Nicholas Brenton

(1555-1626)

Passionate Shepherd, The (excerpt)


Who can live in heart so glad
As the merry country lad?
Who upon a fair green balk
May at pleasure sit and walk,
And amid the azure skies
See the morning sun arise;
While he hears in every spring
How the birds do chirp and sing;
Or before the hounds in cry
See the hare go stealing by;
Or along the shallow brook
Angling with a baited hook,
See the fishes leap and play
In a blessed sunny day;
Or to hear the partridge call
Till she have her covey all;
Or to see the subtle fox,
How the villain plies the box,
After feeding on his prey
How he closely sneaks away
Through the hedge and down the furrow,
Till he gets into his burrow;
Then the bee to gather honey,
And the little black hair'd coney
On a bank for sunny place
With her forefeet wash her face:
Are not these, with thousands moe
Than the courts of kings do know,
The true pleasing-spirits sights
That may breed true love's delights?

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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