Cease, Warring Thoughts

James Shirley 1596 (London) – 1666 (London)

Cease, warring thoughts, and let his brain
No more discord entertain,
But be smooth and calm again.

Ye crystal rivers that are nigh,
As your streams are passing by,
Teach your murmurs harmony.

Ye winds that wait upon the spring,
And perfumes to flowers do bring,
Let your amorous whispers here
Breathe soft music to his ear.

Ye warbling nightingales repair
From every wood to charm this air,
And with the wonders of your breast
Each striving to excel the rest.
When it is time to wake him, close your parts,
And drop down from the trees with broken hearts.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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James Shirley

James Shirley (or Sherley) was an English dramatist. He belonged to the great period of English dramatic literature, but, in Charles Lamb's words, he "claims a place among the worthies of this period, not so much for any transcendent genius in himself, as that he was the last of a great race, all of whom spoke nearly the same language and had a set of moral feelings and notions in common." His career of play writing extended from 1625 to the suppression of stage plays by Parliament in 1642. more…

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