Page images

Thus may'st thou safely say and swear

That rigour reigns and ruth doth fail, In thankless thoughts thy thoughts do wear,

Thy truth, thy faith may nought avail For thy good-will. Why shouldst thou so Still graff where grace it will not grow?

Alas, poor heart, thus hast thou spent

Thy flowering time, thy pleasant years ! With sighing voice weep and lament,

For of thy hope no fruit appears : Thy true meaning is paid with scorn, That ever soweth and reapeth no corn.

And where thou seek'st a quiet port

Thou dost but weigh against the wind; For where thou gladliest wouldst resort,

There is no place for thee assign'd; Thy destiny hath set it so That thy true heart should cause thy woe.

A Praise of his Lady.

[Abridged from 56 lines.]

Give place, you ladies, and be gone,

Boast not yourselves at all;
For here at hand approacheth one

Whose face will stain you all.

The virtue of her lively looks

Excels the precious stone,
I wish to have none other books

To read or look upon.

In each of her two crystal eyes

Smileth a naked boy ; It would


all in heart suffice To see that lamp of joy.

I think Nature hath lost the mould

Where she her shape did take ; Or else I doubt if Nature could

So fair a creature make.

She may be well compared

Unto the phenix kind,

Whose like was never seen or heard,

That any man can find.

I life she is Diana chaste,

In truth Penelope ;
In word and eke in deed stedfast,

What will you more we say ?

Her roseal colour comes and goes

With such a comely grace, More ruddier too than doth the rose

Within her lively face ;

At Bacchus' feast none shall her meet,

Ne at no wanton play; Nor gazing in an open street,

Nor gadding as astray.

The modest mirth that she doth use,

Is mix'd with shamefastness ; All vice she doth wholly refuse,

And hateth idleness.

O Lord, it is a world to see

How virtue can repair,
And deck in her such honesty

Whom Nature made so fair.

Truly she doth as far exceed

Our women now-a-days,
As doth the gilly-flow'r a weed,

And more a thousand ways.

How might I do to get a graff

Of this unspotted tree?
For all the rest are plain but chaff

Which seem good corn to be.

This gift alone I shall her give.

When death doth what he can,
Her honest fame shall ever live

Within the mouth of man.

The Lover accusing his Love for her unfaithfulness,

purposeth to live in liberty.

[Abridged from 56 lines.]

The smoky sighs, the bitter tears

That I in vain have wasted,
The broken sleeps, the woe and fears,

That long in me have lasted,
The love, and all I owe to thee,
Here I renounce, and make me free.

The fruits were fair the which did grow

Within thy garden planted,
The leaves were green of every bough,

And moisture nothing wanted;
Yet, ere the blossoms 'gan to fall
The caterpillar wasted all.

Thy body was the garden-place,

And sugar'd words it beareth;
The blossoms all, thy faith it was,

Which, as the canker, weareth.
The caterpillar is the same
That hath won thee, and lost thy name.

That all things sometime find ease of their pain, save

only the Lover.

[Abridged from 32 lines.]
I see there is no sort

Of things that live in grief,
Which at some time may not resort,

Whereas they have relief.

The chaced deer hath soil,

To cool him in his heat;
The ass, after his weary toil,

In stable is up set.

« PreviousContinue »