possibly by Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex (1566 - 1601)

Sonnet sung before Queen Elizabeth,...
Language: English 
My golden locks time hath to silver turn'd
(O time too swift, and swiftness never ceasing)
My youth 'gainst age, and age at youth hath spurn'd,
But spurn'd in vain; youth waineth by encreasing,
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers that fading been,
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.

My helmet now shall make an hive for bees,
And lovers songs shall turn to holy psalms;
A man at arms must now sit on his knees,
And feed on prayers that are old age's alms;
And tho' from court to cottage I depart,
My saint is sure of mine unspotted heart.

And when I sadly sit in homely cell,
I’ll teach my swains this carrol for a song,
Blest be the hearts that think my sovereign well,
Curs'd be the souls that think to do her wrong.
Goddess, vouchsafe this aged man his right,
To be your beadsman now, that was your knight.

Confirmed with Thomas Evans Old Ballads, Historical and Narrative, with Some of Modern Date; Collected from Rare Copies and MSS., a new edition, revised and considerably enlarged from public and private collections, by his son, R.H. Evans, in four volumes -- Vol. IV, London: Printed for R.H. Evans, Pall-Mall, by W. Bulmer & Co., Cleveland Row, 1810, pages 48-49


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Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2017-02-12
Line count: 18
Word count: 154