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.
 
Like As the Culver, on the Barèd Bough
By Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
 
LIKE 1 as the Culver, on the barèd bough,
Sits mourning for the absence of her mate;
And, in her songs, sends many a wishful vow
For his return that seems to linger late:
So I alone, now left disconsolate,        5
Mourn to myself the absence of my love;
And, wandering here and there all desolate,
Seek with my plaints to match that mournful dove 2
Ne joy of aught that under heaven doth hove.
Can comfort me, but her own joyous sight        10
Whose sweet aspect both God and man can move,
In her unspotted pleasance to delight.
Dark is my day, whiles her fair light I miss,
And dead my life that wants such lively bliss.
 
Note 1. Like as the Culver, on the barèd bough. The concluding sonnet (lxxxviii.) in Amoretti, 1595. [back]
Note 2. Culver: dove. So, in Caxton’s Liber Festivalis, 1483: “The offerynge of the riche man was a lambe, and for a pure man a payre of turtyles or two culver byrds.” [back]
 
 
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