Global Utilities

Mary Wroth's Poetry: An Electronic Edition

Wroth Poem - F27 - Once did I heere an aged father ſay

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24.

Once did I heere an aged father ſay
    vnto his ſonn who wt attention hears.
    what age, and wiſe experience euer clears
    from doubts of feare, or reaſon to betray,

My Sonn sayd hee, beehold thy father, gray,
    I once had as thou hast, fresh tender years,
    and like thee sported, destitude of feares
    butt my young faults made mee too ſoone decay;

Loue once I did, and like thee fear'd my loue,
    led by the hatefull thread of Ielouſy,
    striuing to keepe, I lost my liberty,
    and gain'd my griefe wch still my ſorrowes moue,

In time shunn this; To loue is noe offence
butt doubt in youth, in age breeds penitence;
24.

Once did I hear an aged father say
    Unto his son who with attention hears
    What age and wise experience ever clears
    From doubts of fear, or reason to betray,

'My Son,' said he, 'behold thy father, grey:
    I once had as thou hast, fresh tender years,
    And like thee sported, destitute of fears,
    But my young faults made me too soon decay;

Love once I did, and like thee feared my love,
    Led by the hateful thread of jealousy,
    Striving to keep, I lost my liberty,
    And gained my grief which still my sorrows move.

In time shun this; to love is no offence
    But doubt in youth, in age breeds penitence.'


The discussion between youth and age is a perennial theme. Roberts [P27] compares this sonnet to an eclogue between Geron and Histor, from Philip Sidney's Old Arcadia.
24.

Once did I heare an aged father ſay
    Vnto his ſonne, who with attention heares
    What Age and wiſe experience euer cleares
    From doubts of feare, or reaſon to betray.

My ſonne (ſaid hee) behold thy father gray,
    I once had as thou haſt, freſh tender yeares,
    And like thee ſported deſtitute of feares;
    But my young faults made me too ſoone decay.

Loue once I did, and like thee, fear'd my Loue,
    Led by the hatefull threed of Iealouſie,
    Striuing to keepe, I loſt my liberty,
    And gain'd my griefe, which ſtill my ſorrowes moue.

In time ſhun this, to loue is no offence,
But doubt in Youth, in Age, breeds penitence.
24.

Once did I hear an aged father say
    Unto his son who with attention hears
    What age, and wise experience ever clears
    From doubts of fear, or reason to betray,

'My Son,' said he, 'behold thy father, grey:
    I once had as thou hast, fresh tender years,
    And like thee sported, destitute of fears,
    But my young faults made me too soon decay;

Love once I did, and like thee feared my love,
    Led by the hateful thread of jealousy,
    Striving to keep, I lost my liberty,
    And gained my grief which still my sorrows move.

In time shun this; to love is no offence
    But doubt in youth, in age breeds penitence.'



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