Ay Me, Ay Me, I Sigh the Scythe A-field

Original Text: 
Thomas Proctor, A Gorgeous Gallery of Gallant Inventions, facsimile edn. (1578; Menston: Scolar, 1972). PR 2329 P85A7 1578A Robarts Library
1  Ay me, ay me, I sigh to see the scythe a-field;
2    Down goeth the grass, soon wrought to wither'd hay:
3Ay me, alas! ay me, alas, that beauty needs must yield,
4    And princes pass, as grass doth fade away.
5  Ay me, ay me, that life can not have lasting leave,
6    Nor gold take hold of everlasting joy:
7Ay me, alas! ay me, alas, that time hath talents to receive,
9  Ay me, ay me, that wit can not have wished choice,
10    Nor wish can win that will desires to see:
11Ay me, alas! ay me, alas, that mirth can promise no rejoice,
12    Nor study tell what afterward shall be.
13  Ay me, ay me, that no sure staff is given to age,
14    Nor age can give sure wit that youth will take:
15Ay me, alas! ay me, alas, that no counsel wise and sage
16    Will shun the show that all doth mar and make.
17  Ay me, ay me, come, Time, shear on and shake thy hay,
18    It is no boot to balk thy bitter blows:
19Ay me, alas! ay me, alas, come, Time, take everything away,
20    For all is thine, be it good or bad, that grows.


8] suer: sure (pronounced as a monosyllable). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.234; RPO 1996-2000.