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THE PROCESSION OF THE SEASONS.

That sweetly sung to call forth paramours;
And in his hand a javelin he did bear,
And on his head (as fit for warlike stoures)

A gilt engraven morion he did wear,
That as some did him love, so others did him fear.

Then came the jolly Summer, being dight
In a thin silken cassock coloured green,
That was unlinèd all, to be more light,
And on his head a garland well beseen
He wore, from which, as he had chafèd been,
The sweat did drop, and in his hand he bore
A bow and shafts, as he in forest green

Had hunted late the leopard or the boar,
And now would bathe his limbs with labour heated sore.

Then came the Autumn all in yellow clad,
As though he joyed in his plenteous store,
Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad
That he had banished hunger, which to-fore
Had by the belly oft him pinchèd sore;
Upon his head a wreath, that was enrolled
With ears of corn of every sort he bore,

And in his hand a sickle he did hold,
To reap the ripened fruits the which the earth had yold.

the kind offices of his friend, Gabriel Harvey, he obtained the favour of the great and good Sir Philip Sydney, whose generous patronage of the young and gifted poet adds another to his many claims to the gratitude of the English people. Put forward at Court through Sydney's influence, Spenser first became Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and afterwards obtained a large grant of land in the county of Cork. On his estate he resided several years, visiting England occasionally to superintend the publication of his great work, “ The Faerie Queene.” Unfortunately, in the rebellion of Tyrone, his house was sacked, and one of his children perished. Spenser, compelled to flee for his life, retired to En nd, where he died brokenhearted and in poverty, in 1598. Besides · The Faerie Queene," Spenser wrote “The Shepherd's Calendar,” which contains many beautiful lines ; but its fame was speedily eclipsed in that of the poet's masterpiece.]

THE PROCESSION OF THE SEASONS.

II

Lastly came Winter, clothed all in frieze,
Clattering his teeth for cold that did him chill,
Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freeze,
And the dull drops that from his purpled bill
As from a limbeck did adown distil ;
In his right hand a tippèd staff he held,
With which his feeble steps he stayed still,

For he was faint with cold and weak with eld,
That scarce his loosed limbs he able was to weld.

And after these there came the Day and Night,
Riding together both with equal pace;
The one on palfrey black, the other white;
But Night had covered her uncomely face
With a black veil, and held in hand a mace,
On top whereof the moon and stars were pight;
And sleep and darkness round about did trace;

But Day did bear upon his sceptre's height
The goodly sun encompassed all with beamës bright.

Then came the Hours, fair daughters of high Jove
And timely Night; the which were all endued
With wondrous beauty fit to kindle love;
But they were virgins all, and love eschewed

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THE PROCESSION OF THE SEASONS.

That might forslack the charge to them forshewed
By mighty Jove; who did them porters make
Of heaven's gate (whence all the gods issùed),

Which they did daily watch and nightly wake
By even turns, nor ever did their charge forsake.

SPENSER. [From “ The Faerie Queene."]

from an Elegy on Cowley.

-(

O

LD mother Wit and Nature

gave
Shakespeare and Fletcher all they have;
In Spenser and in Jonson, art
Of slower nature got the start ;

But both in him so equal are,
None knows which bears the happiest share:
To him no author was unknown,
Yet what he wrote was all his own ;
Horace's wit and Virgil's state
He did not steal, but emulate !
And when he would like them appear,
Their garb, but not their clothes, did wear.

SIR JOHN DENHAM.

[Sir John DENHAM, a brave and right loyal cavalier, and an unflinching supporter of the Stuarts, was born in Dublin, in 1615. His father was the Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland. During the troubles of Charles the First's reign he was made governor of Fareham Castle, which fortress he held for the king. lle subsequently performed many good offices for the royal family in their adversity. It was he who took the young prince James to France. After the Restoration, he was appointed Surveyor of the King's Buildings. His chief works are Cooper's Hill,” “The Sophy,” and “The Progress of Learning.” He died in 1668, and was buried by Cowley's side.]

66

Hymn to Diana

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UEEN and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,
State in wonted manner keep:

Hesperus entreats thy light,

Goddess, excellently bright.
Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose ;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close:

Bless us then with wished sight,

Goddess, excellently bright.
Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal-shining quiver ;
Give unto the flying hart
Space to breathe, how short soever:

Thou that mak’st a day of night,
Goddess, excellently bright.

BEN JONSON.

[“ Rare BEN JONSON,” bricklayer, soldier, actor, dramatist, superintendent of masques at the English Court, and poet laureate, was born in 1574, and died in 1637. Some exquisite stanzas are interspersed among the songs he wrote for the Court

masques.” Of his comedies, “Every Man in his Humour” has kept possession of the stage, and is still occasionally represented. Ben was the friend and associate of Shakespeare.]

66

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N all my wanderings round this world of care,
In all my griefs—and God has given my share-

I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown, Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;

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