John Fletcher

(20 December 1579 - 29 August 1625 / Rye, Sussex, England)

Hence, All You Vain Delights from the Nice Valour


Hence, all you vain delights,
As short as are the nights
Wherein you spend your folly:
There's nought in this life sweet,
If man were wise to see't,
But only melancholy,
O sweetest melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms, and fixed eyes,
A sigh that piercing mortifies,
A look that's fastened to the ground,
A tongue chained up without a sound;
Fountain-heads, and pathless groves,
Places which pale passion loves;
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed, save bats and owls;
A midnight bell, a parting groan:
These are the sounds we feed upon;
Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley,
Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

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