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Behold the young, the rosy spring,
Gives to the breeze her scented wing,
While virgin graces, warm with May,
Fling roses o'er her dewy way.
The murmuring billows of the deep
Have languished into silent sleep.
And mark! the flitting sea-birds lave
Their plumes in the reflecting wave;
While cranes from hoa winter fly
To flutter in a kinder sky.
Now the genial star of day
Dissolves the murky clouds away,
And cultured field and winding stream
Are freshly glittering in his beam.

Now the earth prolific swells
With leafy buds and flow'ry bells;
Gemming shoots the olive twine,
Clusters bright festoon the vine;
All along the branches creeping,
Through the velvet foliage peeping,
Little infant fruits we see
Nursing into luxury.

Translation of T. MOORE.


The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,

With green hath clad the hill, and eke the vale, The nightingale with feathers new she sings;

The turtle to her mate hath told her tale. Summer is come, for every spray now springs;

The hart hath hung his old head on the pale, The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;

The fishes flete with new repaired scale; The adder all her slough away she flings;

The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale; The busy bee her honey now she mings;

Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale. And thus I see among these pleasant things Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.

IIENRY HOWARD, Earl of Surrey, 1516-1547.



Quhen Merche wes with variand windis past.
And Appryll had with hir silver shouris
Tane leif at Nature, with ane orient blast,
And lusty May, that muddir is of flouris,
Had maid the birdis to begyn thair houris,
Amang the tendir odouris reid and quhyt
Quhois harmony to heir it was delyt:
In bed at morrow sleiping as I lay,
Methocht Aurora, with her crystall ene
In at the window lukit by the day,
And halsit me with visage pale and grene;
On quhois hand a lark sang, fro the splene,

Awak, luvaris, out of your slemering,
Se how the lusty morrow dois upspring !"

Methocht fresche May befoir my bed upstude,
In weid depaynt of mony diverse hew,
Sober, benyng, and full of mansuetude,
In bright atteir of flouris forgit new,
Hevinly of color, quhyt, reid, brown, and blew,
Balmit in dew, and gilt with Phebus' bemys;
Quhil al the house illumynit of her lemys.

William DUNBAR, 1465-1530.


Sweet Spring, thou com’st with all thy goodly train,
Thy head with flames, thy mantle bright with flow'rs,
The zephyrs curl the green locks of the plain,
The clouds for joy in pearls weep down their show'rs.
Sweet Spring, thou com’st—but, ah! my pleasant hours
And happy days with thee come not again;
The sad memorials only of my pain
Do with thee come, which turns my sweets to sours.
Thou art the same which still thou wert before,
Delicious, lusty, amiable, fair;
But she whose breath embalm’d thy wholesome air
Is gone; nor gold, nor gems, can her restore.

Neglected virtues, seasons go and come,
When thine forgot lie closed in a tomb.

What doth it serve to see the sun's bright face,
And skies enamelld with the Indian gold?
Or the moon in a fierce chariot rollid,
And all the glory of that starry place?
What doth it serve earth's beauty to behold,
The mountain's pride, the meadow's flow'ry grace,
The stately comeliness of forests old,
The sport of floods which would themselves embrace ?
What doth it serve to hear the sylvans' songs,
The cheerful thrush, the nightingale's sad strains,
Which in dark shades seem to deplore my wrongs ?
For what doth serve all that this world contains,

Since she for whom those once to me were dear,
Can have no part of them now with me here?




Now Time throws off his cloak again
Of ermined frost, and cold, and rain,
And clothes him in the embroidery
Of glittering sun, and clear, blue sky.
With beast and bird the forest rings,
Each in his jargon cries or sings ;
And Time throws off his cloak again
Of ermined frost, and cold, and rain.
River and fount, and tinkling brook,

Wear in their dainty livery

Drops of silver jewelry ;
In new-made suit they merry look ;
And Time throws off his cloak again
Of ermined frost, and cold, and rain.




But now the second morning from her bower,

Began to glister in her beams; and now
The roses of the day began to flower

In the Eastern garden ; for heaven's smiling brow,
Half insolent for joy, began to show :
The early sun came dancing lively out,
And the brag lambs ran wantoning about.
That heaven and earth might seem in triumph both to shout.

The engladdened Spring, forgetful now to weep,

Began to eblazon from her leafy bed;
The waking swallow broke her half-year's sleep,

And every bush lay deeply purpured
With violets; the woods' late wintry head
Wide flaming primroses set all on fire,
And his bald trees put on their green attire,
Among whose infant leaves the joyous birds conspire.

And now the taller sons, whom Titan warms,

Of unshorn mountains, blown with easy winds,
Dandled the morning's childhood in their arms;

And, if they chanced to slip the prouder pines,
The under corylass* did catch the shines,
To gild their leaves : saw ne'er happier year
Such triumph and triumphant cheer,
As though the aged world anew created were.

Say, Earth, why hast thou got thee new attire,

And stick’st thy habit full of daisies red ?
Seems that thou dost to some high thought aspire,

And some new-found-out bridegroom mean'st to wed :
Tell me, ye trees, so fresh apparelled
So never let the spiteful canker waste you,
So never let the heavens with lightning blast you!
Why go you now so trimly drest, or whither haste you?

Answer me, Jordan, why thy crooked tide

So often wanders from his nearest way,
As though some other way thy streams would slide,

And join salute the place where something lay?
And you, sweet birds, that, shaded from the ray,
Sit carolling, and piping grief away,
The while the lambs to hear you dance and play-
Tell me, sweet birds, what is it you so fain would say ?

And thou, fair spouse of Earth, that every year

Gett'st such a numerous issue of thy bride,
How chance thou hotter shin'st, and draw'st more near?

Sure thou somewhere some worthy sight hast spied,
That in one place for joy thou canst not bide:
And you, dead swallowg, that so lively now,
Through the slit air your winged passage row;
How could new life into your frozen ashes flow?

* Copses.

Ye primroses and purple violets,

Tell me, why blaze ye from your leafy bed,
And woo men's hands to rent you from your sets,

As though you would somewhere be carried,
With fresh perfumes and velvets garnished ?
But ah! I need not ask; 'tis surely so;
You all would to your Saviour's triumph go :
There would you all await, and humble homage do.

There should the Earth herself, with garlands new,

And lovely flowers embellish'd adore:
Such roses never in her garland grew;

Such lilies never in her breast she wore;
Like beauty never yet did shine before.
There should the Sun another Sun behold,
From whence himself borrows his locks of gold,
That kindle Heaven and Earth with beauties manifold.

There might the violet and primrose sweet,

Beams of more lively and more lovely grace,
Arising from their beds of incense, meet;

There should the swallow see new life embrace
Dead ashes, and the grave unvail his face,
To let the living from his bowels creep,
Unable longer his own dead to keep;
There Heaven and Earth should see their Lord awake from sleep.

Toss up your heads, ye everlasting gates,

And let the Prince of Glory enter in!
At whose brave volley of sidereal states,

The sun to blush, and stars grow pale, were seen;
When leaping first from earth, he did begin
To climb his angel wings : then open hang
Your crystal doors!” so all the chorus sang

Of heavenly birds, as to the stars they nimbly sprang.
Hark! how the floods clap their applauding hands,

The pleasant valleys singing for delight;
The wanton mountains dance about the lands,

The while the fields, struck with the heavenly light,
Set all their flowers a smiling at the sight;
The trees laugh with their blossoms, and the sound
Of the triumphant shout of praise, that crown'd
The flaming Lamh, breaking through heaven, hath passage found.

GILES FLETCHER, 1592-1623.

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