Reimagining the pastoral muse in ‘Colin Clouts Come Home Againe’
in Spenser and Virgil
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The fiction of 'Colin Clouts Come Home Againe' will transfigure England into a space of exile and the Irish 'waste'into a home, with Colin's round trip beginning and ending in the pastoral space, away from Cynthia and her court. Like 'Colin Clouts Come Home Againe', the Book IV episode aligns Ralegh with the Gallus of Eclogue 10, as Timias carves Belphoebe's name into the bark of trees. In the Theogony, the Muses give Hesiod a staff as a symbol of his newfound ability to sing cosmogonic epic. The summoning of Muses, nymphs and Graces recalls the Aprill lay and the Nouember dirge. By invoking Arethusa as a virgin nymph in Arcadia, Virgil claimed poetic precedence over his Sicilian model, and constructed Arcadia as the imaginary locale of his pastoral poetics.

Spenser and Virgil

The pastoral poems

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