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Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle,
Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty,
Brighter than glass and yet, as glass is, brittle,
Softer than wax and yet as iron rusty :
A lily pale, with damask dye to grace her,
Noné fairer, nor none falser to deface her.
Her lips to mine how often hath she joined,
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing!
many tales to please me hath she coined, Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing!
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings,
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings.
She burn'd with love, as straw with fire flameth;
She burn'd out love, as soon as straw out-burneth ;
She framed the love, and yet she foild the framing; 15
She bade love last, and yet she fell a-turning.
Was this a lover, or a lecher whether ?
Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.
If music and sweet poetry agree,
As they must needs, the sister and the brother,
Then must the love be great ’twixt thee and me,
Because thou lovest the one and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch
Upon the lute doth ravish human sense ;
Spenser to me, whose deep conceit is such
As passing all conceit needs no defence.
Thou lovest to hear the sweet melodious sound
That Phæbus' lute, the queen of music, makes ;
And I in deep delight am chiefly drown'd
When as himself to singing he betakes.
One god is god of both, as poets feign;
One knight loves both, and both in thee remain.
Fair was the morn when the fair queen of love,
Paler for sorrow than her milk-white dove,
For Adon's sake, a youngster proud and wild ;
Her stand she takes upon a steep-up hill:
Anon Adonis comes with horn and hounds ;
She, silly queen, with more than love's good will,
Forbade the boy he should not pass those grounds :
• Once,' quoth she, did I see a fair sweet youth
Here in these brakes deep-wounded with a boar,
Deep in the thigh, a spectacle of ruth !
See in my thigh,' quoth she, “here was the sore.'
She showed hers: he saw more wounds than one,
And blushing filed, and left her all alone.
Sweet rose, fair flower, untimely pluck’d, soon vaded,
Pluck'd in the bud and vaded in the spring !
Bright orient pearl, alack, too timely shaded !
Fair creature, kill'd too soon by death's sharp sting !
Like a green plum that hangs upon a tree,
And falls through wind before the fall should be.
for thee and yet no cause I have ;
For why thou left’st me nothing in thy will:
And yet thou left’st me more than I did crave ;
For why I craved nothing of thee still:
O yes, dear friend, I pardon crave of thee,
Thy discontent thou didst bequeath to me.
Venus, with young Adonis sitting by her Under a myrtle shade, began to woo him : She told the youngling how god Mars did try her, And as he fell to her, so fell she to him. • Even thus,' quoth she, “the warlike god embraced me,' 5 And then she clipp’d Adonis in her arms ; • Even thus,' quoth she, the warlike god unlaced me,' As if the boy should use like loving charms ; • Even thus,' quoth she, 'he seized on my lips,' And with her lips on his did act the seizure :
10 And as she fetched breath, away he skips, And would not take her meaning nor her pleasure.
Ah, that I had my lady at this bay,
To kiss and clip me till I run away !