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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

First Line: When merry autumn in her prime
Last Line: And counted love but venus' mocks.
Subject(s): Despair; Goddesses & Gods; Love; Mythology; Odes (as Poetic Form)

WHEN merry autumn in her prime,
Fruitful mother of swift time,
Had fillèd Ceres' lap with store
Of vines and corn, and mickle more
Such needful fruits as do grow
From Terra's bosom here below;
Tityrus did sigh, and see
With heart's grief and eyes' gree,
Eyes and heart both full of woes,
Where Galate his lover goes.
Her mantle was vermilion red;
A gaudy chaplet on her head,
A chaplet that did shroud the beams
That Phœbus on her beauty streams,
For sun itself desir'd to see
So fair a nymph as was she,
For, viewing from the east to west,
Fair Galate did like him best.
Her face was like to welkin's shine;
Crystal brooks such were her eyne,
And yet within those brooks were fires
That scorchèd youth and his desires.
Galate did much impair
Venus' honour for her fair;
For stately stepping, Juno's pace
By Galate did take disgrace;
And Pallas' wisdom bare no prize
Where Galate would show her wise.
This gallant girl thus passeth by
Where Tityrus did sighing lie,
Sighing sore, for love strains
More than sighs from lovers' veins:
Tears in eye, thought in heart,
Thus his grief he did impart.
"Fair Galate, but glance thine eye;
Here lies he that here must die,
For love is death, if love not gain
Lover's salve for lover's pain.
Winters seven and more are past
Since on thy face my thoughts I cast:
When Galate did haunt the plains.
And fed her sheep amongst the swains,
When every shepherd left his flocks
To gaze on Galate's fair locks,
When every eye did stand at gaze,
When heart and thought did both amaze,
When heart from body would asunder,
On Galate's fair face to wonder;
Then amongst them all did I
Catch such a wound as I must die,
If Galate oft say not thus,
'I love the shepherd Tityrus.'
'Tis love, fair nymph, that doth pain
Tityrus, thy truest swain;
True, for none more true can be
Than still to love, and none but thee.
Say, Galate, oft smile and say,
''Twere pity love should have a nay';
But such a word of comfort give,
And Tityrus thy love shall live:
Or with a piercing frown reply,
'I cannot love', and then I die,
For lover's nay is lover's death,
And heart-break frowns do stop the breath."
Galate at this arose,
And with a smile away she goes,
As one that little car'd to ease
Tityr, pain'd with love's disease.
At her parting, Tityrus
Sigh'd amain, and sayèd thus:
"O, that women are so fair,
To trap men's eyes in their hair,
With beauteous eyes, love's fires,
Venus' sparks that heat desires!
But O, that women have such hearts,
Such thoughts, and such deep-piercing darts,
As in the beauty of their eye
Harbour naught but flattery!
Their tears are drawn that drop deceit,
Their faces calends of all sleight,
Their smiles are lures, their looks guile,
And all their love is but a wile.
Then, Tityr, leave, leave, Tityrus,
To love such as scorns you thus;
And say to love and women both,
'What I lik'd, now I do loath.'"
With that he hied him to the flocks,
And counted love but Venus' mocks.

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