Edmund Spenser (1552 - 13 January 1599 / London / England)
The Shepheardes Calender: June
June: AEgloga Sexta. HOBBINOL & COLIN Cloute.
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 euery kynde
To the waters fall their tunes attemper right.
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 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.
Here no night Rauens lodge more blacke then pitche,
Nor eluish 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 haue we in these places.
And I, whylst youth, and course of carelesse yeeres
Did let me walke withouten lincks of loue,
In such delights did ioy amongst my peeres:
But ryper age such pleasures doth reproue,
My fancye eke from former follies moue
To stayed steps: for time in passing weares
(As garments doen, which wexen old aboue)
And draweth newe delightes with hoary heares.
Tho couth I sing of loue, and tune my pype
Vnto my plaintiue pleas in verses made:
Tho would I seeke ,
To giue 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 loue as lyfe I wayd,
Those weary wanton toyes away dyd wype.
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 groues to ring,
And taught the byrds, which in the lower spring
Did shroude in shady leaues 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 youry Luyts and Tamburins forgoe:
And from the fountaine, where they sat around,
Renne after hastely thy siluer 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.
Of Muses Hobbinol, I conne no skill:
For they bene daughters of the hyghest Ioue,
And holden scorne of homely shepheards quill.
For sith I heard, that Pan with Phoebus stroue,
Which him to much rebuke and Daunger droue:
I neuer lyst presume to Parnasse hyll,
But pyping lowe in shade of lowly groue,
I play to please my selfe, all be it ill.
Nought weigh I, who my song doth prayse or blame,
Ne striue 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 vnrest,
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 liued, was the soueraigne head
Of shepheards all, that bene with loue ytake:
Well couth he wayle hys Woes, and lightly slake
The flames, which loue within his heart had bredd,
And tell vs mery tales, to keepe vs wake,
The while our sheepe about vs 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 painful plight,
Flye to my loue, where euer that she bee,
And pierce her heart with poynt of worthy wight:
As shee deserues, that wrought so deadly spight.
And thou Menalcas, that by trecheree
Didst vnderfong 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 lyues on earth, and loued her most dere.
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.
Gia speme spenta.
Comments about this poem (The Shepheardes Calender: June by Edmund Spenser )
People who read Edmund Spenser also read
Top 500 Poems
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Still I Rise
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
William Ernest Henley