Since you will needs that I shall sing


Since you will needs that I shall sing,
Take it in worth such as I have:
Plenty of plaint, moan, and mourning,
In deep despair and deadly pain,
Bootless for boot, crying to crave,
To crave in vain.

Such hammers work within my head
That sound naught else unto my ears
But fast at board and wake abed;
Such tune the temper to my song
To wail my wrong, that I want tears
To wail my wrong.

Death and despair afore my face,
My days decay, my grief doth grow;
The cause thereof is in this place,
Whom cruelty doth still constrain
For to rejoice though it be woe
To hear me plain.

A broken lute, untuned strings
With such a song may well bear part,
That neither pleaseth him that sings
Nor them that hear, but her alone
That with her heart would strain my heart
To hear it groan.

If it grieve you to hear this same
That you do feel but in my voice,
Consider then what pleasant game
I do sustain in every part
To cause me sing or to rejoice
Within my heart.
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