierless poetry: 'Her peeced pyneons bene not so [weake and wanne] in plight' (emphasis added). The word 'peeced' is more complex and important than the usual glosses indicate ('unperfect skil' [E.K., Oct 235]; 'pieced together, patched' [Oram et al. 174]). A piece, is a 'small portion, scrap, or cutting, of cloth ... esp. as used to repair a hole or tear: a patch' (OED, def. 11.15.3). The verb means 'to mend, repair, make whole, or complete by


Spenser's Famous Flight

adding a piece or pieces; to patch' (OED, def. l.i) - including 'in spinning, to join or piece up threads' (OED, def. 1.2). Thus the term is intimately related to the figure mentioned in the next line of the eclogue: Colin Clout. From 'an early period/ a clout 'has been applied especially to a patch or piece of cloth' (OED, headnote); the verb clout can mean 'to mend with a clout or patch' (OED, def. l.i). But a piece is also a 'literary composition' (OED, def. n.iy.d). Evidently, Spenser stitches the sewing metaphor onto the hawking metaphor of imping, since it is the 'pyneons' that are 'peeced.' In hawking, to imp means to 'engraft feathers in the wing of a bird, so as to make good losses or deficiencies, and, thus restore or improve the powers of flight' (OED, def. 4; def. 5 reads: 'to extend, lengthen, enlarge ... to mend, repair; to add on a piece to'). In his Dedicatory Epistle, E.K. talks about Spenser's labour 'to restore ... our Mother tonge' from the present poetaster condition: 'they patched up the holes with peces and rags of other languages ... So now they have made our English tongue, a gallimaufray or hodgepodge of al other speches' (90-102). In October, Spenser uses the phrase 'peeced pyneons' literally to represent the cloutish condition of literary composition in the late 15705; the phrase, says E.K., is 'spoken wyth humble modestie' (236). But, as with the name Colin Clout, the phrase also asserts a process of literary imitation by which the New Poet will beautify and empower the current state of the 'Mother tongue,' as the next line about Colin and the famous flight indicates. Since the phrase 'peeced pyneons' also occurs in the hymnic passage of the Virgilian career, Spenser is again representing his bold manoeuvre of imping the Augustinian model onto the Virgilian one. Because of the complex metaphorical precision of the avian image, Spenser can construct his divinely ordered ideology around it. In October, for instance, the Muse of epic 'displays' her wing 'from East to West.' The image of the winged Muse has a long tradition, tracing from Pindar (Isthmian Ode 1.63-6) and Ovid (Metamorphoses ¥.366) to Petrarch (Bucolicum carmen x.25/) and Du Bartas (Divine Weeks 1.2.387-92), and represents the divine inspiration of 'winged words' as articulated by Homer (Scaliger, Poetics l.ii: 13). Just as important, Piers's image of the swan representing the hymnic poet traces to one of the two career submodels of the Augustinian model: what I shall call the Platonic. In effect, he conflates three Platonic passages in order to construct a sign of the divine poet: the 'poet is a light and winged thing, and holy' (Ion 534b); the lover is 'fain to lift his wings and fly upward ... like a bird, and cares nothing for the world beneath' (Phaedrus 2496); and 'swan[s] ... when [they] feel that the time has come for them to die ... sing more

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


loudly and sweetly than they have sung in all their lives before' (Phaedo 846). Such intertextuality controlling the avian image requires a diachronic, not just a synchronie, critical methodology. Finally, avian imagery projects the poet's turn from pastoral to epic and from love lyric to hymn. Spenser's diachronic avian intertextuality thus has a distinctly generic cast.8 As I have indicated in the introduction, in Spenser's avian sign system genre forms the organizing centre. Hence, in October he relies on the avian sign to define a particular genre - not in terms of its formalist conventions, nor even in terms of a generalized vocation, but rather as a specific contribution to the structure of the New Poet's career. The lines descriptive of epic accurately signal such a definition of this genre: 'Lyft up thy self e out of the lowly dust: / ... Turne thee to those, that weld the awful crowne ... / There may thy Muse display her fluttryng wing, / And stretch her selfe at large from East to West.' The phrase 'lyft up thy selfe' imitates a salient phrase in Scripture (Psalm 25: i, Acts 4: 24) and scriptural literature (Augustine, Confessions XHI.g: 304; Petrarch, Secret 72; Sidney, Defence of Poesy in G.G. Smith i: 156, 161) in order to accommodate the central action of the New Testament - resurrection - to a Virgilian generic context. More specifically, the phrase introduces a Christianized metaphor of avian flight from pastoral to epic that the subsequent image of the winged 'Muse' completes. The word 'display' hints at the self-advertising nature of epic, while the female avian Muse of epic hints at the providential correspondence between the feminine origin of the poet's art and his principal subject, Queen Eliza. In addition, the phrase 'stretch her selfe at large' implies the national epic's intimate protection of the commonwealth and its nascent policy of expansionism and imperialism. The following phrase, 'East to West,' unannotated in the Variorum and Oram editions of Spenser's poetry, is crucial, because it evokes the humanist ideology of translatio imperil, 'the migrations westward of empire,' which for Spenser would be the migration of his British ancestors from Troy to Rome to Troynovant. The translatio imperii reflects what we might term a translatio empyrii. As such, the complete line advertises Spenser's epic as a cultural and cosmic instrument of fame and glory.9 Moreover, the phrase 'fluttryng wing' indicates what I will call a 'careeric' definition of epic and its project of empire building - translatio studii - because flutter means 'to move or flap the wings rapidly without flying or with short flights' or 'hang upon wing in the air' (OED, def. 2). Epic constitutes but one leg of the 'famous flight'; it is a high-flying genre


Spenser's Famous Flight

that none the less has a grounding in the political world. The metaphor of wings here is instrumental for representing the transversive method by which the poet completes his epic translatio - imitating and intertextualizing poets to the east, especially Virgil.10 By having his epic 'Muse,' a divine birdlike creature, display her 'fluttryng wing' and 'stretch' herself 'from East to West,' Spenser can define epic as the poet's divinely ordained descent to the political world - an intersectional poem occupying the apex of the vertical and horizontal axes of the cosmos. In addition, the lines descriptive of the hymn accurately signal Spenser's careeric definition of that genre: Then make thee winges of thine aspyring wit, / And, whence thou camst, flye backe to heaven apace.' The hymn is a careeric genre in which the poet returns to the ontological source of his art at the end of his career. As the phrase 'whence thou camst' and the word 'backe' indicate, the poet's famous flight to heaven is a return flight, and as the word 'apace' indicates, the return proceeds, not in a pessimistic spirit of disillusionment, but in an affirmative spirit of enthusiasm - a quite literal enactment of that 'enthusiasmos' or 'celestiall inspiration' that E.K. says controls Spenser's view of the poet and his 'divine gift and heavenly instinct' in the lost English Poete (Oct, Arg; see fig. 5). For Spenser, the hymn is a genre that illustrates the poet's final ascent from the horizontal axis to the vertical one. He flies from 'Princes pallace' to the kingdom of God. In sum, in the October eclogue Spenser relies on the avian representation of the 'famous flight' in order to prophesy his Christianized Virgilian career idea. This 'Orphic' idea replaces the three Virgilian genres of pastoral, georgic, and epic with a four-genre sequence, suited to a Christian, post-Petrarchan, Reformation world: pastoral, epic, love lyric, and hymn. Since this argument contains a good deal of complexity, I shall unpack its two key ideas sequentially: first, Spenser's Orphic idea of a 'famous' literary career; and second, his Orphic avian representation of that idea. Then I shall conclude by sketching a contour map of the New Poet's flight pattern. "The Learned Quill': The Orphic Idea of a Literary Career In addition to articulations in October and the publication record, Spenser's four-genre Orphic idea of a literary career exists in at least two other versions. First, in the transitional space between the interrupted Faerie Queene and Spenser's love-lyric volume, Amoretti and Epithalamion, 'G.W.I' (probably Geffrey Whitney Junior [Dunlop, Oram et al. 598]) comments on the structure of the New Poet's career:

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


Ah Colin, whether on the lowly plaine, pyping to shepherds thy sweete roundelaies: or whether singing in some lofty vaine, heroicke deedes, of past, or present daies. Or whether in thy lovely mistris praise, thou list to exercise thy learned quill, thy muse hath got such grace O therefore let that happy muse proceede to clime the height of verrues sacred hill, where endles honor shall be made thy meede.


In this poem, Whitney identifies three phases to Spenser's career and seems to advertise a fourth. Addressing Spenser's persona, Colin Clout, he introduces an initial sequence of both pastoral ('lowly plaine/ 'pyping to shepherds') and epic ('lofty vaine/ 'heroicke deedes') in order to refer to Spenser's generic experiments in the Calender and the first instalment of The Faerie Queene. Then he mentions the current volume of love poetry, Amoretti and Epithalamion ('thy lovely mistris praise'). Like Piers in October, Whitney places the love lyric as the third genre in the sequence - after pastoral and epic; and like Piers, he reveals the romantic or Petrarchan genre to be consonant with the two Virgilian ones, as the parallel language and tripartite anaphora indicate ('whether ... or whether ... Or whether'). In all three cases, the result is the same: Colin's 'muse hath got such grace' - the word 'grace' subtly capturing the Spenserian unity of political and theological reward. The musical instrument 'exercise[d]' toward the end of 'grace' is the one appropriate to the pastoral 'Colin,' the 'learned quill' - the syrinx or pan-pipe - which, as we shall see, has more than the obvious avian etymological connection. Finally, Whitney seems to advertise a fourth phase to Colin's career, the hymn ('let that happy muse proceede'), in order to encourage Spenser to attain his goal of glory, as revealed by the language of theological ascent ('clime the height' and 'vertues sacred hill'), by the structural link between the geographical imagery of the first or pastoral phase ('lowly plaine') and the fourth or hymnic one ('height of ... sacred hill'), and by the use of generic language from the Renaissance hierarchy of genres to designate the hymn as a major genre ('height'). The hymnic ending to the complete career process recalls the transcendent goal of glory emerging from October: 'endles honor.'" Second, the Renaissance idea of a four-genre literary career exists in a form outside Spenser's canon: in the career of his great contemporary


Spenser's Famous Flight

imitator, Michael Drayton. In the 1604 edition of Drayton's Moses His Birth and Miracles, Beale Sapperton writes a prefatory sonnet outlining the poet's career for the benefit of Sir Walter Aston, Drayton's patron: From humble Sheepcoates, to Loves bow and fires: Thence to the armes of Kings, and grieved Peeres: Now to the great Jehovahs acts aspires (Faire Sir) your Poets pen. (1-4; in Rebel ed. 5: 227-8)

According to Sapperton, Drayton began his career with a pastoral about 'humble Sheepcoates' (The Shepheards Garland, 1593); he continued with the love lyric about 'Loves bow and fires' (Ideas Mirrour, 1594, and perhaps Endimion and Phoebe, 1595); Thence' he moved on to epic and national narratives about 'the armes of Kings, and grieved Peeres' (including Mortimeriados, 1596, Robert, Duke of Normandie, 1596, and Englands Heroicall Epistles, 1597-9). But 'now,' in the present poem on Moses, he is entering a new generic phase, the divine poem ('great Jehovahs acts'). What is striking here is the nature of the career advertisement. Like Spenser, who actually began his career with a divine work, A Theatre for Worldlings (1569), Drayton began his career with The Harmonie of the Church (1591), verse translations from prayers in the Old Testament. Literally, then, Drayton imitates Spenser in beginning and ending his career mining the same generic vein (Campbell, Divine Poetry 103). Yet Sapperton, probably under Drayton's warrant, authorizes a quite different model for the literary career - one that resembles the model outlined by Piers and Whitney for Spenser. This model begins with pastoral and love lyric, finds its center in civic poetry, and concludes with divine poetry.12 Sapperton continues by relying on the avian myth to talk about Drayton's career - including its goal of fame: your noblesse cheeres His mounting Muse: and with so worthy hand Applaudes her flight, as nothing she will leave Above the top, whereon she makes her stand, So high bright Honour learned Spirits can heave. Such lustre lends the Poets pollisht verse Unto Nobility, as after-times Shall thinke ... You raise his thoughts, with full desire of fame:

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet Amongst Heroes he enroles your name.

41 (4-14)

In this reciprocal process relating poet and patron, Aston's virtue inspires Drayton's high flight to fame, which in turn makes Aston famous. Sapperton does not explicitly link poetic immortality with Christian glory, but we might recall the context here; his sonnet on the poet's career flight to fame prefaces the inaugural work of Drayton's divine poetry. The sonnet is important, then, because it relies on the avian myth of fame to advertise a Spenserian literary career consisting of pastoral, love lyric, epic, and hymn.13 I am not the first to speculate on Spenser's modification of the Virgilian career model. In 'Milton and Spenser: The Virgilian Triad Revisited/ Richard Neuse sets the stage for seeing that Spenser carefully structures his career with a personalized progression of genres more complicated than the commonplace of pastoral and epic: Spenser is our first truly 'autobiographical' poet, not indeed in the sense that he made his poetry a faithful record of his life's history, but in that he gave it the shape of a personal pilgrimage, the imprint of an individual imagination trying to find its way through the wilderness of this world. In this respect Spenser reflects a large-scale shift in the very conception of poetry since the end of antiquity. The shift is from poetry as the more or less impersonal expression of a cultural philosophic perspective to poetry as the more or less personal record of an individual's experience. (611)

Spenser's commitment to 'autobiographical' poetry leads him to modify Virgil's model with a three-genre sequence that moves from pastoral to 'epithalamic' to epic, in which 'the epithalamic became the distinct symbolic mode or form taking the place of the Georgics as intermediary between pastoral and epic' (616): In terms of his 'poet's progress/ ... the epithalamic represents a triumph of the poetic eros that had remained baffled in the Shepheardes Calender ... Spenser's epithalamic is like Joyce's epiphany in embodying a moment of revelation when self and world are suddenly illuminated in their mutual relation ... In Spenser's progression the way to epic had to pass through the epithalamic [because] the latter signifies the end of the alienated lyrical self and the birth of a self that dares to see in its own experience ... a standard or paradigm by which the course of history can be judged. And the reason for such a prophetic claim is that the epithalamic poet re-enacts 'from within' the ritual by which human community is established and maintained. (617-18)


Spenser's Famous Flight

Neuse emphasizes the coherence of Spenser's literary career - through its 'autobiographical' metaphor of the 'poet's progress' - and locates the most controversial phase, the love lyric, inside that career. But by overlooking the evidence I cite - the October passage, the publication record, and the poems by Whitney and Sapperton - he miscalculates the actual contour of Spenser's career. Not merely does he overlook the crucial phase of the hymn that completes the career, but he veers from the historical record in the sequence he posits and in the rationale he finds motivating the sequence. Spenser progresses, not from pastoral to 'epithalamic,' but from pastoral to (incomplete) epic and then to a project of love lyric that includes, not merely Epithalamion, but also the decisive sonnet sequence, Amoretti (about which Neuse is silent). And the love lyric, rather than merely 'representing] a triumph of the poetic eras that had remained baffled in the Shepheardes Calender,' represents a triumph of the poetic eros that gets baffled in the later books of The Faerie Queene. We must not forget that Spenser pens the Book of Chastity, with its original ending showing the hermaphroditic union between Amoret and Scudamour, five years before he publishes Epithalamion. 'All Were Eliza One of Thilke Same Ring': Objections and Responses

While many readers will feel comfortable with the idea that Spenser follows Virgil by penning a pastoral and then an epic, some may still question his inclusion of the love lyric and the hymn in a Virgulan career, his creation of such a systematic model, and the stasis that seems to govern it. About the love lyric, two questions immediately arise. First, since Spenser married in 1579 (perhaps Machabyas Chylde), how could he be prophesying a future love lyric that same year? Was the newly wed already planning infidelity?14 We are not certain, however, that Spenser did marry in 1579, and even if he did, we need not infer that he was prophesying an adulterous love lyric. Manuscript evidence reveals that he had written at least Amoretti 8 before 1580, and that he may have had 'a plan organizing the sequence even then' (L. Cummings 133). The Calender contains textual evidence that he was working with Petrarch in 1579 (E.K., Aprill 262-6), although his translation of Rime 323 in The Theatre for Worldlings (1569) marks an even earlier date for his knowledge of Petrarch. Moreover, the October passage is indefinite enough to accommodate more than the obvious marital centre: 'Of love and lustihead tho mayst thou sing, / And carrol lowde, and leade the Myllers rownde, / All were Elisa one of thilke same ring' (51-3). In 1579,

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


Spenser is either unsure whether his future love lyric will centre on a royal or a marital subject, or he is wise enough to leave the prophecy open-ended so as to accommodate both. As circumstances altered most notably, the advent of the Petrarchan rage, inaugurated by Sidney in the early 15805, and his own fortuitous love of Elizabeth Boyle in the early 15903 - he selected the marital subject as his centre. In this regard, his career prophecy is consistent with the view emphasized by Fletcher, in which the prophetic poet's utterance is only 'partially predictive/ in line with St Paul's dictum that the prophet sees through a glass darkly. Second, since a dominant Elizabethan ideology (sounded resonantly by Lord Burleigh) advanced love as the antagonist of responsible service to the state, how could a mature Spenser propose service while advancing love?15 Spenser, however, openly challenges the 'Burleigh' ideology on the relation between love and responsible service by relying on the paradigm of honour, fame, and glory, as he challenges the 'rugged forhead' in the Proem to Book IV of The Faerie Queene: 'Such ones ill judge of love, that cannot love: ... / For [love] of honor and all vertue is / The roote, and brings forth glorious flowres of fame' (2). Indeed, the centre of Spenser's project forms a challenge to such an ideology. As he says in Book III: 'Most sacred fire ... / Well did Antiquitie a God thee deeme, / That over mortall minds hast so great might, / To order them ... / And all their actions to direct aright' (iii.i-2). The poet who boldly states this position is not the youthful pastoralist but the mature writer of epic.16 In resisting the Burleigh ideology by advancing the national value of love poetry, Spenser achieves, as C.S. Lewis observes, one of his most brilliant professional triumphs (Allegory of Love 360). None the less, we need to acknowledge what has troubled critics and what looks like bent submission to the Burleigh ideology. In the Hymnes of Heavenly Love and Beautie, Spenser retracts his commitment to romantic love. By examining Amoretti and Epithalamion in the context of Spenser's career, however, we can more satisfactorily account for these turnings. As the October dialogue intimates, the love lyric is to be consonant with both the pastoral and the epic because all three genres find their centre in 'Eliza.' That the Eliza at the centre of Amoretti and Epithalamion turns out to be Elizabeth Boyle, not Elizabeth Tudor, seems to have amazed Spenser as much as anyone (see Am 74 on the 'three Elizabeths'). By a curious twist of fate that has to startle the most sceptical and the most idealistic of Spenser's readers alike, the love lyrics certify Spenser's prophetic power by fulfilling the October prophecy. Evidence exists that Elizabethan poets like Drayton and Daniel take Spenser's 1579 cue to situate the Petrarchan love lyric within the Vir-


Spenser's Famous Flight

gilian model (I discuss Sidney later). For Dray ton, we can cite, in addition to the Sapperton poem, a dedicatory sonnet prefacing Endimion and Phoebe, in which 'E.P.' authorizes Drayton's change from Virgilian pastoral to the Petrarchan love lyric: 'Rouland, when first I red thy stately rymes, / In Sheepheards weedes, ... / I then beheld thy chaste Ideas fame, / Put on the wings of thine immortall stile' (1-6). The word 'stately' means both 'elevated in thought or expression' (OED, def. A-5) and 'pertaining to a (political) state or to the state' (OED, headnote). Thus 'E.P.' wittily places Drayton's pastoral and love lyric in a progression that leads to epic, a genre of the state. Equally important, 'E.P.' sees Drayton's love lyric as continuing ('then ... put on') the Virgilian telos of winged fame. Spenser's other great disciple in the Virgilian mode, Daniel, pens the sonnet sequence Delia (1592), the Complaint of Rosamond (1592), The Tragédie of Cleopatra (1594; see Oram et al. 542), and The Civil Wars (1595, 1609). In his celebration of Daniel in Colin Clout, Spenser envisions his young disciple's career as moving from the 'lowly flifght]' of love lyric, 'sung unto a scornfull lasse,' to the 'high' flight of Tragick plaints and passionate mischance' (see 416-27). Here, Spenser is acknowledging a career model slightly different from his own (or Drayton's), for Daniel selects the love lyric rather than the pastoral as the training ground for the higher genre of tragedy. Daniel's selection appears in the motto from Propertius to the 1592 edition of Delia: 'Aetas prima canat veneres / postrema tumultus' (in Grosart ed. i: 20: Let the poet's first age sing of love, his last of war [Elegies 1.10.7]; see Hulse 59). Spenser is alert to Daniel's model in part because he himself had inserted it into October, when Cuddie envisions himself turning from the 'Tyranne' of 'lordly love' to 'reare the Muse on stately stage, / And teache her tread aloft in bus-kin fine, / With queint Bellona in her equipage' (98-114) - tragedy here having a distinctly epic cast. Evidently, Daniel responds to Spenser's prophecy from Colin Clout, for in the 1592 edition of Delia he praises Sidney's Petrarchan project in the very terms Spenser had used to praise him (Hulse 57, 59): 'Astrophel, flying with the wings of his own fame, a higher pitch then the gross-sighted can discerne, hath registred his owne name in the Annals of eternitie' (To ... Mary Countesse of Pembroke' 15-17 in Grosart ed. i: 33). As in the case of 'E.P.' with Drayton, Daniel turns to the Spenserian representation of Virgilian winged fame to 'discerne' in Sidney's penning of the Petrarchan genre both a 'higher pitch' of epic and the higher goal of Christian glory ('Annals of eternitie'). In 1598, Joseph Hall concludes his great satire, Virgidemaie, on pre-

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


cisely this topic. Evidently with both Daniel and Drayton in mind (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 105), Hall satirizes the Muse of the poet Labeo: Her Arma Virum goes by two degrees, The sheepe-cote first hath beene her nursery Where she hath worne her ydle infancy, And in hy startups walk't the pastur'd plaines To tend her tasked herd that there remaines, And winded still a pipe of Ote or Brere Striving for wages who the praise shall beare; As did whilere the homely Carmelite [Mantuan] Following Virgil, and he Theocrite; Or else hath beene in Venus Chamber train'd To play with Cupid, till shee had attain'd To comment well upon a beauteous face, Then was she fit for an Heroicke place. (Virgidemiae vi.268-8o)

With the examples of Daniel and Drayton before him (Spenser is too sacred to criticize openly), Hall clearly sees pastoral and the love lyric as twin 'degrees' by which Elizabethan poets sought to mature in preparation for the writing of epic. Pastoral is the elder sibling, but the love lyric is none the less a legitimate part of the generic family. About the hymn, we may be less defensive. As a Christian poet steeped in the Bible and its theology (patristic and Protestant), with such notable examples as Dante, Petrarch, Du Bartas, and perhaps Sidney before him, Spenser could naturally conceive of a divine poem as a final phase in the poet's career. I would even say that the Du Bartas movement ensured that he could not conceive of the final phase to be anything but a divine poem. As we shall see in chapter 5, he could have found support for his advancement of the hymn from such theorists as Sidney, Puttenham, and Scaliger, all of whom identify the hymn, along with epic, as a major genre in the Renaissance hierarchy of genres. This theorizing becomes practice, not merely in Orpheus, who purportedly wrote the Orphic Hymns, but in such contemporary national poets as Ronsard, who experiments formally in the hymn genre. In fact, in the early 15703 the addressee of one of Spenser's own Dedicatory Sonnets to the 1590 Faerie Queene, Thomas Sackville (DS 11), turns his 'penne' from 'lusty rymes' of 'youth' to verse more agreeable to his 'eld': 'flatterynge delyghtes depart I ye rejecte / unto the heavenly kynge that lives for aye / my selffe and all hence forthe wyll I derecte


Spenser's Famous Flight

/ my pen shall paynt his honour and his prayse / and wf my mouthe furthe wyll I spread his Fame / and when this wretched erthly masse decaies / my Soule in blysse shall magnyfy his name' (217-36 in Zim and Parkes). As I have indicated in the introduction, readers since the seventeenth century have recognized Spenser's turn to the 'divine strain of poésie' toward the end of his career. Whereas most readers attribute this turn to his disillusionment with the public world, I believe we can more accurately account for it by examining Fowre Hymnes in the context of Spenser's career. As October again intimates, the hymn completes the pattern of a poetic career developed through epic and love lyric, the two genres that Piers indicates both centre on 'Eliza,' since in the hymn the poet turns from 'Princes pallace' after he can no longer find a 'place' for his poetry there (for Eliza in pastoral, see Aprill). Importantly, the nature of the poet's disillusionment is paradoxical. He does not become disillusioned in spirit; he becomes disillusioned only with the court. In this state, he can return to heaven triumphantly ('apace'). Courtly disillusionment prompts divine enthusiasm. To claim that Spenser ends his career 'disillusioned' is thus to neglect the salvific telos of that career. Readers may also question whether Spenser could have worked from such a systematic career idea as the four-phase one I introduce. Is it possible that a young man could plan a career so carefully and then carry it out over the next twenty years? Given what we know of Spenser, it is more than possible. Every feature of his inaugural volumes, The Shepheardes Calender and The Faerie Queene, supports such a hypothesis, as do the Spenser-Harvey letters and other evidence that I shall introduce. As Lawrence Lipking says of Virgil, 'the poet who lives with such a responsibility has only one way to meet it: planning ahead ... The master plan, like scaffolding, holds everything in place. Moreover, the architectural metaphor probably points to another aspect of structure: its basis in mathematics' (79-80). Three of Spenser's most salient traits suggest that he worked from a master plan: his ambition for glory, his sense of virtue as a discipline to enact that ambition, and his penchant for mathematic system as an ambitious artistic means to glory.17 While critics find Spenser's power of pattern demonstrated in individual poems, I find this power demonstrated in the pattern of his career as a whole. By suggesting that Spenser includes the love lyric and the hymn in his career idea, then, I am not controverting a principle that most readers will readily accept (that Spenser follows Virgil in writing pastoral and epic); I am simply extending it. Spenser's plan and then completion of that plan are in keeping with everything we know about him.

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


Finally, readers may question the stasis seeming to control the fourgenre career idea. Does it, too, not veer from the facts? After all, Spenser wrote poetry outside the model - not merely such lost poetry as The Dying Pelican and Nine Comedies, but also such extant poetry as the Complaints and Colin Clouts Come Home Againe. Such veerings, however, should not discomfit (they should relieve). Once again Spenser could have found a precedent in Virgil, who veered from his threephase plan - or so Spenser thought - with such poetry as Culex (which Spenser translates as Virgils Gnat). Most likely, a national poet, even though experimenting widely, depended on his main genres to establish his authority. Thus Petrarch can emphasize Virgil's 'three works' of pastoral, georgic, and epic ('Letter to Publius Vergilius Maro' 138), but also mention 'the short poems which are called his earlier works - clearly his first youthful efforts' ('Letter to Homer' 162). Moreover, most of Spenser's veerings are of imagination all compact. The Complaints, Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, Astrophel, and Daphnaida are exercises in a genre conspicuously outside the four-phase pattern: the complaint (see Maclean, 'Spenser and the Complaint' and 'Complaints'). This genre also conspicuously appears in nearly all of the poems inside the four-phase pattern: the 'plaintive' eclogues of The Shepheardes Calender (for example, Februarie); Britomart's complaint to the sea in Book III of The Faerie Queene (canto iv); the complaint sonnets of Amoretti (for example, 2 and 10); and the Fowre Hymnes (for example, HHL 8-14). In defining the complaint, I take a cue from Epithalamion, in which Spenser refers to his Complaints as poems in which the Muses 'mourne' their own 'mishaps ... / Which death, or love, or fortunes wreck did rayse' (7-8). Spenser seems to think of the complaint as a metagenre, a form of poetry that most self-reflexively comments on the nature of the Muses' products.18 Colin Clout is important here because it constructs in microcosm Spenser's entire Orphic career idea. It enfolds the genres of pastoral (1-195), epic (196-455), love lyric (456-83), continued epic (484-774), and hymn (775-902). It bridges these genres through the central theme of the poet's writing of love poetry - hence the conclusion of the poem (9O3-55).19 Moreover, Colin Clout is important because it identifies the love lyric as a vital genre of renewal in the poet's 'famous flight': 'Colin (said Cuddy then) thou hast forgot / Thy selfe, me seemes, too much, to mount so hie: / Such loftie flight, base shepheard seemeth not, / From flocks and fields, to Angels and to skie' (616-19). Finally, as Colin Clout indicates, Spenser rarely conceives of a particular genre pristinely. He does not, however, merely 'mix' or 'interre-


Spenser's Famous Flight

late' genres, as critics variously demonstrate. Imitating Virgil, and anticipating Milton, he typologically enfolds them. He folds georgic into pastoral to define pastoral; he folds georgic and pastoral into epic to define epic; he folds georgic, pastoral, and epic into love lyric to define love lyric; and he folds georgic, pastoral, love lyric, and epic into hymn to define hymn.20 That Spenser could simultaneously enfold genres and assert the identity of each in a stable pattern should not perplex us. As Ralph Cohen puts it, 'Since genres ... were interrelated, it is self-evident that each genre had a specific identity' (50). Spenserian genre remains simultaneously fixed and fluid within a four-phase career idea. This principle reveals that in itself the Spenserian career idea is a precise rendering of the prophetic method. Spenser's 'Careeric' Definition of Genre

October intimates that Spenser will typologically fulfil his genre-based prophecy at climactic moments in his career, and that he will self-reflexively rely on poetic images to model his own prophetic penning of a particular genre. By examining this strategy in the four main genres organizing his career, we can discover his working or 'vatic' definition for each genre. Consequently, by looking at each genre through the lens of this careeric definition, we can arrive at new interpretations of all four of his main generic experiments. Thus the October eclogue, supported by the publication record, Whitney's advertisement, and Sapperton's poem, supplies us with an important but neglected critical principle: we can best understand each of Spenser's generic experiments by examining its contribution to his Orphic career. By following this principle, we can re-evaluate Spenser's conception of genre in general and his specific definition of each experiment.21 Recent theorists agree that genre constitutes a vital ground for interpretation. 'All understanding of verbal meaning,' writes E.D. Hirsch, 'is necessarily genre-bound' (7Ó).22 In addition, theorists weave together two strands of genre method that I should like to unravel: what we might term the non-careeric and the careeric. By non-careeric, I mean a structuralist method that defines a particular generic work intrinsically - by itself, in isolation of other works, as a cultural artefact - by emphasizing such features as form, subject matter, and generic attitude. By careeric, I mean an autobiographical method that defines a particular generic work extrinsically - in coherent relation to other works and other literary kinds, as part of a system of genres, as a contribution to a poetic vocation - by emphasizing the utility of the work to the author in the management of his career. By far, theorists concentrate on the

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


non-careeric method. Whether constructing an elaborate system of genres (like Paul Hernadi), or objecting to such a project (like Alastair Fowler), they overwhelmingly emphasize the formalist conventions of genre construction and the problematics of such construction.23 The non-careeric method is valuable to critics because poets rely on it to construct their generic experiments. However, this method does not acknowledge what emerges from a second strand of genre theory: that a poet could define a genre by situating his experiment in the contour of his career, and that this definition could provide a lens through which to view his work. Despite emphasizing the non-careeric method, modern theorists prepare us to understand a careeric method when they discuss two wellknown subjects in genre theory: genre as a strategy by which a poet communicates an idea to his culture, and genre system as a strategy by which a poet communicates his own 'autobiographical' development. From the first subject, we can isolate the following hypothesis. A poet uses genre as a purposive system of communication to convey his personalized idea or moral vision about poetry - both within time (to his present audience) and across time (to audiences past and future, whether past poets or future poets and readers).24 By acknowledging this hypothesis, we can see that Spenser could define an individual genre as a specific contribution to his career. From the second subject, we can isolate a corresponding hypothesis. A poet uses genre system - especially genre maps and definitions - as a strategy by which to construct a fiction of his own autobiographical development.25 By acknowledging this hypothesis, we can recognize that Spenser could form a personalized genre map of his career dependent on unique, careeric definitions of each genre. Spenser's map is not of genre in general but of a particular poet's generic progress. Similarly, his definitions are not constricting formulas but lenses for focusing his rhetorical document. Following Virgil's lead, he accommodates the Renaissance interest in genre maps and definitions to the contour of a poet's career. He defines pastoral, epic, love lyric, and hymn in terms of the contribution each makes to his Orphic career. Like Virgil, he lives with the 'responsibility' of being his nation's prophetic poet, and he selects the genre-based Orphic idea as the 'master plan' by which he 'holds everything in place.' 'Deepe within the Mynde': The Commonplace Model of Spenser's Career The four-phase Orphic career idea is important to Spenser studies because it interrogates the model of Spenser's career currently held as


Spenser's Famous Flight

a 'commonplace.' To understand the significance of this interrogation, we need to retrace the salient details of that commonplace. In 1976, Isabel G. MacCaffrey noticed a recurrent 'pattern of life' among certain of Spenser's 'wise old men' - what she calls the 'formula of out-and-back/ in which the individual leaves the 'country/ goes to 'court/ and then returns to the 'country/ disillusioned but wiser. She also extrapolated a significance for the poet who created the fiction: 'Spenser evidently attached important meanings to this pattern, for it occurs at least four times in his poetry. One poem, Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, derives its tripartite structure from this paradigm, and in The Faerie Queene the interlocutors and instructors of the heroes in the first and last books express it in different ways': the hermit Heavenly Contemplation in Book I (x.6o) and both the Hermit and Melibee in Book VI (v.37 and ix.24 [Spenser's Allegory 366-7]). Of Melibee's wisdom, she remarks: 'What is being recommended is not necessarily a change in outward vocation, but a finding of what will suffice in a paradise within' (368). As a consequence of this discovery, the ambitious cultural program laid out in The Letter to Ralegh - of fashioning virtuous readers - 'endfs] with [a]... weary admission of defeat' (403). As the last stanzas of Book VI reveal, with their triumph of the Blatant Beast over the poet, 'Dulce has devoured utile ... the rest is silence' (402): 'Having visited the hiding-places of his own power, Spenser succumbs to the coming-on of night and the late age of the world. His retreat in Book VI to a world "deep within the mind" was perhaps a response to his disillusionment with the political expediency of iron men like Talus, who has no mind. To lose faith in external order was also to lose the foothold in "some underlying reality, something in the nature of things" that makes allegory possible ... In the last stanzas, he turns to the only alternative for a poet in the middest, a final wordlessness' (422). By 1983, the view expressed by MacCaffrey had acquired the authority of a 'commonplace.' As David L. Miller put it then, 'it has become a commonplace of Spenser criticism that the poet's attitude toward the historical world changes in his late work. There the central value of Spenser's religious idealism ... seems held in a far more tentative and self-conscious way. And the central premise of his idealized vocation, the humanist faith in literature as a mode of persuasion, is repeatedly questioned' ('Spenser's Vocation' 215-16). According to such a view, the final books of The Faerie Queene, together with other late poetry, suggest that Spenser 'abandons the quest' of using his humanist poetics to fashion virtuous readers (D.L. Miller, 'Abandoning the Quest'). As the history of Spenser criticism testifies, a critic's reliance on the principle of 'disillusionment' focuses the nature of the criticism.26

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


The 'commonplace' of Spenser's disillusionment rests solidly on a generic foundation: the classical, Virgilian pattern of genres, styles, and ideologies known since the Middle Ages as the rota Vergiliana. In the rota, pastoral has a low style and an ideology of the shepherd's leisure, represented in the Eclogues. Géorgie has a middle style and an ideology of the farmer's labour, represented in the Georgics. And epic has a high style and an ideology of the governor's patriotism, represented in the Aeneid (John of Garland 38-41; see Fowler, Kinds of Literature 35, 65, 70, 75, 221, 240-1, 252). The rota Vergiliana is so fundamental to Spenser studies that it forms the commonplace mentioned earlier: Spenser follows Virgil in structuring his career around the Virgilian progression of genres.27 While many critics assume that Spenser begins with pastoral and ends with epic, ousting georgic in the process, some recent critics show that Spenser includes georgic both in his pastoral (Tylus; Thornton) and in his epic (Sessions; Ettin, The Georgics'; Low 35-70). In either case, however, the assumption remains the same. We are to view Spenser's career through the lens of the Virgilian program. The career model is classical, triadic, circular or semicircular, and political. The rota Vergiliana originates in the pseudo-Virgilian verses prefacing the medieval and Renaissance Aeneid, together with the commentary of Dona tus, who sees in the three genres a model of the individual poet's development.28 Despite such dubious origins, however, the rota Vergiliana continues to have value as a critical idea. According to John S. Coolidge, Virgil 'discovered or established relationships among the genres and used them to achieve a uniquely significant shape in his work as a whole' (i). The principle controlling the relationship among genres, Coolidge says, is analogous to the biblical principle of typology, in which each genre prophesies and is fulfilled by the next, just as the Old Testament prophesies and is fulfilled by the New (11, 20). Unlike in the Bible, however, in Virgil the goal is not salvific but political: 'The Virgilian progression in effect repeats in universal terms the basic claim of the Augustan settlement to reconcile loyalty to the old Republic with the transition to a new order of power ... The Virgilian progression is an intricately stylized imitation of... [the] mind's re-engagement in the life of the time - in short, of its rallying to the regime' (13). In this regard, the Virgilian Wheel is circular. It aims to recreate the golden age of pastoral Arcadia within history (Coolidge 12-13; Neuse, The Virgilian Triad' 610). By synthesizing these two 'commonplaces' of Spenser criticism, we can construct a full anatomy of the 'commonplace' model of Spenser's career. This commonplace forms the story that many of our most influ-


Spenser's Famous Flight

ential critics tell. The model has three phases, each relying on a particular genre to represent a specific self-reflexive stage in the poet's experience. First, in his innocence the fledgling poet relies on georgic labour to write a courtly pastoral of personal idealism, The Shepheardes Calender. Second, as he develops, the maturing poet relies on georgic labour to write a courtly epic of public ambition, The Faerie Queene, Books l-lii. But third, disillusioned by the public world, the old poet slackens georgic discipline by returning to an amorous pastoral of retreat, 'deepe within the mynde,' The Faerie Queene, Books IV-VI, together with such love poetry as Amoretti, Epithalamion, Fowre Hymnes, and Prothalamion. According to this model, Spenser passes through phases of youthful innocence to mature disillusionment to aged withdrawal. While this model has a linearity about it, it betrays a troubling circularity, for the old poet ends by nostalgically trying to escape to the pastoral of his youth: weariness, love, and sensual delight combine to draw [Spenser] ... from his heroic duty, the completion of The Faerie Queene ... In neither ... [Book V nor Book VI] does Spenser relate love and heroic action in a positive way ... The optimistic faith that had animated the early books, the faith that history was going the right way, seems to have left Spenser in the 15905 ... In his last works, in Book VI of The Faerie Queene, in the Amoretti and the Epithalamion, in the hymns of Divine Beauty and Love, and, to an extent, in the two Mutability Cantos ... Spenser does come home, as he did in the last section of Colin Clout. He comes home to the pastoral, the personal, and the amorous. (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 87, 89, 91, 97)

In this career model, Spenser seems to end up parodying Virgil, who concludes his career with an epic in order to reach both his political goal of recreating the golden age of pastoral Arcadia within history and his personal goal of acquiring gloria. Spenser begins with pastoral, moves to epic, but surprisingly returns to pastoral. This return reveals that his career ends with the failure of his Virgilian project. But, as some critics emphasize, out of this failure he forges a brilliant if hapless triumph - a new modern poetics that prepares for Milton, hence Blake and the Romantics: a paradise within, happier far.29 Reinventing the Virgilian Wheel: The Orphic Career Idea The commonplace model of Spenser's career has acquired so much authority that anyone wishing to challenge it must do so with a good

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


deal of trepidation. But I offer such a challenge because the October eclogue offers a clear textual warrant. Supporting evidence lies in the fulfilment of the October prophecy in Spenser's publication record, especially in his turn from Virgilian genres (pastoral and epic) to nonVirgilian genres (love lyric and hymn). As the voluminous criticism on these later generic experiments reveals, Amoretti, Epithalamion, Fowre Hymnes, and Prothalamion occupy too conspicuous a position in the structure of Spenser's career to marginalize them either as another version of pastoral (Bernard), as evidence of the failure of his Virgilian program (DeNeef), or as alternatives to epic poetry (Alpers). Each of these poems belongs to its own distinct genre: the sonnet sequence, the marriage ode, the hymn, and the betrothal poem, the last of which Spenser invents. To force these poems within the Virgilian rubric is to confront them in forms other than their own. Once we extricate Spenser's late lyrics from the grinding circumference of the Virgilian Wheel, we can discard other salient features of the commonplace model. The structure of Spenser's career is not triadic but tetradic; this structure begins with pastoral and epic but includes the love lyric and concludes with the hymn. Spenser's career structure is not circular or semi-circular but linear or progressive - as 'commonplace' critics imply by arguing that Spenser turns from courtly to contemplative genres: pastoral and epic qualify as courtly poetry; the hymn, as contemplative poetry; and the love lyric, as a bridge between the two. The structure of Spenser's career is not classical but Christian; more accurately, it is 'Renaissance' - that special, historical synthesis of classical and Christian, as the progressive structure from courtly to contemplative poetry reveals and as the inclusion of the hymn at the end hints. Hence, Spenser's career structure does not constitute a failure in the Virgilian enterprise but an innovative success in revising that enterprise through forms other than the Virgilian. Finally, Spenser does not change his idea of a literary career under pressure from court experience; he retains that idea from 1579 to 1596 - although not without a good deal of personal anxiety, social disruption, and political turmoil. Once we discard the salient features of the commonplace model, we can question the validity of its slogan: 'deepe within the mynd.' The slogan is a quotation taken out of context. The complete line reads: 'But vertues seat is deepe within the mynd' (vi.Pr.5). Spenser does not say that virtue is deep within the mind; he says that virtue's seat is deep within the mind. The word 'seat' distinguishes between the 'thing' or residence of virtue and its 'particular power, function, or quality' (OED, def. 111.14; see ni.i4.b) - its expression or manifestation in action. The


Spenser's Famous Flight

metaphor is important because it represents not a contemplative ideal but the contemplative origin of an active ideal (see Augustine, Trinity Ill.io: 118). This is the same ideal that Spenser had championed in the first instalment of his epic (see 11.1x44-5). 1° the Proem to Book VI, the line immediately following the slogan is not new either: 'And not in outward shows, but inward thoughts defynd.' The word 'defynd' refers to the essence of a thing, as opposed to its manifestation, and therefore is consistent with the idea of virtue originating inwardly and then expressing itself outwardly. Both lines thus articulate a principle consistent with Aristotle, for whom virtue is a 'state of character' or disposition (Ethics H05bi9-ii07a8); with the Sermon on the Mount, in which Christ emphasizes the individual's need to originate human action in spiritual purity (Matthew 5: 27-30); and with the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith, in which the Reformers emphasize 'the pure preaching of God's Word' in an invisible Church rather than the 'outward magnificence' of the visible Church (Calvin, Institutes 'Prefatory Address' i: 24) and in which works function, not as a means of salvation, but as the natural fruit of faith (Institutes Ill.xiv. 18-20, xv.3, and XVÍ.1-2).

Consequently, when interpreting the lines about the inward mind, we need to consider their context. For Spenser's Proem can be divided in two. Whereas stanzas i to 5 emphasize the contemplative origin of the virtue of courtesy, stanzas 6 and 7 emphasize that virtue's manifestation through the courtesy of Queen Elizabeth. In stanza 6, the poet identifies his 'soveraine Lady Queene' as the 'patterne' of 'Princely curtesie ... / In whose pure minde, as in a mirrour sheene, / It showes, and with her brightnesse doth inflame / The eyes of all.' In stanza 7, he shows the artistic source of this political reciprocity between sovereign and subject: 'from your selfe I doe this vertue bring, / And to your selfe doe it returne againe: / So from the Ocean all rivers spring, / And tribute backe repay as to their King.' Through two metaphors of reciprocity, the ocean and the mirror, Spenser represents a pattern of reciprocal selffashioning in which sovereign and subject fashion each other (Alwes 31-2, following Montrose, The Elizabethan Subject'). Rather than revealing his turn from courtly to contemplative poetry, the Proem to Book VI reaffirms the contemplative source of Spenser's deeply Christian court poetry. As yet, no one has discovered a career model that explains the peculiar contours of Spenser's career satisfactorily. Salient among these contours is the last: Spenser accidentally closes his career by creating a new genre, known as the betrothal poem but perhaps more accurately

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


identified as a national love lyric. This important poem reverses the transcendence of Fowre Hymnes with a movement best characterized as immanence. In Prothalamion, the poet witnesses precisely what all of his earlier poetry seems to desire, for it integrates the private marriage ritual into the structure of court politics and combines the two in a larger ideology of grace and glory. Spenser's last poem permits us, in and of itself, to interrogate the commonplace model that his career turns from courtly to contemplative poetry. As I shall show in my conclusion, Prothalamion traces an arc from courtly to contemplative poetry and then back to the courtly. Thus we err by classing the 'Spousall Verse' with the other poetry of 1595-6, especially Colin Clout, Book VI of The Faerie Queene, and Fowre Hymnes. Spenser comes home, not to the pastoral, the personal, and the amorous, but to the heroic, the public, and the courtly.30 We have not discovered a career model that can explain the peculiar contours of Spenser's career largely because we lack a comprehensive study of the topic. Helgerson's essays supply our most authoritative understanding of Spenser's idea of a literary career. However, his bifold, synchronie paradigm does not account for all of the contours that order that career. To account for all of them, we can turn to the diachronic paradigm that Helgerson says he originally pursued but abandoned because of personal interest - the paradigm that leads from Ariosto to Chaucer and back to Virgil (Self-Crowned Laureates 17). As Helgerson acknowledges, for the Elizabethan poets 'the synchronie... included an awareness of the diachronic' (26): 'Spenser's poetic self-image could in fact be described with some accuracy as a compound of Petrarch, Mantuan, Ariosto, Tasso, and Virgil' (62). But, he adds, 'such a description moves too easily from the English to the European context' (62). I acknowledge these dangers, and cite another: the 'diachronic dimension' (Helgerson 26) requires a vast, technical knowledge of Renaissance, medieval, early Christian, and classical culture frustratingly beyond the expertise of most critics specializing in Spenser (including this one). Not surprisingly, we still lack a full grammar for voicing Spenser's idea of a literary career. What Lipking wrote in 1981 still holds true today: 'the life of the poet - the shape of his life as a poet has not been exhausted. Indeed, it has hardly been studied ... A full study of the "[Virgilian] wheel" remains to be written' (viii, 2o8).31 Because of the dearth of 'career' research, especially on the complete range of classical, early Christian, medieval, and Renaissance imitations of the Virgilian Wheel, I want to pursue the diachronic dimension a bit further. However, current research prohibits the following account from being more than a sketch. I proceed with it largely to establish preced-


Spenser's Famous Flight

ents for Spenser's construction of a career idea that I find prophesied in October and typologically fulfilled in his practice. This idea helps explain the peculiar contours of Spenser's career more satisfactorily than does the commonplace model. Spenser's commitment to Protestantism, I argue, precludes a wholesale acceptance of a classical model emphasizing 'man's right relation to nature.'32 In contradistinction to Virgil's political poetics, Spenser's Protestant poetics requires a model that emphasizes the relation between nature and grace, especially its two key features: the individual's relation to God compatible with service to an earthly sovereign; and the individual's relation to a spouse compatible with service both to that sovereign and that God. For a Protestant poet, that is, the Virgilian triad lacks forms of poetry that permit a 'self to address harmoniously two of the three 'Others' important to him: in addition to his sovereign, his spouse and God. As a Protestant poet, Spenser needs a career model that permits him both to celebrate marriage as a valuable institution within time and to certify salvific transcendence as the final phase of experience moving the individual beyond time. According to Coolidge, it is Milton who 'assimilated' the Virgilian progression 'into the Christian pattern of revelation ... Milton perceives an analogy between that principle of scriptural interpretation [typology] and the design of Virgil's major work and makes that analogy the basis of his own grand design' (22-3). In this, as in other things, Spenser is Milton's great original. The Reformation did not render the Virgilian Wheel invalid so much as demand its reinvention. The drive to reinvent the Virgilian Wheel, however, began before the Reformation. To simplify this complicated process, we may return to the first of two classes of diachronic models identified in the introduction: the progressive class, which offers an exclusive, contoured generic structure for shaping a career (more on the second or hierarchical class later). Specifically, we can add to Helgerson's synchronie models of the Elizabethan 'amateur' and 'laureate' what I shall call two other progressive diachronic models of the Continental poet: in addition to the Virgilian (already discussed), the Ovidian and the Augustinian. The Ovidian model traces a pattern of interrupted cyclic closure - the breaking of the Virgilian circle - by showing how the love lyric sabotages the poet's epic career. Despite writing the Metamorphoses, Ovid ends up paying for his youthful love poetry, because the Amores violated a new Augustan law against the sanctity of marriage. In Ex Ponto, Ovid recalls the way in which his love poetry ended his public career when he addresses the culprit god who caused all of his problems:

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


Thou didst not allow me to reach the height of Maeonian song or to sing the deeds of mighty chieftains' (lll.iii.3i-2). The Ovidian model thus moves from youthful love lyrics to a semi-mature epic to aged exile poetry. Like the Virgilian, it is classical, triadic, semicircular, and political. Unlike the Virgilian, it locates love poetry at its centre, albeit in what looks to Ovid, reflecting on his blighted career, as a decidedly disastrous centre. Yet Ovid's contribution to the love poetry that will shape the modern view of wedded love championed by Chaucer and Spenser is so enormous that Brooks Otis can claim him to be 'the West's first champion of true, normal, even conjugal love' (277; cf. Segal, Orpheus 67, 208, n. 33). While the Ovidian career model formally introduces the love lyric as an impediment to a successful Virgilian or civic career, it contains the seeds for its own deconstruction. Consequently, a future poet working with the Ovidian model could select one of two interpretations or show confusion between them. Love could be either an impediment to duty or an instrument of it. Helgerson identifies Ovid as a progenitor of the Elizabethan amateur career model, the prime rival to the Virgilian model, and the ill-fated precursor of Petrarch (Self-Crowned Laureates 26; see Tuve). To this extent, Helgerson's synchronie map crosses my diachronic one. But at precisely this crossover, I seek to reverse his conclusion, which is that Spenser fails in the Virgilian enterprise because he ends up in the position of the hapless Ovid: 'No wonder if Spenser saw himself less as a new Virgil and more as the Ovid of the Tristia, abandoned by his friends for his carmen et error1 (86). Spenser does not end up exchanging a Virgilian for an Ovidian career; he integrates the two in an original, constructive, and historically significant way.33 In contradistinction to both the Ovidian and Virgilian models, which are circular or semicircular and political, the Augustinian model traces a linear, spiritual pattern of ascent from earth to heaven. The Augustinian model is also Christian, not classical; theological, not political or philosophical. But like the other two, it is triadic. In the Confessions, Augustine inscribes the pattern that will become influential to postclassical poets like Dante (Singleton 105-6) - and through him, both Chaucer and Petrarch: We ascend thy ladder which is in our heart, and we sing a canticle of degrees; we glow inwardly with thy fire - with thy good fire - and we go forward because we go up to the peace of Jerusalem' (xm.ix: 304). For Augustine, the individual ascends the ladder through the Holy Spirit of Love: 'Love lifts us up toward that place ... By thy gift [that of the Holy Spirit], we are enkindled and are carried upward. We burn inwardly and move forward' (xm.ix: 304). Thus the


Spenser's Famous Flight

Augustinian model differs from the Virgilian and the Ovidian in its Christian emphasis on conversion, resurrection, transcendence, and salvation - on the individual's return to the bosom of God as the lelos of human endeavour. As critics show, the Augustinian model is important to Spenser throughout his career, including that phase in which he revises the Virgilian epic in light of Scripture.34 The Augustinian model also differs in the two submodels it spawns - what we might term the Platonic and the Bonaventuran. The Platonic model relies on the ladder to represent the ascent from the individual's perception of 'the beauty of one individual body' to a perception of 'the final revelation,' the absolute form of beauty (Symposium 210). In the Renaissance, the Platonic model is Neoplatonic, and Castiglione in The Courtier especially popularizes two stages to the lover's development: 'the succession of youth and age' (Hyde 139). Castiglione's Cardinal Bembo advises: 'when these youthfull yeares bee gone and past, leave it off cleane, keeping aloofe from this sensuall coveting as fro the lowest step of the stayres, by the which a man may ascend to true love' (307). As critics show, the Platonic model is important to Spenser throughout his career, but especially at the end, when the old poet seems to take Bembo's advice, relying on technical Platonic terms to construct the transcendence of Fowre Hymnes out of his earlier, youthful love poetry (Ellrodt; Bieman, Plato Baptized; Quitslund, 'Platonism'). Like the Platonic model, the Bonaventuran relies on the metaphor of the ladder, but it views the steps differently. 'A mystic tradition of the Middle Ages,' writes Charles S. Singleton, 'well nourished on Augustine, had spoken of the ascent of the mind and heart to God as an ascent by degrees ... This itinerary of the mind to God, as Augustine had conceived it, began, at its first level, outside of man. It turned inward at its second level or degree. And in its third and last stage, it rose above man' (105-6). In the Middle Ages, the key spokesman for the Augustinian model is St Bonaventura, who structures his Itinerarium mentis in Deum on these three stages: extra nos, intra nos, and supra nos. Such a theological model is important because it provides Dante with the threefold scheme of La Vita Nuova: his greeting of Beatrice, his praise of Beatrice, and his spiritual understanding of Beatrice (Singleton 107). This last stage leads Dante to a new project in which he will write what no poet has written about a woman, and what many critics believe to be a prophecy of the. triadic Commedia itself. As critics show, the Bonaventuran model is important to Spenser, especially at the end of his career, when he synthesizes it with the Platonic model in order to construct the transcendence of Fowre Hymnes.35

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


Dante is important to a study of the Renaissance, not merely because he synthesizes the Virgilian, Ovidian, and Augustinian models, but also because he influences the career inaugurating the Renaissance: that of Petrarch. Petrarch's career is significant here also because it combines the Virgilian, the Ovidian, and the Augustinian models in a Dantean matrix. From our perspective, Petrarch's combination seems deeply troubled. He appears to confuse the first class of diachronic models, the progressive, with the second, the hierarchical, which offers an inclusive, encyclopaedically arranged generic map for wide formal experimentation (cf. Hainsworth 5-6). Yet we need to acknowledge that from Spenser's perspective, Petrarch's combination of models may have appeared less the massive product of mechanical confusion and more the wondrous vehicle of inspired genius. Throughout his career, Petrarch took Virgil as his master but spent the greater part of his time and energy veering from the Virgilian model. On the one hand, he was influenced by Ovid, the Latin elegists, the troubadours, and the stilnovisti; on the other, by St Paul, St Augustine, and Dante. Petrarch wrote a pastoral, Bucolicum carmen, and an epic, Africa, but he began the latter before the former, and he experimented with non-Virgilian genres in culturally significant ways: with what turned out to be his masterpiece, the lyric sequence, in his Rime sparse; and with what was his most popular Renaissance work, the triumph, in his Trionfi. While Petrarch's two major experiments in Virgilian genres, the pastoral and the epic, both emphasize the poet's experience in the order of nature - in particular, his relation to the power structure - his two major experiments in non-Virgilian genres, the lyric sequence and the triumph, both trace the movement from the order of nature to the order of grace. Influenced by Dante, he divides the Rime in two. The first part, 'in vita/ is erotic in mode, treating his haunting relationship with the living Laura. The second part, 'in morte,' is hymnic in mode, treating his equally haunting relation with the spirit of Laura after her body dies. Whereas in the erotic part Petrarch finds Laura interfering with his relation to both his earthly sovereign and God, in the hymnic part he struggles to resolve the problem through Laura's death. As St Augustine sternly forces him to admit in the Secretum, the body of Laura has interfered with his devotion to God (ii3ff., especially 124-5). While Petrarch shares with his stern forefather (and with Virgil) a repudiation of romantic love, his canon none the less depicts a lyric struggle between romantic and hymnic modes. The Trionfi repeats this pattern. Except for Bucolicum carmen (published 1357)* Petrarch worked on his other longer poems throughout his life.


Spenser's Famous Flight

If his commitment to both the romantic or Ovidian lyric and the hymnic or Augustinian lyric within a Virgilian career does not formally influence Spenser, it at least provides us with a powerful precedent. On the Continent and in England, Petrarch's sixteenth-century heirs experiment with classical and post-classical genres in order to accommodate Virgil to Christian culture. They, too, appear to be combining Virgilian, Ovidian, and Augustinian models, on the one hand, and yet experimenting encyclopaedically, on the other. Tasso, Ronsard, and Sidney, for instance, join Petrarch in distinguishing themselves from Virgil by experimenting widely with genres outside a coherent career pattern. Yet all three centre their careers on epic, dabble in pastoral, become preoccupied with love lyric, and eventually turn to divine or hymnic poetry. From Spenser's perspective, all three could appear to join Petrarch in emphasizing four forms of generic experimentation.36 While Spenser could find precedents in Petrarch and his sixteenthcentury heirs, his most immediate source in the October eclogue may be an earlier heir of Petrarch's, 'the old famous Poete Chaucer' (E.K., Epistle to SC 7-8). This should not be surprising, given the status the English Tityrus' acquires in Spenser's inaugural volume. In particular, Spenser may have been influenced by The House of Fame. This baffling poem appears to owe its tripartite structure to the rota Vergiliana (Dane, 'Chaucer's House of Fame and the Rota Virgilii'). Book I imitates the high style of Virgil's epic, the Aeneid; Book II, the middle style of his didactic poem, the Georgics; and Book III, the low style of his pastoral lyric, the Bucolics (Dane 61). Yet the classification is not exact, especially with respect to Book in, which can be divided in two and labelled the ' "third genre" ' because it appears to deal with 'performed lyric' (Dane 69, 70). The key lines are 1201-50, where Chaucer classifies poetry through 'a tripartite division of singers based on instrument' (Dane 70): harpers, led by Orpheus, and representing lyric poetry (1201-13); pipers, led by Tityrus, and representing pastoral poetry (1214-36); and trumpeters, led by 'Virgilius,' and representing epic poetry (1237-50). Chaucer's professional genealogy here (from the historical Virgil to the Virgilian pastoral persona to the legendary founder of poetry), his detailing of the three genres of lyric, pastoral, and epic, and his poem structured on the rota Vergiliana may all have influenced Spenser in October. If so, we can better understand the intertextual origins of Spenser's preoccupation with fame in this eclogue. Missing in The House of Fame, however, is the genre of divine poetry or hymn. To find Chaucer talking about this genre, Spenser may have remembered the Prologue to The Legend of Good Women, in which the

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


Old Poet refers to 'olde appreved stories / Of holynesse, of règnes, of victories, / Of love, of hate' (21-3), implying the genres of divine, epic, and love poetry. But the key passage appears later, when Chaucer reviews the poems he has written (417-30), which can be divided into two kinds of love poetry. The first are erotic love poems - 'many an ympne for your [Love's] halydayes, / That highten balades, roundels, virelayes' (422-3) - in which kind we may group The House of Fame, The Book of the Duchess, The Parlement of Foules, and a poem on Palamon and Arcite that becomes The Knight's Tale (417-21), as well as his translation of The Romance of the Rose and Troilus and Criseyde mentioned later (441, 469-70). The second are divine love poems - 'for to speke of other holynesse' (424) - in which we may group his prose translation of Boethius, his life of Saint Cécile that becomes The Second Nun's Tale, and a lost translation of a work attributed to Origen (425-8). This binary career structure also controls 'Chaucer's Retraction/ where the Old Poet repents of his 'translacions and enditynges of worldly vanitees' and thanks the Lord for his 'translación of Boece de Consolacione, and othere bookes of légendes of seintes, and omelies, and moralitee, and devocioun' (Riverside ed. 328). Influenced by Virgil's career and especially Ovid's, Chaucer's career is finally Augustinian (and Boethian) in its contour. For an Elizabethan, however, Chaucer's Augustinian career was crucially consonant with a final part of the diachronic dimension that I would like to mention: the Du Bartas movement of the late sixteenth century. Du Bartas is significant here because, as I indicated in the introduction, critics believe he influences Spenser to turn to divine poetry at the end of his career (see also chapter 5). Du Bartas differs from other poets in my diachronic dimension (with the exception perhaps of Dante) in that he writes exclusively in the genre of the divine poem: La Muse chrétienne, which includes L'Uranie, Le Triomphe de la Foi, and La Judith (1574), and Les Semaines (1578, 1584, 1596-1603). Consequently, Du Bartas calls on divine poets to combat the surge of Ovidian and Petrarchan verse threatening culture. As we shall see presently, Du Bartas figures prominently in a tradition that relies on the myth of the winged poet to distinguish between courtly and contemplative genres. While Chaucer, Petrarch, Tasso, Ronsard, and Sidney do not prophesy a specific contour to their careers the way Virgil does (or the way they thought he did), they none the less provide powerful precedents for a poet like Spenser who wishes to accommodate the rota Vergiliana to the Reformation. Spenser's great innovation lies in organizing the four


Spenser's Famous Flight

genres into a coherent, progressive career. More consciously than Chaucer or Petrarch, and more capaciously than Dante or Du Bartas, he reinvents the Virgilian Wheel in light of the Ovidian and Augustinian models. But he historicizes these models in light of the Reformation. To create his new career idea, he maintains Virgil's circular pattern of recreating the pastoral golden age within history, revises Ovid's broken Virgilian circle by showing how the love lyric providentially renews his epic power, and closes with Augustine's hymnic, linear ascent from history to eternity, earth to heaven, woman to God. I call this combination of diachronic models the Orphic idea of a literary career for several reasons. First, Spenser follows tradition in tracing his professional genealogy to the legendary founder of poetry. Second, Spenser critics regularly designate Spenser an Orphic poet. Third, Spenser would have understood Orpheus, not in strictly classical terms, but in terms synthesizing Orpheus with Christ. Finally, the fourpart Orpheus story resembles the four-genre pattern that I have been tracing in the fictional career of the New Poet. Orpheus' charming of nature corresponds to pastoral; his resolving of the quarrel among the Argonauts, to epic; his wooing of Eurydice and eventual freeing of her from Hades, to love lyric; and his death and apotheosis, to the hymn. We can designate the first two phases of the Orpheus myth 'immanentist' and the fourth 'transcendent,' with the third, the love-lyric phase, as the hinge between them. The Orphic idea of a literary career is important to Spenser because it permits him to order 'the immanentist and the transcendent' powers of poetry into a coherent process.37 The core ideology controlling this Orphic career idea is bold, controversial, historically important - and probably politically dangerous. Poetic fame leads to Christian glory. Separated, the two parts of this ideology are innocuous enough. In Elizabethan culture, Spenser was equally free to assert the power of his art to confer immortality and the power of the gift of faith to lead to Christian glory. As we have seen, however, he repeatedly brings the two into significant alignment. In his equation, fame and glory cohere. Among the textual sites representing this coherence, Book II, canto i, of The Faerie Queene acquires stature. The Palmer tells Redcrosse, Joy may you have, and everlasting fame, Of late most hard atchiev'ment by you donne, For which enrolled is your glorious name In heavenly Registers above the Sunne, Where you a Saint with Saints your seat have wonne.


The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


The Palmer's comments take the form of a prayer and divide into three stages: i) Redcrosse's self-willed 'atchiev'ment' ('by you donne') will secure 'everlasting fame'; 2) his fame will 'enroll' his 'glorious name' in the 'heavenly Registers' (as 'For which' indicates); and 3) his hard-earned enrolment ('have wonne') will qualify him as a 'Saint/ where he will sit in company with other 'Saints.' What I should like to emphasize is the complex linguistic process by which the pagan concept of fame leads to Christian glory. Important to the equation is Spenser's use of the Christian word 'everlasting' as an adjective for earthly fame, and his equally paradoxical use of the pagan concept of 'name' as the noun modified by the Christian sounding word 'glorious.' Redcrosse's ultimate renown is to be among the saintly readers of the 'heavenly Registers.'38 The Palmer's somewhat startling remarks draw this comment from Redcrosse: His be the praise, that this atchiev'ment wrought, Who made my hand the organ of his might; More then goodwill to me attribute nought: For all I did, I did but as I ought.


The conversation betweeen palmer and knight thus interconnects the paradigm of fame and glory with the paradigm of human and divine will. Here, we are close to the heart of Spenser's grandest thought. Redcrosse tactfully shifts the praise from himself to God, in accord with Calvinist theology. But in the process he expresses a relation between human and divine will that Calvin would not tolerate. First, he uses the metaphor of the 'organ' to acknowledge the individual's role in the process: he is the organ of God's might. Then he uses the word 'goodwill' to specify the nature of his contribution, emphasized by the rhetorical iteration of human action and agency ('all I did, I did but as / ought'): he uses goodwill to function as an organ of God's power in a process completed by the conversion of 'everlasting fame' into a 'glorious name.' I call the process underlying this conversion the process of salvation. Making the Air One Volary: The Orphic Myth of the Winged Poet To represent the poet undergoing the process of salvation within a prescribed literary career, Spenser needs an accurate and authoritative metaphor of process. Such a metaphor would have to be flexible enough to represent the poet travelling through the order of nature and the


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order of grace, and it would have to have acquired authority from both classical literature and the Bible.39 From 1579 to 1596, Spenser consistently throughout all his poetry relies on only one metaphor for the vocational process: the metaphor of the poet's 'famous flight.' This metaphor is vertical in its final contour, but it accommodates horizontal movement. Such a metaphor exists in what Clive Hart calls 'The Flying Pilgrimage,' the chief forms of which appear in Dante's Comedy, Deguileville's Pilgrimage of the Life of Man, and Alain de Lille's Anticlaudianus, with sources in Plato's Phaedrus and Ovid's Ex Ponto (244-59). In particular, Dante forms his flying pilgrimage by drawing on the art of hawking (Purgatorio xix.6i-9 and Paradiso xvni.43-5), and it is significant that one of the cruxes in Dante studies centres on the word 'pellegrin' (Paradiso 1.51), a word meaning either 'pilgrim' or 'falcon.'40 Like Dante, Spenser was fascinated with hawking (Judson 12), to the extent that he named a son Peregrine! In this name, Spenser relies on the antique hawking term to enfame the Christian idea of pilgrimage. Perhaps via Chaucer's House of Fame, his avian representation of the 'famous flight' seems indebted to the Dantean idea of the 'flying pilgrimage,' including its hawking metaphor, so that we may speak of the New Poet's artistic process of salvation as represented through the configuration of a flight pattern.41 Spenser selects the avian configuration as his primary myth of salvation because the peregrinatio of the Christian forms the central myth and vehicle for salvation in Christian culture. Spenser accommodates the Christian peregrinatio to the classical myth of the winged poet in order to create his salvific flight pattern.42 Accordingly, we can find the avian representation in the two classical career models and in the Christian one discussed earlier: in the Georgics, Virgil may 'fly victorious on the lips of men' (111.9; see introduction); in the Tristia, Ovid warns his 'book' not to seek 'too lofty heights on weak wings' as did 'Icarus' (1.1.87-90); and in the Confessions, St Augustine writes, "by this very soul ... I will soar beyond that power of mine by which I am united to the body' (x.vii: 207). We can also find the avian representation in the one sub-model to the Augustinian model not yet mentioned (see the earlier discussion on the Platonic flight): in Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum, St Bonaventura identifies 'the six-winged Seraph' in 'likeness of the Crucified' as a 'symbol' of 'the six stages of illumination' (Prologue 2-3: 3-4). Finally, we can find the avian representation in the Orpheus myth itself. In the pastoral phase, Orpheus has the magic power to order nature, represented in his power to move trees, still the waters, and

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


tame animals, including birds (see Simonides, qtd in Segal 13). In the epic phase, Orpheus has the swanlike power to order civilization, represented in his power to direct the destiny of the Argonauts (see Statius, Thebaid ¥.341-5)- In the love-lyric phase, Orpheus has the power to order the family, represented in a power greater than that of the nightingale to woo his wife, Eurydice (see Landini, qtd in Brown, 'Virgilian Orphic Allusion' 16). Finally, in the hymn phase, Orpheus has the power to ascend to heaven, represented when he sings like the swan prophesying its own death (see Plato, Republic X.620a). While the birds are merely one of several elements of nature traditionally moved by Orpheus' song, they occupy a unique position in his myth because they, alone among these elements, have the voice and song matching his own and that of his lyre (see fig. 6). Again, it is Drayton who understands this, as Jonson generously recognizes when he asks Lady 'FAME' to 'lend' her 'voyce' during his review of Drayton's career (12). At the exact centre of this career - the fourth of 'Regions seaven' in Drayton's Orphic 'Orbe' (19-20) - perches an avian poem, The Owl: 'And looking up, I saw Minervas fowle, / Pearch'd over head, the wise Athenian Owl: / I thought thee then our Orpheus, that wouldst try / Like him, to make the ayre, one volary' the 'volary' being the cage of fame and glory (Ungathered Verse XXX-33-6: The Vision of Ben Jonson, on the Muses of His Friend M. Drayton'). For Drayton, as for Spenser, the avian dimension of the Orphic myth represents the poet in the process of converting poetic fame into Christian glory. To grasp more fully the authority of the Orphic avian myth for Spenser, we need to look more carefully at its classical and scriptural origins. 'The Doves of Story': An Avian Archaeology of Poetic Origins

The classical myth of the winged poet is probably our most primeval and authoritative representation of the poet. An archaeology of poetic origins reveals substantial evidence of a tradition theorizing and representing an avian origin for the art of the poet (and musician). In a chapter from the Poetics titled 'Pastoral Poetry,' for instance, Scaliger speculates: 'rhythmical utterance seems to have been learned in the field, either through an impulse caught from nature, or through imitation of the songs of the little birds, or of the sighing of the trees' (I.iv: 21). In identifying a potential avian origin for the art of poetry, Scaliger may be thinking of Lucretius: 'As for music, / Men started first by imitating birdsong. / That came before they made up little tunes / With


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words to please the ear; and the stir of a breeze / Through reedy hollows whispering conveyed / Hints of the Pan-pipe' (De rerum natura v.1378-3; trans. Humphries). We do not know the source of Lucretius' aetiology of music and pastoral poetry, but he probably follows a well-established Epicurean tradition, the closest version of which exists in Plutarch's The Cleverness of Animals' (Bailey 1540; Ernout and Robin 3: 180; Merrill 728): 'perhaps it is ridiculous for us to make a parade of animals distinguished for learning when Democritus declares that we have been their pupils in matters of fundamental importance: ... of the sweet-voiced swan and nightingale in our imitation of song' (Moralia 9743). More clearly than Lucretius or Scaliger, Plutarch presents an individual as knowing of a primitive phase of culture in which human beings learned 'song' through 'imitation' of the 'swan and nightingale.' A similar, though more general account appears in Athenaeus: 'Chamaelon of Pontus has said: "The men of old devised the invention of music from the birds singing in solitary places; by way of imitating them, men instituted the art of music" ' (Deipnosophists lX-39oa). Although lacking the detail of Plutarch, Athenaeus hints at a primeval avian origin for the poetry that Scaliger considers the earliest - that produced in 'solitary places': pastoral. While Athenaeus, Plutarch, Lucretius, and Scaliger all theorize an avian origin for poetry, Aristophanes writes a whole play that assumes such an origin (see Bailey 1540): 'A poem without wings is not a poem' (Birds 1303; trans. Hadas 274). But the earliest formal self-representation appears in the seventh century, BC, in two fragments written by Alkman: 'I can whistle / Every bird's song' (46; trans. Davenport 156); and This is the music Alkman made / From partridge dance and partridge song' (50; trans. Davenport 157). Important to both fragments is the poet's personal stamp; in identifying with a bird, he names himself. According to Athenaeus, Alkman's strategy has clear generic significance: ' "Epic verses, indeed, and lyric melody full-tongued hath Alemán invented, composing the notes of the partridge" ... thus clearly indicating that he learned to sing from the partridges' (Deipnosophists ix.39oa). Significantly, in the Ars amatoria Ovid disavows an avian orgin to his art: 'Nor am I taught my song by the voices of birds in the air' (1.26). But then, paradoxically, in the Tristia he accepts such an origin when recalling how he turned from law to poetry: 'Ofttimes Macer, already advanced in years, read to me of the birds he loved' (rv.x.42-3). Without paradox, Horace boldly personalizes the representation in order to mythologize the avian origin of his political art of fame in the Odes: 'In



childhood's days, on trackless Vultur, beyond the borders of old nurse Apulia, when I was tired with play and overcome with sleep, the doves of story covered me o'er with freshly fallen leaves, to be a marvel to all who dwell in lofty Acherontia's nest' (lll.iv.9-i4). This brief review indicates that by the time of Augustan Rome poets had perfected the avian myth in deeply sophisticated ways. Among Augustan poets, we need to single out Virgil, who opens his first eclogue by portraying Tityrus as a dove owner - a portrait that a Renaissance poet like Spenser would have regarded as a self-portrait of Virgil himself: 'still the cooing wood-pigeons, your pets, and the turtledove shall cease not their moaning from the skyey elm' (57-8: 'tamen ... raucae, tua cura, palumbes, / nee gemere aëria cessabit turtur ab ulmo'). However neglected this portrait is, it is striking in its use of an avian representation to consolidate what we have already learned about Tityrus. He is a figure who, under the protection of a god, withdraws from public life to his own peaceful land in order to pipe a song of love echoing through the woods (1-10). He is a pastoral poet ('ab ulmo') who stubbornly and even immortally voices an elegiac poetry ('nee gemere ... cessabit') of love and peace ('palumbes,' 'turtur') that harmonizes nature ('tua cura, palumbes') through communion with and sanction by the gods ('aëria'). The positioning of the doves in the top of the tree ('aëria ... ab ulmo') models the pastoral poet who rests on the threshold between nature and the divine, oblivion and fame. Meliboeus, not Tityrus, voices this idea of the pastoral poet - a figure who has just lost his land and its implied pastoral ideology of otium, not the agent of the ideology itself. Through this strategy, Virgil deftly relies on the avian myth to represent the two versions of pastoral between which the Eclogues negotiate: the soaring ambition of vocational self-hood (meditaris [2]) and a grounded submission to Roman culture (patria [3]). While Virgil does not identify himself as Tityrus until Eclogue VI (1-12), his portrait of the pastoral poet as a dove owner may form part of an allegorical network of self-presentation that, as critics suspect, extends beyond Tityrus. In Eclogue IX, for instance, Lycidas says he has heard that 'Menalcas had with his songs saved all' the land that the state had repossessed (10: 'omnia carminibus ... servasse Menalcan'). To this salvific vocational ideal, Moeris counters with the grim political facts: 'amid the weapons of war, Lycidas, our songs avail as much as, they say, the doves of Chaonia when the eagle comes' (11-13: 'carmina tantum / nostra valent, Lycida, tela inter Martia, quantum / Chaonias dicunt aquila veniente columbas'). In these lines, which become a trope of Renaissance humanist discourse, Virgil represents the politically


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salvific poetry of Menalcas through the image of the Chaonian doves the birds of prophecy at the oracle of Dodonia; and he represents the state's political activities that destroy such poetry through the image of the eagle. Evidently, the trope of the eagle and the dove is a Virgilian version of the Hesiodic fable of the hawk and the nightingale (see introduction). Hence, some critics suspect that Virgil relies on a commonplace device, the poet identified as or identifying with the doves of story in order to identify himself as 'the chaonian dove.'43 Virgil's avian self-portrait is important because it permits him to make an important claim. Amid the war of Augustan power politics, he is a divinely ordained poet of love and peace. While we can never be certain about the identity of Menalcas in Eclogue IX (or Tityrus in Eclogue i), we can speculate with more certainty how a Renaissance poet like Spenser would have read these representations. As his own use of the dove reveals, he would have seen Virgil relying on a carefully designed and ancient strategy of self-representation: the myth of the winged poet. A woodcut for a 1502 edition of the Eclogues by Sebastian Brant splendidly reveals the importance of the myth to Virgil's selfportrait of Tityrus as a dove owner (fig. 7). Not surprisingly, the first great Renaissance poet interprets this classical representation literally. Throughout his letters, Petrarch reveals that he studied birds in order to write his own poetry: 'I flee man's traces, follow the birds, love the shadows ... I glory in the Muses' company, in bird-song and the murmur of water-nymphs' (Letters Vl.y. 67; see VIII.5: 72). Occasionally, Petrarch even catches birds (m.i8: 41) - presumably to study them more intimately (see Bishop 138,175). Self-reflexively, he singles out Horace as a literary source: 'I saw thee [Horace] reclining upon the fresh turf, hearkening to the bubbling of the springs and to the songs of the birds' (Letters, To Horatius Flaccus' xxiv.io: 130). Petrarch's sixteenth-century heirs would be sensitive to his avian archaeology. Gascoigne, for instance, brings Philomela to England by saying: This worthy bird, hath taught my weary Muze, / To sing a song' (Steele Glas 2: 143; see Garrod 150; E.K., Nov 257-64). Because of a tradition theorizing a historical avian aetiology of poetry, we need to reconsider the importance of the representation in which a poet identifies with a bird. A poet's construction of an avian identity is among the most primitive and authoritative forms of artistic representation. A poet's identity with a particular species of bird thus tells us about the kind of poet he wishes to be and the kind of poetry he is trying to write. Whereas Virgil selects the dove to represent the loving, peaceful

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


identity of the pastoral poet, Plutarch selects two other species to represent two primeval kinds of poetry and in the process to uncover another kind of motive for such an identification: 'what music, what grace do we not find in the natural, untaught warbling of birds! To this the most eloquent and musical of our poets bear witness when they compare their sweetest songs and poems to the singing of swans and nightingales' (Moralia, 'The Cleverness of Animals' 973A). A poet imitates a bird in order to construct an art that appears natural. By identifying with a natural singer, the poet hopes to reproduce nature through his art. The art itself is nature.44 The birds the poet imitates, says Plutarch, are the nightingale and the swan. These are the same two species from which, says Democritus, musicians created the art of music. An archaeology of poetic origins thus reveals that our two most primitive genres of poetry trace to an avian origin: pastoral, to a Panic imitation of the nightingale; lyric, to an Apollonian imitation of the swan. We can thereby divide our archaeology into a pastoral or Panic plot and a lyric or Apollonian one. The Panic plot corresponds to the first of the four generic constructs forming Spenser's career: pastoral. The Apollonian plot corresponds to the remaining three: epic, love lyric, and hymn. The division of the four genres into Panic and Apollonian modes acquires authority from the classical myth of Pan and his singing contest with Apollo (Ovid, Metamorphoses XI.153-73), from Spenser's use of the famous singing contest in The Shepheardes Calender (Jan 72-3, June 65-78), and from modern critics (Montrose, ' "The perfecte paterne" ' 39,43,52; Berger, Revisionary Play 352-3). In the Panic plot of our archaeology, Scaliger reveals an avian origin for pastoral when noting that the shepherd's musical instrument, which the Greeks called 'syrinx' and the Romans 'fistula/ consisted of 'seven pipes, which were of different sizes, but graded in the shape of a wing' (l.iv: 27; see Pollux, Onomasticon iv.og). Such a description is consistent with the archaeological evidence, which represents the syrinx from the Roman period as wing-shaped. Literary evidence complements the archaeological; for example, a pattern poem in The Greek Anthology, The Pipe of Theocritus,' is in the shape of a wing (xv.2i). Such evidence helps explain why Spenser repeatedly uses the avian word quill to designate the pastoral instrument.45 But did the ur-inventors model the syrinx or pan-pipe on a particular bird? Although I cannot answer this question with certainty, I should like to advance the case for the species that Aristophanes designates the 'mistress of melody' (Birds 679; trans. Hadas 255): the nightingale. Both


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the Odyssey (xix.5i8-24> and Wbrte and Days (203-12) imply what an Anglo-Saxon riddle makes explicit: the nightingale is 'earth's oldest poet' (qtd in Garrod 140). In fact, the Greek word aëdon means both poet and nightingale (Garrod 134; A.L. Ford 85-6). This etymology corresponds with the tradition in which pastoral is the oldest form of poetry. In the Idylls, Theocritus seems to have been working from such a correspondence (1.144, v. 136-7, Vlll.i38, xxn.6-7; see Epigram ^.13-14). The correspondence appears as early as the Homeric Hymn To Pan' (16-18), and it reappears in a pattern poem from The Greek Anthology, The Egg/ where Simias tells how a nightingale gives birth to Dorian poetry (xv.27). By the medieval period, the correspondence becomes an assumption in such poems as The Owl and the Nightingale (319-20) and in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde (111.1233-9). The assumption holds into the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with two quite different pastoral archaeologists: Herbert ('Jordan' [l] 11-15) and Pope (Pastorals, 'Spring' 11-16). Since Scaliger identifies the oldest form of poetry as the pastoral, and since he follows a well-established tradition - clear in Lucretius, Plutarch, and Athenaeus - that the pastoral instrument is invented from the model of a bird, I speculate that in its original form the pastoral syrinx was invented on the model of the nightingale. This is precisely Drayton's inference in The Owle: 'Philomel in Spring, / Teaching by Art her little one to sing; / By whose cleere voice sweet Musike first was found, / Before AMPHYON ever knew a sound' (83-6). As Drayton's representational scholarship reveals, Spenser had authority for identifying Philomela as the myth of our earliest kind of poetry.46 In the Apollonian plot of our archaeology, Callimachus attributes the origin of lyric poetry to the movement and song of the swan at the birth of Apollo: 'with music the swans, the gods' own minstrels, left Maeonian Pactolus and circled seven times round Délos, and sang over the bed of child-birth, the Muses' birds, most musical of all birds that fly. Hence that child in after days strung the lyre with just so many strings - seven strings, since seven times the swans sang over the pangs of birth' (Hymn rv, To Délos' 249-54). In this account, the swans, 'the gods' own minstrels' and 'the Muses' birds,' function as midwives to the birth of Apollo, so that the god of music and poetry creates the seven-stringed lyre in imitation of both the swans' sevenfold flight around his native soil and their sevenfold song at his birth. Callimachus represents the process of avian imitation itself, and in so doing mythologizes the origin of the lyric genre he pens. Archaeological evidence confirms Callimachus' magnificent aetiology of lyric poetry. For more than two thousand years musicians of Minoan-

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


Mycenean culture constructed lyres in the shape of swans (fig. 8). Like the syrinx or pan-pipe, the lyre owes its genesis to the nature of a bird - a genesis that itself reveals an avian origin for the art of lyric poetry.47 A verse shard of the swan origin of lyric poetry appears as early as the Homeric Hymn To Apollo' (xxi.i-4). It appears more explicitly in the Birds (769-76), in The Greek Anthology (IX.88), and in the Elegies of Propertius (ll.xxxiv.83~4). The swan origin of lyric poetry survives into medieval literature. In The Complaint of Nature, for instance, Alain de Lille writes, 'The swan, herald of its own death, foretold with its honeysweet lyre of music the stopping of its life' (Prose 1.229-31). The myth of the Apollonian swan/lyre joins the myth of the Panic pan-pipe/ nightingale as archaeological evidence for the primeval link between the bird and the poet.48 As with the nightingale and the genre of pastoral, Spenser could have found precedent for selecting the myth of the swan as his myth of lyric poetry. In addition to classical origins, the myth of the winged poet has scriptural origins. The avian myth is a natural choice as a representation of the Christian poet because the bird enjoys a special privilege in the Christian cosmos. It is the only creature from the order of nature capable of ascent to the order of grace: The creation of the birds on the fifth day was for mankind a present indication of salvation to come' (Hart 23). From the account in Genesis (i: 20-3), and the symbolism emerging from the Middle Ages in such influential bestiaries as the Physiologus, a Renaissance poet could privilege the bird as a premier intermediary linking earth with heaven, time with eternity, history with salvation, the individual with God.49 Elsewhere in Scripture, the bird functions as a sign of divine power. In the Old Testament, Yahweh recurrently appears like a bird (Exodus 19: 4; Deuteronomy 32: 11). Consequently, he asks Job, 'Shal the hauke flie by thy wisdome, stretching out his wyngs toward the South? Doeth the egle mount up at thy comandement, or make his nest on hye?' (39: 29-30). Similarly, throughout Psalms David envisions Yahweh as a protective bird (17: 8, 36: 7, 57: i, 63: 7, 91: 4). As a result of Yahweh's avian identity - in particular, that of an eagle - Ezekiel envisions one face in the chariot of God as the head of an eagle (Ezekiel i: 10), the New Testament antitype of which appears in St John's corresponding vision (Revelation 4: 7). This typology leads to an iconographical tradition associating St John with the eagle (Southmayd 73, 90). The authority of a divine avian identity emerges from a subsequent image, which recurs throughout the Bible and functions as a scriptural analogue of the classical myth of the winged poet: the prophet or divine


Spenser's Famous Flight

singer identifies with a bird (cf. Hart 193-210 on The Flying Saint'). Isaiah, for instance, laments, 'Like a crane or a swalow, so did I chatter: I did mourne as a dove: mine eies were lift up on hie' (Isaiah 38: 14; see 59:11). In Psalms, David recurrently identifies with a bird; in Psalm 55, he wishes he had 'wings like a doove' (55: 6; see 11: i, 102: 7, 124: 7). Hence, throughout Scripture the avian image is integral with prophecy, as when Jeremiah advises, 'O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rockes, and be like the dove, that maketh her neste in the sides of the holes mouth' (Jeremiah 48: 28). Such a representation permits St Augustine to argue that 'spiritual men' are 'prophetically indicated by the symbol of the dove and the pigeon' in Genesis 15: 9 (City of God XVI.43: 710; see XVI.24: 681-3). In the sixteenth century, Du Bartas identifies David as the divine poet precisely by relying on the most ancient avian species of the poet (one not represented in Scripture): 'Scarce was hee borne, when in his Cradle prest / The Nightingale to build her tender nest' (Divine Weeks Ill.iv.i.93i-2). Thus, when a Renaissance poet like Spenser presents himself identifying with a bird, or otherwise evokes the myth of the winged poet, he is likely coalescing the scriptural myth of the prophet or divine singer with the classical myth of the poet in order to reveal the prophetic authority of his art. He is a divine minister of grace, an intermediary between heaven and earth, the earthly and the heavenly city, history and eternity, fame and glory. In making this avian identification, the poet is not merely imitating a classical text, such as that of Virgil; he is also imitating prophets like Isaiah, divine singers like David, and ultimately God. 'Segnior Pegaso': Spenser's Courtly Myth of Fame and Glory Early in his career, Spenser appears to have selected the myth of Pegasus as his arch-myth of the Christian poet, at least on those occasions when he wished to relate poetic fame to Christian glory. In a letter to Spenser, Gabriel Harvey remarks that 'gentle Mistresse Rosalinde once ... christened [Spenser] her Segnior Pegaso' (Three Letters in G.G. Smith i: 106). Harvey does not explain why 'Rosalinde' christened the New Poet 'Segnior Pegaso,' but perhaps she was responding to something Spenser communicated to her. The phrasing Harvey selects creates a lens through which to view Spenser's use of Pegasus. To the classical myth, Harvey attaches the Christian word 'christening,' and he intertexrually relates an Italian social station to the station of the new Pegasus as the fountain of Renaissance humanism.

