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If women could be fair, and yet not. fond,

Or that their love were firm, not fickle still,
I would not marvel that they make men bond

By service long to purchase their good will ;
But when I see how frail those creatures are,
I muse that men forget themselves so far.


To mark the choice they make, and how they change,

How oft from Phæbus they do flee to Pan; Unsettled still, like haggards wild they range,

These gentle birds that fly from man to man ; Who would not scorn and shake them from the fist, And let them fly, fair fools, which way they list ?



Yet for disport we fawn and flatter both,

To pass the time when nothing else can plcase,
And train them to our lure with subtle oath,

Till, weary of their wiles, ourselves we ease;
And then we say when we their fancy try,
To play with fools, oh what a fool was I!

Earl of Oxford.



Give place, ye lovers, here before

That spent your boasts and brags in vain :
My lady's beauty passeth more

The best of yours, I dare well say'n,
Than doth the sun the candle light,
Or brightest day the darkest night.



And thereto hath a troth as just

As had Penelope the fair ;
For what she saith, ye may it trust,

As it by writing sealèd were ;
And virtues hath she many mo,
Than I with pen have skill to show.



I could rehearse, if that I would,

The whole effect of Nature's plaint, When she had lost the perfect mould,

The like to whom she could not paint : With wringing hands how she did cry, And what she said, I know it, I.


I know she swore with raging mind,

Her kingdom only set apart, There was no loss by law of kind

That could have gone so near her heart ; And this was chiefly all her pain : "She could not make the like again.'


Sith Nature thus gave her the praise

To be the chiefest work she wrought ;
In faith, methink! some better ways

On your behalf might well be sought,
Than to compare, as ye have done,
To match the candle with the sun.

Earl of Surrey.




When first mine eyes did view and mark

Thy beauty fair for to behold,
And when mine ears 'gan first to hark

The pleasant words that thou me told,
I would as then I had been free
From ears to hear, and eyes to see.


And when in mind I did consent

To follow thus my fancy's will, And when my heart did first relent

To taste such bait, myself to spill, I would my heart had been as thine, Or else thy heart as soft as mine.



O flatterer false ! thou traitor born,

What mischief more might thou devise
Than thy dear friend to have in scorn,

And him to wound in sundry wise ;
Which still a friend pretends to be,
And art not so by proof I see?
Fie, fie upon such treachery!

William Hunnis.




I do confess thou'rt smooth and fair,

And I might have gone near to love thee, Had I not found the slightest prayer

That lips could speak, had power to move thee; But I can let thee now alone, As worthy to be loved by none. I do confess thou’rt sweet, but find

Thee such an unthrift of thy sweets,
Thy favours are but like the wind,

That kisses everything it meets :
And since thou can with more than one,
Thou’rt worthy to be kissed by none.
The morning rose that untouched stands,

Armed with her briars, how sweetly smells ;
But, plucked and strained through ruder hands,

Her sweet no longer with her dwells.




But scent and beauty both are gone,
And leaves fall from her, one by one.
Such fate ere long will thee betide,

When thou hast handled been a while ;
Like sere flowers to be thrown aside ;-

And I will sigh, while some will smile,
To see thy love for more than one
Hath brought thee to be loved by none.

Sir Robert Aytoun.





While that the sun with his beams hot

Scorched the fruits in vale and mountain,
Philon the shepherd, late forgot,
Sitting beside a crystal fountain,

In shadow of a green oak tree

Upon his pipe this song played he: Adieu Love, adieu Love, untrue Love, Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu Love; Your mind is light, soon lost for new love. So long as I was in your sight,

I was your heart, your soul, and treasure ; And evermore you sobbed and sighed, Burning in flames beyond all measure :

Three days endured your love to me,

And it was lost in other three!
Adieu Love, adieu Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu Love;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.
Another shepherd you did sce,

To whom your heart was soon enchained ;
Full soon your love was leapt from me,

Full soon my place he had obtained.



Soon came a third, your love to win,

And we were out, and he was in.
Adieu Love, adieu Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu Love ;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.



Sure you have made me passing glad

That you your mind so soon removed,
Before that I the leisure had
To choose you for my best beloved :

For all your love was past and done

Two days before it was begun :-
Adieu Love, adieu Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu Love ;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.






Rudely thou wrongest my dear heart's desire,
In finding fault with her too portly pride :
The thing which I do most in her admire,
Is of the world unworthy most envíed ;
For in those lofty looks is close implied
Scorn of base things and sdeign of foul dishonour,
Threatening rash eyes which gaze on her so wide,
That loosely they ne dare to look upon her.
Such pride is praise, such portliness is honour;
That boldness innocence bears in her eyes;
And her fair countenance, like a goodly banner,
Spreads in defiance of all enemies.
Was never in this world ought worthy tried,
Without some spark of such self-pleasing pride.

Edmund Spenser.


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