The Great War

from Late Songs, an electronic edition

The Tears

Amid the Alleluias

Small bliss of Heaven he had, alas!

Because her tears ran down like rain

And turned his blessing into bane.

Oh, who is it doth weep and weep,

When I would run, when I would leap,

With all my blithe companions?

Whose rain of tears puts out the suns?

The others go in gold, in white,

In the green bowers they have delight;

They take their pleasure and their play

After the bitter yesterday.

They have new garments of the silk,

Red as a rose and white as milk;

But ever on my own there lies

A rain of tears puts out the skies.

O mother, mother, do not weep!

Fain would I run, fain would I leap;

And of my youth would have great bliss,

But that your tears give little ease.

O mother, mother, do not mourn!

Because your small tears and forlorn

Put out Heaven's candles, trickling through,

And chill me as with bitter dew.

Amid the Alleluias

Small joy of Heaven he had, alas!

From all the bliss of Heaven apart,

Because her tears fell on his heart.