The Shepheardes Calender: August

Note on this Renascence Editions text:

 This edition is copyright © The University of Oregon; it is distributed for scholarly and nonprofit purposes only. Risa S. Bear

[Woodcut for August]

 Ægloga Octaua.

 A R G V M E N T.

IN this Æglogue is set forth a delectable controuersie, made in imitation of that in Theocritus: whereto also Virgile fashioned his third & seuenth Æglogue. They choose for vmpere of their strife, Cuddie a neatherds boye, who hauing ended their cause, reciteth also himsefe a proper song, whereof Colin he sayth was Authour.
Willye.        Perigot.        Cuddie.
TEll me Perigot, what shalbe the game,
Wherefore with myne thou dare thy musick matche?
Or bene thy Bagpypes renne farre out of frame?
Or hath the Crampe thy ioynts benomd with ache?
Ah Willye, when the hart is ill assayde,
How can Bagpipe, or ioynts be well apayd?
What the foule euill hath thee so bestadde?
Whilom thou was peregall to the best,
And wont to make the iolly shepeheards gladde
With pyping and dauncing, didst passe the rest.
Ah Willye now I haue learnd a newe daunce:
My old musick mard by a newe mischaunce.
Mischiefe mought to that newe mischaunce befall,
That hath so raft vs of our meriment.
But reede me, what payne doth thee so appall?
Or louest thou, or bene thy younglings miswent?
Loue hath misled both my younglings, and mee:
I pyne for payne, and they my payne to see.
Perdie and wellawaye: ill may they thriue:
Neuer knewe I louers sheepe in good plight.
But and if rymes with me thou dare striue,
Such fond fantsies shall soone be put to flight.
That shall I doe, though mochell worse I fared:
Neuer shall be sayde that Perigot was dared.
Then loe Perigot the Pledge, which I plight:
A mazer ywrought of the Maple warre:
Wherein is enchased many a fayre sight
Of Beres and Tygres, that maken fiers warre:
And ouer them spred a goodly wild vine,
Entrailed with a wanton Yuie twine.

 Thereby is a Lambe in the Wolues iawes:
But see, how fast renneth the shepheard swayne,
To saue the innocent from the beastes pawes:
And here with his shepehooke hath him slayne.
Tell me, such a cup hast thou euer sene?
Well mought it beseme any haruest Queene.

Thereto will I pawne yon spotted Lambe,
Of all my flocke there nis sike another:
For I brought him vp without the Dambe.
But Colin Clout rafte me of his brother,
That he purchast of me in the playne field:
Sore against my will was I forst to yield.
Sicker make like account of his brother.
But who shall iudge the wager wonne or lost?
That shall yonder heardgrome, and none other,
Which ouer the pousse hetherward doth post.
But for the Sunnebeame so sore doth vs beate
, Were not better, to shunne the scortching heate?
Well agreed Willy: then sitte thee downe swayne:
Sike a song neuer heardest thou, but Colin sing.
Gynne, when ye lyst, ye iolly shepheards twayne:
Sike a iudge, as Cuddie, were for a king.

