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

Corydon’s Supplication

Nicholas Breton (1545–1626)

SWEET Phyllis, if a silly swain

May sue to thee for grace,

See not thy loving shepherd slain

With looking on thy face;

But think what power thou hast got

Upon my flock and me,

Thou seest they now regard me not,

But all do follow thee.

And if I have so far presumed

With prying in thine eyes,

Yet let not comfort be consumed

That in thy pity lies;

But as thou art that Phyllis fair,

That fortune favour gives,

So let not love die in despair

That in thy favour lives.

The deer do browse upon the briar,

The birds do pick the cherries;

And will not Beauty grant Desire

One handful of her berries?

If it be so that thou hast sworn

That none shall look on thee,

Yet let me know thou dost not scorn

To cast a look on me.

But if thy beauty make thee proud,

Think then what is ordained;

The heavens have never yet allowed

That love should be disdained.

Then lest the Fates that favour love

Should curse thee for unkind,

Let me report for thy behoove

The honour of thy mind;

Let Corydon with full consent

Set down what he hath seen,

That Phyllida with Love’s content

Is sworn the shepherds’ queen.