Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
38. Complaint of the Absence of Her Lover
Being upon the Sea
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517(?)–1547)
O HAPPY dames! that may embrace
  The fruit of your delight,
Help to bewail the woful case
  And eke the heavy plight
Of me, that wonted to rejoice        5
The fortune of my pleasant choice:
Good ladies, help to fill my mourning voice.
In ship, freight with rememberance
  Of thoughts and pleasures past,
He sails that hath in governance        10
  My life while it will last:
With scalding sighs, for lack of gale,
Furthering his hope, that is his sail,
Toward me, the swete port of his avail.
Alas! how oft in dreams I see        15
  Those eyes that were my food;
Which sometime so delighted me,
  That yet they do me good:
Wherewith I wake with his return
Whose absent flame did make me burn:        20
But when I find the lack, Lord! how I mourn!
When other lovers in arms across
  Rejoice their chief delight,
Drownèd in tears, to mourn my loss
  I stand the bitter night        25
In my window where I may see
Before the winds how the clouds flee:
Lo! what a mariner love hath made me!
And in green waves when the salt flood
  Doth rise by rage of wind,        30
A thousand fancies in that mood
  Assail my restless mind.
Alas! now drencheth my sweet foe,
That with the spoil of my heart did go,
And left me; but alas! why did he so?        35
And when the seas wax calm again
  To chase fro me annoy,
My doubtful hope doth cause me pain;
  So dread cuts off my joy.
Thus in my wealth mingled with woe        40
And of each thought a doubt doth grow;
—Now he comes! Will he come? Alas! no, no.


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