Page images
PDF
EPUB

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.

VI.

My Hocks 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

ening sport from us iš fled, 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.

VII.

A RENUNCIATION.

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.

VIII.

HAPPY AS A SHEPHERD, 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 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.

IX.

PHILLIDA AND CORYDON.

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:

She said, never man was true:
He says, none was false to you.
He said, he had loved her long :
She says, Love should have no wrong.
Corydon would kiss her then,
She says, maids must kiss no men,
Till they do for good and all.
Then she made the shepherd call
All the heavens to witness, truth
Never loved a truer youth.
Thus, with many a pretty oath,
Yea, and nay, and faith and troth!-
Such as silly shepherds use
When they will not love abuse;
Love, which had been long deluded,
Was with kisses sweet concluded :
And Phillida, with garlands gay,
Was made the lady of the May.

Nicholas Breton.

[ocr errors]

SEND back my long-stray'd eyes to me,
Which, O! too long have dwelt on thee:
But if from you they've learnt such ill,

To sweetly smile,

And then beguile,
Keep the deceivers, keep them still.
Send home my harmless heart again,
Which no unworthy thought could stain;
But if it has been taught by thine

To forfeit both

Its word and oath,
Keep it, for then ʼtis none of mine.
Yet send me back my heart and eyes,
For I'll know all thy falsities;
That I one day may laugh, when thou

Shalt grieve and mourn

Of one the scorn,
Who proves as false as thou art now.

John Donne.

XI.

WOMAN'S INCONSTANCY,

I LOVED thee once, I'll love no more,

Thine be the grief as is the blame; Thou art not what thou wast before, What reason I should be the same ?

He that can love unloved again,

Hath better store of love than brain: God send me love my debts to pay, While unthrifts fool their love away!

Nothing could have my love o'erthrown,

If thou hadst still continued mine;
Yea, if thou hadst remain'd thy own,
I might perchance have yet been thine.

But thou thy freedom didst recall,

That if thou might elsewhere inthrall: And then how could I but disdain

A captive's captive to remain ?
When new desires had conquer'd thee,

And changed the object of thy will,
It had been lethargy in me,
Not constancy to love thee still.

Yea, it had been a sin to go
And prostitute affection so,
Since we are taught no prayers to say
To such as must to others pray.

Yet do thou giory in thy choice,

Thy choice of his good fortune boast;
I'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice
To see him gain what I have lost;

The height of my disdain shall be

To laugh at him, to blush for thee;
To love thee still, but go no more
A-begging to a beggar's door.

Sir Robert Aytori.

« PreviousContinue »