Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PERIMEDES, THE BLACKSMITH: PHILLIS AND CORIDON, by ROBERT GREENE



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PERIMEDES, THE BLACKSMITH: PHILLIS AND CORIDON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Phillis kept sheep along the western plains
Last Line: Phillis was lov'd, and she lik'd coridon.
Subject(s): Courtship; Love - Beginnings; Man-woman Relationships; Shepherds & Shepherdesses; Male-female Relations


PHILLIS kept sheep along the western plains,
And Coridon did feed his flocks hard by:
This shepherd was the flower of all the swains
That trac'd the downs of fruitful Thessaly;
And Phillis, that did far her flocks surpass
In silver hue, was thought a bonny lass.

A bonny lass, quaint in her country 'tire,
Was lovely Phillis, Coridon swore so;
Her locks, her looks, did set the swain on fire,
He left his lambs, and he began to woo;
He look'd, he sigh'd, he courted with a kiss,
No better could the silly swad than this.

He little knew to paint a tale of love,
Shepherds can fancy, but they cannot say:
Phillis gan smile, and wily thought to prove
What uncouth grief poor Coridon did pay;
She ask'd him how his flocks or he did fare,
Yet pensive thus his sighs did tell his care.

The shepherd blush'd when Phillis question'd so,
And swore by Pan it was not for his flock[s];
"'Tis love, fair Phillis, breedeth all this woe,
My thoughts are trapt within thy lovely locks,
Thine eye hath pierc'd, thy face hath set on fire;
Fair Phillis kindleth Coridon's desire."

"Can shepherds love?" said Phillis to the swain.
"Such saints as Phillis," Coridon replied.
"Men when they lust can many fancies feign,"
Said Phillis. This not Coridon denied,
That lust had lies; "But love," quoth he, "says truth:
Thy shepherd loves, then, Phillis, what ensu'th?"

Phillis was won, she blush'd and hung the head;
The swain stept to, and cheer'd her with a kiss:
With faith, with troth, they struck the matter dead;
So usèd they when men thought not amiss:
This love begun and ended both in one;
Phillis was lov'd, and she lik'd Coridon.





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