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AH! 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,




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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 streame1
Some deaw of grace into my withered hart,
After long sorrow and consuming smart.




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,2
Is perfect Beautie, which all men adore;
Whose face and feature doth so much excell
All mortal sence, that none the same may

Thereof as every earthly thing partakes
Or more or lesse, by influence divine,
So it more faire accordingly it makes,

1 Streame, send forth.


2 Deflore, deflower.



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.1

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 55
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.

How vainely then do ydle wits invent,

That Beautie is nought else but mixture made
Of colours faire, and goodly temp'rament
pure complexions, that shall quickly fade
And passe away, like to a sommers shade;
Or that it is but comely composition


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,2

1 Empight, placed.

2 Stowre, violence.




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,1
Shall find by trial, and confesse it then,
That Beautie is not, as fond2 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.

But that faire lampe, from whose celestiall ray
That light proceedes, which kindleth lovers fire,
Shall never be extinguisht nor decay;







1 Ken, know, try.

2 Fond, foolish.

But, when the vitall spirits doe expyre,
Unto her native planet shall retyre;
For it is heavenly borne and cannot die,
Being a parcell of the purest skie.

For when the soule, the which derived was,
At first, out of that great immortall Spright,
By whom all live to love, whilome1 did pas
Down from the top of purest heavens hight
To be embodied here, it then tooke light
And lively spirits from that fayrest starre
Which lights the world forth from his firie carre.

Which powre retayning still or more or lesse,
When she in fleshly seede is eft2 enraced,3
Through every part she doth the same impresse,
According as the heavens have her graced,
And frames her house, in which she will be placed,
Fit for her selfe, adorning it with spoyle

Of th' heavenly riches which she robd erewhyle.




Thereof it comes that these faire soules, which have 120
The most resemblance of that heavenly light,
Frame to themselves most beautifull and brave
Their fleshly bowre, most fit for their delight,
And the glosse matter by a soveraine might
Temper so trim, that it may well be seene
A pallace fit for such a virgin queene.

So every spirit, as it is most pure,

And hath in it the more of heavenly light,

1 Whilome, formerly.


Eft, quickly. 3 Enraced, implanted.

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