Earth’s Complaint

O Nature! Nature,1 hearken to my cry,
Each minute wounded am, but2 cannot die.
My children, which I from my womb did bear,
Do dig my sides, and all my bowels tear.
They3 plow deep furrows in my very face;                  5
From torment I have neither time nor place.
No other element is so abused,
Or4 by mankind so cruelly is used.
Man cannot reach the skies to plow and sow,
Nor can they set, or make5 the stars to grow.              10
But they are still as Nature first did6 plant,
Neither maturity nor growth they want.
They never die, nor do they yield their place
To younger stars, but still run their own race.
The sun doth never groan young suns to bear,           15
For he himself is his own son and heir.
He in the center sits just like a king;7
Round him the planets are as in a ring;8
The largest9 orbs over his head turn slow,
And underneath the swiftest planets go.                      20
Each several planet,10 several measures take,
And with their motions they11 sweet music make.
Thus all the planets round about him move,
And he returns them light for their kind love.

  1. Nature! Nature,] Nature, Nature, 1653; Nature, Nature! 1664; Nature! Nature! 1668
  2. Each minute wounded am, but] I’m Wounded sore, but yet I 1664; I’m wounded sore, but yet I 1668
  3. They] Do 1653
  4. Or] Nor 1653
  5. make] mark 1653
  6. first did] did them 1664, 1668
  7. He in the center sits just like a king;] The Sun just in the Center sits, as King, 1653
  8. Round him the planets are as in a ring;] The Planets round about incircle him. 1653
  9. largest] slowest 1653
  10. Each several Planet,] All several Planets 1664; All several Planets, 1668
  11. they] do 1664, 1668