Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
Philomela’s Ode That She Sung in Her Arbour
By Robert Greene (1558–1592)
SITTING by a river side,
Where a silent stream did glide,
Muse I did of many things,
That the mind in quiet brings.
I ’gan think how some men deem        5
Gold their god; and some esteem
Honour is the chief content
That to man in life is lent.
And some others do contend,
Quiet none like to a friend.        10
Others hold there is no wealth
Comparèd to a perfect health.
Some man’s mind in quiet stands,
When he is lord of many lands;
But I did sigh, and said all this        15
Was but a shade of perfect bliss;
And in my thoughts I did approve
Naught so sweet as is true love.
Love ’twixt lovers passeth these,
When mouth kisseth and heart grees,        20
With folded 1 arms and lips meeting,
Each soul another sweetly greeting;
For by the breath the soul fleeteth,
And soul with soul in kissing meeteth.
If love be so sweet a thing,        25
That such happy bliss doth bring,
Happy is love’s sugared thrall;
But unhappy maidens all,
Who esteem your virgin’s blisses
Sweeter than a wife’s sweet kisses.        30
No such quiet to the mind,
As true love with kisses kind.
But if a kiss prove unchaste,
Then is true love quite disgraced.
Though love be sweet, learn this of me:        35
No sweet love but honesty.
Note 1. Folded: interlocked. [back]

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