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William Shakespeare, The Poems and Glossary (Oxford ed.) [1916]

Edition used:

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (London: Oxford University Press, 1916).

About this title:

This section contains Shakespeare’s major poems such as Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, A Lover’s Complaint, The Passionate Pilgrim, and the Phoenix and the Turtle, as well as the Sonnets.

PRINTED IN ENGLAND AT THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

POEMS

VENUS AND ADONIS

‘Vilia miretur vulgus; mihi flavus Apollo Pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua.’

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLY,

EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TICHFIELD.

Right Honourable,

I know not how I shall offend in dedicating my unpolished lines to your lordship, nor how the world will censure me for choosing so strong a prop to support so weak a burden: only, if your honour seem but pleased, I account myself highly praised, and vow to take advantage of all idle hours, till I have honoured you with some graver labour. But if the first heir of my invention prove deformed, I shall be sorry it had so noble a godfather, and never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest. I leave it to your honourable survey, and your honour to your heart’s content; which I wish may always answer your own wish and the world’s hopeful expectation.

Your honour’s in all duty,

William Shakespeare.

THE RAPE OF LUCRECE

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY WRIOTHESLY

EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON AND BARON OF TICHFIELD.

The love I dedicate to your lordship is without end; whereof this pamphlet, without beginning, is but a superfluous moiety. The warrant I have of your honourable disposition, not the worth of my untutored lines, makes it assured of acceptance. What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have, devoted yours. Were my worth greater, my duty would show greater; meantime, as it is, it is bound to your lordship, to whom I wish long life, still lengthened with happiness.

Your lordship’s in all duty,

William Shakespeare.

THE ARGUMENT.

Lucius Tarquinius,—for his excessive pride surnamed Superbus,—after he had caused his own father-in-law, Servius Tullius, to be cruelly murdered, and contrary to the Roman laws and customs, not requiring or staying for the people’s suffrages, had possessed himself of the kingdom, went, accompanied with his sons and other noblemen of Rome, to besiege Ardea. During which siege the principal men of the army meeting one evening at the tent of Sextus Tarquinius, the king’s son, in their discourses after supper, every one commended the virtues of his own wife: among whom Collatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife Lucretia. In that pleasant humour they all posted to Rome; and intending, by their secret and sudden arrival, to make trial of that which every one had before avouched, only Collatinus finds his wife—though it were late in the night—spinning amongst her maids: the other ladies were all found dancing and revelling, or in several disports. Whereupon the noblemen yielded Collatinus the victory, and his wife the fame. At that time Sextus Tarquinius, being inflamed with Lucrece’ beauty, yet smothering his passions for the present, departed with the rest back to the camp; from whence he shortly after privily withdrew himself, and was, according to his estate, royally entertained and lodged by Lucrece at Collatium. The same night he treacherously stealeth into her chamber, violently ravished her, and early in the morning speedeth away. Lucrece, in this lamentable plight, hastily dispatcheth messengers, one to Rome for her father, and another to the camp for Collatine. They came, the one accompanied with Junius Brutus, the other with Publius Valerius; and finding Lucrece attired in mourning habit, demanded the cause of her sorrow. She, first taking an oath of them for her revenge, revealed the actor, and the whole manner of his dealing, and withal suddenly stabbed herself. Which done, with one consent they all vowed to root out the whole hated family of the Tarquins; and, bearing the dead body to Rome, Brutus acquainted the people with the doer and manner of the vile deed, with a bitter invective against the tyranny of the king: wherewith the people were so moved, that with one consent and a general acclamation the Tarquins were all exiled, and the state government changed from kings to consuls.

Ann Hathawy’s Cottage by W.W. Quatremain.

SONNETS

to the onlie · begetter · of · these · insuing · sonnets,Mr.w. h., all happinesse and that · eternitie promised · by · our ever-living poet · wisheth · the well-wishing · adventurer in setting · forth.

T. T.

A LOVER’S COMPLAINT

    • From off a hill whose concave womb re-worded
    • A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
    • My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
    • And down I laid to list the sad-tun’d tale;4
    • Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale,
    • Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
    • Storming her world with sorrow’s wind and rain.
    • Upon her head a platted hive of straw,8
    • Which fortified her visage from the sun,
    • Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
    • The carcass of a beauty spent and done:
    • Time had not scythed all that youth begun,12
    • Nor youth all quit; but, spite of heaven’s fell rage,
    • Some beauty peep’d through lattice of sear’d age.
    • Oft did she heave her napkin to her eyne,
    • Which on it had conceited characters,16
    • Laundering the silken figures in the brine
    • That season’d woe had pelleted in tears,
    • And often reading what content it bears;
    • As often shrieking undistinguish’d woe20
    • In clamours of all size, both high and low.
    • Sometimes her levell’d eyes their carriage ride,
    • As they did battery to the spheres intend;
    • Sometime diverted, their poor balls are tied24
    • To the orbed earth; sometimes they do extend
    • Their view right on; anon their gazes lend
    • To every place at once, and nowhere fix’d,
    • The mind and sight distractedly commix’d.28
    • Her hair, nor loose nor tied in formal plat,
    • Proclaim’d in her a careless hand of pride;
    • For some, untuck’d, descended her sheav’d hat,
    • Hanging her pale and pined cheek beside;32
    • Some in her threaden fillet still did bide,
    • And true to bondage would not break from thence
    • Though slackly braided in loose negligence.
    • A thousand favours from a maund she drew36
    • Of amber, crystal, and of beaded jet,
    • Which one by one she in a river threw,
    • Upon whose weeping margent she was set;
    • Like usury, applying wet to wet,40
    • Or monarch’s hands that let not bounty fall
    • Where want cries some, but where excess begs all.
    • Of folded schedules had she many a one,
    • Which she perus’d, sigh’d, tore, and gave the flood;44
    • Crack’d many a ring of posied gold and bone,
    • Bidding them find their sepulchres in mud;
    • Found yet more letters sadly penn’d in blood,
    • With sleided silk feat and affectedly48
    • Enswath’d, and seal’d to curious secrecy.
    • These often bath’d she in her fluxive eyes,
    • And often kiss’d, and often ’gan to tear;
    • Cried ‘O false blood! thou register of lies,52
    • What unapproved witness dost thou bear;
    • Ink would have seem’d more black and damned here.’
    • This said, in top of rage the lines she rents,
    • Big discontent so breaking their contents.56
    • A reverend man that graz’d his cattle nigh—
    • Sometime a blusterer, that the ruffle knew
    • Of court, of city, and had let go by
    • The swiftest hours, observed as they flew—60
    • Towards this afflicted fancy fastly drew;
    • And, privileg’d by age, desires to know
    • In brief the grounds and motives of her woe.
    • So slides he down upon his grained bat,64
    • And comely-distant sits he by her side;
    • When he again desires her, being sat,
    • Her grievance with his hearing to divide:
    • If that from him there may be aught applied68
    • Which may her suffering ecstasy assuage,
    • ’Tis promis’d in the charity of age.
    • ‘Father,’ she says, ‘though in me you behold
    • The injury of many a blasting hour,72
    • Let it not tell your judgment I am old;
    • Not age, but sorrow, over me hath power:
    • I might as yet have been a spreading flower,
    • Fresh to myself, if I had self-applied76
    • Love to myself and to no love beside.
    • ‘But woe is me! too early I attended
    • A youthful suit, it was to gain my grace,
    • Of one by nature’s outwards so commended,80
    • That maidens’ eyes stuck over all his face.
    • Love lack’d a dwelling, and made him her place;
    • And when in his fair parts she did abide,
    • She was new lodg’d and newly deified.84
    • ‘His browny locks did hang in crooked curls,
    • And every light occasion of the wind
    • Upon his lips their silken parcels hurls.
    • What’s sweet to do, to do will aptly find:88
    • Each eye that saw him did enchant the mind,
    • For on his visage was in little drawn
    • What largeness thinks in Paradise was sawn.
    • ‘Small show of man was yet upon his chin;92
    • His phœnix down began but to appear
    • Like unshorn velvet on that termless skin
    • Whose bare out-bragg’d the web it seem’d to wear;
    • Yet show’d his visage by that cost more dear,96
    • And nice affections wavering stood in doubt
    • If best were as it was, or best without.
    • ‘His qualities were beauteous as his form,
    • For maiden-tongu’d he was, and thereof free;100
    • Yet, if men mov’d him, was he such a storm
    • As oft ’twixt May and April is to see,
    • When winds breathe sweet, unruly though they be.
    • His rudeness so with his authoriz’d youth104
    • Did livery falseness in a pride of truth.
    • ‘Well could he ride, and often men would say
    • “That horse his mettle from his rider takes:
    • Proud of subjection, noble by the sway,108
    • What rounds, what bounds, what course, what stop he makes!”
    • And controversy hence a question takes,