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


Throughout his poetry, Spenser refers to the Pegasus myth seven times (Aprill 211-17, f Q l.ix.ai, xi.42, Hl.xi.42, Time 421-7, 645-58, leaves 271); he also alludes to the myth elsewhere in important ways (June 65-80, Am i, Am So, Ep 190, FQ Vl.ix.36), and I shall return to each of them in subsequent chapters. Possibly, too, we need to read Pegasus into any image of the winged Muse, since a tradition exists that does precisely this. Propertius, for instance, calls the Muses 'Pegásides' (Elegies Iil.ii.i9: 'Pegasid Muses'), as does 'Virgil' (Catalepton ix.2). The most famous example, however, is Dante's phrase for his muse: 'diva Pegasea' (Paradiso xvili.82; see Sayers and Reynolds ed. 3: 22i).5° The Pegasus myth is significant here because it is a myth about the origin and end of poetic art. In the Theogony, Hesiod tells how Perseus slays the Gorgon-headed Medusa, from whose blood is bred both Chyrsaor the golden warrior and 'Pegasus the horse, who is so called / Because his birth was near to Ocean's springs': 'And Pegasus / Flew from the earth which nurtures sheep, and came / To join the immortal gods. And there he lives / In the house of Zeus, and brings the lightning-shaft / And thunder to wise Zeus' (280-6; trans. Wender; see Ovid, Metamorphoses ¥.323-3, trans. Golding; Fasti 111.455-8; and Ex Ponto lV.viii-75-82). Thus, in the Renaissance Boccaccio interprets the myth as a myth about the origin of poetic fame: 'Ego hunc equum faman rerum gestarum aribotor' (Genealogy X.27; qtd in Lotspeich 98). In his gloss to 'Helicon' in the Aprill eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender (42), E.K. supplies a similar interpretation: 'of which spring it is sayd, that when Pegasus the winged horse of Perseus (which is meant fame and flying renowme) strooke the grownde with his hoofe, sodenly thereout sprange a wel of moste cleare and pleasaunte water, which fro thence forth was consecrate to the Muses and Ladies of learning' (213-17).5' In The Ruines of Time, Spenser's second Pegasus reference (on the first, see the introduction) suggests how he understands poetic fame: Still as I gazed, I beheld where stood A Knight all arm'd, upon a winged steed, The same that was bred of Medusaes blood, On which Dan Perseus borne of heavenly seed, The faire Andromeda from perill freed: Fainting at last through long infirmities, He smote his steed, that straight to heaven him bore, And left me here his losse for to deplore.



Spenser's Famous Flight

The knight is Sidney, for whom Perseus is an appropriate image, since the great Christian warrior used military prowess to earn renown. Yet Spenser is representing Sidney also as a famous poet. The reference to Andromeda refers to his championing of wedded love in his writings, especially The New Arcadia. This reading is confirmed by the reference to the 'winged steed,' for Pegasus is a sign, not of fame in general, but of poetic fame in particular. In saying that the knight 'smote his steed, that straight to heaven him bore,' Spenser is suggesting the way in which Sidney's poetics of heroic love, itself the product of careful reading, created a poetic immortality that led to his apotheosis and salvation. Through the Pegasus myth, in other words, Spenser captures the complex process by which the quest for fame metamorphoses into the quest for glory (see Schell, Oram et al. 228). In Christianizing the winged horse, Spenser is working from a strong medieval tradition (see introduction, note 17). For Dante, the myth of Pegasus was consonant with the new project of the Christian poet who relies on poetic immortality to achieve Christian glory: 'O divine Pegase, who give glory unto men of genius and render them long-lived' (Paradiso XVIII.82-3). This tradition is alive in seventeenth-century England, for the Spenserian poet Phineas Fletcher coalesces the white horse of Revelation (19:11-20, as the marginal notes direct) with the classical white horse in order to address the Word of God: 'Oh is not this the time, when mounted high / Upon thy Pegasus of heavenly breed, / With bloody armes, white armies, flaming eye, / Thou vow'st in blood to swimme thy snowy steed; / And staine thy bridle with a purple dye?' (The Locusts V-34). Yet for Spenser Du Barias had likely intervened. In L'Uranie, the French poet discovers his inspiration, not in 'th' Immortall Fountaine' dug by 'the winged hoove / Of Pegasus/ but in 'th' Holy-Ghost, type't in a Silver Dove' (slanza 62 in the Haber éd.). Consequently, in the next century Milton will close the entire Renaissance by selecting as his 'Heav'nly Muse' the dovelike Holy Spirit (Paradise Lost 1.6,20-1), and he will command 'Urania' to 'Descend from Heav'n': "by that name / ... whose Voice divine / Following, above th'Olympian Hill I soar, / Above the flight of Pegasean wing' (vn.i-4). Thus, whereas divine poets like Milton and Du Bartas define their Christian projects by rejecting the classical myth of Pegasus, Fletcher and Dante do not. Unfortunately, Spenser is not as explicit as these poets. From the evidence we possess, however, I hypothesize that he relies on Pegasus to advertise the Christian significance of his courtly project; I then hypothesize that Spenser, influenced by the Du Bartas movement, turns away from this myth in his own divine poetry, Fowre Hymnes.

The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet


The Flight Pattern of the New Poet: A Contour Map In the chapters that follow, I want to argue for a contour to the 'famous flight' that has five principal phases, with the most complex phase, the third, having three subphases: - in phase i, the pastoral poet 'prove[s his]... tender wyngs' by writing The Shepheardes Calender (E.K., Epistle 162-3): through a vatic vision of Dido walking free in the Elysian fields, he acquires vatic authority - in phase 2, the epic poet 'make[s] the greater flyght' (E.K., Epistle 163) by writing the 1590 Faerie Queene, Books I-III: he uses vatic authority to order the commonwealth of Gloriana - in phase 33, unable to sustain the flight, he ceases his national epic somewhere amid the second instalment - most likely between Books V and VI - in phase 3b, grounded by his beloved, Elizabeth Boyle, the lyric poet 'sports' his 'Muse' in 'pleasant mew' (Am So: 9-10) in order to renew his epic strength - in phase 3C, inspired by his love lyric, the epic poet continues the 'greater flyght' by completing the second instalment - especially Book VI - in phase 4, eventually disillusioned with his epic (vi.xii.4O-i), the hymnic poet 'flye[s] back to heaven apace' by writing Fowre Hymnes: he turns from history and politics to heaven and salvation, embodied in Sapience - but in phase 5, for reasons that remain lost to us, the national poet formally announces his return to 'mery London' by writing Prothalamion (127): inspired by the Somerset swans, he turns from heaven back into history The pattern of the laureate career, Helgerson writes, is 'nearly tragic,' for it ends not in a 'repentant return' but in 'lonely disillusionment' (Self-Crowned Laureates 51). From such concrete evidence as the October eclogue and its typological fulfilment in Spenser's practice, I suggest that the poet did construct a laureate career ending in repentance; that he designed 'disillusionment' as integral to that career; and that in his last poem he stubbornly resists the closure of disillusionment that this career demands by announcing his laureate return. The flight pattern of the New Poet's career helps account for the debate between materialist and essentialist critics of Spenser's poetry because it shows the contour of Spenser's career to trace a dynamic interplay and formal hierarchy between materialist and essentialist modes of thought. For instance, phases 2, 33, 3C, and 5 are all funda-


Spenser's Famous Flight

mentally materialist, because they show the poet descending into matter - nature, court, or city. By contrast, phases i and 4 are fundamentally essentialist, because they show the poet ascending from matter to spirit - the Elysian fields or heaven itself. Phase 3b is particularly important because it identifies the centrality of the love lyric as a genre incarnating essence in matter: Elizabeth Boyle's 'heavenly hew' (Am 80: 11). This career pattern helps us dismantle the unfortunate dichotomy in Spenser studies between materialist and essentialist modes of criticism by locating both modes of the poet's thought at strategic positions along the complex contour of his career. The flight of the New Poet reveals that Spenser's importance as an artist lies in reconciling these two great ideologies or world-views into a coherent pattern securing the individual's salvation. The coherence of this pattern emerges in the unity of or identity between self and 'Other' in the materialist and essentialist ports of entry: in the ports of matter, the feminine figures of Nature, Gloriana, and the Somerset swans; in the ports of spirit, the feminine figures of Dido and Sapience; and in the port incarnating spirit in matter, the feminine figure of Elizabeth Boyle. As I have indicated in the introduction, the birds with whom the winged poet identifies are all female. From our vantage point today, the male poet's identification with a female bird at each feminine port of his career may appear to inscribe a repressive and authoritarian patriarchal ideology. In the history of gender relations, however, Spenser's identification forms a significant bridge between medieval and modern attitudes. In its own historical environment, Spenser's representation of the famous flight reveals at once an astute reading of Western poetics and a personal admission of the shared source, vehicle, and end of the male poet's prophetic art: the female's great creating nature.

2 Pastoral, or Proving Tender Wings: Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender

The Nightingale is Sovereigne of Song. Spenser, November

In the inaugural phase of his literary career, the New Poet imitates Virgil by writing a pastoral poem. Spenser's immediate goal in writing The Shepheardes Calender is thus career-based. He aims to establish his authority as England's new national poet - an heir of Tityrus,' that figure who evokes both his native medieval heir, Chaucer, and his Continental classical one, Virgil, as the two descend from a common archetype, Orpheus. Spenser's career-based goal implies that he defines pastoral poetry (or redefines it) in careeric terms - as a genre that contributes to a literary career. He understands pastoral as a genre in which the young poet demonstrates his authority to wear his country's laureate wreath. Spenser's careeric definition in turn implies a more mimetic self-representation in his central poet-figure, Colin Clout, than many critics are willing to permit. In this light, Spenser's reinvention of the pastoral spoke in the Virgilian Wheel warrants a fresh response to an old problem. In a poem that ostensibly demonstrates his preparation for a national epic, the New Poet presents his persona seeming to fail in that endeavour. Colin's love of Rosalinde appears to sabotage his public aspirations, and at the end of the poem he lapses into 'transcendence' - withdrawal from those aspirations. In the November eclogue, Colin joyfully longs for death (193) after envisioning the spirit of the recently departed Dido walking free in the Elysian fields (179), and in December he hangs his oaten pipe upon a tree (141), bidding adieu to all earthly delight, including Rosalinde (151-6).


Spenser's Famous Flight

Relying on various definitions of pastoral, critics offer three competing views of Colin's transcendence at the end of the Calender. Critics oriented to classical culture view the transcendence as defining the essence of Theocritean and Virgilian pastoral, the individual's retreat into otium to experience 'the ideal of the good life' (H.D. Smith, Elizabethan Poetry 2). Critics oriented to Christian culture view the transcendence as defining the essence of scriptural 'pastoral,' the individual's reliance on 'imagination' to free himself from the 'cycle of nature' so as to participate in a 'transcendent realm' (MacCaffrey, 'Allegory and Pastoral' 121, 127-8, 132-3). And New Historical critics view the transcendence as violating the essential definition of Elizabethan pastoral, 'the relations of power' (Montrose, ' "Eliza" ' 153).1 By concentrating on Spenser's reinvention of the Virgilian Wheel, I argue that Spenser neither idolizes Colin's transcendence, as critics oriented to classical and Christian cultures suggest, nor criticizes it, as New Historical critics suggest. Rather, he locates it in 'the perfecte paterne of a Poete' (Oct, Arg). Critics do not agree as to what the 'perfecte paterne of a Poete' refers. Louis Montrose, for instance, says that it refers to the poet's three-stage development from time to eternity, figured in Colin's 'amorous courtship of Rosalind, social courtship of Eliza, [and] spiritual courtship of Dido,' finding the pattern embodied in Piers's advice to Cuddie in October, once the poet fails to find a 'place' for 'pierlesse Poesye' in 'Princes pallace' (79-81): Then make thee winges of thine aspyring wit, / And, whence thou camst, flye backe to heaven apace' (83-4).2 By contrast, Annabel Patterson says that the pattern refers to 'the [three] stages of Vergil's model career' - pastoral, georgic, and epic - as outlined by Cuddie at lines 55-59-3 To clarify the 'perfecte paterne,' I should like to borrow a principle Patterson states in another context: E.K.'s 'function' is 'not to explain but ... to incite the reader to interpretive speculation' (127). E.K. mentions the pattern to incite us to speculate on the idea of the 'perfecte paterne.' If Spenser formed such a pattern, of what would it consist? Since the Calender provokes critics to think about both Colin's development in an experiential process and the New Poet's progression through a career model, we may hypothesize that Spenser forms a pattern relating the two. We can then trace a pattern that does not consist of either the poet's threefold development from time to eternity or the poet's threefold progression through 'Vergil's model career,' but rather one that circumscribes both while extending each. The 'perfecte paterne,' I shall argue, consists of a four-stage experiential process that prepares the Orphic poet for a career that has four phases.

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


As I suggested in Chapter i, Spenser presents the second part of the 'paterne' in the October eclogue. The poet's career model comprises phases that I term pastoral, epic, love lyric, and hymn. In this eclogue, Spenser projects the career that he will pen in order to claim Orphic status. As I shall argue here, in the Colin Clout eclogues - Januarye, Aprill, June, the August sestina, November, and December - Spenser presents the first part of the 'paterne.' The poet's experiential process comprises stages that I term Original Identity, Fall, Vatic Vision, and Vatic Virtue. The Calender is important as an inaugural poem because it represents both the complex process by which the New Poet began his career and the equally complex program by which he will complete it. To forge the hinge between the experiential and the career parts of the 'perfecte paterne,' Spenser represents Colin undergoing 'transcendence' - vatic vision and public withdrawal. Spenser depicts Colin undergoing 'transcendence' in order to identify the centre of 'the perfecte paterne of a Poete' - the experience that inaugurates the New Poet's career. In turn, this experience leads to the Augustinian act of fledgling identity: conversion. Having experienced a vision of heaven in November that converts him to the faith, the young poet acquires the vatic authority - the wisdom and power - necessary to fashion readers on earth. Hanging up his pipe in December and bidding adieu to earthly delight, Colin rightly demonstrates a preliminary understanding of the natural world. Having seen a vision of eternal life, he desires to withdraw from the natural cycle of death. But in doing so he anticipates a final understanding that he himself does not exhibit. The poet desires to return to the world because he realizes that his ordering of nature precedes salvation - both his own and that of individuals in his country. Spenser leaves Colin on the threshold of making this discovery in order to observe pastoral decorum (to cross the threshold would be to transgress the boundary of epic), to avoid an over-bold claim as a divine poet in the tradition of Dante, and to dramatize the difficult transition the young poet needs to make between pastoral and epic - a transition Spenser himself had to make simply to begin the poem. Through wisdom about the dynamic relation between the orders of nature and grace, the pastoral poet prepares himself to write epic. In this sense, Spenser defines pastoral, not as a philosophical, a theological, or a political genre, but as a careeric one.4 As the October eclogue intimates, Spenser will trace Colin's progression through the experiential process by relying on the same sign of self-representation that he uses to project the career idea: the 'famous flight' (88). Significantly, Spenser uses a major avian image to signal


Spenser's Famous Flight

each stage of the four-part experiential process in the Colin Clout eclogues. These images cohere by relating Colin's progression toward maturity - from time to eternity - to the telos of his career, poetic fame and Christian glory. The principle of 'transcendence' forming the centre of this inaugural phase resembles the flight back to heaven that forms the centre of the valedictory phase, the hymn; but in pastoral, transcendence functions more as a prophecy of the way in which the fledgling poet's poetic fame will lead to Christian glory. In the Calender as a whole, Spenser uses forty-eight avian images. Of these, thirty-seven sustain vocational significance. Of these, twentyseven relate to Colin Clout, and ten liken him to or associate him with particular birds: once each with the owl, the swallow, the dove, and the swan; twice with the lark; and four times with the nightingale. Of all the birds, then, the nightingale emerges as Colin's bird. Significantly, Colin's identification with the nightingale occurs only in that part of the poem depicting his transcendence - a stage of experience that begins in his August sestina (not in November, as critics usually argue). In November, for instance, Thenot defers to Colin when faced with the prospect of eulogizing the lovely Dido: The Nightingale is sovereigne of song, / Before him sits the Titmose silent bee' (25-6). By associating his persona with the 'sovereigne of song,' Spenser appears to be identifying the nightingale as the bird of pastoral poetry; the myth of Philomela, as the arch-myth of pastoral. In doing so, he is returning to a Theocritean identification of the pastoral poet that Virgil evidently rejects by identifying the pastoral poet as a dove (Eclogues 1.57-8 and lx.ii-13). By attending to the Philomela myth, we can thus discover how a poet like Spenser defines pastoral and how intertextually he arrives at his definition. I shall argue that Spenser relies on the Philomela myth because he finds in it a representation of the poet who flies from the city to the woods in order to sing a transcendent song that renews nature. This flight forms the inaugural event in his quest for fame and glory. The underlying avian representation reveals how the poet's pastoral flight from the city can be instrumental to his epic rebuilding of the city.5 To develop this argument, I want to explore the pastoral dimension of the Philomela myth a bit further. Then I look briefly at the avian imagery in the prefatory material to the Calender. Next, I rely on avian imagery to trace the four-stage experiential process preparing the New Poet for his Orphic career. I conclude first by looking briefy at the 'Envoy' and then by making some summarizing comments on Spenserian pastoral.

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


'The Warbling Pipe': Philomela and Pastoral A passage from The leaves of the Muses confirms the inference that Spenser selects the myth of Philomela as the arch-myth of pastoral. Euterpe, the Muse of lyric poetry, 'whose joy was earst with Spirit full / To teach the warbling pipe to sound aloft' (289-90), likens herself and her sister Muses to Taire Philomele' (236), because they, like that 'dearling of the Summers pryde' (235), have experienced a tragic loss. Just as the nightingale has lost the 'goodly fields' to 'winters stormie wrath' (236-7), so the Muses have lost the 'pleasant groves' in which the 'Shepheards swaines / Were wont so oft their Pastoralls to sing, / ... / That now no pastorall is to bee hard' (277-82). Philomela's pastoral flight and consequent silence amid the 'despoyled' fields (238) model the condition of the Muses: 'All comfortlesse [she] doth hide her chearlesse head / During the time of that her widowhead' (239-40). Despite the Muses' dejection - or because of it - Euterpe 'mourne[s] and wailefs] incessantly, / Till please the heavens afford me remedy' (293-4). In this passage, Spenser uses the Philomela myth to represent a historical suppression of pastoral poetry by 'monstrous error flying in the ayre/ the 'Image of hellish horrour, Ignorance' (257-9), represented by 'fowle Goblins and Shriekowles' (283). Underlying the representation is a very careful reading of the pastoral tradition. In complaining that the Elizabethan power structure and its poetasters have ruined poetry, Spenser turns to the myth of a female bird that has been raped and silenced. Specifically, Spenser is historicizing the Panic or pastoral plot in our avian archaeology of poetic origins (chapter i). Thus he associates the pastoral instrument with the avian myth of the winged poet. Euterpe's synecdoche 'warbling pipe' superbly represents this association - the word warble having for Spenser, as for Shakespeare and Milton, an avian connotation (see OED, headnote). The pastoral poet is he who pipes like a bird. But just as important, Spenser likens the piper literally, his muse - to that species called by Aristophanes the 'mistress of melody' (Birds 679; trans. Hadas 255).6 Within The Teares of the Muses, the nightingale is important as a generic indicator. She is a figure of complaint. Spenser's simile lacks precision; the 'hid[ing]' nightingale (239) is like the 'wayling' Muses (246). But elsewhere he consistently identifies the nightingale as a figure of complaint, and he tends to emphasize the renewing power of her song: 'the Nightingale [is] wont forth to powre / Her restles plaints, to


Spenser's Famous Flight

comfort wakefull Lovers' (Time 131-2). In Daphnaida, Alcyon thus turns to Philomela as a strategy of elegiac consolation: 'I will wake and sorrow all the night / With Philumene, my fortune to deplore, / With Philumene, the partner of my plight' (474-6). The immediate source of Alcyon's consolation is native - Gascoigne's Complaynt of Phylomene (Variorum Edition 7, pt i: 446). But the original source is the myth of Philomela itself, rendered by Spenser at greatest length in Virgils Gnat, where the nightingale Philomela, the swallow Procne, and the lapwing Tereus 'call ... evermore ... lamenting sore ... eternally complaine / Of others wrong, and suffer endles paine' (402-7). This is the resonant note sounded by the myth. While Spenser's 'Virgilian' rendering of the eternal complaint here rings with grim irony (in honour of the horrific butchery and cannibalism provoking the complaint), elsewhere he elides the irony in favour of the nightingale's power of song, as the examples from The Ruines of Time and Daphnaida indicate. As the Philomela-like Euterpe says, such a song aims to secure a 'remedy' from 'the heavens.'7 In The Metamorphoses, Ovid supplies our most detailed account of the Philomela myth. He tells how Tereus imprisons his beautiful sister-inlaw in 'a pelting graunge that peakishly did stand / In woods forgrowen' (¥1.663-4; trans. Golding). In this forest habitation, he rapes the maiden - as the hawk does the dove (671-3). In response, Philomela 'to heavenward cast / Hir hands in mourningwise/ crying, 'if thou keepe me still / As prisoner in these woods, my voyce the verie woods shall fill, / And make the stones to understand' (696-8). To prevent Philomela's communication with earth and heaven, Tereus cuts out her tongue. Resourcefully, however, Philomela communicates with Procne by sending a tapestry of 'weaved purple letters ... which bewraide / The wicked deede of Tereus' (737-8). After Procne rescues her, the sisters plot Tereus' downfall. They cut up his son, Itys, and serve him as a dish to his father, then inform Tereus of the crime. When he chases them, they flee, and all three metamorphose into birds. While Ovid does not specify which sister becomes which bird, interpreters agree that Philomela becomes the nightingale, the bird that 'flies' to 'woodward,' while Procne becomes the swallow, the bird that stays 'about the house' (846). It is this paradigm that I think so important to Spenser's paradigm of pastoral and epic. Philomela's flight from the city to the woods identifies the pastoral environment as the locale necessary for the creation of transcendent song. Just as the nightingale sits amid the trees to sing a song that reaches nature and the Gods, as Aristophanes and others indicate, so Philomela the woman uses her 'voyce' to 'fill' the 'woods,' to 'make the

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


stones to understand/ and to reach 'all the Gods and powres therein' (697-9). Philomela Orphically relates earth to heaven. The source of Philomela's Orphic power is enormous personal loss. Paradoxically, from the intensity of her loss she produces the distinct telos of her song: fame. She is the mistress of melody. Through a complex process of rape, mutilation, and metamorphosis into a 'higher condition' (Barkan 66), Philomela converts an occasion to despair into one of faith. Her consequent communication is sweetly sad; its form, elegiac. She sings a complaint about human loss powerful enough to render her immortal. It is the elegiac significance of the myth that Spenser appropriates for his interpretation of pastoral and its relation to epic. Put simply, Philomela functions as a metonym for Spenserian pastoral as it prepares the poet for epic: 'away / to woodward flies' (845-6)." In emphasizing Philomela's transcendent elegiac significance, Spenser is drawing on an ancient pastoral tradition. Poets from Theocritus to Marot use the nightingale as the bird of pastoral because Philomela models the poet who withdraws from the public world into the otium of the natural world in order to sing a sweet song of love that renders him immortal. In the words of Theocritus, 'golden nightingales resound in trills / the honied strainings of articulate throats' (Epigrams IV.13-14; trans. Rist). As the legendary founder of the pastoral genre, Theocritus is responsible for identifying the 'clear-tongued nightingale / most musical of all birds' (XII.6-y) as the bird of pastoral. Hence, he associates Daphnis, his archetype of the poet, with the mistress of melody in order to represent the poet who celebrates the natural world: 'Fountains and fallows, springing to delight, if truly / Daphnis sings songs like the nightingales' (vill.37-8). But Theocritus also associates the dying Daphnis with the mistress of melody, thereby establishing an elegiac tradition that becomes central to the genre: 'all things be confounded: pines grow pears! / Since Daphnis is dying, the hart may harry the hounds, / and mountain owls find tongue of nightingale!' (1.142-4). Theocritus' classical heirs build upon the foundation of the Idylls. In the Lament for Bion, for example, Moschus clarifies the elegiac function of the pastoral sovereign of song: 'You nightingales that complain in the thick leafage, tell to Arethusa's fountain of Sicily that neatherd Bion is dead, and with him dead is music, and gone with him likewise the Dorian poesy' (9-12). From their position in the trees, the nightingales acquire the authority to communicate to the natural world the death of the poet and all 'Dorian poesy.' Although Virgil rewrites Theocritus by replacing the nightingale with the dove as the bird of pastoral, in


Spenser's Famous Flight

Eclogue vi he refers to her elegiac function when he presents Tityrus singing the song of Silenus, which concludes with the myth of Philomela and her swift flight into the woods (78-81). In the Renaissance, however, the elegiac function becomes more apparent - in Sannazaro (Arcadia 1.22-4, 31-3; Chap. 9, p. 92; Chap. 10, p. 111; XI.46-69; i2:22o-i) and in Marot (Lament for Madame Louise of Savoy 29, 125). While both Continental poets emphasize the elegiac function of the nightingale, they tend to limit her function to her power over the order of nature. Philomela sits amid the trees and sings her song throughout the natural world. She achieves poetic fame, not Christian glory. In his Eclogues, however, Mantuan returns the nightingale to her position as the primary bird of pastoral, and he hints that her elegiac song extends beyond the natural world. In Eclogue IX, for instance, he tells how Philomela sings 'sundrie tunes' that 'make the Groves to ring / with shrill and shrieking cries/ so that The aire that shooke the leavie boughs / from Eurus did arise' (sig. M.vi; see Eclogues 2, sig. Ciiv; Eclogues 4, sig. E.ivv, sig. E.v, sig. E.viii; and Eclogues 5, sig. G.vii). For Mantuan, as for Theocritus and Moschus, the nightingale sings from her position amid the leaves to ring her complaint throughout nature and above it. To discover an explicitly Christian version of the nightingale, however, we need to turn to medieval and Renaissance poets who write what we might term Christian pastoral. These poets use the nightingale as a Christian sign of salvific transcendence - of the way in which poetic fame contributes to Christian glory. In the Enigmas of Aldhelm, for example, a nightingale sings, 'Foreknowing death, not yet my singing dies; / The winter kills me, but with spring I rise' (qtd in Garrod 139). The avian pattern of seasonal migration represents the Christian pattern of salvation, the triumph of divine poetry over death and time. Sometimes the Christian symbolism extends directly to the poet's own transcendence. In The Flower and the Leaf, which Spenser would have attributed to Chaucer, the poet 'ravished was / Into Paradysë' through the song of his own personal nightingale (qtd in Garrod 144). For the Chaucerian poet, as for Aldhelm, the song of the avian sovereign figures the transcendent song of the Christian poet, the very means by which he rises to glory. On the Continent and in England, the humanist poets turn to Philomela to construct their projects in genres other than the pastoral. But Petrarch and Gascoigne likely influence Spenser in The Shepheardes Calender. In Song 311 of the Rime sparse, for instance, Petrarch presents himself identifying with the nightingale as he struggles to contend with the death of Laura:

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


That nightingale that so sweetly weeps, perhaps for his children or for his dear consort, fills the sky and the fields with sweetness in so many grieving, skillful notes, and all night he seems to accompany me and remind me of my harsh fate. (1-6)

Petrarch alludes to the Orphic nightingale in Virgil's Georgics (see introduction), for he shows the nightingale weeping either for his lost children or his lost mate - a coalescing of the two alternatives Virgil provides, since the nightingale herself weeps for her children and Orpheus for his mate. But Petrarch changes the gender of the nightingale, and even more than Virgil he emphasizes the bird's labour. In addition to the profound 'sweetness' of his weeping, the nightingale 'fills' both the sky and the fields with his 'grieving, skilful notes' - a phrase that metonymically renders the idea Virgil wishes to emphasize, grief creating literary excellence, loss leading to fame. Since the nightingale fills both 'the sky and the fields' with these notes, he uses immortal song to relate earth and heaven. Subsequently, Petrarch relies on the nightingale to understand his 'harsh fate': 'Now I know that my fierce destiny wishes me to learn, living and weeping, how nothing down here both pleases and endures' (12-14). Petrarch's identification with the nightingale thus persuades him of the need for transcendence. This is a stunning moment of self-definition. On moments like this one, Petrarch expects to build his fame and secure his glory (see chapter i). In the prologue to The Steele Glas, Gascoigne invents a myth of Dame Satyra, her sister Poesy, and Poesy's husband, Vayne Delight, modeled on Philomela, Procne, and Tereus (2:143-7). More clearly than any poet I have read, Gascoigne emphasizes the nightingale's generic identity. She is the bird of 'Satyra' or complaint (2: 146). Gascoigne shows Philomela to be under the protection of grace. Her harsh rape and subsequent sweet song appear to enact the doctrine of the fortunate fall underlying the Christian myth (2: 146). Influencing Spenser (E.K., Nov 258-64), he emphasizes her powers of consolation: The Nightingale ... / Whose chereful voice, doth comfort saddest wights, / When she hir self, hath little cause to sing, / Whom lovers love, bicause she plaines their grèves, / She wraies their woes, and yet relieves their payne' (2: 143). In The Complaynt of Phylomene, Gascoigne compares the nightingale's powerful song to the song of Orpheus (2: 180). More centrally than Petrarch - and most Continental writers - Gascoigne discovers in the myth a precise model of the Orphic poet writing generically and intertextually.


Spenser's Famous Flight

From this analysis, we can divide the myth of Philomela into two phases. In an Arcadian phase, the female nightingale flies from the city to the forest in response to being abused by Tereus. This phase represents the poet singing a naturalist song emphasizing otium; it is probably the phase we recall the most. However, in an Athenian phase the nightingale seeks escape from the forest through a winged song that echoes from earth to heaven; she sings either sweetly or mournfully in the springtime foliage in order to achieve immortality. This phase represents the poet singing a divine song emphasizing transcendence, the conversion of poetic fame into Christian glory. The Athenian phase thus articulated helps explain why Continental poets like Sannazaro call Philomela 'Cecropia' (Eclogue 1.23) - a descendant of Cecrops, the founder of Athens (see also Ronsard: 'le Rossignol, chantre Cecropien' ['Elégie/ Les Poèmes, Book 2 (15) in volume 17 of the Laumonier edition]). I hypothesize that the two phases of the Philomela myth constitute an ur-myth of pastoral poetry - especially pastoral as a poetry of the forest in relation to epic, a poetry of the city. This is what Drayton implies in The Owle when he identifies 'Philomel' as the forerunner of 'AMPHYON' in the creation of 'Musike' (83-6; see chapter i). Since Spenser emphasizes the second or Athenian phase in The Shepheardes Calender, I suggest that he uses the nightingale to define the transcendent song of the famous pastoral poet as a preparation for epic. Creeping Out of the Nest: The Prefatory Material To understand the importance of the nightingale's song to Spenser's 'famous flight,' we need to turn to the Calender's prefatory material, where a reader of Spenser's poetry initially encounters the myth of the winged poet. In the Dedicatory Epistle, E.K. advertises Spenser's Virgilian turn from pastoral to the higher genres. The New Poet writes 'Aeglogues,' says E.K., because he is 'following the example of the best and most auncient Poetes, which devised this kind of wry ting ... to trye theyr liabilities' (155-61): 'as young birdes, that be newly crept out of the nest, by little first to prove theyr tender wyngs, before they make a greater flyght. So flew Theocritus, as you may perceive he was all ready full fledged. So flew Virgile, as not yet well feeling his winges. So flew Mantuane, as being not full somd. So Pétrarque. So Boccace; So Marot, Sanazarus ... So finally flyeth this our new Poète, as a bird, whose principals be scarce growen out, but yet as that in time shall be hable to

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


keepe wing with the best' (161-73). According to E. K, the New Poet is like a 'young birde' because he writes pastoral to prove his tender wings, before he makes a greater flight into the higher genres. The flight pattern of a maturing bird models the prophetic New Poet progressing through the generic phases of a literary career. Specifically, the bird's inaugural flight models a careeric definition of pastoral poetry. It is a genre in which the New Poet 'provefs his]... tender wyngs.' By likening the New Poet to a fledgling bird, E.K. is not merely voicing a conventional topos; he is locating the primary sign Spenser will use to prophesy the full maturation - from naive misunderstanding to vatic authority - of an English poet destined to keep wing with the best.9 In 'To His Booke/ the poem prefacing the Calender, 'Immerito' first presents the New Poet to the public by penning a bird fable. Imitating Chaucer's envoy from Troilus and Criseyde ('Go, litel bok' [V.1786]) in order to seek patronage from Sidney, he addresses his own 'little booke': 'And if that Envie barke at thee, / As sure it will, for succoure flee / Under the shadow of his wing' (5-7; emphasis added). Spenser imagines his 'little booke' as a fledgling bird seeking protection from its avian parent. His avian trope depends on the classical corollary of the avian myth, the winged poem (Pindar, Isthmian Ode v.6y, trans. Bowra). Yet his phrasing is biblical. Under the shadow of his wing' derives from such passages as Psalm 36: 7, where the divine singer David exclaims, 'How excellent is thy mercie, ô God! therefore the children of men trust under the shadowe of thy wings.' Envisioning Yahweh as a parental bird protecting its young, David signals the nurturing work of divine grace. Accordingly, St Augustine often sees himself as a fledgling bird under 'the shadow of ... [God's] wings' (Confessions IV-31: 93; X.6: 204; Xll.ii: 276; xil.13: 277). Such a representation becomes standard for the Reformers, as Luther establishes: 'I am covered under the shadow of Christ's wings, as is the chicken under the wing of the hen' (Commentary on ... Galatians 129). Together, the classical and biblical matrices of Spenser's myth form a characteristic Spenserian synthesis that situates the divine poet in a political context. He is the fledgling poet, in need of parental protection because he is vulnerable to abuse. The avian image permits Spenser to subordinate himself to Sidney in order to arouse Sidney's sympathy; it also places the New Poet with the great courtier in the only training ground capable of launching a winged career: the patronage system. Tactfully, Spenser suggests that Sidney is the divinely appointed protector of poets - a minister of grace; he also insinuates that he himself, as the fledgling under Sidney's protection, is the divine poet - the recipient


Spenser's Famous Flight

of grace. Since 'To His Booke' prefaces his pastoral poem, Spenser appears to use the avian trope to model his careeric definition of the genre. As in E.K.'s Dedicatory Epistle, Spenser's little bird-book is a fledgling trying to 'cre[e]p ... out of the nest.' Like the poet himself, The Shepheardes Calender is trying to 'prove [its] ... tender wyngs.' Although its 'principals be scarce growen out/ 'in time [it] shall be hable to keepe wing with the best.' As Immerito's references to his reputation imply ('name,' "blame,1 'shame' [13-15]), Spenser's career is scarcely seven lines old when, secretly and audaciously, he presents himself and his poetry ordained for the 'famous flight.' 'The Perfecte Paterne of a Poete': The Four-stage Experiential Process In the Colin Clout eclogues, Spenser both builds on the prefatory material and anticipates the 'Envoy' by using the avian representation to delineate the experiential part of the 'perfecte paterne of a Poete.' The Shrilling Lark: Original Identity

In the first stage of this process, Original Identity, the young poet discovers his vocation through sympathy with the natural world. In the infancy of his career, that is, the poet sees that his inner world corresponds to the world around him, and he breaks out in a song of praise. As Colin's Song of Eliza in Aprill reveals, such a song celebrates the beauty and order of the natural world, including the human one, revealing that the young poet forms his identity through a belief in nature alone - through faith in the natural world to secure happiness: 'See, where she sits upon the grassie greene, / (O seemely sight)' (55-6).10 Throughout the Calender, Spenser figures this initial stage by referring to Colin's feeling of identity with the natural choir of birds - as when in November Colin recalls how he and the other shepherds, under Dido's protection, played 'pypes, that shrild as lowde as Larke' (71). Here Spenser represents a lark origin for the initial stage of experience in which the poet gives birth to pastoral. Elsewhere in the Calender, Spenser uses the shrilling lark as a sign of original identity - that childhood state of idyllic innocence that Colin believes he loses when Dido dies. Consequently, the lark figures only the young poet's innocent misperception of his Orphic art. In Calvin's terms, Colin 'substitutefs] nature for God' (Institutes i.v.4: 56; see 37, 57-8,66 passim). Such a misperception constitutes the primitive grounding that paradoxically, yet providentially, activates his flight."

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


'The Ghastlie Owle': Fall

Since the Calender opens after the first stage ends, we see the first stage only through the lens of the second stage. Since this proves to be an important strategy, we need to consider the first two stages together. In the second stage of the experiential process, Fall, the young poet loses his harmonious identity with the natural world when he realizes that his beloved refuses to be moved by his art. As he develops, that is, the young poet sees a difference between his inner and outer worlds. Whereas he feels an intensely warm desire for his beloved, she responds with harsh coldness. Consequently, his fall produces, not a song of praise, but either cruel satire or artistic sterility. His unfulfilled love interferes with his original duty toward society; no longer is he content to celebrate the beauty and harmony of nature. Spenser figures Colin's loss of identity by referring to the shepherd's broken identity with the natural choir of birds. In December, Colin recalls the arc from Identity to Fall when reviewing his life: 'And where the chaunting birds luid me a sleepe, / The ghastlie Owle her grievous ynne doth keepe' (71-2). Where once he saw poetry as an Orphic art that charmed him into idleness, now he experiences an alertness he cannot as yet accommodate. No longer identifying with the happy lark of nature, he finds himself grounded in the 'grievous ynne' of the 'ghastlie Owle.' Just as the lark emerges as Spenser's bird of innocence or Original Identity, so the owl emerges as his bird of experience or Fall. Specifically, he uses the 'ghastlie' owl as a sign of Colin's fall from feeling an identity with a nature he once perceived as harmonious. As a leafy cage, the 'grievous ynne' functions as an important sign of poetic fame (see chapter i). Since the owl usurps the chanting birds in this locale, it is a sign of an art that interferes with the young poet's quest for fame. A cacophonous-sounding bird, the owl both inverts and threatens his Orphic calling. Yet, as with the lark, the ghastly owl reveals that the poet's fall from an innocent view of his art is none the less an integral part of his flight.12 As the terms of my first two stages hint, Colin's progression through the four-stage experiential process corresponds to a four-stage process that the individual proceeds through in the Bible: Creation, Fall, Wandering, and Return. By recognizing the scriptural basis of Spenser's Virgilian career process, we acquire the necessary hermeneutic lens through which to view Colin's Orphic experience - what I call a providential poetics. We need to read the Calender from the perspective of


Spenser's Famous Flight

Spenser's Protestant theology, with its major tenet, the individual's need for grace.13 By creating a providential lens for viewing his poetics, Spenser represents the Orphic poet as under the protection of grace. He experiences a vision of grace, because he is destined to write a poetry of grace. Throughout the Calender, Spenser relies on theological language and imagery to evoke this providential poetics. Evidently, in the lost English Poete he laid out its tenets, including a major one, derived from Neoplatonism: poetry is 'no arte, but a divine gift and heavenly instinct ... poured into the witte by a certain ... [enthousiasmos] and celestiall inspiration' (Oct, Arg). To turn a phrase from Pope, grace is at once the source, and end, and test of art. By peering through Spenser's providential lens, we can avoid one of the most common interpretive errors dominating Calender criticism - that of assuming that Spenser criticizes Colin Clout as a 'failure.'14 Spenser does not criticize Colin Clout as a failure. He uses the shepherd to trace the experiential process that he himself progressed through to acquire the divinely ordained Orphic status inaugurating his career: he is England's new prophetic poet. To represent himself writing with prophetic furore, he relies on the myth of the winged poet, a myth of fame and glory.15 In Januarye, Spenser begins to construct his providential poetics of fame and glory. Colin uses an avian image to trace the arc from Identity to Fall when he addresses the 'naked trees, whose shady leaves are lost, / Wherein the byrds were wont to build their bowre' (31-2). The lines imply that earlier in his life Colin found a mirror of himself in the birds who build their nests in the leafy trees, but that after Rosalinde rejects him he finds the mirror shattered. The resonant alliteration of the avian image (birds building bowers), together with the conceit of the plural 'byrds' building a singular Ijowre,' shows Colin using avian language to recapture the unifying harmony of his lost identity. His recollection of this happy natural site has vocational significance. He saw himself primarily as a poeta or maker, not a vates or prophet. Like the birds that build bowers, the young poet makes a 'greene cabinet' (Dec 17) - an artefact imitating the idyllic innocence of nature.16 As with the 'grievous ynne' of the 'ghastlie Owle,' the leafy bower or nest is part of the iconography of fame, as central to Sidney and Petrarch as it is to Chaucer (chapters i and 4). Thus Colin is here reflecting on his lost hope for poetic fame. For him, the trees that lose their leaves to expel the birds from their native home become a painful sign of the betrayal that he feels. For Colin feels betrayed not merely by Rosalinde, but also by Pan, the god of nature - more precisely, the god of nature poetry. In effect, Colin feels he has not received the grace he thought he was destined to receive.17

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


Colin does not receive grace because his naturalist belief in nature isolates him from the source of grace. Such a belief emerges in each part of his four-part song. His opening prayer to Pan is a prayer to an Ovidian nature god serving as a source of inspiration for a naturalist poetics, as the allusion to the myth of Pan and Syrinx suggests. Colin betrays his blind innocence by calling on this god to confer grace: 'Pan thou shepheards God, that once didst love, / Pitie the paines, that thou thy selfe didst prove' (i7~i8).18 Colin's subsequent address to the wintry landscape also evokes the naturalist origin of his song: Thou barrein ground ... / Art made a myrrhour, to behold my plight' (19-20). Colin's following curse against 'that carefull hower' (49) when he first saw Rosalinde further reveals the naturalist belief controlling his song, since his love of Rosalinde was purely physical (Moore, 'Colin Breaks His Pipe' 17): once 'I saw so fayre a sight, as shee' (52). Rosalinde responds appropriately; as Colin puts it, she 'my rurall musick holdeth scorne. / Shepheards devise she hateth as the snake' (64-5). As the provocative reference to the 'snake' suggests, Rosalinde rejects Colin because she understands what Spenser wants us to see: the danger of Colin's youthful poetry; it is a satanic temptation to sin, a song in search of sexual grace. Despite what we may think, Rosalinde is no 'Mysomousoi,' as Sidney calls poet-haters in The Defence of Poesy (in G.G. Smith i: 181); a careful reader of Colin's art, she hates merely his snakelike verse.19 Finally, Colin's call for revenge on his 'pype and Muse' reveal the naturalist underpinnings of his song, for he would punish the agents of his verse rather than purify his misperception of them: 'Both pype and Muse, shall sore the while abye' (71). In Januarye, Spenser may emphasize Colin's blindness, but he does not ridicule him for his error. Rather, he shows the shepherd contending with his problem. Colin refers both to his 'feeble flocke,' whose knees 'witnesse well... thy ill governement' (45) and to himself as 'overcome with care' (46). Readers who unsympathetically criticize Colin thus overlook the shepherd's increasing self-knowledge. Colin's opening song shows him poignantly contending with his troubling predicament. Such labour emerges in the frame of the eclogue. He is willing to exercise his flock 'All in a sunneshine day' (3) and to show responsibility to his flock at 'frosty Night' (74), for he 'homeward drove his sonned sheepe' (77). The adjective 'sonned' implies that he has succeeded. While he has sung his complaint, his sheep have received the light and heat they require. Colin's seemingly negative song results in a positive gain; since earlier he identified with his sheep (see line 7), the gain seems to be his as well as theirs. Moreover, his reference to 'heaven' in the final stanza (75) hints at a 'momentary transcendence' (Berger, Revi-


Spenser's Famous Flight

sionary Play 344). Such a reading receives support from Colin's Januarye emblem, which emphasizes his resilience and thereby anticipates the providential poetics the Orphic poet will come to pen: 'Anchôra speme' (80) - leaning on hope. Januarye thus hints that Colin, despite misunderstanding Tan,' is none the less under the protection of grace. As his prayer to Pan reveals, Colin struggles to clarify the mystery of this protection. When at the end he "broke his oaten pype, and downe did lye' (72), he unwittingly tries to sever his art from the providential process. He disavows the possibility that poetic fame can lead to Christian glory. Since he performs this act after failing to receive grace, his action constitutes an antitheology. Yet the act is theologically precise, because by breaking his pipe he breaks his link with a Pan he believes to be a nature god. If in November he will come to look at nature through the lens of eternity, here he looks at time through the lens of nature. In June - 'the centerpiece of The Shepheardes Calender" (Bernard, ' "June" ' 307) - Spenser continues to construct his providential poetics of fame and glory. The details show Colin continuing to struggle with the theological meaning of his misfortune. Although he may not understand the solution here, he does come to understand the problem. Accordingly, his dialogue with Hobbinol uses avian imagery to trace the providential arc from Original Identity to Fall within the rubric of fame. Hobbinol does not understand the providential design governing Colin's Orphic experience. Remembering Colin's original power of song, he entreats his friend to regress to his original identity with the natural world. Hence, during their walk he stops Colin in a 'pleasaunt syte' (i) that readers identify as a locus amoenus: The simple ayre, the gentle warbling wynde, So calme, so coole, as no where else I fynde: The grassye ground with daintye Daysies dight, The Bramble bush, where Byrds of every kynde To the waters fall their tunes attemper right.

(June 4-8)

Yet Hobbinol does not merely describe a good place to rest; he rhetorically primes Colin for his argument. Colin z's the Orphic poet, and he should take up his old position among the shepherds. As Richard Mallette writes, the 'locus amoenus is unchallengeably the locus poeticus' (Spenser, Milton 25). The 'warbling wynde' is a trope for poetic inspiration; the 'daintye Daysies/ for poetic conceits; the 'Byrds,' for the poet himself; the birds' positioning in the 'Bramble bush,' for the poet's root

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


in nature (see Dec 65); and the falling water, for the natural origin out of which the poet creates his harmony. Since the birds attemper their tunes to the water's fall, the poet draws on a soothing nature for the origin of his song. Spenser uses these conventional pastoral images to evoke Hobbinol's belief in the naturalist groundplot of Colin's art. The locus amoenus becomes the locus of a poetic origin rooted in nature. Colin is alert to the theological underpinnings of Hobbinol's temptation. Generously, he /blesse[s]' his friend's 'state, / That Paradise hast found, whych Adam lost' (9-10). Yet the lines are arresting, because Colin implies that his friend usurps the role of Christ by finding 'Paradise' on his own. Colin sees the problem of Hobbinol's blasphemy without being able to articulate the Christian solution. Instead, he articulates its inversion: 'I unhappy man, whom cruell fate, / And angry Gods pursue from coste to coste, / Can nowhere fynd, to shroude my lucklesse pate' (14-16). Recognizing the futility of returning to paradisal innocence, he unwittingly acknowledges his participation in a divinely appointed destiny, however hostile it seems to him here. The 'unmistakable allusion to Aeneas seeking new Troy (Aeneid 1.1-5)' (Cain, Oram et al. 107) is important because it typologically projects Colin's destiny to write a national epic as one consequence of his pastoral suffering. Subsequently, Hobbinol misunderstands Colin's theological remark, advising his friend to 'Forsake the soyle ... / And to the dales resort.' He himself, he says, will stay where 'no night Ravens lodge more black then pitche, / Nor elvish ghosts, nor gastly owles doe flee' (18-24). Again, rather than describing a locale, Hobbinol asserts its career opportunities. The pleasant site is free from those malicious spiritual, social, and artistic forces - what E.K. glosses as 'misfortunes' (144) - figured in the 'night Ravens' and the 'gastly owles,' which try to subvert the poet's invention. In fact, Hobbinol says, the 'pleasaunt syte' has such 'pierlesse pleasures' (32) that Pan himself kisses the 'christall faces' of the Muses (30), while the 'frendly Faeries, met with many Graces, / And lightfote Nymphes ... chace the lingring night' with 'trimly trodden traces' (25-7). Hobbinol uses an ornate naturalist trope to tempt Colin to return to his naturalist poetics, with its hedonist code of 'pierlesse pleasures.' A Protestant reader would see the blasphemy. Human beings cannot avoid 'misfortunes' of the raven and the owl; they must confront them. Hence, Colin resists Hobbinol's temptation to return to a natural paradise. When he was younger, he joyed in such 'delights' among his 'peeres: / But ryper age such pleasures doth reprove' (35-6). Hobbinol, however, is unable to understand Colin's increased wisdom:


Spenser's Famous Flight Colin, to heare thy rymes and roundelayes, Which thou were wont on wastfull hylls to singe, I more delight, then larke in Sommer dayes: Whose Echo made the neyghbour groves to ring, And taught the byrds, which in the lower spring Did shroude in shady leaves from sonny rayes, Frame to thy songe their chereful cheriping, Or hold theyr peace, for shame of thy swete layes.

(June 49-56)

Colin's echoing lark song rings with Orphic resonance (Cullen 86). Hobbinol uses the lark, the bird of morning, to remind Colin of his original Orphic identity. The avian language poignantly betrays an innocent withdrawal into an infantile identity, 'chereful cheriping.' Similarly, since echo is a trope for fame (see chapter 4, note 32), the song that echoes only through 'the neyghbour groves' defines an art limited to earthly fame. Thus we are mistaken, I think, to see here a norm for Colin's art. Hobbinol's naturalist language betrays the naturalist problem. His construction in which the birds shroud themselves from the sun in the 'shady leaves' implies the escapism Colin resists, while Colin's superiority to the birds hints at the pride of an Orphic poetry that tries to order nature before participating in grace. This is an art that separates fame from glory. Colin resists escapism and error, and so he is wise enough to resist another of Hobbinol's temptations: to write epic prematurely. Yet we need to pause here more than critics have done over a dialogue about epic within a pastoral eclogue. The dialogue, I propose, alerts us to one of Spenser's most important artistic strategies in the Calender - what I call the typology of the New Poet's career. By piecing together various patches of criticism, I have been able to identify three phases in this typology. First, October models the 'perfecte paterne' of the Virgilian poet's career of pastoral and epic. Second, other pastoral eclogues in the Calender predict Spenser's epic. And third, The Faerie Queene then fulfils the prediction. Since critics believe that Spenser works from a two-genre Virgilian progression, they find the typological principle applying only to the relation between pastoral and epic.20 Januarye and Aprill both hint at the typology between pastoral and epic, but June is 'the centerpiece of The Shepheardes Calender" because it situates the most controversial part of Spenser's Orphic career idea, the Petrarchan love lyric, in the context of the two Virgilian genres. It does so by relying on avian imagery. To tempt Colin back to the Arcadian dales, Hobbinol records his

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


perception of Calliope and her sisters' confused response to Colin's music: I sawe Calliope wyth Muses moe, Soone as thy oaten pype began to sound, Theyr ivory Luyts and Tamburins forgoe: And from the fountaine, where they sat around, Renne after hastely thy silver sound. But when they came, where thou thy skill didst showe, They drewe abacke, as halfe with shame confound, Shepheard to see, them in theyr art outgoe.

(June 57-64)

The 'oaten pype' refers to the syrinx or Panic instrument of pastoral poetry. The 'ivory Luyts' refer to the lyre or Apollonian instrument of lyric poetry - probably love poetry in particular, as the use of 'ivory' and the courtly 'Luyt' implies.21 And the Tamburins' refer to either of two instruments of epic poetry - a type of drum (Cain, Oram et al. 111) or a 'Clarion' (E.K.'s gloss at 182-3). The confused descent of Calliope and her sisters from the fountain of epic to the 'silver sound' of pastoral, itself mirrored in Hobbinol's confusion about Colin's art, reverses the Virgilian progression from pastoral to epic. As Thomas H. Cain astutely remarks, 'Since Calliope presides over heroic praise, what Hobbinol has unwittingly predicted is Colin's transformation into a poet of epic' (Oram et al. 107). Such a prediction emerges more clearly in Colin's six-stanza response to Hobbinol - and with considerably more detail regarding the poet's career pattern. In the first two stanzas, Colin accepts his lowly pastoral standing by rejecting the height of epic status; but Spenser, Cain notes, uses 'this topos of inability or affected modesty' as 'an indirect tactic of self-assertion' (Oram et al. 108). In particular, Spenser asserts his authority to turn from the lower to the higher genre by relying on the avian myth: Of Muses Hobbinol, I conne no skill: For they bene daughters of the hyghest Jove, And holden scorne of homely shepheards quill. For sith I heard, that Pan with Phoebus strove, Which him to much rebuke and Daunger drove: I never lyst presume to Parnasse hyll, But pyping lowe in shade of lowly grove, I play to please my selfe, all be it ill.


Spenser's Famous Flight Nought weigh I, who my song doth prayse or blame, Ne strive to winne renowne, or passe the rest: With shepheard sittes not, followe flying fame: But feede his flocke in fields, where falls hem best. (¡une 65-76; emphasis added)

Recalling the singing contest between Pan and Phoebus, Colin counters Hobbinol's assertion about Calliope by claiming that the pastoral poet cannot - and should not - write epic. Technically, he is correct; the pastoral poet can only write pastoral. Importantly, Spenser shows Colin defining pastoral as a genre that pertains to the poet's personal acquisition of authority: 'I play to please my selfe.' This is consistent with the view stated in the introduction, in which pastoral concentrates on the poet's formation of the self - especially the self preparing to write epic. To assert his commitment to pastoral, Colin refers to 'homely shepheards quill'; as we have seen, the word 'quill' means both pipe and bird's feather, and derives from what Drayton identifies as a primitive nightingale origin of pastoral poetry (chapter i). Correspondingly, to reject epic, he refers to 'flying fame,' a phrase that alludes, we have also seen, to the myth underlying high-flying epic, that of Pegasus (see Aprill 213-15). During the pastoral phase of his career, the young poet must self-consciously bridle his aspiration for flying fame, instead letting that glorious reward emerge only with the writing of epic. Yet, as Cain helps us see, Spenser inserts a dialogue on epic within his pastoral precisely to set up the typology of the New Poet's career. I now want to extend that typology beyond the two Virgilian genres. Whereas in the first two stanzas of his response to Hobbinol Colin rejects the idea of writing epic, in the second two he documents his inability to write a socially useful love lyric. He introduces Tityrus as the poet who succeeded in writing such a lyric: He, whilst he lived, was the soveraigne head Of shepheards all, that bene with love ytake: Well couth he wayle hys Woes, and lightly slake The flames, which love within his heart had bredd, And tell us mery tales, to keepe us wake, The while our sheepe about us safely fedde.

(June 83-8)

Tityrus' love lyrics were socially useful because, by singing them, he was able both to order his own desire and to move the shepherds beyond idleness (the end of poetry treasured by Colin in the spring of

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


his life [Dec 71]). Consequently, Tityrus and the shepherds could together carry on their pastoral duty: caring for their flock. Tityrus' erotic lyrics take the form of 'mery tales.' The phrase is generalized, but the context indicates that Spenser may be referring to poems about either the harmonious unity between lover and beloved or the poet's own reliance on love poetry to satisfy his erotic desire. From this passage, we can infer a model for the love lyric that I believe Spenser wishes to project. The erotic genre relies on a representation of desire in order to delight, instruct, and move the reader to virtuous action. While the 'mery tales' suggest The Canterbury Tales as the primary text displaying Chaucer as a love poet (in particular, the marriage group), Chaucer's own advertisement begins much earlier. In The House of Fame, the Eagle tells the narrator that Jupiter has sent him as a winged intermediary because Chaucer 'so long trewely / Hast served so ententufly ... / Cupido ... / And faire Venus' (615-18; see 633-44). The avian Ovidian matrix of Chaucer's career itself originates in Ovid's Metamorphoses ('thyn owne bok' [712]). In 1579, before Sidney inaugurates the Petrarchan rage, Spenser traces a direct line for his love lyric from Chaucer to Ovid. In calling Chaucer Tityrus/ the name that Virgil assumed for himself, Spenser reveals how integral Chaucerian love poetry is to the Virgilian progression of pastoral and epic.22 While Colin recognizes Tityrus' idealized model of the love lyric, he himself, he admits, cannot follow in his master's path: T am not, as I wish I were' (105). He has rejected epic because he has not wanted to violate the pastoral decorum of humility, but now he rejects love lyric because he does not possess the required power to write it. Accordingly, he can only imagine himself perverting such Orphic powers. As he says, if only he possessed Tityrus' 'passing skil' (91), he 'soone would learne these woods, to wayle my woe, / And teache the trees, their trickling teares to shedde' (95-6): Then should my plaints, causd of discurtesee, As messengers of all my painfull plight, Fly e to my love, where ever that she bee, And pierce her heart with poynt of worthy wight: As shee deserves, that wrought so deadly spight. (June 97-101; emphasis added)

Believing the transcendent force controlling his destiny to be merely 'cruell fate, / And angry Gods,' Colin sees his art as a birdlike arrow harming Rosalinde in what constitutes an inversion of the fashioning


Spenser's Famous Flight

process outlined in The Letter to Ralegh.23 None the less, what Cain says about Colin's rejection of epic we can apply to his rejection of love lyric: 'this topos of inability ... is in effect an indirect tactic of self-assertion.' Just as Spenser uses Colin's rejection of epic to project his aspiration to epic, so he uses Colin's failure to write love lyric to project his aspiration to the love lyric. June is crucial for placing the love lyric in the typology of the New Poet's career. Thus, to see in June Colin's irresponsibility as a poet is to misunderstand Spenser's providential career idea. To criticize Colin is to read the eclogue from Hobbinol's perspective. Spenser does not criticize Colin; if anything, he criticizes Hobbinol. He shows Colin attempting to understand the providential process directing his Orphic art. No longer can the shepherd believe that the poet grounds his art in the natural world.24 'Hence with the Nightingale Will I Take Part': Vatic Vision

In the third stage of the experiential process, Vatic Vision, the Orphic poet relies on his art to express his faith in a realm above nature. Through poetry, that is, the poet turns to God to establish a new identity. Because Spenser writes pastoral, he emphasizes the stage of Vatic Vision or transcendence, and thus only now does he associate Colin with the bird of transcendence. Spenser associates Colin with the nightingale in each of his last three appearances in order to delineate the process of transcendence that Colin providentially experiences. Spenser begins to relate fame and glory. In Colin's August sestina, Spenser alludes to the Orphic nightingale in Virgil's Georgics in order to show the Orphic labour that directs the poet's invocation. The Orphic poet courageously summons up his art to respond to the tragedy he suffers within nature. Usually, critics criticize Colin for his self-absorption and growing alienation.25 Such a view overlooks the significance of Spenser's vocational avian imagery - especially the Philomela myth as the underlying myth of pastoral. Structurally, Colin's song forms a transition between June and November - between a vision of paradise lost and a vision of paradise regained. Colin's vision results because he uses his song to contend with the loss he feels. Such a moment is necessarily one of self-absorption and alienation, but it does not follow that Spenser criticizes Colin for his condition. We need to locate the providential contribution the song makes to 'the perfecte paterne of a Poete.' To show Colin summoning up his art, Spenser presents the shepherd

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


invoking a fallen version of the locus amoenus that before June had seemed the source of his art - woods, birds, and water: 'Ye wastefull woodes beare witnesse of my woe, / Wherein my plaints did oftentimes resound: / Ye carelesse byrds are privie to my cryes, / Which in your songs were wont to make a part: / Thou pleasaunt spring hast luid me oft a sleepe, / Whose streames my tricklinge teares did ofte augment' (151-6). The phrasing indicates the need to place Colin's song in a new stage of experience. We can identify a change both from the first stage of Original Identity, when such happy birds as the lark framed its 'chereful cheriping' to his song, and from the second stage of Fall, when he refused to sing to the birds at all and found himself dominated by the ghastly owl. The 'carelesse byrds' used to 'make a part' with him but now are 'privie' to his 'cryes' (as 'plaints' and 'tricklinge teares' indicate). Now Colin uses his song to the birds to resist the loss he feels. Such a change also emerges in the change in locale. As his position in the 'gastfull grove' reveals (170), he has moved beyond the 'pleasaunt syte' of June (i) and the isolated landscape of Januarye. He enters the 'gastfull grove' to confront death: 'Here will I dwell apart ... / ... till my last sleepe / Doe close mine eyes' (169-71). Instead of identifying with the 'chereful' birds in the lower spring' or the trees that expel the birds from their native home, now he calls for 'helpe' from 'ye banefull byrds, whose shrieking sound / Ys signe of dreery death, my deadly cryes / Most ruthfully to tune': 'And as my cryes ... / You heare all night, when nature craveth sleepe, / Increase, so let your yrksome yells augment' (173-8). Colin's song represents an energetic call for aid at the moment of desperation - an analogue to Redcrosse's call for death just when divine grace arrives in the form of Prince Arthur (FQ l.viii.38). Colin vows to remain in the 'gastfull grove' 'till safe and sound / She home returne, whose voyces silver sound / To cheerefull songs can chaunge my cherelesse cryes' (180-2). While fixing on his own alienation, Colin momentarily escapes narcissism by caring for Rosalinde and re-experiencing the regenerating power of her pastoral-sounding silver voice. In caring for another in his confrontation with death, Colin miraculously experiences a climactic moment of identity: Hence with the Nightingale will I take part, That blessed byrd, that spends her time of sleepe In songs and plaintive pleas, the more taugment The memory of hys misdeede, that bred her woe.

(August 183-6)

The 'Nightingale' is a sign of the poet relying on his divine art to free


Spenser's Famous Flight

himself from the cycle of nature. By taking part with the 'sovereigne of song/ Colin experiences a renewed faith in the transcendent power of his art. His identity with the nightingale constitutes an authentic moment of artistic identity, and forms the bridge between June and November.26 As revealed by the repetition of the key - and final - word in the sestina, 'augment/ Colin turns to the Philomela myth both to complain of Rosalinde's 'misdeede' - her infidelity with the shepherd Menalcas (June 102-4 and 109-12) - and to increase or strengthen his own soul. His identification with a female bird who has been raped - an important 'exchange of genders' (Berger, Revisionary Play 404) - both locates the female origin of his song and tries to convince that female of her unnatural behaviour. No longer identifying with the lark of innocence, or controlled by the owl of fallen identity, he identifies with the bird of transcendence to fashion a new identity. He may not yet understand the providential process, but his epithet for the nightingale, 'blessed byrd/ hints at new theological awareness. Spenser's use of the Georgics nightingale in the August sestina forms substantial evidence of his attempt to assimilate the georgic ideal of labour to the pastoral ideal of leisure. Acknowledging differences between the two passages, we can highlight the similarities. Both link the poet with the nightingale (Virgil with Orpheus, Spenser with Colin Clout); both situate the poet in a wasted landscape beside a stream; and both show the poet-as-nightingale using song to respond to the loss of a beloved (Orpheus about Eurydice, Colin about Rosalinde).27 Spenser's Virgilian allusion is important, because it identifies Colin as an Orphic poet, and because it alerts us to Spenser's revision of Virgilian pastoral. Pastoral does not posit the individual's harmonious relation with nature; it posits the individual's broken relation with nature as the groundplot for a laborious faith ultimately warranting grace. For Virgil, the Orphic nightingale straining her voice constitutes a powerful sign of the georgic genre. Spenser appropriates his georgic nightingale in order to locate the laborious force directing the elegiac complaint at the centre of his reinvented pastoral. By accommodating Virgil's georgic bird to such a pastoral, Spenser constructs the centre of his inaugural work. Colin identifies with the nightingale, an intermediary between nature and grace, in order to free himself from nature so as to participate in the order of grace. Colin's identification with the transcendent nightingale thus prepares for his consequent epiphany in November. Through faith, the Orphic poet uses his art to experience the grace of epiphany. As if to alert us to the link between the two eclogues, Spenser has Thenot identify Colin

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


as 'the Nightingale ... sovereigne of song.' Colin's epiphany through his art results from a moment of identity about his art. Thenot uses the metaphor of sovereignty to remind Colin of his responsibility; he uses the nightingale to remind Colin of his Orphic calling as the intermediary between nature and grace who transcends human suffering through eternal song. From the infancy of his career having 'taught the byrds' to 'frame' their 'chereful cheriping' to his 'songe/ Colin can understand Thenot's sign and so interpret his avian allegory. As the most famous poet among his peers, he is responsible for eulogizing a lady known for her gracious care of 'simple shepheards swaine' (97). After tactfully acknowledging the inadequacy of his 'humble vaine/ he attempts, as he 'conne,' his 'conning' to 'strayne' (50-2). He labours to sing the transcendent Song of Dido. Spenser thus provides a model of how his avian myth works. Imitating a passage in Marot's Lamentation for Madame Louise that has its roots in the Georgics and the Idylls, Spenser uses the nightingale to communicate to his Elizabethan audience his Orphic power - his power to experience transcendence. Hence, when Colin sings his Song of Dido, he accepts his role as that blessed bird, the sovereign of song. Miraculously, the poet's quest for fame leads to a vision of divine glory. The twofold structure of Colin's Song dramatizes his change from penning a naturalist to penning a providential poetics. This change represents the act of Augustinian conversion. For in the first part (49-162) he expresses his bitter grief over Dido's death. His grief results because he believes in the autonomy of the natural world. Yet even here Colin does not assert his belief in nature so much as recognize its danger: "Whence is it, that the flouret of the field doth fade, / And lyeth buryed long in Winters bale: / Yet soone as spring his mantle doth displaye, / It floureth fresh, as it should never fayle?' (83-6). As both his question and the word 'displaye' hint, Colin has begun to recognize Nature as a false artisan who presents the individual with a deceptive vision of the body's immortality. In effect, Colin reveals his increased wisdom by rewriting his Song of Eliza in Aprill. Not merely does he adjust the elements of nature from celebrants to mourners, but he includes the dove and the nightingale as the principal mourners: The Turtle on the bared braunch, / Laments the wound, that death did launch. / O heavie herse, / And Philomele her song with teares doth steepe. / O carefull verse' (138-42). While the appearance of these two mourners in the natural world may suggest Colin's commitment to nature, their traditional role as intermediaries between nature and grace forecasts Colin's impending vision. By having Colin appear as 'The


Spenser's Famous Flight

Nightingale ... sovereigne of song' singing an elegiac vision of eternity, Spenser evokes the mournful Athenian phase of the Philomela myth the use of eternal song as preparation for the Orphic rebuilding of the city. Appropriately, Colin concludes the first half of his Song with a new insight about the dark mortality of the body: 'O trustlesse state of earthly things, and slipper hope / Of mortal men ... / Now have I learnd (a lesson derely bought) / That nys on earth assuraunce to be sought' (153-7). Colin sees materially the lovely Dido laid out on the funeral bier: 'For what might be in earthlie mould, / That did her buried body hould, / O heavie herse, / Yet saw I on the beare when it was brought' (158-61). As the words 'learnd' and 'saw' reveal, Colin's new wisdom is grounded in a vision of death. Accordingly, in the second half of his Song (163-202) he experiences the grace of epiphany: 'Dido nis dead, but into heaven hent... / I see thee blessed soule, I see, / Walke in Elisian fieldes so free' (169,178-9). If before he saw 'spring' displaying his 'mantle' as if he would never die, now he sees Dido walking in a spring beyond nature - 'The fieldes ay fresh, the grasse ay greene' (189). The poignant repetition of 'ay' evokes Colin's quest for poetic fame with which the eclogue began: 'Now somewhat sing, whose endles sovenaunce, / Emong the shepeheards swaines may aye remaine' (5-6; emphasis added; see Cain, Praise 32). The repetition also reveals the way in which Colin's song contributes to the process of divine glory. The song envisioning Dido's apotheosis is Spenser's spectacular representation of this organizing idea. Colin receives the grace of epiphany because, like the nightingale and the dove, he faithfully uses eternal song to respond to human tragedy. If Spenser's career typology in the Calender extends from pastoral and epic to love lyric, we might expect that typology to extend to the last main genre in Spenser's Orphic career idea: the hymn. In fact, the twopart structure of the Song of Dido resembles the two-part structure of Poivre Hymnes. Whereas the first part focuses on earthly love and beauty ('She while she was, ... / For beauties prayse and pleasaunce had no pere' [93-4]), the second focuses on heavenly love and beauty ('There lives shee with the blessed Gods in blisse, ... / The honor now of highest gods she is' [194-7]). Dido's flight from earth to heaven - 'She hath the bonds broke of eternall night, / Her soule unbodied of the burdenous corpse' (165-6) - enacts the central movement of the hymnic genre as predicted by Piers in October: Then make thee winges of thine aspyring wit, / And, whence thou camst, flye backe to heaven apace.'28 Consequently, November also traces the transition from the third to the

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


fourth phase of the Orphic career idea: from love lyric to hymn. Significantly, Thenot asks Colin to sing his 'endles sovenaunce' (5), 'Whether thee list thy loved lasse advaunce, / Or honor Pan with hymnes of highest vaine' (7-8). As with the first two genres, Colin initially resists writing the last two: Thenot, now nis the time of merimake, / Nor of Pan to hery, nor with love to playe' (9-10). Unlike with the first two genres, however, Colin agrees to go forward with his Panic hymn, so that his Song of Dido constitutes the only public song he sings in the present tense of the narrative. Hence, Spenser seems to unpack the principle noted by Cain: 'this topos of inability or affected modesty is in effect an indirect tactic of self-assertion.' In this way the Song of Dido traces the generic transition from erotic to hymnic genres: 'Sing now ye shepheards daughters, sing no moe / The songs that Colin made in her prayse, / But into weeping turne your wanton layes' (77-9; emphasis added). Colin's hymn in November prepares for his final withdrawal in December. He responds to his vision by initially trying to renounce the world. The best way to understand this event is to compare the contour of the shepherd's experience with that of Redcrosse in Book I of The Faerie Queene. Like Colin in January e, Aprill, and June, Redcrosse begins his quest with a belief in the power of nature (D. Cheney, Nature 24-5 passim). Like Colin in the August ses tina and especially in November, Redcrosse frees himself from 'nature' by benefiting from the power of grace. On the Mount of Contemplation, through the agency of the hermit Heavenly Contemplation, he sees the New Jerusalem (l.x.55-7). Finally, like Colin in December, Redcrosse initially responds to his vision with a surge of contemptus mundi: Til now ... I weened well, / That great Cleopolis ... / ... seemd the brightest thing, that was: / But now by proofe all otherwise I weene; / For this great Citie that does far surpas' (58). Only after the hermit explains to him the relation between earth and heaven, fame and glory - the need for the individual to serve the earthly city as a prerequisite for entering the heavenly city (59-64) - does Redcrosse agree to descend to the world. Spenser, I believe, recognized a fundamental two-part reaction to the divine vision, and in The Shepheardes Calender he carefully places Colin on the threshold between the first and the second parts - between contempt for the world and wisdom about its value in the salvific process. Redcrosse returns to the world in a way that Colin does not because the knight is an epic hero and Colin a pastoral one. The extent of the hero's action in the world is controlled by generic decorum. As a pastoral eclogue, December can illustrate only Colin's preliminary wisdom about his folly.


Spenser's Famous Flight

Thus, whereas in fanuarye Colin prayed to Pan the nature god, now he prays to 'soveraigne Pan thou God of shepheards all' (7) - not to the lover of Syrinx but to the saver of souls, as revealed by the Christian imagery of 'Lambkins/ 'fall/ and 'save' (8-10). As in Januarye, his use of Pan implies a vocational dimension - this time to the salvific centre of the Christian poet's experience. Missing is the earlier solipsistic argument, in which he asked for Pan's grace by entreating the god to recall his own analogous experience.29 The Christian resonance of Colin's prayer to Pan encourages us to look for a synthesis of religious and vocational significance in Colin's subsequent review of his life. Thus we can see him reviewing each season through his reliance on at least one avian image. In the spring, 'Like Swallow swift I wandred here and there: / For heate of heedlesse lust me so did sting, / That I of doubted daunger had no feare' (20-2). Through the swallow, Spenser evokes Colin's daring energy - his carefree obtuseness to his own mortality: 'What wreaked I of wintrye ages waste, / Tho deemed I, my spring would ever laste' (29-30). The swallow is a sign of youth's folly under the illusion of perpetual spring. Spenser may suggest a contradiction to Psalm 84, in which David uses the swallow as a trope for the faithful 'soule': the 'swallowe' finds a 'nest' in God's 'Tabernacles' 'where she maie lay her yong: even by thy altars, O Lord' (1-3). However, since the swallow is traditionally a nestbuilder (March 11; Plutarch, 'The Cleverness of Animals' in Moralia, 20.9743), it is also an apt sign for the poet as maker - in particular, for the young poet who misunderstands the poet's larger vatic function. By recalling these associations, we can measure Colin's growth. He now sees his youthful soul as having wandered from his faith. Replacing the classical lark with the scriptural and classical swallow as the bird of Original Identity, he reveals that even in his youth his art was not innocent. Among his arrogant acts of youthful daring was his scaling of 'the craggie Oke, / All to dislodge the Raven of her neste' (31-2). As with the swallow, with the raven Spenser may allude both to Scripture and to classical poetry. In I Kings 17, the Lord tells Elijah that the ravens will care for him, 'And the ravens brought him bread & flesh in the morning' (6), while in Luke 12 Christ says, 'Consider the ravens: for they nether sowe nor reape: which nether have store house nor barne, & yet God fedeth them: how muche more are ye better then foules' (24). Like the sparrow of Matthew 10: 29-31 to which Hamlet refers (v.ii.230-1), the ravens become a figure of God's providential care for the individual. This scriptural symbolism is consistent with classical

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


symbolism. In a passage from Virgil's Eclogue IX important to Spenser's avian myth - 'the doves of Chaonia' (chapter i) - Moeris tells Lycidas, 'So, had not a raven on the left first warned me from the hollow oak to cut short, as best I might, this new dispute, neither your Moeris here nor Menalcas himself would be alive' (16-18). For Virgil, the raven is a bird of prophecy in service of the struggling shepherd-poet. By having Colin dislodge the raven from her nest, Spenser may indicate Colin's boyish blindness to the role of providence and to his own prophetic role about his art of making - including the making of epic. In the spring of his life, Colin errs professionally by erring theologically. While Spenser reveals Colin's springtime error, he also acknowledges his gratitude to the teacher who gave him his start, heedless as it was: 'Somedele ybent to song and musicks mirth. / A good olde shephearde, Wrenock was his name, / Made me by arte more cunning in the same' (40-2). Critics identify 'Wrenock' as an anagram for Richard Mulcaster, Spenser's headmaster at Merchant Taylors' School (Cain, Oram et al. 205). As Harry Berger, Jr, reminds us, however, Colin has 'received his early lessons from a shepherd with a bird's name' (Revisionary Play 380). Spenser may use the name to record the avian origin of the young poet's art: 'Wrenock ... / Made me by arte.' However limited, this origin inaugurates a larger providential process. When reviewing the summer of his life, Colin continues the process. He recalls how he fell in love with Rosalinde, ending the carefree 'pryde' (49) that motivated his youthful art: Where I was wont to seeke the honey Bee, Working her formall rowmes in Wexen frame: The grieslie Todestoole growne there mought I see And loathed Paddocks lording on the same. And where the chaunting birds luid me a sleepe, The ghastlie Owle her grievous ynne doth keepe.

(December 67-72)

Colin sees that his youthful view of poetry has been foolish, for it has merely seemed to emit Orphic power. In the end, the natural object of his power has ended up controlling him. Rather than he magically charming the birds, as Hobbinol claimed in June, the birds have charmed him to sleep. The first two lines, in which Colin seeks the honey bee 'Working her formall rowmes in Wexen frame,' reveal that as a young poet Colin viewed himself primarily as a poeta - a maker of verse artefacts. The line about the 'chaunting birds' reveals that he viewed the end of such poetry to be pure delight and its effect pure idleness. Having been


Spenser's Famous Flight

awakened by Rosalinde, he becomes the victim of his own sleepless art, which can now only express an inverted Orphic power - a shrieking cry that represents his broken identity with the harmony of nature. As with the raven and the swallow, in the 'ghastlie Owle' Spenser may allude to both Scripture and classical literature in order to bring together theological and vocational significance. Although Colin appears dominated by a sinister vocational spirit, Spenser's allusion to the scriptural owl (as in Isaiah 34:15) may remind us that Colin's fall is under the protection of grace. Because Colin misunderstood his Orphic calling, he continues to display his increased wisdom by recalling his mistaken view of his art both as a poeta or maker and as a vates or prophet (see Mallette, Spenser, Milton 37-8; D.L. Miller, 'Spenser's Vocation' 198-9). In a brilliant trope, Spenser relies on avian imagery to figure Colin's past misunderstanding of his role as poeta: All so my age now passed youngthly pryme, To thinges of ryper reason self e applyéd. And learnd of lighter timber cotes to frame, Such as might save my sheepe and me fro shame. To make fine cages for the Nightingale, And Baskets of bulrushes was my wont.

(December 75-80)

By learning to 'frame' his 'timber cotes' to 'save' his 'sheepe/ Colin recalls that he learned to make poems that care for his community. But by making 'fine cages' for the 'Nightingale,' he indicates that the source of his saving power lay in the imprisoning power of nature. The bird cage is thus a symbol of the poef s book of learning - including the goal of learning, fame. Spenser's naturalist language identifies the nightingale cage as simultaneously the pastoral poet's Book of Nature and the Book of Fame. The young Colin understood fame only as earthly renown. Since the nightingale he made a fine cage for is Philomela, a woman victimized by a male tyrant, Colin in the summer of his life developed his art by penning a naturalist poetics of fame that imprisoned the female (Rosalinde) - cut her off from Christian glory. He imprisoned her in a classical cage of Virgilian fame. This view is consistent with earlier representations, in which Colin gave his beloved the Edenic apple, only to be rejected for his snakelike art.30 In a subsequently brilliant trope, Spenser relies on avian imagery to reveal Colin's increased wisdom about his past mistaken view of his

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


role as vates: 'And tryed time yet taught me greater thinges, / The sodain rysing of the raging seas: / The soothe of byrds by beating of their wings' (85-7). In his gloss, E.K. says that Spenser alludes to 'a kind of sooth saying used in elder tymes, which they gathered by the flying of byrds' (194-5). However, E.K. overlooks the metaphorical significance of the allusion. Colin recognizes the poet's vatic role, as the reference to 'wings' hints, but as the following lines reveal, he perceives his vatic role to originate in the natural world: 'But ah unwise and witlesse Colin cloute, / That kydst the hidden kinds of many a wede: / Yet kydst not ene to cure thy sore hart roote' (91-3). Recognizing that he has misunderstood his role, in the winter of his life Colin tries to use his art to write himself into death: 'And by myne eie the Crow his clawe dooth wright' (136) - the word 'wright' being a fine vocational pun. Colin's signalling of the proverbial crow's-feet at the corners of his eyes renovates a dead metaphor related to the Calender's commitment to avian language. 'Spenser has written the year by giving it form and meaning; Colin has been written by the year, his life rehearsing the script of the seasons and his body inscribed, finally, with images of winter death' (D.L. Miller, 'Authorship, Anonymity' 235). In his guilt over past mistakes, Colin imagines himself inverting his Orphic power of charming the birds, for here he thinks that the crow charms him into death. Through the crow, a scavenger bird traditionally functioning as that antagonist to the poet-nightingale, the poetaster, Spenser reveals that Colin believes he has used his art merely to feed on himself. In his state of contemptus mundi, he fears he has become the failed Orphic nightingale, the false Virgilian pastoral poet.31 Consequently, at the end of December Colin performs his climactic act: 'Here will I hang my pype upon this tree' (141). By realizing Colin's deep affinity for the choir of birds, we can fully understand this poignant event. Colin renounces his membership in the natural choir; for him, nature has become a bare ruined choir where late the sweet birds sang. The Orphic poet withdraws from nature because he has experienced grace.32 '[The Dove] Alighting, Fell': Vatic Virtue In the fourth stage of the experiential process, Vatic Virtue, the poet returns to nature informed by his vision. That is, after acquiring wisdom about eternity, he returns to the world and communicates his discovery to his readers. He enacts the right relation between nature and grace, fame and glory. Through a vision of heaven, the individual is led,


Spenser's Famous Flight

not to dejected withdrawal from the world, but to responsible service of it. Conspicuously, Spenser does not show Colin entering this stage. Colin does not complete the experiential part of the 'perfecte paterne.' Hence, Spenser does not use an avian image to present the poet as an agent of grace within culture. Presumably, if he were to use such an image it would be one of epic descent (T.M. Greene, Descent from Heaven 7,17-18) - a bird landing rather than a bird singing or soaring aloft. In Book IV, canto viii, of The Faerie Queene, he uses precisely such an image. In the conclusion to the story of Timias and Belphoebe, he rewrites the Virgilian myth of epic - the Venerean doves leading Aeneas to the Golden Bough - in order to use the friendly Dove to identify himself as the providential agent of grace responsible for resolving the bitter dispute between the two principal readers of his poem, Ralegh and Elizabeth. Hence 'she [the Dove] alighting, fell before her [Belphoebe's] feet' (9; emphasis added). The Dove episode suggests that in the Calender Spenser tactfully distances himself from Colin but reveals his own Orphic power to complete the experiential process. When Colin hangs his pipe upon the tree, he turns from nature but stands on the threshold of completing the process that Spenser had to complete to write the poem. Colin in December thus figures Spenser preparatory to penning the poem itself. Colin does not cross the threshold from Vatic Vision to Vatic Virtue because he fails but because to do so would be to move beyond pastoral to epic. By completing the process that Colin does not, Spenser demonstrates how his writing of pastoral prepares him for epic.33 Adoring Tityrus' 'High Steppes': The 'Envoy' In the 'Envoy' closing the Calender, the New Poet goes beyond relating his pastoral to epic by projecting the apotheosis of his pastoral at the end of time: 'Loe I have made a Calender for every yeare, / That steele in strength, and time in durance shall outweare: / And if I marked well the starres revolution, / It shall continewe till the worlds dissolution' (1-4). According to S.K. Heninger, Jr, the idea of poetic immortality forms 'the most comprehensive and profound meaning for The Shepheardes Calender" (Sidney and Spenser 323). The 'Envoy' fitly closes the pastoral, then, by placing the Calender in the context of the New Poet's famous flight: Goe lyttle Calender, thou hast a free passeporte, Goe but a lowly gate emongste the meaner sorte.

Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender


Dare not to match thy pype with Tityrus hys style, Nor with the Pilgrim that the Ploughman playde a whyle: But followe them farre off, and their high steppes adore. ('Envoy' 7-11)

The avian representation may seem merely implied here, but the idea of the poet's book making a peregrination from earth to heaven has a long history (Martial, Epigrams I.iii.9-i2, m.ii.6, lll.iv.i; Ovid, Tristia 1.1.8790). As Drayton remarks to his sonnet in Idea (1619): 'Thence take you Wing unto the Orcades, / There let my Verse get glory in the North' (25: 6-7; see Daniel, the 1592 Delia 38: 11-14). Humbly yet Orphically, the New Poet commands his winged poem to 'followe' the 'high steppes' of Chaucer and Virgil 'farre off (see Maclean ed. 467, n.a). The humility topos of lowly pastoral powerfully launches the famous flight.34 Proving Tender Wings In The Shepheardes Calender, Spenser constructs a complex design representing the New Poet enacting 'the perfecte paterne of a Poete.' By locating the nightingale in 'the perfecte paterne,' we can re-evaluate the Calender as a pastoral poem inaugurating his career. In following the pastoral tradition of making the nightingale the bird of pastoral poetry, Spenser reveals that he identifies transcendence as the centre of his pastoral, and that he neither idolizes nor criticizes that centre; he places it in the program of the Orphic poet. Transcendence is the experience and pastoral the genre preparing the Orphic poet to write epic. If Spenser viewed the centre of pastoral as an 'ideal of the good life,' he would have used the lark as the bird of pastoral. In his central eclogue, June, he rejects this view by showing Colin refusing Hobbinol's temptation to identify with the happy lark of pastoral otium. Similarly, if he viewed the centre of pastoral as a discourse on 'the relations of power/ he would have used the dove as the bird of pastoral. In November, he rejects this view by pairing 'the Turtle on the bared braunch' (138) with the nightingale as an accompanist to Colin in his transcendent Song of Dido. Finally, while Spenser does view the centre of pastoral as transcendence, he does not do so in order to reject a life within time as the necessary stage of salvation, but rather in order to demonstrate his own authority to pen a providential poetics instrumental to the salvation of his country. With some precision, then, Spenser places avian imagery strategically


Spenser's Famous Flight

within 'the perfecte paterne of a Poete' in order to identify pastoral as a careeric genre emphasizing the poet's acquisition of Orphic power the inaugural event of his career. The poet's retreat into otium to experience transcendence is the centre of a providential process identifying him as the agent of grace instrumental to the commonwealth. To write an epic about the order of nature, that is, the Orphic poet must first participate in the order of grace. Pastoral providentially confers transcendence on him. In its essence, pastoral is the genre in which the fledgling poet learns to view nature through the lens of eternity; fame, through the lens of glory. This wisdom constitutes the source of the Augustinian conversion. The converting transcendence at the centre of pastoral prophesies the way in which poetic fame leads to Christian glory. Accordingly, Spenser inserts into the Calender an idealized model of the experience by which he comes to write pastoral and an audacious prophecy of his consequent career contour. By using the nightingale as a sign of the Orphic poet who inaugurates the famous flight, he reveals that he has experienced the transcendence necessary to complete 'the perfecte paterne of a Poete.' He has proved his tender wings.

3 Epic, or Making the Greater Flight: Enacting Vatic Virtue in Spenser's Allegory of Ralegh and Elizabeth

There [the Dove] alighting, fell before [Belphoebe's] feet, And gan to her her mournfull plaint to make, Eftsoones [the Dove] flew unto [Timias'] fearelesse hand, And there a piteous ditty new deviz'd, As if she would have made [Belphoebe] understand. Spenser, The Faerie Queene iv.viii After inaugurating his career by imitating Virgilian pastoral, the New Poet continues his career by imitating Virgilian epic. Spenser's immediate goal in writing The Faerie Queene is thus careerbased. He aims to enact the authority he has acquired through writing The Shepheardes Calender. His career-based goal implies that he defines epic poetry (or redefines it) in careeric terms - as a genre that contributes to a literary career. He understands epic as a genre in which the mature poet enacts vatic virtue for the benefit of the commonwealth. Spenser's careeric definition in turn implies a more self-reflexive allegory in The Faerie Queene than some critics may be willing to permit.

