Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ENGLAND'S HELICON: THIRSIS' PRAISE OF HIS MISTRESS, by WILLIAM BROWNE (1591-1643)

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First Line: On a hill that graced the plain
Last Line: Astra can bless those blessings, earth and all.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, William Of Tavistock
Subject(s): Country Life

ON a hill that grac'd the plain
Thirsis sat, a comely swain,
Comelier swain ne'er grac'd a hill:
Whilst his flock, that wander'd nigh,
Cropp'd the green grass busily,
Thus he tun'd his oaten quill:
Ver hath made the pleasant field
Many sev'ral odours yield,
Odours aromatical:
From fair Astra's cherry lip
Sweeter smells for ever skip,
They in pleasing passen all.

Leavy groves now mainly ring
With each sweet bird's sonneting,
Notes that makes the echoes long:
But when Astra tunes her voice,
All the mirthful birds rejoice,
And are list'ning to her song.

Fairly spreads the damask rose,
Whose rare mixture doth disclose
Beauties pencils cannot feign;
Yet if Astra pass the bush,
Roses have been seen to blush,
She doth all their beauties stain.

Phœbus, shining bright in sky,
Gilds the floods, heats mountains high
With his beams' all-quick'ning fire:
Astra's eyes, most sparkling ones,
Strikes a heat in hearts of stones,
And enflames them with desire.

Fields are blest with flow'ry wreath,
Air is blest when she doth breathe,
Birds make happy ev'ry grove,
She, each bird, when she doth sing:
Phœbus heat to earth doth bring,
She makes marble fall in love.

Those blessings of the earth we swains do call,
Astra can bless those blessings, earth and all.

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