Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LOVE SONGS: 8, by WILLIAM BROWNE (1591-1643)



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LOVE SONGS: 8, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ye merry birds, leave of to sing
Last Line: A hand to wound, but none to cure.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, William Of Tavistock
Subject(s): Love - Complaints


YE merry birds, leave of to sing,
And lend your ears awhile to me;
Or if you needs will court the spring
With your enticing harmony,
Fly from this grove, leave me alone;
Your mirth cannot befit my moan.

But if that any be inclin'd
To sing as sad a song as I,
Let that sad bird be now so kind
As stay and bear me company:
And we will strive which shall outgo,
Her heavy strains or my sad woe.

Ye nymphs of Thames, if any swan
Be ready now her last to sing,
O bring her hither, if ye can,
And sitting by us in a ring,
Spend each a sigh, while she and I
Together sing, together die.

Alas! how much I err to call
More sorrow, where there is such store;
Ye gentle birds, come not at all, And Isis' nymphs forbear the shore.
My sighs as groans of mandrakes be,
And would kill any one but me.

To me my griefs none other are
Than poison is to one that long
Had fed on it without impair
Unto his health, or Nature's wrong;
What others' lives would quickly spill,
I take, but cannot take to kill.

Then, sorrow, since thou wert ordain'd
To be the inmate of my heart,
Thrive there so long, till thou hast gain'd
In it than life a greater part:
And if thou wilt not kill, yet be
The means that some one pity me.

Yet would I not that pity have
From any other heart than hers,
Who first my wound of sorrow gave;
And if she still the cure defers,
It was my fate that did assure
A hand to wound, but none to cure.





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