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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.


258. Phillada Flouts Me

O WHAT a plague is love!

How shall I bear it?

She will inconstant prove,

I greatly fear it.

She so torments my mind

That my strength faileth,

And wavers with the wind

As a ship saileth.

Please her the best I may,

She loves still to gainsay;

Alack and well-a-day!

Phillada flouts me.

At the fair yesterday

She did pass by me;

She look’d another way

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.

With Daniel she did dance,

On me she look’d askance:

O thrice unhappy chance!

Phillada flouts me.

Fair maid, be not so coy,

Do not disdain me!

I am my mother’s joy:

Sweet, entertain me!

She’ll give me, when she dies,

All that is fitting:

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,

Phillada flouts me.

She hath a clout of mine

Wrought with blue coventry,

Which she keeps for a sign

Of my fidelity:

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

So soon from her to part:

Death strike me with his dart!

Phillada flouts me.

Thou shalt eat crudded cream

All the year lasting,

And drink the crystal stream

Pleasant in tasting;

Whig and whey whilst thou lust,

And bramble-berries,

Pie-lid and pastry-crust,

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.

In the last month of May

I made her posies;

I heard her often say

That she loved roses.

Cowslips and gillyflowers

And the white lily

I brought to deck the bowers

For my sweet Philly.

But she did all disdain,

And threw them back again;

Therefore ’tis flat and plain

Phillada flouts me.

Fair maiden, have a care,

And in time take me;

I can have those as fair

If you forsake me:

For Doll the dairy-maid

Laugh’d at me lately,

And wanton Winifred

Favours me greatly.

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

At all in season:

Love wounds my heart so deep

Without all reason.

I ’gin to pine away

In my love’s shadow.

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

Phillada flouts me.