Thine, Who Can Be No Others But Thine, The Shepherd Eurymachus?

by Robert Greene

Robert Greene

When Flora, proud in pomp of all her flowers,

Sat bright and gay,

And gloried in the dew of Iris' showers,

And did display

Her mantle chequer'd all with gaudy green;

Then I

Alone

A mournful man in Erecine was seen.

With folded armes I trampled through the grass,

Tracing as he

That held the throne of Fortune brittle glass,

And Love to be,

Like Fortune, fleeting, as the restless wind,

Mixed

With mists,

Whose damp doth make the clearest eyes grow blind.

Thus in a maze, I spied a hideous flame;

I cast my sight

And saw where blithly bathing in the same

With great delight,

A worm did lie, wrapt in a smoky-sweat,

And yet

'Twas strange,

I careless lay and shrunk not at the heat.

I stood amaz'd and wondering at the sight,

While that a dame,

That shone like to the heaven's rich sparkling light,

Discours'd the same;

And said, “My friend, this worm within the fire,

Which lies

Content,

Is Venus worm, and represents desire.”

“A salamander is this princely beast:

Deck'd with a crown,

Given him by Cupid as a gorgeous crest

'Gainst Fortune's frowne,

Content he lies and bathes him in the flame,

And goes

Not forth,

For why he cannot live without the same.”

“As he, so lovers lie within the fire

Of fervent love,

And shrink not from the flame of hot desire,

Nor will not move

From any heat that Venus' force imparts,

But lie

Content

Within a fire, and waste away their hearts.”

Up flew the dame, and vanish'd in a cloud:

But there stood I,

And many thoughts within my mind did shroud

Of love; for why

I felt within my heart a scorching fire,

And yet,

As did

“The salamander, 'twas my whole desire.”





Last updated September 24, 2017