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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Sephestia’s Song to her Child
By Robert Greene (1558–1592)
 
From ‘Menaphon’

WEEP not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
        Mother’s wag, pretty boy,
        Father’s sorrow, father’s joy;
        When thy father first did see        5
        Such a boy by him and me,
        He was glad, I was woe;
        Fortune changèd made him so,
        When he left his pretty boy,
        Last his sorrow, first his joy.        10
 
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
        Streaming tears that never stint,
        Like pearl drops from a flint,
        Fell by course from his eyes,        15
        That one another’s place supplies;
        Thus he grieved in every part,
        Tears of blood fell from his heart,
        When he left his pretty boy,
        Father’s sorrow, father’s joy.        20
 
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
        The wanton smiled, father wept,
        Mother cried, baby leapt;
        More he crowed, more we cried,        25
        Nature could not sorrow hide:
        He must go, he must kiss
        Child and mother, baby bless,
        For he left his pretty boy,
        Father’s sorrow, father’s joy        30
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there’s grief enough for thee.
 
 
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