Edmund Spenser (Epithalamion)

AG on early English poetry continues

AG: Well, [Edmund Spenser] I think I’ll read one stanza (the first and last stanza of the Epithalamion)  just to get to swing through one long stanza, strophe, or whatever you call it.

” Ye learned sisters which have oftentimes
Beene to me aydinge, others to adorne;
Whom you thought worthy of your gracefull rymes,
That even the greatest did not greatly scorne
To heare theyr names sung in your simple layes,
But joyed in theyre prayse.
And when ye liste your owne mishaps to mourne,
Which death, or love, or fortune’s wreck did rayse
Your string could soon to sadder tenor turne
And teach the woods and waters to lament
Your doleful dreriment.
Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside
And having all your heads with girland crownd,
Helpe me mine owne loves prayses to resound,
Ne let the same of any be enviede:
So Orpheus did for his owne bride,
So I unto myself alone will sing,
The woods shall to me answer and my Eccho ring.”

And the next to the last  ((page) 170 – 167, 167 mid-page) –

“Ah when will this long weary day have end,
And lende me leave to come unto my love?
How slowly do the houres theyr numbers spend?
How slowly does sad Time his feathers move?
Hast thee O fayrest Planet to thy home
Within the Westerne fome:
Thy tyred steedes long since have need of rest.
Long though it be, at last I see it gloom,
And the bright evening star with golden crest
Appeare out of the East.
Fayre child of beauty, glorious lampe of  love
That all the host of heaven in rankes doost lead,
And guydest lovers through the nightes dread,
How chearfully thou lookest from above,
And seems to laugh atweene thy twinkling light
As joying in the sight
Of these glad many which for joy doe sing,
That all the woods them answer and their echo ring.”

“And ye high heavens..” ((page) 170) –

“And ye high heavens, the temple of the gods.
In which a thousand torches flaming bright
Doe burne, that to us wretched earthy clods.
In dreadful darkness lend desired light;
And all ye powers which in the same remayne,
More than we men can fayne,
Poure out your blessings on us plentiously,
And happy influence upon us raine,
That we may raise a large posterity,
Which from the earth, which they may long possesse,
With lasting happinesse,
Up to your haughty pallaces may mount,
And for the guerdon of theyr glorious merit
May heavenly tabernacles there inherit,
Of blessed Saints for to increase the count,
So let us rest, sweet love, in hope of this,
And cease till then our timely joyes to sing,
The woods no more us answer, nor our eccho ring.

Song made in lieu of many ornaments,
With which my love should duly have bene dect,
Which cutting off through hasty accidents,
Ye would not stay your dew time to expect,
But promist both to recompens,
Be unto her a goodly ornament.
And for short time an endlesse moniment.”

It’s like ..really good, long, symphonic cellos – long.. long cello-like breaths.

Okay I just wanted to get the sound of it.

to be continued

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-seven minutes in and concluding at approximately forty-one-and-a-quarter minutes in] 

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