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.
 
The Soldier Going to the Field
By Sir William Davenant (1606–1668)
 
PRESERVE thy sighs, unthrifty girl!
  To purify the air;
Thy tears to thread, instead of pearl,
  On bracelets of thy hair.
 
The trumpet makes the echo hoarse,        5
  And wakes the louder drum,
Expense of grief gains no remorse,
  When sorrow should be dumb.
 
For I must go where lazy peace
  Will hide her drowsy head;        10
And, for the sport of kings, increase
  The number of the dead.
 
But first I’ll chide thy cruel theft:
  Can I in war delight,
Who, being of my heart bereft        15
  Can have no heart to fight?
 
Thou knowest the sacred laws of old,
  Ordained a thief should pay,
To quit him of his theft, sevenfold
  What he had stolen away.        20
 
Thy payment shall but double be;
  O then with speed resign
My own seducèd heart to me,
  Accompanied with thine.
 
 
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