A Lover's Lullaby

By George Gascoigne

Sing lullaby, as women do,
     Wherewith they bring their babes to rest;
And lullaby can I sing too,
     As womanly as can the best.
With lullaby they still the child;
And if I be not much beguiled,
Full many a wanton babe have I,
Which must be still'd with lullaby.

First lullaby my youthful years,
     It is now time to go to bed:
For crooked age and hoary hairs
     Have won the haven within my head.
With lullaby, then, youth be still;
With lullaby content thy will;
Since courage quails and comes behind,
Go sleep, and so beguile thy mind!

Next lullaby my gazing eyes,
     Which wonted were to glance apace;
For every glass may now suffice
     To show the furrows in thy face.
With lullaby then wink awhile;
With lullaby your looks beguile;
Let no fair face, nor beauty bright,
Entice you eft with vain delight.

And lullaby my wanton will;
     Let reason's rule now reign thy thought;
Since all too late I find by skill
     How dear I have thy fancies bought;
With lullaby now take thine ease,
With lullaby thy doubts appease;
For trust to this, if thou be still,
My body shall obey thy will.

Thus lullaby my youth, mine eyes,
     My will, my ware, and all that was:
I can no more delays devise;
     But welcome pain, let pleasure pass.
With lullaby now take your leave;
With lullaby your dreams deceive;
And when you rise with waking eye,
Remember then this lullaby.


. /