Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chaucer on Spring

And so befel, whan comen was the tyme
Of Aperil, whan clothed is the mede
With newe grene, of lusty Ver the pryme,
And swote smellen floures whyte and rede,
In sondry wyses shewed, as I rede,
The folk of Troye his observances olde,
Palladiones feste for to holde.

--Troilus and Criseyde I.155-161

In May, that moder is of monthes glade,
That fresshe floures, blewe, and whyte, and rede,
Ben quike agayne, that winter dede made,
And ful of bawme is fletinge every mede;
What Phebus doth his brighte bemes sprede
Right in the whyte Bole, it so betidde
As I shal singe, on Mayes day the thredde . . .

--Troilus and Criseyde II.50-56

And let's not forget the classic:

Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his falfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen all the night with open yƫ,
(So priketh hem nature in his corages):
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages . . .

--Canturbury Tales, Prologue 1-12.

I might also note, speaking of peregrinating there-and-back-agains, that April is the month to begin burglarious quests in search of dragon-gold.

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