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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Thomas Heywood (c. 1570–1641)

Shepherd’s Song

WE that have known no greater state

Than this we live in, praise our fate;

For courtly silks in cares are spent,

When country’s russet breeds content.

The power of sceptres we admire,

But sheep-crooks for our use desire;

Simple and low is our condition,

For here with us is no ambition.

We with the sun our flocks unfold,

Whose rising makes their fleeces gold;

Our music from the birds we borrow,

They bidding us, we them, good-morrow.

Our habits are but coarse and plain,

Yet they defend us from the rain;

As warm too, in an equal eye,

As those bestained in scarlet dye.

The shepherd with his homespun lass

As many merry hours doth pass

As courtiers with their costly girls,

Though richly decked in gold and pearls.