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.
  
Sir Philip Sidney. 1554–86
  
91. Philomela
  
THE Nightingale, as soon as April bringeth 
  Unto her rested sense a perfect waking, 
While late-bare Earth, proud of new clothing, springeth, 
  Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making; 
      And mournfully bewailing,         5
      Her throat in tunes expresseth 
      What grief her breast oppresseth, 
For Tereus' force on her chaste will prevailing. 
    O Philomela fair, O take some gladness 
    That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness!  10
        Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth; 
    Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth. 
 
Alas! she hath no other cause of anguish 
  But Tereus' love, on her by strong hand wroken; 
Wherein she suffering, all her spirits languish,  15
  Full womanlike complains her will was broken 
      But I, who, daily craving, 
      Cannot have to content me, 
      Have more cause to lament me, 
Since wanting is more woe than too much having.  20
 
    O Philomela fair, O take some gladness 
    That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness! 
        Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth; 
    Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth. 
 
 
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