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I would and I would not

Sir Edward Dyer 1543 ( Sharpham Park, Glastonbury) – 1607 ( chancel, St Saviour's)



I woulde it were not as it is
Or that I cared not yea or no;
I woulde I thoughte it not amiss,
Or that amiss mighte blamles goo;
 I woulde I were, yet woulde I not,
 I mighte be gladd yet coulde I not.

I coulde desire to know the meane
Or that the meane desyre soughte;
I woulde I coulde my fancye weane
From suche sweet joyes as Love hathe wroughte;
 Onlye my wishe is leaste of all
 A badge whereby to know a thrall.

O happy man whiche doste aspire
To that whiche semeleye thou dost crave!
Thrise happy man, if thy desyre
Maye winn with hope good happ to have;
 But woe to me unhappy man
 Whom hope nor happ acquiet cann.

The budds of hope are starvde with feare
And still his foe presents his face;
My state, if hope the palme shoulde beare
Unto my happ woulde be disgrace.
 As diamond in woode were set
 Or Irus raggs in goulde I frett.

For loe my tyrèd shoulders beare
Desyre's weery beatinge winges;
And at my feet a clogg I weare
Tyde one wth selfe disdayning stringes.
 My wings to mounte aloft make hast.
 My clog doth sinke me downe as faste.

This is our state, loe thus we stande
They ryse to fall that climbe to hye;
The boye that fled kynge Minos lande
Maye learne the wise more love to flye.
 What gaynde his poynte agaynste the sonne
 He drownde in seas himself, that wonne.

Yet Icarus more happy was,
By present deathe his cares to ende
Than I, pore mann, on whom alas
Tenn thousande deathes theire paynes do sende.
 Now greife, now hope, now loue, now spyghte
 Longe sorrows mixte withe shorte delyghte.

The pheere and fellowe of thy smarte
Prometheus I am indeede;
Upon whose ever livinge harte
The greedy gryphes do daylye feede;
 But he that lyfts his harte so hye
 Muste be contente to pine and dye.

Finis.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:40 min read
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Sir Edward Dyer

Sir Edward Dyer was an English courtier and poet. more…

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