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Campion, Thomas: Think'st thou to seduce me then

Portre of Campion, Thomas

Think'st thou to seduce me then (English)

THINK’ST[1] thou to seduce me then with words that have no meaning?
Parrots so can learn to prate, our speech by pieces gleaning:
Nurses teach their children so about the time of weaning.

Learn to speak first, then to woo: to wooing much pertaineth:
He that courts us, wanting art, soon falters when he feigneth,
Looks asquint on his discourse and smiles when he complaineth.

Skilful anglers hide their hooks, fit baits for every season;
But with crooked pins fish thou, as babes do that want reason:
Gudgeons only can be caught with such poor tricks of treason.

Ruth forgive me (if I erred) from human heart’s compassion,
 When I laughed sometimes too much to see thy foolish fashion:
But alas, who less could do that found so good occasion?

[1] From Campion’s Fourth Book of Airs, 1617. There is another version of this song given in William Corkine’s Airs, 1610, with only three stanzas; for this version see Works of Thomas Campion, Bullen ed., 1891, p. 286

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