Gateway to the Classics: Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by Arthur Quiller-Couch
Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by  Arthur Quiller-Couch

Complaint of the Absence of Her Lover Being upon the Sea

O happy dames! that may embrace

The fruit of your delight,

Help to bewail the woful case

And eke the heavy plight

Of me, that wonted to rejoice

The fortune of my pleasant choice:

Good ladies, help to fill my mourning voice.

In ship, freight with rememberance

Of thoughts and pleasures past,

He sails that hath in governance

My life while it will last:

With scalding sighs, for lack of gale,

Furthering his hope, that is his sail,

Toward me, the swete port of his avail.

Alas! how oft in dreams I see

Those eyes that were my food;

Which sometime so delighted me,

That yet they do me good:

Wherewith I wake with his return

Whose absent flame did make me burn:

But when I find the lack, Lord! how I mourn!

When other lovers in arms across

Rejoice their chief delight,

Drownéd in tears, to mourn my loss

I stand the bitter night

In my window where I may see

Before the winds how the clouds flee:

Lo! what a mariner love hath made me!

And in green waves when the salt flood

Doth rise by rage of wind,

A thousand fancies in that mood

Assail my restless mind.

Alas! now drencheth my sweet foe,

That with the spoil of my heart did go,

And left me; but alas! why did he so?

And when the seas wax calm again

To chase fro me annoy,

My doubtful hope doth cause me plain;

So dread cuts off my joy.

Thus is my wealth mingled with woe

And of each thought a doubt doth grow;

—Now he comes! Will he come? Alas! no, no.

— Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey

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