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

A Sweet Pastoral

Nicholas Breton (1545–1626)

GOOD Muse, rock me to sleep

With some sweet harmony;

The weary eye is not to keep

Thy wary company.

Sweet Love, begone awhile;

Thou know’st my heaviness;

Beauty is born but to beguile

My heart of happiness.

See how my little flock,

That loved to feed on high,

Do headlong tumble down the rock

And in the valley die.

The bushes and the trees

That were so fresh and green,

Do all their dainty colour leese,

And not a leaf is seen.

The blackbird and the thrush

That made the woods to ring,

With all the rest are now at hush

And not a note they sing.

Sweet Philomel, the bird

That hath the heavenly throat,

Doth now, alas! not once afford

Recording of a note.

The flowers have had a frost,

Each herb hath lost her savour,

And Phyllida the fair hath lost

The comfort of her favour.

Now all these careful sights

So kill me in conceit,

That now to hope: upon delights,

It is but mere deceit.

And therefore, my sweet Muse,

Thou know’st what help is best;

Do now thy heavenly cunning use

To set my heart at rest:

And in a dream bewray

What fate shall be my friend,

Whether my life shall still decay,

Or when my sorrow end.