Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Poems

William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems.  1914.

Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music, I.

“It was a lording’s daughter, the fairest one of three”

IT was a lording’s daughter, the fairest one of three, 
That liked of her master as well as well might be, 
Till looking on an Englishman, the fair’st that eye could see, 
  Her fancy fell a-turning. 
Long was the combat doubtful that love with love did fight,         5
To leave the master loveless, or kill the gallant knight: 
To put in practice either, alas! it was a spite 
  Unto the silly damsel. 
But one must be refused; more mickle was the pain 
That nothing could be used to turn them both to gain,  10
For of the two the trusty knight was wounded with disdain: 
  Alas! she could not help it. 
Thus art with arms contending was victor of the day, 
Which by a gift of learning did bear the maid away; 
Then lullaby, the learned man hath got the lady gay;  15
  For now my song is ended. 



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