Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
Not Peer Reviewed

Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


A PLEASANT ECLOGUE BETWEEN MONTANUS AND CORYDON

96CORYDON

97Say, shepherd's boy, what makes thee greet so sore?
Why leaves thy pipe his pleasure and delight?
Young are thy years, thy cheeks with roses dight.
Then sing for joy, sweet swain, and sigh no more.

98This milk-white poppy and this climbing pine
Both promise shade; then sit thee down and sing,
And make these woods with pleasant notes to ring,
Till Phoebus deign all westward to decline.

99MONTANUS

100Ah, Corydon, unmeet is melody
To him whom proud contempt hath overborne.
Slain are my joys by Phoebe's bitter scorn;
Far hence my weal, and near my jeopardy.

101Love's burning brand is couchèd in my breast,
Making a phoenix of my faintful heart;
And though his fury do enforce my smart,
Aye blithe am I to honor his behest.

102Prepared to woes, since so my Phoebe wills,
My looks dismayed, since Phoebe will disdain,
I banish bliss and welcome home my pain.
So stream my tears as showers from Alpine hills.

103In error's mask I blindfold judgment's eye;
I fetter reason in the snares of lust;
I seem secure, yet know not how to trust.
I live by that which makes me living die.

104Devoid of rest, companion of distress,
Plague to myself, consumèd by my thought,
How may my voice or pipe in tune be brought,
Since I am reft of solace and delight?

105CORYDON

106Ah, lorel lad, what makes thee hery love?
A sugared harm, a poison full of pleasure,
A painted shrine full filled with rotten treasure;
A heaven in show, a hell to them that prove.

107A gain in seeming, shadowed still with want,
A broken staff which folly doth uphold,
A flower that fades with every frosty cold,
An orient rose sprung from a withered plant.

108A minute's joy to gain a world of grief,
A subtle net to snare the idle mind,
A seeing scorpion, yet in seeming blind,
A poor rejoice, a plague without relief.

109Forthy, Montanus, follow mine arede,
Whom age hath taught the trains that fancy useth:
Leave foolish love, for beauty wit abuseth,
And drowns, by folly, virtue's springing seed.

110MONTANUS

111So blames the child the flame because it burns,
And bird the snare because it doth entrap,
And fools true love because of sorry hap,
And sailors curse the ship that overturns.

112But would the child forbear to play with flame,
And birds beware to trust the fowler's gin,
And fools foresee before they fall and sin,
And masters guide their ships in better frame,

113The child would praise the fire because it warms,
And birds rejoice to see the fowler fail,
And fools prevent before their plagues prevail,
And sailors bless the bark that saves from harms.

114Ah, Corydon, though many be thy years,
And crooked elde hath some experience left,
Yet is thy mind of judgment quite bereft,
In view of Love, whose power in me appears.

115The ploughman little wots to turn the pen,
Or bookman skills to guide the ploughman's cart;
Nor can the cobbler count the terms of art,
Nor base men judge the thoughts of mighty men;

116Nor withered age, unmeet for beauty's guide,
Uncapable of love's impression,
Discourse of that whose choice possession
May never to so base a man be tied.

117But I, whom nature makes of tender mold,
And youth most pliant yields to fancy's fire,
Do build my haven and heaven on sweet desire,
On sweet desire, more dear to me than gold.

118Think I of love, oh, how my lines aspire!
How haste the Muses to embrace my brows,
And hem my temples in with laurel boughs,
And fill my brains with chaste and holy fire!

119Then leave my lines their homely equipage,
Mounted beyond the circle of the sun.
Amazed I read the style when I have done,
And hery love that sent that heavenly rage.

120Of Phoebe then, of Phoebe then I sing,
Drawing the purity of all the spheres,
The pride of earth, or what in heaven appears,
Her honored face and fame to light to bring.

121In fluent numbers and in pleasant veins
I rob both sea and earth of all their state
To praise her parts; I charm both time and fate
To bless the nymph that yields me lovesick pains.