From the Mount Acídale episode in Book VI, we know that Spenser is capable of inserting a self-reflexive allegory into his national epic. In canto x, the hero of Courtesy, Sir Calidore, witnesses Colin Clout's inspirationally created Dance of the Graces. Since this episode presents the relation between Spenser's chief poet-figure and a distinguished knight of Gloriana's court (whether based on Sidney or Essex or some amalgam), we might expect to find here a precise model of the epic genre. Such a case could be made. However, many critics argue that the vocational ideology emerging from the episode looks rather to subvert an epic model. In an idyllic retreat independent of the world of affairs,


Spenser's Famous Flight

Colin constructs a visionary art isolated from the source of courtly power. Calidore's sojourn with the poet thus seems to express an old fear, dulce non utile. Although some critics persuasively contest this popular argument, what I want to underscore now is the difficulty we have in finding here a precise mimetic model of Spenserian epic. Criticism reveals that Colin may or may not motivate Calidore's virtuous behaviour.1 I propose to discover a clearer mimetic model of Spenserian epic in an episode long marginalized by the Spenser community: the episode of Timias, Belphoebe, and the Dove in Book iv, canto viii. Critics have never quite known what to make of this episode - perhaps for the reason Isabel G. MacCaffrey implies: perplexingly, Spenser resolves an important story through the 'sentimental machinery of dove and heart' (Spenser's Allegory 269). In this episode, a female 'turtle Dove' befriends Timias after Belphoebe has exiled him for attending too carefully to the wounded Amoret (3). Having 'lost her dearest love,' the Dove is 'emmove[d]' to such 'deare compassion' at Timias' 'undeserved smart' that she uses her 'dolefull accent' to 'beare with him a part' (3): 'Her mournefull notes full piteously did frame, / And thereof made a lamentable lay, / So sensibly compyld' (4). To show his gratitude, Timias gives the Dove a 'Ruby,' 'Shapt like a heart, yet bleeding of the wound, / And with a litle golden chaîne about it bound' - which Belphoebe had originally given to him (6). But then the Dove flies to Belphoebe, 'alighting ... before her feet, / And gan to her her mournfull plaint to make' (13). When Belphoebe recognizes the ruby and reaches out to reave it away, the Dove uses it to entice the maid back to Timias (9-11), where the bird 'a piteous ditty new deviz'd, / As if she would have made ... [Belphoebe] understand' (12). Soon afterward, the maid receives the squire into 'former favours state' (17). Most critics simply neglect this episode. Notable exceptions include Michael O'Connell, Thomas P. Roche, Jr, and Jonathan Goldberg whose arguments are brief and in conflict. O'Connell pursues Upton's discovery that the episode responds to events between 1592 and 1595, when Queen Elizabeth banished Sir Walter Ralegh after he secretly married one of her ladies-in-waiting, Elizabeth Throckmorton: the Dove 'appears to represent an aspect of Belphoebe' that Spenser wishes to remind Elizabeth of: 'the mild and the womanly.'2 Roche denies that the historical allegory has primacy, identifying instead a moral 'allegory of honor' in which the Dove represents Timias' 'spiritual condition' and the ruby 'his lost love.'3 Without referring to the conflict emerging from the arguments of O'Connell and Roche, Goldberg synthesizes their

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


tentative conclusion but extends them to a vocational allegory. Identifying the Dove as the 'alter ego' both of Timias/Ralegh and of Belphoebe/Elizabeth, and recalling that Timias/Ralegh is a poet who writes his beloved's name (vii.46), Goldberg identifies the episode as a 'paradigmatic story about the text as a replacement for loss and about the necessity of a lack for the production of a text' - what he calls 'the essential story of the relationship of the text and history and the place of the text in society' (Endlesse Worke 54-5, 50-1, 157). To resolve the disagreement about the Dove - does it symbolize an 'aspect' of Belphoebe, of Timias, or of both? and does it signal a historical, a moral, or a vocational allegory? - we need to look more carefully at the image of the Dove. Recent editors trace this image to the dove of Noah in Genesis 8: 9 and the doves of Venus in Aeneid VI.4 Spenser's allusions to Scripture and Virgil are important, because they identify two main symbolic dimensions to the episode - the theological and the political. But neither source directs us to the symbolic dimension that I believe underlies the other two - the vocational, in which a poet uses a dove as a strategy of self-presentation. In his 1758 edition of The Faerie Queene, Upton glosses Spenser's bird by noting that 'Doves ... are friends to poets' (rpt in the Variorum Edition 4: 211). To support his gloss, Upton directs us to Horace's Odes, in which the dove appears as the spirit of poetic creation that prophesies the poet's emergence into national prominence. Horace dreams of 'the doves of story' who 'covered ... [him] o'er with freshly fallen leaves, to be a marvel to all' (Ill.iv.i2-i3: 'fronde nova puerum palumbes / texere, mirum quod foret omnibus'). However, Upton could have directed us to other poets - including Virgil (Eclogues 1.57-8, IX. 11-13). Important for the Renaissance, Petrarch asks in Song 81 of the Rime sparse, 'What grace, what love, or what destiny will give me wings like a dove, that I may rest and lift my self up from earth?' (13-14). He alludes to Psalm 55: 'Oh that I had wings like a doove: then wold I flie away and rest' (6; see Durling, Petrarch's Lyric Poems 184). But Petrarch may also allude to Virgil and Horace, thereby coalescing biblical and classical traditions. In his own Rime, Tasso may recall Petrarch: 'O vaga tortorella, tu la tua compagnia / ed io piango colei che non fu mía' (no. 399; i: 460). And in the next century, Milton will begin Paradise Lost by invoking as his Muse the Holy 'Spirit' that 'with mighty wings outspread / Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss' (1.20-1). From Virgil to Milton, doves are not merely friends to poets; poets use doves as a sign of their vocation. A poet like Spenser could thus use the dove as a strategy of self-


Spenser's Famous Flight

presentation. Only the year before (1595), he had done precisely this to conclude his sonnet sequence. In Amoretti 89, he responds to Petrarch's Song 353 by likening himself to 'the Culver on the bared bough': 'So I alone now left disconsolate, ... / seek with my playnts to match that mournful dove' (1-8). By likening himself to a female dove in his climactic sonnet, and thus rendering specific Petrarch's generalized 'wandering bird' ('vago augelletto'), Spenser clarifies his reading of the literary tradition. The dove is a primary vocational sign by which a poet claims membership in the Orphic choir.5 Taking Spenser's cue in Amoretti 89,1 argue that in the Dove episode Spenser fuses all three symbolic dimensions of the dove - the vocational, the theological, and the political - to present himself as a Protestant poet functioning as an agent of grace in the providential fashioning of an ideal power structure ordering the English commonwealth - that structure honourably relating sovereign, subject, and poet.6 Rather than presenting merely a sentimental and simplistic allegory of love, Spenser creates a subtle and complex vocational allegory that idealizes his relation to the two individuals at the centre both of the Elizabethan court and of his own career: Ralegh and Elizabeth. Through an allegory in which a Dove bears a ruby and sings a song to reconcile a hero and a heroine, Spenser creates a precise mimetic model of the poetic process in the The Letter to Ralegh: the poet uses his art 'to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous and gentle discipline.' Hence, Spenser uses the Dove episode to model his definition of epic. This definition is careeric in part because the poet's narrative reveals his power to turn Ralegh's and Elizabeth's pastoral retreats into epic aspiration; in part, because his narrative simultaneously advertises his own progression from the lower to the higher genre. The narrative thus reverses the pattern of transcendence and withdrawal organizing The Shepheardes Calender, tracing instead a pattern of immanence and return. Consequently, the narrative reverses the process by which poetic fame leads to Christian glory. In epic, Christian glory authorizes the poet's 'famous flight' (Oct 88) to the world of power politics. The 'allegory of honour' signaled by Timias' name (Gr timios honoured) alerts us to the poet's concern with honour, name, and reputation - ultimately, with fame and glory (see chapter i, note 11). As we will see, the iconography of fame in the dove and the chain-bound ruby confirms this reading. In the Dove episode, Spenser supplies priceless - hitherto undetected - historical information about his attitude toward his art and its place in culture toward the end of his career. We must not forget how Spenser established himself as the laureate

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


poet. In the words of Richard Helgerson, he 'abandon[ed] all social identity except that conferred by his elected vocation. He ceased to be Master Edmund Spenser ... and became Immerito, Colin Clout, the New Poet. No other writer of his generation was willing to take such a step' (Self-Crowned Laureates 63). Spenser's use of the Dove to present himself is thus consistent with the practice he employed throughout his career - a practice his friend Gabriel Harvey called his 'vowed and long experimented secrecie' (Two Letters in G.G. Smith i: 93). From the nightingale imagery of The Shepheardes Calender to the dove imagery of Amoretti through the swan imagery of Prothalamion, Spenser uses the bird to figure himself as national poet. I hope to show that Ralegh would have been alert to Spenser's vocational symbolism. To develop this argument, I first want to look at the avian myth in epic - in particular, at Spenser's redefinition of the genre; at the important role of the avian myth in epic, including evidence of an avian origin for the archetypal musical instrument of epic, the trumpet; and at the widespread presence of the avian myth in The Faerie Queene. Then I want to turn to the Dove episode itself. This episode is not an insignificant or anomalous instance of the myth of the winged poet, but a significant and integral part of a recurrent strategy by which the New Poet claims Orphic status. 'Rowsed by Fame': The Avian Myth in the Genre of Epic Most critics writing on the genre of epic would agree with C.M. Bowra, who said more than forty years ago, 'in the disputable and usually futile task of clarifying the forms of poetry there is no great quarrel about epic': 'An epic poem is by common consent a narrative of some length and deals with events which have a certain grandeur and importance and come from a life of action, especially of violent action such as war. It gives a special pleasure because its events and persons enhance our belief in the worth of human achievement and in the dignity and nobility of man' (i)7 Bowra's definition of epic has its authority in Aristotle (Poetics 1449^5.9-10), its Renaissance expression in such a practitioner-theorist as Tasso (Discourses on the Heroic Poem 17), and its Elizabethan form in such a practitioner-theorist as Sidney (Defence of Poesy in G.G. Smith i: 179). As William Webbe writes in Discourse of English Poetrie (1586), epic is 'that princelie part of Poetrie, wherein are displaied the noble actes and valiant exploits of puissaunt Captaines,... wise men, with the famous reportes of auncient times such as [the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid]' (in G.G. Smith i: 255).


Spenser's Famous Flight

Despite a general unanimity among Renaissance, ancient, and modern theorists on epic, some recent critics prepare for a careeric definition by emphasizing the primary role of the narrator in the poem. Webbe himself anticipates this definition when referring to the 'famous reportes of ancient times.' However, the definition has its origin in Plato: 'there is one kind of poetry and taletelling which works wholly through imitation, ... tragedy and comedy, and another which employs the recital of the poet himself, best exemplified, I presume, in the dithyramb, and there is again that which employs both, in epic poetry ...' (Republic lll.394b). For Plato, epic combines 'imitation' of heroic action with 'the recital of the poet himself.' Among critics, Robert M. Durling especially emphasizes the epic poet's recital of himself: 'Virgilian epic by definition attempts a total interpretation of the cosmos, of society, and of history, of all of which it is an image and an analogue. The author of a Virgilian epic acts out his relation to the totality and seeks to celebrate and intensify the relation of his audience to it' (The Epic Ideal' 115). In particular, the Virgilian epic poet 'raise[s] questions of the teleology of history and of the nature of the collectivities - empire, Church, nation - and universal institutions to which men belong' (105). This design helps explain 'the crucial parallel of Virgil to his hero Aeneas' (107). Durling's 'epic ideal' is vocational in that it emphasizes the poet's narration of the hero's journey. Like the hero, the poet is an intermediary standing on the threshold between history and eternity, nature and grace.8 The epic convention that best captures the intersectional nature of the genre is what Thomas M. Greene calls 'the descent from heaven': the conventional 'flight' of a deity such as the winged Mercury to the natural world. This convention 'constitutes typically a crucial nexus of the narrative; it represents the intersection of time and the timeless; it points to the human realm of paramount concern to the gods; it brings divine authority to the unfolding heroic action' (Descent from Heaven 7). The resemblance between the 'descent' of the winged Mercury and the descent of the poet is precisely the feature of epic that I would like to explore. 'Epic,' writes David Quint, 'draws an equation between power and narrative: a power able to end the indeterminacy of war and to emerge victorious, showing that the struggle had all along been leading up to its victory and thus imposing upon it a narrative teleology - the teleology that epic identifies with the very idea of narrative ... The epic victors both project their present power prophetically into the future and trace its legitimating origins back into the past ... And it is this

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


story that epic identifies with the possibility of narrative meaning itself ('Epic and Empire' 27). In Book III of The Faerie Queene, when Britomart leaves the cave of Merlin with her nurse Glauce, Spenser draws an equation between power and narrative: 'How to effect so hard an enterprize, / And to possesse the purpose they desird: / Now this, now that twixt them they did devise, / And diverse plots did frame, to tnaske in strange disguise' (iii.5i; emphasis added). Quint's account helps explain why many of Spenser's epic heroes - Arthur and Britomart, Redcrosse, Guyon, and Calidore, even Cambell, Triamond, and Artegall - have quests that model the quest of the poet: the 'descent from heaven' - the enactment of vatic virtue. The Spenserian hero, like the poet, converts contemplation into action, prophecy into destiny, 'the purpose they desird' into 'hard ... enterprize.' The views of Quint, Greene, Durling, and others permit us to define Renaissance epic, not merely in formalist terms, but also in terms of the poet's vocation. Epic is a genre in which the poet interprets history - in particular, historical institutions like church, nation, and empire - in light of eternity.9 From this definition, it is a short step to seeing that a poet like Spenser could follow Virgil in locating 'the epic ideal' at a particular phase in the poet's career - that phase following pastoral. Such a step can lead us to redefine Spenserian epic as a genre in which the Orphic poet enacts vatic virtue. After acquiring vatic authority through his pastoral vision, the maturing poet returns to the historical world to communicate the significance of his vision to the commonwealth. The epic poet uses his prophetic art inspired by God and the theology of his church to order the political art of the nation and empire. Through this careeric definition, the epic poet can accurately represent the feature of epic that I would most like to emphasize: the immanentist principle of the 'famous reporte' through which the poet relates poetic fame to Christian glory. As the Dove episode in Book IV of The Faerie Queene intimates, Spenser will define his epic in careeric terms by relying on a self-reflexive avian representation: the 'famous flight.' In The Faerie Queene, he 'make[s the] greater flyght' prophesied by E.K. in The Dedicatory Epistle to The Shepheardes Calender. The bird is an especially appropriate sign of the epic poet who converts fame into glory, time into eternity, because the bird is traditionally an intermediary between heaven and earth (see Hart 52). To find Spenser relying instinctively on the avian myth of fame and glory to define epic, we can turn to a relatively obscure passage that none the less contains historically important information. In his review


Spenser's Famous Flight

of Elizabethan poets in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, Spenser distinguishes William Alabaster by actually naming him (a distinction bestowed on only one other poet, Samuel Daniel). Spenser's goal is to deliver Alabaster from oblivion ('knowen yet to few' [401]) because Alabaster has written a 'heroick song' on the queen titled 'Eliséis' (403-4). Spenser tries to accomplish his goal by calling on Elizabeth herself: 'O dreaded Dread, do not thy selfe that wrong, / To let thy fame lie so in hidden shade: / But call it forth, O call him forth to thee, / To end thy glorie which he hath begun' (406-9). In this witty, intellectually sophisticated passage, Spenser welds the process of reciprocal self-fashioning between sovereign and subject (Montrose, The Elizabethan Subject') to the paradigm of 'fame' and 'glorie.' In writing an epic about the queen's glory, the poet has only "begun' the process of fame that the sovereign herself must 'end' by responding sympathetically. Quite literally, the queen is responsible for completing her own divine telos; she must 'end' her 'glorie.' Consequently, when Alabaster ends his heroic poem ('when he finisht hath as it should be' [410]), 'no braver Poeme can be under Sun' (411). This last phrasing gently reverses the process of transcendence by emphasizing the principle of immanence ordering Spenser's 'epic ideal.' Through the queen's participation in Alabaster's literary process, she will earn the nation an international and historically significant distinction: Nor Po nor Tyburs swans so much renowned, Nor all the brood of Greece so highly praised, Can match that Muse when it with bayes is crowned, And to the pitch of her perfection raised. (Colin Clouts Come Home Againe 412-15)

Alabaster's name may supply the witty rationale for the swan reference, but Spenser sees here more than an occasion for wit. In his colleague's name, he discovers a spectacular metonym for what he aims to do in the first place: secure Alabaster's 'renown.' The standard by which he measures renown is that of epic achievement in three Continental locales: Po, Tybur, and Greece. Wisely, Spenser does not name the Continental swans of epic, but critics identify two overlapping trios: Dante, Virgil, and Homer; or Ariosto, Virgil, and Homer.10 However we identify the swans, I wish to emphasize that Spenser here relies on an avian myth to define epic in terms of its telos: the poet's fame and glory. Vital to the representation of Alabaster is the idea of prophecy. Spenser relies on the avian myth not simply to judge Alabaster's achieve-

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


ment (we possess only 753 lines of Eliseis) so much as to predict his fame. As his allusion to antiquity suggests, in using the swan as a sign of the epic poet he is interpreting an ancient tradition. From Homer onward, birds play a prominent part in the epic representation of prophecy. The epic tradition is scarcely seventy lines old when a prophet versed in ornithomancy - the art of reading birds - steps forward: 'Kalchas, Thestor's son, far the best of the bird interpreters, / who knew all things that were, the things to come and the things past, / who guided into the land of Ilion the ships of the Achaians / through that seercraft of his own that Phoibos Apollo gave him' (Iliad 1.69-72; trans. Lattimore). Throughout the Iliad and the Odyssey, prophetic individuals like Kalchas communicate the will of the gods in the affairs of human beings by reading avian signs. Such readers in the text look conspicuously like the writer of the text." Literally following both Virgil (Inferno l-Purgatorio xxx) and Statius (Purgatorio xxi-xxxm), but also influenced by the scriptural portrait of the birdlike prophet (chapter i), Dante recurrently relies on the myth of the winged poet in the Divine Comedy. In accord with his Christian revision of classical epic, Dante rewrites the convention of the prophet reading the signs of the birds in two significant ways. First, he explicitly and recurrently uses the avian myth to represent his own 'flight' up Purgatorio to Paradiso: 'here a man must fly, I mean with the swift wings and the plumes of great desire' (Purgatorio IV.27-30: 'qui convien ch'om voli; / dico con 1'ale snelle e con le piume / del gran disio'). Second, he presents this avian persona as himself a reader of bird signs, as in the Paradiso when he shows himself reading the avian souls in the sphere of Jupiter or justice forming the head of the eagle, the great symbol of empire (not only the Roman Empire but the Empire of Christ [xvill-xx]). Through an avian representation, Dante discovers his premier device for figuring the Christian epic poet who uses his art to relate empire to eternity, poetic fame to Christian glory (see Boitani 90; Braudy 232). By showing the avian poet reading the avian signs, Dante makes explicit what he found more implicit in Virgil and Statius.12 As the case of Dante suggests, the avian convention is not just any convention; it is one definitive of the genre at large. Nowhere does this idea emerge more hauntingly than in the case of Jonson. As the early seventeenth-century heir to Spenser's laureateship, Jonson self-consciously veers from the Spenserian career model by centring his project on satire (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 101-44). Yet the first entry in Ben Jonson's Conversations with William Drummond reads: 'that he had


Spenser's Famous Flight

ane intention to perfect âne Epik Poème intitled Heroologia of the Worthies of his Country, rowsed by fame, and was to dedicate it to his Country' (1-4; i: 132). Importantly, Jonson communicated an 'intention'; he prophesied his penning of epic. His subject was to be the great individuals of England, whom he hoped to represent as 'rowsed by fame.' The word 'rowse' is a technical term from hawking, meaning To shake the feathers' (OED, def. l.i.a). A hawk rouses its feathers in order to prepare for its high flight. Hence, one of the meanings of 'rouse' is To raise or lift up' (OED, def. I.3.b), as when Spenser tells Daniel to turn from the lower to the higher genres: Then rouze thy feathers quickly Daniel!' (Colin Clout 424; see FQ l.xi.9). Like Spenser, Jonson is sound in his representational scholarship, for he alludes to the winged Fama of the arch-poet of epic, Virgil (see Epigrammes LI.2). Hovering on the brink of oblivion, Jonson's statement preserves his prophetic readiness to make the famous flight. The importance of the avian myth to epic also emerges in the traditional musical instrument of the genre - that other constant in the iconography of fame, the trumpet, whose Tjlast/ Jonson says, 'to eternitie shall last' (Epigrammes xci.5-8; see LXXXix.5-6). In chapter i, I assembled evidence of an archaic theory about the avian origin of both the pastoral syrinx or pan-pipe and the lyric lyre. Here I want to suggest that the epic trumpet traces to an avian origin as well. In On Animals, for instance, Aelian says that the Greek trumpet, called salpinx, was modelled on a bird of the same name (vi.ig).13 The ancient theory about the avian origin of the trumpet uncovers something like archaeological evidence for an original avian identity to the figure who traditionally plays the trumpet in art and literature: winged Fama (Winternitz 197, 213). While Renaissance poets pen many different genres in service of fame, individuals like Petrarch and Tasso clearly envision epic as the height and end of the poet's career. Put literally, the epic instrument blazons the poet's fame most widely. Consequently, poets could locate the trumpet of Fama in the traditional myths of epic inspiration, Pegasus and Calliope. A late medieval example exists in Lydgate: The golden trompet of the house of fame / With full swyfte wynges of the pegasee / Hath [blowe] full farre the knyghtly mannes name' (qtd in Lascelles 189). In The Teares of the Muses, Spenser himself has Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry, bear the 'golden Trompet of eternitie' (458; cf. Teares 98) in order to represent the way in which the epic poet's art creates fame and glory. Thus, to advertise his Virgilian turn from pastoral to epic Spenser opens The Faerie Queene by announcing the appropriate change of musi-

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


cal instruments: Tor trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds' (l.Pr.i). Although he does not rely on the avian myth directly here, he does elsewhere. In Amoretti 19, for instance, he refers to 'the merry Cuckow,' who 'his trompet shrill hath thrise already sounded' (1-2; see FQ ll.xii.36).14 Spenser's friends understood the signficance of the avian myth to his epic. In a Commendatory Verse to the 1590 Faerie Queene, for instance, Harvey turns from a musical to an avian representation in order to figure Spenser's Virgilian progress. A 'sacred fury/ Harvey speculates, 'enrichies]' Spenser's 'braynes,' lifting his notes from 'Shepheardes unto kings, / So like the lively Larke that mounting singes' (3: 2, 5-6). In the unique power of the lark to sing while mounting aloft, Harvey finds an apt sign to convey Spenser's authority for making a generic turn from pastoral to epic. By understanding the Christian significance of the lark (Bawcutt 5-7), we can become alert to the kind of power Harvey is claiming for Spenser. He is the new divine poet. By understanding the Virgilian pattern of the Christian lark's ascent, we can also become alert to the kind of methodology Harvey is ascribing to Spenser. In his bid to become the New Poet, Spenser accommodates Christian ascension to Virgilian generic height. Through 'sacred fury,' Spenser can advance his career from the lowly genre of pastoral to the higher genre of epic. Spenser's cognizance of the avian origin of epic helps explain his recurrent reliance on the myth of the winged poet to advertise his role as a 'famous' epic poet. As we saw in chapter i, an early instance occurs in the pastoral eclogue October (43-4), when he uses the myth to define epic as a careeric genre through which the poet intersects history and eternity for the benefit of the commonwealth. In The Faerie Queene itself, he uses about two hundred avian images. He either shows his heroes and heroines interacting with birds or, more often, taking on birdlike identities. They listen to birdsong, as when Calepine joys in hearing 'the thrushes song' (vi.iv.i7>; they flee like vulnerable birds from a bird of power, as when Florimell flees from Arthur 'Like as a fearefull Dove' fleeing from 'a Tassell gent' (Hl.iv.49); °r they perform birdlike activity, as when Redcrosse experiences regeneration after dipping in the well of life, 'as Eagle fresh out of the Ocean wave' (l.xi.34). Only about fifty-five of the avian images (roughly twenty-five per cent) have clear vocational significance. None the less, non-vocational images draw an affinity between the agent of the heroic action and its creator. Thus Redcrosse's eaglelike identity recalls the avian identity of Heavenly Contemplation, whose 'Eagles eye ... can behold the Sunne' (x.47), and whose mount Spenser associates with Parnassus


Spenser's Famous Flight

(54). Moreover, the more clearly vocational images recur with enough frequency to warrant careful attention, especially since they often alert us to moments in the poem when the poet self-reflexively writes about his epic.15 To clarify my argument about Spenser's career, I concentrate on the one episode that illustrates a carèeric definition of epic more fully than any in the poem. Significantly, this episode is the only one in The Faerie Queene that relies on a formal avian allegory. The twin intertextual dimensions of the episode - scriptural or theological and Virgilian or political - precisely render the intersectional nature of the epic genre. In turn, the third dimension - the vocational - renders the intersectional allegory self-reflexive. In effect, the Dove episode fulfils the prophecy of October, where Piers had told Cuddie to 'display' the 'fluttrying wing' of his Muse 'from East to West.' For the Dove 'her nimble wings displaid' (iv.viii.y). In selecting the dove as the bird of epic, Spenser follows epic tradition. In addition to Virgil with the Venerean doves in Aeneid VI, Apollonius of Rhodes constructs a dove narrative in the Argonautica (11.311-72). Similarly, in addition to Noah with his doves in the Bible, Malory constructs a dove narrative in Le Morte d'Arthur, in which 'añone there cam in a dove at a wyndow, and in her mowthe there semed a lytyll senser of golde' (xi.323r: 2: 793; see XI.325V: 2: 798 and Xl.327r: 2: 801). While critics have long marginalized Spenser's Dove episode, three of its features compel us to acknowledge its centrality to the epic: its numerical position in the poem as we have it; its treatment of the relation between Spenser's two chief patrons, Ralegh and Elizabeth; and its intertextual relation to the premier epic, the Aeneid, especially as filtered through Ariosto. Spenser places the episode in Book IV, canto viii - at that point in the extant Faerie Queene that most definitively models his interpretation of epic. Book IV is the first of 'the public ... virtues' (Hamilton, FQ 423), while canto viii is the 'usual' canto of 'grace' (Hamilton, FQ 483, n. IV.viii.i8, and 380, n. Hl.viii.29). The numerical position of the Dove episode represents the 'intersectional' nature of epic. Spenser constructs a model of the epic poet who returns to the world after his divinely ordained prophetic vision in order to perform virtue for the benefit of the commonwealth.16 Moreover, Spenser writes the Dove allegory as the final episode of the Timias and Belphoebe story - in other words, as the conclusion to the allegory of Ralegh and Elizabeth. He positions this allegory in the books of Chastity and Friendship. Critics often note a shift in these books from

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


a Virgilian to an Ariostan mode of allegorical structure (Roche, The Kindly Flame 3; Fichter 156), and they often note how the role of the poem's central hero, Prince Arthur, is diminished accordingly (Roche, The Kindly Flame 48; Teskey 70). However, critics do not always attribute this shift to the changes in Spenser's political fortunes - especially to the deaths of Sidney in 1586 and Leicester in 1588 and Spenser's turn to Ralegh as his chief patron by 1589-90. Spenser's decision to imitate the Aeneid recurrently in the Timias and Belphoebe story suggests that he aims to foreground Ralegh as his new epic hero. The shift from Arthur-Leicester to Timias-Ralegh may be subtle (subtlety seems to be a prerequisite in a Ralegh allegory), but it does not follow that we should neglect the shift. By recognizing Spenser's elevation of Ralegh to Virgilian epic status in a numerically significant canto, we can better understand the 'sentimental' conclusion to the Ralegh-Elizabeth allegory. In the Dove episode, Spenser filters his imitation of the Aeneid through the Orlando Furioso, the first 'redefinition of classical epic from a Renaissance and Christian perspective' (Fichter 16; see Marinelli, Ariosto and Boiardo 192). Indeed, Spenser 'draws on Ariostan romance with a clear understanding of its potential as an instrument for overgoing Virgil' (Fichter 157). The story usually examined in this connection is that of Britomart and Artegall, an imitation of Bradamante and Ruggiero that is a dynastic rewriting of the story of Aeneas and Dido (see Fichter 89). But critics find imitations of Ariosto's story of Orlando and Angelica in the first two parts of the Timias and Belphoebe story - Belphoebe's curing of Timias (lll.v.32) and Timias' writing of Belphoebe's name on the trees (lV.vii.46). As yet, no one has suggested that Spenser extends his imitation of Ariosto to the last part of the story. In Canto xxxv, Ariosto writes his only narrative about the art of the poet. This narrative is an avian allegory of poetic fame. After meeting St John the Evangelist in the Terrestrial Paradise, Astolpho flies to the moon with the saint in order to retrieve the lost wits of the mad Orlando (Canto xxxiv). On the lunar surface, Astolpho witnesses a curious series of events. An old man fills his lap with plaques containing names of people, and then he runs to drop the plaques into a river (11). Birds of prey rush to retrieve some of the plaques but find themselves too weak to 'beare away those names of great renown' (14; trans. Harington). Onlie two swanns sustaind so great a payse; In spite of him that sought them all to drown


Spenser's Famous Flight These two do still take up whose names they list And bare them safe away and never mist. (Orlando Furioso XXXV.14)

The swans bear the 'names' up a hill to a 'stately Church' (15) that is 'sacred to immortall fame' (16: 'All'Immortalidade il luogo è sacro'). Presiding over the Church is a 'nymph' who hangs the plaques of the two swans 'before the sacred image in such rate / As they might then well be assur'd for ever' (16). Perplexed, Astolpho asks to know these 'misteries most high and hidden sence' (17). St John explains that the old man is Father Time; the plaques, the prospect of fame and glory (19: 'La fama là, qui ne riman la nota; / ch'immortali sariano ambe e divine'); the old man's submersion of the plaques in the river, the oblivious effect of time on the individual's destiny; the birds of prey, courtly 'promooters, ruffins, bawds, and those / That can the parasites and jesters play' (20); and the swans, true poets ('uomini degni da' poeti'): But as the swanns that here still flying are With written names unto the sacred port, So there Historians learnd and Poets rare Preserve them in cleare fame and good report. (Orlando Furioso xxxv.22)

The church to which the swans carry the plaques is thus the Church of Fame, and the nymph Lady Fama herself (Reynolds ed. 2: 714). St John identifies only two of the swan-poets, Homer and Virgil (24-7), suggesting that the two swans are Homer and Virgil, and he concludes by counting himself in their immortal ranks as the writer of the Book of Revelation (27-8). To conclude the episode, Ariosto intervenes: 'for forthwith leape must I / As far as from the Moone unto the ground. / My wings would faile if still I soard so hye' (30). Critics remain divided over Ariosto's attitude toward this allegory.17 They do agree on identifying Astolpho as 'the image of the poet' (Giamatti, Earthly Paradise 140), on Ariosto as imitating Dante (Parker, Inescapable Romance 45), and on the episode's functioning as 'an interpretive key to the larger epic, a summation of Ariosto's thematic concerns' (Quint, Origin and Originality 82). Whatever Ariosto himself thought, Spenser, I propose, likely saw here an avian allegory of epic fame and Christian glory, in which Ariosto imitates Dante and the Book of Revelation in order to reveal how Virgil and Homer authorize the famous flight of the Ariostan poet.

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


It is this allegory, I believe, that Spenser has in mind in the Alabaster swan passage from Colin Clout - a passage that brings together all four Continental poets. Moreover, it is this allegory that Spenser likely imitates in the Dove episode concluding the story of Timias and Belphoebe. Both episodes allegorize the role of the poet; both examine the idea of poetic fame; and both rely on an avian image of such fame. Ariosto's image of the swans bearing the plaques of fame anticipates Spenser's image of the Dove bearing a ruby - as we shall see, a crucial sign of fame. Although in the Book IV episode Spenser is imitating more than the Orlando Furioso, he may have taken Ariosto's cue when he set out to accommodate Virgil and Scripture (Homer and Dante) to the constraints of his historical allegory of Elizabeth and Ralegh. To develop this argument, I want to unpack my three allegorical dimensions sequentially (theological, vocational, and political) and then reconstruct them into a whole. Such a procedure suits Spenser's allegorical method, which entreats us to see 'the relationships across the gaps' of the allegorical dimensions rather than 'the gaps between [them]' (Quilligan 27). Since no one has examined these dimensions in the Dove episode to understand the relationships across the gaps, we need to clarify the gaps themselves. Through a self-reflexive allegorical method, the poet's 'sentimental machinery of dove and heart' constructs a sophisticated model of Spenserian allegorical epic. The Theological Dimension of the Dove Episode: An Allegory of Grace In the Dove episode, Spenser includes a theological dimension to present an allegory of grace. Significantly, he uses the word grace six times in the eighteen-stanza episode. In the first instance, he indicates the word's importance by including it in the Argument: The gentle Squire recovers grace' (i). Although literally the word suggests that Timias will recover Belphoebe's affection, allegorically it suggests that Ralegh will recover Elizabeth's favour. The word used in this sense is 'soveraine grace' (v.viii.ij) - the grace a sovereign confers on her subjects. In the second and third instances, Spenser uses the word in a similar way. In stanza 6, Timias 'chancefs]' to draw forth 'certaine miniments' that Belphoebe 'threw / On him, whilst goodly grace she did him shew'; and in stanza 12, Belphoebe arrives at Timias' forest cabin through the intervention of the Dove, and, although unable to recognize the man she sees 'disguiz'd,' she 'wisht it were in her to doe him any grace.' If Spenser confined his use of the word merely to sovereign grace,


Spenser's Famous Flight

perhaps we could have little warrant for attending to the word so carefully. But in the fourth and fifth instances, he introduces a different sense. In stanza 14, Belphoebe asks Timias whether 'heavens hard disgrace/ or 'wrath of cruell wight/ or his own 'selfe dislike' has caused his 'misfortune'; and in stanza 15 she amplifies on the third alternative: if himself, then he had best be advised, 'For he whose daies in willful woe are worne, / The grace of his Creator doth despise, / That will not use his gifts for thanklesse nigardise.' The sense used in these last two instances is clearly divine grace - the grace 'referring] to God's overflowing bounty in bestowing outward benefits or in intervening as providential care in the natural order."8 The juxtaposition of two uses of divine grace with three uses of sovereign grace hints that the episode will centre on the relation between divine and sovereign grace. This juxtaposition prepares us to see the double resonance in the sixth instance. In stanza 18 (the final stanza of the entire Timias and Belphoebe story), we learn that the squire 'long time afterwards did lead / An happie life with grace and good accord, / Fearlesse of fortunes chaunge or envies dread.' Perhaps Timias no longer needs to fear fortune's change or envy's dread because he benefits from more than the favour of his sovereign. Spenser's placement of the episode in the structure of Book IV also alerts us to an allegory of grace. As we have seen, it occurs in the eighth canto - the 'usual' canto of grace. Usually, Arthur arrives in canto viii as an agent of grace, but in Book iv he arrives in canto vii, where he cannot rescue Timias from his exile (Hamilton, FQ 479, n. lv.vii.42-47; but see l.vii). By showing Arthur unable to function as an agent of grace in the story of Timias, Spenser draws attention to a substitute agent - not a mighty hero but a friendly Dove. The context of the episode further directs us to an allegory of grace. The three-part story of Timias and Belphoebe is an allegory of grace. In addition to the six uses of the word grace in the third part of the story, the word appears eight more times in the first two: five times in Book ill, canto v, when Timias and Belphoebe meet (27, 34, 35, 52, 55); and three times in Book IV, canto vii, when Belphoebe exiles Timias for attending to Amoret (37, 38, 47). Thus the word grace occurs fourteen times in the complete story. Moreover, in all of their appearances, Belphoebe and Timias appear linked with grace. In m.v, she is the agent and he the recipient of divine grace; in iv.vii, they are co-agents of that grace; and in IV.viii they are co-recipients.'9 In the first part of the story, Book ill, canto v, Spenser shows the providential design governing Timias' relationship with Belphoebe by

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


presenting 'Providence heavenly' conferring 'great grace' (27) on the squire after he falls to the Foster's 'long bore-speare' (20). As always, the nature of the divine agent reveals something crucial about the recipient. Since Belphoebe is a chaste lady, we can expect Timias to experience a chastening of his erotic desire. Belphoebe finds Timias lying unconscious from a thigh wound suffered through his combat with the three foresters, 'ungratious children of one gracelesse sire' (15). In the context I have identified, the foresters' 'ungratious' behaviour and their 'gracelesse' origin help locate a demonic nature and genesis for human lust. Timias is in this condition because his earlier Neoplatonic perception of Florimell as the Idea of 'beautie' (i.ic) soon degenerates into Ovidian lust - a degeneration that inverts the providential plan of Arthur's search for Gloriana (P. Cheney, Two Florimells'). To present Timias' lapse into Ovidian lust, Spenser shows the squire separating from his master; while Arthur pursues Florimell, Timias pursues the lecherous Foster who has been chasing Florimell. But the squire's separation from his master also hints at Timias' distinctive destiny. Unlike the prince, who is destined to participate in romantic love by marrying his beloved, Gloriana, the squire is destined to participate in a virtuous form of Neoplatonic love - what we might call virginal love - by serving honourably his beloved, Belphoebe. The maiden's mysterious birth (brought about when the Sun impregnates Chrysogonee [m.vi.i-27]), her name (derived from 'Phoebe,' goddess of the moon [24]), her occupation (a huntress committed to the hart [v.28]), and her upbringing (by Diana the goddess of chastity [vi.28]) - all these identify the maiden as a figure of traditional chastity or virginity. But Spenser humanizes Belphoebe by showing her enact a discipline of chastity when she first 'vew[s]' the handsome youth: 'All suddeinly abasht she chaunged hew, / And with sterne horrour backward gan to start: / But when she better him beheld, she grew / Full of soft passion' (v.3o). Initially aroused erotically, she instinctively recoils, only to use reason to regain composure and express a troubling compassion. In this process, Belphoebe moves from erotic love to rational temperance to the virginal love that will characterize her relation with Timias. To figure Belphoebe's subsequent attempt to initiate Timias into her divinely ordained discipline of chastity, Spenser depicts the maid curing the squire with magical healing herbs associated with 'divine Tobacco' (32). Accordingly, Timias recognizes his cure as an act of grace. Awakening to behold a 'goodly Mayd full of divinities, / And gifts of heavenly grace' (34), he exclaims, 'Mercy deare Lord ... what grace is


Spenser's Famous Flight

this, ... / Angelí, or Goddesse do I call thee right?' (35). When Timias reaches out to kiss this seeming deity's 1>lessed feete,' she herself 1>lush[es]' modestly and gently hints at his mistake: 'Nor Goddesse I, nor Angelí, but ... [a] Mayd' (35-6). Timias' mistaken perception of Belphoebe as a divine creature, and Belphoebe's gentle démystification of his religious habit of mind, insist that we (and Timias) see Belphoebe, not as a distant deity, but as an actual gracious woman functioning as the agent of God's special grace. While critics widely acknowledge Spenser's reference to 'divine Tobacco' as idealizing the relationship between Ralegh and Elizabeth, they have not shown how this idealization functions as an allegory of grace. Spenser introduces Belphoebe as a human agent of divine grace in order to present a theological ideal relating sovereign and subject that he considers central to the moral behaviour of the commonwealth. Sovereign grace enacts divine grace for the benefit of her subjects here, her most beloved, the captain of the guard, Ralegh himself. The sovereign enacting God's grace expresses her relation with her chief subject in the form of an honourable virginal love, which restrains erotic desire with rational control but tempers such reason with compassion, care, and understanding. Such an ideal is important because it puts the queen at the centre of all earthly beauty, around which revolves the honour of her courtiers. Hence, in this first part of the story Spenser accommodates his theology to a historical allegory by showing how his theological ideal leads to a moral one. Through grace, Ralegh honourably submits himself to the queen's code of chastity. Thus Spenser presents the first phase of the relationship between sovereign and subject. Under the protection of grace, they honourably create an ideal of chastity that orders the just commonwealth. Accordingly, in the second part of the story, Book IV, canto vii, Spenser presents the second phase of the relationship. Timias' initial acceptance of virginal love, but then his deviation as a result of espying Amoret, shatters this ideal. That Timias learns to 'follow th[e] program' (in MacCaffrey's wonderful phrase [Spenser's Allegory 268]) after he disappears in Book in, but before he reappears in Book IV, is clear, both because he reappears hunting with Belphoebe in the 'wild woods' (23) and because he functions with her as a co-agent of grace ('heavens helpe' [23]) in the rescue of Amoret from Lust. By aggressively attacking the monster preying on Amoret, Timias demonstrates his antipathy to lust (25), but in the attack Timias accidentally wounds Amoret with 'the pike head of his speare': 'A streame

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


of coleblacke bloud thence gusht amaine, / That all her silken garments did with bloud bestaine' (27). As critics recognize, Timias veers from the program; in this 'allegory of sexual intercourse' (Hamilton, FQ 477), Spenser evokes Ralegh's love for Elizabeth Throckmorton. In this engaging passage, Spenser entreats us to 'consider the Throckmorton affair from the divergent perspectives of Spenser's quarreling patrons' (Bednarz 65). From Elizabeth's perspective, Belphoebe's bitingly succinct phrase, Ts this the faith' (36), is warranted, because Timias is clearly fondling Amoret (Koller 47). In Timias' subsequent retreat into the woods, the queen could detect her subject's guilt at forsaking his old beloved for a 'new lovely mate' (35; Spenser here demonstrates his knack for getting himself into trouble). Yet from Ralegh's perspective, Timias' care for the new mate, although erotic, is poignantly tender, as the language insists: There she him found by that new lovely mate, / Who lay the whiles in swoune, full sadly set, / From her faire eyes wiping the deawy wet, / Which softly stild, and kissing them atweene, / And handling soft the hurts, which she did get' (35). Spenser's 'double perspective' acknowledges the queen's supreme authority at the same time that it announces Ralegh's departure to a new stage in life, in which he marries the woman he loves. Unfortunately for Ralegh, Elizabeth resented any favourite who dared to marry, as she had done twice before, when she banished Leicester for marrying Lettice Knollys, and Essex for marrying Frances Sidney. Even though Spenser presents evidence to implicate both subject and sovereign, however, he emphasizes what we should expect. Together, Ralegh's love for Elizabeth Throckmorton and the queen's anger at Ralegh threaten the ideal of chastity and friendship between sovereign and subject upon which Elizabeth established her court. In the context of The Faerie Queene as a whole, the ambiguity of Belphoebe's exile of Timias is deeply significant. It implicates both Ralegh and Elizabeth for fracturing, not merely a political ideal, but also a divine one. Hence, together they create that most dangerous of human predicaments recurring in The Faerie Queene - and always in the seventh canto: that in which individuals reach the limit of human strength, falling thereby into a state of 'disgrace/ as Redcrosse does in Book I, Guyon in Book II, and Florimell in Book III. Significantly, Elizabeth seems unaware that the predicament exists. In canto viii, the Dove finds Belphoebe carrying on business as usual, 'Sitting in covert shade of arbors sweet, / After late weary toile, which she had tride / In salvage chase' (9). By contrast, Ralegh is painfully aware. Timias' hair, 'uncomb'd, uncurl'd, and carelesly unshed' (vii-4o), hints at Ralegh's


Spenser's Famous Flight

guilt; for Timias metamorphoses into the monster Lust (Hamilton, FQ 479). In effect, Ralegh becomes the monster Elizabeth believes him to be. No matter how much the great courtier loved his wife (and we have every reason to believe he loved her very much), he could not preserve the integrity of his conscience for breaching Elizabeth's trust. Belphoebe's detachment, of course, is as unfortunate as Ralegh's guilt, and together they disorder the ideal of chastity and friendship at the heart of the commonwealth. Consequently, in this second part of the story Belphoebe does not function as the agent of grace, unlike earlier, precisely because she has become the agent of her subject's disgrace. In effect, Elizabeth's anger threatens to divest her of her link with God. The predicament is a unique one in The Faerie Queene. The three figures who most often serve as the agent of grace - Arthur, Belphoebe, and Timias - are unable to resolve this problem.20 Hence, in the third part of the story, Book IV, canto viii, Spenser presents the third phase of the relationship. Through divine grace, the couple reinstate the ideal of the commonwealth, figured when the Dove befriends Timias and reunites him with Belphoebe. The scriptural genesis of this loving creature directs us to her theological significance. Traditionally, the dove of Noah signals the new covenant between God and the individual. Typologically, this dove is an Old Testament type of the New Testament dove that critics surprisingly overlook in the Spenser episode - the Holy Spirit that appears 'like a dove' at Jesus' baptism (Matthew 3:16). By recalling the providential dove of Scripture, we can tentatively identify the significance of Spenser's Dove: it is a spirit of divine grace. Once we identify Spenser's Dove as the spirit of grace, we can tentatively identify the ruby as the 'gift' of grace itself: it is a 'Jewell rich' (6). In the Bible and in the Christian epics of Dante, Ariosto, and Du Bartas, the ruby is, as the monarch of stones (Koonce 209, 212), a sign of grace. Hence, Ralegh in The passionate mans Pilgrimage' imagines the path leading to the New Jerusalem 'strewde with Rubies' (32).21 According to Richard Hooker, the angels 'fill heaven and earth with the rich treasures of most free and undeserved grace' (Laws of Ecclesiasticall Politie 1.4: 56). In the image of the Dove bearing the ruby, Spenser figures the divine spirit filling earth with the rich treasures of most free and undeserved grace. But, as his theological language hints, the spirit is distinctly within a human agent. The 'Jewell' is a 'relicke' of Belphoebe's 'bounty,' 'whilst goodly grace she did him shew' (6). In the opening authorial stanza of canto viii, Spenser further hints at

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


the Dove's theological significance. Nothing, he says, will 'mitigate' Belphoebe's anger Till time the tempest doe thereof delay.' Since in the ensuing narrative the Dove 'delay[s]' the 'tempest,' Spenser seems to identify the Dove as an agent of 'time.' Such an identification first appears in canto vii: '[Arthur] left [Timias] there in languor to remaine, / Till time for him should remedy provide, / And him restore to grace againe' (vii.47). While literally the link between the Dove and 'time' seems peculiar, allegorically it does not. In The Faerie Queene, as in Protestant theology, 'time' is an agency of grace. As Spenser says, Arthur will become king of England 'as time in her just terme the truth to light should bring' (l.ix.5); and as Hooker says, 'coelestiall motion ... and the thread of time are spun together ... Time [is] ... the measure of the motion of heaven ... Yeares, daies, howers, minutes ... all growe from coelestiall motion' (v.oc: 190-92; see Augustine, City of God XI.6). In associating the scriptural dove with time, Spenser is rewriting the traditional figure of winged Time to represent the providential ordering of time. The word time, that is, functions like that other word in Spenser's poetry that signals the working of grace: chance (see I.xi-45, lil.v.27, Hl.vii.27). As Calvin puts it, 'God's providence ... is opposed to fortune and fortuitous happenings' (Institutes I.xvi.2: 198; see 198-210). Thus Spenser says that while Timias languishes, 'there chaunst a turtle Dove / To come' (3); and later the squire draws forth the heart-shaped ruby *by chance' (6). The language of 'time' and 'chance' identifies the Dove as a spirit of divine grace, her ruby-bearing mission as the working of grace, and Timias and Belphoebe as the providential recipients. Finally, the dialogue between Timias and Belphoebe in stanzas 14-16 alerts us to an allegory of grace. The dialogue is conspicuous both for its theological content and for its careful rhetorical patterning. Belphoebe asks the savage man she finds, 'what heavens hard disgrace, / Or wrath of cruell wight on thee ywrake? / Or selfe disliked life doth thee thus wretched make?' (14). Characteristic of her authority, she then offers a program of reform: If heaven, then none may it redresse or blame, Sith to his powre we all are subject borne: If wrathfull wight, then fowle rebuke and shame Be theirs, that have so cruell thee forlorne; But if through inward griefe or wilfull scorne Of life it be, then better doe advise. For he whose daies in wilfull woe are worne, The grace of his Creator doth despise,


Spenser's Famous Flight That will not use his gifts for thanklesse nigardise.


The tripartite anaphora calls attention to the rational order of Belphoebe's discipline of chastity, but it thereby hints at her misunderstanding of the Protestant theology Spenser appears to avow. She assumes the cause of Timias' plight to be either God, another person, or Timias himself - one but not all. Belphoebe's theological doctrine is hard to place - but that seems precisely the point. Her first alternative looks like good Calvinism. Since the individual is 'subject' to God's 'powre/ he is helpless to 'redresse' human error. Her second alternative looks less like theology and more like good Aristotelian ethics. Anyone who is 'cruell' deserves 'fowle rebuke and shame.' Her third alternative looks less like pure Calvinism and more like good Church of England theology, since it acknowledges the individual's use of his will in the divine process. He who 'willfullty]' wastes his days, despises his own creator. Troubling here is the principle controlling this theologian's habit of mind; it is one of exclusivity. By assuming that Timias' 'misfortune' results from either God, another, or himself, Belphoebe demonstrates why she cannot function as an agent of grace. She misunderstands her own country's theology, which emphasizes the 'consent' between the individual and God.22 Hence, Timias points out Belphoebe's error: Then have they all themselves against me bent: For heaven, first author of my languishment, Envying my too great felicity, Did closely with a cruell one consent, To cloud my daies in dolefull misery, And make me loath this life, still longing for to die. (iv.viii.i6; emphasis added)

The squire then identifies Belphoebe as the 'cruell one': 'Ne any but your selfe, O dearest dred, / Hath done this wrong' (17). Although Timias approximates Spenser's theology by identifying the 'consent' between God, other, and self, he demonstrates his own culpability by being nearly as mistaken as Belphoebe. His language threatens disobedience to God and insubordination to his 'dearest dred.' He accuses God of 'envie,' and Belphoebe of 'cruelty.' From the couple's mistaken theologies, we can infer the need for the allegory in the first place. Elizabeth and Ralegh have forgotten the core Spenser finds in Church of England theology. According to Stephen Greenblatt, Ralegh shaped his 'entire imaginative world' around the

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


queen, only to experience a complete breakdown when he fell into disgrace. Ralegh's 'bitter loneliness arises ... from a new and tragic awareness of mortality, a sense of isolation from any transcendent force or any movement toward the renewal of life' (Ralegh 83). Ralegh has forgotten what Spenser considers so important: the providential working of divine grace. Elizabeth may not have suffered from Ralegh's religious scepticism, but she needed Spenser's allegory as much as her dejected subject (see Guy 252, 298), for the Dove finds Belphoebe in a posture that throughout The Faerie Queene betrays self-absorption and error. Like Redcrosse in Book I, she 'rest[s]' in 'covert shade of arbors sweet' (9). That Spenser shows Belphoebe/Elizabeth acting so serenely while Timias/Ralegh is on the verge of suicide (vii.451. 8-9 and Hamilton's note, FQ 479) further underscores her problem. Accordingly, the Dove subjects herself neither to Timias nor to Belphoebe. When the squire ties the ruby around the Dove's neck, he is 'dismaid' when she flies away, mistakenly believing her to have 'straid' (7). And when Belphoebe tries to reave the Dove's ruby, 'the swift bird obayd not her behest' (10). Clearly, Belphoebe no longer reigns sovereign here. Thus, in this third part of the story Spenser uses the scriptural dove to introduce a theological dimension into his historical allegory. He instructs Elizabeth and Ralegh in the providential relation between divine and sovereign grace. In the just commonwealth, the sovereign's grace enacts divine grace to establish an ideal of chastity and friendship among her subjects. The Vocational Dimension: An Allegory of Epic Poetry Spenser fuses the theological dimension of the Dove allegory with a vocational dimension in order to defend the divine authority of the epic poet to re-establish the ideal of chastity and friendship in the commonwealth. We can become alert to this allegory by recognizing that in the guise of the Dove Spenser relies on the literary tradition to figure himself in his role as national poet. Another important use of the dove in Book IV supplies an interpretive key to this reading. In the Proem, he invokes 'Venus dearling dove,' entreating this winged Muse to 'Sprinckle [Elizabeth's] heart' with 'drops of melting love ... / That she may hearke to love, and reade this lesson often' (5). By invoking the dovelike Muse of love, the poet aims to teach Elizabeth to love her subjects including Ralegh and himself. In doing so, he alerts us to the impending vocational symbolism of canto viii. As his imitation of the Aeneid implies, he writes an allegory of Virgilian epic. Such symbolism does not appear suddenly; it begins in the first part


Spenser's Famous Flight

of the story. In Book ill, canto v, Spenser creates an allegory of poetry evocative of the vocational relation between subject and sovereign. The details show Spenser reminding Ralegh of the providential process governing his calling as the poet-lover of a queen whose divinely chaste art gives birth to his own. That Spenser appeals to Ralegh's vocational - not merely his courtly - responsibility emerges initially in the Proem to Book m, where Spenser represents the 'gratious servant' as a 'delitious Poet' who 'picture[s]' 'Cynthia' through 'sweet verse, with Nectar sprinckeled' (4-5). As the allusion to 'Nectar' reveals, Spenser subtly reminds Ralegh of the divine origin of his 'sweet verse'; it is to this origin and its sovereign fountain that Spenser turns in canto v. But Spenser's language is also arresting, for it implies that Ralegh's verse inverts the honourable end of Spenser's own civic verse - duke et utile: 'My senses lulled are in slomber of delight' (4). Ralegh himself reveals the reason for the friendly critique in his first Commendatory Verse to the 1590 Faerie Queene when, in the words of Louis Montrose, he 'envisions Spenser as overgoing not Vergil or Chaucer but Petrarch - not the epic poet of the Africa but the visionary love poet of the Canzoniere and Trionfi' (' "The perfecte paterne" ' 34). Rather than providing a model of Spenser's 'courtship' epic, however, the Commendatory Verse betrays Ralegh's misreading of that epic. Ralegh transfers his own Petrarchan perception of epic, represented in his private, withdrawn lament of The Ocean to Cynthia (25-8), to Spenser's Virgilian epic. After Timias faints from his lustful wound, Spenser intervenes to offer his own prayer, which he then depicts as miraculously answered: 'Providence heavenly passeth living thought, / And doth for wretched mens reliefe make way: / For loe great grace or fortune thither brought / Comfort to him' (27). The phrase 'great grace or fortune' is arresting. Spenser inserts it not to evade the assurance underlying his theology nor to submit negligently to Ralegh's well-known scepticism. Rather, he demonstrates tactfully the divine origin of his own authority to see clearly the relationship between Elizabeth and Ralegh. The 'fortune' seeming to control this relationship is not a random ordering of events designed to destroy individuals, but a conscious act of 'great grace' designed to save them. The 'great grace' appears in Belphoebe herself. Given Ralegh's religious scepticism, Timias' seemingly religious epiphany may appear curious. Yet Spenser is likely trying to bring to the surface a stream of religious affirmation that runs underground throughout Ralegh's verse (Ocean to Cynthia 517-20, 'Epitaph on Sir Philip Sidney' 17-20, 60). By portraying Belphoebe as the agent of grace in Timias' rescue, Spenser

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


asserts Elizabeth's providentially controlled power to indoctrinate him into her code of chastity. By alluding to Aeneas' exclamation to his mother Venus Co dea certe'), Spenser hints at the vocational cast of this code. In fact, a remarkable network of imagery and allusion specifies the mode of this indoctrination. It is the art of poetry.23 Spenser, I propose, is not merely offering 'a serious critique of the ideology inscribed in the conventional forms of literariness' (Berger 232); he is criticizing both Ralegh and Elizabeth for lapsing into a lyric subversion of the epic ideal that he believes they should embody to organize the commonwealth. The locale alerts us to the vocational symbolism, since the forest is the locus of the poet (Boccaccio, Genealogy XIV .xi in Boccaccio on Poetry 54-8). Timias' entrance into the 'thicke woods' (13) suggests Ralegh's entrance into a dangerous world of poetry - in particular, a Petrarchan or lyric 'pastoralism' (Berger 233). In such a locale, Timias receives his thigh wound. The Foster shoots a 'cruell shaft, headed with deadly ill, / And fethered with an unlucky quill' (20). As with a similar trope in June (97-101; chapter 2), the reference to the 'quill' here implies that Ralegh is wounded by a lust generated, not merely from his sight of female beauty, but more precisely by his reading of pastoral poetry - the Petrarchan variety that Book III itself aims to counter. Since Ralegh has been indoctrinated into pastoral, Petrarchan poetry, the saving artist appears in his rescuer, the divinely ordained Belphoebe. Spenser extends his portrait of Elizabeth to include her role as 'a peereles Poëtresse' (Teares 576). Spenser may be exaggerating, but he is not prevaricating. Elizabeth was a poet.24 In the narrative of Book III, Spenser portrays Belphoebe as well versed in the art of magical healing 'hearbes': 'For she of herbes had great intendiment, / Taught of the Nymphe, which from her infancy / Her nourced had in trew Nobility' (32). For Elizabethans generally, herbs are a trope for poetry, while the physician with his medicine is also a conventional trope for the healing power of the poet.25 Thus Belphoebe's curative 'hearbes' represent the curative power of poetry. Elizabeth uses a poetry of chastity providentially to cure Ralegh of his erotic lust.26 The vocational significance of the episode emerges more clearly when Belphoebe brings the wounded Timias to her 'pleasant glade,' which is 'like a stately Theatre' (39). This is quite literally the theatre of state, and the metaphor rings with Orphic resonance (Ovid, Metamorphoses V.388-9 and XI.22; Claudian, 'Letter to Serena' XXXI.6) - with 'built-in associations of the locus amoenus with performance' (Hinds 35). But the theatre simile may have increased resonance for a poet-reader


Spenser's Famous Flight

like Ralegh. For Ralegh's identity depended on his power to perform 'a brilliant part in what he called "this stage-play world" ' (Greenblatt, Ralegh 22). Later, while imprisoned in the Tower Ralegh will crystallize his central metaphor in 'On the Life of Man': 'What is our life? a play of passion' (i). Spenser may select a simile from Ralegh's own vocabulary in order to respond to his friend's religious scepticism. Subsequent language clarifies the vocational allegory. In the middle of Belphoebe's Orphic theatre of state, a 'little river plaide / Emongst the pumy stones, which seemd to plaine / With gentle murmure' (39): Beside the same a dainty place there lay, Planted with mirtle trees and laurels greene, In which the birds song many a lovely lay Of gods high prayse, and of their loves sweet teene, As it an earthly Paradize had beene.


The trope of the river playfully singing a complaint evokes the passionate medium of the poet's harmonious art (see Aprill 33-6). The next trope of the singing pumice stones evokes the implement of the poet's art (see Propertius, Elegies iii.i.8; Greek Anthology vi.62-8, 295). Spenser's following trope of the 'laurels greene' planted in the 'dainty place' evokes the poet's laureate vocation, which here celebrates a chaste Venerean love, as the linking of the laurel and the myrtle reveals. The laurel is sacred to Apollo, god of poets, while the myrtle is sacred to Venus, goddess of love and beauty (Petrarch, Rime sparse 7: 9). Spenser's final trope of 'the birds' singing 'many a lovely lay' seals the vocational significance. Through the image of the birds singing both of 'gods high prayse' and of 'loves sweet teene,' Spenser alerts Ralegh to the kind of virginal love poetry Belphoebe herself sings and to the kind of poetry Ralegh himself must learn to imitate: a chaste erotic poetry originating in God. Such a poetry recreates 'Paradize' on 'earth,' as Spenser's syntax reveals: the birds sing of 'god' and 'their loves,' 'As it an earthly Paradize had beene.' To illustrate Ralegh's attempt to learn his new vocation, Spenser portrays Timias actually singing a 'lyric complaint' (O'Connell 111). In this elaborately ornate three-stanza song punctuated by a refrain, Timias uses his art to fashion his new identity: 'And doth not highest God vouchsafe to take / The love and service of the basest crew? / If she will not, dye meekly for her sake; / Dye rather, dye, then ever so faire love forsake' (47). The Protestant poetics here implied suggests a critique, the nature of which becomes more explicit in the second part of the story.

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


In Book IV, canto vii, Spenser shows the consequences of the queen's poetics of virginal love. Despite his initial acceptance of this poetics, Ralegh violates its sanctity when he falls in love with Elizabeth Throckmorton, thereby incurring the queen's wrath and securing his own banishment. In this vocational allegory, writes Goldberg, 'the poet makes nature his writing tablet and inscribes his text on it. The reversal is a figure for the genuineness of the poet's love, a return to nature that is not artifice' (Endlesse Worke 51-2). Timias' return to nature, I would add, represents Ralegh's retreat from writing a national epic celebrating 'Cynthia' to a pastoral lyric complaining about her - 'His hard mishap in dolor to deplore' (39). By turning from epic to pastoral, Ralegh reverses the very 'paterne' of Virgulan genres that Spenser himself is in the process of enacting. Hence, Timias makes his 'cabin' in a 'gloomy glade' (38). This locale is a sterile locus poeticus of the pastoral variety. In The Shepheardes Calender, the 'greene cabinet' represents the political ideology of pastoral poetry (Dec 17; chapter 2, note 16). Timias' withdrawal to his green cabin appears to represent Ralegh's retirement from the politics undergirding epic ideology. Such a withdrawal emerges in the next stanza, where Timias violates the twin foundations of epic laid out in the Proem to Book I - 'Fierce warres and faithfull loves shall moralize my song' (i). Timias breaks 'his wonted warlike weapons' and vows 'ne ever word to speake to woman more' (39). The squire grounds his Pegasean ascent to fame by isolating himself in oblivion: 'of men forlore, / And of the wicked world forgotten quite' (39). As the etymology of his name implies, Timias falls into dishonour and prepares his future for infamy. Consequently, in Book rv, canto viii, Spenser relies on the bird of epic fame both to instruct Ralegh in the right genre of the national poet and to demonstrate his own claims to such a high-flying vocation. As Upton long ago observed, Spenser in this episode alludes to the Aeneid, Book VI, in which Virgil depicts the twin doves of Venus directing Aeneas to the Golden Bough: 'twin doves, as it chanced, came flying from the sky and lit on the green grass. Then the great hero knew them for his mother's birds'; the doves, 'as they fed, advanced in flight just so far as a pursuer's eyes could keep them within ken; ... they swiftly rise and ... settle on ... the twofold tree' ^1.190-203). Most directly, Virgil uses the Venerean doves to figure the spirit of divine love that directs the individual to complete his providential quest to found a nation. But Spenser rewrites Virgil, probably in light of the two dove passages in the Eclogues, both of which Spenser would have read as self-portraits:


Spenser's Famous Flight

Tityrus the dove owner in Eclogue I, and Menalcas the Chaonian dove in Eclogue IX (chapter i). Later in canto viii, Spenser conflates a passage from Isaiah 11: 6 with the Chaonian dove passage from Virgil: The Lyon there did with the Lambe consort, / And eke the Dove sate by the Faulcons side' (31). The Isaiah verse usually cited by critics does not contain the avian dialectic of dove and falcon.27 Spenser, I propose, rewrites Isaiah in light of Virgil in order to support the allegory of the Dove episode. The 'Dove' sitting by the 'Faulcons side' represents not merely the peace existent in the 'antique age' (30), but also the peace that the poet working harmoniously with his sovereign can create in the current age. In this way, the avian imagery, authorized by Scripture and Virgil, represents the idea in the larger (intruding) authorial passage (stanzas 29-33). Thus, in the Dove episode itself Spenser identifies the poet as the agent of divine love, Elizabeth as the national heroine responsible for the destiny of her country, and Ralegh as the subject on whom the queen confers her grace. By alluding to the Aeneid throughout the story of Timias and Belphoebe, Spenser identifies Elizabeth and Ralegh as the main actors in a new epic 'Theatre.' ^ Ralegh himself was likely alert to Spenser's avian strategy of selfpresentation. In his second Commendatory Verse to the 1590 Faerie Queene, he calls Spenser Thilumena' (2: 2) - in response, I believe, to Spenser's recurrent association of Colin Clout with The Nightingale ... sovereigne of song' in The Shepheardes Calender (chapter 2). As if to demonstrate his gratitude, Spenser generously bestows his sign on his friend in his own Dedicatory Sonnet: To thee that art the sommers Nightingale, / Thy soveraine Goddesses most deare delight' (14: 1-2). By graciously likening each other to the archetypal bird of eternal song, Spenser and Ralegh do not merely identify each other as the poet of immortal verse deserving membership in an ancient tradition that extends back to Hesiod. They also participate in a sustained and complex process of intertextual relation that they uniquely forge out of the Elizabethan system of patronage. In fact, the mirrorlike references intimate that the friends used the bird as something of a private code. Hence, in The Ocean to Cynthia Ralegh echoes Spenser's portrait of Colin Clout in the Calender: 'Under thos healthless trees I sytt alone, / Wher joyfull byrdds singe neather lovely layes / Nor Phillomen recounts her direfull mone.'29 In effect, Ralegh says that he has abandoned his role as The Nightingale ... sovereigne of songe' because the queen is 'no more a milke white dove' (Ocean to Cynthia 327). But from Spenser's perspective, Ralegh's selection of a nightingale identity in a national epic betrays the problem. Ralegh has abandoned epic for pastoral.

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queens


Hence, in Book IV, canto viii, the details describing the relation between Timias and the Dove allegorize a providential friendship between the two poets. Specifically, the details echo the relation between Colin Clout and the Shepherd of the Ocean in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe - but with a difference. Whereas that poem acknowledged Ralegh's role in uniting Spenser with the queen, the Book IV episode acknowledges Spenser's role in uniting the queen with Ralegh. In the pastoral poem, Colin has lost his love, 'For love had me forlorne' (90). One day, however, he is visited by the Shepherd of the Ocean, and the two become friends. Impressed with Colin's music, the Shepherd generously takes Colin to Cynthia's court so that he can play his pipe - That she thenceforth therein gan take delight' (361). Like Colin, the Dove 'late had lost her dearest love' (3). And just as the Shepherd befriends Colin, so the Dove befriends Timias - a reversal necessary because Spenser now wishes to show how he and his poetry function as a providential agent on Ralegh's behalf. Accordingly, just as before the two shepherds sang and piped together, so here the Dove 'gan mone [Timias'] undeserved smart, / And with her dolefull accent beare with him a part' (3): Shee sitting by him as on ground he lay, Her mournefull notes full piteously did frame, And thereof made a lamentable lay, So sensibly compyld.


To underscore the correspondence between the two scenes of friendship, Spenser uses the Dove's 'lamentable lay' to respond to the Shepherd's 'lamentable lay' in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe (164) - phrasing that occurs just these two times in all of Spenser's poetry. Moreover, the artistic language in the passage above identifies the Dove's song as the art of poetry: 'accent,' 'notes,' 'lay,' 'compyld' - even 'frame.' Such language resurfaces. The Dove repairs to Timias' cabin 'Withouten dread of perill ... / ... and with her mournefull muse / Him to recomfort... / And every day for guerdon of her song, / He part of his small feast to her would share' (5; emphasis added). The phrasing evokes a professional dimension to the friendship - that between poet and patron. The 'feast/ for instance, is a conventional metaphor for patronage (Alwes 40). While Spenser nobly supports his friend by writing poetry for him during his disgrace, 'Withouten dread of perill,' Ralegh nobly supports his friend by offering both 'feast' and 'guerdon' despite that disgrace. The details of the episode do not merely echo Spenser's own poetry; they also echo Ralegh's. In Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, Spenser indi-


Spenser's Famous Flight

cates that he and Ralegh engaged in artistic interchange right from their first encounter: 'He pip'd, I sung; and when he sung, I piped, / By chaunge of turnes, each making other mery' (76-7). Critics recognize that Spenser's use of the hermit metaphor in the Timias story derives from Ralegh's 'Like to a Hermite poore' (Hamilton, FQ 479, n. iv.vii.38: 9, 40: 6), which the courtier wrote after his disgrace (Oakeshott 169-70): 'Like to a Hermite poore in place obscure, / I meane to spend my dales of endles doubt, / To waile such woes as time cannot récure ... / And at my gate dispaire shall linger still, / To let in death when Love and Fortune will' (1-14). According to O'Connell, 'A reading of Raleigh's ["Like to a Hermite poore" and] The Ocean to Cynthia allows one to understand what Spenser is doing with Timias' (117). As yet, however, no one has shown precisely how the intertextual process works. The key to Spenser's imitatio lies in the generally deep religious pessimism of Ralegh's verse, as illustrated in his 'Hermite' poem. In fact, writes Greenblatt, Time stalks through almost all his poems, destroying the "passionate shepherd's" pastoral dreams, undermining love and nature, causing man's hopes to wither and die' (Ralegh 129). The first passage Greenblatt cites in support of this thesis is crucial here - 'The Nimph's Reply,' wherein Ralegh responds to Marlowe's The passionate Sheepheard to his love': Time drives the flocks from field to fold, / When Rivers rage, and Rocks grow cold, / And Philomell becommeth dombe' (5-7). Ralegh's reading of The Shepheardes Calender seems to be responsible for his transformation of Marlowe's generalized 'Melodious byrds' (8) into the very specific 'Philomell.' The change makes a selfreflexive point: Time' makes Philomell 'dombe'; time destroys the poet's song. Only by understanding the importance of Time the Destroyer in Ralegh's poetry can we fully understand the resonance of Spenser's twice iterated reference to 'time' in the Book IV episodes of Timias and Belphoebe. Sensitive to nightingales, Spenser responds to The Nimph's Reply' by creating an allegory in which Time is a providential agent, figured in another bird, the Dove. Tactfully, Spenser asserts the immortality of the poet's art - an art that can conquer time by channeling the Destroyer to a providential end. By switching from a nightingale to a dove - a solitary weeper to a divine agent - Spenser reminds Ralegh of the epic poet's divine calling and consequent social responsibility. Ralegh needs to 'chaunge' his 'Oaten reeds' for 'trumpets sterne.' He needs to reverse the process of dishonour and infamy. A similar strategy controls another avian intertextual relation between Spenser's and Ralegh's poetry. In Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, Spenser likens Elizabeth's 'greatnes' (335) to 'the circlet of a Turtle

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


true, / In which all colours of the rainbow bee' (340-1). As the references to the rainbow and dove reveal, Elizabeth's greatness consists largely in her power to function as an agent of grace during tempestuous times. Ralegh seems to have recalled Spenser's lines when, rejected by Elizabeth, he wrote in The Ocean to Cynthia that 'Belphebe' is 'no more a milke white Dove ... / Shee did untye the gentell chaynes of love' (327-30). In turn, Spenser seems to have recalled Ralegh's lines when he uses the Dove bearing its chain-bound heart in order to assert tactfully that he is taking over Elizabeth's role as the providential agent of love and peace after she has abandoned that role by banishing Ralegh. If Elizabeth decides to be 'no more a milke white Dove,' someone needs to supply the role. Spenser selects himself, on the grounds that he is the 'sovereigne of song.' These intertextual relations do not merely constitute one of the most remarkable literary exchanges during the sixteenth century; they also reveal the remarkable sophistication underlying the 'sentimental machinery of dove and heart.' Spenser helps his friend by referentially enacting the value that Ralegh's own verse has for him in his role as the New Poet. As if to seal the vocational significance of the Dove episode, Spenser creates an exact mimetic model of the fashioning process he wishes to complete: Eftsoones [the Dove] flew unto [Timias'l fearelesse hand, And there a piteous ditty new deviz'd, As if she would have made [Belphoebe] understand, His sorrowes cause to be of her despis'd.


By presenting the Dove 'deviz[ing]' a 'piteous ditty' to make Belphoebe 'understand' the 'cause' of Timias' 'sorrow,' Spenser shows the way in which he uses his poem to fashion the lives of his chief patrons. According to Helgerson, the 'laureate could not be a timeserver. Rather, he was the servant of eternity.' At the same time, the laureate contributed to 'the order and improvement of the state' (Self-Crowned Laureates 8,29). In the Dove episode, Spenser qualifies as a laureate poet because he is both the servant of eternity and the subject of the state. The avian sign is instrumental to this strategy of self-presentation because the Dove is an intermediary between nature and grace, time and eternity. By telling a story about a Dove's power to right a process of poetic fame and glory, Spenser does not simply model the genre of epic he is in the process of penning; he actually demonstrates his own success in turning from pastoral to epic.


Spenser's Famous Flight

The Political Dimension: An Allegory of Power Spenser fuses the theological and vocational dimensions of the Dove with a political one to show how his poetry contributes to what Montrose terms a 'reciprocal' process of 'self-fashioning' in an ideal power structure: 'as both the [poet] and his discourse are shaped by "the Queen" ... so they also reshape the Queen by the very process of addressing and representing her' ('The Elizabethan Subject' 318, 303). This 'dynamic principle,' says Montrose, appears in the 'dominant Elizabethan ideology/ which 'inscribed the English commonwealth within a divinely created and providentially directed cosmos' (308), and is illustrated in The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth l. The queen appears with an 'ostentatious bow' tied over a 'large teardrop pearl' situated on her womb; this 'demure iconography of Elizabeth's virgin-knot suggests a causal relationship between her sanctified chastity and the providential destruction of the Spanish Catholic invaders' (315). Since the queen's propaganda advertised this relationship, the iconography illustrates a process of reciprocal self-fashioning in which queen and artist fashion each other. In the Dove episode, the iconography of the ruby resembles that in The Armada Portrait: 'Amongst the rest a Jewell rich he found, / That was a Ruby of right perfect hew, / Shap'd like a heart, yet bleeding of the wound, / And with a litle golden chaine about it bound' (viii.6). Spenser's lapidary symbolism evokes the virtues of chastity and concord (see Hamilton, FQ 481, n. iv.viii.6). Consequently, when Belphoebe originally gives the ruby to Timias, she asserts her chastity to him. But when he later gives the ruby to the Dove, he asserts his chastity to his new friend. And when the Dove uses the ruby to entice Belphoebe back to him, the bird conveys Spenser's and Ralegh's assertions to her. But Spenser fuses the lapidary symbolism of love as concordant chastity with a previously overlooked rhetorical symbolism of eloquence as virtuous power. In particular, the golden chain is a trope for the carefully forged art of poetry. Hence, in the authorial stanza of Book I, canto ix, Spenser uses the trope to figure the links of the virtues making up his epic, represented in the friendship between Arthur and Redcrosse: 'O Goodly golden chaine, wherewith yfere / The verrues linked are in lovely wise: / And noble minds of yore allyed were, / In brave poursuit of chevalrous emprize' (i). Similarly, in Astrophil and Stella Sidney says that the orator 'with his golden chaine ... men's harts doth bind (58: 2). The image resembles Spenser's - a 'golden chaine' binding a 'heart.' Sidney's image evokes Alciati's emblem 'Eloquentia fortitudine

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


praestantior/ which shows the Gallic Hercules leading a crowd of people by a chain extending from his mouth (Ringler ed. 477). Lucian in Heracles says that Heracles has 'delicate chains fashioned of gold and amber' extending from his tongue to the ears of the crowd because he was 'a wise man who achieved everything by eloquence' (qtd in Ringler) - an account referred to by Puttenham in The Arte of English Poésie (in G.G. Smith 2: 118) and Wilson in The Arte of Rhétorique (preface, n.p.; see fig. 9). The Gallic Hercules depicted by Lucian, Alciati, Puttenham, and Wilson is 'a hybrid between Hercules and Orpheus, with the balance tipped in favour of Orpheus' (Cain, 'Orpheus' 39). By evoking this figure, Spenser inserts an Orphic dimension into the Dove episode. He implies this dimension in Timias' use of complaint to 'pers ... the hearts of Tigres and of Beares' (4), the word 'pers' having artistic resonance in the period (June 100; Sidney, Defence in G. G. Smith i: 164). But more precisely the New Poet is constructing a remarkably mimetic sign of a heroic or epic art. Book IV of The Faerie Queene is itself an Orphically powerful 'chain of concord' (Fowler, Numbers 33). As with the golden chain, the rich stone or jewel is a common trope for the art of the poet from classical times onward (Golding, Preface too the Reader in Ovid, Metamorphoses 183,205-7; Harvey, Pierces Supererogation in G.G. Smith 2: 265). The ruby also has vocational significance (Dante, Paradiso ix.og; Du Bartas, Divine Weeks II.ii.4.244-6; Lodge, Defence of Poetry in G.G. Smith i: 63, 75-6). While Dante in particular uses the ruby as the stone of Urania, a sign of the divine poet, Spenser shows the divinely powered civic poet using his eloquence to descend to the world, where he can move his reader to virtue. Thus the Dove bears the ruby to Belphoebe in swift descent: There she alighting, fell before her feet' (emphasis added). As a figure for the epic genre, the ruby is connected to the centre of epic, fame and glory. The link between riches, fame, and glory goes back to the Hebrews (Boitani 24; see 94). Significantly, Chaucer represents Lady Fame sitting on a throne That mad was of a rubee all, / Which that a carbuncle ys ycalled' (House of Fame 1362-3). Chaucer's source is the Book of Revelation, where Christ sits on a throne likened to 'a jasper stone, and a sardine' (Revelation 4: 3) - the sardius being a red stone often confused with the ruby (see note 21; and Koonce 208-9). It is Dante, however, who links the ruby directly with poetic fame as a means to Christian glory; his description of the ruby-soul for the poet Foulquet reads: 'Of this resplendent and precious jewel of our heaven which is nearest to me great fame has remained, and before it dies away this centennial year shall yet be lived' (Paradiso IX.37-9).


Spenser's Famous Flight

Such imagery helps explain the iconography of Fame in the Renaissance. No one excavates this iconography more carefully than Jonson. In The Masque of Queenes, the great scholar relies on Horapollo and Ripa to explain that 'Fama bona' is 'attir'd in white, wth white Wings, having a collar of Gold, about her neck, and a heart hanging at it. ... In her right hand she bore a trumpet, in her left hand an olive-branch' (447-52; 7: 305; emphasis added). What Jonson lays out in his scholarship, Spenser represents in his poetry. The Dove with its heart-shaped ruby, bound by a golden chain and worn around the neck, is a brilliant trope for poetic fame. The theological dimension of the trope articulated earlier reveals that the Dove and ruby model epic precisely because they represent the way in which poetic fame is sanctioned by Christian glory. In using the ruby as a trope for the fame of poetic eloquence, Spenser seems to be responding to Ralegh, who in The Ocean to Cynthia writes despairingly of his relation with the queen: 'The lincks which tyme did break of harty bands / Words cannot knytt' (480-1). The image is of a chain binding a heart (the word 'lincks' refers to the 'chaynes of love' in the 'Belphebe'/'milke white Dove' passage); but here Ralegh asserts that 'tyme' breaks the band of love and that 'words' cannot 'knytt' the chain together. Poetry is impotent to control time's destructive energy; the poet's eloquence cannot mend the broken band of love (see Stillman). In short, Ralegh avows that he cannot use his art to fashion the queen. Spenser responds to Ralegh by rewriting his trope. The poet is a divine agent who can use his 'famous' art to control time by fashioning virtuous readers. Spenser's fusion of lapidary and rhetorical symbolism reveals that he uses the image in the poem as an image of the poem - especially Books in and IV, the books of love, as revealed by such words from his artistic vocabulary as 'hue' and 'colour' (see HI.Pr.4). Hence, both Books III and IV begin with references to the 'golden chaine' (lll.i.12; rv.i.3o). In using the Dove to bear the ruby to Belphoebe as a means of reconciling her with Timias, Spenser figures the way in which he uses his own poem to function as a 'gift' of 'grace' for the queen and her chief subject, moving them to virtuous action. Moreover, the complex ownership of the ruby indicates that queen, subject, and poet all contribute to the poetic ideal of chastity the jewel symbolizes. Since it is originally Belphoebe's, the ideal originates with the queen. But since Belphoebe gives it to Timias, Ralegh as captain of the guard is its principal guardian. And since Timias gives it to the Dove, Spenser becomes the ultimate caretaker. Spenser's description of the Dove directing Belphoebe back to Timias underscores this political

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


dimension of the allegory: 'the swift bird' 'swarv'd aside, and there againe did stay'; Belphoebe 'follow'd her, and thought againe it to assay' (10). Spenser's rewriting of the Aeneid reinforces the political dimension. But Spenser may also be accommodating Virgil's political theology to Sidney's vocational politics in The Defence of Poesy: 'of all Sciences' is 'our Poet the Monarch. For he dooth not only show the way, but giveth so sweete a prospect into the way, as will intice any man to enter into it' (in G.G. Smith i: 172). Thus the ruby functions as a trope, not merely for the grace and glory of eloquence, but also for the grace and glory of imperial power (Alain de Lille, Complaint of Nature Prose 1.174-9: 10). The details of the Dove episode identify Spenser as the real 'Monarch' - the 'sovereigne of song' - who uses the imperial power of his art to 'intice' the queen 'into the way,' where she can reconcile herself with Ralegh. In doing so, Spenser contributes to the ongoing debate about the cultural value of poetry; he asserts the imperial value of his epic art to create fame and glory. In effect, Spenser anticipates Montrose's two-part paradigm of 'queen' and 'poet,' but he includes Ralegh as both royal 'subject' of the queen and artistic 'subject' of the poet. Like the artist of The Armada Portrait, he creates a symbol that shows the queen's international power deriving from her chastity, but he dramatizes the process of reciprocal selffashioning in the complex ownership of the stone. Hence, in the political dimension of the allegory Spenser compliments Elizabeth and Ralegh for their influence on him, at the same time that he tactfully asserts the authority of the poet to influence them. By including this episode in Book IV, Spenser extends his view of love to a chaste tripartite friendship between sovereign, subject, and poet. The Dove Episode in Spenser's Career Once we recognize the importance of Spenser's myth of the winged poet, and recall his sophisticated use of it when constructing the conclusion to a Virgilian/Ariostan epic allegory of Ralegh and Elizabeth, we can recuperate 'one of the most delicate, yet vivid, pieces of work ever done by Spenser' (Warren, rpt in the Variorum Edition 4: 287). The Dove episode is significant because it emerges as Spenser's most pristine presentation of himself as an epic poet. He is an agent of God's grace in the Elizabethan power structure. He fuses the scriptural, laureate, and Venerean symbolism of the Dove to show how he, Elizabeth, and Ralegh participate in a providential process of reciprocal selffashioning ordering the just commonwealth. In doing so, he offers a


Spenser's Famous Flight

unique opportunity to peer into the intricacies of his art - especially as he and his poem aim to fashion and be fashioned by the two resplendent figures at the centre, not merely of the Elizabethan court, but also of his own career. The Dove episode is significant also because critics believe that Spenser's 1596 episode helped restore Ralegh to Elizabeth's grace in 1597. As O'Connell puts it, 'Spenser might have credited his poetry with a scarcely characteristic success in the realm of praxis' (122). If critics are right, we may wonder about the actual process by which Spenser came to 'fashion' Elizabeth. The episode may contain a clue. From Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, we know that Spenser read part of The Faerie Queene to Elizabeth when Ralegh took him to court in 1589-90 (358-67). During this documented audience with the queen, Spenser may have actually read the first part of the Timias and Belphoebe story (Bednarz 69, n. 23). Perhaps the Dove episode forecasts the poet's plan for a second audience with the queen, in which he hopes to bring about her reconcilement with Ralegh by reading her the concluding episode of the Timias and Belphoebe story. The idea of such a plan sheds light on the conspicuous resonance of the word 'new' in the line describing the Dove's song: 'there a piteous ditty new deviz'd.' If Spenser did plan to sing this new ditty, we are seeing a rare instance of a Renaissance poet successfully constructing a mimetic model of his art in order to 'fashion' virtuous readers. This model may seem 'sentimental,' but it is also politic. A striking disproportion, that is, seems to emerge between the sentimentality on the surface of the model and the audacity underlying it. Spenser's claims for himself require tact, but he had other reasons to be concerned. In 1595-6, he was seeking patronage not merely from Ralegh, but also from Essex - two powerful courtiers intent on killing each other (Oakeshott 28-30, 36). If Ralegh and Spenser did use the bird as something of a private code, Spenser's use of it in a Ralegh-Elizabeth allegory could have had a dual purpose. On the one hand, it permitted Ralegh to understand the poet's courageous friendship on his own behalf. On the other, it prevented Essex precisely from understanding it. Anyone else who knew of Ralegh's simile linking 'Belphebe' with the 'milke white Dove' (or even of the ruby Arthur Throckmorton planned to present to Elizabeth) would similarly be enticed astray. Evidently, Spenser could simultaneously depend on the cognizance of Ralegh and the ignorance of Essex in order to use the Dove and its chain-bound ruby as a powerful sign of his own laureate status. Although creating an idealized model, Spenser is careful to acknowl-

Enacting Vatic Virtue in The Faerie Queene


edge limitations to his power. While Timias leads 'an happie life with grace and good accord/ he remains 'all mindless of his owne deare Lord / The noble Prince' (viii.iS). Enjoying one kind of 'grace' seems to absent him from another.30 Consequently, in his conclusion to the Timias and Belphoebe story Spenser tactfully avoids an arrogant advertisement of his power. Through the Dove, he idealizes his role in reforming Ralegh at the same time that he acknowledges responsibility in the great courtier's lapse. If my argument about Spenser's use of 'the sentimental machinery of dove and heart' as an allegory of epic fame and glory has credence, we may want to rethink a dominant 'commonplace' of Spenser studies: that in the 15903 Spenser abandons the quest of using his epic art to fashion virtuous readers. For Spenser wrote the Dove episode after 1592 - and probably as late as January 1595-31 While we cannot precisely date the composition of the episode, we can emphasize its position in the publication record; it appears after the 1595 Amoretti, which Spenser concludes by likening himself to a 'mournful [female] dove.' In the context of his career, as we shall see in the next chapter, the Dove episode makes a decisive point about the relation between his love lyric and his epic. Having sojourned with his beloved in the 'pleasant mew' of private love (Am So: 9), the New Poet announces his return to the public domain. He charts this career transition intertextually by imitating Petrarch in Amoretti 89 and Virgil, Scripture, Ariosto, and Chaucer in the Dove episode. Moreover, the transition reveals that, at the end of his career, Spenser is composing an allegory that represents his art in a way consistent with his original intentions and strategies in The Shepheardes Calender and Books l-lll of The Faerie Queene. As late as 1595, he is using the same imagery - that of a bird - to figure himself as poet. He is using the same allegorical strategy - that of disguising himself in a humble persona to assert tactfully his epic vocation. He is using the same literary technique - that of imitating the great poets, especially Virgil - to claim membership in the laureate choir. And he is using the same poetic ideology - that of the poet's power to fashion virtuous readers - to contribute to the order of the commonwealth. While Spenser likely became frustrated with his epic in the 15903, the Dove episode shows his characteristic response. As he says in the Proem to Book VI, his art 'strength to ... [him] supplies, and chears ... [his] dulled spright' (i). In the Dove episode, Spenser nobly includes Elizabeth and Ralegh in the laureate choir to create a complex historical allegory that aims to demonstrate to queen and court what Ralegh


Spenser's Famous Flight

expressed in his Commendatory Verse - both the value of Spenser's Protestant poetry in a national process of reciprocal self-fashioning and the avian sign of fame by which he presents that poetry: The prayse of meaner wits this worke like profit brings, As doth the Cuckoes song delight when Philumena sings, ... [T]hy Queene ... ... shall perceive, how farre her vertues sore Above the reach of all that live, or such as wrote of yore: And thereby will excuse and favour thy good will: Whose vertue can not be exprest, but by an Angels quill. Of me no lines are lov'd, nor letters are of price, Of all which speake our English tongue, but those of thy device.

