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.
 
Sephestia’s Song to Her Child
By Robert Greene (1558–1592)
 
WEEP not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
      Mother’s wag, pretty boy,
      Father’s sorrow, father’s joy;
      When thy father first did see        5
      Such a boy by him and me,
      He was glad, I was woe;
      Fortune changèd made him so,
      When he left his pretty boy,
      Last his sorrow, first his joy.        10
 
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
      Streaming tears that never stint,
      Like pearl-drops from a flint,
      Fell by course from his eyes,        15
      That one another’s place supplies;
      Thus he grieved in every part,
      Tears of blood fell from his heart,
      When he left his pretty boy,
      Father’s sorrow, father’s joy.        20
 
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
      The wanton smiled, father wept,
      Mother cried, baby leapt;
      More he crow’d, more we cried,        25
      Nature could not sorrow hide:
      He must go, he must kiss
      Child and mother, baby bliss,
      For he left his pretty boy,
      Father’s sorrow, father’s joy.        30
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
 
 
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