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47                                         Description of Spring

                                             Wherein each thing renews, save only the Lover
THE soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,
With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale:
The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her make1 hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs:
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
The fishes flete with new repairàed scale.
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale;
The busy bee her honey now she mings;2
Winter is worn that was the flowers’ bale.
And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.

1 make: mate.

2 mings: mingles, mixes.

48                       Complaint of the Absence of Her Lover
                                            being upon the Sea

O HAPPY dames! that may embrace
The fruit of your delight,
Help to bewail the woful case
   And eke the heavy plight
Of me, that wonted to rejoice
The fortune of my pleasant choice:
Good ladies, help to fill my mourning voice.
In ship, freight with rememberance
    Of thoughts and pleasures past,
He sails that hath in governance
    My life while it will last:
With scalding sighs, for lack of gale,
Furthering his hope, that is his sail,
Toward me, the sweet port of his avail.
Alas! how oft in dreams I see
    Those eyes that were my food;
Which sometime so delighted me,
    That yet they do me good:
Wherewith I wake with his return
Whose absent flame did make me burn:
But when I find the lack, Lord! how I mourn!
When other lovers in arms across
    Rejoice their chief delight,
Drownàed in tears, to mourn my loss
    I stand the bitter night
In my window where I may see
Before the winds how the clouds flee:
Lo! what a mariner love hath made me!
And in green waves when the salt flood
    Doth rise by rage of wind,
A thousand fancies in that mood
    Assail my restless mind.
Alas! now drencheth1 my sweet foe,
That with the spoil of my heart did go,
And left me; but alas! why did he so?
And when the seas wax calm again
    To chase fro me annoy,
My doubtful hope doth cause me plain;
    So dread cuts off my joy.
Thus is my wealth mingled with woe
And of each thought a doubt doth grow;
—Now he comes! Will he come? Alas! no, no.

1 drencheth: is drowned.

49                                      The Means to attain Happy Life

MARTIAL, the things that do attain
   The happy life be these, I find:
The richesse left, not got with pain;
   The fruitful ground, the quiet mind;
The equal friend; no grudge, no strife;
   No charge of rule, nor governance;
Without disease, the healthful life;
   The household of continuance;
The mean diet, no delicate fare;
   True wisdom join’d with simpleness;
The night dischargàed of all care,
   Where wine the wit may not oppress.
The faithful wife, without debate;
   Such sleeps as may beguile the night:
Contented with thine own estate
   Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.

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