Marie De France : Chevrefoil
"The two of them were similar
To honeysuckle, which must find
A hazel, and around it bind;
When it enlaces it all around,
Both in each other are all wound.
Together they will surely thrive,
But split asunder, they’ll not live.
Quick is the hazel tree’s demise;
Quickly the honeysuckle dies.
"So with us never, belle amie,
me without you, you with me."
Gawain and the Green Knight
"For men might be merry when addled with mead
But each year, short lived, is unlike the last
And rarely resolved in the style it arrived.
So the festival finishes and a new year follows
In eternal sequence, season by season.
After lavish Christmas come the lean days of Lent
When the flesh is tested with fish and simple food.
Then the world’s weather wages war on winter:
Cold shrinks earthwards and the clouds climb;
Sun-warmed, shimmering rain comes showering
Onto meadows and fields where flowers unfurl;
Woods and grounds war a wardrobe of green;
Birds burble with life and build busily
As summer spreads, settling on slopes as
"For certain,” he says, “this is a soulless spot,
A ghost cathedral overgrown with grass,
The kind of kirk where they camouflaged man
Might in devotions on the devils behalf."
"When that April with his showres soote
The droughte of March hat perced to the roote,
And bathed every veine in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flowr;
Whan Zephyrus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired Hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the Yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne,
And small fowles maken melodye
That sleepen al the night with open ye
So priketh hem Nature in hir corages
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages"
Sir Walter Ralegh, The Nymphs Reply to the Shepard
Time drives the flocks from fields to fold
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold,
And Philomel becometh dumb;
The rest complains of cares to come.
The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall.
Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten-
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.
The Tempest Act 1, Scene 2
"If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere
It should the good ship so have swallow'd and
The fraughting souls within her."
"Water with berries in't, and teach me how
To name the bigger light, and how the less,
That burn by day and night: and then I loved thee
And show'd thee all the qualities o' the isle,
The fresh springs, brine-pits, barren place and fertile:
Cursed be I that did so! All the charms
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you!
For I am all the subjects that you have,
Which first was mine own king: and here you sty me
In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me
The rest o' the island."
Act 2, Scene 1
The air breathes upon us here most sweetly.
As if it had lungs and rotten ones.
Or as 'twere perfumed by a fen.
Here is everything advantageous to life.
True; save means to live.
Of that there's none, or little.
How lush and lusty the grass looks! how green!
The ground indeed is tawny.
With an eye of green in't.
He misses not much.