Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
A Canzon Pastoral in Honour of Her Majesty
By Edmund Bolton (1575?–1633?)
ALAS! what pleasure, now the pleasant spring
    Hath given place
To harsh black frosts the sad ground covering,
    Can we, poor we, embrace,
When every bird on every branch can sing        5
  Naught but this note of woe, Alas?
Alas! this note of woe why should we sound?
With us, as May, September hath a prime;
Then, birds and branches, your Alas! is fond,
Which call upon the absent summer-time.        10
  For did flowers make our May,
  Or the sunbeams your day,
When night and winter did the world embrace,
Well might you wail your ill and sing, Alas!
Lo, matron-like the earth herself attires        15
      In habit grave;
Naked the fields are, bloomless are the briars,
    Yet we a summer have,
Who in our clime kindleth these living fires,
  Which blooms can on the briars save.        20
No ice doth crystallize the running brook,
No blast deflowers the flower-adornèd field.
Crystal is clear, but clearer is the look
Which to our climes these living fires doth yield.
  Winter, though everywhere,        25
  Hath no abiding here:
On brooks and briars she doth rule alone.
The sun which lights our world is always one.

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