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

Menaphon’s Song

Robert Greene (1558–1592)

SOME say Love,

Foolish Love,

Doth rule and govern all the gods:

I say Love,

Inconstant Love,

Sets men’s senses far at odds.

Some swear Love,

Smooth-faced Love,

Is sweetest sweet that men can have;

I say Love,

Sower Love,

Makes virtue yield as beauty’s slave.

A bitter sweet, a folly worst of all,

That forceth wisdom to be folly’s thrall.

Love is sweet.—

Wherein sweet?

In fading pleasures that do pain.

Beauty sweet:

Is that sweet

That yieldeth sorrow for a gain?

If Love’s sweet,

Herein sweet,

That minute’s joys are monthly woes:

’Tis not sweet,

That is sweet

Nowhere but where repentance grows.

Then love who list, if beauty be so sower;

Labour for me, Love rest in prince’s bower.