The Faerie Queene

by Edmund Spenser

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"Roses Red And Violets Blue"

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Context: In this section of the allegory, Chrysogonee is the mother of Belphoebe, the chaste maiden who represents Queen Elizabeth I in Book III of The Faerie Queene. Belphoebe and her twin, Amoretta, are conceived in an immaculate manner, after Chrysogonee bathes in the forest, then lies on the grass "all naked bare" and falls asleep. The sunbeams play on her body, enter her womb and make her pregnant. As she is bathing, Spenser says:

In a fresh fountaine, far from all mens vew,
She bath'd her brest the boyling heat t'allay;
She bath'd with roses red and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres that in the forrest grew.

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