They flee from me, that sometime did me seek, With naked foot stalking in my chamber. I have seen them, gentle, tame, and meek, That now are wild, and do not remember That sometime they put themselves in danger To take bread at my hand; and now they range, Busily seeking with a continual change. Thanked be Fortune it hath been otherwise, Twenty times better; but once in special, In thin array, after a pleasant guise, When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall, And she me caught in her arms long and small, And therewith all sweetly did me kiss And softly said, "Dear heart, how like you this?" It was no dream, I lay broad waking. But all is turned, thorough my gentleness, Into a strange fashion of forsaking; And I have leave to go, of her goodness, And she also to use newfangleness. But since that I so kindely am served, I fain sould know what she hath deserved.
Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind
Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, hélas, I may no more.
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Sithens in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain
There is written, her fair neck round about:
Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.