I Care Not for These Ladies

By Thomas Campion 1567–1620 Thomas Campion
I care not for these ladies,
That must be wooed and prayed:
Give me kind Amaryllis,
The wanton country maid.
Nature art disdaineth,
Her beauty is her own.
    Her when we court and kiss,      
    She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”
    But when we come where comfort is,
    She never will say no.

If I love Amaryllis,
She gives me fruit and flowers:
But if we love these ladies,
We must give golden showers.
Give them gold, that sell love,
Give me the nut-brown lass,
    Who, when we court and kiss,
    She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”
    But when we come where comfort is,
    She never will say no.

These ladies must have pillows,
And beds by strangers wrought;
Give me a bower of willows,
Of moss and leaves unbought,
And fresh Amaryllis,
With milk and honey fed;
    Who, when we court and kiss,
    She cries, “Forsooth, let go!”
    But when we come where comfort is,
    She never will say no.

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Poet Thomas Campion 1567–1620

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Romantic Love, Desire

Biography

Thomas Campion's importance for nondramatic literature of the English Renaissance lies in the exceptional intimacy of the musical-poetic connection in his work. While other poets and musicians talked about the union of the two arts, only Campion produced complete songs wholly of his own composition, and only he wrote lyric poetry of enduring literary value whose very construction is deeply etched with the poet's care for its . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Romantic Love, Desire

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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