Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
The Gift
FAIN would I have a pretty thing
  To give unto my Lady:
I name no thing, nor I mean no thing,
  But as pretty a thing as may be.
Twenty journeys would I make,        5
  And twenty ways would hie me,
To make adventure for her sake,
  To set some matter by me:
    But fain would I have …
Some do long for pretty knacks,
  And some for strange devices:        10
God send me that my Lady lacks,
  I care not what the price is.
          Thus fain …
I walk the town and tread the street,
  In every corner seeking
The pretty thing I cannot meet,        15
  That’s for my Lady’s liking:
          For fain …
The mercers pull me, going by,
  The silk-wives say ‘What lack ye?’
‘The thing you have not,’ then say I:
  ‘Ye foolish knaves, go pack ye!’
          But fain …
It is not all the silk in Cheap,
  Nor all the golden treasure;
Nor twenty bushels on a heap
  Can do my Lady pleasure.
          But fain …
But were it in the wit of man        25
  By any means to make it,
I could for money buy it than,
  And say, ‘Fair Lady, take it!’
          Thus fain …
O Lady, what a luck is this,
  That my good willing misseth        30
To find what pretty thing it is
  That my Good Lady wisheth!
    Thus fain would I have had this pretty thing
      To give unto my Lady;
    I said no harm, nor I meant no harm,        35
      But as pretty a thing as may be.

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