Holy Sonnet Ix: If Poisonous Minerals, And If That Tree
If poisonous minerals, and if that tree
Whose fruit threw death on else immortal us,
If lecherous goats, if serpents envious
Cannot be damned, alas, why should I be?
Why should intent or reason, born in me,
Make sins, else equal, in me more heinous?
And Mercy being easy, and glorious
To God; in his stern wrath, why threatens he?
But who am I, that dare dispute with thee
O God? Oh! of thine only worthy blood,
And my tears, make a heavenly Lethean flood,
And drown in it my sin's black memory;
That thou remember them, some claim as debt,
I think it mercy, if thou wilt forget.
Good we must love, and must hate ill,
For ill is ill, and good good still ;
But there are things indifferent,
Which wee may neither hate, nor love,
But one, and then another prove,
As we shall find our fancy bent.
If then at first wise Nature had
Made women either good or bad,
Then some wee might hate, and some choose ;
But since she did them so create,
That we may neither love, nor hate,
Only this rests, all all may use.
If they were good it would be seen ;
Good is as visible as green,
And to all eyes itself betrays.
If they were bad, they could not last ;
Bad doth itself, and others waste ;
So they deserve nor blame, nor praise.
But they are ours as fruits are ours ;
He that but tastes, he that devours,
And he that leaves all, doth as well ;
Changed loves are but changed sorts of meat ;
And when he hath the kernel eat,
Who doth not fling away the shell?
Elegy V: His Picture
Here take my picture; though I bid farewell
Thine, in my heart, where my soul dwells, shall dwell.
'Tis like me now, but I dead, 'twill be more
When we are shadows both, than 'twas before.
When weather-beaten I come back, my hand
Perhaps with rude oars torn, or sun beams tann'd,
My face and breast of haircloth, and my head
With care's rash sudden storms being o'erspread,
My body'a sack of bones, broken within,
And powder's blue stains scatter'd on my skin;
If rival fools tax thee to'have lov'd a man
So foul and coarse as, oh, I may seem then,
This shall say what I was, and thou shalt say,
'Do his hurts reach me? doth my worth decay?
Or do they reach his judging mind, that he
Should now love less, what he did love to see?
That which in him was fair and delicate,
Was but the milk which in love's childish state
Did nurse it; who now is grown strong enough
To feed on that, which to disus'd tastes seems tough.'
To Mr. I. P.
BLEST are your north parts, for all this long time
My sun is with you ; cold and dark's our clime ;
Heaven's sun, which stay'd so long from us this year,
Stay'd in your north, I think, for she was there ;
And hither by kind nature drawn from thence,
Here rages, chafes, and threatens pestilence.
Yet I, as long as she from hence doth stay,
Think this no south, no summer, nor no day.
With thee my kind and unkind heart is run ;
There sacrifice it to that beauteous sun.
So may thy pastures with their flowery feasts,
As suddenly as lard, fat thy lean beasts ;
So may thy woods oft poll'd, yet ever wear
A green, and—when thee list—a golden hair ;
So may all thy sheep bring forth twins ; and so
In chase and race may thy horse all out-go ;
So may thy love and courage ne'er be cold ;
Thy son ne'er ward ; thy loved wife ne'er seem old.
But mayst thou wish great things, and them attain,
As thou tell'st her, and none but her, my pain.
A Sheaf Of Snakes Used Heretofore To Be My Seal, The Crest Of Our Poor Family
ADOPTED in God's family and so
Our old coat lost, unto new arms I go.
The Cross—my seal at baptism—spread below
Does, by that form, into an Anchor grow.
Crosses grow Anchors ; bear, as thou shouldest do
Thy Cross, and that Cross grows an Anchor too.
But He that makes our Crosses Anchors thus,
Is Christ, who there is crucified for us.
Yet may I, with this, my first serpents hold ;
God gives new blessings, and yet leaves the old.
The serpent may, as wise, my pattern be ;
My poison, as he feeds on dust, that's me.
And, as he rounds the earth to murder sure,
My death he is, but on the Cross, my cure.
Crucify nature then, and then implore
All grace from Him, crucified there before ;
Then all is Cross, and that Cross Anchor grown ;
This seal's a catechism, not a seal alone.
Under that little seal great gifts I send,
Works, and prayers, pawns, and fruits of a friend.
And may that saint which rides in our great seal,
To you who bear his name,* great bounties deal !
Upon this Primrose hill,
Where, if Heav'n would distil
A shower of rain, each several drop might go
To his own primrose, and grow manna so;
And where their form and their infinity
Make a terrestrial Galaxy,
As the small stars do in the sky:
I walk to find a true Love; and I see
That 'tis not a mere woman that is she,
But must or more or less than woman be.
Yet know I not which flower
I wish; a six, or four;
For should my true-Love less than woman be
She were scarce any thing; and then, should she
Be more than woman she would get above
All thought of sex, and think to move
My heart to study her, and not to love;
Both these were monsters; since there must reside
Falsehood in woman, I could more abide
She were by art than Nature falsified.
Live primrose then, and thrive
With thy true number five;
And woman, whom this flower doth represent,
With this mysterious number be content;
Ten is the farthest number; if half ten
Belong unto each woman, then
Each woman may take half us men;
Or if this will not serve their turn, since all
Numbers are odd or even, and they fall
First into this, five, woman may take us all.
Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.
There will the river whispering run
Warm'd by thy eyes, more than the sun;
And there the 'enamour'd fish will stay,
Begging themselves they may betray.
When thou wilt swim in that live bath,
Each fish, which every channel hath,
Will amorously to thee swim,
Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.
If thou, to be so seen, be'st loth,
By sun or moon, thou dark'nest both,
And if myself have leave to see,
I need not their light having thee.
Let others freeze with angling reeds,
And cut their legs with shells and weeds,
Or treacherously poor fish beset,
With strangling snare, or windowy net.
Let coarse bold hands from slimy nest
The bedded fish in banks out-wrest;
Or curious traitors, sleeve-silk flies,
Bewitch poor fishes' wand'ring eyes.
For thee, thou need'st no such deceit,
For thou thyself art thine own bait:
That fish, that is not catch'd thereby,
Alas, is wiser far than I.
I scarce believe my love to be so pure
As I had thought it was,
Because it doth endure
Vicissitude, and season, as the grass ;
Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore
My love was infinite, if spring make it more.
But if this medicine, love, which cures all sorrow
With more, not only be no quintessence,
But mix'd of all stuffs, vexing soul, or sense,
And of the sun his active vigour borrow,
Love’s not so pure, and abstract as they use
To say, which have no mistress but their Muse ;
But as all else, being elemented too,
Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do.
And yet no greater, but more eminent,
Love by the spring is grown ;
As in the firmament
Stars by the sun are not enlarged, but shown,
Gentle love deeds, as blossoms on a bough,
From love's awakened root do bud out now.
If, as in water stirr'd more circles be
Produced by one, love such additions take,
Those like so many spheres but one heaven make,
For they are all concentric unto thee ;
And though each spring do add to love new heat,
As princes do in times of action get
New taxes, and remit them not in peace,
No winter shall abate this spring’s increase.
The Sun Rising
Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late schoolboys, and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices,
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of
Thy beams, so reverend and strong
Why shouldst thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long:
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and tomorrow late, tell me
Whether both the'Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear: 'All here in one bed lay.'
She'is all states, and all princes I,
Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compar'd to this,
All honour's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, sun, art half as happy'as we,
In that the world's contracted thus;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls, thy sphere.
Farewell To Love
Whilst yet to prove,
I thought there was some deity in love
So did I reverence, and gave
Worship, as atheists at their dying hour
Call, what they cannot name, an unknown power,
As ignorantly did I crave:
Things not yet known are coveted by men,
Our desires give them fashion, and so
As they wax lesser, fall, as they size, grow.
But, from late fair
His highness sitting in a golden chair,
Is not less cared for after three days
By children, than the thing which lovers so
Blindly admire, and with such worship woo;
Being had, enjoying it decays:
What before pleased them all, takes but one sense,
And that so lamely, as it leaves behind
A kind of sorrowing dullness to the mind.
Ah cannot we,
As well as cocks and lions jocund be,
After such pleasures ? Unless wise
Nature decreed (since each such act, they say
Diminish the length of life a day)
This; as she would man should despise
Because that other curse of being short,
And only for a minute made to be
Eager, desires to raise posterity.
Since so, my mind
Shall not desire what no man else can find,
I`ll no more dote and run
To purse things which had, endamaged me.
And when I come where moving beauties be,
As men do when the summer’s sun
Though I admire their greatness, shun their heat;
Each place can afford shadow. If all fail,
’Tis but applying worm-seed to the tail.
Hym To God, My God In My Sickness
Since I am coming to that holy room,
Where, with thy choir of saints for evermore,
I shall be made thy music; as I come
I tune the instrument here at the door,
And what I must do then, think here before.
Whilst my physicians by their love are grown
Cosmographers, and I their map, who lie
Flat on this bed, that by them may be shown
That this is my south-west discovery,
[lang l]Per fretum febris[lang e], by these straits to die,
I joy, that in these straits I see my west;
For, though their currents yield return to none,
What shall my west hurt me? As west and east
In all flat maps (and I am one) are one,
So death doth touch the resurrection.
Is the Pacific Sea my home? Or are
The eastern riches? Is Jerusalem?
Anyan, and Magellan, and Gibraltar,
All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them,
Whether where Japhet dwelt, or Cham, or Shem.
We think that Paradise and Calvary,
Christ's cross, and Adam's tree, stood in one place;
Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;
As the first Adam's sweat surrounds my face,
May the last Adam's blood my soul embrace.
So, in his purple wrapp'd, receive me, Lord;
By these his thorns, give me his other crown;
And as to others' souls I preach'd thy word,
Be this my text, my sermon to mine own:
'Therefore that he may raise, the Lord throws down.'
Elegy Iii: Change
Although thy hand and faith, and good works too,
Have seal'd thy love which nothing should undo,
Yea though thou fall back, that apostasy
Confirm thy love; yet much, much I fear thee.
Women are like the Arts, forc'd unto none,
Open to'all searchers, unpriz'd, if unknown.
If I have caught a bird, and let him fly,
Another fouler using these means, as I,
May catch the same bird; and, as these things be,
Women are made for men, not him, nor me.
Foxes and goats; all beasts change when they please,
Shall women, more hot, wily, wild then these,
Be bound to one man, and did Nature then
Idly make them apter to endure than men?
They are our clogges, not their owne; if a man be
Chain'd to a galley, yet the galley is free;
Who hath a plow-land, casts all his seed corn there,
And yet allows his ground more corn should bear;
Though Danuby into the sea must flow,
The sea receives the Rhene, Volga, and Po.
By nature, which gave it, this liberty
Thou lov'st, but Oh! canst thou love it and me?
Likeness glues love: Then if so thou do,
To make us like and love, must I change too?
More than thy hate, I hate it, rather let me
Allow her change, then change as oft as she,
And so not teach, but force my opinion
To love not any one, nor every one.
To live in one land is captivity,
To run all countries, a wild roguery;
Waters stink soon, if in one place they bide,
And in the vast sea are worse putrified:
But when they kiss one bank, and leaving this
Never look back, but the next bank do kiss,
Then are they purest; Change is the nursery
Of music, joy, life, and eternity.
LITTLE think'st thou, poor flower,
Whom I've watch'd six or seven days,
And seen thy birth, and seen what every hour
Gave to thy growth, thee to this height to raise,
And now dost laugh and triumph on this bough,
Little think'st thou,
That it will freeze anon, and that I shall
To-morrow find thee fallen, or not at all.
Little think'st thou, poor heart,
That labourest yet to nestle thee,
And think'st by hovering here to get a part
In a forbidden or forbidding tree,
And hopest her stiffness by long siege to bow,
Little think'st thou
That thou to-morrow, ere the sun doth wake,
Must with the sun and me a journey take.
But thou, which lovest to be
Subtle to plague thyself, wilt say,
Alas ! if you must go, what's that to me?
Here lies my business, and here I will stay
You go to friends, whose love and means present
To your eyes, ears, and taste, and every part ;
If then your body go, what need your heart?
Well then, stay here ; but know,
When thou hast stay'd and done thy most,
A naked thinking heart, that makes no show,
Is to a woman but a kind of ghost.
How shall she know my heart ; or having none,
Know thee for one?
Practice may make her know some other part ;
But take my word, she doth not know a heart.
Meet me in London, then,
Twenty days hence, and thou shalt see
Me fresher and more fat, by being with men,
Than if I had stay'd still with her and thee.
For God's sake, if you can, be you so too ;
I will give you
There to another friend, whom we shall find
As glad to have my body as my mind.
To Sir Henry Wotton At His Going Ambassador To Venice
AFTER those reverend papers, whose soul is
Our good and great king's loved hand and fear'd name ;
By which to you he derives much of his,
And, how he may, makes you almost the same,
A taper of his torch, a copy writ
From his oiginal, and a fair beam
Of the same warm and dazzling sun, though it
Must in another sphere his virtue stream ;
After those learned papers which your hand
Hath stored with notes of use and pleasures too,
From which rich treasury you may command
Fit matter whether you will write or do ;
After those loving papers where friends send,
With glad grief to your sea-ward steps, farewell,
Which thicken on you now, as prayers ascend
To heaven in troops, at a good man's passing-bell ;
Admit this honest paper, and allow
It such an audience as yourself would ask ;
What you must say at Venice, this means now,
And hath for nature, what you have for task.
To swear much love, not to be changed before
Honour, alone will to your fortune fit ;
Nor shall I then honour your fortune, more
Than I have done your honour, wanting it.
But 'tis an easier load, though both oppress,
To want, than govern greatness, for we are
In that, our own and only business,
In this, we must for others' vices care.
'Tis therefore well your spirits now are placed
In their last furnace, in activity ;
Which fits them—schools and courts and wars o'erpast—
To touch and test in any best degree.
For me—if there be such a thing as I—
Fortune—if there be such a thing as she—
Spies that I bear so well her tyranny,
That she thinks nothing else so fit for me.
But, though she part us, to hear my oft prayers
For your increase, God is as near me here ;
And to send you what I shall beg, His stairs
In length and ease are alike everywhere.
Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward
Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motions, lose their owne
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their natural! forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is's, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget;
But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare ['almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for meet
Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;
What a death were it then to see God dye?
It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,
It made his footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke.
Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,
And tune all spheares at once, peirc'd with those holes?
Could I behold that endlesse height which is
Zenith to us, and to'our Antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our Soules, if not of his,
Make curt of dust, or that flesh which was worne
By God, for his apparel!, rag'd, and tome?
If on these things I durst not looke, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was Gods partner here, and furnish'd thus
Halfe of that Sacrifice, which ransom'd us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They'are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and thou look'st towards mee,
O Saviour, as thou hang'st upon the tree;
I turne my backe to thee, but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O thinke mee worth shine anger, punish mee,
Burne off my rusts, and my deformity,
Restore shine Image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou may'st know mee, and I'll turne my face.
Let man's soule be a spheare, and then in this
The intelligence that moves devotion is;
And as the other spheares by being growne
Subject to forraigne motion lose their owne,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey :
Pleasure or businesse, so our soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirled by it.
Hence is't that I am carryed toward the West
This day, when my soule's forme leads toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget.
But that Christ on this Crosse did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I almost be glad I do not see
The spectacle of too much weight for mee.
Who sees God's face, that is selfe life, must dye;
What a death were it then to see God dye!
It made his own lieutenant Nature shrinke,
It made his footstoole crack, and the sunne winke.
Could I behold those hands which span the poles
And tune all spheares at once pierc'd with those holes ?
Could I behold that endlesse height which is
Zenith to us, and our antipodes
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our soules, if not of his,
Made dust of dust ? or that flesh which was worne
By God, for his apparell, rag'd and torne ?
If on these things I durst not looke, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was God's partner here, and furnish'd thus
Halfe of that Sacrifice which ransom'd us ?
Though these things as I ride be from mine eye,
They are present yet into my memory;
For that looks towards them, and thou lookst towards mee,
Saviour, as thou hangst upon the tree:
I turne my backe to thee but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O thinke mee worth thine anger ; punish mee ;
Burne off my rusts and my deformity ;
Restore thine image so much by thy grace
That thou may'st know mee, and I'll turne my face.
To Sir Henry Goodyere
WHO makes the last a pattern for next year,
Turns no new leaf, but still the same things reads ;
Seen things he sees again, heard things doth hear,
And makes his life but like a pair of beads.
A palace, when 'tis that which it should be,
Leaves growing, and stands such, or else decays ;
But he which dwells there is not so ; for he
Strives to surge upward, and his fortune raise.
So had your body her morning, hath her noon,
And shall not better ; her next change is night ;
But her fair, larger guest, to whom sun and moon
Are sparks, and short-lived, claims another right.
The noble soul by age grows lustier ;
Her appetite and her digestion mend.
We must not starve, nor hope to pamper her
With women's milk, and pap, unto the end.
Provide you manlier diet. You have seen
All libraries, which are schools, camps, and courts ;
But ask your garners if you have not been
In harvest too indulgent to your sports.
Would you redeem it ? then yourself transplant
Awhile from hence. Perchance outlandish ground
Bears no more wit than ours ; but yet more scant
Are those diversions there, which here abound.
To be a stranger hath that benefit,
We can beginnings, but not habits choke.
Go—whither ? hence. You get, if you forget ;
New faults, till they prescribe to us, are smoke.
Our soul, whose country's heaven, and God her Father,
Into this world, corruption's sink, is sent ;
Yet so much in her travel she doth gather,
That she returns home wiser than she went.
It pays you well, if it teach you to spare,
And make you ashamed to make your hawks' praise yours,
Which when herself she lessens in the air,
You then first say, that high enough she towers.
However, keep the lively taste you hold
Of God ; love Him as now, but fear Him more ;
And in your afternoons think what you told
And promised Him, at morning prayer before.
Let falsehood like a discord anger you,
Else not be froward. But why do I touch
Things of which none is in your practice new ?
And fables, or fruit-trenchers teach as much.
But thus I make you keep your promise, sir,
Riding I had you, though you still stay'd there ;
And in these thoughts, although you never stir,
You came with me to Mitcham, and are here.
Before I sigh my last gasp, let me breathe,
Great Love, some legacies ; I here bequeath
Mine eyes to Argus, if mine eyes can see ;
If they be blind, then, Love, I give them thee ;
My tongue to Fame ; to ambassadors mine ears ;
To women, or the sea, my tears ;
Thou, Love, hast taught me heretofore
By making me serve her who had twenty more,
That I should give to none, but such as had too much before.
My constancy I to the planets give ;
My truth to them who at the court do live ;
My ingenuity and openness,
To Jesuits ; to buffoons my pensiveness ;
My silence to any, who abroad hath been ;
My money to a Capuchin :
Thou, Love, taught'st me, by appointing me
To love there, where no love received can be,
Only to give to such as have an incapacity.
My faith I give to Roman Catholics ;
All my good works unto the Schismatics
Of Amsterdam ; my best civility
And courtship to an University ;
My modesty I give to soldiers bare ;
My patience let gamesters share :
Thou, Love, taught'st me, by making me
Love her that holds my love disparity,
Only to give to those that count my gifts indignity.
I give my reputation to those
Which were my friends ; mine industry to foes ;
To schoolmen I bequeath my doubtfulness ;
My sickness to physicians, or excess ;
To nature all that I in rhyme have writ ;
And to my company my wit :
Thou, Love, by making me adore
Her, who begot this love in me before,
Taught'st me to make, as though I gave, when I do but restore.
To him for whom the passing-bell next tolls,
I give my physic books ; my written rolls
Of moral counsels I to Bedlam give ;
My brazen medals unto them which live
In want of bread ; to them which pass among
All foreigners, mine English tongue :
Though, Love, by making me love one
Who thinks her friendship a fit portion
For younger lovers, dost my gifts thus disproportion.
Therefore I'll give no more, but I'll undo
The world by dying, because love dies too.
Then all your beauties will be no more worth
Than gold in mines, where none doth draw it forth ;
And all your graces no more use shall have,
Than a sun-dial in a grave :
Thou, Love, taught'st me by making me
Love her who doth neglect both me and thee,
To invent, and practise this one way, to annihilate all three.
Elegy Ix: The Autumnal
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.
Young beauties force our love, and that's a rape,
This doth but counsel, yet you cannot scape.
If 'twere a shame to love, here 'twere no shame;
Affection here takes reverence's name.
Were her first years the golden age? That's true,
But now she's gold oft tried and ever new.
That was her torrid and inflaming time,
This is her tolerable tropic clime.
Fair eyes, who asks more heat than comes from hence,
He in a fever wishes pestilence.
Call not these wrinkles, graves; if graves they were,
They were Love's graves, for else he is no where.
Yet lies not Love dead here, but here doth sit
Vow'd to this trench, like an anachorit;
And here till hers, which must be his death, come,
He doth not dig a grave, but build a tomb.
Here dwells he; though he sojourn ev'rywhere
In progress, yet his standing house is here:
Here where still evening is, not noon nor night,
Where no voluptuousness, yet all delight.
In all her words, unto all hearers fit,
You may at revels, you at council, sit.
This is Love's timber, youth his underwood;
There he, as wine in June, enrages blood,
Which then comes seasonabliest when our taste
And appetite to other things is past.
Xerxes' strange Lydian love, the platan tree,
Was lov'd for age, none being so large as she,
Or else because, being young, nature did bless
Her youth with age's glory, barrenness.
If we love things long sought, age is a thing
Which we are fifty years in compassing;
If transitory things, which soon decay,
Age must be loveliest at the latest day.
But name not winter faces, whose skin's slack,
Lank as an unthrift's purse, but a soul's sack;
Whose eyes seek light within, for all here's shade;
Whose mouths are holes, rather worn out than made;
Whose every tooth to a several place is gone,
To vex their souls at resurrection:
Name not these living death's-heads unto me,
For these, not ancient, but antique be.
I hate extremes, yet I had rather stay
With tombs than cradles, to wear out a day.
Since such love's natural lation is, may still
My love descend, and journey down the hill,
Not panting after growing beauties. So,
I shall ebb on with them who homeward go.
Elegy Viii: The Comparison
As the sweet sweat of roses in a still,
As that which from chafed musk-cats' pores doth trill,
As the almighty balm of th' early East,
Such are the sweat drops of my mistress' breast,
And on her brow her skin such lustre sets,
They seem no sweat drops, but pearl coronets.
Rank sweaty froth thy Mistress's brow defiles,
Like spermatic issue of ripe menstruous boils,
Or like the scum, which, by need's lawless law
Enforced, Sanserra's starved men did draw
From parboiled shoes and boots, and all the rest
Which were with any sovereigne fatness blest,
And like vile lying stones in saffroned tin,
Or warts, or weals, they hang upon her skin.
Round as the world's her head, on every side,
Like to the fatal ball which fell on Ide,
Or that whereof God had such jealousy,
As, for the ravishing thereof we die.
Thy head is like a rough-hewn statue of jet,
Where marks for eyes, nose, mouth, are yet scarce set;
Like the first Chaos, or flat-seeming face
Of Cynthia, when th' earth's shadows her embrace.
Like Proserpine's white beauty-keeping chest,
Or Jove's best fortunes urn, is her fair breast.
Thine's like worm-eaten trunks, clothed in seals' skin,
Or grave, that's dust without, and stink within.
And like that slender stalk, at whose end stands
The woodbine quivering, are her arms and hands.
Like rough barked elm-boughs, or the russet skin
Of men late scourged for madness, or for sin,
Like sun-parched quarters on the city gate,
Such is thy tanned skin's lamentable state.
And like a bunch of ragged carrots stand
The short swol'n fingers of thy gouty hand.
Then like the Chimic's masculine equal fire,
Which in the Lymbecks warm womb doth inspire
Into th' earth's worthless dirt a soul of gold,
Such cherishing heat her best loved part doth hold.
Thine's like the dread mouth of a fired gun,
Or like hot liquid metals newly run
Into clay moulds, or like to that Etna
Where round about the grass is burnt away.
Are not your kisses then as filthy, and more,
As a worm sucking an envenomed sore?
Doth not thy feareful hand in feeling quake,
As one which gath'ring flowers still fears a snake?
Is not your last act harsh, and violent,
As when a plough a stony ground doth rent?
So kiss good turtles, so devoutly nice
Are priests in handling reverent sacrifice,
And such in searching wounds the surgeon is
As we, when we embrace, or touch, or kiss.
