Saturday, January 16, 2010


I've been reading parts of Spenser's great poem today, and came across these very musical lines:

As gentle Shepheard in sweete euen-tide,
    When ruddy Phoebus gins to welke in west,
    High on an hill, his flocke to vewen wide,
    Markes which do byte their hasty supper best;
    A cloud of combrous gnattes do him molest,
    All striuing to infixe their feeble stings,
    That from their noyance he no where can rest,
    But with his clownish hands their tender wings
He brusheth oft, and oft doth mar their murmurings.

And here's another lovely stanza::

At length they chaunst to meet vpon the way
    An aged Sire, in long blacke weedes yclad,
    His feete all bare, his beard all hoarie gray,
    And by his belt his booke he hanging had;
    Sober he seemde, and very sagely sad,
    And to the ground his eyes were lowly bent,
    Simple in shew, and voyde of malice bad,
    And all the way he prayed, as he went,
And often knockt his brest, as one that did repent. 

...and another ...

A little lowly Hermitage it was,
    Downe in a dale, hard by a forests side,
    Far from resort of people, that did pas
    In trauell to and froe: a little wyde
    There was an holy Chappell edifyde,
    Wherein the Hermite dewly wont to say
    His holy things each morne and euentyde:
    Thereby a Christall streame did gently play,
Which from a sacred fountaine welled forth alway.

No poet writing in English has ever written more musically!  

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