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Fond Desire by Edward de Vere

Come hither, shepherd swain!
Sir, what do you require?
I pray thee show to me thy name;
My name is Fond Desire.

When wert thou born, Desire?
In pride and pomp of May.
By whom, sweet boy, wert thou begot?
By fond conceit men say.

Tell me who was thy nurse?
Fresh youth, in sugar’d joy.
What was thy meat and daily food?
Sad sighs and great annoy.

What had’st thou then to drink?
Unfeigned lover’s tears.
What cradle wert thou rocked in?
In hope devoid of fears.

What lulled thee to thy sleep
Sweet thoughts that liked one best.
And where is now thy dwelling place?
In gentle hearts I rest.

Doth company displease?
It doth in many one.
Where would Desire then choose to be?
He loves to muse alone.

What feedeth most thy sight?
To gaze on beauty still.
Whom find’st thou most thy foe?
Disdain of my good will.

Will ever age or death
Bring thee unto decay?
No, no, Desire both lives and dies
A thousand times a day.

Then, Fond Desire, farewell;
Thou art no mate for me;
I should be loath, methinks, to dwell
With such a one as thee.

Earle of Oxenforde


This poem was probably written by 1576. It was accepted as authentic by Dr. Grosart and published in the Fuller Worthies’ Library, Vol. IV (1872).

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