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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Montana the Shepherd, His Love to Aminta

Anthony Munday (1553–1633)

I SERVE Aminta, whiter than the snow,

Straighter than cedar, brighter than the glass;

More fine in trip than foot of running roe,

More pleasant than the field of flowering grass;

More gladsome to my withering joys that fade

Than winter’s sun or summer’s cooling shade.

Sweeter than swelling grape of ripest wine,

Softer than feathers of the fairest swan;

Smoother than jet, more stately than the pine,

Fresher than poplar, smaller than my span;

Clearer than Phœbus’ fiery-pointed beam,

Or icy crust of crystal’s frozen stream.

Yet is she curster than the bear by kind,

And harder-hearted than the agèd oak;

More glib than oil, more fickle than the wind,

More stiff than steel, no sooner bent but broke.

Lo! thus my service is a lasting sore,

Yet will I serve, although I die therefore.