    • Whether the horse by him became his deed,
    • Or he his manage by the well-doing steed.112
    • ‘But quickly on this side the verdict went:
    • His real habitude gave life and grace
    • To appertainings and to ornament,
    • Accomplish’d in himself, not in his case:116
    • All aids, themselves made fairer by their place,
    • Came for additions; yet their purpos’d trim
    • Piec’d not his grace, but were all grac’d by him.
    • ‘So on the tip of his subduing tongue120
    • All kind of arguments and question deep,
    • All replication prompt, and reason strong,
    • For his advantage still did wake and sleep:
    • To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep,
    • He had the dialect and different skill,125
    • Catching all passions in his craft of will:
    • ‘That he did in the general bosom reign
    • Of young, of old; and sexes both enchanted,128
    • To dwell with him in thoughts, or to remain
    • In personal duty, following where he haunted:
    • Consents bewitch’d, ere he desire, have granted;
    • And dialogu’d for him what he would say,132
    • Ask’d their own wills, and made their wills obey.
    • ‘Many there were that did his picture get,
    • To serve their eyes, and in it put their mind;
    • Like fools that in the imagination set136
    • The goodly objects which abroad they find
    • Of lands and mansions, theirs in thought assign’d;
    • And labouring in more pleasures to bestow them
    • Than the true gouty landlord which doth owe them.140
    • ‘So many have, that never touch’d his hand,
    • Sweetly suppos’d them mistress of his heart.
    • My woeful self, that did in freedom stand,
    • And was my own fee-simple, not in part,144
    • What with his art in youth, and youth in art,
    • Threw my affections in his charmed power,
    • Reserv’d the stalk and gave him all my flower.
    • ‘Yet did I not, as some my equals did,148
    • Demand of him, nor being desired yielded;
    • Finding myself in honour so forbid,
    • With safest distance I mine honour shielded.
    • Experience for me many bulwarks builded152
    • Of proofs new-bleeding, which remain’d the foil
    • Of this false jewel, and his amorous spoil.
    • ‘But, ah! who ever shunn’d by precedent
    • The destin’d ill she must herself assay?156
    • Or forc’d examples, ’gainst her own content,
    • To put the by-pass’d perils in her way?
    • Counsel may stop awhile what will not stay;
    • For when we rage, advice is often seen160
    • By blunting us to make our wits more keen.
    • ‘Nor gives it satisfaction to our blood,
    • That we must curb it upon others’ proof;
    • To be forbid the sweets that seem so good,164
    • For fear of harms that preach in our behoof.
    • O appetite! from judgment stand aloof;
    • The one a palate hath that needs will taste,167
    • Though Reason weep, and cry “It is thy last.”
    • ‘For further I could say “This man’s untrue,”
    • And knew the patterns of his foul beguiling;
    • Heard where his plants in others’ orchards grew,
    • Saw how deceits were gilded in his smiling;172
    • Knew vows were ever brokers to defiling;
    • Thought characters and words merely but art,
    • And bastards of his foul adulterate heart.
    • ‘And long upon these terms I held my city,176
    • Till thus he ’gan besiege me: “Gentle maid,
    • Have of my suffering youth some feeling pity,
    • And be not of my holy vows afraid:
    • That’s to ye sworn to none was ever said;180
    • For feasts of love I have been call’d unto,
    • Till now did ne’er invite, nor never woo.
    • ‘ “All my offences that abroad you see
    • Are errors of the blood, none of the mind;184
    • Love made them not: with acture they may be,
    • Where neither party is nor true nor kind:
    • They sought their shame that so their shame did find,
    • And so much less of shame in me remains,188
    • By how much of me their reproach contains.
    • ‘ “Among the many that mine eyes have seen,
    • Not one whose flame my heart so much as warm’d,
    • Or my affection put to the smallest teen,192
    • Or any of my leisures ever charm’d:
    • Harm have I done to them, but ne’er was harm’d;
    • Kept hearts in liveries, but mine own was free,
    • And reign’d, commanding in his monarchy.196
    • ‘ “Look here, what tributes wounded fancies sent me,
    • Of paled pearls and rubies red as blood;
    • Figuring that they their passions likewise lent me
    • Of grief and blushes, aptly understood200
    • In bloodless white and the encrimson’d mood;
    • Effects of terror and dear modesty,
    • Encamp’d in hearts, but fighting outwardly.
    • ‘ “And, lo! behold these talents of their hair,
    • With twisted metal amorously impleach’d,205
    • I have receiv’d from many a several fair,
    • Their kind acceptance weepingly beseech’d,
    • With the annexions of fair gems enrich’d,208
    • And deep-brain’d sonnets, that did amplify
    • Each stone’s dear nature, worth, and quality.
    • ‘ “The diamond; why, ’twas beautiful and hard,
    • Whereto his invis’d properties did tend;212
    • The deep-green emerald, in whose fresh regard
    • Weak sights their sickly radiance do amend;
    • The heaven-hu’d sapphire and the opal blend
    • With objects manifold: each several stone,216
    • With wit well blazon’d, smil’d or made some moan.
    • ‘ “Lo! all these trophies of affections hot,
    • Of pensiv’d and subdu’d desires the tender,219
    • Nature hath charg’d me that I hoard them not,
    • But yield them up where I myself must render,
    • That is, to you, my origin and ender;
    • For these, of force, must your oblations be,
    • Since I their altar, you enpatron me.224
    • ‘ “O! then, advance of yours that phraseless hand,
    • Whose white weighs down the airy scale of praise;
    • Take all these similes to your own command,
    • Hallow’d with sighs that burning lungs did raise;228
    • What me your minister, for you obeys,
    • Works under you; and to your audit comes
    • Their distract parcels in combined sums.
    • ‘ “Lo! this device was sent me from a nun,232
    • Or sister sanctified, of holiest note;
    • Which late her noble suit in court did shun,
    • Whose rarest havings made the blossoms dote;
    • For she was sought by spirits of richest coat,236
    • But kept cold distance, and did thence remove,
    • To spend her living in eternal love.
    • ‘ “But, O my sweet! what labour is ’t to leave
    • The thing we have not, mastering what not strives,240
    • Paling the place which did no form receive,
    • Playing patient sports in unconstrained gyves?
    • She that her fame so to herself contrives,
    • The scars of battle ’scapeth by the flight,244
    • And makes her absence valiant, not her might.
    • ‘ “O! pardon me, in that my boast is true;
    • The accident which brought me to her eye
    • Upon the moment did her force subdue,248
    • And now she would the caged cloister fly;
    • Religious love put out Religion’s eye:
    • Not to be tempted, would she be immur’d,
    • And now, to tempt, all liberty procur’d.252
    • ‘ “How mighty then you are, O! hear me tell:
    • The broken bosoms that to me belong
    • Have emptied all their fountains in my well,
    • And mine I pour your ocean all among:256
    • I strong o’er them, and you o’er me being strong,
    • Must for your victory us all congest,
    • As compound love to physic your cold breast.
    • ‘ “My parts had power to charm a sacred nun,
    • Who, disciplin’d, ay, dieted in grace,261
    • Believ’d her eyes when they to assail begun,
    • All vows and consecrations giving place.
    • O most potential love! vow, bond, nor space,
    • In thee hath neither sting, knot, nor confine,
    • For thou art all, and all things else are thine.
    • ‘ “When thou impressest, what are precepts worth
    • Of stale example? When thou wilt inflame,268
    • How coldly those impediments stand forth
    • Of wealth, of filial fear, law, kindred, fame!
    • Love’s arms are peace, ’gainst rule, ’gainst sense, ’gainst shame,
    • And sweetens, in the suffering pangs it bears,
    • The aloes of all forces, shocks, and fears.273
    • ‘ “Now all these hearts that do on mine depend,
    • Feeling it break, with bleeding groans they pine;
    • And supplicant their sighs to you extend,276
    • To leave the battery that you make ’gainst mine,
    • Lending soft audience to my sweet design,
    • And credent soul to that strong-bonded oath
    • That shall prefer and undertake my troth.”280
    • ‘This said, his watery eyes he did dismount,
    • Whose sights till then were levell’d on my face;
    • Each cheek a river running from a fount283
    • With brinish current downward flow’d apace.
    • O! how the channel to the stream gave grace;
    • Who glaz’d with crystal gate the glowing roses
    • That flame through water which their hue encloses.
    • ‘O father! what a hell of witchcraft lies288
    • In the small orb of one particular tear,
    • But with the inundation of the eyes
    • What rocky heart to water will not wear?
    • What breast so cold that is not warmed here?
    • O cleft effect! cold modesty, hot wrath,293
    • Both fire from hence and chill extincture hath.
    • ‘For, lo! his passion, but an art of craft,
    • Even there resolv’d my reason into tears;296
    • There my white stole of chastity I daff’d,
    • Shook off my sober guards and civil fears;
    • Appear to him, as he to me appears,
    • All melting; though our drops this difference bore,300
    • His poison’d me, and mine did him restore.
    • ‘In him a plenitude of subtle matter,
    • Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives,
    • Of burning blushes, or of weeping water,304
    • Or swounding paleness; and he takes and leaves,
    • In either’s aptness, as it best deceives,
    • To blush at speeches rank, to weep at woes,
    • Or to turn white and swound at tragic shows:
    • ‘That not a heart which in his level came309
    • Could ’scape the hail of his all-hurting aim,
    • Showing fair nature is both kind and tame;
    • And, veil’d in them, did win whom he would maim:312
    • Against the thing he sought he would exclaim;
    • When he most burn’d in heart-wish’d luxury,
    • He preach’d pure maid, and prais’d cold chastity.
    • ‘Thus merely with the garment of a Grace316
    • The naked and concealed fiend he cover’d;
    • That the unexperient gave the tempter place,
    • Which like a cherubin above them hover’d.
    • Who, young and simple, would not be so lover’d?320
    • Ay me! I fell; and yet do question make
    • What I should do again for such a sake.
    • ‘O! that infected moisture of his eye,
    • O! that false fire which in his cheek so glow’d,
    • O! that forc’d thunder from his heart did fly,
    • O! that sad breath his spongy lungs bestow’d,
    • O! all that borrow’d motion seeming ow’d,
    • Would yet again betray the fore-betray’d,328
    • And new pervert a reconciled maid.’

THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM

    • I.

    • When my love swears that she is made of truth,
    • I do believe her, though I know she lies,
    • That she might think me some untutor’d youth,
    • Unskilful in the world’s false forgeries.
    • Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
    • Although I know my years be past the best,6
    • I smiling credit her false-speaking tongue,
    • Outfacing faults in love with love’s ill rest.
    • But wherefore says my love that she is young?
    • And wherefore say not I that I am old?
    • O! love’s best habit is a soothing tongue,
    • And age, in love, loves not to have years told.12
    • Therefore I’ll lie with love, and love with me,
    • Since that our faults in love thus smother’d be.
    • II.

    • Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
    • Which like two spirits do suggest me still;
    • The better angel is a man, right fair,
    • The worser spirit a woman, colour’d ill.
    • To win me soon to hell, my female evil
    • Tempteth my better angel from my side,6
    • And would corrupt a saint to be a devil,
    • Wooing his purity with her fair pride:
    • And whether that my angel be turn’d fiend
    • Suspect I may, but not directly tell;
    • For being both to me, both to each friend,
    • I guess one angel in another’s hell.12
    • The truth I shall not know, but live in doubt,
    • Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
    • III.

    • Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
    • ’Gainst whom the world could not hold argument,
    • Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
    • Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
    • A woman I forswore; but I will prove,
    • Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:6
    • My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
    • Thy grace being gain’d cures all disgrace in me.
    • My vow was breath, and breath a vapour is;
    • Then thou, fair sun, that on this earth dost shine,
    • Exhale this vapour vow; in thee it is:
    • If broken, then it is no fault of mine.12
    • If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
    • To break an oath, to win a paradise?
    • IV.

    • Sweet Cytherea, sitting by a brook
    • With young Adonis, lovely, fresh, and green,
    • Did court the lad with many a lovely look,
    • Such looks as none could look but beauty’s queen.
    • She told him stories to delight his ear;
    • She show’d him favours to allure his eye;6
    • To win his heart, she touch’d him here and there,—
    • Touches so soft still conquer chastity.
    • But whether unripe years did want conceit,
    • Or he refus’d to take her figur’d proffer,
    • The tender nibbler would not touch the bait,
    • But smile and jest at every gentle offer:12
    • Then fell she on her back, fair queen, and toward:
    • He rose and ran away; ah! fool too froward.
    • V.

    • If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love?
    • O! never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow’d:
    • Though to myself forsworn, to thee I’ll constant prove;
    • Those thoughts, to me like oaks, to thee like osiers bow’d.
    • Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes,
    • Where all those pleasures live that art can comprehend.6
    • If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice;
    • Well learned is that tongue that well can thee commend;
    • All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder;
    • Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire:
    • Thine eye Jove’s lightning seems, thy voice his dreadful thunder,
    • Which, not to anger bent, is music and sweet fire,12
    • Celestial as thou art, O! do not love that wrong,
    • To sing heaven’s praise with such an earthly tongue.
    • VI.

    • Scarce had the sun dried up the dewy morn,
    • And scarce the herd gone to the hedge for shade,
    • When Cytherea, all in love forlorn,
    • A longing tarriance for Adonis made
    • Under an osier growing by a brook,
    • A brook where Adon us’d to cool his spleen:6
    • Hot was the day; she hotter that did look
    • For his approach, that often there had been.
    • Anon he comes, and throws his mantle by,
    • And stood stark naked on the brook’s green brim:
    • The sun look’d on the world with glorious eye,
    • Yet not so wistly as this queen on him:12
    • He, spying her, bounc’d in, whereas he stood:
    • ‘O Jove,’ quoth she, ‘why was not I a flood!’
    • VII.

    • Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle;
    • Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty;
    • Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle;
    • Softer than wax, and yet, as iron, rusty:
    • A lily pale, with damask dye to grace her,
    • None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.6
    • Her lips to mine how often hath she join’d,
    • Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing!
    • How many tales to please me hath she coin’d,
    • Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing!
    • Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings,
    • Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings.12
    • She burn’d with love, as straw with fire flameth;
    • She burn’d out love, as soon as straw outburneth;
    • She fram’d the love, and yet she foil’d the framing;
    • She bade love last, and yet she fell a-turning.
    • Was this a lover, or a lecher whether?17
    • Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.
    • VIII.

    • If music and sweet poetry agree,
    • As they must needs, the sister and the brother,
    • Then must the love be great ’twixt thee and me,
    • Because thou lov’st the one, and I the other.
    • Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch
    • Upon the lute doth ravish human sense;6
    • Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such
    • As, passing all conceit, needs no defence.
    • Thou lov’st to hear the sweet melodious sound
    • That Phœbus’ lute, the queen of music, makes;
    • And I in deep delight am chiefly drown’d
    • Whenas himself to singing he betakes.12
    • One god is god of both, as poets feign;
    • One knight loves both, and both in thee remain.
    • IX.

    • Fair was the morn when the fair queen of love,
    • * * * * * * *
    • Paler for sorrow than her milk-white dove,
    • For Adon’s sake, a youngster proud and wild;
    • Her stand she takes upon a steep-up hill:
    • Anon Adonis comes with horn and hounds;6
    • She, silly queen, with more than love’s good will,
    • Forbade the boy he should not pass those grounds:
    • ‘Once,’ quoth she, ‘did I see a fair sweet youth
    • Here in these brakes deep-wounded with a boar,
    • Deep in the thigh, a spectacle of ruth!11
    • See, in my thigh,’ quoth she, ‘here was the sore.
    • She showed hers; he saw more wounds than one,
    • And blushing fled, and left her all alone.
    • X.

