A Poem for Today

Eke Lullaby my loving boy,
My little Robin take thy rest,
Since age is cold, and nothing coy,
Keep close thy coin, for so is best:
With Lullaby be thou content,
With Lullaby thy lusts relent,
Let others pay which hath mo pence,
Thou art too poor for such expense.

This is a bit of verse from George Gascoigne’s “The Lullaby of a Lover”; Robert Pinsky writes about it here for Slate (where’s he’s written several short pieces about Early Modern poems, if you search down this list). It turns out to be pretty deviously funny, and a bit lewd, in part addressing “my will, my ware,” and I think I might just have to teach it. It’d be a great parallel to Shakespeare’s sonnets about “Will.”


Author: Derrick Pitard

I teach medieval and early modern literature, the history of the language, introductions to literature, Latin, and writing at Slippery Rock University.

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