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N time of yore when shepherds dwelt
Upon the mountain rocks;
And simple people never felt

The pain of lovers' mocks ;
But little birds would carry tales

'Twixt Susan and her sweeting;
And all the dainty nightingales

Did sing at lovers' meeting;
Then might you see what looks did pass
Where shepherds did assemble;
And where the life of true love was,

When hearts could not dissemble.

Then yea and nay was thought an oath
That was not to be doubted;
And when it came to faith and troth
We were not to be flouted.

Then did they talk of curds and cream,
Of butter, cheese, and milk;
There was no speech of sunny beam
Nor of the golden silk.

Then for a gift a row of pins,
A purse, a pair of knives;
Was all the way that love begins,
And so the shepherd wives.

But now we have so much ado,

And are so sore aggrieved; That when we go about to woo We cannot be believed.

Such choice of jewels, rings and chains That may but favour move;

And such intolerable pains

Ere one can hit on love. That if I still shall bide this life

'Twixt love and deadly hate; I will go learn the country life, Or leave the lover's state.







'OME hither, shepherd swain !
Sir, what do you require?


pray thee shew to me thy name!
My name is fond Desire.

When wert thou born, Desire?
In pomp and prime of May.
By whom, sweet boy, wert thou begot?
By fond Conceit, men say.

Tell me, who was thy nurse?
Fresh youth in sugared joy.
What was thy meat and daily food?
Sad sighs, with great annoy.

What hadst thou then to drink?
Unsavoury lovers' tears.

What cradle wert thou rocked in?
In hope devoid of fears.

What lulled thee then asleep?

Sweet speech, which likes me best. Tell me where is thy dwelling place? In gentle hearts I rest.

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What thing doth please thee most?
To gaze on beauty still.

Whom dost thou think to be thy foe?
Disdain of my good will.

Doth company displease?

Yes, surely, many one.
Where doth Desire delight to live?
He loves to live alone.

Doth either time or age
Bring him unto decay?
No! no, Desire both lives and dies
A thousand times a day.

Then fond Desire, farewell,

Thou art not mate for me,

I should be loth methinks to dwell
With such a one as thee.

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That it excels all other bliss

That earth affords or grows by kind:

Though much I want which most would have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely pomp, no wealthy store.
No force to win the victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,

No shape to feed a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall:
For why? my mind doth serve for all.

I see how plenty surfeits oft,

And hasty climbers soon do fall; I see that those which are aloft

Mishap doth threaten most of all; They get with toil, they keep with fear: Such cares my mind could never bear.

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