Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN EPISTLE, by WILLIAM BROWNE (1591-1643)



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AN EPISTLE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dear soul, the time is come, and we must part
Last Line: Yet dare not ask a hand to lessen it.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, William Of Tavistock
Subject(s): Farewell; Love - Loss Of; Parting


DEAR soul, the time is come, and we must part,
Yet, ere I go, in these lines read my heart;
A heart so just, so loving, and so true,
So full of sorrow and so full of you;
That all I speak, or write, or pray, or mean,
And (which is all I can) all that I dream,
Is not without a sigh, a thought for you,
And as your beauties are, so are they true.
Seven summers now are fully spent and gone,
Since first I lov'd, lov'd you, and you alone;
And should mine eyes as many hundreds see,
Yet none but you should claim a right in me;
A right so plac'd that time shall never hear
Of one so vow'd, or any lov'd so dear.
When I am gone (if ever prayers mov'd you)
Relate to none that I so well have lov'd you;
For all that know your beauty and desert,
Would swear he never lov'd, that knew to part.
Why part we then? That spring which but this day
Met some sweet river, in his bed can play,
And with a dimple[d] cheek smile at their bliss,
Who never know what separation is.
The amorous vine with wanton interlaces
Clips still the rough elm in her kind embraces:
Doves with their doves sit billing in the groves,
And woo the lesser birds to sing their loves;
Whilst hapless we in grieful absence sit,
Yet dare not ask a hand to lessen it.





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