John Fletcher

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

Melancholy


HENCE, all you vain delights,
   As short as are the nights
   Wherein you spend your folly!
There 's naught in this life sweet,
If men were wise to see't,
   But only melancholy--
   O sweetest melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms and fixed eyes,
A sight that piercing mortifies,
A look that 's fasten'd to the ground,
A tongue chain'd 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: Saturday, January 04, 2003
Edited: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

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