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"Go, get me hither paper, ink, and penYet save that labour, for I have them here. What should I say?-One of my husband's
Bid thou be ready, by-and-by, to bear
Her maid is gone, and she prepares to write,
This is too curious-good, this blunt and ill:
Throng her inventions, which shall be before.
At last she thus begins :-"Thou worthy lord
Here folds she up the tenor of her woe,
Lest he should hold it her own gross abuse,
Besides, the life and feeling of her passion She hoards, to spend when he is by to hear her;
When sighs, and groans, and tears may grace the fashion
Of her disgrace, the better so to clear her
From that suspicion which the world might bear her.
To shun this blot, she would not blot the letter
With words, till action might become them better.
To see sad sights move more than hear them
For then the eye interprets to the ear
Deep sounds make lesser noise than shallow fords,
And sorrow ebbs, being blown with wind of words.
Her letter now is seal'd, and on it writ,
"At Ardea to my lord with more than haste :" The post attends, and she delivers it,
Charging the sour-faced groom to hie as fast
Extremity still urgeth such extremes.
The homely villein court'sies to her low;
And forth with bashful innocence doth hie.
When, silly groom! God wot, it was defect
Such harmless creatures have a true respect
His kindled duty kindled her mistrust,
That two red fires in both their faces blazed; She thought he blush'd, as knowing Tarquin's lust,
And, blushing with him, wistly on him gazed; Her earnest eye did make him more amazed: The more she saw the blood his cheeks replenish,
The more she thought he spied in her some blemish.
But long she thinks till he return again,
For now 'tis stale to sigh, to weep, and groan :
That she her plaints a little while doth stay, Pausing for means to mourn some newer way.
At last she calls to mind where hangs a piece Of skilful painting, made for Priam's Troy; Before the which is drawn the power of Greece,
For Helen's rape the city to destroy, Threatening cloud-kissing Ilion with annoy; Which the conceited painter drew so proud, As heaven (it seem'd) to kiss the turrets bow'd.
A thousand lamentable objects there,
And dying eyes gleam'd forth their ashy lights,
There might you see the labouring pioneer Begrimed with sweat, and smeared all with dust; And from the towers of Troy there would appear
The very eyes of men through loop-holes thrust, Gazing upon the Greeks with little lust:
Such sweet observance in this work was had,
In great commanders grace and majesty
Which heartless peasants did so well resemble, That one would swear he saw them quake and tremble.
In Ajax and Ulysses, O what art
Of physiognomy might one behold!
The face of either 'cipher'd either's heart;
Their face their manners most expressly told :
There pleading might you see grave Nestor stand,
Thin winding breath, which purl'd up to the sky.
About him were a press of gaping faces,
To jump up higher seem'd, to mock the mind.
Here one man's hand lean'd on another's head, His nose being shadow'd by his neighbour's
Here one being throng'd bears back, all boll'n and red;
Another smother'd seems to pelt and swear;
For much imaginary work was there