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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sonnetsday 14


Queen Elizabeth with a sieve.

H Y M N E  I V.


TO THE MONETH OF MAY.

E
L
I
S
A

B
E
T
H
A

R
E
G
I
N
A

ACH day of thine, sweet moneth of May,
oue makes a solemne holy-day.
will performe like duty,
ith thou resemblest euery way
stræa, Queen of beauty,

oth you fresh beauties do pertake,
ither's aspect doth Summer make,
houghts of young Loue awaking ;
earts you both doe cause to ake,
nd yet be pleas'd with akeing.

ight deare art thou, and so is shee,
uen like attractiue sympathy,
aines vnto both like dearenesse ;
weene this made Antiquitie
ame thee, sweet May of Maiestie,
s being both like in clearnesse.



Sir John Davies, one of Queen Elizabeth's courtiers, wrote a whole collection of sonnets to the Virgin Queen, entitled Hymns to Astræa, (lat. for 'Star') one of the more popular flattery-names for Elizabeth, (cf. Sidney's 'Astrophil and Stella', 'Starlover and star'). These Renaissance boys got really good at kissing hiney, I tell ya.

Tags: Sonnets | Shakespeare

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