Collin, here the place, whose pleasaunt syte From other shades hath weand my wandring mynde. Tell me, what wants me here, to worke delyte? The simple ayre, the gentle warbling wynde, So calme, so coole, as no where else I fynde: The grassye ground with daintye Daysies dight, The Bramble bush, where Byrds of euery kynde To the waters fall their tunes attemper right. Here wander may thy flock early or late, Withouten dreade of Wolues to bene ytost: Thy louely layes here mayet thou freely boste. But I vnhappy man, whom cruell fate, And angry Gods pursue from coste to coste, Can nowhere fynd, to shouder my lucklesse pate. Then if by me thou list aduised be, Forsake the soyle, that so doth the bewitch: Leaue me those hilles, where harbrough nis to see, Nor holybush, nor brere, nor winding witche: And to the dales resort, where shepheards ritch, And fruictfull flocks bene euery where to see.

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By Edmund Spenser Januarie. And lastlye, fynding himselfe robbed of all former pleasaunce and delights, hee breaketh his Pipe in peeces, and casteth him selfe to the ground. A Shepeheards boye no better doe him call when Winters wastful spight was almost spent, All in a sunneshine day, as did befall, Led forth his flock, that had been long ypent. So faynt they woxe, and feeble in the folde, That now vnnethes their feete could them vphold. All as the Sheepe, such was the shepeheards looke, For pale and wanne he was, alas the while, May seeme he lovd, or els some care he tooke: Well couth he tune his pipe, and frame his stile.

Tho to a hill his faynting flocke he ledde, And thus him playnd, the while his shepe there fedde. Ye gods of loue, that pitie louers payne, if any gods the paine of louers pitie: Looke from aboue, where you in ioyes remaine, And bowe your eares vnto my doleful dittie.

And Pan thou shepheards God, that once didst loue, Pitie the paines, that thou thy selfe didst proue. Thou barrein ground, whome winters wrath hath wasted, Art made a myrrhour, to behold my plight: Whilome thy fresh spring flowrd, and after hasted Thy sommer prowde with Daffadillies dight.

And now is come thy wynters stormy state, Thy mantle mard, wherein thou mas-kedst late. Such rage as winters, reigneth in my heart, My life bloud friesing wtih vnkindly cold: Such stormy stoures do breede my balefull smarte, As if my yeare were wast, and woxen old.

And yet alas, but now my spring begonne, And yet alas, yt is already donne. You naked trees, whose shady leaves are lost, Wherein the byrds were wont to build their bowre: And now are clothd with mosse and hoary frost, Instede of bloosmes, wherwith your buds did flowre: I see your teares, that from your boughes doe raine, Whose drops in drery ysicles remaine.

Thou feeble flocke, whose fleece is rough and rent, Whose knees are weak through fast and evill fare: Mayst witnesse well by thy ill gouernement, Thy maysters mind is ouercome with care. Thou weak, I wanne: thou leabe, I quite forlorne: With mourning pyne I, you with pyning mourne.

A thousand sithes I curse that carefull hower, Wherein I longd the neighbour towne to see: And eke tenne thousand sithes I blesse the stoure, Wherein I sawe so fayre a sight, as shee. Yet all for naught: snch [such] sight hath bred my bane. Ah God, that loue should breede both ioy and payne. It is not Hobbinol, wherefore I plaine, Albee my loue he seeke with dayly suit: His clownish gifts and curtsies I disdaine, His kiddes, his cracknelles, and his early fruit.

Ah foolish Hobbinol, thy gyfts bene vayne: Colin them gives to Rosalind againe. I loue thilke lasse, alas why doe I loue? And am forlorne, alas why am I lorne? Shee deignes not my good will, but doth reproue, And of my rurall musick holdeth scorne. Shepheards deuise she hateth as the snake, And laughes the songes, that Colin Clout doth make.

Wherefore my pype, albee rude Pan thou please, Yet for thou pleasest not, where most I would: And thou vnlucky Muse, that wontst to ease My musing mynd, yet canst not, when thou should: Both pype and Muse, shall sore the while abye. So broke his oaten pype, and downe dyd lye.

By that, the welked Phoebus gan availe, His weary waine, and nowe the frosty Night Her mantle black through heauen gan overhaile. Which seene, the pensife boy halfe in despight Arose, and homeward drove his sonned sheepe, Whose hanging heads did seeme his carefull case to weepe.


Edmund Spencer

Each eclogue is preceded by a woodcut and followed by a motto describing the speaker. The opening line of each eclogue expresses characteristics of the month, and the poem as a whole charts common accuracy of the seasons, the toil and celebrations of the village year. The precision of the description of birds, flowers, and harvests is balanced by an underlying theme of the hardships and rituals that each season entails. Each pastoral in the poem can be classified into one of three categories, identified as moral, plaintive, or re-creative.


The Shepheardes Calender


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