Why do I draw my breath, vain sighs to feed,
Since all my sighs be breathèd out in vain ?
Why be these eyes the conduits, whence proceed
These ceaseless tears, which, for your sake ! do rain ?
Why do I write my woes ! and writing, grieve
To think upon them, and their sweet contriver;
Begging some comfort, which might me relieve,
When the remembrance is my cares' reviver ?
Why do I sue to kiss, and kiss, to love;
And love, to be tormented; not beloved ?
Can neither sighs, nor tears, my sorrows move
By lines or words ? nor will they be removed ?
Then tire not, Tyrant ! but on mine heart tire !
That, unconsumed, I burn in my Desire.
When I was young, indued with Nature's graces,
I stole blind LOVE's strong bow and golden arrows
To shoot at redbreasts, goldfinches, and sparrows;
At shrewd girls; and at boys, in other places.
I shot when I was vexèd with disgraces.
I pierced no skin, but melted up their marrows.
How many boys and girls wished mine embraces !
How many praised my favour, 'bove all faces !
But once, PARTHENOPHE ! by thy sweet side sitting,
LOVE had espied me, in a place most fitting:
Betrayed by thine eyes' beams (which make blind see)
He shot at me; and said "for thine eyes' light,
This daring boy (that durst usurp my right)
Take him ! a wounded slave to LOVE and Thee !"
Nymphs, which in beauty mortal creatures stain,
And Satyrs, which none but fair Nymphs behold;
They, to the Nymphs; and Nymphs to them complain:
And each, in spite, my Mistress' beauty told.
Till soundly sleeping in a myrtle grove,
A wanton Satyr had espied hre there;
Who deeming she was dead, in all haste strove
To fetch the Nymphs; which in the forests were.
They flocking fast, in triumph of her death,
Lightly beheld: and, deeming she was dead,
Nymphs sang, and Satyrs dancèd out of breath.
Whilst Satyrs with the Nymphs La Voltas led;
My Mistress did awake ! Then they, which came
To scorn her beauty, ran away for shame !
The Dial ! love, which shows how my days spend.
The leaden Plummets sliding to the ground !
My thoughts, which to dark melancholy bend.
The rolling Wheels, which turn swift hours round !
Thine eyes, PARTHENOPHE ! my Fancy's guide.
The Watch continually which keeps his stroke !
By whose oft turning every hour doth slide,
Figure the sighs which from my liver smoke,
Whose oft invasions finish my life's date.
The Watchman, which, each quarter, strikes the bell !
The love, which doth each part exanimante'
And in each quarter strikes his forces fell.
That Hammer and great Bell, which end each hour,
Death, my life's victor, sent by thy love's power.
Thy beauty is the sun, which guides my day,
And with his beams to my world's life gives light;
With whose sweet favour all my fancies play,
And as birds singing still enchant my sight.
But when I seek to get my love's chief pleasure
Her frowns are like the night led by the Lamp
chaste desires; whilst without leisure,
Graces like stars through all her face encamp.
Then all my Fancy's birds lie whisht, for fear,
Soon as her frowns procure their shady sorrow,
Saving my heart, which secret shot doth bear,
And nature from the nightingale doth borrow,
Which from laments, because he will not rest,
Hath love's thorn-prickle pointed at his breast.
Fair CLYTIE doth flourish with the Spring;
And, eftsoons, withered like thy golden hair !
violets grow flourishing,
But soon defaced; which thine eyes semblance bear !
Anemone with hyacinth, Spring's pride,
(Like to thy beauty !) lose their lovely gloss:
So will thy cheeks, with graces beautified ,
Return to wrinkles, and to Nature's dross !
Roses, as from thy lips, sweet odours send,
Which herbs (in them whilst juice and virtues rest)
From some diseases' rigour life defend.
These (as thyself !) once withered, men detest !
Then love betimes ! These withered flowers of yore
Revive ! Thy beauty lost returns no more !
Ah me ! sweet beauty lost returns no more.
And how I fear mine heart fraught with disdain !
Despair of her disdain casts doubt before,
And makes me thus of mine heart's hope complain.
Ah me ! nor mine heart's hope, nor help. Despair !
Avoid my Fancy ! Fancy's utter bane !
My woes' chief worker ! Cause of all my care !
Avoid my thoughts ! that Hope may me restore
To mine heart's heaven, and happiness again !
Ah, wilt thou not ? but still depress my thought !
Ah, Mistress ! if thy beauty this hath wrought,
That proud disdainfulness shall in thee reign.
Yet think ! when in thy forehead wrinkles be,
Men will disdain thee then, as thou dost me.
Whilst some the Trojan wars in verse recount,
And all the Grecian conquerors in fight;
Some valiant Roman wars 'bove stars do mount,
With all their warlike leaders, men of might;
Whilst some of British ARTHUR's valour sing,
And register the praise of CHARLEMAGNE;
And some of doughty GODFREY tidings bring,
And some the German broils, and wars of Spain.
In none of those myself I wounded find,
Neither with horseman, nor with man on foot;
But from a clear bright eye, one Captain blind
(Whose puissance to resist did nothing boot)
With men in golden arms, and darts of gold,
Wounded my heart, and all which did behold !
To none but to PROMETHEUS me compare !
From sacred heaven he stole that holy fire.
I, from thine eyes, stole fire ! My judgements are
For to be bound with chains of strong desire,
To that hard rock of thy thrice cruel heart !
The ceaseless waves, which on the rocks do dash
Yet never pierce, but forcèd, backward start;
Those be these endless tears, my cheeks which wash !
