Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE AFFECTIONATE SHEPHERD; OR COMPLAINT OF DAPHNIS, by RICHARD BARNFIELD



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THE AFFECTIONATE SHEPHERD; OR COMPLAINT OF DAPHNIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Scarce had the morning starre hid from the light
Last Line: Plus fellus quam mellis amor.
Alternate Author Name(s): Barnefield, Richard
Variant Title(s): The Tears Of An Affectionate Shepherd Sick For Love
Subject(s): Love - Complaints; Shephers And Sherperdesses


Scarce had the morning Starre hid from the light
Heavens crimson Canopie with stars bespangled,
But I began to rue th'unhappy sight
Of that faire Boy that had my hart intangled;
Cursing the Time, the Place, the sense, the sin;
I came, I saw, I viewd, I slipped in.

If it be sinne to love a sweet-fac'd Boy,
(Whose amber locks trust up in golden tramels
Dangle adowne his lovely cheekes with ioy,
When pearle and flowers his faire haire enamels)
If it be sinne to love a lovely Lad;
Oh then sinne I, for whom my soule is sad.

His Ivory-white and Alablaster skin
Is stained throughout with rare Vermillion red,
Whose twinckling starrie lights do never blin
To shine on lovely Venus (Beauties bed:)
But as the Lillie and the blushing Rose,
So white and red on him in order growes.

Upon a time the Nymphs bestird them-selves
To trie who could his beautie soonest win:
But he accounted them but all as Elves,
Except it were the faire Queene Guendolen,
Her he embrac'd, of her was beloved,
With plaints he proved, and with teares he moved.

But her an Old-Man had beene sutor too,
That in his age began to doate againe;
Her would he often pray, and often woo,
When through old-age enfeebled was his Braine:
But she before had lov'd a lustie youth
That now was dead, the cause of all her ruth.

And thus it hapned, Death and Cupid met
Upon a time at swilling Bacchus house,
Where daintie cates upon the Board were set,
And Goblets full of wine to drinke carouse:
Where Love and Death did love the licor so,
That out they fall and to the fray they goe.

And having both their Quivers at their backe
Fild full of Arrows; Th'one of fatall steele,
The other all of gold; Deaths shaft was black,
But Loves was yellow: Fortune turnd her wheele;
And from Deaths Quiver fell a fatall shaft,
That under Cupid by the winde was waft.

And at the same time by ill hap there fell
Another Arrow out of Cupids Quiver;
The which was carried by the winde at will,
And under Death the amorous shaft did shiver:
They being parted, Love tooke up Deaths dart,
And Death tooke up Loves Arrow (for his part.)

Thus as they wandred both about the world,
At last Death met with one of feeble age:
Wherewith he drew a shaft and at him hurld
The unknowne Arrow; (with a furious rage)
Thinking to strike him dead with Deaths blacke dart,
But he (alas) with Love did wound his hart.

This was the doting foole, this was the man
That lov'd faire Guendolena Queene of Beautie;
Shee cannot shake him off, doo what she can,
For he hath vowd to her his soules last duety:
Making him trim upon the holy-daies;
And crownes his Love with Garlands made of Baies.

Now doth he stroke his Beard; and now (againe)
He wipes the drivel from his filthy chin;
Now offers he a kisse; but high Disdaine
Will not permit her hart to pity him:
Her hart more hard than Adamant or steele,
Her hart more changeable than Fortunes wheele.

But leave we him in love (up to the eares)
And tell how Love behav'd himself abroad;
Who seeing one that mourned still in teares
(A young-man groaning under Loves great Load)
Thinking to ease his Burden, rid his paines:
For men have griefe as long as life remaines.

Alas (the while) that unawares he drue
The fatall shaft that Death had dropt before;
By which deceit great harme did then insue,
Stayning his face with blood and filthy goare.
His face, that was to Guendolen more deere
Than love of Lords, or any lordly Peere.

This was that faire and beautifull young-man,
Whom Guendolena so lamented for;
This is that Love whom she doth curse and ban,
Because she doth that dismall chaunce abhor:
And if it were not for his Mothers sake,
Even Ganimede himselfe she would forsake.

Oh would shee would forsake my Ganimede,
Whose surged love is full of sweete delight,
Upon whose fore-head you may plainely reade
Loves Pleasure, grav'd in yvorie Tables bright:
In whose faire eye-balls you may clearely see
Base Love still staind with foule indignitie.

Oh would to God he would but pitty mee,
That love him more than any mortall wight;
Then he and I with love would soone agree,
That now cannot abide his Sutors sight.
O would to God (so I might have my fee)
My lips were honey, and thy mouth a Bee.

Then shouldst thou sucke my sweete and my faire flower
That now is ripe, and full of honey-berries:
Then would I leade thee to my pleasant Bower
Fild full of Grapes, of Mulberries, and Cherries;
Then shouldst thou be my Waspe or else my Bee,
I would thy hive, and thou my honey bee.

I would put amber Bracelets on thy wrests,
Crownets of Pearle about thy naked Armes:
And when thou sitst at swilling Bacchus feasts
My lips with charmes should save thee from all harmes:
And when in sleepe thou tookst thy chiefest Pleasure,
Mine eyes should gaze upon thine eye-lids Treasure.

And every Morne by dawning of the day,
When Phoebus riseth with a blushing face,
Silvanus Chappel-Clarkes shall chaunt a Lay,
And play thee hunts-up in thy resting place:
My Coote thy Chamber, my bosome thy Bed;
Shall be appointed for thy sleepy head.

And when it pleaseth thee to walke abroad,
(Abroad into the fields to take fresh ayre:)
The Meades with Floras treasure should be strowde,
(The mantled meaddowes and the fields so fayre.)
And by a silver Well (with golden sands)
Ile sit me downe, and wash thine yvory hands.

