Page images

Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers,
So they were dew'd with such distilling showers.

Look how a bird lies tangled in a net,

So fasten'd in her arms Adonis lies:

Pure shame and aw'd resistance made him fret;
Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes.
Rain added to a river that is rank,
Perforce will force it overflow the bank.

Still she entreats, and prettily entreats,
For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale;
Still he is sullen, still he lowers and frets,
"Twixt crimson shame and angry ashy pale.

Being red, she loves him best; and being white,
Her breast is better'd with a more delight.

Look how he can, she cannot chuse but love;
And by her fair immortal hand she swears,
From his soft bosom never to remove,

Till he take truce with her contending tears;

Which long have rain'd, making her cheeks all wet,
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt.

Upon this promise did he raise his chin,
Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave,
Who, being look'd on, ducks as quickly in ;
So offers he to give what she did crave,

But when his lips were ready for his pay,
He winks, and turns his lips another way.

Never did passenger, in summer's heat,
More thirst for drink, than she for this good turn;
Her help she sees, but help she cannot get,
She bathes in water, yet in fire must burn.
Oh pity, 'gan she cry, flint hearted boy!
'Tis but a kiss I beg, why art thou coy?
I have been woo'd, as I entreat thee now,
Even by the stern and direful god of war,
Whose sinewy neck in battle ne'er did bow,
Who conquers where he comes in every jar;

Yet hath he been my captive and my slave,
And begg'd for that which thou unask'd shalt have.

Over my altars hath he hung his lance,
His batter'd shield, his uncontrolled crest,

And for my sake hath learn'd to sport and dance,
To coy, to wanton, dally, smile and jest,
Scorning his churlish drum, and ensign red,
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed.

Thus he that over-rul'd, I oversway'd,
Leading him prisoner in a red rose chain:
Strong temper'd steel, his stronger strength obey'd,
Yet was he servile to my coy disdain.

Oh, be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For mast'ring her that foil'd the god of fight!
Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine,
(Tho' mine be not so fair, yet they are red)
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine;
What seest thou on the ground? hold up thy head:
Look in mine eye-balls where thy beauty lies;
Then why not lips on lips since eyes on eyes?

Art thou asham'd to kiss? Then wink again,
And I will wink, so shall the day seem night;
Love keeps his revels where there be but twain;
Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight.

These blue-vein'd violets whereon we lean,
Never can blab, nor know they what we mean.

The tender spring upon thy tempting lip

Shews thee unripe, yet may'st thou well be tasted;
Make use of time, let not advantage slip,

Beauty within itself would not be wasted,

Fair flowers, that are not gather'd in their prime,
Rot and consume themselves in little time.

Were I hard favour'd, foul, or wrinkled, old,
Ill-natur'd, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
O'er-worn, despised, rheumatic and cold,
Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice,

Then might'st thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
But, having no defects, why dost abhor me?

Thou can'st not see one wrinkle in my brow,
Mine eyes are grey, and bright, and quick in turning;
My beauty, as the spring, doth yearly grow;
My flesh as soft and plump, my marrow burning;
My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt,
Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt.

Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
Or, like a fairy, trip upon the green;
Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell❜d hair,
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen:
Love is a spirit all compact of fire,

Not gross to sink, but light and will aspire.

Witness this primrose-bank whereon I lie,
The forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me:
Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky
From morn till night, even where I list to sport me.
Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
That thou should'st think it heavy unto thee?

Is thine own heart to thine own face affected?
Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left?
Then woo thyself, be of thyself rejected,
Steal thine own freedom, and complain of theft.
Narcissus so himself, himself forsook,

And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.

Torches are made to light, jewels to wear,
Dainties to taste, fresh beauties for the use,
Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to bear;
Things growing to themselves are growth's abuse:
Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth beauty;
Thou wert begot, to get it is thy duty.

Upon the earth's increase why should'st thou feed,
Unless the earth with thy increase be fed?
By law of nature thou art bound to breed,
That thine may live, when thou thyself art dead:
And so, in spite of death, thou dost survive,
In that thy likeness still is left alive.

By this the love-sick queen began to sweat,
For where they lay the shadow had forsook them,
And Titan, tired in the mid-day heat,
With burning eye did hotly overlook them:
Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
So he were like him, and by Venus' side.

And now Adonis, with a lazy spright,
With a heavy, dark, disliking eye,

[blocks in formation]

His low'ring brows o'erwhelming his fair sight,
Like misty vapours, when they blot the sky,
Souring his cheeks, cries, Fie, no more of love,
The sun doth burn my face, I must remove!

Ah me! (quoth Venus) young, and so unkind:
What bare excuses mak'st thou to be gone ?
I'll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind
Shall cool the heat of this descending sun.

I'll make a shadow for thee of my hairs,

If they burn too, I'll quench them with my tears.

The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm,
And, lo, I lie between the sun and thee!

The heat I have from thence doth little harm,
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me,
And, were I not immortal, life were done
Between this heav'nly and this earthly sun.

Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel?
Nay more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth,
Art thou a woman's son, and canst not feel
What 'tis to love, how want of love tormenteth?
Oh! had thy mother borne so bad a mind,
She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind.

What am I, that thou shouldst contemn me this?
Or what great danger dwells upon my suit?
What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss?
Speak, fair: but speak fair words or else be mute.
Give me one kiss, I'll give it thee again,

And one for int'rest, if thou wilt have twain.

Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
Well-painted idol, image dull and dead,
Statue contenting but the eye alone,
Thing like a man, but of no woman bred:

Thou art no man, though of a man's complexion,
For men will kiss even by their own direction.

This said, impatience choaks her pleading tongue,
And swelling passion doth provoke a pause;
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong,
Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause:

And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak, And now her sobs do her intendments break.

Sometimes she shakes her head, and then his hand;
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground;
Sometimes her arms infold him like a band?
She would, he will not in her arms be bound:
And when from thence he struggles to be gone,,
She locks her lily fingers one in one.

Fondling, saith she, since I have hemm'd thee here,
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,

I'll be the park, and thou shalt be my deer,
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale.
Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.

Within this limit is relief enough,
Sweet bottom grass, and high delightful plain,
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain.
Then be my deer, since I am such a park,

No dog shall rouse thee, though a thousand bark.

At this Adonis smiles, as in disdain,
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple:
Love made those hollows, if himself were slain,
He might be buried in a tomb so simple;

Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie,
Why there love liv'd, and there he could not die :

These loving caves, these round enchanted pits,
Open'd their mouths to swallow Venus' liking:
Being mad before, how doth she now for wits;
Struck dead at first, what needs a second striking?
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorn,
To love a cheek that smiles at thee with scorn.

Now which way shall she turn? What shall she say?
Her words are done, her woes the more increasing:
The time is spent, her object will away,

And from her twining arms doth urge releasing.
Pity, she cries, some favour, some remorse!
Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse.

« PreviousContinue »