Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Poetry

The Shepherd's Address to the Milk Maid

For the Poughkeepsie Advertiser.

The Shepherd's Address to the Milk Maid.

It is generally supposed that this song was
written by Shakespeare. [Actually, Christopher Marlowe.]
The Milk Maid's answer wrote by Sir Walter Raleigh,
will be in the next number of this paper.

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.

But Time drives flocks from field to fold;
When rivers rage, and rocks grow cold,
Then Philomel becometh dumb,
And age complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To way-ward winter reckoning yields,
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall;

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kertle, 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.

What should we talk of danities then,
Of better meat than's fit for men?
These are but vain: that's only good
Which heav'n hath blest, and sent for food.

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.


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