poetry

Fifteenth Century Poetry

Many years ago, I bought and sold antiques. Hidden amongst a job lot of items, I found a book entitled ‘Impressions of English Literature’. This beautiful poem from the fifteenth century by an unknown author caught my attention. The words and the sentiments are beautiful. What a shame that the writer is unknown and cannot receive credit for this amazing work.

THE UNQUIET GRAVE

The wind doth blow to-day, my love,
And a few small drops of rain;
I never had but one true-love,
In cold grave she was lain.

I’ll do as much for my true-love,
As any young man may;
I’ll sit and mourn all at her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day.

The twelvemonth and a day being up,
The dead began to speak;
“Oh who sits weeping on my grave
And will not let me sleep?”

“Tis I, my love, sits on your grave,
And will not let you sleep;
For I crave one kiss of your cold-clay lips’
And that is all I seek.

“You crave one kiss of my cold-clay lips;
But my breath smells earthy strong;
If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
Your time will not be long.

“Tis down in yonder garden green,
Love, where we used to walk,
The finest flower that ere was seen
Is withered to a stalk.

“The stalk is wither’d dry, my love,
So will our hearts decay;
So make yourself content, my love,
Till God calls you away.”

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