 Perigot. IT fell vpon a holly eue,
Willye.   hey ho hollidaye,
Per.   When holly fathers wont to shrieue:
Wil.   now gynneth this roundelay.
Per.   Sitting vpon a hill so hye,
Wil.   hey ho the high hyll,
Per.   The while my flocke did feede thereby,
Wil.   the while the shepheard selfe did spill:
Per.   I saw the bouncing Bellibone,
Wil.   Hey ho Bonibell,
Per.   Tripping ouer the dale alone,
Wil.   she can trippe it very well:
Per.   Well decked in a frocke of gray,
Wil.   hey ho gray is greete,
Per.   And in a Kirtle of greene saye,
Wil.   the greene is for maydens meete:
Per.   A chapelet on her head she wore,
Wil.   hey ho chapelet,
Per.   Of sweete Violets therein was store,
Wil.   she sweeter than the Violet.
Per.   My sheepe did leaue theyr wonted foode,
Wil.   hey ho seely sheepe,
Per.   And gazd on her, as they were wood,
Wil.   woode as he, that did them keepe.
Per.   As the bonilasse passed bye,
Wil.   hey ho bonilasse,
Per.   She roude at me with glauncing eye,
Wil.   as cleare as the christall glasse:
Per.   All as the Sunnye beame so bright,
Wil.   hey ho the Sunne beame,
Per.   Glaunceth from Phoebus face forthright,
Wil.   so loue into thy hart did streame:
Per.   Or as the thonder cleaues the cloudes,
Wil.   hey ho the Thonder,
Per.   Wherein the lightsome leuin shroudes,
Wil.   so cleaues thy soule a sonder:
Per.   Or as Dame Cynthias siluer raye
Wil.   hey ho the Moonelight,
Per.   Vpon the glittering waue doth playe:
Wil.   such play is a pitteous plight.
Per.   The glaunce into my heart did glide,
Wil.   hey ho the glyder,
Per.   Therewith my soule was sharply gryde,
Wil.   uch wounds soone wexen wider.
Per.   Hating to raunch the arrow out,
Wil.   hey ho Perigot,
Per.   I left the head in my hart roote:
Wil.   it was a desperate shot.
Per.   There it ranckleth ay more and more,
Wil.   hey ho the arrowe,
Per.   Ne can I find salue for my sore:
Wil.   loue is a curelesse sorrowe.
Per.   And though my bale with death I bought,
Wil.   hey ho the heauie cheere,
Per.   Yet should thilke lasse not from my thought:
Wil.   so you may buye gold to deare.
Per.   But whether in paynefull loue I pyne,
Wil.   hey ho pinching payne,
Per.   Or thriue in welth, she shalbe mine.
Wil.   but if thou can her obteine.
Per.   And if for gracelesse greefe I dye,
Wil.   hey ho gracelesse griefe,
Per.   Witnesse, shee slewe me with her eye:
Wil.   let thy follye be the priefe.
Per.   And you, that sawe it, simple shepe,
Wil.   hey ho the fayre flocke,
Per.   For priefe thereof, my death shall weepe,
Wil.   and mone with many a mocke.
Per.   So learnd I loue on a hollye eue,
Wil.   hey ho hollidaye,
Per. That euer since my hart did greue.
Wil. now endeth our roundelay.

Sicker sike a roundle neuer heard I none.
Little lacketh Perigot of the best.
And Willye is not greatly ouergone,
So weren his vndersongs well addrest.
Herdgrome, I feare me, thou haue a squint eye:
Areede vprightly, who has the victorye?
Fayth of my soule, I deeme ech haue gayned.
For thy let the Lambe be Willye his owne:
And for Perigot so well hath hym payned,
To him be the wroughten mazer alone.
Perigot is well pleased with the doome.
Ne can Willye wite the witelesse herdgroome.
Never dempt more right of beautye I weene,
The shepheard of Ida, that iudged beauties Queene.
But tell me shepheards, should it not yshend
Your roundels fresh, to heare a dolefull verse
Of Rosalend (who knowes not Rosalend?)
That Colin made, ylke can I you rehearse.
Now say it Cuddie, as thou art a ladde:
With mery thing its good to medle sadde.
Fayth of my soule, thou shalt ycrouned be
In Colins stede, if thou this song areede:
For neuer thing on earth so pleaseth me,
As him to heare, or matter of his deede.
Then listneth ech vnto my heauy laye,
And tune your pypes as ruthful, as ye may.

