Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,°
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the Devil's foot.
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
Serves to advance a honest mind.
If thou beest born to strange sights,
Things invisibe to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee.
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me
All strange wonders that befell thee,
Lives a woman true, and fair.
If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet;
Though she were true when you met her,
And last till you write your letter,
False, ere I come, to two, or three.
°The mandrake plant has a forked root
which led people to associate it with human beings.
The root, when ground up and taken as a medicine,
was thought to increase fertility.