Open main menu

Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1918/Vixi Puellis Nuper Idoneus...

45
Vixi Puellis Nuper Idoneus …

THEY flee from me that sometime did me seek,
With naked foot stalking in my chamber:
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild, and do not once remember
That sometime they have put themselves in danger
To take bread at my hand, and now they range,
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be fortune, it hath been otherwise
Twenty times better; but once, in special,
In thin array, after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small,
Therewith all sweetly did me kiss,
And softly said, 'Dear heart, how like you this?'

It was no dream; I lay broad waking
But all is turned, thorough my gentleness,
Into a strange fashion of forsaking,
And I have leave to go, of her goodness;
And she also to use new-fangleness.
But since that I so unkindely am served,
I fain would know what she hath deserved.