When I was Young and Fair
British Library MS Harley 7392, fol. 21v; Cambridge University Library MS Dd.V.75, fol. 38v; cf. Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson Poetical 85, fol. 1r and British Library MS Harley 7392, fol. 21. Elizabeth I, Collected Works, ed. Leah S. Marcus, Janel Mueller, and Mary Beth Rose (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2000): 303-04.
1When I was fair and young, and favor graced me,
2Of many was I sought their mistress for to be.
3But I did scorn them all, and said to them therefore,
4"Go, go, go, seek some otherwhere; importune me no more."
5How many weeping eyes I made to pine in woe;
6How many sighing hearts I have not skill to show,
7But I the prouder grew, and still this spake therefore:
8"Go, go, go, seek some otherwhere, importune me no more."
9Then spake fair Venus' son, that brave victorious boy,
10Saying: You dainty dame, for that you be so coy,
11I will so pluck your plumes as you shall say no more:
12"Go, go, go, seek some otherwhere, importune me no more."
13As soon as he had said, such change grew in my breast
14That neither night nor day I could take any rest.
15Wherefore I did repent that I had said before:
16"Go, go, go, seek some otherwhere, importune me no more."
Publication Start Year:
RPO poem Editors: