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A miniature of c. For enlargement see below. Spelling has been mostly modernised and corrections have been made with reference to modern editions. However some spellings have been left as the original, for example Bellamoures, Cullambynes and Jessemynes in Sonnet It is not possible to 'modernise' entirely a Renaissance edition of a work, since some words are peculiar to the time, or of limited use, or only known to have been used by that one author, or spelt differently in different parts of the text.
This is especially true of Spenser, who used many words and spellings which were archaic in his own day. However, to insist that one retains spelling from the original edition, which is often what is done with Spenser, is somewhat unrealistic, for we do not demand the same for other Elizabethan authors. We are happy for the most part to use modern spelling editions of Shakespeare and Marlowe, so why not of Spenser?
To those anxious to see how erratic was the spelling of works printed in Shakespeare's time I suggest looking at the edition of Lodge's Sonnets to Phillis, available on this site, Phillis or at the Q version of Shakespeare's sonnets, given with the commentary to each individual sonnet.
This modern spelling version is offered for those who would like to read Spenser's Epithalamion without having first to overcome the difficulties of idiosyncratic and archaic spellings which are a great hindrance to understanding. Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside, And having all your heads with garlands crowned, Help me mine own loves praises to resound, Ne let the fame of any be envied, So Orpheus did for his own bride, So I unto my self alone will sing, The woods shall to me answer and my echo ring.
EARLY before the world's light giving lamp, His golden beam upon the hills doth spread, Having dispersed the night's uncheerfull damp, Do ye awake and with fresh lusty head, Go to the bower of my beloved love, My truest turtle dove Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake, And long since ready forth his mask to move, With his bright Tead that flames with many a flake, And many a bachelor to wait on him, In their fresh garments trim.
And let them also with them bring in hand, Another gay garland my fair love of lilies and of roses, Bound truelove wise with a blue silk riband. And let them make great store of bridal posies, And let them eke bring store of other flowers To deck the bridal bowers. Which done, do at her chamber door await, For she will waken straight, The while do ye this song unto her sing, The woods shall to you answer and your echo ring.
Bind up the locks the which hang scattered light, And in his waters which your mirror make, Behold your faces as the crystal bright, That when you come whereas my love doth lie, No blemish she may spy. Hark how the cheerfull birds do chant their lays And carol of love's praise. For they of joy and pleasance to you sing. That all the woods them answer and their echo ring.
And ye three handmaids of the Cyprian Queen, The which do still adorn her beauty's pride, Help to adorn my beautifullest bride And as ye her array, still throw between Some graces to be seen, And as ye use to Venus, to her sing, The whiles the woods shall answer and your echo ring.
NOW is my love all ready forth to come, Let all the virgins therefore well await, And ye fresh boys that tend upon her groom Prepare your selves; for he is coming straight. Set all your things in seemly good array Fit for so joyfull day, The joyfull'st day that ever sun did see. O fairest Phoebus, father of the Muse, If ever I did honour thee aright, Or sing the thing that mote thy mind delight, Do not thy servant's simple boon refuse, But let this day, let this one day be mine, Let all the rest be thine.
Then I thy sovereign praises loud will sing, That all the woods shall answer and their echo ring. So well it her beseems that ye would ween Some angell she had been. Ne dare lift up her countenance too bold, But blush to hear her praises sung so loud, So far from being proud. Nathless do ye still loud her praises sing, That all the woods may answer and your echo ring. Why stand ye still ye virgins in amaze, upon her so to gaze, Whiles ye forget your former lay to sing, To which the woods did answer and your echo ring?
There dwells sweet love and constant chastity, unspotted faith and comely womanhood, Regard of honour and mild modesty, There virtue reigns as Queen in royal throne, And giveth laws alone. The which the base affections do obey, And yield their services unto her will Ne thought of thing uncomely ever may Thereto approach to tempt her mind to ill. OPEN the temple gates unto my love, Open them wide that she may enter in, And all the posts adorn as doth behove, And all the pillars deck with garlands trim, For to receive this Saint with honour due, That cometh in to you.
Now all is done; bring home the bride again, bring home the triumph of our victory, Bring home with you the glory of her gain, With joyance bring her and with jollity. Never had man more joyfull day then this, Whom heaven would heap with bliss.
