Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
A Pastoral Song
By Henry Constable (1562–1613)
Between Phillis and Amarillis, Two Nymphs, Each Answering Other Line for Line

FIE on the sleights that men devise,
  Heigh ho silly sleights:
When simple maids they would entice,
  Maids are young men’s chief delights.
Nay, women they witch with their eyes,
  Eyes like beams of burning sun:
And men once caught, they soon despise;
  So are shepherds oft undone.
If any young man win a maid,
  Happy man is he:        10
By trusting him she is betrayed;
  Fie upon such treachery.
If Maids win young men with their guiles,
  Heigh ho guileful grief;
They deal like weeping crocodiles,        15
  That murder men without relief.
I know a simple country hind,
  Heigh ho silly swain:
To whom fair Daphne proved kind,
  Was he not kind to her again?        20
He vowed by Pan with many an oath,
  Heigh ho shepherds God is he:
Yet since hath changed, and broke his troth,
  Troth-plight broke will plagued be.
She hath deceived many a swain,
  Fie on false deceit:
And plighted troth to them in vain,
  There can be no grief more great.
Her measure was with measure paid,
  Heigh-ho, heigh-ho equal meed:        30
She was beguil’d that had betrayed,
  So shall all deceivers speed.
If every maid were like to me,
  Heigh-ho hard of heart:
Both love and lovers scorn’d should be,        35
  Scorners shall be sure of smart.
If every maid were of my mind
  Heigh-ho, heigh-ho lovely sweet:
They to their lovers should prove kind,
  Kindness is for maidens meet.        40
Methinks, love is an idle toy,
  Heigh-ho busy pain:
Both wit and sense it doth annoy,
  Both sense and wit thereby we gain.
Tush! Phillis, cease, be not so coy,
  Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, coy disdain:
I know you love a shepherd’s boy,
  Fie! that maidens so should feign!
Well, Amarillis, now I yield,
  Shepherds, pipe aloud:        50
Love conquers both in town and field,
  Like a tyrant, fierce and proud.
The evening star is up, ye see;
  Vesper shines; we must away;
Would every lover might agree,        55
  So we end our roundelay.

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