Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MOURNING-GARMENT: THE SHEPHERD'S WIFE'S SONG, by ROBERT GREENE



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THE MOURNING-GARMENT: THE SHEPHERD'S WIFE'S SONG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ah! What is love! It is a pretty thing
Last Line: What lady would not love a shepherd swain?
Variant Title(s): Love In Arcady;the Shepherd And The King;happy As A Shepherd
Subject(s): Courts & Courtiers; Love; Marriage; Shepherds & Shepherdesses; Royal Court Life; Royalty; Kings; Queens; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


AH! what is love? It is a pretty thing,
As sweet unto a shepherd as a king,
And sweeter too;
For kings have cares that wait upon a crown,
And cares can make the sweetest face to frown:
Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain?
His flocks are folded; he comes home at night
As merry as a king n his delight,
And merrier too;
For kings bethink them what the state require,
Where shepherds, careless, carol by the fire:
Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain?
He kisseth first, then sits as blithe to eat
His cream and curd as doth the king his meat,
And blither too;
For kings have often fears when they sup,
Where shepherds dread no poison in their cup:
Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain?
Upon his couch of straw he sleeps as sound
As doth the king upon his beds of down,
More sounder too;
For cares cause kings full oft their sleep to spill,
Where weary shepherds lie and snort their fill:
Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain?
Thus with his wife he spends the year as blithe
As doth the king at every tide or syth,
And blither too;
For kings have wars and broils to take in hand,
When shepherds laugh, and love upon the land;
Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain?




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