    • Sweet rose, fair flower, untimely pluck’d, soon vaded,
    • Pluck’d in the bud, and vaded in the spring!
    • Bright orient pearl, alack! too timely shaded;
    • Fair creature, kill’d too soon by death’s sharp sting!
    • Like a green plum that hangs upon a tree,
    • And falls, through wind, before the fall should be.6
    • I weep for thee, and yet no cause I have;
    • For why thou left’st me nothing in thy will:
    • And yet thou left’st me more than I did crave;
    • For why I craved nothing of thee still:
    • O yes, dear friend, I pardon crave of thee,
    • Thy discontent thou didst bequeath to me.12
    • XI.

    • Venus, with young Adonis sitting by her
    • Under a myrtle shade, began to woo him:
    • She told the youngling how god Mars did try her,
    • And as he fell to her, so fell she to him.
    • ‘Even thus,’ quoth she, ‘the war-like god embrac’d me,’
    • And then she clipp’d Adonis in her arms;6
    • ‘Even thus,’ quoth she, ‘the war-like god unlac’d me,’
    • As if the boy should use like loving charms.
    • ‘Even thus,’ quoth she, ‘he seized on my lips,’
    • And with her lips on his did act the seizure;
    • And as she fetched breath, away he skips,
    • And would not take her meaning nor her pleasure.12
    • Ah! that I had my lady at this bay,
    • To kiss and clip me till I ran away.
    • XII.

    • Crabbed age and youth cannot live together:
    • Youth is full of pleasure, age is full of care;
    • Youth like summer morn, age like winter weather;
    • Youth like summer brave, age like winter bare.
    • Youth is full of sport, age’s breath is short;
    • Youth is nimble, age is lame;6
    • Youth is hot and bold, age is weak and cold;
    • Youth is wild, and age is tame.
    • Age, I do abhor thee, youth, I do adore thee;
    • O! my love, my love is young:
    • Age, I do defy thee: O! sweet shepherd, hie thee,
    • For methinks thou stay’st too long.12
    • XIII.

    • Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good;
    • A shining gloss that vadeth suddenly;
    • A flower that dies when first it ’gins to bud;
    • A brittle glass that’s broken presently:
    • A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,
    • Lost, vaded, broken, dead within an hour.6
    • And as goods lost are seld or never found,
    • As vaded gloss no rubbing will refresh,
    • As flowers dead lie wither’d on the ground,
    • As broken glass no cement can redress,
    • So beauty blemish’d once ’s for ever lost,
    • In spite of physic, painting, pain, and cost.12
    • XIV.

    • Good night, good rest. Ah! neither be my share:
    • She bade good night that kept my rest away;
    • And daff’d me to a cabin hang’d with care,
    • To descant on the doubts of my decay.
    • ‘Farewell,’ quoth she, ‘and come again to-morrow:’
    • Fare well I could not, for I supp’d with sorrow.6
    • Yet at my parting sweetly did she smile,
    • In scorn of friendship, nill I construe whether:
    • ’T may be, she joy’d to jest at my exile,
    • ’T may be, again to make me wander thither:
    • ‘Wander,’ a word for shadows like myself,11
    • As take the pain, but cannot pluck the pelf.
    • Lord! how mine eyes throw gazes to the east;
    • My heart doth charge the watch; the morning rise
    • Doth cite each moving sense from idle rest.
    • Not daring trust the office of mine eyes,
    • While Philomela sits and sings, I sit and mark,
    • And wish her lays were tuned like the lark;18
    • For she doth welcome daylight with her ditty,
    • And drives away dark dismal-dreaming night:
    • The night so pack’d, I post unto my pretty;
    • Heart hath his hope, and eyes their wished sight;
    • Sorrow chang’d to solace, solace mix’d with sorrow;
    • For why, she sigh’d and bade me come to-morrow.24
    • Were I with her, the night would post too soon;
    • But now are minutes added to the hours;
    • To spite me now, each minute seems a moon;
    • Yet not for me, shine sun to succour flowers!
    • Pack night, peep day; good day, of night now borrow:
    • Short, night, to-night, and length thyself to-morrow.30

SONNETS TO SUNDRY NOTES OF MUSIC

    • I.

    • It was a lording’s daughter, the fairest one of three,
    • That liked of her master as well as well might be,
    • Till looking on an Englishman, the fair’st that eye could see,
    • Her fancy fell a-turning.4
    • Long was the combat doubtful that love with love did fight,
    • To leave the master loveless, or kill the gallant knight:
    • To put in practice either, alas! it was a spite
    • Unto the silly damsel.8
    • But one must be refused; more mickle was the pain
    • That nothing could be used to turn them both to gain,
    • For of the two the trusty knight was wounded with disdain:
    • Alas! she could not help it.12
    • Thus art with arms contending was victor of the day,
    • Which by a gift of learning did bear the maid away;
    • Then lullaby, the learned man hath got the lady gay;
    • For now my song is ended.16
    • II.

