Edmund Spenser – The Faerie Queene (ctd.)

Arthur says that God sent him here, but he is not sure. Was it God’s will or the fresh wound rancling in his breast that makes him travel? Una asks about the wound. Arthur fortunately does not do the whole passive-aggressive thing like Una did and tells his story promptly. When he was growing up, old Timon warned him not to be foolish and fall in love. Accordingly, he laughed at suffering loves, controlled his passion by reason and was sure he would never fall in love – until one day, tired after riding the whole day, he lay down in the woods and fell asleep. In his dream he saw a beautiful royal maiden lying down next to him. She asks him to love her and after the appropriate amount of time she promises to love him back. At her parting she reveals she is the Queene of Fairies. (I thought Gloriana as the apotheosis of Elizabeth would be less forward.) When he wakes up, he sees just trampled grass next to him. From that moment on he roams the world, looking for his lost love, but to no avail.

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