Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
George Wither. 1588–1667
  
239. A Widow's Hymn
  
HOW near me came the hand of Death, 
  When at my side he struck my dear, 
And took away the precious breath 
  Which quicken'd my belovèd peer! 
    How helpless am I thereby made!         5
    By day how grieved, by night how sad! 
And now my life's delight is gone, 
—Alas! how am I left alone! 
 
The voice which I did more esteem 
  Than music in her sweetest key,  10
Those eyes which unto me did seem 
  More comfortable than the day; 
    Those now by me, as they have been, 
    Shall never more be heard or seen; 
But what I once enjoy'd in them  15
Shall seem hereafter as a dream. 
 
Lord! keep me faithful to the trust 
  Which my dear spouse reposed in me: 
To him now dead preserve me just 
  In all that should performèd be!  20
    For though our being man and wife 
    Extendeth only to this life, 
Yet neither life nor death should end 
The being of a faithful friend. 
 
GLOSS:  peer] companion.
 
 
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