Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford

FROM  Rawlinson Poetry Ms.  85   

[Who taught thee first to sigh?]         

Who taught thee first to sigh, alas, my heart?
Who taught thy tongue the woeful words of plaint?
Who filled your eyes with tears of bitter smart?
Who gave thee grief, and made thy joys to faint?

Who first did paint with colors pale thy face?
Who first did break thy sleeps of quiet rest?
Above the rest in court who gave thee grace?
Who made thee strive, in honor to be best?

In constant truth to bide so firm and sure?
To scorn the world, regarding but thy friends?
With patient mind each passion to endure?
In one desire to settle to the end?

    Love then thy choice, wherein such choice thou bind
    As nought but death may ever change thy mind.

Poetry of the English Renaissance 1509-1660.
J. William Hebel and Hoyt H. Hudson, Eds.
New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1941. 103.

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