Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Extract from A Pastoral Courtship
By Thomas Randolph (1605–1635)
 
BEHOLD these woods, and mark, my sweet,
How all the boughs together meet?
The cedar his fair arms displays,
And mixes branches with the bays!
The lofty pine deigns to descend,        5
And sturdy oaks do gently bend.
One with another subtly weaves
Into one loom their various leaves,
As all ambitious were to be
Mine and my Phyllis’ canopy.        10
Let ’s enter and discourse our loves;
These are, my dear, no tell-tale groves!
There dwell no pies nor parrots there,
To prate again the words they hear,
Nor babbling echo, that will tell        15
The neighbouring hills one syllable.
*        *        *        *        *
Now let me sit, and fix mine eyes
On thee, that art my paradise.
Thou art my all; my spring remains
In the fair violets of thy veins;        20
And that you are my summer’s day,
Ripe cherries in thy lips display.
And when for autumn I would seek,
’Tis in the apples of thy cheek.
But that which only moves my smart,        25
Is to see winter in thy heart.
Strange, when at once in one appear
All the four seasons of the year!
I ’ll clasp that neck, where should be set
A rich and orient carcanet.        30
But swains are poor; admit of, then,
More natural chains—the arms of men.
 
 
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