122My sheep are turned to thoughts, whom froward will
Guides in the restless labyrinth of love;
Fear lends them pasture wheresoe'er they move,
And by their death their life reneweth still.

123My sheephook is my pen, mine oaten reed
My paper, where my many woes are written.
Thus, silly swain, with love and fancy bitten,
I trace the plains of pain in woeful weed.

124Yet are my cares, my broken sleeps, my tears,
My dreams, my doubts, for Phoebe sweet to me.
Who waiteth heaven, in sorrow's vale must be,
And glory shines where danger most appears.

125Then, Corydon, although I blithe me not,
Blame me not, man, since sorrow is my sweet;
So willeth love, and Phoebe thinks it meet,
And kind Montanus liketh well his lot.

126CORYDON

127O stayless youth, by error so misguided,
Where will proscribeth laws to perfect wits,
Where reason mourns, and blame in triumph sits,
And folly poisoneth all that time provided!

128With willful blindness bleared, prepared to shame,
Prone to neglect Occasion when she smiles:
Alas, that love, by fond and froward guiles,
Should make thee tract the path to endless blame!

129Ah, my Montanus, cursèd is the charm
That hath bewitchèd so thy youthful eyes.
Leave off in time to like these vanities!
Be forward to thy good, and fly thy harm.

130As many bees as Hybla daily shields,
As many fry as fleet on ocean's face,
As many herds as on the earth do trace,
As many flowers as deck the fragrant fields,

131As many stars as glorious heaven contains,
As many storms as wayward winter weeps,
As many plagues as hell enclosèd keeps,
So many griefs in love, so many pains.

132Suspicions, thoughts, desires, opinions, prayers,
Mislikes, misdeeds, fond joys, and feignèd peace,
Illusions, dreams, great pains, and small increase,
Vows, hopes, acceptance, scorns, and deep despairs,

133Truce, war, and woe do wait at beauty's gate;
Time lost, laments, reports, and privy grudge,
And last, fierce love is but a partial judge,
Who yields for service shame, for friendship hate.

134MONTANUS

135All adder-like I stop mine ears, fond swain.
So charm no more, for I will never change.
Call home thy flocks in time that straggling range,
For lo, the sun declineth hence amain.

TERENTIUS

136

In amore haec omnia insunt vitia: induciae, inimicitiae, bellum, pax rursum: incerta haec si tu postules ratione certa fieri, nihilo plus agas, quam si des operam, ut cum ratione insanias.

137The shepherds having thus ended their eclogue, Aliena stepped with Ganymede from behind the thicket; at whose sudden sight the shepherds arose, and Aliena saluted them thus:

138"Shepherds, all hail, for such we deem you by your flocks; and lovers, good luck, for such you seem by your passions, our eyes being witness of the one and our ears of the other. Although not by love, yet by fortune I am a distressed gentlewoman, as sorrowful as you are passionate and as full of woes as you of perplexed thoughts. Wandering this way in a forest unknown, only I and my page, wearied with travel, would fain have some place of rest. May you appoint us any place of quiet harbor, be it never so mean, I shall be thankful to you, contented in myself, and grateful to whosoever shall be mine host."

139Corydon, hearing the gentlewoman speak so courteously, returned her mildly and reverently this answer:

140"Fair mistress, we return you as hearty a welcome as you gave us a courteous salute. A shepherd I am, and this a lover, as watchful to please his wench as to feed his sheep: full of fancies, and therefore, say I, full of follies. Exhort him I may, but persuade him I cannot, for love admits neither of counsel nor reason. But leaving him to his passions, if you be distressed, I am sorrowful such a fair creature is crossed with calamity; pray for you I may, but relieve you I cannot. Marry, if you want lodging, if you vouch to shroud yourselves in a shepherd's cottage, my house for this night shall be your harbor."

