Content And Rich
I dwell in Grace's court,
Enriched with Virtue's rights;
Faith guides my wit, Love leads my will,
Hope all my mind delights.
In lowly vales I mount
To pleasure's highest pitch;
My silly shroud true honour brings;
My poor estate is rich.
My conscience is my crown,
Contented thoughts my rest;
My heart is happy in itself;
My bliss is in my breast.
Enough, I reckon wealth;
That mean, the surest lot,
That lies too high for base contempt,
Too low for envy's shot.
My wishes are but few
All easy to fulfil;
I make the limits of my power
The bounds unto my will.
I fear no care for gold;
Well-doing is my wealth;
My mind to me an empire is,
While grace affordeth health.
I clip high-climbing thoughts,
The wings of swelling pride;
Their fall is worst that from the heigh
Of greatest honour slide.
Since sails of largest size
The storm doth soonest tear;
I bear so low and small a sail
As freeth me from fear.
I wrestle not with rage,
While fury's flame doth burn;
It is in vain to stop the stream
Until the tide doth turn.
But when the flame is out,
And ebbing wrath doth end,
I turn a late enraged foe
Into a quiet friend.
And, taught with often proof,
A temper'd calm I find
To be most solace to itself,
Best cure for angry mind.
Spare diet is my fare,
My clothes more fit than fine;
I know I feed and clothe a foe,
That pamper'd would repine.
I envy not their hap
Whom favour doth advance;
I take no pleasure in their pain
That have less happy chance.
To rise by others' fall
I deem a losing gain;
All states with others' ruin built,
To ruin run amain.
No change of fortune's calm
Can cast my comforts down;
When fortune smiles, I smile to think
How quickly she will frown.
And when, in froward mood,
She prov'd an angry foe;
Small gain I found to let her come, -
Less loss to let her go.
Love's Servile Lot
LOVE, mistress is of many minds,
Yet few know whom they serve;
They reckon least how little Love
Their service doth deserve.
The will she robbeth from the wit,
The sense from reason's lore;
She is delightful in the rind,
Corrupted in the core.
She shroudeth vice in virtue's veil,
Pretending good in ill
She offereth joy, affordeth grief,
A kiss where she doth kill.
A honey-shower rains from her lips,
Sweet lights shine in her face;
She hath the blush of virgin mind,
The mind of viper's race.
She makes thee seek, yet fear to find
To find, but not enjoy:
In many frowns some gliding smiles
She yields to more annoy.
She woos thee to come near her fire,
Yet doth she draw it from thee;
Far off she makes thy heart to fry,
And yet to freeze within thee.
She letteth fall some luring baits
For fools to gather up;
Too sweet, too sour, to every taste
She tempereth her cup.
Soft souls she binds in tender twist,
Small flies in spinner's web;
She sets afloat some luring streams,
But makes them soon to ebb.
Her watery eyes have burning force;
Her floods and flames conspire:
Tears kindle sparks, sobs fuel are,
And sighs do blow her fire.
May never was the month of love,
For May is full of flowers;
But rather April, wet by kind,
For love is full of showers.
Like tyrant, cruel wounds she gives,
Like surgeon, salve she lends;
But salve and sore have equal force,
For death is both their ends.
With soothing words enthralled souls
She chains in servile bands;
Her eye in silence hath a speech
Which eye best understands.
Her little sweet hath many sours,
Short hap immortal harms;
Her loving looks are murd'ring darts,
Her song bewitching charms.
Like winter rose and summer ice,
Her joys are still untimely;
Before her Hope, behind Remorse:
Fair first, in fine unseemly.
Moods, passions, fancy's jealous fits
Attend upon her train:
She yieldeth rest without repose,
And heaven in hellish pain.
Her house is Sloth, her door Deceit,
And slippery Hope her stairs;
Unbashful Boldness bids her guests,
And every vice repairs.
Her diet is of such delights
As please till they be past;
But then the poison kills the heart
That did entice the taste.
Her sleep in sin doth end in wrath,
Remorse rings her awake;
Death calls her up, Shame drives her out,
Despairs her upshot make.
Plough not the seas, sow not the sands,
Leave off your idle pain;
Seek other mistress for your minds,
Love's service is in vain.