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

The Weeper

Richard Crashaw (c. 1613–1649)

THE DEW no more will weep

The primrose’s pale cheek to deck:

The dew no more will sleep

Nuzzled in the lily’s neck:

Much rather would it tremble here

And leave them both to be thy tear.

Not the soft gold which

Steals from the amber-weeping tree,

Makes Sorrow half so rich

As the drops distill’d from thee:

Sorrow’s best jewels lie in these

Caskets of which Heaven keeps the keys.

When Sorrow would be seen

In her brightest majesty,

—For she is a Queen—

Then is she drest by none but thee:

Then, and only then, she wears

Her richest pearls—I mean thy tears.

Not in the evening’s eyes,

When they red with weeping are

For the sun that dies,

Sits Sorrow with a face so fair:

Nowhere but here did ever meet

Sweetness so sad, sadness so sweet.

When some new bright guest

Takes up among the stars a room,

And Heaven will make a feast,

Angels with their bottles come,

And draw from these full eyes of thine

Their Master’s water, their own wine.

Does the night arise?

Still thy tears do fall and fall.

Does night lose her eyes?

Still the fountain weeps for all.

Let night or day do what they will,

Thou hast thy task, thou weepest still.