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Title page of The Passionate Pilgrim.

The Passionate Pilgrim is an anthology of poems, published in 1599, which according to the title-page were "By W. Shakespeare".



The Passionate Pilgrim was published by William Jaggard, later the publisher of Shakespeare's First Folio. The first edition survives only in a single fragmentary copy; its date cannot be fixed with certainty since its title page is missing, though many scholars judge it likely to be from 1599, the year the second edition appeared with the attribution to Shakespeare.[1] The title page of this second edition states that the book is to be sold by stationer William Leake; Leake had obtained the rights to Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis in 1596 and published five octavo editions of that poem (the third edition through the eighth) in the 1599–1602 period.

Jaggard issued an expanded edition of The Passionate Pilgrim in 1612, containing an additional nine poems — though all nine were by Thomas Heywood, from his Troia Britannica, which Jaggard had published in 1609. Heywood protested the piracy in his Apology for Actors (1612), where he wrote that Shakespeare was "much offended" with Jaggard for making "so bold with his name." Jaggard withdrew the attribution to Shakespeare from unsold copies of the 1612 edition.[2]

All the early editions of The Passionate Pilgrim are in octavo format. They were carelessly printed, with many errors — in contrast to the carefully-printed early editions of Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.

The poems in The Passionate Pilgrim were reprinted in John Benson's 1640 edition of Shakespeare's Poems, along with the Sonnets, A Lover's Complaint, and The Phoenix and the Turtle and other pieces. Thereafter the anthology was included in collections of Shakespeare's poems, in Bernard Lintott's 1709 edition and subsequent editions.

The poems

Number Author Title Information
1 William Shakespeare Sonnet 138 First publication
2 William Shakespeare Sonnet 144 First publication
3 William Shakespeare Love's Labour's Lost (extract) Spoken by Nathaniel in Act 4, Scene II. The inclusion of this poem (and 5 and 16) says much about Jaggard's taste: in the play, they are intended to be examples of bad poetry.[3]
4 William Shakespeare? [untitled] On the theme of Venus and Adonis, as is Shakespeare's narrative poem.
5 William Shakespeare Love's Labour's Lost (extract) Spoken by Nathaniel in Act 4, Scene II.
6 William Shakespeare? [untitled] On the theme of Venus and Adonis, as is Shakespeare's narrative poem.
7 William Shakespeare? [untitled] In the same six-line stanza format as Venus and Adonis.
8 Richard Barnfield [untitled] First published in Poems in Divers Humors (1598).
9 William Shakespeare? [untitled] On the theme of Venus and Adonis, as is Shakespeare's narrative poem.
10 William Shakespeare? [untitled] In the same six-line stanza format as Venus and Adonis.
11 Bartholomew Griffin [untitled] Printed in Fidessa (1596). On the theme of Venus and Adonis, as is Shakespeare's narrative poem.
12 Thomas Deloney (?) [untitled] Was reprinted with additional stanzas in 1631 in Thomas Deloney's Garden of Goodwill. Deloney died in 1600; he might be the author of 12, though collections of his verse issued after his death contain poems by other authors.

Critic Hallett Smith has identified poem 12 as the one most often favored by readers as possibly Shakespearean — "but there is nothing to support the attribution."[4]

13 William Shakespeare? [untitled] In the same six-line stanza format as Venus and Adonis.
14 William Shakespeare? [untitled] In the same six-line stanza format as Venus and Adonis. Originally published as two poems; some scholars, therefore, consider them as 14 and 15, adding 1 to all subsequent poem numbers.
15 William Shakespeare? [untitled] In the same six-line stanza format as Venus and Adonis.
16 William Shakespeare Love's Labour's Lost Read by Dumain in Act 4, Scene III.
17 "Ignoto" (Richard Barnfield?) [untitled] Printed in an anthology titled England's Helicon in 1600; it is there assigned to "Ignoto" (Latin for "unknown"). The same collection gives Barnfield's number 20 to "Ignoto" as well, leading to the supposition that 17 might also be Barnfield's. Number 17 had been published previously, with a musical setting, in the Madrigals of Thomas Weelkes (1597).
18 [unknown] [untitled] F. E. Halliday finds a resemblance between number 18 and Canto 44 of Willobie His Avisa (1594) by Henry Willobie, a poem with a complex connection to Shakespearean biography.[5] Poem 18 is in the same six-line stanza format as Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis.
19 Christopher Marlowe & Sir Walter Raleigh The Passionate Shepherd to His Love & The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd An inferior text of Marlowe's poem followed by the first stanza of Sir Walter Raleigh's "Reply."
20 Richard Barnfield [untitled] First published in Poems in Divers Humors (1598).

