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What recketh he his rider's angry stir,
His flattering "holla," or his "Stand, I say "? What cares he now for curb, or pricking spur? For rich caparisons, or trapping gay?
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
Look, when a painter would surpass the life,
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong,
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide: Look, what a horse should have, he did not lack, Save a proud rider on so proud a back.
Sometime he scuds far off, and there he stares; Anon he starts at stirring of a feather;
To bid the wind a base he now prepares, And whether he run, or fly, they knew not whether;
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feather'
He looks upon his love, and neighs unto her; She answers him. as if she knew his mind :
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her, She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind; Spurns at his love, and scorns the heat he feels, Beating his kind embracements with her heels.
Then, like a melancholy malcontent,
His testy master goeth about to take him;
As they were mad, unto the wood they hie them,
Out-stripping crows that strive to over-fly them.
All swoln with chafing down Adonis sits,
An oven that is stopp'd, or river stay'd,
But when the heart's attorney once is mute,
He sees her coming, and begins to glow,
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow;
O, what a sight it was, wistly to view
But now her cheek was pale, and by-and-by
Now was she just before him as he sat,
His tenderer cheek receives her soft hand's print,
As apt as new-fallen snow takes any dint.
O, what a war of looks was then between them!
And all this dumb play had his acts made plain
With tears, which, chorus-like, her eyes did rain.
Full gently now she takes him by the hand,
Or ivory in an alabaster band;
So white a friend engirts so white a foe:
This beauteous combat, wilful and unwilling, Show'd like two silver doves that sit a-billing.
Once more the engine of her thoughts began: "O, fairest mover on this mortal round, Would thou wert as I am, and I a man,
My heart all whole as thine, thy heart my wound; For one sweet look thy help I would assure thee,
Though nothing but my body's bane would cure thee."
"Give me my hand," saith he, "why dost thou feel it?"
"Give me my heart," saith she, "and thou shalt have it;
O, give it me, lest thy hard heart do steel it, And being steel'd, soft sighs can never grave it: Then love's deep groans I never shall regard, Because Adonis' heart hath made mine hard."
"For shame," he cries, "let go, and let me go;
My day's delight is past, my horse is gone,
Thus she replies: "Thy palfrey, as he should, Welcomes the warm approach of sweet desire : Affection is a coal that must be cool'd;
Else, suffer'd, it will set the heart on fire:
The sea hath bounds, but deep desire hath
Therefore no marvel though thy horse be gone.
"How like a jade he stood, tied to the tree, Servilely master'd with a leathern rein!
But when he saw his love, his youth's fair fee, He held such petty bondage in disdain;
Throwing the base thong from his bending crest,
"Who sees his true-love in her naked bed,
Who is so faint that dare not be so bold
"Let me excuse thy courser, gentle boy; And learn of him, I heartily beseech thee, To take advantage on presented joy;
Though I were dumb, yet his proceedings teach thee:
O, learn to love; the lesson is but plain,
And, once made perfect, never lost again."
"I know not love," quoth he, "nor will not know it,
Unless it be a boar, and then I chase it ;
'Tis much to borrow, and I will not owe it; My love to love is love but to disgrace it; For I have heard it is a life in death,
That laughs, and weeps, and all but with a breath.
"Who wears a garment shapeless and unfinish'd? Who plucks the bud before one leaf put forth? If springing things be any jot diminish'd,
They wither in their prime, prove nothing worth : The colt that's back'd and burden'd being
Loseth his pride, and never waxeth strong.