Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
187. Melancholy
 
John Fletcher (1579–1625)
 
 
  HENCE, all you vain delights,
  As short as are the nights,
  Wherein you spend your folly:
  There’s nought in this life sweet
  If man were wise to see’t,        5
    But only melancholy,
    O sweetest melancholy!
  Welcome, folded arms, and fixèd eyes,
  A sigh that piercing mortifies,
  A look that’s fasten’d to the ground,        10
  A tongue chain’d up without a sound!
  Fountain heads and pathless groves,
  Places which pale passion loves!
  Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
  Are warmly housed save bats and owls!        15
  A midnight bell, a parting groan!
  These are the sounds we feed upon;
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley;
Nothing’s so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
 

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