48. Chaucer’s April

Spring in England really is a magical time. Whenever I’m running out in the countryside, through the parks, or just about anywhere at this time of year, it is easy to appreciate Chaucer’s love of April:

bluebells-spring.jpgWhen, in April, sweet showers fall
And pierce the drought of March,
And bathe the vein and root
Of every plant with such liquor
That genders forth the flowers,

And Zephirus, also, with his sweet breath,
Inspires in every holt and heath,
The tender crops, and the young sun,
In the sign of Ram, half-course has run

And small birds make melody,
That sleep at night with open eye,
So strongly Nature wakes their courage,
Then folk long to go on pilgrimage.

And palmers seek, at foreign shores,
The distant shrines of sundry lands,
And specially, from every shire’s end
Of England, to Canterbury they would go,
The holy blessed martyr there to seek,
Who helps all those who are sick and weak.

Related articles:
113. The Pilgrim’s Progress – Surrey Hills 2
23. The uncertain glory of an April day: Shakespeare Marathon 2003
108. The moonlit door
147. Eurydice – from this blackened earth
11. London Snow by Robert Bridges
52. The Edge – from Sicily to Surrey

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