Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A COUNTRY SONG; CANZONE, by PHILIP SIDNEY

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A COUNTRY SONG; CANZONE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: The lad philisides
Last Line: More envied phoebus for his western flying.
Subject(s): Flowers; Admiration

The lad Philisides
Lay by a river's side,
In flowery field a gladder eye to please;
His pipe was at his foot,
His lambs were him beside;
A widow turtle near on bared root
Sate wailing without boot;
Each thing, both sweet and sad,
Did draw his boiling brain
To think, and think with pain,
Of Mira's beams, eclipsed by absence bad.
And thus, with eyes made dim
With tears, he said, or sorrow said for him:

'O earth, once answer give:
So may thy stately grace
By north or south still rich adorned live;
So Mira long may be
On thy then blessed face,
Whose foot doth set a heaven on cursed thee;
I ask -- now answer me --
If th'author of thy bliss,
Phoebus, that shepherd high,
Do turn from thee his eye,
Doth not thyself, when he long absent is,
Like rogue all ragged go,
And pine away with daily wasting woe?

'Tell me, you wanton brook:
So may your sliding race
Shun loathed-loving banks with cunning crook;
So in you ever new
Mira may look her face,
And make you fair with shadow of her hue,
So when to pay your due
To mother sea you come,
She chide you not for stay,
Nor beat you for your play:
Tell me, if your diverted streams become
Absented quite from you,
Are you not dried? Can you yourself renew?

'Tell me, you flowers fair,
Cowslip and columbine:
So may your make, this wholesome spring-time air,
With you embraced lie,
And lately thence untwine,
But with dew-drops engender children high;
So may you never die,
But pulled by Mira's hand
Dress bosom hers, or head,
Or scatter on her bed:
Tell me, if husband spring-time leave your land,
When he from you is sent,
Wither not you, languished with discontent?

'Tell me, my seely pipe:
So may thee still betide
A cleanly cloth thy moistness for to wipe;
So may the cherries red
Of Mira's lips divide
Their sugared selves to kiss thy happy head;
So may her ears be led,
Her ears, where music lives,
To hear, and not despise,
Thy liribliring cries:
Tell, if that breath which thee thy sounding gives
Be absent far from thee,
Absent alone canst thou then piping be?

'Tell me, my lamb of gold:
So may'st thou long abide
The day well fed, the night in faithful fold;
So grow thy wool of note
In time, that, richly dyed,
It may be part of Mira's petticoat;
Tell me, if wolves the throat
Have caught of thy dear dam,
Or she from thee be stayed,
Or thou from her be strayed,
Canst thou, poor lamb, become another's lamb?
Or rather, till thou die,
Still for thy dam with bea-waymenting cry?

'Tell me, O turtle true:
So may no fortune breed
To make thee, nor thy better-loved, rue;
So may thy blessings swarm
That Mira may thee feed
With hand and mouth; with lap and breast keep warm:
Tell me, if greedy arm
Do fondly take away
With traitor lime the one,
The other left alone;
Tell me, poor wretch, parted from wretched prey,
Disdain not you the green,
Wailing till death; shun you not to be seen?

'Earth, brook, flowers, pipe, lamb, dove,
Say all, and I with them:
'Absence is death, or worse, to them that love.'
So I, unlucky lad,
Whom hills from her do hem,
What fits me now but tears, and sighings sad?
O fortune too too bad:
I rather would my sheep
Th'had'st killed with a stroke,
Burnt cabin, lost my cloak,
Than want one hour those eyes which my joys keep.
O, what doth wailing win?
Speech without end were better not begin.

'My song, climb thou the wind
Which Holland sweet now gently sendeth in,
That on his wings the level thou may'st find
To hit, but kissing hit,
Her ears, the weights of wit.
If thou know not for whom thy master dies.
These marks shall make thee wise:
She is the herdess fair that shines in dark,
And gives her kids no food but willow's bark.'

This said, at length he ended
His oft sigh-broken ditty,
Then rase; but rase on legs with faintness bended,
With skin in sorrow dyed,
With face the plot of pity,
With thoughts, which thoughts their own tormentors tried,
He rase, and straight espied
His ram, who to recover
The ewe another loved
With him proud battle proved:
He envied such a death in sight of lover,
And always westward eyeing,
More envied Phoebus for his western flying.

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net