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Excerpts from A Book Of Old English Love Songs; The MacMillan Company; New York, 1897; pp. 110-111, 153-154.

To One Saying She Was Old

TELL me not Time hath played the thief
Upon her beauty! my belief
Might have been mock’d, and I have been
An heretic, if I had not seen,
My Mistress is still fair to me,
And now I all those graces see
That did adorn her virgin brow;
Her eye hath the same flame in’s now
To kill or save, — the chemist’s fire
Equally burns, so my desire;
Not any rosebud less within
Her cheek; the same snow on her chin;
Her voice that heavenly music bears
First charmed by soul, and in my ears
[111] Did leave it trembling; her lips are
The self-same lovely twins they were; —
Often so many years I miss
No flower in all my Paradise;
Time, I despise thy rage and thee, —
Thieves do not always thrive, I see.

James Shirley.


By Robert Campion

The peaceful western wind

The winter storms hath tam’d,

And nature in each kind

The kind heat hath inflam’d:

The forward buds so sweetly breathe

Out of their earthy bowers,

That heav’n which views their pomp beneath,

Would fain be deckt with flowers.

See how the morning smiles

On her bright eastern hill,

And with soft steps beguiles

Them that lie slumbring still!

The music-loving birds are come

From cliffs and rocks unknown,

To see the trees and briers bloom

That late were overflown.


What Saturn did destroy,

Love’s Queen revives again;

And now her naked boy

Doth in the fields remain,

Where he such pleasing change doth view

In every living thing,

As if the world were born anew

To gratify the Spring.

If all things life present,

Why die my comforts then?

Why suffers my content?

Am I the worst of men?

O beauty, be not thou accus’d

Too justly in this case!

Unkindly if true love be us’d,

’Twill yield thee little grace.

Robert Campion

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