Page images
PDF
EPUB

EARL OF
SURREY.

A VOW TO LOVE FAITHFULLY.

SET me whereas the sun doth parch the green,

1516?-1547. Or where his beams do not dissolve the ice;

In temperate heat, where he is felt and seen;

In presence prest of people mad or wise;
Set me in high, or yet in low degree;

In longest night, or in the shortest day;

In clearest sky, or where clouds thickest be;
In lusty youth, or when my hairs are gray :
Set me in heaven, in earth, or else in hell,
In hill or dale, or in the foaming flood;
Thrall, or at large, alive whereso I dwell,
Sick or in health, in evil fame or good,

Hers will I be ; and only with this thought

[merged small][ocr errors]

EARL OF
SURREY.

SARDANAPALUS.

TH' Assyrian King, in peace, with foul desire

1516?-1547. And filthy lusts that stained his regal heart;

In war, that should set princely hearts on fire,

Did yield, vanquisht for want of martial art.
The dint of swords from kisses seemèd strange;
And harder than his lady's side, his targe;
From glutton feasts to soldier's fare, a change;
His helmet, far above a garland's charge:

Who scarce the name of manhood did retain,

Drenched in sloth and womanish delight,

Feeble of spirit, impatient of pain,

When he had lost his honour and his right,

(Proud time of wealth, in storms appalled with dread,)

Murdered himself, to show some manful deed.

EARL OF
SURREY.

1516?-1547.

SPRING.

THE SOOte season that bud and bloom forth brings,

With green hath clad the hill, and eke the vale,

The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her make hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs,
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
The fishes flete with new repaired scale;
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale;
The busy bee her honey now she mings;
Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale.

And thus I see among these pleasant things

Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs!

SIR PHILIP
SIDNEY.

TO SLEEP.

COME Sleep, O Sleep! the certain knot of peace,

1554-1586. The baiting place of wit, the balm of woe,

The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
The indifferent Judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw.
Oh! make in me those civil wars to cease;

I will good tribute pay if thou do so.

Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,

A chamber deaf to noise and blind to light,
A rosy garland and a weary head:

And if these things, as being thine by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me
Livelier than elsewhere Stella's image see.

SIR PHILIP
SIDNEY.

1554-1586.

THE SOURCE OF FAME.

You that do search for every purling spring,

Which from the ribs of old Parnassus flows,

And every flower, not sweet perhaps, which grows
Near thereabouts, into your posy wring;
You that do dictionaries' method bring
Into your rhymes, running in rattling rows;

You that poor Petrarch's long deceased woes

With new-born sighs and wit disguised sing;

You take wrong ways: those far-fetched helps be such

As do bewray a want of inward touch :

And sure at length stolen goods do come to light.

But if, both for your love and skill, your name

You seek to nurse at fullest breasts of fame,

Stella behold, and then begin t' endite.

« PreviousContinue »