Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EPIGRAM: 4, by EDMUND SPENSER



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EPIGRAM: 4, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Upon a day, as love lay sweetly slumbring
Last Line: My pining anguish to appease.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin
Variant Title(s): Cupid And The Bee


UPON a day, as Love lay sweetly slumbring,
All in his mothers lap,
A gentle bee, with his loud trumpet murm'ring,
About him flew by hap.
Whereof when he was wakened with the noyse,
And saw the beast so small:
'Whats this,' quoth he, 'that gives so great a voyce,
That wakens men withall?'
In angry wize he flyes about,
And threatens all with corage stout.

To whom his mother closely smiling sayd,
Twixt earnest and twixt game:
'See, thou thy selfe likewise art lyttle made,
If thou regard the same.
And yet thou suffrest neyther gods in sky,
Nor men in earth to rest;
But when thou art disposed cruelly,
Theyr sleepe thou doost molest.
Then eyther change thy cruelty,
Or give lyke leave unto the fly.'

Nathlesse, the cruell boy, not so content,
Would needs the fly pursue,
And in his hand, with heedlesse hardiment,
Him caught for to subdue.
But when on it he hasty hand did lay,
The bee him stung therefore:
'Now out, alasse,' he cryde, 'and welaway!
I wounded am full sore:
The fly, that I so much did scorne,
Hath hurt me with his little horne.'

Unto his mother straight he weeping came,
And of his griefe complayned:
Who could not chose but laugh at his fond game,
Though sad to see him pained.
'Think now,' quod she, 'my sonne, how great the smart
Of those whom thou dost wound:
Full many thou hast pricked to the hart,
That pitty never found:
Therefore, henceforth some pitty take,
When thou doest spoyle of lovers make.'

She tooke him streight full pitiously lamenting,
And wrapt him in her smock:
She wrapt him softly, all the while repenting
That he the fly did mock.
She drest his wound, and it embaulmed wel
With salve of soveraigne might:
And then she bath'd him in a dainty well,
The well of deare delight.
Who would not oft be stung as this,
To be so bath'd in Venus blis?

The wanton boy was shortly wel recured
Of that his malady:
But he, soone after, fresh againe enured
His former cruelty.
And since that time he wounded hath my selfe
With his sharpe dart of love:
And now forgets the cruell carelesse elfe
His mothers heast to prove.
So now I languish, till he please
My pining anguish to appease.





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