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"The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd"

If all the world and love were young

And truth in every shepherd's tongue,

These pretty pleasures might me move

To live with thee and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold

When rivers rage and rocks grow cold,

And Philomel becometh dumb;

The rest complain of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields

To wayward winter reckoning yields;

A honey tongue, a heart of gall,

Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy bed of roses,

Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies

Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,

In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,

Thy coral clasps and amber studs,

All these in me no means can move

To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last and love still breed,

Had joys no date nor age no need,

Then these delights my mind might move

To live with thee and be thy love.