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SHEPHERD'S SONG. WE
E that have known no greater state
Than this we live in, praise our fate : For courtly silks in cares are spent, When country's russet breeds content. The power of sceptres we admire, But sheep-books for our use desire. Simple and low is our condition, For here with us is no ambition; We with the sun our flocks unfold, Whose rising makes their fleeces gold. “ Our music from the birds we borrow, They bidding us, we them, good-morrow."
Our habits are but coarse and plain, Yet they defend from wind and rain; As warm too, in an equal eye, As those be stain'd in scarlet dye. The shepherd, with his home-spun lass, As many merry hours doth pass As courtiers with their costly girls, Though richly deck'd in gold and pearls ; And, though but plain, to purpose woo, Nay often with less danger too. Those that delight in dainties store, One stomach feed at once, no more ; And, when with homely fare we feast, With us it doth as well digest; And many times we better speed, For our wild fruits no surfeits breed. If we sometimes the willow wear, By subtle swains that dare forswear, We wonder whence it comes, and fear They've been at court and learnt it there.
From Percy's Collection. IT chanc'd
of late a shepherd swain, That went to seek his straying sheep, Within the thicket, on the plain,
Espied a dainty nymph asleep. Her golden hair o'erspread her face,
Her careless arms abroad were cast, Her quiver had her pillow's place,
Her breast lay bare to every blast. The shepherd stood and gaz'd his fill,
Nought durst he do, nought durst he say ; When chance, or else perhaps his will,
Did guide the God of Love that way. The crafty boy thus sees her sleep,
Whom if she wak'd he durst not see, Behind her closely seeks to creep,
Before her nap should ended be. There come, he steals her shafts away,
And puts his own into their place; Nor dares he any longer stay,
But ere she wakes hies thence apace. Scarce was he gone but she awakes,
And spies thé shepherd standing by, Her bended bow, in haste she takes,
And at the simple swain lets fly. Forth flew the shaft, and pierc'd his heart,
That to the ground he fell with pain ; But up again forthwith he starts,
And to the nymph he ran amain. Amaz'd to see so strange a sight,
She shot, and shot, but all in vain ; The more his wounds, the more his might,
Love yielded strength amidst his pain,
Her angry eyes were great with tears,
She blames her hand, she blames her skill,
And try them on herself she will.
Each little touch will pierce thy heart;
Revenge is joy, the end is smart.
Her hauds were glov'd, but next her hand
That made the shepherd senseless stand. That breast she pierc'd, and through the breast
Love found an entry to her heart; At feeling of this new.come guest,
Lord ! how the gentle nymph did start. She runs not now, she shoots no more.
Away she throws both shaft and bow; She seeks for what she shunn'd before,
She thinks the shepherd's haste too slow.
The God of Love sat on a tree,
SOME there are as fair to see to,
But by art and not by nature;
From a Chorus in Julius Caesar.
Which, whilst it beauties rare array,
And by each wind is blown away ;
So, whilst the courage hottest boils,
It is with danger compast still,
As nature fails the body falls.
From the Aurora. O
Would to God a way were found,
That by some secret sympathy unknown,
Then blest, most blest were I,
I were the bappiest wight;
And mend me if they might.
The deepest rivers make least din,
The silent soul doth most abound in care, Then might my breast be read within,
A thousand volumes would be written there,
Might silence shew my mind,
Or looks my woes relate,
Would soon discern my state. Oft those that do deserve disdain,
For forging fancies get the best reward ;
Behold, by proof we see,
His fancies doth extend ;
Still fearing to offend.
To scornful ears, in a contemned scroll,
Henceforth I'll hide my losses,
That do my joys o'erthrow;
I shall them only show.
True models of my heart;
The power of passion, more than art.