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Whereat full oft I smiled,

To see how all these three, From boy to man, from man to boy, Would chop and change degree:

And musing thus, I think,

The case is very strange,

That man from wealth, to live in woe, Doth ever seek to change.

Thus thoughtful as I lay,

I saw my withered skin,

How it doth show my dented thews,
The flesh was worn so thin;

And eke my toothless chaps,
The gates of my right way,
That opes and shuts as I do speak,
Do thus unto me say:

"The white and hoarish hairs,
The messengers of age,
That show, like lines of true belief,
That this life doth assuage;

"Bid thee lay hand, and feel

Them hanging on my chin.
The which do write two ages past,
The third now coming in.

"Hang up, therefore, the bit
Of thy young wanton time;
And thou that therein beaten art,
The happiest life define."

Whereat I sighed, and said,

"Farewell my wonted joy!

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Truss up thy pack, and trudge from me, COME live with me, and be my love,

To every little boy;

"And tell them thus from me, Their time most happy is,

If to their time they reason had, To know the truth of this."

And we will all the pleasures prove,

That valleys, groves, and hills and fields, Wood or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,

Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks

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By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers and a kirtle,
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and


For thy delight, each May-morning: If these delights thy mind may move, Then live with me, and be my love.




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,
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;
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
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.


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.


GIVE me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon;
My scrip of joy, immortal diet;
My bottle of salvation;

My gown of glory (hope's true gauge),
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.
Blood must be my body's 'balmer,
Whilst my soul, a quiet Palmer,
Travelleth towards the land of Heaven;
Over the silver mountains,
No other balm will there be given.

Where spring the nectar fountains,
There will I kiss the bowl of bliss,
And drink mine everlasting fill
Upon every milken hill;
My soul will be a-dry before,
But after, it will thirst no more.
Then, by that happy, blissful day,

More peaceful pilgrims I shall see, That have cast off their rags of clay, And walk apparelled fresh, like me.


Go, soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand!
Fear not to touch the best,
The truth shall be thy warrant :
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Go, tell the court it glows,
And shines like rotten wood;
Go, tell the church it shows
What's good, and doth no good:
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

Tell potentates they live

Acting by others' actions; Not loved unless they give, Not strong but by their factions: If potentates reply, Give potentates the lie.

Tell men of high condition

That rule affairs of state,

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