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Ask me not what my love shall do or be
(Love, which is soul to body, and soul of me!)
When I am separated from thee;
Alas! I might as easily show,
What after death the soul will do;
"Twill last, I'm sure, and that is all we know.
The thing call'd soul will never stir nor move,
But all that while a lifeless carcase prove;
For 'tis the body of my love:
Not that my love will fly away,
But still continue; as, they say,
Sad troubled ghosts about their graves do stray.
I cut my love into his gentle bark,
And in three days, behold! 'tis dead: My very written flames so violent be,
They 've burnt and wither'd-up the tree. How should I live myself, whose heart is found Deeply graven every where With the large history of many a wound,
Larger than thy trunk can bear? With art as strange as Homer in the nut, Love in my heart has volumes put.
What a few words from thy rich stock did take
The leaves and beauties all,
As a strong poison with one drop does make
The nails and hairs to fall:
Love (1 see now) a kind of witchcraft is,
Or characters could ne'er do this.
Pardon, ye birds and nymphs, who lov'd this shade;
And pardon me, thou gentle tree;
I thought her name would thee have happy made, And blessed omens hop'd from thee: "Notes of my love, thrive here," said I," and
And with ye let my love do so."
Alas, poor youth! thy love will never thrive!
This blasted tree predestines it;
Go, tie the dismal knot (why should'st thou live?)
And, by the lines thou there hast writ,
Deform'dly hanging, the sad picture be
To that unlucky history.
'Tis a strange kind of ignorance this in you,
That you your victories should not spy,
Victories gotten by your eye!
That your bright beams, as those of comets do,
Should kill, but not know how, nor who!
That truly you my idol might appear,
Whilst all the people smell and see
The odorous flames I offer thee,
Thou sitt'st, and dost not see, nor smell, nor hear,
Thy constant, zealous worshipper.
They see 't too well who at my fires repine;
Nay, th' unconcern'd themselves do prove Quick-ey'd enough to spy my love; Nor does the cause in thy face clearlier shine, Than the effect appears in mine.
Fair infidel! by what unjust decree
Must I, who with such restless care
Would make this truth to thee appear,
Must I, who preach it, and pray for it, be
Damn'd by thy incredulity?
I, by thy unbelief, am guiltless slain :
Oh, have but faith, and then, that you
May know that faith for to be true,
It shall itself by a miracle maintain,
And raise me from the dead again! Meanwhile my hopes may seem to be o'erthrown; But lovers' hopes are full of art,
And thus dispute-That, since my heart, Though in thy breast, yet is not by thee known, Perhaps thou may'st not know thine own
COME, let's go on, where love and youth does
I've seen too much, if this be all. Alas! how far more wealthy might I be With a contented ignorant poverty!
To show such stores, and nothing grant,
Is to enrage and vex my want.
For Love to die an infant is lesser ill,
Than to live long, yet live in childhood still.
We 'ave both sat gazing only, hitherto,
As man and wife in picture do:
The richest crop of joy is still behind,
And he who only sees, in love, is blind.
So, at first, Pygmalion lov'd,
But th' amour at last improv'd;
The Statue itself at last a woman grew,
And so at last, my dear, should you do too.
Beauty to man the greatest torture is,
Unless it lead to farther bliss,
Beyond the tyrannous pleasures of the eye;
t grows too serious a cruelty,
Unless it heal, as well as strike:
I would not, salamander-like,
In scorching heats always to live desire,
But, like a martyr, pass to Heaven through fire.
Mark how the lusty Sun salutes the Spring,
And gently kisses every thing!
His loving beams unlock each maiden flower,
Search all the treasures, all the sweets devour:
Then on the earth, with bridegroom-heat,
He does still new flowers beget.
The Sun himself, although all eye he be,
Can find in love more pleasure than to see.
I TRY'D if books would cure my love, but found
Love made them nonsense all;
I apply'd receipts of business to my wound,
But stirring did the pain recall.
As well might men who in a fever fry,
Mathematic doubts debate;
As well might men who mad in darkness lie,
Write the dispatches of a state.
I try'd devotion, sermons, frequent prayer,
But those did worse than useless prove; For prayers are turn'd to sin, in those who are Out of charity, or in love.
I try'd in wine to drown the mighty care;
But wine, alas! was oil to th' fire;
Like drunkards' eyes, my troubled fancy there
Did double the desire.
I try'd what mirth and gaiety would do,
And mix'd with pleasant companies;
My mirth did graceless and insipid grow,
And 'bove a clinch it could not rise.
Nay, God forgive me for 't! at last I try'd,
'Gainst this, some new desire to stir, And lov'd again, but 'twas where I espy'd Some faint resemblances of her.
The physic made me worse, with which I strove
This mortal ill t' expel;
As wholesome med'cines the disease improve
There where they work not well.
SHE loves, and she confesses too;
There's then, at last, no more to do?
The happy work's entirely done;
Enter the town which thou hast won;
The fruits of conquest now begin;
Iö, triumph! enter in.
What's this, ye gods! what can it be?
Remains there still an enemy?
