Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Extracts from Britannia’s Pastorals: A Lament for His Friend
By William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)
 
Book II. Song 1.

          GLIDE soft, ye silver floods,
          And every spring.
      Within the shady woods
          Let no bird sing!
    Nor from the grove a turtle dove        5
    Be seen to couple with her love.
But silence on each dale and mountain dwell,
Whilst Willy bids his friend and joy farewell.
 
          But of great Thetis’ train
          Ye mermaids fair        10
      That on the shores do plain
          Your sea-green hair,
    As ye in trammels knit your locks
    Weep ye; and so enforce the rocks
In heavy murmurs through the broad shores tell,        15
How Willy bade his friend and joy farewell.
 
          Cease, cease, ye murmuring winds,
          To move a wave;
      But if with troubled minds
          You seek his grave,        20
    Know ’tis as various as yourselves
    Now in the deep, then on the shelves,
His coffin tossed by fish and surges fell,
Whilst Willy weeps, and bids all joy farewell.
 
          Had he, Arion like        25
          Been judged to drown,
      He on his lute could strike
          So rare a sown,
    A thousand dolphins would have come
    And jointly strive to bring him home.        30
But he on shipboard died, by sickness fell,
Since when his Willy paid all joy farewell.
 
          ‘Great Neptune, hear a swain!
          His coffin take,
      And with a golden chain        35
          For pity make
    It fast unto a rock near land!
    Where ev’ry calmy morn I ’ll stand,
And ere one sheep out of my fold I tell,
Sad Willy’s pipe shall bid his friend farewell.        40
 
 
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