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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

A Canzon Pastoral in Honour of Her Majesty

Edmund Bolton (1575?–1633?)

ALAS! what pleasure, now the pleasant spring

Hath given place

To harsh black frosts the sad ground covering,

Can we, poor we, embrace,

When every bird on every branch can sing

Naught but this note of woe, Alas?

Alas! this note of woe why should we sound?

With us, as May, September hath a prime;

Then, birds and branches, your Alas! is fond,

Which call upon the absent summer-time.

For did flowers make our May,

Or the sunbeams your day,

When night and winter did the world embrace,

Well might you wail your ill and sing, Alas!

Lo, matron-like the earth herself attires

In habit grave;

Naked the fields are, bloomless are the briars,

Yet we a summer have,

Who in our clime kindleth these living fires,

Which blooms can on the briars save.

No ice doth crystallize the running brook,

No blast deflowers the flower-adornèd field.

Crystal is clear, but clearer is the look

Which to our climes these living fires doth yield.

Winter, though everywhere,

Hath no abiding here:

On brooks and briars she doth rule alone.

The sun which lights our world is always one.