Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
The Lowest Trees Have Tops
By Sir Edward Dyer (1543–1607) (?)
THE LOWEST 1 trees have tops, the ant her gall,
The fly her spleen, the little spark his heat;
And slender hairs cast shadows, though but small,
And bees have stings, although they be not great;
Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs;        5
And love is love in beggars and in kings.
Where waters smoothest run, deep are the fords;
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move;
The firmest faith is in the fewest words;
The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love;        10
True hearts have eyes and ears, no tongues to speak;
They hear, and see, and sigh, and then they break!
Note 1. From John Dowland’s Third and Last Book of Songs and Airs, 1603. Also appeared in Davison’s Poetical Rhapsody, 1602, and subscribed “Incerto.” In Mr. Bullen’s reprint of the Rhapsody, it is signed by the still mysterious initials A. W. Rawlinson MS., Poet. 148, fol. 50, attributes it to Sir Edward Dyer, which authorship I have retained with a question. [back]

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