The Milkmaid’s Epithalamium

By Thomas Randolph Thomas Randolph
Joy to the bridegroom and the bride
That lie by one another’s side!
O fie upon the virgin beds,
No loss is gain but maidenheads.
Love quickly send the time may be
When I shall deal my rosemary!

I long to simper at a feast,
To dance, and kiss, and do the rest.
When I shall wed, and bedded be
O then the qualm comes over me,
And tells the sweetness of a theme
That I ne’er knew but in a dream.

You ladies have the blessed nights,
I pine in hope of such delights.
And silly damsel only can
Milk the cows’ teats and think on man:
And sigh and wish to taste and prove
The wholesome sillabub of love.

Make haste, at once twin-brothers bear;
And leave new matter for a star.
Women and ships are never shown
So fair as when their sails be blown.
Then when the midwife hears your moan,
I’ll sigh for grief that I have none.

And you, dear knight, whose every kiss
Reaps the full crop of Cupid’s bliss,
Now you have found, confess and tell
That single sheets do make up hell.
And then so charitable be
To get a man to pity me.


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Poet Thomas Randolph

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Love, Desire

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Desire

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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