Hail, holy earth, whose cold arms do embrace
The truest man that ever fed his flocks
By the fat plains of fruitful Thessaly!
Thus I salute thy grave; thus do I pay
My early vows and tribute of mine eyes
To thy still-lovèd ashes; thus I free
Myself from all ensuing heats and fires
Of love; all sports, delights, and jolly games,
That shepherds hold full dear, thus put I off:
Now no more shall these smooth brows be begirt
With youthful coronals, and lead the dance;
No more the company of fresh fair maids
And wanton shepherds be to me delightful,
Nor the shrill pleasing sound of merry pipes
Under some shady dell, when the cool wind
Plays on the leaves: all be far away,
Since thou art far away, by whose dear side
How often have I sat crowned with fresh flowers
For summer's queen, whilst every shepherd's boy
Puts on his lusty green, with gaudy hook,
And hanging scrip of finest cordevan.
But thou art gone, and these are gone with thee,
And all are dead but thy dear memory;
That shall outlive thee, and shall ever spring,
Whilst there are pipes or jolly shepherds sing.
And here will I, in honour of thy love,
Dwell by thy grave, forgetting all those joys
That former times made precious to mine eyes;
Only remembering what my youth did gain
In the dark, hidden virtuous use of herbs:
That will I practise, and as freely give
All my endeavours as I gained them free.
Of all green wounds I know the remedies
In men or cattle, be they stung with snakes,
Or charmed with powerful words of wicked art,
Or be they love-sick, or through too much heat
Grown wild or lunatic their eyes or ears
Thickened with misty film of dulling rheum;
These I can cure, such secret virtue lies
In herbs applièd by a virgin's hand.
My meat shall be what these wild woods afford,
Berries and chestnuts, plantains, on whose cheeks
The sun sits smiling, and the lofty fruit
Pulled from the fair head of the straight-grown pine;
On these I'll feed with free content, and rest,
When night shall blind the world, by thy side blest.
Enter Satyr with a Basket of Fruit.