Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
The Satyr’s Leave-taking
By John Fletcher (1579–1625)
 
THOU 1 divinest, fairest, brightest,
Thou most powerful maid, and whitest,
Thou most virtuous and most blessèd,
Eyes of stars, and golden-tressèd
Like Apollo! tell me, sweetest,        5
What new service now is meetest
For the Satyr? Shall I stray
In the middle air, and stay
The sailing rack, or nimbly take
Hold by the moon, and gently make        10
Suit to the pale queen of night
For a beam to give thee light?
Shall I dive into the sea,
And bring thee coral, making way
Through the rising waves that fall        15
In snowy fleeces? Dearest, shall
I catch thee wanton fawns, or flies
Whose woven wings the summer dyes
Of many colours? get thee fruit,
Or steal from Heaven old Orpheus’ lute?        20
All these I’ll venture for, and more,
To do her service all these woods adore.
 
Holy Virgin, I will dance
Round about these woods as quick
As the breaking light, and prick        25
Down the lawns and down the vales
Faster than the wind-mill sails.
So I take my leave, and pray
All the comforts of the day,
Such as Phœbus’ heat doth send        30
On the earth, may still befriend
Thee, and this arbour!
 
Note 1. From The Faithful Shepherdess, 1609–10, act v. sc. 5. [back]
 
 
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