Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
William Shakespeare. 1564–1616
124. The Blossom
ON a day—alack the day!— 
Love, whose month is ever May, 
Spied a blossom passing fair 
Playing in the wanton air: 
Through the velvet leaves the wind         5
All unseen 'gan passage find; 
That the lover, sick to death, 
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath. 
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow; 
Air, would I might triumph so!  10
But, alack, my hand is sworn 
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn: 
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet; 
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet! 
Do not call it sin in me  15
That I am forsworn for thee; 
Thou for whom e'en Jove would swear 
Juno but an Ethiop were; 
And deny himself for Jove, 
Turning mortal for thy love.  20
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