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The Old Wives' Tale
George Peele (1556–1596)
The day is clear, the welkin bright and grey,
The lark is merry and records her notes;
Each thing rejoiceth underneath the sky,
But only I, whom heaven hath in hate,
Wretched and miserable Sacrapant.
In Thessaly was I born and brought up:
My mother Meroe hight, a famous witch,
And by her cunning I of her did learn
To change and alter shapes of mortal men.
There did I turn myself into a dragon,
And stole away the daughter to the king.
Fair Delia, the mistress of my heart;
And brought her hither to revive the man
That seemeth young and pleasant to behold.
And yet is aged, crooked, weak, and numb.
Thus by enchanting spells I do deceive
Those that behold and look upon my face;
But well may I bid youthful years adieu.
See where she comes from whence my sorrows grow!
Manifold (1956: 71)
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