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


Thomas Sackville, Earl of Dorset (1536–1608)

BY him lay heavy Sleep, the cousin of Death,

Flat on the ground, and still as any stone,

A very corpse, save yielding forth a breath:

Small keep took he, whom Fortune frownèd on,

Or whom she lifted up into the throne

Of high renown: but as a living death,

So, dead live, of life he drew the breath.

The body’s rest, the quiet of the heart,

The travail’s ease, the still night’s fear was he,

And of our life on earth the better part:

Reaver of sight, and yet in whom we see

Things oft that tide, and oft that never be:

Without respect, esteeming equally

King Crœsus’ pomp, and Irus’ poverty.