Sir William Alexander

Sestina II

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While as the day deliuers vs his light,
I wander through the solitarie fields,
And when the euening hath obscur'd the earth,
And hath with silence lull'd the world asleepe:
Then rage I like a mad-man in my bed,
Which being fir'd with sighes, I quench with teares.
But ere Aurora rise to spend her teares,
Still languishing againe to see the light,
As th'enemie of my rest, I flie my bed,
And take me to the most deserted fields:
There is no soule saue I but gets some sleepe,
Though one would seeke through all the peopled earth.
Whiles th'Ætna of my fires affrights the earth,
And whiles it dreads, I drowne it with my teares:
And it's suspicious-like, I neither sleepe,
When Phœbus giues nor gathers in his light:
So many piles of grasse not cloath the fields,
As I deuise designes within my bed.
Vnto the time I find a frostie bed,
Digged within the bowels of the earth,
Mine eyes salt flouds shall still oreflow the fields:
I looke not for an abstinence from teares,
Till first I be secluded from the light,
And end my torments with an endlesse sleepe.
For now when I am purposed to sleepe,
A thousand thoughts assaile me in my bed,
That oft I do despaire to see the light:
O would to God I were dissolu'd in earth;
Then would the sauage beasts bemone with teares,
Their neighbours death through all th'vnpeopled fields.
Whil'st rauish'd whiles I walke alongst the fields,
The lookers on lament, I lose my sleepe:
But of the Crocadiles those be the teares,
So to perswade me for to go to sleepe;
As being sure, when once I leaue the light,
To render me the greatest wretch on th'earth.

O happiest I in th'earth, if in the fields,
I might still see the light and neuer sleepe,
Drinking salt teares, and making stones my bed.

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Sir William Alexander