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The little joys which here are now,
The name of punishments do bear;
When by their sight they let us know
How we deprived of greater are.
'Tis you the best of seasons with you bring;
This is for beasts, and that for men, the Spring.


Fairest thing that shines below,
Why in this robe dost thou appear?
Wouldst thou a white most perfect show,
Thou must at all no garment wear :
Thou wilt seem much whiter so,
Than winter when 'tis clad with snow.

'Tis not the linen shows so fair :
Her skin shines through, and makes it bright;
So clouds themselves like suns appear,
When the sun pierces them with light:
So lilies in a glass enclose, -
The glass will seem as white as those.

Thou now one heap of beauty art;
Nought outwards, or within is foul;
Condenséd beams make every part ;
Thy body’s clothed like thy soul:
Thy soul, which does itself display,
Like a star placed i' th' milky way.

Such robes the saints departed wear,
Woven all with light divine;
Such their exalted bodies are,
And with such full glory shine.
But they regard not mortals' pain :
Men pray, I fear, to both in vain.

Wet seeing thee so gently pure,
My hopes will needs continue still ;
Thou wouldst not take this garment, sure,
When thou hadst an intent to kill.
Of peace and yielding who would doubt,
When the white flag he sees hung out 7


Margarita first possessed,
If I remember well, my breast,
Margarita, first of all;

But, when awhile the wanton maid

With my restless heart had played,
Martha took the flying ball.

Martha soon did it resign
To the beauteous Catharine.
Beauteous Catharine gave place

(Though loath and angry she to part

With the possession of my heart)
To Elisa's conquering face.

Elisa till this hour might reign,
Had she not evil counsels ta'en :
Fundamental laws she broke,

And still new favourites she chose,

Till up in arms my passions rose,
And cast away her yoke.

Mary then and gentle Anne
Doth to reign at once began ;
Alternately they swayed :
And sometimes Mary was the fair,
And sometimes Anne the crown did wear,
And sometimes both I obeyed.

Another Mary then arose,
And did rigorous laws impose ;
A mighty tyrant, she

Long, alas ! should I have been

Under that iron-sceptred queen,
Had not Rebecca set me free.

When fair Rebecca set me free,
'T was then a golden time with me :
But soon those pleasures fled ;

For the gracious princess died,

In her youth and beauty’s pride,
And Judith reignéd in her stead.

One month, three days, and half an hour, Judith held the sovereign power ; Wondrous beautiful her face;

But so small and weak her wit,

That she to govern was unfit,
And so Susanna took her place.

But, when Isabella came,
Armed with a resistless flame,
And th’ artillery of her eye;

Whilst she proudly marched about

Greater conquests to find out,
She beat out Susan, by the by.

But in her place I then obeyed
Black-eyed Bess, her viceroy-maid,
To whom ensued a vacancy.

Thousand worse passions then possessed

The interregnum of my breast :
Bless me from such an anarchy

Gentle Henrietta then,
And a third Mary next began ;
Then Joan, and Jane, and Audria,

And then a pretty Thomasine,
And then another Catharine,
And then a long ef castera.

But should I now to you relate,
The strength and riches of their state,
The powders, patches, and the pins,

The ribands, jewels, and the rings,

The lace, the paint, and warlike things,
That make up all their magazines:

If I should tell the politic arts
To take and keep men’s hearts;
The letters, embassies, and spies,

The frowns, and smiles, and flatteries,

The quarrels, tears, and perjuries,
Numberless, nameless mysteries

And all the little lime-twigs laid
By Machiavel, the waiting-maid ;
I more voluminous should grow

(Chiefly, if I like them should tell

All change of weathers that befel)
Than Holinshed, or Stow.

But I will briefer with them be,
Since few of them were long with me.
An higher and a noble strain,

My present emperess doth claim,

Heleonora, first o' th' name,

Whom God grant long to reign

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Some asked me where the rubies grew,
And nothing I did say,
But with my finger pointed to
The lips of Julia.
Some asked how pearls did grow, and where,
Then spoke I to my girl,
To part her lips, and showed them there
The quarrelets of pearl.

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