The vulture, which is, by my goddess' doom,
Assigned to feed upon mine endless liver:
Despair, by thee procured ! which leaves no room
to jest with CUPID's
This swallows worlds of livers, spending few;
But not content - O god ! shall this be true ?
"Fie, fie, fierce Tyrant ! Quench this
furious rage !
O quench this rageous fury, little god !
Nay, mighty god ! my fury's heat assuage !
Nor are thine little darts, nor brittle rod !
Ah, that thou hadst a sweet recuring dart !
Or such a rod as into health might whip me !
With this, to level at my troubled heart;
To warn with scourge, that no bright eye might trip me !"
Vain words, which vanish with the clouds, why speak I !
How oft, enraged in hopeless passions, break I !
How oft, in false vain hope, and blank despair !
How oft left lifeless at thy cloudy frown !
How oft in passion mounted, and plucked down !
Soft, lovely rose-like lips, conjoined with
Breathing out precious incense such !
(Such as at Paphos smoke to VENUS' shrine)
Making my lips immortal with their touch !
My cheeks, with touch of thy soft cheeks, divine;
Thy soft warm cheeks, which VENUS favours much !
Those arms, such arms ! which me embraced,
Me, with immortal cincture girding round
Of everlasting bliss ! then bound
With her enfolded thighs in mine entangled;
And both in one self-soul placed,
Made a hermaphrodite, with pleasure ravished !
There, heat for heat's, soul for soul's empire wrangled
Why died not I, with love so largely lavished ?
For 'wake (not finding truth of dreams before)
It secret vexeth ten times more !
Ah, ten times more tormented than before !
Ten times more pity shouldst thou take of me !
I have endured, then, Sweet ! restore
That pleasure which procured this pain !
Thou scorn'st my lines ! (a Saint which make of thee !)
Where true desires of thine hard heart complain,
There thou, 'bove STELLA placed;
'Bove LAURA; with ten thousand more installed;
And now, proud, thinks me graced,
That am to thee (though merciless !) enthralled.
JOVE for EUROPA's love took shape of Bull;
And for CALISTO
And in a golden shower he fillèd full
The lap of DANAE,
with celestial art.
Would I were changed but to my Mistress' gloves,
That those white lovely fingers I might hide !
That I might kiss those hands, which mine heart loves !
Or else that chain of pearl (her neck's vain pride)
Made proud with her neck's veins, that I might fold
About that lovely neck, and her paps tickle !
Or her to compass like a belt of gold !
Or that sweet wine which down her throat doth trickle,
To kiss her lips and lie next at her heart,
Run through her veins, and pass by Pleasure's part !
If all the Loves were lost, and should be found;
And all the Graces' glories were decayed;
In thee the Graces' ornaments abound !
In me, the Loves, by thy sweet Graces laid !
And if the Muses had their voice foregone;
husband's forge had lost his fire,
The Muses' voice should, by thy voice, be known !
heat be found in thy Desire !
I will accuse thee to the gods, of theft !
eye, and VENUS'
forehead, which thou hast bereft !
Complain of me to CUPID ! Let him seek
In vain for me each where and in all parts,
For, 'gainst my will, I stole one of his darts.
O that I had no heart ! as I have none.
(For thou mine heart's full spirit hast possessed !)
Then should mine Argument be not of moan !
Then under Love's yoke should I not be pressed !
O that without mine eyes I had been born !
Then had I not my Mistress' beauty viewed !
Then had I never been so far forlorn !
Then had I never wept ! Then never rued !
O that I never had been born at all !
Or being, had been born of shepherd's brood !
Then should I not in such mischances fall !
Quiet, my water; and Content, my food !
But now disquieted, and still tormented,
With adverse fate, perforce, must rest contented !
Ah, sweet Content ! where is thy mild abode
Is it with Shepherds, and light-hearted Swains,
Which sing upon the downs, and pipe abroad,
Tending their flocks and cattle on the plains ?
Ah, sweet Content ! where dost thou safely rest !
In heaven with angels ? which the praises sing
Of Him that made, and rules at His behest,
The mind and heart of every living thing.
Ah, sweet Content ! where doth thine harbour hold ?
Is it in churches, with Religious Men,
Which please the gods with prayers manifold,
And in their studies meditate it then ?
Whether thou dost in heaven or earth appear,
Be where thou wilt ! thou wilt not harbour here !
If CUPID keep his quiver in thine eye,
And shoot at over-daring gazers hearts !
Alas, why be not men afraid ! and fly
As from MEDUSA's
doubting after smarts ?
Ah, when he draws his string, none sees his bow !
Nor hears his golden-feathered arrows sing !
Ay me ! till it be shot, no man doth know,
Until his heart be prickèd with the sting.
Like semblance bears the musket in the field:
It hits and kills unseen ! till, unawares,
To death the wounded man his body yield.
And thus a peasant, CAESAR's glory dares.
This difference left 'twixt MARS his field, and LOVE's:
That CUPID's soldier shot more torture proves.
Would GOD (when I beheld thy beauteous face
And golden tresses rich with pearl and stone) !
visage had appeared in place,
With snaky locks, looking on me alone !
Then had her dreadful charming looks me changed
Into a senseless stone. O, were I senseless !
Then rage, through rash regard, had never ranged:
Whereas to Love I stood disarmed and fenceless.
Yea, but that diverse object of thy face
In me contrarious operations wrought.
A moving spirit pricked with Beauty's grace.
No pity's grace in thee ! which I have sought:
Which makes me deem, thou did'st MEDUSA see !
And should thyself a moving marble be.
The leafless branches of the lifeless boughs
Carve Winter's outrage in their withered barks.
