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Poem by Edward Dyer
Hee that his mirth hath loste, Whose comfort is dismaid, Whose hope is vaine, whose faith is scorned, Whose trust is all betraid, If he have held them deare, And cannot cease to moane, Come, let him take his place by me; He shall not rue alone. But if the smalest sweete Be mixt with all his sowre; If in the day, the moneth, the yeare, He finde one lightsome hower, Then rest he by himself; He is noe mate for me, Whose hope is falen, whose succor voyde, Whose hart his death must be. Yet not the wishèd death, That hathe noe plainte nor lacke, Which, making free the better parte, Is onely nature's sacke. Oh me! that wer too well, My death is of the minde, Which alwayes yeeldès extreame paines, Yet keepes the worst behind. As one that lives in shewe But inwardly doth die, Whose knowledge is a bloody field Wheare all hope slaine doth lie; Whose harte the aulter is, Whose spirit, the sacrifize Unto the Powers whome to appease Noe sorrowes can sufize. Whose fancies are like thornes, On which I goe by night, Whose arguments are like a hoste, That force hath put to flight. Whose sense is passion's spye, Whose thoughtes, like ruins old Of Carthage, or the famous towne That Sinon bought and sold. Which still before my face, My mortall foe doth lay, Whome love and fortune once advanced And nowe hath cast away. O thoughtes! noe thoughtes but woundes, Sometimes the seate of Joy Sometimes the chaire of quiet rest But nowe of all annoy. I sowed the feild of peace, My blisse was in the Springe; And day by day I ate the fruit That my Live's tree did bring. To nettels nowe my corne, My feild is turnd to flint, Where sitting in the cipres shade, I reade the hiacint. The joy, the rest, the life That I enioyed of yore Came to my lot that by my losse, My smarte might smarte the more. Thus to unhappie men The best frames to the worste; O tyme, O places. O woordes, O lookes, Deere then but nowe accurst! In 'was' stood my delight, In 'is' and 'shall' my woe; My horrors fastned in the 'yea,' My hope hangs in the 'noe.' I looke for noe delight, Releefe will come too late; Too late I finde, I finde too well, Too well stoode my Estate. Behold, heere is the end, And nothing heere is sure: Ah nothinge ells but plaints and cares Doth to the world enduer. Forsaken first was I, Then utterly foregotten; And he that came not to my faith, Lo! my reward hath gotten. Nowe Love, where are thy lawes That make thy torments sweete? What is the cause that some through thee Have thought their death but meet? Thy stately chaste disdaine, Thy secret thanckfulnes, Thy grace reservd, thy common light That shines in worthines. O that it were not soe Or that I could excuse! O that the wrath of Jelousie My judgement might abuse! O fraile unconstant kind, And safe in truste to noe man! Noe woemen angells are, yet loe! My mistris is a woman! Yet hate I but the falte, And not the faultie one; Nor can I rid me of the bonds Wherein I lie alone. Alone I lie, whose like By love was never yet; Nor rich, nor poore, nor younge, nor old, Nor fond, nor full of witt. Hers still remaine must I, By wronge, by death, by shame; I cannot blot out of my minde That love wrought in her name. I cannot set at naught That I have held soe deare, I cannot make it seem so farre That is indeede soe neare. Nor that I meane, henceforth This strange will to professe: I never will betray such trust And fall to ficklenesse. Nor shall it ever faile That my word bare in hand: I gave my word, my worde gave me, Both worde and gaift shall stand. Syth then it must be thus And this is all to ill, I yeelde me captiue to my curse, My harde fate to fulfill. The solitarie woodes, My Cittie shall become; The darkest den shalbe my lodge Whereto noe light shall come. Of heban blacke my boorde; The wormes my meate shalbe, Wherewith my carcase shalbe fed Till thes doe feede on me. My wine, of Niobe, My bed the cragie rocke, My harmony, the serpent's hisse, The shreikinge owle, my cocke. Mine exercise naught ells But raginge agonies; My bookes, of spightfull fortune's foiles And drerye tragedies. My walkes the pathes of plaint, My prospect into Hell, With Sisiphus and all his pheres In endles paines to dwell. And though I seeme to use The poet's fainèd stile, To figure forth my wofull plight, My fall and my exile. Yet is my greeffe not faind, Wherein I starve and pine, Whoe feeleth most shall finde it least Comparinge his with mine. My songe,--if anie aske Whose grievous case is such? Dy er thou let'st his name be knowne,-- His follye showes too much. But best, were thee to hide And never come to light; For in the worle can none but thee These accents sound aright. And soe a end: my tale is tould: His life is but disdaind, Whose sorrowes present paine him soe, His pleasures are full faind. Finis.
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