Pastoral Poems (Breton); Selected Poetry (Wither); Pastoral Poetry (Browne)/Phyllida and Corydon

Phyllida and Corydon

In the merry month of May,
In a morn by break of day,
With a troop of damsels playing
Forth I rode, forsooth, a-maying,
When anon by a woodside.
Where as May was in his pride,
I espied, all alone,
Phyllida and Corydon.

Much ado there was, God wot!
He would love, and she would not:
She said, never man was true;
He says, none was false to you.
He said, he had loved her long:
She says, Love should have no wrong.

Corydon would kiss her then,
She says, maids must kiss no men,
Till they do for good and all.
Then she made the shepherd call
All the heavens to witness, truth
Never loved a truer youth.
Thus with many a pretty oath,
Yea, and nay, and faith and troth!—
Such as silly shepherds use
When they will not love abuse;
Love, which had been long deluded,
Was with kisses sweet concluded:
And Phyllida, with garlands gay,
Was made the lady of the May.