Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes

By Thomas Campion 1567–1620 Thomas Campion
Thrice toss these oaken ashes in the air,
Thrice sit thou mute in this enchanted chair,
Then thrice three times tie up this true love's knot,
And murmur soft "She will, or she will not."

   Go burn these pois'nous weeds in yon blue fire,
These screech-owl's feathers and this prickling briar,
This cypress gathered at a dead man's grave,
That all my fears and cares an end may have.

   Then come, you fairies! dance with me a round;
Melt her hard heart with your melodious sound.
In vain are all the charms I can devise:
She hath an art to break them with her eyes.

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Poet Thomas Campion 1567–1620

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Relationships, Infatuation & Crushes, Unrequited 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 Love, Relationships, Infatuation & Crushes, Unrequited Love

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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