Alas, why say you I am rich
A L A
why say you I am rich? when I
Do beg, and begging scant a life sustain.
Why do you say that I am well?—
Louder than on the rack, in me doth cry.
O let me know myself! My poverty
With whitening rotten walls no stay doth gain,
And these small hopes you tell, keep but in vain
Life with hot drinks, in one laid down to die.
If in my face my wants and sores so great
Do not appear, a canker (think) unseen 10
The apple's heart, though sound without, doth eat;
Or if on me from my fair heaven are seen
Some scattered beams,
know such heat gives their light
As frosty morning's
sun, as moonshine night.
Forsaken woods, trees with sharp storms oppressed
F O R
N woods, trees with
sharp storms oppressed,
Whose leaves once hid the sun, now strew the ground,
Once bred delight, now scorn, late used to sound
Of sweetest birds, now of hoarse crows the nest;
Gardens, which once in thousand colours dressed
Showed nature's pride, now in dead sticks abound,
In whom proud summer's treasure late was found
Now but the rags of winter's torn coat rest;
Meadows whose sides late fair brooks kissed, now slime
Embraced holds; fields whose youth green and
Promised long life, now frosts lay in the grave:
Say all, and I with them, 'What doth not Time!'
But they, who knew Time,
Time will find again;
I that fair times lost,
on Time call in vain.
The sun is set, and masked night
T H E sun is set, and masked night
Veils heaven's fair eyes:
Ah what trust is there to a light
That so swift flies?
A new world doth his flames enjoy,
New hearts rejoice:
In other eyes is now his joy,
In other choice.
The New Oxford Book of Sixteenth Century Verse. Emrys Jones, Ed.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. 698, 699.
||to Sir Robert Sidney
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