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The Shepherd to the Flowers.
Within your paly faces,
That plays amidst the plain,
Be proud to touch those places !
Whereby her dainty parts are sweetly fed, Your honours of the flowery meads I pray,
You pretty daughters of the earth and sun, With mild and seemly breathing, straight display
My bitter sighs, that have my heart undone !
Vermilion roses, that with new days rise,
Whose radiant bright disgraces
Ah, if her virgin's hand
If chance my mistress traces
Then woeful blushing tempt her glorious eyes
And tell Love's torments, sorrowing for her friend, Whose drops of blood, within your leaves consorting,
Report fair Venus' moans to have no end ! Then may Remorse, in pitying of my smart, Dry up my tears, and dwell within her heart!
Upon Gascoigne's Poem, called “ The Steel-glass." SWEET were the sauce would please each kind of taste ;
The life likewise was pure that never swerv’d;
For spiteful tongues, in canker'd stomachs plac'd,
But what for that ? this medicine may suffice
Though sundry minds in sundry sort do deem,
Yet worthiest wights yield praise for every pain;
For whoso reaps renown above the rest,
Wherefore, to write my censure of this book,
This “ Glass of Steel" impartially doth shew
As for the verse, who list like trade to try,
Thirsis the Shepherd to his Pipe. LIKE desert woods, with darksome shades obscured, Where dreadful beasts, where hateful horror reigneth, Such is my wounded heart, whom sorrow paineth.
The trees are fatal shafts, to death inured,
The ghastly beasts my thoughts in cares assured, Which wage me war, while heart no succour gaineth, With false suspect, and fear that still remaineth.
The horrors, burning sighs, by cares procured, Which forth I send, whilst weeping eye complaineth, To cool the heat the helpless heart containeth.
But shafts, but cares, but sighs, honours unrecured,
Were nought esteemid, if, for these pains awarded,
Love the only price of Love.
For precious stones from eastern coasts are sold; Nought yields the earth that from exchange is freed; Gold values all, and all things value gold.
Where goodness wants an equal change to make,
No mortal thing can bear so high a price,
But that with mortal thing it may be bought ;
No pearls, no gold, no stones, no corn, no spice,
What thing is love, which nought can countervail ?
Nought save itself, ev'n such a thing is love.
Divine is love, and scorneth worldly pelf,
Such is the price my loving heart would pay,
Such is the pay thy love doth claim as due.
True is my love, and true shall ever be,
Love but thyself, and love thyself alone;
For, save thyself, none can thy love requite: All mine thou hast, but all as good as none;
My small desert must take a lower flight.
Yet if thou wilt vouchsafe my heart such bliss,
The Shepherd's Praise of his sacred Diana. Prais'd be Diana's fair and harmless light;
Prais'd be the dews, wherewith she moists the ground; Prais'd be her beams, the glory of the night ;
Prais'd be her power, by which all powers abound !
Prais'd be her nymphs, with whom she decks the woods;
Prais'd be her knights, in whom true honour lives; Prais'd be that force by which she moves the floods !
Let that Diana shine, which all these gives !
In heaven, queen she is among the spheres ;
She, mistress-like, makes all things to be pure; Eternity in her oft-change she bears;
She, Beauty is; by her, the fair endure.
Time wears her not; she doth his chariot guide;
Mortality below her orb is plac'd ;
In her is Virtue's perfect image cast !
A knowledge pure it is her worth to know :
The silent Loverf.
The shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb.
The bottom is but shallow whence they come:
This has been much improved from a MS. copy in a very curious collection of contemporary poetry, among Dr. Rawlinson's MSS, in the Bodleian. It is there entitled “Sir Walter Ralegh to Queene Elizabeth.”
Wrong not, sweet mistress of my heart !
The merit of true passion,
Who sues for no compassion !
Since, if my plaints serve not to prove
The conquest of thy beauty, They come not from defect of love,
But from excess of duty.
For, knowing that I sue to serve
A saint of such perfection, As all desire, but none deserve
A place in her affection,
I rather choose to want relief
Than venture the revealing: Where Glory recommends the grief,
Despair distrusts the healing !
Thus those desires that aim too high
For any mortal lover,
Discretion doth them cover.
Yet when Discretion doth bereave
The plaints that they should utter, Then your Discretion may perceive
That Silence is a suitor.
Silence in love bewrays more woe
Than words, though ne'er so witty ; A beggar that is dumb, you know,
Deserveth double pitys !
* This stanza was, by some strange anachronism, current about seventy years ago, among the circles of fashion, as the production of the late celebrated earl of Chesterfield.