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 Passion of My Lord of Essex
By Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (1565–1601)
 
HAPPY 1 were he could finish forth his fate
  In some unhaunted desert, most obscure
From all society, from love and hate
  Of worldly folk, there might he sleep secure;
There wake again, and give God ever praise,        5
  Content with hips and haws 2 and brambleberry,
In contemplation passing still his days,
  And change of holy thoughts to make him merry.
That when he dies, his tomb might be a bush,
Where harmless robin dwells with gentle thrush.        10
 
Note 1. “This ‘passion’ is said to have been enclosed in a letter to Queen Elizabeth from Ireland in 1599.” (Hannah’s Courtly Poets, p. 177.) [back]
Note 2. Hips and haws: The fruit of the wild-rose and hawthorn. [back]
 
 
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