The withered wrinkles in my careful brows
Figure from whence they drew those crooked marks !
Down from the Thracian mountains, oaks of might
And lofty firs, into the valley fall:
Sure sign where BOREAS hath usurped his right;
And that, long there, no Sylvans dally shall.
Fields, with prodigious inundations drowned,
rage, with AMPHITRITE weep.
My looks and passions likewise show my wound,
And how some fair regard did strike it deep.
These branches, blasted trees, and fields so watered
For wrinkles, sighs, and tears, foreshow thine hatred.
What can these wrinkles and vain tears portend,
But thine hard favour and indurate heart ?
What show these signs, which from my soul I send,
But endless smoke, raised from a fiery smart ?
Canst thou not pity my deep wounded breast ?
Canst thou not frame those eyes to cast a smile ?
Wilt thou with no sweet sentence make me blest ?
To make amends, wilt thou not sport a while ?
Shall we not once, with our opposed ey'n,
In interchange, send golden darts rebated ?
With short reflexion, 'twixt thy brows and mine;
Whilst love with thee of my griefs hath debated ?
Those eyes of love were made for love to see !
And cast regard on others, not on me !
Those hairs of angel's gold, thy nature's treasure;
(For thou, by Nature, angel-like art framed !)
Those lovely brows, broad bridges of sweet pleasure,
Arch two clear springs of Graces gracious named;
There Graces infinite do bathe and sport !
Under, on both sides, those two precious hills,
have a several fort.
Her couch with snowy lilies PHBE fills,
with red roses hers adorneth;
There, they, with silent tokens do dispute,
Whilst PHBE, VENUS; VENUS, PHBE scorneth
And all the Graces, judgers, there sit mute
To give their verdict; till great JOVE said this,
"DIANA's arrows wound not like thy kiss !"
My Mistress' beauty matchèd with the
should be judgèd there:
Where She, with mask, had veiled the lovely places;
And Graces in like sort y-maskèd were.
But when their lovely beauties were disclosed,
"This Nymph," quoth JUNO, "all the Graces passeth!
For beauteous favours in her face disposed,
Love's goddess in love's graces she surpasseth !"
"She doth not pass the Graces !" PHBE said,
"Though in her cheeks the Graces richly sit;
For they be subjects to her beauty made.
The glory for this fair Nymph is most fit !
There, in her cheeks, the Graces blush for shame !
That in her cheeks to strive, the subjects came."
Why did rich Nature Graces grant to thee ?
Since thou art such a niggard of thy grace?
Or how can Graces in thy body be ?
Where neither they, nor pity find a place !
Ah, they be handmaids to thy beauty's fury !
Making thy face to tyrannize on men.
Condemned before thy beauty, by Love's jury;
And by thy frowns, adjudged to Sorrow's Den.
Grant me some grace ! for thou with grace art wealthy;
And kindly may'st afford some gracious thing.
Mine hopes all, as my mind, weak and unhealthy;
All her looks gracious, yet no grace do bring
To me poor wretch ! Yet be the Graces there !
But I, the Furies in my breast do bear !
Cease, over-tired Muses, to complain !
In vain thou pours out words ! in vain thy tears !
In vain thou writes thy verses ! all in vain !
For to the rocks and wall, which never hears,
Thou speaks ! and sends complaints, which find no grace !
But why compare I thee to rocks and walls ?
Yes, thou descends from stones and rocks by race !
But rocks will answer to the latter calls.
Yea, rocks will speak each sentence's last word,
And in each syllable of that word agree,
But thou nor last nor first will me afford !
Hath Pride, or Nature, bred this fault in thee ?
Nature and Pride have wrought in thee these evils,
For women are, by Nature, proud as devils !
Love is a name too lovely for the god !
He naked goes, red coloured in his skin,
And bare, all as a boy fit for a rod.
Hence into Afric ! There seek out thy kin
Amongst the Moors ! and swarthy men of Ind !
Me, thou of joys and and sweet content hast hindered !
Hast thou consumed me ! and art of my kind ?
Hast thou enraged me ! yet art of my kindred ?
Nay, Ismarus, or Rhodope thy father !
Or craggy Caucasus thy crabbèd sire !
Vesuvius else ? or was it Etna rather ?
For thou how many dost consume with fire !
Fierce tigers, wolves, and panthers gave thee suck !
For lovely VENUS had not such evil luck !
Be blind, mine eyes ! which saw that stormy
Wither, long-watering Lips ! which may not kiss.
Pine Arms ! which wished for sweet embraces miss,
And upright parts of pleasure, fall you down!
Waste, wanton tender Thighs ! Consume for this;
To her thigh-elms, that you were not made vines !
And my long pleasure in her body grafted.
But, at my pleasure, her sweet thought repines.
My heart, with her fair colours, should be wafted
Throughout this ocean of my deep despair:
Why do I longer live ? but me prepare
My life, together with my joys, to finish !
And, long ere this, had I died, with my care;
But hope of joys to come did all diminish.
How can I live in mind's or body's health,
When all four Elements my griefs conspire ?
Of all heart's joys depriving me, by stealth,
All yielding poisons to my long Desire.
The Fire, with heat's extremes mine heart enraging;
Water, in tears, from Despair's fountain flowing;
My soul in sighs, Air to Love's soul engaging;
My Fancy's coals, Earth's melancholy blowing.
Thus these, by Nature, made for my relief,
Through that bold charge of thine imperious eye !
Turn all their graces into bitter grief;
As I were dead, should any of them die !
And they, my body's substance, all be sick:
It follows then, I cannot long be quick !
The proudest planet in his highest sphere,
enthronist in thy frowning brows !
Next awful JOVE,
thy majesty doth bear !
And unto dreadful MARS thy courage bows !
Drawn from thy noble grandfathers of might,
Among the laurel-crowned Poets sweet,
And sweet Musicians, take thy place by right !
with thy graces thought it meet.
doth sit upon thy lips and chin !
hath enriched thy wits divine !
with chaste desires thine heart did win !
The Planets thus to thee their powers resign !
Whom Planets honour thus, is any such ?
My Muse, then, cannot honour her too much !
Covetous eyes ! What did you late behold ?
My rival gracèd with a sun-bright smile !
Where he, with secret signs, was sweetly told
Her thoughts; with winks, which all men might beguile !
Audacious did I see him kiss that hand
Which holds the reins of my unbridled heart !
And, softly wringing it, did closely stand
Courting with love terms, and in lover's art !
Next, (with his fingers kiss) he touched her middle !
Then, saucy, (with presumption uncontrolled)
To hers, from his eyes, sent regards by riddle !
At length he kissed her cheek ! Ah me ! So bold !
To bandy with belgards in interchange.
Blind mine eyes, Envy ! that they may not range !
Long-wished for Death ! sent by my Mistress'
Hold ! Take thy prisoner, full resolved to die !
But first as chief, and in the highest room,
My soul to heaven I do bequeath on high;
Now ready to be severed from thy Love !
My sighs, to air ! to crystal springs, my tears !
My sad complaints (which Thee could never move !)
To mountains desolate and deaf ! My fears
To lambs beset with lions ! My despair
To night, and irksome dungeons full of dread !
Then shalt Thou find (when I am past this care)
My torments, which thy cruelties have bred,
In heavens, clouds, springs, hard mountains, lambs, and
Here, once united; then, dissevered quite.
O kingly jealousy ! which canst admit
No thought of compeers in thine high Desire !
Love's bastard daughter, for true-loves unfit,
Scalding men's hearts with force of secret fire !
Thou poisoned canker of much beauteous love !
Fostered with envy's paps, with wrathful rage !
Thou (which dost still thine own destruction move)
With eagle's eyes, which secret watch doth wage !
With peacock's feet to steal in unawares !
wings, to false suspect which flies !
Which virtues hold in durance, rashly dares !
Provoker and maintainer of vain lies !
Who, with rich virtues and fair love possessed,
Causeless hast all to thine heart's hell addressed !
The chariot with the steed is drawn along;
Ships, winged with winds, swift hover on the waves;
The stubborn ploughs are hauled with oxen strong;
Hard adamant the strongest iron craves.
But I am with thy beauty strongly forced,
Which, full of courage, draws me like the steed;
Those winds, thy spirit, whence cannot be divorced,
My heart the ship, from danger never freed.
That strong conceit, on thy sweet beauty lade,
The strong-necked ox which draws my Fancy's plough;
Thine heart that adamant, whose force hath made
My strong desires stand subject unto you !
Would I were horse, ox, adamant, or wind !
Then had I never cared for womankind.
Dark night ! Black image of my foul despair
With grievous fancies cease to vex my soul !
With pain, sore smart, hot fires, cold fears, long care !
(Too much, alas, this ceaseless stone to roll).
My days be spent in penning thy sweet praises !
In pleading to thy beauty, never matched !
In looking on thy face, whose sight amazes
My sense; and thus my long days be despatched.
But Night (forth from the misty region rising)
Fancies, with Fear, and sad Despair doth send !
Mine heart with horror and vain thoughts agrising.
And thus the fearful tedious nights I spend !
Wishing the noon to me were silent night,
And shades nocturnal turnèd to daylight.
My sweet PARTHENOPHE ! within thy face,
My Passions' Calendar may plain be read !
The Golden Number told upon thine head !
The Sun days (which in card I holy place
And which divinely bless me with their grace)
Thy cheerful smiles, which can recall the dead !
My working days, thy frowns, from favours fled !
Which set a work the furies in my breast.
These days are six to one more than the rest.
My Leap Year is (O when is that Leap Year ?)
When all my cares I overleap, and feast
With her, fruition ! whom I hold most dear.
And if some Calendars the truth tell me,
Once in few years that happy Leap shall be !
From East's bed rosy, whence AURORA riseth
Be thy cheeks figured, which their beams display
In smiles ! whose sight mine heart with joy surpriseth;
And which my Fancy's flowers do fair array,
Cleared with the gracious dews of her regard.
The West, whence evening comes - her frowning brow,
Where Discontentment ploughs his furrows hard !
(There doth She bury her affections now !).
The North, whence storms with mist and frost proceed -
My black Despair ! long Sorrows ! cold Fear !
The South, whence showers in great abundance breed,
And where hot sun doth to meridian rear -
My Eyes, whose object nought but tears require !
And my soft Heart, consumed with rage of fire !
O fiery rage ! when wilt thou be consumed ?
Thou that hast me consumed in such sort
As never was, poor wretch ! (which so presumed)
But for surveying of that beauteous Fort !
Kept in continual durance, and enchained
With hot desires, which have my body pined;
My mind from pleasures and content restrained;
My thoughts to Care and Sorrow's ward assigned;
There, with continual melancholy placed,
In dismal horror, and continual fear,
I pass these irksome hours ! scorned and disgraced
Of her; whose cruelty no breast can bear !
No thought endure ! no tortures can outmatch !
Then burn on, rage of fire ! but me despatch !
Burn on, sweet fire ! For I live by that fuel,
Whose smoke is as an incense to my soul !
Each sigh prolongs my smart. Be fierce and cruel,
My fair PARTHENOPHE
! Frown and control !
Vex ! torture ! scald ! disgrace me ! Do thy will !
Stop up thine ears ! with flint immure thine heart !
And kill me with thy looks, if they would kill !
Thine eyes, (those crystal phials which impart
The perfect balm to my dead-wounded breast !)
Thine eyes, the quivers whence those darts were drawn
Which me to thy love's bondage have addresst.
Thy smile, and frown ! night star, and daylight's dawn !
Burn on ! Frown on ! Vex ! Stop thine ears ! Torment me
More, for thy beauty borne, would not repent me.
Within thine eyes mine heart takes all his
In which, still sleeping, all my sense is drowned.
The dreams, with which my senses are opprest,
Be thousand lovely fancies turning round
The restless wheel of my much busy brain.
The morning, which from resting doth awake me,
Thy beauty ! banished from my sight again,
When I to long melancholy betake me.
Then full of errors, all my dreams I find !
And in their kinds contrarious, till the day
(Which is her beauty) set on work my mind;
Which never will cease labour ! never stay !
And thus my pleasures are but dreams with me;
Whilst mine hot fevers pains quotidians be.
What be those hairs dyed like the marigold
ECHO, Gold !
What is that brow, whose frown make any moan
ECHO, Anemone !
What were her eyes, when the great lords controlled ?
ECHO, Rolled !
What be they, when from them be loves thrown ?
ECHO, LOVE's throne !
What were her cheeks (when blushes rose) like
ECHO, Rose-like !
What are those lips, which 'bove pearls rew be ?
ECHO, Ruby !
Her ivory shoulders, what be those like ?
ECHO, Those like !
What saints are like her ? speak, if you be !
ECHO, Few be !
Thou dwell'st in rocks, hart-like ! somewhat then ?
ECHO, What then ?
And rocks dwell in her heart ! is 'tis true ?
ECHO, Tis true !
Whom she loves best ? know this, cannot men !
ECHO, Not men !
Pass him, she loathes ! then I dismiss you !
ECHO, Miss you !
What sex, to whom men sue, so vain much ?
ECHO, Vain much !
Furies there fires, and I complain such ?
ECHO, Plain such !
My Mistress' Arms are these: fair, clear, and
Argent in midst, where is an Ogress set,
Within an azure ann'let placèd right.
The Crest, two golden bows, almost near met;
And by this Crest, her power abroad is known.
These Arms She beareth in the Field of Love,
By bloody colours, where LOVE's wrath is shown;
But in kind Passion, milder than the dove,
Her goodly silver ensign She displays,
Semi de roses: at whose lovely sight
All lovers are subdued; and, vanquished, praise
Those glorious colours, under which they fight.
I, by these Arms, her captive thrall was made !
And to those Colours, in that Field, betrayed !
These bitter gusts, which vex my troubled seas,
And move with force my sorrow's floods to flow;
My Fancy's ship tost here and there by these,
Still floats in danger, ranging to and fro.
How fears my thoughts' swift pinnace thy hard rock !
Thine heart's hard rock, least thou mine Heart (his pilot)
Together with himself, should rashly knock
And being quite dead-stricken, then should cry late,
"Ah me!" too late to thy remorseless self.
Now when thy mercies all been banishèd
And blown upon thine hard rock's ruthless shelf;
My soul in sighs is spent and vanishèd.
Be pitiful, alas ! and take remorse !
Thy beauty too much practiseth his force !
Wilt thou know wonders, by thy beauty wrought
Behold (not seen) an endless burning fire
Of Fancy's fuel ! kindled with a thought !
Without a flame, yet still inflamèd higher !
No flames' appearance, yet continual smoke !
Drawn cool, to kindle; breathed out hot again !
Two diamonds, which this secret fire provoke,
Making two crystals, with their heat, to rain !
A skin, where beauteous Graces rest at ease !
A tongue, whose sweetness mazes all the Muses !
And yet, a heart of marble matched with these !
A tongue, besides, which sweet replies refuses !
These wonders, by thy beauty wrought alone,
Through thy proud eye, which made thine heart a stone.
Begs LOVE ! which whilom was a deity ?
I list no such proud beggars at my gate !
For alms, he, 'mongst cold Arctic folk doth wait;
And sunburnt Moors, in contrariety:
Yet sweats, nor freezes more ! Then is it piety
To be remorseful at his bare estate !
His reach he racketh at a higher rate;
He joins with proudest in society !
His eyes are blind, forsooth ! and men must pity
A naked poor boy, which doth no man harm !
He is not blind ! Such beggar boys be witty !
For he marks, hits and wounds hearts with his arm;
Not coldest North can stop his naked race;
For where he comes, he warmeth every place !
Forth from mine eyes, with full tide, flows
And in thine eyes, two sparkling chrysolites.
Mine eye still covets to behold those lights;
Thine eye, still filled with arrows, is LOVE's Quiver !
Through mine eye, thine eyes fire inflames my liver;
Mine eyes in heart their clear fancies write;
Thus is thine eye to me my fancies giver !
Which from thine eyes to mine eyes take their flight.
Then pierce the secret centre of my heart
And feed my fancies with inflamèd fuel !
This only grieves ! Mine eyes had not that art
Thine to transpierce : thy nature was so cruel !
But eyes and fancies, in this, triumph make,
That they were blind and raging for her sake !
Thou bright beam-spreading LOVE's thrice happy star !
The Arcadian Shepherd's ASTROPHEL's clear guide !
Thou that on swift winged Pegasus dost ride,
harbinbger ! Surpassing far !
carried in her rosy car.
Bright planet ! Teller of clear evening-tide !
Star of all stars ! Fair favoured night's chief pride !
Which day from night; and night from day dost bar !
Thou that hast worlds of hearts, with thine eyes glance,
To thy love's pleasing bondage taken thrall !
Behold (where Graces, in love's circles dance !)
Of two clear stars, outsparkling Planets all !
For stars her beauty's arrow-bearers be !
Then be the subjects; and superior, She !
The sun in Pisces; VENUS did intend
To seek sick FLORA;
whose soil (since by Kind
to th'Antipodes his beams resigned)
No pleasant flowers to welcome her did send.
To whom, for need, PARTHENOPHE did lend,
At Nature's suit, rich Heliochrise, which shined
In her fair hair; white lilies which combined
With her high-smoothed brows, which bent, love bend.
Violets from eyes, sweet blushing eglantine
From her clear cheeks, and from her lips sweet roses.
Paradise was made divine
With such, as Nature in my Lady closes.
Then, since with her, LOVE's Queen was glorified !
Why was not my sweet Lady deified ?
O why should Envy with sweet Love consort ?
But that, with Love's excess, Seven Sins unite !
Pride, that in high respect of my delight,
I scorn all others ! Lust, that with disport
In thought of her, I sometimes take comfort !
Wrath, that with those in secret heart I fight,
Which smile on her ! and Envy, that I spite
Such meats and wines as to her lips resort
And touch that tongue, which I can never kiss !
Sloth, that secure in too much love I sleep;
And nuzzled so, am to be freed remiss !
And Covetous, I never mean can keep
In craving, wishing, and in working this;
Though still I kiss and touch, still touch and kiss !
The Sun my Lady's Beauty represents !
Whose fiery-pointed beams each creature heats:
Such force her grace, on whom it counterbeats,
Doth practice; which the patient still torments.
And to her virtues the bright Moon assents;
With whose pure Chastity my love she threats !
Whose thought itself in her cool circle seats.
And as the Moon, her bright habiliments
Of her bright brother PHOEBUS borroweth;
So from her beauty doth her chaste desire
Her brightness draw. For which, none dare aspire
To tempt so rare a beauty. Yet forgive !
He that, for thy sake ! so long sorroweth,
Cannot but longer love, if longer live !
This careful head, with divers thoughts distressed,
My Fancy's Chronicler ! my Sorrow's Muse !
These watchful eyes, whose heedless aim I curse,
Love's sentinels ! and Fountains of Unrest !
This tongue still trembling, Herald fit addressed
To my Love's grief ! (than any torment worse !)
This heart, true Fortress of my spotless love,
And rageous Furnace of my long desire !
Of these, by Nature, am I not possessed
(Though Nature their first means in me did move)
But thou, dear Sweet ! with thy love's holy fire,
My head Grief's Anvil made ! with cares oppressed;
Mine eyes, a Spring ! my tongue, a Leaf wind-shaken !
My heart, a wasteful Wilderness forsaken !
Pleading for pity to my Mistress' eyes;
Urging on duty favours as deserts;
Complaining mine hid flames, and secret smarts:
She, with disdainful grace, in jest replies,
"Her eyes were never made man's enemies !"
Then me with my conceit she overthwarts,
Urging my Fancy (which vain thoughts imparts)
To be the causer of mine injuries,
Saying "I am not vexed, as I complained !
How Melancholy bred this light conceit !"
Hard-hearted Mistress ! Canst thou think I feigned ?
That I, with fancies vain, vain woe repeat ?
Ah, no ! For though thine eyes none else offend,
Yet by thine "Eyes" and "Noes !" my
woes want end !
Had I been banished from the native soil,
Where, with my life, I first receivèd light !
For my first cradles, had my tomb been dight !
Or changed my pleasure for a ceaseless toil !
Had I, for nurse, been left to lion's spoil !
Had I, for freedom, dwelt in shady night,
Cooped up in loathsome dungeons from men's sight !
These first desires, which in my breast did boil,
From which thy loves (Unkind !) thou banishèd !
Had not been such an exile to my bliss.
If life, with my love's infancy were vanishèd ;
It had not been so sore a death as this,
If lionesses were, instead of nurses;
Or night for day ! Thine hate deserves more curses !
Vain gallants ! whose much longing spirits
Whose brains swell with abundance of much wit,
And would be touched fain with an amorous fit:
O lend your eyes, and bend your fancies fickle !
You, whom Affection's dart did never prickle !
You, which hold lovers fools; and argue it !
Gaze on my Sun ! and if tears do not trickle
From your much mastered eyes (where Fancies sit) :
Then Eagles ! will I term you, for your eyes;
But Bears ! or Tigers ! for your savage hearts !
But, if it chance, such fountains should arise,
And you made like partakers of my smarts;
Her, for her piercing eyes, an Eagle name !
But for her heart, a Tiger, never tame !
Nature's pride, Love's pearl, Virtue's perfection,
In sweetness, beauty, grace,
Of body, face, affection,
Hath glory, brightness, place
In rosy cheeks, clear eyes, and heavenly mind;
All which, with wonder, honour, praise, take race
To charm, to shine, to fly, with Fame's protection.
Mine heart the first, mine eyes next, third my thought
Did wound, did blind, did bind;
Which grieved, obscured and wrought
Heart, eyes, and senses with such imperfection,
That in their former comfort, sight, and kind
They moved, gazed and sought,
Yet found not, in what order, sort, and case
Of tears, plaints, sighs, with seas, with murmur, wind
To find, to get, to embrace,
Nature's pride, Love's pearl, Virtue's perfection.
