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Thomas Randolph (1605-1635)

On Sixe Cambridge Lasses Bathinge Themselfes by Queenes Colledge on the 25th of June at Night and Espied by a Scholer


              1When bashfull daylight now was gone
              2And night, that hides a blush, came on.
              3Sixe Pretty Nymphes to wash away
              4The sweatinge of a Summers daye
              5In Chams fair streames did gently swim
              6And naked bathd each curious limbe.
              7O Who had this blist sight but seene
              8Would thinke they all had Clœlia=s beene.
              9    A Scholer that a walke did take
            10Perchance for Meditation sake.
            11This blessed Obiect chan'cd to find
            12Straight all thinges else went out of mind
            13No Studye=s better in this life
            14For Practicke or Contemplatiue:
            15Who thought Poore soule these hee had seene,
            16Fair Dian and her Nymphes had beene.
            17And therefore thought in piteous feare
            18Actæons fortune was too neere.
            19Or that the Water=Nymphes they were
            20Together met to sport 'um there
            21And that to him such loue they bore
            22As to Iolas once before.
            23    What could hee thinke but that his eye
            24Sixe Venusses at once did spie
            25Rise from the waues, or that perchaunce
            26Fresh=Water Syrens came to dance
            27Vpon our streames, with songes and lookes
            28To tempt Poore Scholers from their bookes.
            29    Hee cannot thinke they Graces are
            30Vnlesse their number doubled were.
            31    Nor can hee thinke they muses bee
            32Bicause alasse they wanted three.
            33    I should haue rather guess'd that here
            34    Another brood of Helens were
            35Begot by Ioue upon ye playnes
            36Watchd by some Læda of the Swans.
            37The maydes betrayd were in a fright
            38And blush'd (but twas not seene ith night.)
            39At last all by ye banke did stand
            40And hee, good harte lent them his hand.
            41    Where twas his blisse to feele all ore
            42Soft Paps, smooth thighes and somethinge more.
            43But Enuious Night masqued from his eyes
            44The place where loue and pleasure lyes.
            45    Guesse Louers guesse, o you yt dare
            46What then might bee this Scholers praier
            47That hee were but a Cat to spye
            48Or had but now Tyberius eyes.
            49    Yet since this hope was all in Vaine
            50Hee helpes 'um don there cloths agayne.
            51Makes Promise thye shall none bee shent
            52So with them to the Tauerne went.
            53    Where how hee then might sport or play
            54    Pardon mee Muse I must not say
            55    Guesse you that haue a mind to knowe
            56Whither hee were a Foole of no./


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Autograph Poetry in the English Language, ed. P. J. Croft, Vol. 1 (London: Cassell, 1973): 43-44. From Worcester College Oxford MS. 346.
First publication date: 1640
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/30

Form: couplets


Other poems by Thomas Randolph