The Allegory of Shepherds Is too Mean for Noble Persons.


To cover noble lovers with the2 weeds
Of ragged shepherds, too low3 thoughts it breeds,
Like as when men make gods to come4 down low,5
Take6 off all rev’rence7 and respect we owe.
Then rather make ladies8 fair nymphs to be,                             5
Who’re cloathed with beauty, bred with modesty;
Their9 tresses long hang on their shoulders10 white,
Which when they move, do give the gods delight.
Their11 quivers,12 hearts of men, which fast are tied,
And arrows of quick flying eyes beside,                                     10
Buskins, which,13 buckled close with plates of gold,
With strength their legs from base ways back14 do hold.
And make men15 champions, knights—which honor prize16
Above the tempting of alluring eyes—
Which17 seek to kill, or at the least to bind                                15
All evil passions in a wand’ring mind;
And18 take those castles kept by scandals strong,
That have by errors been enchanted long,
Rout monstrous vices, which do19 virtues eat:
These lovers worthy are of praises great.                                   20
So will high Fame aloud those praises sing;
Cupid those lovers shall to Hymen bring,
At Honor’s altar join both hearts and hands;
The gods will seal those20 matrimonial bands.

  1. The Allegory of Shepherds Is too Mean for Noble Persons.] A Shepherds imployment is too meane an Allegory for Noble Ladies. 1653
  2. with the] in Shepherds 1653
  3. ragged shepherds, too low] high descent, too humble 1653
  4. Like as when men make gods to come] Like Gods, when they to Men descend 1653
  5. down low,] below, 1664, 1668
  6. Take] Takes 1664, 1668
  7. all rev’rence] the reverence, 1653
  8. rather make ladies] make such persons like 1653
  9. Their] Whose 1664, 1668
  10. shoulders] Soulders 1664
  11. Their] Whose 1664, 1668
  12. quivers,] Quiver, 1653
  13. which,] that’s 1653
  14. With strength their legs from base ways back] Which from base wayes their legs with strength 1653
  15. And make men] Men, 1653
  16. prize] high doe prize, 1653
  17. Which] That 1653
  18. And] To 1653
  19. Rout monstrous vices, which do] Destroying monstrous Vice, which 1653
  20. those] their 1664, 1668