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Love's Meinie

John Ruskin

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . is passing through the very unpoetical form "angle," into "ange;" but, in order to get a rhyme with it in that angular form, the French troubadour expands the bird's name, "mesange," quite arbitrarily, into "mesangel." Then Chaucer, not liking the "mes" at the beginning of the word, changes that unscrupulously into "arch;" and gathers in, though too shortly, a lovely bit from another place about the nightingales flying so close round Love's head that they strike some of the leaves off his crown of roses; so that the English runs thus:

But nightingales, a full great rout

That flien over his head about,

The leaves felden as they flien

And he was all with birds wrien,

With popinjay, with nightingale,

With chelaundre, and with wodewale,

With finch, with lark, and with archangel.

He seemed as he were an angell,

That down were comen . . . Read More

Community Reviews

What fun to read about birding pre-Sibley, Roger Tory Peterson and Kaufman.