Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN EPISTLE THROWN INTO A RIVER IN A BALL OF WAX, by WILLIAM BROWNE (1591-1643)



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AN EPISTLE THROWN INTO A RIVER IN A BALL OF WAX, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Go, gentle paper; happy, happier far
Last Line: Shall reap one joy but by the hand of death.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, William Of Tavistock
Subject(s): Messages & Messengers; Love - Unrequited


GO, gentle paper; happy, happier far
Than he that sends thee, with this character:
Go, view those blessed banks, enriched by
A fair but faithless maiden's company;
And if consorted with my tears of brine,
Which, gentle flood, add waves to those of thine,
Thou chance to touch the sand in thy progression,
Made valuable by her steps' impression:
Stay, stay thy course; and fortunate from danger
Dwell there, where my ill-fate makes me a stranger.
If, faithful paper which hold'st nought of Art,
Thou come into her hands who kills my heart;
And she demand thee how I spend my hours,
Tell her, O tell her! how in gloomy bowers,
In caverns yet unknown even to the sun,
And places free from all confusion
Except my thoughts, there sit I girt with fears;
Where day and night I turn myself to tears,
Only to wash away that stain which she
Hath (careless) thrown upon her constancy;
And if, touch'd with repentance, she bedew
Thee with some crystal drops, I would she knew
Her sorrows or the breaking of the dart
Heals not her wounded faith, nor my slain heart.
And my just griefs of all redress bereaven
Shall ever witness before men and heaven,
That as she is the fair'st and most untrue
Of those that ever man or read or knew,
So am I the most constant without mate
Of all that breathe, and most affectionate;
Although assured that nor my love nor faith
Shall reap one joy but by the hand of death.





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