February 3 Edmund Spenser

From The Faerie Queene


Edmund Spenser

We may remember too that in ancient times February was reckoned to be the last month of the year, as witness Spenser’s pageant figure:

And lastly came cold February, sitting
In an old wagon, for he could not ride,
Drawn of two fishes, for the season fitting,
Which through the flood before did softly slide
And swim away: yet had he by his side
His plough and harness fit to till the ground,
And tools to prune the trees, before the pride
Of hasting Prime did make them burgeon round.
So passed the twelve months forth, and their due places found.

 Students of the Zodiac will appreciate that the unusual steeds of February’s wagon derive from Pisces, the constellation of the month, while Prime means Primavera, the Spring.
Next: Still Falls the Rain   Edith Sitwell