JOHN DOWLAND


O Sweet Woods Lyrics

O Sweet Woods, the delight of solitariness;
how much do I love your solitariness.
From fame’s desire, from love’s delight retired;
in these sad groves a hermit’s life I led.
And those false pleasures which I once admired,
with sad remembrance of my fall I dread.
To birds, to trees, to earth impart I this,
for she less secret and as senseless is.
You men that give false worship unto love,
and seek that which you never shall obtain,
the endless work of Sisyphus you prove,
whose end is this: to know you strive in vain.
Hope and desire, which now your idols be,
you needs must lose and feel despair with me.
You woods, in you the fairest nymphs have walked,
and seek that which you never shall obtain.
You woods in whom dear lovers oft have talked,
how do you now a place of mourning prove?
Wanstead, my mistress said this in the doom,
thou art love’s childbed, nursery, and tomb.

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