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On Ancient Paths

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et tristis animi leuare curas....

Sparrow, my mistress’ delight,
With whom she is accustomed to play,
And whom she holds in her lap,
To whom she gives her fingertip to be pecked
And to provoke his fierce bite.
I don’t doubt but that it pleases the dear thing
To play with my shining desire;
And I believe that he is the solace of her sadness
When love’s serious ardor is satisfied:
Might I play with you just as she does
To lighten the sad cares of my heart....

(I omit the four lines after the ellipses, since most commentators believe them to be tacked on either later or by someone else; they also have little bearing on the Skelton Poem. The funeral oration follows:

Carmen III
Lugete, o Veneres Cupidesque,
et quantum est hominum venustiorum:
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat—
nam melitus erat suamque norat
ipsam tam bene quam puela matrem,
nec sese a gremio illius mouebat,
sed circumsiliens modo huc modo illuc
ad solem dominam usque pipiabat:
qui nunc it per iter tenebrae
Orci, quae omnia bella deuoratis:
tam bellum mihi passerem abstulistis.
o factum male! o miselle passer!
tua nunc opera meae puellae
flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.

Lament, O Venus and Cupid
For such is the fate
Of the more beautiful things of men: