Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
The Merry Month of May
By Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
From “The Shepheardes Calender:” Maye

IS 1 not thilke the merry month of May,
When love-lads masken in fresh array?
How falls it, then, we no merrier been,
Ylike as others, girt in gaudy green?
Our blanket liveries been all too sad        5
For thilke same season, when all is yclad
With pleasaunce; the ground with grass, the woods
With green leaves, the bushes with blossoming buds.
Young folk now flocken in everywhere
To gather May buskets and smelling brere;        10
And home they hasten the postes to dight,
And all the kirk-pillars ere day-light,
With hawthorne buds and sweet eglantine,
And garlands of roses and sops-in-wine.
Note 1. From the Shepherd’s Calendar: May: sung by Palinode and Piers. Mr. Quiller-Couch, in his Golden Pomp, says: “This is one of the few instances in which I have ventured to make a short extract from a long poem and present it as a separate lyric.” Mr. Couch’s action has proved so successful for his purpose I have followed his example here. [back]

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