November 6 Edmund Spenser

Spenser’s pageant figure, as you may guess, is lurking not far away:
Next was November; he full gross and fat
As fed with lard, and that right well might seem;
For he had been a-fatting hogs of late,
That yet his brows with sweat did reek and steam,
And yet the season was full sharp and breem:
In planting eek he took no small delight.
Whereon he rode not easy was to deem;
For it a dreadful Centaur was in sight,
The seed of Saturn and fair Nais, Cheiron hight.

‘Breem’, an old word meaning ‘valiant’ or ‘fierce’, here meant ‘keen’. The Centaur, half horse, half man, called Cheiron, had as his mother a sea-nymph who transformed her mortal lovers to fishes. Thus November is associated with those strange half-breeds , mermaids and mermen.

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