Monday, January 14, 2019


Abode of Despair

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), The Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 9, Stanza 35 (lines 307-315):
That darkesome cave they enter, where they find
That cursèd man, low sitting on the ground,
Musing full sadly in his sullein mind;
His griesie lockes, long growen, and unbound,        310
Disordred hong about his shoulders round,
And hid his face; through which his hollow eyne
Lookt deadly dull, and starèd as astound;
His raw-bone cheekes through penurie and pine,
Were shronke into his jawes, as he did never dine.        315
A.C. Hamilton ad loc.:
3 sullein: gloomy; morose; cf. 'solein' (OED 5). Despaire displays the outward symptoms of melancholy described by Burton, Anat. Mel., and therefore of Saturn (see II ix 52.8-9n). 4 griesie: grey, grizzled; horrible, hideous; filthy. 8-9 Cf. the appearance of the Red Cross Knight upon emerging from Orgoglio's dungeon at viii 41. penurie and pine: lack of food and the suffering that follows.

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