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my Love, I
Lyke a young Fawne, that late hath lost the hynd;
And seeke each where, where last I sawe her face,
Whose ymage yet I carry fresh in mynd.
I seeke the fields with her late footing synd;
I seeke her bowre with her late presence deckt;
Yet nor in field nor bowre I can her fynd ;
Yet field and bowre are full of her aspect:
But, when myne eyes I therunto direct,
They ydly back return to me agayne:
And, when I hope to see theyr trew object,
I fynd my self but fed with fancies vayne.
Cease then, myne eyes, to seeke her selfe to see;
And let my thoughts behold her selfe in mee.
MEN call you fayre, and you doe credit it,
For that your selfe ye daily such doe see:
But the trew fayre, that is the gentle wit,
And vertuous mind, is much more praysd of me :
For all the rest, how ever fayre it be,
Shall turne to nought and lose that glorious hew;
But onely that is permanent and free
From frayle corruption, that doth flesh ensew.
That is true beautie: that doth argue you
To be divine, and born of heavenly seed;
Deriv'd from that fayre Spirit, from whom all true
And perfect beauty did at first proceed:
He only fayre, and what he fayre hath made;
All other fayre, lyke flowres, untymely fade.
AFTER so long a race as I have run
Through Faery land, which those six books compile, Give leave to rest me being half foredonne, And gather to my selfe new breath awhile. Then, as a steed refreshed after toyle, Out of my prison I will break anew;
And stoutly will that second work assoyle,
With strong endevour and attention dew.
Till then give leave to me, in pleasant mew
To sport my Muse, and sing my Loves sweet praise;
The contemplation of whose heavenly hew,
My spirit to an higher pitch will rayse.
But let her prayses yet be low and meane,
Fit for the handmayd of the Faery Queene.
AYRE is my Love, when her fayre golden haires
Fayre, when the rose in her red cheekes appeares ;
Or in her eyes the fyre of love does sparke.
Fayre, when her brest, lyke a rich laden barke,
With pretious merchandize she forth doth lay;
Fayre, when that cloud of pryde, which oft doth dark
Her goodly light, with smiles she drives away.
But fayrest she, when so she doth display
The gate with pearles and rubyes richly dight;
Throgh which her words so wise do make their way
To beare the message of her gentle spright.
The rest be works of Natures wonderment;
But this the worke of harts astonishment.
OY of my life! full oft for loving you
I blesse my lot, that was so lucky plac'd:
But then the more your owne mishap I rew,
That are so much by so meane love embased.
For, had the equall hevens so much you graced
In this as in the rest, ye mote invent
Some hevenly wit, whose verse could have enchased
Your glorious name in golden moniment.
But since ye deignd so goodly to relent
To me your thrall, in whom is little worth;
That little, that I am, shall all be spent
In setting your immortal prayses forth:
Whose lofty argument, uplifting me,
Shall lift you up unto an high degree.
LET not one sparke of filthy lustfull fyre
Breake out, that may her sacred peace molest;
Ne one light glance of sensuall desyre
Attempt to work her gentle mindes unrest :
But pure affections bred in spotlesse brest,
And modest thoughts breathd from well-tempred spirits,
Goe visit her, in her chaste bowre of rest,
Accompanyde with angelick delightes.
There fill your selfe with those most joyous sights,
The which my selfe could never yet attayne:
But speake no word to her of these sad plights,
Which her too constant stiffnesse doth constrayn.
Onely behold her rare perfection,
And blesse your fortunes fayre election.
THE world that cannot deeme of worthy things,
When I doe praise her, say I doe but flatter:
So does the Cuckow, when the Mavis sings,
Begin his witlesse note apace to clatter.
But they that skill not of so heavenly matter,
All that they know not, envy or admyre;
Rather then envy, let them wonder at her,
But not to deeme of her desert aspyre.
Deepe, in the closet of my parts entyre,
Her worth is written with a golden quill,
That me with heavenly fury doth inspire,
And my glad mouth with her sweet prayses fill.
Which when as Fame in her shrill trump shall thunder,
Let the world chuse to envy or to wonder.
ENEMOUS tongue, tipt with vile Adders sting, Of that self kynd with which the Furies fell Their snaky heads doe combe, from which a spring Of poysoned words and spightfull speeches well; Let all the plagues, and horrid paines, of hell Upon thee fall for thine accursed hyre; That with false forged lyes, which thou didst tell, In my true Love did stirre up coles of yre: The sparkes whereof let kindle thine own fyre, And, catching hold on thine own wicked hed, Consume thee quite, that didst with guile conspire In my sweet peace such breaches to have bred!
Shame be thy meed, and mischiefe thy reward,
Due to thy selfe, that it for me prepard !
I did leave the of Love,
Many long weary dayes I have outworne;
And many nights, that slowly seemd to move
Theyr sad protract from evening untill morn.
For, when as day the heaven doth adorne,
I wish that night the noyous day would end:
And, when as night hath us of light forlorne,
I wish that day would shortly reascend.
Thus I the time with expectation spend,
And faine my griefe with chaunges to beguile,
That further seemes his terme still to extend,
And maketh every minute seem a myle.
So sorrowe still doth seem too long to last;
But joyous houres do fly away too fast.
INCE I have lackt the comfort of that light, The which was wont to lead my thoughts astray; I wander as in darkenesse of the night, Affrayd of every dangers least dismay. Ne ought I see, though in the clearest day, When others gaze upon theyr shadowes vayne, But th' only image of that heavenly ray, Whereof some glance doth in mine eie remayne. Of which beholding the idæa playne, Through contemplation of my purest part, With light thereof I doe my self sustayne, And thereon feed my love-affamisht hart.
But, with such brightnesse whylest I fill my minde, I starve my body, and mine eyes doe blynd.