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JOHN FLETCHER

1579-1625

215                                                Bridal Song

CYNTHIA, to thy power and thee
              We obey.
Joy to this great company!
              And no day
Come to steal this night away
   Till the rites of love are ended,
And the lusty bridegroom say,
   Welcome, light, of all befriended!
Pace out, you watery powers below;
              Let your feet,
Like the galleys when they row,
              Even beat;
Let your unknown measures, set
   To the still winds, tell to all
That gods are come, immortal, great,
   To honour this great nuptial!

216                                            Aspatias Song

LAY a garland on my herse
   Of the dismal yew;
Maidens, willow branches bear;
   Say, I died true.
My love was false, but I was firm
From my hour of birth.
Upon my buried body lie
Lightly, gentle earth!

217                                             Hymn to Pan

SING his praises that doth keep
    Our flocks from harm,
Pan, the father of our sheep;
    And arm in arm
Tread we softly in a round,
Whilst the hollow neighbouring ground
Fills the music with her sound.
Pan, O great god Pan, to thee
    Thus do we sing!
Thou who keepst us chaste and free
   As the young spring:
Ever be thy honour spoke
From that place the morn is broke
To that place day doth unyoke!

218                                           Away, Delights

AWAY, delights! go seek some other dwelling,
     For I must die.
Farewell, false love! thy tongue is ever telling
     Lie after lie.
For ever let me rest now from thy smarts;
     Alas, for pity go
     And fire their hearts
That have been hard to thee! Mine was not so.
Never again deluding love shall know me,
     For I will die;
And all those griefs that think to overgrow me
     Shall be as I:
For ever will I sleep, while poor maids cry
     Alas, for pity stay,
     And let us die
With thee! Men cannot mock us in the clay.

219                                         Loves Emblems

NOW the lusty spring is seen;
   Golden yellow, gaudy blue,
   Daintily invite the view:
Everywhere on every green
Roses blushing as they blow
   And enticing men to pull,
Lilies whiter than the snow,
   Woodbines of sweet honey full:
     All loves emblems, and all cry,
     Ladies, if not pluckd, we die.
Yet the lusty spring hath stayd;
   Blushing red and purest white
   Daintily to love invite
Every woman, every maid:
Cherries kissing as they grow,
   And inviting men to taste,
Apples even ripe below,
   Winding gently to the waist:
     All loves emblems, and all cry,
     Ladies, if not pluckd, we die.

220                                           Hear, ye Ladies

HEAR, ye ladies that despise
   What the mighty Love has done;
Fear examples and be wise:
   Fair Callisto was a nun;
Leda, sailing on the stream
   To deceive the hopes of man,
Love accounting but a dream,
   Doted on a silver swan;
     Danaëe, in a brazen tower,
     Where no love was, loved a shower.
Hear, ye ladies that are coy,
   What the mighty Love can do;
Fear the fierceness of the boy:
   The chaste Moon he makes to woo;
Vesta, kindling holy fires,
   Circled round about with spies,
Never dreaming loose desires,
   Doting at the altar dies;
     Ilion, in a short hour, higher
     He can build, and once more fire.

221                                             God Lyaeus

GOD Lyaeus, ever young,
Ever honourd, ever sung,
Staind with blood of lusty grapes,
In a thousand lusty shapes
Dance upon the mazers1 brim,
In the crimson liquor swim;
From thy plenteous hand divine
Let a river run with wine:
   God of youth, let this day here
   Enter neither care nor fear.

1 mazer: a bowl of maple-wood.

222                                      Beauty Clear and Fair

      BEAUTY clear and fair,
      Where the air
Rather like a perfume dwells;
   Where the violet and the rose
   Their blue veins and blush disclose,
And come to honour nothing else:
      Where to live near
      And planted there
Is to live, and still live new;
   Where to gain a favour is
   More than light, perpetual bliss
Make me live by serving you!
Dear, again back recall
    To this light,
A stranger to himself and all!
  Both the wonder and the story
  Shall be yours, and eke the glory;
I am your servant, and your thrall.

223                                                Melancholy

HENCE, all you vain delights,
As short as are the nights
Wherein you spend your folly!
Theres naught in this life sweet,
If men were wise to seet,
   But only melancholy
   O sweetest melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms and fixàed eyes,
A sight that piercing mortifies,
A look thats fastend to the ground,
A tongue chaind up without a sound!
Fountain-heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves!
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed, save bats and owls!
   A midnight bell, a parting groan
   These are the sounds we feed upon:
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley,
Nothings so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.

224                                          Weep no more

WEEP no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time thats gone:
Violets pluckd, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh nor grow again.
Trim thy locks, look cheerfully;
Fates hid ends eyes cannot see.
Joys as wingàed dreams fly fast,
Why should sadness longer last?
Grief is but a wound to woe;
Gentlest fair, mourn, mourn no moe.

 

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