Sir William Alexander

Song II

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Whil'st I by wailing sought
T'haue in some sort asswag'd my griefe,
I found that rage gaue no reliefe,
And carefulnesse did but increase my feares:
Then now Ile mourne for nought,
But in my secret thought,
Will thesaurize all my mischiefe.
For long experienc'd wo well witnesse beares,
That teares cannot quench sighs, nor sighs drie teares.
To calme a stormie brow,
The world doth know how I did smart,
Yet could not moue that marble hart,
Which was too much to crueltie inclin'd:
But to her rigour now,
I lift my hands and bow,
And in her grace will claime no part:
I take great paines of purpose to be pin'd,
And onely mourne to satisfie my mind.
How I my dayes haue spent,
The heau'ns aboue no doubt they know;
The world hath likewise seene below,
Whil'st with my sighes I poyson'd al the ayre:
Those streames which I augment,
Those woods where I lament,
I thinke my state could clearely show:
By those the same rests registred as rare,
That such like monstrous things vs'd to declare.
The trees where I did bide,
Seem'd for to chide my froward fate:
Then whisling wail'd my wretched state,
And bowing whiles to heare my wofull song:
They spred their branches wide,
Of purpose me to hide:
Then of their leaues did make my seate:
And if they reason had as they are strong,
No doubt but they would ioyne t'auenge my wrong.
The beasts in euery glen,
Which first to kill me had ordain'd,
Were by my priuiledge restrain'd,
Who indenized was within those bounds:
I harbor'd in a den,
I fled the sight of men,
No signe of reason I retain'd.
The beasts they flie not when the hunter sounds,
As I at mine owne thoughts when Cupid hounds.
This moues me, my distresse
And sorrowes sometime to conceale,
Lest that the torments which I feele,
Might likewise my concitizens annoy.
And partly I confesse,
Because the meanes grow lesse
By which I should such harmes reueale:
Which I protest, doth but preiudge my ioy,
That still do striue myselfe for to destroy.
All comfort I despight,
And willingly with wo comport,
My passions do appeare a sport;
I take a speciall pleasure to complaine:
All things that moue delight,
I with disdaine acquite.
Small ease seemes much, long trauels short,
A world of pleasure is not worth my paine,
I will not change my losse with others gaine.
Here rob'd of all repose,
Not interrupted by repaire,
My fancies freely I declare:
And counting all my crosses one by one,
I daily do disclose
To woods and vales my woes.
And as I saw Aurora there,
I thinke to her that I my state bemone,
When in effect it is but to a stone.
This my most monstrous ill,
Compassion moues in euery thing:
When as I shout the forrests ring;
When I begin to grone, the beasts they bray:
The trees they teares distill,
The riuers all stand still,
The birds my Tragedie they sing;
The wofull Eccho waites vpon my way,
Prompt to resound my accents when I stay.
When wearied I remaine,
That sighs, teares, voice, and all do faile,
Discolour'd, bloudlesse, and growne pale,
Vpon the earth my bodie I distend:
And then orecome with paine,
I agonize againe:
And passions do so farre preuaile,
That though I want the meanes my woes to spend,
A mournfull meaning neuer hath an end.

My child in deserts borne,
For griefe-tun'd eares thy accents frame,
And tell to those thy plaints that scorne,
Thou plead'st for pitie, not for fame.

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Sir William Alexander