In the nineteenth century, the English composer Sir Henry Rowley Bishop produced musical settings for number 7 and number 20.

See also

  • Shakespeare Apocrypha


  1. ^ Halliday, p. 355; Evans, p. 1787.
  2. ^ Halliday, pp. 34-5.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Evans, p. 1787.
  5. ^ Halliday, p. 356.


  • Evans, G Blakemore, textual editor. The Riverside Shakespeare. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1974; pp. 1787-94.
  • Halliday, F. E. A Shakespeare Companion 1564–1964. Baltimore, Penguin, 1964.

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

by William Shakespeare
Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
'Gainst whom the world could not hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
Thy grace being gain'd cures all disgrace in me.
My vow was breath, and breath a vapour is;
Then, thou fair sun, that on this earth doth shine,
Exhale this vapour vow; in thee it is:
If broken, then it is no fault of mine.
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To break an oath, to win a paradise?
Sweet Cytherea, sitting by a brook
With young Adonis, lovely, fresh, and green,
Did court the lad with many a lovely look,
Such looks as none could look but beauty's queen.
She told him stories to delight his ear;
She show'd him favours to allure his eye;
To win his heart, she touch'd him here and there:
Touches so soft still conquer chastity.
But whether unripe years did want conceit,
Or he refus'd to take her figur'd proffer,
The tender nibbler would not touch the bait,
But smile and jest at every gentle offer:
Then fell she on her back, fair queen, and toward;
He rose and ran away; ah, fool too froward!
If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
O never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow'd:
Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll constant prove;
Those thoughts, to me like oaks, to thee like osiers bow'd.
Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes,
Where all those pleasures live that art can comprehend.
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice;
Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend;
All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire:
Thy eye Jove's lightning seems, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
Which (not to anger bent) is music and sweet fire.
Celestial as thou art, O do not love that wrong,
To sing heavens' praise with such an earthly tongue.
Scarce had the sun dried up the dewy morn,
And scarce the herd gone to the hedge for shade,
When Cytherea, all in love forlorn,
A longing tarriance for Adonis made,
Under an osier growing by a brook,
A brook where Adon used to cool his spleen.
Hot was the day; she hotter that did look
For his approach, that often there had been.
Anon he comes, and throws his mantle by,
And stood stark naked on the brook's green brim;
The sun look'd on the world with glorious eye,
Yet not so wistly as this queen on him:
He, spying her, bounc'd in, whereas he stood;
O Jove, quoth she, why was not I a flood?
Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle;
Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty;
Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle;
Softer than wax, and yet, as iron, rusty:
A lily pale, with damask die to grace her,
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.
Her lips to mine how often hath she join'd,
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing!
How many tales to please me hath she coin'd,
Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing!
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings,
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings.
She burn'd with love, as straw with fire flameth;
She burn'd out love, as soon as straw outburneth;
She fram'd the love, and yet she foil'd the framing;
She bade love last, and yet she fell a turning.
Was this a lover, or a lecher whether?
Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.
If music and sweet poetry agree,
As they must needs, the sister and the brother,
Then must the love be great 'twixt thee and me,
Because thou lovest the one, and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch
Upon the lute doth ravish human sense;
Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such
As, passing all conceit, needs no defence.
Thou lov'st to hear the sweet melodious sound
