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

O Fly, My Soul

James Shirley (1596–1666)

From “The Imposture,” Act II. Scene 3

O FLY, my soul! What hangs upon

Thy drooping wings,

And weighs them down

With love of gaudy mortal things?

The Sun is now i’ the east: each shade

As he doth rise

Is shorter made,

That earth may lessen to our eyes.

O be not careless then and play

Until the Star of Peace

Hide all his beams in dark recess!

Poor pilgrims needs must lose their way,

When all the shadows do increase.