Act 2, Scene III

Scene: Another part of the Wood.

Enter Sullen Shepherd.

Sullen Shepherd.
I do not love this wench that I should meet;
For ne'er did my unconstant eye yet greet
That beauty, were it sweeter or more fair
Than the new blossoms when the morning-air
Blows gently on them, or the breaking light,
When many maiden-blushes to our sight
Shoot from his early face: were all these set
In some neat form before me, twould not get
The least love from me; some desire it might,
Or present burning. All to me in sight
Are equal; be they fair, or black, or brown,
Virgin, or careless wanton, I can crown
My appetite with any; swear as oft,
And weep, as any; melt my words as soft
Into a maiden's ears, and tell how long
My heart has been her servant, and how strong
My passions are; call her unkind and cruel;
Offer her all I have to gain the jewel
Maidens so highly prize; then loathe, and fly:
This do I hold a blessèd destiny.


Hail, shepherd! Pan bless both thy flock and thee,
For being mindful of thy word to me!
Sullen Shepherd.
Welcome, fair shepherdess! Thy loving swain
Gives thee the self-same wishes back again;
Who till this present hour ne'er knew that eye
Could make me cross mine arms, or daily die
With fresh consumings. Boldly tell me, then,
How shall we part their faithful loves, and when?
Shall I belie him to her? shall I swear
His faith is false and he loves every where?
I'll say he mocked her th' other day to you;
Which will by your confirming show as true,
For she is of so pure an honesty,
To think, because she will not, none will lie.
Or else to him I'll slander Amoret,
And say, she but seems chaste; I'll swear she met
Me 'mongst the sliady sycamores last night,
And loosely offered up her flame and sprite
Into my bosom; made a wanton bed
Of leaves and many flowers, where she spread
Her willing b'ody to be pressed by me;
There have I carved her name on many a tree,
Together with mine own. To make this show
More full of seeming,—Hobinal, you know,
Son to the agèd shepherd of the glen,
Him I have sorted out of many men,
To say he found us at our private sport,
And roused us 'fore our time by his resort:
This to confirm, I've promised to the boy
Many a pretty knack and many a toy;
As gins to catch him birds, with bow and bolt
To shoot at nimble squirrels in the holt;
A pair of painted buskins, and a lamb
Soft as his own locks or the down of swan.
This I have done to win you; which doth give
Me double pleasure: discord makes me live.
Loved swain, I thank you. These tricks might prevail
With other rustic shepherds, but will fail
Even once to stir, much more to overthrow,
His fixèd love from judgment, who doth know
Your nature, my end, and his chosen's merit;
Therefore some stronger way must force his spirit,
Which I have found: give second, and my love
Is everlasting thine.
Sullen Shepherd.
Is everlasting thine. Try me, and prove.
These happy pair of lovers meet straightway
Soon as they fold their flocks up with the day,
In the thick grove bordering upon yon hill,
In whose hard side nature hath carved a well,
And, but that matchless spring which poets know,
Was ne'er the like to this: by it doth grow,
About the sides, all herbs which witches use,
All samples good for medicine or abuse,
All sweets that crown the happy nuptial day,
With all their colours; there the month of May
Is ever dwelling, all is young and green;
There's not a grass on which was ever seen
The falling autumn or cold winter's hand;
So full of heat and virtue is the land
About this fountain, which doth slowly break,
Below yon mountain's foot, into a creek
That waters all the valley, giving fish
Of many sorts to fill the shepherd's dish.
This holy well, my grandame that is dead,
Right wise in charms, hath often to me said,
Hath power to change the form of any creature,
Being thrice dipped o'er the head, into what feature
Or shape 'twould please the letter-down to crave,
Who must pronounce this charm too, which she gave
[Showing a scroll.
Me on her death-bed; told me what, and how,
I should apply unto the patient's brow
That would be changed, casting them thrice asleep,
Before I trusted them into this deep:
All this she showed me, and did charge me prove
This secret of her art, if crost in love.
I'll this attempt now, shepherd; I have here
All her prescriptions, and I will not fear
To be myself dipped. Come, my temples bind
With these sad herbs, and when I sleep you find,
As you do speak your charm, thrice down me let,
And bid the water raise me Amoret;
Which being done, leave me to my affair,
And ere the day shall quite itself outwear,
I will return unto my shepherd's arm;
Dip me again, and then repeat this charm,
And pluck me up myself, whom freely take,
And the hott'st fire of thine affection slake.
Sullen Shepherd.
And if I fit thee not, then fit not me.
I long the truth of this well's power to see.