Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford
Bower of Delights, 1591
When wert thou born, Desire? In pomp and prime of May.
By whom, sweet boy, wert thou begot? By Good Conceit, men say.
Tell me, who was thy nurse? Fresh Youth, in sugared joy.
What was thy meat and daily food? Sore sighs, with great annoy.
What had you then to drink? Unfeignëd lovers' tears.
What cradle were you rockëd in? In hope devoid of fears.
What brought you then asleep? Sweet Speech, which likes men best.
And where is now your dwelling-place? In gentle hearts I rest.
Doth company displease? It doth, in many one.
Where would Desire then choose to be? He likes to muse alone.
What feedeth most your sight? To gaze on favor still.
Who find you most to be your foe? Disdain of my good will.
Will ever age or death bring you into decay?
No, no! Desire both lives and dies a thousand times a day.
Poetry of the English Renaissance 1509-1660.
J. William Hebel and Hoyt H. Hudson, Eds.
New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1941. 104.
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