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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 1/175 -


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2

by Burton Egbert Stevenson

Contents of Volume I of the two volume set are in our Volume 1 This includes contents of Volumes 1 through 4 of our Etext editions.

PART II

POEMS OF LOVE

EROS

The sense of the world is short, - Long and various the report, - To love and be beloved; Men and gods have not outlearned it; And, how oft soe'er they've turned it, 'Tis not to be improved.

Ralph Waldo Emerson [1803-1882]

"NOW WHAT IS LOVE"

"NOW WHAT IS LOVE"

Now what is Love, I pray thee, tell? It is that fountain and that well Where pleasure and repentance dwell; It is, perhaps, the sauncing bell That tolls all into heaven or hell; And this is Love, as I hear tell.

Yet what is Love, I prithee, say? It is a work on holiday, It is December matched with May, When lusty bloods in fresh array Hear ten months after of the play; And this is Love, as I hear say.

Yet what is Love, good shepherd, sain? It is a sunshine mixed with rain, It is a toothache or like pain, It is a game where none hath gain; The lass saith no, yet would full fain; And this is Love, as I hear sain.

Yet, shepherd, what is Love, I pray? It is a yes, it is a nay, A pretty kind of sporting fray, It is a thing will soon away. Then, nymphs, take vantage while ye may; And this is Love, as I hear say.

Yet what is Love, good shepherd, show? A thing that creeps, it cannot go, A prize that passeth to and fro, A thing for one, a thing for moe, And he that proves shall find it so; And shepherd, this is Love, I trow.

Walter Raleigh [1552?-1618]

WOOING SONG From "Christ's Victory"

Love is the blossom where there blows Every thing that lives or grows: Love doth make the Heavens to move, And the Sun doth burn in love: Love the strong and weak doth yoke, And makes the ivy climb the oak, Under whose shadows lions wild, Softened by love, grow tame and mild: Love no medicine can appease, He burns fishes in the seas: Not all the skill his wounds can stench, Not all the sea his fire can quench. Love did make the bloody spear Once a leavy coat to wear, While in his leaves there shrouded lay Sweet birds, for love that sing and play And of all love's joyful flame I the bud and blossom am. Only bend thy knee to me, Thy wooing shall thy winning be!

See, see the flowers that below Now as fresh as morning blow; And of all the virgin rose That as bright Aurora shows; How they all unleaved die, Losing their virginity! Like unto a summer shade, But now born, and now they fade. Every thing doth pass away; There is danger in delay: Come, come, gather then the rose, Gather it, or it you lose! All the sand of Tagus' shore Into my bosom casts his ore: All the valleys' swimming corn To my house is yearly borne: Every grape of every vine Is gladly bruised to make me wine: While ten thousand kings, as proud, To carry up my train have bowed, And a world of ladies send me In my chambers to attend me: All the stars in Heaven that shine, And ten thousand more, are mine: Only bend thy knee to me, Thy wooing shall thy winning be.

Giles Fletcher [1549?-1611]

ROSALIND'S MADRIGAL From "Rosalind"

Love in my bosom like a bee Doth suck his sweet: Now with his wings he plays with me, Now with his feet. Within mine eyes he makes his nest, His bed amidst my tender breast; My kisses are his daily feast, And yet he robs me of my rest: Ah! wanton, will ye?

And if I sleeps, then percheth he With pretty flight, And makes his pillow of my knee The livelong night. Strike I my lute, he tunes the string; He music plays if so I sing; He lends me every lovely thing, Yet cruel he my heart doth sting: Whist, wanton, still ye!

Else I with roses every day Will whip you hence, And bind you, when you long to play, For your offence. I'll shut mine eyes to keep you in; I'll make you fast it for your sin; I'll count your power not worth a pin. - Alas! what hereby shall I win If he gainsay me?

What if I beat the wanton boy With many a rod? He will repay me with annoy, Because a god. Then sit thou safely on my knee; Then let thy bower my bosom be; Lurk in mine eyes, I like of thee; O Cupid, so thou pity me, Spare not, but play thee!

Thomas Lodge [1558?-1625]

SONG From "Hymen's Triumph"

Love is a sickness full of woes, All remedies refusing; A plant that with most cutting grows, Most barren with best using. Why so? More we enjoy it, more it dies; If not enjoyed, it sighing cries -


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 1/175

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