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

Orpheus I Am, Come from the Deeps below

John Fletcher (1579–1625)

From “The Mad Lover,” Act IV. Scene 1

ORPHEUS I am, come from the deeps below,

To thee, fond man, the plagues of love to show,

To the fair fields where loves eternal dwell

There’s none that come, but first they pass through hell:

Hark, and beware! unless thou hast loved, ever

Beloved again, thou shalt see those joys never.

Hark how they groan that died despairing!

Oh, take heed, then!

Hark how they howl for over-daring!

All these were men.

They that be fools, and die for fame,

They lose their name;

And they that bleed,

Hark how they speed!

Now in cold frosts, now scorching fires

They sit, and curse their lost desires;

Nor shall these souls be free from pains and fears,

Till women waft them over in their tears.