Edward de Vere - Earl of Oxford

Biography of Edward de Vere
Explication of Poem
Modernized Version
Iambic Breakdown



When wert thou born, Desire?  In pomp and prime of May.
By whom, sweet boy, wert thou begot?  By good conceit, men say.

Tell me, who was thy nurse?  Fresh youth, in sugared joy.
What was thy meat and dainty food?  Sad sighs, with great annoy.

What hadst thou then to drink?  Unfeigned lovers' tears.
What cradle wert thou rocked in?  In hope devoid of fears.

What brought thee then asleep?  Sweet speech, that liked me best.
And where is now thy dwelling place?  In gentle hearts I rest.

Doth company displease?  It doth in many a one.
Where would Desire then choose to be?  He likes to muse alone.

What feedeth most thy sight?  To gaze on favour still.
Who findst thou most to be thy foe?  Disdain of my good will.

Will ever age or death Bring thee unto decay?
No, no!  Desire both lives and dies Ten thousand times a day.





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Last Updated April 10, 2005


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