Love-Despondency Poem by Sir Edward Dyer


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Devyde my tymes and rate my wretched howres
From days to months, fro months to many yeers,
And than compare my sweetest to my sowres then
And see wich more in equall vewe appeares;
And judge that from my dayes and yeers of care
I have but howrs of comforte to compare.

Just and not muche it were, in thes extreams
To have a touche and torment of ye thought:
For any myghte that any ryght esteems
To yealde so small delyght so deerly bought;
But he that lyues unto his owne despyghte
Is not to fynde his fortune by his ryghte.

The lyfe that styll runs forth his weary wayes
With sowre to sawce the dayntyes of delyght,
And care to choak the pleasures of his dayes
And not regarde the many wronges to quyte;
No blame to houlde such ircksome tymes in hate,
As but to lose prolongs a wretched state.

And still I loathe eve to behoulde the lyghte
That shynes wthout all pleasure to myne eyes
Wth greedy wishe I wayte for wearye nyghte
Yet neither this I fynde that maye suffyse:
Not that I hould the daye for more delyghte
But that alyke I loathe both daye and nyghte.

The daye I se yeelds but increase of cares,
The nyght that should by nature serve for reste,
Agaynst his kynde denyes suche ease to spare
As pytty woulde afforde the soule opprest:
And broken sleeps oft tymes presents in syght
A dreaminge wishe beguylde with false delyghte.

This sleepe, or else what so for sweet appeers,
Is unto me but pleasures in despyghte.
The flower of age, the name of younger yeeres,
Do but usurpe the tytle of delyghte.
But careful thoughts, and Sorrowe sundry ways
Consumes my youthe before my agèd dayes.

The touch, the stynge, the torments of desyre,
To stryue beyond the compase of restraynte,
Kepte from the reache whereto it would aspyre
Geues cause (God knowes) too iust, to my coplainte:
Besydes the wronge wch worketh my distress
My meaninge is, with sylence to suppress.

Oft wth myselfe I enter in deuyse
To reconsylle these wearye thoughtes to peace;
I treate for truce, I flatter and entyce
My wranglynge wytts to work for theyr release;
But all in vayne I seek the means to fynde
That myght appease the discorde of my mynde.

For when I force a faynèd mirth to showe
And would forgett and so beguyll my greefe;
I cannot rydd my selfe of sorrowe so,
Althoughe I feed upon a false beleefe:
For inward touche of discontented mynde
Retournes my cares by course unto theyr kynde.

Wean'd from my will, and thus by tryall taughte
Howe farr to hould all fortune in regarde;
Though here I boaste of knowledge deerely boughte
Yet thys poore gayne I reape for my rewarde;
I knowe hereby to harde and prepare
A ready mynde for all assaults of care.

Whereto as one eve from the cradle borne
And not to look for better to ensue,
I yeald my selfe and wish these tymes outworne
That but remayne my torments to renewe:
And leaue to those these dayes of my despyghte
Whose better hap may lyue to more delyghte.


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