For now ingratefull Shepherdesse,
The greatest fauour which I misse
And faine the same would heere possesse,
Of all the rest is onely this
To die, bicause I would no more
Complaine against thee, as before.
Time onely will I thee accuse,
O time that art so great a friend
To greefes, and makest her refuse
My loue, who loues her without end.
For he that hath most part in thee
Is little woorth in loue we see.
Alas that euer I did loue
Too late a thing so passing faire,
And reason therefore that I prooue
To die for her in deepe despaire:
Since when her birth day did appeere
I was not borne that very yeere.
If I had beene, faire She pherdesse,
With thee, when I was in my prime
As now thou art, then more or lesse,
I had not wanted any time,
Delights and pastimes to present thee,
Nor thy sweete fauours to content mee.
For as for playing on a Pipe,
Or Rebecke with most sweetest sound
To touch with many a daintie stripe,
And dauncing best in all the towne,
Amongst the youthes to win the prise
All in my fauour did arise.
And therefore maruell not a whit,
If that in song I doe excell
Famous Amphion, as vnfit
(Compar’d with me) to beare the bell,
Since that my singing hath surmounted,
Better then he was euer counted.
Of fields that goodly graine doe beare
I plowe more acres then the rest:
And all my mountaines euery where,
And plaines that are for pastures best,
With flocks of sheepe and goates I cumber,
Mark’t with my mark that haue no nuÌ„ber.
But now what bootes my present store
(O cruell hap) for my delight?
Or that that hath beene heeretofore?
Since now it is forgotten quite.
Nay which is more, scorn’d and despis’d,
And vnto cruell death deuis’d.
Then (sweetest foe) let this auaile
To make thy hardest hart relent,
Strike downe of pride thy puffed saile,
When to thine eies age shall present,
That in the same thy braue perfection
Shall vade, and be in times subiection.
O Shepherdesse, thou art more hard
Then sturdy rocke consum’d in time:
But yet perhaps for thy reward
When thou hast lost thy golden prime,
Then freedomes want shall be thy paine,
Wherewith thou dost me now disdaine.
Wherefore let Loue take such de spite,
Reuenging one so much vnkinde,
That when all hopes forsake thee quite,
And comforts for thy troubled minde,
Then he may giue thee store of greefe,
And make despaire thy best releefe.
These and many other letters and songs he sent me; the which, if they had wrought their effect so much as my delight, he might then perhaps in his owne conâˆ£ceit haue thought himselfe a happie man, and I haue beene by this time an ill marâˆ£ried wife. But there was not any thing able to blot Montanus image out of my hart, who apparantly also satisfied my will with like words and deeds. We passed our liues away certaine yeeres in this ioy, vntill we thought with holy marriage to accomplish our happie daies, and rest. And though Montanus would haue tolde his Father of it before, to haue shewed the dutie of a good sonne, yet he would not do it, when I told him, how hardly his Father would thinke of it, by reason of the doâˆ£ting