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And thus of all my haruest hope I haue Nought reaped but a weedye crop of care: Which, when I thought haue thresht in swelling sheaue,
Cockel for corne, and chaffe for barley bare. Soone as the chaffe should in the fan be fynd, All was blowne away of the wauering wynd. So now my yeare drawes to his latter terme, My spring is spent, my sommer burnt vp quite: My harueste hasts to stirre vp winter sterne, And bids him clayme with rigorous rage hys right.
130 So nowe hestormes with many a sturdy stoure, So now his blustring blast eche coste doth
The carefull cold hath nypt my rugged rynde, And in my face deepe furrowes eld hath pight: My head besprent with hoary frost I fynd, And by myne eie the Crow his clawedooth wright. Delight is layd abedde, and pleasure past, No sonne now shines, cloudes han allouercast.
Tityrus) Chaucer, as hath bene oft sayd.
Als of their) Semeth to expresse Virgils verse
Cabinet) Colinet) diminutiues.
Now leaue ye shepheards boyes your merry glee, My Muse is hoarse and weary of thys stounde: Here will I hang my pype vpon this tree, 141 Was neuer pype of reede did better sounde.
Winter is come, that blowes the bitter blaste, And after Winter dreerie death does hast.
Gather ye together my little flocke,
And after Winter commeth timely death.
Mazie) For they be like to a maze whence it is hard to get out agayne.
Peres) felowes and companions.
Musick) that is Poetry as Terence sayth Qui artem tractant musicam, speking of Poetes. Derring doe) aforesayd.
Lions house) He imagineth simply that Cupid, which is loue, had his abode in the whote signe Leo, which is in middest of somer; a pretie allegory, whereof the meaning is, that loue in him wrought an extraordinarie heate of lust. His ray) which is Cupides beame or flames of Loue. A Comete) a blasing starre, meant of beautie, which was the cause of his whote loue.
Venus) the goddesse of beauty or pleasure. Also a signe in heauen, as it is here taken. So he meaneth that beautie, which hath alwayes aspect to Venus, was the cause of all his vnquietnes in loue.
Where I was) a fine discription of the chaunge of hys lyfe and liking; for all things nowe seemed to hym to haue altered their kindly course. Lording) Spoken after the maner of Paddocks and Frogges sitting which is indeed Lordly, not remouing nor looking once a side, vnlesse they be sturred.
Then as) The second part. That is his manhoode. Cotes) sheepecotes. For such be the exercises of shepheards.
Sale) or Salow a kind of woodde like Wyllow, fit to wreath and bynde in leapes to catch fish withall.
Phæbe fayles) The Eclipse of the Moone, which is
alwayes in Cauda or Capite Draconis, signes in Venus) .s. Venus starre otherwise called Hesperus and Vesper and Lucifer, both because he seemeth to be one of the brightest starres, and also first ryseth and setteth last. All which skill in starres being conuenient for shepheardes to knowe as Theocritus and the rest vse.
Raging seaes) The cause of the swelling and ebbing of the sea commeth of the course of the Moone, sometime encreasing, sometime wayning and decreasing.
Sooth of byrdes) A kind of sooth saying_vsed in elder tymes, which they gathered by the flying of byrds First (as is sayd) inuented by the Thuscanes, and from them deriued to the Romanes, who (as is sayd in Liuie) were so supersticiously rooted in the same, that they agreed that euery Nobleman should put his sonne to the Thuscanes, by them to be brought vp in that knowledge.
Of herbes) That wonderous thinges be wrought by herbes, aswell appeareth by the common working of them in our bodies, as also by the wonderful enchauntments and sorceries that haue bene wrought by them; insomuch that it is sayde that Circe a famous sorceresse turned men into sondry kinds of beastes and Monsters, and onely by herbes as the Poete sayth Dea sæua potentibus herbis &c. Eare) of corne.
Kidst) knewest. Scathe) losse hinderaunce. Euer among) Euer and anone. Thus is my) The thyrde parte wherein is set forth his ripe yeres as an vntimely haruest, that bringeth little fruite.
The flagraunt flowres) sundry studies and laudable partes of learning, wherein how our Poete is seene, be they witnesse which are priuie to his study.
So now my yeere) The last part, wherein is described his age by comparison of wyntrye stormes. Carefull cold) for care is sayd to coole the blood. Glee) mirth.
Hoary frost) A metaphore of hoary heares scattred lyke to a gray frost.
Breeme) sharpe and bitter.
Adiew delights) is a conclusion of all. Where in sixe verses he comprehendeth briefly all that was touched in this booke. In the first verse his delights of youth generally. In the second, the loue of Rosalind, in the thyrd, the keeping of sheepe, which is the argument of all glogues. In the fourth his complaints. And in the last two his professed frendship and good will to his good
The meaning wherof is that all thinges perish and come to theyr last end, but workes of learned wits and monuments of Poetry abide for euer. And therefore Horace of his Odes a work though ful indede of great wit and learning, yet of no so great weight and importaunce boldly sayth.
Exegi monimentum ære perennius,
Therefore let not be enuied, that this Poete in his Epilogue sayth he hath made a Calendar, that shall endure as long as time &c. folowing the ensample of Horace and Ouid in the like. Grande opus exegi quod nec Iouis ira nec ignis, Nec ferrum poterit nec edax abolere vetustas &c.
Loe I have made a Calender for euery yeare, That steele in strength, and time in durance shall outweare: And if I marked well the starres reuolution, It shall continewe till the worlds dissolution. To teach the ruder shepheard how to feede his And from the falsers fraud his folded flocke to sheepe, keepe
Goe lyttle Calender, thou hast a free passeporte, Goe but a lowly gate emongste the meaner sorte. Dare not to match thy pype with Tityrus hys style, Nor with the Pilgrim that the Ploughman But followe them farre off, and their high steppes playde a whyle:
The better please, the worse despise, Iaske nomore. Merce non mercede.
INCE my late setting foorth of the meditations of the worlds vanitie, verie graue Faerie Queene, finding that it hath found and profitable. To which effect I vnderstand a fauourable passage amongst you; I haue that he besides wrote sundrie others, namelie sithence endeuoured by all good meanes (for Ecclesiastes, and Canticum canticorum tranthe better encrease and accomplishment of slated, A senights slumber, The hell of louers, your delights,) to get into my handes such his Purgatorie, being all dedicated to Ladies; smale Poemes of the same Authors; as I heard so as it may seeme he ment them all to one were disperst abroad in sundrie hands, and not volume. Besides some other Pamphlets looselie easie to bee come by, by himselfe; some of scattered abroad: as The dying Pellican, The them hauing bene diuerslie imbeziled and pur-howers of the Lord, The sacrifice of a sinner, loyned from him, since his departure ouer Sea. Of the which I haue by good meanes gathered togeather these fewe parcels present, which I haue caused to bee imprinted altogeather, for that they al seeme to containe like matter of argument in them: being all complaints and
The seuen Psalmes, &c. which when I can either by himselfe, or otherwise attaine too, I meane likewise for your fauour sake to set foorth. In the meane time praying you gentlie to accept of these, and graciouslie to entertaine the new Poet, I take leaue.