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A Bucolic Betwixt Two: Lacon And Thyrsis

by Robert Herrick, 1648

Lacon. For a kiss or two, confess,
  What doth cause this pensiveness,
  Thou most lovely neat-herdess?
  Why so lonely on the hill?
  Why thy pipe by thee so still,
  That erewhile was heard so shrill?
  Tell me, do thy kine now fail
  To full fill the milking-pail?
  Say, what is’t that thou dost ail?

Thyr. None of these; but out, alas!
  A mischance is come to pass,
  And I’ll tell thee what it was:
  See, mine eyes are weeping-ripe.

Lacon. Tell, and I’ll lay down my pipe.

Thyr. I have lost my lovely steer,
  That to me was far more dear
  Than these kine which I milk here:
  Broad of forehead, large of eye,
  Party-colour’d like a pie;
  Smooth in each limb as a die;
  Clear of hoof, and clear of horn:
  Sharply pointed as a thorn,
  With a neck by yoke unworn;
  From the which hung down by strings,
  Balls of cowslips, daisy rings,
  Interplac’d with ribbonings:
  Faultless every way for shape;
  Not a straw could him escape;
  Ever gamesome as an ape,
  But yet harmless as a sheep.
  Pardon, Lacon, if I weep;
  Tears will spring where woes are deep.
  Now, ay me! ay me! Last night
  Came a mad dog and did bite,
  Aye, and kill’d my dear delight.

Lacon. Alack, for grief!

Thyr. But I’ll be brief.
  Hence I must, for time doth call
  Me, and my sad playmates all,
  To his ev’ning funeral.
  Live long, Lacon, so adieu!

Lacon. Mournful maid, farewell to you;
  Earth afford ye flowers to strew.

Published in Hesperides

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