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" In him a plenitude of subtle matter,
Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives,
of burning blushes, or of weeping water,
Or swooning paleness; and he takes and leaves,
In either's aptness, as it best deceives,
To blush at speeches rank, to weep at woes,
Or to turn white and swoon at tragic shows;
" That not a heart which in his level came
Could 'scape the hail of his all-hurting aim,
Showing fair nature is both kind and tame;
And, veiled in them, did win whom he would maim:
Against the thing he sought he would exclaim;
When he most burned in heart-wished luxury,
He preached pure maid, and praised cold chastity.
“ Thus merely with the garment of a Grace
The naked and concealed fiend he covered,
That the unexperienced gave the tempter place,
Which, like a cherubim, above them hovered.
Who, young and simple, would not be so lovered ?
Ah me! I fell : and yet do question make
What I should do again for such a sake.
“0, that infected moisture of his eye, ,
0, that false fire which in his cheek se glowed,
O, that forced thunder from his heart did fly,
O, that sad breath his spongy lungs bestowed.
O, all that borrowed motion, seeming owed,
Would yet again betray the fore-betrayed,
And new pervert a reconciléd maid !"
i Cautels, deceitful purposes.
2 Owed, owned; his own.
Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
'Gainst whom the world could not hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury ?
Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore ; but I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee:
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love ;
Thy grace being gained cures all disgrace in me.
My vow was breath, and breath a vapor is:
Then, thou fair sun, that on this earth doth shine,
Exhale this vapor vow; in thee it is:
If broken, then it is no fault of mine.
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To lose an oath to win a paradise ?
1 The foregoing Sonnet appears, with some variations, in Love's Labor 's Lost, the first edition of which was printed in 1598. We give the lines in which the variations occur:
“ 'Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument.”
“ Vows are but breath, and breath a vapor is;
Then thou fair sun, which on my earth dosl shine,
Exhal'st this vapor vow; in thee it is." The text of the play is evidently superior to that in The Passionate Pilgrim.
Sweet Cytherea, sitting by a brook,
With young Adonis, lovely, fresh, and green,
Did court the lad with many a lovely look,
Such looks as none could look but beauty's queen.
She told him stories to delight his ear;
She showed him favors to allure his eye;
To win his heart, she touched him here and there:
Touches so soft still conquer chastity.
But whether unripe years did want conceit,
Or he refused to take her figured proffer,
The tender nibbler would not touch the bait,
But smile and jest at every gentle offer:
Then fell she on her back, fair queen, and toward;
He rose and ran away; ah, fool, too froward !
If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love? O, never faith could hold, if not to beauty vowed : Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll constant prove; Those thoughts, to me like oaks, to thee like osiers
bowed. Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes, Where all those pleasures live that art can compre
hend. If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice; Well learnéd is that tongue that well can thee com
mend; All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder; Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire : Thine tye Jove's lightning seems, thy voice his dread
sul thunder. Which (not to anger bent) is music and sweet fire.