Sleep PHBUS still, in glaucy THETIS' lap !
JOVE's eagle's piercing eyes, be blind !
Soft things, whose touch is tickle to the mind,
Give no like touch, all joys in one to wrap.
All instruments, all birds and voices
Make no such heavenly music in their kind.
No fruits have such sweet sap,
No root such juices'
No balm so much rejoices.
O breath, exceeding every rich perfume !
For love all pleasures in a Kiss did lap.
Her eyes did give bright glances.
Sight is no sight, all light with that consume.
She touched my cheek ! at which touch mine heart dances.
Mine eyes, in privy combat, did presume,
Charging my hands, to charge her middle;
Whilst they threw wounding darts, and healing lances.
She kissed, and spoke at once a riddle,
But such sweet meaning in dark sense,
As showed the drift of her dear sweet pretence,
More pleasing than the chord of harp or lute.
On heavenly cherries then I feed,
Whose sap deliciouser than angels' food,
Whose breath more sweet than gum, herb, flower, or bood.
O kiss ! that did all sense exceed !
No man can speak those joys ! Then, Muse, be mute !
But say ! for sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch,
In any one thing was there ever such ?
Envious air all Nature's public nurse,
Lend to my life no spirit !
Not that I prosper worse
Than erst of yore; for I the state inherit
Which gods in Paradise, 'bove man demerit:
But for I highly scorn
Thy common vapour should
With her sweet breath immix ! I cannot bear it !
Cold air's infusion cannot be foreborne ;
O kiss ! O soul, which could
All wailings have outworn !
Angel of Bliss ! which cheers me night and morn !
Sweet cloud ! which now with my soul dost enfold !
Salve to my Soul ! once sick.
Let men in Inde iborn
Cease boasting of rich drugs and sweet perfume !
Egyptian gums, and odours Arabic,
I loathe, and wood, dear sold,
From myrrh and cypress torn !
Tarry sweet kiss ! Do not in clouds consume !
Yet can I feel thy spirit moving quick.
O why should air presume
To be her spirit's rival ?
What do I speak ? Nor am I lunatic !
I cannot live; else would I not assume
Cold air, to contrive all
My sorrows, with immixion.
Then die ! whilst this sweet spirit thee doth prick !
Whilst thy sweet comfort's kisses are alive all !
And love's sweet jurisdiction
Will make thee die possessed
Of all heaven's joys; which, for most comfort, strive all !
Lest Death to Pleasure should give interdiction,
Ah let my lips be pressed !
And, with continual kisses,
Pour everlasting spirit to my life.
So shall I always live ! So still be blessed !
Kiss still ! and make no misses !
Double, redouble kisses !
Murmur affections ! War in pleasing strife !
Press lips ! Lips, rest oppressed !
This Passion is no fiction.
After AURORA's blush the sun arose
And spread his beams !
With whose clear gleams
My prickless rosebud veils his purple leaves !
In whose sweet folds Morning did pearls enclose,
Where sun his beams in orb-like circle weaves,
And then, t'enrich, stole those
Nature's beauty, PHBUS' virtue, Love's incense;
Whose favour, sap, and savour, my sense reaves.
My Muse had these for themes:
They, to my Muse; my Muse to them, defence.
oracles sends thence.
Thus, by my sun, a rose,
(Though a sweet rose prickless !)
Prickles arose; dear prickle !
Which me diseaseth much, though I be sickless.
Nought me of joy bereaves;
Save favour, sap, and favour, all be fickle.
Blush not for shame that thy sun spread his wings !
My soul in sunder cleaves !
blush the sun arose !
Thy love's conceits are wound about mine heart
Thy love itself within mine heart, a wound !
Thy torches all a row stick,
Which thy sweet grace about mine heart hath bound !
There, gleaming arrows stick in every part,
Which unto my marrow prick.
Thy beauty's fancy to mine heart is thrall;
Mine heart thy beauty's thrall is found !
And thou mine heart a Bulwark art !
Conquered by Beauty ! battered to the ground !
And yet though conquered will not yield at all.
For in that conflict, though I fall,
Yet I myself a conqueror repute
In fight continual, like victorious mart,
Yet ever yield, as ever overthrown.
To be still prisoner ! is my suit.
I will be, still, thy captive known !
Such pleasing servitude
Victorious Conquest is, and Fortitude !
My love, alas, is sick ! Fie, envious Sickness
That at her breast, (where rest all joys and ease),
Thou shouldst take such despite her to displease,
In whom all virtue's health has quickness !
Thou durst not come in living likeness !
For hadst thou come, thou couldst not her disease !
Her beauty would not let thee press !
Sweet graces, which continually attend her,
At her short breath, breathe short ! and sigh so deep
Which Sickness's sharp furies might appease:
Both Loves and Graces strive to mend her.
O never let me rest; but sigh and weep !
Never but weep and sigh ! "Sick is my Love;
And I love-sick ! Yet physic may befriend her !
But what shall my disease remove ?"
I slept, when (underneath a laurel shade,
My face upreared aloft unto the heaven)
Methought I heard this spoken in a sweaven,
"Nature on earth Love's miracle hath made !"
With this, methought, upon a bank was laid
An earthly body which was framed in heaven,
To whom, such graces (by the Graces given)
Sweet music in their several organs played.
In chief, the silent music of her eye
Softly recorded, with heaven's harmony,
Drew down URANIA from celestial sphere;
Who mazed at mazy turning of her ey'n,
(To make Divine perfection), glazèd there
Those eyes, with clearest substance crystalline.
