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"You hurt my hand with wringing; let us part, And leave this idle theme, this bootless chat : Remove your siege from my unyielding heart; To love's alarm it will not ope the gate:
Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your flattery;
For where a heart is hard, they make no battery."
"What! canst thou talk," quoth she, “hast thou a tongue?
O, would thou hadst not, or I had no hearing! Thy mermaid's voice hath done me double wrong; I had my load before, now press'd with bearing: Melodious discord, heavenly tune harsh
Ear's deep-sweet music, and heart's deep-sore wounding.
"Had I no eyes, but ears, my ears would love That inward beauty and invisible;
Or, were I deaf, thy outward parts would move Each part in me that were but sensible:
Though neither eyes nor ears, to hear nor see, Yet should I be in love, by touching thee.
"Say, that the sense of feeling were bereft me, And that I could not see, nor hear, nor touch, And nothing but the very smell were left me, Yet would my love to thee be still as much;
For from the still'tory of thy face excelling Comes breath perfumed, that breedeth love by smelling.
"But O, what banquet wert thou to the taste, Being nurse and feeder of the other four!
Would they not wish the feast might ever last, And bid Suspicion double-lock the door?
Lest Jealousy, that sour unwelcome guest, Should, by his stealing in, disturb the feast."
Once more the ruby-colour'd portal open'd,
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds, Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.
This ill presage advisedly she marketh :
Or like the deadly bullet of a gun,
His meaning struck her ere his words begun.
And at his look she flatly falleth down,
And all-amazed brake off his late intent,
For on the grass she lies as she were slain,
He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheeks, He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard;
He chafes her lips; a thousand ways he seeks To mend the hurt that his unkindness marr'd ; He kisses her; and she, by her good will, Will never rise, so he will kiss her still.
The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day :
Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix'd, As if from thence they borrow'd all their shine. Were never four such lamps together mix'd, Had not his clouded with his brows' repine;
But hers, which through the crystal tears gave light,
Shone like the moon in water seen by night.
"O, where am I?" quoth she, "in earth or heaven,
Or in the ocean drench'd, or in the fire?
But now I lived, and life was death's annoy;
"O, thou didst kill me ;-kill me once again : Thy eyes' shrewd tutor, that hard heart of thine, Hath taught them scornful tricks, and such disdain,
That they have murder'd this poor heart of mine; And these mine eyes, true leaders to their
But for thy piteous lips no more had seen.
"Long may they kiss each other, for this cure!
That the star-gazers, having writ on death,
"Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted,
What bargains may I make, still to be sealing?
Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips,
Set thy seal-manual on my wax-red lips.
"A thousand kisses buys my heart from me; And pay them at thy leisure, one by one. What is ten hundred touches unto thee? Are they not quickly told, and quickly gone? Say, for non-payment that the debt should double,
Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble?"
"Fair queen," quoth he, "if any love you owe
me, Measure my strangeness with my unripe years; Before I know myself, seek not to know me; No fisher but the ungrown fry forbears:
The mellow plum doth fall, the green sticks fast,
Or being early pluck'd is sour to taste.
"Look, the world's comforter, with weary gait, His day's hot task hath ended in the west :
The owl, night's herald, shrieks,-'tis very late; The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest; And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's
Do summon us to part, and bid good night.
"Now let me say 'good night,' and so say you;
If you will say so, you shall have a kiss." "Good night," quoth she; and, ere he says 66 adieu,"
The honey fee of parting tender'd is :
Her arms do lend his neck a sweet embrace; Incorporate then they seem; face grows to face;
Till, breathless, he disjoin'd, and backward drew
The heavenly moisture, that sweet coral mouth, Whose precious taste her thirsty lips well knew, Whereon they surfeit, yet complain on drouth: He with her plenty press'd, she faint with
(Their lips together glued,) fall to the earth.
Now quick Desire hath caught the yielding prey,
And glutton-like she feeds, yet never filleth ;
That she will draw his lips' rich treasure dry.
And having felt the sweetness of the spoil,