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To descant on the doubts of my decay.

Farewell (quoth she) and come again to-morrow ;
Farewell I could not, for I supt with sorrow.

Yet at my parting sweetly did she smile,
In scorn, or friendship, nill I construe whether:
It may be, she joy'd to jest at my exile;
It may be, again to make me wander thither.
Wander (a word) for shadows like myself,
And take the pain, but cannot pluck the pelf.
Lord! how mine eyes throw gazes to the east!
My heart doth charge the watch; the morning rise
Doth cite each moving sense from idle rest,
Not daring trust the office of mine eyes.

While Philomela sits and sings, I sit and mark,
And wish her lays were tuned like the lark.
For she doth welcome day-light with her ditty,
And drives away dark dreaming night;
The night so packt, I post unto my pretty;
Heart hath his hope, and eyes their wished sight;
Sorrow chang'd to solace, and solace mixt with sorrow;
For why she sigh'd, and bade me come to-morrow.
Were I with her, the night would post too soon,
But now are minutes added to the hours:

To spite me now, each minute seems an hour;
Yet not for me, shine sun to succour flowers.

Pack night, peep day, good day of night now borrow,
Short, Night, to-night, and length thyself to-morrow.




Mine eye hath play'd the painter, and hath steel'd
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart:
My body is the same wherein 'tis held,
And perspective it is best painter's art.
For thro' the painter must you see his skill,
To find where your true image pictur'd lies,
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes.
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done;
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breast, where thro' the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee.

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Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art,
They draw but what they see, know not the heart.)


(Let those who are in favour with their stars,

Of public honour and proud titles boast:
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars,
Unlook'd for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes' favorites their fair leaves spread,
But as the marigold at the sun's eye;
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for worth,
After a thousand victories, once foil'd,
Is from the book of honour rased quite,
And all the rest forgot, for which he toil'd.
Then happy I, that love and am beloved,
Where I may not remove, nor be removed.)


Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit;
To thee I send this written embassage,
To witness duty, not to shew my wit.
Duty so great, which wit so poor as mine
May make seem bare, in wanting words to show it;
But that I hope some good conceit of thine

In my soul's thought (all naked) will bestow it;
Till whatsoever star, that guides my moving,
Points on me graciously with fair aspect,
And puts apparel on my tatter'd loving,
To shew me worthy of their sweet respect.

Then may I dare to boast how I do love thee;

Till then, not show my head, where thou may'st prove


How heavy do I journey on the way,

When that I seek (my weary travel's end)
Doth teach that ease and that repose to say,

Thus far the miles are measur'd from thy friend!
The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,
Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me;


As if by some instinct the wretch did know
His rider lov'd not speed being made from thee.
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on,
That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide;
Which heavily he answers with a groan,
More sharp to me, than spurring to his side;
For that same groan doth put this in my mind,
My grief lies onward, and my joy behind.

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer, when from thee I speed:

From where thou art, why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.

O! what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but flow?
Then should I spur tho' mounted on the wind;
In winged speed no motion shall I know.
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace,
Therefore desire (of perfect love being made)
Shall neigh no dull flesh in his fiery race,
But love for love thus shall excuse my jade.
Since from thee going, he went wilful slow,
Towards thee I'll run, and give him leave to go.


Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war,
How to divide the conquest of thy sight;

My eye, my heart their pictures' sight should bar;
My heart, my eye the freedom of that right:
My heart doth plead, that thou in him dost lie;
(A closet never pierc'd with crystal eyes)
But the defendant doth that plea deny,
And says, in him their fair appearance lies.
To 'cide this title, is impannelled

A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart;
And by their verdict is determined

The clear eye's moiety, and the dear heart's part,
As thus mine eyes' due is their outward part,
And my heart's right, their inward love of heart.

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other:
When that mine eye is famish'd for a look,

Or heart, in love with sighs, himself doth smother:

With my love's picture then my eye doth feast,
And to the painted banquet bids my heart.
Another time mine eye is my heart's guest,
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:
So either by the picture of my love,

Thyself away, are present still with me;

For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them, and they with thee.
Or if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
Awakes my heart to heart's and eyes' delight.


How careful was I, when I took my way
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust;
That to my use it might unused stay

From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust?
But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are,

Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief;
Thou best of dearest, and my only care,
Art left the prey of every vulgar thief.
Thee have I not lock'd up in any chest,
Save where thou art not; tho' I feel thou art
Within the gentle closure of my breast,

From whence at pleasure thou may'st come and part;
And even thence thou wilt be stoi'n, I fear;
For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.

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Against that time (if ever that time come)
When shall I see thee frown on my defects;
When as thy love hath cast his utmost sum,
Call'd to that audit by advis'd respects;

Against that time, when thou shalt strangely pass,
And scarcely greet me with that sun, thine eye;
When love, converted from the thing it was,
Shall reasons find of settled gravity;
Against that time, do I insconce me here,
Within the knowledge of mine own desert;
And this my hand against myself up-rear,
To guard the lawful reasons on my part:

To leave poor me, thou hast the strength of laws,
Since why to love, I can alledge no cause.


It was a lording's daughter,

The fairest one of three,

That liked of her master, as well as well might be ;
Till looking on an Englishman,

The fairest eye

could see,

Her fancy fell a turning.

Long was the combat doubtful,

That love with love did fight;

To leave the master loveless, or kill the gallant knight : To put in practice either,

Alas! it was a spite,

Unto the silly damsel.

But one must be refused,
More mickle was the pain;

That nothing could be used, to turn them both to gain :
For of the two the trusty knight

Was wounded with disdain,

Alas! she could not help it.

Thus art with arms contending,

Was victor of the day;

Which by a gift of learning did bear the maid away. Then, lullaby, the learned man

Hath got the lady gay:

For now my song is ended.


On a day (alack the day)

Love, whose month was ever May,
Spy'd a blossom passing fair,

Playing in the wanton air.

Thro' the velvet leaves the wind,

Ali unseen, 'gain passage find,

That the lover (sick to death)

Wish'd himself the heaven's breath..

Air, (quoth he) thy cheeks may blow ;
Air would I might triumph so!
But (alas) my hand hath sworn

Ne'er to pluck thee from thy throne!
Vow, (alack) for youth unmeet,
Youth, so apt to pluck a sweet;

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