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And if by all these perils, and these paynes,
He may but purchase lyking in her eye,
What heavens of joy then to himselfe he faynes!
Eftsoones he wypes quite out of memory
Whatever ill before he did aby :

Had it beene death, yet would he die againe,
To live thus happie as her grace to gaine.

Yet, when he hath found favour to his will,
He nathëmore can so contented rest,
But forceth further on, and striveth still
T'approch more neare, till in her inmost brest
He may embosomd bee and loved best;
And yet not best, but to be lov'd alone;
For love cannot endure a Paragone.

The fear whereof, O how doth it torment
His troubled mynd with more then hellish paine!
And to his fayning fansie represent
Sights never seene, and thousand shadowes vaine,
To breake his sleepe, and waste his ydle braine :
Thou that hast never lov'd canst not beleeve
Least part of th' evils which poore
Lovers greeve.

The gnawing envie, the hart-fretting feare,
The vaine surmizes, the distrustfull showes,
The false reports that flying tales doe beare,
The doubts, the daungers, the delayes, the woes,
The fayned friends, the unassured foes,
With thousands more then any tongue can tell,
Doe make a Lovers life a wretches hell.

Yet is there one more cursed then they all,
That cancker-worme, that monster, Gelosie,
Which eates the heart and feedes upon the gall,
Turning all Loves delight to miserie,
Through feare of losing his felicitie.

Ah, Gods! that ever ye that monster placed
In gentle Love, that all his joyes defaced!

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By these, O Love! thou doest thy entrance make
Unto thy heaven, and doest the more endeere
Thy pleasures unto those which them partake,
As after stormes, when clouds begin to cleare,
The sunne more bright and glorious doth appeare;
So thou thy folke, through paines of Purgatorie,
Dost beare unto thy blisse, and heavens glorie.

There thou them placest in a Paradize
Of all delight and joyous happy rest,
Where they doe feede on Nectar heavenly-wize,
With Hercules and Hebe, and the rest
Of Venus dearlings, through her bountie blest;
And lie like gods in Yvory beds arayd,
With rose and lillies over them displayd.

Ay me! deare Lord! that ever I might hope,
For all the paines and woes that I endure,
To come at length unto the wished scope
Of my desire, or might myselfe assure
That happie port for ever to recure!

Then would I thinke these paines no paines at all,
And all my woes to be but penance small.

There with thy daughter Pleasure they doe play
Their hurtlesse sports, without rebuke or blame,
And in her snowy bosome boldly lay

Their quiet heads, devoyd of guilty shame,
After full joyance of their gentle game;

Then her they crowne their goddesse and their Queene,
And decke with floures thy altars well beseene.

Then would I sing of thine immortal praise
An heavenly Hymne, such as the Angels sing,
And thy triumphant name then would I raise
Bove all the gods, thee only honoring;
My guide, my God, my victor, and my King:
Till then, drad Lord! vouchsafe to take of me
This simple song, thus fram'd in praise of thee.

273

AN HYMNE IN HONOUR OF BEAUTIE.

Α'

H! whither, Love! wilt thou now carry mee?
What wontlesse fury dost thou now inspire
Into my feeble breast, too full of thee?
Whylest seeking to aslake thy raging fyre,
Thou in me kindlest much more great desyre,
And up aloft above my strength doth rayse
The wondrous matter of my fire to praise.

That as I earst, in praise of thine owne name,
So now in honour of thy Mother deare,
An honourable Hymne I eke should frame,
And, with the brightnesse of her beautie cleare,
The ravisht hearts of gazefull men might reare
To admiration of that heavenly light,

From whence proceeds such soule-enchanting might.

Therto do thou, great Goddesse! Queene of Beauty,
Mother of Love, and of all worlds delight,
Without whose soverayne grace and kindly dewty
Nothing on earth seems fayre to fleshly sight,
Doe thou vouchsafe with thy love-kindling light
T'illuminate my dim and dulled eyne,
And beautifie this sacred Hymne of thyne:

That both to thee, to whom I meane it most,
And eke to her, whose faire immortall beame
Hath darted fyre into my feeble ghost,
That now it wasted is with woes extreame,
It may so please, that she at length will streame
Some deaw of grace into my withered hart,
After long sorrow and consuming smart.

1

What time this worlds great Workmaister did cast
To make al things such as we now behold,
It seems that he before his eyes had plast
A goodly Paterne, to whose perfect mould
He fashiond them as comely as he could,
That now so faire and seemely they appeare,
As nought may be amended any wheare.

That wondrous Paterne, wheresoere it bee,
Whether in earth layd up in secret store,
Or else in heaven, that no man may it see
With sinfull eyes, for feare it to deflore,
Is perfect Beautie, which all men adore;
Whose face and feature doth so much excell
All mortal sence, that none the same may tell.

Thereof as every earthly thing partakes
Or more or lesse, influence divine,
So it more faire accordingly it makes,
And the grosse matter of this earthly myne
Which closeth it thereafter doth refyne,
Doing away the drosse which dims the light
Of that faire beame which therein is empight.

For, through infusion of celestiall powre
The duller earth it quickneth with delight,
And life-full spirits privily doth powre,
Through all the parts, that to the looker's sight
They seeme to please; that is thy soveraine might,
O Cyprian Queene! which flowing from the beame
Of thy bright starre, thou into them doest streame.

That is the thing which giveth pleasant grace
To all things faire, that kindleth lively fyre,
Light of thy lampe; which, shyning in the face,
Thence to the soule darts amorous desyre,
And robs the harts of those which it admyre;
Therewith thou pointest thy sons poysned arrow,
That wounds the life, and wastes the inmost marrow

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How vainely then do ydle wits invent,

That Beautie is nought else but mixture made
Of colours faire, and goodly temp'rament
Of pure complexions, that shall quickly fade
And passe away, like to a Sommers shade;
Or that it is but comely composition
Of parts well measurd, with meet disposition!

Hath white and red in it such wondrous powre,
That it can pierce through th' eyes unto the hart,
And therein stirre such rage and restlesse stowre,
As nought but death can stint his dolours smart?
Or can proportion of the outward part
Move such affection in the inward mynd,
That it can rob both sense, and reason blynd?

Why doe not then the blossomes of the field,
Which are arayd with much more orient hew,
And to the sense most daintie odours yield,
Worke like impression in the lookers vew ?
Or why doe not faire pictures like powre shew,
In which oft-times we Nature see of Art
Exceld, in perfect limming every part?

But ah! beleeve me there is more then so,
That workes such wonders in the minds of men
I, that have often prov'd, too well it know,
And who so list the like assayes to ken,
Shall find by trial, and confesse it then,
That Beautie is not, as fond men misdeeme,
An outward shew of things that onely seeme.

For that same goodly hew of white and red,
With which the cheekes are sprinckled, shall decay,
And those sweete rosy leaves, so fairly spred
Upon the lips, shall fade and fall away
To that they were, even to corrupted clay:
That golden wyre, those sparckling stars so bright,
Shall turne to dust, and lose their goodly light.

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