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Ere you can find
So courteous, so kind,
As merry Margaret
This Midsummer flower,
Gentle as falcon,
Or hawk of the tower.

John Skelton.



A FACE that should content me wondrous well

Should not be fat, but lovely to behold; Of lively look, all grief for to repel

With right good grace, so would I that it should Speak without words, such words as none can tell;

Her tress also should be of crisped gold. With wit, and these, perchance, I might be tried, And knit again with knot that should not slide.

Sir Thomas Wyat.



" Who is it that this dark night

Underneath my window plaineth ?”–
It is one who from thy sight

Being (ah !) exiled, disdaineth
Every other vulgar light.
“Why, alas! and are you he?

Are not yet these fancies changed ? ” —
Dear, when you find change in me,

Though from me you be estranged,
Let my change to ruin be.
“What if you new beauties see?

Will not they stir new affection ?".
I will think they pictures be

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Poorly counterfeiting thee.

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“ Peace! I think that some give ear,

Come, no more, lest I'get anger. Bliss ! I will my bliss forbear,

Fearing, sweet, you to endanger;
But my soul shall harbour there.
“Well, begone: begone, I say,

Lest that Argus' eyes perceive you."-
O! unjust is Fortune's sway,

Which can make me thus to leave you,
And from louts to run away!

Sir Philip Sydney.


Love is a sickness full of woes,

All remedies refusing;
A plant that most with cutting grows,
Most barren with best using.

Why so ?
More we enjoy it, more it dies,
If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries

Love is a torment of the mind,

A tempest everlasting;
And Jove hath made it of a kind
Not well, nor full, nor fasting.

Why so ?
More we enjoy it, more it dies;
If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries

Samuel Daniel.



My true love hath my heart, and I have his,

By just exchange one to the other given : I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss, There never was a better bargain driven : My true love hath my heart, and I have his. His heart in me keeps him and me in one,

My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides : He loves my heart, for once it was his own, I cherish his because in me it bides: My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

Sir Philip Sydney.


My flocks feed not, my ewes breed not,
My rams speed not, all is amiss :
Love is dying, Faith's defying,
Heart's denying, causer of this.
All my merry jigs are quite forgot,
All my lady's love is lost, God wot:
Where her faith was firmly fix'd in love,
There a nay is placed without remove.
One silly cross wrought all my loss;

O frowning Fortune, cursed, fickle dame!
For now I see inconstancy

More in women than in men remain.

In black mourn I, all fears scorn I,
Love hath forlorn me, living in thrall:
Heart is bleeding, all help needing,
(O cruel speeding !) fraughted with gall.
My shepherd's pipe can sound no deal,
My wether's bell rings doleful knell;
My curtail dog, that wont to have play'd,
Plays not at all, but seems afraid;
With sighs so deep procures to weep,

In howling wise, to see my doleful plight
How sighs resound through heartless ground,

Like a thousand vanquish'd men in bloody fight ! Clear wells spring not, sweet birds sing not, Green plants bring not forth; they die; Herds stand weeping, flocks all sleeping, Nymphs back peeping fearfully: All our pleasure known to us poor swains, All our merry meetings on the plains, All our evening sport from us is filed, All our Love is lost, for Love is dead.

Farewell, sweet lass, thy like ne'er was

For a sweet content, the cause of all my moan:
Poor Coridon must live alone;
Other help for him I see that there is none.

William Shakspere.



IF women could be fair, and yet not fond,

Or that their love were firm, not fickle still, I would not marvel that they make men bond

By service long to purchase their good will; But when I see how frail those creatures are, I muse that men forget themselves so far. To mark the choice they make, and how they change,

How oft from Phoebus they do flee to Pan! Unsettled still, like haggards wild they range,

These gentle birds that fly from man to man ! Who would not scorn and shake them from the fist, And let them fly, fair fools, which way they list ? Yet for disport we fawn and flatter both,

To pass the time when nothing else can please,
And train them to our lure, with subtle oath,

Till, weary of their wiles, ourselves we ease ;
And then we say when we their fancy try,
To play with fools, O what a fool was I !

Edward Vere, Earl of Oxford.



AH! what is love! It is a pretty thing,
As sweet unto a shepherd as a king,

And sweeter, too;
For kings have cares that wait upon a crown,
And cares can make the sweetest loves to frown:

Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires do gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?

His flocks are folded; he comes home at night
As merry as a king in his delight,

And merrier, too;
For kings bethink them what the State require,
Where shepherds careless carol by the fire;

Ah then, &c. He kisseth first, then sits as blithe to eat His cream and curd, as doth the king his meat,

And blither too; For kings have often tremours when they sup, Where shepherds dread no poison in their cup :

Ah then, &c.

Upon his couch of straw he sleeps as sound
As doth the king upon his bed of down,

More sounder, too; For cares cause kings full oft their sleep to spill, Where weary shepherds lie and snort their fill :

Ah then, &c. Thus with his wife he spends the year as blithe As doth the king at every tide or syth,

And blither, too; For kings have wars and broils to take in hand, Where shepherds laugh, and love upon the land :

Ah then, &c.

Robert Greene.



In the merry month of May,
In a morn by break of day,
With a troop of damsels playing
Forth I rode, forsooth, a-maying,
When anon by a woodside,
Where as May was in his pride,
I espied, all alone,
Phillida and Corydon.
Much ado there was, God wot!
He would love, and she would not:

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