The Shepheardes Calender:
is copyright © The University
Oregon; it is distributed for scholarly and nonprofit purposes
only. Risa S. Bear
A R G
V M E N
is wholly vowed to the complayning of Colins ill successe in his loue.
For being (as is aforesaid) enamoured of a Country lasse Rosalind, and
hauing (as seemeth) founde place in her heart, he lamenteth to his
frend Hobbinoll, that he is nowe forsaken vnfaithfully, and in his
Menalcas, another shepheard receiued disloyally. And this is the whole
Argument of this Æglogue.
here the place, whose pleasaunt syte
From other shades hath weand
Tell me, what wants me here,
The simple ayre, the gentle
So calme, so coole, as no
else I fynde:
The grassye ground with
The Bramble bush, where
To the waters fall their
O happy Hobbinoll, I
hast found, whych Adam lost.
Here wander may thy flock
Withouten dreade of Wolues
Thy louely layes here mayet
But I vnhappy man, whom
And angry Gods pursue from
Can nowhere fynd, to shouder
Then if by me thou list
that so doth the bewitch:
Leaue me those
hilles, where harbrough nis to see,
Nor holybush, nor brere, nor
And to the
dales resort, where shepheards ritch,
And fruictfull flocks bene
where to see.
Here no night
Rauens lodge more blacke then pitche,
Nor eluish ghosts, nor
Faeries, met with many
And lightfote Nymphes can
the lingring night,
and trimly trodden traces,
Whilst systers nyne, which
on Parnasse hight,
Doe make them musick, for
And Pan himselfe to
their christall faces,
Will pype and daunce, when Phoebe
Such pierlesse pleasures
in these places.
And I, whylst youth, and
course of carelesse
Did let me walke withouten
In such delights did ioy
But ryper age such pleasures
My fancye eke from former
To stayed steps: for time in
(As garments doen, which
And draweth newe delightes
Tho couth I sing of
tune my pype
Vnto my plaintiue pleas in
Tho would I seeke ,
To giue my Rosalind,
in Sommer shade
Dight gaudy Girlonds, was my
To crowne her golden locks,
yeeres more rype,
And losse of her, whose loue
lyfe I wayd,
Those weary wanton toyes
Colin, to heare thy
Which thou were wont on
hylls to singe,
I more delight, then larke
Whose Echo made the neyghbour
groues to ring,
And taught the byrds, which
Did shroude in shady leaues
Frame to thy songe their
Or hold theyr peace, for
thy swete layes.
I sawe Calliope
wyth Muses moe,
Soone as thy oaten pype
Theyr youry Luyts and Tamburins
And from the fountaine,
Renne after hastely thy
But when they came, where
skill didst showe,
They drewe abacke, as halfe
Shepheard to see, them in
Of Muses Hobbinol, I
For they bene daughters of
the hyghest Ioue,
And holden scorne of homely
For sith I heard, that Pan with
Which him to much rebuke and
I neuer lyst presume to Parnasse
But pyping lowe in shade of
I play to please my selfe,
Nought weigh I, who
doth prayse or blame,
Ne striue to winne renowne,
With shepheard sittes not,
But feede his flocke in
where falls hem best.
I wote my rymes bene rough,
The fytter they, my carefull
Enough is me to paint out my
And poore my piteous plaints
in the same.
The God of
Who taught me homely, as I
He, whilst he liued, was the
Of shepheards all, that bene
Well couth he wayle hys
The flames, which loue
heart had bredd,
And tell vs mery tales, to
The while our sheepe about
Nowe dead he is,
wrapt in lead,
death on hym such outrage showe?)
And all hys passing skil
The fame whereof doth dayly
But if on me some little
Of that the spring was in
I soone would learne these
to wayle my woe,
And teache the trees, their
teares to shedde.
Then should my
As messengers of all my
Flye to my loue, where euer
And pierce her heart with poynt
of worthy wight:
As shee deserues, that
And thou Menalcas,
that by trecheree
my lasse, to wexe so light,
Shouldest well be knowne for
But since I am not,
as I wish
Ye gentle shepheards, which
flocks do feede,
Whether on hylls, or dales,
Beare witnesse all of thys
And tell the lasse, whose
is woxe a weede,
And faultlesse fayth, is
to faithlesse fere,
That she the truest
That lyues on earth, and
O carefull Colin, I
Thy teares would make the
flint to flowe.
Ah faithlesse Rosalind, and
That art the roote of all
But now is time, I gesse,
Then ryse ye blessed flocks,
Least night with stealing
doe you forsloe,
And wett your tender Lambes,
by you trace.
situation and place.
