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That of all the flowrés in the mead
bed there dawneth me no day, But I am up and walking in the mead, To see this flower again the sunné spread, When it upriseth early by the morrow; That blissful sight softeneth all my sorrow, So glad am I, when that I have presence Of it, to do it all reverence. As she that is of all flowrés flower, Fulfilled of all virtue and honour, And ever alike fair, and fresh of hue. And I love it, and ever alike new, And ever shall, till that mine hearté die. And when that it is eve, I run blyve, As soon as ever the sunné gynneth west, To see this flower, how it will go to rest, For fear of night, so hateth she darkness ! Her cheer is plainly spread in the brightness Of the sunné, for there it will unclose.
TRUTH SHALL DELIVER THEE.
FLEE from the press, and dwell with soothfastness
Do well thyself that other folk canst rede;
on high, and thank God of all; Waive thy lust, and let thy ghost thee lead And truth shall thee deliver, it is no drede.
EDMUND SPENSER. Born 1552; died 1599.
at Court, and eventually obtained a grant of land in Ireland.
bim to England, to die in distress. The blank of two centuries from Chaucer, in our poetical litera
ture, ends with Spenser. He took Chaucer for his model; and affects the language of an older time. But to Chaucer's freshness he adds a harmony of versification never surpassed, and a wealth of imagination fed by all the stories which mediæval chivalry, and ancient poetry, philosophy, and my
thology, could yield. His chief work is the Faerie Queene, the characters in which are
partly typical of abstract virtues, partly of the great personages of his day.
THE PASSING OF THE SEASONS AND THE MONTHS.
Then came the jolly Sommer, being dight
Then came the Autumn, all in yellow clad,
yold.? Lastly came Winter, clothéd all in frieze, Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill; Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freeze, And the dull drops, that from his purpled bill As from a limbeck3 did adown distill : In his right hand a tipped staff he held, With which his feeble steps he stayed still ; For he was faint with cold and week with eld; That scarce his loosed limbs he able was to wield.
These, marching softly, thus in order went;
sight With waves, through which he waded for his love's
delight. Then came fair May, the fairest maid on ground, Decked all with dainties of her season's pride, And throwing flowers out of her lap around : Upon two brethren's shoulders she did ride, The twins of Leda ; which on either side Supported her like to their sovereign queen : Lord! how all creatures laughed when her they spied, And leapt and danced as they had ravished been ! And Cupid's self about her fluttered all in green.