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Scarce had the morning starre hid from the light
Heavens crimson canopie with stars bespangled,
But I began to rue th' unhappy sight
Of that faire boy that had my hart intangled;
Cursing the time, the place, the sense, the sin;
I came, I saw, I viewd, I slipped in.
If it be sinne to love a sweet-fac'd boy,
Whose amber locks trust up in golden tramels
Dangle adowne his lovely cheekes with joy,
When pearle and flowers his faire haire enamels;
If it be sinne to love a lovely lad,
Oh then sinne I, for whom my soul is sad.
His ivory-white and alabaster skin
Is staind throughout with rare vermillion red,
Whose twinckling starrie lights doe never blin [ie. to cease]
To shine on lovely Venus, Beauties bed;
But as the lillie and the blushing rose,
So white and red on him in order growes.
Oh would to God he would but pitty mee,
That love him more than any mortall wight!
Then he and I with love would soone agree,
That now cannot abide his sutors sight.
O would to God, so I might have my fee,
My lips were honey, and thy mouth a bee.
Then shouldst thou sucke my sweete and my faire flower,
That now is ripe and full of honey-berries;
Then would I leade thee to my pleasant bower,
Fild full of grapes, of mulberries, and cherRies:
Then shouldst thou be my waspe or else my bee,
I would thy hive, and thou my honey, bee.
And every morne by dawning of the day,
When Phoebus riseth with a blushing face,
Silvanus chapped-clarkes shall chaunt a lay,
And play thee hunts-up in thy resting place:
My cotte thy chamber, my bosome thy bed
Shall be appointed for thy sleepy head.
And when it pleaseth thee to walke abroad
Abroad into the fields to take fresh ayre,
The meades with Floras treasure should be strowde,
The mantled meaddowes, and the fields so fayre.
And by a silver well with golden sands
Ile sit me downe, and wash thine ivory hands.
And in the sweltering heate of summer time,
I would make cabinets for thee, my love
Sweet-smelling arbours made of eglantine
Should be thy shrine, and I would be thy dove.
Cool cabinets of fresh greene laurell boughs
Should shadow us, ore-set with thicke-set eughes.
Or if thou list to bathe thy naked limbs
Within the cristall of a pearle-bright brooke,
Paved with dainty pibbles to the brims,
Or cleare, wherein thyselfe mayst looke;
Weele go to Ladon, whose still trickling noyse
Will lull thee fast asleepe amids thy joyes.
Or if thou darst to climbe the highest trees
For apples, cherries, medlars, peares, or plumbs.
Nuts, walnuts, filbreads, chestnuts, cervices,
The hoary peach, when snowy winter comes;
I have fine orchards full of mellowed fruite,
Which I will give thee to obtaine my sute.
Not proud Alcynous himselfe can vaunt
Of goddlier orchards or of braver trees
Than I have planted; yet thou will not graunt
My simple sute, but like the honey beff
Thou sukst the flowre till all the sweet be gone,
And loost mee for my coyne till I have none.
If thou wilt come and dwell with me at home,
My sheepcote shall be strowed with new greene rushes
Weele haunt the trembling prickets as they rome
About the fields, along the hauthorne bushes;
I have a pie-bald curre to hunt the hare,
So we will live with daintie forrest fare.
Nay, more than this, I have a garden plot,
Wherein there wants nor hearbs, nor roots, nor flowers;
Flowers to smell, roots to eate, hearbs for the pot,
And dainty shelters when the welkin lowers:
Sweet-smelling beds of lillies, and of roses,
Which rosemary banks and lavendar incloses.
There growes the gilliflower, the mynt, the dayzie
Both red and white, the blue-veyned violet;
The purple hyacinth, the spyke to please thee,
The scarlet dyde carnation bleeding yet:
The sage, the savery, and sweet margerum,
Isop, tyme, and eye-bright, good for the blinde and dumbe.
And manie thousand more I cannot name
Of hearbs and flowers that in gardens grow,
I have for thee, and coneyees that be tame,
Young rabbits, white as swan, and blacke as crow;
Some speckled here and there with daintie spots:
And more I have two mylch and milke-white goates.
All these and more Ile give thee for thy love,
If these and more may tyce thy love away:
I have a pigeon-house, in it a dove,
Which I love more than mortall tongue can say;
And last of all, I'll give thee a little lamb
To play withal, new-weanid from his dam.
But it thou wilt not pittie my complaint,
My teares, nor vowes, nor oathes, made to thy beautie:
What shall I do but languish, die, or faint,
Since thous dost scorne my teares, and my soules duetie:
And teares contemned, vowes and oaths must faile,
And where teares cannot, nothing can prevaile.
Compare the love of faire Queene Guendolin
With mine, and thou shalt see how she doth love thee:
I love thee for thy qualities divine,
But shee doth love another swaine above thee:
I love thee for thy gifts, she for hir pleasure;
I for thy vertue, she for beauties treasure.
And alwaies, I am sure, it cannot last.
But sometime Nature will denie those dimples:
Instead of beautie, when thy blossom's past,
Thy face will be deformed full of wrinckles;
Then she that lov'd thee for thy beauties sake,
When age drawes on, thy love will soone forsake.
But I that lov'd thee for thy gifts divine,
In the December of thy beauties waning,
Will still admire with joy those lovely eine,
That now behold me with their beauties baning.
Though Januarie will never come again,
Yet Aprill yeres will come in showers of raine.
When will my May come, that I may embrace thee?
When will the hower be of my soules joying?
Why dost thou seeke in mirth still to disgrace mee?
Whose mirth's my health, whose griefe's my hearts annoying:
Thy bane my bale, thy blisse my blessedness,
Thy ill my hell, thy weale my welfare is.
Thus doo I honour thee that I love thee so,
And love thee so, that so do honour thee
Much more than anie mortall man doth know,
Or can discerne by love or jealozie:
But if that thou disdainst my loving ever,
Oh happie I, if I had loved never!
Plus fellis quam mellis amor.

HTML Paul Halsall

The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 2 April 2023 [CV]