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My flocks feed not,*
My ewes breed not,
My rams speed not,
All is amiss:
Love's denying,†
Faith's defying,
Heart's renying,+

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,


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 wethers' bell rings doleful knell;

My curtail dog that wont to have play'd,
Plays not at all, but seems afraid;

My sighs so deep,

Procure** to weep,

In howling-wise, to see my doleful plight.
How sighs resound

Through heartless ground, t

Like a thousand vanquish'd men in bloody fight!

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* This sonnet is also found in England's Helicon, 1600. It is there entitled The Unknown Sheepherd's Complaint; and subscribed Ignoto. It is likewise printed in a collection of Madrigals, by Thomas Weelkes, 4to., 1597. The French renier.

+ Denial.

§ Deserted.

I. e. in no degree, more or less. I. e. a dog which, not paying tax as a game dog, had its tail cut off. **I. e. make the dog. Ground that is exhausted.

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 sweet content, the cause of all my moan: Poor Coridon

Must live alone,

Other help for him I see that there is none.


When as thine eye hath chose the dame,
And stall'd the deer that thou shouldst strike,
Let reason rule things worthy blame,

As well as fancy, partial tike:

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 sell.

And to her will frame all thy ways;
Spare not to spend, and chiefly there
Where thy desert may merit praise,
By ringing always in her 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,
Seek never thou to choose anew:

When time shall serve, be thou not slack
To proffer, though she put thee back.

What though her frowning brows be bent,
Her cloudy looks will clear ere night;
And then too late she will repent,

That she dissembled her delight;

And twice desire, ere it be day

That with such scorn she put away.

What though she strive to try her strength,
And bant 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."

* With studied or polished language.

† Curse.

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 love to match with men,
And not to live so like a saint:
There is no heaven; they holy then
Begin when age doth them attaint.
Were kisses all the joys in bed,
One woman would another wed.

But soft; enough,-too much I fear,
For if my lady hear my song;
She will not stick to wring mine ear,
To teach my tongue to be so long:
Yet will she blush, here be it said,

To hear her secrets so bewray'd.

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LET the bird of loudest lay,t
On the sole Arabian tree,+
Herald sad and trumpet be,

To whose sound chaste wings obey.

*This little poem is not printed in The Passionate Pilgrim, probably because it was not written so early as 1599. The first stanza of it is introduced in Measure for Measure. In Fletcher's Bloody Brother it is found entire. Whether the second stanza was also written by Shakspeare cannot now be ascertained. All the songs, however, introduced in our author's plays, appear to have been his own composition; and the present contains an expression ("Seals of love, but seal'd in vain ") of which he seems to have been peculiarly fond.

† In 1601, a book was published entitled "Love's Martyr, or Rosalin's Complaint, Allegorically shadowing the Truth of Love, in the constant Fate of the Phoenix and Turtle. A Poem enterlaced with much Varietie and Raritie; now first translated out of the venerable Italian Torquato Cæliano, by Robert Chester. With the true Legend of famous King Arthur, the last of the nine Worthies; being the first Essay of a new British Poet: collected out of diverse authentical Records. To these are added some new Compositions of several modern Writers, whose names are subscribed to their severall Workes; upon the first Subject, viz. the Phoenix and Turtle." Among these new compositions is the following poem, subscribed with our author's name.

"Now I will believe

That there are unicorns; that in Arabia

There is one tree, the phoenix' throne; one phoenix
At this hour reigning there"-Tempest.

But thou shrieking harbinger,
Foul pre-currer of the fiend,
Augur of the fever's end,*

To this troop come thou not near.
From this session interdict
Every fowl of tyrant wing,
Save the eagle, feather'd king:
Keep the obsequy so strict.
Let the priest in surplice white,
That defunctive music can,t
Be the death-divining swan,
Lest the requiem lack his right.
And thou, treble-dated crow,
That thy sable gender mak'st
With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st,t
'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.
Here the anthem doth commence :-
Love and constancy is dead;
Phoenix and the turtle fled
In a mutual flame from hence.
So they loved, as love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distincts, division none:
Number there in love was slain.
Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
Distance, and no space was seen
"Twixt the turtle and his queen:
But in them it were a wonder.§
So between them love did shine,
That the turtle saw his right ||
Flaming in the phoenix' sight:
Either was the other's mine.
Property was thus appall❜d,
That the self was not the same; T
Single nature's double name
Neither two nor one was call'd.

The screech-owl.

+ For con; i. e. knows, understands tune, real music.

I suppose this expression means, that the crow, or raven, continues its race by the breath it gives to them as its parent, and by that which it takes from other animals, i. e. by first producing its young from itself, and then providing for their support by depredation.

§ I.e. So extraordinary a phenomenon as hearts remote, yet not asunder, &c., would have excited astonishment anywhere else except in these two birds.

I. e. the turtle saw those qualities which were his right, which were peculiarly appropriated to him, in the phoenix.

I. e. this communication of appropriated qualities alarmed the power that presides over property. Finding that the self was not the same, he began to fear that nothing would remain distinct and individual; that all things would become common.

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