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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

The Merry Month of May

Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)

From “The Shepheardes Calender:” Maye

IS 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

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;

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.