Edmund Spenser – The Faerie Queene (ctd.)

The lady and the knight find refuge in the nearby wood. They wander for a long time, admiring its various trees – Spenser gives the readers a catalogue of them, which is his imitation of Chaucer. but more generally a staple of epic poetry. But when the rain stops, they try to fnd the way and they can’t. In the end they decide to stick to the track that seemed to be the most beaten one, hoping it will lead them out of the wood. The path, however, leads them to a cave. The knight gets down, hands his spear to the dwarf and is about to look into the cave. The lady warns him “This is the wandring wood, this Errours den”. You’re telling me now? No, that’s not what the knight says. Instead he makes some noble remarks about virtue giving itself light in the darkness and peers into the cave. What he sees there is a dreadful monster, half woman, half serpent. She is suckling a thousand of her young but as soon as they see the light reflected from his armour, they creep into her mouth to hide.

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