Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
Extracts from The Hecatompathia: Passion II
By Thomas Watson (1555–1592)
          In this passion the Author describeth in how piteous a case the heart of a lover is, being (as he feigneth here) separated from his own body, and removed into a darksome and solitary wilderness of woes. The conveyance of his invention is plain and pleasant enough of itself, and therefore needeth the less annotation before it.

MY heart is set him down twixt hope and fears
Upon the stony bank of high Desire,
To view his own made flood of blubbering tears,
Whose waves are bitter salt, and hot as fire:
    There blows no blast of wind but ghostly groans        5
    Nor waves make other noise than piteous moans.
As life were spent he waiteth Charon’s boat,
And thinks he dwells on side of Stygian lake:
But black Despair sometimes with open throat,
Or spiteful Jealousy doth cause him quake,        10
    With howling shrieks on him they call and cry
    That he as yet shall neither live nor die:
Thus void of help he sits in heavy case,
And wanteth voice to make his just complaint.
No flower but Hyacinth in all the place,        15
No sun comes there, nor any heav’nly saint,
    But only she, which in himself remains,
    And joys her ease though he abound in pains.

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