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(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

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Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile

Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old customs make this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court!
Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
The seasons difference; as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winters wind,
Which when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
This is no flattery; these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
I would not change it.

Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010


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  • Suze Collett (4/29/2012 11:20:00 PM)

    I'm unaware of the context of this poem. I'm entrenched in a battle for freedom, opposed to legal pomp and governmental paint. This poem speaks to me of a similar disenchantment. I like this poem very much, is it a piece within a play?

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