Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
To Phyllis, the Fair Shepherdess
By Thomas Lodge (1558–1625)
MY 1 Phyllis hath the morning sun,
  At first to look upon her;
And Phyllis hath morn-waking birds
  Her risings for to honour.
My Phyllis hath prime-feathered flowers        5
  That smile when she treads on them;
  And Phyllis hath a gallant flock
  That leaps since she doth own them.
But Phyllis hath so hard a heart,
  Alas that she should have it,        10
As yields no mercy to desart,
  Nor grace to those that crave it.
Sweet sun, when thou look’st on,
Pray her regard my moan;
Sweet birds, when you sing to her,        15
To yield some pity, woo her;
  Sweet flowers whenas she treads on,
  Tell her, her beauty deads one,
And if in life her love she nill agree me,
Pray her before I die she will come see me.        20
Note 1. This is sonnet xv., in Phyllis: Honoured with Pastorall Sonnets, Elegies and Amourous Delights, 1593. I shall quote here Prof. Schelling’s note on this poem, which is full of interest: “This poem has been assigned to Sir Edward Dyer with a steady perversity which is surprising. Ward prints it as Dyer’s (Engl. Poets, I., 378), and Mr. Andrew Lang more recently says: ‘The young English Muse is like Sir Edward Dyer’s Phyllis, the Fair Shepherdess,’ quoting the first four lines of this poem immediately after. (Introduction to Elizabethan Songs in Honour of Love and Beauty, 1893, p. xxx.) The mistake has arisen from the fact that when this poem was reprinted in England’s Helicon, seven years after its appearance in Phyllis Honered with Pastoral Sonnets, the initials “S. E. D.” were ignorantly subscribed to it. The poem is in the best style of Lodge, and it may be suspected that not a little of the reputation of Sir Edward has depended upon this mistake.” (Book of Elizabethan Lyrics, p. 238.) “Dead one: Not an unusual verb in this age; cf. And in my tears doth firm the same” (No. 85), and Chapman, Ody. xviii.: “With many an ill hath numbed and deaded me.” (Schelling.) [back]

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