Document:  All > Shakespeare > Poetry > Miscellaneous > Poem XXI

Jump to: the first appearance of space or a list of all documents containing space


As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
Trees did grow, and plants did spring;
Every thing did banish moan,
Save the nightingale alone:
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn
And there sung the dolefull'st ditty,
That to hear it was great pity:
'Fie, fie, fie,' now would she cry;
'Tereu, tereu!' by and by;
That to hear her so complain,
Scarce I could from tears refrain;
For her griefs, so lively shown,
Made me think upon mine own.
Ah, thought I, thou mourn'st in vain!
None takes pity on thy pain:
Senseless trees they cannot hear thee;
Ruthless beasts they will not cheer thee:
King Pandion he is dead;
All thy friends are lapp'd in lead;
All thy fellow birds do sing,
Careless of thy sorrowing.
Even so, poor bird, like thee,
None alive will pity me.
Whilst as fickle Fortune smiled,
Thou and I were both beguiled.
Every one that flatters thee
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find:
Every man will be thy friend
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend;
But if store of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.
If that one be prodigal,
Bountiful they will him call,
And with such-like flattering,
'Pity but he were a king;'
If he be addict to vice,
Quickly him they will entice;
If to women he be bent,
They have at commandement:
But if Fortune once do frown,
Then farewell his great renown
They that fawn'd on him before
Use his company no more.
He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need:
If thou sorrow, he will weep;
If thou wake, he cannot sleep;
Thus of every grief in heart
He with thee doth bear a part.
These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe.


	LET the bird of loudest lay,
	On the sole Arabian tree,
	Herald sad and trumpet be,
	To whose sound chaste wings obey.

	But thou shrieking harbinger,
	Foul precurrer of the fiend,
	Augur of the fever's end,
	To this troop come thou not near!

	From this session interdict
	Every fowl of tyrant wing,
	Save the eagle, feather'd king:
	Keep the obsequy so strict.

	Let the priest in surplice white,
	That defunctive music can,
	Be the death-divining swan,
	Lest the requiem lack his right.

	And thou treble-dated crow,
	That thy sable gender makest
	With the breath thou givest and takest,
	'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.

	Here the anthem doth commence:
	Love and constancy is dead;
	Phoenix and the turtle fled
	In a mutual flame from hence.

	So they loved, as love in twain
	Had the essence but in one;
	Two distincts, division none:
	Number there in love was slain.

	Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
	Distance, and no space was seen
	'Twixt the turtle and his queen:
	But in them it were a wonder.

	So between them love did shine,
	That the turtle saw his right
	Flaming in the phoenix' sight;
	Either was the other's mine.

	Property was thus appalled,
	That the self was not the same;
	Single nature's double name
	Neither two nor one was called.

	Reason, in itself confounded,
	Saw division grow together,
	To themselves yet either neither,
	Simple were so well compounded,

	That it cried, How true a twain
	Seemeth this concordant one!
	Love hath reason, reason none,
	If what parts can so remain.

	Whereupon it made this threne
	To the phoenix and the dove,
	Co-supremes and stars of love,
	As chorus to their tragic scene.


	Beauty, truth, and rarity,
	Grace in all simplicity,
	Here enclosed in cinders lie.

	Death is now the phoenix' nest
	And the turtle's loyal breast
	To eternity doth rest,

	Leaving no posterity:
	'Twas not their infirmity,
	It was married chastity.

	Truth may seem, but cannot be:
	Beauty brag, but 'tis not she;
	Truth and beauty buried be.

	To this urn let those repair
	That are either true or fair
	For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

Search for this word      in all documents   just this document

What do you think? Grade this document:  

(Average grade so far: B+, 27 graders.)

Need writing help? Try RhymeZone's rhyming dictionary and thesaurus features

Help  Advanced  Feedback  iPhone/iPad  Android  API  @RhymeZoneCom  Blog  Privacy

Copyright © 2022 Datamuse