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What years in soldiers captains do require,
Those in their lovers pretty maids desire.
Both of them watch: each on the hard earth sleeps:
His mistress' doors this; that his captain's keeps.
Soldiers must travel far: the wench forth send,
Her valiant lover follows without end.
Mounts, and rain-doubled floods he passeth over,
And treads the desert snowy heaps do cover.
Going to sea, east winds he doth not chide,
Nor to hoist sail attends full time and tide.
Who but a soldier or a lover is bold,
To suffer storm-mix'd snows with night's sharp cold? One as a spy doth to his enemies go,
The other eyes his rival as his foe.
He cities great, this thresholds lies before:
This breaks town gates, but he his mistress' door.
Oft to invade the sleeping foe 'tis good,
And arm'd to shed unarmed peoples blood.
So the fierce troops of Thracian Rhesus fell,
And captive horses bade their lord farewell.
Sooth lovers watch till sleep the husband charms,
Who slumbering, they rise up in swelling arms.
The keepers hands and corps-du-gard to pass,
The soldiers, and poor lovers work ere was.
Doubtful is war and love, the vanquish'd rise,
And who thou never think'st should fall down lies.
Therefore whoe'er love slothfulness doth call,
Let him surcease: love tries wit best of all.
Achilles burn'd, Briseis being ta'en away,
Trojans destroy the Greek wealth, while you may.
Hector to arms went from his wive's embraces,
And on Andromache his helmet laces.
Great Agamemnon was, men say amazed,
On Priam's loose-trest daughter when he gazed.
Mars in the deed the blacksmith's net did stable,
In heaven was never more notorious fable.
Myself was dull and faint, to sloth inclin'd
Pleasure, and ease had mollified my mind.
A fair maid's care expell'd this sluggishness,
And to her tents will'd me myself address.
Since may'st thou see me watch and night-wars move:
He that will not grow slothful let him love.
Ad puellam, ne pro amore præmia poscat. SUCH as the cause was of two husbands' war, Whom Trojan ships fetch'd from Eurota far. Such as was Leda, whom the god deluded In snow-white plumes of a false swan included. Such as Amimone through the dry fields strayed, When on her head a water pitcher layed. Such wert thou, and I fear'd the bull and eagle, And whate'er Love made Jove should thee inveigle. Now all fear with my mind's hot love abates: No more this beauty mine eyes captivates. Ask'st why I change? because thou crav'st reward; This cause hath thee from pleasing me debar'd. While thou wert plain I lov'd thy mind and face: Now inward faults thy outward form disgrace.
Love is a naked boy, his years sans stain,
And hath no cloths, but open doth remain.
Will you for gain have Cupid sell himself?
He hath no bosom, where to hide base pelf.
Love and Love's son are with fierce arms at odds;
To serve for pay beseems not wanton gods.
The whore stands to be bought for each man's money,
And seeks vile wealth by selling of her cunny.
Yet greedy bawds command she curseth still,
And doth constrain, what you do of good will.
Take from irrational beasts a president,
"Tis shame their wits should be more excellent.
The mare asks not the horse, the cow the bull,
Nor the mild ewe gifts from the ram doth pull.
Only a woman gets spoil from a man,
Farms out herself on nights for what she can.
And lets what both delight, what both desire,
Making her joy according to her hire.
The sport being such, as both alike sweet try it,
Why should one sell it and the other buy it?
Why should I loose, and thou gain by the pleasure,
Which man and woman reap in equal measure?
Knights of the post of perjuries make sale
The unjust judge for bribes becomes a stale.
'Tis shame sold tongues the guilty should defend
Or great wealth from a judgment seat ascend.
'Tis shame to grow rich by bed merchandize,
Or prostitute thy beauty for bad prize.
Thanks worthily are due for things unbought,-
For beds ill-hir'd we are indebted nought.
The hirer payeth all, his rent discharg'd
From further duty he rests then enlarg'd.
Fair dames forbear rewards for nights to crave:
Ill-gotten goods good end will never have.
The Sabine gauntlets were too dearly won,
That unto death did press the holy nun.
The son slew her, that forth to meet him went,
And a rich necklace caus'd that punishment.
Yet think no scorn to ask a wealthy churl;
He wants no gifts into thy lap to hurl.
Take clustered grapes from an o'er-laden vine,
Many to bounteous love Alcinous' fruit resign.
Let poor men shew their service, faith and care;
All for their mistress, what they have, prepare.
In verse to prepare kind wenches 'tis my part,
And whom I like eternise by mine art.
Garments do wear, jewels and gold do waste,
The fame that verse gives doth for ever last.
To give I love, but to be ask'd disdain;
Leave asking, and I'll give what I refrain.
Napen alloquitur, ut paratas tabellas ad Corinnam perferat.
IN skillful gathering ruffled hairs in order,
Nape, free-born, whose cunning hath no border,
Thy service for night's 'scapes is known commodious,
And to give signs dull wit is odious.
Corinna clips me oft by thy persuasion :
Never to harm me made thy faith evasion.
Receive these lines, them to my mistress carry;
Be sedulous; let no stay cause thee tarry,
Nor flint, nor iron, are in thy soft breast,
But pure simplicity in thee doth rest.
And 'tis suppos'd love's bow hath wounded thee;
Defend the ensigns of thy war in me.
If what I do, she asks, say hope for night;
The rest my hand doth in my letters write.
Time passeth while I speak; give her my writ,
But see that forth with she peruseth it.
I charge thee mark her eyes and front in reading:
By speechless looks we guess at things succeeding.
Straight being read, will her to write much back,
I hate fair paper should writ matter lack.
Let her make verses and some blotted letter
On the last edge to stay mine eyes the better.
What need she try her hand to hold the quill?
Let this word, Come, alone the tables fill.
Then with triumphant laurel will I grace them
And in the mid'st of Venus' temple place them,
Subscribing that to her I consecrate
My faithful tables, being vile maple late.
Tabellas quas miserat execratur quod amica noctem negabat.
BEWAIL my chance the sad book is return'd,
This day denial hath my sport adjourn'd.
Presages are not vain, when she departed,
Nape, by stumbling on the threshold, started.