Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
Extracts from Britannia’s Pastorals: The Complaint of Pan
By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)
Book II. Song 4.

WHAT boot is it though I am said to be
The worthy son of winged Mercury?
That I with gentle nymphs in forests high
Kissed out the sweet time of my infancy?
And when more years had made me able grown,        5
Was through the mountains as their leader known?
That high-browed Mænalus where I was bred,
And stony hills not few have honoured
Me as protector by the hands of swains,
Whose sheep retire there from the open plains?        10
That I in shepherd’s cups—rejecting gold—
Of milk and honey measures eight times told
Have offered to me, and the ruddy wine
Fresh and new pressed from the bleeding vine?
That gleesome hunters pleased with their sport        15
With sacrifices due have thanked me for ’t?
That patient anglers standing all the day
Near to some shallow stickle or deep bay,
And fishermen whose nets have drawn to land
A shoal so great it wellnigh hides the sand,        20
For such success some promontory’s head
Thrust at by waves, hath known me worshipped?
But to increase my grief, what profits this,
‘Since still the loss is as the loser is?’

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