1610 ca.
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To my beloved Cousin W. R. Esquire. Calend. Januar.

The Purple Island, or the Isle of Man: together with Piscatorie Eclogs and other Poeticall Miscellanies. By P. F.

Rev. Phineas Fletcher


Six irregular Spenserians in which Phineas Fletcher's lyric muse, represented by the catalogue of birds, lies close-pent at school. When Spring returns he promising to pay a visit to Kent; till then, "Here must I stay, in sullen study pent, | Among our Cambridge fennes my time misspending; | But then revisit our long-long'd for Kent. | Till then live happy, the time ever mending." W. R. is Fletcher's friend in Kent, Walter Robarts, to whom he also addresses An Hymen at the Marriage of my most deare Cousins Mr. W. and M. R. Like Fletcher's other undated occasional poems this lyric was published in 1633.



Cousin, day-birds are silenc't, and those fowl
Yet onely sing, which hate warm Phoebus light;
Th' unlucky Parrat, and death-boding Owl,
Which ush'ring in to heav'n their mistress Night,
Hollow their mates, triumphing o're the quick-spent Light.

The wronged Philomel hath left to plain
Tereus contraint and cruel ravishment:
Seems the poore bird hath lost her tongue again.
Progne long since is gone to banishment;
And the loud-tuned Thrush leaves all her merriment.

All so my frozen Muse, hid in my breast,
To come into the open aire refuses;
And dragg'd at length from hence, doth oft protest,
This is no time for Phoebus-loving Muses;
When the farre-distant sunne our frozen coast disuses.

Then till the sunne, which yet in fishes hasks,
Or watry urn, impounds his fainting head,
'Twixt Taurus horns his warmer beam unmasks,
And sooner rises, later goes to bed;
Calling back all the flowers, now to their mother fled:

Till Philomel resumes her tongue again,
And Progne fierce returns from long exiling;
Till the shrill Blackbird chants his merry vein;
And the day-birds the long-liv'd sunne beguiling,
Renew their mirth, and the yeares pleasant smiling:

Here must I stay, in sullen study pent,
Among our Cambridge fennes my time misspending;
But then revisit our long-long'd for Kent.
Till then live happy, the time ever mending:
Happy the first o' th' yeare, thrice happy be the ending.

[pp. 59-60]