Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A POEM ENTREATING OF SORROW, by WALTER RALEIGH



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A POEM ENTREATING OF SORROW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My days' delight, my springtime joys fordone
Last Line: Unto this widow land and people hopeless?
Alternate Author Name(s): Ralegh, Walter
Subject(s): Grief; Sorrow; Sadness


My days' delight, my springtime joys fordone,
Which in the dawn and rising sun of youth
Had their creation, and were first begun,

Do in the evening and the winter sad,
Present my mind, which takes my time's account,
The grief remaining of the joy it had.

For as no fortune stands, so no man's love
Stays by the wretched and disconsolate;
All old affections from new sorrows move.

Moss to unburied bones, ivy to walls,
Whom life and people have abandoned,
Till th' one be rotten stays till th' other falls;

But friendships, kindred, and love's memory
Dies sole, extinguished hearing or beholding
The voice of woe or face of misery;

Who, being in all like those winter showers,
Do come uncalled, but then forebear to fall
When parching heat hath burnt both leaves and flowers;

And what we sometime were we seem no more;
Fortune hath changed our shapes, and destiny
Defaced our very form we had before.

For did in cinders any heat remain
Of those clear fires of love and friendliness,
I could not call for right and call in vain.

Or had truth power the guiltless could not fall,
Malice, vainglory, and revenge triumph;
But truth alone cannot encounter all.

All love and all desert of former times
Malice hath covered from my sovereign's eyes,
And largely laid abroad supposed crimes,

Burying the former with their memory,
Teaching offense to speak before it go,
Disguising private hate with public duty.

But mercy is fled to God that mercy made;
Compassion dead, faith turned to policy,
Which knows not those which sit in sorrow's shade.

Cold walls, to you I speak, but you are senseless;
Celestial powers, you heard, but have determined,
And shall determine to the greatest happiness.

To whom then shall I cry? To whom shall wrong
Cast down her tears, or hold up folded hands?
To her to whom remorse doth most belong,

To her that is the first and may alone
Be called Emp'ress of the Britons.
Who should have mercy if a Queen have none?

Who should resist strong hate, fierce injury,
Or who relieve th' oppressed state of truth,
Who is companion else to powerful majesty

But you, great, godliest, powerful princess,
Who have brought glory and posterity
Unto this widow land and people hopeless?





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