4 Love Lyric, or Sporting the Muse in Pleasant Mew: Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion

Till then give leave to me in pleasant mew, to sport my muse and sing my loves sweet praise: the contemplation of whose heavenly hew, my spirit to an higher pitch will rayse. Spenser, Amoretti 80

After publishing a pastoral in 1579 and the first instalment of an epic in 1590, the New Poet reinvents the Virgilian Wheel by inserting the love lyric as a vital spoke. Spenser does not follow the Renaissance program of beginning a poetic career with pastoral and ending it with epic. In 1595, a year before publishing the second instalment of The Faerie Queene, he publishes a volume of love lyrics titled AMORETTI AND Epithalamion. In the fiction of Amoretti (again, we can only speculate about actual life), the New Poet completes his Virgilian epic while composing his Petrarchan sonnet sequence. Whereas in Sonnet 33 he admits to Lodowick Bryskett that he has let a 'troublous fit, / of a proud love' (11-12) interrupt his sovereign's 'Queene of faery' (3), in Sonnet 80 he announces that he has now compiled 'six books' of the national epic (2). During the process of composing Amoretti, the poet succeeds in reconciling two previously irreconcilable 'Elizabethan' poetics: that of Elizabeth Boyle and that of Elizabeth Tudor. When he concludes Sonnet 80 with a statement relating his beloved to his queen - 'let her prayses yet be low and meane, / fit for the handmayd of the Faery Queene' (13-14) - he is doing more than stating the obvious social principle relating the two women. He is using a social principle to express a literary one relating two genres. Social decorum tropes literary decorum. Just as Elizabeth


Spenser's Famous Flight

Boyle serves as a 'handmayd' to Elizabeth Tudor, so the 'low' genre of love lyric serves as a handmaid to the high genre of epic. Spenser, I argue, revolutionizes the Renaissance idea of a literary career by showing how the Petrarchan love lyric providentially enables the poet to serve and actually continue his Virgilian epic. In proposing this thesis, I am taking Spenser's cue in the October eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender - when Piers lays out a revised Virgilian career 'paterne' (Arg) for the dejected pastoral poet Cuddie: 'Abandon then the base and viler clowne, ... / Turne thee to those, that weld the awful crowne ... / And when the stubborne stroke of stronger stounds, / Has somewhat slackt the tenor of thy string, / Of love and lustihead tho mayst thou sing' (37-51). As early as 1579, Spenser recognized that writing epic would exhaust him, and he postulated the love lyric to be the means of regeneration. By publishing Amoretti and Epithalamion, then, he is not merely indulging in private sensuality or experimenting in popular literary genres that he thinks might gain him grace. He is fulfilling a career prophecy that he believes will earn him Orphic status. The above thesis implies that Spenser's immediate goal in publishing Amoretti and Epithalamion is career-based. He aims to renew the authority he has acquired in writing The Shepheardes Calender and the first instalment of The Faerie Queened Spenser's career-based goal implies that he defines lyric poetry (or redefines it) in careeric terms - as a genre that contributes to a literary career. He understands the love lyric to be a genre in which the flagging national poet renews his epic strength. Spenser's careeric definition in turn implies a more mimetic self-presentation of this resolution to his career crisis than many critics recognize. To date, no one has explored Spenser's volume of love lyrics in the context of his career.2 Almost unanimously, critics writing on Amoretti and Epithalamion present formalist analyses on such topics as the structural 'unity' of Amoretti (calendrical, liturgical, courtship ritual), its symbolism (erotic, Neoplatonic, Petrarchan), its sources (Neoplatonic, Petrarchan, Elizabethan), and its generic conventions (Petrarchan); on the structural unity of Epithalamion (numerological, erotic, liturgical), its symbolism (erotic, Neoplatonic, Orphic, Christian), its sources (Catullan, scriptural), and its generic conventions (Catullan, scriptural); and on various themes connecting the two poems: the erotic process, ritualistic and allegorical, bridged by the 'Anacreontics' (for example, courtship, betrothal, and marriage), and the central thematic dialectic of mastery and mutuality.3 As a result of such criticism, we tend to define the love lyrics bioerotically - as 'a poetic account of a courtship and marriage' (Kellogg

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


139). Of the few critics who mention the love lyrics in the context of Spenser's career, most assume that Spenser's excursion in the genre interferes with his completion of The Faerie Queene. According to this view, both lyrics contribute to a body of poetry in the mid-i59os that display Spenser's disillusionment with the public world: 'weariness, love, and sensual delight combine to draw him from his heroic duty, the completion of The Faerie Queene ... In his last works ... in the Amoretti and the Epithalamion ... Spenser does come home ... to the pastoral, the personal, and the amorous' (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 87, 97). In this commonplace view of Spenser's career, the New Poet seems to parody the circular contour of Virgil's career, in which the national poet writes epic to recreate the golden age of pastoral Arcadia within history. By this account, the love lyrics leave the national poet abandoned along the road to epic glory with something that looks like a Virgilian flat tire. As evidence of Spenser's abandonment of epic glory, critics turn to those poems in which the New Poet relates the love lyrics to his national epic. In Amoretti 33 and 80, 'he refers to his unfinished [epic], and each time it is with a sense of weariness ... Once again poetry serves the truant passion of love' (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 87-8). Such a view coheres with the usual view of the Elizabethan love lyric: it is a product, not of the mature 'laureate' poet who responsibly serves the state, but of the young 'amateur' poet who pursues idle follies recklessly impeding that service (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 27-31, 57-62). The commonplace view of Spenser's career, which posits the love lyric to be a golden nail deflating the Virgilian tire, misreads the available evidence. In chapter i, I showed how the October eclogue contradicts this view by situating the love lyric as the third genre after pastoral and epic, and I cited as supporting evidence the poem prefacing the love-lyric volume by Geffrey Whitney Junior (more of which presently). In chapter 2,1 added the evidence of June. In this chapter, I want to begin by re-examining Amoretti 80, because it provides a clue as to how we are to relate the love lyrics to the national epic. Having compiled 'six books' of The Faerie Queene, the poet asks an unnamed friend (perhaps Bryskett) to give him 'leave to rest ... / and gather to [him] ... selfe new breath awhile'; then, he says, like 'a steed refreshed after toyle,' he 'stoutly will that second worke [the next part of epic] assoyle, / With strong endevour and attention dew' (1-8): Till then give leave to me in pleasant mew,


Spenser's Famous Flight to sport my muse and sing my loves sweet praise: the contemplation of whose heavenly hew, my spirit to an higher pitch will rayse. (Sonnet 80: 9-12)

As the OED indicates, the 'mew' in line 9 is 'A cage for hawks, esp. while "mewing" or moulting' (def. i) - that is, while shedding old feathers and growing new ones. A hawk's sojourn in the 'mew' is thus crucial to its function; its imprisonment, instrumental to its maturation; its initial bondage, prerequisite to its eventual freedom. Temporarily grounded, the hawk can develop wings essential to its high-soaring mission. Spenser uses the hawking term, I propose, to define the love lyric as a genre instrumental to his career. Rather than an intrusion to the 'greater flyght' of the New Poet advertised by E.K. in his Dedicatory Epistle to The Shepheardes Calender (as Spenser fears in Sonnet 33), the love lyric constructs a providentially ordained space - a 'pleasant mew' - in which he may renew that flight. To the conventional epideictic or panegyric definition of the love-lyric genre, Spenser adds an equally important careeric definition, as the rhetorical balance in line 10 reveals: 'sport my muse and sing my loves sweet praise.' By perceiving his beloved's 'heavenly hew' in the love lyric, he can 'rayse' his 'spirit' to the 'higher pitch' of epic. By writing Amoretti and Epithalamion, the New Poet can continue The Faerie Queene. His private relation with his beloved returns him to the divine origin of his art and renews his epic strength. Spenser's reliance on the iconography of fame confirms this reading. As we have seen in preceding chapters, the avian cage is, for Petrarch as for Chaucer, an image of the transitory nature of earthly fame. As Sidney recognizes in Sonnet 90 of Astrophil and Stella, Petrarch selects as his master image relating amor and gloria the image of a bird either nesting or enlimed in a laurel tree (to be discussed later). In The Visions of Petrarch, Spenser translates one form the image takes: The heavenly branches did I see arise, / Out of the fresh and lustie Lawrell tree ... / Such store of birds therein yshrowded were, / Chaunting in shade their sundrie mélodie, / That with their sweetnes I was ravi'sh't nere' (3:1-7). In his Petarchan lyrics, Spenser rewrites the equation between love, fame, and glory that had proved so problematic to Sidney and Petrarch and that Chaucer had treated so suspiciously. For the New Poet, erotic love is instrumental to poetic fame, and an erotically inspired fame is instrumental to Christian glory. Spenser's achievement in this genre is thus to identify the love lyric as instrumental to the 'famous flight' (Oct 88).4

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


The 'pleasant mew' of Amoretti 80 is not an anomaly but part of a network of forty avian images occurring throughout the 1595 volume. Thirty-three of these images function vocationally. The avian network reworks a single image from the myth of the winged poet that I believe crucial to our understanding of the volume: that of the grounded bird - the high-soaring creature lured to the bait of earth. Typically, Spenser depicts the bird sitting on the branch of a tree or otherwise lodged in nature (Am 19, 40, 72, 85, 89; Ep 78-91, 345-52); or he depicts the bird sitting in or flying from a bird cage (Am 65, 73, 80). The image of the grounded bird functions in two ways that are intimately related. On the one hand, the bird is grounded - that is, prevented from continuing its flight; to this extent, the image represents Spenser's fear in Amoretti 33, in which his love lyrics in service of Elizabeth Boyle threaten his epic in service of Elizabeth Tudor. But on the other hand, the bird's grounding defines its flight pattern as one of descent - that is, as parallel to the flight pattern of epic; to this extent, the image represents Spenser's claim in Amoretti 80, in which his love lyrics renew his epic strength. Spenser uses the image of the grounded bird to represent, not merely the lover wooing his beloved, but also the New Poet writing love poetry as a means of resting providentially from his epic flight. It is in this way that the avian image represents a crucial phase in the flight to fame. Not unexpectedly, the most recurrent bird in Spenser's erotic aviary turns out to be the dove, which I designate the bird of the genre. The transition between Amoretti and Epithalamion reads climactically: 'Lyke as the Culver on the bared bough ... / ... I alone now left disconsolate' (Am 89: 1-5). Spenser's identity as a 'mournful [female] dove' (Am 89: 8) is climactic because it synthesizes four main symbolic matrices - the Ovidian or erotic, the scriptural or religious, the Virgilian or political, and the Horatian or vocational - in order to make certain claims about the political significance and ultimately the divine telos of his love lyrics. As such, Amoretti 89 bears a special relation to the female 'Dove' in Book IV, canto viii, of The Faerie Queene, who 'late had lost her dearest love' and who thereby frames 'her mournefull notes full piteously' (3-4; chapter 3). The relation between the two female 'doves' hints at the way in which the love poet serves as a 'handmayd' to the poet of epic.5 By attending to the image of the grounded bird in the love-lyric volume, we can create a fresh context - beyond the conventional erotic one - for understanding the psychosocial process by which the New Poet discovers the marital relation between man and woman to be the very heart of his poetic power. Through a process of mutual education


Spenser's Famous Flight

- by which he and Elizabeth teach each other about the value of their relationship - the poet understands the providential way in which the love-lyric interlude advances a literary career committed to a telos that is both patriotic and salvific. To develop this argument, I want first to look at the myth of the winged poet in the love-lyric genre: at modern, Renaissance, and classical definitions of lyric poetry, at the tradition linking love poetry with epic, and at the tradition authorizing Spenser's use of the avian myth to define the erotic genre. I want then to look at the prefatory material to the 1595 volume. Finally, I want to look at each of Amoretti and Epithalamion in turn. Brooding on the Laurel Nest: The Avian Myth in the Love-Lyric Genre Classical, Renaissance, and modern theorists agree that the lyric is a genre of poetry spoken in the poet's own voice. According to Plato, 'there is one kind of poetry and taletelling which works wholly through imitation, ... tragedy and comedy, and another which employs the recital of the poet himself, best exemplified, I presume, in the dithyramb, and there is again that which employs both, in epic poetry' (Republic m.394b-c; see Aristotle, Poetics 14473.14-18; W.R. Johnson 78-81). In this influential passage, Plato is not merely identifying lyric as one of the three main branches of poetry (with drama and epic); he is defining lyric in terms of the poet's own 'recital.' According to W.R. Johnson, 'what is essential... to [the Greek idea of] lyric is rhetoric, and essential to this lyrical rhetoric ... is the pronominal form and lyric identity, the dynamic configuration of lyric pronouns that defines and vitalizes the situation of lyric discourse' (23). Thus 'the business of the lyric poet is to provide a criticism of human passion that will indicate which passions are to be embraced and which are to be shunned: the purpose of this demonstration is the education of the hearer' (31). As Johnson observes, 'the rhetorical, lyrical triangle of speaker, discourse, and hearer is the essential feature of Greek lyric, of the Latin lyric that continued to refine the Greek tradition, and of the medieval and early modern European lyric that inherited and further refined the Graeco-Roman lyric tradition ... At the heart of Greek lyric ... is the imagination of personality' (34, 37). While the Renaissance extended the Greek idea of lyric, as Johnson says, it spilled a good deal more ink on that idea. 'Almost all of it,' says O.B. Hardison, 'contains references ... to the theory of praise': 'Renais-

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


sanee lyric is more obviously influenced by epideictic rhetoric than any other genre. This is partly because of the natural tendency of lyric expression to assume the form of praise' (The Enduring Monument 95) whether in hymns to a god or odes to a hero. As Sidney puts it in The Defence of Poesy, the lyric poet 'with his tuned Lyre, and wel accorded voy ce, giveth praise, the reward of vertue, to vertuous acts ... gives morrall precepts, and naturall Problèmes, ... sometimes rayseth up his voice to the height of the heavens, in singing the laudes of the immortall God' (in G.G. Smith i: 178). This epideictic theory extends to the love lyric, where the poet uses a personalized voice to praise his lady (Hardison 97-8). Thus the erotic lyric is analogous to the hymnic and the heroic lyrics, but it occupies a lower place in the hierarchy of genres. Whereas the hymnic and the heroic poet write in the 'high' style, the erotic poet writes in either the middle style (Hardison 102-3) or the low style (Fowler, Kinds of Literature 216-17). Like classical and Renaissance authorities, modern critics emphasize the 'imagination of personality' as 'the heart of lyric,' though they do not always emphasize its rhetorical nature. For Northrop Frye, 'the lyric is ... preeminently the utterance that is overheard ... The radical of presentation in the lyric is the hypothetical form of what in religion is called the "I-Thou" relationship ... Lyric [has an intimate connection] with dream or vision, the individual communing with himself (Anatomy of Criticism 249-50) .6 Modern genre critics do not theorize extensively about the love lyric, but both Thomas M. Greene and Roland Greene have written important studies of the Petrarchan lyric sequence, of which AMORETTI AND Epithalamion is a significant example. In The Light in Troy, Thomas Greene argues that 'the fundamental subject of the Canzoniere is not so much or not only the psychology of the speaker as the ontology of his selfhood, the struggle to discern a self or compose a self which could stand as a fixed and knowable substance' (124). Thus Petrarch shifts 'the dramatic center of gravity conclusively away from the woman ... to the poet's own imprisoning consciousness' (114). Yet Greene finds in Petrarch 'the unstable ontology of the speaking self (130) and 'a voice pathetically in quest of its own integrity' (131), so that the poet's 'struggle to compose a self ends in 'failure' (124). The strategy for Petrarchan self-composition that Greene emphasizes is that of imitation: 'Petrarch's poetry is always in search of a recognition from an external agency that the poetry cannot succeed in circumscribing' (114). The poet's imitation of Virgil in Song 90, for instance, 'acts out an etiology, a historical passage, that could be described as a fall into constricting


Spenser's Famous Flight

subjectivity and blurred verbal reference': 'To describe this passage as a fall is ... simply to give a name to the version of history, the construct or fiction of cultural process, extending from subtext to modern text' (115; for a summary, see 143). Pivoting off Thomas Greene's three-chapter analysis, Roland Greene approaches the Petrarchan lyric sequence through phenomenology: Tviy ruling premise is that lyric discourse is defined by the dialectical play of ritual and fictional phenomena, or correlative modes of apprehension' (Post-Petrarchism 5). By 'lyric's ritual element,' he means 'the poem's office as directions for a performance - a script, that is, compounded of sounds that serve referential or expressive purposes in nonpoetic contexts, other sounds ... that have no other contexts, and the patterns that organize these sounds in the reader-auditor's experience' (5). By lyric's fictional element, he means 'the poem's other identity for apprehension, not as potentially immediate but as represented speech' (10). 'If lyric's ritual dimension often presents shards of experience that we welcome into our empirical world, fiction represents an alternate world into which we enter not as assimilators but as respectful observers' (10-11). Together, the ritual and the fictional are 'the factors in a dialectical operation that produces many of the outcomes we recognize as belonging to lyric discourse, as well as most of the responses we call its criticism' (11). Greene finds Petrarch's Canzoniere to be dominated by the 'fictional' mode, with its emphasis on elements of plot, character, space, and world, but he sees the 'ritual' mode operating as well, in its calendars, numerologies, and other kinds of social processes (13). Finally, he sees the Canzoniere as the first phase of the Western lyric sequence what he calls the 'humanist phase,' in which the poem 'is largely concerned with representing the states and actions of a unitary human self - or a self struggling to seem unitary' (13-14). From such theory of lyric and lyric sequence, I define the love lyric as a genre in which a poet, by writing a short poem or sequence of poems in a personalized voice, uses language to accomplish two ends. He fictionalizes his construction of selfhood out of a relationship with a beloved; and out of this construction he ritualizes his fashioning of culture's erotic sensibility. From this definition, it is a short step to seeing that a poet like Spenser could situate the love lyric at a particular site along the Virgilian progression of genres. Spenser's decision to situate the love lyric in the Virgilian progression crowns a long historical process too complex to enumerate in detail here. An overview would likely locate its origins in the statement of Plato quoted earlier: epic does not merely imitate the heroic action of

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


drama; it enfolds lyric poetry's 'recital of the poet.' Significantly, Plato contaminates the pristine boundaries between lyric and epic by emphasizing their common spirit - 'the ontology of the speaking self,' the 'unitary human self/ By the time of Augustan Rome, this contamination creates a contest between the two genres. Erotic poetry is the toy of youth; epic poetry, the business of age (see Propertius, Elegies ll.x.7-12). In particular, Ovid establishes an anti-Virgilian career model in which the writing of love poetry interferes with the writing of epic poetry. Thus he opens the Amores: 'Arms, and the violent deeds of war, I was making ready to sound forth - in weighty numbers, with matter suited to the measure. The second verse was equal to the first - but Cupid, they say, with a laugh stole away one foot' (1.1.1-4). And he concludes on a similar note: 'Ye iron wars, with your measures, fare ye well! Gird with the myrtle that loves the shore the golden locks on thy temples, O Muse to be sung to the lyre in elevens' (28-30). At the end of his career, in Ex Ponto, he recalls how the Amores interfered with his plan to write epic. Influenced by Ovid, elegists like Propertius and Tibullus design their love poetry in strict opposition to the epic poetry of Virgil (and sometimes Lucretius; see Tibullus, Elegies 1.1.53-56,11.^.15-19). This influence extends to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Given Ovid's influence on such poets as Jean de Meun and Chaucer, it is hardly surprising that the Ovidian problem was the problem the Renaissance laureate poet confronted. How could the individual reconcile love of woman with love of sovereign and ultimately God? The writing of love poetry with the writing of civic or divine poetry? Influenced by the Latin elegists, as well as by the troubadours, Dante, and the stilnovisti, Petrarch compounds the problem. His career vacillates between Virgilian and Ovidian career models but ends up rejecting both for a literary version of the theologian model forged by St Augustine in the Confessions. In Song 40, for instance, Petrarch hopes that 'Love or Death' will not 'cut short the new cloth' that he now prepares 'to weave' (1-2) - a great work that could sound all the way to 'Rome' (8) ('suggestions range from the De remedii utriusque fortúnete to the Secretum to the Rime sparse themselves' [Durling ed. 106] and even to the Africa [T.M. Greene, Light in Troy 102]). In Song 186, Petrarch wishfully tries to place his love lyrics in the epic tradition of Homer and Virgil - relying on a 'lyricization of epic materials' (T.M. Greene, Light in Troy 115). If the epic poets had seen 'that sun' that he sees, 'they would have exerted all their powers to give her fame and would have mixed together the two styles' (1-4) - love lyric and epic.


Spenser's Famous Flight

This fantasy prompts Petrarch to compare his lyrics in praise of Laura with the epic of Ennius in praise of Scipio Africanus: 'Ennius sang of him ... I of her' (12-13). But in the companion poem, Song 187, he recognizes the problem. While believing that 'she is worthy of Homer and Orpheus and of the shepherd whom Mantua still honors' (9-10), he fears that he bequeaths her 'a deformed star and ... fate' - that he 'mars her praise when he speaks' (12-14). Finally, in Song 247 he praises Laura by placing his lyrics in a civic and epic context as he imagines one who says of himself, ' "What this man aspires to would exhaust Athens, Arpinum, Mantua, and Smyrna [birthplaces of Demosthenes, Cicero, Virgil, and Homer], and the one and the other lyre [Greek and Latin lyric poetry]" ' (9-11). In his 'Epistle to Posterity/ Petrarch passes on what he wishes us to know of his life by relying on the Augustinian career model laid out in great detail in the Secretum: Touth led me astray, young manhood corrupted me, but maturer age corrected me and taught me by experience the truth of what I had read long before: that youth and pleasure are vain. This is the lesson of that Author of all times and ages, who permits wretched mortals, puffed with vain wind, to stray for a time until, though late in life, they become mindful of their sins' (5). In his 'Epistle,' Petrarch does not mention the Rime sparse or even the Trionfi; instead he disparages his youthful love affair. By contrast, he mentions Bucolicum carmen and De vita solitaria once each (9), and he privileges Africa by mentioning it three times (9-11), including a climactic reference to the role of his epic in securing 'the poet's laurel crown' on the steps of the Capitol in Rome - the reward of 'royal judgment' (10-11). However, in Familiar Letters VIII.3 he lays out a career pattern that does include the Rime sparse. Reminiscing about the charms of Vaucluse, his inspiring mountain home, he recalls his penning of 'Africa,' 'letters in prose and verse/ 'Bucolicum carmen,' 'the life of solitude/ 'the peace of monastics/ and finally his love lyrics: 'Here had their origin those songs in Italian of my youthful woes, which today fill me with shame and regret; but, as we are aware, they are very welcome to those afflicted by the same disease' (69-70). The phrasing and positioning of these comments capture Petrarch's ambivalence about his love lyrics. He nostalgically recalls their lovely origin, promptly records his shame and regret, then empirically admits their therapeutic value. What would Petrarch's sixteenth-century heirs have seen in these manoeuvrings? Tasso, for one, seems to have seen a massive struggle between duty and desire. With unmatched fury, he embroiled himself in that struggle. Like Petrarch, he recognized that his fame depended

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


on his ability to complete a Virgulan epic, and characteristically he got an early start - when he was fifteen or sixteen (!): 'his epic on the siege of Jerusalem ... occupied his attention for more than thirty years, that is for almost the whole of his adult life/ first with the Rinaldo, next with Gerusalemme Liberata, and last with Gerusalemme Conquístala - to the extent that the 'evolution of the epic' is so 'closely interwoven in the biography of the poet' that it is 'to a large extent the story of Tasso's life' (Brand 53). Yet, like Petrarch again, he worked on his Rime throughout his life - a massive collection of more than seventeen hundred lyrics that he initially hoped to publish in three volumes, with one devoted to love poetry. In 1591, he approved publication of the Parte Prima délie Rime di Torquato Tasso, which consisted largely of love poems (Brand 134-5). But Tasso 'looked upon [his lyrics] as less important than his epic,' and he even discusses his 'intention of abandoning the lyric muse in order to devote himself to more serious work' (Brand 140-1). None the less, it 'is difficult to see how Tasso ... could have omitted to produce his Canzoniere: had there not been a lady he loved, he would surely have had to invent one' (Brand 144). In other words, Petrarch's composition of the Ovidian Rime sparse irreparably contaminated the Virgilian career model. In theory, the poet modelled himself on Virgil's progression from youthful pastoral to mature epic. In practice, the poet was careful to write well and at length in the Ovidian erotic genre. The precedents of Tasso, Petrarch, and others reveal how important a volume of love lyrics was to a Renaissance poet with laureate aspirations. While both Italian poets participated in the ancient tradition that posits the love lyric as an interruption to epic, they carefully included the former in a career that featured the latter. Spenser's genius, I believe, lies in asserting the providential design of this interruption. He represents the lyric genre to be a source of renewal for the epic, the agency of fame and glory. In valuing the love lyric, Spenser could have taken cues from his own contemporaries. In The Defence, Sidney identifies the national and ecclesiastical value of 'that Lyricall kind of Songs and Sonnets: which, Lord, if he gave us so good mindes, how well it might be imployed, and with howe heavenly fruité, both private and publique, in singing the prayses of the immortall beauty, the immortall goodnes of... God' (in G.G. Smith i: 201). Similarly, in The Arte of English Poésie Puttenham argues that 'the Civill Poet could do no lesse in conscience and credit, then ... to celebrate by his poeme the chearefull day of manages aswell Princely as others ... the highest & holiest of any cérémonie apperteining to man' (in G.G. Smith 2: 52). While such views originate in certain


Spenser's Famous Flight

strands of classical and medieval culture, they may be products of the Reformation, with its emphasis on wedded love.7 Directed by such Christian revisionists of the Virgilian career as Petrarch and Tasso (who themselves have roots in the Latin elegists, principally Ovid and Propertius), and by such Reformation writers as Sidney and Puttenham, Spenser could locate the love lyric as the third genre in a progressive career idea. To position his Petrarchan lyric within his Virgilian career, Spenser often uses an image that represents a providential relation between amor and gloria: the avian representation of the 'famous flight.' His strategy has a long and complex history behind it. To suggest the sophisticated ways in which a poet could use this strategy, I shall cite one classical, one medieval, and one Renaissance poet, with a fourth from the Elizabethan period. Throughout The Elegies, Propertius claims that his love poetry is greater than the poetry produced by 'Rome's men of genius' (l.vii.22): 'VIRGIL is able to sing the Actian shores o'er which Apollo watches, and the brave fleet of Caesar; even now he is stirring to life the arms of Trojan Aeneas and the walls he founded on Lavine shores. Make way, ye Roman writers, make way, ye Greeks. Something greater than the Iliad is coming to birth' (ll.xxxiv.6i-6). Yet, as Propertius goes on to reveal, he finds authority for his role as love poet in the great Roman epic poet - in particular, in the two other genres that form the rota Vergiliani, georgic and pastoral: 'You sing the precepts of the old bard of Ascra [Hesiod] ... You [Virgil] sing, beneath the pinewoods of shady Galaesus, of Thrysis and Daphnis with his well-worn pipes, and how ten apples ... may win the love of girls ...' (67-70): 'But these songs of his will not fail to please any reader ... and the melodious swan, displaying no lesser genius in this lesser style, has not disgraced himself with the tuneless strain of a goose' (81-4). In this complex, intertextually rich passage, Propertius relies on the avian representation to convince 'Virgil' - and the reader - that love poetry, though a 'lesser style' than epic, does not disgrace the poet. He is responding to Eclogue IX, where Lycidas tells Moeris, 'Me, too, the Pierian maids have made a poet; I, too, have songs; me also the shepherds call a bard, but I trust them not. For as yet, methinks, I sing nothing worthy of a Varius or a Cinna, but cackle as a goose among melodious swans' (32-6). To Lycidas' vocational humility, Propertius offers vocational assertion. He relies on the singing swan not merely to deny the lowly or raucous sound of his erotic verse, but also to assert its high-sounding power. While Propertius here relies on the swan to claim Apollonian status

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


to his 'lyric' poetry, in Elegy lll.iii he relies on the Venerean swans and doves to mythologize the genesis of his authority for writing erotic rather than epic poetry. In a kind of dream-vision, he recounts how initially he set out to become an epic poet: 'I dreamed that lying in the soft shades of Helicon, where flows the fountain of Bellerophon's horse [Pegasus], I possessed the power to proclaim to my lyre's accompaniment Alba's kings' (1-3). Suddenly, however, as he sets his 'puny lips to that potent spring ... whence father Ennius once thirstily drank and sang' (5-6), 'Phoebus observed me from the Castalian wood, and said, as he leaned upon his golden lyre beside the cave: "Madman, what business have you at such a stream? Who bade you touch the task of heroic song? Not from here, Propertius, may you hope for any fame!" ' (15-17). With an 'ivory quill,' Apollo then points him to 'a place' with a 'new path' (25-6): 'Here was a green grotto lined with mosaics and from the hollow pumice timbrels hung, the mystic instruments of the Muses, a clay image of father Silenus, and the pipe of Arcadian Pan; and the birds of my lady Venus, the doves that I love, dip their red bills in the Gorgon's pool, while the nine Maidens ... busy their tender hands on their separate gifts' (27-34). One of the nymphs, whom he thinks is 'Calliope' - the Muse of epic - lays her hands on him: ' "You will always be happy to ride on snow-white swans; no galloping hooves of the war-horse will call you to arms" ' (39-40). In this complex poem, Propertius relies on a spectacular modulation of the avian myth to represent the feminine origin of his masculine, erotic art. He represents his erotic artefact itself as a Venerean chariot drawn by 'snowy swans,' and he represents the epic status of that artefact through the doves of Venus dipping their 'red bills' in the Pegasean fountain. Through an avian representation, Propertius aims to achieve the telos of 'fame.' While a classical love poet like Propertius experiments with the avian myth in representationally precise ways, reaching a sophistication I am not convinced we see again, a medieval poet like Bernart de Ventadorn perfects the archetypal form of the avian myth treasured by the Provençal troubadours (Telfer): the poet's identity with the nightingale, sweet songbird of springtime love, becomes the progenitor of the love lyric itself. One third of Bernart's forty-five extant poems contain significant avian imagery, and thirteen actually open with an avian image ten featuring the nightingale (2, 9, 10, 23, 29, 33, 38, 39, 40, and 45). The feeling of intellectual density' in Bernart's poetry, writes Stephen G. Nichols, 'does not come merely from the finesse with which Bernart succeeds in using rhetorical devices ... It springs even more from the


Spenser's Famous Flight

substitution of poetry for nature as the metaphorical identification for love' (ed. 24). More than any other image, the nightingale structures this complex metaphorical process. Repeatedly, the poet hears the song of the nightingale, identifies with it, and breaks out in song: 'During the night when I am asleep, I wake with joy at the nightingale's sweet song ... and with joy my song begins' (33: 1-7). Such a relation between poet and bird is not without its competitive edge: The nightingale rejoices beside the blossom on the branch, and I have such great envy of him that I cannot keep from singing' (29: 1-4). The nightingale, however, does not merely represent the poet or become a projection of the poet's imagination. Through a principle of artistic identity, the bird actually gives birth to the poet's creative process. As such, the avian image functions as a displaced form of the classical invocation to the Muse (who also sings, is winged, and is capable of flight), which is why the avian image almost always occurs in an opening stanza. By giving birth to poetry itself, the poet's reliance on the avian image sets in motion a process of love-lyric renewal: 'When ... the birds, who have been sulking, are gay beneath the foliage, then I too sing ... I am renewed' (24: 4-6)The renewal is necessary because the context of the poet's private woodland song is the social one of erotic rejection, which threatens his powers of inspiration and compels him to abandon his art. In Song 2, Peire asks the poet, 'Bernart de Ventadorn, my friend, how can you refrain from singing when you hear the nightingale rejoicing night and day' (1-4). Bernart replies: T prefer sleep and rest to listening to the nightingale' (8-9). In Song 23, the poet relies on the woodland sovereign to activate the metaphorical process giving rise to his art: 'I have heard the shy nightingale's sweet voice, which has leapt into my heart so that it sweetens and lightens all the worry and mistreatment which love gives me. Still I need the joy of another in my sorrow' (1-7). In this poem, Bernart represents himself in conflict with the literary manifesto laid out in Song 15, in which 'superior' love poetry derives from 'true love' deep within the 'heart' (1-7). In the nightingale poem, Bernart's manifesto is endangered because his singing has not succeeded in communicating his noble love to his lady's heart. He finds consolation in the nightingale, who functions as more than the obvious surrogate beloved. As a creature lodged in nature possessing a 'sweet voice,' the bird both mirrors the poet himself and activates his song of complaint. Through the nightingale's loving song, the poet can thus regenerate his heart. He now can experience the noble identity with the other that gives birth to love poetry itself.

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


Influenced by both a troubadour like Bernart de Ventadorn and a classical elegist like Propertius, Petrarch is the poet we need to single out when trying to understand Spenser's avian representational precision. In Song 40, for instance (already discussed as an example of his 'lyricization of epic materials'), Petrarch relies on his master image to express his fear about 'Love' interfering with the great work that could be his epic: 'if I loose myself from the tenacious birdlime while I join one truth with the other, I shall perhaps make a work so double between the style of the moderns and ancient speech' (3-6). According to Thomas Greene, 'the primary meaning of the metaphoric "visco" (3) - birdlime, snare - is apparently the passion for Laura to which "1'amore" (i) also refers, but the presentation of the "visco" as something distinct from "amore" suggested by the conjunction "e" (3) and the proximity of this sticky trap to the act of coupling in line 4 suggest a more generalized snare inherent in this act' - which Greene thinks might be that of 'imitative acculturation' (Light in Troy 103). Our knowledge of the avian myth in the love-lyric tradition helps confirm this suspicion. Later, after Laura dies, in Song 318, Petrarch clarifies the details of the image for a lyric sequence aspiring to epic status. After 'a tree' falls, 'scattering on the ground its rich leaves,' he sees 'another tree, which Love chose as his object in me, which Calliope and Euterpe chose as their subject in me' - That living laurel, where my high thoughts used to make their nest' (1-10). Petrarch often uses the laurel to signify not merely Laura, but also 'his own coronation and ... the fame which this ceremony recognized and enhanced' (T.M. Greene, Light in Troy 113; see Freccero). To construct his poetics celebrating and critiquing the poet resting and snared by earthly fame and female beauty, Petrarch relies on the avian image of nesting or entrapment. Conversely, to construct his poetics celebrating the poet's extrication from this predicament - available experientially only after Laura's death - Petrarch relies on the image of a bird flying aloft, as the recurrent avian imagery in the final songs makes clear. In the words of the angelic Laura herself: '"Why still weep and untune yourself? How much better it would have been to raise your wings from earth and to weigh with an accurate balance mortal things and these sweet deceptive chattering of yours, and to follow me (if it is true that you love me so much), gathering at last one of these branches" ' (359: 38-44). Through the avian image, Petrarch constructs a model of the poet who struggles to solve the problem dominating the early Italian Renaissance: man's simultaneous love of woman and God. If Petrarch solves the problem,


Spenser's Famous Flight

he does so only through Laura's death. By loving her personalized spirit in heaven, he simultaneously loves the deity. Imitating Petrarch, Sidney relies on the Petrarchan avian image to represent his love-lyric project in Astrophil and Stella. In Sonnet 90, he shows Astrophil using Petrarch's image to deny Petrarch's erotic wooing strategy: Nor so ambitious am I, as to frame A nest for my yong praise in Lawrell tree: In truth I sweare, I wish not there should be Graved in mine Epitaph a Poet's name: Ne if I would, could I just title make, That any laud to me thereof should grow, Without my plumes from others' wings I take.


Critics underscore the irony of this sonnet - Sidney's narrator rejects the Petrarchan strategy to reveal his own reliance on it - but they do not do so in the context of the avian myth.8 Despite Astrophil's protestations to the contrary, Sidney astutely selects the image of the poet-bird nesting in a 'Lawrell tree' and singing its 'praise' as the master image by which the Petrarchan poet writes sonnets and thereby achieves laureate fame. Similarly, Sidney selects the image of the poet-bird taking 'wings' from other poet-birds to 'grow' his own 'plumes' as the arch-image by which the Petrarchan poet relates himself intertextually. While Astrophil contradicts himself in his use of Petrarch's avian imagery - he proclaims independence from the poet's laurel nest but claims potential dependence on the wings of other poets - Sidney himself relies on avian imagery to acknowledge generously his debt to Petrarch and in the process to rewrite him for Elizabethan culture. The examples of Sidney, Petrarch, Bernart de Ventadorn, and Propertius illustrate the precision to which poets can put the avian myth when representing their love-lyric project. Most of the images Propertius' chariot-drawing swans and bill-dipping doves, Bernart's singing woodland nightingale, Petrarch's laurel nest and lime, and Sidney's laurel nest - configure the poet as grounded in his high flight to fame and glory. The others - Petrarch's hymnic wing imagery closing the Rime and Sidney's intertextual wings - configure the consequent drive for transcendent glory. Through this process, Propertius, Petrarch, and Sidney all claim epic status for their love poetry (Bernart never does). Spenser's reliance on the myth of the winged poet in Amoretti

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


and Epithalamion to situate his Petrarchan lyrics in his Virgulan career reveals an astute reading of this tradition. Anticipating Milton's Holy Spirit on the vast abyss, the New Poet sits dovelike, brooding on the laurel nest. Illustrating England's Fame: The Prefatory Material The prefatory material to the 1595 volume of love lyrics entreats us to peer at Spenser's love poetry through the lens of the New Poet's patriotic career. The material consists of two parts: a dedicatory letter, written by the publisher, William Ponsonby, to his friend, a young cavalry officer serving in Ireland, Sir Robert Needham; and two poems, one written by 'G: W. senior, to the Author/ the other by 'G.W.I.' (Geffrey Whitney Senior and Geffrey Whitney Junior [Dunlop, Oram et al. 598]). Resembling the prefatory material of The Shepheardes Calender and The Faerie Queene, this material advertises the love lyrics as a third phase in Spenser's four-phase career. Ponsonby's letter solicits Needham's patronage, but it also identifies the Spenser of this erotic volume as the national poet: This gentle Muse ... long wished for in Englande.' It further identifies Spenser's love lyrics as the flowers of the national poet, whose name testifies to his fame: 'these sweete conceited Sonets' are 'the deede of that wel deserving gentleman, maister Edmond Spenser: whose name sufficiently warranting the worthinesse of the work.' In his letter, Ponsonby situates the love lyrics in Spenser's career by emphasizing the 'worthinesse' of their 'sweet[ness]' - dulce et utile. The Petrarchan genre has civic utility. The two commendatory verses amplify on this advertisement. Whitney Senior announces Spenser's return to the national scene: 'while this Muse in forraine landes doth stay, / invention weepes'; but now that he has returned, the country has a 'perfect guide' to 'illustrate Englands fame, / dawnting thereby our neighbors auncient pride, / that do for poésie, challendge cheefest name' (5-12). Like Ponsonby, Whitney Senior assumes that Spenser's love lyrics give England what Spenser elsewhere hopes his epic poetry will give: 'fame.' Whitney Junior then locates the volume in the career contour I have identified: 'Ah Colin, whether on the lowly plaine, / pyping to shepherds thy sweete roundelaies: / or whether singing in some lofty vaine, / heroick deedes, of past, or present daies. / Or Whether thy lovely mistris praise, / thou list to exercise thy learned quill, / thy muse hath got such grace, and power to please' (1-7). To emphasize the continuity between the Calender and the love lyrics, Whitney Junior selects Colin


Spenser's Famous Flight

Clout as Spenser's persona. Thus he situates Amoretti and Epithalamion in Spenser's career as the phase succeeding the Calender and The Faerie Queene. As the parallelism and anaphora reveal ('whether on'), Whitney sees the love lyrics as consistent with Spenser's pastoral and epic: all three 'exercise' Colin's 'learned quill'; all three have 'got such grace'; and all three have 'power to please.' Pastoral, epic, and love lyric originate from the same artistic source, have the same rhetorical end, and generate the same reward in the patronage system. While Whitney's avian image, 'learned quill,' remains generalized, it hints at the importance Spenser attaches to the myth of the winged poet, not merely in the Calender and The Faerie Queene, but also in the following volume. All three parts of the prefatory material, then, direct us to an important principle. We need to read Amoretti and Epithalamion as a contribution to Spenser's career. The love lyrics, rather than impeding the public responsibility of the New Poet, prove vital to the continuation of his national epic. 'Mantleth Most at Ease': Amoretti Throughout Amoretti, Spenser provides evidence for defining the sonnet sequence as a careeric genre - as a series of Petrarchan poems in which a poet fictionalizes his attempt to unite with a beloved in order to advance, ritualistically, a nationally significant literary career.9 The structure of Amoretti is the most elemental evidence of such a definition. Critics agree that the poem presents a clearer, more unified narrative than does any other English sonnet sequence, and that this narrative emphasizes the narrator's development (Hunter, 'English Sonnet Tradition' 125-6; cf. Gibbs). Indeed, Amoretti is even 'a bildungsroman in verse - a portrait of the artist as a middle-aged man, a pilgrim's progress' (W. Johnson, Spenser's 'Amoretti' 21). The progress the pilgrim makes, critics agree, is the spiritual one of perception. The pilgrim moves from perceiving Elizabeth Boyle Neoplatonically - as an 'image' to be 'worshipped' - to perceiving her romantically - as a real woman who incarnates the deity (Johnson 21, 39). While most critics now agree that Spenser structures the pilgrim's progress on a tripartite Church pattern - sonnets 1-21, sonnets 22-68, and sonnets 69-89 (Dunlop; Hardison, 'Dolce Stil Novo") - I should like to emphasize a complementary pattern that emerges from the narrative events: the careeric. In this pattern, the narrator places his perception of his beloved within the context of his career. Like Petrarch and Sidney, Spenser divides Amoretti into two major

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


parts. Unlike them, he selects as his principle of division, not his beloved's death or her commitment to honour, but the feature that evidently marks Spenser's originality in the genre, the conjugal conclusion (see note 19). Sonnets 1-67 treat the relationship before Elizabeth agrees to marry him; sonnets 68-89 treat the relationship after she agrees; and the mysterious Sonnet 67 functions as the hinge between them.10 In this two-part structure, Spenser traces the first stage of his love-lyric interlude (to be followed by that in Epithalamion). He asserts the importance of poetry about his future wife - Elizabeth Boyle - to the completion of his national epic - poetry about Elizabeth Tudor. Within the two-part structure of Amoretti, Spenser supplies additional evidence of a careeric definition by inserting a heroic matrix into the sequence. This matrix emerges when the poet situates his erotic experience within the landscape of the heroic quest - including his composition of The Faerie Queene. Sonnets 33 and 80 are merely the most explicit. By recognizing the ubiquitous nature of the heroic matrix, we can avoid criticizing Spenser for letting these two sonnets intrude the historical into the fictive (Johnson 131). Spenser represents this intrusion to evoke the vocational historicity of his erotic fiction. He does so by intertwining two familiar images of heroic progress, the mariner's voyage and the hunter's chase, and one less familiar image of vocational progress that I wish to emphasize: the 'famous flight.' Among the three, only the avian locates the progress in the context of the telos organizing the poet's career.11 In Amoretti, Spenser relies on twenty-four avian images. Of these, twenty function vocationally. By focusing on avian images of artistic representation, we can see how Spenser defines his lyric sequence in the context of his Orphic career. In the first part (sonnets 1-67), the poet shows himself writing a verse that aims to negotiate with a woman who appears to threaten a nationally significant art. The negotiation results because each party supports a different claim. He argues that he is worth loving; she argues that he is not. Spenser defines the problem he confronts. In love with a stunningly beautiful woman, he uses his art to 'fashion' her (32: 4); but she, wise to the patriarchal idolatry controlling his mastery, willfully resists - 'her hart more harde then yron soft awhit' (32: 6). To the relationship, he has brought experience and reputation. He is the national poet - the 'Bryttane Orpheus' ('R.S.,' cv 4) - author of The Shepheardes Calender and Books l-lll of The Faerie Queene. He has used poetry to fashion virtuous readers - including men and women who misunderstand the relation between the sexes. As he says in Sonnet 38, 'my rude musick ... was


Spenser's Famous Flight

wont to please / some dainty cares' (5-6). Especially in Book III, he has anatomized the way in which male perceptions of the female create problems for both sexes (P. Cheney, Two Florimells'). As an authority on marital relations, he assumes that his task is that of the praeceptor amoris. He is to use his art to transform his beloved from a 'cruell fayre' (Am 46: 2) into a kind fair. Elizabeth Boyle provides the acid test of his Orphic authority - his chance to use his sovereign art to fashion the queen of his future family. In the first sixty-seven sonnets, he struggles with the way in which his failure as a Petrarchan poet threatens his Virgilian enterprise. Within this first part, we can detect three narrative units: sonnets 1-4, which introduce the whole; sonnets 5-60, which show the poet negotiating with his beloved; and sonnets 61-7, which show him discovering his beloved to be the source of renewal for his epic. In the first unit (1-4), Spenser writes Sonnet i to introduce the selfreferential nature of the sequence and to create an index to his poetics. By addressing the volume of poetry directly ('Leaves, lines, and rymes' [13]) - not Elizabeth Boyle - he indicates the careeric dimension of the erotic relationship. Although appearing to inaugurate this relationship, he here crystallizes the essence of the relationship achieved toward the end: their mutual bondage.12 Thus, whereas lines 13-14 emphasize his artistic power - 'Leaves, lines, and rymes, seeke her to please alone, / whom if ye please, I care for other none' - lines 1-12, with their tripartite anaphora, emphasize her erotic power: Happy ye leaves when as those lilly hands, which hold my life in their dead doing might, shall handle you and hold in loves soft bands, lyke captives trembling at the victors sight. And happy lines, on which with starry light, those lamping eyes will deigne sometimes to look and reade the sorrowes of my dying spright, written with teares in harts close bleeding book. And happy rymes bath'd in the sacred brooke, of Helicon whence she derived is, when ye behold that Angels blessed looke, my soûles long lacked foode, my heavens blis.

(Sonnet i: 1-12)

The first quatrain wittily anticipates the central sonnet of the sequence, Amoretti 67, by reversing the conventional image of the male as hunter and the female as hunted, envisioning the beloved as one who uses her

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


'lilly hands' to 'hold' the poet's 'life in their dead doing might/ the 'leaves' of his book 'lyke captives trembling at the victors sight.' The second quatrain emphasizes the power of Elizabeth's 'lamping eyes' as they 'deigne' to 'reade the sorrowes' in his 'bleeding book.' And the third quatrain emphasizes the divine origin of her erotic power, 'Helicon,' which in turn functions as the divine origin of his artistic power. In sum, Sonnet i relates the achieved mutuality between poet and beloved to his career. Spenser's book of love lyrics functions as a divinely wrought intermediary securing the union of the poet and his beloved. Since Spenser introduces his book as an intermediary, we might expect it to acquire the winged identity that such intermediaries conventionally acquire in Spenser and the traditions informing his verse - in 'To His Booke,' for instance, or in Peter Short's emblem for the 1595 volume itself (fig. i). Sonnet i contains two references to the myth of the winged poet - both in the last quatrain. In line 9, the poet refers to his 'happy rymes bath'd in the sacred brooke'; this metaphor makes sense only when the 'rymes' are winged. The metaphor of a winged poetry bathing itself anticipates line 9 in Sonnet 72 (W. Johnson, Spenser's 'Amoretti' 214), where the poet's winged imagination 'doth bath in blisse and mantleth most at ease' - the word 'mantleth,' we shall see, being a hawking term. The enjambment of line 9 of Sonnet i links the first avian image with the second (and, as it were, confirms its existence): 'happy rymes bath'd in the sacred brooke / of Helicon whence she derived is.' The brook in which the winged poetry baths is Helicon, Spenser's name for Hippocrene, the fountain created when the winged horse Pegasus stamped his hoof.13 As we have seen in previous chapters, in The Ruines of Time Spenser identifies the winged horse as a figure for the poet's power to achieve poetic fame and ultimately Christian glory (421-27, 645-58). In the Spenser/Harvey Letters, Harvey reveals the importance of the Pegasus myth to Spenser's Petrarchan project: Imagin me to come into a goodly Kentishe Garden of your old Lords, ... and, spying a florishing Bay Tree there, to demaunde ex tempere as followeth. Thinke uppon Petrarches Arbor vittoriosa, trionfale, Onor d'lmperadori e di Poeti, [Victorious triumphal tree, the honor of emperors and of poets] and perhappes it will advance the wynges of your Imagination a degree higher: at the least if any thing can be added to the loftinesse of his conceite,


Spenser's Famous Flight

who[m] gentle Mistresse Rosalinde once reported to have all the Intelligences at commaundement, and an other time christened her Segnior Pegaso, (in G.G. Smith i: 105-6; emphasis added)

The song of Petrarch's which Harvey encourages Spenser to 'thinke uppon' is Song 263, which refers to 'the birdlime or the snares or nets of Love' (7). Harvey does not merely reveal that 'Collina Clouta' (Smith i: 122) selects Pegasus as Spenser's mythical prototype. He also, as it were, snares the Pegasean myth of the epic poet in the birdlime of the Petrarchan laurel nest. In Amoretti i, Spenser alludes to the Pegasus myth to make a tacit claim. Even though he pauses from his epic to write a love lyric that 'seeke[s] her to please alone,' he is still proceeding along the road to epic glory. By presenting his erotic verse bathing in the Pegasean spring, and then showing his 'Angel' to be 'derived' from that source, he is Christianizing the kind of symbolism found in Propertius, who represents Venerean doves dipping their bills in 'horse-foot Helicon' (Spenser, Teares 271). The 'blessed looke' of the angel and her 'heavens blis' suggest that the New Poet's Pegasean fame, achieved through writing love lyric, leads to Christian glory. In Sonnet i, Spenser shows how the erotic genre contributes to the structure and telos of the New Poet's career. In the second unit of this first part (sonnets 5-60), Spenser focuses on the contest between the national poet and his beloved. Sonnets 7 and 8 alert us to this contest by relying on the metaphor of teaching. In Sonnet 7 he teaches her: 'looke ever lovely, as becomes you best' (10). But in Sonnet 8 she teaches him: 'you ... teach my hart to speake' (10). This seems to be a discovery - slowly acknowledged: in 7 he asserts male mastery; in 8 he acknowledges female mastery. He begins to recognize the consequences of finding his inspiration in his beloved ('Kindled above unto the maker neere' [8: 2]). He is locating vatic authority outside himself - in another person: 'You frame my thoughts and fashion me within' (8: 9). Thus she assumes the role he had taken on in The Faerie Queene: 'to fashion a gentleman or noble person' (Letter to Ralegh). Edmund Spenser is the gentleman whom Elizabeth is fashioning; this follows from Sonnet i, where he identifies her as the source of his own making. He acknowledges this idea in Sonnet 21, where Elizabeth's art of 'eyes' with 'such strange termes' do 'traine and teach' him in ways no 'book' ever has (9-14), and in Sonnet 22, where she is 'th'author of [his] ... blisse' (9). Like sonnets 33 and 80, sonnets 28 and 29 place the erotic form of the

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


fashioning process in the context of the national epic, including its telos of fame and glory. In Sonnet 28, Elizabeth wears the 'laurell leafe' (i), prompting the poet to a hasty conclusion: 'since it is the badg which I doe beare, / ye bearing it doe seeme to me inclind' (3-4). Facilely, the poet thinks his national reputation will win his lady - that his laureate 'badg' will secure his mastery. Such a conclusion prompts him to advance a condescending laureate sermon, sacred to the devotees of Apollo, 'father of the Muse' (Ep 121): avoid the fate of 'Proud Daphne' (9); 'fly no more fayre love from Phebus chace' (13). In Sonnet 29, however, Elizabeth identifies herself as the laureate victor - a self-crowned epic poet and heroine all in one: 'The bay (quoth she) is of the victours borne, / yielded them by the vanquish! as theyr meeds, / and they therewith doe poetes heads adorne, / to sing the glory of their famous deedes' (5-8). At the end of the sonnet, the poet relies on the dual model of laureate hero and laureate poet to express the mutual process by which he and his beloved fashion each other: 'let her accept me as her faithfull thrall, / that her great triumph which my skill exceeds, / I may in trump of fame blaze over all. / Then would I decke her head with glorious bayes, / and fill the world with her victorious prayse' (10-14). As the reference to the trumpet reveals, Spenser ascribes to his love lyric the goal of his national epic. And as the contest for the l3adg' indicates, the New Poet struggles between his truancy from Elizabeth Tudor and his pastoral sojourn with Elizabeth Boyle. A third pair of sonnets, 38 and 44, locate the national context of the private erotic relationship. Both show the poet failing to exercise his laureate art in the private sphere. In Sonnet 38, he identifies himself as a failed Arion. Whereas Arion used 'sweet musick' from his 'harp' to 'allu'r[e] a Dolphin' (3-4), the New Poet cannot allure his beloved: 'my rude musick, which was wont to please / some dainty eares, cannot with any skill / the dreadfull tempest of her wrath appease' (5-7). As the parenthetical remark reveals, he applies his art from the earlier two volumes of his career ('rude' may imply the pastoral Calender, 'dainty' the courtly Faerie Queene), and it does not work. Since Spenser read part of the national epic to his queen in 1589-90 (Colin Clout 358-67), the 'dainty eares' may be Elizabeth Tudor's, as his appropriation of the queen's epithet for his beloved hints ('dreadfull'). In Sonnet 44, he complains of his failure by recalling Orpheus' success. Whereas the Thracian bard used his 'harp' to l)ar' the 'strife' of the Argonauts, he merely holds a 'tunelesse harp' that 'augmentfs]' his 'foes despight' (3-10). Spenser interprets Orpheus' taming of the Argonauts as the core event of epic, referred to in Book IV, canto ii of The


Spenser's Famous Flight

Faerie Queene - the first book of public virtue. By comparing himself unfavourably with the Argonaut poet, Spenser represents the New Poet as failing in his epic endeavour because of a private love affair. The Arion and Orpheus poems mythologize the career crisis he creates by falling in love with Elizabeth Boyle. His love-lyric venture threatens his epic voyage. Sonnet 54 locates the poet's private performance in the public arena: the Theatre' (i). The vocational metaphor again underscores the poet's laureate failure: 'My love lyke the Spectator ydly sits / beholding me that all the pageants play' (2-3)- Whether he 'mask[s] in myrth lyke to a Comedy' or 'waile[s] and make[s his]... woes a Tragedy/ she beholds him with a 'constant eye' - 'delightfing] ... not in [his] ... merth nor rufing his] ... smart' (6-10). Frustrated to achieve the 'generall end' of The Faerie Queene, he blames his failure on her inhumanity - dehumanizing her in the process: 'What then can move her? if nor merth nor mone, / she is no woman, but a sencelesse stone' (13-14). The great poet of the Legend of Chastity commits the wrong represented by the Foster, the witch's son, the Fisher, and Proteus. From the poet's perspective, Elizabeth's refusal to participate romantically in his theatrical pageant threatens his production altogether. While sonnets 54, 38, 44, 29, 28, 8, and 7 show the poet letting his love lyric interfere with his epic, Sonnet 22 clarifies the source of the problem: not Elizabeth's 'cruelty/ but his own 'idolatry' (W. Johnson, Spenser's 'Amoretti' 99-100). While the narrator of Sonnet 22 tries to persuade his beloved of the purity of his desire, Spenser reveals the misperception controlling the rhetoric. In particular, the misperception is that of Petrarchan idolatry: 'Her temple fayre is built within my mind' (5; see Rime sparse 30, 96, 116, 127, 129, 268, 345; Durling, 'Petrarch's "Giovene donna" '). Relying on one of the cornerstones of Courtly Love, the Religion of Love, Spenser undercuts the narrator's case for purity by identifying him as the false Petrarchan priest of Cupid, a kind of Busirane. On an 'altar/ he will 'sacrifise' his 'hart/ burning in flames of pure and chast desire' (10-12). Too hot, too hot! The narrator unwittingly falls into the very syndrome the New Poet had anatomized in the Scudamour-Amoret story in the 1590 Faerie Queene. In the context just outlined, Sonnet 33 does not appear as the anomaly it sometimes has seemed. It clarifies the problem that the first part of the sequence emphasizes - the poet's laureate failure: 'Great wrong I doe, I can it not deny, / to that most sacred Empresse my dear dred, / not finishing her Qjaeene of faery, / that mote enlarge her living prayses dead' (1-4). In the second quatrain, he rationalizes his neglect.

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


Don't you think, he says to Bryskett, that 'th'accomplishment of it' is 'sufficient worke for one mans simple head'? (6-7). Lacking 'another wit,' he wonders how he can 'endure so taedious toyle, / sins that this one is tost with troublous fit / of a proud love, that doth my spirite spoyle' (9-12). The poet's 'proud love' precludes his 'finishing' another Elizabeth's poem. Yet, as the word 'till' in the couplet hints, such preclusion is provisional, if not providential: 'Cease then, till she vouchsafe to grawnt me rest, / or lend you me another living brest.' These lines, which recall the 'double time' of Sonnet i, suggest that we need to read the sequence through a providential lens. The 'troublous fit' is part of a larger process leading to marriage. The first evidence of this appears in the title-page, which shows that the Petrarchan sonnets are to be followed by the Catullan marriage ode. As a result, we should read Amoretti through the lens of Epithalamion. However, Amoretti also constructs the lens on its own, so that we are often aware of the happy end toward which the sequence moves (36: 1-2; 39-40; see Ricks 6; DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 69). Such a design, which is absent in both Petrarch and Sidney, reveals that the laureate poet's lyric venture merely seems to sabotage his national project. In this second unit, the avian sonnets are important because they rely on an authoritative self-representational sign to model the New Poet's problem. Sonnet 19 documents the particulars: The merry Cuckow, messenger of Spring, His trompet shrill hath thrise already sounded: that warnes al lovers wayt upon their king, who now is comming forth with girland crouned. With noyse whereof the quyre of Bryds resounded their anthemes sweet devized of loves prayse, that all the woods theyr ecchoes back rebounded, as if they knew the meaning of their layes. But mongst them all, which did Loves honor rayse no word was heard of her that most it ought, but she his precept proudly disobeyes, and doth his ydle message set at nought. Therefore O love, unlesse she turne to thee ere Cuckow end, let her a rebell be.

(Sonnet 19: 1-14)

In this calendrical sonnet, Spenser uses avian imagery, not merely to announce the arrival of spring, but also to probe a limited version of an Orphic art.


Spenser's Famous Flight

On the surface of the text, the narrator tells how his beloved refuses to participate in the sexual rites of spring. He uses a natural image, the bird, to figure natural order, so that his beloved will cease her unnatural behaviour. However, these are not natural birds. Their ornithological art looks like the art of human music, as words like 'trompet/ 'quyre,' and 'anthemes' indicate. Their art also resembles the erotic art of the Orphic poet, as indicated by the 'anthemes sweet' of 'loves prayse' and by the Orphic formula of the woods-resounding. Since the cuckoo's ' "trompet shrill" (2) contrasts with the "anthemes sweet" (6) of the other birds' (Dunlop, Oram et al. 611), Spenser appears to be positing a relation between two kinds of poetry, which I suggest are epic and love lyric. Spenser directs us to the career crisis clarified in sonnets such as 33. The beloved's refusal to respond to the cuckoo's song figures Elizabeth's refusal to respond to the rapidly waning authority of the New Poet. Spenser's selection of the cuckoo as the messenger of spring, rather than the nightingale, alerts us to a self-reflexive critique.14 By representing the poet as a 'merry Cuckow,' Spenser reveals his narrator to be foolishly fashioning his beloved. The naturalist springtime imagery of the birds echoing their song through 'all the woods' represents the poet's erotic grounding of his famous flight, as the special form of the woods-resounding formula implies: 'all the woods theyr ecchoes back rebounded.' As we have seen in chapter 2, echo is a trope for poetic fame; here the rebounding echo literally circumscribes a fame cut off from Christian glory. Sonnet 19 is the first sonnet to clarify Spenser's view of his narrator; it is a remarkable instance of the New Poet encoding self-reflexivity. At this point in the sequence, we are struggling to understand the authority of the narrator, as he vacillates between moods of praise and blame. He is searching for a language through which to contend with his predicament (3,17). He rightly sees the divinity of his beloved's beauty (3, 8, 9, 16) and the chastity in her pride (5). He understands the value of marriage (6) and the danger of her rebellion against that value (1012). And he perceives her remarkable virtue, her 'goodly temperature' that mixes pride with humility (13: 4), as well as her power to manifest her physical beauty in moral beauty (15). In other words, he sees a good deal. But he does not see what Sonnet 19 so fully betrays: that his perception of his beloved remains one of erotic mastery. In the last unit of the first part (sonnets 61-7), Spenser presents his narrator discovering his beloved to be the source of power renewing his epic glory. He resolves his problem when he and his beloved transcend

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


the balance of mastery between the sexes by miraculously discovering mutuality. The clue to this discovery appears in the narrator's recognition about the divine origin of her beauty, so that his faith in her translates into faith in God. The last sonnet of the preceding unit presents the nadir of the sequence, the poet's recognition that a year has passed in the courting ritual, that he has crossed the threshold of 'fourty' years (60: 8), and that he is running out of time. Sonnet 61 marks the transition to the new courting season with a theological rediscovery: Elizabeth is 'divinely wrought, / and of the brood of Angels hevenly borne: / and with the crew of blessed Saynts upbrought' (5-7). The idea is not new to the sequence (8: 1-2, 9: 13); but the narrator's perception now demonstrates a development since Sonnet 22: 'here it is not the lady's glorious image but the lady herself, as the glorious image of the Maker's beauty, who is celebrated' (W. Johnson, Spenser's 'Amoretti' 173). Because this 'soverayne saynt' is such a 'glorious image' (1-2), she is void of 'pride' and free of 'blame' (4). Hence, in Sonnet 62 the poet begins the new year with a New Year's prayer, entreating Elizabeth to 'chaunge' her 'heavy spright' to 'new delight' (13-14). Then in Sonnet 63 he returns to the metaphor of the mariner's voyage to signal a climactic event; he espies 'the happy shore' (5). Finally, in Sonnet 64 he sees 'a gardin of sweet flowres' as he prepares 'to kisse her lyps, (such grace I found)' (1-2). Imitating the Song of Solomon, he clarifies his perception of his beloved. She is an incarnation of God. In the only avian poem in this unit, Sonnet 65, the poet instructs Elizabeth in the mystery of their mutual bondage. This instruction is necessary because their kiss of Sonnet 64 prompts her fear: 'The doubt which ye misdeeme, fayre love, is vaine, / That fondly feare to loose your liberty, / when loosing one, two liberties ye gayne, / and make him bond that bondage earst dyd fly' (Sonnet 65: 1-4). To illustrate his point, he turns to the myth of the winged poet, building on the word 'fly' at the end of line 4, as the interlocking rhyme of 'tye' in line 5 reveals: Sweet be the bands, the which true love doth tye, without constraynt or dread of any ill: the gentle birde feeles no captivity within her cage, but singes and feeds her fill.

(Sonnet 65: 5-8)

For readers trained by Romantic poetry to see the caged bird as a sign of tyranny (Randel), Spenser's image is arresting. But the Renaissance poet uses the image quite differently. In the first two lines, the narrator


Spenser's Famous Flight

states a norm. The bondage of their love is sweet because it is free of fear. In the second two lines, he represents the norm. The bird sings and feeds in her cage because she feels free in her captivity. Spenser sees Elizabeth trapped by a paradox, and he uses a paradoxical image to unpack it. Their love is a form of bondage that permits them to express ('singe') and nourish themselves freely ('feed'). The bird's relation with her master is built on faith. For her protection and sustenance, the bird exchanges song. As the poet goes on to reveal, faith supplies the means of the bond: There fayth doth fearlesse dwell in brasen towre' (13). In turn, faith provides the pleasure of assurance: 'and spotlesse pleasure builds her sacred bowre' (14). Through such 'mutuall good will,' they 'seeke ... with sweet peace to salve each others wound' (11-12). In the bird-in-cage image, Spenser discovers a device of mutuality that he believes can communicate the paradox of bondage to his fearful fiancée. But does the avian image function vocationally? Does not the bird sign pertain to the beloved rather than to the poet? After all, the bird is like Elizabeth in being female ('her'); its predicament models hers ('captivity'). The answer would be an unequivocal yes, except that the grammatical antecedent of 'gentle birde' is not the beloved but 'true love' - a genderless abstraction. The resulting ambiguity is functional. It models the mutuality between male and female - the power that results when they transcend the problem of mastery: 'true love.' The bird who sings and feeds in her cage is not merely the beloved bound by the male but also the feminine-inspired male bound by the female. The avian image directs us to the bond that should define the relationship - as the subsequent language of mutuality reveals: 'There pride dare not approch, nor discord spill / the league twixt them, that loyal love hath bound: / but simple truth and mutuall good will, / seekes with sweet peace to salve each others wound' (9-12). We cannot respond to this sonnet satisfactorily unless we recall that the cage is also a sign of poetic fame. Unlike in Chaucer or Petrarch, however, Spenser in Sonnet 65 circumscribes the couple in order to represent the way in which mutuality in the erotic domain contributes to fame in the poetic one. Sonnet 67 dramatizes the ideal of mutuality mythically, but uses a related metaphor from the heroic matrix: that of the hunt. None the less, Spenser interlaces the hunting metaphor with the avian one in order to rewrite the Petrarchan myth. The 'huntsman' sits down 'to rest ... in some shady place' after a 'weary chace' (1-3), but when he 'the chace forsooke' the 'gentle deare return[s]' the 'selfe-same way' (6-7): There she beholding me with mylder looke,

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion sought not to fly, but fearelesse still did bide: till I in hand her yet halfe trembling tooke, and with her owne goodwill hir fyrmely tyde.


(Sonnet 67: 9-12)

The ambiguous language arrests our attention, compelling us to sort out the object and the subject, the victim and the victor. But the language stubbornly resists any penchant for exclusivity, insisting on the unity of beholder and beheld. The moment of mystery occurs when male and female perceive each other mutually, as the brilliant functional ambiguity reveals. With her 'mylder looke,' she beholds him; and she beholds him with his 'mylder looke.' Mysteriously, they unify their perception. They eye each other sympathetically and thus solve the problem of mastery. The unity of perception leads to a unity of will, conveyed through a subsequent ambiguity. He takes her 'in hand/ but she ties herself 'with her owne goodwill.' The couplet re-expresses the mystery of mutuality with another functional ambiguity: 'Strange thing me seemd to see a beast so wyld, / so goodly wonne with her owne will beguyld' (13-14). Although she is 'goodly wonne' by him, she is Tjeguyld' by 'her owne will.' A key to this reading lies in the neglected metaphor of flight in line 10: the gentle deer 'sought not to fly.' The metaphor is significant because it represents the beloved ending her Daphnean flight, referred to in the first 'laurel' sonnet: 'Proud Daphne scorning Phaebus lovely fyre, / on the Thessalian shore from him did flie' (28: 9-10). In the Metamorphoses, Ovid links the maiden's flight with the flight of a bird when Apollo tells Daphne of the futility of her flight: 'With flitrring fethers sielie Doves so from the Gosshauke flie' (1.612; trans. Golding). In Amoretti, only when the poet and his beloved experience the moment of mutuality - each beholding the other with 'mylder looke' - can the Daphnean/Apollonian flight end. As Petrarch keeps reminding us, the Apollo/Daphne myth is a myth of poetic fame. Spenser's brilliance in Sonnet 67 lies in showing how the end of this flight leads to the famous flight. It is here that Spenser's original rewriting of the Petrarchan myth of the laureate poet emerges. In the second part of the sequence (sonnets 68-89), Spenser works within the Petrarchan convention that separates the couple, but he situates this event strategically within the New Poet's career. This part has two units. In the first (sonnets 68-84), the poet renegotiates with his beloved after her fears about their union rethreaten their relationship, his love lyric, and his epic glory. He contends with the immediate consequence


Spenser's Famous Flight

of their resolution to the problem - his attempt to dispel the mutual fear of their acquiescence: he, fear about the consequences for his art; she, for her sanctity. In the Easter sonnet, Amoretti 68, he constructs a historically important poem that responds to Petrarch. In Song 3 of the Rime sparse, a Good Friday sonnet, Petrarch finds a model for his erotic suffering in Christ's crucifixion. Thus he identifies a tragic tenor to his love of Laura: 'It was the day when the sun's rays turned pale with grief for his Maker when I was taken, and I did not defend myself against it, for your lovely eyes, Lady, bound me ... And so my misfortunes began in the midst of the universal woe' (1-8). Unlike St Augustine in the Confessions or Dante in the Divine Comedy, Petrarch struggles to reconcile eros with caritas - love of woman with love of God. But he discovers he cannot succeed. Laura's beauty anchors him in nature, separating him from grace. In Amoretti 68, Spenser responds to Petrarch by emphasizing the comic dimension of the Christian story, Christ's resurrection and glory, as the defining trait of the erotic experience: 'Most glorious Lord of lyfe, that on this day, / Didst make thy triumph over death and sin ... / ... grant that we for whom thou diddest dye ... / may live for ever in felicity' (1-8): 'So let us love, deare love, lyke as we ought, / love is the lesson which the Lord us taught' (13-14). In its modest way, Amoretti is what John N. King calls The Faerie Queene: a 'divine comedy' (Spenser's Poetry and the Reformation Tradition 183). Locating the teacher outside the human relationship, Spenser encourages Elizabeth to see a divine sanction for their desire. He resolves Petrarch's problem of reconciling eros with caritas. Christ teaches men and women to love each other as the most obedient way to participate in the telos of the New Testament: glory. The mystery of the Incarnation, in which dying means living, is consistent conceptually with the pattern of descent that is a defining feature of the love-lyric genre. In the great Easter sonnet, Spenser links poetic fame with Christian glory.15 Consequently, in Sonnet 69 the poet links Christian teaching with his own laureate teaching: 'What trophée ... shall I most fit devize, / in which I may record the memory / of my loves conquest, peereless beauties prise. ... / Even this verse vowd to eternity, / shall be thereof immortall moniment' (5-10). Such a poem encourages us to view Amoretti in light of The Faerie Quëene, the poet and his beloved in light of Arthur and Gloriana - indeed, the whole career paradigm of fame and glory: The happy purchase of my glorious spoile, / gotten at last with labour and long toyle' (13-14; emphasis added). The couplet recalls Arthur's vow motivating his quest for Gloriana: To seeke her out with labour, and long tyne' (l.ix.15). The distinction in Sonnet 69 between

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


'eternity' and 'immortality]' is crucial: a poetry vowed to eternity becomes an immortal monument on earth. In Sonnet 70, the poet capitalizes on the arrival of another spring to encourage Elizabeth to rejoice in their love, and in Sonnet 71 he confronts her growing doubts about the choice she has made. He acknowledges his own identity as the 'Spyder' using art to capture the 'Bee' (2-3), but again he prophetically teaches her about the mystery of her bondage: 'so sweet your prison you in time shall prove, / with many deare delights bedecked fyne' (11-12). This is the prophecy of fame. In Sonnet 72, he uses a crucial avian sign to communicate his special love for Elizabeth in order to help her overcome her fear: Oft when my spirit doth spred her bolder winges, In mind to mount up to the purest sky: it down is weighd with thoght of earthly things and clogd with burden of mortality, Where when that soverayne beauty it doth spy, resembling heavens glory in her light: drawne with sweet pleasures bayt, it back doth fly, and unto heaven forgets her former flight. There my fraile fancy fed with full delight, doth bath in blisse and mantleth most at ease: ne thinks of other heaven, but how it might her harts desire with most contentment please. Hart need not with none other happinesse, but here on earth to have such hevens blisse. (Sonnet 72: 1-14)

In this imitation of Tasso (Rime 67; i: 258), Spenser uses avian imagery to construct the heart of his love-lyric ideology. Through the grounded bird, he reveals the providential nature of his love for Elizabeth's person, not for her ideal form. He responds to Tasso, who does not include the idea from the couplet, in order to render positive the lover's spiritualized earthly love.16 In the first quatrain, the poet uses his winged spirit to participate in Neoplatonic love, but he fails because his 'thoght of earthly things' grounds his flight - 'clogd with burden of mortality.' In the second quatrain, he explains his fall. When he spies his 'soverayne beauty ... / resembling heavens glory/ his spirit descends to earth. As in the first quatrain, in the second he experiences conflict. The beauty is 'soverayne' and resembles 'heavens glory/ but it forces him to forget 'heaven.' Line 7 captures his ambivalence: 'drawne with sweet pleasures bayt, it back


Spenser's Famous Flight

doth fly.' The 'pleasure' is both 'sweet' and a 'bayf - at once a form of delight and entrapment. He is 'drawne' to this bait against his will, yet his flight is a return flight to a nest that appears natural. In the third quatrain, he explains the effect of his descent through further ambivalence. He feeds his fancy with 'full delight/ bathes in 'blisse/ and thinks only of pleasing his beloved, yet his fancy is 'fraile,' he lapses into 'ease,' and once again he forgets 'other heaven.' Only in the couplet does he extricate himself from Tasso's arch-conflict. The only 'happinesse' the 'hart' needs to experience is 'hevens blisse' here 'on earth.' Through intertextually responding to Tasso's avian imagery, Spenser asserts the brand of Neoplatonic love distinctive of his poetry. He loves a woman who resembles the divine (see Ellrodt 142-4). Although critics recognize the Platonic 'flight' imagery in Sonnet 72, they overlook Spenser's use of it: he does not mirror the Platonic flight but document its limitation.'7 To the imagery of ascending flight, he responds with imagery of descending flight Cback doth fly') and ultimately of grounded flight: he 'doth bath in blisse and mantleth most at ease.' The hawking term 'mantleth' does not mean that the bird 'selfindulgently stretches her wings' (Dunlop, Qram et al. 644); it means that the perched hawk 'exercisefs]' its wings (OED, def. 3; see C.B. Hieatt, 'Stooping' 349). As with the term 'mew' in Sonnet 80, the term 'mantleth' has a precise careeric significance. The hawk's act of pleasure (stretching her wings) is a form of exercise; the restive gesture prepares the bird for its high flight. The subsequent image of the bird bathing its wings confirms the value of the grounding, for a bird bathes its wings to cleanse them - again for the purpose of high flight. The similarity between this bathing image and that in Sonnet i (noted by critics) permits us to see the poet here continuing to draw power from the fountain of the Muses. Spenser uses the hawking metaphor to defend his love lyric. In the next avian poem, Sonnet 73 (another imitation of Tasso [Rime 222; i: 369]), Spenser communicates his discovery to his beloved: Being my selfe captyved here in care, My hart, whom none with servile bands can tye, but the fayre tresses of your golden hayre, breaking his prison forth to you doth fly. Lyke as a byrd that in ones hand doth spy desired food, to it doth make his flight: even so my hart, that wont on your fayre eye to feed his fill, flyes back unto your sight.

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion Doe you him take, and in your bosome bright, gently encage, that he may be your thrall: perhaps he there may learne with rare delight, to sing your name and prayses over all. That it hereafter may you not repent, him lodging in your bosome to have lent.


(Sonnet 73: 1-14)

Spenser uses an avian simile to communicate the mystery of an erotic love motivated by spiritual force.18 In the first quatrain, the poet attributes to his beloved the power to free him from his bird cage - the condition of anxious bondage ('care') imposed by separation from her: 'tye[d]' spiritually to her 'golden hayre/ his 'hart' naturally 'breakts] ... his prison forth' in order to 'fly' to her. In the second quatrain, he makes the avian image explicit by likening his 'hart' to a Ijyrd': his heart seeing her 'fayre eye' and then transmitting its desire back to her is like a l>yrd' who spies the 'desired food' in its master's hand and flies to it. In this exchange of gender roles, the beloved is the master. Spenser finds a metaphor to express his Platonically informed psychology in the image of a flying female bird. However, unlike in the Phaedrus (246-9), the flight is horizontal from one locale on earth (his cagelike heart) to another (his beloved's cagelike heart, as the third quatrain reveals). In this way, the avian image represents the psychology of perception controlling Amoretti. The poet's sight of an earthly beloved incarnates the divine - The image of the heavens in shape humane' (Colin Clout 351). In the third quatrain, he entreats his beloved to 'gently encage' this bird in her 'bosome bright,' so that he may become her 'thrall.' If she does, he says, the bird may acquire a new form of wisdom (implied by 'learne' in line 11) to 'sing' her 'name' and 'praises' over those of 'all' others. The poet flies from one cage to another to express the natural mutuality of hearts. But he then links this flight with the feature that makes Spenser's Petrarchan experiment unique - the couple's union. If she does 'encage' his heart, he will 'learne with rare delight' to 'sing' her 'name and prayses over all.' Elizabeth Boyle's acceptance of the New Poet permits him to revise the conventional Petrarchan separation.19 In the couplet, he hints at the value she will find in his contribution to the genre. She will not 'repent' having 'lent' the bird her 'lodging' in her 'bosome' because she will delight in the fame she acquires. As in Sonnet 65, the cage is a sign of poetic fame; here the poet tries to persuade his beloved that their mutual bondage within marriage is a vital phase in their famous flight.


Spenser's Famous Flight

In Sonnet 75, Spenser literally inscribes the principle of poetic fame leading to Christian glory that organizes his career. By inserting this inscription into Amoretti, he is insisting on the consonance between his love lyric and his larger flight pattern: you shall live by fame: my verse your vertues rare shall eternize, and in the hevens wryte your glorious name. Where whenas death shall all the world subdew, our love shall live, and later life renew.

(Sonnet 75: 10-14)

This is not simply a Virgilian claim about poetic fame or immortality. Spenser Christianizes the claim in part by using the word 'eternize' but in full by imitating the Book of Revelation, in which 'the bokes were opened, & another boke was opened, which is the boke of life, which were written in the bokes, according to their workes' (20: 12). These books are the 'heavenly Registers above the Sunne' that enrol the 'glorious name' of the Redcrosse Knight (FQ 11.1.32; John D.C. Buck, personal communication). Relying on a scriptural text decidedly Catholic in its Johannian emphasis on works (Revelation 20: 12-13) rather than on (Pauline) faith (Romans 5: i), Spenser boldly tells Elizabeth, not merely that his poetry will bring her 'fame,' but that this eternizing of her virtues is 'rare' enough to write her 'glorious name' in the 'hevens.' In this way does poetic fame inscribe Christian glory. The emphatic final word of the sonnet, 'renew,' states the principle of renewal defining the love lyric; it constructs an equation between the activity of erotic renewal on earth and the renewal through fame and glory in heaven. The renewal is not merely spiritual and physical (Dunlop, Oram et al. 645) but linguistic and artistic. Consequently, Spenser here represents the power of the love-lyric genre to cohere with the rest of the salvific program. In Sonnet 80, he situates the telos of this program more clearly within the structure of the New Poet's career. As we have seen, this sonnet fictionalizes the poet's completion of 'six books' of The Faerie Queene while he composes Amoretti. The fiction raises two questions. First, where in the second instalment did the New Poet become 'clogd'? Perhaps after Book V and before the completion of Book VI (W. Johnson, Spenser's 'Amoretti' 133,227); this hypothesis seems plausible. The fiction of Book v ends, not with Artegall's triumph on his quest to free Irena from Grantorto, but with his recall from that quest - a thin guise for Lord Grey's recall from Ireland at the demand of Queen Elizabeth. But

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


then Book VI opens with the poet's renewal of energy; The Faerie Queene 'strength to me supplies and chears my dulled spright' (Pr.i). If this hypothesis has credence, we need to reformulate our view of the relation between the love lyrics and the national epic. Second, what has secured his renewal? I suggest that the New Poet has had an epiphany: about the value of wedded love to national service, about the value of Elizabeth Boyle to Elizabeth Tudor, about the value of erotic contemplation to heroic action - ultimately about the value of the love lyric to the national epic. Sonnet 80 projects that epiphany. In this poem, Spenser records his struggle to assert the importance of his pastorally infused love lyric to his georgically infused epic. And he relies on two allusions to the myth of the winged poet to model this generic enfolding in the context of the New Poet's 'greater flyght.' In the first quatrain, the poet introduces the first of three metaphors - that of the race - when asking a friend (perhaps Bryskett) to let him rest after his labour on The Faerie Queene: After so long a race as I have run Through Faery land, which those six books compile, give leave to rest me being halfe fordonne, and gather to my selfe new breath awhile. (Sonnet 80: 1-4)

The poet argues that he is resting from his epic project, not abandoning it. Through the racing metaphor of rest-in-progress, he insists that his excursion in the love lyric is vital to the life of the national epic ('new breath').20 In the second quatrain, the poet relies on a second metaphor of restin-progress - that of the plough horse - in order to promise action after rest: Then as a steed refreshed after toyle, Out of my prison I will breake anew: and stoutly will that second worke assoyle, with strong endevour and attention dew.

(Sonnet 80: 5-8)

This 'steed' is the georgic horse of labour - as the word 'assoyle' indicates and as the last stanza of the 1590 Faerie Queene confirms: 'now my teme begins to faint and fayle, / All woxen weary of their journall toyle: / Therefore I will their sweatie yokes assoyle / At this same furrowes end, till a new day' (lll.xii.47; original ending). Spenser's use


Spenser's Famous Flight

of the georgic horse of epic in an Amoretti sonnet mentioning his past publication encourages us to read the epic horse of labour in the context of his love lyric. The metaphor insists on the natural process of work and rest. The steed-poet's rest in his prison-stall gives him the stoutness to 'assoyle' the national epic 'with strong endevour and attention dew.' Phrasing such as 'new breath/ 'refreshed/ and 'anew' evokes the value of rest, while the playful pun on 'assoyle' (both assail and dig in the soil) advertises future work in the genre. Paradoxically, the georgic horse of labour is also the winged Pegasean steed of fame (see Craig 264; does Judson have this image in mind when calling Spenser 'Pegasus' at the 'plow'? [119]). Spenser fulfils the Pegasean prophesy of Sonnet i. His use of a single metaphor to prophesy the epic fame arising from his epic labour - the martial horse of earth metamorphosing into the epic winged-steed of heaven - qualifies as one of his most brilliant representations. Here he prophesies the epic ascent to emerge from the New Poet's lyric descent; he represents a 1595 plan to continue The Faerie Queene beyond Book VI. As in Sonnet 75, the steed's renewing spirit continues the famous flight. In the third quatrain, quoted earlier, Spenser uses a third metaphor of rest-in-progress - that of the hawk moulting its feathers in a pleasant mew - to define more clearly the providential role of his love lyric in the context of his epic. Unless we recognize the avian significance of 'mew' we cannot grasp the working of this quatrain. As with the runner and horse metaphors in the first two quatrains, here the poet-hawk renews his feathers in preparation for a 'greater flyght.' As a sign of poetic fame, the mew figures the power of the enclosed space of the sonnet as a literary form - in particular, the sonnet as a space of epic renewal.21 The sonnet can renew the poet's epic flight because its object - the beloved - possesses a 'heavenly hew/ which naturally elevates his spirit to a 'higher pitch.' As in Sonnet 72, the relation between the beloved's exalted person and the exalted poetic form coheres with the transcendent principle of fame and glory organizing the flight. In the couplet, Spenser identifies his praise of his beloved as 'fit for the handmayd of the Faery Queene' in order to model the relation between lyric and epic genres. Spenser writes this sonnet in part to communicate to his beloved the importance of her love - and her sequence - to his public mission.22 In the last unit of the sequence (sonnets 85-89), Spenser responds to a forced separation by asserting his faith in wedded love as a divinely ordained value. He both instructs Elizabeth in how to contend with society's response to their relationship and asserts the fidelity of his

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


desire amid the crisis. In Sonnet 85, he opens with a crucial avian image: The world that cannot deeme of worthy things, when I doe praise her, say I doe but flatter: so does the Cuckow, when the Mavis sings, begin his witlesse note apace to clatter.

(Sonnet 85: 1-4)

Spenser writes this sonnet because the 'world' has read his sonnets and slandered him out of 'envy' (6). Like Bryskett in Sonnet 33, the slanderers misunderstand what the poet has come to learn. His love for Elizabeth Boyle is instrumental to his career because it renews his epic power by inspiring him with heavenly fury. Sonnet 85 is a verse defence of poesy. Spenser compares his relation with his slanderer to the mavis' relation with the cuckoo. He identifies himself as the 'Mavis,' a type of thrush that 'sings' through 'skill' in 'heavenly matter' (3-5). The mavis figures the poet whose art presents the beloved as the image of God, who understands the relation between the sexes as one of mutuality and thereby secures the happy union between the two. By contrast, he identifies the slanderer as the 'Cuckow,' a bird that is 'witlesse' because it lacks such skill. The cuckoo figures the poet whose art presents the beloved as an object in nature, who misunderstands the relation between the sexes as one of mastery and promotes the unhappy separation between the two. Rather than flattering Elizabeth through superficial verse praising her exterior beauty, as the cuckoo-slanderer claims, he is writing her 'worth' with a 'golden quill,' 'inspire[d]' with a 'heavenly fury' arising from the innermost depths of his soul - 'Deepe in the closet of my parts entyre' (9-11). The end of his verse is not flattery but Lady 'fame,' who 'in her shrill trump shal thunder': 'let the world chose to envy or to wonder' (i3-i4).23 With triumphant confidence, Spenser relies on avian imagery to clarify the nature and end of his love lyric, as his reference to his epic instrument attests. In the remaining sonnets of this final unit, Spenser again tries to teach Elizabeth about the purity of his desire for her person, not her 'Idaea playne' (88: 9), and to assert the fidelity of this desire during the crisis created by the 'Venemous toung' (86: i): separation. Amoretti closes with reference to the myth that I believe controls our understanding of the separation and in the process that unifies the sequence: Lyke as the Culver on the bared bough,


Spenser's Famous Flight Sits mourning for the absence of her mate: and in her songs sends many a wishfull vow, for his returne that seemes to linger late. So I alone now left disconsolate, mourne to my selfe the absence of my love: and wandring here and there all desolate, seek with my playnts to match that mournful dove. (Sonnet 89: 1-8)

Amoretti 89 climactically relies on intertextual avian imagery.24 Like Sidney in Astrophil and Stella (108: 6-8), Spenser uses an avian poem to conclude Amoretti with the poet's lament over separation from his beloved. But characteristically he retains his precursor's narrative event of separation and revises his own response. In place of Astrophil's erotic despair, Spenser asserts erotic fidelity incarnating salvific faith. In the octave, Spenser likens himself to a female dove, 'a bird associated with peace and the Holy Spirit' (Dunlop, Oram et al. 654). The dove thus has both a political and a theological significance. The corresponding texts are Aeneid VI and Matthew 3:16. I would add the Ovidian or erotic dove as a sign of love (Amores l.ii.26, 48; Il.vi.i6, 56); and the Horatian or vocational dove as a sign of the poet declaring his national prominence (Odes Ill.iv.i2-i3). Spenser fuses these significances. He constructs a model of the sonnet sequence as a genre in which the poet-as-dove is a divinely ordained lover who uses his faith in his beloved to serve a national end, the completion of epic. The dove is female in part to emphasize the spiritual dimension of Spenser's Muse (traditionally female), and in part to assert his identity with the object of his verse: Elizabeth Boyle. Symbolically - through his verse - he abandons male mastery. The dove sits in a winterized landscape ('bared bough') to sing his vow because Spenser wishes to emphasize his faith in a poetry of fame and glory during a difficult separation. By using his plaints to 'match' the dove, he hopes to create a sympathy with nature that will Orphically reunite him with his beloved. Readers often misunderstand the outcome of Spenser's sequence by misinterpreting Sonnet Sg.25 Rather than showing the victory of the slanderous world over the poet, Sonnet 89 shows Spenser using his art to resist that victory. Spenser's triumph over the 'venemous toung' emerges in Epithalamion, which shows the result of his resistance. Through grace augmented by faith, he marries the woman he loves. Echoing Winged Fame: Epithalamion In the opening stanza of Epithalamion, the New Poet formally places his

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


love lyric in the context of his literary career. He then justifies his turn from public to private discourse by citing literary precedent. In lines 1-11, he rewrites the traditional invocation by entreating the Muses to support his turn from public to private discourse, and in the process he maps his past career with an actual vita: Ye learned sisters which have oftentimes Beene to me ayding, others to adorne: Whom ye thought worthy of your gracefull rymes, That even the greatest did not greatly scorne To heare theyr names sung in your simple layes, But joyed in theyr prayse. And when ye list your owne mishaps to mourne, Which death, or love, or fortunes wreck did rayse, Your string could soone to sadder tenor turne, And teach the woods and waters to lament (Epithalamion 1-11) Your dolefull dreriment.

