First shall the heavens want starry light, The seas be robbèd of their waves; The day want sun. and sun want bright, The night want shade, the dead men graves; The April flowers and leaf and tree. Before I false my faith to thee. First shall the tops of highest hills By humble plains be overpried; And poets scorn the Muses' quills, And fish forsake the water-glide; And Iris lose her coloured weed. Before I fail thee at thy need. First direful hate shall turn to peace, And love relent in deep disdain; And death his fatal stroke shall cease, And envy pity every pain; And pleasure mourn, and sorrow smile, Before I talk of any guile. First time shall stay his stayless race. And winter bless his boughs with corn; And snow bemoisten July's face, And winter spring, and summer mourn, Before my pen by help of fame Cease to recite thy sacred name.
About the headline (FAQ)Beneath the poem: "From Rosalind"
- by Thomas Lodge (1558 - 1625), "The lover's vow" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by (Gerald) Graham Peel (1878 - 1937), "First shall the heavens want starry light", published 1905, from Camella. A Song Cycle in miniature. Eight Elizabethan Lyrics, London : Boosey & Co. [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2011-04-26
Line count: 24
Word count: 155