Willie and Jockie rail at an interloping swine-herd. Given the Inns-of-Court context in which Browne wrote his poetry, one can only suppose the portrait is taken from the life.
W. J. Courthope: "Though Browne's genius received so strong an impulse from Drayton's pastoral manner, he in no way followed his master's example of making the pastoral a vehicle for Court flattery. On the contrary, he is among those poets — Breton, Barnfield, and others — whose characteristic note it is to dwell on the contrast between the simplicity of country and the artificiality of Court life" History of English Poetry (1895-1910) 3:47-48.
Herbert E. Cory: "The second eclogue is a sprightly dialogue between Willie and Jockie who complain of the depredations of a 'swinish lout'" "Spenserian Pastoral" PMLA 10 (1910) 257.
Joan Grundy: "Some of the evidence suggests that what is represented here is the social and literary life of the Inns of Court, or at any rate that section of it comprising these writers and their friends. Browne, Brooke, Wither, and Ferrar were all members of the Society, the three younger ones being students at the time the poems were written" The Spenserian Poets (1969) 83.
Joan Grundy sees a connection between the swine-herd and the "roguish swineheardes" of Drayton's Shepheards Sirena (1627).
Two shepheards here complaine the wrong
Done by a swinish Lout,
That brings his Hogges their Sheepe among,
And spoyles the Plaine throughout.
Jockie, say: what might he be
That sits on yonder hill?
And tooteth out his notes of glee
So uncouth and so shril?
Notes of glee? bad ones I trow,
I have not heard beforne
One so mistook as Willie now,
Tis some Sow-gelders horne.
And well thou asken mightst if I
Do know him, or from whence
He comes, that to his Minstrelsie
Requires such patience.
He is a Swinward, but I thinke
No Swinward of the best.
For much he reketh of his swinke,
And carketh for his rest.
Harme take the Swine! What makes he heere?
What lucklesse planets frownes
Have drawne him and his Hogges in feere
To root our daisied downes.
Ill mote hee thrive! and may his Hogges
And all that ere they breed
Be ever worried by our Dogges,
For so presumptuous deed.
Why kept hee not among the Fennes?
Or in the Copses by,
Or in the Woods and braky glennes,
Where Hawes and Acornes lye?
About the Ditches of the Towne,
Or Hedge-rowes hee might bring them.
But then some pence 'twould cost the Clowne
To yoke and eke to ring them;
And well I weene he loves no cost
But what is for his backe:
To goe full gay him pleaseth most,
And lets his belly lacke.
Two sutes he hath, the one of blew,
The other home-spun grey:
And yet he meanes to make a new
Against next revell day;
And though our May-lord at the feast
Seem'd very trimly clad,
In cloth by his owne mother drest,
Yet comes not neere this lad.
His bonnet neatly on his head,
With button on the top,
His shooes with strings of leather red,
And stocking to his slop.
And yet for all it comes to passe,
He not our gybing scapes:
Some like him to a trimmed Asse,
And some to Jack-an-Apes.
It seemeth then by what is said,
That Jockie knowes the Boore;
I would my scrip and hooke have laid
Thou knewst him not before.
Sike lothed chance by fortune fell
(If fortune ought can doe)
Not kend him? Yes, I ken him well
And sometime paid for't too.
Would Jockie ever stoope so low,
As conissance to take
Of sike a churle? Full well I know,
No nymph of spring or lake,
No Heardesse, nor no shepheards gerle,
But fain would sit by thee,
And Sea-nymphs offer shells of perle
For thy sweet melodie.
The Satyrs bring thee from the woods
The Straw-berry for hire,
And all the first fruites of the budds
To wooe thee to their quire.
Silvanus songsters learne thy straine,
For by a neighbour spring
The nightingale records againe
What thou dost primely sing.
Nor canst thou tune a madrigall,
Or any drery mone,
But Nymphs, or Swaines, or Birds, or all
Permit thee not alone.
And yet (as though devoid of these)
Canst thou so low decline,
As leave the lovely Naides
For one that keepeth Swine?
But how befell it?
As to the field I set me,
Neare to the May-pole on the way
This sluggish Swinward met me.
And seeing Weptol with him there,
Our fellow-swaine and friend,
I bade good day, so on did fare
To my preposed end.
But as backe from my wintring ground
I came the way before,
This rude groome all alone I found
Stand by the Ale-house dore.
There was no nay, but I must in
And taste a cuppe of ale;
Where on his pot he did begin
To stammer out a tale.
He told me how he much desir'd
Th' acquaintance of us Swaines,
And from the forest was retir'd
To graze upon our plaines:
But for what cause I cannot tell,
He can nor pipe nor sing,
Nor knows he how to digge a well,
Nor neatly dresse a spring:
Nor knowes a trappe nor snare to till,
He sits as in a dreame;
Nor scarce hath so much whistling skill
Will hearten-on a teame.
Well, we so long together were,
I gan to haste away,
He licenc'd me to leave him there,
And gave me leave to pay.
Done like a Swinward; may you all
That close with such as he,
Be used so! that gladly fall
Into like company.
But if I faile not in mine Art,
Ile send him to his yerd,
And make him from our plaines depart
With all his durty herd.
I wonder he hath suffred been
Upon our common heere,
His Hogges doe root our yonger trees
And spoyle the smelling breere.
Our purest welles they wallow in,
All over-spred with durt,
Nor will they from our Arbours lin,
But all our pleasures hurt.
Our curious benches that we build
Beneath a shady tree,
Shall be orethrown, or so defilde
As we would loath to see.
Then joyne we, Jockie; for the rest
Of all our fellow Swaines,
I am assur'd will doe their best
To rid him fro our plaines.
What is in me shall never faile
To forward such a deed.
And sure I think wee might prevaile
By some Satyricke reed.
If that will doe, I know a lad
Can hit the master-vaine.
But let us home, the skyes are sad,
And clouds distill in raine.