John Wilbye

(7 March 1574 - September 1638 / Brome, Suffolk)

O, What Shall I Do - Poem by John Wilbye

O, what shall I do, or whither shall I turn me?
Shall I make unto her eyes? O, no, they'll burn me!
Shall I seal up my eyes and speak my part?
Then in a flood of tears I drown my heart,
For tears being stopped will swell for scope,
Though they overflow love, life and hope,
By beauty's eye
I'll choose to die.

At thy feet I fall, fair creature rich in beauty,
And for pity call; O kill not love and duty.
Let thy smooth tongue fan on my sense thy breath,
to stay thine eyes from burning me to death.
But if mercy be exiled
From a thing so fair compiled,
Then patiently
By thee I'll die.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 31, 2012

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