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

Helen’s Epithalamium

Sir Edward Dyer (1543–1607)

LIKE as the rising morning shows a grateful lightening,

When sacred night is past and winter now lets loose the spring,

So glittering Helen showed among the maids, lusty and tall,

As is the furrow in a field that far outstretcheth all,

Or in a garden is a Cypress tree, or in a trace

A steed of Thessaly, so she to Sparta was a grace,

No damsel with such works as she her baskets used to fill,

Nor in diverse coloured web a woof of greater skill

Doth cut from off the loom: nor hath such songs and lays

Unto her dainty harp, in Dian’s and Minerva’s praise,

As Helen hath, in whose bright eyes all Loves and Graces be.

O fair, O lovely maid, a matron now is made of thee;

But we will every spring unto the leaves in meadows go

To gather garlands sweet, and there not with a little woe,

Will often think of thee, O Helen, as the suckling lambs

Desire the strouting bags and presence of their tender dams;

We all betimes for thee a wreath of Melitoe will knit,

And on a shady plane for thee will safely fasten it,

And all betimes for thee, under a shady plane below,

Out of a silver box the sweetest ointment will bestow,

And letters shall be written in the bark that men may see

And read, Do humble reverence, for I am Helen’s tree.