Far from triumphing Court

by John Dowland

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Far from triumphing Court
English source: Sir Henry Lea

Far from triumphing court and wonted glory
He dwelt in shady unfrequented places,
Time’s prisoner now, he made his pastime story:
Gladly forgets court’s erst-afforded graces.
That goddess whom he served to heaven is gone,
And he on earth in darkness left to moan.

But lo, a glorious light, a light on his dark rest
Shone from the place where erst that goddess dwelt:
A light whose beams the world with fruit hath blest;
Blest was the knight while he that light beheld.
Since then fixed on his head a star hath shined.
And in his heart a saint’s image is shrined.

Ravished with joy, so graced by such a saint,
He quite forgat his cell and self denaid:
He thought it shame in thankfulness to faint.
Debts due to princes must be duly paid;
No thing so hateful to a noble mind
As finding kindness for to prove unkind.

But ah! poor knight, while thus in dream he ranged,
Hoping to serve this saint in sort most meet,
Time with his golden locks to silver changed
Hath with age-fetters bound him hands and feet.
Ay me! goddess, he cries, my limbs grow faint,
Time’s prisoner I, be you my saint.


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