Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LADY AGAIN COMPLAINS, by HENRY HOWARD

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THE LADY AGAIN COMPLAINS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Good ladies, you that have your pleasure in exile
Last Line: Do your good will to cure a wight that liveth in distress.
Alternate Author Name(s): Surrey, Earl Of

Good ladies, you that have your pleasure in exile,
Step in your foot, come take a place, and mourn with me awhile;
And such as by their lords do set but little price,
Let them sit still, it skills them not what chance come on the dice.
But you whom love hath bound by order of desire
To love your lords, whose good deserts none other would require,
Come you yet once again and set your foot by mine,
Whose woeful plight and sorrows great no tongue may well define.
My lord and love, alas, in whom consists my wealth,
Hath fortune sent to pass the seas, in hazard of his health.
That I was wont for to embrace, contented minds,
Is now amid the foaming floods, at pleasure of the winds.
There God him well preserve and safely me him send;
Without which hope, my life, alas, were shortly at an end.
Whose absence yet, although my hope doth tell me plain,
With short return he comes anon, yet ceaseth not my pain.
The fearful dreams I have, oft times they grieve me so
That when I wake and stand in doubt if they be true or no.
Sometime the roaring seas, meseems, they grow so high
That my sweet lord in danger great, alas, doth often lie.
Another time, the same doth tell me he is come,
And playing where I shall him find with T. his little son.
So forth I go apace to see that liefsome sight,
And with a kiss methinks I say, "Now welcome home, my knight;
Welcome, my sweet, alas, the stay of my welfare;
Thy presence bringeth forth a truce betwixt me and my care."
Then lively doth he look, and salueth me again,
And saith, "My dear, how is it now that you have all this pain?"
Wherewith the heavy cares, that heaped are in my breast,
Break forth, and me dischargeth clean of all my great unrest.
But when I me awake and find it but a dream,
The anguish of my former woe beginneth more extreme,
And me tormenteth so that unneth may I find
Some hidden where to steal the grief of my unquiet mind.
Thus every way you see with absence how I burn,
And for my wound no cure there is but hope of some return,
Save when I feel by sour, how sweet is felt the more,
It doth abate some of my pains that I abode before;
And then unto myself I say, "When that we two shall meet,
But little time shall seem this pain, that joy shall be so sweet."
Ye winds, I you conjure, in chiefest of your rage,
That you my lord me safely send, my sorrows to assuage;
And that I may not long abide in such excess,
Do your good will to cure a wight that liveth in distress.

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