John Lyly

(1554 - November 1606 / Kent, England)

Sappho's Song


O cruel Love, on thee I lay
My curse, which shall strike blind the day ;
Never may sleep with velvet hand
Charm thine eyes with sacred wand ;
Thy jailors shall be hopes and fears ;
Thy prison-mates groans, sighs, and tears ;
Thy play to wear out weary times,
Fantastic passions, vows, and rimes ;
Thy bread be frowns ; thy drink be gall,
Such as when you Phao call ;
The bed thou liest on be despair,
Thy sleep fond dreams, thy dreams long care ;
Hope, like thy fool, at thy bed's head,
Mock thee, till madness strike thee dead,
As, Phao, thou dost me with thy proud eyes ;
In thee poor Sappho lives, for thee she dies.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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