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

A Bridal Song

William Shakespeare (1564–1616) or John Fletcher (1579–1625)

ROSES, their sharp spines being gone,

Not royal in their smells alone,

But in their hue;

Maiden pinks, of odour faint,

Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,

And sweet thyme true;

Primrose, first-born child of Ver;

Merry spring-time’s harbinger,

With hare-bells dim;

Oxlips in their cradles growing,

Marigolds on deathbeds blowing,

Larks’-heel trim;

All dear Nature’s children sweet

Lie ’fore bride and bridegroom’s feet,

Blessing their sense!

Not an angel of the air,

Bird melodious, or bird fair,

Be absent hence!

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor

The boding raven, nor chough hoar,

Nor chattering pye,

May on our bride house perch or sing,

Or with them any discord bring,

But from it fly!