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

Let No Bird Sing

William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)

GLIDE soft, ye silver floods,

And every spring:

Within the shady woods

Let no bird sing!

Nor from the grove a turtle-dove

Be seen to couple with her love;

But silence on each dale and mountain dwell,

Whilst Willy bids his friend and joy farewell.

But of great Thetis’ train,

Ye mermaids fair,

That on the shores do plain

Your sea-green hair,

As ye in trammels knit your locks,

Weep ye; and so enforce the rocks

In heavy murmurs through the broad shores tell

How Willy bade his friend and joy farewell.

Cease, cease, ye murdering winds,

To move a wave;

But if with troubled minds

You seek his grave,

Know ’tis as various as yourselves,

Now in the deep, then on the shelves,

His coffin toss’d by fish and surges fell,

Whilst Willy weeps and bids all joy farewell.

Had he Arion-like

Been judged to drown,

He on his lute could strike

So rare a sown,

A thousand dolphins would have come

And jointly strove to bring him home.

But he on shipboard died, by sickness fell,

Since when his Willy bade all joy farewell.

Great Neptune, hear a swain!

His coffin take,

And with a golden chain

For pity make

It fast unto a rock near land!

Where every calmy morn I’ll stand,

And ere one sheep out of my fold I’ll tell,

Sad Willy’s pipe shall bid his friend farewell.