Joseph Hall (1574-1656), educated in the Puritan atmosphere of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, early developed his talents as a satirist. The extracts printed below surprisingly perhaps, indicate almost unqualified approval for the very different mode of the Faerie Queene. Their tone, and Hall's general indebtedness to Spenser, is crystallized in another line from Virgidemiarum:
At Colins feet I throw my yeelding reed.
Both the authorship and the dating of the last two pieces is doubtful. For comment see The Collected Poems, ed. A. Davenport (Liverpool, 1949), which includes also discussion of Hall on Spenser (pp. xlii-xliii). Against Davenport, I prefer a date of 1610 for the Bodleian MS. piece.
(a) From His Defiance of Enuy in Virgidemiarum, Six Bookes. First thre Bookes, Of Tooth-lesse Satyrs (1597), sig. A5; repr. in Complete Poems, ed. A.B. Grosart, Occasional Issues, IX (1879), p. 7:
… Or scoure the rusted swords of Eluish knights,
Bathed in Pagan blood: or sheath them new
In misty morall Types: or tell their fights,
Who mighty Giants, or who Monsters slew.
And by some strange inchanted speare and shield,
Vanquisht their foe, and wan the doubtfull field.
Maybe she [his Muse] might in stately Stanzaes frame
Stories of Ladies, and aduenturous knights:
To raise her silent and inglorious name,
Vnto a reach-lesse pitch of Prayses hight.
(b) From Virgidemiarum, Lib. I, sat. 4, p. II; repr. Grosart, p. 27: