Sir William Alexander

Song IV

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O bitter time that dost begin the yeare,
And dost begin each bitter thing to breed!
O season sowre, that season'st so with gall
Each kind of thing, in thee that life doth take;
Yet cloak'st thy sowrenesse with a sweet-like hew,
And for my share dost make me still to pine,
As one that's rob'd of rest.
Now when through all the earth the basest brire,
In signe of ioy is cloath'd with Sommers weed,
Euen now when as hils, herbes, woods, vales and all,
Begin to spring, and off th'old ruines shake,
Thou but begin'st mine anguish to renew;
O rigour rare, to banish me from mine,
When birds do build their nest.
By these thy fierce effects it may appeare,
That with the Bull the Sunne soiournes indeed.
What sauage Bull disbanded from his stall,
Of wrath a Signe more inhumane could make?
Ore all the Earth thou powr'st downe pleasant dew:
But with despaire dost all my hopes confine,
With teares to bath my brest.

Now when the time t'increase is drawing neare,
Thou in my brest of sorrow sow'st the seed,
And those old griefes thou goest for to recall,
That fading hing and would the stalke forsake.
Thus how can I some huge mishap eschew,
Who kil'd with care, all comfort must resigne,
And yeeld to th'amorous pest?
The heau'n of my estate growes neuer cleare,
I many torments feele, yet worse do dread:
Mishaps haue me inuiron'd with a wall,
And my heart sting with paines that neuer slake:
Yet to the end Ile to my Deare be true;
So this sharpe aire my constancie shall fine,
Which may come for the best.
Ile write my woes vpon this Pine-tree here,
That passengers such rarities may reade,
Who when they thinke of this my wretched fall,
With sighes may sing those euils that make me quake,
And for compassion waile, while as they view,
How that I there with such a sauage line,
A tyrants Trophees drest.
This time desir'd of all Ile to hold deare,
And as that all things now to flourish speed:
So mouing on this sea-inuiron'd ball,
Foorth teares to bring mine eyes shall euer wake:
And whil'st euen senslesse things my sorrowes rue,
I shall not spare no part of my ingine,
My selfe for to molest.

The sourest hearbes shall be my sweetest cheare,
Since to prolong my paines I onely feed;
Some dungeon darke shall serue me for a hall,
And like a king I shall companions lake.
Though neuer Enuie do my state pursue,
Of wormwood bare I mind to make my wine,
Thus shall I be distrest.
For since my Faire doth not vpon me rue,
My hopes set in the west.

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Sir William Alexander