Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
IV. Wooing and Winning
The Nymph’s Reply
Sir Walter Raleigh (1554?–1618)
 
IF all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd’s tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee, and be thy love.
 
Time drives the flocks from field to fold,        5
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb,
The rest complain of cares to come.
 
The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;        10
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall.
 
Thy gown, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, the kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,        15
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.
 
Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs;
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.        20
 
But could youth last, and love still breed,
Had joys no date, nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy love.
 
 
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