    • On a day, alack the day!
    • Love, whose month was ever May,
    • Spied a blossom passing fair,
    • Playing in the wanton air:4
    • Through the velvet leaves the wind,
    • All unseen, ’gan passage find;
    • That the lover, sick to death,
    • Wish’d himself the heaven’s breath.8
    • ‘Air,’ quoth he, ‘thy cheeks may blow;
    • Air, would I might triumph so!
    • But, alas! my hand hath sworn
    • Ne’er to pluck thee from thy thorn:12
    • Vow, alack! for youth unmeet:
    • Youth, so apt to pluck a sweet.
    • Thou for whom Jove would swear
    • Juno but an Ethiop were;16
    • And deny himself for Jove,
    • Turning mortal for thy love.’
    • III.

    • My flocks feed not,
    • My ewes breed not,
    • My rams speed not,
    • All is amiss:4
    • Love’s denying,
    • Faith’s defying,
    • Heart’s renying,
    • Causer of this.8
    • All my merry jigs are quite forgot,
    • All my lady’s love is lost, God wot:
    • Where her faith was firmly fix’d in love,
    • There a nay is plac’d without remove.12
    • One silly cross
    • Wrought all my loss;
    • O! frowning Fortune, cursed, fickle dame;
    • For now I see16
    • Inconstancy
    • More in women than in men remain.
    • In black mourn I,
    • All fears scorn I,20
    • Love hath forlorn me,
    • Living in thrall:
    • Heart is bleeding,
    • All help-needing,24
    • O! cruel speeding,
    • Fraughted with gall.
    • My shepherd’s pipe can sound no deal,
    • My wether’s bell rings doleful knell;28
    • My curtal dog, that wont to have play’d,
    • Plays not at all, but seems afraid;
    • My sighs so deep
    • Procure to weep,32
    • In howling wise, to see my doleful plight.
    • How sighs resound
    • Through heartless ground,
    • Like a thousand vanquish’d men in bloody fight!36
    • Clear well spring not,
    • Sweet birds sing not,
    • Green plants bring not
    • Forth their dye;40
    • Herds stand weeping,
    • Flocks all sleeping,
    • Nymphs back peeping
    • Fearfully:44
    • All our pleasure known to us poor swains,
    • All our merry meetings on the plains,
    • All our evening sport from us is fled,
    • All our love is lost, for Love is dead.48
    • Farewell, sweet lass,
    • Thy like ne’er was
    • For a sweet content, the cause of all my moan:
    • Poor Corydon52
    • Must live alone;
    • Other help for him I see that there is none.
    • IV.

    • Whenas thine eye hath chose the dame,
    • And stall’d the deer that thou should’st strike,
    • Let reason rule things worthy blame,
    • As well as fancy, partial wight:4
    • Take counsel of some wiser head,
    • Neither too young nor yet unwed.
    • And when thou com’st thy tale to tell,
    • Smooth not thy tongue with filed talk,8
    • Lest she some subtle practice smell;
    • A cripple soon can find a halt:
    • But plainly say thou lov’st her well,
    • And set thy person forth to sell.12
    • What though her frowning brows be bent,
    • Her cloudy looks will clear ere night;
    • And then too late she will repent
    • That thus dissembled her delight;16
    • And twice desire, ere it be day,
    • That which with scorn she put away.
    • What though she strive to try her strength,
    • And ban and brawl, and say thee nay,20
    • Her feeble force will yield at length,
    • When craft hath taught her thus to say,
    • ‘Had women been so strong as men,
    • In faith, you had not had it then.’24
    • And to her will frame all thy ways;
    • Spare not to spend, and chiefly there
    • Where thy desert may merit praise,
    • By ringing in thy lady’s ear:28
    • The strongest castle, tower, and town,
    • The golden bullet beats it down.
    • Serve always with assured trust,
    • And in thy suit be humble true;32
    • Unless thy lady prove unjust,
    • Seek never thou to choose anew.
    • When time shall serve, be thou not slack
    • To proffer, though she put thee back.36
    • The wiles and guiles that women work,
    • Dissembled with an outward show,
    • The tricks and toys that in them lurk,
    • The cock that treads them shall not know.40
    • Have you not heard it said full oft,
    • A woman’s nay doth stand for nought?
    • Think, women love to match with men
    • And not to live so like a saint:44
    • Here is no heaven; they holy then
    • Begin when age doth them attaint.
    • Were kisses all the joys in bed,
    • One woman would another wed.48
    • But, soft! enough! too much, I fear;
    • For if my mistress hear my song,
    • She will not stick to ring my ear,
    • To teach my tongue to be so long:52
    • Yet will she blush, here be it said,
    • To hear her secrets so bewray’d.
    • V.