Here Spenser departs from Catullus in two ways: he invokes the Muses rather than Hymen (Wall 138), and he follows the invocation with a record of his career. Lines 1-6 suggest those poems praising such 'great' members of the court as Elizabeth, Leicester, Sidney, and Ralegh - The Shepheardes Calender, especially Aprill, and the 1590 faerie Queene. Lines 7-11 suggest those poems in the Complaints treating poetry itself especially The Teares of the Muses and The Ruines of Time. Spenser identifies pastoral, epic, and complaint as epideictic modes of public discourse relying on divine power to accomplish national ends. Whereas pastoral and epic serve the politically powerful, the complaint serves the political needs of the poet himself. Both departures from Catullus signal the New Poet's accommodation of a conventional ode celebrating marriage to the requirements of a poetic career. The rationale for the poet's inclusion of his vita emerges in lines 12-15, where he introduces his love poetry as the next phase of his career: Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside, And having all your heads with girland crownd, Helpe me mine owne loves prayses to resound,

Ne let the same of any be envide.

(Epithalamion 12-15)

By publishing Amoretti and Epithalamion after the Complaints, Spenser identifies the love lyrics as a romantic version of the tragic complaint.


Spenser's Famous Flight

He demonstrates their appropriateness to a career having the contour of a 'divine comedy.' The genre is an epideictic mode of private discourse praising the beloved, but it serves a public, careeric function, as the image of the laureate garland implies. The love lyrics occupy that site along the progression of genres in which the poet relies on divine power (the Muses) to order nature triumphantly - in particular, that social unit progenitive of the family: the married couple. Spenser's attempt to 'resound' his 'owne loves prayses' hints at an idea that will become clearer later: the idea of fame and glory. In lines 16-18, the poet cites Orpheus' song for Eurydice as precedent for his own song for Elizabeth: 'So Orpheus did for his owne bride, / So I unto my selfe alone will sing, / The woods shall to me answer and my Eccho ring.' Spenser does not merely identify himself as the 'Bryttane Orpheus,' as critics suggest; he defends his choice of the love lyric as a legitimate phase in the New Poet's career. He cites Orpheus' song as precedent for his epithalamium; he asserts the love lyric to be a vital spoke in the Virgilian Wheel. To date, critics remain divided over how to respond to the complexities of Epithalamion - especially the role of Orpheus and the poet's representation of male mastery.26 Heather Dubrow sanely urges us to negotiate a synthetic resolution: The conflict between these two modes of reading ... should be resolved by acknowledging that both are to some degree right ... Spenser is concerned to devise strategies that resolve or release the tensions that darken the vision he evokes' (36). In Epithalamion, I would add, Spenser also resolves or releases tensions about the writing of a visionary marriage poem. The greatest tension is the one I believe a sixteenth-century poet like Spenser most pressingly inherits: the problematic role of the love lyric in a laureate career. A careeric lens helps explain the otherwise inexplicable movement from mutuality in Amoretti to mastery in Epithalamion. The mastery Spenser exercises is not erotic (or what we might call Busiranic) but Orphic. Spenser selects the genre of the epithalamium, with its controlling convention, the poet's voice, he represents this voice singing its own marriage song, and then he self-consciously situates the poem in the context of the New Poet's career in order to model the contribution the writing of a marriage poem makes to his career. Thereby, he demonstrates his powerful Orphic resolution to the Protestant poet's problem. Rather than showing his mutuality with Elizabeth, as in Amoretti, he shows how his purified perception of her earns him Orphic status. The New Poet represents the national poet seeing the beloved as a real woman incarnating the divine and therefore serving the sovereign. In

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


this almost technical sense does Elizabeth the wife function as a 'handmayd' to Elizabeth the queen. For evidence that Spenser is concerned about marriage poetry as much as marriage itself, I would cite the convention of 'the birds lovelearned song' (Ep 88).27 In the Poetics, Scaliger encourages the writer of the epithalamium to use the avian convention when he reviews the three-day Roman wedding celebration; this convention originates in a social ritual and serves a prophetic end: 'No little charm will be added to your poem through these birds' (Poetics III.ioi, trans. Bryce in Dubrow, A Happier Eden, appendix, 279). By 'charm,' Scaliger means, playfully, both aesthetic delight and magical protection. The birds 'charm' both the wedding couple hoping for a faithful, fruitful marriage and the reader hoping for a delightful poem. Through references to Pindar and Horapollo (in Dubrow, appendix, 279), Scaliger implies that the avian convention also has a literary origin. One of the oldest epithalamia ends the Birds, where Aristophanes has the chorus of birds sing a marriage poem (1731-54). Oddly enough, the greatest classical epithalamist includes no avian imagery in his three marriage poems (Odes 61, 62, 64). But the heirs of Catullus fill the gap. In Epithalamium in Honour of Stella and Violentilla, Statius inscribes Catullus back into the avian generic mode by imitating Catullus' odes on Lesbia's sparrow (Odes 2, 3): ' "O Mother, what reverence hath he for thy Paphian godhead! 'twas he that bewailed the death of our poor dove" ' (101-2; see Mozley ed. Statius 22-3, note c). Similarly, in his epithalamic 'Letter to Serena' Claudian reveals the Orphic tenor underlying most avian imagery in the genre when he compares Orpheus' wedding to Eurydice with the poet's own wedding: 'doves [brought] wreaths of roses ... the swan bore from the stream of its native Padus amber broken from the boughs of the famed sisters [of Phaeton] ... No bird nor beast was there but brought to that marriage-feast tribute so richly deserved by Orpheus' lyre' (1-18). Not merely does Claudian emphasize the birds among the Orphean zoo, but he hints at their Orphic significance by having them bear gifts both for Orpheus himself and for his lyre.28 It is this emphasis, I believe, that Spenser appropriates in order to write his own epithalamium. Complementing the classical origin of the avian myth is the scriptural. In the Song of Solomon, which the Renaissance recognized as an epithalamium (Tufte, Poetry of Marriage i, 5, 71-85; Baroway) Solomon announces the coming of a redemptive spring at the same time that he constructs a model of his own prophetic voice: 'the time of the singing of birdes is come, & the voice of the turtle is heard in our land' (2:


Spenser's Famous Flight

Hence, he presents the beloved as a dove a resounding six times: 'thine eyes are like the dooves' (r. 14; see 4: i, 5: 12, 2: 14, 5: 2, 6: 8). While Solomon identifies his beloved, not himself, as a dove, his imagery works with that of Statius and Claudian in preparing Spenser to designate the dove as the bird of the epithalamic genre.29 In Epithalamion, Spenser uses sixteen avian images. Of these, fourteen have vocational significance. The poet had concluded Amoretti by likening himself to a female dove, and at the beginning of Epithalamion he calls Elizabeth 'my truest turtle dove' (24). The two dove images are intimately linked. By bridging the gap between the two poems, they draw attention to the couple's union after the 'venemous toung' had separated them (Am 86: i). In Epithalamion, this first avian sign has Orphic resonance, for the poet uses the Orphic voice identified in lines 16-18 to call on the Muses to awaken his dovelike bride: 'Go to the bowre of my beloved love, / My truest turtle dove, / Bid her awake' (23-25). Spenser identifies the dovelike Elizabeth as the object and the source of his Orphic inspiration. By using this voice to awaken his bride, he draws attention to the theological dimension of a naturalist poetics. He is the Orphic poet who orders nature after having witnessed a transcendent vision of grace. He understands the earthly bride to be a divine creature under the protection of providence.30 The poet's Orphic poetics emerges in the next seven avian images, which form the choir of birds at dawn on the wedding day: Hark how the cheerefull birds do chaunt theyr laies And caroll of loves praise. The merry Larke hir mattins sings aloft, The thrush replyes, the Mavis descant playes, The Ouzell shrills, the Ruddock warbles soft, So goodly all agree with sweet consent, To this dayes merriment. Ah my deere love why doe ye sleepe thus long, When meeter were that ye should now awake, T'awayt the comming of your joyous make, And hearken to the birds lovelearned song, The deawy leaves among. For they of joy and pleasance to you sing, That all the woods them answer and theyr eccho ring. (Epithalamion 78-91)

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


This bird catalogue does more than show nature sanctioning the bridal day; it encodes an Orphic poet using eternal song to order nature. Thereby, it encodes the way in which poetic fame coheres with Christian glory. Like most of Spenser's birds, these are extraordinary. They sing a 'lovelearned song' in concert with the wedding day. They do not merely exercise a native skill among themselves; they sing divinely to Elizabeth. Understanding the language of love, they use their art to favour the poet. By awakening the bride, they demonstrate his Orphic mastery, not just over nature, but over what Sidney calls in The New Arcadia 'a right heavenly nature' (ni; Skretkowicz éd. 361). Hence, Spenser invests the erotic song of earthly love with theological resonance: 'Hark,' 'carroll,' 'mattins/ and 'hearken.' Such resonance emerges in the liturgical origin of the catalogue (see Rowland 175). Line 78 succinctly blends the classical idea of Orphic magic with the Christian ideal of worship: 'Hark how the cheerefull birds do chaunt theyr laies.' Through the 'merry Larke,' the mature poet demonstrates that he has overcome the problem of the young Colin Clout, whom Spenser had represented through the amorous lark of nature (chapter 2; see Schenck 61-2). The Christianized Orphic dimension emerges when Spenser accommodates his refrain to the refrain for the lay chanted by the birds. In using their 'song' to elicit the 'answer' in the 'ring' and 'eccho' of the 'woods,' they resemble and model the poet who uses his divine song to order the natural world. Two key terms in the avian catalogue have a special connection to fame: praise and echo. Praise or encomium is the epideictic medium for a poetry in search of fame. Thus the terms are linked conceptually, as when Spenser writes, 'Famous throughout the world for warlike prayse' (FQ ll.v.26). In Epithalamion, the birds in the morning choir - who 'caroll of loves praise' - contribute to the bride's fame. Like the poet, they make the famous flight.31 Similarly, echo and fame have an important link: 'later classical authors [like Cicero] persistently invoke both resonance and Echo to figure society's lasting assent to the highest forms of human activity ... After Cicero, Echo is frequently used to figure the very permanence of textual memory, that immortality which subjects deeds to unending moral scrutiny' (Loewenstein, Responsive Readings 16-17). The Orphic refrain of echo in Epithalamion thus qualifies as a trope of fame, and in the avian catalogue the birds use 'echoic afterlife' (Loewenstein 291) to render the praise of Elizabeth famous.32 Whereas the wedding day begins with the poet entreating the bride to listen to the morning choir of singing birds, it ends with the poet using prayer to silence a nighttime choir of shrieking birds:


Spenser's Famous Flight Let not the shriech Chile, nor the Storke be heard: Nor the night Raven that still deadly yels, Nor damned ghosts cald up with mighty spels, Nor griesly vultures make us once affeard: Let none of these theyr drery accents sing; Ne let the woods them answer, nor theyr eccho ring. (Epithalamion 345-52)

Spenser has both classical and biblical authority for designating such birds as members of a demonic choir (Ovid, Metamorphoses ¥1.97, trans. Golding; Deuteronomy 14: 12-18; see the Variorum Edition 8: 485-7). As with the morning choir, Spenser assimilates the nighttime choir to his Orphic voice. But instead of having the choir enact that voice, as before, he uses it to resist the 'drery accents' the demonic choir threatens to 'sing.' The screech owl and other evening birds contrast sharply with the lark and morning birds. Unlike the Orphic choir, the demonic one does not sing in concert. It functions as part of a larger network of evil threatening the couple on their wedding night. The sounds they make are not 'cheerefull' but 'drery.' Whereas the lark is 'merry,' the vultures are 'griesly.' The 'merry Larke hir mattins sings aloft,' but the 'night Raven ... still deadly yels.' Fear threatens to replace merriment; disconcert, harmony; order, disorder; morning, night; light, darkness. Perhaps only by recognizing Spenser's intimacy with the morning choir can we understand the fear he has of the nighttime one. The evil birds threaten the flight to fame. Consonant with this flight, in Epithalamion Spenser includes a Pegasus allusion. After describing Elizabeth's physical beauty, he says that if we could see her 'inward beauty' (186), we would be even more wondrous, 'And stand astonisht lyke to those which red / Medusaes mazeful hed' (189-90). The image compels us to brood over its significance. Usually, critics refer to Petrarch, who compares Laura to Medusa favourably (eg, Rime sparse 197) or Du Bellay, who uses a similar comparison (see Welsford 74-5). Yet recent critics find in 'the occult aesthetics that fashions Medusa's head' a resemblance to 'Spenser's poetics': 'it encodes fear and manages it' (Loewenstein, 'Orpheus and Spenser's Career' 292, n. 12; see Young, especially 29). We can confirm and extend this reading by recalling the myth to which Spenser alludes. As Spenser writes in The Ruines of Time, 'Dan Perseus' cuts off Medusa's snaky head, and from her 'blood' springs the 'winged steed' Pegasus (646-8). For Spenser, it is the poet-hero Sidney who 'smote his steed, that straight

Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion


to heaven him bore' (657). For a mythographer like Fulgentius, the Medusa/Pegasus myth represents the way in which virtue eliminates terror in order to create fame (Boitani 43). By comparing Elizabeth with Medusa in Epithalamion, Spenser is identifying his bride as the virtuous source of his inspiration, the spring of his flight to fame.33 The final avian image I shall discuss is climactic: 'an hundred little winged loves, / Like divers fethered doves' fly around the marriage bed during the couple's consummation of their love (357-8). These doves have artistic - not merely erotic - significance: 'it is no coincidence ... that Spenser characterizes his own erotic impulses, and the poems that express them, as "little cupids" or "little loves," amoretti' (D. Cheney, 'Spenser's Fortieth Birthday' 25). The little loves of Spenser's sonnets resemble the dovelike 'little winged loves' that fly around the marriage bed in Epithalamion. As with the birds in the morning and nighttime choirs, the consummation choir sings the poet's Orphic refrain: 'Now none doth hinder you, that say or sing, / Ne will the woods now answer, nor your Eccho ring' (37o-i).34 The dovelike loves that 'prety stealthes shal worke, and snares shal spread / To filch away sweet snatches of delight, / Conceald through covert night' (361-3), evoke the working of Spenser's 'allegory of love': the use of song to persuade the beloved to unite in the pleasure of love. The number of the dovelike loves ('an hundred') approximates the number of poems in the complete volume: eighty-nine sonnets, nine stanzas in the 'Anacreontics,' and one canzone - a total of ninety-nine. Thus the 'hundred little winged loves' flying like doves around the marriage bed may figure the hundred poems of Spenser's own amoretti, his little winged dovelike poems. Even if the numbers remain imprecise (numerologists number the poems in different ways), the resemblance between the ninety-plus poems in the volume to the hundred loves in the marriage room is close enough to warrant attention - especially given Spenser's investment in numerology throughout the volume. In Epithalamion, then, Spenser is not only celebrating the mutual love between himself and Elizabeth Boyle; he is also demonstrating his own status as England's new Orphic poet. He is able to overgo the failed Orpheus of Virgil and Ovid by using his art to lead his bride into a bower that turns the great cosmic round. He demonstrates his Orphic mastery in his ordering of Elizabeth's life, but he acknowledges the origin of that mastery to reside in Elizabeth herself. She is at once the object and the inspiration of his art. She possesses the 'inward beauty of her lively spright, / Garnisht with heavenly gifts of high degree' (186-7): her beauty links her to the divine. Without her, he is merely a


Spenser's Famous Flight

'wretched earthly clod' (411), wrapped, like the young St George, in the furrow of the earth, wedded to the 'dreadful darknesse' and in need of 'desired light' (412). Consequently, the poem concludes with a prophetic prayer for familial salvation.35 Masterfully revising Petrarch, the poet presents the earthly woman, not the feminine 'Idea,' as the stronger vessel for salvation. Through her womb, the couple 'may raise a large posterity, / Which from the earth ... / Up to your haughty pallaces may mount, / And for the guerdon of theyr glorious merit / May heavenly tabernacles there inherit, / Of blessed Saints for to increase the count' (417-23). Spenser recuperates woman's central position in the cosmos by showing how, through her, the sons and daughters of Adam recover from the effects of the fall. Spenser's status as an Orphic poet in Protestant culture depends on this discovery. He uses his art to enact a divinely ordained process of salvation returning man and woman to the bosom of God. Importantly, Spenser's vision of a 'large posterity' includes more than his biological children; it also includes the offspring of his art (Schenck 64-5). By representing poetic fame through generational succession, he reveals the union of two primary arts of immortality that organize his entire career (see Quiñones 245, 246). To complement the woman as the stronger vessel of salvation, Spenser identifies himself as the poet who pens a poetics of salvation. Together, man and woman contribute mutually to the creative process of the universe. The New Poet's understanding of this salvific mutuality prepares him to continue The Faerie Queene. Renewed in the pleasant mew of their jointly penned love lyric, Spenser and Elizabeth Boyle make the famous flight.

5 Hymn, or Flying Back to Heaven Apace: Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes

0 pierlesse Poesye, where is then thy place? If nor in Princes pallace thou doe sitt: (And yet is Princes pallace the most fitt) Ne brest of baser birth doth thee embrace. Then make thee winges of thine aspyring wit, And, whence thou camst, flye backe to heaven apace. Spenser, October

After publishing a pastoral in 1579, three books of an epic in 1590, a volume of love lyrics in 1595, and three more books of an epic in 1596, the New Poet reinvents the Virgilian Wheel a last time by inserting the hymn as the final spoke. Again, Spenser does not follow the conventional Renaissance program of beginning a literary career with pastoral and ending it with epic. In September of 1596, just months after publishing the second instalment of his epic and a year after publishing Amoretti and Epithalamion, he publishes a volume of divine poetry titled Fowre Hymnes. In the fiction of the poem (again, we can only speculate about actual life), the New Poet renounces the erotic poetry that had characterized his earlier verse. Near the beginning of the Hymne of Heavenly Love, he announces starkly, 'now that heat is quenched' (18): Many lewd layes (ah woe is me the more) In praise of that mad fit, which fooles call love, 1 have in th'heat of youth made heretofore, That in light wits did loose affection move. But all those follies now I doe reprove,


Spenser's Famous Flight And turned have the tenor of my string, The heavenly prayses of true love to sing. (Hymne of Heavenly Love 8-14)

Whether we believe the 'many lewd layes' to include his two marriage poems and the 'heat' that 'now' is 'quenched' to refer to his marital relation with Elizabeth Boyle, we must acknowledge the effect of these lines. We are shocked.1 We are shocked because we likely did not read the Hymne of Love and the Hymne of Beautie as 'lewd layes' - the product of youthful 'heat' and the progenitor of 'loose affection.' More likely, we read them as loving lays - the product of mature desire and the progenitor of controlled affection. We are shocked, in other words, because Spenser appears to reject at the end of his career what he proclaimed to value throughout his career: a radiating poetics of marriage instrumental to the individual's happiness in this life and to his and her salvation in the next - a brilliant ideology of love in which man and woman together depend on love as the shaping force of individual strength, moral and political virtue, and familial unity.2 Yet in the Dedicatory Epistle to 'Ladie Margaret Countesse of Cumberland, and the Ladie Marie [a slip for Anne] Countesse of Warwicke,' Spenser supplies a biographical account of his recantation that appears to contradict the fiction of the poems: 'Having in the greener times of my youth, composed these former two Hymnes in the praise of Love and beau tie, and finding that the same ... being too vehemently caried with that kind of affection, do rather sucke out poyson to their strong passion, then hony to their honest delight, I was moved by the one of you two most excellent Ladies, to call in the same. But being unable so to doe ... I resolved at least to amend, and by way of retractation to reforme them, making in stead of those two Hymnes of earthly or naturall love and beautie, two others of heavenly and celestiall.' Spenser flatly claims that he wrote the first two hymns as a youth, that as he matured he discovered their cultural danger to his reader (the promotion of unrestrained desire rather than virtuous pleasure), and that he responded to criticism from one of the countesses by first trying to 'call' in the errant poems, and then, failing that, to 'reforme' them through 'retractation.'3 Spenser's 'retractation' challenges the reader. Not merely do we find it hard to believe that the poet of Amoretti, Epithalamion, Books in, iv, and VI of The Faerie Queene, and the Hymnes of Earthly Love and Beautie would abandon the heart of his ideology, but we are troubled by the

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


apparent contradiction of the Dedicatory Epistle. Immediately after advertising his 'retractation/ he dedicates all four poems to the two countesses, 'as the most excellent and rare ornaments of all true love and beautie, both in the one and the other kinde.' If Spenser intended to reject earthly love for heavenly love, why would he celebrate his patronesses as the very unity of 'the one and the other kinde'? The Dedicatory Epistle appears to call into question the authenticity of the poet's 'retractation' dramatized in the poems themselves. As a result, Spenser's text has produced less admiration than thought's astonishment. 'Do the hymns in praise of heavenly love and beauty represent a continuation at a higher level of the argument presented in the earlier hymns? Or should the second pair be interpreted as a repudiation of the first? Do the last two hymns present the reader with a fresh start on a different journey?' (Bjorvand and Schell, Oram et al. 684). The confusion in the text has produced three primary theories. All assert formal unity - despite a text having all the earmarks of disunity. The first theory we might term the progressive. According to this theory, Spenser unifies his four poems by tracing a continuous progression from earthly love and beauty in the first two hymns to heavenly love and beauty in the second two hymns - a progression recognized either as a Platonic or Neoplatonic ascent modelled on Benivieni, Castiglione, or others, or as a Christian ascent modelled on the Bible and the scriptural exegetical tradition. Critics who hold the progressive theory take Spenser's 'retractation' in the Dedicatory Epistle 'at face value' (DeNeef, 'Spenserian Meditation' 317). As an older man, Spenser confesses the sins he shamefully committed during 'the greener times of ... [his] youth.'4 The second theory we might term the dialectical. According to this theory, Spenser unifies the four hymns by creating a dialectic that emphasizes the contrast between earthly and heavenly love. Critics who hold the dialectical theory distrust Spenser's 'retractation' in the Dedicatory Epistle (DeNeef 3i8).5 The third theory we might term the typological. According to this theory, Spenser unifies his poem by using a principle of typology to relate earthly and heavenly love. Critics who hold the typological theory see the contradiction of the Dedicatory Epistle as consistent with their argument.6 The three theories have left us divided (see Bjorvand and Schell, Oram et al. 721). While Fowre Hymnes is rich enough to sustain all three theories (indeed, each engenders compelling readings), we have new evidence leading us back to the theory of progression. This evidence suggests that the four poems emphasize the poet's psychological pattern of perception, in which he moves from perceiving the feminine person


Spenser's Famous Flight

of his beloved (whether Elizabeth Boyle or her fictional type) to perceiving the feminine form of the deity (Sapience). However disturbing we may find it, Fowre Hymnes depicts the New Poet progressing from earth to heaven, sensible to intellectual love, woman to God.7 Responding to the division among critics, I propose to view the Dedicatory Epistle and the four hymns through the one lens critics neglect: the careeric - in which Fowre Hymnes contributes to Spenser's Orphic career.81 believe that a careeric lens best views a text that openly advertises its disunity. I wish to see the prose dedication and the verse hymns - the 'macrotext' (Bieman, Plato Baptized 153) - as a carefully designed, contradictory artefact perplexingly containing both a Neoplatonic ascent from earth to heaven and a Protestant typological relation between marriage and salvation. Whereas the four poems trace a Neoplatonic ascent, the Dedicatory Epistle subtly encourages us to view the progression through a dialectic informed by a Protestant principle of typology relating earthly and heavenly love. The contradiction built into the macrotext accounts for the division among interpreters. Spenser constructs a contradictory artefact, I further propose, to promote two primary interpretations of his literary career. Holding the first, we see that the New Poet is bringing formal closure to his career; the four poems rely on a Neoplatonic ascent in order to show the old poet turning away from courtly sovereign and beloved to God and Sapience. Holding the second, we see that he is leaving his career open-ended; the dedication shows the poet firmly grounded in this world, carrying on courtly business as usual. Spenser may seem to be equivocating, and so he is. As I have argued in chapter i, he depends on equivocation as a critical strategy of his prophetic method.9 However credible the strategy of equivocation may be, we are still thrust back on speculation to account for it. This predicament is intriguing, and I speculate about it in two directions. First, since 'Spenser is almost neurotically suspicious of endings' (Gates 159), he may have resisted closure to his career perhaps inspired by increased patronage from the increasingly powerful Essex, as his last poem published later in the autumn hints (see conclusion). Second, he may have astutely predicted the Irish rebellion that would close his career before he could complete the twelve-book (or twenty-four-book) Faerie Queene projected in The Letter to Ralegh, as the historical record testifies (see Quiñones 276-9). Acknowledging that the macrotext contains two interpretations of Spenser's career, I emphasize that part bearing most directly on my larger argument, the poems themselves, since they construct a fiction of the poet's career closure. (In my conclusion, I discuss the major ramifi-

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


cation of my dual-interpretation theory.) Spenser alters the Renaissance Virgilian idea of a literary career by showing how the old poet turns away from court poetry to write divine poetry. In proposing this thesis, I am taking Spenser's cue from the October eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender, when Piers lays out a revised Virgilian career 'paterne' (Arg) for the dejected poet Cuddie. If 'pierlesse Poesye' cannot find a 'place' in 'Princes pallace/ then she should make 'winges' of her 'aspyring wit' and 'flye backe to heaven apace' (79-84). As early as 1579, Spenser recognized that writing court poetry would 'disillusion' him, and he postulated divine poetry as the 'fitt' method for closing his career. As I will suggest, Book VI of The Faerie Queene and The Mutabilitie Cantos typologically fulfil the October prophecy of disillusionment. The above thesis implies that Spenser's immediate goal in publishing Fowre Hymnes is career-based. He aims to seal the authority he has acquired in writing The Shepheardes Calender, The Faerie Queene, Amoretti, and Epithalamion. His career-based goal implies that he defines the hymn (or redefines it) in careeric terms. He understands the hymn as a careeric genre in which the disillusioned poet returns to his ontological source in God at the end of his career. Spenser's careeric definition in turn implies a more mimetic self-presentation of his career closure than many critics acknowledge. In closing his career with divine poetry, Spenser is placing himself solidly within the Augustinian-based Du Hartas movement that influenced late sixteenth-century England. Critics often situate Fowre Hymnes within this movement (Campbell; Heninger; Snyder), but they do so by neglecting Spenser's idea of a literary career - both its four-genre structure and its telos of poetic fame and Christian glory. By concluding his career with divine poetry, I suggest, Spenser is not doing anything revolutionary; none the less, what is new is his careful imping of the Augustinian career model of Du Bartas (turning from courtly to divine poetry) onto the Renaissance version of the Virgilian model popularized by Petrarch (pastoral, epic, and love lyric). In 1574, Du Bartas inaugurates his movement by publishing La Muse chrétienne, which contains L'Uranie, 'the imaginative presentation of the creed of the Renaissance religious poet' (Malpezzi 197; see Campbell, Divine Poetry i). This event occurs five years before Spenser publishes the October eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender. Evidence exists to suggest that Spenser and such associates as Sidney and Harvey knew Du Bartas' work in the late 15705 (Gregory; Snyder 80). When viewed from the vantage point of the Du Bartas movement, Spenser's turn from erotic to divine poetry in Fowre Hymnes is not shocking at all; it is ex-


Spenser's Famous Flight

pected. As Harvey's friend Barnabe Barnes writes to open A Divine Centurie of Sprituall Sonnets: 'No more lewde laies of Lighter loves I sing, / Nor teach my lustfull Muse abus'de to flie, / With Sparrowes plumes and for compassion crie, / To mortall beauties which no succour bring. / But my Muse fethered with an Angels wing, / Divinely mounts aloft unto the skie' (i: 1-6; qtd in Campbell, Divine Poetry 137). As the Barnes sonnet reveals, and as the October hymn passage confirms, Spenser defines the old poet's turn from erotic to divine poetry by relying on a representation of the divine poet favoured by Du Bartas - the myth of the winged poet: 'flye backe to heaven apace.'10 If Spenser's avian myth is central to his career, we must expect him to rely on it during central moments in his poetry. The October passage qualifies as one of these moments, but so does the single transitional line in Fowre Hymnes - the opening of the climactic turn from earth to heaven in the Hymne of Heavenly Beautie that has caused so much discussion: 'Love, lift me up upon thy golden wings' (i). The line is central because it defines Spenser's hymnic project. If Amoretti and Epithalamion present the poet as a grounded bird, and The Faerie Queene as a bird descending from heaven to earth, Fowre Hymnes presents him as a sharp-sighted bird flying aloft. Whereas in the love lyric and the epic the avian images are of descent, in the hymn they are of ascent. Spenser's reliance on the avian myth extends well beyond the transitional line in the two sets of poems. In Fowre Hymnes as a whole, he uses sixteen avian images, with all sixteen functioning vocationally. Fowre Hymnes qualifies as a 'flying tale' (HL 261). Significantly, the only birds Spenser names belong to the hawk family. He uses hawking terms three times, and he refers to the eagle twice and the falcon once. Accordingly, I designate the hawk the bird of the hymnic genre." Spenser's choice of the hawk rather than the scriptural dove is an important indicator of how he understands the hymnic genre. For the dove is traditionally a bird of descent or immanence, as in the Old and New Testaments, Amoretti 89, and the Dove episode in Book rv of The Faerie Queene. The hawk, by contrast, is tradionally a bird of ascent or transcendence, as its two striking traits reveal: the power of great flight and the power of great sight. These two traits bring together and model the power of the hymnic poet: transcendental vision. Hence, Spenser uses the hawk as the hymnic bird in order to locate the centre of his genre. The poet uses the power of divine sight to soar aloft; he exercises heavenly contemplation to return to the divine origin of his art. Consequently, he can use hawking imagery to define the hymn as a careeric genre in which the New Poet reveals his heavenly contemplation to be

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


the final phase of his Orphic career. More literally and completely than in the other three genres, in this one the poet represents the process by which poetic fame leads to Christian glory. In this way, the New Poet reveals that Fowre Hymnes constitutes an instrumental phase to the 'famous flight' (Oct 88). To develop this argument, I want to look first at the myth of the winged poet in the hymnic genre - in particular, at classical, Renaissance, and modern definitions of the hymn, and at the tradition authorizing Spenser's use of the avian myth to define the hymnic genre. Next, I want to situate Fowre Hymnes in the context of the two parts of The Faerie Queene that critics identify as conclusions to the national epic: Book VI and The Mutabilitie Cantos. Then I want to look at the Dedicatory Epistle and at each of the four hymns in turn. Finally, I shall close by examining the nature of Spenser's hymnic career phase. 'The Promised Pinions': The Avian Myth in the Hymnic Genre Unlike in pastoral, epic, and love lyric, theorists from classical, Renaissance, and modern culture attend only scantily to the hymn. What O.B. Hardison says about Renaissance theorists holds true in the other two periods as well: 'Because hymn is a very specialized form of poetry, Renaissance critics generally paid lip-service to its merits and then devoted major attention to the other two forms in the high style, epic and tragedy' (The Enduring Monument 70). None the less, all theorists agree in defining the genre as a poem written in the 'high' style to praise the gods. While influential classical definitions emerge from such texts as Plato's Republic (6o6a), the locus classicus for post-classical definitions comes from St Augustine's commentary on Psalm 168: ' "Praise the Lord," he saith, "for a Psalm is good." ... The "Psalm" is praise of God. This, then, he saith, "Praise the Lord, for it is good to praise the Lord." ... Wilt thou then sing a Psalm? Let not thy voice alone sound the praises of God, but let thy works also be in harmony with thy voice' (qtd in Hardison 97; see 96: The influence of the psalms on lyric theory is considerable.'). According to Hardison, 'Commentators, popularizers, critics, and artists from Isidore of Seville to George Wither were content to follow St. Augustine's lead' (97). In the Renaissance, theorists thus situate the hymn with epic and tragedy as a major genre in the hierarchy of genres written in the 'high' style. In the Poetics, Scaliger places the hymn at the very top of the Renaissance hierarchy - above both epic and tragedy (l.iii: 20). And he


Spenser's Famous Flight

is instrumental in Christianizing the classical genre, for he asserts that the hymnic poet should praise the members, not of the Graeco-Roman pantheon, but of the Trinity (lll.cxii; Rollinson, 'Literary Hymn' 18-19). Similarly, in The Defence of Poesy Sidney argues that 'Davids Psalmes are a divine Poem' (in G.G. Smith i: 154). As his first 'kinde' of poetry, he cites those works that 'did imitate the inconceivable excellencies of GOD/ including such scriptural poems as Psalms and the Song of Songs, as well as such classical poems as the Orphic Hymns and 'Homer in his hymnes' (158). In his discussion of 'Liricke' poetry, Sidney offers a panegyric definition of the hymn. The hymnic poet 'rayseth up his voice to the height of the heavens, in singing the laudes of the immortall God' (178; see Puttenham, Arte of English Poésie in G.G. Smith 2: 28, 31). The aim of the hymnic poet, we can thus say, is to praise Christian glory. Following St Augustine and such Renaissance authorities as Scaliger and Sidney, modern theorists define the hymn in terms of its epideictic function - the 'venerable and unequivocal definition of hymns and psalms as poems of praise' (Hardison 97). Thus the modern critic who examines the genre in most detail, Philip B. Rollinson, defines the hymn formally - in terms of its conventions ('The Literary Hymn' 12). In length, the hymn ranges 'from the short, hexameter Orphic Hymns to the long prose orations of the Emperor Julian' (12); in structure, the hymn 'is remarkably consistent/ dividing into 'roughly three parts: an exordium, main body, and peroration' (13); 'other recurrent features ... are a serious tone and an elevated style, whether simple, as in Homer, or elaborate, as in Callimachus' (14)." None the less, critical precedent exists for defining the hymn in the context of Spenser's literary career. Acknowledging that The Faerie Queene is an epic, Thomas H. Cain suggests that it 'is also in some sense a hymn' - especially an Orphic hymn (Praise 54). Cain suggests that Spenser works amid a Renaissance tension between two generic theories - what we might term the Augustinian and the Virgilian. According to the Augustinian, 'the hymn was affirmed the oldest kind of poem and ... often declared the highest' (55). According to the Virgilian, the epic was affirmed the highest and the most venerable. 'When the Virgilian career-model made epic the highest ambition of Renaissance poets, the theoretical supremacy of the hymn was rather awkward ... Because of the veneration of the Aeneid, the literary hymn, in spite of its position in theory, was in practical terms simply not credible as supreme genre and the epic was' (55, 56). Cain believes that Spenser resolves the tension by giving his epic a 'hymnic cast' (55).

Returning to the Vatic Source in-Fowre Hymnes


While Spenser gives his epic a hymnic cast, he resolves the tension also by rewriting 'the Virgilian career-model.' He includes, not merely the Ovidian or Petrarchan love lyric, as indicated in the preceding chapter, but also the Augustinian hymn. Combining the Virgilian theory positing epic as the 'highest' genre with the Augustinian theory positing hymn as the highest, the New Poet, as a humanist, sees epic as a high genre. But as a Christian writing amid the Reformation and the Du Bartas movement, he overgoes Virgil by topping epic height in the form of national glory with hymnic height in the form of salvific glory. He rewrites Virgil in light of Augustine, giving his rewriting a Christian cast. To accomplish this rewriting, the New Poet situates the hymn as the final phase of the famous flight. The avian representation is indigenous to the hymnic tradition. In the classical hymns of Homer and Callimachus, the bird designates the poet's divinely prophetic power.13 Complementing the classical tradition, the scriptural tradition associates the hymnic singer David with the choir of birds - including the eagle as the bird of regeneration (for example, Psalm 103: 5). In the Renaissance, divine poets recurrently evoke the psalmist's avian identity. Henry Lok says that David's 'heavenly Muse with wings of zeale did fly' (qtd in Campbell, Divine Poetry 65), while Henry Rainsford refers to The Royall Psalmist, borne on Angels wings' (qtd in Lewalski, Protestant Poetics 35). As Rainsford implies, and as Barnes (quoted earlier) reveals, the divine poet locates his power and authority, not in the Venerean sparrows or doves, but in the winged angels of God.14 Complementing both the classical and the scriptural traditions, the Neoplatonic tradition relies on the avian myth. With its origins in the Ion and the Phaedrus, this tradition reaches Renaissance England in popular form through Castiglione (The Courtier 318; see R. Lee 68). However, Spenser may also have known Benivieni's Ode of Love (J.B. Fletcher, 'Benivieni' i): 'Since Love has promised to my sluggish thought / Those wings wherewith he entered first my breast, / Therein on high to nest, / And thence, methinks, now never to take flight, - / So in the guiding light / Of his live glory I may still disclose / What of him privily my spirit knows' (stanza 1.12-18, in J.B. Fletcher 4; see 3, n. i). Benivieni summarizes the Neoplatonic avian tradition when he exclaims: 'O Love, on my weak wings bestow / The promised pinions, and the blind way show!' (stanza 11.35-6: Fletcher 5). As with the classical and scriptural traditions, the Platonic relies on the avian myth to represent the prophetic principle of transcendent glory. The pinions indeed are promised.


Spenser's Famous Flight

Intertwined with the Neoplatonic tradition, the Orphic tradition mentioned earlier contributes to this network of significance. In Orphic Hymn vi, To Protagonus/ Orpheus sings, O mighty first-begotten, hear my pray'r, Twofold, egg-born, and wand'ring thro' the air; Bull-roarer, glorying in thy golden wings, From whom the race of Gods and mortal springs Hence, Phanes, call'd the glory of the sky, On waving pinions thro' the world you fly. (Hymn VI, 'To Protagonus' 1-4, 9-10)

Protagonus is Phanes, who is equated with Eros; Orpheus' portrait of Phanes/Eros as the golden winged spirit who creates all life is unique to early Greek culture, being absent in both Homer and Hesiod. The tradition of the Orphic egg to which this poem refers appears in Aristophanes' Birds. The origins of the egg creation myth are lost, but the Neoplatonists ascribed the 'World-egg' to Orpheus, which today is referred to as the 'Orphic Egg.'15 Spenser's portraits of Earthly 'Love' flying with 'golden plumes' (HL 178) and Heavenly 'Love' flying with 'golden wings' (HHB i) may retain a vestige of this Orphic heritage. Such a vestige seems plausible given Spenser's reference to Orpheus in the Hymne of Love: 'And Orpheus daring to provoke the yre / Of damned fiends, to get his love retyre' (234-5). Although the reference seems narrowly constructive of a romantic rather than a theological hymnic model, it is consistent with Spenser's practice of referring to the Thracian bard in each of his four main generic experiments (The Shepheardes Calender, The Faerie Queene, Amoretti/Epithalamion, and Fowre Hymnes) in order to evoke his own Orphic status. These details, together with the widespread critical practice of designating Spenser's poetry as 'Orphic,' permit us to extend Cain's claim about The Faerie Queene to a neglected conclusion: Fowre Hymnes qualifies as an Orphic hymn.16 For Spenser, the Orphic, Neoplatonic, scriptural, and classical versions of the avian myth provide precedent for the divine authority of his heavenly 'contemplation.' To these ancient precedents, he could have found a quite contemporary one in the Du Bartas movement. Among its tenets, two are especially important here. First, the divine poet announces a career turn from courtly poetry to divine poetry by relying on the avian myth: 'Biblical story must be substituted for pagan myth-

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


ology: the dove of the Holy Ghost for Pegasus' (Campbell, Divine Poetry 86). Second, the divine poet uses his avian turn to establish the telos of his poetics: 'Eternal fame can come only to the poet who writes of eternal things' (Campbell 80).I? Du Hartas himself had established a close link between these two tenets in L'Umnie in order to show how the high-flying divine poet secures Christian glory for himself and his readers - or, as Urania herself tells him, so he can 'make, / As is your subject, your owne Songs eternall' (stanza 73 in the Haber ed): Let Christ (as Man-God) be your double Mountaine Whereon to Muse; and, for the winged hoove Of Pegasus, to digge th'Immortall Fountaine, Take th'Holy-Ghost, type't in a Silver Dove.

(L'Uranie, stanza 62, Haber ed.) Subsequently, the paradigm of poetic fame and Christian glory becomes a central strategy of the divine poet. As Donne writes in La Corona, 'doe not, with a vile crowne of fraile bayes, / Reward my muses white sincerity, / But what thy thorny crowne gain'd, that give mee, / A crowne of Glory, which doth flower alwayes ... / Salvation to all that will is nigh' (La Corona 1.5-14). By understanding how the divine poet substitutes the 'crowne of Glory7 for the 'crowne of fraile bayes,' the Holy Ghost for Pegasus, we can better account for Spenser's turn from courtly to contemplative poetry late in his career. Epic and Hymn in Book VI and The Mutabilitie Cantos By recalling the contemplative, transcendent centre of the hymn, we can re-evaluate the two versions of closure in The Faerie Queene, Book VI and The Mutabilitie Cantos, as well as the transition from epic to hymn in the structure of the New Poet's career. Critics of Book VI remain divided. One camp cites the Legend of Courtesy as evidence of Spenser's disillusionment at the end of his career. Both the Mount Acídale episode, which presents Colin Clout in a pastoral retreat, and the last stanzas of canto xii, which show the triumph of the Blatant Beast over the poet, provide the documentation for this turn. The other camp refutes this reading. Spenser is not disillusioned in Book VI, for Colin's effect on Calidore models the poet's effect on the reader: fashioning virtue (see chapter 3, note i). Without examining Book VI in detail, I should like to make a few comments that require attention here. The first is that we can explain


Spenser's Famous Flight

the critical division over Book VI by acknowledging that Spenser exercises the principle of prophetic equivocation mentioned earlier. As the history of Book VI criticism testifies, his allegory is rich enough to suggest two readings simultaneously. Readers could see in the Mount Acidale episode and the concluding stanzas of the book evidence of Spenser's disillusioned turn from courtly to contemplative poetry. They could also find evidence of Spenser's doggedly optimistic emphasis on contemplation leading to courtly behaviour. What I wish to emphasize is that this problem of interpretation especially characterizes the poetry of 1595 and 1596. The poet's motive for equivocation may derive from anxiety over his Orphic idea of a literary career. As we have seen, this idea requires the poet to turn from courtly to contemplative poetry as its final phase; once he can find no place for his peerless poesy in prince's palace, he must fly back to heaven apace. He must turn from epic to hymn. Since this turn is the final feature of Spenser's career idea, we need to attend to it carefully. We can do so profitably by examining the image of flight through which he represents it. In Book VI, canto ix, Spenser tells how Calidore refashions himself after falling in love with Pastorella and taking up residence in the pastoral world of old Melibee. He, 'perceiving, thought it best / To chaunge the manner of his loftie looke; / And doffing his bright armes, himselfe addrest / In shepheards weed, and in his hand he tooke, / In stead of steelehead speare, a shepheards hooke' (36). Calidore's turn from court to country, the poet then says, would make anyone think 'On Phrygian Paris by Plexippus brooke, / When he the love of fayre Oenone sought, / What time the golden apple was unto him brought' (36). These lines, notes A.C. Hamilton, 'combine two episodes in Paris's pastoral sojourn: his love for Oenone ... and his judgment of the three goddesses in which he presented Venus with the golden apple' (FQ 686). The reference to Plexippus, he adds, is 'a difficult crux. Its etymology, "horse-taming" or "horse-striking," may be S.'s coinage for the classical Hippocrene, the fountain of the horse on Helicon which first flowed when struck by Pegasus's hooves' (FQ 686; see Roche ed. 1225; the Variorum Edition VI: 243). We may confirm this inference through The Teares of the Muses, where Spenser refers to 'the sacred springs of horsefoot Helicon' (271). As Hugh Maclean notes, That Spenser should, at this juncture, liken Calidore to Paris indicates the poet's larger purpose: while Calidore's abandonment of his quest is understandable ... his calling is not that of the shepherd' (ed. 387, n. 5). We might wonder why Spenser 'at this juncture' coins a Pegasean etymology in a subtext to Calidore's experience. Given the poet's long-

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


standing commitment to the myth of Pegasus, Tlexippus brooke' would appear to refer, not merely to Calidore's turn from court to country, but to the poet's turn from epic to pastoral. Hence, Spenser relies on generic language ('loftie'), as well as on both a clothing 'chaunge' from 'bright armes' to 'shepheards weed/ and on an exchange of a 'steelehead speare' of epic for a 'shepheards hooke' of pastoral. The generic change at the end of Book VI thus recalls the opening to Book i: 'For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds' (Pr. i). While the Paris simile most obviously implies Calidore's pastoral error of dangerously retreating into otium, the Pegasus allusion, I propose, forecasts the epic origin and end of such a retreat - both in Calidore's career and in the New Poet's: the creation of high-flying fama. Later in Book VI, in his description of Mount Acidale, Spenser includes a similar but neglected avian detail. High in the trees of this pastoral retreat, 'the soring hauke did towre' (x.6). Why does a hawk tower over Mount Acidale? To say that the locale is a locus amoenus and that the bird is one of its conventional topoi is to escape the question rather than to answer it. The hawk image provides a useful lens for viewing the episode. It does not merely alert us to an impending allegory about the art of the poet; in miniature, it constructs a precise model of that allegory. We recognize the narrative as a vocational allegory because we discover amid the landscape of the national epic Spenser's old pastoral persona, Colin Clout. In the narrative of Calidore's interruption of Colin's Dance of the Graces, critics find Spenser exploring the problematic relation between the poet with his visionary art and the courtier with his code of courtesy. Although disagreeing about the relation, critics do identify Colin as an Orphic poet.18 As Calidore leaves the pastoral world of his beloved, Pastorella, he discovers Mount Acidale, 'an hill plaste in an open plaine, / That round about was bordered with a wood' (x.6). This wood is Of matchlesse hight, that seem'd th'earth to disdaine, In which all trees of honour stately stood, And did all winter as in sommer bud, Spredding pavillions for the birds to bowre, Which in their lower braunches sung aloud; And in their tops the soring hauke did towre, Sitting like King of fowles in majesty and powre.


In this mélange of trees, birds, hill, and 'gentle flud' (7), we detect more


Spenser's Famous Flight

than a locus amoenus; it is the locus poeticus. As the phrase 'trees of honour' implies, the site is the locus of poetic fame and glory. In an Orphic interpretation, the woods are most directly 'the silva, glossed in Servius' commentary on the Aeneid as "prime matter," the material substrate of chaotic elements that nevertheless holds the potential, if properly animated, for achieving the Intelligible realm' (Bellamy, 'Colin and Orphic Interpretation' 177). The birds in this silva, and especially the hawk, are signs of the Orphic poet who succeeds in investing 'prime matter' with the essences of the 'Intelligible realm' in order to secure fame and glory. Nearly every detail in the description points toward a unity of earth and heaven. The key detail appears in the hawk towering in the trees. As I have suggested, Spenser inherits a tradition identifying the hawk as the king of fowls because it is the bird of visionary transcendence. But here the 'soring hawk' does not soar at all; it towers in the treetops - 'Sitting.' The political imagery of kingship ('majesty and powre') suggests a pattern of Orphic immanence. Additionally, the word 'towre' means 'perch high, rather than mount up; yet the two senses merge' (Hamilton, FQ 689). The image of the traditional bird of transcendence towering in the tops of the trees suggests the poet who has experienced the apostatic vision of eternity and returned to earth to communicate his vision. The precise use of the hawking term, the behaviour of the hawk itself, the behaviour of his 'lower' subjects, and the birds' position in natural trees all anticipate the Orphic poet we shall shortly meet in Colin Clout. The avian sign also has a generic cast, as the term 'hight' (6) from the Renaissance hierarchy of genres implies. Although Mount Acidale is a pastoral locale, writes Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, it is 'not the pastoral of The Shepheardes Calender, where the motive behind the writing of the eclogues is the ambitious poetic foundation for a future career of public service in the formation of empire. On Acidale, pastoral is conveyed in an Empsonian shift from the complex to the simple - a locus where pastoral becomes not the aggressive, Virgilian first step of generic ambition, but rather a curiously hymnic, retroactive, self-enclosed enactment of the origins of poetic inspiration' ('Colin and Orphic Interpretation' 177). The hawk image, I suggest, brings the genres of pastoral, epic, and hymn into powerful alignment. The avian image qualifies as a pastoral sign because the bird 'sitting' amid the 'trees' is a conventional part of the pastoral landscape; it qualifies as an epic sign because the hawk is the bird of epic and empire, 'King of fowles'; and it qualifies as a hymnic sign because the hawk is the bird of visionary transcendence. A single avian image thus permits

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


us to view the Acídale episode as a pastoral, an epic, or a hymn; given the epithalamic centre of Colin's Dance (noted by critics), we can add the love lyric. For the most part, critics select one of these genres for their interpretation, rather than emphasizing Spenser's problematizing of generic boundaries. Spenser equivocates, I suggest, because he is responding to a career crisis. We simply cannot tell whether he is returning to pastoral, continuing with epic, withdrawing into love lyric, or turning to hymn. From this, two conclusions emerge. The first is that Spenser is doing all four simultaneously; the second, that the last alternative, the hymnic, permits us to identify Book VI as a transition from courtly to contemplative poetry. I wish to recall that Spenser had prophesied this turn in 1579. In the closing two stanzas of Book VI, the New Poet signals this transition by presenting himself as the October passage projected he would. The Blatant Beast ranges through the world, 'Ne spareth he the gentle Poets rime,' including Book VI - 'this homely verse' - which, like his 'former writs,' has unjustly earned 'a mighty Peres displeasure': Therefore do you my rimes keep better measure, / And seeke to please, that now is counted wisemens threasure' (xii.4O-i). Literally, these lines promise a new court poetry - one inverting the poetics of The Faerie Queene because now the poet abandons the process of reciprocal self-fashioning in order to 'please' readers desperately in need of more than praise. But in the context of the New Poet's career, the lines present the poet becoming disillusioned with his courtly art after he has discovered that 'pierlesse Poesye' has finally lost its 'place' in 'Princes pallace.' (As we shall see in the conclusion, the opening of Prothalamion confirms this inference.) By publishing Fowre Hymnes after concluding Book VI, Spenser is not merely experimenting in one of the 'high' genres in the Renaissance hierarchy of genres or expressing a sudden disillusionment with the public world; he is fulfilling a career prophecy that he believes will earn him Orphic status.19 The arch-enemy of the poet and his subject is by no means a bird of ill omen, but the Blatant Beast has an avian dimension through its relation with 'Occasion': 'Spenser repeatedly describes the Beast's movement as "flight," as if it is winged in some sense' (Borris 126; see 127). Thus the iconographie origins of the Blatant Beast come from Virgil's monster Fama in the Aeneid (Nohrnberg 688; see fig. 10). The Blatant Beast with its 'flight' forms a symbolic inversion of the Pegasean flight of fame that orders Spenser's courtly career. The Pegasean signification of the Blatant Beast constructs a particular lens for viewing these closing lines. For in L'Uranie the Christian Muse addresses the poet: 'thou (my


Spenser's Famous Flight

Darling) whom before thy birth, / The Sacred Nine that sip th'immortall spring / Of Pegasus, predestin'd to set forth / Th'Almighties glorie ... / Faint not (my-Saluste) though fell Envie barke / At the bright Rising of thy faire Renowne; / ... thy living Worke / ... shall not be troden downe. / That Fames-foe Monster, is much like a Curre' (stanzas 78-81 in the Haber éd.). By recalling Du Bartas, we may recover the original lens through which Spenser wishes us to view the troubling conclusion of his epic. We are to see here the New Poet's transition to divine poetry. A more positive version of this transition emerges in the authorial stanza from canto vii of The Mutabilitie Cantos: Ah! whither doost thou now thou greater Muse Me from these woods and pleasing forrests bring? And my fraile spirit (that dooth oft refuse This too high flight, unfit for her weake wing) Lift up aloft, to tell of heavens King (Thy soveraine Sire) his fortunate successe, And victory, in bigger noates to sing, Which he obtain'd against that Titanesse, That him of heavens Empire sought to dispossesse.


The 'turne' (vii.a) Spenser refers to is that from the tale of Faunus and Molanna to that of Jove and Nature, but this turn imitates two other turns. The first is from pastoral to epic, which Spenser reveals earlier when introducing the tale of Faunus: 'And, were it not ill fitting for this file, / To sing of hilles and woods, mongst warres and Knights, / I would abate the sternenesse of my stile, / Mongst these sterne stounds to mingle soft delights ... / Meane while, O Clio, lend Calliope thy quill' (vi-37). The second is from epic to hymn, as the references to 'heavens King' and 'heavens Empire' reveal. Again, Spenser appears to be bringing pastoral, epic, and hymn into progressive yet equivocal alignment. What is clear is that he relies on the avian representation to accept the 'high flight' of his strong wing required to move from the pastoral tale of Faunus and Molanna to the epic hymn of Jove and Nature. Critics often see The Mutabilitie Cantos as the coda to The Faerie Queene. What I wish to emphasize here is that the hymnic dimension of Mutabilitie forms a generic bridge to Fowre Hymnes.10 As with the conclusion to Book VI, in Mutabilitie Spenser is likely imitating Du Bartas, for the 'greater Muse' who lifts the poet in 'high flight' is probably the Christian Muse Urania, as the Christian language sug-

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


gests ('heavens King'; see Hamilton, FQ 724; Prescott, French Poets 209-10). Again, our recollection of Du Hartas permits us to recover a lens through which to view the heavenly coda of this national epic. With Book VI, The Mutabilitie Cantos presents the New Poet standing on the threshold between epic and hymn, like king of fowls in majesty and power. Equivocation in the Dedicatory Epistle In his Dedicatory Epistle to Fowre Hymnes, Spenser constructs the contradiction through which he wishes us to view his artefact. While he openly 'retracts' his youthful view of earthly love for a mature vision of heavenly love, he celebrates the two countesses as embodiments of the two forms of love and beauty together. Since the self-reflexive principle of exclusion precedes the epideictic principle of inclusion, the Dedicatory Epistle appears to emphasize the latter. The controlling convention of the dedication confirms this inference: Spenser participates in the patronage system. Yet his self-portrait - a poet tactfully suing for 'patronage' by offering a poem 'in lieu' of the countesses' 'great grace and honourable favours' and by promising 'more notable testimonie' of his 'devotion' - contradicts the self-portrait in the hymns themselves. Whereas there he presents himself as a man poised on the threshold of eternity (Bieman, Plato Baptized 160,162), here he presents himself as a poet firmly bound on the wheel of time, as his language of temporality and public vassalage reveals: '... favours which ye dayly shew unto me, untill such time as I may by better meanes yeeld ..." In sum, the dedication shows the New Poet inserting himself into the patronage system from which he proclaims in the hymns to extricate himself. From the vantage point of the Epistle, the four poems clarify the full process of perception that gives him the authority to praise the countesses as 'rare ornaments of all true love and beauty, both in the one and the other kinde.' Fowre Hymnes as a 'Flying Tale' Conversely, the four poems trace a process of perception that gives the New Poet the authority to transcend praise of an earthly woman through an epiphany of the form of woman herself. The hymns return him to the source of creative power, securing his individual fame and glory. To trace this fictional process, the poet tells a story that enacts the


Spenser's Famous Flight

dramatic transcendence. In the Hymnes of Love and Beautie, a poet-lover writes learned and tender hymns to the deities Love and Venus in order to persuade his beloved to show him erotic 'grace.' In the Hymnes of Heavenly Love and Heavenly Beautie, he writes learned and pious hymns to Christ and Sapience in order to persuade God to show him 'grace.' As critics note, the poet relies on the hymn tradition to construct each poem on 'a broadly similar four-part structural scheme' (Bjorvand and Schell, Oram et al. 687): ï) an Apostrophe and Invocation to the deity; 2) a Creation Myth appropriate to the deity; 3) an Exposition of the named subject, whether earthly or heavenly love or beauty; and 4) a Vision of Paradise appropriate to the subject and its deity. In each hymn, Spenser accommodates the hymnic structure to the career of the New Poet. By reading Fowre Hymnes through a careeric lens, we can see Spenser's strategy in stringing together the four hymns in the order he does. In the first two, he reviews the public poetics of virtuous wedded love presented in Amoretti, Epithalamion, probably Book VI of The Faerie Queene (which also shows Spenser in relation with his beloved), and perhaps The Shepheardes Calender (also written during 'the greener times of [his] ... youth'). In the second two hymns, he dramatizes the generic turn from this poetics to one of private salvific transcendence. The bifold structure inscribes his power to close his career. Fowre Hymnes functions as the vehicle by which the New Poet announces his return to the vatic source. Making the Hardy Flight: Hymne of Love In An Hymne in Honour of Love, Spenser accommodates the four-part hymnic structure to a careeric narrative that I believe refers to his relation with Elizabeth Boyle. In the Apostrophe, he includes a generic transition that confirms this hypothesis. The poet responds to Love's 'mighty powre,' which 'long since' has 'subdude' his 'poore captived hart, / And raging now therein': 'I seeke to ease my bitter smart, / By any service I might do to thee ... / And now t'asswage the force of this new flame, / And make thee more propitious in my need, / I meane to sing the praises of thy name' (1-10; emphasis added). We do not know the identity of this 'new flame,' but in the context of the New Poet's career it can only be the woman whom he had represented both the preceding year in Amoretti and Epithalamion and earlier the same year in the Mount Acidale episode of Book vi: his new wife.21 Such an inference is confirmed by the numerous echoes of these three works: his description of his beloved alternatively as 'that rebellious

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


Dame' (151) whose 'proud hart' is 'enmarble[d]' against him (139) and his 'harts enshrined saint' (215); his admission that her pride has value ('things hard gotten, men more dearely deeme' [168]); his use of the quest metaphor to evoke the heroic matrix of his erotic desire ('What brave exploit, what perill hardly wrought, / What puissant conquest, what adventurous paine' [220-1]); and his use of the mariner metaphor to trace his voyage to 'that happie port' (298) - even his vision of married love, which 'for eternitie, / Seekes to enlarge his lasting progenie' (104-5). To these echoes, I would add the avian representation. At the end of the Apostrophe, the poet 'meane[s]' to 'sing' the 'praises' of Love's 'name,' but he 'fearets]' that his 'wits enfeebled late ... I Should faint, and words should faile' him (15-17; emphasis added): But if thou wouldst vouchsafe to overspred Me with the shadow of thy gentle wing, I should enabled be thy actes to sing.

(Hymne of Love 19-21)

As in To His Booke' prefacing the Calender, the poet imagines his muse to be a protective bird and himself a fledgling - a trope having scriptural origin (chapter 2). Unlike earlier, the trope here does not function within the patronage system, but rather in a private system of erotic inspiration. This system can work only when the poet and his muse acquire the same avian identity. But what does Spenser mean by suggesting that the poet could sing a hymn to Love if Love would 'overspread' him 'with the shadow of [his] ... wing'? He seems to mean that only when he feels the spirit of love regenerating his diminished artistic power can he begin to write. Since at this point his beloved remains a 'rebellious Dame,' he would have to expect this spirit to come from another source: 'Love.' Since he writes the poem as he voices the very condition for writing, his wish for linguistic regeneration ignites the creative process. Reminiscent of the process in Bernart de Ventadorn (chapter 4), the avian representation here is instrumental to the New Poet's creative process. He constructs an identity with his source of inspiration in order to construct his verbal artefact. In this way, the Apostrophe leads to the Invocation: Come then, O come, thou mightie God of love, Out of thy silver bowres and secret blisse, Where thou doest sit in Venus lap above, Bathing thy wings in her ambrosiall kisse,


Spenser's Famous Flight That sweeter farre then any Nectar is; Come softly, and my feeble breast inspire With gentle furie, kindled of thy fire.

(Hymne of Love 22-8)

Spenser pens an aetiological myth of fulfilled desire that functions as the psychic reservoir for the fulfilment he hopes to bring about through his invocation. In Amoretti 72, he had experienced the spiritual form of this fulfilment: his 'fraile fancy fed with full delight, / doth bath in blisse and mantleth most at ease' (9-10). In the hymnic version - a myth of displaced sexual satisfaction - he imagines Love as a winged god sitting in his mother's 'lap/ bathing his wings in the fountain of her sweet kiss. While the god's bath implies fulfilment, it also implies innocence, purification, and regeneration. Venus' 'ambrosiall kisse' forms the wellhead of the poet's inspiration; her son's bathing in that wellhead, the regeneration such inspiration creates. Spenser forges the spiritual origin of the poet's erotic art. In the Creation Myth, Spenser narrates the birth of Love and his creation of the universe to allegorize the origin and effect of his own inspiration. He uses the deity to allegorize the love poet using his erotic art to recreate the universe harmoniously.22 Spenser's most recurrent and precise vehicle of illumination as ascent is not the lamp (DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 78) or the mirror (Rogers, ' "Perfect Speculation" ' 200), but the bird. Although all three are metaphors of illumination, only the 'pure sighted eye' (HHL 276) of the highflying hawk is representationally precise as a sign of the illumination that leads to ascent. Consequently, Spenser opens this part of the hymn by invoking the deity in personal, vocational - perhaps even Orphic - terms: 'Great god of might ... / That doest the Lions and fell Tigers tame ... / Who can expresse the glorie of thy might?' (43-9). Subsequently, he opens his story of Love's birth by humbly referring to his own role in constructing this story: 'Or who alive can perfectly declare, / The wondrous cradle of thine infancie?' (50-1). In the story, the poet relies on the avian representation to underscore the artistic significance of Love's birth. Having 'long time securely slept / In Venus lap,' Love 'gan reare his head, by Clotho being waked' (61-3), And taking to him wings of his owne heate, Kindled at first from heavens life-giving fyre, He gan to move out of his idle seate, Weakely at first, but after with desyre

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes Lifted aloft, he gan to mount up hyre, And like fresh Eagle, make his hardie flight Through all that great wide wast...


(Hymne of Love 64-70)

This passage can be read as a myth about the development of artistic consciousness.23 Through the avian representation, Spenser allegorizes the divine, feminine genesis of an artistic creation motivated by eros. Out of idleness, the poet produces his art. Through the simile of Love as a 'fresh Eagle' making his 'hardie flight/ Spenser evokes the boldly divine power of the poet's creative spirit to regenerate the world. Later in the Creation Myth, Spenser elaborates on his evolutionary model of artistic production, especially its separation and alignment of elements (cf. Berger, Revisionary Play 26-7). Borrowing 'light' from his mother, Love first severs the 'sundrie parts' of the 'world' that before 'had lyen confused ever,' and then, 'tempering goodly well / Their contrary dislikes and loved meanes/ he 'did place them all in order ... / Together linkt with Adamantine chaines' (75-89). Through the principle of discordia concors, the poet creates the universe. In the third part of the Hymne of Love (103-272), the poet idealizes the process of erotic perception that informs his love poetry. In particular, he distinguishes between the 'discipline of "pure regard" ' (D.L. Miller, The Poem's Two Bodies 76, quoting HB 212), on the one hand, and what we might term the discipline of impure regard, on the other.24 To express the difference between the two disciplines, the poet relies on the avian representation: For love is Lord of truth and loialtie, Lifting himselfe out of the lowly dust, On golden plumes up to the purest skie, Above the reach of loathly sinfull lust, Whose base affect through cowardly distrust Of his weake wings, dare not to heaven fly, But like a moldwarpe in the earth doth ly.

(Hymne of Love 176-82)

Whereas Love's 'golden plumes' suggest love's power of spiritual perception and transcendence, Lust's 'weake wings' suggest lust's impotence in achieving these lofty goals. The demotion of Lust from a bird with 'wings' to an earthbound 'moldwarpe' precisely enacts the individual's fall into lust. But Spenser's avian representation has artistic significance, since the ' "golden plumes" feather the "golden quill" of poetic inspiration' in Amoretti 85 (D.L. Miller, The Poem's Two Bodies 75).


Spenser's Famous Flight

In the fourth part of the Hymne of Love, Spenser envisions the Paradise that the love poet enters as his reward for a purified erotic perception - 'a Paradize / Of all delight, and joyous happie rest' (280-1). He implies that his writing is instrumental to this 'rest,' for the hymn as a whole uses language to entreat Cupid's grace - the sexual fulfilment with his beloved: 'Ay me, deare Lord, that ever I might hope ... / To come at length unto the wished scope / Of my desire' (294-7). 'Flying to and fro': Hymne of Beautie Unlike the Hymne of Love, the Hymne of Beautie does not rely significantly on avian imagery. In the opening stanza, Spenser forms the transitional apostrophe to Love: Thou in me kindlest much more great desyre, / And up aloft above my strength doest rayse / The wondrous matter of my fyre to prayse' (5-7). And in his description of the psychospiritual process of 'mutuall receipt' (235) by which 'lovers eyes more sharply sighted bee' (232), he envisions what lovers 'see through amorous eye-glaunces': 'Armies of loves still flying too and fro' (239-40). Here the avian image depicts the militant process of perception by which lovers relate to each other. None the less, it will be useful to pause over the poem's contribution to the careeric process I am trying to delineate. More clearly than in the Hymne of Love, in the Hymne of Beautie Spenser personalizes the universal hymnic model in which a poet praises the deity: 'Ah whither, Love, wilt thou now carrie mee?' (i). He reveals that he writes this hymn because his praise of Love has increased his desire, rather than slaked it, and he believes that Venus can secure the grace he seeks (4-10). Thus he calls on the goddess to use her 'love-kindling light, / T'illuminate' his 'dim and dulled eyne, / And beautifie this sacred hymne' (19-21) - 'That both to thee, to whom I meane it most, / And eke to her, whose faire immortall beame, / Hath darted fyre into my feeble ghost... / It may so please that she at length will streame / Some deaw of grace, into my withered hart' (22-7). The hymn is less encomium for a deity than rhetoric for a beloved. In both the Myth of Creation (29-63) and the Exposition of erotic and aesthetic perception (64-259), Spenser is thus not merely delineating a universal Neoplatonic construct to a general reader; he is revealing his own clear perception of that construct to his beloved. He reveals his perception in order to persuade her to adopt his poetics, the fruit of which will be the 'grace' he seeks. Consequently, he personalizes his negative definition of 'Beautie': I 'have often prov'd ... / That Beautie

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


is not, as fond men misdeeme, / An outward shew of things, that only seeme' (88-91). From personalizing his poetics, he steps easily to social instruction: 'ye faire Dames ... / ... in your choice of Loves, this well advize ...' (162-90). At the end of the hymn, he reveals that he would like to use his song to Venus as 'lieu' (274) for 'one drop of grace' from 'she whose conquering beautie doth captive / My trembling hart' (27577). Hence, he concludes by addressing his beloved: 'And you faire Venus dearling ... / When your faire eyes these fearefull lines shal read, / Deigne to let fall one drop of dew reliefe' (281-4). In using the first two hymns to narrate the poet's use of song to seek the grace of his beloved, Spenser reconstructs the narrative of Amoretti and Epithalamion. When read in the context of the poet's career, the Hymnes of Love and Beautie refer to the beloved in the preceding phase: Elizabeth Boyle. The poet tells how he won his wife through his art not just to emphasize the transition between the love-lyric and the hymnic phases of his career, but also to define the hymn as a genre of Du Bartasian 'reversion' (cf. D.L. Miller, The Poem's Two Bodies 78-81). The hymn traces the painful process by which he turns from a poetics in service of his wife to one in service of God. The unmentioned event that occurs in the white space of the text between the first two hymns and the second two - provides a rationale for the turn. At the end of the Hymne of Love, the poet tells the deity that if he helps him enter the 'happie port,' he will 'sing of thine immortall praise / An heavenly Hymne, such as the Angels sing, / And thy triumphant name then would I raise / Bove all the gods, thee onely honoring, / My guide, my God, my victor, and my king' (301-5). In keeping with the Du Bartas movement, as represented in Barnes, Spenser here signals a turn from a Venerean to an Angelic lyric, earthly fame to heavenly glory (as 'immortall,' 'name,' and 'honoring' indicate). When he begins the complementary poem, the Hymne of Heavenly Love, with a readdress to 'Love' that uses language echoing the Hymne of Love, writing 'an heavenly Hymne ... / Unto the god of Love, high heavens king' (1-7), he implies that he has indeed entered the happy port. Consequently, he abandons his 'lewd layes' in service of his wife for divine poetry in service of God. How did Spenser explain Fowre Hymnes to Elizabeth Boyle? Obviously, he did not intend to insult his wife. Rather, he may have aimed to suit Christian teaching to the contour of his poetic career. The end of such teaching should be clear from the final word of Fowre Hymnes: 'rest' (HHB 301). The relation between Amoretti /Epithalamion and Fowre Hymnes imitates the bifold lyric structure of the Rime sparse, but


Spenser's Famous Flight

Spenser's bifold structure of Fowre Hymnes itself imitates Petrarch's structure. Throughout the first two hymns, the poet reveals himself to be 'restlesse' (HB 73). In both poems, he assumes that the cure for this condition consists in his beloved's 'grace.' But in the second two hymns he discovers that he can achieve true rest only by resting with Sapience in the bosom of God. 'Upon thy Golden Wings': Hymne of Heavenly Love In the Hymne of Heavenly Love, Spenser executes the move from earth to heaven in self-reflexive terms: "Love, lift me up upon thy golden wings, / From this base world unto thy heavens hight ... / That I thereof an heavenly Hymne may sing / Unto the god of Love, high heavens king' (1-7). Spenser models his theory of hymnic inspiration on eros.25 To present this theory of inspiration, the poet represents Love as a bird with 'golden wings' singing a 'heavenly Hymne.' The Christianized avian eros is the vehicle for the poet's 'flying tale.' As the subsequent generic transition reveals, we are to see in this hymn the New Poet's career turn: 'But all those follies now I doe reprove, / And turned have the tenor of my string, / The heavenly prayses of true love to sing' (i2-i4).26 The image of the harp or lyric string recalls the corresponding moment of generic transition in Epithalamion (9) and, originally, in October (50). Spenser sees a special relation between the love lyric and the hymn, Amoretti/Epithalamion and Fowre Hymnes, Elizabeth Boyle and Sapience. By looking at the career pattern of the Orphic poet, we can take Spenser's retractation in the third hymn at its word. Critics often note the similarity between Heavenly Love's 'golden wings' and Earthly Love's 'golden plumes' in order to illustrate a system of parallelism and contrast in the hymns as a whole. Each avian image represents its specific form of love. In the image of Earthly Love relying on 'golden plumes' to 'lift' himself 'up out of the lowly dust... / ... up to the purest skie,' Spenser figures the divine purity of earthly love. While the image literally works upward, allegorically it works downward; paradoxically, the 'golden plumes' are a figure of immanence. The first two hymns are not 'an aborted flight' (Hyde 137). By contrast, in the image of Heavenly Love relying on 'golden wings' to 'lift' him 'up' from 'this base world unto thy heavens hight,' Spenser figures the transcendence required of the divine poet-lover. Here the image literally and allegorically works upward (as the redundancy of 'up uppon' hints). Spenser figures the divine sanction of his retractation.

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


The movement from 'golden plumes' to 'golden wings' signals the progression from immanence to transcendence in the Hymnes as a whole. In the Hymne of Heavenly Love, Spenser's subsequent address to his readers qualifies as a significant 'turn' in the advertisement of the New Poet's career: 'And ye that wont with greedy vaine desire / To reade my fault, and wondring at my flame, / To warme your selves at my wide sparckling fire, / Sith now that heat is quenched, quench my blame, / And in her ashes shrowd my dying shame' (15-19). We can best interpret this turn, not in terms of Edmund Spenser's sudden revelation in 1596, but in terms of the New Poet's long-ago projected career idea. In the Creation Myth of God and Christ that occupies the centre of the third hymn, Spenser engages in the poetic process of illumination. Hence, he periodically inserts himself into his retelling of Scripture - as when he wonders how his 'trembling verse / With equall words can hope' to 'reherse' the wisdom and holiness of the 'almightie Spright' (39-42). Or when he pauses to draw from the fountain of inspiration itself: 'O most blessed Spirit.../... shed into my barren spright, / Some little drop of thy celestiall dew, / That may my rymes with sweet infuse embrew, / And give me words equall unto my thought, / To tell the marveiles by thy mercie wrought' (43-9). Hence, in perhaps his most brilliant fusing of the myth of the winged poet with the myth of Christianity, he describes the angels in self-reflexive, generic terms: Either with nimble wings to cut the skies, When he them on his messages doth send, Or on his owne dread presence to attend, Where they behold the glorie of his light, And caroll Hymnes of love both day and night. (Hymne of Heavenly Love 66-70)

As the word 'hymnes' suggests, the winged angels model the hymnic poet. Like him, they either communicate God's 'messages' or attend on his 'dread presence.' As with him, for them clear perception of the deity leads to divine songs. For both winged figures, the lelos of hymnic perception is the same: 'glorie.' Another fusion occurs when Spenser engages the reader in the process of illumination: 'Then rouze thy self, O earth, out of thy soyle ... / Lift up to him thy heavie clouded eyne, / That thou his soveraine bountie mayst behold' (218-23). As we have seen (chapter 3), the word


Spenser's Famous Flight

'rouze' is a hawking term: a hawk rouses its feathers in order to prepare for its flight. Spenser imagines 'earth' - the reader? - as a bird preparing itself for flight and then lifting itself up to God in order to 'read through love his mercies manifold' (224). The poet uses avian language to communicate the central theological lesson, not merely of the Hymne of Heavenly Love, but of Fowre Hymnes as a whole, as he clarifies later: 'Through meditation of his endlesse merit, / Lift up thy mind to th'author of thy weale, / And to his soveraine mercie doe appeale; / Learne him to love, that loved thee so deare' (255-8). 'The Scare Faulcon': Hymne of Heavenly Beautie In the Hymne of Heavenly Beautie, Spenser continues to announce the hymnic 'turn' in the New Poet's career. Although the turn recalls that of pastoral as an inaugural form, it differs in constituting a new dimension, a new object for the subject to perceive. The poet turns his gaze from this world to the next: from court and its leaders (even from the family and its feminine centre, the beloved) to the court of God and 'his owne Beloved' (241), Sapience. Consequently, Spenser uses images of immaturity to show the poet amid the process of writing a hymn, as when he sees Sapience in the bosom of God: 'How then dare I, the novice of his Art, / Presume to picture so divine a wight, / Or hope t'expresse her least perfections part... ? / Ah gentle Muse thou art too weake and faint, / The pourtraict of so heavenly hew to paint' (225-31). We have seen this topos of generic transition before (FQ l.Pr.2). To some extent, each career phase constitutes a new beginning; but the hymnic phase is, as it were, the final end, so that it is an important paradox when the bird with whom the poet identifies at the end of his career resembles the fledgling from The Shepheardes Calender. He re-turns to the vatic source of his art. Yet, in accord with the strategy of equivocation identified earlier, the Hymne of Heavenly Beautie emerges as simultaneously an intensely private preparation for death and a public poem searching to communicate with the reader. Consequently, the hymn intertwines direct address - 'Then looke who list, / Thy gazefull eyes to feed' (29; see 50 and 239) - with visionary transcendence, as if the rest were silence: 'And looke at last up to that soveraine light, / From whose pure beams al perfect beauty springs ... / With whose sweet pleasures being so posses t, / Thy straying thoughts henceforth for ever rest' (HHB 295-301). In the latter passage, as in the hymns as a whole, Spenser encapsulates the return to the source that is the motivation for the Christian life. The human soul,'

Returning to the Vatic Source in Poivre Hymnes


says Boethius in The Consolation of Philosophy, 'seeks to return to its true good' (m.Prose 2: 45); later, Lady Philosophy reveals how indigenous the avian myth is to this return: 'And I shall give wings to your mind which can carry you aloft, so that, without further anxiety, you may return safely to your own country' (rv.Prose i: 76). From this strategy of equivocation, it is hard to tell whether Spenser is advertising Fowre Hymnes as the final poem of his career or as the first poem in a final phase that could include other divine poems. What is clear is that he sees his divine poetry the way Du Hartas sees his - as a high flying vehicle for Christian glory: 'with the glorie of so goodly sight, / The hearts of men ... / ... may lift themselves up hyer, / And learne to love with zealous humble dewty / Th'eternall fountaine of that heavenly beauty' (HHB 15-21). Consequently, in the Order of Creation section the poet traces the process of transcendence that such light brings; in the process, he represents his flight to Christian glory: Beginning then below, with th'easie vew Of this base world, subject to fleshly eye, From thence to mount aloft by order dew, To contemplation of th'immortall sky, Of the soare faulcon so I learne to fly, That flags awhile her fluttering wings beneath, TiE she her selfe for stronger flight can breath. (Hymne of Heavenly Beautie 22-8)

Spenser constructs in microcosm the twofold pattern of progression traced by the poems as a whole. Whereas in lines 22-5 he philosophically constructs a personal pattern of glory, in lines 26-8 he relies on an avian image to represent it. A 'soare faulcon' is either a hawk in its second year or a year-old hawk that has not yet moulted its feathers in other words, an immature bird that is only 'learn[ing] to fly' (C.B. Hieatt, 'Stooping' 350). The poet's need to take the breath of earthly contemplation results from inexperience with the hymnic medium. He uses earthly contemplation to prepare for heavenly contemplation. The first stage of the transcendent process is vital to the second; both are instrumental to the hymnic flight. By contemplating earthly love and beauty, he flags his fluttering wings to gather the 'breath' necessary to contemplate heavenly love and beauty. The avian metaphor confirms the progressive theory of interpretation, but it also underscores what so far has escaped attention - and what we


Spenser's Famous Flight

can scarcely find in Plato's Symposium, Ficino's Commentary on the Symposium, Benivieni's Odes, or Castiglione's discourse on Neoplatonic love in Book IV of The Courtier, the intimate relation between earth and heaven, poetic fame and Christian glory - an intimacy we might well expect from the poet of the first two hymns, Amoretti and Epithalamion, Books in, TV, and VI of The Faerie Queene, and even The Shepheardes Calender. Embedded deeply in this advertisement for the new divine poet, Spenser conceals a poignant apologia for his long career as a love poet. He asserts that he could not have written Fowre Hymnes without having written his earlier verse. In his last great use of the avian representation, the poet turns to the reader. The 'meanes' to 'behold' the 'beauty' of God, which he himself lends to us, lies in 'a brasen booke,' wherein we 'reade enregistred in every nooke / His goodnesse' (127-32): Thence gathering plumes of perfect speculation, To impe the wings of thy high flying mynd, Mount up aloft through heavenly contemplation, From this darke world, whose damps the soule do blynd, And like the native brood of Eagles kynd, On that bright Sunne of glorie fixe thine eyes, Clear'd from grosse mists of fraile infirmities. Humbled with feare and awfull reverence, Before the footestoole of his Majestic, Throw thy selfe downe with trembling innocence. (Hymne of Heavenly Beautie 134-43)

We are to begin the process of transcendence by reading the Book of Nature - contemplating the physical creation. But then we are to turn from nature to heaven. As we have seen (chapter i), in hawking to 'impe' means to engraft feathers in the wing of a bird in order to improve its powers of flight. The hawking term is an image not merely of restoration, improvement, and enlargement, but also of transcendence. Again, Spenser uses a hawking term to reveal the intimate relation between earthly and heavenly contemplation. The reader can strengthen or clarify his or her vision through the deliberate act of mounting from earth to heaven - through nurturing intellectual nature with speculative or visionary art. Such an art is like that of the young eagle, which uses its great power of sight to behold the 'Sunne' - both the bright planet and the radiating Son of God. As with the 'soare

Returning to the Vatic Source in Fowre Hymnes


faulcon,' Spenser here uses an immature bird ('native brood of Eagles kynd') to represent 'heavenly contemplation' as an inaugural experience. This experience leads us to the footstool of God, where we may respond with appropriate humility. The stanza in which the viewer enters the presence of God is the 'central stanza' of the final hymn (Bjorvand and Schell, Oram et al. 743). The metaphoric vehicle by which the reader enters this presence is quite literally that of the hymnic eagle or hawk. Through the process of avian imping, we may behold Sapience resting in the bosom of God. The poet's quest for fame ultimately leads to 'that bright Sunne of glorie.' Fowre Hymnes and the Closing of Spenser's Career According to Richard Helgerson, Spenser qualifies as a 'laureate' poet in part because he avoids the decisive act of the 'amateur' poet: the 'repentance' of youthful love poetry. Yet when confronted with the Hymne of Heavenly Love and the Hymne of Heavenly Beautie, Helgerson appears to hesitate: 'Nowhere else does Spenser sound quite so much like a repentant prodigal' (Self-Crowned Laureates 85). In the last two hymns, the poet indeed repents: Ah then my hungry soule, which long hast fed On idle fancies of thy foolish thought, And with false beauties flattring bait misled, Hast after vaine deceiptfull shadowes sought, Which all are fled, and now have left thee nought, But late repentance through thy follies prief; Ah ceasse to gaze on matter of thy grief. (Hymne of Heavenly Beautie 288-94)

None the less, the poet's repentance differs from that of the Elizabethan amateurs. Whereas they repent of youthful love poetry to serve the state, he abandons youthful love poetry to write divine love poetry serving God. In other words, where the amateurs abandon poetry altogether, the New Poet continues to write by centring his art in a different object: God rather than woman - or the personalized form of woman, Sapience, rather than an actual beloved like his wife. Spenser accommodates amateur repentance to a laureate career. Consequently, we can best explain Spenser's turn from courtly to contemplative poetry in the mid-i59os, not merely in terms of the Elizabethan model of amateur and laureate, but also in terms of the Renais-


Spenser's Famous Flight

sanee model of the divine poet. Spenser makes this turn, not out of disillusionment, but out of his deep urge to inscribe Orphic closure. Brilliantly, he imps the Augustinian plume onto the Virgilian wing. Piecing pinions along the high way to Christian glory, in Fowre Hymnes he creates his 'most optimistic poetic effort' (DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 88). In fulfilment of his 1579 prophecy, early in the autumn of 1596 the New Poet completes the famous flight.

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion

I saw two Swannes of goodly hewe, Come softly swimming downe along the Lee. Spenser, Prothalamion

Immediately after publishing Fowre Hymnes, the New Poet reopens his literary career. Late in the autumn of 1596, Spenser publishes 'Prothalamion or a Spousall Verse.' As the title-page informs us, he writes to 'honour' the 'double marriage' of Elizabeth and Katherine Somerset to Henry Gilford and William Peter.1 Strangely, the poet opens his betrothal poem by presenting himself. In stanza i, he is so overcome with 'sullein care, / Through discontent of ... [his] long fruitlesse stay / In Princes Court' that he withdraws to the 'shoare of silver streaming Themmes' (5-11). Suddenly, however, in stanzas 2-7 he 'chance[s] to espy' (20) an idealized vision - in the form of an elaborate flower ceremony. A 'Flocke of Nymphes' gather 'flowers' in their 'wicker basket[s]' (20-6), strew the flowers on 'two Swannes of goodly hewe' (37) who sail down the Thames, then crown the swans with 'Garlands' (83), while 'one' of the Nymphs sings a 'Lay' of wedded love to honour the swans (87). Then, almost as suddenly as the swans appeared, in stanzas 8-10 the idealized vision seems to metamorphose into historical reality. The procession enters 'mery London' (127), prompting the poet to recall the city as his 'kyndly Nurse' and the 'house of auncient fame' from which he takes his 'name' (128-31), to review the history of the Temple at the Inns of Court and his lost patronage with Leicester, to praise Essex for his victory over Spain, and to witness Essex uniting 'two gentle Knights' (169) with what earlier ap-


Spenser's Famous Flight

peared as 'two faire ... Birds' (39) but that now appear as 'two faire Brides' (176). At least since the eighteenth century, readers have been dismayed by the poem's peculiar narrative movement. In 1715, the first commentator, John Hughes, criticized the 'Spousall Verse' for transgressing an 'essential property' of allegory adhered to by The Faerie Queene - the property that the allegory Tje every where consistent with it self: Most of the allegories in the Fairy Queen are agreeable to this rule; but in ... [Prothalamion] the author has manifestly transgress'd it... The two brides are figur'd by two beautiful swans sailing down the River Thames. The allegory breaks before the reader is prepar'd for it; and we see ... [the "birdes'J, at their landing, in their true shapes ... [as Tsrides'l, without knowing how this sudden change is effected. If this had been only a simile, the poet might have dropp'd it at pleasure; but as it is an allegory, he ought to have made it of a piece, or to have invented some probable means of coming out of it. (rpt in the Variorum Edition 8: 666)

Two and a half centuries later, C.S. Lewis fears that 'perfect unity has [not] been achieved': The references to Spenser's own discontents, to the history of the Temple, and to the achievements of Essex, interesting as they are in themselves, do not seem to have been made to contribute much to the total effect' (English Literature 373). For the recent reader, Harry Berger, Jr, raises the central question: 'in a poem of ten stanzas nominally celebrating ... [a] double marriage ... why are two stanzas devoted to the poet's own life and troubles, and a third to some patronseeking praise of Essex?' ('Spenser's Prothalamion' 509). While Berger and Alastair Fowler each detect unity (albeit on different grounds), they tend to discuss the poem's dichotomy of 'realism' in stanzas i and 8-10 and 'allegory' in stanzas 2-y.2 For recent historical critics, Spenser's self-presentation in a betrothal poem provides evidence of his disillusionment at the end of his career. 'In Prothalamion,' writes Thomas H. Cain, 'disillusionment with his role is especially poignant ... Nostalgia, complaint, and sense of loss so insinuate themselves as almost to overwhelm the expected strain of celebration'; thus the memorable refrain - 'Sweete Themmes runne softly, till I ende my Song' - is 'shot through with swansong,' and the poem as a whole anticipates the 'withdrawal from the Orphic role of national poet ... completed by the escapism ending the Mutabilitie cantos' ('Orpheus' 46). Similarly, Richard Helgerson feels that the poem 'casts a valedictory glance back over his career... with the regretful air of a man who would

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion


still join in the affairs of the great world if the great world would have him. When he says that "some brave muse may sing" the glories of the new champion, Essex, it is hard to tell whether he is putting himself definitively out of contention or bidding for the job. But in the refrain ... we hear the sound of an ending, an impending withdrawal from the public world that this poem still celebrates.'3 For present critics, as for past, the terms for evaluating Prothalamion remain consistent: it is a 'farewell/ a 'eulogy,' a 'swan-song,' a 'withdrawal,' a 'valediction.' While acknowledging Spenser's sense of frustration in Prothalamion, I suggest that we need to look more carefully at his treatment of that frustration. The poem's peculiar narrative movement - from autobiographical images of pastoral retreat in stanza i to allegorical images of idealized nature in stanzas 2-7 to realistic images of history and politics in stanzas 8-10 - looks very much like an enactment of the humanist ideology that informs Spenser's earlier poetry. In this ideology, human beings overcome disillusioned withdrawal into pastoral otium through an idealized artistic vision of wedded love that motivates ethical action in society. Accordingly, I argue that Prothalamion shows Spenser at the end of his career engaging precisely in his earlier ideology. Specifically, the peculiar narrative movement dramatizes the humanist ideal that The Faerie Queene promotes, the very ideal that many critics believe Spenser abandons: 'the withdrawal into vision prepares for a return to history through poetry as a motive for virtuous action' (D.L. Miller, 'Spenser's Vocation' 217). If the ideal of The Faerie Queene is still in place in Prothalamion, we can expect the epic telos of fame and glory to be in place as well. The relation between Prothalamion and The Faerie Queene is indeed intimate. For instance, Hughes assumes that Prothalamion is an allegory comparable to The Faerie Queene. Although his criticism implies that the 'Spousall Verse' is a failed allegory, and the national epic a successful one, we might consider an alternative. The transgression he notes is both a clue for interpreting Prothalamion and a tacit directive to relate it to The Faerie Queene. As critics show, the 'Spousall Verse' shares enough features with the national epic to occupy a unique position in Spenser's shorter poetry: pictorial techniques, the relation between sentence and stanza, and diction.4 One other similarity seems striking: both poems use the first-person narrator to present an allegory of love having national significance. As yet, no one has examined the relation between the two poems to suggest that in Prothalamion Spenser participates in, rather than abandons, the humanist ideology informing The Faerie Queene.


