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MERRY Margaret,
As midsummer flower,
Gentle as falcon,
Or hawk of the tower ;
With solace and gladness,
Much mirth and no madness,
All good and no badness;
So joyously,
So maidenly,
So womanly
Her demeaning,
In everything
Far, far passing
That I can indite,
Or suffice to write,
Of merry Margaret,
As midsummer flower,
Gentle as falcon
Or hawk of the tower;
As patient and as still,
And as full of good-will,
As fair Isiphil,
Sweet Pomander,
Good Cassander ;
Steadfast of thought,
Well made, well wrought;
Far may be sought
Ere you can find
So courteous, so kind,
As merry Margaret,
This midsummer flower,
Gentle as falcon,
Or hawk of the tower.


'Twixt the souls of friend and friend : But upon the fairest boughs,

Or at every sentence' end, Will I Rosalinda write ;

Teaching all that read to know The quintessence of every sprite

Heaven would in little show. Therefore Heaven nature charged

That one body should be filled With all graces wide enlarged :

Nature presently distilled Helen's cheek, but not her heart,

Cleopatra's majesty, Atalanta's better part,

Sad Lucretia's modesty. Thus Rosalind of many parts

By heavenly synod was devised; Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,

To have the touches dearest prized. Heaven would that she these gifts should have,

And I to live and die her slave.



On a hill there grows a flower,

Fair befall the dainty sweet! By that flower there is a bower

Where the heavenly muses meet.

In that bower there is a chair,

Fringéd all about with gold, Where doth sit the fairest fair

That ever eye did yet behold.

It is Phillis, fair and bright,

She that is the shepherd's joy, She that Venus did despite,

And did blind her little boy.

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Who would not that face admire ?

Who would not this saint adore ? Who would not this sight desire ?

Though he thought to see no more.

Why should this desert silent be?

For it is unpeopled ? No; Tongues I 'll hang on every tree,

That shall civil sayings show: Some, how brief the life of man

Runs his erring pilgrimage; That the stretching of a span

Buckles in his sum of age : Some, of violated vows

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I do not love thee for that fair
Rich fan of thy most curious hair,
Though the wires thereof be drawn
Finer than the threads of lawn,
And are softer than the leaves
On which the subtle spider weaves.

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 sayen,
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 sealed 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 aye.

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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.







The forward violet thus did I chide : -
Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet

that smells,
If not from my love's breath ? the purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells,
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair :
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
Pne blushing shame, another white despair ;

You meaner beauties of the night,

That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light,

You common people of the skies,

What are you when the moon shall rise ? You curious chanters of the wood,

That warble forth Dame Nature's lays, Thinking your passions understood

By your weak accents, - what's your praise When Philomel her voice shall raise ?

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