    • Live with me, and be my love,
    • And we will all the pleasures prove
    • That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
    • And all the craggy mountains yields.4
    • There will we sit upon the rocks,
    • And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
    • By shallow rivers, by whose falls
    • Melodious birds sing madrigals.8
    • There will I make thee a bed of roses,
    • With a thousand fragrant posies,
    • A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
    • Embroider’d all with leaves of myrtle.12
    • A belt of straw and ivy buds,
    • With coral clasps and amber studs;
    • And if these pleasures may thee move,
    • Then live with me and be my love.16
    • love’s answer.
    • If that the world and love were young,
    • And truth in every shepherd’s tongue,
    • These pretty pleasures might me move,
    • To live with thee and be thy love.20
    • VI.

    • As it fell upon a day
    • In the merry month of May,
    • Sitting in a pleasant shade
    • Which a grove of myrtles made,4
    • Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
    • Trees did grow, and plants did spring;
    • Every thing did banish moan,
    • Save the nightingale alone:8
    • She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
    • Lean’d her breast up-till a thorn,
    • And there sung the dolefull’st ditty,
    • That to hear it was great pity:12
    • ‘Fie, fie, fie!’ now would she cry;
    • ‘Tereu, Tereu!’ by and by;
    • That to hear her so complain,
    • Scarce I could from tears refrain;16
    • For her griefs, so lively shown,
    • Made me think upon mine own.
    • Ah! thought I, thou mourn’st in vain,
    • None takes pity on thy pain:20
    • Senseless trees they cannot hear thee,
    • Ruthless beasts they will not cheer thee:
    • King Pandion he is dead,
    • All thy friends are lapp’d in lead,24
    • All thy fellow birds do sing
    • Careless of thy sorrowing.
    • Even so, poor bird, like thee,
    • None alive will pity me.28
    • Whilst as fickle Fortune smil’d,
    • Thou and I were both beguil’d.
    • Every one that flatters thee
    • Is no friend in misery.32
    • Words are easy, like the wind;
    • Faithful friends are hard to find:
    • Every man will be thy friend
    • Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend;36
    • But if store of crowns be scant,
    • No man will supply thy want.
    • If that one be prodigal,
    • Bountiful they will him call,40
    • And with such-like flattering,
    • ‘Pity but he were a king.’
    • If he be addict to vice,
    • Quickly him they will entice;44
    • If to women he be bent,
    • They have him at commandement:
    • But if Fortune once do frown,
    • Then farewell his great renown;48
    • They that fawn’d on him before
    • Use his company no more.
    • He that is thy friend indeed,
    • He will help thee in thy need:52
    • If thou sorrow, he will weep;
    • If thou wake, he cannot sleep:
    • Thus of every grief in heart
    • He with thee does bear a part.56
    • These are certain signs to know
    • Faithful friend from flattering foe.

THE PHŒNIX AND THE TURTLE

    • Let the bird of loudest lay,
    • On the sole Arabian tree,
    • Herald sad and trumpet be,
    • To whose sound chaste wings obey.4
    • But thou shrieking harbinger,
    • Foul precurrer of the fiend,
    • Augur of the fever’s end,
    • To this troop come thou not near.8
    • From this session interdict
    • Every fowl of tyrant wing,
    • Save the eagle, feather’d king:
    • Keep the obsequy so strict.12
    • Let the priest in surplice white
    • That defunctive music can,
    • Be the death-divining swan,
    • Lest the requiem lack his right.16
    • And thou treble-dated crow,
    • That thy sable gender mak’st
    • With the breath thou giv’st and tak’st,
    • ’Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.20
    • Here the anthem doth commence:
    • Love and constancy is dead;
    • Phœnix and the turtle fled
    • In a mutual flame from hence.24
    • So they lov’d, as love in twain
    • Had the essence but in one;
    • Two distincts, division none:
    • Number there in love was slain.28
    • Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
    • Distance, and no space was seen
    • ’Twixt the turtle and his queen:
    • But in them it were a wonder.32
    • So between them love did shine,
    • That the turtle saw his right
    • Flaming in the phœnix’ sight;
    • Either was the other’s mine.36
    • Property was thus appall’d,
    • That the self was not the same;
    • Single nature’s double name
    • Neither two nor one was call’d.40
    • Reason, in itself confounded,
    • Saw division grow together;
    • To themselves yet either neither,
    • Simple were so well compounded,44
    • That it cried, ‘How true a twain
    • Seemeth this concordant one!
    • Love hath reason, reason none,
    • If what parts can so remain.’48
    • Whereupon it made this threne
    • To the phœnix and the dove,
    • Co-supremes and stars of love,
    • As chorus to their tragic scene.52
  • THRENOS.

    • Beauty, truth, and rarity
    • Grace in all simplicity,
    • Here enclos’d in cinders lie.55
    • Death is now the phœnix’ nest;
    • And the turtle’s loyal breast
    • To eternity doth rest,58
    • Leaving no posterity:
    • ’Twas not their infirmity,
    • It was married chastity.61
    • Truth may seem, but cannot be;
    • Beauty brag, but ’tis not she;
    • Truth and beauty buried be.64
    • To this urn let those repair
    • That are either true or fair;
    • For these dead birds sigh a prayer.67