YE wastefull woodes beare witnesse of my woe,
Wherein my plaints did oftentimes resound:
Ye carelesse byrds are priuie to my cryes,
Which in your songs were wont to make a part:
Thou pleasaunt spring hast luld me oft a sleepe,
Whose streames my trickling teares did ofte augment.
Resort of people doth my greefs augment,
The walled townes do worke my greater woe:
The forest wide is fitter to resound
The hollow Echo of my carefull cryes,
I hate the house, since thence my loue did part,
Whose waylefull want debarres myne eyes from sleepe.
Let stremes of teares supply the place of sleepe:
Let all that sweete is, voyd: and all that may augment
My doole, drawe neare. More meete to wayle my woe,
Bene the wild woddes my sorrowes to resound,
Then bedde, or bowre, both which I fill with cryes,
When I them see so waist, and fynd no part
Of pleasure past. Here will I dwell apart
In gastful groue therefore, till my last sleepe
Doe close mine eyes: so shall I not augment
With sight of such a chaunge my recklesse woe:
Helpe me, ye banefull byrds, whose shrieking sound
Ys signe of dreery death, my deadly cryes
Most ruthfully to tune. And as my cryes
(Which of my woe cannot bewray least part)
You heare all night, when nature craueth sleepe,
Increase, so let your yrksome yells augment.
Thus all the night in plaints, the daye in woe
I vowed haue to wayst, till safe and sound
She home returne, whose voyces siluer sound
To cheerefull songs can chaunge my cherelesse cryes.
Hence with the Nightingale will I take part,
That blessed byrd, that spends her time of sleepe
In songs and plaintiue pleas, the more taugment
The memory of hys misdeede, that bred her woe:
And you that feele no woe, | when as the sound
Of these my nightly cryes | ye heare apart,
Let breake your sounder sleepe | and pitie augment.

O Colin, Colin, the shepheards ioye,
How I admire ech turning of thy verse:
And Cuddie, fresh Cuddie, the liefest boye,
How dolefully his doole thou didst rehearse.
Then blowe your pypes shepheards, til you be at home:
The night nigheth fast, yts time to be gone.
Perigot his Embleme.

Vincenti gloria victi.

Willyes Embleme.

Vinto non vitto.

Cuddies Embleme.

 Felice chi puo.


Bestadde) disposed, ordered.

Peregall) equall.

Whilome) once.

Rafte) bereft, depriued. 

Miswent) gon astraye 

Ill may) according to Virgile. In felix o semper ouis pecus.

A mazer) So also do Theocritus and Virgile feigne pledges of their strife.

Enchased) engrauen. Such pretie descriptions euery where vseth Theocritus, to bring in his Idyllia. For which speciall cause indede he by that name termeth his Æglogues: for Idyllion in Greke signifieth the shape or picture of any thing, whereof his booke is ful. And not, as I haue heard some fondly guesse, that they be called not Idyllia, but Haedilia, of the Goteherds in them.

Entrailed) wrought betwene.

Haruest Queene) The manner of country folke in haruest tyme. 

Pousse.) Pease.

It fell vpon) Perigot maketh hys song in prayse of his loue, to whom Willy answereth euery vnder verse. By Perigot who is meant, I can not vprightly say: but if it be, who is supposed, his love deserueth no lesse prayse, then he giueth her.

Greete) weeping and complaint. 

Chaplet) a kind of Garlond lyke a crowne. 

Leuen) Lightning. 

Cynthia) was sayd to be the Moone. 

Gryde) perced.

But if) not vnlesse. 

Squint eye) partiall iudgement. 

Ech haue) so saith Virgile. Et vitula tu dignus, et hic &c. So by enterchaunge of gyfts Cuddie pleaseth both partes.

Doome) iudgement. 

Dempt) for deemed, iudged. 

Wite the witelesse) blame the blamelesse. 

The shapherd of Ida) was sayd to be Paris.

Beauties Queene) Venus, to whome Paris adiudged the golden Apple, as the pryce of her beautie.


The meaning hereof is very ambiguous: for Perigot by his poesie claiming the conquest, & Willye not yeelding, Cuddie the arbiter of theyr cause, and Patron of his own, semeth to chalenge it, as his dew, saying, that he, is happy which can, so abruply ending but hee meaneth eyther him, that can win the beste, or moderate him selfe being best, and leaue of with the best.

Go on to September.

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