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.
  
Richard Edwardes. 1523–66
  
46. Amantium Irae
  
IN going to my naked bed as one that would have slept, 
I heard a wife sing to her child, that long before had wept; 
She sighèd sore and sang full sweet, to bring the babe to rest, 
That would not cease but crièd still, in sucking at her breast. 
She was full weary of her watch, and grievèd with her child,         5
She rockèd it and rated it, till that on her it smiled. 
Then did she say, Now have I found this proverb true to prove, 
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love. 
 
Then took I paper, pen, and ink, this proverb for to write, 
In register for to remain of such a worthy wight:  10
As she proceeded thus in song unto her little brat, 
Much matter utter'd she of weight, in place whereas she sat: 
And provèd plain there was no beast, nor creature bearing life, 
Could well be known to live in love without discord and strife: 
Then kissèd she her little babe, and sware by God above,  15
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love. 
 
She said that neither king nor prince nor lord could live aright, 
Until their puissance they did prove, their manhood and their might. 
When manhood shall be matched so that fear can take no place, 
Then weary works make warriors each other to embrace,  20
And left their force that failèd them, which did consume the rout, 
That might before have lived their time, their strength and nature out: 
Then did she sing as one that thought no man could her reprove, 
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love. 
 
She said she saw no fish nor fowl, nor beast within her haunt,  25
That met a stranger in their kind, but could give it a taunt: 
Since flesh might not endure, but rest must wrath succeed, 
And force the fight to fall to play in pasture where they feed, 
So noble nature can well end the work she hath begun, 
And bridle well that will not cease her tragedy in some:  30
Thus in song she oft rehearsed, as did her well behove, 
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love. 
 
I marvel much pardy (quoth she) for to behold the rout, 
To see man, woman, boy and beast, to toss the world about: 
Some kneel, some crouch, some beck, some check, and some can smoothly smile,  35
And some embrace others in arm, and there think many a wile, 
Some stand aloof at cap and knee, some humble and some stout, 
Yet are they never friends in deed until they once fall out: 
Thus ended she her song and said, before she did remove, 
The falling out of faithful friends renewing is of love.  40
 
 
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