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Poem by George Gascoigne


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AMID my bale I bathe in bliss,
I swim in heaven, I sink in hell;
I find amends for every miss,
And yet my moan no tongue can tell.
I live and love--what would you more?
As never lover lived before.

I laugh sometimes with little lust,
So jest I oft and feel no joy;
My ease is builded all on trust,
And yet mistrust breeds mine annoy.
I live and lack, I lack and have:
I have and miss the thing I crave.

These things seem strange, yet are they true,
Believe me, sweet, my state is such;
One pleasure which I would eschew
Both slakes my grief and breeds my grutch;
So doth one pain which I would shun
Renew my joys where grief begun.

Then, like the lark that passed the night
In heavy sleep with cares oppressed,
Yet when she spies the pleasant light,
She sends sweet notes from out her breast,
So sing I now because I think
How joys approach, when sorrows shrink.

And as fair Philomene again
Can watch and sing when others sleep,
And taketh pleasure in her pain
To wray the woe that makes her weep,
So sing I now for to bewray
The loathsome life I lead alway.

The which to thee, dear wench, I write,
That know'st my mirth but not my moan;
I pray God grant thee deep delight
To live in joys when I am gone.
I cannot live: it will not be.
I die to think to part from thee.



George Gascoigne


George Gascoigne's other poems:
  1. The Steel Glass
  2. Woodmanship
  3. The Looks of a Lover Enamoured
  4. Sonnet 3. And every year a world my will did deem
  5. Sonnet 5. All were too little for the merchant's hand


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