Spenser's Famous Flight

In addition to the poem's narrative movement, its allusions to classical myth suggest that Spenser participates in his earlier ideology. Critics have long recognized allusions to Spenser's own poetry (The Shepheardes Calender, The Ruines of Time, The Faerie Queene, Epithalamion) and to numerous sources inspiring this poetry: English river poetry (Camden, Leland, Vallans), medieval dream-vision (Chaucer, Langland), and classical poetry, especially epic and lyric (Virgil and Ovid; Horace, Catullus, and Propertius).5 As yet, however, no one has shown how these allusions form an integrated strategy of imitation that supports the national ideal of Spenserian poetics in The Faerie Queene. By attending to Prothalamion's narrative movement and strategy of imitation, we can see more than an occasional poet passively celebrating a double marriage or lamenting his own private woes. At the end of his career, a national poet steps back to offer a defence of allegorical love poetry in the national epic itself, and in so doing manages to offer an apologia for the humanist tradition inspiring his poetry. However, the 'Spousall Verse' does not merely defend a past career; it also prophesies a future career. The peculiar narrative movement that regenerates the poet's spirit inspires him to continue The Faerie Queene. Prothalamion is at once a defence and a prophecy of the 'famous flight' (Oct 88). The key to this reading lies in Spenser's management of a traditional insignium poetarum: the swan (Clements 683-5; see fig. 11). As Spenser reveals in a fragment, the swan is particularly apt as a sign of the poet late in his career: The silver swanne doth sing before her dying day / As shee that feeles the deepe delight that is in death' (qtd by E.K., gloss to Oct 242-3). In a complex passage from The Ruines of Time, Spenser relies on the swan sign to represent the prophetic power of the great Protestant poet, Sir Philip Sidney: 'Upon that famous Rivers further shore, / There stood a snowie Swan of heavenly hiew ... / There he most sweetly sung the prophecie / Of his owne death in dolefull Elégie ... / With loftie flight above the earth he bounded, / And out of sight to highest heaven mounted: / Where now he is become an heavenly signe' (589-601). Since the narrator-poet himself sees the swan-poet's prophetic song securing apotheosis, he is witnessing a vision that is deeply self-reflexive. In effect, he constructs a model of the sign system underlying the present study. A certain species of bird represents the poet relying on a particular genre of poetry to accomplish a specific end. The swan singing an 'Elégie' to experience apotheosis and constellation figures the poet writing divine poetry to secure the intertwined aims of poetry: fame and glory. The transcendent element in the sign system first emerges in the October eclogue of The Shepheardes Calender,

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion


when the New Poet relies on the topos of inability to advertise himself tactfully as the new divine poet: Colin, 'were he not with love so ill bedight, / Would mount as high, and sing as soote as Swanne' (89-90; chapter i).6 However, when Spenser typologically fulfils the October prophecy by writing Fowre Hymnes, he selects the hawk, not the swan, as his bird of hymnic transcendence (chapter 5). This selection is consistent with classical poetry coming out of Pindar and especially with Scripture, which designates the eagle as the primary species of the divine poet. As we noted in chapter 5, Spenser does not appear to consider Fowre Hymnes a 'swan-song' but rather a poem announcing a valedictory phase to his career. Consequently, when he introduces swan imagery in his very next poem, he appears indeed to be writing his 'swan-song.' If read in this light, Prothalamion would form part of a phase of divine or contemplative poetry that permits the poet to fly back to heaven apace. The 'Spousall Verse' would then reveal that Spenser changes his mind about his career in the mid-i59Os by turning from courtly to contemplative poetry. The swan imagery, however, only appears to confirm such a reading. The first clue to an alternative lies in Spenser's twofold shift of the traditional swan myth. First, the poet himself is not the swan but the observer of a procession that includes two swans. The avian figure is not the self but a distinct Other. Second, the swan procession that the poet sees moves along the horizontal axis, not the vertical one; more precisely, this horizontal movement evokes a pattern of something like completed descent: the two swans 'come softly swimming downe along the Lee' (38; emphasis added). Yet, paradoxically, we can detect in the Lee 'an overlay of the down of swans' (Hollander, Melodious Guile 153), while the word 'softly' links the swans' movement with the movement of the river in the poet's refrain, 'Sweete Themmes runne softly.' Such self-reflexivity helps us see the movement of two swans as mimetic of the poet's own attempt to continue his 'famous flight.' Unlike the poet with Sidney in The Ruines of Time, the poet in Prothalamion does not witness the death, apotheosis, and constellation of the two swans. Rather, he sees them swimming into 'mery London,' where they unite in the social and political ritual of a courtly marriage. This reconstruction of a traditional myth (it is Spenser's only version of the swan not dealing with transcendence) reveals that the poet traces a process of careeric immanence. In turn, this process suggests a renewed commitment to the goal of fame and glory organizing the New Poet's career. His commitment helps explain why he turns to Ariosto's avian allegory


Spenser's Famous Flight

of poetic fame from the Orlando Furioso, in which two swans bear plaques of renown from the river of time to Lady Fama in the Church of Fame (chapter 3). In the mid-i59os, Spenser does not change his idea of a literary career, nor does he end his career by turning from courtly to contemplative poetry. When we last glimpse him, he is turning from contemplative back to courtly poetry. Defending the New Poet's Careen Structure and Strategy of Imitation While Prothalamion's peculiar narrative movement has long been a source of criticism, recent views about the role of the poem in Spenser's career may result from a misunderstanding of that movement. Whereas past critics discuss the poem's dichotomy of 'realism' and 'allegory/ I propose to concentrate on the poem's three-part structure: stanza i, which presents the poet's withdrawal from 'Princes Court'; stanzas 2-7, which present his espial of the flower ceremony and his hearing of the 'Lay' of wedded love; and stanzas 8-10, which present his return to 'mery London.' While any interpretation needs to establish the relation among these parts, to do so presents problems, because the transition between parts i and 2 is as troubling as the more commonly criticized transition between parts 2 and 3. What, that is, does the poet's dissatisfaction with the world of public politics in stanza i have to do with the private world of the swan-brides' procession in stanzas 2-7? Narratively, the poet's career problems have nothing to do with the swans' marriage. In fact, the poet's public vision of others appears to intrude into his own private troubles. Correspondingly, when he watches the procession enter London, he allows autobiography and national ceremony to intrude into their procession. Again, what does his life have to do with theirs? Each transition creates confusion. The effect of the confusion, however, should be familiar to readers of The Faerie Queene. We wonder how the parts relate. The transition from part i to part 2 establishes a dichotomy between the poet's public career and the ladies' private marriage. The transition from part 2 to part 3 establishes a dichotomy between the poet's seemingly private vision and their public marriage. We seem to have two sets of problems: that of the poet, who moves from a public to a private to a public world; and that of the ladies, who move from a private to a public world. The dichotomies that seem so disjointed here, however, are precisely central to The Faerie Queene. Specifically, the spousal poem's three parts trace the threefold poetic

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion


process that informs allegorical writing in the national epic: i) the poet becomes disillusioned with the actual world; 2) he retreats to an idealized world, where he miraculously envisions allegorical ideals; and 3) he returns to the actual world transformed to perform virtuous action.7 The poetic process has three corresponding parts for the reader: he or she i) becomes disillusioned with the actual world; 2) retreats to the idealized world of poetry; and 3) returns to the actual world transformed to perform virtuous action. In tracing the poetic process, Spenser may be defending himself against the charge that Elizabethan readers like Burleigh were making against his poetry: 'poèmes' are 'vaine... weedes' feeding merely 'fancie/ not a 'discipline]' of 'vertue' leading to wise social action (FQ rv.Pr.i; see also vi.xii.4i and the DS 2 to Burleigh in the 1590 ed.) - duke non utile. For such readers, evidently, Spenser is a pleasing magician, an escapist from reality, and his idealized Faerie Queene is a magical means by which he and his reader escape to a world of dream, independent of the world of affairs.8 According to Helgerson, 'as his work on The Faerie Queene drew toward a close, the poet, who years before [in a Latin verse epistle printed in a letter to Harvey] had complained that "the gods made me the gift of delight but not of the useful," found those two Horatian poles of his literary identity once again pulling apart' (Self-Crowned Laureates 96). In Prothalamion, I believe, Spenser formally acknowledges this pull in order to resist the pressure. Even if other late poetry shows him frustrated with politics by emphasizing his Orphic withdrawal, the 'Spousall Verse' acknowledges these frustrations to announce his Orphic return. Rather than passively reflecting his dejection at the end of his career, Prothalamion is what Louis Montrose would call a ' "primary activity" in its own right.'9 Privately, the poem reinvigorates Spenser's Orphic spirit; publicly, it demonstrates his national value to Essex, the Somersets, and Elizabeth. Quite literally, the poem is a 'Spousall Verse.' While lines such as those in the refrain do have the elegiac tone noted by recent critics, we need to be careful not to turn a betrothal poem into a funeral elegy. Rather, we need to seek phrasing that accounts precisely for the tension between the elegiac tone emerging in parts of the poem and the humanist ideology informing the poem as a whole. Withdrawal from 'Princes Court': Stanza i In part i (stanza i), Spenser presents himself precisely as recent historical critics describe him: escaping from 'Princes Court.' The poet appears as a dreamer whose imaginative art lacks cultural utility:


Spenser's Famous Flight When I whom sullein care, Through discontent of my long fruitlesse stay In Princes Court, and expectation vayne Of idle hopes, which still doe flye away, Like empty shaddowes, did aflict my brayne, Walkt forth to ease my payne Along the shoare of silver streaming Themmes ...

(Prothalamion 5-11)

Frustrated at 'Princes Court,' he walks down to the 'rutty Bancke' of the Thames, which is 'hemme[d]' by a 'meade' painted with 'variable flowers' and adorned with 'daintie gemmes' (12-14). Significantly, the motivation for this walk into seeming Nature is 'ease' - that 'nourse of sin' in the pageant of the Seven Deadly Sins (FQ I.iv.iS).10 Yet, by portraying himself in this way, Spenser presents the first stage of the poetic process. He retreats from the disillusioning actual world. The poet's retreat forms the foundation of his desire to 'fashion' virtuous readers. While he does not mention the specific cause of the 'payne' motivating his retreat, critics believe that it resulted from his failure to win preferment for The Faerie Queene (Judson 190-1). The significance of this point has been overlooked. Prothalamion was motivated by Spenser's concern over his national epic. Thus, to open the poem he shows himself inverting the visionary ideology of The Faerie Queene. Whereas he 'expect[ed]' to transform his idealistic 'hopes' into reward, he sees his 'idle hopes ... flye away, / Like empty shaddowes.' In effect, he inverts the experience of Arthur in his dream of Gloriana (FQ l.ix.5-13). The poet's flying hopes become 'idle,' his vision of glory an 'empty shaddow.' Rather than his dream inspiring him to find the incarnate form of the ideal, gloriana, actuality interferes with his dream. Apparently, the visionary ideology of glory from his national epic fails to sustain him during this new affliction. He cannot enact his own humanist poetics. Vision of Wedded Love: Stanzas 2-7 In part 2 (stanzas 2-7), however, he 'chance[s] to espy' an elaborate flower ceremony. A 'Flocke of Nymphes' are 'in a Meadow, by the Rivers side/ gathering 'flowers' in their 'wicker basket[s]' (19-26). The mention of 'Nymphes' and the language of dream-vision ('I chanced to espy') indicate that 'the world this vision evokes is not natural' (Wine 44), while the mention of the Nymphs' 'greenish locks' (22) alerts us to the poet's entry into or creation of an ideal, allegorical world (Berger 511). Miraculously, the poet's escape from court leads to imaginative

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion


effort, showing that, as Sidney says in The New Arcadia, 'ease' is 'the nurse of poetry' (I; Skretkowicz ed. 24). Most critics agree that the poem 'describes ... a water-fete that in all likliehood actually took place' (Fowler 59; see the Variorum Edition 8: 662-4). If so, Spenser presents the second stage of the poetic process. The poet converts fact into fiction - the equivalent in The Faerie Queene of converting London into Cleopolis. Hence, the catalogue of flowers in stanza 2 (30-4) functions like the catalogue of trees in the Wood of Error (l.i.8-9>, except that here the allegorized flowers ('the virgin Lillie, and the Primrose trew' [33]) reveal that the poet has escaped from a world of error to enter a garden of allegorical forms." Accordingly, Spenser uses causal language ('With that') to introduce the two swans. As the pun on 'Somers-heat' in line 67 reveals, the two swans figure the Somerset sisters. In realizing this, we can see the poet completing the second stage. Although withdrawing from 'Princes Court' in frustration, he imaginatively molds individual court members - the Somerset sisters - into allegorical ideals he hopes the sisters will 'aread' (see DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 142-56). Hence, in this second part the Nymphs perform actions for the swansisters like the process of writing allegory. Fowler notes that 'much of the poem goes in flower gathering and flower arrangement,' even though 'these operations are not now attended to very carefully': the garlands the Nymphs make are 'poems,' their baskets 'stanzas,' the basket twigs 'lines,' and the Lay an 'aspect' of Prothalamion itself (61, 64-5). Fowler concludes: 'It would be surprising if all this representation of garland-making did not give some clue to Prothalamion's formal structure' (66). He anticipates a salient point. In the flower ceremony, Spenser allegorizes the process of allegorical creation. We see the making of an allegorical image, created out of the garden of allegorical forms.12 Spenser's use of the swan image further suggests a self-reflexive allegory. According to Rosemary Freeman, 'the swan was often used by emblem writers as the symbol of the poet ... But in Prothalamion the swans symbolize marriage in general, and the two brides for whose wedding the poem was written in particular' (104). While usefully reminding us of the link between the swan and the poet, perhaps Freeman brushes the link aside too quickly in attending to Spenser's literal use of the symbol. Although the swans are clearly not symbols of the poet alone, neither are they merely symbols of the brides in their state of marriage. Rather, they are symbols of the juncture between the two - of the poet's power to 'fashion' the feminine Other in the shape of the


Spenser's Famous Flight

self. As such, the swans are symbols of the poet's creation - a quite literal insignium poetarum. In the swan allegory, Spenser figures the fashioning process underlying his poetics.13 Thus the vehicle for the swans' appearance, the river, becomes a figure for the swan-poet's inspiration, as the refrain hints: 'Sweet Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.'14 The poet who has left court for the river 'chaunce[s] to espy' the very process of poetic creation he has become 'sullein' about. Significantly, though, by recalling The Faerie Queene we can interpret this key event: chance signals the working of grace.15 The poet receives grace because, however frustrated, he retains his faith, revealed in the causal link between the refrain and the swans' arrival: 'Sweete Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song. / With that, I saw two Swannes' (36-7). Through grace grounded in faith, he recovers his role as a prophetic poet. He transforms the sisters into swans to reverse the failed ideology that made his idle hopes 'flye away.' In doing so, he envisions his own allegory at work. Just as the Nymphs' actions allegorize the poetic process by which idealized allegorical images are created, so the creations themselves, the swan-brides, act out the allegorical quest - a water voyage down the Thames. Thus a parallel exists not merely between the poet and the Nymphs, but also between the poet and the swan-brides. According to Berger, Spenser's 'description of the brides emphasises the same tendencies and implies the same problems' (514). Berger finds a clue to the brides' problem in the often-noted ambiguity of the refrain: 'In the phrase, "Against the Brydale day," against may mean in preparation for, looking forward to or in avoidance of, hoping to fend off; "which is not long" may mean the bridal day is not far off, but also, it is a very short day' (513). The brides have 'their own version of the escape impulse' (514); they are secretly unwilling to marry (see 'Loves dislike' at line 99). Berger refers to the 'feminine love psychology' in Books ill and IV of The Faerie Queene, 'especially in the treatment of Belphoebe and Amoret, in his portrayal of the virgin's natural daunger as well as her natural fear and desire of erotic possession' (514). The swan-brides are in danger of mirroring the poet's mood in stanza i. Pressure from the reality of marriage threatens to transform their dream of marriage into an 'empty shaddow.' They, too, seem in danger of inverting the visionary ideology of The Faerie Queene. Just as Belphoebe and Amoret are conceived through the sun 'upon a Sommers ... day' (lll.vi.6), so another set of sisters, the Somersets, are 'bred of Somers heat.' The details suggest that Spenser evokes The Faerie Queene to motivate Elizabeth and Katherine to 'aread' Belphoebe and Amoret well.

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion


Berger's reading helps explain Spenser's allegorical method in this part of the poem. Spenser refers or alludes to myths that, in the context of a betrothal poem, often arrest the reader's attention. Such a strategy of imitation reveals that here the poet furthers the humanist aims from his earlier work, especially The Faerie Queene. In stanza 3, for example, he refers to Leda's rape by the swan, Jove. Literally, Spenser uses the myth in an elaborate ploce to praise the whiteness or purity of the swans. Jove is not as white as they, 'Yet Leda was they say as white as he, / Yet not so white as these, nor nothing neare; / So purely white they were' (44-6). According to the editors of the Explicator, 'Spenser successfully conveys an impression of the godlike passion represented in the espousal.'16 While this reading is consistent with the surface of the text, it overlooks the tragic resonance the myth inescapably evokes. Such resonance emerges clearly in Spenser's most memorable use of the Leda myth - on the tapestries of Busirane's Castle (FQ III.xi.32), which hint precisely at Amoret's problem with 'daunger.' According to Berger, 'since the divine rape may project both sides of the threat to feminine self-control - wish-fulfilment as well as nightmare force - its appearance in Prothalamion, even though relatively circumspect, disturbs the bland surface of celebration' (515). The myth, within the framework of the swans' quest, works allegorically. Read literally, it inspires virtuous behaviour through its praise; read figuratively, it warns against 'daunger.'17 In stanza 4, in presenting the Nymphs' 'amazed' sight of the two swans, Spenser may be using a Virgulan myth in a similar way: they stood amazed still, Their wondring eyes to fill, Them seem'd they never saw a sight so fayre, Of Fowles so lovely, that they sure did deeme Them heavenly borne, or to be that same payre Which through the Skie draw Venus silver Teeme, For sure they did not seeme To be begot of any earthly Seede, But rather Angels or of Angels breede. (Prothalamion 58-66)

For the image of Venus and her swans, critics usually refer to Horace's Odes (IV. i) or Ovid's Metamorphoses (x.yiy-iS; see the Variorum Edition 8: 498; Maclean ed. 546, n. 2). Neither of these poems, however, treats the question, so central to Spenser's passage, of whether Venus is a goddess or a real woman. To find a Venus/swan passage that treats this question, we may turn to a passage in the Aeneid - and one that Spenser draws on


Spenser's Famous Flight

in The Faerie Queene: Aeneas' sight of his mother, Venus, in disguise as a mortal: 'by what name should I call thee, O maiden? for thy face is not mortal nor has thy voice a human ring: O goddess surely!'18 In the Aeneid, this event functions as a revelation, for Venus reveals to Aeneas the location of his shipwrecked landing (Carthage) and prophesies his reunion with his lost ships: 'I bring thee tidings of thy comrades restored ... Lo! yonder twelve swans in exultant line, which the bird of Jove... was scattering ... now in long array they seem ... to be settling in their places' (1.390-6). When Venus turns away, Aeneas recognizes his mother, and although he complains of her mysterious behaviour, he benefits from her powers on his voyage to the New Troy. Like Aeneas before his mother, Spenser's Nymphs are dazzled by their sight of the swans' beauty, which they believe comes from heaven. On the surface of the text, they turn out to be mistaken: 'Yet were they bred of Somers-heat they say, / In sweetest Season, when each Flower and weede / The earth did fresh aray, / So fresh they seem'd as day' (67-70). The swans only 'seem' to be 'of Angels breede.' In fact, they are mortals, the Somerset sisters, bred on 'earth' and subject to withering just as 'Flowers' are. Yet the text shows a further complication. The impregnating force is 'Somers-heat' - the sun itself, the divine force of creation (Apollo is the god of poets). Significantly, Spenser twice uses the Virgilian myth in the Belphoebe story (ll.iii.33 and Hl.v.35). Like Belphoebe (and Amoret), the Somerset sisters are incarnations of heavenly light (literally, of heat). In short, Spenser may evoke the Virgilian myth to suggest the divine nature of the brides' beauty, to remind them of the mortality of their physical beauty, and to alert them to the proper use of their powers, service toward a national destiny - an idea confirmed by the end of the poem, when the swan-brides sail into Troynovant. In stanza 5, Spenser uses two additional Ovidian myths in similarly allegorical ways: the myth of Daphne and Apollo, and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The Nymphs, we learn, throw 'Great store of Flowers' from their baskets onto the 'goodly Birds,' strewing 'all the Waves' (74-7), That like old Peneus Waters they did seeme, When downe along by pleasant Tempes shore Scattred with Flowres, through Thessaly they streeme, That they appeare through Lillies plenteous store, Like a Brydes Chamb lamion 78-82)

Here, writes Berger, a 'sense of loss, of pain and passage, presses into

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Right in Prothalamion


the bridal vision': 'time, change and death lace the fluid landscape ... Lilies symbolise virginity and death, cut lilies symbolise marriage as a death to virginity, and [thus], marriage is merely one of the steps to death' (517). The idea of 'scattred ... Flowers,' of 'streaming],' and the haunting anatomical suggestion of 'Brydes Chamber flore' support this meaning. Spenser's association of the Thames with the Peneus may recall more than the often cited ode of Catullus (64.278-88; see the Variorum Edition 8: 499; Maclean ed. 547, n. 4). Tempe is the site of two events central to Prothalamion: possession by the 'daunger' of love and the triumph of poetry over time and death. Tempe is dedicated to Apollo, the god of poetry and the lover of Daphne. According to Ovid, Daphne was the daughter of Peneus but 'she hat[ed] as a haynous crime the bond of bridely bed."9 When Apollo chased her, she prayed to her father and turned into a laurel tree; thereafter, Apollo crowned poets and heroes with the garland of the laurel. Like Daphne, the swan-brides seem to fear marriage, but several verbal echoes suggest that Spenser actually had the Ovidian myth in mind. Spenser's 'Lillies' recall Daphne's 'lillie armes' (604; trans. Golding); the 'Scattred' flowers recall Daphne's 'scattred haire' (664); and Spenser's flowers that 'streame' may recall Daphne's 'golden haire' that 'did wave ... behind hir backe' (643-4).20 Moreover, insofar as Spenser's Nymphs figure the poet, it seems significant that immediately following the Peneus reference they 'two Garlands bound' and crowned the 'snowie Foreheads' of the two swans (83-6). In the Nymphs' crowning of the swans, Spenser allegorically figures the poet's crowning of heroines through poetry - further inspiration for completing their water quest. In effect, he self-reflexively alludes to his own 'laureate' role, for the laurel is a figure of poetic fame. In short, he may use the myth in part to suggest the danger emerging when ladies fear wedded love, and in part to reveal the poet's role in triumphing over this problem through his art. Like Daphne, Eurydice was from Tempe, and Orpheus was the son and student of Apollo. According to Ovid, after Orpheus lost Eurydice a 'second tyme' (x.64; trans. Golding), he 'did utterly eschew / The womankynd' (88-9). After his own death, his lyre continued to sound and his head to sing as they floated down the Hebrus (xi.iff.), while his spirit descended to Hades where 'he found his wyfe Eurydicee' (70). Spenser's 'Brydes' accompanied by 'Nymphes' recall Eurydice, 'the Bryde' that 'did rome / Abrode accompanyde with a trayne of Nymphes too bring her home' (X-7-8), while Spenser's Nymphs 'thr[owing]' flowers on the Brides vaguely recollect the Maenads 'throw[ing] their


Spenser's Famous Flight

Thyrses greene' at Orpheus during his death (XI.29-3O), and the imagery of streaming and scattering recalls those 'Nymphes of brookes and woods' who appear at the bard's death - 'uppon theyr streames [they] did sayle / With scattred heare' (51-2). Finally, Spenser's Nymphs who scatter the Flowers so that 'through Thessaly they streame' recall Orpheus' dismemberment, especially if, as Fowler argues, the flowers are poetic flowers. As with the Daphne myth, Spenser may evoke the Orpheus myth to acknowledge possible problems in marriage, to encourage the sisters to overcome their fear, and to assert the poet's reliance on fame and glory to transcend time and death.21 Despite these echoes, critics overlook the Orpheus allusion in the Peneus river passage. In Virgils Gnat, however, the poet addresses Teneus' during an Orpheus passage (177-84). Indeed, Prothalamion seems permeated by the Orphic myth. Later, in the reference to the 'Lee' 'making his streame run slow' (115-18), we can detect an 'allusion to Orpheus' slowing of the Peneus' (Fowler 74). But this whole passage (109-18) seems indebted to Ovid's myth as well. Spenser's song that resounds a 'gentle Eccho from the neighbour ground' (112) recalls Orpheus' song to which *bothe the banks in moorning wyse made answer too the same' (XI.57). Spenser's Lee that 'lackt a tong' (116) recalls the head of Orpheus with its 'livelesse toong' making 'a certeine lamentable noyse' (55-6). Moreover, Spenser's catalogue of flowers (stanza 2) may be indebted to Ovid's catalogue of trees in the Orpheus myth (x.93ff.), often cited as the source for Spenser's catalogue in the Wood of Error (Hamilton, FQ 32, n. l.i.8:i-4). And Spenser's refrain is, as Cain says, an 'Orphic incantation charming the river' ('Orpheus' 46). Even the association of the two grooms with 'the twins of Jove' (173) Castor and Pollux - bears an Orphic significance. According to Diodorus Siculus, during the voyage of the Argo, Orpheus 'saved the company in a storm by praying to the Dioskuroi, gods of mariners, because he was the only one who had been initiated in their mysteries' (4.43.1, qtd in Guthrie 28-9). These Orphic allusions cohere to suggest that Spenser in Prothalamion asserts the Orphic program of poetic fame and glory from his earlier poetry - especially The faerie Queened In the 'Lay' of stanza 6, Spenser further clarifies his Orphic role. In Book IV, canto x of The Faerie Queene, Spenser writes the Hymn to Venus (44-7), sung by an anonymous 'one,' as an Orphic hymn (Cain, 'Orpheus' 37). In Prothalamion, the 'Lay' for the swan-brides is also sung by an anonymous 'one' (87). If Berger is right about the brides' problem, as well as about their success in solving the problem, we may wonder how they solve it. If they fear marriage at the beginning but accept it at

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalatnion


the end, how do they change? The song, I suggest, may be the source; it serves as the visionary core of their quest, the moment of epiphany - in Britomart's quest, the equivalent of Merlin's prophecy (m.iii.24-5o). The song thus becomes what we might call an Orphic hymn adjusted to the prothalamic circumstance. The two parts of the traditional Orphic hymn reappear in the two parts of the 'Lay.' Lines 91-3, which invoke the 'Gentle Birdes' as 'the worlds faire ornament, / And heavens glorie,' correspond to the Orphic invocation to the deity. Lines 94-108, which pray for 'Joy' and 'Peace' in the forthcoming marriage, correspond to the Orphic prayer.23 Through Spenser's design, the refrain of the poem as a whole functions as the conclusion of the 'Lay.' Thus what Cain says of the former we can say of the latter: it is an 'Orphic incantation charming the river.' As an adjusted Orphic hymn, the 'Lay' magically aims to protect the brides from their fear of marriage and to teach them the value of marriage in society.24 The prayer in the 'Lay' also confirms the ambiguities and ambivalences already noted: 'let' Venus and Cupid 'remove / All Loves dislike, and friendships faultie guile' (96-9). Here the 'daunger' becomes explicit, and the singer uses her powers of love to triumph over fear and hate. As verbal echoes reveal, the song captures the essence of chaste married love - in Epithalamion, in Books lll-iv of The Faerie Queene, and in the Hymnes of Earthly Love and Beautie.25 As in the Gardens of Adonis, Spenser hopes that Venus and Cupid will live in harmony in the brides' lives - 'faire Venus, that is Queene of love, / With her heart-quelling Sonne upon you smile' (96-7). As an adjusted Orphic hymn, the 'Lay' defends heroic love and directs the reader - the Somerset sisters, the larger Elizabethan audience, and even the general reader - to the role Prothalamion plays in his or her life. In part 2, then, the poet completes the second stage of the poetic process. Through faith augmented by grace, he sees a vision in which poetry (the 'Lay') transforms valuable members of 'Princes Court' (the swan-brides). In seeing the swans' progress, the poet sees the success of his own poetry; he sees his own value as a poet within society. Return to History and Politics: Stanzas 8-w Hence, in part 3 (stanzas 8-10) the poet sees the procession enter 'mery London.' His sight prompts him to recall the city as 'my most kyndly Nurse, / That to me gave this Lifes first native sourse' (127-9), and to refer to the 'house of auncient fame' from which he takes his 'name' (130-1). In the narrative, the autobiography is arresting, for it literally


Spenser's Famous Flight

'breaks' the allegorical vision of the swans' progress. But, as commentators note, the poet's reference to his own life returns us to the beginning of the poem. While the structural design creates unity, the interruption reminds us that the poem is about the place of allegorical love poetry in Spenser's life - ultimately, in the reader's. The references to Spenser's birth and name in the context of 'fame' alert us to a symbolic process of identity resembling Redcrosse's experience atop the Mount of Contemplation, where the knight learns of his birth and name in the context of Christian glory; he learns the relation between Gloriana and God, Cleopolis (city of fame) and the New Jerusalem (l.x.53-67). Spenser shows himself amid this process when he presents the swans' progress passing the Temple (132-6). The short history of the Temple, in which the Templer Knights' 'decayd through pride' only to be replaced by 'the studious Lawyers' (134-6), indicates more than the obvious cultural change from a chivalric to a business or legal ideal (Berger 519; Fowler 79); it also indicates the poetic movement from timeless allegorical vision to current actuality. History becomes Spenser's way of dramatizing that movement. Significantly, however, the poet's own re-entry into actuality creates a final temptation to despair. 'Next' to the Temple 'standes a stately place,' formerly Leicester House, 'Where oft I gayned giftes and goodly grace / Of that great Lord, which therein wont to dwell, / Whose want too well now feeles my freendles case' (137-40). As in stanza i, the poet's own quest is threatened by his 'freendles case.' Suddenly, however, he remembers decorum: 'Ah here fits not well / Olde woes but joyes to tell' (141-2). By remembering his own poetic principles, he overcomes 'Olde woes' with new 'joyes.' Rather than interrupting the narrative, the Temple/ Leicester House passage dramatizes the poet's successful re-entry into time. As with the 'Lay' in the brides' quest, his own poetry, as he says in the Proem to Book VI, 'strength to ... [him] supplies, and chears ... [his] dulled spright' (i). As such, the passage is a microcosm of the pattern in the poem as a whole. Feeling the pressure of 'woe,' the poet triumphs over it through inspiration from his own poetry. His recovery prepares for stanza 9, his sight of the 'noble Peer, / Great Englands glory and the Worlds wide wonder' (145-6). Essex, by freeing his 'country' from 'forraine harmes,' 'ring[s]' 'great Elisaes glorious name' (156-7). According to Cain, the 'basic mythological figures underlying The Faerie Queene ... are Hercules and Orpheus ... the archetypes of the hero and the artist' ('Orpheus' 39). If Spenser does allude to Orpheus earlier, then the association of Essex with 'Hercules' in line 148 alerts us to a critical similarity between Prothalamion and the

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion


national epic. The Orphic poet celebrates the Herculean heroism inspired by Elizabeth's glory, 'Which some brave muse may sing / To ages following' (159-60). While the identity of the Ijrave muse' may be controversial, it inescapably evokes Spenser, his Faerie Queene, and its goal of fame and glory, as the reference to Essex as 'great Englands glory' indicates, and as the phrase about Elizabeth confirms: 'great Elisaes glorious name.'26 In Book I, Spenser's association of Mount Sinai and Mount Olivet with Parnassus (x.53~4) 'means that poetry too achieves a prophetic function' (O'Connell 144). The 'brave muse' passage may hint at poetry's 'prophetic function.' If so, the lines are self-reflexive in more than the obvious way. They prophesy Elizabeth's glory, and they prophesy the poet of The Faerie Queene to be the prophet of glory. They identify Spenser as England's prophetic poet by prophesying future books about the sovereign of glory. As such, the action of Prothalamion originates in concern over The Faerie Queene, moves to a vision analogous to it, and concludes with a tactful prophecy of future books in the national epic itself. But, if in the "brave muse' passage Spenser does identify his own prophetic function, does his prophecy reach eternity (as he hints in Book I)? Spenser's recurrent imagery of stellification helps us answer this question. In addition to the brides' association with Venus and her swans (Cygnus) and with Cynthia, the grooms' association with the Gemini, and Essex's association with Hesperus, we can find traces of all twelve of the zodiacal signs (121-2, 173-4, 164 respectively; Fowler 66-73). In Book VI of The Faerie Queene, during the Mount Acidale episode, Spenser likens the beauty of Colin's Dance of the Graces to 'the Crowne, which Ariadne wore': 'Being now placed in the firmament ... is unto the starres an ornament, / Which round about her move in order excellent' (x.i3). This principle of stellification or transcendence is consistent with the ending of Epithalamion, with its prophecy of the newlyweds' creation of children who are destined to 'inherit' the 'heavenly tabernacles' (422); with the ending of The Mutabilitie Cantos, with its vision of 'all' resting 'eternally / With Him that is the God of Sabbaoth hight' (viii.2); and with the ending of Fowre Hymnes, with its espial of 'that soveraine light, / From whose pure beams al perfect beauty springs' (295-6). But in Prothalamion Spenser appears to reverse the principle of stellification or transcendence in order to approximate a principle of incarnation or immanence. Divine power takes up residence on earth. The stellar imagery works down, rather than up. Although Spenser associates the Somerset sisters with Venus, with Cyn-


Spenser's Famous Flight

thia, and with 'Angels/ he does so to emphasize the divine origin and nature of very real women. Similarly, although he associates Essex with Hesperus, he does so to emphasize the divine origin 'and nature of a very real man. The principle of immanence emerging from the stellar imagery reinforces the movement back into the historical world and may aim to show how history partakes of eternity, fame of glory. Accordingly, in stanza 10 Essex 'descendis] to the Rivers open vewing' (166; emphasis added), 'Like radiant Hesper' bathing his 'golden hayre / In th'Ocean billowes' (164-5), in order to unite 'two gentle Knights' (169) with 'two faire Brides' (176). Essex's 'descent' recalls Arthur's role as a figure of grace when reuniting Redcrosse and Una in Book I (cantos vii-viii). Spenser seems careful to associate Essex with the prince in other ways. He likens both to Hesperus (l.vii.3O and line 164) and to Hercules (l.vii.iy and line 148). He calls Essex that 'faire branch of Honor, flower of Chevalrie' (150), an echo of Arthur, that 'faire braunch of noblesse, flowre of chevalrie' (l.viii.26). And he says that Essex performs heroic deeds that sound 'great Elisaes glorious name' (157), an echo of Arthur, who heroically searches for Gloriana.27 Evidently, Spenser identifies Essex with Arthur because he aims to remind the great lord of his ideal form. This reminder is necessary because of Essex's propensity for pride - concealed in the meaning of 'those high Towers' (163) from which he steps (Fowler 82-3). Like Arthur, the 'noble Peer' (145) is on an allegorical quest, fraught with its own danger. Significantly, however, Essex is a real man associated with an allegorical hero; Arthur, an allegorical hero figuring a real man (Essex). The reversal of the allegorical method in The Faerie Queene, along with that noted by Hughes, in which the 'birdes' become 'brides/ signals the end of the swan allegory. In the third part of the poem, then, Spenser may be introducing a 'probable means of coming out of [the allegory].' The allegorical swans' entry into a real London and their transformation from Tardes' into 'brides' is Spenser's way of dramatizing the effect of allegory on their lives. They experience the poet's allegorical vision, they literally live through one of his allegorical quests, then they 'come out of it.' Their experience with the poet's allegory of love transforms them so that they unite happily with the grooms. In this light, the Cynthia simile ending stanza 7, in which the swan-brides surpass 'all the foule' who have arrived, 'as Cynthia doth shend / The lesser starres' (121-2), may serve as a transitional device between the second and third parts. Critics often see here a reference to Elizabeth (Norton, 'Tradition' 238; Woodward 42-3), but they do not ask why Spenser would associate the swanbrides with their sovereign - especially at this point in the poem. In The

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion


Faerie Queene, a female who reads the allegory carefully would imitate Elizabeth's virtues, since, as Spenser often tells us, several of his heroines - Gloriana, Britomart, Belphoebe - imitate the queen's virtues. The Cynthia reference reveals that the swan-brides have successfully read the Spenserian allegory of their own quest. They have fully imitated their sovereign. Only when the brides imitate 'Cynthia' can they transform vision into action. At precisely this point, the allegory breaks and the 'birdes' enter London as 'brides.' Similarly, the poet's own transformation of allegorical vision (the swans' progress) into actuality (London) is Spenser's way of dramatizing the effect of allegory on his own life. Like the brides, he lives through an allegory of love, is transformed by it, and 'comes out of it/ thus recovering from his earlier dejection by re-envisioning Elizabeth's glory. Finally, Essex experiences the transformation as well, for he is its narrative agent. By uniting the swan-brides with the 'gentle Knights/ he demonstrates his imitation of the glorious Arthur. Only then are the allegorical Inrdes' transformed into real 'brides.' Stanzas 8-10 thus use imagery of history and politics to figure a world beyond allegory. They show what happens when readers read allegory carefully. The poet, the brides, and Essex all serve Elizabeth, the source of their glory. Spenser transgresses the allegorical method of The Faerie Queene to figure the effect of allegory on poet and readers. The realism of the final stanzas is inconsistent with the earlier allegory because Spenser presents a 'meta-allegory' in order to defend the process by which the poet directs the reader's responsible action. By innovatively figuring a defence of allegorical love poetry, the 'Spousall Verse' takes poetry one step further than the national epic. In this sense, Prothalamion is a defence of allegorical love poetry in The Faerie Queene - and thereby of Spenser's past career as a whole.28 Reopening the New Poet's Career Prothalamion is also a projection of Spenser's continuing career. Recently, A. Kent Hieatt has assembled compelling evidence for thinking that Spenser planned to continue The Faerie Queene beyond Book vi and The Mutabilitie Cantos.29 Spenser's reference to 'Some brave muse' singing 'great Elisaes glorious name' and 'Great Englands glory' advertises his plan to continue his epic. Additional evidence for this view exists in the structure of Prothalamion itself. We have seen that part i (stanza i) relies on pastoral images of career retreat to model the poet's withdrawal from the court; that part 2 (stan-


Spenser's Famous Flight

zas 2-7) relies on epic images of heroic voyage to the city and then on lyric images of wedded love to model the swans' reliance on a divinely ordained love lyric - an 'epithalamium' - to motivate the continuation of their epic voyage; and that part 3 (stanzas &-io) relies on images of history and politics to model the swans' and the poet's return to the city. Spenser's structure, then, looks like this: Part Part Part Part

i: 2a: 2b: 3:

Stanza i: Stanzas 2-5: Stanzas 6-7: Stanzas 8-10:

Withdrawal to the River: Voyage to the City: Lay of Wedded Love: Entry into the City:

Pastoral Epic Interrupted Hymnic Love Lyric Epic Continued

The structure of Prothalamion resembles the generic contour of Spenser's Orphic career that I have been delineating. The significant variation may reveal his intention late in the autumn of 1596. Part i corresponds to the pastoral phase of The Shepheardes Calender, part 23 to the epic phase of the 1590 Faerie Queene, and part 2b to the love-lyric phase of the Antoretti-Epithalamion volume - that phase permitting the New Poet to continue his national epic. However, in Prothalamion Spenser necessarily varies the four-part generic pattern by folding the hymn into the love lyric, reversing the pattern of transcendence to create a pattern of immanence. Thus part 3 allegorizes both the 1596 Faerie Queene and a plan to reopen the New Poet's epic career after he has closed it with Fowre Hymnes. Nominally a poem celebrating a double marriage, Prothalamion is also a 'meta-allegory' of the poet's ongoing career. Closing the Orphic Circle While Spenserians often see The Mutabilitie Cantos as the coda of Spenser's career, Prothalamion functions as a coda of an equally powerful kind. Mutabilitie moves from time to 'the pillours of Eternity' (vil.viii.2); Prothalamion, from eternity to the pillars of time. In Prothalamion, Spenser's transformation of Inrdes' into brides' reverses Spenser's escapist tendency by assimilating vision to history in order to defend the ethical and political potency of allegory in The Faerie Queene.^ Whereas most recent historical critics argue that Spenser at the end of his career 'comes home to the pastoral, the personal, and the amorous' (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 97), I believe that Spenser in Prothalamion follows this arc only to close the circle. Through grace augmented by faith, he comes home, not to Colin's pastoral Ireland, but to his own civic 'London,' overcoming his escape into otium by assimilating pastoral and love

Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion


lyric to epic, the personal to the public. The poem's three-part structure - withdrawal, vision, and history - dramatizes the ideal The Faerie Queene promotes, an ideal confirmed by the elaborate strategy of imitation linking the poem with earlier poetry - both the New Poet's and that in the Western tradition. Spenser may have had trouble following this ideal, but Prothalamion shows he had not abandoned the quest. Presumably, his life would follow the pattern outlined by the hermit Contemplation to Redcrosse. When 'high emongst all knights [thou] hast hong thy shield, / Thenceforth the suit of earthly conquest shonne' (l.x.oo; see Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 99 and n. 54). However, Prothalamion indicates that the poet's time, like the knight's, had not yet come. What Lawrence Manley says about The Faerie Queene I apply to Prothalamion: 'a triumphant act of Orphic reconstruction, a recreation of a city that will stand against the flow of time' (210). Spenser qualifies as a 'brave muse' because he confronts what he fears most, mutability, through what he most believes, the power of his Orphic paradigm of fame and glory to triumph over time for the benefit of culture: 'Sweet Themmes runne softly, till I end my Song.' The refrain captures all of Spenser's fears yet all of his hopes: his fear that the source of his inspiration will run dry; his hope that it will not. Yet the refrain does more than balance fear and hope to create tension between the two; it transcends the balance, precisely expressing the pattern of the poem as a whole: surging fear calmed by anchored hope, haunting despair thrilled by piercing faith, greedy hate fulfilled by priceless love. In the refrain, I do not hear 'the sound of an ending, an impending withdrawal from the public world,' but rather Herculean resistance to that ending, Orphic incantation against that withdrawal. As M.L. Wine reminds us, Themmes' puns on tempus; the river is 'associated in the poet's mind with time and mutability,' the forces that destroy 'human beauty and dignity' (43 and n. 9). Throughout his career, Spenser represents the devastating temporal agent of mutability by relying on a conventional yet haunting image: Time ... / ...flyes about, and with his flaggy wings / Béates downe both leaves and buds without regard, / Ne ever pittie may relent his malice hard' (FQ III.vi.39). m Prothalamion, however, the poet relies on a winged art of fame and glory to triumph over 'sweete Themmes' (see Wine 45). More than a gift for the Somerset sisters, the 'Spousall Verse' is a gift for an entire culture. Assimilating private vision to national history, Prothalamion reveals how Spenser helps his reader continue the quest for Gloriana. Late in the autumn of 1596, the New Poet bears the flaggy wings of time. He rescans the famous flight.

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Introduction: Scanning the Famous Flight 1 Modern editors who accept the six-volume chronology include Maclean ed. xv-xvi; Hamilton, FQ viii-xii; Roche ed. 9-10; and Qram et al. xvi-xviii. See Judson 187-91; Mohl 670. Although we rarely know the dates of Spenser's compositions, we can rely more certainly on the chronology of his publications. Thus I distinguish between Spenser the man, whose biography remains largely incomplete, and his New Poet, whose career fiction the man presents in considerable detail. Certainly, we can occasionally infer autobiography from the fiction (as in Prothalamiori), but I emphasize the fiction Spenser tells about the New Poet's career. 2 In 'Who Fashioned Edmund Spenser?' Brink challenges the common assumption that Spenser authorized the publication of Complaints. She argues that the often inflammatory politics of the volume (especially with respect to Lord Burleigh) make Spenser's authorization of it extremely unlikely in 1591. Her argument is significant here because it suggests that Spenser did not consider the complaint a vital link in the generic chain of his literary career. I extend this idea to Colin Clout. I take up the issue of both volumes briefly in chapter i. As this study was on its way to typesetting, I made a discovery about the role of the Complaints in the New Poet's career that, had it come earlier, would have affected the structure of my basic argument. See chapter i, note 18. 3 The critics include MacCaffrey, Helgerson, D.L. Miller, DeNeef, Bernard, and Alpers. I examine their arguments in chapter i. The terms 'courtly' and 'contemplative' I borrow from Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence. 4 For Campbell, 'divine poetry* is a genre of verse based on Scripture (Divine Poetry 4-6) established by Du Bartas (78-80). She suggests that


Notes to pages 7-10

Spenser was influenced by the Du Bartas movement to turn to divine poetry at the end of his career (86), and she cites Fowre Hymnes as evidence (89-91; see her essay The Christian Muse'; Heninger, Sidney and Spenser 327; and chapters i and 5). Petrarch did not invent the love lyric, but he influenced Spenser's experiments in the love-lyric sequence, AMORETTI AND Epithalamion (see chapters i and 4). 5 See Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates: The 'something of great constancy at the center of the laureate's work is easily defined. It is the poet himself. His deliberately serious poetic is grounded on a serious, centered self (40). 6 For histories of fame and its centrality to Western thought, see Benjamin; Koonce; Boitani; and especially Braudy. See also Vermeulen on the semantic development of gloria in early-Christian Latin - especially 'the encounter of the classical gloria [fame, renown, honour] with the biblical SóCa' (Hebrew kabad 'weight, riches, importance, renown': glory - with both profane and sacred significations [4-7]). On true fame as leading to salvation in the Bible, see Koonce 17-18, citing Matthew 5: 16 and 6: 1-4. On Augustine's use of fame, see Koonce 17-18 passim; Boitani 47-8 passim; Braudy 161-74 passim. According to Wills, the City of God is 'a kind of anti-Aeneid' and the Confessions 'the soul's Aeneid' (1023,1024). On Chaucer's use of fame, see Koonce; Boitani; Braudy 239-50. On Dante's use of fame, see Braudy 226-64; Boitani 73-90. On individual fame as a defining trait of the Renaissance, see Burckhardt, The Modern Idea of Fame' 151-62; Elton 45-52; Boitani 103; Braudy 340, 251-9, 265-8, 282-3, 286 - with qualifications by Huizinga 69-72. On the Renaissance 'doctrine of poetic glory,' see Clements 673-4, 676-7, 681, 683-5. On the problematics of this doctrine and its potential contradiction of Christian conscience, especially as expressed by Petrarch, see Kerrigan and Braden 19-22; see also Boitani 103-58, especially 124. In distinguishing between 'immortality' and 'eternity/ I am indebted to Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence, who follows Hannah Arendt (27-8). Boitani reminds us that 'fame is language' (72). 7 According to Boitani, Robert Holcot, who offers 'the richest and most interesting discussions of fame in fourteenth-century England' (141), 'maintains that "immortality" can be understood "really and singularly" as "eternal glory" ' (142). Curiously, we lack a detailed analysis of fame and glory in Spenser. The Spenser Encyclopedia lacks an entry on either term; and the three books on fame mentioned in note 6 do not discuss Spenser. None the less, on Spenser's positing of a close relation between fame and glory, see Rathborne 1-61 ('the service of Gloriana is ... a stage upon the road to celestial glory' [19]); Bradbrook ('Fame for him was

Notes to pages lo-ii


wedded to eternity' [109]); McNamee 137-59 ('Spenser conceived the pursuit of glory in the active life in time a means of meriting the peace and glory of the Heavenly Jerusalem in eternity' [155]); Quiñones 243, 246, 255, 260, 275-6 (the 'polarity of fame and religious renewal seems to be reconciled in his life' [251]). See also C.S. Lewis, English Literature 382-3; Kouwenhoven 18-28. Cf. Kaske, 'Spenser's Pluralistic Universe' 132-42, who disagrees. However, she neglects the one recurrent image in Spenser's poetry that I believe confirms his reconciling of fame and glory, to be discussed presently. For a comparison between Spenser and Augustine on fame and glory, see Rathborne 6-14 and 20. 8 On Augustine and epic, see Fichter 8-22; Kane, Spenser's Moral Allegory ix, 5-6, 16, 24, 182 and 'Fathers, Latin' 303-4. See also Rathborne 5-14 passim. Hardison sees Augustine influencing the hymn and thus the lyric in general (The Enduring Monument 97; see also Ellrodt 171-82). On Augustine in Spenser's pastoral, see Heninger, Sidney and Spenser 310. Of course, Luther, Calvin, and the Reformers rely heavily on Augustine (McNeill, 'Introduction' to Calvin, Institutes Ivii-lix). On Augustine's aesthetics of 'multeity in unity,' see Heninger, Sidney and Spenser 182-96; Heninger argues that Spenser works from an Augustinian aesthetics in The Shepheardes Calender, The Faerie Queene (especially Books i-ni), Amoretti/Epithalamion, and Fowre Hymnes, as well as in other poems (305-95), but he places this aesthetics only briefly in the context of 'the Vergilian pattern' of pastoral and epic (382). In relating St Augustine to Spenser, I follow Kane: 'Spenser's Augustinian filiation is complex, at once an effect of the general patristic influence on medieval thought and expression in such authors as Chaucer ... and of Reformation thinkers like Calvin, who ... boast[ed] ... "Augustine is completely on our side." ... There is also the influence of Augustine on the syncretic traditions of the Neoplatonists, particularly Ficino ... Because of the pervasive character of the Augustinian philosophical tradition, any specific indebtedness on Spenser's part to an Augustinian text is likely to remain doubtful' (Spenser's Moral Allegory 25, n. 2). 9 In my study, I have happily discovered that Drayton is often explicit about what I find more implicit in Spenser. See The Legend of Robert, Duke of Normandie, where a Christianized Fame argues against a classicized Fortune: 'I alone the Herald am of Heaven' (1619 ed. 295); and Times sacriligious rapine I defie, / A tributarte to eternitie' (1596 ed. 377). See also Idea 44: Tvly Name shall mount upon Eternitie' (14). On the similarity between Drayton's view of fame and Spenser's, see Benjamin 72, 74-5, 83. 10 On the poet as a bird, see Garrod 134, 150, 158; Chandler 78, 80-2; Doggett 547-51; J.N. Hough 3, 5. On 'the relationship between human art


Notes to pages


and the art or "art" of birds' by a philosopher, see Scharfstein 38-56. Unlike modern ornithologists, classical, medieval, and Renaissance authorities often classify insects as birds - including bees and grasshoppers (see Aelian, On Animals vi.ig). In The Parlement of Foules, Chaucer identifies the apian with the avian when calling bees 'foules smale' (353). However, I use the modern classification in part to narrow a very broad topic. Bees especially occupy a good deal of space on the literary and critical map (Virgil, Georgics IV; T.M. Greene, The Light in Troy 73-4, 84, 98-9, 147, 199-200), as does the cicada (Hesiod, Theogony 581-6; Plato, Phaedrus 259; Ariosto, Orlando Furioso XXXIV.77; Allen, ' "The Grasse-Hopper," ' in Image and Meaning 152-64). In part, I accommodate our modern sense of what the word avian means. 11 Throughout this study, I use the word sign to classify the avian image as a strategy of signification. I take Spenser's own cue in The Ruines of Time, when he writes of the 'snowie Swan/ Sidney: 'now he is become a heavenly signe' (601; see Aug 174 for a non-astrological usage). Among modern critics, I follow Kenneth Burke in using the term sign as a form of verbal entitlement. In 'What Are the Signs of What?' Burke reverses the conventional answer to his title question by arguing that 'things are the signs of words': 'in mediating between the social realm and the realm of nonverbal nature, words communicate to things the spirit that the society imposes upon the words which have come to be the "names" for them ... Things become the signs of the genius that resides in words. The things of nature ... become a vast pageantry of social-verbal masques and costumes and guildlike mysteries ... For man, nature is emblematic of the spirit imposed upon it by man's linguistic genius' (362). Burke concludes that nature 'must be ... a linguistically inspirited thing' (378). If so, nature 'would be infused with the spirit of words ... Nature ... would thus be full of ... gods in essence linguistic and sociopolitical.' Consequently, the 'world that we mistook for a realm of sheerly nonverbal, nonmental, visible, tangible things' is in fact a world of 'verbal entitlements' (379). I wish to show how importantly the avian qualifies as a thing of nature that poets then rely on as a sign of verbal entitlement. 12 Critics neglect the prerequisite paradox of pride and humility ordering the avian myth. On the prideful dimension, compare our most important 'flight' critic with our most important 'career' critic: 'the bird is privileged to be an intermediary/ playing a 'natural mediating role as messenger ... between Heaven and earth' (Hart, Images of Flight 19); and 'the laureate mediates between the eternal realm of perfect form and the temporal realm of death and birth' (Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 12). On Hesiod's selfreferential fable, see Daly; G.B. Ford; Pucci 61-72; Spariosu 1-55.

Notes to pages 13-14


13 Most critics see Virgil using the nightingale simile to evoke Orpheus' tragic failure of using poetry to free himself from the harshness of nature. See Segal, Orpheus 23, 45-6, 75-8- However, by emphasizing the ploughman's destruction of the nightingale's nest, Segal overlooks the value in the nightingale's song implied by Virgil's language, including the ring of fame: 'gelidis haec evolvisse sub antris, / mulcentem tigris et agentem carmine quercus; / qualis populea maerens philomela sub umbra / amissos queritur fetus, quos durus arator / observans nido implumis detraxit; at ilia / flet noctem, ramoque sedens miserabile carmen / intégrât, et maestis late loca questibus implet.' See T.M. Greene, The Light in Troy, on 'the restorative power of song' implied in Virgil's use of integrare (125). See also Putnam, Virgil's Poem of the Earth 310-11; A. Parry 52. Two imitators of Virgil's Orphic nightingale before Spenser adjust the idea of transcendence to Christianity: Petrarch, Rime sparse 311: 1-4; Gascoigne, The Complaynt of Phylomene 2: 178-81. 14 The only acknowledgment of this tradition that I have seen comes from Nagy, who says in a footnote on Alkman, 'On the basis of the self-references, I infer that this extension [Alkman's claim that he has learned his poetic art by imitating the voices of partridges] is not just a matter of metaphor: the mimesis of bird song seems to be part of an actual musical tradition' (Pindar's Homer 88, n. 35). Nagy refers to 'a Shawnee song tradition imitating the call of the turkey' (ibid). In chapter i, I confirm this suspicion by citing evidence from the Western poetic tradition itself. I am grateful to Professor Nagy for directing me to his discussion (personal communication). 15 Greenblatt discusses Spenser's 'appeal ... to an image of female power,' but he narrows the object to Queen Elizabeth in the context of only one genre, epic, and he emphasizes the 'costs' of Spenser's 'solution' of not limiting his treatment of feminine power to 'historical circumstances' (Renaissance Self-Fashioning 178). Several Spenser critics rely on, expand, or modify Greenblatt's original thesis about Renaissance self-fashioning: Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates 10-11, 23-4; Montrose, The Elizabethan Subject'; Crewe 19-21, 39; Bellamy, Translations of Power 4-5, 6-7 (n. 17), 8-14, passim. In 'Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood,' Freud argues that the bird is 'a symbol of motherhood' (XI: 88) and 'a pictorial representation of the idea of mother' (89) - especially the nursing mother (98), because the bird resembles the breast in its shape and texture (see also Wormhoudt; Schnier). Whatever its limitations, Freud's analysis directs us to something profound in Western poetics. The myth of the winged poet is intimately connected to the poet's identification with a feminine 'Other.' In one of its significances, the myth represents the femi-


Notes to pages 14-16

nine origin of the male poet's art. The most remarkable is that in which a bird lands on the lips of a poet or musician at his birth (Pliny, Natural History X.82). See also Pindar, Pythian Odes V.4.ii4-i5, trans. Bowra; Propertius, Elegies HI.iii.3i-2; Petrarch, Letter X, 'To Homer': 167-8; Du Bartas, Divine Weeks n.iv.i.931-41. 16 No mention of the myth appears in the Variorum Edition of Spenser's poetry, the recent editions of The Faerie Queene by Hamilton and Roche, and the recent edition of Spenser's shorter poems by Oram et al. In fact, only four essays treat Spenser's avian imagery at all; all four overlook Spenser's use of the avian myth as a metadiscursive sign: Harrison, They Tell of Birds 53-84; C.B. Hieatt, 'Stooping' (on Spenser, see 348-56); and two articles in The Spenser Encyclopedia: Hieatt, 'falconry'; Andrew, 'birds.' I do not agree with Andrew that Spenser's avian images come merely from classical and medieval encyclopaedias and bestiaries; they come from Virgil, Ovid, Dante, Chaucer, Petrarch, and the poets who prove vital to him. Only a few Spenser critics even refer to the poet as a bird; all confine themselves to brief discussions of 'flight' imagery as a sign of 'transcendence' or 'cage' imagery as a sign of 'failed' transcendence: Mallette, 'Spenser's Portrait' 23-4 and Spenser, Milton 37-9; Goldberg, Voice Terminal Echo 59 and passim; M. Turner 287-90; W. Johnson, Spenser's 'Amoretti' 181-2, 211-14, 25°-3- Nevertheless, many critics underscore the importance of avian imagery to their interpretation of certain key passages in various poems, examples of which I record in following chapters. 17 On Pegasus in the history of fame, including the connection between Pegasus and the bird, see Koonce 212 (n. 76), 276-7 (nn. 185-6), 279; Boitani 42-5, 54,131-4; Braudy 285-7. Boitani notes that Bernardus Silvestris in his commentary on Virgil fuses 'the Fulgentian interpretation of Pegasus and the Virgilian ecphrasis of Fame from the Aeneid ... into a single image' (54). On the accommodation of the classical winged horse to Christian symbolism, see Boitani 133: for Petrarch's friend Pierre Bersuire, 'Pegasus becomes the "glorified body" with which He resurrected and ascended to Heaven.' What Boitani says of Bersuire's treatment of a related myth of poetic fame and glory, that of Daphne and Apollo, I apply to the myth of Pegasus: 'A secular symbol of the immortality of poetry and of victory in arms becomes the religious emblem of divine eternity7 (134). 18 Coolidge i, n. 2; see also 12-13. In a Dedicatory Sonnet to the 1590 Faerie Queene, Spenser compares himself with 'that Mantuane Poetes incompared spirit' (12: i) and Walsingham with TVIecoenas' (3): This lowly Muse, that learns like steps to trace, / Flies for like aide unto your Patronage' (7-8). The wing imagery, I suggest, identifies the divinity of Spenser and his art,

Notes to pages 16-24



but it also hints at the goal of the patronage system: not just the transfer of money within time but the transfer of souls beyond time. For this thought, I have benefited from a conversation with my doctoral advisee, Jeffrey Morris, who is working on the topic of patronage in the SpenserRalegh connection. 19 My methodology depends on several corresponding assumptions, conveniently laid out by Lipking in The Life of the Poet (one of two books on the topic; the other is Helgerson's Self-Crowned Laureates). On role: an argument about a poet's career 'draws constantly on the poet's own point of view' (x-xi). On image as sign: 'Every major Western poet after Homer ... has left some work that records the principles of his own poetic development ... [We need to accept] the testimony of poems as decisive evidence about the way that poets conceive, or invent, their careers ...' (viii, x). On genre: 'genres are not collections of laws and precepts but possible ways of solving his [career] problems' (xi). On imitation: 'no poet becomes himself without inheriting an idea of what it means to be a poet' (viii). On poems: 'poems ... have always confided something about the life of a poet... his sense of a vocation and a destiny ... No view of poetry is worth our attention unless it can throw light on poems. This book must stand or fall on the quality of its readings' (viii, xiii). And on career: 'the attack on careerism [by Winters, Graves, and others] does not preclude the poet's need to shape some sort of career, some sense of destiny or vocation' (xii). Above all, I am intent to tell a story about the fictional shape of Spenser's career, and then to read each poem as it contributes to that story. My reading of Bakhtin's The Dialogic Imagination - thanks to my doctoral advisee Dominic Delli Carpini - leads me to speculate that Spenser may be telling more than one story about his career. Throughout, I seek to tell that part of the tale left untold. See chapter i. 20 Modern ornithology uses the term hawk to group the falcon, hawk, and eagle under the same class of birds, falconiformes. Spenser often elides the difference between the species: 'As Eagle fresh out of the Ocean wave ... / Like Eyas hauwke up mounts unto the skie' (FQ i.xi-34). i The Literary Career of the New Orphic Poet i On Spenser's attitude toward The Faerie Queene at the end of his career, see the Hieatt-Roche debate in Spenser Studies 8 and 9 (the 'Forum' section; see Works Cited under the authors). On Spenser's realistic materialism or idealistic essentialism, see Strier, who responds to Weiner's 'Protestant' argument on Spenserian pastoral, which itself objects to the 'political' argument of Montrose: 'What is odd about the current scene is that


Notes to pages 24-31

Montrose and Weiner should be at cross-purposes, or should be seen to be so. Our criticism has yet to learn to accommodate both the realism and idealism of a ... Spenser' (140). If this is the state of criticism, it is despite Colie: Spenser 'weds' Plato and Lucretius, a philosophy of essence or being with a philosophy of matter or becoming; 'he writes to unite two world views/ even though he 'remains determinedly Christian in his ultimate metaphysics' ('Being and Becoming in The Faerie Queene' 346). Colie identifies Spenser's original philosophy in the way he organized the two 'world views': 'He still drew an absolute terminal line between this world and the next, but he drew it above the realm of ideas, rather than below it, between that multifarious metaphysical world which he had united with the sensible world, and the Christian-Platonic state of blessedness, of perfect Being' (346-7). Throughout this study, I define materialism simply as a philosophy of matter; essentialism, as a philosophy of essence. The chief spokesmen are, as Colie indicates, Lucretius and Plato. For a Renaissance Christian syncretist like Spenser, a single 'world view' or ideology could combine the two. As such, the now popular binary formulation in Renaissance studies (Dollimore 249-71) is unfortunate, and it is a tacit aim of this study to interrogate criticism forged along one line or the other. For a critical model along a synthetic line, see Dubrow, A Happier Eden 3-4, 35-9; Dubrow and Strier 1-12. 2 Maclean's gloss on 'flye backe to heaven apace' initially cued me to identify this passage with the genre of the hymn: 'turn to a higher "kind" of poetry, inspired by divine love' (ed. 453, n. 4). On the similarity between the October passage and Fowre Hymnes, see the Variorum Edition 7, pt i: 387-8. In A Discourse of English Poetrie (1586), Webbe quotes the October passage as illustrating the Platonic tradition of the vates or poet inspired by 'celestiall instinction' (in G.G. Smith i: 232; see Meres, Palladis Tamia in Smith 2: 313). On the Augustinian aesthetics of October, see Heninger, Sidney and Spenser 309-10. Germaine Warkentin kindly alerts me to a newly discovered poem, 'Sacvyles Olde Age' (c. 1574), in which Thomas Sackville turns from youthful love poetry to divine poetry (220-36). The editors of this poem, Zim and Parkes, find precedents for Sackville's turn in Chaucer's retraction, Gower's Confessio Amantis, and Surrey's poetic career (Zim and Parkes 6). I return to Sackville later. 3 For an influential dialectical reading, see Cullen 68-75. For the continued influence of this reading, see Montrose, ' 'The perfecte paterne" ' 44; Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence 73-5, 77. On Spenser's simple following of Virgil, see Cain, 'Orpheus' 30; Ettin, The Georgics' 60-1; Sessions, 'Spenser's Georgics' 218. 4 Critics overlook the correspondence between the four genres in October

Notes to pages 31-7






and the four main works of Spenser's career, but for a hint see Maclean ed. 470. Typically, critics identify only the progression from pastoral to epic in the October passage, overlooking the love lyric but also the hymn (see Montrose, ' "The perfecte paterne" ' 44-5; W.J. Kennedy, 'Virgilian Legacies' 97-100). Intriguingly, Herman argues that October closes with Piers and Cuddie 'proposing an alternative model of poetic practice ... Catullan lyric expression rather than ... a Vergilian instrument of political reform' (22). This thesis resembles the commonplace argument about Spenser's turn from courtly to contemplative poetry. If we grant the validity of the thesis, we must acknowledge the implications: in 1579, Spenser is forecasting the turn that many influential critics attribute to a sudden change in fortune. Even though Herman works from the last five lines of October, he confirms the turn I see in the earlier passage. That Spenser intends the four genres I mention to form a progressive pattern - rather than a mere inventory - is clear from the transitional language binding one genre to the next: 'Abandon then ... Turne thee ... And when ... If ... then ...' According to Fletcher, 'The Faerie Queene is a prophetic poem' (3): 'By centering the whole poem around the image and person of Gloriana, Spenser has let the whole complex mythos depend, finally, upon the idea of glory - a secular (or not so secular) equivalent of the magnificence of Divine Providence ... In tune with this providential myth, Spenser can in the Letter to Ralegh describe himself as a "poet historicall" who, "recoursing to the thinges forepaste, and divining of thinges to come, maketh a pleasing Analysis of all." This is a vatic conception of the heroic poem' (59). What Fletcher says about Spenser's epic I apply to Spenser himself, to his poetry as a whole, and to his literary career: the prophetic poet writes prophetic poems to form a prophetic career. Spenser's prophetic model would seem to advance the Protestant paradigm of salvation, outlined by Lewalski, Protestant Poetics 16-18. On the poet as imitative of Christ - 'the savior of men's souls' - see Kernan 9. On Orpheus as a ' "prophetical poet" ' (Augustine, City of God XVIII.14, 24, 37; Bettenson's translation is 'theological poet'), see Cain, 'Orpheus' 24; Brown, This Bryttane Orpheus' 1-6 and 'Orpheus' 520; Segal, Orpheus 27, 34, 43, 159. Piers has more authority than some critics give him credit for. For support, see Cain, Oram et al. 5, 167; Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence 75; Schleiner, 'The Vatidnium' 135; Hardin 257-8. On Christ and Orpheus, see Vicari's two essays; Irwin. Cain notes: 'In the symmetrical pattern [of October}, stanza 5 on Orpheus matches stanza 16 on Colin's [famous] flight' (Oram et al. 169). On imitation and intertextuality, I am indebted to T.M. Greene, The Light



10 n


Notes to pages 37-40

in Troy, especially 38-48 (see 305, n. i, and 312-13, n. 34, for surveys of imitation in the classical period and the Renaissance, respectively), and Pigman, 'Versions of Imitation' and 'Imitation and the Renaissance Sense of the Past.' In 1982, Greene was using the term intertextuality (see 4) without reference to Kristeva. For Kristeva on intertextuality, see 'Word, Dialogue, and Novel,' especially 37-44. In using the term ideology, I follow the definition of Eagleton: 'the ways in which what we say and believe connects with the power-structure and power-relations of the society we live in' (14). However, I extend this sociopolitical definition to include both an aesthetic and a theological dimension, following A. Patterson, who permits us to speak of an ideology of fame and glory: 'By ideology I mean ... not only the biases inherent in class differentiation and structured by large-scale, long-term economics, but also the lonely strictures of personal ambition or its restraint; and, especially, sets of aesthetic or metaphysical premises' (7-8; cf. Eagleton 22). Montrose especially emphasizes the ideological function of genre in the Renaissance - in particular, of Spenserian pastoral ('Of Gentlemen and Shepherds' 415-17, 419, 421, 432-3). On this emphasis in Spenser generally, see Helgerson, The Ideology of Poetic Form'; on The Faerie Queene, see D.L. Miller, The Poem's Two Bodies 3-4. Montrose also emphasizes the theological end of ideology (The Elizabethan Subject' 308). Bond sprang my analysis of 'East to West' when commenting on translatio impertí and translatio studii in his 'Introduction' to the Complaints (Oram et al. 221). See FQ ni.ix.5i. For discussion of the concept, see Fichter i, 22, 105; Ferguson 24-5; Kerrigan and Braden 5-7; Quint, 'Epic and Empire' 4-8. On the connection between translatio imperil and fame, see Bellamy, Translations of Power 190-1. For helping me see that 'wings' is a metaphor for imitation and intertextuality, I am indebted to E. Cook 424, 426-7, 431-3. See Sidney, Astrophil and Stella, Sonnet 90: 'my plumes from others' wings I take' (11). For the intertwining of honour and fame in the Renaissance, see E.K, Oct 201-29; Greville, Inquisition upon Fame and Honour; Jonson, Masque of Queenes 396, 438, 458, 690-1 (7: 303-13); Montaigne, 'Of glory' (Essays 11.16: 468, 472, 476). For commentary on the link, see Bullough's ed. of Greville 64; Gordon 203, 210-13, 217/ Boitani 2-3; Kerrigan and Braden 32-4. Boitani writes: 'the concept of fame is so complex that it is difficult to pinpoint it with absolute precision' (2). For pointing out to me the imagery and language linking the fourth or last part of Whitney's poem with the hymn, I am grateful to Professor A. Kent Hieatt (personal communication). Campbell resurrects this important poem 'tracing the poet's progress in

Notes to pages 40-7


poetry' (Divine Poetry 103). On Drayton's imitation of Spenser, see Grundy 1-142. My doctoral advisee, Ted Armstrong, warns me about a criticism that stresses the similarities between the two poets. In Drayton's model, love lyric precedes epic, but I discuss the problem of ordering in Spenser presently. 13 On Drayton's 'flying Muse' and his goal of 'winning fame,' see Prescott, 'Drayton's Muse' 319, 326. 14 Professor Thomas H. Cain raised this question when responding to my paper on The Shepheardes Calender during 'Spenser at Kalamazoo' at the 24th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI (May 1989). On the evidence of Spenser's first marriage, see Judson 62-3, 86, 130. 15 Professor Cain also raised this question in his response to my Calender paper at Kalamazoo, MI (May 1989), citing Helgerson, Self-Crowned Laureates, on the strong Elizabethan derision of love and love poetry (see, eg, 59-67). 16 See Fichter: 'marriage becomes a focal issue for the Renaissance epic' (15): 'Love ... is not finally an impediment to the establishment of empire; love ... is rather empire's most basic element' (156-7). Pavlock traces the role of love in the epic tradition, arguing that Milton revises the classical tension between eros and duty, by emphasizing cooperation between male and female (see especially 218), citing Spenser's Faerie Queene as a precedent (189). Lockerd emphasizes the psychological and spiritual significance of marriage, including the 'sacred marriage,' in Spenser's epic (148-53, 158-85). 17 On Spenser's ambition, see Judson 7, 39, 49; Montrose, ' "The perfecte paterne" ' 60-1; D.L. Miller, 'Spenser's Vocation' 210. One of Spenser's most notable words is 'discipline' - as in The Letter to Ralegh when referring to The Faerie Queene as a 'discipline of vertue.' On Spenser's delight in playing with structures (whether formal, as in the form of individual books and cantos of The Faerie Queene, or architectural, as in the House of Holiness or the Castle of Alma) and his commitment to such systems as numerology, see Hieatt on Epithalamion, Fowler on The Faerie Queene and Prothalamion, Dunlop on Amoretti, Heninger on The Shepheardes Calender, and Bjorvand on Fowre Hymnes. 18 On this definition for the Complaints, see Berger, Revisionary Play 406; Maclean, 'Complaints' 180-1. On Colin Clout, see Shore, Poetics of Pastoral, and 'Colin Clout,' especially 176. While this study was on its way to typesetting, I made a discovery that locates the Complaints more solidly inside the structure of the New Poet's career. First, I now hypothesize that Cuddie's speech on tragedy at the close of October functions as the New Poet's


19 20

21 22


Notes to pages 47-9

Orphic prophecy about tragedy as a genre vital to the national poet's career. Second, I hypothesize that Spenser, for reasons I am now investigating, decided to fulfil his prophecy by enfolding the dramatic genre of tragedy into the lyric genre of the complaint. The result is a hybrid genre that he calls in the passage on Daniel in Colin Clout Tragick plaints' (427) - a passage I have suggested is connected to Cuddie's speech on tragedy. In his article 'Tragedy' in The Spenser Encyclopedia, Stump is on the verge of making this discovery when he writes: 'Although Spenser wrote no tragedies for the stage, he wrote various complaints and lines of plot that he termed tragedies' (697). Put simply, my argument now is that the Complaints qualify as Spenser's experiment in tragedy and that the 1591 volume fulfils the October projection. I suggest, however, that Spenser considers this part of his literary career something of a special project: it is Cuddie, not Piers, who speaks of tragedy. In other words, Spenser partitions the project on tragedy off from the project on the four-genre model I discuss. I am convinced that this decision has significant repercussions for a writer like Marlowe, who opens his two-part tragedy on the shepherdking Tamburlaine by imitating Spenser's October prophecy on the turn from pastoral to epic. See Shore, 'Colin Clout' 176, and Gram's note on 'hymne, or morall laie, / Or carol made to praise thy loved lasse' (86-7) in Oram et al. 530. On mixing genres, see Colie, Resources of Kind igff.; Fowler, Kinds of Literature 181-3; Dubrow, Genre 57, 59. On Spenser's mixing of genres, see DeNeef, 'Ploughing Virgilian Furrows' and 'Dialectic of Genres'; Krier 9-10, 66-112; King, Spenser's Poetry and the Reformation Tradition 5-7, 183-232. On the way in which 'true poems represent their literary genres/ see Hollander, Melodious Guile 108. On the supreme value of genre and genre criticism, see Hernadi i; Jauss 78-9; Dubrow Genre 35, 45; Rosmarin 39. According to Fowler, 'of all the codes of our literary langue, I have no hesitation in proposing genre as the most important' (Kinds of Literature 22). Similarly, Jameson remarks, 'it is hard to see how any genuine literary history could be written without the aid of something like a concept of genre' (136). Succinctly, Todorov notes: There has never been a literature without genres' (161); later, he adds: 'Genre is the point of intersection of general poetics and literary history; in this sense, it is a privileged object, which is enough to make it the principal subject of literary studies' (164). Guillen offers a summarizing principle: 'the theory of genres is coexistent with the history of poetics' (107). The non-careeric method grows out of ancient genre theory (Cairns 31;

Notes to pages 49-50


see Donahue). This method extends to the Renaissance (Fowler, Kinds of Literature 25-6). Unlike in the classical period, however, in the Renaissance theorists remained divided over the conventional cast of a particular work. One camp believed that 'the genres are tunelessly immutable/ in which 'the kinds [are] "forms, which are always the same" ' (Fowler 27, quoting Weinberg). The other camp 'affirmed the mutability of genre rather boldly' (Fowler 27). For an illustration of the non-careeric method, see Imbrie on Sidney's theory of genre in The Defence of Poesy. 24 On purpose in genre, see Hirsch 99. Colie argues that 'the kinds may act as myth or metaphor for a man's new vision of literary truth' (Resources of Kind 30); genre thus has a 'social force,' functioning 'as abbreviations for a "set" on the world, as definitions of manageable boundaries ... in which material can be treated and considered ... The genre-system in the Renaissance offers us not a second world but an array of ways to look at the real world' (115, 119). See R.S. Crane 140-3. On 'the concept of genre' as looking 'forward and backward at the same time,' see Guillen 109. Professor Dubrow kindly reminds me that strategies of concealment are also at work in genre - eg, misogyny concealed in the epyllion tradition (personal communication). 25 Without formally addressing genre theory, Coolidge and Neuse emphasize this subject. Among theorists, Fowler especially discusses genre maps, although he remains suspicious of them (Kinds of Literature 249, 255). He also remains suspicious of generic definitions (42). Yet he would presumably .agree with Friedrich Schlegel: 'It is equally lethal for the mind to have a system and to have none' (qtd in Hernadi 2). Marino anticipates a careeric method as the controlling principle of genre theory by emphasizing the writer's personal 'creativity' (47). 26 Professor Miller does not include his discussion of the 'commonplace' in the revised form of 'Spenser's Vocation' in The Poem's Two Bodies; he tells me that he is no longer certain the 'commonplace' holds (personal communication). In his edition of The Faerie Queene, Hamilton (621) traces the 'commonplace' to Berger, 'A Secret Discipline' 41, and to Neuse, 'Book VI as Conclusion' 331. I have found the idea as far back as Church 166 and Kate M. Warren, rpt in the Variorum Edition 6: 319. Other recent critics contributing to the 'commonplace' include Quiñones 278-9, 287-9; O'Connell 163, 188; Cain, Praise 184; Montrose, ' 'The perfecte paterne" ' 63-4; Goldberg, Endlesse Worke 173. Heninger attributes Spenser's disillusionment to his change from an Augustinian and Platonic aesthetics to an Aristotelian and Sidneian one (Sidney and Spenser 389). Critics who challenge the 'commonplace' include Maxwell 149; Manley 194; Weiner 402-6; Borris 135-6; Hieatt, The Projected Continuation of The Faerie Queene.' I







Notes to pages 50-5

shall argue that disillusionment, rather than being, or not being, a sudden condition of the poet's psyche in the 15905, is an integral part of his career idea. 'Disillusionment' is not the result of Spenser's career; it is a promoting agent. For support, see Bieman, who notes that critics 'often overlook the contribution of doubt and incipient despair to the dynamic of vision ... Questioning and faith are not mutually exclusive categories' (Plato Baptized 4, 11); and Fichter, who asks: 'Does Spenser gradually come to realize that history will not conform to the moral vision of book I? Or has it been part of the design of the poem from the outset to express disillusionment as the allegory shifts from private to public virtues and commits itself to the fallen world?' (201). I would add that disillusionment has been part of the design of Spenser's whole career from 1579, as lines 49-50 and 79-84 of October insist. See also J.T. Miller, Poetic Licence 100-1. This commonplace is enshrined in several articles from The Spenser Encyclopedia by distinguished critics: T.M. Greene, 'Antique World' 44; Braden, 'Virgils Gnat' 183; Rollinson, 'Genres' 328; Sessions, 'Géorgie' 330; Helgerson, 'Poet, role of the' 549-50; W.J. Kennedy, 'Virgil' 717. The pseudo-Virgilian verses read: 'Hie ego qui quondam gracili modulatus avena / Carmen, et egressus silvis vicina coegi, / Ut quamvis ávido parèrent arva colono, / Gratum opus agricolis: at nunc horrenda Marris' (qtd in Curtius 231). On Donatus, see Curtius 201, n. 35; Neuse, 'The Virgilian Triad' 609. On the codification of the Virgilian Wheel for the sixteenth century by Badius, see Lipking 208. On Spenser's imitation of the pseudo-Virgilian lines in FQ l.Pr.i, see Nelson, Poetry 117. Three well-known critics illustrate the authority that this model acquired during the past decade, although each interprets Spenser's change more happily than does MacCaffrey, Helgerson, or Miller: DeNeef, 'Ploughing Virgilian Furrows'; Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence; Alpers, 'Spenser's Late Pastorals.' Although DeNeef (158-9) and Bernard (8, 19-24) identify Christian influences on Spenser's career, they join Alpers in seeing that career as Virgilian and his career myth as a version of pastoral: although the poet changes his mind about the progression of the Virgilian triad, he still circumscribes his career in forms derived from that triad. On Fowre Hymnes, Prothalamion, and Spenser's disillusionment at the end of his career, see Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence, 186,188; Alpers, 'Spenser's Late Pastorals' 810. Helgerson's synchronie dimension includes the brilliant classification of poets into either 'amateurs' or 'laureates' (see 25-35), the chief models of which are Ovid and Petrarch for the former ('the Petrarch of the Canzoniere') and Virgil and Horace for the latter (26; see 'The Elizabethan Laureate'). Spenser critics tend to write books on The Faerie Queene, on

Notes to pages 55-8






one or two books of The Faerie Queene, on one of the shorter poems such as The Shepheardes Calender, Amoretti, or Epithalamion, or on special topics such as 'Neoplatonism' or 'Idolatry, Iconoclasm, and Magic.' Notable exceptions include Nelson's Poetry, which discusses all of Spenser's poetry, but not the contour of his career; and DeNeef's Motives of Metaphor, which discusses many of Spenser's poems in individual chapters but not Spenser's career, at least not in terms of his fine essay 'Ploughing Virgilian Furrows.' Bernard's Ceremonies of Innocence is the fullest study on Spenser's career, but it peers at that career through the lens of 'pastoralism' ('Spenser tends to chart his career in terms of the pastoral' [8]). Thus Bernard attends only briefly to three poems occupying a central position in the present study: Epithalamion, Fowre Hymnes, and Prothalamion. Essays by D.L. Miller, Loewenstein ('Echo's Ring: Orpheus and Spenser's Career'), and Craig (The Queen, Her Handmaid, and Spenser's Career') focus directly on Spenser's career, but all voice the commonplace model I seek to revise. At the same time, however, I wish to emphasize that I have learned a good deal from these critics; without them, I would have no argument. Segal, Orpheus 77. Segal is referring to georgic (see 36), but his discussion permits me to extend his idea to the other two genres (on georgic and epic, see 50-1; on georgic and pastoral, see 53, 76-9; on pastoral alone, see 6). All three genres treat the poet's relation to 'the world' (50). On the relation between Spenser's and Ovid's careers, see Holahan, 'Ovid' 520. See also C. Edwards; A. Fletcher 90-106; Holahan, 'Ovid's Changes'; Burrow; Krier 113-32, 136-47. On how Ovid's career responds to Virgil's (and Horace's), see Braudy 134-43 (on Virgil, see 122-8). According to Fichter, 'at the heart of Augustine's disagreement with Virgil and pagan historiography is the Augustinian conception of universal history as an essentially linear movement from Creation to Apocalypse, a teleological process directed toward the single goal of individual salvation' (64; on Augustine's linear revision of pagan circularity, see The City of God XH.14-21). Usefully, Fichter notes two paradoxes: that a Renaissance poet could reinterpret Virgilian epic in light of Christian morality and yet continue to represent himself as a Virgilian epic poet; and that the Christian poet could concentrate his epic on the earthly city (no). On Augustine's response to Virgil and the Roman career model, see Braudy 161-72. DeNeef argues for a Bonaventuran underpinning to Fowre Hymnes ('Spenserian Meditation' and Motives of Metaphor 88); see also Collins on The Faerie Queene (194, 199). Professor Robert R. Edwards alerted me to the Bonaventuran model in Dante laid out by Singleton (personal com-


Notes to pages 58-62

munication). The origins of Spenser's Christianization of the Virgilian career thus lie most visibly in Dante. On Dante's revision of Virgil, see Durling, The Epic Ideal' 108-9. On Spenser's knowledge of Dante, see Hamilton, Structure of Allegory 29-43; M.P. Parker; Goldstein; Paolucci; Tosello; Kirkpatrick. For support, see T.M. Greene, Descent from Heaven 17; King, Spenser's Poetry and the Reformation Tradition 183; Cain, Oram et al. 120; Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence 8; Heninger, Sidney and Spenser 321-3. 36 Tasso's works include the epic Rinaldo (1562), the pastoral drama Aminta (1573; 1581), the massive lyric Rime (1591; 1593), and the revised epic Gerusalemme Liberata (1576) and Gerusalemme Conquístala (1593). More confidently than Petrarch, Tasso asserts the value of love in the heroic life (Discourse on the Heroic Poem [1594] 48). None the less, in line with his deep Christian training, he concludes his career by writing a hymnic Creation of the World (published posthumously 1607 and presumably therefore unknown to Spenser). Ronsard's works include the Horatian Odes (1550, 1555), Les Amours de Cassandre (1552), Livret de Folastries (1553), Meslanges (1555), Les Amours de Marie (1555), Les Hymnes (1555), the pastoral Elegies, mascarades et bergerie (1565), and the incomplete epic La Franciade (1572). He concludes his career with a collection of love poetry, Sonnets pour Hélène (1578; written earlier), which contaminates the spirit of eros with the melancholy brooding of a poet staring into the face of death (that of Charles ix). Sidney's works include The Lady of May (1578), The Old Arcadia (1580), The Defence of Poesy (1581), Astrophil and Stella (1582), and The New Arcadia (suspended 1586?). But by the time of his death, he had turned from such romantic poetry to translations of Psalms (completed by his sister, the Countess of Pembroke, 1588) and Mornay's Trewnesse of the Christian Religion (completed by Arthur Golding 1587). 37 Segal, Orpheus 7: the myth 'contains two diverse aspects of the power of poetry ... the immanentist and the transcendent': 'On the one hand the poet is a personal sufferer whose song itself is both the literal and symbolic participation in the processes of loss, death, and renewal of nature. On the other hand the poet identifies himself with the impersonal laws of nature; his song is eternal, reflects the timeless patterns of the world.' Cf. Cain on a slightly different set of 'four events,' which 'allow the humanists to find in him [Orpheus] a symbol of poetry's power to control and civilize' ('Orpheus' 25). By contrast, Vicari emphasizes Orpheus' power of 'transcendence' ('Orpheus in Spenser and Milton' 226). In This Bryttane Orpheus/ Brown anticipates the synthesis I make of Cain's immanentist model of Orpheus the 'civilize[r]' (25) and Vicari's transcendent model of Orpheus the 'saviour' (219), though I disagree with his conclusion about Spenser's use of Orpheus in the Calender. Gros Louis refers to 'Orpheus as

Notes to pages 62-4







theologian, as civilizer, as idéal lover and artist of the pastoral life' (64). For Spenser, I suggest, the four Orphic roles translate into the genres of hymn, epic, love lyric, and pastoral. In The Trinity, St Augustine quotes John 5: 24: ' "I say to you, that he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has life everlasting." ' Augustine comments: This everlasting life is that vision to which the wicked have no claims ... Eternal life ... consists in that contemplation, in which God is seen not for punishment but for everlasting glory' (l.xii: 45, 47). Evidently, the faithful individual relying on divine contemplation mediated by the Word is already participating in Christian glory. According to Bush, 'the antagonism between Luther and Erasmus was much like that between Augustine and Pelagius a thousand years earlier' (47). Whereas Erasmus and Pelagius argued for the individual's rational power of free will to secure grace, Luther and Augustine argued for the individual's dependence on God's grace to confer faith. Protestant doctrine thus contradicted the ideals of Christian humanism. Elizabethan England proved a particularly fertile ground for tilling this theological furrow, as the case of Hooker testifies (Bush 47-8). In the field of poetry, Spenser confronted an antagonism between, on the one hand, the claims of Dante, Petrarch, and the Christian humanists, who 'emphasized activity and the ability to make one's own fame as an act of will' (Braudy 257), and, on the other, the claims of the Reformers, who emphasized the individual's inability to make his own fame an act of will. On the supreme importance of process in Spenser, see T.M. Greene, Descent from Heaven 304-5; Quiñones 255-76; Zitner 288. Perhaps the two most familiar process or travel metaphors authorized by classical literature are the mariner's voyage and the ploughman's tillage. Spenser relies on both metaphors regularly (see Dees, 'The Ship Conceit' and 'Ship Imagery,' on the former; and DeNeef, 'Ploughing Virgilian Furrows,' on the latter). According to Lewalski, 'perhaps the most pervasive of the metaphors for the Christian life is that of pilgrimage' (Protestant Poetics 93). Spenser relies on this metaphor as well (FQ iv.ii.34, vi.Pr.i). See Sayers and Reynolds' ed. of the Paradiso, appendix, 'Note B: Pilgrim or Falcon?' 3: 352-3. On birds in Dante, see Ginsburg; Meiklejohn; Shoaf; N. Smith. On birds in Chaucer, see Southmayd; Von Kreisler. On Chaucer's relation to Dante, see Boitani, especially 73-90. On Chaucer's imitation of the Dantean eagle in The House of Fame, see Steadman; Berry; Leyerle; Dane, 'Chaucer's Eagle'; R. Edwards 102-6. On the importance of peregrinatio to Christian literary culture, see Hahn, especially 15-22; Klopp. Both neglect the avian significance of the term;


Notes to pages 64-9

yet Hahn quotes Bartolomé Cairasco de Figueroa's 'Peregrinación': 'A pilgrimage is a white dove which for want of rest moans and flies toward Santiago de Compostela, Palestine and Rome' (17). See Sir Thomas Browne's three-phase peregrination, which corresponds to phases of pastoral vision, epic action, and hymnic transcendence: 'Give thou my reason that instructive flight, / Whose weary wings may on thy hands still light. / Teach me to scare aloft, yet ever so, / When neare the Sunne, to stoope againe below. / Thus shall my humble feathers safely hover, / And though neere earth, more then the heavens discover. / And then at last... homeward I shall drive / ... [in] succeeding glory' (Religio Medici 1.13; i: 23). Browne's silence on the love lyric is predictable, given his programmatic religious synthesis of reason and faith. 43 In my interpretation of Eclogue i, I am indebted to Alpers, 'What Is Pastoral?' 449-55 and The Singer of the Eclogues 65-95, and to A. Patterson 1-5. However, my interpretation of the neglected Tityrus-dove passage is my own. Patterson identifies the 'Chaonian doves' as 'a trope of humanist discourse' (5), while Boyle titles his book on Virgil The Chaonian Dove, assuming that Virgil uses the phrase to identify himself (14, 29-30, 38-9, 45-7). Putnam, Virgil's Pastoral Art 303-4 notes Virgil's use of the Chaonian doves to identify the poet's 'oracular powers as a votes' (303). The link between the Tityrus-dove passage and the Menalcas-dove passage is compelling in light of the often noted structural link between the two Eclogues (Segal, 'Tamen cantabitis Arcades - Exile and Arcadia in Eclogues i and 9' in Poetry and Myth in Ancient Pastoral 271-300). Propertius appropriates the latter Virgilian passage (Elegies i.ix.5-6); and Ovid historicizes it in light of his relation with Augustus (Tristia 1.1.75-6). On Menalcas as Virgil and the relation between Menalcas and Tityrus, see Poggioli 198; A. Patterson 3, 30-7. 44 Poets use the avian sign to identify themselves (see Nossis, Greek Anthology 711.414), but they also use the sign to identify themselves in relation to fellow artists (see Pindar, Olympian Ode 11.83-8). The root of the avian configuration of artistic identity seems to lie in the Iliad and the Odyssey, in which the divine nature of language itself is 'winged' (Vivante; Bushnell). Hence, the avian nature of eloquent language becomes a staple of the rhetorical tradition (Cicero, De oratore l.xxxv.ioi, Il.vi.23, Hl.xxi.8i; Alain de Lille, Complaint of Nature Prose ix.n6-i8; Petrarch, Secret 51-2). Marveil is the first poet I know of to present himself as actually selecting the identity of one avian species over another. In Upon Appleton House, he selects the marital 'stock-doves' rather than the solitary nightingale as the model for his song (613-28). Marvell's self-reflexive avian choice translates directly into the nineteenth-century debate between Coleridge, who

Notes to pages 69-71


selects the nightingale, and Wordsworth, who selects the stock-dove (Randel 50). Like Coleridge and Wordsworth, Marvell makes explicit the seriousness of the poet's choice of an avian identity. 45 My colleague Philip Baldi, a linquist specializing in the origins of the Latin language, thinks that a 'folk' etymological connection may exist between avis (L. bird) and avena (the Latin word for oat straw that Virgil uses famously to designate the pastoral pipe in Eclogues 1.2 and elsewhere [see P.L. Smith] and that recurs in the pseudo-Virgilian verses prefacing the Renaissance Aeneid). The two words correspond to different Sanskrit roots (vi-h, ve-h "bird' and veim 'bamboo, reed' respectively; see Monier-Williams 1013-14); but an etymological connection could be based not on chronology (one word deriving from the other) but on simultaneity (the two having similar elements). Both a bird's quill and an oat straw share such physical dimensions as shape, length, hollowness, and function (Baldi, personal communication). Ovid may link avena and avis when likening Daedalus' avian wings to the pan-pipe (Met vill. 189-95). Spenser's recurrent use of quill - including 'oaten quill' (Colin Clout 194) - implies such a connection (see chapter 2, note 6). Hence Drayton: 'Cease Shepherd ... / Till after time shall teach thy Oaten reede, / Aloft in ayre with Egles wing to sore, / And sing in honor of some worthies deede' (Shepheards Garland V.1Ó2-6). Moreover, the individual pipes of the pan-pipe trace to the shape of a bird's bone (Pollux, Onomasticon IV.76; see Barker i: 268, n. 39), and archaeologists have found pan-pipe tubes made of bird bone with a hole in the side (Daremberg and Saglio 1596, n. 2). In the sixteenth century, fowlers used decoy pipes 'made ... from the quills of bird's feathers' (Schlesinger 46-7, n. i). Finally, classical and medieval sources suggest that the sound of the ancient syrinx was modelled on birdsong (Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 1853; see also 6i7d; Greek Anthology ix.337; John, On Music 4:107; Barker i: 272, 273-4). 46 See Aristophanes' portrait of the nightingale as a young flutist (Birds 209-26, 676-84); and Pliny's comparison of the flute or tibia with the throat of the nightingale (Natural History X.82; on tibia/syrinx, see Howard). Schlesinger connects the nightingale's voice with the pastoral instrument (53), anticipated by Pliny (Natural History X-43). Cf. the Phoenix origin of the two-winged Chinese pan-pipe (Sachs, History of Musical Instruments 118). Finally, Shakespeare is alert to the ancient connection between the nightingale and the pastoral instrument: 'Philomel in summer's front doth sing, / And stops [her] pipe in growth of riper days' (Sonnet 102: 7-8 in the Riverside éd.). 47 On the swan-neck lyre in Greek culture, see Vorreiter; Maas and Snyder i, 27. Maas and Snyder call for research on this neglected topic in the field of music (200); I extend their call into the field of literature.