That Phoebus' lute, the queen of music, makes;
And I in deep delight am chiefly drown'd
Whenas himself to singing he betakes.
One god is god of both, as poets feign;
One knight loves both, and both in thee remain.
Fair was the morn when the fair queen of love,
* * * * * *
Paler for sorrow than her milk-white dove,
For Adon's sake, a youngster proud and wild;
Her stand she takes upon a steep-up hill:
Anon Adonis comes with horn and hounds;
She, silly queen, with more than love's good will,
Forbade the boy he should not pass those grounds;
Once, quoth she, did I see a fair sweet youth
Here in these brakes deep-wounded with a boar,
Deep in the thigh, a spectacle of ruth!
See, in my thigh, quoth she, here was the sore.
She showed hers: he saw more wounds than one,
And blushing fled, and left her all alone.
Sweet rose, fair flower, untimely pluck'd, soon vaded,
Pluck'd in the bud, and vaded in the spring!
Bright orient pearl, alack! too timely shaded!
Fair creature, kill'd too soon by death's sharp sting!
Like a green plum that hangs upon a tree,
And falls, through wind, before the fall should be.
I weep for thee, and yet no cause I have;
For why? thou left'st me nothing in thy will:
And yet thou left'st me more than I did crave;
For why? I craved nothing of thee still:
O yes, dear friend, I pardon crave of thee,
Thy discontent thou didst bequeath to me.
Venus, with young Adonis sitting by her,
Under a myrtle shade, began to woo him:
She told the youngling how god Mars did try her,
And as he fell to her, so fell she to him.
Even thus, quoth she, the warlike god embrac'd me,
And then she clipp'd Adonis in her arms;
Even thus, quoth she, the warlike god unlaced me;
As if the boy should use like loving charms;
Even thus, quoth she, he seized on my lips,
And with her lips on his did act the seizure;
And as she fetched breath, away he skips,
And would not take her meaning nor her pleasure.
Ah! that I had my lady at this bay,
To kiss and clip me till I run away!
Crabbed age and youth
Cannot live together
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare;
Youth is full of sport,
Age's breath is short;
Youth is nimble, age is lame;
Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold;
Youth is wild, and age is tame.
Age, I do abhor thee;
Youth, I do adore thee;
O, my love, my love is young!
Age, I do defy thee;
O, sweet shepherd, hie thee,
For methinks thou stay'st too long.
Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good,
A shining gloss that vadeth suddenly;
A flower that dies when first it 'gins to bud;
A brittle glass, that's broken presently:
A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,
Lost, vaded, broken, dead within an hour.
And as goods lost are seld or never found,
As vaded gloss no rubbing will refresh,
As flowers dead lie wither'd on the ground,
As broken glass no cement can redress,
So beauty blemish'd once, for ever's lost,
In spite of physic, painting, pain and cost.
Good night, good rest. Ah! neither be my share:
She bade good night that kept my rest away;
And daff'd me to a cabin hang'd with care,
To descant on the doubts of my decay.
Farewell, quoth she, and come again tomorrow:
Fare well I could not, for I supp'd with sorrow;
Yet at my parting sweetly did she smile,
In scorn or friendship, nill I construe whether:
'T may be, she joy'd to jest at my exile,
'T may be, again to make me wander thither:
'Wander,' a word for shadows like myself,
As take the pain, but cannot pluck the pelf.
Lord, how mine eyes throw gazes to the east!
My heart doth charge the watch; the morning rise
Doth cite each moving sense from idle rest.
Not daring trust the office of mine eyes,
While Philomela sits and sings, I sit and mark,
And wish her lays were tuned like the lark;
For she doth welcome daylight with her ditty,
And drives away dark dismal-dreaming night:
The night so pack'd, I post unto my pretty;
Heart hath his hope, and eyes their wished sight;
Sorrow chang'd to solace, solace mix'd with sorrow;
For why, she sigh'd and bade me come tomorrow.
Were I with her, the night would post too soon;
But now are minutes added to the hours;
To spite me now, each minute seems a moon;
Yet not for me, shine sun to succour flowers!
Pack night, peep day; good day, of night now borrow:
Short, night, to-night, and length thyself to-morrow.
PD-icon.svg This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.


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