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

Montanus’ Vow

Thomas Lodge (1558–1625)

FIRST shall the heavens want starry light,

The seas be robbèd of their waves;

The day want sun, the sun want bright,

The night want shade and dead men graves;

The April, flowers and leaf and tree,

Before I false my faith to thee.

First shall the tops of highest hills

By humble plains be overpry’d;

And poets scorn the Muses’ quills,

And fish forsake the water-glide;

And Iris lose her colour’d weed

Before I fail thee at thy need.

First direful Hate shall turn to Peace,

And Love relent in deep disdain;

And Death his fatal stroke shall cease,

And Envy pity every pain;

And Pleasure mourn, and Sorrow smile,

Before I talk of any guile.

First Time shall stay his stayless race,

And Winter bless his brows with corn;

And snow bemoisten July’s face,

And Winter spring and summer mourn,

Before my pen by help of Fame

Cease to recite thy sacred name.