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On Westwell Downes

On Westwell Downes

When Westwell Downes I gan to tread,
Where cleanely wynds the greene did sweepe,
Methought a landskipp there was spread,
Here a bush and there a sheepe:
The pleated wrinkles of the face
Of wave-swolne earth did lend such grace,
As shadowings in Imag’ry
Which both deceive and please the eye.

The sheepe sometymes did tread the maze
By often wynding in and in,
And sometymes round about they trace
Which milkmayds call a Fairie ring:
Such semicircles have they runne,
Such lynes acrosse so trymly spunne
That sheppeards learne whenere they please
A new Geometry with ease.

The slender food upon the downe
Is allwayes even, allwayes bare,
Which neither spring nor winter’s frowne
Can ought improve or ought impayre:
Such is the barren Eunuches chynne,
Which thus doth evermore begynne
With tender downe to be orecast
Which never comes to haire at last.

Here and there twoe hilly crests
Amiddst them hugg a pleasant greene,
And these are like twoe swelling breasts
That close a tender fall betweene.
Here would I sleepe, or read, or pray
From early morne till flight of day:
But harke! a sheepe-bell calls mee upp,
Like Oxford colledge bells, to supp.



Poem On Westwell Downes - William Strode
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