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That liked of her master
As well as well might be,
Long was the combat doubtful,
Unto the silly damsel.
But one must be refused,
Alas! she could not help it.
Thus art with arms contending
Then lullaby, the learned man
Hath got the lady gay;
For now my song is ended.
On a day (alack the day'!)
Love, whose month was ever May,
Passionate Pilgrim," 1599, called "Sonnets to sundry Notes of Music." As the signatures of the pages run on throughout the small volume, we have continued to mark the poems by numerals, in the order in which they were printed.
5 On a day (alack the day!)] This poem, in a more complete state, and with the addition of two lines only found there, may be seen in "Love's Labour's Lost," Vol. ii. p. 138. The poem is also printed in "England's Helicon," (sign. H) a miscellany of poetry, first published in 1600, where "W. Shakespeare" is appended to it, and where it is called "The Passionate Shepherd's Song." We have already seen (p. 673) that N. Breton published in 1604 a collection of Poems
Spied a blossom passing fair,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
My flocks feed not,
My ewes breed not,
My rams speed not,
Causer of this.
All my merry jigs are quite forgot,
All my lady's love is lost (God wot):
There a nay is plac'd without remove.
under the title of "The Passionate Shepherd." It is not necessary for us here to point out minute variations, but we may notice that two lines after "pluck a sweet," found in the version in "Love's Labour's Lost," not only are omitted in "The Passionate Pilgrim," but in "England's Helicon."
My flocks feed not,] In "England's Helicon," 1600, this poem immediately follows "On a day (alack the day!)" but it is there entitled "The unknown Shepherd's Complaint," and it is subscribed Ignoto (Sign. H b). Hence we may suppose that the compiler of that collection might know that it was not by Shakespeare, although it had been attributed to him in "The Passionate Pilgrim" of the year preceding. It had appeared anonymously, with the music, in 1597, in a collection of Madrigals by Thomas Weelkes.
7 Love is DYING,] "Love's denying" in "England's Helicon."
One silly cross
Wrought all my loss;
Oh frowning Fortune, cursed, fickle dame!
More in women than in men remain.
In black mourn I,
All fears scorn I,
Heart is bleeding,
Fraughted with gall!
My shepherd's pipe can sound no deal',
Procure to weep,
In howling-wise, to see my doleful plight.
Through heartless ground,
Like a thousand vanquish❜d men in bloody fight!
Clear wells spring not,
Sweet birds sing not,
Green plants bring not
Forth their dye';
My shepherd's pipe can sound no DEAL,]
"Deal" is part, and "no deal"
is therefore no part.-" My shepherd's pipe cannot sound at all."
1 My sighs so deep,] Both editions of "The Passionate Pilgrim " and "England's Helicon " have With for "My," which last is not only necessary for the sense, but is confirmed as the true reading by Weelkes' Madrigals, 1597.
2 Green plants bring not
Forth their dye;] 'England's Helicon." Madrigals,
So in both editions of "The Passionate Pilgrim" and in
"Loud bells ring not
But the change was, perhaps, arbitrarily introduced, for the sake of the music of bells. Malone says, by mistake, that "The Passionate Pilgrim" reads "Forth: they die," and modern editors have followed him in this error, not having consulted the old copy. There cannot be a difference here between copies, because only one is known.
Herds stand weeping,
All our pleasure known to us poor swains,
Thy like ne'er was
For a sweet content, the cause of all my moan‘. Poor Coridon
Must live alone,
Other help for him I see that there is none.
When as thine eye hath chose the dame",
And stall'd the deer that thou shouldst strike,
Let reason rule things worthy blame,
As well as partial fancy like :
Take counsel of some wiser head,
And when thou com'st thy tale to tell,
3 Farewell, sweet LASS,] "The Passionate Pilgrim" and "England's Helicon" both have love for "lass," which the rhyme shows to be the true reading, as it stands in Weelkes' Madrigals, 1597.
the cause of all my MOAN] So "England's Helicon" and Weelkes' Madrigals: "The Passionate Pilgrim," 1599, bas woe for "moan."
When as thine eye hath chose the dame,] In some modern editions, the stanzas of this poem have been given in an order different to that in which they stand in "The Passionate Pilgrim," 1599: to that order we restore them, and that text we follow, excepting where it is evidently corrupt. The line,
"As well as partial fancy like,”
we have obtained from a manuscript of the time, in our possession, which has the initials W. S. at the end of it. The edition of 1599 reads,
"As well as fancy party all might,"
which is decidedly wrong. Malone substituted
"As well as fancy, partial tike."
The manuscript by which we have corrected the fourth line of the stanza also gives the two last lines of it thus:
"Ask counsel of some other head,
But no change from the old printed copy is here necessary.
Lest she some subtle practice smell;
But plainly say thou lov'st her well,
What though her frowning brows be bent,
And twice desire, ere it be day,
What though she strive to try her strength,
And to her will frame all thy ways:
The strongest castle, tower, and town,
Serve always with assured trust,
When time shall serve, be thou not slack
The wiles and guiles that women work,
A woman's nay doth stand for nought?
6 And set thy person forth to sell.] So the contemporary manuscript in our hands (excepting that it has body for "person"), and another that Malone used: the old copies read, with obvious corruption,
"And set her person forth to sale."