Page images

Though never after; whiles it gaynes the voyce
Of some grand peere, whose ayre doth make rejoyce
The foole that gave it; who will want, and weepe,
When his proud patron's favours are asleepe;
While thus it buyes great grace, and hunts poore
Runs betweene man, and man; 'tweene dame, and
Solders crackt friendship; makes love last a day;
Or perhaps lesse: whil'st gold beares all this sway,
I, that have none to send you, send you verse.
A present which (if elder writs reherse
The truth of times) was once of more esteeme,
Than this our gilt, nor golden age can deeme,
When gold was made no weapon to cut throats,
Or put to flight Astrea, when her ingots
Were yet unfound, and better plac'd in earth,
Than, here, to give pride fame, and peasants birth.
But let this drosse carry what price it will
With noble ignorants, and let them still,
Turne, upon scorned verse, their quarter-face:
With you, I know, my offring will finde grace.
For what a sinne 'gainst your great father's spirit,
Were it to think, that you should not inherit
His love unto the Muses, when his skill

Almost you have, or may have, when you will?
Wherein wise Nature you a dowrie gave,
Worth an estate, treble to that you have.
Beauty, I know, is good, and blood is more; [store
Riches thought most: but, madame, thinke what
The world hath seene, which all these had in trust,
And now lye lost in their forgotten dust.
It is the Muse alone, can raise to Heaven,
And, at her strong armes' end, hold up, and even,
The soules she loves. Those other glorious notes,
Inscrib'd in touch or marble, or the cotes
Painted, or carv'd upon our great-men's tombs,
Or in their windowes; doe but prove the wombs,
That bred them, graves: when they were borne,
they dy'd,

That had no Muse to make their fame abide.
How many equal with the Argive queene
Have beauty knowne, yet none so famous seeue?
Achilles was not first, that valiant was,
Or, in an armie's head, that lockt in brasse,
Gave killing strokes. There were brave men, before
Ajax, or Idomen, or all the store
That Homer brought to Troy; yet none so live:
Because they lack'd the sacred pen, could give
Like life unto 'hem. Who heav'd Hercules
Unto the starrs? or the Tyndarides?
Who placed Jason's Argo in the skie?
Or set bright Ariadne's crowne so high?
Who made a lampe of Berenice's hayre?
Or lifted Cassiopea in her chayre?
But only poets, rapt with rage divine?
And such, or my hopes faile, shall make you shine.
You, and that other starre, that purest light
Of all Lucina's traine; Lucy the bright.

Than which, a nobler Heaven it selfe knowes not.
Who, though she have a better verscr got,
(Or poet, in the court account) than I,
And who doth me (though I not him) envy,
Yet, for the timely favours she hath done,
To my lesse sanguine Muse, wherein she' hath wonne
My grateful! soule, the subject of her powers,
I have already us'd some happy houres,
To her remembrance; which when time shall bring
To curious light, to notes, I then shall sing,
Will prove old Orpheus' act no tale to be:
For I shall move stocks, stones, no lesse than he.

Then all, that have but done my Muse least grace,
Shall thronging come, and boast the happy place
They hold in my strange poems, which, as yet,
Had not their forme touch'd by an English wit.
There like a rich and golden pyramede,
Borne up by statues, shall I reare your head,
Above your under-carved ornaments,
And show, how, to the life, my soule presents
Your forme imprest there: not with tickling rimes,
Or common-places, filch'd, that take these times,
But high, and noble matter, such as flies
From braines entranc'd, and fill'd with extasies;
Moods, which the god-like Sydney oft did prove,
And your brave friend, and mine so well did love.
Who, wheresoere he be.......

[The rest is lost.]


EPISTLE TO KATHERINE, LADY AUBIGNY. 'TIS growne almost a danger to speake true Of any good minde, now: there are so few. The bad, by number, are so fortified, As what they 've lost t' expect, they dare deride. So both the prais'd, and praisers suffer: yet, For others' ill, ought none their good forget. I, therefore, who professe my selfe in love With every vertue, wheresoere it move, And howsoever; as I am at fewd With sinne and vice, though with a throne endew'd; And, in this name, am given out dangerous By arts, and practise of the vicious, Such as suspect themselves, and think it fit For their owne cap'tall crimes, t' indite my wit; I, that have suffer'd this; and, though forsooke Of Fortune, have not alter'd yet my looke, Or so my selfe abandon'd, as because Men are not just, or keepe no holy lawes Of nature, and societie, I should faint; Or feare to draw true lines, 'cause others paint: I, madame, am become your praiser. Where, If it may stand with your soft blush to heare, Your selfe but told unto your selfe, and see, In my character, what your features bee, You will not from the paper slightly passe: No lady, but at sometime loves her glasse. And this shall be no false one, but as much Remov'd, as you from need to have it such. Looke then, and see your selfe. I will not say Your beautie; for you see that every day: And so doe many more. All which can call It perfect, proper, pure, and naturall, Not taken up o' th' doctors, but as well As I, can say and see it doth excell. That askes but to be censur'd by the eyes: And, in those outward formes, all fooles are wise. Nor that your beautie wanted not a dower, Doe I reflect. Some alderman has power, Or cos'ning farmer of the customes so, T" advance his doubtfull issue, and ore-flow A prince's fortune: these are gifts of chance, And raise not vertue; they may vice enhance. My mirror is more subtill, cleare, refin'd, And takes, and gives the beauties of the mind. Though it reject not those of Fortune: such As blood and match. Wherein, how more than much

