National Poetry Month

By John Hertz:  April is National Poetry Month in the United States.  Science fiction is often set in the future.  So here’s an Englishman of the 16th Century.

What if within the Moones faire shining spheare?
What if in euery other starre vnseene
Of other worldes he happily should heare?
He wonder would much more: yet such to some appeare.

This is from The Faerie Queene (proem to Book II, 3rd stanza); Paul J. Alpers in his anthology Edmund Spenser (1969, p. 21) preserves Spenser’s spelling and punctuation, so I have.  In 1590 happily, like many words then, was closer than now to its root meaning of “occurrence” or “chance”, which we still have in happen.

Wishing you the same.