Edmund Spenser.


88   Whilst it is prime

FRESH Spring, the herald of loves mighty king,
In whose cote-armour richly are displayd
All sorts of flowers, the which on earth do spring,
In goodly colours gloriously arrayd—
Goe to my love, where she is carelesse layd,
Yet in her winters bowre not well awake;
Tell her the joyous time wil not be staid,
Unlesse she doe him by the forelock take;
Bid her therefore her selfe soone ready make,
To wayt on Love amongst his lovely crew;
Where every one, that misseth then her make,
Shall be by him amearst with penance dew.
    Make1 hast, therefore, sweet love, whilest it is prime;
    For none can call againe the passàd time.

89   A Ditty

In praise of Eliza, Queen of the Shepherds

SEE where she sits upon the grassie greene,
     (O seemely sight!)
Yclad in Scarlot, like a mayden Queene,
     And ermines white:
Upon her head a Cremosin coronet
With Damaske roses and Daffadillies set:
     Bay leaves betweene,
     And primroses greene,
Embellish the sweete Violet.

Tell me, have ye seene her angelick face
     Like Phœbe fayre?
Her heavenly haveour, her princely grace,
     Can you well compare?
The Redde rose medled1 with the White yfere,2
In either cheeke depeincten lively chere:
     Her modest eye,
     Her Majestie,
Where have you seene the like but there?

I see Calliope speede her to the place,
     Where my Goddesse shines;
And after her the other Muses trace
     With their Violines.
Bene they not Bay braunches which they do beare,
All for Eliza in her hand to weare?
     So sweetely they play,
     And sing all the way,
That it a heaven is to heare.

Lo, how finely the Graces can it foote
     To the Instrument:
They dauncen deffly, and singen soote,3
     In their meriment.
Wants not a fourth Grace to make the daunce even?
Let that rowne to my Lady be yeven.
     She shal be a Grace,
     To fyll the fourth place,
And reigne with the rest in heaven.

Bring hether the Pincke and Purple Cullambine,
     With Gelliflowers;
Bring Coronations,4 and Sops-in-wine5
     Worne of Paramoures:
Strowe me the ground with Daffadowndillies,
And Cowslips, and Kingcups, and lovàd Lillies:
     The pretie Pawnce,6
     And the Chevisaunce,7
Shall match with the fayre flowre Delice.8

Now ryse up, Elisa, deckàd as thou art
     In royall aray;
And now ye daintie Damsells may depart
     Eche one her way.
I feare I have troubled your troupes to longe:
Let dame Elisa thanke you for her song:
     And if you come hether
     When Damsines I gether,
I will part them all you among.

90   Iambicum Trimetrum

UNHAPPY Verse, the witnesse of my unhappie state,
     Make thy selfe fluttring wings of thy fast flying
   Thought, and fly forth unto my Love, whersoever she be:
Whether lying reastlesse in heavy bed, or else
   Sitting so cheerelesse at the cheerfull boord, or else
   Playing alone carelesse on her heavenlie Virginals.
If in Bed, tell her that my eyes can take no rest;
   If at Boord, tell her that my mouth can eat no meate;
   If at her Virginals, tell her I can heare no mirth.
Asked why? say, Waking Love suffereth no sleepe;
   Say that raging Love doth appall the weak stomacke;
   Say that lamenting Love marreth the Musicall.
Tell her that her pleasures were wonte to lull me asleepe;
   Tell her that her beautie was wonte to feede mine eyes;
   Tell her that her sweete Tongue was wont to make me mirth.
Nowe do I nightly waste, wanting my kindely rest;
   Nowe do I dayly starve, wanting my lively food?
   Nowe do I alwayes dye, wanting thy timely mirth.
And if I waste, who will bewaile my heavy chaunce?
   And if I starve, who will record my cursed end?
   And if I dye, who will saye, this was Immerito?

  By PanEris using Melati.

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