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With scalding sighs, for lack of gale,
Furthering his hope, that is his sail

, Toward me, the sweet port of his availe.1

3 Alas! how oft in dreams I see

Those eyes that were my food; Which sometime so delighted me

That yet they do me good : Wherewith I wake with his return, Whose absent flame did make me burn : But when I find the lack, Lord ! how I mourn.

4 When other lovers in arms across,

Rejoice their chief delight;
Drowned in tears to mourn my loss,

I stand the bitter night
In my window, where I may see
Before the winds how the clouds flee :
Lo! what mariner love hath made of me.

5 And in green waves when the salt flood

Doth rise by rage of wind,
A thousand fancies in that mood

Assail my restless mind.
Alas! now drencheth 2 my sweet foe,
That with the spoil of my heart did go,
And left me; but, alas ! why did he so?

6 And when the seas wax calm again,

To chase from me annoy,
My doubtful hope doth cause me plain ;

So dread cuts off my joy.

' • Port of his availe : ' port where he intends to lower his sails.--* • Drencheth :' drowneth.

Thus is my wealth mingled with woe:
And of each thought a doubt doth grow;
Now he comes! will he come? alas ! no, no!




In winter's just return, when Boreas 'gan his reign,
And every tree unclothèd fast, as nature taught them plain :
In misty morning dark, as sheep are then in hold,
I hied me fast, it sat me on, my sheep for to unfold.
And as it is a thing that lovers have by fits,
Under a palm I heard one cry as he had lost his wits,
Whose voice did ring so shrill in uttering of his plaint,
That I amazed was to hear how love could him attaint.
'Ah! wretched man,' quoth he ; 'come, death, and rid

this woe;

A just reward, a happy end, if it may chance thee so. 10 Thy pleasures past have wrought thy woe without redress; If thou hadst never felt no joy, thy smart had been the

less.' And, reckless of his life, he 'gan both sigh and groan : A rueful thing methought it was, to hear him make such


'Thou cursed pen,' said he, 'woe-worth the bird thee

bare ;

The man, the knife, and all that made thee, woe be to

their share : Woe-worth the time and place where I so could indite ; And woe be it yet once again, the pen that so can write.

1 • Wealth : ' well-being.

Unhappy hand! it had been happy time for me, 19
If when to write thou learnèd first, unjointed hadst thou be.'
Thus cursèd he himself, and every other wight,
Save her alone whom love him bound to serve both day

and night.
Which when I heard, and saw how he himself for-did,
Against the ground with bloody strokes, himself e'en

there to rid; Had been my heart of flint, it must have melted tho, 2 For in


life I never saw a man so full of woe. With tears for his redress I rashly to him ran, And in my arms I caught him fast, and thus I spake

him than : • What woful wight art thou, that in such heavy case Torments thyself with such despite, here in this desert

30 Wherewith, as all aghast, fulfill’d with ire and dread, He cast on me a staring look, with colour pale and dead: 'Nay, what art thou,'quoth he,' that in this heavy plight Dost find me here, most woful wretch, that life hath in

despite ? 'I am,' quoth I, “but poor, and simple in degree, A shepherd's charge I have in hand, unworthy though

I be.' With that he gave a sigh, as though the sky should fall, And loud, alas ! he shriekèd oft, and, ‘Shepherd,' 'gan

place ?

he call,

Come, bie thee fast at once, and print it in thy heart, So thou shalt know, and I shall tell thee, guiltless how I smart.'

40 His back against the tree, sore feebled all with faint, With weary sprite he stretch'd him up, and thus he told his plaint:

1. For-did : ' destroyed.—. Tho :' then.

"Once in my heart,' quoth he, ‘it chancèd me to love 43 Such one, in whom hath Nature wrought, her cunning

for to prove;

And sure I cannot say, but many years were spent,
With such good will so recompensed, as both we were

Whereto then I me bound, and she likewise also,
The sun should run his course awry, ere we this faith

forego. Who joyed then but I ? who had this worldès bliss ? Who might compare a life to mine, that never thought on this?

60 But dwelling in this truth, amid my greatest joy, Is me befallen a greater loss than Priam had of Troy. She is reversed clean, and beareth me in hand, That my deserts have given cause to break this faithful


And for my just excuse availeth no defence.
Now know’st thou all; I can no more ; but, shepherd,

hie thee hence,
And give him leave to die, that may no longer live :
Whose record, lo! I claim to have, my death I do forgive;
And eke, when I am gone, be bold to speak it plain, 59
Thou hast seen die the truest man that ever love did pain.'
Wherewith he turn'd him round, and gasping oft for breath,
Into his arms a tree he raught, and said : Welcome my

death! Welcome, a thousandfold now dearer unto me Than should, without her love to live, an emperor to be.' Thus in this woful state he yielded up the ghost; And little knoweth his lady, what a lover she hath lost. Whose death when I beheld, no marvel was it, right For pity through my heart did bleed, to see so piteous


My blood from heat to cold oft changèd wonders sore; 60 A thousand troubles there I found I never knew before ; 'Tween dread and dolour so my sprites were brought in

fear, That long it was ere I could call to mind what I did

there. But as each thing hath end, so had these pains of mine: The furies pass’d, and I my wits restored by length of

time. Then as I could devise, to seek I thought it best Where I might find some worthy place for such a corse

to rest; And in my mind it came, from thence not far away, Where Cressid's love, King Priam's son, the worthy

Troilus lay: By him I made his tomb, in token he was true, And as to him belongèd well, I cover'd it with blue. 80 Whose soul by angels' power departed not so soon, But to the heavens, lo! it fled, for to receive his doom.



Good ladies ! ye that have your pleasure in exile,
Step in your foot, come, take a place, and mourn with

me awhile : And such as by their lords do set but little price, Let them sit still, it skills them not what chance comes

on the dice.

1. Blue: 'the colour of constancy. Burns says, “The hyacinth for constancy, as the unchanging blue.' Each colour was held significant of character.

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