"Ponderynge together yestardayes promise, and two-dayes doyng"
(Hall's Chronicle - 1548)


"Goronigl gwyr yr Ynys" (Lewis Glyn Cothi - 1450)

Spenser's Glosses

As for the Spenser quotes over on the right... why is it that I find the glosses so fascinating in The Shepheardes Calendar? Apparently they were done by Spenser's associate Edward Kirke who, it has been noted, "sometimes unconsciously, sometimes of set purpose, fails to express his author's intention" (E de Selincourt). Ostensibly part of the project of redefining English poetic diction (not for the last time) they capture in their very irascibility the tone of the fascination of the current of platonic mysticism in the protestantism of the period with the pastoral ideal, while needing to dismiss the pagan superstitions which might be associated with it. That marvellous gloss on 'Ladyes of the lake' with its dismissal of the 'lowd lyers' who perpetrated Arthurian myth together with the desire to precisely define the nature of nymphs is a glorious example.