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Sir Walter Raleigh
1554 - 1618
1 As you came from the holy land
2 Of Walsingham,
3 Met you not with my true love
4 By the way as you came?
5 "How shall I know your true love,
6 That have met many one,
7 I went to the holy land,
8 That have come, that have gone?"
9 She is neither white, nor brown,
10 But as the heavens fair;
11 There is none hath a form so divine
12 In the earth, or the air.
13 "Such a one did I meet, good sir,
14 Such an angelic face,
15 Who like a queen, like a nymph, did appear
16 By her gait, by her grace."
17 She hath left me here all alone,
18 All alone, as unknown,
19 Who sometimes did me lead with herself,
20 And me loved as her own.
21 "What's the cause that she leaves you alone,
22 And a new way doth take,
23 Who loved you once as her own,
24 And her joy did you make?"
25 I have lov'd her all my youth;
26 But now old, as you see,
27 Love likes not the falling fruit
28 From the withered tree.
29 Know that Love is a careless child,
30 And forgets promise past;
31 He is blind, he is deaf when he list,
32 And in faith never fast.
33 His desire is a dureless content,
34 And a trustless joy:
35 He is won with a world of despair,
36 And is lost with a toy.
37 Of womenkind such indeed is the love,
38 Or the word love abus'd,
39 Under which many childish desires
40 And conceits are excus'd.
41 But true love is a durable fire,
42 In the mind ever burning,
43 Never sick, never old, never dead,
44 From itself never turning.
Like to a hermit poor, in place obscure,
I mean to spend my days of endless doubt,
To wail such woes as time canno recure,
Where none but Love shall ever find me out.
My food shall be of care and sorrow made;
My drink nought else but tears fall'n from mine eyes;
And for my light, in such obscured shade,
The flames shall serve wich from my heart arise
A gown of grief my body shall attire;
My staff of broken hope whereon I'll stay;
Of late repentance linked with long desire
The couch is framed whereon my limbs I'll lay.
And at my gate Despair shall linger still,
To let in Death when Love and Fortune will.
What is our life? A play o passion,
Our mirth the music of division.
Our mothers’ womb the tiring-houses be,
Where we are dressed for this short comedy.
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is,
That sits and marks still who doth act amiss.
Our graves that hide us from the searching sun
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done.
Thus march we, playing, to our latest rest.
Only we die in earnest, that's no jest.
Even such is Time, which takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, and all we have,
And pays us but with age and dust;
Who in the dark and silent grave,
When we have wandered all our ways,
Shuts up the story of our days:
And from which earth, and grave, and dust,
The Lord shall raise me up, I trust.
© 2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman