Earth’s Complaint

O Nature, Nature, hearken to my cry,
Each minute wounded am, but cannot die.
My children which I from my womb did bear,
Do dig my sides, and all my bowels tear
Do plow deep furrows in my very face,
From torment, I have neither time, nor place.
No other element is so abused,
Nor by Mankind so cruelly is used.
Man cannot reach the skies to plow, and sow,
Nor can they set, or mark the stars to grow.
But they are still as Nature first did 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,
For he himself is his own son, and heir.
The Sun just in the center sits, as king,
The planets round about encircle him.
The slowest orbs over his head turn slow,
And underneath, the swiftest planets go.
Each several planet, several measures take,
And with their motions they sweet music make.
Thus all the planets round about him move,
And he returns them light for their kind love.

From Poems and Fancies (J. Martin and J. Allestrye, 1653). This poem is in the public domain.