Sunday Poetry – Anonymous

This is a lovely anonymous Elizabethan lyric, collected by John Dowland (picture from here) in his Third and Last Book of Songs or Ayres in 1603. A beautiful arrangement of it was used on the soundtrack of Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility which is where I first became aware of it. You can listen to that beautiful version here & here is the scene from the movie where Marianne sings the song, listened to attentively by Colonel Brandon.

Weep you no more, sad fountains;
What need you flow so fast?
Look how the snowy mountains
Heaven’s sun doth gently waste.
But my sun’s heavenly eyes
View not your weeping,
That now lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies
Sleeping.


Sleep is a reconciling,
A rest that peace begets:
Doth not the sun rise smiling
When fair at even he sets?
Rest you then, rest, sad eyes,
Melt not in weeping,
While she lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies
Sleeping.

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