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Short poem

Thomas Carew (1595?-by 1640)

The Spring

              1Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost
              2Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost
              3Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
              4Upon the silver lake or crystal stream;
              5But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
              6And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
              7To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
              8The drowsy cuckoo, and the humble-bee.
              9Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring
            10In triumph to the world the youthful Spring.
            11The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array
            12Welcome the coming of the long'd-for May.
            13Now all things smile, only my love doth lour;
            14Nor hath the scalding noonday sun the power
            15To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold
            16Her heart congeal'd, and makes her pity cold.
            17The ox, which lately did for shelter fly
            18Into the stall, doth now securely lie
            19In open fields; and love no more is made
            20By the fireside, but in the cooler shade
            21Amyntas now doth with his Chloris sleep
            22Under a sycamore, and all things keep
            23Time with the season; only she doth carry
            24June in her eyes, in her heart January.


3] Candies: forms crystals upon, like candied fruit.

6-7] sacred birth / To the dead swallow. Swallows were sacred to the Penates or household gods of the Romans and it was thought unlucky to kill one. It was believed that they did not migrate but became torpid and hibernated in river banks until roused by the sun.

21] Amyntas and Chloris: recurrent names in pastoral poetry.

Online text copyright © 2005, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Thomas Carew, Poems (J. D. for T. Walkley, 1640). STC 4620.
First publication date: 1640
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 3RP 1.224.
Recent editing: 4:2002/2/7

Form: Heroic Couplets

Other poems by Thomas Carew