Make feast therefore now all this live long day, This day for ever to me holy is, Pour out the wine without restraint or stay, Pour not by cups, but by the belly full, Pour out to all that wull, And sprinkle all the posts and walls with wine, That they may sweat, and drunken be withall.
RING ye the bells, ye young men of the town, And leave your wonted labours for this day: This day is holy; Do ye write it down, that ye for ever it remember may. This day the sun is in his chiefest height, With Barnaby the bright, From whence declining daily by degrees, He somewhat loseth of his heat and light, When once the Crab behind his back he sees.
Ring ye the bells, to make it wear away, And bonfires make all day, And dance about them, and about them sing: that all the woods may answer, and your echo ring. AH when will this long weary day have end, and lend me leave to come unto my love?
How slowly does sad Time his feathers move? Haste thee O fairest Planet to thy home Within the Western foam: Thy tired steeds long since have need of rest. Long though it be, at last I see it gloom, And the bright evening star with golden crest Appear out of the East. NOW cease ye damsels your delights forepast; Enough is it, that all the day was yours: Now day is done, and night is nighing fast: Now bring the Bride into the bridal bowers.
Now it is night, ye damsels may be gone, And leave my love alone, And leave likewise your former lay to sing: The woods no more shall answer, nor your echo ring.
And let the maids and young men cease to sing: Ne let the woods them answer, nor their echo ring. Let none of these their dreary accents sing; Ne let the woods them answer, nor their echo ring. Ye sons of Venus, play your sports at will, For greedy pleasure, careless of your toys, Thinks more upon her paradise of joys, Than what ye do, albeit good or ill. WHO is the same, which at my window peeps? Or whose is that Fair face, that shines so bright, Is it not Cinthia, she that never sleeps, But walks about high heaven all the night?
AND thou great Juno, which with awful might the laws of wedlock still dost patronize, And the religion of the faith first plight With sacred rites hast taught to solemnize: And eke for comfort often called art Of women in their smart, Eternally bind thou this lovely band, And all thy blessings unto us impart.
And thou fair Hebe, and thou Hymen free, Grant that it may so be. Till which we cease your further praise to sing, Ne any woods shall answer, nor your echo ring. So let us rest, sweet love, in hope of this, And cease till then our timely joys to sing, The woods no more us answer, nor our echo ring.
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Spenser's Amoretti and Epithalamion Summary
Note on the Renascence Editions text:. Bear at the University of Oregon. The text is in the public domain. This edition is dedicated to Pattiebuff Bear. Written not long since by Edmunde Spenser. EARLY before the worlds light giuing lampe, 20 His golden beame vpon the hils doth spred, Hauing disperst the nights vnchearefull dampe, Doe ye awake and with fresh lusty hed, Go to the bowre of my beloued loue, My truest turtle doue Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake, And long since ready forth his maske to moue, With his bright Tead that flames with many a flake, And many a bachelor to waite on him, In theyr fresh garments trim.
Edmund Spenser's Amoretti and Epithalamion: A Critical Edition
Amoretti is a sonnet cycle written by Edmund Spenser in the 16th century. The cycle describes his courtship and eventual marriage to Elizabeth Boyle. Amoretti was first published in in London by William Ponsonby. It was printed as part of a volume entitled Amoretti and Epithalamion.
Amoretti And Epithalamion
This article discusses how Amoretti and Epithalamion singly and together clear a space in late Elizabethan poetry. The Amoretti and the Epithalamion establish themselves in relation to an actual event, Spenser's marriage to Elizabeth Boyle of 11 June , more than any other sequence of the period. The Amoretti is unique in representing a courtship that demonstrably leads to a marriage, while the wedding takes place not out of the reader's sight but immediately after the sequence, within the same volume of The Epithalamion is one of the most successful wedding songs in any European vernacular. The process of the Epithalamion is to narrate the wedding day not only as an event in itself but as an intersection of social and mythological significance, as though Edmund Spenser's marriage to Elizabeth Boyle mattered equally to the townspeople, distant merchants, and classical figures such as Hymen and Hesperus. Keywords: Elizabethan poetry , marriage , Elizabeth Boyle , courtship , Epithalamion.