Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SHEPHEARDES CALENDER: AUGUST, by EDMUND SPENSER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SHEPHEARDES CALENDER: AUGUST, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Tell me, perigot, what shalbe the game
Last Line: The night nigheth fast, yts time to be gone.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin
Subject(s): August


Wil. Tell me, Perigot, what shalbe the game,
Wherefore with myne thou dare thy musick matche?
Or bene thy bagpypes renne farre out of frame?
Or hath the crampe thy joynts benomd with ache?
Per. Ah! Willye, when the hart is ill assayde,
How can bagpipe or joynts be well apayd?

Wil. What the foule evill hath thee so bestadde?
Whilom thou was peregall to the best,
And wont to make the jolly shepeheards gladde
With pyping and dauncing, didst passe the rest.
Per. Ah! Willye, now I have learnd a newe daunce:
My old musick mard by a newe mischaunce.

Wil. Mischiefe mought to that newe mischaunce befall,
That so hath raft us of our meriment!
But reede me, what payne doth thee so appall?
Or lovest thou, or bene thy younglings miswent?
Per. Love hath misled both my younglings and mee:
I pyne for payne, and they my payne to see.

Wil. Perdie and wellawaye! ill may they thrive:
Never knewe I lovers sheepe in good plight.
But and if in rymes with me thou dare strive,
Such fond fantisies shall soone be put to flight.
Per. That shall I doe, though mochell worse I fared:
Never shall be sayde that Perigot was dared.

Wil. Then loe, Perigot, the pledge which I plight!
A mazer ywrought of the maple warre:
Wherein is enchased many a fayre sight
Of beres and tygres, that maken fiers warre;
And over them spred a goodly wild vine,
Entrailed with a wanton yvie-twine.

Thereby is a lambe in the wolves jawes:
But see, how fast renneth the shepheard swayne,
To save the innocent from the beastes pawes;
And here with his shepehooke hath him slayne.
Tell me, such a cup hast thou ever sene?
Well mought it beseme any harvest queene

Per. Thereto will I pawne yonder spotted lambe;
Of all my flocke there nis sike another;
For I brought him up without the dambe.
But Colin Clout rafte me of his brother,
That he purchast of me in the playne field:
Sore against my will was I forst to yield.

Wil. Sicker, make like account of his brother.
But who shall judge the wager wonne or lost?
Per. That shall yonder heardgrome, and none other,
Which over the pousse hetherward doth post.
Wil. But, for the sunnebeame so sore doth us beate,
Were not better to shunne the scortching heate?

Per. Well agreed, Willy: then sitte thee downe, swayne:
Sike a song never heardest thou but Colin sing.
Cud. Gynne when ye lyst, ye jolly shepheards twayne:
Sike a judge as Cuddie were for a king.

Per. It fell upon a holly eve,
Wil. Hey ho, hollidaye!
Per. When holly fathers wont to shrieve:
Wil. Now gynneth this roundelay.
Per. Sitting upon a hill so hye,
Wil. Hey ho, the high hyll!
Per. The while my flocke did feede thereby,
Wil. The while the shepheard selfe did spill;
Per. I saw the bouncing Bellibone,
Wil. Hey ho, bonibell!
Per. Tripping over the dale alone;
Wil. She can trippe it very well:
Per. Well decked in a frocke of gray,
Wil. Hey ho, gray is greete!
Per. And in a kirtle of greene saye;
Wil. The greene is for maydens meete.
Per. A chapelet on her head she wore,
Wil. Hey ho, chapelet!
Per. Of sweete violets therein was store,
Wil. She sweeter then the violet.
Per. My sheepe did leave theyr wonted foode,
Wil. Hey ho, seely sheepe!
Per. And gazd on her, as they were wood,
Wil. Woode as he that did them keepe.
Per. As the bonilasse passed bye,
Wil. Hey ho, bonilasse!
Per. She rovde at me with glauncing eye,
Wil. As cleare as the christall glasse:
Per. All as the sunnye beame so bright,
Wil. Hey ho, the sunne beame!
Per. Glaunceth from Phoebus face forthright,
Wil. So love into thy hart did streame:
Per. Or as the thonder cleaves the cloudes,
Wil. Hey ho, the thonder!
Per. Wherein the lightsome levin shroudes,
Wil. So cleaves thy soule a sonder:
Per. Or as Dame Cynthias silver raye,
Wil. Hey ho, the moonelight!
Per. Upon the glyttering wave doth playe:
Wil. Such play is a pitteous plight.
Per. The glaunce into my heart did glide,
Wil. Hey ho, the glyder!
Per. Therewith my soule was sharply gryde:
Wil. Such woundes soone wexen wider.
Per. Hasting to raunch the arrow out,
Wil. Hey ho, Perigot!
Per. I left the head in my hart roote:
Wil. It was a desperate shot.
Per. There it ranckleth ay more and more,
Wil. Hey ho, the arrowe!
Per. Ne can I find salve for my sore:
Wil. Love is a curelesse sorrowe.
Per. And though my bale with death I bought,
Wil. Hey ho, heavie cheere!
Per. Yet should thilk lasse not from my thought:
Wil. So you may buye gold to deare.
Per. But whether in paynefull love I pyne,
Wil. Hey ho, pinching payne!
Per. Or thrive in welth, she shalbe mine:
Wil. But if thou can her obteine.
Per. And if for gracelesse greefe I dye,
Wil. Hey ho, gracelesse griefe!
Per. Witnesse, shee slewe me with her eye:
Wil. Let thy follye be the priefe.
Per. And you, that sawe it, simple shepe,
Wil. Hey ho, the fayre flocke!
Per. For priefe thereof, my death shall weepe,
Wil. And mone with many a mocke.
Per. So learnd I love on a hollye eve,
Wil. Hey ho, holidaye!
Per. That ever since my hart did greve.
Wil. Now endeth our roundelay.
Cud. Sicker, sike a roundle never heard I none.
Little lacketh Perigot of the best,
And Willye is not greatly overgone,
So weren his undersongs well addrest.
Wil. Herdgrome, I fear me thou have a squint eye:
Areede uprightly, who has the victorye?

