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Poems of Jean Passerat

JEAN PASSERAT, 1534-1602. Better known as a political satirist than as a poet.


LOVE IN MAY
PASSERAT, 1580.

Off with sleep, love, up from bed,
This fair morn;
See, for our eyes the rosy red
New dawn is born;
Now that skies are glad and gay
In this gracious month of May,
Love me, sweet,
Fill my joy in brimming measure,
In this world he hath no pleasure,
That will none of it.

Come, love, through the woods of spring,
Come walk with me;
Listen, the sweet birds jargoning
From tree to tree.
List and listen, over all
Nightingale most musical
That ceases never;
Grief begone, and let us be
For a space as glad as he;
Time's flitting ever.

Old Time, that loves not lovers, wears
Wings swift in flight;
All our happy life he bears
Far in the night.
Old and wrinkled on a day,
Sad and weary shall you say,
'Ah, fool was I,
That took no pleasure in the grace
Of the flower that from my face
Time has seen die.'

Leave then sorrow, teen, and tears
Till we be old;
Young we are, and of our years
Till youth be cold
Pluck the flower; while spring is gay
In this happy month of May,
Love me, love;
Fill our joy in brimming measure;
In this world he hath no pleasure
That will none thereof.