Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
The Most Excellent Song, Which Was Salomon’s
X. Michael Drayton
 
Wherein Is Declared the True and Vnfained Loue betweene Christ and His Church, Containing VIII. Chapters.

The Fift Chapter.

WITHIN 1 my garden plot,
  Loe, I am present now!
I gathered haue the myrrhe and spice
  That in aboundance growe.
 
With honey, milke, and wine,        5
  I haue refresht me here:
Eat, drink, my friends, be mery there,
  With harty friendly cheare.
 
Although in slumbering sleepe
  It seemes to you I lay,        10
Yet heare I my beloued knock,
  Methinkes I heare him say:
 
Open to me the gate,
  My loue, my heart’s delight,
For, loe, my locks are all bedewed        15
  With drizling drops of night.
 
My garments are put off,
  Then may I not doo so;
Shal I defile my feet I washt
  So white as any snow?        20
 
Then fast euen by the dore
  To me he shew’d his hand:
My heart was then enamoured,
  When as I saw him stand.
 
Then straightwaies vp I rose        25
  To ope the dore with speed;
My handes and fingers dropped myrrhe
  Vpon the bar indeede.
 
Then opened I the dore
  Vnto my loue at last;        30
But all in vain; for why? before
  My loue was gone and past.
 
There sought I for my loue,
  Then could I crie and call;
But him I could not find, nor he        35
  Nould answer me at all.
 
The watchmen found me then,
  As thus I walk’d astray;
They wounded me, and from my head
  My vaile they took away.        40
 
Ye daughters of Ierusalem,
  If ye my loue doo see,
Tell him that I am sicke for loue;
  Yea, tel him this from me.
 
Thou peerelesse gem of price,        45
  I pray thee to vs tell,
What is thy loue, what may he be,
  That doth so far excell?
 
In my beloued’s face
  The rose and lilly striue;        50
Among ten thousand men not one
  Is found so faire aliue.
 
His head like finest gold,
  With secret sweet perfume;
His curled locks hang all as black        55
  As any rauen’s plume.
 
His eies be like to doues’
  On riuers’ banks below,
Ywasht with milk, whose collours are
  Most gallant to the shew.        60
 
His cheeks like to a plot
  Where spice and flowers growe;
His lips like to the lilly white,
  From whence pure myrrh doth flow.
 
His hands like rings of gold        65
  With costly chrisalet;
His belly like the yuory white,
  With seemly saphyrs set.
 
His legs like pillers strong
  Of marble set in gold;        70
His countenance like Libanon,
  Or cedars, to behold.
 
His mouth it is as sweet,
  Yea, sweet as sweet may be:
This is my loue, ye virgins, loe!        75
  Euen such a one is he!
 
Thou fairest of vs all,
  Whether is thy louer gone?
Tell us, and we will goe with thee;
  Thou shalt not goe alone.        80
 
Note 1. X. Michael Drayton.—This poet was born in 1563, and died in 1631. He enjoyed a high degree of popularity during his long life, and left a name still regarded with respect. His works are numerous, but the only volumes offering extracts suitable here, written in the age of Elizabeth, are “Moyses in his Map of Miracles,” and “The Harmonie of the Church: containing, The spiritual songes and holy hymnes of godly men, patriarkes, and prophets; all sweetly sounding to the praise and glory of the Highest.” This latter work was published in 1591, and is not included in the editions of Drayton’s collected poems. [back]
 
 
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