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

What Doth It Serve to See Sun’s Burning Face

William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585–1649)

WHAT doth it serve to see Sun’s burning face,

And skies enamelled with both Indies’ gold?

Or moon at night in jetty chariot rolled,

And all the glory of that starry place?

What doth it serve earth’s beauty to behold,—

The mountains’ pride, the meadows’ flowery grace,

The stately comeliness of forests old,

The sport of floods which would themselves embrace?

What doth it serve to hear the sylvans’ songs,

The wanton merle, the nightingale’s sad strains,

Which in dark shades seem to deplore my wrongs?—

For what doth serve all that this world contains?—

Sith she for whom those once to me were dear

No part of them can have now with me here!