Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
William Dunbar. 1465–1520?
  
18. To a Lady
  
SWEET rois of vertew and of gentilness, 
Delytsum lily of everie lustynes, 
    Richest in bontie and in bewtie clear, 
    And everie vertew that is wenit dear, 
Except onlie that ye are mercyless         5
 
Into your garth this day I did persew; 
There saw I flowris that fresche were of hew; 
    Baith quhyte and reid most lusty were to seyne, 
    And halesome herbis upon stalkis greene; 
Yet leaf nor flowr find could I nane of rew.  10
 
I doubt that Merche, with his cauld blastis keyne, 
Has slain this gentil herb, that I of mene; 
    Quhois piteous death dois to my heart sic paine 
    That I would make to plant his root againe,— 
So confortand his levis unto me bene.  15
 
GLOSS:  rois] rose.  wenit] weened, esteemed.  garth] garden-close.  to seyne] to see.  that I of mene] that I complain of, mourn for.
 
 
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