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As fond of genius, and fixed fortitude,
Of the resounding lyre, and every Muse.
Weak you will find it in one only part,
Now pierced by Love's immedicable dart.
Methought I saw my late espouséd saint
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave,
Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint
Mine, as whom, washed from spot of child-bed taint,
Purification in the old Law did save,
And such, as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind :
Her face was veiled, yet, to my fancied sight,
Love, sweetness, goodness, in her person shined
So clear, as in no face with more delight.
But O, as to embrace me she inclined, -
I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.
CELIA was a real person, but her name is unknown. Carew is said to have fallen in love with her in his youth, and his love not being returned, to have gone to France after leaving the university, to shake off his melancholy. We learn from one of his poems that she demanded her letters back, and from another that she married. Her husband probably died before Carew, for one of the poet's companions bantered him for having a widow for his mistress. Carew stood high in the good graces of his contemporaries. Davenant complimented him and his poetry by telling him there would be more triumphs in King's street, when he died, than in days of Parliament.
“Thy wit’s chief virtue is become its vice;
For every beauty thou hast raised so high,
That now coarse faces carry such a price,
As must undo a lover that should buy.”
“He was a person of a pleasant and facetious wit,” says my Lord Clarendon, “and made many poems (especially in the amorous way), which for the sharpness of the fancy, and the elegance of the language in which that fancy was spread, were at least equal if not superior, to any of that time.” “Carew's sonnets,” says Oldys, “were more in request than any poet's of his time; that is between 1630 and 1640. They were many of them set to music by the two famous composers, Henry and William Lawes, and other eminent masters, and sung at court in their masques.” They were first published in 1640.
TO ONE THAT DESIRED TO KNOW MY MISTRESS,
Seek not to know my love, for she
Hath vowed her constant faith to me;
Her mild aspects are mine, and thou
Shalt only find a stormy brow ;
For if her beauty stir desire
In me, her kisses quench the fire;
Or, I can to Love's fountain go,
Or dwell upon her hills of snow.
But when thou burn'st, she shall not spare
One gentle breath to cool the air;
Thou shalt not climb those Alps, nor spy
Where the sweet springs of Venus lie;
Search hidden nature and there find
A treasure to enrich thy mind;
Discover arts not yet revealed,
But let my Mistress live concealed ;
Though men by knowledge wiser grow,
Yet here 'tis wisdom not to know.
You that think love can convey
No other way,
But through the eyes, into the heart,
His fatal dart;
Close up those casements, and but hear
This siren sing:
And on the wing
Of her sweet voice, it shall appear
That love can enter at the ear :
Then unveil your eyes, behold
The curious mould
Where that voice dwells; and as we know
When the cocks crow,
We freely may
Gaze on the day:
So may you, when the music's done,
Awake and see the rising sun.
TO THIS JFAILOUS MISTRESS.
Admit, thou darling of mine eyes,
I have some idol lately framed,
That under such a false disguise,
Our true loves might the less be famed:
Canst thou that knowest my heart, suppose
I’ll fall from thee and worship those ?
Remember, dear, how loath and slow
I was to cast a look or smile,
Or one love-line to misbestow,
Till thou hadst changed both face and style;
And art thou grown afraid to see
That mask put on thou mad'st for me !
I dare not call those childish fears,
Coming from love, much less from thee,
But wash away, with frequent tears,
This counterfeit idolatry,
And henceforth kneel at ne'er a shrine,
To blind the world, but only thine.
UN GRATEFUL BEAUTY THREATENEI).
Know, Celia, since thou art so proud,
'Twas I that gave thee thy renown.
Thou hadst, in the forgotten crowd
Of common beauties, lived unknown,
Had not my verse exhaled thy name,
And with it impt the wings of fame.
That killing power is none of thine,
I give it to thy voice and eyes;
Thy sweets, thy graces, all are mine,
Thou art my star, shin'st in my skies;
Then dart not from thy borrowed sphere Lightning on him that fixed thee there.
Tempt me with such affrights no more,
Lest what I made I uncreate ;
Let fools thy mystic forms adore,
I’ll know thee in thy mortal state:
Wise poets that wrapped truth in tales,
Know her themselves through all her veils.
Weep not, my dear, for I shall go
Laden enough with my own woe;
Add not thy heaviness to mine;
Since fate our pleasures must disjoin,
Why should our sorrows meet? If I
Must go, and lose thy company,
I wish not theirs; it shall relieve
My grief, to think thou dost not grieve.
Yet grieve, and weep, that I may bear
Every sigh, and every tear
Away with me, so shall thy breast,
And eyes discharged, enjoy their rest:
And it will glad my heart to see
Thou wert thus loath to part with me.
Go, thou gentle whispering wind,
Bear this sigh; and if thou find
Where my cruel fair doth rest,
Cast it in her snowy breast,
So, inflamed by my desire,
It may set her heart a-fire.
Those sweet kisses thou shalt gain,