Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
In Tears Her Triumph
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
From “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” Act IV. Scene 3

SO 1 sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not
To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote
The night of dew 2 that on my cheek down flows:
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright        5
Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light:
Thou shin’st in every tear that I do weep;
No drop but as a coach doth carry thee,
So ridest thou triumphing in my woe:        10
Do but behold the tears that swell in me,
And they thy glory through my grief will show:
But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep
My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
  O queen of queens! how far dost thou excel,        15
  No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell!
Note 1. Sung by the King of Navarre. [back]
Note 2. The night of dew: “It is not the dew,” says Brae, “that is the object of the verb, but the night; metaphorically predicated in the dew upon the lover’s cheek. And it is not until after the night has been smoote and driven away by the sunny rays of his mistress’s eyes, that the dew upon the lover’s cheek becomes assimilated to the morning dew upon the rose.” [back]

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