Pastoral Poems (Breton); Selected Poetry (Wither); Pastoral Poetry (Browne)/A Sweet Pastoral

Nicholas Breton

A Sweet Pastoral

Good Muse, rock me asleep
With some sweet harmony:
The weary eye is not to keep
Thy wary company.

Sweet Love, begone awhile,
Thou knowest my heaviness:
Beauty is born but to beguile
My heart of happiness.

See how my little flock,
That loved to feed on high.
Do headlong tumble down the rock,
And in the valley die.

The bushes and the trees
That were so fresh and green,
Do all their dainty colour leese,
And not a leaf is seen.

The blackbird and the thrush.
That made the woods to ring.
With all the rest, are now at hush.
And not a note they sing.

Sweet Philomel, the bird
That hath the heavenly throat,
Doth now alas! not once afford
Recording of a note.

The flowers have had a frost,
Each herb hath lost her savour;
And Phyllida the fair hath lost
The comfort of her favour.

Now all these careful sights
So kill me in conceit,
That how to hope upon delights
It is but mere deceit.

And therefore, my sweet Muse,
Thou know'st what help is best;
Do now thy heavenly cunning use
To set my heart at rest;

And in a dream bewray
What fate shall be my friend;
Whether my life shall still decay,
Or when my sorrow end.