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.
 
40. A Lover’s Lullaby
 
George Gascoigne (1525(?)–1577)
 
 
SING lullaby, as women do,
  Wherewith they bring their babes to rest;
And lullaby can I sing too,
  As womanly as can the best.
With lullaby they still the child;        5
And if I be not much beguiled,
Full many a wanton babe have I,
Which must be still’d with lullaby.
 
First lullaby my youthful years,
  It is now time to go to bed:        10
For crookèd age and hoary hairs
  Have won the haven within my head.
With lullaby, then, youth be still;
With lullaby content thy will;
Since courage quails and comes behind,        15
Go sleep, and so beguile thy mind!
 
Next lullaby my gazing eyes,
  Which wonted were to glance apace;
For every glass may now suffice
  To show the furrows in thy face.        20
With lullaby then wink awhile;
With lullaby your looks beguile;
Let no fair face, nor beauty bright,
Entice you eft with vain delight.
 
And lullaby my wanton will;        25
  Let reason’s rule now reign thy thought;
Since all too late I find by skill
  How dear I have thy fancies bought;
With lullaby now take thine case,
With lullaby thy doubts appease;        30
For trust to this, if thou be still,
My body shall obey thy will.
 
Thus lullaby my youth, mine eyes,
  My will, my ware, and all that was:
I can no more delays devise;        35
  But welcome pain, let pleasure pass.
With lullaby now take your leave;
With lullaby your dreams deceive;
And when you rise with waking eye,
Remember then this lullaby.        40
 

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