Fie, Pleasure, Fie!

Original Text: 
George Gascoigne, Posies (1575); facs. edn. (Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1979). PR 2277 P6 1979 Robarts Library
2Thou fill'st my mouth with sweetmeats overmuch;
3I wallow still in joy both day and night:
4I deem, I dream, I do, I taste, I touch,
5No thing but all that smells of perfect bliss;
6Fie pleasure, fie! I cannot like of this.
8To drink a draught of soür ale (some season)
9To eat brown bread with homely hands in hall,
10Doth much increase men's appetites, by reason,
11And makes the sweet more sugar'd that ensues,
12Since minds of men do still seek after news.
13  The pamper'd horse is seldom seen in breath,
14Whose manger makes his grace (oftimes) to melt;
15The crammed fowl comes quickly to his death;
18Do fear to starve although I feed my fill.
19  It might suffice that Love hath built his bower
20Between my lady's lively shining eyes;
21It were enough that beauty's fading flower
22Grows ever fresh with her in heavenly wise;
23It had been well that she were fair of face,
24And yet not rob all other dames of grace.
25  To muse in mind, how wise, how fair, how good,
26How brave, how frank, how courteous, and how true
27My lady is, doth but inflame my blood
28With humours such as bid my health adieu;
30Doth fall full low, though erst it reach'd the sky.
31  Lo, pleasure, lo! lo thus I lead a life
32That laughs for joy, and trembleth oft for dread;
33Thy pangs are such as call for change's knife
34To cut the twist, or else to stretch the thread,
36Fie, pleasure, fie! I dare not trust to this.


1] Part of a longer poem entitled The delectable history of sundry adventures passed by Dan Bartholomew of Bathe. Back to Line
7] bait: drink. Back to Line
16] haps: covering, clothes.
swelt: faint, swoon. Back to Line
17] scawled: scalled, suffering from, scaly or scabby disease of the skin, presumably from over-eating. Back to Line
29] hap: Fortune. Back to Line
35] yfeer: together. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.100; RPO 1998-2000.