And in the sweltring heate of summer time,
I would make Cabinets for thee (my Love:)
Sweet-smelling Arbours made of Eglantine
Should be thy shrine, and I would be thy Dove.
Coole Cabinets of fresh green Laurell boughs
Should shadow us, ore-set with thicke-set Eughes.

Or if thou list to bathe thy naked limbs,
Within the Christall of a Pearle-bright brooke,
Paved with dainty pibbles to the brims;
Or cleare, wherein thyselfe thy selfe mayst looke;
Weele goe to Ladon, whose still trickling noyse,
Will lull thee fast asleepe amids thy ioyes.

Or if thoult goe unto the River side,
To angle for the sweet fresh-water fish;
Arm'd with thy implements that will abide
(Thy rod, hooke, line) to take a dainty dish;
Thy rods shall be of cane, thy lines of silke,
Thy hooks of silver, and thy bayts of milke.

Or if thou lov'st to heare sweet Melodie,
Or pipe a Round upon an Oaten Reede,
Or make thy selfe glad with some myrthfull glee,
Or play them Musicke whilst thy flocke doth feede;
To Pans owne Pipe Ile helpe my lovely Lad,
(Pans golden Pype) which he of Syrinx had.

Or if thou dar'st to climbe the highest Trees
For Apples, Cherries, Medlars, Peares, or Plumbs,
Nuts, Walnuts, Filbeards, Chest-nuts, Cervices,
The hoary Peach, when snowy winter comes;
I have fine Orchards full of mellowed frute;
Which I will give thee to obtain my sute.

Not proud Alcynous himselfe can vaunt,
Of goodlier Orchards or of braver Trees
Than I have planted; yet thou wilt not graunt
My simple sute; but like the honey Bees
Thou suckst the flowre till all the sweet be gone;
And lov'st mee for my Coyne till I have none.

Leave Guendolen (sweet hart) though she be faire
Yet is she light; not light in vertue shining:
But light in her behaviour, to impaire
Her honour in her Chastities declining;
Trust not her tears, for they can wantonnize,
When teares in pearle are trickling from her eyes.

If thou wilt come and dwell with me at home;
My sheep-cote shall be strowd with new greene rushes:
Weele haunt the trembling Prickets as they rome
About the fields, along the hauthorne bushes;
I have a pie-bald Curre to hunt the Hare:
So we will live with daintie forrest fare.

Nay more than this, I have a Garden-plot,
Wherein there wants nor hearbs, nor roots, nor flowers;
(Flowers to smell, roots to eate, hearbs for the pot,)
And dainty Shelters when the Welkin lowers:
Sweet-smelling Beds of Lillies and of Roses,
Which Rosemary banks and Lavender incloses.

There growes the Gilliflowre, the Mynt, the Dayzie
(Both red and white,) the blew-veynd-Violet:
The purple Hyacinth, the Spyke to please thee,
The scarlet dyde Carnation bleeding yet;
The Sage, the Savery, and sweet Margerum,
Isop, Tyme, and Eye-bright, good for the blinde and dumbe.

The Pinke, the Primrose, Cowslip, and Daffadilly,
The Hare-bell blue, the crimson Cullumbine,
Sage, Lettis, Parsley, and the milke-white Lilly,
The Rose, and speckled flowre cald Sops in wine,
Fine pretie King-cups, and the yellow Bootes,
That growes by Rivers, and by shallow Brookes.

And manie thousand moe (I cannot name)
Of hearbs and flowers that in gardens grow,
I have for thee; and Coneyes that be tame,
Yong Rabbets, white as Swan, and blacke as Crow,
Some speckled here and there with daintie spots:
And more I have two mylch and milke-white Goates.

All these, and more, Ile give thee for thy love;
If these, and more, may tyce thy love away:
I have a Pidgeon-house, in it a Dove,
Which I love more than mortall tongue can say:
And last of all, Ile give thee a little Lambe
To play withall, new weaned from her Dam.

But if thou wilt not pittie my Complaint,
My teares, nor Vowes, nor Oathes, made to thy Beautie;
What shall I doo? But languish, die, or faint,
Since thou dost scorne my Teares, and my Soules Duetie:
And Teares contemned, Vowes and Oaths must faile;
For where Teares cannot, nothing can prevaile.

Compare the love of faire Queene Guendolin
With mine, and thou shalt see how she doth love thee:
I love thee for thy qualities divine,
But She doth love another Swaine above thee:
I love thee for thy gifts, She for hir pleasure;
I for thy Vertue, She for Beauties treasure.

And alwaies (I am sure) it cannot last,
But sometime Nature will denie those dimples:
In steed of Beautie (when thy Blossom's past)
Thy face will be deformed, full of wrinckles:
Then She that lov'd thee for thy Beauties sake,
When Age drawes on, thy love will soone forsake.

But I that lov'd thee for thy gifts divine,
In the December of thy Beauties waning,
Will still admire (with joy) those lovely eine,
That now behold me with their beauties baning:
Though Ianuarie will never come againe,
Yet Aprill yeres will come in showers of raine.

When will my May come, that I may embrace thee?
When will the hower be of my soules ioying?
Why dost thou seeke in mirthe still to disgrace mee?
Whose mirth's my health, whose griefe's my harts annoying.
Thy bane my bale, thy blisse my blessednes,
Thy ill my hell, thy weale my welfare is.

Thus doo I honour thee that love thee so,
And love thee so, that so doo honour thee,
Much more than anie mortall man doth know,
Or can discerne by Love or Iealozie:
But if that thou disdainst my loving ever;
Oh happie I, if I had loved never. Finis.
Plus fellus quam mellis Amor.





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