Are you engaged to your happie fate, For such a lot! that mixt you with a state Of so great title, birth, but vertue most, Without which, all the rest were sounds, or lost. 'Tis onely that can time and chance defeat: For he, that once is good, is ever great. Wherewith, then, madame, can you better pay This blessing of your starres, than by that way Of vertue, which you tread? what if alone, Without companions? "T is safe to have none. In single paths, dangers with ease are watch'd: Contagion in the prease is soonest catch'd. This makes, that wisely you decline your life Farre from the maze of custome, errour, strife, And keepe an even, and unalter'd gaite; Not looking by, or back, (like those, that waite Times, and occasions, to start forth, and seeme) Which though the turning world may dis-esteeme, Because that studies spectacles, and showes, And after varied, as fresh objects, goes, Giddie with change, and therefore cannot see Right, the right way: yet must your comfort be Your conscience, and not wonder, if none askes For truth's complexion, where they all weare maskes. Let who will follow fashions, and attyres, Maintaine their liegers forth, for forrain wyres, Melt downe their husband's land, to powre away On the close groome, and page, on new-yeare's day, And almost all dayes after, while they live; (They finde it both so wittie, and safe to give) Let 'hem on powders, oyles, and paintings, spend, Till that no usurer, nor his bawds dare lend Them, or their officers: and no man know, Whether it be a face they weare, or no. Let 'hem waste body aud state; and after all, When their owne parasites laugh at their fall, May they have nothing left, whereof they can Boast, but how oft they have done wrong to man: And call it their brave sinne. For such their be That doe sinne onely for the infamie : And never think how vice doth every houre, Eat on her clients, and some one devoure. You,madam, yong have learn'd to shun these shelves, Whereon the most of mankind wracke themselves, And keeping a just course, have early put Into your harbour, and all passage shut [peace; 'Gainst stormes, or pyrats, that might charge your For which you worthy are the glad increase Of your blest wombe, made fruitfull from above To pay your lord the pledges of chaste love: And raise a noble stemme, to give the fame To Clifton's blood, that is deny'd their name. Grow, grow, faire tree, and as thy branches shoote, Heare what the Muses sing above thy root, By me, their priest, (if they can ought divine) Before the moones have fill'd their tripple trine, To crowne the burthen which you go withall, It shall a ripe and timely issue fall, T'expect the honours of great 'Aubigny : And greater rites, yet writ in mystery, But which the Fates forbid me to reveale. Only thus much out of a ravish'd zeale, Unto your name and goodnesse of your life They speake; since you are truly that rare wife, Other great wives may blush at, when they see What your try'd manners are, what theirs should be; How you love one, and him you should; how still You are depending on his word and will; Not fashion'd for the court or strangers' eyes; But to please him, who is the dearer prise

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


GOOD and great God, can I not think of thee,
But it must straight my melancholy be?
Is it interpreted in me disease,

That, laden with my sinnes, I seeke for ease?
O, be thou witnesse, that the reines dost know,
And hearts of all, if I be sad for show,
And judge me after, if I dare pretend
To ought but grace, or ayme at other end.
As thou art all, so be thou all to me,
First, midst, and last, converted one, and three;
My faith, my hope, my love: and in this state,
My judge, my witnesse, and my advocate.
Where have I been this while exil'd from thee?
And whither rapt, now thou but stoup'st to me?
Dwell, dwell here still: O, being every-where,
How can I doubt to finde thee ever here?

I know my state, both full of shame and scorne,
Conceiv'd in sinne, and unto labour borne,
Standing with feare, and must with horrour fall,
And destin'd unto judgement, after all.

I feele my griefes too, and there scarce is ground,
Upon my flesh t' inflict another wound.
Yet dare I not complaine, or wish for death,
With holy Paul, lest it be thought the breath
Of discontent; or that these prayers be
For wearinesse of life, not love of thee.

[blocks in formation]


O, THAT joy so soone should waste!
Or so sweet a blisse
As a kisse,

Might not for ever last!

So sugred, so melting, so soft, so delicious,
The dew that lyes on roses,
When the morne her selfe discloses,
Is not so precious.

O, rather than I would it smother,
Were I to taste such another;
It should be my wishing
That I might die kissing.


THOU more than most sweet glove
Unto my more sweet love,
Suffer me to store with kisses
This emptie lodging, that now misses
The pure rosie hand, that ware thee,
Whiter than the kid that bare thee.
Thou art soft, but that was softer;
Cupid's selfe hath kist it ofter,
Than e're he did his mother's doves,
Supposing her the queen of loves,
That was thy mistresse,
Best of gloves.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


You that would last long, list to my song,
Make no more coyle, but buy of this oyle.
Would you be ever faire? and yong?
Stout of teeth? and strong of tongue?
Tart of palat? quick of eare?
Sharp of sight? of nostrill cleare ?
Moist of hand? and light of foot?
(Or I will come neerer to 't)
Would you live free from all diseases?
Doe the act your mistris pleases;
Yea fright all aches from your bones?
Here's a med'cine for the nones.


COME, my Celia, let us prove,
While we can the sports of love;
Time will not be ours for ever,
He at length our good will sever;
Spend not thou his gifts in vaine.
Sunnes that set may rise againe:
But if once we lose this light,
'T is with us perpetuall night.
Why should we deferre our joyes?
Fame and rumour are but toies.
Cannot we delude the eyes
Of a few poore houshold-spies?
Or his easier eares beguile,
Thus removed by our wile?
'T is no sinne love's fruits to steale,
But the sweet thefts to reveale:

To be taken, to be seene,
These have crimes accounted beene.


SEE, see, ô see who here is come a Maying!
The master of the ocean;
And his beauteous Orian:

Why left we our playing?

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »