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

The Widow

George Wither (1588–1667)

HOW near me came the hand of Death,

When at my side he struck my Dear,

And took away the precious breath

What quicken’d my belovèd peer!

How helpless am I thereby made!

By day how grieved, by night how sad!

And now my life’s delight is gone,

—Alas! how I am left alone!

The voice which I did more esteem

Than music in her sweetest key,

Those eyes which unto me did seem

More comfortable than the day;

Those now by me, as they have been

Shall never more be heard or seen;

But what I once enjoy’d in them

Shall seem hereafter as a dream.

Lord! keep me faithful to the trust

Which my dear spouse reposed in me:

To him now dead preserve me just

In all that should performèd be!

For though our being man and wife

Extendeth only to this life,

Yet neither life nor death should end

The being of a faithful friend.