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Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Spring - Thomas Carew

Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robe's, and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream;
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array
Welcome the coming of the long'd-for May.
Now all things smile, only my love doth lour;
Nor hath the scalding noonday sun the power
To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold
Her heart congeal'd, and makes her pity cold.
The ox, which lately did for shelter fly
Into the stall, doth now securely lie
In open fields; and love no more is made
By the fireside, but in the cooler shade
Amyntas now doth with his Chloris sleep
Under a sycamore, and all things keep
Time with the season; only she doth carry
June in her eyes, in her heart January.










It is spring, but Thomas Carew's lover's heart has not thawed along with the rest of the world.  Oxen which once sought shelter that now frolic in the sun, pastoral lovers (Amyntas and Chloris) lounge under a sycamore tree, and "a choir of chirping minstrels bring in triumph to the world the youthful Spring."  For all that, his lover carries "June in her eyes, in her heart January."  What a line.  I feel there's little left for me to explain.  Just read slowly and enjoy the lovely images.

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