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

The Soldier Going to the Field

Sir William Davenant (1606–1668)

PRESERVE thy sighs, unthrifty girl!

To purify the air;

Thy tears to thread, instead of pearl,

On bracelets of thy hair.

The trumpet makes the echo hoarse,

And wakes the louder drum,

Expense of grief gains no remorse,

When sorrow should be dumb.

For I must go where lazy peace

Will hide her drowsy head;

And, for the sport of kings, increase

The number of the dead.

But first I’ll chide thy cruel theft:

Can I in war delight,

Who, being of my heart bereft

Can have no heart to fight?

Thou knowest the sacred laws of old,

Ordained a thief should pay,

To quit him of his theft, sevenfold

What he had stolen away.

Thy payment shall but double be;

O then with speed resign

My own seducèd heart to me,

Accompanied with thine.