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(1605-1635 / England)

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On Six Cambridge Lasses Bathing Themselves

1 When bashfull daylight now was gone
2 And night, that hides a blush, came on.
3 Sixe Pretty Nymphes to wash away
4 The sweatinge of a Summers daye
5 In Chams fair streames did gently swim
6 And naked bathd each curious limbe.
7 O Who had this blist sight but seene
8 Would thinke they all had Cl{oe}lia=s beene.
9 A Scholer that a walke did take
10 Perchance for Meditation sake.
11 This blessed Obiect chan'cd to find
12 Straight all thinges else went out of mind
13 No Studye=s better in this life
14 For Practicke or Contemplatiue:
15 Who thought Poore soule these hee had seene,
16 Fair Dian and her Nymphes had beene.
17 And therefore thought in piteous feare
18 Act{ae}ons fortune was too neere.
19 Or that the Water=Nymphes they were
20 Together met to sport 'um there
21 And that to him such loue they bore
22 As to Iolas once before.
23 What could hee thinke but that his eye
24 Sixe Venusses at once did spie
25 Rise from the waues, or that perchaunce
26 Fresh=Water Syrens came to dance
27 Vpon our streames, with songes and lookes
28 To tempt Poore Scholers from their bookes.
29 Hee cannot thinke they Graces are
30 Vnlesse their number doubled were.
31 Nor can hee thinke they muses bee
32 Bicause alasse they wanted three.
33 I should haue rather guess'd that here
34 Another brood of Helens were
35 Begot by Ioue upon |y+e+| playnes
36 Watchd by some L{ae}da of the Swans.
37 The maydes betrayd were in a fright
38 And blush'd (but twas not seene ith night.)
39 At last all by |y+e+| banke did stand
40 And hee, good harte lent them his hand.
41 Where twas his blisse to feele all ore
42 Soft Paps, smooth thighes and somethinge more.
43 But Enuious Night masqued from his eyes
44 The place where loue and pleasure lyes.
45 Guesse Louers guesse, o you |y+t+| dare
46 What then might bee this Scholers praier
47 That hee were but a Cat to spye
48 Or had but now Tyberius eyes.
49 Yet since this hope was all in Vaine
50 Hee helpes 'um don there cloths agayne.
51 Makes Promise thye shall none bee shent
52 So with them to the Tauerne went.
53 Where how hee then might sport or play
54 Pardon mee Muse I must not say
55 Guesse you that haue a mind to knowe
56 Whither hee were a Foole of no.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Read poems about / on: cat, water, dance, night, together, hope, rose, swimming

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Comments about this poem (Upon His Picture by Thomas Randolph )

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  • Thomas Randolph (7/6/2009 8:50:00 PM)

    I like the point that there are three missing for them to be muses, but muses they
    may have been just the same.

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