Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
How Can the Heart Forget Her?
By Francis Davison (1575?–1619?)
 
AT 1 her fair hands how have I grace entreated
With prayers oft repeated!
Yet still my love is thwarted:
Heart, let her go, for she’ll not be converted—
          Say, shall she go?        5
          O no, no, no, no, no!
She is most fair, though she be marble-hearted.
 
How often have my sighs declared my anguish,
Wherein I daily languish!
Yet still she doth procure it:        10
Heart, let her go, for I can not endure it—
          Say, shall she go?
          O no, no, no, no, no!
She gave the wound, and she alone must cure it.
 
But shall I still a true affection owe her,        15
Which prayers, sighs, tears do show her,
And shall she still disdain me?
Heart, let her go, if they no grace can gain me—
          Say, shall she go?
          O no, no, no, no, no!        20
She made me hers, and hers she will retain me.
 
But if the love that hath and still doth burn me
No love at length return me,
Out of my thoughts I’ll set her:
Heart, let her go, O heart I pray thee, let her!        25
          Say, shall she go?
          O no, no, no, no, no!
Fix’d in the heart, how can the heart forget her.
 
Note 1. First printed in Davison’s Poetical Rhapsody, 1602, and set to music in Robert Jones’ Ultimum Vale, 1608. [back]
 
 
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