When this celestial goddess had indued
Her eyes with spheric revolution
VESTA with the next gift ensued,
And lent to Nature that twice sacred fire,
To which, once, JAPHET's offspring did aspire.
Which made a dissolution
Of a strange ore, engendered by the sun,
In grace, and worth more pure than gold,
Which ('gainst the Cyprian triumphs should be done)
Gilded those wheels which CUPID's chariot rolled.
In centre of these stars of Love,
('Bove all conceits in man's capacity,)
An orient jet which did not move,
To CUPID's chariot wheel, made for the naffe,
Was fixed; which could, with mild rapacity,
Of lighter lovers draw the lighter chaff.
This shadow gives to clearer light,
In which, as in a mirrold, there was framed,
For those which love's conditions treat upon,
A glass, which should give semblance right
Of all their physiognomies impassionate.
Those hearts, which tyrant love doth beat upon,
May here behold what CUPID works !
Yielding in it that figure fashionate
Which in the jetty mirror lurks.
PHBUS, rich father of eternal light !
And in his hand, a wreath of Heliochrise
He brought, to beautify those tresses,
Whose train, whose softness, and whose gloss more bright,
APOLLO's locks did overprize.
Thus, with this garland, while her brows he blesses
The golden shadow, with his tincture,
Coloured her locks I gilded with the cincture.
Thus as She was, 'bove human glory graced,
The Saint, methought, departed;
And suddenly upon her feet she started.
JUNO beheld, and fain would have defaced
That female miracle ! proud Nature's wonder !
through heavens clear windows, should espy her;
And (for her beauty) JUNO's love neglect !
Down she descends; and as she walkèd by her,
A branch of Lilies JUNO tears in sunder.
Then, from her sphere, did VENUS down reflect,
Lest MARS, by chance, her beauty should affect.
And with a branch of Roses
She beat upon her face ! Then JUNO closes !
And with white lilies did her beauty chasten.
But lovely Graces, in memorial,
Let both the Rose and Lily's colour fall
Within her cheeks, which, to be foremost, hasten.
Whiles these two wrathful goddesses did rage,
The little god of might
(Such as might fitter seem with cranes to fight,
Than, with his bow, to vanquish gods and kings)
In a cherry tree sat smiling,
And lightly waving with his motley wings,
(Fair wings, in beauty boys and girls beguiling !)
And cherry garlands with his hands compiling.
Laughing he leapèd light
Unto the Nymph, to try which way best might
Her cheer; and, with a cherry branch, he bobbed !
But her soft lovely lips
The cherries of their ruddy ruby robbed !
Eftsoons he to his quiver skips
And brings those bottles whence his mother sips
Her Nectar of Delight;
Which in her bosom claimèd place by right.
I dare not speak of that thrice holy hill,
Which, spread with silver lilies lies;
Nor of those violets which void veins full fill,
Nor of that maze on love's hill-top;
These secrets must not be surveyed with eyes !
No creature may those flowers crop !
Nor bathe in that clear fountain,
Where none but PHBE with chaste virgins wash !
In bottom of that sacred mountain ---
But whither now ? Thy verses overlash !
When I wakèd out of dreaming,
Looking all about the garden,
Sweet PARTHENOPHE was walking:
O what fortune brought her hither!
She much fairer than that nymph
Which was beat with rose and lilies.
Her cheeks exceed the rose and lilies.
I was fortunate in dreaming
Of so beautiful a Nymph.
To this happy blessèd garden,
Come you Nymphs ! come, Fairies ! hither.
Wonder Nature's Wonder walking !
So she seemèd in her walking,
As she would make rose and lilies
Ever flourish. O, but hither
Hark ! (for I beheld it dreaming)
Lilies blushed within the garden,
Stained with beauties of that Nymph.
The Rose, for anger at that Nymph
Was pale ! and, as She went on walking,
When She gathered in the garden,
Tears came from the rose and lilies !
As they sighed, their breath, in dreaming,
I could well perceive hither.
When PARTHENOPHE came hither,
At the presence of that Nymph,
(That hill was heaven ! where I lay dreaming)
But when I had espied her walking,
And in her hand her rose and lilies
As sacrifice given by that garden;
(To Love stood sacred that fair garden !)
I dared the Nymphs to hasten hither,
Make homage to the rose and lilies !
Which are sacred to my Nymph.
Wonder, when you see her walking !
(Might I see her but in dreaming !)
Even the fancy of that Nymph
Would make me, night and day, come hither,
To sleep in this thrice happy garden.
Hold ! matchless Mirror of all Womankind !
These Pens and Sonnets, servants of thy praise !
Placed in a world of graces, which amaze
All young beholders, through Desire blind.
Thou, to whom conquered CUPID hath resigned
His bow and darts, during thy sunny days !
Through thine eyes' force enfeebled by the rays
Which wonderers, to their cost, in thine eyes find !
That there, with beauty's excellence unable
To write, or bear, my pens and books refuse;
Thine endless graces are so amiable !
Passing the spirit of mine humble Muse.
So that the more I write, more graces rise !
Which mine astonished Muse cannot comprise.
F I N I S .
Parthenophil and Parhtenophe continues with 21 Elegies, a canzon,
The First Eidillion of Moschus describing Love, Odes Pastoral ( a group
of Odes, Sestines and Canzones), and the book concludes with a final
group of six dedicatory sonnets to: Henry, Earl of Northumberland; Robert,
Earl of Essex; Henry, Earl of Southampton; Mary, Countess of Pembroke;
The Lady Strange; The Lady Bridget Manners. (A total of 78 pages in Lee's
At a later date these will be added to the Shakespeare's
sonnets web site.
File created: 30 December 2000; Completed: 2 January