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.
 
Carpe Diem
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
From “Twelfth-Night,” Act II. Scene 3

O MISTRESS 1 mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear! your true-love’s coming,
  That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers meeting,        5
  Every wise man’s son doth know.
 
What is love? ’tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
  What’s to come is till unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;        10
Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty! 2
  Youth’s a stuff will not endure.
 
Note 1. Chappell (l. 209) says this song was printed in both editions of Morley’s Consort Lessons, 1599 and 1611. It also appeared in Queen Elizabeth’s Virginal Book, 1603, arranged by William Byrd. On this assumption Dyce says: “As it is to be found in print in 1599, it proves either that Twelfth Night was written in or before that year, or that, in accordance with the then prevailing custom, O mistress mine was an old song introduced into the play.” [back]
Note 2. Sweet-and-twenty: a phrase of endearment. For commentaries of this phrase see Dr. Furness’ Variorum Ed. Shakespeare, vol. xiii., pp. 114–15–16. [back]
 
 
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