And If I Did, What Then?

Original Text: 
A Hundreth Sundry Flowers (1573); facs. edn. (Menston: Scolar, 1970). PR 2277 H8 1573A Robarts Library
1"And if I did, what then?
2Are you aggriev'd therefore?
3The sea hath fish for every man,
4And what would you have more?"
5  Thus did my mistress once,
6Amaze my mind with doubt;
7And popp'd a question for the nonce
8To beat my brains about.
9  Whereto I thus replied:
10"Each fisherman can wish
11That all the seas at every tide
12Were his alone to fish.
13  "And so did I (in vain)
14But since it may not be,
15Let such fish there as find the gain,
16And leave the loss for me.
17  "And with such luck and loss
18I will content myself,
19Till tides of turning time may toss
20Such fishers on the shelf.
21  "And when they stick on sands,
22That every man may see,
23Then will I laugh and clap my hands,
24As they do now at me."
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.99; RPO 1998-2000.