English poetry

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When Orpheus Sweetly Did Complayne

When Orpheus sweetly did complayne
Upon his lute with heavy strayne
How his Euridice was slayne,
The trees to heare
Obtayn’d an eare,
And after left it off againe.

At every stroake and every stay
The boughs kept time, and nodding lay,
And listened bending all one way:
The aspen tree
As well as hee
Began to shake and learn’d to play.

If wood could speake, a tree might heare,
If wood could sound true greife so neare
A tree might dropp an amber teare:
If wood so well
Could ring a knell
The Cipres might condole the beare.

The standing nobles of the grove
Hearing dead wood so speak and move
The fatall axe beganne to love:
They envyde death
That gave such breath
As men alive doe saints above

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Poem When Orpheus Sweetly Did Complayne - William Strode