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Iohn Dowland


XVIII. It was a time.

      It was a time when silly Bees could speake,
      And in that time I was a sillie Bee,
      Who fed on Time vntil my heart gan break,
      Yet neuer found the time would fauour mee.
      Of all the swarme I onely did not thriue,
      Yet brought I waxe and heney to the hiue.
      2 Then thus I buzd, when time no sap would giue,
      Why should this blessed time to me be drie,
      Sith by this Time the lazie drone doth liue,
      The waspe, the worme, the gnat, the butterflie,
      Mated with griefe, I kneeled on my knees,
      And thus complaind vnto the king of Bees.
      3 My liege, Gods graunt thy time may neuer end,
      And yet vouchsafe to heare my plaint of Time,
      Which fruitlesse Flies haue found to haue a friend,
      And I cast downe when Atomies do clime,
      The king replied but thus, Peace peeuish Bee,
      Th'art bound to serue the time, the time not thee.

      by : 
      Robert, Earl of Essex 
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