141Aliena thanked Corydon greatly, and presently sat her down and Ganymede by her. Corydon looking earnestly upon her, and, with a curious survey viewing all her perfections, applauded in his thought her excellence, and, pitying her distress, was desirous to hear the cause of her misfortunes, began to question her thus:

142"If I should not, fair damosel, occasion offense or renew your griefs by rubbing the scar, I would fain crave so much favor as to know the cause of your misfortunes, and why and whither you wander with your page in so dangerous a forest?"

143Aliena, that was as courteous as she was fair, made this reply:

144"Shepherd, a friendly demand ought never to be offensive, and questions of courtesy carry privileged pardons in their foreheads. Know, therefore, to discover my fortunes were to renew my sorrows, and I should, by discoursing my mishaps, but rake fire out of the cinders. Therefore let this suffice, gentle shepherd: my distress is as great as my travel is dangerous, and I wander in this forest to light on some cottage where I and my page may dwell; for I mean to buy some farm and a flock of sheep, and so become a shepherdess, meaning to live low and content me with a country life; for I have heard the swains say that they drunk without suspicion and slept without care."

145"Marry, mistress," quoth Corydon, "if you mean so, you came in good time, for my landslord intends to sell both the farm I till and the flock I keep, and cheap you may have them for ready money; and for a shepherd's life, O mistress, did you but live awhile in their content, you would say the court were rather a place of sorrow than of solace. Here, mistress, shall not fortune thwart you but in mean misfortunes, as the loss of a few sheep, which, as it breeds no beggary, so it can be no extreme prejudice; the next year may mend all with a fresh increase. Envy stirs not us; we covet not to climb; our desires mount not above our degrees, nor our thoughts above our fortunes. Care cannot harbor in our cottages, nor do our homely couches know broken slumbers. As we exceed not in diet, so we have enough to satisfy; and, mistress, I have so much Latin: Satis est quod sufficit."

146"By my troth, shepherd," quoth Aliena, "thou makest me in love with your country life, and therefore send for thy landslord, and I will buy thy farm and thy flocks, and thou shalt still under me be overseer of them both. Only for pleasure sake I and my page will serve you, lead the flocks to the field, and fold them. Thus will I live quiet, unknown, and contented."

147This news so gladded the heart of Corydon, that he should not be put out of his farm, that, putting off his shepherd's bonnet, he did her all the reverence that he might. But all this while sat Montanus in a muse, thinking of the cruelty of his Phoebe, whom he wooed long but was in no hope to win. Ganymede, who still had the remembrance of Rosader in his thoughts, took delight to see the poor shepherd passionate, laughing at Love, that in all his actions was so imperious. At last, when she had noted his tears that stole down his cheeks and his sighs that broke from the center of his heart, pitying his lament, she demanded of Corydon why the young shepherd looked so sorrowful.

148"Oh, sir," quoth he, "the boy is in love."

149"Why," quoth Ganymede, "can shepherds love?"

150"Ay," quoth Montanus, "and overlove, else shouldst not thou see me so pensive. Love, I tell thee, is as precious in a shepherd's eye as in the looks of a king, and we country swains entertain fancy with as great delight as the proudest courtier doth affection. Opportunity, that is the sweetest friend to Venus, harboreth in our cottages, and loyalty, the chiefest fealty that Cupid requires, is found more among shepherds than higher degrees. Then ask not if such silly swains can love."

151"What is the cause,then," quoth Ganymede, "that love being so sweet to thee, thou lookest so sorrowful?"

152"Because," quoth Montanus, "the party beloved is froward, and, having courtesy in her looks, holdeth disdain in her tongue's end."

153"What hath she, then," quoth Aliena, "in her heart?"

154"Desire, I hope, madam," quoth he, "or else, my hope lost, despair in love were death."

155As thus they chatted, the sun being ready to set, and they not having folded their sheep, Corydon requested she would sit there with her page till Montanus and he lodged their sheep for that night.

156"You shall go," quoth Aliena, "but first I will entreat Montanus to sing some amorous sonnet that he made when he hath been deeply passionate."

157"That I will," quoth Montanus, and with that he began thus: