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Nicholas Breton (Николас Бретон)


Astrophel's Song of Phyllida and Corydon


Fair in a morn (O fairest morn!),
  Was never morn so fair,
There shone a sun, though not the sun
  That shineth in the air.
For the earth, and from the earth,
  (Was never such a creature!)
Did come this face (was never face
  That carried such a feature).
Upon a hill (O blessèd hill!
  Was never hill so blessèd),
There stood a man (was never man
  For woman so distressed):
This man beheld a heavenly view,
  Which did such virtue give
As clears the blind, and helps the lame,
  And makes the dead man live.
This man had hap (O happy man!
  More happy none than he);
For he had hap to see the hap
  That none had hap to see.
This silly swain (and silly swains
  Are men of meanest grace):
Had yet the grace (O gracious gift!)
  To hap on such a face.
He pity cried, and pity came
  And pitied so his pain,
As dying would not let him die
  But gave him life again.
For joy whereof he made such mirth
  As all the woods did ring;
And Pan with all his swains came forth
  To hear the shepherd sing;
But such a song sung never was,
  Nor shall be sung again,
Of Phyllida the shepherds' queen,
  And Corydon the swain.
Fair Phyllis is the shepherds' queen,
  (Was never such a queen as she,)
And Corydon her only swain
  (Was never such a swain as he):
Fair Phyllis hath the fairest face
  That ever eye did yet behold,
And Corydon the constant'st faith
  That ever yet kept flock in fold;
Sweet Phyllis is the sweetest sweet
  That ever yet the earth did yield,
And Corydon the kindest swain
  That ever yet kept lambs in field.
Sweet Philomel is Phyllis' bird,
  Though Corydon be he that caught her,
And Corydon doth hear her sing,
  Though Phyllida be she that taught her:
Poor Corydon doth keep the fields
  Though Phyllida be she that owes them,
And Phyllida doth walk the meads,
  Though Corydon be he that mows them:
The little lambs are Phyllis' love,
  Though Corydon is he that feeds them,
The gardens fair are Phyllis' ground,
  Though Corydon is he that weeds them.
Since then that Phyllis only is
  The only shepherd's only queen;
And Corydon the only swain
  That only hath her shepherd been,--
Though Phyllis keep her bower of state,
  Shall Corydon consume away?
No, shepherd, no, work out the week,
  And Sunday shall be holiday.



Nicholas Breton's other poems:
  1. A Pastoral of Phyllis and Corydon
  2. Aglaia
  3. Corydon's Supplication to Phyllis
  4. A Report Song in a Dream, between a shepherd and his nymph
  5. A Sweet Pastoral


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