Leave her, and I will leave comparing thus,
She, and comparisons are odious.
Elegy Xvi: The Expostulation
TO make the doubt clear, that no woman's true,
Was it my fate to prove it strong in you?
Thought I, but one had breathèd purest air ;
And must she needs be false, because she's fair?
Is it your beauty's mark, or of your youth,
Or your perfection, not to study truth?
Or think you heaven is deaf, or hath no eyes?
Or those it hath smile at your perjuries?
Are vows so cheap with women, or the matter
Whereof they're made, that they are writ in water,
And blown away with wind? Or doth their breath
Both hot and cold, at once make life and death?
Who could have thought so many accents sweet
Form'd into words, so may sighs should meet
As from our hearts, so many oaths, and tears
Sprinkled among, all sweeten'd by our fears,
And the divine impression of stolen kisses,
That seal'd the rest, should now prove empty blisses?
Did you draw bonds to forfeit? sign to break?
Or must we read you quite from what you speak,
And find the truth out the wrong way? or must
He first desire you false, would wish you just?
O ! I profane ! though most of women be
This kind of beast, my thoughts shall except thee,
My dearest love ; though froward jealousy
With circumstance might urge thy inconstancy,
Sooner I'll think the sun will cease to cheer
The teeming earth, and that forget to bear ;
Sooner that rivers will run back, or Thames
With ribs of ice in June will bind his streams ;
Or nature, by whose strength the world endures,
Would change her course, before you alter yours.
But O ! that treacherous breast, to whom weak you
Did drift our counsels, and we both may rue,
Having his falsehood found too late ; 'twas he
That made me cast you guilty, and you me ;
Whilst he, black wretch, betray'd each simple word
We spake, unto the cunning of a third.
Cursed may he be, that so our love hath slain,
And wander on the earth, wretched as Cain,
Wretched as he, and not deserve least pity.
In plaguing him, let misery be witty ;
Let all eyes shun him, and he shun each eye,
Till he be noisome as his infamy ;
May he without remorse deny God thrice,
And not be trusted more on his soul's price ;
And, after all self-torment, when he dies,
May wolves tear out his heart, vultures his eyes,
Swine eat his bowels, and his falser tongue
That utter'd all, be to some raven flung ;
And let his carrion corse be a longer feast
To the king's dogs, than any other beast.
Now have I cursed, let us our love revive ;
In me the flame was never more alive.
I could begin again to court and praise,
And in that pleasure lengthen the short days
Of my life's lease ; like painters that do take
Delight, not in made work, but whiles they make.
I could renew those times, when first I saw
Love in your eyes, that gave my tongue the law
To like what you liked ; and at masks and plays
Commend the self-same actors, the same ways ;
Ask how you did, and often with intent
Of being officious, be impertinent ;
All which were such soft pastimes, as in these
Love was as subtly catch'd as a disease.
But being got, it is a treasure sweet,
Which to defend is harder than to get ;
And ought not be profaned, on either part,
For though 'tis got by chance, 'tis kept by art.
To Sir Henry Wotton
SIR, more than kisses, letters mingle souls,
For thus, friends absent speak. This ease controls
The tediousness of my life ; but for these
I could ideate nothing which could please ;
But I should wither in one day, and pass
To a bottle of hay, that am a lock of grass.
Life is a voyage, and in our lives' ways
Countries, courts, towns are rocks, or remoras ;
They break or stop all ships, yet our state's such,
That though than pitch they stain worse, we must touch.
If in the furnace of the raging line,
Or under th' adverse icy pole thou pine,
Thou know'st two temperate regions, girded in,
Dwell there ; but O, what refuge canst thou win
Parch'd in the court, and in the country frozen ?
Shall cities built of both extremes be chosen ?
Can dung or garlic be perfume ? Or can
A scorpion or torpedo cure a man ?
Cities are worst of all three ; of all three ?
O knotty riddle ! ; each is worst equally.
Cities are sepulchres ; they who dwell there
Are carcases, as if no such there were.
And courts are theatres, where some men play
Princes, some slaves, all to one end, of one clay.
The country is a desert, where the good,
Gain'd, inhabits not, born, is not understood.
There men become beasts, and prone to more evils ;
In cities blocks, and in a lewd court devils.
As in the first chaos, confusedly,
Each element's qualities were in th' other three,
So pride, lust, covetise, being several
To these three places, yet all are in all,
And mingled thus, their issue is incestuous.
Falsehood is denizen'd ; virtue is barbarous.
Let no man say there, “ Virtue's flinty wall
Shall lock vice in me, I'll do none, but know all.”
Men are sponges, which, to pour out, receive ;
Who know false play, rather than lose, deceive.
For in best understandings sin began,
Angels sinn'd first, then devils, and then man.
Only perchance beasts sin not ; wretched we
Are beasts in all but white integrity.
I think if men, which in these place live,
Durst look in themselves, and themselves retrieve,
They would like strangers greet themselves, seeing then
Utopian youth grown old Italian.
Be then thine own home, and in thyself dwell ;
Inn anywhere ; continuance maketh hell.
And seeing the snail, which everywhere doth roam,
Carrying his own house still, still is at home ;
Follow—for he is easy paced—this snail,
Be thine own palace, or the world's thy gaol.
And in the world's sea do not like cork sleep
Upon the water's face ; nor in the deep
Sink like a lead without a line ; but as
Fishes glide, leaving no print where they pass,
Nor making sound ; so closely thy course go,
Let men dispute, whether thou breathe or no.
Only in this be no Galenist—to make
Courts' hot ambitions wholesome, do not take
A dram of country's dullness ; do not add
Correctives, but, as chemics, purge the bad.
But, sir, I advise not you, I rather do
Say o'er those lessons, which I learn'd of you ;
Whom, free from Germany's schisms, and lightness
Of France, and fair Italy's faithlessness,
Having from these suck'd all they had of worth,
And brought home that faith which you carried forth,
I thoroughly love ; but if myself I've won
To know my rules, I have, and you have DONNE.
COME Fates ; I fear you not ! All whom I owe
Are paid, but you ; then 'rest me ere I go.
But Chance from you all sovereignty hath got ;
Love woundeth none but those whom Death dares not ;
True if you were, and just in equity,
I should have vanquish'd her, as you did me ;
Else lovers should not brave Death's pains, and live ;
But 'tis a rule, “ Death comes not to relieve.”
Or, pale and wan Death's terrors, are they laid
So deep in lovers, they make Death afraid ?
Or—the least comfort—have I company ?
O'ercame she Fates, Love, Death, as well as me ?
Yes, Fates do silk unto her distaff pay,
For ransom, which tax they on us do lay.
Love gives her youth—which is the reason why
Youths, for her sake, some wither and some die.
Poor Death can nothing give ; yet, for her sake,
Still in her turn, he doth a lover take.
And if Death should prove false, she fears him not ;
Our Muses, to redeem her, she hath got.
That fatal night we last kiss'd, I thus pray'd,
—Or rather, thus despair'd, I should have said—
Kisses, and yet despair ! The forbid tree
Did promise (and deceive) no more than she.
Like lambs, that see their teats, and must eat hay,
A food, whose taste hath made me pine away.
Dives, when thou saw'st bliss, and craved'st to touch
A drop of water, thy great pains were such.
Here grief wants a fresh wit, for mine being spent,
And my sighs weary, groans are all my rent.
Unable longer to endure the pain,
They break like thunder, and do bring down rain.
Thus till dry tear solder my eye, I weep ;
And then, I dream, how you securely sleep,
And in your dreams do laugh at me. I hate,
And pray Love all may ; he pities my state,
But says, I therein no revenge shall find ;
The sun would shine, though all the world were blind.
Yet, to try my hate, Love show'd me your tear ;
And I had died, had not your smile been there.
Your frown undoes me ; your smile is my wealth ;
And as you please to look, I have my health.
Methought, Love pitying me, when he saw this,
Gave me your hands, the backs and palms to kiss.
That cured me not, but to bear pain gave strength ;
And what is lost in force, is took in length.
I call'd on Love again, who fear'd you so,
That his compassion still proved greater woe ;
For, then I dream'd I was in bed with you,
But durst not feel, for fear it should not be true.
This merits not your anger, had it been ;
The queen of chastity was naked seen ;
And in bed not to feel, the pain I took,
Was more than for Actæon not to look ;
And that breast which lay ope, I did not know,
But for the clearness, from a lump of snow ;
Nor that sweet teat which on the top it bore
From the rose-bud which for my sake you wore.
These griefs to issue forth, by verse I prove ;
Or turn their course by travel and new love.
All would not do ; the best at last I tried ;
Unable longer to hold out, I died.
And then I found I lost life, death by flying ;
Who hundreds live, are but so long in dying.
Charon did let me pass ; I'll him requite.
To mark the groves or shades wrongs my delight ;
I'll speak but of those ghosts I found alone,
Those thousand ghosts, whereof myself made one,
All images of thee ; I asked them why ?
The judge told me, all they for thee did die,
And therefore had for their Elysian bliss,
In one another their own loves to kiss.
O here I miss'd not blissh, but being dead ;
For lo ! I dreamt, I dreamt, and waking said,
“ Heaven, if who are in thee there must dwell,
How is't I now was there, and now I fell ?”
For Whom The Bell Tolls
PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he
knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so
much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my
state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The
church is Catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she
does belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action
concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that body which
is my head too, and ingrafted into that body whereof I am a member.
And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is
of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is
not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language;
and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several
translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness,
some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every
translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves
again for that library where every book shall lie open to one
another. As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon calls not
upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come, so this
bell calls us all; but how much more me, who am brought so near the
door by this sickness. There was a contention as far as a suit (in
which both piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were
mingled), which of the religious orders should ring to prayers
first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring
first that rose earliest. If we understand aright the dignity of
this bell that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to
make it ours by rising early, in that application, that it might be
ours as well as his, whose indeed it is. The bell doth toll for him
that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that
minute that this occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God.
Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? but who takes
off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his
ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove
it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this
world? No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece
of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by
the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's
death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and
therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for
thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing
of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but
must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the
misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousness
if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath
enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and
ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man
carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none
coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he
travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not
current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our
home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to
death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a
mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his
affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this
consideration of another's danger I take mine own into
contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my
God, who is our only security.
To The Countess Of Bedford Ii
TO have written then, when you writ, seem'd to me
Worst of spiritual vices, simony ;
And not to have written then seems little less
Than worst of civil vices, thanklessness.
In this, my debt I seem'd loth to confess ;
In that, I seem'd to shun beholdingness.
But 'tis not so ; nothings, as I am, may
Pay all they have, and yet have all to pay.
Such borrow in their payments, and owe more
By having leave to write so, than before.
Yet, since rich mines in barren grounds are shown,
May not I yield (not gold but) coal or stone ?
Temples were not demolish'd, though profane ;
Here Peter Jove's ; there Paul hath Dian's fane.
So whether my hymns you admit or choose,
In me you've hallowed a pagan muse,
And denizen'd a stranger, who, mistaught
By blamers of the times they marr'd, hath sought
Virtues in corners, which now bravelv do
Shine in the world's best part, or all it—you.
I have been told, that virtue in courtiers' hearts
Suffers an ostracism, and departs.
Profit, ease, fitness, plenty, bid it go ;
But whither, only knowing you, I know.
Your, or you virtue, two vast uses serves ;
It ransoms one sex, and one court preserves.
There's nothing but your worth, which being true
Is known to any other, not to you.
And you can never know it ; to admit
No knowledge of your worth, is some of it.
But since to you your praises discords be,
Stoop others' ills to meditate with me.
O ! to confess we know not what we should,
Is half excuse, we know not what we would.
Lightness depresseth us, emptiness fills ;
We sweat and faint, yet still go down the hills.
As new philosophy arrests the sun,
And bids the passive earth about it run,
So we have dull'd our mind ; it hath no ends ;
Only the body's busy, and pretends.
As dead low earth eclipses and controls
The quick high moon, so doth the body souls.
In none but us are such mix'd engines found,
As hands of double office ; for the ground
We till with them, and them to heaven we raise.
Who prayerless labours, or, without this, prays,
Doth but one half, that's none ; He which said,
And look not back,” to look up doth allow.
Good seed degenerates, and oft obeys
The soil's disease, and into cockle strays.
Let the mind's thoughts be but transplanted so
Into the body, and bastardly they grow.
What hate could hurt our bodies like our love ?
We, but no foreign tyrants, could remove
These not engraved, but inborn dignities,
Caskets of souls, temples and palaces ;
For bodies shall from death redeemed be,
Souls but preserved, born naturally free.
As men to our prisons now, souls to us are sent,
Which learn vice there, and come in innocent.
First seeds of every creature are in us ;
Whate'er the world hath bad, or precious,
Man's body can produce ; hence hath it been
That stones, worms, frogs, and snakes in man are seen.
But whoe'er saw, though nature can work so,
That pearl, or gold, or corn in man did grow ?
We've added to the world Virginia, and sent
Two new stars lately to the firmament.
Why grudge we us (not heaven) the dignity
To increase with ours those fair souls' company ?
But I must end this letter ; though it do
Stand on two truths, neither is true to you.
Virtue has some perverseness, for she will
Neither believe her good, nor others' ill.
Even in you, virtue's best paradise,
Virtue hath some, but wise degrees of vice.
Too many virtues, or too much of one,
Begets in you unjust suspicion ;
And ignorance of vice makes virtue less,
Quenching compassion of our wretchedness.
But these are riddles ; some aspersion
Of vice becomes well some complexion.
Statesmen purge vice with vice, and may corrode
The bad with bad, a spider with a toad.
For so, ill thralls not them, but they tame ill,
And make her do much good against her will.
But in your commonwealth or world in you,
Vice hath no office or good work to do.
Take then no vicious purge, but be content
With cordial virtue, your known nourishment.
Elegy Xviii: Love's Progress
Who ever loves, if he do not propose
The right true end of love, he's one that goes
To sea for nothing but to make him sick.
Love is a bear-whelp born: if we o'erlick
Our love, and force it new strange shapes to take,
We err, and of a lump a monster make.
Were not a calf a monster that were grown
Faced like a man, though better than his own?
Perfection is in unity: prefer
One woman first, and then one thing in her.
I, when I value gold, may think upon
The ductileness, the application,
The wholsomeness, the ingenuity,
From rust, from soil, from fire ever free;
But if I love it, 'tis because 'tis made
By our new nature (Use) the soul of trade.
All these in women we might think upon
(If women had them) and yet love but one.
Can men more injure women than to say
They love them for that by which they're not they?
Makes virtue woman? Must I cool my blood
Till I both be, and find one, wise and good?
May barren angels love so! But if we
Make love to woman, virtue is not she,
As beauty's not, nor wealth. He that strays thus
From her to hers is more adulterous
Than if he took her maid. Search every sphere
And firmament, our Cupid is not there;
He's an infernal god, and under ground
With Pluto dwells, where gold and fire abound:
Men to such gods their sacrificing coals
Did not in altars lay, but pits and holes.
Although we see celestial bodies move
Above the earth, the earth we till and love:
So we her airs contemplate, words and heart
And virtues, but we love the centric part.
Nor is the soul more worthy, or more fit,
For love than this, as infinite is it.
But in attaining this desired place
How much they err that set out at the face.
The hair a forest is of ambushes,
Of springs, snares, fetters and manacles;
The brow becalms us when 'tis smooth and plain,
And when 'tis wrinkled shipwrecks us again—
Smooth, 'tis a paradise where we would have
Immortal stay, and wrinkled 'tis our grave.
The nose (like to the first meridian) runs
Not 'twixt an East and West, but 'twixt two suns;
It leaves a cheek, a rosy hemisphere,
On either side, and then directs us where
Upon the Islands Fortunate we fall,
(Not faint Canaries, but Ambrosial)
Her swelling lips; to which when we are come,
We anchor there, and think ourselves at home,
For they seem all: there Sirens' songs, and there
Wise Delphic oracles do fill the ear;
There in a creek where chosen pearls do swell,
The remora, her cleaving tongue doth dwell.
These, and the glorious promontory, her chin,
O'erpassed, and the straight Hellespont between
The Sestos and Abydos of her breasts,
(Not of two lovers, but two loves the nests)
Succeeds a boundless sea, but yet thine eye
Some island moles may scattered there descry;
And sailing towards her India, in that way
Shall at her fair Atlantic navel stay;
Though thence the current be thy pilot made,
Yet ere thou be where thou wouldst be embayed
Thou shalt upon another forest set,
Where many shipwreck and no further get.
When thou art there, consider what this chase
Misspent by thy beginning at the face.
Rather set out below; practise my art.
Some symetry the foot hath with that part
Which thou dost seek, and is thy map for that,
Lovely enough to stop, but not stay at;
Least subject to disguise and change it is—
Men say the devil never can change his.
It is the emblem that hath figured
Firmness; 'tis the first part that comes to bed.
Civility we see refined; the kiss
Which at the face began, transplanted is,
Since to the hand, since to the imperial knee,
Now at the papal foot delights to be:
If kings think that the nearer way, and do
Rise from the foot, lovers may do so too;
For as free spheres move faster far than can
Birds, whom the air resists, so may that man
Which goes this empty and ethereal way,
Than if at beauty's elements he stay.
Rich nature hath in women wisely made
Two purses, and their mouths aversely laid:
They then which to the lower tribute owe
That way which that exchequer looks must go:
He which doth not, his error is as great
As who by clyster gave the stomach meat.
Epithalamion Made At Lincoln's Inn
HAIL sun-beams in the east are spread ;
Leave, leave, fair bride, your solitary bed ;
No more shall you return to it alone ;
It nurseth sadness, and your body's print,
Like to a grave, the yielding down doth dint ;
You, and your other you, meet there anon.
Put forth, put forth, that warm balm-breathing thigh,
Which when next time you in these sheets will smother,
There it must meet another,
Which never was, but must be, oft, more nigh.
Come glad from thence, go gladder than you came ;
To-day put on perfection, and a woman's name.
Daughters of London, you which be
Our golden mines, and furnish'd treasury ;
You which are angels, yet still bring with you
Thousands of angels on your marriage days ;
Help with your presence, and devise to praise
These rites, which also unto you grow due ;
Conceitedly dress her, and be assign'd,
By you fit place for every flower and jewel ;
Make her for love fit fuel,
As gay as Flora and as rich as Ind ;
So may she, fair and rich in nothing lame,
To-day put on perfection, and a woman's name.
And you frolic patricians,
Sons of those senators, wealth's deep oceans ;
Ye painted courtiers, barrels of other's wits ;
Ye countrymen, who but your beasts love none ;
Ye of those fellowships, whereof he's one,
Of study and play made strange hermaphrodites,
Here shine ; this bridegroom to the temple bring.
Lo, in yon path which store of strew'd flowers graceth,
The sober virgin paceth ;
Except my sight fail, 'tis no other thing.
Weep not, nor blush, here is no grief nor shame,
To-day put on perfection, and a woman's name.
Thy two-leaved gates, fair temple, unfold,
And these two in thy sacred bosom hold,
Till mystically join'd but one they be ;
Then may thy lean and hunger-starvèd womb
Long time expect their bodies, and their tomb,
Long after their own parents fatten thee.
All elder claims, and all cold barrenness,
All yielding to new loves, be far for ever,
Which might these two dissever ;
Always, all th'other may each one possess ;
For the best bride, best worthy of praise and fame,
To-day puts on perfection, and a woman's name.
Winter days bring much delight,
Not for themselves, but for they soon bring night ;
Other sweets wait thee than these diverse meats,
Other disports than dancing jollities,
Other love-tricks than glancing with the eyes,
But that the sun still in our half sphere sweats ;
He flies in winter, but he now stands still.
Yet shadows turn ; noon point he hath attain'd ;
His steeds will be restrain'd,
But gallop lively down the western hill.
Thou shalt, when he hath run the heaven's half frame,
To-night put on perfection, and a woman's name.
The amorous evening star is rose,
Why then should not our amorous star inclose
Herself in her wish'd bed ? Release your strings,
Musicians ; and dancers take some truce
With these your pleasing labours, for great use
As much weariness as perfection brings.
You, and not only you, but all toil'd beasts
Rest duly ; at night all their toils are dispensed ;
But in their beds commenced
Are other labours, and more dainty feasts.
She goes a maid, who, lest she turn the same,
To-night puts on perfection, and a woman's name.
Thy virgin's girdle now untie,
And in thy nuptial bed, love's altar, lie
A pleasing sacrifice ; now dispossess
Thee of these chains and robes, which were put on
To adorn the day, not thee ; for thou, alone,
Like virtue and truth, art best in nakedness.
This bed is only to virginity
A grave, but to a better state, a cradle.
Till now thou wast but able
To be, what now thou art ; then, that by thee
No more be said, “ I may be,” but, “ I am,”
To-night put on perfection, and a woman's name.
Even like a faithful man content,
That this life for a better should be spent,
So she a mother's rich stile doth prefer,
And at the bridegroom's wish'd approach doth lie,
Like an appointed lamb, when tenderly
The priest comes on his knees to embowel her.
Now sleep or watch with more joy ; and, O light
Of heaven, to-morrow rise thou hot, and early ;
This sun will love so dearly
Her rest, that long, long we shall want her sight.
Wonders are wrought, for she, which had no maim,
To-night puts on perfection, and a woman's name.
Away thou fondling motley humorist,
Leave mee, and in this standing woodden chest,
Consorted with these few bookes, let me lye
In prison, and here be coffin'd, when I dye;
Here are Gods conduits, grave Divines; and here
Natures Secretary, the Philosopher;
And jolly Statesmen, which teach how to tie
The sinewes of a cities mistique bodie;
Here gathering Chroniclers, and by them stand
Giddie fantastique Poets of each land.
Shall I leave all this constant company,
And follow headlong, wild uncertaine thee?
First sweare by thy best love in earnest
(If thou which lov'st all, canst love any best)
Thou wilt not leave mee in the middle street
Though some more spruce companion thou dost meet,
Not though a Captaine do come in thy way
Bright parcell gilt, with forty dead mens pay,
Nor though a briske perfum'd piert Courtier
Deigne with a nod, thy courtesie to answer,
Nor come a velvet Justice with a long
Great traine of blew coats, twelve, or fourteen strong,
Wilt thou grin or fawne on him, or prepare
A speech to court his beautious sonne and heire.
For better or worse take mee, or leave mee:
To take, and leave mee is adultery.
Oh monstrous, superstitious puritan,
Of refin'd manners, yet ceremoniall man,
That when thou meet'st one, with enquiring eyes
Dost search, and like a needy broker prize
The silke, and gold he weares, and to that rate
So high or low, dost raise thy formall hat:
That wilt consort none, untill thou have knowne
What lands hee hath in hope, or of his owne,
As though all thy companions should make thee
Jointures, and marry thy deare company.
Why should'st thou (that dost not onely approve,
But in ranke itchie lust, desire, and love
The nakednesse and barenesse to enjoy,
Of thy plumpe muddy whore, or prostitute boy)
Hate vertue, though shee be naked, and bare?
At birth, and death, our bodies naked are;
And till our Soules be unapparrelled
Of bodies, they from blisse are banished.
Mans first blest state was naked, when by sinne
Hee lost that, yet hee'was cloath'd but in beasts skin,
And in this course attire, which I now weare,
With God, and with the Muses I conferre.
But since thou like a contrite penitent,
Charitably warn'd of thy sinnes, dost repent
These vanities, and giddinesses, loe
I shut my chamber doore, and 'Come, lets goe.'
But sooner may a cheape whore, that hath beene
Worne by as many severall men in sinne,
As are black feathers, or musk-colour hose,
Name her childs right true father, 'mongst all those:
Sooner may one guesse, who shall beare away
Th'Infant of London, Heire to'an India:
And sooner may a gulling weather-Spie
By drawing forth heavens Scheame tell certainly
What fashion'd hats, or ruffles, or suits next yeare
Our subtile-witted antique youths will weare;
Then thou, when thou depart'st from mee, canst show
Whither, why, when, or with whom thou wouldst go.
But how shall I be pardon'd my offence
That thus have sinn'd against my conscience?
Now we are in the street; He first of all
Improvidently proud, creepes to the wall,
And so imprison'd, and hem'd in by mee
Sells for a little state his libertie;
Yet though he cannot skip forth now to greet
Every fine silken painted foole we meet,
He them to him with amorous smiles allures,
And grins, smacks, shrugs, and such an itch endures,
As prentises, or schoole-boyes which doe know
Of some gay sport abroad, yet dare not goe.
And as fidlers stop low'st, at highest sound,
So to the most brave, stoops hee nigh'st the ground.
But to a grave man, he doth move no more
Then the wise politique horse would heretofore,
Or thou O Elephant or Ape wilt doe,
When any names the King of Spaine to you.
Now leaps he upright, joggs me,'and cryes, 'Do'you see
Yonder well favour'd youth?' 'Which?' 'Oh, 'tis hee
That dances so divinely.' 'Oh,' said I,
'Stand still, must you dance here for company?'
Hee droopt, wee went, till one (which did excell
Th'Indians, in drinking his Tobacco well)
Met us; they talk'd; I whisper'd, 'Let us goe,
'T may be you smell him not, truely I doe.'
He heares not mee, but, on the other side
A many-colour'd Peacock having spide,
Leaves him and mee; I for my lost sheep stay;
He followes, overtakes, goes on the way,
Saying, 'Him whom I last left, all repute
For his device, in hansoming a sute,
To judge of lace, pinke, panes, print, cut and plight,
Of all the Court, to have the best conceit.'
'Our dull Comedians want him, let him goe;
But Oh, God strengthen thee, why stoop'st thou so?'
'Why? he hath travail'd.' 'Long?' 'No, but to me'
(Which understand none,) 'he doth seeme to be
Perfect French, and Italian.' I reply'd,
'So is the Poxe.' He answer'd not, but spy'd
More men of sort, of parts, and qualities;
At last his Love he in a windowe spies,
And like light dew exhal'd, he flings from mee
Violently ravish'd to his lechery.
Many were there, he could command no more;
He quarrell'd, fought, bled; and turn'd out of dore
Directly came to mee hanging the head,
And constantly a while must keepe his bed.
Elegy Xi: The Bracelet
Upon the Loss of His Mistress’s Chain, for Which He Made Satisfaction
NOT that in colour it was like thy hair,
For armlets of that thou mayst let me wear;
Nor that thy hand it oft embraced and kiss'd,
For so it had that good, which oft I miss'd;
Nor for that silly old morality,
That, as these links were knit, our love should be,
Mourn I that I thy sevenfold chain have lost;
Nor for the luck sake; but the bitter cost.
O, shall twelve righteous angels, which as yet
No leaven of vile solder did admit;
Nor yet by any way have stray'd or gone
From the first state of their creation;
Angels, which heaven commanded to provide
All things to me, and be my faithful guide;
To gain new friends, to appease great enemies;
To comfort my soul, when I lie or rise;
Shall these twelve innocents, by thy severe
Sentence, dread judge, my sin's great burden bear?
Shall they be damn'd, and in the furnace thrown,
And punish'd for offenses not their own?
They save not me, they do not ease my pains,
When in that hell they're burnt and tied in chains.
Were they but crowns of France, I carèd not,
For most of these their country's natural rot,
I think, possesseth; they come here to us
So pale, so lame, so lean, so ruinous.
And howsoe'er French kings most Christian be,
Their crowns are circumcised most Jewishly.
Or were they Spanish stamps, still travelling,
That are become as Catholic as their king;
These unlick'd bear-whelps, unfiled pistolets,
That—more than cannon shot—avails or lets;
Which, negligently left unrounded, look
Like many-angled figures in the book
Of some great conjurer that would enforce
Nature, so these do justice, from her course;
Which, as the soul quickens head, feet and heart,
As streams, like veins, run through th' earth's every part,
Visit all countries, and have slily made
Gorgeous France, ruin'd, ragged and decay'd,
Scotland, which knew no state, proud in one day,
And mangled seventeen-headed Belgia.
Or were it such gold as that wherewithal
Almighty chemics, from each mineral
Having by subtle fire a soul out-pull'd,
Are dirtily and desperately gull'd;
I would not spit to quench the fire they're in,
For they are guilty of much heinous sin.
But shall my harmless angels perish? Shall
I lose my guard, my ease, my food, my all?
Much hope which they would nourish will be dead.
Much of my able youth, and lustihead
Will vanish; if thou love, let them alone,
For thou wilt love me less when they are gone;
And be content that some loud squeaking crier,
Well-pleas'd with one lean threadbare groat, for hire,
May like a devil roar through every street,
And gall the finder's conscience, if he meet.
Or let me creep to some dread conjurer,
That with fantastic schemes fills full much paper;
Which hath divided heaven in tenements,
And with whores, thieves, and murderers stuff'd his rents
So full, that though he pass them all in sin,
He leaves himself no room to enter in.
But if, when all his art and time is spent,
He say 'twill ne'er be found; yet be content;
Receive from him that doom ungrudgingly,
Because he is the mouth of destiny.
Thou say'st, alas! the gold doth still remain,
Though it be changed, and put into a chain.
So in the first fallen angels resteth still
Wisdom and knowledge, but 'tis turn'd to ill;
As these should do good works, and should provide
Necessities; but now must nurse thy pride.
And they are still bad angels; mine are none;
For form gives being, and their form is gone.
Pity these angels yet; their dignities
Pass Virtues, Powers, and Principalities.
But thou art resolute; thy will be done;
Yet with such anguish, as her only son
The mother in the hungry grave doth lay,
Unto the fire these martyrs I betray.
Good souls—for you give life to everything—
Good angels—for good messages you bring—
Destined you might have been to such an one,
As would have loved and worshipp'd you alone;
One that would suffer hunger, nakedness,
Yea death, ere he would make your number less;
But, I am guilty of your sad decay;
May your few fellows longer with me stay.
But O! thou wretched finder whom I hate
So, that I almost pity thy estate,
Gold being the heaviest metal amongst all,
May my most heavy curse upon thee fall.
Here fetter'd, manacled, and hang'd in chains,
First mayst thou be; then chain'd to hellish pains;
Or be with foreign gold bribed to betray
Thy country, and fail both of it and thy pay.
May the next thing thou stoop'st to reach, contain
Poison, whose nimble fume rot thy moist brain;
Or libels, or some interdicted thing,
Which negligently kept thy ruin bring.
Lust-bred diseases rot thee; and dwell with thee
Itching desire, and no ability.
May all the evils that gold ever wrought;
All mischief that all devils ever thought;
Want after plenty, poor and gouty age,
The plagues of travellers, love, marriage
Afflict thee, and at thy life's last moment,
May thy swollen sins themselves to thee present.
But, I forgive; repent thee, honest man!
Gold is restorative; restore it then:
But if from it thou be'st loth to depart,
Because 'tis cordial, would 'twere at thy heart.
Sonnet Cycle For Lady Magdalen
Her of your name, whose fair inheritance
Bethina was, and jointure Magdalo:
An active faith so highly did advance,
That she once knew, more than the Church did know,
The Resurrection; so much good there is
Deliver'd of her, that some Fathers be
Loth to believe one Woman could do this;
But think these Magdalens were two or three.
Increase their number, Lady, and their fame:
To their Devotion, add your Innocence;
Take so much of th'example, as of the name;
The latter half; and in some recompence
That they did harbour Christ himself, a Guest,
Harbour these Hymns, to his dear name addresst.
1. La Corona
Deigne at my hands this crown of prayer and praise,
Weav'd in my low devout melancholie,
Thou which of good, hast, yea art treasury,
All changing unchang'd Antient of dayes;
But doe not, with vile crowne of fraile bayes,
Reward my muses white sincerity,
But what thy thorny crowne gain'd, that give mee,
The ends of Glory, which doth flower alwayes;
The ends crowne our workes, but thou crown'st our ends,
For, at our end begins our endlesse rest;
The first last end, now zealously possest,
With a strong sober thirst, my soule attends.
'Tis time that heart and voice be lifted high,
Salvation to all that will is nigh.
Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which alwayes is All every where,
Which cannot die, yet cannot chuse but die,
Loe, faithfull Virgin, yeelds himselfe to lye
In prison in thy wombe; and though he there
Can take no sinne, nor thou give, yet he'will weare
Taken from thence, flesh, which deaths force may trie.
Ere by the spheares time was created, thou
Wast in his minde, who is thy Sonne, and Brother;
Whom thou conceiv'st, conceiv'd; yea thou art now
Thy Makers maker, and thy Fathers mother;
Thou'hast light in darke; and shutst in little roome,
Immensity cloystered in thy deare wombe.
Immensity cloystered in thy deare wombe,
Now leaves his welbelov'd imprisonment,
There he hath made himselfe to his intent
Weake enough, now into our world to come;
But Oh, for thee, for him, hath th'Inne no roome?
Yet lay him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Starres, and wisemen will travell to prevent
Th'effect of Herods jealous generall doome.
Seest thou, my Soule, with thy faiths eyes, how he
Which fils all place, yet none hold him, doth lye?
Was not his pity towrds thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pittied by thee?
Kisse him, and with him into Egypt goe,
With his kinde mother, who partakes thy woe.
With his kinde mother who partakes thy woe,
Joseph turne backe; see where your child doth sit,
Blowing, yea blowing out those sparks of wit,
Which himselfe on the Doctors did bestow;
The Word but lately could not speake, and loe
It sodenly speakes wonders, whence comes it,
That all which was, and all which should be writ,
A shallow seeming child, should deeply know?
His Godhead was not soule to his manhood,
Nor had time mellowed him to this ripenesse,
But as for one which hath a long taske, 'tis good,
With the Sunne to beginne his businesse,
He in his ages morning thus began
By miracles exceeding power of man.
By miracles exceeding power of man,
Hee faith in some, envie in some begat,
For, what weake spirits admire, ambitious, hate;
In both affections many to him ran,
But Oh! the worst are most, they will and can,
Alas, and do, unto the immaculate,
Whose creature Fate is, now prescribe a Fate,
Measuring selfe-lifes infinity to a span,
Nay to an inch. Loe, where condemned hee
Beares his owne crosse, with paine, yet by and by
When it beares him, he must beare more and die.
Now thou art lifted up, draw mee to thee,
And at thy death giving such liberall dole,
Moyst, with one drop of thy blood, my dry soule.
Moyst, with one drop of thy blood, my dry soule.
Shall (though she now be in extreme degree
Too stony hard, and yet to fleshly,) bee
Freed by that drop, from being starv'd, hard or foule,
And life, by this death abled, shall controule
Death, whom thy death slue; nor shall to mee
Feare of first or last death, bring miserie,
If in thy little booke my name thou enroule,
Flesh in that long sleep is not putrified,
But made that there, of which and for which 'twas;
Nor can by other meanes be glorified.
May then sinnes sleep, and deaths soone from me passe,
That wak't from both, I againe risen may
Salute the last, and everlasting day.
Salute the last, and everlasting day,
Joy at the uprising of this Sunne, and Sonne,
Yee whose just teares, or tribulation
Have purely washt, or burnt your drossie clay;
Behold the Highest, parting hence away,
Lightens the darke clouds, which hee treads upon,
Nor doth hee by ascending, show alone,
But first hee, and hee first enters the way.
O strong Ramme, which hast batter'd heaven for mee,
Mild Lambe, which with thy blood, hast mark'd the path;
Bright Torch, which shin'st that I the way may see
Oh, with thy owne blood quench thy owne just wrath,
And if thy holy Spirit, my Muse did raise,
Deigne at my hands this crown of prayer and praise.
Kind pity chokes my spleen; brave scorn forbids
Those tears to issue which swell my eyelids;
I must not laugh, nor weep sins and be wise;
Can railing, then, cure these worn maladies?
Is not our mistress, fair Religion,
As worthy of all our souls' devotion
As virtue was in the first blinded age?
Are not heaven's joys as valiant to assuage
Lusts, as earth's honour was to them? Alas,
As we do them in means, shall they surpass
Us in the end? and shall thy father's spirit
Meet blind philosophers in heaven, whose merit
Of strict life may be imputed faith, and hear
Thee, whom he taught so easy ways and near
To follow, damn'd? Oh, if thou dar'st, fear this;
This fear great courage and high valour is.
Dar'st thou aid mutinous Dutch, and dar'st thou lay
Thee in ships' wooden sepulchres, a prey
To leaders' rage, to storms, to shot, to dearth?
Dar'st thou dive seas, and dungeons of the earth?
Hast thou courageous fire to thaw the ice
Of frozen North discoveries? and thrice
Colder than salamanders, like divine
Children in th' oven, fires of Spain and the Line,
Whose countries limbecs to our bodies be,
Canst thou for gain bear? and must every he
Which cries not, 'Goddess,' to thy mistress, draw
Or eat thy poisonous words? Courage of straw!
O desperate coward, wilt thou seem bold, and
To thy foes and his, who made thee to stand
Sentinel in his world's garrison, thus yield,
And for forbidden wars leave th' appointed field?
Know thy foes: the foul devil, whom thou
Strivest to please, for hate, not love, would allow
Thee fain his whole realm to be quit; and as
The world's all parts wither away and pass,
So the world's self, thy other lov'd foe, is
In her decrepit wane, and thou loving this,
Dost love a wither'd and worn strumpet; last,
Flesh (itself's death) and joys which flesh can taste,
Thou lovest, and thy fair goodly soul, which doth
Give this flesh power to taste joy, thou dost loathe.
Seek true religion. O where? Mirreus,
Thinking her unhous'd here, and fled from us,
Seeks her at Rome; there, because he doth know
That she was there a thousand years ago,
He loves her rags so, as we here obey
The statecloth where the prince sate yesterday.
Crantz to such brave loves will not be enthrall'd,
But loves her only, who at Geneva is call'd
Religion, plain, simple, sullen, young,
Contemptuous, yet unhandsome; as among
Lecherous humours, there is one that judges
No wenches wholesome, but coarse country drudges.
Graius stays still at home here, and because
Some preachers, vile ambitious bawds, and laws,
Still new like fashions, bid him think that she
Which dwells with us is only perfect, he
Embraceth her whom his godfathers will
Tender to him, being tender, as wards still
Take such wives as their guardians offer, or
Pay values. Careless Phrygius doth abhor
All, because all cannot be good, as one
Knowing some women whores, dares marry none.
Graccus loves all as one, and thinks that so
As women do in divers countries go
In divers habits, yet are still one kind,
So doth, so is Religion; and this blind-
ness too much light breeds; but unmoved, thou
Of force must one, and forc'd, but one allow,
And the right; ask thy father which is she,
Let him ask his; though truth and falsehood be
Near twins, yet truth a little elder is;
Be busy to seek her; believe me this,
He's not of none, nor worst, that seeks the best.
To adore, or scorn an image, or protest,
May all be bad; doubt wisely; in strange way
To stand inquiring right, is not to stray;
To sleep, or run wrong, is. On a huge hill,
Cragged and steep, Truth stands, and he that will
Reach her, about must and about must go,
And what the hill's suddenness resists, win so.
Yet strive so that before age, death's twilight,
Thy soul rest, for none can work in that night.
To will implies delay, therefore now do;
Hard deeds, the body's pains; hard knowledge too
The mind's endeavours reach, and mysteries
Are like the sun, dazzling, yet plain to all eyes.
Keep the truth which thou hast found; men do not stand
In so ill case, that God hath with his hand
Sign'd kings' blank charters to kill whom they hate;
Nor are they vicars, but hangmen to fate.
Fool and wretch, wilt thou let thy soul be tied
To man's laws, by which she shall not be tried
At the last day? Oh, will it then boot thee
To say a Philip, or a Gregory,
A Harry, or a Martin, taught thee this?
Is not this excuse for mere contraries
Equally strong? Cannot both sides say so?
That thou mayest rightly obey power, her bounds know;
Those past, her nature and name is chang'd; to be
Then humble to her is idolatry.
As streams are, power is; those blest flowers that dwell
At the rough stream's calm head, thrive and do well,
But having left their roots, and themselves given
To the stream's tyrannous rage, alas, are driven
Through mills, and rocks, and woods, and at last, almost
Consum'd in going, in the sea are lost.
So perish souls, which more choose men's unjust
Power from God claim'd, than God himself to trust.
Sir; though (I thanke God for it) I do hate
Perfectly all this towne, yet there's one state
In all ill things so excellently best,
That hate, towards them, breeds pitty towards the rest.
Though Poetry indeed be such a sinne
As I thinke that brings dearths, and Spaniards in,
Though like the Pestilence and old fashion'd love,
Ridlingly it catch men; and doth remove
Never, till it be sterv'd out; yet their state
Is poore, disarm'd, like Papists, not worth hate.
One,(like a wretch, which at Barre judg'd as dead,
Yet prompts him which stands next, and cannot reade,
And saves his life)gives ideot actors meanes
(Starving himselfe)to live by'his labor'd sceanes;
As in some Organ, Puppits dance above
And bellows pant below, which them do move.
One would move Love by rimes; but witchcrafts charms
Bring not now their old feares, nor their old harmes:
Rammes, and slings now are seely battery,
Pistolets are the best Artillerie.
And they who write to Lords, rewards to get,
Are they not like singers at doores for meat?
And they who write, because all write, have still
That excuse for writing, and for writing ill.
But hee is worst, who (beggarly) doth chaw
Others wits fruits, and in his ravenous maw
Rankly digested, doth those things out-spue,
As his owne things; 'and they are his owne, 'tis true,
For if one eate my meate, though it be knowne
The meate was mine, th'excrement is his owne.
But these do mee no harme, nor they which use
To out-doe Dildoes, and out-usure Jewes;
To'out-drinke the sea, to'out-sweare the Letanie;
Who with sinnes all kindes as familiar bee
As Confessors; and for whose sinfull sake
Schoolemen new tenements in hell must make:
Whose strange sinnes, Canonists could hardly tell
In which Commandements large receit they dwell.
But these punish themselves; the insolence
Of Coscus onely breeds my just offence,
Whom time (which rots all, and makes botches poxe,
And plodding on, must make a calfe an oxe)
Hath made a Lawyer, which was (alas) of late
But a scarce Poet; jollier of this state,
Then are new benefic'd ministers, he throwes
Like nets, or lime-twigs, wheresoere he goes,
His title'of Barrister, on every wench,
And wooes in language of the Pleas, and Bench:
'A motion, Lady.' 'Speake Coscus.' 'I'have beene
In love, ever since tricesimo' of the Queene,
Continuall claimes I'have made, injunctions got
To stay my rivals suit, that hee should not
Proceed.' 'Spare mee.' 'In Hillary terme I went,
You said, If I returne next size in Lent,
I should be in remitter of your grace;
In th'interim my letters should take place
Of affidavits--': words, words, which would teare
The tender labyrinth of a soft maids eare,
More, more, then ten Sclavonians scolding, more
Then when winds in our ruin'd Abbeyes rore.
When sicke with Poetrie,'and possest with muse
Thou wast, and mad, I hop'd; but men which chuse
Law practise for meere gaine, bold soule, repute
Worse then imbrothel'd strumpets prostitute.
Now like an owlelike watchman, hee must walke
His hand still at a bill, now he must talke
Idly, like prisoners, which whole months will sweare
That onely suretiship hath brought them there,
And to'every suitor lye in every thing,
Like a Kings favorite, yea like a King;
Like a wedge in a blocke, wring to the barre,
Bearing like Asses, and more shameless farre
Then carted whores, lye, to the grave Judge; for
Bastardy'abounds not in Kings titles, nor
Symonie'and Sodomy in Churchmens lives,
As these things do in him; by these he thrives.
Shortly ('as the sea) hee'will compasse all our land;
From Scots, to Wight; from Mount, to Dover strand.
And spying heires melting with luxurie,
Satan will not joy at their sinnes, as hee.
For as a thrifty wench scrapes kitching-stuffe,
And barrelling the droppings, and the snuffe,
Of wasting candles, which in thirty yeare
(Relique-like kept) perchance buyes wedding geare;
Peecemeale he gets lands, and spends as much time
Wringing each Acre, as men pulling prime.
In parchments then, large as his fields, hee drawes
Assurances, bigge, as gloss'd civill lawes,
So huge, that men (in our times forwardnesse)
Are Fathers of the Church for writing lesse.
These hee writes not; nor for these written payes,
Therefore spares no length; as in those first dayes
When Luther was profest, he did desire
Short Pater nosters, saying as a Fryer
Each day his beads, but having left those lawes,
Addes to Christs prayer, the Power and glory clause.
But when he sells or changes land, he'impaires
His writings, and (unwatch'd) leaves out, ses heires,
As slily'as any Commenter goes by
Hard words, or sense; or in Divinity
As controverters, in vouch'd texts, leave out
Shrewd words, which might against them cleare the doubt.
Where are those spred woods which cloth'd heretofore
Those bought lands? not built, not burnt within dore.
Where's th'old landlords troops, and almes? In great hals
Carthusian fasts, and fulsome Bachanalls
Equally'I hate; meanes blesse; in rich mens homes
I bid kill some beasts, but no Hecatombs,
None starve, none surfet so; But (Oh) we'allow
Good workes as good, but out of fashion now,
Like old rich wardrops; but my words none drawes
Within the vast reach of th'huge statute lawes.
An Anatomy Of The World...
When that rich soul which to her heaven is gone,
Whom all do celebrate, who know they have one
(For who is sure he hath a soul, unless
It see, and judge, and follow worthiness,
And by deeds praise it? He who doth not this,
May lodge an inmate soul, but 'tis not his)
When that queen ended here her progress time,
And, as t'her standing house, to heaven did climb,
Where loath to make the saints attend her long,
She's now a part both of the choir, and song;
This world, in that great earthquake languished;
For in a common bath of tears it bled,
Which drew the strongest vital spirits out;
But succour'd then with a perplexed doubt,
Whether the world did lose, or gain in this,
(Because since now no other way there is,
But goodness, to see her, whom all would see,
All must endeavour to be good as she)
This great consumption to a fever turn'd,
And so the world had fits; it joy'd, it mourn'd;
And, as men think, that agues physic are,
And th' ague being spent, give over care,
So thou, sick world, mistak'st thy self to be
Well, when alas, thou'rt in a lethargy.
Her death did wound and tame thee then, and then
Thou might'st have better spar'd the sun, or man.
That wound was deep, but 'tis more misery
That thou hast lost thy sense and memory.
'Twas heavy then to hear thy voice of moan,
But this is worse, that thou art speechless grown.
Thou hast forgot thy name thou hadst; thou wast
Nothing but she, and her thou hast o'erpast.
For, as a child kept from the font until
A prince, expected long, come to fulfill
The ceremonies, thou unnam'd had'st laid,
Had not her coming, thee her palace made;
Her name defin'd thee, gave thee form, and frame,
And thou forget'st to celebrate thy name.
Some months she hath been dead (but being dead,
Measures of times are all determined)
But long she'ath been away, long, long, yet none
Offers to tell us who it is that's gone.
But as in states doubtful of future heirs,
When sickness without remedy impairs
The present prince, they're loath it should be said,
'The prince doth languish,' or 'The prince is dead;'
So mankind feeling now a general thaw,
A strong example gone, equal to law,
The cement which did faithfully compact
And glue all virtues, now resolv'd, and slack'd,
Thought it some blasphemy to say sh'was dead,
Or that our weakness was discovered
In that confession; therefore spoke no more
Than tongues, the soul being gone, the loss deplore.
But though it be too late to succour thee,
Sick world, yea dead, yea putrified, since she
Thy' intrinsic balm, and thy preservative,
Can never be renew'd, thou never live,
I (since no man can make thee live) will try,
What we may gain by thy anatomy.
Her death hath taught us dearly that thou art
Corrupt and mortal in thy purest part.
Let no man say, the world itself being dead,
'Tis labour lost to have discovered
The world's infirmities, since there is none
Alive to study this dissection;
For there's a kind of world remaining still,
Though she which did inanimate and fill
The world, be gone, yet in this last long night,
Her ghost doth walk; that is a glimmering light,
A faint weak love of virtue, and of good,
Reflects from her on them which understood
Her worth; and though she have shut in all day,
The twilight of her memory doth stay,
Which, from the carcass of the old world free,
Creates a new world, and new creatures be
Produc'd. The matter and the stuff of this,
Her virtue, and the form our practice is.
And though to be thus elemented, arm
These creatures from home-born intrinsic harm,
(For all assum'd unto this dignity
So many weedless paradises be,
Which of themselves produce no venomous sin,
Except some foreign serpent bring it in)
Yet, because outward storms the strongest break,
And strength itself by confidence grows weak,
This new world may be safer, being told
The dangers and diseases of the old;
For with due temper men do then forgo,
Or covet things, when they their true worth know.
There is no health; physicians say that we
At best enjoy but a neutrality.
And can there be worse sickness than to know
That we are never well, nor can be so?
We are born ruinous: poor mothers cry
That children come not right, nor orderly;
Except they headlong come and fall upon
An ominous precipitation.
How witty's ruin! how importunate
Upon mankind! It labour'd to frustrate
Even God's purpose; and made woman, sent
For man's relief, cause of his languishment.
They were to good ends, and they are so still,
But accessory, and principal in ill,
For that first marriage was our funeral;
One woman at one blow, then kill'd us all,
And singly, one by one, they kill us now.
We do delightfully our selves allow
To that consumption; and profusely blind,
We kill our selves to propagate our kind.
And yet we do not that; we are not men;
There is not now that mankind, which was then,
When as the sun and man did seem to strive,
(Joint tenants of the world) who should survive;
When stag, and raven, and the long-liv'd tree,
Compar'd with man, died in minority;
When, if a slow-pac'd star had stol'n away
From the observer's marking, he might stay
Two or three hundred years to see't again,
And then make up his observation plain;
When, as the age was long, the size was great
(Man's growth confess'd, and recompens'd the meat),
So spacious and large, that every soul
Did a fair kingdom, and large realm control;
And when the very stature, thus erect,
Did that soul a good way towards heaven direct.
Where is this mankind now? Who lives to age,
Fit to be made Methusalem his page?
Alas, we scarce live long enough to try
Whether a true-made clock run right, or lie.
Old grandsires talk of yesterday with sorrow,
And for our children we reserve tomorrow.
So short is life, that every peasant strives,
In a torn house, or field, to have three lives.
And as in lasting, so in length is man
Contracted to an inch, who was a span;
For had a man at first in forests stray'd,
Or shipwrack'd in the sea, one would have laid
A wager, that an elephant, or whale,
That met him, would not hastily assail
A thing so equall to him; now alas,
The fairies, and the pigmies well may pass
As credible; mankind decays so soon,
We'are scarce our fathers' shadows cast at noon,
Only death adds t'our length: nor are we grown
In stature to be men, till we are none.
But this were light, did our less volume hold
All the old text; or had we chang'd to gold
Their silver; or dispos'd into less glass
Spirits of virtue, which then scatter'd was.
But 'tis not so; w'are not retir'd, but damp'd;
And as our bodies, so our minds are cramp'd;
'Tis shrinking, not close weaving, that hath thus
In mind and body both bedwarfed us.
We seem ambitious, God's whole work t'undo;
Of nothing he made us, and we strive too,
To bring our selves to nothing back; and we
Do what we can, to do't so soon as he.
With new diseases on our selves we war,
And with new physic, a worse engine far.
Thus man, this world's vice-emperor, in whom
All faculties, all graces are at home
(And if in other creatures they appear,
They're but man's ministers and legates there
To work on their rebellions, and reduce
Them to civility, and to man's use);
This man, whom God did woo, and loath t'attend
Till man came up, did down to man descend,
This man, so great, that all that is, is his,
O what a trifle, and poor thing he is!
If man were anything, he's nothing now;
Help, or at least some time to waste, allow
T'his other wants, yet when he did depart
With her whom we lament, he lost his heart.
She, of whom th'ancients seem'd to prophesy,
When they call'd virtues by the name of she;
She in whom virtue was so much refin'd,
That for alloy unto so pure a mind
She took the weaker sex; she that could drive
The poisonous tincture, and the stain of Eve,
Out of her thoughts, and deeds, and purify
All, by a true religious alchemy,
She, she is dead; she's dead: when thou knowest this,
Thou knowest how poor a trifling thing man is,
And learn'st thus much by our anatomy,
The heart being perish'd, no part can be free,
And that except thou feed (not banquet) on
The supernatural food, religion,
Thy better growth grows withered, and scant;
Be more than man, or thou'rt less than an ant.
Then, as mankind, so is the world's whole frame
Quite out of joint, almost created lame,
For, before God had made up all the rest,
Corruption ent'red, and deprav'd the best;
It seiz'd the angels, and then first of all
The world did in her cradle take a fall,
And turn'd her brains, and took a general maim,
Wronging each joint of th'universal frame.
The noblest part, man, felt it first; and then
Both beasts and plants, curs'd in the curse of man.
So did the world from the first hour decay,
That evening was beginning of the day,
And now the springs and summers which we see,
Like sons of women after fifty be.
And new philosophy calls all in doubt,
The element of fire is quite put out,
The sun is lost, and th'earth, and no man's wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.
And freely men confess that this world's spent,
When in the planets and the firmament
They seek so many new; they see that this
Is crumbled out again to his atomies.
'Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone,
All just supply, and all relation;
Prince, subject, father, son, are things forgot,
For every man alone thinks he hath got
To be a phoenix, and that then can be
None of that kind, of which he is, but he.
This is the world's condition now, and now
She that should all parts to reunion bow,
She that had all magnetic force alone,
To draw, and fasten sund'red parts in one;
She whom wise nature had invented then
When she observ'd that every sort of men
Did in their voyage in this world's sea stray,
And needed a new compass for their way;
She that was best and first original
Of all fair copies, and the general
Steward to fate; she whose rich eyes and breast
Gilt the West Indies, and perfum'd the East;
Whose having breath'd in this world, did bestow
Spice on those Isles, and bade them still smell so,
And that rich India which doth gold inter,
Is but as single money, coin'd from her;
She to whom this world must it self refer,
As suburbs or the microcosm of her,
She, she is dead; she's dead: when thou know'st this,
Thou know'st how lame a cripple this world is
FATHER of Heaven, and Him, by whom
It, and us for it, and all else for us,
Thou madest, and govern'st ever, come
And re-create me, now grown ruinous:
My heart is by dejection, clay,
And by self-murder, red.
From this red earth, O Father, purge away
All vicious tinctures, that new-fashioned
I may rise up from death, before I'm dead.
O Son of God, who, seeing two things,
Sin and Death, crept in, which were never made,
By bearing one, tried'st with what stings
The other could Thine heritage invade ;
O be Thou nail'd unto my heart,
And crucified again ;
Part not from it, though it from Thee would part,
But let it be by applying so Thy pain,
Drown'd in Thy blood, and in Thy passion slain.
THE HOLY GHOST.
O Holy Ghost, whose temple I
Am, but of mud walls , and condensèd dust,
And being sacrilegiously
Half wasted with youth's fires of pride and lust,
Must with new storms be weather-beat,
Double in my heart Thy flame,
Which let devout sad tears intend, and let—
Though this glass lanthorn, flesh, do suffer maim—
Fire, sacrifice, priest, altar be the same.
O blessed glorious Trinity,
Bones to philosophy, but milk to faith,
Which, as wise serpents, diversely
Most slipperiness, yet most entanglings hath,
As you distinguish'd, undistinct,
By power, love, knowledge be,
Give me a such self different instinct,
Of these let all me elemented be,
Of power, to love, to know you unnumbered three.
THE VIRGIN MARY.
For that fair blessed mother-maid,
Whose flesh redeem'd us, that she-cherubin,
Which unlock'd paradise, and made
One claim for innocence, and disseizèd sin,
Whose womb was a strange heaven, for there
God clothed Himself, and grew,
Our zealous thanks we pour. As her deeds were
Our helps, so are her prayers ; nor can she sue
In vain, who hath such titles unto you.
And since this life our nonage is,
And we in wardship to Thine angels be,
Native in heaven's fair palaces
Where we shall be but denizen'd by Thee ;
As th' earth conceiving by the sun,
Yields fair diversity,
Yet never knows what course that light doth run ;
So let me study that mine actions be
Worthy their sight, though blind in how they see.
And let Thy patriarchs' desire,
—Those great grandfathers of Thy Church, which saw
More in the cloud than we in fire,
Whom nature clear'd more, than us grace and law,
And now in heaven still pray, that we
May use our new helps right—
Be satisfied, and fructify in me ;
Let not my mind be blinder by more light,
Nor faith by reason added lose her sight.
Thy eagle-sighted prophets too,
—Which were Thy Church's organs, and did sound
That harmony which made of two
One law, and did unite, but not confound ;
Those heavenly poets which did see
Thy will, and it express
In rhythmic feet—in common pray for me,
That I by them excuse not my excess
In seeking secrets, or poeticness.
And thy illustrious zodiac
Of twelve apostles, which engirt this All,
—From whom whosoever do not take
Their light, to dark deep pits throw down and fall ;—
As through their prayers Thou'st let me know
That their books are divine,
May they pray still, and be heard, that I go
Th' old broad way in applying ; O decline
Me, when my comment would make Thy word mine.
And since Thou so desirously
Didst long to die, that long before Thou couldst,
And long since Thou no more couldst die,
Thou in thy scatter'd mystic body wouldst
In Abel die, and ever since
In Thine ; let their blood come
To beg for us a discreet patience
Of death, or of worse life ; for O, to some
Not to be martyrs, is a martyrdom.
Therefore with Thee triumpheth there
A virgin squadron of white confessors,
Whose bloods betroth'd not married were,
Tender'd, not taken by those ravishers.
They know, and pray that we may know,
In every Christian
Hourly tempestuous persecutions grow ;
Temptations martyr us alive ; a man
Is to himself a Diocletian.
The cold white snowy nunnery,
Which, as Thy Mother, their high abbess, sent
Their bodies back again to Thee,
As Thou hadst lent them, clean and innocent ;
Though they have not obtain'd of Thee,
That or Thy Church or I
Should keep, as they, our first integrity,
Divorce Thou sin in us, or bid it die,
And call chaste widowhead virginity.
The sacred academy above
Of Doctors, whose pains have unclasp'd, and taught
Both books of life to us—for love
To know Thy scriptures tells us, we are wrote
In Thy other book—pray for us there,
That what they have misdone
Or missaid, we to that may not adhere.
Their zeal may be our sin. Lord, let us run
Mean ways, and call them stars, but not the sun.
And whilst this universal quire,
That Church in triumph, this in warfare here,
Warm'd with one all-partaking fire
Of love, that none be lost, which cost Thee dear,
Prays ceaselessly, and Thou hearken too
—Since to be gracious
Our task is treble, to pray, bear, and do—
Hear this prayer, Lord ; O Lord, deliver us
From trusting in those prayers, though pour'd out
From being anxious, or secure,
Dead clods of sadness, or light squibs of mirth,
From thinking that great courts immure
All, or no happiness, or that this earth
Is only for our prison framed,
Or that Thou'rt covetous
To them whom Thou lovest, or that they are maim'd
From reaching this world's sweet who seek Thee
With all their might, good Lord, deliver us.
From needing danger, to be good,
From owing Thee yesterday's tears to-day,
From trusting so much to Thy blood
That in that hope we wound our soul away,
From bribing Thee with alms, to excuse
Some sin more burdenous,
From light affecting, in religion, news,
From thinking us all soul, neglecting thus
Our mutual duties, Lord, deliver us.
From tempting Satan to tempt us,
By our connivance, or slack company,
From measuring ill by vicious
Neglecting to choke sin's spawn, vanity,
From indiscreet humility,
Which might be scandalous
And cast reproach on Christianity,
From being spies, or to spies pervious,
From thirst or scorn of fame, deliver us.
Deliver us through Thy descent
Into the Virgin, whose womb was a place
Of middle kind ; and Thou being sent
To ungracious us, stay'dst at her full of grace ;
And through Thy poor birth, where first Thou
Glorified'st poverty ;
And yet soon after riches didst allow,
By accepting kings' gifts in th' Epiphany ;
Deliver us, and make us to both ways free.
And through that bitter agony,
Which is still th' agony of pious wits,
Disputing what distorted Thee,
And interrupted evenness with fits ;
And through Thy free confession,
Though thereby they were then
Made blind, so that Thou mightst from them have gone ;
Good Lord, deliver us, and teach us when
We may not, and we may, blind unjust men.
Through Thy submitting all, to blows
Thy face, Thy robes to spoil, Thy fame to scorn,
All ways, which rage, or justice knows,
And by which Thou couldst show that Thou wast born ;
And through Thy gallant humbleness
Which Thou in death didst show,
Dying before Thy soul they could express ;
Deliver us from death, by dying so
To this world, ere this world do bid us go.
When senses, which Thy soldiers are,
We arm against Thee, and they fight for sin ;
When want, sent but to tame, doth war,
And work despair a breach to enter in ;
When plenty, God's image, and seal,
Makes us idolatrous,
And love it, not him, whom it should reveal ;
When we are moved to seem religious
Only to vent wit ; Lord, deliver us.
In churches, when th' infirmity
Of him which speaks, diminishes the word ;
When magistrates do misapply
To us, as we judge, lay or ghostly sword ;
When plague, which is Thine angel, reigns,
Or wars, Thy champions, sway ;
When heresy, Thy second deluge, gains ;
In th' hour of death, th' eve of last Judgment day ;
Deliver us from the sinister way.
Hear us, O hear us, Lord; to Thee
A sinner is more music, when he prays,
Than spheres' or angels' praises be,
In panegyric alleluias ;
Hear us, for till Thou hear us, Lord,
We know not what to say ;
Thine ear to our sighs, tears, thoughts, gives voice and word ;
O Thou, who Satan heard'st in Job's sick day,
Hear Thyself now, for Thou in us dost pray.
That we may change to evenness
This intermitting aguish piety ;
That snatching cramps of wickedness
And apoplexies of fast sin may die ;
That music of Thy promises,
Not threats in thunder may
Awaken us to our just offices ;
What in Thy book Thou dost, or creatures say,
That we may hear, Lord, hear us when we pray.
That our ears' sickness we may cure,
And rectify those labyrinths aright,
That we by heark'ning not procure
Our praise, nor others' dispraise so invite ;
That we get not a slipp'riness
And senselessly decline,
From hearing bold wits jest at kings' excess,
To admit the like of majesty divine ;
That we may lock our ears, Lord, open Thine.
That living law, the magistrate,
Which to give us, and make us physic, doth
Our vices often aggravate ;
That preachers taxing sin, before her growth ;
That Satan, and envenom'd men—
Which will, if we starve, dine—
When they do most accuse us, may see then
Us to amendment hear them, Thee decline ;
That we may open our ears, Lord, lock Thine.
That learning, Thine ambassador,
From Thine allegiance we never tempt ;
That beauty, paradise's flower
For physic made, from poison be exempt ;
That wit—born apt high good to do—
By dwelling lazily
On nature's nothing be not nothing too ;
That our affections kill us not, nor die ;
Hear us, weak echoes, O, Thou Ear and Eye.
Son of God, hear us, and since Thou
By taking our blood, owest it us again,
Gain to Thyself, or us allow ;
And let not both us and Thyself be slain ;
O Lamb of God, which took'st our sin,
Which could not stick to Thee,
O let it not return to us again ;
But patient and physician being free,
As sin is nothing, let it nowhere be.
UNSEASONABLE man, statue of ice,
What could to countries solitude entice
Thee, in this year's cold and decrepit time ?
Nature's instinct draws to the warmer clime
Even smaller birds, who by that courage dare
In numerous fleets sail through their sea, the air.
What delicacy can in fields appear,
Whilst Flora herself doth a frieze jerkin wear ?
Whilst winds do all the trees and hedges strip
Of leaves, to furnish rods enough to whip
Thy madness from thee, and all springs by frost
Have taken cold, and their sweet murmurs lost?
If thou thy faults or fortunes wouldst lament
With just solemnity, do it in Lent.
At court the spring already advanced is,
The sun stays longer up ; and yet not his
The glory is ; far other, other fires.
First, zeal to prince and state, then love's desires
Burn in one breast, and like heaven's two great lights,
The first doth govern days, the other, nights.
And then that early light which did appear
Before the sun and moon created were,
The princes favour is diffused o'er all,
From which all fortunes, names, and natures fall.
Then from those wombs of stars, the bride's bright eyes,
At every glance, a constellation flies,
And sows the court with stars, and doth prevent
In light and power, the all-eyed firmament.
First her eyes kindle other ladies' eyes,
Then from their beams their jewels' lustres rise,
And from their jewels torches do take fire,
And all is warmth, and light, and good desire.
Most other courts, alas ! are like to hell,
Where in dark places, fire without light doth dwell ;
Or but like stoves ; for lust and envy get
Continual, but artificial heat.
Here zeal and love grown one all clouds digest,
And make our court an everlasting east.
And canst thou be from thence ?
IDIOS. No, I am there ;
As heaven—to men disposed—is everywhere,
So are those courts, whose princes animate
Not only all their house but all their state.
Let no man think, because he's full, he hath all.
Kings—as their pattern, God—are liberal
Not only in fullness, but capacity,
Enlarging narrow men to feel and see,
And comprehend the blessings they bestow.
So, reclused hermits oftentimes do know
More of heaven's glory than a worldling can.
As man is of the world, the heart of man
Is an epitome of God's great book
Of creatures, and man need no farther look ;
So is the country of courts, where sweet peace doth,
As their one common soul, give life to both ;
And am I then from court ?
ALLOPHANES. Dreamer, thou art :
Think'st thou, fantastic, that thou hast a part
In the Indian fleet, because thou hast
A little spice or amber in thy taste ?
Because thou art not frozen, art thou warm ?
Seest thou all good, because thou seest no harm ?
The earth doth in her inner bowels hold
Stuff well-disposed, and which would fain be gold ;
But never shall, except it chance to lie
So upward, that heaven gild it with his eye.
As, for divine things, faith comes from above,
So, for best civil use, all tinctures move
From higher powers ; from God religion springs,
Wisdom and honour from the use of kings :
Then unbeguile thyself, and know with me,
That angels, though on earth employ'd they be,
Are still in heaven, so is he still at home
That doth abroad to honest actions come.
Chide thyself then, O fool, which yesterday
Mightst have read more than all thy books bewray ;
Hast thou a history, which doth present
A court, where all affections do assent
Unto the king's, and that that king's are just ;
And where it is no levity to trust ;
Where there is no ambition, but to obey ;
Where men need whisper nothing, and yet may ;
Where the king's favours are so placed, that all
Find that the king therein is liberal
To them, in him, because his favours bend
To virtue, to the which they all pretend ?
Thou hast no such ; yet here was this, and more.
An earnest lover, wise then, and before,
Our little Cupid hath sued livery,
And is no more in his minority ;
He is admitted now into that breast
Where the king's counsels and his secrets rest.
What hast thou lost, O ignorant man ?
IDIOS. I knew
All this, and only therefore I withdrew.
To know and feel all this, and not to have
Words to express it, makes a man a grave
Of his own thoughts ; I would not therefore stay
At a great feast, having no grace to say.
And yet I 'scaped not here ; for being come
Full of the common joy, I utter'd some.
Read then this nuptial song, which was not made
Either the court or men's hearts to invade ;
But since I am dead and buried, I could frame
No epitaph, which might advance my fame
So much as this poor song, which testifies
I did unto that day some sacrifice.
THE TIME OF THE MARRIAGE.
Thou art reprieved, old year, thou shalt not die ;
Though thou upon thy death-bed lie,
And should'st within five days expire,
Yet thou art rescued by a mightier fire,
Than thy old soul, the sun,
When he doth in his largest circle run.
The passage of the west or east would thaw,
And open wide their easy liquid jaw
To all our ships, could a Promethean art
Either unto the northern pole impart
The fire of these inflaming eyes, or of this loving
EQUALITY OF PERSONS.
But undiscerning Muse, which heart, which eyes,
In this new couple, dost thou prize,
When his eye as inflaming is
As hers, and her heart loves as well as his ?
Be tried by beauty, and then
The bridegroom is a maid, and not a man ;
If by that manly courage they be tried,
Which scorns unjust opinion ; then the bride
Becomes a man. Should chance or envy's art
Divide these two, whom nature scarce did part,
Since both have the inflaming eye, and both the
RAISING OF THE BRIDEGROOM.
Though it be some divorce to think of you
Single, so much one are you two,
Let me here contemplate thee,
First, cheerful bridegroom, and first let me see,
How thou prevent'st the sun,
And his red foaming horses dost outrun ;
How, having laid down in thy Sovereign's breast
All businesses, from thence to reinvest
Them when these triumphs cease, thou forward art
To show to her, who doth the like impart,
The fire of thy inflaming eyes, and of thy loving heart.
RAISING OF THE BRIDE.
But now to thee, fair bride, it is some wrong,
To think thou wert in bed so long.
Since soon thou liest down first, 'tis fit
Thou in first rising shouldst allow for it.
Powder thy radiant hair,
Which if without such ashes thou wouldst wear,
Thou which, to all which come to look upon,
Wert meant for Phoebus, wouldst be Phaëton.
For our ease, give thine eyes th' unusual part
Of joy, a tear ; so quench'd, thou mayst impart,
To us that come, thy inflaming eyes ; to him, thy
Thus thou descend'st to our infirmity,
Who can the sun in water see.
So dost thou, when in silk and gold
Thou cloud'st thyself ; since we which do behold
Are dust and worms, 'tis just,
Our objects be the fruits of worms and dust.
Let every jewel be a glorious star,
Yet stars are not so pure as their spheres are ;
And though thou stoop, to appear to us, in part,
Still in that picture thou entirely art,
Which thy inflaming eyes have made within his
GOING TO THE CHAPEL.
Now from your easts you issue forth, and we,
As men, which through a cypress see
The rising sun, do think it two ;
So, as you go to church, do think of you ;
But that veil being gone,
By the church rites you are from thenceforth one.
The church triumphant made this match before,
And now the militant doth strive no more.
Then, reverend priest, who God's Recorder art,
Do, from his dictates, to these two impart
All blessings which are seen, or thought, by angel's
eye or heart.
Blest pair of swans, O may you interbring
Daily new joys, and never sing ;
Live, till all grounds of wishes fail,
Till honour, yea, till wisdom grow so stale,
That new great heights to try,
I must serve your ambition, to die ;
Raise heirs, and may here, to the world's end, live
Heirs from this king, to take thanks, you, to give.
Nature and grace do all, and nothing art ;
May never age or error overthwart
With any west these radiant eyes, with any north
FEASTS AND REVELS.
But you are over-blest. Plenty this day
Injures ; it causeth time to stay ;
The tables groan, as though this feast
Would, as the flood, destroy all fowl and beast.
And were the doctrine new
That the earth moved, this day would make it true ;
For every part to dance and revel goes,
They tread the air, and fall not where they rose.
Though six hours since the sun to bed did part,
The masks and banquets will not yet impart
A sunset to these weary eyes, a centre to this heart.
THE BRIDE'S GOING TO BED.
What mean'st thou, bride, this company to keep ?
To sit up, till thou fain wouldst sleep ?
Thou mayst not, when thou'rt laid, do so ;
Thyself must to him a new banquet grow ;
And you must entertain
And do all this day's dances o'er again.
Know that if sun and moon together do
Rise in one point, they do not set so too.
Therefore thou mayst, fair bride, to bed depart ;
Thou art not gone, being gone ; where'er thou art,
Thou leavest in him thy watchful eyes, in him thy
THE BRIDEGROOM'S COMING.
As he that sees a star fall, runs apace,
And finds a jelly in the place,
So doth the bridegroom haste as much,
Being told this star is fallen, and finds her such.
And as friends may look strange,
By a new fashion, or apparel's change,
Their souls, though long acquainted they had been,
These clothes, their bodies, never yet had seen.
Therefore at first she modestly might start,
But must forthwith surrender every part,
As freely as each to each before gave either eye or
Now, as in Tullia's tomb, one lamp burnt clear,
Unchanged for fifteen hundred year,
May these love-lamps we here enshrine,
In warmth, light, lasting, equal the divine.
Fire ever doth aspire,
And makes all like itself, turns all to fire,
But ends in ashes ; which these cannot do,
For none of these is fuel, but fire too.
This is joy's bonfire, then, where love's strong arts
Make of so noble individual parts
One fire of four inflaming eyes, and of two loving hearts.
IDIOS. As I have brought this song, that I may do
A perfect sacrifice, I'll burn it too.
ALLOPHANES. No, sir. This paper I have justly got,
For, in burnt incense, the perfume is not
His only that presents it, but of all ;
Whatever celebrates this festival
Is common, since the joy thereof is so.
Nor may yourself be priest ; but let me go
Back to the court, and I will lay it upon
Such altars, as prize your devotion.