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RALEIGH, Walter


The nymph's reply to the shepherd


If all the world and love were young,

And truth in every shepherd's tongue,

These pretty pleasures might me move

To live with thee and be thy love.


Time drives the flocks from field to fold,

When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;

And Philomel becometh dumb;

The rest complain of cares to come.


The flowers do fade, and wanton fields

To wayward winter reckoning yields;

A honey tongue, a heart of gall,

Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.


Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy bed of roses,

Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,

Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,

In folly ripe, in reason rotten.


Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,

Thy coral clasps and amber studs,

All these in me no means can move

To come to thee and be thy love.


But could youth last and love still breed,

Had joys no date nor age no need,

Then these delights my mind might move

To live with thee and be thy love.


A Farewell to False Love


Farewell, false love, the oracle of lies,

A mortal foe and enemy to rest,

An envious boy, from whom all cares arise,

A bastard vile, a beast with rage possessed,

A way of error, a temple full of treason,

In all effects contrary unto reason.


A poisoned serpent covered all with flowers,

Mother of sighs, and murderer of repose,

A sea of sorrows whence are drawn such showers

As moisture lend to every grief that grows;

A school of guile, a net of deep deceit,

A gilded hook that holds a poisoned bait.


A fortress foiled, which reason did defend,

A siren song, a fever of the mind,

A maze wherein affection finds no end,

A raging cloud that runs before the wind,

A substance like the shadow of the sun,

A goal of grief for which the wisest run.


A quenchless fire, a nurse of trembling fear,

A path that leads to peril and mishap,

A true retreat of sorrow and despair,

An idle boy that sleeps in pleasure's lap,

A deep mistrust of that which certain seems,

A hope of that which reason doubtful deems.


Sith then thy trains my younger years betrayed,

And for my faith ingratitude I find;

And sith repentance hath my wrongs bewrayed,

Whose course was ever contrary to kind:

False love, desire, and beauty frail, adieu.

Dead is the root whence all these fancies grew.