The Glove

PETER RONSARD loquitur.)

``Heigho!'' yawned one day King Francis,
``Distance all value enhances!
``When a man's busy, why, leisure
``Strikes him as wonderful pleasure:
`` 'Faith, and at leisure once is he?
``Straightway he wants to be busy.
``Here we've got peace; and aghast I'm
``Caught thinking war the true pastime.
``Is there a reason in metre?
``Give us your speech, master Peter!''
I who, if mortal dare say so,
Ne'er am at loss with my Naso,
``Sire,'' I replied, ``joys prove cloudlets:


The Frog and the Golden Ball

She let her golden ball fall down the well
And begged a cold frog to retrieve it;
For which she kissed his ugly, gaping mouth -
Indeed, he could scarce believe it.

And seeing him transformed to his princely shape,
Who had been by hags enchanted,
She knew she could never love another man
Nor by any fate be daunted.

But what would her royal father and mother say?
They had promised her in marriage
To a cousin whose wide kingdom marched with theirs,
Who rode in a jeweled carriage.


The Fortune-Teller, a Gypsy Tale

LUBIN and KATE, as gossips tell,
Were Lovers many a day;
LUBIN the damsel lov'd so well,
That folks pretend to say
The silly, simple, doting Lad,
Was little less than loving mad:
A malady not known of late--
Among the little-loving Great!

KATE liked the youth; but woman-kind
Are sometimes giv'n to range.
And oft, the giddy Sex, we find,
(They know not why)
When most they promise, soonest change,
And still for conquest sigh:
So 'twas with KATE; she, ever roving


The Flea

Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deny'st me is;
It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea, our two bloods mingled be;
Thou knowest that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead.
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pampered, swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas, is more than we would do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this


The Equilibrists

Full of her long white arms and milky skin
He had a thousand times remembered sin.
Alone in the press of people traveled he,
Minding her jacinth, and myrrh, and ivory.

Mouth he remembered: the quaint orifice
From which came heat that flamed upon the kiss,
Till cold words came down spiral from the head.
Grey doves from the officious tower illsped.

Body: it was a white field ready for love,
On her body's field, with the gaunt tower above,
The lilies grew, beseeching him to take,


The Contract

THE husband's dire mishap, and silly maid,
In ev'ry age, have proved the fable's aid;
The fertile subject never will be dry:
'Tis inexhaustible, you may rely.
No man's exempt from evils such as these:--
Who thinks himself secure, but little sees.
One laughs at sly intrigues who, ere 'tis long,
May, in his turn, be sneered at by the throng:
With such vicissitudes, to be cast down,
Appears rank nonsense worthy Folly's crown.
He, whose adventures I'm about to write,
In his mischances,--found what gave delight.


The Confessor, a Sanctified Tale

When SUPERSTITION rul'd the land
And Priestcraft shackled Reason,
At GODSTOW dwelt a goodly band,
Grey monks they were, and but to say
They were not always giv'n to pray,
Would have been construed Treason.
Yet some did scoff, and some believ'd
That sinners were themselves deceiv'd;
And taking Monks for more than men
They prov'd themselves, nine out of ten,
Mere dupes of these Old Fathers hoary;
But read--and mark the story.

Near, in a little Farm, there liv'd
A buxom Dame of twenty three;


The Complaint of Lisa

There is no woman living who draws breath
So sad as I, though all things sadden her.
There is not one upon life's weariest way
Who is weary as I am weary of all but death.
Toward whom I look as looks the sunflower
All day with all his whole soul toward the sun;
While in the sun's sight I make moan all day,
And all night on my sleepless maiden bed.
Weep and call out on death, O Love, and thee,
That thou or he would take me to the dead.
And know not what thing evil I have done


The Clyster

IF truth give pleasure, surely we should try;
To found our tales on what we can rely;
Th' experiment repeatedly I've made,
And seen how much realities persuade:
They draw attention: confidence awake;
Fictitious names however we should take,
And then the rest detail without disguise:
'Tis thus I mean to manage my supplies.

IT happened then near Mans, a Normand town,
For sapient people always of renown,
A maid not long ago a lover had
Brisk, pleasing, ev'ry way a handsome lad;


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