FIE, PLEASURE, FIE!
by: George Gascoigne (1525?-1577)
POEMS BY GEORGE GASCOIGNE
- IE pleasure, fie! thou cloyest
me with delight,
- Thou fill'st my mouth with sweetmeats overmuch;
- I wallow still in joy both day and night:
- I deem, I dream, I do, I taste, I touch,
- No thing but all that smells of perfect bliss;
- Fie pleasure, fie! I cannot like of this.
- To taste (sometimes) a bait of bitter gall,
- To drink a draught of soür ale (some season)
- To eat brown bread with homely hands in hall,
- Doth much increase men's appetites, by reason,
- And makes the sweet more sugar'd that ensues,
- Since minds of men do still seek after news.
- The pamper'd horse is seldom seen in breath,
- Whose manger makes his grace (oftimes) to melt;
- The crammed fowl comes quickly to his death;
- Such colds they catch in hottest haps that swelt;
- And I (much like) in pleasure scawled still,
- Do fear to starve although I feed my fill.
- It might suffice that Love hath built his bower
- Between my lady's lively shining eyes;
- It were enough that beauty's fading flower
- Grows ever fresh with her in heavenly wise;
- It had been well that she were fair of face,
- And yet not rob all other dames of grace.
- To muse in mind, how wise, how fair, how good,
- How brave, how frank, how courteous, and how true
- My lady is, doth but inflame my blood
- With humours such as bid my health adieu;
- Since hap always when it is clomb on high,
- Doth fall full low, though erst it reach'd the sky.
- Lo, pleasure, lo! lo thus I lead a life
- That laughs for joy, and trembleth oft for dread;
- Thy pangs are such as call for change's knife
- To cut the twist, or else to stretch the thread,
- Which holds yfeer the bundle of my bliss:
- Fie, pleasure, fie! I dare not trust to this.