Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
Extracts from The Goldyn Targe
By William Dunbar (1460?–1520?)
BRYGHT as the stern of day begouth to schyne
Quhen gone to bed war Vesper and Lucyne,
    I raise, and by a rosere 1 did me rest:
Up sprang the goldyn candill matutyne,
With clere depurit bemes cristallyne        5
    Glading the mery foulis in thair nest;
    Or Phebus was in purpur cape revest
Up raise the lark, the hevyn’s menstrale fyne
In May, in till a morow myrthfullest.
Full angellike thir birdis sang thair houris        10
Within thair courtyns grene, in to thair bouris,
    Apparalit quhite and red, wyth blomes suete;
Anamalit was the felde with all colouris,
The perly droppis schuke in silvir schouris;
    Quhill all in balme did branch and levis flete, 2        15
    To part fra Phebus did Aurora grete; 3
Hir cristall teris I saw hyng on the flouris
    Quhilk he for lufe all drank up with his hete.
For mirth of May, wyth skippis and wyth hoppis,
The birdis sang upon the tender croppis,        20
    With curiouse notis, as Venus chapell clerkis;
The rosis yong, new spreding of their knoppis 4
War powderit brycht with hevinly beriall droppis
    Throu bemes rede, birnyng as ruby sperkis;
    The skyes rang for schoutyng of the larkis.        25
Note 1. rose bush. [back]
Note 2. float. [back]
Note 3. weep. [back]
Note 4. buds. [back]

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