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Tell men of high condition
That rule affairs of state,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate;
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
Who, in their greatest cost,
Seek nothing but commending;
And if they make reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell Zeal it lacks devotion,
Tell Love it is but lust,
Tell Time it is but motion,
Tell Flesh it is but dust;
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.

Tell Age it daily wasteth,
Tell Honour how it alters,
Tell Beauty how she blasteth,
Tell Favour how she falters;
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.

Tell Wit how much it wrangles In treble points of niceness,

Tell Wisdom she entangles
Herself in overwiseness ;
And when they do reply,
Straight give them both the lie.

Tell Physic of her boldness,
Tell Skill it is pretension,
Tell Charity of coldness,
Tell Law it is contention ;
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.

Tell Fortune of her blindness,
Tell Nature of decay,
Tell Friendship of unkindness,
Tell Justice of delay;
And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming,
Tell schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming;
If arts and schools reply,
Give arts and schools the lie.

Tell Faith its fled the city,
· Tell how the country erreth,

Tell manhood shakes off pity,
Tell Virtue least preferreth;

And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie,

And when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing,
Although to give the lie
Deserves no less than stabbing;
Yet stab at thee who will.
No stab the Soul can kill.



The golden sun that brings the day,
And lends men light to see withal,
In vain doth cast his beams away,
When they are blind on whom they fall;
There is no force in all his light
To give the mole a perfect sight.

But thou, my sun, more bright than he
That shines at noon in summer tide,
Hast given me light and power to see
With perfect skill my sight to guide;
Till now I liv'd as blind as mole
That hides her head in earthly hole.

I heard the praise of Beauty's grace,
Yet deem'd it nought but poet's skill,

I gaz'd on many a lovely face,
Yet found I none to bend


Which made me think that beauty bright
Was nothing else but red and white.

But now thy beams have clear'd my sight,
I blush to think I was so blind,
Thy flaming eyes afford me light,
That beauty's blaze each where I find;
And yet those dames that shine so bright,
Are but the shadows of thy light.


EDIT. 1593.

O NIGHT, O jealous night, repugnant to my plea

sure, O night so long desired, yet cross to my content, There's none but only thou can guide me to my

treasure, Yet none but only thou that hindereth my intent.

Sweet night, withhold thy beams, withhold them till

to-morrow, Whose joy, in lack so long, a hell of torment

breeds, Sweet night, sweet gentle night, do not prolong

my sorrow, Desire is guide to me, and love no loadstar needs.

Let sailors gaze on stars and moon so freshly shining,
Let them that miss the way be guided by the light,
I know my lady's bower, there needs no more di-

vining, Affection sees in dark, and love hath eyes by night.

Dame Cynthia, couch awhile; hold in thy horns for

shining, And glad not low'ring night with thy too glorious

rays ; But be she dim and dark, tempestuous and re

pining, That in her spite my sport may work thy endless


And when my will is done, then Cynthia shine,

good lady, All other nights and days in honour of that night, That happy, heavenly night, that night so dark and

shady, Wherein my love had eyes that lighted my delight.


The gentle season of the year
Hath made my blooming branch appear,
And beautified the land with flowers;
The air doth savour with delight,
The heavens to see the sight,
And yet mine eyes augment their showers.


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