Follow Thy Fair Sun

By Thomas Campion 1567–1620 Thomas Campion
Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow,
Though thou be black as night
And she made all of light,
Yet follow thy fair sun unhappy shadow.

Follow her whose light thy light depriveth,
Though here thou liv’st disgraced,
And she in heaven is placed,
Yet follow her whose light the world reviveth.

Follow those pure beams whose beauty burneth,
That so have scorched thee,
As thou still black must be,
Till Her kind beams thy black to brightness turneth.

Follow her while yet her glory shineth,
There comes a luckless night,
That will dim all her light,
And this the black unhappy shade divineth.

Follow still since so thy fates ordained,
The Sun must have his shade,
Till both at once do fade,
The Sun still proved, the shadow still disdained.




Poetry Out Loud Note: In the print anthology, this poem is titled "Follow thy fair sun, unhappy shadow." The student may give either title during the recitation.

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Poet Thomas Campion 1567–1620

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Death, Break-ups & Vexed Love

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Biography

Thomas Campion's importance for nondramatic literature of the English Renaissance lies in the exceptional intimacy of the musical-poetic connection in his work. While other poets and musicians talked about the union of the two arts, only Campion produced complete songs wholly of his own composition, and only he wrote lyric poetry of enduring literary value whose very construction is deeply etched with the poet's care for its . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Death, Break-ups & Vexed Love

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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