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

A Lover's Lullaby

Sing lullaby, as women do,

Wherewith they bring their babes to rest;

And lullaby can I sing too,

As womanly as can the best.

With lullaby they still the child;

And if I be not much beguiled,

Full many a wanton babe have I,

Which must be still'd with lullaby.

First lullaby my youthful years,

It is now time to go to bed:

For crookéd age and hoary hairs

Have won the haven within my head.

With lullaby, then, youth be still;

With lullaby content thy will;

Since courage quails and comes behind,

Go sleep, and so beguile thy mind!

Next lullaby my gazing eyes,

Which wonted were to glance apace;

For every glass may now suffice

To show the furrows in thy face.

With lullaby then wink awhile;

With lullaby your looks beguile;

Let no fair face, nor beauty bright,

Entice you eft with vain delight.

And lullaby my wanton will;

Let reason's rule now reign thy thought;

Since all too late I find by skill

How dear I have thy fancies bought;

With lullaby now take thine ease,

With lullaby thy doubts appease;

For trust to this, if thou be still,

My body shall obey thy will.

Thus lullaby my youth, mine eyes,

My will, my ware, and all that was:

I can no more delays devise;

But welcome pain, let pleasure pass.

With lullaby now take your leave;

With lullaby your dreams deceive;

And when you rise with waking eye,

Remember then this lullaby.

— George Gascoigne

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