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It was a lording's daughter,
The fairest one of three,
That liked of her master, as well as well might be ;
Till looking on an Englishman,
The fairest eye could see,
Her fancy fell a turning.
Long was the combat doubtful,
That love with love did fight;
To leave the master loveless, or kill the gallant knight:
To put in practice either,
Alas! it was a spite,
Unto the silly damsel. But one must be refused, More mickle was the pain; That nothing could be used, to turn them both to gain : For of the two the trusty knight Was wounded with disdain,
Alas ! she could not help it. Thus art with arms contending, Was victor of the day ; Which by a gift of learning did bear the maid away. Then, lullaby, the learned man Hath got the lady gay:
For now my song is ended.
On a day (alack the day)
Love, whose monch was ever May,
Spy'd a blossom passing fair,
Playing in the wanton air.
Thro’ the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, 'gain passage find,
That the lover (sick to death)
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
Air, (quoth he) thy cheeks may blow ;
Air! would I might triumph so !
But (alas) my hand hath sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy throne!
Vow, (alack) for youth unmeet,
Youth, so apt to pluck a sweet ;
'Thou, for whom ev'n Jove would swear
Juno but an Æthiop were ;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
LOVE'S LABOUR LOST.
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 jiggs 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 plac'd, 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 dell,
My weather's bell rings doleful knell;
My curtail dog, that wont t' 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 thro’ heartless ground,
Like a thousand vanquish'd men in bloody fight.
Clear wells spring not, sweet birds sing not,
Green plants bring not forth their dye ;
Herds stand weeping, flocks all sleeping,
Nymphs black peeping fearfully.
All our pleasure known to us poor swains;
All our merry meetings on the plains ;
All our evening sport from us has fled;
All our love is lost, for love is dead.
Farewell, sweet love, thy like ne'er was,
For a sweet content, of all my woe the cause ;
Poor Coridon must live alone,
Other help for him, I see, that there is none.
WHOLESOME COUNSEL. When as thine eye hath chose the dame, And stall’d the deer that thou should'st strike; Let reason rule things worthy blame, As well as fancy (partly all might)
Take counsel of some wiser head,
Neither too young, nor yet unwed.
And when thou 'com'st thy tale to tell,
Smooth not thy tongue with filed talk ;
Lest she some subtle practice smell :
A cripple soon can find a halt.
But plainly say, thou lov’st her well,
And set her person forth to sale.
What tho' her frowning brows be bent,
Her cloudy looks will calm ere night ;
And then too late she will repent,
That thus dissembling her delight;
And twice desire, ere it be day,
That which with scorn she put away.
What though she strive to try her strength,
And ban, and brawl, and say thee nay ;
Her feeble force will yield at length,
When craft hath taught her thus to say :
Had women been so strong as men,
In faith, you had not had it then.
And to her will frame all thy ways,
Spare not to spend, and chiefly there,
Where thy desert may merit praise,
By ringing in thy lady's ear :
The strongest castle, tower, and town,
The golden bullet beats it down.
Serve always with assured trust,
And in thy suit be humble true;
Unless thy lady prove unjust,
Please never thou to choose anew.
When time shall serve, be thou not slack
To proffer, tho’ she put it back.
The wiles and guiles that women work,
Dissembled with an outward show;
The tricks and toys that in them lurk,
The cock that treads them shall not know.
Have you not heard it said full oft,
A woman's nay doth stand for nought.
Think women still to strive with men
To sin, and never for to saint :
There is no heaven (by holy them)
When time with age shall them attaint.
Were kisses all the joys in bed,
One woman would another wed.
But soft, enough, too much I fear,
Lest that my mistress hear my song;
She will not stick to round me on th' ear,
To teach my tongue to be so long.
Yet will she blush, here be it said,
To hear her secrets so bewraid.
Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye,
And all my soul, and all my every part ;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded in ward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is, as mine;
No shape so true, no truth of such account ;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed,
Beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity;
Mine own self-love, quite contrary I read,
Self, so self-loving, were iniquity :
'Tis thee (myself) that for myself I praise,
Painting my age with beauty of thy days.
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall out-live this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents,
Than unswept stone hesmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry ;
Nor Mar's sward, nor war's quick fire shall burn:
The living record of your memory.
"Gainst death, and all oblivious enmity,
Shall you pace forth ; your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity,
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So till the judgment, that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT.
So am I as the rich, whose blessed key
Can bring him to his sweet up locked treasure,
The which he will not every hour survey,
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare ;
Since seldom coming, in the long year set,
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
Or captain jewels in the carconet.
So is the time that keeps you, as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe, which the robe doth hide,
To make some special instant special blest,
By new unfolding his imprison'd pride.
Blessed are you, whose worthiness gives scope,
Being had to triumph, being lack'd to hope.
Is it thy will, thy image should keep open
My heavy eye-lids to the weary night?
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
While shadows, like to thee, do mock my sight!
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee,
So far from home, into my deeds to pry?
To find out shames, and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenure of thy jealousy?
O! no, thy love, tho' much, is not so great ;
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake;
Mine own true love, that doth my rest defeat,,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake.
For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
From me far off, with others all too near.
No longer mourn for me when I am dead;
When you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world, that I am fled
From this vile world, with vilest worms to dwell.