Yet he, through merry feasting which he made
And great bonfires, did not the cold remember;
His Saviour’s birth his mind so much did glad.
Upon a shaggy-bearded Goat he rode,
The same wherewith Dan Jove in tender years,
They say, was nourished by th’Idaean maid;
And in his hand a broad deep bowl he bears
Of which he freely drinks a health to all his peers.
The maid of Mount Ida was the princess of Crete, Amalthea, who is said to have nourished the infant Jove on goat’s milk. Spenser here strikes the tonic chord of Christmas festivity in our hemisphere, combining the notes of religious celebration with those of drinking healths beside a blazing fire amid the short, dark days that end the year.
Next: Marmion Sir Walter Scott