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George Wither

(11 June 1588 – 2 May 1667 / Bentworth, Hampshire)

The Steadfast Shepherd


Hence away, thou siren, leave me,
Pish! unclasp those wanton arms,
Sugared words can ne'er deceive me
Though thou prove a thousand charms.
Fie, fie, forbear, no common snare
Can ever my affection chain.
They painted baits and poor deceits
Are all bestowed on me in vain.

I'm no slave to such as you be,
Neither shall that snowy breast,
Rolling eye and lip of ruby,
Ever rob me of my rest.
Go, go, display thy beauty's ray
To some more soon enamoured swain,
Those common wiles of sighs and smiles
Are all bestowed on me in vain.

I have elsewhere vowed a duty,
Turn away that tempting eye,
Show me not a painted beauty,
These impostures I defy.
My spirit loathes where gaudy clothes
And feigned oaths may love obtain.
I love her so, whose looks swear no,
That all your labours will be vain.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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