In the first eclogue and the last, Colin Clout addresses Pan, complaining about his life. These are the only two eclogues in monologue; they are different in scope but with many comparable passages; and they are the only two in the particularly sustained musical rhyme scheme of iambic pentameter sixains ryhmed ababcc." But in January, Colin is immature, in December he has grown old. In the two complaints, Spenser subtly communicates the vast difference in Colin's experience-he is comprehensive, as in "February" he only plays. Through images of his relationship with nature, first so superficial and comradely and demonstrative, deepening into reality and resignation with a passion that, having ceased to battle, will spend itself in wonder; turning his life to fit a year, the four ages with the four seasons, Spenser tells a serious story of experience. There is room for a lot of comparison in the two eclogues, but we shall have time only for a glance.
"The Shepheard's Calendar,"
Manuscripts: Vol. 16
, Article 17.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/manuscripts/vol16/iss1/17