Thomas Randolph

A Pastorall Courtship

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Behold these woods, and mark my Sweet
How all these boughes together meet!
The Cedar his fair arms displayes;
And mixes branches with the Bayes.
The lofty Pine dains to descend,
And sturdy Oaks do gently bend.
One with another subt'ly weaves
Into one loom their various leaves;
As all ambitious were to be
Mine and my Phyllis canopie!

Let's enter, and discourse our Loves;
These are, my dear, no tell-tale groves!
There dwell no Pyes, nor Parrots there,
To prate again the words they heare.
Nor babling Echo, that will tell
The neighbouring hills one syllable.

Being enter'd lets together lye,
Twin'd like the Zodiaks Gemini!
How soon the flowers do sweeter smell?
And all with emulation swell
To be thy pillow? These for thee
Were meant a bed, and thou for me,
And I may with as just esteem
Presse thee, as thou mayst lie on them.
And why so coy? What dost thou fear?
There lurks no speckled Serpent here.
No Venemous snake makes this his rode,
No Canker, nor the loathsome Toad.
And yon poor spider on the tree,
Thy spinster will, no poysoner be,
There is no Frog to leap and fright
Thee from my arms and break delight;
Nor Snail that o're thy coat shall trace,
And leave behind a slimy lace.
This is the hallowed shrine of Love,
No wasp nor hornet haunts this grove,
Nor Pismire to make pimples rise
Upon thy smooth and ivory thighes.
No danger in these shades doth lye,
Nothing that wears a sting: but I:
And in it doth no venome dwell,
Although perchance it make thee swell.

Being set, let's sport a while my Fair,
I will tie Love-knots in thy hair.
See Zephyrus through the leaves doth stray,
And has free liberty to play:
And braids thy locks: And shall I find
Lesse favour then a saucy winde?
Now let me sit, and fix my eyes,
On thee that art my Paradise.
Thou art my all; the spring remains
In the fair violets of thy vains:
And that it is a summers day,
Ripe Cherries in thy lips display.
And when for Autumn I would seek.
'Tis in the Apples of thy cheek.
But that which onely moves my smart,
Is to see winter in thy heart.
Strange, when at once in one appear
All the four seasons of the year!
I'le clasp that neck where should be set
A rich and Orient Carkanet;
But swains are poor, admit of then
More naturall chains, the arms of men.
Come let me touch those breasts, that swell
Like two fair mountains, and may well
Be stil'd the Alpes, but that I fear
The snow has lesse of whitenesse there.
But stay (my Love) a fault I spie,
Why are these two fair fountains dry?
Which if they run, no Muse would please
To tast of any spring but these.
And Ganymed employ'd should be
To fetch his love Nectar from thee.
Thou shalt be Nurse fair Venus swears,
To the next Cupid that she bears.
Were it not then discreetly done
To ope one spring to let two run?
Fy, fy, this Belly, Beauty's mint,
Blushes to see no coyn stampt in't.
Employ it then, for though it be
Our wealth it is your royalty;
And beauty will have currant grace
That bears the image of your face.
How to the touch the Ivory thighes
Veil gently, and again do rise,
As plyable to impression
As Virgins wax, or Barian stone
Dissolv'd to softnesse; plump, and full,
More white and soft then Cotsall wool,
Or Cotten from from the Indian Tree,
Or prety silk-worms huswifery.
These on two marble pillars rais'd
Make me in doubt which should be prais'd;
They, or their Columnes must; but when
I view those feet that I have seen
So nimbly tript it o're the Lawns,
That all the Satyrs and the Fawns
Have stood amaz'd, when they would passe
Over the layes, and not a grasse
Would feel the weight, nor rush, nor bent
Drooping betray which way you went,
O then I felt my hot desires
Burn more, and flame with double fires.
Come let those thighes, those legs those feet
VVith mine in thousand windings meet.
And woven in more subtle twines
Then VVoodbine, Ivie, or the Vines.
For when Love sees us circling thus
He'le like no Arbour more then us.
Now let us kisse, would you be gone?
Manners at least allows me one.
Blush you at this? pretty one stay,
And I will take that kisse away,
Thus with a second, and that too
A third wipes off; so will we go
To numbers that the stars out-run,
And all the Atoms in the Sun.
For though we kisse till Phoebus ray
Sink in the seas, and kissing stay
Till his bright beams return again,
There can of all but one remain:
And if for one good manners call,
In one, good manners, grant me all.

Are kisses all? they but fore-run
Another duty to be done.
What would you of that Minstrell say
That tunes his pipes and will not play?
Say what are blossoms in their prime,
That ripen not in harvest time?
Or what are buds that ne're disclose
The long'd for sweetnesse of the rose?
So kisses to a Lover's guest
Are invitations, not the feast.
See every thing that we espie
Is fruitfull saving you and I:
View all the fields, survey the bowers,
The buds, the blossoms, and the flowers,
And say if they so rich could be
In barren base Virginity.
Earth's not so coy as you are now,
But willingly admits the Plow.
For how had man or beast been fed,
If she had kept her maiden-head?
Coelia once coy as are the rest
Hangs now a babe on either breast,
And Chloris since a man she took,
Has lesse of greennesse in her look.
Our Ewes have ean'd, and every damme
Gives suck unto her tender Lamb.
As by these groves we walk'd along,
Some birds were feeding of their young.
Some on their egges did brooding sit,
Sad that they had not hatch'd them yet.
Those that were slower then the rest,
Were busie building of the nest.
You only will not pay the fine,
You vow'd and ow'd to Valentine.
As you were angling in the brook
With silken line and silver hook,
Through Chrystall streams you might descry
How vast and numberlesse a fry
The fish hath spawn'd, that all along
The banks were crowded with the throng.
And shall fair Venus more command
By water then she does by land?
The Phænix chast, yet when she dies,
Her selfe with her owne ashes lies.
But let thy love more wisely thrive
To do the act while th' art alive.
'Tis time we left our childish Love
That trades for toyes, and now approve
Our abler skill; they are not wise
Look babies only in the eyes.
That smoother'd smile shewes what you meant,
And modest silence gives consent.
That which we now prepare, will be
Best done in silent secresie.
Come do not weep, what is't you fear?
Lest some should know what we did here.
See not a flower you prest is dead,
But re-erects his bended head;
That whosoe're shall passe this way
Knows not by these where Phyllis lay.
And in your forehead there is none
Can read the act that we have done.
Poor credulous and simple maid!
By what strange wiles art thou bearaid!
A treasure thou hast lost to day
For which thou canst no ransome pay.
How black art thou, transform'd with sin!
How strange a guilt gnaws me within?
Grief will convert this red to pale;
When every Wake, and Whitsund-ale
Shall talk my shame; break, break sad heart
There is no Medicine for my smart,
No herb nor balm can cure my sorrow,
Unlesse you meet again to morrow.

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