Notes to pages 71-8

48 The configurations of these two myths often coalesce (Alain de Lille, Complaint of Nature Metre IX.12-13; see Aristophanes, Birds 209-22). Strangways says that the seven-reed pan-pipe is 'likely to be an echo of Homer's "seven-stringed harp" ' (59, n. 9). 49 See Hart 1-2. In the Old Testament, ']' introduces our very first metaphor by appropriating on behalf of the Holy Spirit the creative and maternal metaphor of avian brooding: 'In the beginning God created ye heaven and the earth. And the earth was without forme & voyde, and darkenes was upon the depe, & the Spirit of God moved upon the waters' (Gen. i: 1-2; emphasis added). In the Renaissance, Milton alertly notes the mistranslation in English Bibles (including the King James) by recuperating the avian dimension of the original Hebrew (M.Y. Hughes ed. 352 n.). In the invocation to Paradise Lost, he accurately imitates the opening of Genesis and supplies a personalized view of the brooding bird in question: 'O Spirit... / ... Thou from the first / Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread / Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss / And mad'st it pregnant' (1.17-22; see VH.234-5). The source of Milton's brooding dove is not merely the opening of Genesis, but a coalescing of the dove of Noah (Gen. 8: 11) and its antitype, the dovelike Holy Ghost at Jesus' baptism (Matt. 3: 16; see Browne, Religio Medici 1.32; cf. Du Bartas, Divine Weeks 1.1.316-28). 50 S. Meyer sees a Pegasus allusion in the passage on Daniel's Muse in Colin Clout (98): 'Yet doth his trembling Muse but lowly flie, / As daring not too rashly mount on hight, / But doth her tender plumes as yet but trie' (420-2). 51 We lack a detailed analysis of the Pegasus myth in Spenser. Strikingly, The Spenser Encyclopedia contains no article or cross-reference to the myth. The only real commentary comes from Lascelles, who emphasizes the Boccaccian meaning (189; see also Reinach; Tuve 15 and n. 15): 'As with poetry, so with fame: the figure engaging the imagination may be either horse or rider. The poet may mount the winged horse, or let his own wings grow; likewise, Pegasus may be, or bear, renown ... [The poet] may invoke Apollo himself in such a manner as to suggest that Pegasus carries a god' (190). It is this interpretation of the Pegasus myth that most informs Spenser's use of it (192-5). 2 Acquiring Vatic Authority in The Shepheardes Calender i For views of pastoral by critics of classical orientation, see Poggioli; Marinelli, Pastoral; Heninger, 'Renaissance Perversion.' For views of Spenserian pastoral by critics of Christian orientation, see Hamilton, 'Argu-

Notes to pages 78-9


ment'; Durr. For recent Modernist reviews of definitions of pastoral, see Alpers, TVhat Is Pastoral?' (for Alpers' definition, see 448-9, 458, 459-60); Halperin 27-60 (for Halperin's definition, see 61-72). For New Historicist views, see Montrose, ' 'The perfecte paterne," ' 'Of Gentlemen and Shepherds,' and The Elizabethan Subject.' In his seven-essay sequence on the Calender in Revisionary Play (277-452), Berger joins Montrose in seeing the centre of Spenserian pastoral as a critique of what Berger calls 'the paradise principle.' See also Iser; Norbrook. Most critics recently writing on Spenser and pastoral negotiate between Modernist and New Historicist views: A. Patterson, 'Re-opening the Green Cabinet,' in Pastoral and Ideology 106-32; Ettin, Literature and Pastoral 4-7; Bernard, ' "June" ' 306-7 and Ceremonies of Innocence 1-11; Alpers, The Eclogue Tradition,' 'Pastoral/ and The Modern Idea of Pastoral.' In this last essay, Alpers finds the origin of the classically oriented view of pastoral in Schiller, and the origin of the New Historicist view in Empson. My first two versions of pastoral - those oriented to classical and Christian cultures - correspond roughly to what Cullen calls Arcadian pastoral and Mantuanesque pastoral (2-4, 19-26, 30-3, 152-3), while my third - New Historical - corresponds to what we might call, taking Montrose's cue, Elizabethan or Puttenhamian pastoral. The three versions represent philosophical, theological, and political definitions of the genre. 2 Montrose, ' 'The perfecte paterne" ' 35, 51. Critics do deny Colin's 'development': Berger, Revisionary Play 331; Cain, 'Introduction' to SC in Oram et al. 3-4. B.R. Smith helps resolve this disagreement by arguing that Spenser 'incorporates three structural principles at once: the linear narrative of pastoral romance in Colin's career, the geometrical symmetry of classical eclogues in the Calender's "three formes or ranckes," and the cyclical continuity of an almanac in the disposition of the poems by months' (69). Renaissance writers were particularly interested in the Platonic conception of the poet implied by E.K.'s phrase. Matteo San Martino, for instance, refers to 'a simple intellectual form or Idea of the perfect poet' (qtd in Weinberg i: 275). For variations, see Ovid, Met Xl.iSg, trans. Golding; E.K., Epistle 63-4. 3 A. Patterson 122. Critics usually agree that the phrase about the 'perfecte paterne' applies more widely than its narrow linguistic context in the Argument; see Woods 208, n. 26. 4 Critics who do not define pastoral as a careeric genre usually assert pastoral's primary concern with poetry: Poggioli 34, 36; Marinelli, Pastoral 43, 50; Tolliver 11-12; Halperin 64; A. Patterson 133; Iser 73; Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence 1-2 (who traces the idea to Empson 12); and especially Alpers, The Singer of the 'Eclogues' 6, 'Pastoral' 91, and "The Eclogue Tradi-






Notes to pages 79-83

tion' 353. Among Calender critics, Berger most emphasizes Spenser's 'intertextually reflexive ... and ... "aesthetic" ' subject (Revisionary Play 323; see 278-9, 287-8, 332). Throughout this chapter, I define Spenserian pastoral as a careeric genre that uses theology and philosophy to achieve a political end. As such, I do not deny the theological, philosophical, and political dimensions of the Calender; rather, I formulate a definition that hierarchically arranges the four principal dimensions in a way that Spenser's emphases seem to warrant. See Manley: 'Spenser's pastoral beginning appears, not as a flight from the city, but as a hopeful step toward its reedification. The pastoral role initiates a process of translatio by which Spenser, in assuming the Vergilian mantle, prepares for the rebirth of Orpheus in himself and of the city for his time' (195). The connection between the musical and the avian meanings of the word warble may be lost, but my analysis of the pan-pipe in chapter i suggests a deep connection. Most important, the connection emerges in Spenser's use of the word quill, which appears sixteen times in his poetry - twice in the Calender and eight times in a pastoral context as the 'Shepheardes quill' (FQ Vll.vi.36) or the 'oaten quill' (Colin Clout 194). While Whitman identifies four meanings of the word quill (artist's pencil or brush, oaten pipe, poet's pen, feather of an arrow), all four likely retain their avian significance. The connection between pastoral pipe and bird emerges three other times in Spenser's poetry: Nov 71; Feb 40; and FQ V.ix.i3. See also the otherwise inexplicable 'shepheards wings' at FQ Vl.ix.35On renewal in the myth, see Ovid, Trisito V.i.59-6o; Alain de Lille, Complaint of Nature Prose 1.278-81. Sacks traces the tradition of the elegy as ' "the work of mourning" ' (i, quoting Freud). On the close connection between elegy and complaint, see Sacks 2; between elegy and eclogue, see 14Kane helps me see why Philomela functions as a metonym for Spenserian pastoral: 'the pastoral mode is ... a metaphor ... for the vision that compells heroic aspiration. For traditionally the vision at the heart of the pastoral is the epiphany of divinity in this lower humble world' (Spenser's Moral Allegory 198). For a different view of Philomela, see Goldberg, Voice Terminal Echo 11-13; Berger, Revisionary Play 404-6; S. Johnson 122-3. On the gender dynamics of the Philomela myth in the writings of 'the Sidney circle,' see Lamb. In my analysis of the Ovidian myth, I am indebted to Barkan 59-63, 66, 243-8, especially for Philomela as a metonym for a literary genre - in his case, Shakespearean drama. By suggesting that Spenser selects the Philomela myth as the arch-myth of pastoral, I am not denying the rich symbolism of the nightingale or trying to marginalize the

Notes to pages 83-90


role of other species in the genre. I am suggesting that Spenser privileges the nightingale in pastoral, and I emphasize that he inserts this species only into pastoral and its allies, complaint and elegy. That is, Spenser inserts no nightingales into The Faerie Queens, Amoretti, Epithalamion, or Fowre Hymnes. 9 Starnes argues that Spenser ¿s E.K., emphasizing two images that Spenser and E.K. have in common that 'deserve special attention' (186), one of which is the poet as a fledgling bird (188-90). Increasingly, critics identify E.K. as Spenser: Cain, 'Introduction' to SC in Oram et al. 6-9; Schleiner, 'Spenser's "E.K." '; Waldman. 10 In an unpublished essay, Moore argues that Aprill 'reveals the radical pastoral error' of man's yearning for a 'world of beauty, harmony, and eternal springtime' ('Colin before the Fall'). Moore is responding to the conventional view of Colin's Song of Eliza, represented by Cain, The Strategy of Praise.' Berger rejects Cain's reading by saying that the Song 'represents [Colin's] pre-Rosalinde performance level' ('Orpheus, Pan' 28-9). 11 On lark symbolism, see Bawcutt; Rowland 97-101. In the Birds, Aristophanes says that 'the lark, the original bird, preceded the earth in her coming' (472; trans. Hadas 246). Traditionally, the lark is the bird of dawn (Theocritus, Idylls X.$o). By the sixteenth century, the lark had acquired two primary symbolic meanings: intellectual ascent to God, and appetitive participation in nature. In the latter symbolism, the lark signals narcissism (Sidney, New Arcadia, Eclogue I in Evans ed. 198). In his six lark images outside the Calender, Spenser relies on these meanings to signal a primitive phase of experience (FQ 1.1.44, l-xi.51, H.vi.3, VH.vi.47, Ef 80, As 31-4). E.K.'s 'Larke' gloss on Aprill 118-19 (281) hints at the innocence of Colin's naive vision. 12 On the owl, see Bowie 12-14; Rowland 115-20. The owl is sacred to Athena (Aristophanes, Birds 516), hence a sign of wisdom; but most often the bird is a sign of death or ill omen (Isaiah 34:15; Horapollo, Hieroglyphics 11.25: 90; Ovid, Met V.675, 681-2, ¥1.53, X.452-3; Pliny, Natural History x.i6; Chaucer, Parlement of Foules 343). In his eleven owl images, Spenser signals 'the negation of positive values and life-giving forces' (Andrew 94; see, eg, FQ I.V-3O, Il.vii.23, lV.v-41, Time 130, Teares 283-4, Ep 345). 13 By providential poetics, I mean a poetics directed by the scriptural view of the individual's providential salvation. On Spenser's 'providential program,' see Quiñones 267. On Colin's progression from innocence to fall to transcendence, see Durr 290-1; Hamilton, 'Argument' 34; MacCaffrey, 'Allegory and Pastoral' 121, 127-9; McCanles 14-15, 17. On the Christian significance of the calendar form, see Heninger, The Implications of Form' 309-21, Sidney and Spenser 315, and 'The Shepheardes Calender" 646.


14 15 16


18 19 20

21 22

Notes to pages 90-7

For support, see McLane; Hume 13-56; King, 'Spenser's Shepheardes Calender,' 'Was Spenser a Puritan?' and Spenser's Poetry and the Reformation Tradition 14-46. On how Colin as poet provides 'continuity' for all the eclogues in the Calender, see Heninger, Sidney and Spenser 311. For a review and rejection of this critical trend, see Shore, Poetics of Pastoral 8-10,173, n. 14. On the harmonious relation between the providential process and fame in Spenser, see Quiñones 243, 245-6, 251, 255. On the 'green cabinet' as 'the locus amoenus of Greek pastoral poetry,' see Rosenmeyer vii. On Spenser's use of the 'green cabinet' as a 're-verting' to the 'paradise principle,' see Berger, Revisionary Play 378-415. Berger discusses the young poet's 'pleasure in his art' - his fascination with 'technique and medium' rather than 'the world's problems' (317). On Spenser's imitation of Marot's 'green cabinet' as 'a rustic summerhouse or bower,' 'a private chamber of the privileged, for reading, writing, or keeping one's treasures,' and as a locus for the union of art and politics ('ideology') - see A. Patterson 107-8, 128-30. Moore, 'Colin Breaks His Pipe.' Berger emphasizes Spenser's literary metalanguage' (Revisionary Play 332) when Colin identifies with the trees: The primary message is not "my trouble is like a tree's" but "my plight is like a poet's" ' (337). I extend this metalanguage to the avian inhabitants of trees. On Pan in fanuarye as a 'Nature God,' see Hamilton, 'Argument' 36; Moore, 'Colin Breaks His Pipe' 7-8. For another Edenic apple image, see June 43-4. On Colin's misogynistic art, see Berger, Revisionary Play 347-77, especially 359, 371. See Alpers: 'The Shepheardes Calender ... was conceived as a prologue to heroic poetry' ('Spenser's Late Pastorals' 797). Thus, for Cain the narrative occasionally evokes the next career phase - as at Januarye 50 (Oram et al. 27). And thus for Luborsky, the Januarye woodcut 'may be read as a depiction of the familiar rota virgilii... Colin is seen as standing, Janus-like, with his back to the pastoral and his gaze toward buildings associated with the epic' ('Illustrations' 29; see 24 on the rota as pastoral and epic). See Gram's note to Teares 361-420 on 'Erato's instrument' as 'the lyre ... associated with love-poetry' (Oram et al. 282). According to R. Edwards, Chaucer links 'the themes of love and poetry in an equation that will remain central... throughout his career. This is a major part of Chaucer's legacy to English poetry. As A.C. Spearing points out, 'To be a poet, in the courtly circle for which Chaucer wrote, was the same as to be a love-poet" ([Medieval Dream-Poetry] 83)' (94). According to Rand, 'Chaucer and Jean de Meun are the most conspicuous reincarnations

Notes to pages 97-104






28 29


of Ovid in the Middle Ages' (145). On the sixteenth-century English view of Chaucer as a love poet, see C.S. Lewis, Allegory of Love 162; Higgins 19. On the bird as an erotic intermediary for the pastoral poet, see Nicholas Breton, 'A Pastoral,' in Breton's Bower of Delights (in Rollins and Baker 230). Spenser's conceit seems to merge the avian and the military, but the arrow is conventionally winged like a bird: Homer, Odyssey XXI.4O4-H. See also Hart on Cupid's 'major weapon, the feathered arrow' (138; see 144). On the arrow as a figure for discourse, see Cicero, De oratore Il.liv.2i6, 219; Tasso, Discourse on the Heroic Poem 11. On the arrow as a poem, see Ovid, Ex Ponto Hi.viii.i9-24, lV.viii.75ff. Spenser may be punning on Colin's name, for Shakespeare has King Lear throw down his gauntlet in his mad scene of iv.vi, saying, 'Bring up the brown bills. O, well flown, bird! i' th' clout, i' th' clout - hewgh! Give the word' (91-2). The Riverside edition glosses 'clout' as 'centre of target,' while it glosses 'hewgh' as 'the sound of an arrow in flight.' In the Arden edition of Lear, Muir glosses 'well flown bird' as The falconer's cry when the hawk was successful; but Lear is probably referring to the flight of the arrow.' Thus the falcon to which Lear refers is that of an arrow, and it is such a Tsird' that hits the 'clout' or target. On Hobbinol's 'program for pastoral escape,' see Berger, Revisionary Play 311. On why Spenser might criticize Harvey in the Calender, see Schleiner, 'Spenser's "E.K." ' 391, 394. See Montrose, ' 'The perfecte paterne" ' 43; D. Cheney, The Circular Argument' 142-3; McNeir, 'Drama' 46. But cf. MacCaffrey, 'Allegory and Pastoral' 311; Bernard, Ceremonies of Innocence 68-9; R. Greene, 'Dialogue' 19-21. In 'Pastoral,' Alpers sees Colin's August sestina as a bridge to November and December (96), but he argues that only in these last two eclogues does the 'pastoral assumption that song can resolve or at least fully voice distress become ... a source of poetic authority' (97). I see the 'pastoral assumption' beginning in the sestina itself, and cite the appearance of the nightingale in all three as something like archaeological evidence for the intimate connection between them. On the georgic dimension of Spenser's pastoral, see Tylus; Thornton; of his epic, see Sessions; Ettin, The Georgics'; Low 35-70; King, Spenser's Poetry and the Reformation Tradition 216-20. Renwick was the first to note Spenser's allusion to Virgil's georgic nightingale (rpt in the Variorum Edition 7, pt i, 349); but see Brown, 'A Virgilian Orphic Allusion.' Bradbrook calls Colin's Song a 'funeral hymn' (92). On Pan as Christ, see E.K., Aprill 235-6. Spenser does not present two Pans; he shows Colin clarifying his perception of Pan.


Notes to pages 106-12

30 Allen discusses Fortuno Liceti's analysis in Hieroglyphica of an etching of 'Cupid as a boy bird-catcher' (Mysteriously Meant 275), in which the god extends a reed to a laurel tree, from which hangs a cage and on which sits a bird Liceti identifies as a nightingale: the bird is the poet or man of learning and the cage 'the book in which the accumulated wisdom of mankind is preserved' (277). See Aelian, On Animals 111.40; Ovid, Ex Ponto l.iii-39-40. For helping me see the gender significance of Colin's nightingale cage, I am indebted to my doctoral advisee, Cheryl Hinson. 31 On the crow as a sign of the poetaster, see Pindar, Olympian Ode II 85-7; Castelvetro, The Poetics of Aristotle Translated and Annotated (1571), in Gilbert, Literary Criticism 324. On the poetaster-crow as an antagonist to the poet-nightingale, see Whetstone, 'Dedication' to Promos and Cassandra (1578) in G.G. Smith i: 60. By identifying the nightingale as the bird of pastoral in 'the perfecte paterne of a Poete,' we can find vocational significance in places we may not be used to looking. For instance, my analysis can significantly inform Montrose's interpretation of Februarie, in which the tale of the Oak and the Brier has deep self-reflexive significance ('Spenser's February Eclogue'), for, as Cain notes, 'Interestingly,' a 'Nightingale' image (123) occurs in 'the fable's central line' (Oram et al. 38). 32 According to Shore, 'most criticism subsequent to Hallett Smith's 1952 study has attempted to account for this obvious complexity by postulating a polemical structure in which pastoral values are rejected in favour of some form of commitment to higher values' (Poetics of Pastoral 8). Critics who see Colin renouncing poetry, pastoral poetry, or his poetic vocation misinterpret the significance of Colin's climactic act of hanging his pipe in the tree within 'the perfecte paterne of a Poete.' 33 I have never seen this point clarified, but for hints see Hamilton, 'Argument' 35, 36, 39; MacCaffrey, 'Allegory and Pastoral' 121; D.L. Miller, 'Authorship, Anonymity' 233, 236; Shore, Poetics of Pastoral 104. On the continuity between pastoral and epic, see Marinelli, Pastoral 51. 34 Spenser often mixes the topos of 'flight' with the topos of 'foot.' See DS 12: 7-8: This lowly Muse, that learns like steps to trace, / Flies for like aide unto your Patronage.' See also E.K. in The Dedicatory Epistle: 'divers other excellent... Poetes, whose foting this Author every where followeth, yet so as few, but they be wel sented can trace him out. So finally flyeth this our new Poète, as a bird.' 3 Enacting Vatic Virtue in Spenser's Allegory of Ralegh and Elizabeth i On Spenser's fear about dulce non utile in Book vi, see Helgerson, SelfCrowned Laureates 79, 96. From Berger, 'A Secret Discipline' and Neuse,

Notes to pages 112-15





6 7


'Book VI as Conclusion' in thé 19605 to four papers on Book VI, by J.T. Miller, Shaver, John Webster, and Alpers, at the 1989 'Spenser at Kalamazoo' conference, critics have argued that in Book VI 'the poem [is] ... in deep trouble' (Alpers, session discussion, rpt in The Spenser Newsletter 20 [1989] 46; see 40-1, 44-6; Alpers, 'Spenser's Late Pastorals'; Miller, 'Courtly Figure'; Shaver). For counter-arguments, see Tonkin, Courteous Pastoral 300 and 'The Faerie Queene' 171-89; Kane, Spenser's Moral Allegory 201-2; Bellamy, 'Colin and Orphic Interpretation'; Ulreich; Alwes; Belt. In 'The Faerie Queene, Book VI,' Tonkin seems more wary of emphasizing 'harmony and reconciliation rather than distinctions and differences' (286), but such an emphasis remains his stated thesis (286-7). ' 'a^e UP *ne problem of Book VI in chapter 5. O'Connell 120, 123. For Upton's discovery, see the Variorum Edition 4: 211. On the Ralegh-Throckmorton affair, see Sorensen; Koller; Oakeshott 81-99; Rowse 150-69; Brink; Bednarz; Krier 200-9. Brink and Bednarz think that the Dove with the ruby figures Arthur Throckmorton, Lady Ralegh's brother, who hoped to help the couple by giving the queen 'a ring made for a wedding ring set round with diamonds, and with a ruby like a heart placed in a coronet, with this inscription Elizabetha potest' (Letter to Robert Cecil, January 1594/5, qtd in Brink 446). Roche, The Kindly Flame 143, 146. See also C. Crane; Gilbert, Tvlisdeeming' 631-2; English 429. In Timias,' DeNeef briefly shows the relevance of an 'allegory of honor7 to Ralegh's career. Roche in his edition cites Gen. 8: 9 (1176), evidently following Church in his edition (rpt in the Variorum Edition 4: 210), while Hamilton in his edition cites Aeneid Vl.iQoff. (481), evidently following Upton (rpt in the Variorum Edition, 4: 210). Most critics overlook these allusions; but see O'Connell on Spenser's allusion to Virgil (123). On Amoretti 89 as indebted to Petrarch's Song 353, see the Variorum Edition 7, pt 2: 454. That Spenser intends the dove in Amoretti 89 to have vocational (not merely erotic) significance is clear from The Teares of the Muses, where Euterpe says that she and the Muses sit 'all comfortlesse upon the bared bow, / Like wofull Culvers doo sit wayling now' (245-6). For suspicion about the Spenser-Dove connection, see Jack (rpt in the Variorum Edition 4: 210). See also A. Cook 42; C.S. Lewis, A Preface to 'Paradise Lost' 31, 32; Tillyard 4-13; Hardison, The Enduring Monument 84; G. Hough 48; T.M. Greene, The Descent from Heaven 9, 15, 19, 22, 24. For recent versions of this definition, see W.J. Kennedy, 'Heroic Poem before Spenser' 363-5; Radzinowicz 365-7.1 follow most recent commentary in using the terms epic and heroic poetry interchangeably.


Notes to pages 116-19

8 On time and eternity in Spenser, see McCabe. On Spenser's 'viewpoint of eternity on time/ see Murrin 147. On 'grace in time/ see Fichter 9. 9 Critics label The Faerie Queene in various ways: heroic poem, epic, romance, epic romance, romantic epic, Virgilian epic, Christian epic, Renaissance epic, and dynastic epic. Following Durling, I select 'Virgilian epic' in order to emphasize the careeric cast Spenser gives to his poem. Many studies support such a cast: studies on the poet's voice by Durling (The Figure of the Poet), Alpers (Poetry), Williams, Dees ('Narrator'), J.H. Anderson (The Growth of the Poet's Voice), Hinton; on the self-reflexive nature of 'allegorical epic' by Hamilton (The Structure of Allegory), Murrin, Giamatti (Play of Double Senses), Nohrnberg, Quilligan, Fichter, Goldberg (Endlesse Worke), DeNeef (Motives of Metaphor), Berger (Revisionary Play); on poetic authority by Guillory, and J.T. Miller (Poetic License); and on the poet's self-consciousness in fashioning his career through his art by Cain ('Orpheus' and Praise), Helgerson (Self-Crowned Laureates), Montrose, (' 'The perfecte paterne" '), D.L. Miller (The Poem's Two Bodies), Loewenstein ('Orpheus and Spenser's Career'). 10 Oram glosses To ... Tyburs swans' as 'Dante and Virgil' (Oram et al. 541), remaining silent on 'Greece.' S. Meyer thinks the three may be Ariosto, Virgil, and Homer, recalling that the appellations derive from Apollo's metamorphosis into a swan (97). The inclusion of Dante is intriguing, in part because it confirms my hypothesis that Spenser places Dante on the epic map; in part, because it shows Spenser identifying Alabaster as a Christian divine poet, as the musing on Alabaster's name implies. The inclusion of Ariosto is intriguing because it suggests that Spenser is probably referring to Ariosto's swan myth of fame in the Orlando Furioso, which I shall argue to be an important subtext for Spenser's own mimetic model of epic, the Dove episode in FQ IV. 11 See Bushnell 4-5, referring to the bird prophet Polydamus (Iliad xn.223-7; trans. Lattimore): 'the mantis, as a reader of the [bird] sign sent by the god (or the poet) actually imitates the poet himself, insofar as he rewrites the sign, repeating the poet's words and using the poet's methods in supplementing the sign.' On the relation between the prophet and the poet from classical and biblical through Renaissance literature, see the ten essays in Kugel éd., Poetry and Prophecy, especially the essays by Kugel, Nagy, and Rhu. None of these essays recalls the avian origin of ancient prophecy emphasized by Bushnell. Imitating Homer, Virgil relies on the epic convention in Book i of the Aeneid (390-401). Imitating Virgil, Statius in Book III of the Thebaid understands the role of the avian choir as an epic convention of prophecy (463-94), but among classical poets he seems to display it as a self-reflexive model of the prophetic poet: 'let every bird in heaven join in propitious melody of mystic language' (494).

Notes to pages 119-22


12 For Dante, such a power is innate in 'the race of men': they are 'born to fly upward' (Purgatorio Xll.^y 'per volar su nata'; see XXVll.i2i-3; and Paradiso XV.53-4, XXXHl.i39-4i). Thus, in the Inferno Dante sees Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan (88-90), masters of 'the fair school of that lord of highest song who, like an eagle, soars above the rest' (iv.94-6). For a parody of the famous flight, associated with the flights of Phaethon and Icarus, see the falconlike Geryon in the Inferno (XVII.106-36). See also Purgatorio IX, where Dante relies on the myths of Philomela/Tereus and Jove/Ganymede to represent his ascent to the Gate of Purgatory (13-24). I am grateful to Jennifer Vaught of Indiana University for the insight about the artistic significance of Geryon. 13 See Hesychius of Alexandria, Lexicon 125: 6; Liddell 1582. In Moralia, Plutarch tells how a jay mimics a trumpet (973B-E.19). And in De rerum natura, Lucretius selects the swan as his model for epic (lV.i8i-2), rather than the crane, which has military significance (Chaucer, PF 344; Tasso, Creation of the World ¥.927-33; Drayton, The Owle 75-80). I have not been able to find any reference to the avian origin of the trumpet in such music authorities as Sachs, Marcuse, and Geiringer. But on Fame's trumpet as figuring the connection between fame and words, see Gordon 211. 14 The word 'shrill' is Spenser's favourite adjective for the sound of the trumpet (eg, FQ I.v.6). The word bears an avian derivation, as in 'the whistler shrill' (FQ Il.xii.36). The word is related to the word shrike ('a shrill note' [OED, headnote to first entry]), for a shrike is a bird 'of the numerous species of family Laniidae' (OED, headnote to second entry). The word shrike also means 'of birds: to pipe' (OED, headnote to third entry). 15 To develop this idea would require a separate study. But by attending to Spenser's avian imagery, we can extend and clarify conventional metadiscursive readings of such avian-associated figures as Archimago in Book I, Acrasia in Book II, and Colin Clout in Book VI, in addition to formulating new metadiscursive readings of such avian-related figures as Phaedria in Book II, the witch's son in Book III, Scudamour in Book IV, Malengin in Book v, and the Hermit in Book VI. All these episodes demonstrate how important and widespread the myth of the winged poet is in The Faerie Queene. 16 See Fowler, Numbers: 'Spenser has made the fourth book of the Faerie Queene surpass the others in richness of number symbolism ... as if Spenser had been possessed with a vision of number as the chain of concord binding the world's workmanship together' (24, 33). Fowler's reference to the 'chain of concord' suggests that the chain-bound ruby in canto viii functions as a very precise sign of the numerology of Book IV itself! On canto viii, he notes: 'eight was the number of regeneration ... eternity ... [and] the resurrection ... An early reader of the Faerie Queene must have








Notes to pages 122-32

felt a sense of the reliability both of God's providence and Spenser's design, when he found deliverance repeatedly brought by the Prince of Grace in an eighth canto' (53). Is this a defence of poetry or a mock defence? For ironic views of the lunar episode, see Parker, Inescapable Romance 44-8; Quint, Origin and Originality 81-92; Wiggins 154-9. For objections, see Fichter 82-3; especially Marinelli, Ariosto and Boiardo 166-95. F°r a synthetic response, see Ascoli 264-304. According to Marinelli, the lunar episode is 'quite possibly the high-water mark of Ariosto's poetry and perhaps of the Italian Renaissance, a concentrate of all its values and techniques' (180). Critics in either camp say very little about the avian allegory of fame, which is my concern here. Woodhouse 68. Woodhouse places the 'grace of his Creator' lines under this - his second - definition of grace, which he says pertains to the order of nature and thus occurs in Books II to VI (590, n. 24). The word grace and its derivatives appear twenty-nine times in the four Belphoebe episodes: in addition to the fourteen mentioned, seven times in Book II, canto iii (25, 25, 25, 28, 28, 37, 45); five times in Book III, canto v (15, 15, 42, 45, 50); and three times in Book III, canto vi (2, 2, 4). Arthur functions as the agent of grace in canto viii of Books I, II, rv, V, and VI. Belphoebe functions as the agent of grace in Book Hi, canto v, and Book IV, canto vii. And Timias functions as the agent of grace in Book II, canto xi, and Book IV, canto vii. Britomart functions explicitly as an agent of grace only once - in Book III, canto xi. While Latham believes that Ralegh wrote The passionate mans Pilgrimage' on the eve of what he thought would be his execution in November 1603, P. Edwards denies that Ralegh wrote the poem. Of course, my argument does not depend on Ralegh's authorship. In the Geneva Bible, the ruby appears in two of the three principal enumerations of precious stones: Exod. 28: 17; and Ezek. 28: 13. There is confusion in both places, however, and the King James translation substitutes the sardius for the ruby. The third and most important enumeration appears at Rev. 21: 18-20, the description of the walls of the New Jerusalem, but neither the ruby nor the sardius is included. Yet in the Paradiso Dante sees the souls of the just form the shape of an eagle, in which 'each [soul] seemed a little ruby' (xix.4; see xxx.65-6). See also Ariosto, Orlando Furioso XXXIV.53; Du Bartas, Divine Weeks and Works I.iv.2i5~i6. This view of Spenser's Protestant theology is controversial. Hume argues that Spenser is a strict 'Calvinist' (4) in that he emphasizes the doctrine of 'justification sola gratia, sola fide" (66). By contrast, Alpers cites a 'double perspective' (Poetry 337): 'In almost every canto of Book I, there is a criti-

Notes to pages 132-8







cism of human strength as it is expressed by heroism; yet in each ... the claims and values of heroism are in some way re-established' (339). In the Laws of Ecclesiasticall Politic, Hooker expresses the relation between the individual's will and God's grace by using such words as 'assent' (1.12: 83), 'assist' (11.7: 116), 'concur' (ni.8: 147), and 'aid' (m.8: 149). See Berger, ' "Kidnapped Romance" ': the story 'is shaped by the generic transference of Petrarchan tropes from the register of the male subject's lyric complaint to that of his narrative situation, from the scene the conventional poet-lover imagines to the scene poor Timias inhabits, and from a hyperbolic fantasy of victimization to its narrative enactment' (231). Berger argues that Spenser's 'narrativization of Petrarchan tropes works to parody the self-serving, self-subverting character of the androcentric fantasy inscribed in the lyric genre' (232). Missing in Berger/s argument, however, are two key controls: the Virgilian epic one of Timias' lapse into the 'sonneteer's woe' (234), and the historical one of Ralegh's lapse into this misguided pose. Future references to Berger in this chapter are from ' "Kidnapped Romance." ' Some of Elizabeth's poems are extant, while legend says that one even responds to a poem by Ralegh. At the end of her life, she began a verse translation of Horace's Ars poética. Puttenham writes: Elizabeth is 'alreadie of any that I know in our time, the most excellent Poet' (Arte of English Poésie in G.G. Smith 2: 4; see Meres, Palladis Tamia in G.G. Smith 2: 321). On flowers and herbs as poetry, see Puttenham, Arte of English Poésie (in G.G. Smith 2: 143); Gascoigne, Epistle To al yong Gentlemen' (r. 13). On the poet as a physician, see Puttenham, Arte of English Poésie (in G.G. Smith 2: 187-8); Harington, A Briefe Apologie for Poetrie (in G.G. Smith 2: 198-9); Meres, Palladis Tamia (in G.G. Smith 2: 310). In Bucolicum carmen, Petrarch presents a poet 'thoughtfully plucking / Life-giving herbs to be used to heal the flocks in their sickness' (x.54-5). See McClure on the Renaissance 'interest in "therapeutic" language, the written and spoken rhetoric of consolation and healing' (317). This reading is supported by the mix of historical and literary allusion, for Spenser associates Belphoebe's herbs with 'divine Tobacco,' 'Panachaea/ and 'Polygony' (32). Whereas 'divine Tobacco' clearly evokes Ralegh, 'Panachaea' derives originally from the Aeneid when Venus uses the herb to cure her son (XII.419), probably filtered through Ariosto's imitation from the story of Angelica and Medoro in the Orlando Furioso (xix.22ff.). See Hamilton, FQ 351. For another imitation, see Tasso, Gerusalemme Liberata vi.67 and XIX.H3. The Isaiah passage is cited by Hamilton, FQ 485; Roche ed. 1176. In stanzas 29-33, writes J.H. Anderson, 'the poet's voice suddenly intrudes,'






Notes to pages 138-50

dramatizing 'the force of his indignation' against a corrupt court. Thus Spenser's authorial 'voice embodies the alternative, the balancing corrective, to the stories of canto viii' ('Whatever Happened to Amoret?' 185-6). Goldberg sees Spenser rewriting Chaucer's story of Canacee and the falcon in The Squire's Tale (Endlesse Worke 52-5), reinforcing the nationalist and epic dimension of the episode that I emphasize. Spenser may have taken the heart-shaped ruby ring from Troilus and Criseyde 111.1370-2, V.549- Finally, Spenser may have taken a cue from Sannazaro, who rewrites Virgil in light of Scripture to tell a vocational allegory of 'two white doves' functioning as agents of 'abounding grace' (Arcadia, chapter 8: 77, 84; on the epic dimension of Arcadia, see W.J. Kennedy, Jacopo Sannazaro 104, 135-44). Without referring to this passage, Latham notes, There may be something of Spenser in the pastoral imagery of Cynthia,' since Ralegh's poetry changes after the publication of The Shepheardes Calender (xxxiii). On the Spenser-Ralegh connection, I have benefited greatly from conversations with my doctoral advisee, Jeffrey Morris. On the problematic conclusion of the story, see J.H. Anderson, 'Whatever Happened to Amoret?' 181-4, Growth of a Personal Voice 119, and 'The Queen of Spenser's Central Books' 58-61. Bennett sets a date 'after the summer of 1592' (Evolution 170). But if we accept the influence of Arthur Throckmorton's ruby, supported by Brink, Bednarz, and Hamilton (FQ 481, n. iv.viii.6), we need to set a date after January 1595, the date of Throckmorton's letter to Robert Cecil. While I do not believe that Spenser figures Throckmorton in the guise of the Dove, I none the less believe that the Throckmorton ruby influenced Spenser's design. We know that Spenser was still working on parts of the second instalment of The Faerie Queene when he was in England in 1595-6 - most notably, Book V (Bennett, Evolution 201-5). 4 Renewing Vatic Virtue in Amoretti and Epithalamion

i This thesis does not deny the poet's 'sincere' expression of love for Elizabeth Boyle; it emphasizes the public role that he lends these private poems by publishing them. As I shall show, Spenser encourages such a reading. The power and importance of the volume lie in the intersection of private intimacy and public utterance. See T.M. Greene, 'Epithalamic Convention' 158, 166-7. Whereas Greene emphasizes the 'private emotional event' as Spenser's original contribution to the genre, I emphasize Spenser's use of this event to promote 'a ritualistic public statement.' For support, see DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 76.

Notes to page 150


2 Three critics do place Epithalamion in a career context. As we saw in chapter i, Neuse argues that for Spenser the 'epithalamic became the distinct symbolic mode or form taking the place of the Georgics as intermediary between pastoral and epic' (The Virgilian Triad' 616). Loewenstein argues that Epithalamion is 'the ripest fruit of ... meditations' on 'canon or career' ('Orpheus and Spenser's Career' 298), that Spenser 'introduces the marriage poem as an intrusion on a generic continuum' (299), that it 'testifies to ... the heterodoxy of his own career' (300), and that it 'also insists on binding ... the heterodox to the orthodox career' (300). I find the idea that the poem is a heterodox intrusion in an orthodox career misleading. Finally, Schenck argues that in Epithalamion Spenser charts 'the deliberate confluence of lovemaking and career-making' (55), and that 'Spenser exploits the nuptial mode ... to demonstrate his own graduation to literary stature in the Epithalamion' (55); however, she does not situate the poem along the continuum of Spenser's career. On Sidney's elevation of the sonnet 'in the hierarchical literary system/ see Marotti 418. On the philosophical way in which Spenser achieves this elevation - a culturally significant critique of Petrarchan love - see Dasenbrock. On the centre of Spenser's project as the lover-poet's learning to 'speak metaphorically/ see DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 62, 65-6, 69. And on the relation between both poems and the 1596 Faerie Queene, see D. Cheney, 'Spenser's Fortieth Birthday' i, 5-7. 3 On Amoretti, in addition to the works listed in the Variorum Edition 8: 419-54, I have consulted the following: Casady; Lever; Kostic; Martz; Yuasa; McNeir, 'An Apology'; Kellogg; Dunlop, 'Unity'; Fowler, Triumphal Forms 180-2; P.M. Cummings; Hardison, 'Dolce Stil Novo'; Benson; Ricks; Hunter, 'English Sonnet Tradition'; Quitslund, 'Spenser's Amoretti vm'; Brown, 'Patterns in Spenser's Amoretti'; A.K. Hieatt, 'Numerical Key'; Hunter, ' "Unity" and Numbers'; Dunlop, 'Drama'; Bernard, 'Spenserian Pastoral'; DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 62-76; Bieman, Plato Baptized 162-75; Wells; Dasenbrock; Prescott, 'Contexts for Amoretti 67-70'; Loewenstein, 'Orpheus and Spenser's Career'; M. Turner; Villeponteaux; Loewenstein, 'Note'; Kaske, 'Rethinking Loewenstein'; Gibbs; W. Johnson, Spenser's 'Amoretti'; Bates. On Epithalamion, in addition to the works in the Variorum Edition 8: 458-94,1 have consulted the following: T.M. Greene, 'Epithalamic Convention'; Hyman; A.K. Hieatt, Short Time's Endless Monument and The Daughters of Horus'; H. Smith, 'Spenser's Minor Poems'; Neuse, Triumph over Hasty Accidents'; Tufte, 'Rhetoric and the Epithalamion'; Clemen; Cirillo; Wickert; Fowler, Triumphal Forms 161-73; P. Miller; Hill; Mulryan; Young; W. Johnson, ' "Sacred Rites" and Prayer-Book Echoes';


Notes to pages 150-3

Tufte, The Poetry of Marriage; Allman; D. Anderson; Schenck 55-61; Wall 127-65; Dubrow, A Happier Eden; Chinitz. On the relation between the two poems and the 'Anacreontics/ I have also consulted Nelson, Poetry 84-97; Kaske, 'Spenser's Amoretti and Epithalamion of 1595'; Mióla; Thompson; Heninger, Sidney and Spenser 347-57; Warkentin; Smarr; King, Spenser's Poetry and the Reformation Tradition 160-77; Fukuda. I do not discuss the 'Anacreontics' because their single avian image (6) has no direct vocational or careeric significance. I have also benefited from Dunlop's introductions and notes in Oram et al. 4 Critics generally overlook the avian significance of 'mew' in Amoretti 80. But see C.B. Hieatt, 'Stooping' 347, 349 (and her 'Falconry' 298-9). My defining feature for the love lyric, renewal, is also a hawking term, as when Thomas Heywood remarks in A Woman Killed with Kindness, 'our merlin ... twice renew'd her from the river' (qtd in Hieatt, 'Stooping' 345). On amor and gloria in Petrarch, see Roche, Petrarch 1-69, especially 6-8, 14-18, 27-8. According to Roche, Petrarch eventually turns from Laura/ Laurel, 'whether viewed as poetic fame or a loved woman/ to 'the proper source of both amor and gloria': the Blessed Virgin (68). On the cage as fame in Chaucer, see Koonce 251-3; Boitani 178-9. The word mew is a favourite of Chaucer's: 'As fressh as faukoun comen out of muwe' (TC 111.1784), in which 'fressh' evokes the idea of renewal; and 'O, where hastow ben hid so longe in muwe, / That kanst so wel and formely arguwe?' (TC iv.496-7), in which 'muwe' functions as a trope for rhetoric. On the idea that 'captivity is productive/ with sanction in the Song of Songs, see DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 70-1. See also Mother Hubberds Tale on the 'Courtly Gentleman/ for whom music, love, and poetry are forms of 'rest' renewing his spirit after the 'toyle' of public service (753-93). Spenser's brilliance lies in harnessing this courtly commonplace to the Virgilian career model. 5 Most critics neglect Spenser's avian imagery in Amoretti and Epithalamion, marginalizing it as a 'fanciful image' (P.M. Cummings 175). Some identify the image in passing as a symbol of nature (Tufte, 'Rhetoric and the Epithalamion' 34, 39; Cirillo 24; Wickert 154-5; P- Miller 411; Mulryan 58; Thompson 305, 308), and a few as a symbol of 'chthonic powers' (Hill 86; see Wickert 152). Recently, however, critics have begun to comment on the importance of avian imagery, especially in the sonnet sequence. M. Turner refers to 'the pervasive metaphors of caged and nesting birds/ which mirror 'the poet's desire to domesticate the wildness of nature, both human and external' (290); conversely, he sees the flying bird in Amoretti 72 as a 'symbol of the poet's power to transcend himself (287)

Notes to pages 153-66


7 8



and the caged bird of Amoretti 73 as 'a more limited and realistic form of transcendence, that which enables the lovers to go beyond the particular self (289). I take issue with these interpretations later, but note here that no one has seen the bird as a recurrent symbol intersecting the axes of transcendence and immanence, nature and grace, fame and glory. W. Johnson, Spenser's 'Amoretti' 181, 211, 213-14, 222, 250-1, 253, identifies the bird as 'a common symbol for the spirit ascending and descending at will' (211), but he also sees the bird as a symbol of the poet and his art (212-13). DeNeef recognizes the importance of avian imagery in sonnets 65 and 73 as part of a 'mini-sequence on capture and captivity' in which the poet-lover learns to speak metaphorically (Motives of Metaphor 69; see 72-3). In selecting the dove as the bird of the love lyric, I am not trying to restrict the significance of the dove in the literary tradition or to deny the importance of other species to the genre, including Spenser's experiments. I am simply suggesting that Spenser privileges the dove in the 1595 volume. Lindley acknowledges that The term "lyric" is ... particularly elusive of definition' (i), but he identifies 'three qualities that have fairly consistently been attached to the idea of lyric as a universal category': 'a first-person speaker7 (2); 'the present tense, with the immediacy of felt experience' (3); and 'brevity' (4). For other, consonant views of lyric, see C. Day Lewis 3, 25; Hardy i; Shire 153-4. 1° emphasizing the rhetorical nature of lyric, I have been directed by my colleague, Jeffrey Walker, who is writing a book on the topic. For a survey of the critical debate over the increasing emphasis on marriage in the sixteenth century, see Dubrow, A Happier Eden 1-41, especially 13-14. See J.T. Miller, ' "Love Doth Hold My Hand" ' 545; Ferry 127. In To Samuel Daniel, Prince of English Poets,' Francis Davison relies on Sidney's master-Petrarchan image of avian poetic fame to refer to Daniel in the context of Spenser's laurel nest: 'So, learned Daniel, whenas thou didst see / That Spenser erst so far had spread his fame / That he was monarch deem'd of poesy, / Thou didst (I guess) ev'n burn with jealousy / Lest laurel were not left enough to frame / A Nest sufficient for thine endless name' (from A Poetical Rhapsody [1602] in Rollins and Baker 245). Critics have underestimated the cultural importance of this network of imagery; from Pindar onward, this is the language poets speak when communicating directly with their fellow poets. The network here is rich indeed; it includes Davison, Daniel, Sidney, Spenser, and Petrarch! Dubrow calls the sonnet 'perhaps the most self-conscious and selfreferential of all genres' (Genre 23). See also Colie, Resources of Kind 104,


Notes to pages 166-78

105, 107; Neely 360, 363, 364-7, 384; Marotti 397, 406, 408, 413-18; and, with respect to Spenser, DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 62-76. 10 On the 'two-part structure' of English sequences, see Neely 368ff.; on Spenser, see 372, especially as imitating Petrarch. In addition to Dunlop and Hardison, Johnson finds a three-part structure in the sequence and uses it to structure Spenser's 'Amoretti' (41). See also Hieatt, 'Numerical Key' 15-16; King, Spenser's Poetry and the Reformation Tradition 163-71. Kaske argues that Spenser structures the entire volume in three parts: 'courtship (sonnets 1-67), betrothal (extending from sonnet 68, the Easter sonnet, through the Anacreontics), and marriage [Epithalamion]' ('Spenser's Amoretti and Epithalamion of 1595' 273). Hunter, ' "Unity" and Numbers,' rejects Dunlop's three-part structure, opening the way for exploring other structures. For a recent debate, see the Loewenstein-Kaske exchange in the 'Forum' section of Spenser Studies 8. 11 Spenser creates the heroic matrix by alluding to classical mythology (i, 23, 24, 28-29, 35, 38, 44, 77, 83), by identifying himself as a warrior (11, 12, 36, 52), or by battling a powerful beast (20). He also locates himself in the heroic landscape from The Faerie Queene (to, 11, 17, 31, 35, 40, 47). Martz sees 'many' of the heroic poems as 'mock-heroic' (156; see 158), but Benson (184) and Villeponteaux disagree (31). On the mariner's voyage in The Faerie Queene, see l.xii.i and 42; vi.xii.i. On the hunter's chase, see H.Pr.4:5, !V.ii.34:8-9, Vl.i.6:2,1.7:5. As I indicated in note 34 of chapter 2, Spenser can intertwine the avian image with one of the other two. 12 On 'double time' in opening sonnets, see Neely 363. Martz suggests that the 'Leaves, lines, and rymes' are 'happy' - that the poet 'is writing now from a standpoint in which he can review his sorrows with the calm assurance of a mutual affection, an assurance, a poise, a security of mind represented in this poem's highly symmetrical construction' (148). See Fichter on double time in Augustine's Confessions (47). 13 Like other editors, Dunlop glosses 'Helicon' in line 10 by referring to the myth of 'winged horse Pegasus' (Oram et al. 6oo). 14 Todd first noted the oddness of Spenser's choice: Milton in his nightingale sonnet, Jonson in The Sad Shepherd, and Sappho in a fragment all apply the epithet 'messenger,' not to the cuckoo, but to the nightingale (rpt in the Variorum Edition 8: 426). On the cuckoo as carnal love, see Bowie 6-7; Rowland 38-41. On the nightingale as love, see Telfer 26; Shippey. 15 Critics overlook the link between fame and glory, but on 'Eros sanctified,' see Hardison, 'Dolce Stil Novo' 214, 216. On Spenser's response to Petrarch, see Dasenbrock, especially 47. On the principle of 'incarnation,' see P.M. Cummings 176. And on the Easter sonnet, see Prescott, 'Some Contexts for Amoretti 67-70,' especially 46, 56-7.

Notes to pages 179-88


16 On Spenser's imitation of Tasso, see the Variorum Edition 8: 446-7; Kostic 60-2; Dasenbrock 44. 17 Turner sees in Sonnet 72 'the poet's ecstasis ... represented as a bird... ; it is an important symbol of the poet's power to transcend himself (287). This reading seems to me misleading, since the whole point of the flight imagery is to document the grounding of the Platonic bird. 18 On Spenser's imitation of Tasso, see the Variorum Edition 8: 447; Kostic 58-9. Again, I disagree with Turner: 'this sonnet does not emphasize the raptures of ecstasy but, instead, reveals the insufficiency and consequent restlessness of a love which continues solely as the need to be nourished, solely as appetite' (288). 19 Cf. Hunter, 'English Sonnet Tradition,' on the possibility that Spenser may have been imitating Sidney by writing a sonnet sequence to his wife (128). 20 Lewalski cites Heb. 12: i when discussing the biblical metaphor of the pilgrimage: 'let us runne with patience unto the race that is set before us' (Protestant Poetics 93). 21 On the sonnet form as a prison, see Hollander, Melodious Guile 86-7. On 'enclosed space' as an image of the Renaissance poem, see Helgerson, 'Spenser and the Idea of a Literary Career' 894. 22 Wells cued me to this idea: 'If the lyric occupied a less exalted position than the epic in the Renaissance system of genres, its function was just as closely identified with the theory of moral utility of epideictic literature. The lyric poet, like the heroic, was, in theory at least, one who gave praise, "the reward of virtue," "the vertuous acts" [quoting Sidney, Defence] ... Amoretti appear to be poems of "lesser praise" composed in honour, not of some exalted personage, but of a lady of mean degree' (11). On the 'polities' of Amoretti, in which Spenser enacts 'the homology of courtship and courtiership,' see Bates 74. 23 On the relation between the image of the 'quill' here and Spenser's poetics, see D.L. Miller, The Poem's Two Bodies 75-6. 24 In Sonnet 89, Spenser rewrites Petrarch's Song 353 ('Vago augoletto') and Tasso's Rime 399; i: 460: 'O vaga tortorella' (see the Variorum Edition 8: 454; Kostic 75, n. 10). 25 For counter-views, see Martz, who writes, 'For all we know, the separation may have been caused by preparations for the wedding' (149; see 150); and DeNeef, who believes that we need to read their separation in light of the Song of Songs: 'separation is not rejection, and those who seek will find. This separation does not question but affirms the success of the narrative lovers' (Motives of Metaphor 74). 26 Dubrow writes that Epithalamion 'provides a convenient microcosm of changes in our discipline': whereas studies 'published in the 19605 and early 19705 typically emphasized [the poem's] ... serenity,' subsequent



28 29

30 31




Notes to pages 188-93

criticism 'has drawn attention to its anxieties' (A Happier Eden 35-6; comparing Chillo, Hill, and the Variorum critics with D. Anderson and Loewenstein [35-6, nn. 86-9]). Loewenstein writes that 'Spenser's choice of Orpheus' wedding song as the authoritative model for his own enterprise seems curiously reckless' (289). Yet Cain reminds us of a 'tradition that Orpheus won Eurydice with his music/ which 'explains Spenser's allusion' ('Orpheus' 43). Dunlop summarizes the disturbance over Spenser's apparent violation of rhetorical form: 'in EpHhalamion, where we might anticipate a celebration of "mutuall good will," we find rather a demonstration of mastery' (Oram et al. 590). Here, I amplify on Schenck: The strongest support for the view that Spenser is talking about poetry as much as marriage in the Epithalamion, indeed using in very Platonic manner an erotic metaphor for worldly success, is his explicit use of elegiac motifs and conventions in his nuptial hymn': 'orphism,' 'the continuous orphie refrain,' 'the composition of the rites,' and 'the pastoral flower catalogue' (62-3). See also Claudian, Epithalamium of Honorius and Maria 62-4, and Epithalamium of Palladius and Celerina 104-11. Donne understood the importance of the avian convention, for he opens his 'Epithalamion ... on St. Valentines day' with an invocation to 'all the chirping Choristers / And other birds ... thy Parishioners' (3-4). Van Winkle was the first to note the scriptural allusions here (rpt in the Variorum Edition 8: 460). On praise in The Faerie Queene, see Cain's book by that title: 'When encomium occurs in Spenser, the poet's self-representation usually goes with it. In part this is a manifestation of the humanists' glorification of the poet, often under the image of Orpheus' (2). The link between fame and praise recurs throughout Spenser's poetry (eg, Mother Hubberd 769, Teares 274, FQ 11.1.23, in.i.3). On praise in the history of fame, see Braudy 126, 141, 146; Koonce 13, 15-18, 20-23 passim. See Loewenstein's chapter 'Aliena Verba: Echo, Fama, and the Locus Amoenus' (Responsive Readings 10-32); Hollander, The Figure of Echo 12, 16. The link between Echo and birds is ancient; see Satyrus' poem 'On a Statue of Echo' in The Greek Anthology: Tongueless Echo sings in the shepherd's meadow, her voice taking up and responding to the notes of the birds' (xvi.153). The link between echo and the bird is a Renaissance commonplace, as when Marvell writes in Upon Appleton House: 'the winged choirs / Echo about their tuned fires' (511-12). See Amoretti 7: 'Fayre eyes, the myrrour of my mazed hart' (i). In this sonnet, Spenser identifies Medusean power as the source of his inspiration and such inspiration as the 'honor' of Elizabeth's light (13). Wickert connects the morning avian choir with the winged loves flying

Notes to pages 193-7


around the marriage bed (151-2), but he does not speculate on the significance of the connection. 35 On Spenser's project for the family, see Wall 127. On the role of children in this project, see Quiñones 265-9. And on marriage as an agency of salvation, see Wall 145. 5 Returning to the Vatic Source in fowre Hymnes 1 On the dating of Fowre Hymnes, see Bennett, Theme' 49-57; the Variorum Edition 7, pt i: 657-62; Ellrodt 13-24; Bjorvand and Schell, 'Introduction' to fowre Hymnes in Oram et al. 684. Critics now believe that Spenser wrote a version of the first two hymns 'somewhat earlier than 1592 or later than 1594' (Ellrodt 18), and that he probably revised them after the 1595 publication of Amoretti, Epithalamion, and Colin Clout, as well as after the 1596 publication of Faerie Queene iv-vi (registered 20 January [see Ellrodt 23]), and before the i September 1596 date of the Dedicatory Epistle. 2 On Spenser as 'the poet of love,' see Bieman, Plato Baptized 152, 154. On the meaning of lewd' as 'ignorant,' see Welsford 61-3. On the ideology of love linking the first two hymns with Amoretti and Epithalamion, see Bjorvand and Schell, Oram et al. 687. For registers of shock about the turn in the second two hymns, see Welsford 2; Bjorvand and Schell, Oram et al. 721. 3 In 'Spenser and the Patronesses,' Quitslund argues that Spenser was seeking the patronage of Margaret (192), whose biography reveals that she had much to be concerned about in the first two hymns (189-92). 4 'Progressive' critics include J.B. Fletcher, 'Benivieni's Ode' and 'Renaissance Mysticism'; Padelford, 'Spenser's Fowre Hymnes' and 'A Resurvey'; R. Lee; Bennett, Theme' and 'Addenda'; Stewart; R0stvig; Hutton. These critics usually acknowledge Spenser's Christian orientation. Critics oriented specifically to Christianity include Osgood, 'Spenser's Sapience'; Collins; Satterthwaite; C.S. Lewis, English Literature 373-7; Quitslund, 'Sapience.' These critics usually acknowledge Spenser's Neoplatonism. Bieman brings the two sets of critics together by selecting a Christian and Platonic metaphor - the 'whirling circle' - to explain the relation between the two sets of hymns (Plato Baptized 152-3). Heninger relies on an Augustinian principle to find a 'unity out of the multeity of Creation' as the 'truth that Spenser has sought to disclose' in the form of Fowre Hymnes (Sidney and Spenser 341). 5 'Dialectical' critics include Ellrodt 140, 147,161 passim; Nelson, Poetry 99; Welsford 63; Comito 321; Rogers, ' "Perfect Speculation" ' 189-90; P. Johnson 125; Bjorvand, 'Spenser's Defence' 15-16. 6 DeNeef is the main 'typological' critic ('Spenserian Meditation' 318).







Notes to pages 197-200

Although the line between progressive and dialectical critics is usually clear (see DeNeef 317), the line between typological and dialectical critics is not. DeNeef resolves the debate between progression and dialectic, but dialectical critics often lapse into typology (Bjorvand, 'Spenser's Defence' 15-16; Comito 316-17). Although the dialectical and the typological are closely related, I agree with DeNeef that a distinction exists - perhaps merely in emphasis. Relying on the psychoanalytic theory of D.W. Winnicott, Ana-Maria Rizzuto, and others, Gates argues that Fowre Hymnes traces 'a single, progressive experience' (144), 'a unified expression of a developing personality' (146) - what she calls a 'psychological progression from earth to heaven' (162). Relying on a previously neglected definition of 'retractation' in the OED - 'a re-handling of things previously treated of - Gates suggests that Spenser means 'a misinterpretation of innocent poems lead [ing] ... to a rehandling of the material they contained in the twin forms of revision and addition' (164). A few recent critics do emphasize Spenser's attention to the process of writing a hymn. See DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 77, 88; Gates 143,149, 151,162; Comito 301, 310-11; Bjorvand, 'Spenser's Defence' 15. But no one has placed Fowre Hymnes along the continuum of the New Poef s career. On Spenser's linguistic equivocation as a mark of 'Christian retraction literature stemming from Paul and Augustine,' see Bieman, Plato Baptized 155. On 'the paradoxes of immanence and transcendence' in the four poems, see Comito 317. Spenser's avian imagery in Fowre Hymnes remains neglected, but several critics note his emphasis on 'images of flight and ascent' (Bjorvand and Schell, Oram et al. 689). All agree that the images are of spiritual transcendence: Bjorvand, 'Spenser's Defence' 38-9; R. Lee 68; Ellrodt 180, 186; DeNeef, 'Spenserian Meditation' 327-8 and Motives of Metaphor 88; Hart 177-80. On flight imagery in Du Bartas, see Divine Weeks and Works 1.1.135-40, 315-28, 577-82,1.2.387-404,1.5.567-76, II.2.1-8. In French Poets, Prescott discusses what she terms Du Bartas' 'aesthetics of lévitation' (209) - an aesthetics amplified on by Melpezzi. In the introduction (note 20), I explained my designation of the falcon and eagle as a hawk. Bjorvand emphasizes the eagle and falcon as birds of regeneration, following Scripture ('Spenser's Defence' 35-9; see Oram et al. 689). As in previous chapters, I do not suggest that Spenser or any writer limits the significance of hawks to a single genre. I do emphasize how economized Spenser's choice of the hawk is in Fowre Hymnes, and how peculiar his absenting of the dove is - a peculiarity rendered all the more striking by the prominence of the dove in the Bible and divine poetry. In

Notes to pages 200-4


'Jordan' (l), for instance, Herbert rejects the pastoral/Petrarchan avian mythos ('I envie no mans nightingale or spring' [13]), and then in 'Whitsunday' he turns to the scriptural one ('Listen sweet Dove unto my song, / And spread thy golden wings in me' [1-2]). Finally, in The Quidditie' Herbert rejects the courtly/Virgilian avian mythos: 'My God, a verse is not a crown, / No point of honour ... / No hawk ... or renown' (1-3). In Herbert, we can glean something of the danger in Spenser's selection of the hawk as the bird of the hymn or divine poetry; his selection is contaminated by courtly power, not purified through Christian humility. In other words, Spenser's hawk is itself a sign of career equivocation. 12 In 'A Generic View,' Rollinson explains Spenser's progressive turn from earthly love in the first two hymns to heavenly love in the second two in terms of the hymn tradition (294; see 304; and 'Hymn'). In addition to Rollinson and Hardison (Enduring Monument 95-102), see Campbell, Divine Poetry 9-138 (89-91 on FH); Lewalski, Protestant Poetics 31-250 and Rhetoric of Literary Forms 160-71, 202-5; Blessington. 13 Although none of their avian images is particularly significant, all are consistent with the transcendence of the avian hymnic myth. In his hymns, 'Homer' repeatedly refers to 'winged words' (HH 2); and he sees birds as agents of prophecy, usually linked with Apollo (HH 4, To Hermes' 543-9). 'Homer' also links the nightingale with Pan (HH 19, To Pan' 15-18), and the swan with Apollo (HH 21, To Apollo' 1-4). In his hymns, Callimachus identifies 'the swans' as 'God's own poets' (Hymn IV, To Délos' 275-82). On the prophetic eagle, see Hymn I, To Zeus' 90-1; on the prophetic swan, see Hymn II, To Apollo' 5-9 (see 72-4, where Apollo is 'as a raven'); and on the prophetic nightingale, see Hymn v, "The Bath of Pallas' 118 (see also 147-8). 14 On the iconography linking angels and birds, see Hart 40, 52, 83, 245; Meyer-Baer 45-57. The literary link is a commonplace; see Gascoigne, 'Gascoignes good morrow,' Posies i: 57. 15 The preceding paragraph is indebted to Guthrie 84, 92-3. In trying to determine whether Aristophanes' Eros is the Orphic Phanes or merely the classical Eros, Guthrie says, The wings themselves prove nothing, since the figure of Eros as a winged youth was already a commonplace of art and literature. In all probability Eros always had been winged ... The epithet "golden" ... was ... a common tag,' but 'the description becomes a little more significant when we notice in conjunction with the golden wings the epithet "gleaming" ' (95). Guthrie concludes that 'Aristophanes must have been playing with the phrases of a poem in the Orphic tradition' (96). He adds that the Orphic Hymns influenced Aristophanes and other Greeks (166-8,199-200), but 'made the strongest appeal' to









Notes to pages 204-14

Plato (238; see 238-44). Subsequently, the Orphic religion made possible an alliance between Platonism and Christianity (195). For support, see Rollinson, 'Literary Hymn' 12-14 and 'Hymn' 385; Vicari, 'Orpheus in Spenser and Milton' 210; Bjorvand, 'Spenser's Defence' 30-1; Bieman, Plato Baptized 152, 153, 157, 281, n. 7. See Campbell, Divine Poetry 80 on eight tenets of the movement. In 'Evil Tongues,' Prescott identifies the 'conflict' of L'Uranie as that 'between the verse's ostensible goal - to promote scriptural poetry - and the worldliness of its hopes' (184): not 'only has his Urania been reading Plato, Horace, and Ovid, [but] she is herself a pagan fiction; that she tells her poet to give up pagan fictions is generous but paradoxical. More to my point, she has rewards to give: widespread admiration, "eternall Bayes," and "fair Renown" for "time-proof Poems" ' (184) - in other words, poetic fame. Prescott cites Spenser as an imitator of this movement in The Mutabilitie Cantos (French Poets 209-10). Heninger sees Fowre Hymnes as the 'purest example of Uranian poetry in Spenser's canon,' through which 'Spenser perfectly fulfills the role of poet as votes' (Sidney and Spenser 327; see 328, 336; Snyder 80). See, most recently, Bellamy, 'Colin and Orphic Interpretation': 'Colin becomes an Orpheus' who 'does not "lead us out of the woods" either literally or figuratively because his role is to show us that the Forms of Beauty are just as readily perceptible in a horizontal, synchronie movement throughout the sensible realms as by pushing vertically to a notion of Beauty as epistemic goal... [The Orphic Colin] brings us to the mediating juncture between heaven and earth' (178, 180). For support, see Alwes 41-2. Woods writes that the stanzas offer an 'envoi' that is Tjoth a direction and a warning' (215). She adds that the last stanza is especially 'a recognition that poetry is not properly appreciated by its courtly audience/ and she cites the October eclogue (215). Bulger usefully argues that in The Mutabilitie Cantos Spenser incorporates elements of the Neoplatonic hymn in order to set up the final stanza of his ultimately Christian hymn. On Fowre Hymnes as 'the final panel in the extended portrait of loving that Spenser begins in the Amoretti and centers in the Epithalamion,' see DeNeef, Motives of Metaphor 77. On the relation between Fowre Hymnes, Amoretti, and The Faerie Queene, see Bieman, Plato Baptized 157. On Elizabeth Boyle as the Fourth Grace on Acídale, see D. L. Miller, 'Abandoning the Quest' 186; on Spenser there 'rehearsing his own epithalamium/ see Neuse, The Virgilian Triad' 622. Cf. Berger, Revisionary Play: 'Cosmology is not... his main interest. Temporal and cosmogonie explanation is detached from the world and

Notes to pages 214-25


applied to human behavior and experience. Its main reference is social, ethical, psychological, and phenomenological' (25). To this list, I would add Vocational.' We could rephrase another of Berger's principles: 'Spenserian landscape ... evolves from the projection of inscape' (Revisionary Play 23). Spenserian cosmology evolves from the projection of the poet's artistic inscape. Bieman notes how in the Hymne of Beautie 'Venus ... encompasses both the goddess and the singer's beloved' (Piafo Baptized 158). I extend her principle to see Love encompassing both the deity and the singer. The relation between Love and Venus evokes the relation between the poet and his beloved. 23 Cf. Berger, Revisionary Play: the passage 'can be read not only as a watery restatement of the old cosmogony but also as a myth about the development of consciousness' (25). 24 The discipline of pure regard 'works by attenuating the materiality of a body image, abstracting from it the pure fire and symmetry said to be the essence of heavenly being. In the course of this meditative sublimation a natural body is first transformed into a mystical one by negation of its physical beauty. The flesh is then reinvested with the mystical essence derived from its shape and energy' (Miller, The Poem's Two Bodies 76). The discipline of impure regard inverts this process. 25 See D.L. Miller, 'Spenser's Vocation' 201, 204, 206. Hence, in the heavenly hymns Spenser 'effectively reverses' the discipline of pure regard from the earthly hymns: 'the descent of spirit into matter' exchanged for the spirit's tracing itself 'back to its source in God' (201). 26 Bjorvand and Schell remark that 'there is no critical agreement as to whether the "flight" introduced here should be interpreted as a contrast, a fresh start, in relation to the first two hymns, or whether it should be seen as a more or less direct continuation of the ascent that found its beginning in the first two hymns' (Oram et al. 721). But like most 'parallel and contrast' critics, they are forced to deny the validity of the next stanza, in which Spenser 'reprovefs]' the 'follies' of his 'many lewd layes' made 'in th'heat of youth' (8-12): 'there seems to be little reason to assume that Sp, one year after the publication of his Amoretti and Epithalamion, had arrived at a position which involved the renunciation of sensual love' (721). Conclusion: Rescanning the Famous Flight in Prothalamion i The betrothal evidently occurred in September 1596, and the marriage was celebrated on 8 November. We do not know the circumstances surrounding the poem's composition - whether the earl of Worcester (the


Notes to pages 225-7

brides' father) or Essex (Spenser's patron) commissioned it or whether Spenser wrote it on his own. On the date and composition, see the Variorum Edition 8: 662-6. While critics believe Prothalamion to be the last poem Spenser published, R.J. Meyer implies that it may also have been the last poem Spenser wrote, since astronomical evidence suggests a date shortly after April 1595 for The Mutabilitie Cantos. Fowler says that 'Essex's engagements, and correspondence ... limit the probable date to 7-29 Sept.' ('Spenser's Prothalamion' do, n. 3). 2 Berger explains the movement from allegory to realism by emphasizing Spenser's psychological process when mastering inner experience to perform his role as poet ('Spenser's Prothalamion' 509-23). None the less, like Lewis, he remains 'uneasy' over Spenser's 'praise of Essex,' because it is 'so conventionally hyperbolic and so blatant a piece of patron-seeking': 'the poet as man must... compromise his purity and be realistic in order to survive' (520). Fowler explains the movement by emphasizing the generic expectations Spenser follows when converting 'occasion' into 'poetry.' He objects to Berger's 'modern stance that... dwells on its [the poem's] element of personal complaint, and treats its compliments as ironic or cynical or wryly practical - or anything, but sincere' ('Spenser's Prothalamion' 61), yet eventually he follows Berger in describing the complaint as 'resolved through the distancing process of poetic mediation and "the inward mastery of experience" [Berger 521]' (84). Thus, even though Berger and Fowler argue for unity, each hints at interpretive dissatisfaction. All subsequent references to Berger and Fowler in the notes for my conclusion are from their respective essays named above. Other critics who treat or refer to the question of unity include Norton, 'Bibliography'; J.N. Smith; Wine; Woodward; Prager; S.R. Patterson; Auberlen; Bjorvand, 'Introduction' to Prothalamion in Oram et al., and 'Prothalamion.' 3 Self-Crowned Laureates 88. See also D.L. Miller, 'Spenser's Vocation' 219-21; Graves; Schenck 55-7, 66-71; McCoy 152-5. The recent historical view is consistent with the view held earlier in the century. S. Lee called Prothalamion 'Spenser's fit farewell to his Muse' (rpt in the Variorum Edition 8: 496). Winbolt labelled the poem 'a swan-song in another sense' (rpt in the Variorum Edition 8: 661). And Davis called the 'Spousall Verse' a 'proud and glowing eulogy of a Londoner to his native city, Cleopolis, the fair and venerable home of civility' (rpt in the Variorum Edition 8: 662). For a recently dissenting historical voice, however, see Manley 209-10. 4 On pictorial techniques, see Freeman 104-5; Bender 175. On the relation between sentence and stanza, see Alpers, Poetry 77. On diction, see Rubel, rpt in the Variorum Edition 8: 676. Moreover, the first line of the refrain derives from The Faerie Queene (Watkins 221): That we may us reserve

Notes to pages 227-31


both fresh and strong, / Against the Turneiment which is not long' (rv.iv.12). Similarly, the second line of the refrain derives from The Faerie Queene (Woodward 45, n. 25): '[The tide] Drives backe the current of his kindly course, / And makes it seem to have some other source' (iv.iii.27). 5 See the Variorum Edition 8: 495-505, 667^73; Norton, 'Tradition/ On Spenser and Propertius, see West. Prothalamion has also been influential with later poets (Schulman; Halio). 6 What Cain says about another of Colin's failures, I apply to this one: 'this topos of inability' is 'an indirect tactic of self-assertion' (Qram et al. 108; see chapter 2 on June). On the swan as sacred to Apollo, see Callimachus, Hymn IV, To Délos.' Unlike many birds, the swan retains a consistent and rather simple meaning from classical through Renaissance culture; its habit of singing before its death makes it a bird of transcendence (Aristophanes, Birds 769-76), including Christian transcendence (Tasso, The Creation of the World V.i20O-4). This tradition enters Elizabethan England (Gascoigne, Posies i: 329). As Clements observes, the swan becomes an emblem for 'the doctrine of poetic glory7 (681). Hinds examines Ovid's description of Enna in the Persephone myth (Met V.385-92) as a locus amoenus, in which the swans of Enna are like the swans at Cayster, and he argues that this comparison is 'literary' or 'programmatic': 'artistic selfdefinition [is] discerned in this landscape' (47; see 26-7, 44-8, 148-9, nn. 64, 65). Spenser's opening allusion to Ovid's Proserpina myth (Rogers, 'Proserpina') reveals that his swans have 'programmatic' significance. In her essay on fame in Spenser, Bradbrook writes that the 'submerged image of the swan singing at his death lies drowned beneath the murmuring of the liquid Thames' (108). 7 Spenser hints at this process in The Letter to Ralegh and amplifies on it in the proems to the six books of The Faerie Queene. This is essentially the process Sidney articulates in The Defence of Poesy. As Sidney knew, poetry needed to be defended as more than narcissistic delight and private instruction. In Prothalamion, however, Spenser uniquely grounds the poetic process in the poet's disillusionment with the actual world. 8 While this charge is present in the sixteenth century, it becomes rampant by the nineteenth. In the 1598 Skialetheia, Everard Guilpin notes that 'some blame deep Spenser' for writing a 'masterpiece of cunning' (in Alpers, Edmund Spenser 52). For Warton (Observations on 'The Faerie Queene' [1754], in Alpers 103), for Wordsworth (Dedication to The White Doe of Rylstone [1815], in Alpers 125), and for Coleridge (from notes for lectures on Spenser [1818], in Alpers 144), Spenser is a great 'enchanter' who 'waves his wand of enchantment,' as Hazlitt says, 'and at once embodies airy beings, and throws a delicious veil over all actual objects' (from Lectures


Notes to pages 231-4

on the English Poets [1818], in Alpers 131). See Leigh Hunt, 'A New Gallery of Pictures' (1833), for a passage on the poet's withdrawal that could be inspired by the opening of Prothalamion (in Elliott 16). Inaugurating modern Spenser studies, Dowden tries to refute precisely this view of the poet's art: 'Shall we say ... that Spenser is ... the creator of illusions, the enchanter of the Elizabethan age ... ?' If men of affairs like Ralegh, Drake, Bacon, and Hooker were reforming society, 'where was Spenser? Was he forgetful of England, forgetful of earth, lulled and lying in some bower of fantasy' (49)? Dowden's answer is no. Spenser entered and created his magical world, not to escape from contemporary affairs, but to reform them. While recent historical critics join Dowden in reading Spenser's poetry more sensitively than did the Romantics, they seem to overlook their usual rejection of Romantic readings by arguing for a Romantic Spenser at the end of his career and by seeing Prothalamion as evidence for their argument. I am convinced that the commonplace view of Spenser as the disillusioned bard is largely a fiction of the Romantic age - or more accurately, a Romantic misreading of the fiction Spenser himself tells. For recent historical critics, as for the Romantics, it is evidently necessary that Spenser appear by abandoning his imperialist program. 9 'Of Gentlemen and Shepherds' 419. Speaking about pastoral, Montrose takes the term 'primary activity' from Raymond Williams. 10 The poet's walk is consistent with the 'escapism' in Book vi noted by Neuse, with its 'repeated motif of retirement from court to a greener world' ('Book VI as Conclusion' 371). On escapism in Prothalamion, see Berger 514-17. 11 Essentially, he walks among 'the flowers of poetry' in 'Apollo's garden' (Sidney, Defence of Poesy in G.G. Smith i: 105). 12 Critics regularly associate features of Prothalamion with the poet without providing a comprehensive framework. Although Fowler makes the-identification of flower gathering with poetry, he does not extend the identification. He finds an 'unmistakable self-reference in the ... account [in stanza 7] of how the Lee ... lackt a tongue' (74), and he sees a pun on 'posies' (34) - a variant of 'poesy' (OED; 65, n. 21). Woodward notes 'the fertility imagery7 associated with the Nymphs (37), but he does not associate that fertility with poetic creation. And Rogers interprets Spenser's allusion to the Proserpina myth of Ovid as 'an allegory of generation' ('Proserpina' 134), but he does not associate that allegory with poetic generation. 13 By attending to the swan sign, we can reinterpret the cryptic opening quatrain in which 'sweete breathing Zephyrus did softly play / A gentle spirit' (1-2). According to Berger, 'the periphrases of the opening quatrain

Notes to pages 234-8


suggest the locus amoenus which is an artificial and mental rather than a natural "place" '; hence, we can associate the 'gentle spirif with 'the slowing spell of imagination' (513-14). The elements of air and light particularly evoke a groundplot for poetic inspiration. In Valeriano's Hieroglyphica, says Clements, 'We learn that it is for the praises of Zephyr that they [poets] contend ... Aelianus even claimed that swans will not sing except when Zephyr is present' (684). Spenser imitates Ovid in order to alert us to the 'programmatic' significance of his avian myth (see Hinds in note 6). 14 See Hollander, Melodious Guile: the refrain 'affirms ... the Thames as the flow of English poetic eloquence' (154): The trope of singing to the water ... constitutes a hidden undersong for Spenser's actual and remembered oeuvre' (162). On Spenser's project of 'rerouting] ... Helicon into Thames,' in which the 'river was a kind of synecdochic shorthand for Spenser's poetic,' see Herendeen 179-80. 15 Although Spenser does not explicitly link chance with grace here, elsewhere in his poetry he does (FQ i.xi-45; in.vii.27). See chapter 3. 16 Rpt in the Variorum Edition 8: 667. Fowler would agree: the 'swan incident occasioned by Leda's purity might signify ... no more than the supernaturality of the union' (81). 17 On 'daunger' as central to the genre of the marriage song, see Claudian, Epithalamium of Palladius and Celerina 124-6,138; Scaliger, Poetics Ill.ioi (trans. Bryce in Dubrow, A Happier Eden, appendix, 274). 18 Aen 1.327-8. Although critics overlook this Virgilian allusion, they find others; see Fowler 74, 83. 19 Ovid, Met 1.585, trans. Golding. Berger refers briefly to the myth (516-17), as does S. Patterson 100, and Rogers, 'Proserpina' 131, but none of these critics examines the myth's function. Fowler refers to Spenser's use of 'myths of rough sexual capture' (62). 20 In line 40, Spenser mentions another part of the Peneus/Tempe/Thessaly landscape, Mount Pindus, indicating his debt to Ovid, whose myth concludes: There is a lande in Thessalie enclosd on every syde / With woodie hilles, that Timpe hight, through mid whereof doth glide / Peneus gushing full of froth from foote of Pindus hye. / Which with his headlong falling downe doth cast up violently, / A mistie steame lyke flakes of smoke, besprincklmg all about / The toppes of trees ...' (701-6). Thessaly, Tempe, the Peneus, and Mount Pindus reappear in Spenser's poem, linked with images of falling and besprinkling. 21 Cain cites Boccaccio on Orpheus' death as figuring the triumph over time ('Orpheus' 26-7); Vicari cites The Ruines of Time for Spenser's own use of the myth in this way ('Orpheus in Spenser and Milton' 211-13).


