Original Text

Modern Text

65Which spongy April at thy hest betrims
To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy broom groves,
Whose shadow the dismissèd bachelor loves,
Being lass-lorn; thy pole-clipped vineyard;
And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky hard,
70Where thou thyself dost air—the Queen o' th' Sky,
Whose watery arch and messenger am I,
Bids thee leave these, and with her sovereign grace,
sheep nibble, the furrows that April covers with flowers for nymphs to make crowns with. You must leave the groves where the disappointed bachelor lurks, rejected by his love, and the well-pruned vineyards, and the rocky seashore.
JUNO descends above
JUNO enters above the stage and slowly begins to descend.
Here on this grass plot, in this very place,
To come and sport. Her peacocks fly amain.
75Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.
You must leave these places and hurry here to this grassy spot, to entertain Juno.
Enter CERES
CERES enters.

CERES

Hail, many-colored messenger, that ne'er
Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;
Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
Diffusest honey drops, refreshing showers;
80And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
My bosky acres and my unshrubbed down,
Rich scarf to my proud earth. Why hath thy queen
Summoned me hither to this short-grassed green?

CERES

Greetings to you, rainbow messenger, who never disobeys Juno, wife of Jupiter; with your golden wings you sprinkle dewdrops and refreshing showers on my flowers, and arch your colored bow over my wooded fields and grassy meadows, like a beautiful scarf to decorate my earth. Why has your queen, Juno, called me here to this grassy spot?

IRIS

A contract of true love to celebrate,
85And some donation freely to estate
On the blessed lovers.

IRIS

To celebrate a marriage of true love, and give a gift to the lovers.

CERES

     Tell me, heavenly bow,
If Venus or her son, as thou dost know,
Do now attend the queen? Since they did plot
The means that dusky Dis my daughter got,
90Her and her blind boy’s scandaled company
I have forsworn.

CERES

Tell me, rainbow, do you know if either Venus, the goddess of love, or her son, Cupid, is accompanying Queen Juno? Ever since Venus and her blind son plotted a way for the god of the underworld to steal my daughter away for half the year, I swore I’d never speak to them again.