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Study his bias leaves, and make his book thine eyes,
Where all those pleasures live, that art can comprehend.
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice:
Well learned is that tongue,that well can thee commend;
All ignorant that soul, that sees thee without wonder,
Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire:
Thine eye Jove's lightning seems, thy voice his dreadful
Which (not to anger bent) is music and sweet fire.
Celestial as thou art, oh, do not love that wrong!
To sing heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue.
A woman's face, with nature's own hand painted,
Hast thou, the master, mistress of my passion;
A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change, as is false women's fashion;
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hue all hue in his controling,
Which steals men's eyes, and women's souls amazeth : And for a woman wert thou first created,
Till nature, as she wrought thee, fell a doating,
And by addition me of thee defeated;
By adding one thing, to my purpose nothing.
But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure, Mine be thy love, and thy love's use their treasure.
(Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head,
To work my mind, when body's work's expired.
For then my thoughts (far from where I abide)
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eye-lids open wide,
Looking on darkness, which the blind do see.
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents their shadow to my sightless view;
Which, like a jewel, (hung in ghastly night)
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.
Lo! thus by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself no quiet find.)
How can I then return in happy plight,
That am debarr'd the benefit of rest;
When day's oppression is not eas'd by night,
But day by night, and night by day opprest?
And each (tho' enemies to other's reign)
Do in consent shake hands to torture me;
The one by toil, the other to complain,
How far I toil, still farther off from thee.
I tell the day, to please him, thou art bright,
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven:
So flatter I the swart-complexion'd night,
When sparkling stars tweer out, thou gild'st the even.
But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,
And night doth nightly make grief's length seem stronger.
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my out-cast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate:
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possest;
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least,
Yet in these thoughts, myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark, at break of day arising
From sullen earth, to sing at heaven's gate.
For thy sweet love rememb'red, such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.)
Scarce had the sun dry'd up the dewy morn,
And scarce the herd gone to the hedge for shade;
When Cytherea (all in love forlorne)
A longing tarriance for Adonis made
Under an osier growing by a brook;
A brook, where Adon us'd to cool his spleen.
Hot was the day, she hotter, that did look
For his approach, that often here had been.
Anon he comes, and throws his mantle by,
And stood stark naked on the brook's green brim:
The sun look'd on the world with glorious eye,
Yet not so wistly, as this queen on him:
He spying her, bounc'd in (whereas he stood)-
Oh, Jove! (quoth she) why was not I a flood!
THE UNCONSTANT LOVER.
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,
None 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?
How 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 burnt with love, as straw with fire flaming;
She burnt out love, as soon as straw out burning;
She fram'd the love, and yet she foil'd the framing;
She bad love last, and yet she fell a turning.
Was this a lover, or a lecher, whether?
Bad at the best, tho' excellent in neither.
THE BENEFIT OF FRIENDSHIP.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought,
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste.
Then can I drown an eye (unus'd to flow)
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan th' expence of many a vanish'd sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay, as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restor'd, and sorrows end.
Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
Which I, by lacking have supposed dead;
And there reigns love, and all love's loving parts,
And all those friends, which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stol'n from mine eye,
As interest of the dead, which now appear
But things remov'd, that hidden in thee lie!
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone;
Who all their parts of me to thee did give,
That due of many, now is thine alone.
Their images I lov'd, I view in thee,
And thou (all they) hast all the all of me.
If thou survive my well-contented day,
When that churl, death, my bones with dust shall cover
And shalt, by fortune, once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover;
Compare them with the bettʼring of the time,
And tho' they be out-stript by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
Exceeded by the height of happier men.
Oh, then, vouchsafe me but this loving thought!
Had my friend's muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than this, his love had bought,
To march in ranks of better equipage;
But since he died, and poets better prove,
Theirs for their style I'll read, his for his love.
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 lov'st the one, and I the other.
Dowland to thee is dear, whose heavenly touch
Upon the lute, doth ravish human sense;
Spencer to me, whose deep conceit is such,
As passing all conceit, needs no defence.
Thou lov'st to hear the sweet melodious sound,
That Phoebus' 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 fain)
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,
Forbad 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 shewed hers, he saw more wounds than one,
And blushing fled, and left her all alone.
How can my muse want subject to invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour'st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
Oh! give thyself the thanks, if ought in me,
Worthy perusal, stand against thy sight:
For who's so dull, that cannot write to thee,
When thou thyself dost give invention light?
Be thou the tenth muse, ten times more in worth,
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
Eternal numbers to out-live long date.
If my slight muse do please these curious days,
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.
Oh how thy worth with manners may I sing,
When thou art all the better part of me?
What can mine own praise to mine own self bring?
And what is't but mine own when I praise thee?
Even for this, let us divided live,
And our dear love lose name of single one?
That by this separation I may give
That due to thee, which thou deserv'st alone.
Oh, absence! what a torment would'st thou prove,
Were 't not that thy sour leisure gave sweet leave
To entertain the time with thoughts of love,
Who time and thoughts so sweetly dost deceive;