William Byrd poems

William Byrd(1543 - 1623 / England)
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Care for Thy Soul as Thing of Greatest Price

- by William Byrd 25

Care for thy soul as thing of greatest price,
Made to the end to taste of power divine,
Devoid of guilt, abhorring sin and vice,
Apt by God's grace to virtue to incline.
Care for it so as by thy retchless train
It be not brought to taste eternal pain.

Care for thy corse, but chiefly for soul's sake;
Cut off excess, sustaining food is best;
To vanquish pride but comely clothing take;
Seek after skill, deep ignorance detest.
Care so, I say, the flesh to feed and clothe
That thou harm not thy soul and body both.

Care for the world to do thy body right;
Rack not thy wit to win thy wicked ways;
Seek not to oppress the weak by wrongful might;
To pay thy due do banish all delays.
Care to dispend according to thy store,
And in like sort be mindful of the poor.

Care for thy soul, as for thy chiefest stay;
Care for thy body for thy soul's avail;
Care for the world for body's help alway;
Care yet but so as virtue may prevail.
Care in such sort that thou be sure of this:
Care keep thee not from heaven and heavenly bliss.

The Faithless Shepherdess

- by William Byrd 25

WHILE that the sun with his beams hot
Scorched the fruits in vale and mountain,
Philon the shepherd, late forgot,
Sitting beside a crystal fountain
In shadow of a green oak tree,
Upon his pipe this song play'd he:
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love!
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love!
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

So long as I was in your sight
I was your heart, your soul, your treasure;
And evermore you sobb'd and sigh'd
Burning in flames beyond all measure:
--Three days endured your love to me,
And it was lost in other three!
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love!
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love!
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

Another shepherd you did see,
To whom your heart was soon enchained;
Full soon your love was leapt from me,
Full soon my place he had obtained.
Soon came a third your love to win,
And we were out and he was in.
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love!
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love!
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

Sure you have made me passing glad
That you your mind so soon removed,
Before that I the leisure had
To choose you for my best beloved:
For all my love was pass'd and done
Two days before it was begun.
Adieu, Love, adieu, Love, untrue Love!
Untrue Love, untrue Love, adieu, Love!
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

CRABB'D Age and Youth
Cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare.
Youth is full of sport,
Age's breath is short;
Youth is nimble, Age is lame;
Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold;
Youth is wild, and Age is tame.
Age, I do abhor thee;
Youth, I do adore thee;
O, my Love, my Love is young!
Age, I do defy thee:
O, sweet shepherd, hie thee!
For methinks thou stay'st too long.

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