A Litany

Sir Philip Sidney, 1554 - 1596
From "Arcadia" 1590

Ring out your bells, let mourning shows be spread;
For Love is dead.
All Love is dead, infected
With plague of deep disdain;
Worth, as nought worth, rejected,
And Faith fair scorn doth gain.
From so ungrateful fancy,
From such a femalefranzy,
From them that use men thus,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Weep, neighbours, weep ! do you not hear it said
That Love is dead?
His death-bed, peacock’s folly;
His winding-sheet is shame;
His will, false-seeming holy;
His sole executor, blame.
From so ungrateful fancy,
From such a femalefranzy,
From them that use men thus,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Let dirge be sung and trentals rightly read,
For Love is dead.
Sir Wrong his tomb ordaineth
My mistress Marble-heart,
Which epitaph containeth,
'Her eyes were once his dart.'
From so ungrateful fancy,
From such afrmalefran
From them that use men thus,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Alas ! I lie, rage hath this error bred;
Love is not dead.
Love is not dead, but sleepeth
In her unmatched mind,
Where she his counsel keepeth,
Till due desert she find.
Thereforefrom so vile fancy,
To call such wit a franzy,
Who Love can temper thus,
Good Lord, deliver us!

franzy = frenzy
trentals = masses for the dead.