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THE MERIT OF INCONSTANCY.
Why dost thou say I am forsworn,
Since thine I vow'd to be?
Lady, it is already morn;
It was last night I swore to thee
That fond impossibility.
Yet have I loved thee well, and long;
A tedious twelve-hours' space !
I should all other beauties wrong,
And rob thee of a new embrace,
Did I still doat upon that face.
LOVE not me for comely grace,
For my pleasing eye or face,
Nor for any outward part,
No, nor for my constant heart, -
For these may fail, or turn to ill,
So thou and I shall sever:
Keep, therefore, a true woman's eye,
And love me still, but know not why-
So hast thou the same reason still
To doat upon me ever!
TO LUCASTA, ON GOING BEYOND THE SEAS.
IF to be absent were to be
Away from thee;
Or that when I am gone
You or I were alone;
Then, my Lucasta, might I crave
Pity from blustering wind, or swallowing wave.
Though seas and land betwixt us both,
Our faith and troth,
Like separated souls,
All time and space controls:
Above the highest sphere we meet
Unseen, unknown, and greet as angels greet.
So then we do anticipate
And are alive i' the skies,
If thus our lips and eyes
Can speak like spirits unconfined
In heaven, their earthly bodies left behind.
WERT thou yet fairer in thy feature,
Which lies not in the power of nature;
Or hadst thou in thine eyes more darts
Than ever Cupid shot at hearts;
Yet if they were not thrown at me,
I would not cast a thought on thee.
I'd rather marry a disease,
Than court the thing I could not please :
She that would cherish my desires,
Must meet my flame with equal fires :
What pleasure is there in a kiss
To him that doubts the heart's not his ?
I love thee not because thou'rt fair,
Softer than down, smoother than air;
Nor for the Cupids that do lie
In either corner of thine eye:
Would'st thou then know what it might be ?-
'Tis I love thee 'cause thou loy'st me.
'Tis not her birth, her friends, nor yet her treasure,
Nor do I covet her for sensual pleasure,
Nor for that old morality,
Do I love her 'cause she loves me.
Sure he that loves his lady 'cause she's fair,
Delights his eye, so loves himself, not her.
Something there is moves me to love, and I
Do know I love, but know not how, nor why.
'Tis not your beauty not your wit
That can my heart obtain,
For they could never conquer yet
Either my breast or brain;
For if you'll not prove kind to me,
And true as heretofore,
Henceforth I'll scorn your slave to be,
And doat on you no more.
Think not my fancy to o'ercome
By proving thus unkind;
No smoothed sigh, nor smiling frown,
Can satisfy my mind.
Pray let Platonics play such pranks,
Such follies I deride;
For love at least I will have thanks, -
And something else beside !
Then open-hearted be with me,
As I shall be with you,
And let our actions be as free
As virtue will allow.
If you'll prove loving, I'll prove kind, --
If true, I'll constant be-
If Fortune chance to change your mind,
I'll turn as soon as ye.
Since our affections, well ye know,
In equal terms do stand,
'Tis in your power to love or no,
Mine's likewise in my hand.
Dispense with your austerity,
Or, by great Cupid's deity,
I'll never love you more.
I PR’YTHEE leave this peevish fashion,
Don't desire to be high-prized,
Love's a princely, noble passion,
And doth scorn to be despised.
Tho' we say you're fair, you know
We your beauty do bestow,-
For our fancy makes you so.
Don't be proud 'cause we adore you,
We do't only for our pleasure ;
And those parts in which you glory,
We, by fancy, weigh and measure.
When for Deities you go,
For Angels, or for Queens, pray know
own fancy makes you so !
Don't suppose your majesty
By tyranny's best signified,
And your angelic natures be
Distinguish'd only by your pride.
Tyrants make subjects rebels grow,
And pride makes angels devils below,
And your pride may make you so !
UNGRATEFUL BEAUTY THREATENED.
Know Celia (since thou art so proud)
'Twas I that gave thee thy renown:
Thou hadst, in the forgotten crowd
Of common beauties, lived unknown
Had not my verse exhaled thy name,
And with it impt the wings of Fame.
That killing power is none of thine !
I gave it to thy voice and eyes:
Thy sweets, thy graces, - all are mine :
Thou art my star-shinest in my skies;
Then dart not from thy borrow'd sphere
Lightning on him that fix'd thee there.
Tempt me with such affrights no more,
Lest what I made I uncreate; Let fools thy mystic forms adore,
I'll know thee in thy mortal state. Wise poets, that wrap Truth in tales, Know her themselves thro' all her veils.
Sweet, be not proud of those two eyes
Which, star-like, sparkle in their skies ;
Nor be you proud, that you can see
All hearts your captives, -yours yet free:
Be you not proud of that rich hair,
Which wantons with the love-sick air ;
Whenas that ruby which you wear,
Sunk from the tip of your soft ear,
Will last to be a precious stone
When all your world of beauty's gone.
Love in her sunny eyes does basking play ;
Love walks the pleasant mazes of her hair; Love does on both her lips for ever stray,
And sows and reaps a thousand kisses there : In all her outward parts Love's always seen; But oh! he never went within.