by Robert Greene
Phillis kept sheep along the western plains,
And Coridon did feed his flocks hard by:
This shepherd was the flower of all the swains,
That traced the downs of fruitful Thessaly,
And Phillis, that did far her flocks surpass
In silver hue, was thought a bonny lass.
A bonny lass, quaint in her country 'tire,
Was lovely Phillis, Coridon swore so;
Her locks, her looks, did set the swain on fire.
He left his lambs, and he began to woo,
He looked, he sithed, he courted with a kiss:
No better could the silly swad than this.
He little knew to paint a tale of love;
Shepherds can fancy, but they cannot say:
Phillis 'gan smile, and wily thought to prove,
What uncouth grief poor Coridon did pay;
She asked him how his flocks or he did fare,
Yet pensive thus his sighs did tell his care.
The shepherd blushed when Phillis questioned so,
And swore by Pan it was not for his flocks:
" 'Tis love, fair Phillis, breedeth all this woe:
My thoughts are trapped within thy lovely locks,
Thine eye hath pierced, thy face hath set on fire.
Fair Phillis kindleth Coridon's desire'
"Can shepherds love?', said Phillis to the swain.
"Such saints as Phillis,' Coridon replied.
"Men, when they lust, can many fancies feign,'
Said Phillis. This not Coridon denied,
That lust had lies. "But love,' quoth he, "says truth.
Thy shepherd loves; then, Phillis, what ensueth?'
Phillis was won, she blushed and hung the head;
The swain stepped to, and cheered her with a kiss:
With faith, with troth, they struck the matter dead;
So used they when men thought not amiss:
This love begun and ended both in one;
Phillis was loved, and she liked Coridon.
Last updated September 24, 2017