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Me so oft my fancy drew
Here and there, that I ne'er knew
Where to place desire before
So that range it might no more;
But as he that passeth by
Where, in all her jollity,
Flora's riches in a row
Doth in seemly order grow,
And a thousand flowers stand
Bending as to kiss his hand;
Out of which delightful store
One he may take and no more;
Long he pausing doubteth whether
Of those fair ones he should gather.
First the Primrose courts his
Then a Cowslip he espies;
Next the Pansy seems to woo him,
Then Carnations bow unto him;
Which whilst that enamour'd swain
From the stalk intends to strain,
As half-fearing to be seen
Prettily her leaves between
Peeps the Violet, pale to see
That her virtues slighted be;
Which so much his liking wins
That to seize her he begins.
Yet before he stoop'd so low
He his wanton eye did throw
On a stem that grew more high,
And the Rose did there espy.
Who, beside her precious scent,
Did display her goodly breast,
Where he found at full express'd
All the good that Nature showers
On a thousand other flowers ;
Wherewith he affected takes it,
His beloved flower he makes it,
And without desire of more
Walks through all he saw before.
So I wandering but erewhere
Through the garden of this isle,
Saw rich beauties I confess,
And in number numberless.
Yea, so differing lovely too,
That I had a world to do
Ere I could set up my rest,
Where to choose and choose the best.
Thus I fondly fear’d, till Fate
(Which I must confess in that
Did a greater favour to me
Than the world can malice do me)
Show'd to me that matchless flower,
Subject for this song of our;
Whose perfection having eyed,
Reason instantly espied
That Desire, which ranged abroad,
There would find a period :
And no marvel if it might,
For it there hath all delight,
And in her hath nature placed
What each several fair one graced.
Let who list for me advance
The admired flowers of France,
Let who will praise and behold
The reserved Marigold;
Let the sweet-breath'd Violet now
Unto whom she pleaseth bow;
And the fairest Lily spread
Where she will her golden head ;
I have such a flower to wear
That for those I do not care.
Let the young and happy swains
Playing on the Britain plains
Court unblamed their shepherdesses,
And with their gold curlèd tresses
Toy uncensured, until I
Grudge at their prosperity.
Let all times, both present, past,
that shall be last, Vaunt the beauties they bring forth. I have found in one each worth,
That content I neither care
What the best before me were;
Nor desire to live and see
Who shall fair hereafter be;
For I know the hand of Nature
Will not make a fairer creature.
Now each creature joys the other,
Passing happy days and hours ;
One bird reports unto another
In the fall of silver showers;
Whilst the Earth, our common mother,
Hath her bosom deck'd with flowers.
Whilst the greatest torch of heaven
With bright rays warms Flora's lap, Making nights and days both even,
Cheering plants with fresher sap; My field of flowers quite bereaven,
Wants refresh of better hap.
Echo, daughter of the air,
Babbling guest of rocks and hills, Knows the name of my
fierce fair, And sounds the accents of my ills. Each thing pities my despair,
Whilst that she her lover kills.
Whilst that she–O cruel maid !
Doth me and my love despise,
My life's flourish is decay'd,
That depended on her eyes :
But her will must be obey'd-
And well he ends, for love who dies.
WHEREIN EACH THING RENEWS, SAVE ONLY THE LOVER
The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,
hath clad the hill and eke the vale : The nightingale with feathers new she sings; The turtle to her make hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs :
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
The fishes flete with new repaired scale.
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale;
The busy bee her honey now she mings; 1
Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale.
And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.
Earl of Surrey.
1 Mingles, mixes.