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[The Passionate Pilgrim was first published by W. Jaggard in duodecimo, 1599, with our author's name. That volume contains several poems which, having been since identified as the production of other writers, have been omitted from the present edition of Shakspeare's works.]
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 gain'd, cures all disgrace in me.
My vow was breath, and breath a vapour is;
Then thou fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,
Exhal'st this vapour now; in thee it is:
If broken, then it is no fault of mine.
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To break an oath, to win a paradise?
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 show'd him favours to allure his eye;
To win his heart, she touch'd 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!
*Several of these sonnets seem to have been essays of the author when he first conceived the idea of writing a poem on the subject of Venus and Adonis, and before the scheme of that poem was adjusted.
If love make me forsworn, how shall I swear to love*
O never faith could hold, if not to beauty vow') :
Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll constant prove;
Those thoughts to me like oaks, to thee like osiers bow'd.
Study his bias leaves, and makes 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, O do not love that wrong,
To sing the heavens' praise with such an earthly tongue.
Scarce had the sun dried up the dewy morn,
And scarce the herd gone to the hedge for shade,
When Cytherea, all in love forlorn,
A longing tarriance for Adonis made,
Under an osier growing by a brook,
A brook, where Adon used to cool his spleen.
Hot was the day; she hotter that did look
For his approach, that often there 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, bounced in, whereas* he stood;
"Oh Jove," quoth she, "why was not I a flood?"
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 little pale, with damask dye to grace her,
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.
Her lips to mine how often hath she join❜d,
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing!
How many tales to please me hath she coin'd,
Dreading my love, the loss whereof 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 flameth;
She burnt out love, as soon as straw out-burneth;
She framed the love, and yet she foil'd the framing;
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.
Fair was the morn, when the fair
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 fled, and left her all alone.
Sweet rose, fair flower, untimely pluck'd, soon faded,
Pluck'd in the bud, and faded 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.
I weep 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.
Age, I do abhor thee,
Youth, I do adore thee;
O, my love, my love is young
Age, I do defy thee;*
O sweet shepherd, hie thee,
For methinks thou stay'st too kung.
Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good,
A shining gloss, that fadeth suddenly;
A flower that dies, when first it 'gins to bud ·
A brittle glass, that's broken presently:
A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,
Lost, faded, broken, dead within an hour.
And as goods lost are seld or never found,
As faded gloss no rubbing will refresh,
As flowers dead, lie wither'd on the ground,
As broken glass no cement can redress,
So beauty blemish'd once, for ever's lost,
In spite of physic, painting, pain, and cost.
Good night, good rest. Ah! neither be my share:
Sh bade good night, that kept my rest away;
And daft met to a cabin hang'd with care,
To descant on the doubts of my decay.
Farewell," quoth she, and come again to-morrow;"
Farewell I could not, for I supp'd with sorrow.
Yet at my parting sweetly did she smile,
In scorn or friendship, nill I construe whether:
May be, she joy'd to jest at my exíle,
May be, again to make me wander thither:
Wander, a word for shadows like myself,
As take the pain, but cannot pluck the pelf.
Lord, how mine eyes throw grazes 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 daylight with her ditty,
And drives away dark, dismal-dreaming night:
The night so pack'd, I post unto my pretty;||
Heart hath his hope, and eyes their wished sight;
Sorrow changed to solace, solace mix'd with sorrow;
For why? she sigh'd, and bade me come to-morrow.
*Refuse, reject. † Put me off. ↑ Will not say which. § Perhaps the poet, wishing for the approach of morning, enjoins the watch to hasten through their nocturnal duty.
The night so dispatched, I hasten to my pretty one.
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 a moon
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.
It was a lording's daughter, the fairest one of three,t
That liked of her master as well as well might be,
Till looking on an Englishman, the fairest that 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,
Spied a blossom passing fair,
Playing in the wanton air,
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, 'gan 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 thorn:
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth, so apt to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love."
* I. e. month.
+ This and the five following sonnets are said in the old copy to have been set to music. Mr. Oldys, in one of his MSS., says they were set by John and Thomas Morley.
This sonnet is likewise found in a collection of verses entitled England's Helicon, printed in 1600; it is there called The Passionate Sheepheard's Song, and our author's name is affixed to it. It occurs also in Love's Labour's Lost, activ. sc. iii.