Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. 1516–47
40. Complaint of the Absence of Her Lover
being upon the Sea
O HAPPY dames! that may embrace 
  The fruit of your delight, 
Help to bewail the woful case 
  And eke the heavy plight 
Of me, that wonted to rejoice         5
The fortune of my pleasant choice: 
Good ladies, help to fill my mourning voice. 
In ship, freight with rememberance 
  Of thoughts and pleasures past, 
He sails that hath in governance  10
  My life while it will last: 
With scalding sighs, for lack of gale, 
Furthering his hope, that is his sail, 
Toward me, the swete port of his avail. 
Alas! how oft in dreams I see  15
  Those eyes that were my food; 
Which sometime so delighted me, 
  That yet they do me good: 
Wherewith I wake with his return 
Whose absent flame did make me burn:  20
But when I find the lack, Lord! how I mourn! 
When other lovers in arms across 
  Rejoice their chief delight, 
Drownèd in tears, to mourn my loss 
  I stand the bitter night  25
In my window where I may see 
Before the winds how the clouds flee: 
Lo! what a mariner love hath made me! 
And in green waves when the salt flood 
  Doth rise by rage of wind,  30
A thousand fancies in that mood 
  Assail my restless mind. 
Alas! now drencheth my sweet foe, 
That with the spoil of my heart did go, 
And left me; but alas! why did he so?  35
And when the seas wax calm again 
  To chase fro me annoy, 
My doubtful hope doth cause me plain; 
  So dread cuts off my joy. 
Thus is my wealth mingled with woe  40
And of each thought a doubt doth grow; 
—Now he comes! Will he come? Alas! no, no. 
GLOSS:  drencheth] i. e. is drenched or drowned.
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