Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PASTORAL, by COLIN MUSET



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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PASTORAL, by            
First Line: Morning poured its early ray
Last Line: And good marriage I should lose.'


MORNING poured its early ray,
As I rode upon a day,
And across a meadow sped.
Nigh to where my pathway led,
There I found a Shepherdess
Who did priceless charms possess:
Early she her bed forsook,
In the fields her pleasure took.
Fair she was, and full of grace;
Bowed I, gazing on her face,
While her modest cheeks disclose
Blushes sweeter than the rose.

Scanty raiment had the lass
As she sat upon the grass;
Locks she had like shining gold,
Waist a lover fain would hold;
In all points supremely fair,
Not a blemish anywhere.
I dismount, and leave my steed
On the meadow grass to feed.

Then the Shepherdess in fear,
When she saw me coming near,
Called to Robin, 'Friend, I pray,
Hither come without delay.'
But I quickly cried, 'Young maid,
Say no word, be not afraid.
Listen, damsel, for I vow,
That I deeply love you now.'
Then her cheeks, so fresh and fair,
With new blushes covered were;
And I said, 'Sweet maid, anew
All my love I proffer you.

'Robin plays his flute full well,
But no money has to share;
Mean the cottage where you dwell,
Scant and poor the clothes you wear;
Saddle, horse, and wealth have I--
At your will shall all be spent
If, dear damsel, you comply,
And to be my love consent.'

Ne'er she paused; but chaste and wise,
Thus the Shepherdess replies:
'Never in my life I heard
Words so shameless and absurd;
Great the pity were if I
Such unseemly part should play,
And good name and chastity
For a stranger cast away.

'Yes, the folly would be great,
Great the damage so to choose,
For by it a worthy mate
And good marriage I should lose.'





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