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A Lover's Excuse for his long Absence.
Oh! never say that I was false of heart,
Tho' absence seem'd my flame to qualify;
As easy might I from myself depart,
As from my soul which in my breast doth lie.
That is my home of love ; if I have rang'd,
Like him that travels, I return again
Just to the time, not with the time exchang’d;
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, tho' in my nature reign'd
All frailties, that besięge all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stain'd,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good :
For nothing this wide univerfe I call,
Save thou, my rose, in it thou art my all.
Alas ! 'tis true, I have gone here and there;
And made myself a motly to thy view ;
Gor'd mine own thoughts, fold cheap what is most
Made old offences of affections new.
Most true it is, that I have look'd on truth
Alkance and strangely; but by all above,
These blenches gave my heart another youth,
And worst afsays prov'd thee my best of love. .
Now all is done, have what shall have no end,
Mine appetite I never more will grind
On newer proof, to try an older friend,
A god in love, to whom I am confin'd.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
Even to thy pure and most most loving breast.
Oh! for my fake do you with fortune chide
The guilty goddess of my harmless deeds,
That did not better for my life provide,
Than publick means which publick manners breeds.
Thence comes it, that my name receives a brand,
And almost thence my nature is subdu'd
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand.
Pity me then, and wish I were renew'd;
Whilft like a willing patient I will drink
Potions of eysel 'gainst my strong infection,
No bitterness, that I will bitter think,
Nor double penance to corred correction.
Pity me then, dear friend, and I affure
E'en that your pity is enough to cure me.
Your love and pity doth th' impression fill,
Which vulgar scandal stamp'd upon my brow;
For what care I who calls me well or ill,
So you o'er-fkreen my bad, my good allow ?
You are my all, the world and I must strive,
To know my shames and praises from your tongue ;
None else to me, nor I to none alive,
That my steeld sense or changes right or wrong.
In so profound abysme 1 throw all care
Of others voices, that my adder's sense
To critick and to-fatterer stopped are :
Mark how with my neglect I do dispense.
You are so strongly in my purpose bred,
That all the world besides me thinks I'm dead.
Self Flattery of her Beauty.
Since I left you mine eye is in my mind,
And that which governs me to go about,
Doth part his function, and is partly blind;
Seems seeing, but effectually is out.
For it no form delivers to the heart
Of birds, or flower, or shape, which it doth lack;
Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
Nor his own vifion holds what it doth catch :
For if it see the rud'ft or gentlest fight,
The most sweet favour or deformed'ft creature,
The mountain or the fea, the day or night,
The crow or dove, it shapes them to your feature :
Incapable of more, replete with you,
My most truc mind thus maketh mine untrue.
Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you,
Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery ?
Or whether shall I say mine eye faith true,
And that your love taught it the alchymy?
To make of monsters, and things indigeft,
Such cherubims as your sweet felf resemble;
Creating every bad a perfect best,
As fast as objects to his beams afsemble ?
Oh! 'tis the first, 'tis flattery in my seeing,
And my great mind most kindly drinks it up ;
Mine eye well knows what with his gust is 'greeing,
And to his palate doth prepare the cup.
If it be poison'd, 'tis the leffer fin,
That' mine eye loves it, and doth first begin.
Those lines, that I before have writ, do lye,
E'en those that said I could not love you dearer :
Yet then my judgment knew no reason why,
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.
But reck’ning time, whose million accidents
Creep in 'twixt vows, and change decrees of kings,
Can sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'ít intents,
Divert strong minds to th' course of alt'ring things:
Alas! why fearing of time's tyranny,
Might I not then fay, now I love you best,
When I was certain o'er incertainty,
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest? .
Love is a babe, then might I not say so,
To give full growth to that which still doth grow?
A Trial of Love's Constancy.
Accuse me thus ; that I have scanted all,
Wherein I should your great deserts repay,
Forgot upon your dearest love to call,
Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day;
That I have frequent been with unknown minds,
And given to time your own dear purchas'd right's
That I have hoisted fails to all the winds,
Which should transport me farthest from your sight.
Book both my wilfulness and error down,
And on just proof furmise, accumulate ;
Bring me within the level of your frown,
But shoot not at me in your wakened hate :
Since my appeal says, I did strive to prove
The constancy and virtue of your love.
Like as you make your appetites more keen,
With eager compounds we our palate urge;
As to prevent our maladies unseen,
We ficken, to fhun fickness, when we purge :
Even so being full of your near cloying sweetness,
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding ;
And fick of welfare, found a kind of meekness,
To be diseas'd ere that there was true needing.
Thus policy in love, t' anticipate
The ills that were not, grew to faults assured,
And brought to medicine a healthful state,
Which rank of goodness would by ill be cured.
But thence I learn, and find the lesson true,
Drugs poison him that fell fo fick of you.
What potions have I drunk of Siren tears,
Distill'd from limbecks foul as hell within ?
Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears,
Still losing when I saw myself to win.
What wretched errors hath my heart committed,
Whilst it hath thought itself fo blefred never ?
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted,
In the distraction of this madding fever?
Oh! benefit of ill! now I find true,
That better is by evil ftill made better ;
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew,
Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far greater.
So I return rebuke to my content,
And gain by ills thrice more than I have spent.
A good construction of his Love's Unkindness.
That you were once unkind befriends me now;
And for that sorrow, which I then did feel,
Needs must I under my transgression bow,
Unless my nerves were brass or hammer'd steel.
For if you were by my unkindness shaken,
As I by yours, y' have pass'd a hell of time;