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- For Lovers to Send for Tokens of Love at New Year's Tide, or for Fairings
- [Ed. Note: Ophelia's speech in Hamlet, IV, v, 175-186,
parallels parts of this poem; the attribution of authorship to Hunnis is
- A NOSEGAY, lacking flowers fresh,
- To you now I do send;
- Desiring you to look thereon,
- When that you may intend:
- For flowers fresh begin to fade,
- And Boreas* in the
field [North Wind]
- Even with his hard congealed frost
- No better flowers doth yield.
- But if that winter could have sprung
- A sweeter flower than this,
- I would have sent it presently
- To you withouten miss:
- Accept this then as time doth serve,
- Be thankful for the same,
- Despise it not, but keep it well,
- And mark each flower his name.
- Lavender is for lovers true,
- Which evermore be fain,
- Desiring always for to have
- Some pleasure for their pain;
- And when that they obtained have
- The love that they require,
- Then have they all their perfect joy,
- And quenched is the fire.
- Rosemary is for remembrance
- Between us day and night;
- Wishing that I might always have
- You present in my sight.
- And when I cannot have
- As I have said before,
- Then Cupid with his deadly dart
- Doth wound my heart full sore.
- Sage is for sustenance,
- That should man's life sustain;
- For I do still lie languishing
- Continually in pain,
- And shall do still until I die,
- except thou favour show:
- My pain and all my grievous smart
- Full well you do it know.
- Fennel is for flatterers,
- An evil thing it is sure:
- But I have always meant truly,
- With constant heart most pure;
- And will continue in the same
- As long as life doth last,
- Still hoping for a joyful day
- When all our pains be past.
- Violet is for faithfulness
- Which in me shall abide;
- Hoping likewise that from your heart
- You will not let it slide;
- And will continue in the same
- As you have now begun,
- And then for ever to abide,
- Then you my heart have won.
- Thyme is to try me,
- As each be tried must,
- Letting you know while life doth last
- I will not be unjust;
- And if I should I would to God
- To hell my soul should bear,
- And eke also that Belzebub
- With teeth he should me tear.
- Roses is to rule me
- With reason as you will,
- For to be still obedient
- Your mind for to fulfil;
- And thereto will not disagree
- In nothing that you say,
- But will content your mind truly
- In all things that I may.
- Gillyflowers is for gentleness,
- Which in me shall remain,
- Hoping that no sedition shall
- Depart our hearts in twain.
- As soon the sun shall lose his course,
- The moon against her kind
- Shall have no light, if that I do
- Once put you from my mind.
- Carnations is for graciousness,
- Mark that now by the way,
- Have no regard to flatterers,
- Nor pass not what they say:
- For they will come with lying tales
- Your ears for to fulfil:
- In any case do you consent
- Nothing unto their will.
- Marigolds is for marriage,
- That would our minds suffice,
- Lest that suspicion of us twain
- By any means should rise:
- As for my part, I don not care,
- Myself I will still use
- That all the women of the world
- For you I will refuse.
- Pennyroyal is to print your love
- So deep within my heart,
- That when you look this Nosegay on
- My pain you may impart;
- And when that you have read the same,
- Consider well my woe,
- Think ye then how to recompense
- Even him that loves you so.
- Cowslips is for counsel,
- For secrets us between,
- That none but you and I alone
- Should know the thing we mean:
- And if you will thus wisely do,
- As I think to be best,
- Then have you surely won the field
- And set my heart at rest.
- I pray you keep this Nosegay well,
- And set by it some store:
- And thus farewell! the gods thee guide
- Both now and evermore!
- Not as the common sort do use,
- To set it in your breast,
- That when the smell is gone away,
- On ground he takes his rest.
- William Hunnis
Poets' Corner .
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