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.
 
Devotion
Anonymous
 
FAIN 1 would I change that note
To which fond Love hath charm’d me
Long long ago to sing by rote,
Fancying that that harm’d me:
Yet when this thought doth come,        5
‘Love is the perfect sum
    Of all delight,’
I have no other choice
Either for pen or voice
    To sing or write.        10
 
O Love! they wrong thee much
That say thy sweet is bitter,
When thy rich fruit is such
As nothing can be sweeter.
Fair house of joy and bliss,        15
Where truest pleasure is,
    I do adore thee:
I know thee what thou art,
I serve thee with my heart,
    And fall before thee.        20
 
Note 1. “A book may be very rare and very worthless: that I admit. But an examination of the present volume will show that some choice lyrics have lain hidden out of sight for nearly three centuries. How many readers have heard of Captain Tobias Hume? He published, in 1605, The First Part of Airs, French, Polish and others together. Among these Airs I found the flawless verses that I have placed at the beginning of my anthology. Fain would I change that note. Surely few, even among the very elect, have sung Love’s praises in happier accents of heartful devotion. Captain Hume wrote the music, but I know not who wrote the verses.” (Bullen, Introduction to Lyrics from the Elizabethan Song-Books, pp. vii, viii.) [back]
 
 
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