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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
258. Phillada Flouts Me
 
Anonymous
 
 
O WHAT a plague is love!
  How shall I bear it?
She will inconstant prove,
  I greatly fear it.
She so torments my mind        5
  That my strength faileth,
And wavers with the wind
  As a ship saileth.
Please her the best I may,
She loves still to gainsay;        10
Alack and well-a-day!
  Phillada flouts me.
 
At the fair yesterday
  She did pass by me;
She look’d another way        15
  And would not spy me:
I woo’d her for to dine,
  But could not get her;
Will had her to the wine—
  He might entreat her.        20
With Daniel she did dance,
On me she look’d askance:
O thrice unhappy chance!
  Phillada flouts me.
 
Fair maid, be not so coy,        25
  Do not disdain me!
I am my mother’s joy:
  Sweet, entertain me!
She’ll give me, when she dies,
  All that is fitting:        30
Her poultry and her bees,
  And her goose sitting,
A pair of mattrass beds,
And a bag full of shreds;
And yet, for all this guedes,        35
  Phillada flouts me.
 
She hath a clout of mine
  Wrought with blue coventry,
Which she keeps for a sign
  Of my fidelity:        40
But i’ faith, if she flinch
  She shall not wear it;
To Tib, my t’other wench,
  I mean to bear it.
And yet it grieves my heart        45
So soon from her to part:
Death strike me with his dart!
  Phillada flouts me.
 
Thou shalt eat crudded cream
  All the year lasting,        50
And drink the crystal stream
  Pleasant in tasting;
Whig and whey whilst thou lust,
  And bramble-berries,
Pie-lid and pastry-crust,        55
  Pears, plums, and cherries.
Thy raiment shall be thin,
Made of a weevil’s skin—
Yet all’s not worth a pin!
  Phillada flouts me.        60
 
In the last month of May
  I made her posies;
I heard her often say
  That she loved roses.
Cowslips and gillyflowers        65
  And the white lily
I brought to deck the bowers
  For my sweet Philly.
But she did all disdain,
And threw them back again;        70
Therefore ’tis flat and plain
  Phillada flouts me.
 
Fair maiden, have a care,
  And in time take me;
I can have those as fair        75
  If you forsake me:
For Doll the dairy-maid
  Laugh’d at me lately,
And wanton Winifred
  Favours me greatly.        80
One throws milk on my clothes,
T’other plays with my nose;
What wanting signs are those?
  Phillada flouts me.
 
I cannot work nor sleep        85
  At all in season:
Love wounds my heart so deep
  Without all reason.
I ’gin to pine away
  In my love’s shadow.        90
Like as a fat beast may,
  Penn’d in a meadow.
I shall be dead, I fear,
Within this thousand year:
And all for that my dear        95
  Phillada flouts me.
 

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