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a grove most rich of shade,
Where birds wanton music made,
May, then young, his pied weeds showing,
New perfum'd, with flow'rs fresh growing,
Astrophel, with Stella sweet,
Did for mutual comfort meet;
Both within themselves oppress'd,
But each in the other bless'd.
Him great harms had taught much care,
Her fair neck a foul yoke bare ;
But her sight his cares did banish,
In his sight her yoke did vanish.
Wept they had, alas, the while!
But now tears themselves did smile;
Sigh they did, but now betwixt
Sighs of woe were glad sighs mix'd;
Their ears hungry of each word,
Which the dear tongue could afford.
“ Stella! whose voice, when it singeth,
Angels to acquaintance bringeth;
Stella, in whose body is
Writ each character of bliss;
Whose face all, all beauty passeth,
Save thy mind, which that surpasseth ;
Grant-grantbut speech, alas !
Fails me, fearing on to pass
Grant, o dear, on knees I pray,
(Knees on ground he then did stay)
That not I, but, since I love you,
Time and place for me may move you!
Never season was more fit,
Never room more apt for it!
Smiling air allows my reason,
The birds sing," now use the season,"
This small wind, which so sweet is,
See how it the leaves doth kiss ;
And, if dumb things be so witty,
Shall a heavenly grace want pity?"
There, his hands, in their speech, fain
Would have made tongue's language plain;
But her hands, his hands repelling,
Gave repulse all grace excelling.
Then she spake; her speech was such
As not ears but heart did touch;
While in suchwise she love denied
As yet love she signified.
“ Astrophel! (said she) my love,
Cease in these effects to prove.
Now be still ; yet, still beli me,
Thy grief more than death doth grieve me.
If that any thought in me
Can taste comfort, but of thee;
Let me feed with hellish anguish,
And joyless, helpless, endless languish!
If those eyes you praised, be
Half so dear, as you to me,
Let me home return stark-blinded
Of those eyes, and blinder minded !
If to secret of my heart,
I do any wish impart,
Where thou art not foremost placed,
Be both wish and I defaced.
If more may be said, I say
All my life on thee I lay :
If thou love-my love content thee;
For, all love, all faith is meant thee.
Trust me, while I thee deny,
In myself the smart I try.
Tyrant honour thus doth use thee,
Stella's self might not refuse thee.
Therefore, dear, this no more move,
Lest, (though I leave not thy love,
Which too deep in me is framed)
I should blush when thou art named.”.
Therewithal, away she went;
Leaving him by passion rent
With what she had done and spoken,
That therewith my song is broken.
SONG. WHO is it that this dark night,
Underneath my window plaineth ?" It is one, who from thy sight,
Being (ah!) exild, disdaineth
Every other vulgar light.
Why, alas! and are you he?
Are not yet these fancies changed ?”
Dear, when you find change in me,
Though from me you be estranged,
Let my change to ruin be.
" What if you new beauties see?
Will not they stir new affection ?" I will think they pictures be
(Image-like of saint perfection) Poorly counterfeiting thee.' “ Peace! I think that some give ear.
Come, no more, lest I get anger." Bliss! I will my bliss forbear,
Fearing, sweet, you to endanger; But my soul shall harbour there. “ Well, begone; begone, I say,
Lest that Argus' eyes perceive you.” O! unjust is Fortune's sway,
Which can make me thus to leave you, And from louts to run away!
Preserve those beams, this age's only light; To her sweet sense, sweet sleep! some ease impart,
Her sense too weak to bear her spirit's might.
And while, o Sleep! thou closest up her sightHer sight, where Love did forge his fairest dart,
O harbour all her parts in easeful plight: Let no strange dream make her fair body start. But yet, o Dream! if thou wilt not depart, In this rare subject, from thy common right,
But wilt thy self in such a seat delight;
Then take my shape, and play a lover's part:
Kiss her from me; and say, unto her sprite,
Till her eyes shine, I live in darkest night!
Happy Thames, that didst my Stella bear !
I saw thee, with full many a smiling line, Upon thy cheerful face joy's livery wear; While those fair planets on thy streams did shine.
The boat, for joy, could not to dance forbear; While wanton winds, with beauties so divine,
Ravish'd, staid not till in her golden hair They did themselves (O sweetest prison') twine;
And fain those Æol's youth there would their stay Have made ; but forc'd by nature still to Ay,
First did with puffing kiss those locks display. She, so dishevell’d, blush'd: from window I,
With sight thereof, cried out-o fair disgrace,
Let honour's self to thee grant highest place!
Be your words made, good Sir! of Indian ware,
That you allow me them by so small rate?
Or do you courted Spartans imitate ?
Or do you mean my tender ears to spare,
That to my questions you so total are?
When I demand of Phænix-Stella's state,
You say, forsooth, you left her well of late :
O God ! think you, that satisfies my care? I would know, whether she do sit or walk?
How cloth'd ? How waited on? Sigh'd she,or smil'd? Whereof? with whom? how often did she talk?
With what pastime, time's journey she beguild ? If her lips deign'd to sweeten my poor name? Say all, and all well said, still say the same.