240. A Welcome

William Browne, of Tavistock. 1588-1643

WELCOME, welcome! do I sing,
Far more welcome than the spring;
He that parteth from you never
Shall enjoy a spring for ever.

He that to the voice is near
  Breaking from your iv'ry pale,
Need not walk abroad to hear
  The delightful nightingale.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...

He that looks still on your eyes,
  Though the winter have begun
To benumb our arteries,
  Shall not want the summer's sun.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...

He that still may see your cheeks,
  Where all rareness still reposes,
Is a fool if e'er he seeks
  Other lilies, other roses.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...

He to whom your soft lip yields,
  And perceives your breath in kissing,
All the odours of the fields
  Never, never shall be missing.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...

He that question would anew
  What fair Eden was of old,
Let him rightly study you,
  And a brief of that behold.
                  Welcome, welcome, then...

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition