Song of Nuns

James Shirley 1596 (London) – 1666 (London)

O fly, my soul! what hangs upon
Thy drooping wings,
And weighs them down
With love of gaudy mortal things?

The Sun is now i' the east; each shade,
As he doth rise,
Is shorter made,
That earth may lessen to our eyes.

Oh, be not careless then and play
Until the star of peace
Hide all his beams in dark recess.
Poor pilgrims needs must lose their way
When all the shadows do increase.

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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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    "Song of Nuns" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Oct. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/20499/song-of-nuns>.

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