Cud. Fayth of my soule, I deeme ech have gayned.
Forthy let the lambe be Willye his owne;
And for Perigot so well hath hym payned,
To him be the wroughten mazer alone.
Per. Perigot is well pleased with the doome,
Ne can Willye wite the witelesse herdgroome.

Wil. Never dempt more right of beautye, I weene,
The shepheard of Ida that judged beauties queene.

Cud. But tell me, shepherds, should it not yshend
Your roundels fresh to heare a doolefull verse
Of Rosalend, (who knowes not Rosalend?)
That Colin made, ylke can I you rehearse.
Per. Now say it, Cuddie, as thou art a ladde:
With mery thing its good to medle sadde.

Wil. Fayth of my soule, thou shalt ycrouned be
In Colins stede, if thou this song areede:
For never thing on earth so pleaseth me
As him to heare, or matter of his deede.
Cud. Then listneth ech unto my heavy lave,
And tune your pypes as ruthful as ye may.

'Ye wastefull woodes beare witnesse of my woe,
Wherein my plaints did oftentimes resound:
Ye carelesse byrds are privie to my cryes,
Which in your songs were wont to make a part:
Thou pleasaunt spring hast luld me oft a sleepe,
Whose streames my tricklinge teares did ofte augment.

'Resort of people doth my greefs augment,
The walled townes do worke my greater woe:
The forest wide is fitter to resound
The hollow echo of my carefull cryes:
I hate the house, since thence my love did part,
Whose waylefull want debarres myne eyes from sleepe.

'Let stremes of teares supply the place of sleepe:
Let all, that sweete is, voyd: and all that may augment
My doole drawe neare. More meete to wayle my woe
Bene the wild woddes, my sorrowes to resound,
Then bedde, or bowre, both which I fill with cryes,
When I them see so waist, and fynd no part

'Of pleasure past. Here will I dwell apart
In gastfull grove therefore, till my last sleepe
Doe close mine eyes: so shall I not augment,
With sight of such a chaunge, my restlesse woe.
Helpe me, ye banefull byrds, whose shrieking sound
Ys signe of dreery death, my deadly cryes

'Most ruthfully to tune. And as my cryes
(Which of my woe cannot bewray least part)
You heare all night, when nature craveth sleepe,
Increase, so let your yrksome yells augment.
Thus all the night in plaints, the daye in woe
I vowed have to wayst, till safe and sound

'She home returne, whose voyces silver sound
To cheerefull songs can chaunge my cherelesse cryes.
Hence with the nightingale will I take part,
That blessed byrd, that spends her time of sleepe
In songs and plaintive pleas, the more taugment
The memory of hys misdeede, that bred her woe.
'And you that feele no woe, e when as the sound
Of these my nightly cryes e ye heare apart,
Let breake your sounder sleepe e and pitie augment.'

Per. O Colin, Colin, the shepheards joye,
How I admire ech turning of thy verse!
And Cuddie, fresh Cuddie, the liefest boye,
How dolefully his doole thou didst rehearse!
Cud. Then blowe your pypes, shepheards, til you be at home:
The night nigheth fast, yts time to be gone.

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