Page images
PDF
EPUB

They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others, but stewards of their excellence.
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die ;
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity :
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

W. Shakespeare

XXXIII

THE LOVER'S APPEAL

And wilt thou leave me thus ?
Say nay! say nay! for shame,
To save thee from the blame
Of all my grief and grame.
And wilt thou leave me thus ?
Say nay ! say nay !
And wilt thou leave me thus,
That hath loved thee so long
In wealth and woe among :
And is thy heart so strong
As for to leave me thus ?
Say nay ! say nay !
And wilt thou leave me thus,
That hath given thee my heart
Never for to depart
Neither for pain nor smart :
And wilt thou leave me thus ?
Say nay ! say nay !
And wilt thou leave me thus,
And have no more pity
Of him that loveth thee!
Alas ! thy cruelty!
And wilt thou leave me thus ?
Say nay ! say nay !

Sir T. Wyat

XXXIV

THE NIGHTINGALE

As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap and birds did sing,
Trees did grow and plants did spring,
Every thing did banish moan
Save the nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast against a thorn,
And there sung the dolefullest ditty
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
Tereų, tereu, by and by :
That to hear her so complain
Scarce I could from tears refrain ;
For her griefs so lively shown
Made me think upon mine own.
—Ah, thought I, thou mournst in vain,
None takes pity on thy pain :
Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee,
Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee;
King Pandion, he is dead,
All thy friends are lapp'd in lead :
All thy fellow birds do sing
Careless of thy sorrowing :
Even so, poor bird, like thee
None alive will pity me.

R. Barnefield

XXXV

Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night, Brother to Death, in silent darkness born, Relieve my languish, and restore the light; With dark forgetting of my care return.

And let the day be time enough to mourn
The shipwreck of my ill adventured youth :
Let waking eyes suffice to wail their scorn,
Without the torment of the night's untruth.
Cease, dreams, the images of day.desires,
To model forth the passions of the morrow;
Never let rising Sun approve you liars
To add more grief to aggravate my sorrow :
Still let me sleep, embracing clouds in vain,
And never wake to feel the day's disdain.

S. Daniel

[blocks in formation]

Take O take those lips away
That so sweetly were forsworn,
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn :
But my kisses bring again,

Bring again-
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain,

Seal'd in vain !

W. Shakespeare

XXXVII

LOVE'S FAREWELL

Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part,-
Nay I have done, you get no more of me;
And I am glad, yea glad with all my heart,
That thus so cleanly I myself can free ;
Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain.

Now at the last gasp of love's latest breath,
When his pulse failing, passion speechless lies,
When faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And innocence is closing up his eyes,
-Now if thou would'st, when all have given him over,
From death to life thou might'st him yet recover !

M. Drayton

XXXVIII

TO HIS LUTE

My lute, be as thou wert when thou didst grow
With thy green mother in some shady grove,
When immelodious winds but made thee move,
And birds their ramage did on thee bestow.
Since that dear Voice which did thy sounds approve,
Which wont in such harmonious strains to flow,
Is reft from Earth to tune those spheres above,
What art thou but a harbinger of woe ?
Thy pleasing notes be pleasing notes no more,
But orphans' wailings to the fainting ear;
Each stroke a sigh, each sound draws forth a tear ;
For which be silent as in woods before :
Or if that any hand to touch thee deign,
Like widow'd turtle still her loss complain.

W. Drummond

XXXIX

22

BLIND LOVE
O me! what eyes hath love put in my head
Which have no correspondence with true sight :
Or if they have, where is my judgment fled
That censures falsely what they see aright?
If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote,
What means the world to say it is not so ?
If it be not, then love doth well denote
Love's eye is not so true as all men's : No,

How can it? O how can love's eye be true,
That is so vex'd with watching and with tears ?
No marvel then though I mistake my view :
The sun itself sees not till heaven clears.
O cunning Love ! with tears thou keep'st me blind,
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find !

W. Shakespeare

XL

THE UNFAITHFUL SHEPHERDESS

While that the sun with his beams hot
Scorchéd the fruits in vale and mountain,
Philon the shepherd, late forgot,
Sitting beside a crystal fountain,

In shadow of a green oak tree

Upon his pipe this song play'd he:
Adieu Love, adieu Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu Love;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.
So long as I was in your sight
I was your heart, your soul, and treasure;
And evermore you sobb’d and sigh'd
Burning in flames beyond all measure :

—Three days endured your love to me,

And it was lost in other three !
Adieu Love, adieu Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu Love;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.
Another Shepherd you did see
To whom your heart was soon enchainéd;
Full soon your love was leapt from me,
Full soon my place he had obtainéd.

Soon came a third, your love to win,

And we were out and he was in.
Adieu Love, adieu Love, untrue Love,
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu Love ;
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

« PreviousContinue »