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 Charm
By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)
 
SON 1 of Erebus and Night,
Hie away; and aim thy flight,
Where consort none other fowl
Than the bat and sullen owl;
Where upon the limber grass        5
Poppy and mandragoras 2
With like simples not a few
Hang for ever drops of dew.
Where flows Lethe without coil 3
Softly like a stream of oil.        10
Hie thee thither, gentle Sleep:
With this Greek no longer keep.
Thrice I charge thee by my wand,
Thrice with moly 4 from my hand
Do I touch Ulysses’ eyes,        15
And with the jaspis: 5 then arise
Sagest Greek….
 
Note 1. Son of Erebus and Night.  From The Inner Temple Masque, 1614–15, sc. 2. Warton, who was the first to suggest Milton’s debt to Browne, quoted this poem in his History of English Poetry, 1777–81. [back]
Note 2. Mandragoras: mandrake, see note to No. 315. [back]
Note 3. Coil: tumult. [back]
Note 4. Moly: Cf. Odyssey, x. 305. (Schelling.) [back]
Note 5. Jaspis: jasper, which the ancients believed to possess the power of breeding spells. [back]
 
 
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