A Paradise in Greeke signifieth a Garden of pleasure, or place of
So he compareth the soile, wherin Hobbinoll made his abode, to that
Paradise, in scripture called Eden; wherein Adam in his first creation
was placed. Which of the most learned is thought to be in Mesopotamia,
the most fertile and pleasaunte country in the world (as may appeare by
Diodorus Syculus description of it, in the hystorie of Alexanders
thereof) lying betweene the two famous Ryuers (which are sayd in
to flow out of Paradise) Tygris and Euphrates, whereof it is so
the soyle) This is no poetical fiction, but vnfeynedly spoken of the
selfe, who for speciall occasion of priuate affayres (as I haue bene
of himselfe informed) and for his more preferment remouing out of the
came into the South, as Hobbinoll indeede aduised him priuately.
hylles) that is the North countreye, where he dwelt.
Dales) the Southpartes, where he nowe abydeth, which thoughe they be
of hylles and woodes (for Kent is very hyllye and woodye; and therefore
so called: for Kantsh in the Saxons tongue signifieth woodie) yet in
of the Northpartes they be called dales. For indede the North is
the higher countrye.
Rauens &c.) by such hatefull byrdes, hee meaneth all misfortunes
they be tokens) flying euery where.
the opinion of Faeries and elfes is very old, and yet sticketh very
in the mindes of some. But to roote that rancke opinion of Elfes oute
mens hearts, the truth is, that there be no such thinges, nor yet the
of the things, but onely by a sort of bald Friers and knauish
so feigned; which as in all other thinges, so in that, soughte to
the comen people in ignorounce, least being once acquainted with the
of things, they woulde in tyme smell out the vntruth of theyr packed
and Masspenie religion. But the sooth is, that when all Italy was
into the Factions of the Guelfes and the Gibelins, being two famous
in Florence, the name began through their great mischiefes and many
to be so odious or rather dreadfull in the peoples eares, that if theyr
children at any time were frowarde and wanton, they would say to them
the Guelfe or the Gibeline came. Which words nowe from them (as many
els) be come into our vsage, and for Guelfes and Gibelines, we say
and Goblins. No otherwise then the Frenchmen vsed to say of that
captain, the very scourge of Fraunce, The Lord Thalbot, afterward Erle
of Shrewsbury; whose noblesse bred such a terrour in the hearts of the
French, that oft times euen great armies were defaicted and put to
at the onely hearing of hys name. In somuch that the French wemen, to
theyr chyldren, would tell them that the Talbot commeth.
Graces) though there be indeede but three Graces of Charites (as afore
is sayd) or at the vtmost but foure, yet in respect of many gyftes of
there may be sayde more. And so Musaeus sayth, that in Heroes eyther
there satte a hundred graces. And by that authoritye, thys same Poete
his Pageaunts sayth. An hundred Graces on her eyeledde satte, &c.
A country daunce or rownd. The conceipt is, that the Graces and Nymphes
doe daunce vnto the Muses, and Pan his musicke all night by Moonelight.
To signifie the pleasauntnesse of the soyle.
Equalles and felow shepheards.
vnripe) imitating Virgils verse.
legam tenera lanugine mala.
groues) a straunge phrase in English, but word for word expressing the
Latine vicina nemora.
not of water, but of young trees springing.
Thys staffe [is] full of verie poetical inuention.
an olde kind of instrument, which of some is supposed to be the Clarion.
with Phoebus) the tale is well knowne, howe that Pan and Apollo
for excellencye in musick, chose Midas for their iudge. Who being
wyth partiall affection, gaue the victorye to Pan vndeserued: for which
Phoebus sette a payre of Asses eares vpon hys head &c.
That by Tityrus is meant Chaucer, hath bene already sufficiently sayde,
& by thys more playne appeareth, that he sayth, he tolde merye
Such as by hys Canterburie tales. whom he calleth the God of Poetes for
hys excellencie, so as Tullie calleth Lentulus, Deum vitae suae .s. the
God of hys lyfe.
make) to versifie.
why) A pretye Epanorthosis or correction.
he meaneth the falsenesse of his louer Rosalinde, who forsaking hym,
of worthy wite) the pricke of deserued blame.
the name of a shephearde in Virgile; but here is meant a person
and secrete, agaynst whome he often bitterly inuayeth.
vndermynde and deceiue by false suggestion.
in the fyrst Æglogue, Colins Poesie was Anchora speme: for that
then there was hope of fauour to be found in tyme. But nowe being
forlorne and reiected of her, as whose hope, that was, is cleane
and turned into despeyre, he renounceth all comfort and hope of
to come. which is all the meaning of thys Embleme.
Go on to July.