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WHEN May is in his prime and youthful spring

Doth clothe the tree with leaves, and ground with flowers,

And time of year reviveth every thing,

And lovely nature smiles, and nothing lours;


Then Philomela most doth strain her breast

With night-complaints, and sits in little rest.
This bird's estate may be compared with mine,
To whom fond love doth work such wrongs by day,
That in the night my heart must needs repine
And storm with sighs, to ease me as I may,
Whilst others are becalm'd, or lie them still,
Or sail secure, with tide and wind at will.
And as all those which hear this bird complain
Conceive in all her tunes a sweet delight,
Without remorse or pitying her pain;

So she, for whom I wail both day and night,
Doth sport herself in hearing my complaint:
A just reward for serving such a saint.


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