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

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THE SHEPHEARDES CALENDER: JUNE, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Lo, collin, here the place whose pleasaunt syte
Last Line: And wett your tender lambes that by you trace.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin
Subject(s): June; Love - Complaints


Hob. Lo, 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 every kynde
To the waters fall their tunes attemper right.

Col. O happy Hobbinoll! I blesse thy state,
That Paradise hast found, whych Adam lost.
Here wander may thy flock, early or late,
Withouten dreade of wolves to bene ytost:
Thy lovely layes here mayst thou freely boste.
But I, unhappy man, whom cruell Fate
And angry gods pursue from coste to coste,
Can nowhere fynd to shroude my lucklesse pate.

Hob. Then if by me thou list advised be,
Forsake the soyle that so doth the bewitch;
Leave 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 every where to see.
Here no night ravens lodge, more black then pitche,
Nor elvish ghosts, nor gastly owles doe flee.

But frendly Faeries, met with many Graces,
And lightfote Nymphes, can chace the lingring night
With heydeguyes and trimly trodden traces,
Whilst systers nyne, which dwell on Parnasse hight,
Doe make them musick for their more delight;
And Pan himselfe, to kisse their christall faces,
Will pype and daunce, when Phoebe shineth bright:
Such pierlesse pleasures have we in these places.

Col. And I, whylst youth and course of carelesse yeeres
Did let me walke withouten lincks of love,
In such delights did joy amongst my peeres;
But ryper age such pleasures doth reprove;
My fancye eke from former follies move
To stayed steps: for time in passing weares,
(As garments doen, which wexen old above)
And draweth newe delightes with hoary heares.

Tho couth I sing of love, and tune my pype
Unto my plaintive pleas in verses made;
Tho would I seeke for queene apples unrype,
To give my Rosalind, and in sommer shade
Dight gaudy girlonds was my comen trade,
To crowne her golden locks; but yeeres more rype,
And losse of her, whose love as lyfe I wayd,
Those weary wanton toyes away dyd wype.

Hob. Colin, to heare thy rymes and roundelayes,
Which thou were wont on wastfull hylls to singe,
I more delight then larke in sommer dayes:
Whose echo made the neyghbour groves to ring,
And taught the byrds, which in the lower spring
Did shroude in shady leaves from sonny rayes,
Frame to thy songe their chereful cheriping,
Or hold theyr peace, for shame of thy swete layes.

I sawe Calliope wyth Muses moe,
Soone as thy oaten pype began to sound,
Theyr yvory luyts and tamburins forgoe,
And from the fountaine, where they sat around,
Renne after hastely thy silver sound.
But when they came where thou thy skill didst showe,
They drewe abacke, as halfe with shame confound,
Shepheard to see, them in theyr art outgoe.

Col. Of Muses, Hobbinol, I conne no skill:
For they bene daughters of the hyghest Jove,
And holden scorne of homely shepheards quill.
For sith I heard that Pan with Phoebus strove,
Which him to much rebuke and daunger drove,
I never lyst presume to Parnasse hyll,
But, pyping lowe in shade of lowly grove,
I play to please my selfe, all be it ill.

Nought weigh I, who my song doth prayse or blame,
Ne strive to winne renowne, or passe the rest:
With shepheard sittes not followe flying fame,
But feede his flocke in fields where falls hem best.
I wote my rymes bene rough, and rudely drest:
The fytter they my carefull case to frame:
Enough is me to paint out my unrest,
And poore my piteous plaints out in the same.

The god of shepheards, Tityrus, is dead,
Who taught me, homely as I can, to make.
He, whilst he lived, was the soveraigne head
Of shepheards all that bene with love ytake:
Well couth he wayle his woes, and lightly slake
The flames which love within his heart had bredd,
And tell us mery tales, to keepe us wake,
The while our sheepe about us safely fedde.

Nowe dead he is, and lyeth wrapt in lead,
(O why should Death on hym such outrage showe?)
And all hys passing skil with him is fledde,
The fame whereof doth dayly greater growe.
But if on me some little drops would flowe
Of that the spring was in his learned hedde,
I soone would learne these woods to wayle my woe,
And teache the trees their trickling teares to shedde.

Then should my plaints, causd of discurtesee,
As messengers of all my painfull plight,
Flye to my love, where ever that she bee,
And pierce her heart with poynt of worthy wight,
As shee deserves, that wrought so deadly spight.
And thou, Menalcas, that by trecheree
Didst underfong my lasse to wexe so light
Shouldest well be knowne for such thy villanee.

But since I am not as I wish I were,
Ye gentle shepheards, which your flocks do feede,
Whether on hylls, or dales, or other where,
Beare witnesse all of thys so wicked deede;
And tell the lasse, whose flowre is woxe a weede,
And faultlesse fayth is turned to faithlesse fere,
That she the truest shepheards hart made bleede
That lyves on earth, and loved her most dere.

Hob. O carefull Colin! I lament thy case:
Thy teares would make the hardest flint to flowe.
Ah, faithlesse Rosalind, and voide of grace,
That art the roote of all this ruthfull woe!
But now is time, I gesse, homeward to goe:
Then ryse, ye blessed flocks, and home apace,
Least night with stealing steppes doe you forsloe,
And wett your tender lambes that by you trace.

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