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For light's the love that's quickly won." "Kind and fair Sweet, once believe me! Jest I did, but not to grieve thee; Words and sighs and what I spent In show to her, to you were meant. Fond I was, your love to cross, Jesting love oft brings this loss! Forget this fault! and love your friend, Which vows his truth unto the end!" "Content," She said, "if this you keep!" Thus both did kiss, and both did weep.

SIR EDWARD DYER (1550?-1607)


My mind to me a kingdom is,
Such present joys therein I find

That it excels all other bliss

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I neither seek by bribes to please, Nor by deceit to breed offence: Thus do I live; thus will I die; Would all did so as well as Il




That earth affords or grows by kind:

Though much I want which most would have, Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely pomp, no wealthy store,

No force to win the victory,

No wily wit to salve a sore,
No shape to feed a loving eye;

To none of these I yield as thrall:
For why? My mind doth serve for all.

I see how plenty [surfeits] oft,

And hasty climbers soon do fall;

I see that those which are aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all;
They get with toil, they keep with fear:
Such cares my mind could never bear.

Content to live, this is my stay;

I seek no more than may suffice;

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EDMUND SPENSER (1552?-1599)



More than most fair, full of the living fire
Kindled above unto the Maker near;

No eyes but joys, in which all powers conspire
That to the world naught else be counted dear;
Through your bright beams doth not the blinded

Shoot out his darts to base affections wound;

But angels come to lead frail minds to rest
In chaste desires, on heavenly beauty bound.
You frame my thoughts, and fashion me within;
You stop my tongue, and teach my heart to speak;
You calm the storm that passion did begin,
Strong through your cause, but by your virtue


Dark is the world, where your light shined never;

Well is he born that may behold you ever.


Like as a ship, that through the ocean wide,
By conduct of some star doth make her way,
Whenas a storm hath dimmed her trusty guide,
Out of her course doth wander far astray;
So I, whose star, that wont with her bright ray
Me to direct, with clouds is overcast,
Do wander now, in darkness and dismay,
Through hidden perils round about me placed;
Yet hope I well that, when this storm is past,
My Helicë, the lodestar of my life,
Will shine again, and look on me at last,
With lovely light to clear my cloudy grief:
Till then I wander careful, comfortless,
In secret sorrow, and sad pensiveness.



Fresh Spring, the herald of love's mighty king,
In whose coat-armour richly are displayed
All sorts of flowers the which on earth do spring
In goodly colours gloriously arrayed;
Go to my love, where she is careless laid,
Yet in her winter's bower not well awake;

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And each one had a little wicker basket,
Made of fine twigs, entrailed curiously,
In which they gathered flowers to fill their flasket,
And with fine fingers cropt full feateously1
The tender stalks on high.

Of every sort, which in that meadow grew,
They gathered some; the violet, pallid blue, 30
The little daisy, that at evening closes,
The virgin lily, and the primrose true,
With store of vermeil roses,

To deck their bridegroom's posies

Against the bridal day, which was not long:

Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

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Nor Jove himself, when he a swan would be
For love of Leda, whiter did appear;
Yet Leda was, they say, as white as he,
Yet not so white as these, nor nothing near;
So purely white they were,

That even the gentle stream, the which them bare,
Seemed foul to them, and bade his billows spare
To wet their silken feathers, lest they might
Soil their fair plumes with water not so fair,
And mar their beauties bright,
That shone as heaven's light,
Against their bridal day, which was not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.


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Even as their bridal day, which was not long: Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

Then forth they all out of their baskets drew
Great store of flowers, the honour of the field,
That to the sense did fragrant odours yield,
All which upon those goodly birds they threw
And all the waves did strew,

That like old Peneus' waters they did seem, 78
When down along by pleasant Tempe's shore,
Scattered with flowers, through Thessaly they

That they appear, through lilies' plenteous store, Like a bride's chamber floor.

Two of those nymphs meanwhile, two garlands bound

Of freshest flowers which in that mead they found,

The which presenting all in trim array,

Their snowy foreheads therewithal they crowned, Whilst one did sing this lay,

Prepared against that day,

Against their bridal day, which was not long: 89 Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

"Ye gentle birds! the world's fair ornament,
And heaven's glory whom this happy hour
Doth lead unto your lover's blissful bower,
Joy may you have, and gentle hearts' content
Of your love's couplement;

And let fair Venus, that is queen of love,
With her heart-quelling son upon you smile,
Whose smile, they say, hath virtue to remove
All love's dislike, and friendship's faulty guile
For ever to assoil;

Let endless peace your steadfast hearts accord,
And blessed plenty wait upon your board;
And let your bed with pleasures chaste abound,
That fruitful issue may to you afford,
Which may your foes confound,
And make your joys redound
Upon your bridal day, which is not long:"
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.


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The rest, so far as Cynthia doth shend'
The lesser stars. So they, enranged well,
Did on those two attend,

And their best service lend

Against their wedding day, which was not long: Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

At length they all to merry London came,
To merry London, my most kindly nurse,
That to me gave this life's first native source;
Though from another place I take my name, 130
An house of ancient fame:

There when they came, whereas those bricky towers

The which on Thames' broad, aged back do ride,
Where now the studious lawyers have their bowers,
There whilom wont the Templar Knights to bide,
Till they decayed through pride:

Next whereunto there stands a stately place,
Where oft I gained gifts and goodly grace


Of that great lord, which therein wont to dwell,
Whose want too well now feels my friendless case;
But ah! here fits not well
Old woes, but joys, to tell
Against the bridal day, which is not long:
Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

Yet therein now doth lodge a noble peer,
Great England's glory, and the world's wide

Whose dreadful name late through all Spain did thunder,

And Hercules' two pillars standing near
Did make to quake and fear:

Fair branch of honour, flower of chivalry! 150
That fillest England with thy triumph's fame,
Joy have thou of thy noble victory,
And endless happiness of thine own name,
That promiseth the same;

That through thy prowess, and victorious arms,
Thy country may be freed from foreign harms;
And great Elisa's glorious name may ring
Through all the world, filled with thy wide alarms,
Which some brave muse may sing
To ages following,

Upon the bridal day, which is not long:


Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song.

From those high towers this noble lord issuing,
Like radiant Hesper, when his golden hair
In th' ocean billows he hath bathed fair,
Descended to the river's open viewing,
With a great train ensuing.

Above the rest were goodly to be seen

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Early, before the world's light-giving lamp
His golden beam upon the hills doth spread, 20
Having dispersed the night's uncheerful damp
Do ye awake, and, with fresh lustihed,'
Go to the bower of my beloved love,
My truest turtle dove;

Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake,

And long since ready forth his mask to move,
With his bright tead 2 that flames with many a flake,
And many a bachelor to wait on him,
In their fresh garments trim,

Bid her awake therefore, and soon her dight, 30
For lo the wished day is come at last,.
That shall, for all the pains and sorrows past,
Pay to her usury of long delight:

And, whilst she doth her dight,

Do ye to her of joy and solace sing,

That all the woods may answer, and your echo


1 shame

2 where

1 lustiness

2 torch

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