The "ocean" (975), for instance, to which the Spirit prepares to fly, is not only a body of water, but, more significantly, "the celestial sphere," just as "the liquid air" (979) he breathes there is not watery, but, rather "clear, bright." In this place, "day never shuts his eye" (977), a blackening condition in courtly poetics of color, and is characterized as a "fusion of the Gardens of Hesperus, which were, according to Pliny, islands surrounded by ocean, with the less earthbound Elysian plain of Plutarch." The fused state is "fair" (980) in its inclusiveness--all smells and sounds as well as colors inhere--"purfled
" (994), or "variegated" qualities, represented splendidly by "Iris" (991), the rainbow.
In Book 1 of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, the Redcrosse Knight is distracted from his virtuous path by the appearance of the lewd Fidessa, "A goodly Lady clad in scarlot red, / Purfled
with gold and pearle of rich assay" (644; 2.110-11).