Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NEVER TOO LATE: THE PALMER'S VERSES, by ROBERT GREENE

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

NEVER TOO LATE: THE PALMER'S VERSES, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: In greener years, whenas my greedy thoughts
Last Line: I may grow old to wisdom and to god.
Subject(s): Astrology & Astrologers; Zodiac

IN greener years, whenas my greedy thoughts
Gan yield their homage to ambitious will,
My feeble wit, that then prevailèd noughts,
Perforce presented homage to his ill;
And I in folly's bonds fulfill'd with crime,
At last unloos'd, thus spied my loss of time.

As in his circular and ceaseless ray
The year begins, and in itself returns
Refresh'd by presence of the eye of day,
That sometimes nigh and sometimes far sojourns;
So love in me, conspiring my decay,
With endless fire my heedless bosom burns,
And from the end of my aspiring sin
My paths of error hourly do begin.

When in the Ram the sun renews his beams,
Beholding mournful earth array'd in grief,
That waits relief from his refreshing gleams,
The tender flocks rejoicing their relief,
Do leap for joy and lap the silver streams:
So at my prime when youth in me was chief,
All heifer-like, with wanton horn I play'd,
And by my will my wit to love betray'd.

When Phœbus with Europa's bearer bides,
The spring appears; impatient of delays,
The labourer to the fields his plough-swains guides,
He sows, he plants, he builds, at all assays:
When prime of years, that many errors hides,
By fancy's force did trace ungodly ways,
I blindfold walk'd, disdaining to behold
That life doth vade, and young men must be old.

When in the hold, whereas the Twins do rest,
Proud Phlegon, breathing fire, doth post amain,
The trees with leaves, the earth with flowers is drest:
When I in pride of years, with peevish brain,
Presum'd too far, and made fond love my guest,
With frosts of care my flowers were nipt amain:
In height of weal who bears a careless heart,
Repents too late his over-foolish part.

When in æestival Cancer's gloomy bower
The greater glory of the heavens doth shine,
The air is calm, the birds at every stowre
Do tempt the heavens with harmony divine;
When I was first enthrall'd in Cupid's power,
In vain I spent the May-month of my time,
Singing for joy to see me captive thrall
To him, whose gains are grief, whose comfort small.

When, in the height of his meridian walk,
The Lion's hold contains the eye of day,
The riping corn grows yellow in the stalk:
When strength of years did bless me every way,
Mask'd with delights of folly was my talk;
Youth ripen'd all my thoughts to my decay;
In lust I sow'd, my fruit was loss of time;
My hopes were proud, and yet my body slime.

When in the Virgin's lap earth's comfort sleeps,
Bating the fury of his burning eyes,
Both corn and fruits are firm'd, and comfort creeps
On every plant and flower that springing rise:
When age at last his chief dominion keeps,
And leads me on to see my vanities,
What love and scant foresight did make me sow
In youthful years, is ripen'd now in woe.

When in the Balance Daphne's leman blins,
The ploughman gathereth fruit for passed pain:
When I at last consider'd on my sins,
And thought upon my youth and follies vain,
I cast my count, and reason now begins
To guide mine eyes with judgment, bought with pain,
Which weeping wish a better way to find,
Or else for ever to the world be blind.

When with the Scorpion proud Apollo plays,
The vines are trod and carried to their press,
The woods are fell'd 'gainst winter's sharp affrays.
When graver years my judgment did address,
I gan repair my ruins and decays,
Exchanging will to wit and soothfastness,
Claiming from time and age no good but this,
To see my sin, and sorrow for my 'miss.

Whenas the Archer in his winter hold,
The Delian harper tunes his wonted love,
The ploughman sows and tills his labour'd mould:
When with advice and judgment I approve
How love in youth hath grief for gladness sold,
The seeds of shame I from my heart remove,
And in their steads I set down plants of grace,
And with repent bewail my youthful race.

When he that in Eurotas' silver glide
Doth bain his tress, beholdeth Capricorn,
The days grow short, then hastes the winter-tide;
The sun with sparing lights doth seem to mourn;
Grey is the green, the flowers their beauty hide:
Whenas I see that I to death was born,
My strength decay'd, my grave already drest,
I count my life my loss, my death my best.

When with Aquarius Phœbe's brother stays,
The blithe and wanton winds are whist and still;
Cold frost and snow the pride of earth betrays:
When age my head with hoary hairs doth fill,
Reason sits down, and bids me count my days,
And pray for peace, and blame my froward will;
In depth of grief, in this distress I cry,
Peccavi, Domine, miserere mei!

When in the Fishes' mansion Phœbus dwells,
The days renew, the earth regains his rest:
When old in years, my want my death foretells,
My thoughts and prayers to heaven are whole addrest;
Repentance youthly folly quite expells;
I long to be dissolvèd for my best,
That young in zeal, long beaten with my rod,
I may grow old to wisdom and to God.

Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net