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Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth, so apt to pluck a sweet.
[Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;}
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but, an Ethiope were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
My flocks feed not,
My ewes breed not,
My rams speed not,
All is amiss :
Love is dying,
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 plac'd without remove.
One silly cross
Wrought all my loss;
O frowning fortune, cursed, fickle dame!
For now I see,
More in women than in men remain.
5 Do not call it, &c.] This couplet is supplied from the song as given in Love's Labour's Lost, act iv. sc. 3.
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 0
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 7 to weep,
In howling-wise, to see my doleful plight.
How sighs resound
Through heartless ground,
Like a thousand vanquish'd men in bloody
Clear wells spring not,
Sweet birds sing not,
Green plants bring not
Forth; they die :
Herds stand weeping,
no deal] i. e. in no degree. ? With sighs so deep,
Procures, &c.] “ The dog procures (i. e, manages mat. ters) so as to weep.” Steevens. The whole passage
probably corrupt. Shakespeare certainly wrote none of this wretched piece. Malone in his last edition printed it as given in Weelkes's Madrigals.
Flocks all sleeping,
Nymphs back peeping
All our pleasure known to us poor swains,
All our merry meetings on the plains,
All our evening sport from us is 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:9
Must live alone,
Other help for him I see that there is none
Whenas thine eye hath chose the dame,
And stall’d the deer that thou should'st smite, 10
Let reason rule things worthy blame,
As well as fancy, 11 partial might : 12
Take counsel of some wiser head,
Neither too young, nor yet unwed.
8 luss] The reading in Weelkes's Madrigals: old copy,
9 moan] The reading in England's Helicon : old copy, " woe.”
10 smite] I have taken the liberty of altering the reading of the old copy
“strike” to “smite,” for the sake of the rhyme.
fancy) i. 12 might] i. e. power.-Malone in his last edition adopted Steevens's conjecture“ tike,” to rhyme with “ strike."
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 sell.
What though her frowning brows be bent,
Her cloudy looks will calm ere night;
And then too late she will repent,
That thus dissembled 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,
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,
Press never thou to choose anew :
When time shall serve, be thou not slack
To proffer, though she put thee 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.
not heard it said full oft,
A woman's nay doth stand for nought?
13 Think women still to strive with men,
To sin, and never for to saint:
There is no heaven, by holy then,
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'll not stick to round me i'th' ear,
To teach my tongue to be so long :
13 Think women, &c.] These four lines are scarcely intelli. gible: in a MS. copy of the poem, belonging to S. Lysons, Esq. they stand thus :
“ Think women love to match with men,
And not to live so like a saint:
Here is no heaven ; they holy then
Begin, when age doth them attaint.".