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 Cllia=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:
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/30
Other poems by Thomas Randolph