Poem 1

YE learned sisters which haue oftentimes
beene to me ayding, others to adorne:
Whom ye thought worthy of your gracefull rymes,
That euen the greatest did not greatly scorne
To heare theyr names sung in your simply layes,
But ioyed in theyr prayse.
And when ye lift your owne mishaps to mourne,
Which death, or loue, or fortunes wreck did rayse,
Your string could soone to sadder tenor turne,
And teach the woods and waters to lament
Your dolefull dreriment.
Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside,
And hauing all your heads with girland crownd,
Helpe me mine owne loues prayses to resound,
Ne let the same of any be enuide,
So Orpheus did for his owne bride,
So I vnto my selfe alone will sing,
The woods shall to me answer and my Eccho ring.

by Edmund Spenser

Comments (12)

I have read your 'Poem 1' about a dozen times but your style and language would not allow me to understand it. I read poetry for enjoyment which I hope to get in your next. Regards.
Took my breath away, so to speak. I am enamored beyond words, most literally, as half of what he is dictating is an English of a sort that I am less than familiar with. But the form and structure, flesh and bone behind Mr. Spencer's episode is one that relieves and burdens one with sadness and inspiration. This poem is one of immaculate process, and highly respect the author. Well played, Master Spencer!
He singeth best who loveth best The tunes that a heart soulfully bringeth For the true poet or for the true singer Music and songs inner bliss always do giveth............ I welcome all ye poets who readeth this to my page too........
Interestingly a smart language and write...the poet addresses his early nuns cum teachers to help him sing alone on his love to the woods that would respond answering him....very poetic
Spenser is addressing The Muses, the daughters of Zeus and the goddess Mnemosyne. The poem has not been modernized, but even so, it is interesting how modern Shakespeare seems to Spenser: 'Oh truant muse, what shall be thy amends/For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed./ Both truth and beauty on my love depends, /So dost thou too, and therein dignified.' ('truth in beauty' is the Youth of The Sonnets) .
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