Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
A True Love
By Nicholas Grimald (1519–1562)
WHAT 1 sweet relief the showers to thirsty plants we see,
What dear delight the blooms to bees, my true love is to me!
As fresh and lusty Ver 2 foul Winter doth exceed—
As morning bright, with scarlet sky, doth pass the evening’s weed—
As mellow pears above the crabs esteemèd be—        5
So doth my love surmount them all, whom yet I hap to see!
The oak shall olives bear, the lamb the lion fray,
The owl shall match the nightingale in tuning of her lay,
Or I my love let slip out of mine entire heart,
So deep reposèd in my breast is she for her desart!        10
For many blessèd gifts, O happy, happy land!
Where Mars and Pallas strive to make their glory most to stand!
Yet, land, more is thy bliss that, in this cruel age,
A Venus’ imp thou hast brought forth, so steadfast and so sage.
Among the Muses Nine a tenth if Jove would make,        15
And to the Graces Three a fourth, her would Apollo take.
Let some for honour hunt, and hoard the massy gold:
With her so I may live and die, my weal cannot be told.
Note 1. From Tottel’s Miscellany (Collier’s Reprint, 1867). Mr. Erskine says in his Study of the Elizabethan Lyrics (ed. 1905, p. 79), “Grimald is a much less ambitious figure than these two lyrists (Wyat and Surrey), but his pieces in Tottel’s Miscellany have their own interest. He stands for the type of minor poet, who, though hidden by the larger names, is present throughout the period, and emerges fully developed in Marvell.” [back]
Note 2. As fresh and lusty Ver: The Spring. Compare:
  Averil, whan clothed is the mede
With new grene, of lusty Veer the prime.
(Chaucer, Troilus, i., 157.)    

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