Notes to pages 238-41

22 In a Commendatory Verse to the 1590 Faerie Queene, 'R.S.' relies on an Orphic myth of 'renown' to advertise Spenser as the 'Bryttane Orpheus': 'Nere thy sweet bankes, there lives that sacred crowne, / Whose hand strowes Palme and never-dying bayes' (4: 1-6). In Prothalamion, Spenser enacts the 'famous' role of Orphic poet assigned to him by 'R.S.' In The Ruines of Time, he envisions Sidney's harp swimming 'adowne the Lee' (603), which prompts him to refer to Orpheus' death (607-8); the phrase 'adowne the Lee' recurs in Prothalamion (115). On the problem of interpreting the phrase 'adowne the Lee,' see Hollander, Melodious Guile 150. In another context, Cain says that 'the woods-resounding formula ... always betokens the Orpheus archetype' ('Orpheus' 29); I would add what I have said in previous chapters about echo: it is a trope for poetic fame. Finally, Rogers points out the link between Mount Pindus and Orpheus in Horace, Odes 1.12: 6-8 (The Carmina of Horace' 148). 23 For helping me see that the 'Lay' is not a formal Orphic hymn but an adjusted one, I am grateful to Professor Cain (personal communication). The singer, rather than addressing the gods, as in an Orphic hymn, addresses the brides. None the less, the praise of Venus and Cupid (96-100) is consistent with the Orphic tenor of the song. 24 Berger notes that the 'Lay' 'dramatically opposes the daunger that keeps the brides from seizing the day,' and he sees the song as a 'mask or mouthpiece' through which 'Spenser addresses the brides' (518). We need to ask, how does the 'Lay' function? Why is it sung for the swan-brides? What is its effect? Clearly, the 'Lay' has a rhetorical purpose within the narrative; it does what poetry does: it transforms the reader's active life. 25 Almost unanimously critics observe that the topic of marriage evokes Epithalamion. The reference to Ijlisfull bower' (93) evokes Belphoebe's Tx>wre of bus' in Book III of The Faerie Queene (v.35), while the actual phrasing appears at iil.vi.ii (referring to Venus' 'blisfull bowre'). Similarly, the phrase 'Loves dislike and friendships faultie guile' evokes the central virtues of Books HI and rv. Essentially, the vocabulary of the song is the vocabulary of the middle books. Finally, the references to Venus and Cupid call to mind the first two Hymnes. 26 Norton assumes that the muse is Spenser's ('Queen Elizabeth's "Brydale Day" ' 152); Cain disagrees ('Orpheus' 46). Fowler comments: 'whether the "brave Muse [who] may sing / To ages following" of Elizabeth's name and Essex's exploits is himself or not, his poetry will in any case outlast them all. Here as elsewhere Spenser fronts posterity more confidently than any previous English poef (80). Spenser had used the device before when referring to himself (Rome 26-7; FQ V.x.3). Norton explains the clumsy conclusion of the 'brave muse' stanza as a reference to Accès-

Notes to pages 241-4






sion Day, and says that lines 156-62 express 'a mystical paradox which ... [Spenser] had developed allegorically in The Faerie Queene [in the union of both Britomart/Artegall and Arthur/Gloriana - the paradox of Elizabeth as the virgin bride of England] and which is a part of his countrymen's conception of their virgin sovereign' (154). Benjamin usefully places Prothalamion in the context of Spenser's program of fame from The Faerie Queene: 'the idea of Fame helps to give a backbone to a poem that is sometimes seen as little more than a dish of whipped cream' (74). A. Kent Hieatt kindly alerts me to the Dedicatory Sonnet to Essex published with the 1590 edition of The Faerie Queene (personal communication): 'when my Muse ... / With bolder wing shall dare alofte to sty / To the last praises of this Faery Queene, / Then shall it make more famous memory / Of thine Heroicke parts' (6: 7-12; emphasis added). Professor Hieatt suggests that the sonnet offers additional evidence for thinking that Spenser's celebration of Essex in Prothalamion continues the poet's original frame of mind in The Faerie Queene, because the sonnet celebrates Essex in terms analogous to those in the 'Spousall Verse.' The passage, I would add, is a superb metonym for this phase of the 'famous flight.' On the Arthur/Essex connection, see Rathborne 235 ff.; M.Y. Hughes, The Arthurs of The Faerie Queene' 195-6. I gratefully borrow the term 'meta-allegory' from Gordon Teskey (in his response to my paper on Prothalamion during the 22nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 9 May 1987). In The Passing of Arthur/ The Projected Continuation of The Faerie Queene,' and 'Arthur's Deliverance of Rome?' Hieatt argues that Spenser planned to continue the national poem by portraying Essex as Prince Arthur, the Protestant hero who conquers Rome. Cf. Montrose: To make poetry a vehicle of transcendence is tacitly to acknowledge its ethical and political impotence' (' 'The perfecte paterne" ' 54).

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General Index

Adam 93, 194 aëdon (poet, nightingale) 70 Aelian 33, 120, 250nio, 272^0 Aeneas 116, 123, 135, 160. See also Virgil: Aeneid Aesop 27 Alabaster, William 117-19, 124, 274n10

Alain de Lille 33, 64, 71, 145, 264n44, 266n48, 268n7

Alciatus, Andreas (Alciati) 142-3. See also figs. 9, 11 Aldhelm 84 Alkman 13, 66, 25ini4 allegory 15, 122-3, 125/ 193/ 2°7- See also Spenser Index under The Faerie Queene; Prothalamion Allen, Don Cameron 25onio, 272n3O Allman, Eileen Jorge 28on3 Alpers, Paul ]. 53, 247^, 26onn29, 30, 264n43, 267-8nni, 4, 270020, 27in26, 273ni, 274^, 276-71122, 29004

Alwes, Derek B. 54, 139, 273ni, 288ni9 amateur (poet). See under laureate Ammons, A.R. 18

amor and gloria (in Petrarch) 152, 160, 28on4 Amphion 70, 86 Anderson, Douglas 28on3, 284026 Anderson, Judith H. 274^, 277-8nn27, 30 Andrew, Malcolm 252ni6, 26gni2 angels: and birds 287ni4; and wings 203 Apollo 69, 70, 136, 160, 161, 236; and birds 287ni3; and Daphne 25, 171, 177, 236-7, 238, 252017; and Pegasus 266n5i; and swans 25, 274n10

Apollonius Rhodius (Argonautica) 122 Arcadia 51-2, 86, 94, 161, 2671*1 Argonauts, Argo. See under Orpheus Ariadne 241 Arion 171-2 Ariosto (Orlando Furioso) 21, 55, 118, 130, 145, 147, 229-30, 250nio; and swan allegory of fame 122-5, 274nio, 276nni7, 21 Aristophanes (Birds) 11, 13, 32, 266048, 29in6; and epithalamium 189; and lark 269011; and nightin-

332 gale 69, 81, 2651147; and Orphie egg 204, 287ni5 Aristotle 35, 54, 115, 132, 154, 259H2Ó

Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth 142-5 Armstrong, Ted 25/ni2 arrow, winged 97, 27in23. See also under quill ascent and descent, images of 200. See also descent and under epic Ascoli, Albert Russell 2y6ni7 Astolpho (in Ariosto) 123-4 Aston, Sir Walter 40-1 Astraea 33 Athena (Minerva) 65, 2o9nn Athenaeus (Deipnosophists) 13, 66, 70, 265n45 Athenian phase 86, 102 Auberlen, Eckhard 29on2 Aubrey, John xi-xii Augustine, Saint xii-xiii, 23, 224, 254n2, 259H26, 286ng; career model of 5-6, 34, 36, 56-62; and epic, hymn, and lyric 249n8; and fame and glory 7, 8-10, 248-9nn6, 7; and hymn 201, 202; and Virgil 26in34. Works: City of God 8, 72, 131, 248n6; Confessions 16, 37, 57, 64, 87,157, 178, 248n6; Trinity 54, 263n38. See also under Du Bartas; conversion; hymn; Petrarch; Spenser, Edmund authority: poetic 19, 20, 25, 75, in, 133, 170, 174; vatic 79, 87 avis, avena 265*145; and omen 32 Badius Ascensius, lodocus 26on28 Bailey, Cyril 66 Bakhtin, M.M. 253ng Baldi, Philip 265^5

General Index Barkan, Leonard 83, 268n8 Barker, Andrew 265^5 Barnes, Barnabe 200, 203, 217 Baroway, Israel 189 Du Bartas, Guillaume de Saluste, Sieur u, 13, 36, 252ni5, 288ni7; and St Augustine 34; and divine poetry 61-2, 72, 204-5, 247~8n4; flight imagery in 286nio; and hymn 45; movement of 199-200, 203, 217; and Pegasus and Holy Spirit 74; and ruby 130, 143. Works: Divine Weeks and Works n, 36, 72, 252ni7, 266n49, 276n2i 286nio; L'Uranie 74, 209-11, 288ni7 Bates, Catherine 27gn3, 283n22 Bawcutt, Priscilla 121, 269nn Beatrice (in Dante) 58 Bednarz, James P. 129, 146, 273n2, 278n31

bee 10, 105, 179, 25onio Bellamy, Elizabeth J. 208, 25ini5, 256ng, 273ni, 288ni8 Du Bellay, Joachim 192 Belt, Debra 273ni Bender, John 2gon4 Benivieni, Girolamo 203, 222 Benjamin, Edwin B. 248n6, 295n26

Bennett, Josephine Waters 278^1, 285nni, 4 Benson, Robert G. 279^, 282nn Berger, Harry, Jr 4, 24, 33, 69, 105, 135, 215, 226, 232, 234-5, 236-7, 238, 257ni8, 259n26, 207nni, 2, 268nn4, 8, 269nio, 27onni6, 17, 19, 27in24, 272-3ni, 274^, 277n23, 288-9nn22, 23, 290n2, 292nio, 292-3nni3, 19, 294n24 Bernard, John D. 5, 53, 92, 247^,

General Index 24806, 25403, 25506, 2600029, 30, 261031, 262035, 267001, 4, 271025, 27903 Beroardus Silvestris 252017 Beroart de Veotadoro 161-3, I('4/ 213; oightiogale io 161-2 Berry, Regioald 263041 Bersuire, Pierre 252017 Bible 45, 54, 64, 87, 89, 122, 125,147, 150, 153, 197, 221, 229, 247-304, 276021; aod birds 71-2; aod prophecy 24-5; aod psalm aod hymo 201-5. Books: Acts 37; Deuteronomy 71, 192; Exodus 71, 276021; Ezekiel 71, 276021; Geoesis 71, 72, 113, 266049, 27304; Hebrews 283020; Isaiah 72, 106, 138, 269011, 277027; Jeremiah 72; Job 71; Joho 263038; i Kiogs 104; Luke 104; Matthew 54, 104, 130, 186, 24806; Psalms 37, 71, 72, 87, 104, 113, 201, 202, 203; Revelatioo 15, 71, 74, 124, 143, 182, 276021; Romaos 15, 182; Soog of Solomon (Soog of Soogs) 175, 189-90, 283025 Bieman, Elizabeth 58, 198, 211, 260026, 27903, 285nn2, 4, 28609, 288016, 289022 bird 10, 12-13, 32/ 65-72, 80, 86-7, 89-90, 94, 99, 105, 136, 147, 152, 174, 175-6, 189-96, 207-9; ascending, image of 200; and epic poet 117; female 13, 14, 114, 186; grouoded, image of 21,153-4, 200; aod hymo 203-5; aod poets 92, 249-500010, 11,12; of prey 123-4; aod prophecy 67-8, 106-7, 274011, 287013; as sign 25onn; as (psychoanalytic) symbol of (oursiog) mother 251-2015. See also

333 angels and under individual species. See also Spenser lodex under iodividual works: aod aviao imagery birdlime 163 Bishop, Morris 68 Bjorvaod, Eioar 257017, 28505, 286nn 6, 8, 11, 288016, 29002; and Richard Schell 197, 212, 223, 285001, 2, 286010, 289026. See also Schell, Richard Blake, William 18, 52 Blessingtoo, Francis C. 287ni2 Boccaccio, Giovanni 73, 86, 135, 266n5i, 293n2i Boethius (Consolation of Philosophy) 7, 33, 220-1

Boitani, Piero 8, 119, 143, 193, 248006, 7, 252017, 256011, 263041, 28004 Booaveotura, Saint: career model of 58, 64, 261-2035 Bond, Ronald 25609 book, image of 11, 12, 168-9, 17°/ 182, 222 Borris, Keooeth 209, 259026 Bowie, Linda Julian 282014 Bowra, C.M. 115 Boyle, A.J. 264043 Boyle, Elizabeth 43, 76, 149-50, 153-4, 166-94, 196, 212-13, 217-18, 264044, 278ni, 288n2i Bradbrook, Muriel 248-907, 271028, 29106 Bradeo, Gordoo 260027. $ee fl'so Kerrigao, William Brand, C.P. 159 Brant, Sebastian 68. See also fig. 7 Braudy, Leo 8, 9, 34,119, 248n6, 252ni7, 26inn33, 34, 263038, 284031

General Index

334 Breton, Nicholas Brink, J.R. 24yn2, 273n2, 278^1 Brown, James Neil 65, 255^, 262n37, 27in27, 279^ Browne, Sir Thomas 264^2, 266n49 Bryskett, Lodowick 149, 151, 173, 183, 184 Buck, John D.C. 182 Bulger, Thomas 288n20 Burckhardt, Jacob 9, 25, 248n6 Burke, Kenneth 25Onn Burleigh, Lord (William Cecil) 43, 231, 247n2 Burrow, Colin 26in33 Bush, Douglas 263^8 Bushnell, Rebecca W. 264n44,274nn butterfly 10 cage (pen, coop) 17, 21, 29, 33, 175-6, 180-1, 252ni6; as image of fame 89, 106, 28on4; as symbol of learning 272^0. See also mew and under Chaucer, Geoffrey Cain, Thomas H. 6, 15, 93, 95, 96, 102, 105, 143, 202, 204, 226, 238, 239, 240, 254n3, 255nn5, 6, 7, 15, 259n26, 202nn35, 37, 9, 10, 27on2O, 272^1, 6, 31, 29in6, 293n2i, 294nn22, 23, 26 Cairns, Francis 258n23 Callimachus 70-1; and hymn 202, 203. Works: Aetia 10,11; Hymns 287ni3, 29in6 Calliope (Muse of epic) 9-10,120, 161, 163 Calvin, John (Calvinism; Institutes of the Christian Religion) 54, 63, 88, 132, 249n8 Camden, William 228 Campbell, Lily B. 40, 199, 203,

204-5, 288ni7 caritas. See Spenser Index: Amoretti: eros and caritas Casady, Edwin 279^ Castelvetro, Lodovico 272^1 Castiglione, Baldassare (The Courtier) 58, 203, 222 Castor and Pollux (Gemini) 238, 241 Catullus (Odes) 150, 173, 187, 189, 228, 237 Cecrops (Cecropia) 86 chain, golden, image of 17, 21, 112, 114, 141, 142-5, 275ni6 chance: and grace 131, 234, 293ni5 Chandler, Albert R. 249nio Chaonia, doves of (in Virgil, Eclogues) 67-8, 105, 138 chastity 122, 127-48, 239 Chaucer, Geoffrey xiii, 9, 13, 17, 21, 55, 57, 60-2, 77, 109, 134, 147, 152, 228, 24gn8, 252ni6, 254n2; and cage 176; and love poetry 27O-in22; and mew 28on4; and Ovid 97, 157. Works: The Book of the Duchess 61; The Canterbury Tales 61, 97; 'Chaucer's Retraction' 61; The House of Fame 8, 16, 33, 60-1, 64, 97, 143; The Legend of Good Women 60-1; The Manciple's Tale 33; The Parlement of Foules 61, 25onio, 209ni2, 275ni3; The Squire's Tale 33, 278n28; Troilus and Criseyde 34, 61, 70, 87, 278n28 Cheney, Donald 103, 193, 27in25, 279n2

children. See Spenser Index under Epithalamion Chinitz, David 28on3 Christ (Jesus) 14, 15, 87, 93, 104, 119, 143, 178, 212, 222, 266n49; and

General Index poet 255115. See also Spenser Index under Pan Church, R.W. 259na6 Church, Ralph 2/3n4 Church of England, theology of 132-3 Chylde, Machabyas 42 cicada 10, 25onio. See also grasshopper Cicero 158, 191, 264044, 271023 Cirillo, A. R. 279n3, 28on5, 284026 Claudian 135, 189, 190, 284n28, Clemen, Wolfgang 27909 Clements, Robert J. 228, 24806, 29in6, 293013 Clio (Muse of history) 210 closure, of career. See under Spenser, Edmund Clotho 214 clout, definitions of 36, 271023 Cohen, Ralph 48 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor 18, 264-5044, 2gin8 Colie, Rosalie L. 254ni, 258020, 259024, 282-309 Collins, Joseph B. 26in35, 285n4 Comito, Terry 28505, 286006, 8, 9 complaiot (geore) 44, 47, 82, 85, 136, 162, 187-8, 24702, 257~8ni8; as metagenre 3; in Philomela myth 81-2. See also Spenser Index: Complaints concord 142-3 constellation (stellification), images of 228, 229, 241 cootemplatioo, heavenly 200-1. See also Speoser Index under Fowre Hymnes

335 conversion, Augustiniao 58, 79, 101, no Cook, Albert 27307 Cook, Eleaoor 18, 256010 Coolidge, Joho S. 6, 51-2, 56, 252018, 259025 coop. See cage Craig, Joanne 184, 261031 Crane, Clara W. 27303 Craoe, R.S. 259024 craoe 72; aod epic 275013 Crewe, Jooathan 25ini5 crow 107. See also under nightingale cuckoo 121, 148, 173-4, 185. See also under nightingale Cullen, Patrick 94, 25403, 26701 culver. See dove; Speoser lodex: Dove Cumberland, countess of (Margaret) 196-7, 28503 Cummiogs, L. 42 Cummings, Peter M. 27903, 28005, 282015 Cupid 172, 204; and Venus 97. See also Spenser Index Curtius, Ernst Robert 26on28 Cygnus 241 Cynthia (goddess) 127, 241-3 Daedalus: and Icarus n, 25, 265045. See also Icarus Daly, Lloyd W. 25oni2 Dane, Joseph A. 60, 263^1 Daniel, Samuel 43-5, 109, 118, 120, 258ni8, 266n50, 28in8 Dante Alighieri xi, 13, 15, 17, 34, 45, 57 > 61, 79, n8, 124, 125, 130, 157, 252ni6, 26i-2n35, 263^8, 274010; aod aviao images of flight 275nn; and epic 23; and fame 24806; and hawking 64; and ruby


2761121. Works: Divine Comedy 8-9, 16, 58-9, 64, 73, 74, 119, 178; Inferno 2751112; Purgatorio 11, 32; Paradiso 143; La Vi'ta Nuova 58 Daphne. See uwáer Apollo Daphnis 83, 160 Daremberg, Charles 2651145 Dasenbrock, Reed Way 27911112, 3, 2821115, 2831116 daunger. and marriage poetry 234-5, 239, 293ni7 David 71, 72, 87, 104, 203 Davis, B.E.C. 29On3 Davison, Francis 28in8 Dees, Jerome S. 263^9, 274119 Deguileville, Guillaume 64 Delli Carpini, Dominic 253ni9 Democrirus 66, 69 Demosthenes 158 DeNeef, A. Leigh 5, 53, 173, 197, 214, 224, 233, 247n3, 258n20, 26on29, 26inn3i, 35, 263039, 2 73n3/ 2/409, 278ni, 279002, 3, 28on4, 28in5, 283025, 285-6nn6, 8, 10, 288n2i descent, image of 153, 178, 184, 229. See also ascent and descent; and under epic Diana. See Cynthia Dido (queen of Carthage) 123. See also Spenser Index Diodorus Siculus 238 disillusionment (of poet) 28, 30, 38, 232. See also under Spenser, Edmund divine poetry 5-6, 7, 60-1, 74, 157; and courtly poetry 199-200; turn to love poetry from 45-6. See also hymn; Spenser, Edmund: and four-genre career model; and under Du Bartas

General Index Doggett, Frank 249nio Dollimore, Jonathan 254ni Donahue, James J. 259023 Donatus 51, 26on28 Donne, John 24-5, 205, dove 14-15, 20, 21, 66-7, 72, 74, 80, 83, 101, 102, 108, 109, 112, 185-6, 193, 200, 263042, 264044, 287nn; and eagle/hawk 67-8; in epithalamium 189-90; and falcon 138; and goshawk 177; in love lyric 153, 28in5; and Pegasus 205; of Venus 161, 164, 170, 203; of Venus in Virgil 113, 122, 137-8, 186. See also fig. 7; Chaonia, doves of; and under Holy Spirit; Noah; see also Spenser Index: Dove Dowden, Edward 29208 Dray ton, Michael 7, 13, 40-1, 43-5; and fame 257012; and Spenser 257ni2; and Spenser on fame 249n9. Works: Endimion and Phoebe 40, 44; Englands Heroicall Epistles 40; Idea 34, 109, 24909; Ideas Mirrour 40; Mortimeriados 34, 40; Moses His Birth and Miracles 40; The Owle 14, 34, 40, 65, 70, 86, 96, 275013; Peirs Gaveston 34; Robert, Duke of Normandie 40, 24909; The Shepheards Garland 33, 34, 40, 265n45 Dubrow, Heather 188, 254ni, 2580020, 22, 259024, 28on3, 281007, 9> 283-4026; aod Richard Strier 25401 Dudley, Robert. See Leicester, earl of duke et utile 134 dulce non utile 112, 231 Duolop, Alexaoder 38,165, 166,174, 180, 182, 186, 257017, 279-8on3, 282nnio, 13,

General Index Durling, Robert M. 113, 116, 117, 157, 172, 2621135, 274119 Durr, Robert Allen 267111, 2691113 eagle 24-5, 71, 97, 119, 121, 2871113; and hymn 2-3. See also under dove; hawk Eagleton, Terry 256n8 'east to west.' See translatio imperil echo (Echo) 188, 238; and fame 94, 174, 191, 284n32 Edwards, Calvin 26in33 Edwards, Philip 276n2i Edwards, Robert R. 26i-2n35, elegy 82, 228, 231, 268n7 Elijah 104 Elizabeth I (queen of England) 17, 20-1, 22, 43, 54, 108, 112-48, 149-50, 153, 167, 171, 182-3, 187, 231, 240-3, 25ini5, 294~5n26; and Church of England 131-3; as poet 135-6, 277n24 Ellrodt, Robert 58, 180, 249n8, 285nni, 5 eloquence 142-5, 264^4 Elton, Oliver 248n6 Elysian Fields 75, 76, 77, 102 empire 116-17, U9/ 21°; ar»d epic 208. See also translatio imperil and under epic Empson, William 207nni, 4 English, H.M., Jr 273^ Ennius 15-16, 158, 161 epic (heroic poem) 10, 13, 19, 21, 23, 43; careeric definition of 37-8; traditional definition of 115-25; and image of descent 107-8, 116-17, 143; and fame and glory 37; and heroic poetry zjyxj; and pastoral xi-xii, 5-6; and pastoral

337 and georgic 6; and pastoral and love lyric 27-8; role of narrator in 116. See also Spenser Index under Prothalamion equivocation 23, 206, 286n9, 287nn. See also Spenser Index under Fowre Hymnes Erasmus, Desidcrius 263^9 Ernout, Alfred 66 eros xii, 42, 218; and wings 287ni5. See also Spenser Index: Amoretti: eros and caritas erotic love: and fame and glory 30 essentialism. See materialism Essex, earl of (Robert Devereaux) 22, 111, 129, 198, 231, 29oni, 294n26, 295n27; and Arthur in The Faerie Queene 295111127, 29; in Prothalamion 225, 227, 240-3. See also under Ralegh eternity 7-8, 208, 241; and immortality 248n6. See also under history Ettin, Andrew V. 51, 254n3, 207ni, 271n27

Eurydice. See under Orpheus Euterpe (Muse of lyric poetry) 81-2, 163 Ezekiel 71 faith 234, 239, 245; and grace 27&~7n22; in marriage 174, 176, 184-6 falcon. See hawk Fama (Lady) 15, 16-17, 209, 252ni7; and trumpet 2751113. See also fig. 2; fame fame (poetic): 60, 266n5i; book of 106; flying or winged 34, 44, 96; and glory xi-xiii, 7-8, 10, 23, 25, 35, 62-3, 65, 72, 80, 84, 86, 248-9nn6, 7, 28in5; and glory in

338 Amoretti 178; and glory in Amoretti/Epithalamion 159; and glory in Fowre Hymnes 211, 222; and glory in hymn 205; and glory in Prothalamion 227; history of 248n6; house of, in Ariosto 123-4, 230; house of, in Lydgate 120; iconography of 17, 20-1, 123-4, 143-4, 152; and language 8, 248n6; in love lyric 164; and oblivion 12; in the Renaissance 248n6; and salvation 248n6; and will 263^9. See also fig. 4; Fama family. See Spenser Index under Epithalamion Ferguson, Margaret 256ng Ferry, Anne 28in8 Fichter, Andrew 123, 249n8, 256n9, 6, 26on26, 26in34, 274nn8, 9, 7, 282ni2 Ficino, Marsilio 222, 249n8 Figueroa, Bartolomé Cairasco de 264043 fistula. See pan-pipe Fletcher, Angus 31-2, 43, i6in33, Fletcher, Jefferson B. 203, 285^ Fletcher, Phineas 15, 74 flight, avian: images of xi, 16-17, 34> 177; grounded, image of 180; images of in Spenser 252ni6; Platonic 180; and topos of foot/pilgrimage 272^4 Flower and the Leaf 84 flowers. See herbs and flowers Ford, A.L. 70 Ford, Gordon B. 250ni2 forest, locale of poet 135 Foulquet of Marseilles 143 Fowler, Alastair 6, 31, 49, 51, 143, 155, 226, 233, 238, 242, 257ni7,

General Index 2 5 , 279-8on3, 29Onni, 2, 293nni6, 19, 294na6 fowler (bird-catcher): and fame 32-3 Freccero, John 163 Freeman, Rosemary 233, 2gon4 Freud, Sigmund 25ini5, 268n7 friendship 122, 133, 138, 239 Frye, Northrop 10, 155 Fukuda, Shohachi 28on3 Fulgen tius 193, 252ni7 furor poético 17. See also fig. 5

Ganymede. See under Jove garland (laurel), image of xi-xii, 11-12,17, 173-4, 188, 233, 237 Garrod, H.W. 68, 70, 84, 24gnio Gascoigne, George 17, 68, 82, 84-5, 25ini3, 277n25, 2871114, 2gin6 Geiringer, Karl 275m 3 gender 76, 100, 176, 181. See also poetry, feminine origin of genre 17, 60, 85,184, 206-9, 228, 253ni9, 258-gnn2O-5; and avian myth 66; and bird 68; courtly and contemplative 26; careeric definition of 37-8, 48-9, 111, 258-gn23; non-careeric definition of 48-9, 258-9n23; maps and definitions of 49, 259n25; mixing 47-8, 183-4, 258n2o; Renaissance theories of 202-3; Renaissance hierarchy of 39, 45, 201, 208-9, 2&3n22; theory 18-19; topos of generic transition 220. See also complaint; elegy; epic; georgic; hymn; love lyric; pastoral; sonnet; tragedy georgic: ousting of in Renaissance 31. See also epic: pastoral and georgic, and under labour; see also

General Index Spenser Index under Amoretti; The Shepheardes Calender Geryon (in Dante) 2741112 Giamatti, A. Bartlett 124, 274119 Gibbs, Donna 166, 279n3 Gilbert, Alan H. 273^ Gilford, Henry 225 Ginsburg, Warren 263^0 gloria: semantic evolution of 248n6 glory (Christian) 27-8, 55, 224; and hymn 203. See also under fame gnat 10 Goldberg, Jonathan 112-13, 137/ 252ni6, 259n26, 268n8, 278n28

Golding, Arthur 143 Goldstein, Melvin 202n35 Gombrich, E.H. 11 goose 160 Gordon, D.J. 256nn Gower, John 254n2 grace 35, 39, 55, 72, 87-8, 90, 114, 122, 186, 212, 239, 275-7nni6, 18, 19, 20, 22; allegory of in TimiasBelphoebe episode 125-33; and art 89-91. See also under chance grasshopper 27, 25Onio. See also cicada Graves, Roy Neil 2con3 Greek Anthology 32, 69, 70, 71, 136, 264n45, 284n32

'green cabinet' 137, 27oni6 Greenblatt, Stephen 14, 132-3, 136, 140, 25ini5 Greene, Roland 155-6, 27in25 Greene, Thomas M. 21, 108, 116, 117, 155-6, 157, 163, 25Onio, 3, 255-6n8, 26on27, 78ni, 279^ Gregory, E.R., Jr 199 Greville, Fulke 256nn

339 Grey, Arthur (Lord Grey de Wilton) 182 Gros Louis, Kenneth R.R. 262-3^7 Grundy, Joan 257ni2 Guillen, Claudio 258n22, 2591*24 Guillory, John 274ng Guilpin, Everard 2gin8 Guthrie, W.K.C. 238, 287-8ni5 Guy, John 133 Hahn, Juergen 263-4^2 Hainsworth, Peter 59 Halio, Jay 2gin5 Hall, Joseph 9, 44-5 Halperin, David M. 207nm, 4 Hamilton, A.C. 9, 122, 126, 129, 130, 133, 140, 142, 206, 238, 247ni, 59n26, 202n35, 266-7ni, 3, 270ni8, 7nn26, 27, Hardin, Richard F. 255n6 Hardison, O.B., Jr 154-5, 166, 201, 202, 287n12 Hardy, Barbara 28in6 Harington, Sir John 277^25 harp, Orphic 171-2. See also figs. 6, 8; and under lyre Harrison, Thomas P. 252ni6 Hart, Clive 16, 64, 71, 72, 25oni2, 266n49, 27in23, 286nio, 287ni4 Harvey, Gabriel 12, 46, 72, 115, 121, 1 43/ 199-200, 231, 27in24. See also Spenser Index: Spenser-Harvey Letters hawk (eagle /falcon) xi-xii, 12-13, 14, 17, 21, 26, 27, 71, 121, 152, 27in23; and dove 82; and eagle 229; and eagle and falcon as bird of hymn 286~7nii; in hymn 200-1. See also Spenser Index:

General Index

340 Faerie Queene Vl.x.6, and under Fowre Hymnes hawking 33. See also imping, mantling, mew, rouse, stoop, tower Hazlitt, William 29in8 Hebrus 237 Helgerson, Richard 5, 18, 25, 55-6, 57, 75, 115, 119, 141, 151, 223, 226-7, 231, 244-5, 247113- 248n5, 250ni2, 25ini5, 253nig, 256n8, 26onn27, 28, 31, 272ni, 274ng, 283n2i Helicon, Mount 25, 73, 161, 169-70, 180, 206 Heninger, S.K., Jr 33-4, 108, 199, 248n4, 249n8, 254n2, 257n17,

5, 266ni, 269-7(^13, 28003, 28504, 288017 Herbert, George xii, 70, 286~7nii herbs and flowers: as trope for poetry 92, 135-6, 277^5 Hercules 140-1, 245; Gallic 143. See also fig. 9 Herendeen, Wyman H. 293014 Herman, Peter C. 254^ Hernadi, Paul 49, 258n22 Hesiod xi, 138, 160, 204; and fable of hawk and nightingale 12-13, !7/ 68, 250ni2. Works: Theogony 73,

250010; Worfcs and Days xii, 16, 69-70 Hesperus 241, 242 Hesychius of Alexandria 275ni3 Heywood, Thomas 28on4 Hieatt, A. Kent 243, 25301, 256011, 257017, 259026, 279-8003, 282010, 295nn27, 29 Hieatt, Constance B. 180, 221, 252ni6, 28on4 hierarchy of genres. See under genre Higgins, Anne 27in22 Hill, W. Speed 279n3, 28005, 284026

Hinds, Stephen 135, 2gin6 Hinson, Cheryl 272^0 Hinton, Stao 27409 Hippocrene 25, 169, 206 Hirsch, E.D. 48, 259024 history: and eternity 12, 116-17, 121; aod politics 22. See also Speoser lodex under Prothalamion Holahan, Michael 261033 Holcot, Robert 24807 Hollaoder, Joho 229, 258021, 283021, 284032, 293014, 294022 Holy Spirit 57, 74, 113, 130, 165, 205: aod dove 130, 266049 Homer 36, 118, 124, 125, 157, 158, 204, 253019, 2660048, 49; aod aviao prophecy 274011; and hymn 202, 203. Works: Iliad 16, 34, 115, 119; Odyssey 14, 16, 69-70, 115, 119, 27in23 Homeric Hymns 70, 71, 2871*13 honour 27, 29, 39, 114, 128, 134, 137; and fame (and glory) 43, 256011 Hooker, Richard 130, 131, 263^8, 277n22 Horace xii, 8, 66-7, 153, 228, 231, 235, 26on3i, 294n22; Odes 10-11, 113, 186 Horapollo 144, 189, 26gni2 Hough, Graham 27307 Hough, J.N. 249010 Howard, Albert A. 265046 Hughes, Joho 226, 242 Hughes, Merritt Y. 266049, 295^7 Huizinga, J. 24806 Hulse, Clark 44 Hume, Anthea 2/oni3, 276022 Huot, Leigh 29208 hunt, image of 168-9, 176-7, 282011 Huoter, G.K. 166, 27903, 282010,


General Index


Hutton, James 285114 Hyde, Thomas 218 Hyman, Lawrence W. 279^ hymn 6, 7, 10, 14, 19, 21-2, 29, 31, 33/ 45-6/ 155/195-224, 256nn; and Augustine 16, 33-4; avian images in tradition of 287ni3; criticism on 28jn~L2; careeric définition of 38, 202-5; traditional definition of 201-2; and epic and pastoral 201; and pastoral as inaugural genres 220; in Petrarch's Rime sparse 164. See also under Scaliger; Spenser, Edmund; see also Spenser Index: Fowre Hymnes; and under Prothalamion

inauguration of New Poet's career 19, 20 inspiration 38, 90, 170, 213, 215, 254n2; through beloved 193; Orphic 190; and wind 92 intermediary, bird and poet as 25oni2; poem as 169 intertextualih' 16, 17, 37, 60, 85, 122; between Spenser and Ralegh 138-41. See also imitation; mimesis Irwin, Eleanor 255^7 Isaiah 72 Iser, Wolfgang 207nm, 4 Isidore of Seville 201 Itys 82

Icarus 64. See also Daedalus identity 100, 136, 240; artistic 162, 213; avian 68, 264-5^4; 'original' 79, 88-90, 92, 94, 99, 104, 106; of poet 12, 13, 25 ideology 36, 62, 76, ill, 137, 147, 196, 227-8, 231, 232, 233, 254ni; definition of 256n8; in Spenser's love lyric 179; pastoral 67 idolatry, Petrarchan 167, 172 image as sign Imbrie, Ann E. imitation xii, 147, 155, 163, 255-6n8. See also intertextuality; mimesis; Spenser Index under Prothalamion immanence 114; in epic 117, 118. See also under transcendence immaturity, images of 220, 221-3 See also maturation, avian immortality. See under eternity imping (hawking term) 35-6, 222 inability topos 95, 98

Jack, A.A. 273n6 Jameson, Fredric 258n22 Jauss, Hans Robert 258n22 jay. See under trumpet Jean de Meun 157, 27On22 Jehovah 26 Jeremiah 72 Jesus. See Christ jewels and precious stones, iconography of 130, 143 Job 71 John, Saint 71: in Ariosto 123-4 John (medieval theorist on music) 265n45

John of Garland 51 Johnson, Lynn Staley 268n8 Johnson, Paula 285^ Johnson, William C. 166, 167, 172, 175, 182, 252ni6, 279n3, 28in5, 282nio Johnson, W.R. 154 Johnstone, Robert B. 35 Jonson, Ben 21, 65, 144, 119-20, 256nii,

342 Jove (Jupiter) 26, 87, 119; and eagle 236; and Ganymede 25, 275ni2; and Leda 235 Judson, Alexander C. 64, 184, 24701, 257nni4, 17 Julian (emperor 202 Jupiter. See Jove Kalchas 119 Kane, Sean 24908, 26808, 27301 Kaske, Carol V. 24907, 279-8003, 282010 Keats, Joho 18 Kellogg, Robert 150-1, 27903 Keooedy, William J. 21, 25504, 26on27, 273n7, 278n28 Kernan, Alvin B. 25505 Kerrigan, John 18 Kerrigan, William, and Gordon Braden 9, 25, 248n6, 256009, 11 King, Joho N. 178, 258020, 262035, 270013, 271027, 28003, 282010 Kirkpatrick, Robio 262035 Klopp, Charles 263-4042 Koollys, Lettice 129 Koller, Kathrine 129, 27302 Koonce, E.G. 32, 130, 248n6, 252017, 28004, 284031 Kostic, V. 27903, 2830016, 18, 24 Kouwenhoven, Jan Karel 24907 Kreisler, Nicolai von 263041 Krier, Theresa M. 258n2O, 261033, 27302 Kristeva, Julia 25608 Kugel, James L. 274nii labour 183-4; georgic 85, 98-100, 101 Lamb, Mary Ellen 26808 Lament for Bion 83, 84 Laogland, William 228 lapwing 82

General Index lark 80, 88, 89, 94, 104, 109, 121, 190-1, 192, 269011 Lascelles, Mary 120, 266052 Latham, Agoes M.C. 276021, 278029 Laura (in Petrarch) 59, 84, 163, 178 laureate (poet) 25, 75, 114-15, 141, 24805, 250012; aod amateur xii, 56, 223, 260031; and Ovid 157; and love poetry 151, 159; and Spenser 146-8 laurel 136, 152, 163, 169-70, 171, 237, 272030; and fame 205; in Sidoey 164 Leda. See under Jove Lee, Reosselaer W. 28504, 286010 Lee, Sir Sidoey 29003 Lee (river) 22, 229, 238, 292012, 294022 Leicester, earl of (Robert Dudley) 28, 123, 129, 187, 240 Leland, John 228 Lever, J.W. 27903 Lewalski, Barbara Kiefer 203, 255n5, 263039, 283020, 287012 Lewis, C. Day 28106 Lewis, Charltoo T., aod Charles Short 32 Lewis, C.S. 43, 226, 24907, 27307, 28504, 29002 Leyerle, John 263041 Liceti, Fortuoo 272030 Liddell, Henry George 275013 Lievsay, Joho Leon 18 Lindley, David 28106 Lipkiog, Lawrence 46, 55, 253019, 260028 Lockerd, Benjamin G., Jr 257ni6 locus amoenus 135-6, 207-8, 29106, 293013; as locus poeticus 92-3, 99 locus poeticus 92-3, 99, 137, 208

General Index Lodge, Thomas 143 Loewenstein, Joseph 191, 192, 2611131, 279nn2, 3, 2821110, 284111126, 32 Lok, Henry 203 London 225, 229, 230, 233, 239-40, 242, 243, 244-5 Lotspeich, Henry Gibbons 73 love lyric 5-6, 7, 10, 13-14, 31, 42-5, 248n4, 258nni5, 16; careeric définition of 149, 152; traditional definition of 4-6, 15, 21; and divine poetry 254n2; and epic 57, 135' 149-54, 156-65; genre of 149-94; Ovidian and Petrarchan 203. See also Ovid: career model; and under Spenser, Edmund; see also Spenser Index: Amoretti; Epithalamion; Prothalamion Low, Anthony 51, 27in27 Luborsky, Ruth Samson 27on2o Lucian 143 Lucretius (De rerum natura) 13, 65-6, 70, 157, 254ni; and swan model for epic 275ni3 lute 94 Luther, Martin 87, 263^8 Lydgate, John 120 lyre n, 13, 26, 60, 65, 155, 161, 266n48; and love poetry 270n2i; of Orpheus 37-8, 189; and swan 70. See also fig. 8; pan-pipe lyric poetry 19, 70-1; definition of 28in6. See also love lyric Maas, Martha, and Snyder, Jane Mclntosh 205n48. See also fig. 8 McCabe, Richard A. 274n8 MacCaffrey, Isabel G. 50, 78, 112, 128, 247n3, 26on29,

271n25, 272n33

343 McCanles, Michael 269^ • 3 McClure, George W. 277n25 McCoy, Richard C. 2gon3 McKenzie, John L. 15 McLane, Paul E. 2yon3 Maclean, Hugh 28, 32, 47, 109, 206, 235, 237, 247ni, 254n2, 255^, 2571118 McNamee, Maurice B. 249n7 McNeir, Waldo F. 27in25, 279^ Maenads 237-8 Mallette, Richard 92, 106, 252ni6 Malory, Sir Thomas 122 Malpezzi, Frances M. 199, 286nio Manley, Lawrence 245, 259n26, 268n5, 29on3 mantling (hawking term) 169, 180, 214 Mantuan (Baptista Spagnuoli) 55, 84, 86, 207ni Marcuse, Sibyl 275ni3 Marinelli, Peter V. 123, 266ni, 267n4, 272n33, 276n17

mariner, voyage of 171-2, 175, 263n39, 282nn; epic images of 234, 237, 244 Marino, Adrian 2591125 Marlowe, Christopher 140, 258ni8 Marot, Clément 83, 84, 86, 27Oni6 Marotti, Arthur F. 27gn2, 282ng marriage 6-7, 55, 57, 149~94, 196, 239, 244; and epic 257ni6; and salvation 285^5; in the sixteenth century 28in7. See also Spenser Index: Epithalamion, and under Prothalamion Martial 109 Martz, Louis L. 279n3, 282nnii, 12, 283n25

Marvell, Andrew 264^4, 284^2

General Index

344 mastery 170, 191; and mutuality 150, 153-4, 174-7, l86, 188 materialism and essentialism 23, 30, 75-6, 253-4111 maturation, avian: trope for poet 867. See also immaturity, images of mavis. See thrush Maxwell, J.C. 259n26 Medusa 73. See also under Pegasus Meiklejohn, M.F.M. 263^0 Meliboeus (in Virgil) 67 Menalcas (in Virgil) 67-8, 137-8, 264n43 Mercury (Hermes) 21, 34, 116. See also fig. 4 Meres, Francis 254n2, 277^4 Merrill, William Augustus 66 meta-allegory 243-4, metadiscourse 4, 14, metaphor 16-17, 34-5, 63-4, 107, 161-2, 183-4, 214 mew (hawking term) 149, 151-4, 180, 28on4; as trope for sonnet form 184 Meyer, Russell J. 5, 29oni Meyer, Sam 266n5O, 274nio Meyer-Baer, Kathi 287ni4 Miller, David L. 33, 50, 106, 107, 215, 217, 227, 247n3, 256n8, 257ni7, 259n26, 26onn29, 31, 26in3i, 272n33, 288n2i, 28gnn24, 25, Miller, Jacqueline T. 26on26, 273ni, 274n9, 28in8 Miller, Paul W. 279n3, 28on5 Milton, John 17, 48, 52, 56, 74, 81, 165, 257ni6, 282ni4; Paradise Lost 11, 113 mimesis 112, 114, 141, 146, 199, 229; of birdsong 25ini4. See also imitation; intertextuality

Mióla, Robert S. 28on3 mirror, image of 30, 54 misogyny 259n24 Mohl, Ruth 247ni Monier- Williams, Sir Monier 265n45

Montaigne, Michel de 256nn Montrose, Louis Adrian 54, 69, 78, 118, 134, 142, 145, 231, 25ini5, 3, 4, 7nni, 2, 292n9, 295n30 Moore, John W., Jr 91, 209nio, 27onni7, 18 Mornay, Philippe de 262n36 Morris, Jeffrey 253ni8, 278n29 Moschus (Lament for Bion) 83, 84 Muir, Kenneth 27in23 Mulcaster, Richard 105 Mulryan, John 279n3, 28on5 Murrin, Michael 274nn8, 9 muse 12, 33, 36, 37-8, 91, 113, 133, 186, 200; and bird 213; winged 295n27. See also Muses and under Pegasus Muses 25, 47, 81, 160, 161, 187, 188, 190; invocation to, and avian myth 162; and swans 70. See also Calliope; Euterpe; muse; Urania music 13, 65-6, 69-71, 86, 25ini4, 265nn45, 46, 47, 48 mutability 168-9, !93~4/ 245 mutuality. See under mastery myrtle (tree) 136 myth of winged poem 11, 12, 109 myth of winged poet xi, 25, 32, 25oni2, 25i-2ni5; and Christianity 219-20; in hymn 201-5; m l°ve lyric 153-65; as myth of fame and glory 90; as myth of fame and glory in epic 115-25; Orphic

General Index 10-18, 19-20, 63-72; Orphic, and fame and glory 10, 14, 27 Nagy, Gregory 10, 25ini4, nature 137, 232; and grace 59, 63, 71, 79, 84, 88-109, 116, 141, 178, 191, 28in5; and art 69 Needham, Sir Robert 165-6 Neely, Carol Thomas 282nn9, 12 Nelson, William 26on28, 26in3i, 280n3, 285n5

Neoplatonism 5, 16, 58, 90, 127, 150, 166, 179-80, 197, 198, 222; and hymn 203-4. See also Plato; and Spenser Index under Fowre Hymnes nest 13, 17, 67, 72, 90, 180; laurel 165. See also under Petrarch; Sidney, Sir Philip Neuse, Richard 41-2, 51, 259nn25, 26, 26on28, 272-3ni, 279nn2, 3, 288n2i, 292nio New Jerusalem 103, 130, 240, 276n21

Nichols, Stephen G. 161-2 nightingale 11, 20, 65, 72, 98-107, 115, 164, 2641144, 27in26, 272^0, 287nnn, 13; bird of pastoral 80-110; and crow 2721*31; and cuckoo 282ni4; and fame 26; and pan-pipe (syrinx) and flute (tibia) 205n46; origin of poetry 66. See also under Aristophanes; Bernart de Ventadorn; Hesiod; origins; Ralegh; swan; Virgil Noah 122; and doves 113, 130, 266n49

Nohrnberg, James 209, 2741*9 Norbrook, David 267ni Norton, Dan S. 242, 290n2, 2gin5, 294-5n26

345 Nossis 2641*44 numerology 122, 150. See also Spenser Index under Amoretti/ Epithalamion; The Faerie Queene Oakeshott, Walter 140, 146, 273n2 oaten reed 121. See also avis, avena; pan-pipe; quill Oates, Mary I. 198, 286n7 O'Connell, Michael 112, 136, 140, 146, 241, 259n26, 273nn2, 4 Oenone. See Paris Olives, Mount of 9, 241 Oram, William A. 37, 258ni9, 270n21, 274n10

Origen 61 origins: of lyric poetry, swan 70-1; of pastoral poetry, nightingale 69-70. See also poetry Orpheus 6, 13, 25, 32, 60, 77, 85, 135, 143, 167, 204, 208, 245, 25ini3, 294n22; and Argonauts 62, 65, 171-2, 238; art of 173-4; and birds 64-5; and Eurydice 13, 27, 62, 65, 100, 189, 236-6; and fame 26; formula of woods-resounding 173-4; (Orphic) idea of a literary career 6, 31-63; myth of, and Spenser's four-genre career model 64-5, 2o2-3n37; and myth of winged poet 64-5; and Orphic Hymns 45, 297ni5; as prophetic poet 255n5; tradition of 2&7ni5; in Virgil and Ovid 193. See also fig. 6; Orphic Hymns; and under poet; see also Spenser Index under Epithalamion; The Faerie Queene; Fowre Hymnes; Prothalamion; The Shepheardes Calender Orphic Hymns 202, 204. See also Orpheus

346 Orphic idea of a literary career. See under Orpheus Osgood, Charles G. 28504 Otis, Brooks 57 otium 67, 83, 86, 100, 109-10, 227, 244-5 Ovid xii, 13, 17, 160, 2521116, 260031; and avena /avis 265045; career model 5-6, 56-62; and desire 127, 153, 270-1022; and Virgil 157. Works: Amores 56, 186; Ars amatoria 32, 66; Ex Ponto 33, 56-7, 64, 73, 271023, 272030; fasti 73; Metamorphoses 36, 56, 69, 73, 82, 135, 177, 192, 235, 236-8, 26702, 209ni2, 29in6, 293n2o; Tristia 64, 66, 264n43, 268n7 owl 65, 80, 81, 83, 89, 90, 93, 99, 105, 106, 192, 269ni2 Owl and the Nightingale 70 Padelford, Frederick Morgan 28504 Pan 25, 69-70, 161; and Syrinx 91. See also Spenser Index panacea: literary sources of 2771*26 pan-pipe (syrinx/fistula) 13, 28, 60, 65-6, 69-70; and bird 81, 268n6; and lark 88; and lyre 266n49. See also avis, avena; oaten reed; quill; and under nightingale Paolucci, Anoa 262035 Paris: and Oenone 206 Parker, M. Pauline 262n35 Parker, Patricia A. 124, 2j(x\vj Parnassus 9, 95, 121, 241 Parry, Adam 25ini3 partridge 66, 25ini4 pastoral 10, 13, 16, 19, 31; Athenian phase of 102; and aviao origio of poetry 65-70; careeric definition °i 771 79' 8O' 2o7~8n4; traditional

General Index definition of 266-8nni, 4; in Elizabethan career model 45; and epic 31/ 77' 79' 80, 93; and epic and Philomela/Procne myth 82-3, 86; and hymo 20; aod lyric 30-1; aod poetry 26704. See also under epic; Speoser, Edmuod; traosceodeoce; see also Speoser Index under Prothalamion; The Shepheardes Calender patriarchy 76, 167 patronage xii, 29, 33, 40-1, 122, 141, 165-6, 211, 213, 252-3ni8; in Sidney and Spenser 87; io Ralegh and Spenser 138-9. See also Spenser Index under Fowre Hymnes; Prothalamion Pattersoo, Aooabel 78, 25608, 264043, 267001, 3, 4, 270016 Patterson, Sandra R. 29On2, 293019 Paul, Saint 15, 31, 43, 59, 182, 286ng Pavlock, Barbara 257ni6 peacock 27, 33 'Pegásides' 73. See also Pegasus Pegasus 14-15, 26, 96, 120, 137, 184, 205, 266nn5O, 51, 282ni3; and Bellerophon 161; and Bellerophon/Perseus 25; in the history of fame 252ni7; and Medusa and Perseus 192-3; and muse 73, 266n5o; as a myth of fame and glory 72-4; and Tlexippus brooke' 206-7. See also fig. 4; and Spenser lodex under Blataot Beast; Amoretti; Epithalamion Pelagius 263038 peo. See cage Peoeus (river) 236-8, 293020 perception, process of. See Speoser Index under Amoretti; Epithalamion; Fowre Hymnes

General Index peregrinado 64, 263-4043 'perfecte paterne of a Poète.' See Spenser Index under The Shepheardes Calender Perseus: and Andromeda 73-4. See also under Pegasus Peter, William 225 Petrarch, Francesco, and Petrarchism xiii, 6, 9, 13, 17, 45, 55, 57, 59, 61, 86, 90, 120, 134, 135, 147, 150, 152, 160, 166-7, !94/ 248nn4, 6, 252ni6, 26on3i, 263n38, 28in8; and St Augustine 9; avian myth in Rime sparse 163-4; and birds 68; and image of cage 176; career pattern 59-62; and glory 16; theories of lyric sequence 155-6; and nest 163; and Virgil 46. Works: Africa 6, 157; Bucolicum carmen 6, 11, 32, 36, 59, 158, 277n25; Letters 2521115; Rime sparse 6, 11, 57, 59, 84-5, 113, 114, 136, 157-8, 178, 181, 192, 217-18, 25ini3; Secretum (Secret) 9, 37, 59, 157, 158, 264044; Trionfi 9, 59, 158- See also Spenser Index under Amoretti Phanes (Protagonus) 204, 28711-1.5 Philomela 106, 138, 140, 148, 268-908; Arcadian phase of myth 86; Athenian phase of myth 86; as myth of pastoral 80, 81-6, 98, 99-107; and Orphic power 83; and Procne 25; and Procne, renewal in 268n7; and Tereus 275ni2. See also nightingale phoenix 265046 physician, trope for poet 135-6. See also under poet Physiologus 71 piecing (sewing term) 35-6 Pigman, G.W., III 25608

347 pilgrimage 64, 166; flying 16, 64; metaphor of 263039 Pindar 11, 36, 87, 189, 252015, 264044, 272031, 28108 Pindus, Mount 293n2O, 294022 Plato 19, 58, 254ni, 2591*26; career model 36; images of flight in 283ni7; and Platonism 286-7ni5. Works: Ion 10, 36; Plwedo 36-7; Pltaedrus 32, 36, 64, 181, 203, 25onio; Republic 116, 154, 156-7, 201; Symposium 58, 222. See also Neoplatonism Plexippus. See Pegasus Pliny 252015, 205n46, 269ni2 ploughman's tillage, metaphor of 183-4, 263040 Plutarch 13, 70, 275013; The Cleverness of Animals' in Moralia 32, 66, 69, 118 Po (river) 118, 274nio poet: and bird 35, 162; as fledgling bird 26909; as iotermediary 116-17, 141; Orphic 78-9; as physiciao 277025; as prophet 274011. See also poetics, provideotial; role of poet poeta and vates 90-1, 104-7. See also prophecy poetics, provideotial, definition of 269-70n13

poetry: allegory of 135-6; avian origin of 33, 65-72, 105, 25ini5; feroinioe origio of 37, 161, 215, 251-2015; origio of 26 Poggioli, Reoato 264043, 26601, 26704 Pollux (Onomasticon) 69, 265045 Pollux (and Castor) 238, 241 Ponsonby, William 12, 165-6 Pope, Alexaoder 70, 90

General Index

348 Post, Jonathan F.S. xii power, allegory of 114, 142-5; and narrative 116-17 praeceptor amoris 168. See also teaching, metaphor of Prager, Carolyn 29on2 praise 152, 155; and fame 191, 2841131; in love lyric 164 Prescott, Anne Lake 211, 257013, 27903, 282015, 286010, 288017 process, importance of. See under Speoser, Edmuod Procne 82, 85. See also under Philomela Propertius (Elegies) xii, 44, 71, 73, 136, 157, 160-1, 163, 164, 170, 228, 252015, 264n43 prophecy 7, 17, 20, 23-4, 43, 48, 71-2, 76, 87, 194; and avian myth of epic 118-20; in epic 116-17; and fame 179; in Horace 113; and hymo 203; method of 31-2, 198; and poetry 241, 274011. See also fig. 3; equivocation; poeta and vates Proserpina (Persephooe) 29106, 292012 Protagoous. See Phaoes Protestaot poetics, of Speoser 136 Protestantism 6-7, 56,90,114,131, 136,188,194,255n5, 263n39. See also Spenser, Edmuod: theology of providence xii, 37, 88, 98, 104-5, H4/ 126-7, 130-1, 133-5, 138, 140, 142, 145, 255n5; and love lyric 152, 154, 159. See also poetics, providential; Spenser Index under Amoretti; Epithalamion Pucci, Pietro 25oni2 pumice stone, implement of poet 136, 161

Putnam, Michael CJ. 15, 251013, 264n43

Puttenham, George (Arte of English Poésie) 6, 45, 143, 159, 160, 26701, 2770024, 25 Pygmalioo (aod statue) 25, 26 quill (syrinx or pao-pipe) 33, 39, 69, 96, 148, 161, 165-6, 185, 210, 215-16, 26806, 283023; as feathered arrow 135. See also avis, avena; oateo reed; pao-pipe; and under Speoser, Edmuod Quilligao, Maureeo 125, 27409 Quiñones, Ricardo J. 194, 198, 24907, 259026, 263039, 269013, 270015, 285035 Quiot, David 25, 116-17, 124, 25609, 276017 Quitsluod, Joo A. 58, 27903, 285003, 4 Radzioowicz, Mary Ann Rainsford, Henry 203 Ralegh, Sir Walter 17, 20-1, 108, 112-48, 187; and Elizabeth Throckmorton 27302; aod Essex 146; aod oightiogale 138-9; aod pastoral aod epic 137-8, 140; as poet 134; scepticism and religious affirmation 134-6; as Virgilian epic hero 123. Works: Ocean to Cynthia 134, 138, 140, 141, 144; 'Epitaph on Sir Philip Sidney' 134; 'Like to a Hermite poore' 140; 'On the Life of Man' 136; 'The Nimph's Reply' 140; The passiooate roaos Pilgrimage' 130, 276n2i. See also intertextuality; patronage; Throckmorton, Elizabeth; time; Spenser Index under

General Index The Faerie Queene: Commendatory

Verses Rand, E.K. 270-11122 Randel, Fred V. 18, 175, 264-51145 Raphael 11-12 See also frontispiece Rathborne, Isabel E. 248-9^, 295n27

raven 93, 104-5, 1O6, 192 Reformation 38, 54, 56, 61, 203, 249n8; and wedded love 160 Reinach, Salomon 266n5i Renaissance 25; idea of 19-20, 53 renewal 28; as hawking term 28on4; in love lyric 19, 20, 35, 75, 94. See also Spenser Index: Amoretti Renwick, W.L. 27in2y repentance 75, 223 resurrection 37, 58 'retractation.' See Spenser Index under Fowre Hymnes return to vatic source 195-224 rhetoric 8, 17, 18, 131-2, 142, 154-5, 166, 172, 187-8, 191, 216, 27in23, 28in6, 294n24; avian sign of eloquence 204n44 Rhu, Lawrence F. 274nn Ricks, Don M. 173, 279^ Ricoeur, Paul 34-5 Ripa, Cesare 144. See also figs. 3, 4, 5 Robin, Leon 66 Roche, Thomas P., Jr 112, 123, 206, 252ni6, 253ni, 2731^13, 4, 277^7, 28on4 Rogers, William Elford 214, 285^, 29in6, 292ni2, role of poet 18, 25, Rollinson, Philip B. 202, 26on27, 287ni2, 288ni6 Romance of the Rose 33 Romantics 18, 52, 29i-2n8 Rome 37, 93, 119, 235

349 Ronsard, Pierre de 6, 45, 60, 61, 86; career of 202n36 Rosenmeyer, Thomas G. 27oni6 Rosmarin, Adena 2581122 R0stvig, Maren-Sofie 285n4 rota Vergiliana 5, 23, 30, 34, 51, 55-6, 60, 61, 77-8, 160, 188, 195, 26on28, 26i-2n32, 27on2O. See also Spenser, Edmund: and Virgilian career model rouse (hawking term) 120, 219-20 Rowland, Beryl 191, 26gnnn, 12, 282n14

Rowse, A.L. Rubel, Veré L. ruby 17, 20-21, 125, 273n2; heartshaped 112; iconography of 142-5; as image of fame 114; as sign of grace 130-1; sources of, in Chaucer 278n28; literary sources of 276n2i. See also under Du Bartas; Throckmorton, Arthur Sachs, Curt 265^6, 275ni3 Sacks, Peter 268n7 Sackville, Thomas (Lord Buckhurst, earl of Dorset) 45-6, 254n2 Saglio, Edmond 265^5 salvation xi, 6-7, 15, 20, 23, 26, 29, 31, 58, 63-4, 71, 79, 84, 103-4, 194, 196, 203, 26in34; and desire 32 San Martino, Matteo 207n2 Sannazaro, Jacopo 84, 86, 278n28 Sapperton, Beale 40-1, 42, 44 Sappho 282ni4 satire 89 Satterthwaite, Alfred W. 285n4 Satyrus 2841*32 Sayers, Dorothy L., and Barbara Reynolds 263^0 Scaliger, Julius Caesar 6, 13, 36, 45,

General Index

350 h hymn 201-2 'scanne' 15-17, 33 Scharfstein, Ben-Ami 249-5omo Schell, Richard 74. See also under Bjorvand, Einar Schenck, Céleste Marguerite 191, 194, 279-8onn2, 3, 284^7, 2gon3 Schiller, Johann Cristoph Friedrich von 207ni Schlegel, Friedrich 259^5 Schleiner, Louise 255n6, 269^, 271n24

Schlesinger, Kathleen 46 Schnier, Jacques 25ini5 Schulman, Samuel E. 2gin5 Segal, Charles 57, 65, 25ini3, 26in32, 2ó2n37, 264^3 Sessions, William A. 51, 26on27, 271 n27 Shakespeare, William 8, 8l, 187. Works: Hamlet 104; King Lear 2yin23; Sonnets 265^6 Shaver, Anne 273ni Shippey, Thomas Alan 282ni4 Shire, Helena M. 281 n6 Shoaf, R.A. 203n4O Shore, David R. 257ni8, 258ni9, 27oni4, 272nn32, 33 Short, Peter 12, 169. See also fig. i shrill (avian term) 275ni4 Sidney, Frances 129 Sidney, Sir Philip 15, 43, 44, 45, 60, 61, 74, 90, 111, 123, 166-7, ï73> 187, 192-3, 199, 259R26, 28in8; career of 202n36; image of nest in 164; and Petrarch 164; and the sonnet 279n2. Works: Astrophil and Stella 34, 142, 152, 164, 186, 256nio; Defence of Poesy 37, 91,

115, 145, 155, 159, 160, 201, 259n23, 2gin7, 292nn; New Arcadia 191, 233. See also under patronage ami see Spenser Index: Ruines of Time sign 12, 18-19, 37, 87, 100, 113, 117, 146, 173, 208, 228; avian 119, 141, 148, 2Ó4n44; definition of 25onn; image as sign 253nig Simias 70 Simonides 65 Sinai, Mount 9, 241 Singleton, Charles S. 57, 58, 261-2n35

Smarr, Janet Levarie 28on3 Smith, Bruce R. 207n2 Smith, Hallett Darius 78, 279^ Smith, J. Norton 2gon2 Smith, Nathaniel B. 263^0 Smith, Peter L. 264^5 Snyder, Susan 199, 288ni7 Somerset, Edward. See Worcester, earl of Somerset, Elizabeth and Katherine 225, 231, 233, 234, 236, 239, 241-2, 245 sonnet, sonnet sequence (Petrarchan sequence): 'double time' in 173, 282ni2; form of as prison 283n2i; as self-referential genre 28i-2ng; two-part structure of 282nio Sorensen, Fred 273n2 Southmayd, David Edward 71, 263n41

Spariosu, Mihai I. 2500112 sparrow 200; Venerean 203 Spenser, Edmund: and allegorical process 2gin7; and art and salvation xi; attitude at end of career 114-15; and St Augustine 10, 23, 249n8; Christianization of Virgil

General Index 26i-2n35; closure and open-endedness of career 23, 75, 198-9, 205-11, 224; and 'commonplace' career model 49-52, 151, 259-6onn 26, 27, 29; and contemplative and courtly poetry 4-5, 21-2, 29, 53-4, 205, 223-4, 229-30; and Dante 202n35; and disillusionment 5, 23, 46, 75, 147-8- 151- 199/ 205-11, 226-7, 231, 259-6on26, 2gin7; as divine poet 223-4; and careeric definition of epic 114-15; and epic and hymn 205-11; and fame and glory xi-xiii, 14-15, 89, 94, 98, 101-2, 107, 108-9, no, 114, 141, 145; 171, 207-8; and 'famous flight' 23, 295n27; fiction of career 247ni, 253nig; and images of flight xi-xii, 17; and four-genre career model 35, 38-42, 46-8, 79, 209, 254~5n4, 258ni8; and hawking 64; and hymn 102-4, 195-224; and Petrarchan love lyric 94-8, 279n2; as love poet 2&5n2; and Orphic idea of a literary career 3, 23, 150, 188, 206, 253-66nni-52; as Orphic poet 7, 115, 117, 231; and Ovid 26in33; and pastoral 77-110; and pastoral and epic 94-8, 108, no, in, 114, 117, 120-1, 141, 205-10; and Pegasus ('Segnior Pegaso') 72-5, 266nn5O, 51; and Petrarchan love tradition 42-3, 279n2; relation to Piers and Cuddie, 31-2; importance of process in 63-4, 263n4o; prophetic method of 32, 48, no, 255115; and Protestantism 56; as Protestant poet 114; Protestant poetics of 136; providential poetics of 89-110; publication chronology

35l 3-4, 7, 31, 53, 147, 247; use of quill 205n45; and Romantic myth of bard 29i-2n8; theology of 27&~7n22; and Virgilian career model xi-xii, 15, 23, 52-63, 149, 151. See also Spenser Index Spenser, Peregrine 64 Starnes, D.T. 26gng Statius 34, 119, 189; and avian prophecy 274m i Steadman, John M. 263^1 Stevens, Wallace 18 Stewart, James T. 285^ Stillman, Robert E. 144 stilnovisti 59 stoop (hawking term) 33 stork 192 Strangways, A.H. Fox 266n48 Strier, Richard 253~4ni Stump, Donald 258m8 Surrey, earl of (Henry Howard) 254112 swallow 72, 80, 82, 104, no swan 4, 10, 16, 22, 33, 36-7, 65, 80, 115, 160, 189, 287ni3; and epic 117-19, 123-4; and fame 26; and lyre 2461147; and nightingale 69; and origin of poetry 66, 70-1; significances of 2gin6; of Venus 161, 164, 241; of Venus in Virgil 235-6; and Zepherus 292-3ni3. See also figs. 3, 8, n; Apollo; and under Ariosto; Lucretius; Muses. See also Spenser Index: Prothalamion Syrinx (myth of) 25. See also Pan; Spenser Index: Pan syrinx 69. See also avis, avena; oaten reed; pan-pipe; quill; and under nightingale

General Index

352 tambourine 94 Tamburlaine 258ni8 Tasso, Torquato 6, 55, 60, 6l, 120; career of 262^6; and love lyric 158-9. Works: Creation of the World 275ni3, 29in6; Discourses on the Heroic Poem 115, 271^23; Gerusalemme Liberata 159, 277^6; Rime 113, 159, 179-80, 180-1, 283nni6, 18,24 teaching, metaphor of 153-4, 17°/ 178-9, 185. See also praeceptor amoris Telfer, J.M. 282ni4 Tempe 237, 293n2O Temple (at the Inns of Court) 225-6, 240 Tereus 82, 85, 86. See also Philomela Teskey, Gordon 123, 295n28 Thames 4, 225-6, 232, 233, 237, 245, 291n6

theatre, image of 135-6, 138, 172 Theocritus 16, 70, 78, 80, 83, 86, 101 Theognis 10, 18 Thessaly 293n2o Thompson, Charlotte 28onn3, 5 Thornton, Bruce 51, 271^127 Throckmorton, Arthur 146, 273n2; and ruby 278^1 Throckmorton, Elizabeth 12, 129, 137. See also Ralegh thrush (mavis) 121, 185, 190-1 Tibullus 157 Tillyard, E.M.W. 273^ time 7-8, 15, 123-4, I3i/ 238, 240; allegory of in Ariosto 123-4; avian image of (winged) 245; and eternity 71, 78, 80, 92, 244; in Ralegh 140, 144. See also fig. 2 titmouse 80

Tityrus (in Virgil) 67-8, 84, 137-8; see also fig. 7 Todd, Henry John 282ni4 Todorov, Tzvetan 258n22 Tolliver, Harold E. 267^ Tonkin, Humphrey 2/3ni Tosello, Matthew 262n35 tower (hawking term) 208 tragedy 44, 154, 172, 201, 257~8ni8 transcendence 16, 20, 33, 55, 58, 84-5, 91, 114, 118, 200, 221, 252ni6, 295n3o; and hymn 203, 212; and immanence 20-2, 62, 208, 218, 228-9, 241-2, 262-3n37, 28in5, 286ng; and pastoral 77-80, 82,86 translatio imperil 36-7, 122, 256ng translatio studii 35, 37 Trinity 202 troubadours 59, 157, 161 Troy 37 trumpet 9-10, 60, 115, 144, 173-4, 185; avian origin of 275nni3, 14; and fame 171; and iconography of fame 120-1; and jay 275ni3 Tufte, Virginia J. 189, 279-8on3, 280n5

Turner, Myron 252ni6, 28o-in5, 283nni7, 18 Tuve, Rosemond 57, 266n5i Tybur 118 Tylus, Jane 51, 27in27 typology 7, 48, 56, 93, 130, 197-8; in Bible 130; of New Poet's career 94-8, 102-3, 229 Ulreich, John C, Jr 273ni Upton, John 112, 113, 137, 273nn2, 4 Urania (Muse of divine poetry) 33-4, 74, 143, 205, 210-11, 288ni7

General Index valediction (phase in New Poet's career) 19, 21, 227, 229; in hymn and pastoral 80 Valeriano 293ni3 Vallaos, William 228 Van Winkle, Cortlandt 284030 vates. See poeta and vates vatic virtue 20-1, 79, 107-8, 111-48 vatic vision 20, 79, 98-107 Vaughan, Henry xi-xii Vaught, Jennifer 274ni2 Venus 108, 135, 136, 189, 212-18, 241; and Cupid 133, 239, 294nn23, 25, 28gn22; hymn to, in Spenser and Lucretius 238. See also under dove; sparrow Vermeulen, A.J. 248n6 Vicari, Patricia 25507, 262n37, 288ni6, 293021 Vida, Marco Girolamo 32 Villeponteaux, Mary A. 279^, 282nn Virgil 8, 17, 21, 38, 42, 48, 49, 55, 56, 60, 61, 72, 73, 77, 86, 93, 109, 118, 119, 124, 125, 134, 145, 147,153, 155, 158, 160, 224, 228, 252ni6, 25403, 26on3i; and avian prophecy 274nn; career model xi-xiii, 5-6, 10, 28-9, 31, 34, 36, 38, 78, 249n8; and epic 116; and Orphic nightingale simile in Georgics 13, 85, 98-100, 25ini3; and pseudoVirgilian poetry (written in Virgil's 'youth') 47; and Theocritean pastoral 83. Works: Aeneid 15, 23, 32,108, 115, 133, 145, 208; Eclogues 6, 23, 29, 67-8, 80, 105, H3/ 137~8' 264n43; Georgics 15-16, 23, 29, 101, 25onio; Catalepton 73. See also rota Vergiliana, and under Augustine, Saint; Chaonia, doves

353 of; dove; Orpheus; Ovid; Petrarch; Ralegh; Spenser, Edmund; swans Vivante, Paolo 2641144 Vorreiter, Leopold 265^7 vultures 192 Waldman, Louis 26909 Walker, Jeffrey 28106 Wall, John N. 6-7, 187, 28003, 285035 Walsingham, Fraoces. See Sidoey, Fraoces Walsiogham, Fraocis 252-3018 warble (avian term) 268n6 Warkeotio, Germaioe 25402, 28003 Warreo, Kate M. 145, 259026 Wartoo, Thomas 29108 Warwick, countess of (Anne) 196-7 waterfall, trope for poetry 92-3, 99 Watkins, W.B.C. 29004 Webb, Wm. Stanford 5 Webbe, William 115, 116, 25402 Webster, Joho 27301 Weinberg, Bernard 259023, 26701 Weiner, Andrew D. 253^1, 259n26 Wells, Robin Headlam 27903, 283022 Welsford, Eoid 192, 285002, 5 West, Michael 29105 Whetstooe, George 272031 White, Haydeo 10 Whitmao, Charles Huotiogtoo 26806 Whitman, Walt 18 Whitney, Geffrey (Junior) 38-9, 40, 42,151,165-6. See also fig. 6 Whitney, Geffrey (Senior) 165-6 Wickert, Max A. 2ygn3, 284-5034 Wiggins, Peter DeSa 276ni7 will, divine and human 132, 263038 Williams, Kathleeo 27409

354 Wills, Garry 248116 Wilson, Thomas 143 Winbolt, S.E. 2con3 Wine, M.L. 232, 245, 2con2 'winged words' 36, 264^4, wings (feather, pinion) 10, 11-12, 14, 16, 17, 29, 32, 33, 36, 37-8, 64, 66, 106-7, 124/ !44/ 179-80- 200, 210, 215, 218, 224; and fame and glory 35; and hymn 203; and imitation 256nio; and intertextuality 164; of imagination 169; 'under the shadow of 87; in Sidney 164. See also fig. 5 Winternitz, Emanuel 120 Wise, Valerie Merriam 25 Wither, George 201. See also fig. 10

General Index Woodhouse, A.S.P. 126, 276ni8 Woods, Susanne 267^, 288ni9 Woodward, Daniel H. 242, 29on2, 291n4, 292n12 Worcester, earl of (Edward Somerset) 231, 289-goni Wordsworth, William 265^4 Wormhoudt, Arthur 25ini5 Worthington, John 4 Yahweh 71, 87 Young, Frank B. 192, 279n3 Yuasa, Nobuyuki 279^ Zepherus. See under swan Zim, Rivkah, and M.B. Parkes 254n2 Zitner, Sheldon P. 263^9

Spenser Index

A. Figures and Places Acidale, Mount 205-9, 2Í2' 241 Alcyon 82 Amoret 112, 126, 128, 234-6; and Scudamour 42, 172 Artegall 117, 182, 295n26. See also Britomart Arthur, Prince 99, 117, 121, 123, 126, 127, 130, 131, 142, 147, 178, 232; and Gloriana 295n26; and grace 276n2O. See also General Index: Essex, earl of Belphoebe 20-1, 108, 111-48, 234, 236, 243; as figure of grace 276n2O Blatant Beast: and Pegasus and fame 209-10. See also fig. 10 Britomart 117, 239, 243; and Artegall 295n26; as figure of grace 276n2O Busirane 172, 188, 235 Calepine 121 Calidore 111-12, 117, 205-9 Calliope 94-6, 210. See also General Index Cambell 117

Chrysogonee 127 Cleopolis 103, 233, 240 Clio 210 Colin Clout 17, 20, 29-30, 33, 36, 77, 79-80, 88-109, 111-12, 115, 138, 165-6, 191, 205-9, 229, 244; development of 267n2; in FQ VI 241; name of 27in23; as Orphic poet 207-10, 288ni8; and hanging up of pipe 272n32 Contemplation, Mount of 9, 103, 240 Cuddie 27-33, 44, 78, 150, 199, 255n4, 257-8n18 Cupid (Love) 212-18. See also General Index Dido (in SC, Nov) 20, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 88, 101-3, 109 Dove (in FQ iv.viii) 17, 20, 111-48, 200

E.K. 3, 29, 31-2, 36, 38, 78, 86-7, 93, 107, 117, 152, 267n2, 209nn; identity as Spenser 26gn9 Eliza, Queen (in SC) 28, 37, 43, 46, 75, 78, 88, 101 Error 233, 238


Euterpe 81-2 Faunus: and Molanna 210 Fisher 172 Florimell 121, 127, 129 Florimell, False 26 Foster 127, 135, 172 Gardens of Adonis 239 George, Saint. See Redcrosse Knight Glauce 117 Gloriana 75, 76, ill, 127, 178, 232, 240, 242-3, 245. See also Arthur Graces 93; dance of 111-12, 207-9, 241 Grantorto 182 Guyon 117, 129 Heavenly Contemplation (hermit of FQ I) 50, 103, 121, 245

Hermit (of FQ VI) 50 Hobbinol 92-8, 105, 27in24 Idleness (in Pageant of Deadly Sins) 232 Immerito 87-8, 115 Irena 182 Jove: and Dame Nature, 210. See also General Index Lobbin 28 Lust (monster in FQ IV.vii) 128-30 Melibee 50, 206 Mena leas 100 Merlin 17, 117, 239 Muses 93, 94. See also General Index Nature, Dame 210

Spenser Index New Jerusalem 103. See also General Index Palmer 62-3 Pan 90-2, 93, 103; as Christ 27in29; and Phoebus (Apollo) 95-6; and Syrinx 104. See also General Index Pastorella 206-7 Pegasus. See General Index Piers 27-36, 39, 40, 46, 78,102, 150, 199, 255nn4, 6, 258ni8 Proteus 172 Redcrosse Knight (St George) 62-3, 99, 103, 117, 121,129, 142, 194, 240, 242, 245 Rosalinde 17, 30, 77, 78, 90-1, 97-8, 99, 100, 105-6, 170 Sapience 7, 75, 198, 212, 218, 223 Scudamour 42, 172 Thames. See General Index Thenot 80, 100-1,103 Timias 20-1, 108, 112-48, 276n2O Tityrus (Chaucer/Virgil) 16, 60, 77, 96-7 Triamond 117 Troynovant 37, 236 Una 242 Urania 33-4. See also General Index

witch and son 26, 172 Wrenock 105 B. Works and Passages Amoretti 3-5, 7, 115, 149-54, 166-86, 257ni7; and avian imagery 167, 174-7, 179-81, 183-4, 185-6; criti-

Spenser Index cism on 279-8on3; eros and caritas 178; and fame and glory 170-1, 181-2, 184; and 'famous flight' 167; georgic in 183-4; heroic matrix in 167, 282nn; narrator's Orphic role in 166-7, 174; Pegasus in 169-70, 184; process of perception in 153, 166, 174-5, 177, 181; as rewriting of Petrarch 169-70, 172, 176-7, 178; providence in 173, 179; careeric structure of 166-7, 282nio. See also Amoretti /Epithalamion - Sonnets: i: 3-5, 7, 73, 168-70, 173, 180, 184; 2: 47; 3: 174; 5: 174; 6: 174; 7: 170, 172, 284n33; 8: 42, 170, 172, 174, 175; 9: 174, 175; 10: 47, 174; 11-13: 174; 15-17: 174; 19: 121, 153, 173-4; «: 170; 22: 170, 172, 175; 28-9: 170-1, 172; 32: 167; 33: 149, 151, 152, 153, 167, 170, 172-3, 185; 38: 167, 171-2; 40: 153; 44: 171-2; 46: 168; 54: 172; 60-4: 175; 65: 153, 175-6; 67= 167, 168-9, 176-7; 68: 178; 69: 178-9; 70-1: 179; 72: 153, 169, 179-80, 184, 214; 73: 153, 180-1; 74: 43; 75: 182; 80: 21, 73, 76, 147, 149, 151-4, 167, 170, 180, 182-4, 28on4; 85: 153, 185; 86: 185, 190; 88: 185; 89: 14, 19, 21, 114, 147, 153, 185-6, 200, 273n5, 283n24

Amoretti I Epithalamion (1595 volume) 12, 21, 23, 26, 31, 38-9, 42-3, 52-3, 204, 248n4; and avian imagery 153, 28o-in5; and narrator 174-5; numerology in 193; prefatory material 165-6; public and private 278ni; and FQ 149-54, 172, 178, 182-4; and FQ HI 172; and SC and FQ 165-8

357 'Anacreontics' 150, 193, 28on3 Astrophel 47 Colin Clouts Come Home Againe 50, 55; role in Spenser's career 3-4, 247n2, 257ni8; metageneric structure of 47-8 - Lines: 76-7: 139-40; 90: 139; 164: 139; 194: 205n46; 335-41: 140-1; 351: 181; 358-67: 146; 361: 139; 401-15: 117-19, 125; 416-27: 44; 420-2: 266n5O; 424: 120; 427: 258ni8; 616-19: 47 Complaints 47; role in Spenser's career 3-4, 247n2, 257-8ni8; definition of 187-8. See also individual works Daphnaida 47, 82 Dying Pelican 14, 46 English Poete 38, 90 Epithalamion 149-54, 165-6, 239, 257ni7; and avian imagery 190-3; role in New Poef s career 186-7, 279n2; as rewriting of Catullus 187; and children (family) and fame 194, 285^5; criticism on 188, 279-8onn2, 3, 283-4^6; and fame and glory 188, 191; Orpheus in 188, 284H26; Orphic mastery in 188-9; and Pegasus 192-3; perception in 188; as rewriting of Petrarch 194; providence in 190. See also Amoretti/Epithalamion - Lines: i-end: 186-94; 7~8; 47;

35» 78-91: 153; 190: 73; 345-54= 153; 422: 241 Faerie Queene, The 3-5, 12, 23, 26, 31, 38-9, 46, 75, 94, 149, 198, 204, 258nni6, 17; allegory: political, theological, and vocational dimensions of Ill.v, iv.vii-viii 113-45; career, role of Dove episode in 145-8; and closure in Book VI 205-11; and glory in Book I 240; myth of winged poet in 275ni5; numerology in Book IV 275ni6; as Orphic hymn 202; problematic conclusion to iv.viii.i-i8 278n3o; Proems to 2gin7; as prophetic poem 255^; as Virgilian epic 274ng - Commendatory Verses to the 1590 FQ: i (by Ralegh) 134; 2 (by Ralegh) 138, 147-8; 3 (by Harvey) 121; 4 (by R.S.) 167, 294n22 - Dedicatory Sonnets to the 1590 FQ: 2 (to Burleigh) 231; 6 (to Essex) 295n27; u (to Sackville) 45; 12 (to Walsingham) 252~3ni8, 272^4; 14 (to Ralegh) 138 - Letter to Ralegh 5, 50, 114, 170, 198, 257ni7, 29in7 - Books, cantos, stanzas: i-ili: 147 I.Pr.i: 120-1, 137, 207, 26on28; I.i.8: 233, 238; l.iv.iS: 232; I.vii.i7: 242; I.vii.46: 34; I.viii.26: 242; I.viii.38: 99; I.ix.i: 142; I.ix.2i: 73; I.x.53-4: 241; I.x.53-«7: 240; l.x.55-64: 103; l.x.59-64: 23; I.x.6: 207-9; I.x.6o: 47, 245; I.xi.9: 120; l.xi-34: 253n2o; I.xi.42: 73 11.1.32-3: 62-3; n.iii.33: 236; H.V.26: 191; H.ix.44-5: 54

Spenser Index in: 42; m.Pr.4-5: 134; m.iii.i-2: 43; Hl.iii.24-50: 239; Ill.iii.5o: 17; Hl.iii.5i: 117; Ill.iv: 47; Ill.v: 126-8, 133-6; m.v.9: 34; HI.V.35: 236; Hl.v.42: 123; Ill.vi.39: 245; Ill.vii-viii: 26; in.ix.53: 2^6ng; Hl.xi.32: 235; Ill.xii.47: (original ending) 183 HI-IV: 234 iV.Pr.: 2; lV.Pr.5: 133; iv.ii.i: 171-2; IV.ii.34: 263n39; IV.vii: 128-30,137; iv.vii.46: 113, 123; iv.viii: 14; iv.viii.i-i8 (Dove episode): 17, 20-1, 108, 111-48, 153, 200; lV.viii.29-33: 138, 277-8n27; iv.x.4: 34; iv.x.44~7: 238; IV.x.45: 17; lV.xii.28: 17 iv-vi: 52 V: 182; V.ix.13: 268n6 VI: 5, 55, 182, 243, 272-3ni; Vl.Pr: 54; Vl.Pr.i: 147, 183, 240, 203n39; Vl.Pr.5: 53-4; Vi.iv.i7: 121; Vl.v.37: 50; Vi.ix.24: 50; Vl.ix.35: 268n6; Vl.ix.36: 73, 206-7; VI-X: 21/ 111-12, 205-10; Vi.x.6 (hawk on Mount Acídale): 207-9; Vl.x.i3¡ 241; vi.xii.4O-i: 209-10 Vil: See Mutabilitie Cantos Fowre Hymnes 3-5, 21, 23, 26, 31, 45-6, 52-3, 55, 58, 74, 102, 195-224, 248n4, 257ni7; and Am/Ep 212-13, 217, 218; and Am/Ep and FQ 195-6, 288n2i; and avian imagery 200, 286nio; in Spenser's career 198; contemplation in 221-3; criticism on 285-6nn4, 5, 6; dating of 285ni; and disillusionment 26on3o; equivocation in 211, 220-1; and fame and glory 199-201; glory in

Spenser Index


219-21; hawk (and eagle) in 214-23; relation between earthly and heavenly hymns 196-201; relation between earthly love and beauty and heavenly love and beauty 196; Neoplatonism in 216; as Orphic hymns 203-5; ar>d patronage 285^; perception in 197-8, 211, 216; prophecy in 224; relation to Prothalamion 239; 'retractation' 196-211, 218, 286nn7, 9; and SC, FQ, and Am/Ep 199-200, 212, 222; process of writing hymn 286n8 Dedicatory Epistle 196-201, 211 Hymne of Love 212-16 Hymne of Beautie 216-18. Line 192:7 Hymne of Heavenly Love 43, 216-18, 218-20. Lines: 8-14: 47; 8-18: 195-6 Hymne of Heavenly Beautie 26, 220-3. Lines: i: 200; 22-8: 14; 295-6: 241

'lambicum Trimetrum' 12 Mother Hubberds Tale 28on4 Muiopotmos: or The Fate of the Butterflie 14 Mutabilitie Cantos, The 5, 243; and closure 205, 210-11; as coda 244; date of composition 29oni; as hymn 288nni7, 20 - Book, canto, stanza: vn.vi.8: 17; VH.viii.2: 241, 244 Nine Comedies 46

Prothalamion 3-5, 14, 22, 23, 26, 52-3,

359 54-5, 75, "5, 209, 225-45; allegorical method in 235-43; allegory in 226-7, 230-1, 233; and Am/Ep 244; as coda 244-5; date of composition 289~9oni; and disillusionment 26on3o; and Ep 294n25; and epic 243-5; and FQ 226-7, 230-45, 290-in4; and FQ III and IV 294n25; and FH 225, 229, 244, 294n25; images of history and politics in 227, 239-43, 244-5; history as allegorical strategy in 240; hymn in 244; and imitation 228, 230-43, 245; love lyric in 244-5; marriage in 226, 229, 230, 234; and Mutabilitie Cantos 226; classical myths in 235-9; narrative movement in 226-7, 230-43; Orpheus in 240-1; as Orphic hymn 294n23; Orphic hymn in 238-9; and pastoral 227, 243-5; patronage in 226; pictorial techniques in 2gon4; prophecy in 228; refrain in 293ni4; and SC 244; and SC, Time, FQ, and Ep 228; unity of 2gon2; Virgilian allusions in 293n18

- Stanzas: i: 231-2; 2-7: 232-9; 8-10: 239-43 Ruines of Time, The 26, 187, 229 - Lines: 121-2: 81-2; 421-7: 14, 34, 73, 169; 589-601: 228; 601: 25onn; 603: 294n22; 607-8: 294n22; 645-58: 73-4, 169; 646-8: 192 Shepheardes Calender, The 12, 16, 20, 22, 23, 39, 42, 52, 77-110, 111, 114, 115, 138 140, 147, 187, 204, 208, 257ni7; and avian imagery 32-8, 79-80, 109-10; criticism on 30, 78,

360 90, 98, 109, 266-7111; and typology of epic 94-6; experiential process of the poet in 88-109; ar|d fame and glory 28-31, 92, no; 'famous flight' 33-5; and FH 220: georgic in 98-100, 27in27; and typology of hymn 102-3; and typology of love lyric 96-8; Orpheus in 32; and careeric definition of pastoral 36-8, 77, 79; 'peeced pyneons' 35-6; 'perfecte paterne of a Poete' 77-80,109-10, 267n3; politics and salvation in 30-1; careeric structure of 78-9; as rewriting of Virgil 3i,78 Dedicatory Epistle 3,19, 36, 88,117, 152. Lines: 7-8: 60; 161-73: 86-7; 162-3: 75 To His Booke' 87-8, 169, 213 Januarye 69, 79, 99, 104. Lines i-end: 90-2 Februarie 47, 268n6, 272^1 March 104 Aprill 46, 79,101, 269nio. Lines: 33-6: 136; 42: 73; 55-6: 88; 94: 3-5, 7; 118-19: 209mi; 211-17: 73; 213-14: 34; 213-17: 73; 213-15: 96; 262-6: 42 June 79, 99, 100, 105, 109, 151. Lines: i-end: 92-8; 65-78: 69; 65-80: 73; 75: 34; 81: 16; 97-101: 135; 100: 143 August sestina 79, 80, 98-100, 25onn, 27in26 October 7,14,16, 19, 39, 42, 43, 44, 46, 48, 53, 56, 60, 75, 79, 151, 4, 257-8ni8. Lines: Arg: 20,

Spenser Index 38, 77, 90; i-end: 27-38; 1-36: 30; 4-17: 27, 32-3; 19-24: 27; 31-5: 27, 33; 37-120: 30-1; 37-51: 150; 37-54: 27-8; 38-44: 37; 43-4: 121; 49-50: 26on26; 51-3: 42-3; 55: 16; 55-9= 78; 55-60: 29; 67: 33; 72: 29, 33; 78: 29; 79-81: 78; 79-84: 29, 195, 199, 200, 209, 254n2, 26on26; 79-95: 31; 83-4: 38, 78, 102; 84: 19; 85-90: 29-30; 87: 33, 35-6; 88: 15-17, 23, 33-5, 79,152, 228; 89-90: 228-9; 9°: 16; 91-4: 30; 97: 27; 98-114: 44; 100-17: 30; 130: 31; 196-9: 29; 201-9: 256nn; 235: 35; 242-3: 228 - November 79, 92, 98,100. Lines: i-end: 100-3; 25: 20,138; 25-6: 80; 71: 88, 268n6; 138: 109; 179: 77; 258-64: 85 - December 79, 80. Lines: i-end: 103-7; 17: 90; 71: 96-7; 71-2: 89; 141: 77, 79, 108; 151-6: 77 - 'Envoy' 80, 108-9 Spenser/Harvey Letters 46, 72, 115, 169-70, 231 Teares of the Muses 9,187 - Lines: 235-40: 81; 245-6: 273115; 271: 73, 170; 277-94: 81; 458: 120; 526-8: 33; 576: 135 Theatre for Worldlings, A 40, 42 Virgils Gnat 14, 47, 82, 238 Visions of Petrarch: Sonnet 3:152