Sonnet V

written by George Gascoigne

Sonnet V

— George Gascoigne

All were too little for the merchant's hand,
And yet my bravery bigger than his book;
But when this hot account was coldly scanned,
I thought high time about me for to look.
With heavenly cheer I cast my head aback
To see the fountain of my furious race,
Compared my loss, my living, and my lack
In equal balance with my jolly grace,
And saw expenses grating on the ground
Like lumps of lead to press my purse full oft,
When light reward and recompense were found,
Fleeting like feathers in the wind aloft.
These thus compared, I left the Court at large,
For why the gains doth seldom quit the charge.

About the poet


George Gascoigne

George Gascoigne was an English poet, soldier, artist, and unsuccessful courtier. He is considered the most important poet of the early Elizabethan era, following Sir Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey and leading to the emergence of Philip Sidney. He was the first poet to deify Queen Elizabeth I, in effect establishing her cult as a virgin goddess married to her kingdom and subjects. His most noted works include A Discourse of the Adventures of Master FJ (1573), an account of courtly sexual intrigue and one of the earliest English prose fictions; The Supposes, (performed in 1566, printed in 1573), an early translation of Ariosto and the first comedy written in English prose, which was used by Shakespeare as a source...

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