Page images
PDF
EPUB

And let thy heart pity thy heart's remorse,
And be thyselfe the mourner and the corse.

“« Condole thee here, clad all in black despair,
With silence only, and a dying bed;
Thou that of late, so flourishing, so fair,
Did'st glorious live, admir'd and honoured:
And now from friends, from succour hither led,
Art made a spoil to lust, to wrath, to death,
And in disgrace, forc'd here to yield thy breath.

“ Did Nature (for this good) ingeniate,
To show in thee the glory of her best;
Framing thine eye the star of thy ill fate,
Making thy face the foe to spoil the rest ?
O beauty! thou an enemy profess’d
To chastity, and us that love thee most,
Without thee, how ware loath'd, and with thee lost!

You, you that proud with liberty and beauty, (And well may you be proud that you be so) Glitter in court, lov'd and observ'd of duty; Would God I might to you but ere I go Speak what I feel, to warn you by my woe, To keep your feet in cleanly paths of shame, That not enticing may divert the same.

“ Seeing how 'gainst your tender weakness still,
The strength of wit, and gold, and all is bent ;
And all th' assaults that ever might or skill
Can give against a chaste and clean intent;
Ah ! let not greatness work you to consent.
The spot is foul, though by a monarch made,
Kings cannot privilege what God forbade.

666 Lock up therefore the treasure of your love,
Under the surest keys of fear and shame :
And let no powers have power chaste thoughts to
To make a lawless entry on your fame. [move,
Open to those the comfort of your flame,
Whose equal love shall march with equal pace,
In those pure ways that lead to no disgrace.

“. For see how many discontented beds,
Our own aspiring or our parents' pride
Have caus’d, whilst that ambition vainly weds
Wealth and not love, honour and nought beside :
Whilst marry'd but to titles, we abide
As wedded widows, wanting what we have,
When shadows cannot give us what we crave.

“ • Or whilst we spend the freshest of our time, The sweets of youth inplotting in the air ; Alas! how oft we fall, hoping to climb; Or whither as unprofitably fair, Whilst those decays which are without repair, Make us neglected, scorned, and reprov’d. (And 0, what are we, if we be not lov’d?)

“Fasten therefore upon occasions fit,
Lest this, or that, or like disgrace as mine,
Do overtake your youth, or ruin it,
And cloud with infamy your beauty's shine :
Seeing how many seek to undermine
The treasury that 's unpossess’d of any;
And hard 't is kept that is desir'd of many.

“ • And fy (o fly!) these bed-brokers unclean,
(The monsters of our sex) that make a prey
Of their own kind, by an unkindly mean;

And e’en (like vipers) eating out a way (they
Through th' womb of their own shame, accursed
Live by the death of fame, the gain of sin,
The filth of lust, uncleanness wallows in.

As if 't were not enough that we (poor we) Have weakness, beauty, gold, and men, our foes, But we must have some of ourselves to be Traitors unto ourselves, to join with those ; Such as our feeble forces do disclose, And still betray our cause, our shame, our youth, To lust, to folly, to mens' untruth.

66 Hateful confounders both of blood and laws,
Vile orators of shame, that plead delight;
Ungracious agents in a wicked cause,
Factors for darkness, messengers of night,
Serpents of guile, devils that do unite
The wanton taste of that forbidden tree,
Whose fruit once pluck'd, will show how foul we

be.

“« You in the habit of a grave aspect,
(In credit by the trust of years) can show
The cunning ways of lust, and can direct
The fair and wily wantons how to go,

(so :
Having (your loathsome selves) your youth spent
And in uncleanness ever have been fed,
By the revenue of a wanton bed :

By you have been the innocent betray'd,
The blushing fearful bolden'd unto sin,
The wife made subtile, subtile made the maid,
The husband scorn'd, dishonoured the kin;
Parents disgrac'd, children infamous been :

Confus'd our race, and falsify'd our blood,
Whilst fathers' sons possess wrong fathers' good.'

“ This, and much more, I would have utter'd then, A testament to be recorded still, Sign'd with my blood, subscrib'd with conscience'

pen, To warn the fair and beautiful from ill! Though I could wish (by the example of my will) I had not left this note unto the fair, But dy'd intestate to have had no heir.

“But now the poison, spread through all my veins,
Gan dispossess my living senses quite;
And nought-respecting Death (the last of pains)
Plac'd his pale colours (th' ensign of his might)
Upon his new-got spoil before his right:
Thence chas'd my soul, setting my day ere noon,
When I least thought my joys could end so soon.

“ And as convey'd tuntimely funerals,
My scarce cold corse not suffer'd longer stay.:
Behold! the king (by chance) returning, falls
T'encounter with the same upon the way,
As he repair'd to see his dearest joy;
Not thinking such a meeting could have been,
To see his love, and seeing been unseen.

66

‘Judge those whom chance deprives of sweetest

treasure, What 't is to lose a thing we hold so dear! The best delight wherein our soul takes pleasure, The sweet of life, that penetrates so near. What passions feels that heart, inforc'd to bear VOL. II.

Dd

The deep impression of so strange a sight,
That overwhelms us, or confounds us quite ?

“ Amaz'd he stands, nor voice nor body stirs;
Words had no passage, tears no issue found,
For sorrow shut up words, wrath kept in tears;
Confus'd effects each other do confound;
Oppress’d with grief, his passion had no bound.
Striving to tell his woes, words would not come;
For light cares speak, when mighty griefs are

dumb.

“ At length extremity breaks out a way, Through which, th’ imprison'd voice with tears at

tended, Wails out a sound that sorrows dọ bewray; With arms across, and eyes to Heaven bended, Vapouring out sighs that to the skies ascended; Sighs (the poor ease calamity affords) (words. Which serve for speech, when sorrow wanteth

[ocr errors]

0 Heavens !' quoth he, 'why do mine eyes beThe hateful rays of this unhappy Sun? [hold Why have I light to see my sins controld, With blood of mine own shame thus wildly done? How can my sight endure to look thereon ? Why doth not black eternal darkness hide That from mine eyes, my heart cannot abide ?

“«What saw my life wherein my soul might joy?
What had my days, whom troubles still afflicted,
But only this, to counterpoise annoy?
This joy, this hope, which death hath interdicted;
This sweet, whose loss hath all distress inflicted;

« PreviousContinue »