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.
 
A Sweet Pastoral
By Nicholas Breton (1545–1626)
 
GOOD Muse, rock me to sleep
  With some sweet harmony;
The weary eye is not to keep
  Thy wary company.
 
Sweet Love, begone awhile;        5
  Thou know’st my heaviness;
Beauty is born but to beguile
  My heart of happiness.
 
See how my little flock,
  That loved to feed on high,        10
Do headlong tumble down the rock
  And in the valley die.
 
The bushes and the trees
  That were so fresh and green,
Do all their dainty colour leese,        15
  And not a leaf is seen.
 
The blackbird and the thrush
  That made the woods to ring,
With all the rest are now at hush
  And not a note they sing.        20
 
Sweet Philomel, the bird
  That hath the heavenly throat,
Doth now, alas! not once afford
  Recording of a note.
 
The flowers have had a frost,        25
  Each herb hath lost her savour,
And Phyllida the fair hath lost
  The comfort of her favour.
 
Now all these careful sights
  So kill me in conceit,        30
That now to hope: upon delights,
  It is but mere deceit.
 
And therefore, my sweet Muse,
  Thou know’st what help is best;
Do now thy heavenly cunning use        35
  To set my heart at rest:
 
And in a dream bewray
  What fate shall be my friend,
Whether my life shall still decay,
  Or when my sorrow end.        40
 
 
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