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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

John Fletcher

187. Melancholy

HENCE, all you vain delights,

As short as are the nights,

Wherein you spend your folly:

There’s nought in this life sweet

If man were wise to see’t,

But only melancholy,

O sweetest melancholy!

Welcome, folded arms, and fixèd eyes,

A sigh that piercing mortifies,

A look that’s fasten’d to the ground,

A tongue chain’d up without a sound!

Fountain heads and pathless groves,

Places which pale passion loves!

Moonlight walks, when all the fowls

Are warmly housed save bats and owls!

A midnight bell, a parting groan!

These are the sounds we feed upon;

Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley;

Nothing’s so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.