Page images

For there can live no hatred in thine eye,
Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.
In manies looks the falfe heart's hiftory

Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles ftrange:
But heaven in thy creation did decree,

That in thy face fweet love fhould ever dwell;
Whate'er thy thoughts, or thy heart's workings be,
Thy looks fhall nothing thence but sweetness tell.
How like Eve's apple doth thy beauty grow,
If thy fweet virtue answer not thy fhow!

They that have power to hurt, and will do none,
That do not do the thing they must do, show;
Who moving others, are themfelves as stone
Unmoved, cold and to temptation flow:
They rightly do inherit Heaven's graces,
And hufband nature's riches from expence ;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but ftewards of their excellence.
The fummer's flower is to the fummer fweet,
Tho' to itself it only live and die;

But if that flower with base infection meet,
The bafeft weed out-braves his dignity:

For fweeteft things turn foureft by their deeds;
Lilies, that fefter, fmell far worse than weeds.

How sweet and lovely doft thou make the fhame,
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name?
Oh! in what sweets doft thou thy fins inclofe !
That tongue that tells the story of thy days,
(Making lafcivious comments on thy fport)
Cannot difpraife, but in a kind of praise;
Naming thy name, blefles an ill report.

Oh! what a manfion have thofe vices got,
Which for their habitation chufe out thee:
Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot,
And all things turn to fair that eyes can fee!
Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege,
The hardest knife, ill us'd, doth lofe his edge.

Complaint for his Lover's Abfence.

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days feen?
What old December's barrennefs every where?
And yet this time remov'd was fummer's time;
The teeming autumn big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow'd wombs after their lord's deceafe.
Yet this abundant iffue feem'd to me,
But hope of orphans and un-father'd fruit ;
For fummer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And thou away, the very birds are mute:

Or if they fing, 'tis with fo dull a chear,
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter's near.

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud py'd April (drest in all his trim)
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet not the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Cou'd make me any fummer's story tell;

Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew.
Nor did I wonder at the lilies white,

Nor praise the deep vermillion in the rofe;

They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet feem'd it winter ftill, and you away,

As with your fhadow I with these did play.

The forward violet thus did I chide;

Sweet thief whence didst thou steal thy sweet that fmells,

If not from my love's breath? the purple pride,
Which on thy foft cheek for complexion dwells,
In my love's veins thou haft too grofly dy'd:
The lily I condemned for thy hand,

And buds of marjoram had ftol'n thy hair;
The rofes fearfully on thorns did ftand,
One blushing fhame, another white despair;
A third nor red, nor white, had stol'n of both,
And to his robb'ry had annex'd thy breath;
But for his theft, in pride of all his growth,
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.

More flowers I noted, yet I none could fee,
But fweet or colour it had ftol'n from thee.

An Invocation to his Mufe.

Where art thou mufe, that thou forget'ft fo long,
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend'ft thou thy fury on fome worthless fong,
Dark'ning thy power to lend bafe subjects light?
Return, forgetful mufe, and ftrait redeem,
In gentle numbers, time fo idly fpent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays efteem,
And give thy pen both skill and argument,
Rife, refty mufe, my love's sweet face furvey,
If time hath any wrinkle graven there;

If any, be a fatire to decay,

And make time's fpoils defpifed every where.
Give my love fame, fafter than time waftes life,
So thou prevent'ft his fcithe, and crooked knife.

Oh! truant mufe! whall fhall be thy amends,
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dy'd?
But truth and beauty on my love depends:
So doft thou too, and therein dignify'd.
Make answer, mufe, wilt thou not haply fay,
Truth needs no colour with his colour fix'd;
Beauty no pencil, beauty's truth to lay;
But beft is beft, if never intermix'd.

Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
Excufe no filence fo, for't lies in thee
To make her much out-live a gilded tomb,
And to be prais'd of ages yet to be.

Then do thy office, mufe, I teach thee how
To make her feem long hence, as fhe fhows now.

Conftant Affection.

To me, fair love, you never can be old ;
For as you were when firft your eye I ey'd,
Such feems your beauty ftill. Three winters cold
Have from the foreft fhook three fummers pride;
Three beauteous fprings to yellow Autumn turn'd,
In process of the feafons, have I feen;

Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn'd,
Since firft I faw you, fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no place perceiv'd;
So your fweet hue, which, methinks, ftill does ftand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd.

For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,
Ere you was born, was beauty's fummer dead.

Let not my love be call'd idolatry,
Nor my beloved as an idol fhow;
Since all alike my fongs and praifes be
To one, of one, ftill fuch, and ever fo:
Kind is my love to day, to-morrow kind,
Still conftant in a wond'rous excellence;
Therefore my verfe to conftancy confin'd,
One thing expreffing, leaves out difference.
Fair, kind, and true, is all my argument;
Fair, kind, and true, varying to other words;
And in this change is my invention spent ;
Three themes in one, which wond'rous fcope affords.
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone:
Which three, till now, have never fate in one.

When in the chronicle of wasted time,
I fee descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhime,
In praife of ladies dead, and lovely knights;
Then in the blazon of fweet beauty's beft,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I fee their antic pen would have exprefs'd
Even fuch a beauty as you mafter now.
So all their praifes are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And, for they look'd but with divining eyes,
They had not ftill enough your worth to fing:
For we who now behold thefe prefent days,
Haye eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praife.

« PreviousContinue »