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My flocks feed not,*
Causer of this.
All my merry jigs are quite forgot,
Wrought all my loss;
O frowning fortune, cursed, fickle dame!
More in women than in men remain.
In black mourn I,
My shepherd's pipe can sound no deal,||
My curtail dog that wont to have play'd,
My sighs so deep,
Procure** to weep,
In howling-wise, to see my doleful plight.
Through heartless ground,++
Like a thousand vanquish❜d men in bloody fight!
Clear wells spring not,
Forth; they die:
*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. + Denial. The French renier. § 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,
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,
Take counsel of some wiser head,
And when thou com'st thy tale to tell,
But plainly say thou lov'st her well,
The strongest castle, tower, and town,
Serve always with assured trust,
When time shall serve, be thou not slack
What though her frowning brows be bent,
And twice desire, ere it be day
What though she strive to try her strength,
* With studied or polished language.
The wiles and guiles that women work,
Were kisses all the joys in bed,
But soft; enough,-too much I fear,
Yet will she blush, here be it said,
TAKE, oh, take those lips away,*
That so sweetly were forsworn;
Lights that do mislead the morn:
Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
Are of those that April wears.
LET the bird of loudest lay,t
*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
There is one tree, the phenix' throne; one phoenix
But thou shrieking harbinger,
+ 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 w ld become common.