Bold Honour stands up in the gate,
And would yet capitulate;
Have I o'ercome all real foes,
And shall this phantom me oppose?
Noisy nothing! stalking shade!
By what witchcraft wert thou made?
Empty cause of solid harms!
But I shall find out counter-charms,
Thy airy devilship to remove
From this circle here of love.
Sure I shall rid myself of thee
By the night's obscurity,
And obscurer secrecy!
Unlike to every other sprite,
Thou attempt'st not men to fright,
Nor appear'st but in the light.
THE INNOCENT ILL.
THOUGH all thy gestures and discourses be
Coin'd and stamp'd by modesty;
Though from thy tongue ne'er slipp'd away
One word which nuns at th' altar might not say;
Yet such a sweetness, such a grace,
In all thy speech appear,
That what to th' eye a beauteous face,
That thy tongue is to th' ear:
So cunningly it wounds the heart,
It strikes such heat through every part,
That thou a tempter worse than Satan art.
Though in thy thoughts scarce any tracks have
So much as of original sin,
Such charms thy beauty wears, as might
Desires in dying confess'd saints excite:
Thou, with strange adultery,
Dost in each breast a brothel keep;
Awake, all men do lust for thee,
And some enjoy thee when they sleep.
Ne'er before did woman live,
Who to such multitudes did give
The root and cause of sin, but only Eve.
Though in thy breast so quick a pity be,
That a fly's death's a wound to thee;
Though savage and rock-hearted those
Appear, that weep not ev'n romance's woes;
Yet ne'er before was tyrant known,
Whose rage was of so large extent;
The ills thou dost are whole thine own;
Thou'rt principal and instrument:
In all the deaths that come from you,
You do the treble office do
Of judge, of torturer, and of weapon too.
Thou lovely instrument of angry Fate,
Which God did for our faults create!
Thou pleasant, universal ill,
Which, sweet as health, yet like a plague dont
Thou kind, well-natur'd tyranny!
Thou chaste committer of a rape!
Thou voluntary destiny,
Which no man can, or would escape!
So gentle, and so glad to spare, So wondrous good, and wondrous fair, (We know) ev'n the destroying-angels are.
he. WHAT have we done? what cruel passion
Thus to ruin her that lov'd thee?
Me thou'ast robb'd; but what art thou
Thyself the richer now?
Shame succeeds the short-liv'd pleasure;
So soon is spent, and gone, this thy ill-gotten
He. We have done no harm; nor was it theft in
But noblest charity in thee.
I'll the well-gotten pleasure
Safe in my memory treasure:
What though the flower itself do waste, The essence from it drawn does long and sweeter last.
She. No: I'm undone; my honour thou hast slain,
And nothing can restore 't again.
Art and labour to bestow,
Upon the carcase of it now,
Is but t' embalm a body dead;
The figure may remain, the life and beauty 's fled.
e. Never, my dear, was Honour yet undone
By Love, but Indiscretion.
To th' wise it all things does allow;
And cares not what we do, but how.
Like tapers shut in ancient urns,
Unless it let in air, for ever shines and burns.
She. Thou first, perhaps, who didst the fault
Wilt make thy wicked boast of it; For men, with Roman pride, above The conquest do the triumph love;
Nor think a perfect victory gain'd,
Unless they through the streets their captive
He. Whoe'er his secret joys has open laid,
The bawd to his own wife is made;
Beside, what boast is left for me,
Whose whole wealth's a gift from thee?
'Tis you the conqueror are, 'tis you
Who have not only ta'en, but bound and
gagg'd me too.
VERSES LOST UPON A WAGER.
AS soon hereafter will I wagers lay
'Gainst what an oracle shall say;
Fool that I was, to venture to deny
A tongue so us'd to victory!
A tongue so blest by Nature and by Art,
That never yet it spoke but gain'd an heart:
Though what you said had not been true,
If spoke by any else but you;
Your speech will govern Destiny,
And Fate will change rather than you should lye.
'Tis true, if human Reason were the guide,
Reason, methinks, was on my side;
But that's a guide, alas! we must resign,
When th' authority's divine.
She said, she said herself it would be so;
And I, bold unbeliever! answer'd no:
Never so justly, sure, before,
Errour the name of blindness bore;
For whatso'er the question be,
There's no man that has eyes would bet for me.
If Truth itself (as other angels do
When they descend to human view)
In a material form would deign to shine,
'Twould imitate or borrow thine:
So dazzling bright, yet so transparent clear,
So well-proportion'd would the parts appear!
Happy the eye which Truth could see
Cloath'd in a shape like thee;
But happier far the eye
Which could thy shape naked like Truth espy.
Yet this lost wager costs me nothing more
Than what I ow'd to thee before:
Who would not venture for that debt to play,
Which he were bound howe'er to pay?
If Nature gave me power to write in verse,
She gave it me thy praises to rehearse :
Thy wondrous beauty and thy wit
Has such a sovereign right do it,
That no man's Muse for public vent is free,
She. Though public punishment we escape, the Till she has paid her customis first to thee.
Will rack and torture us within:
Guilt and sin our bosom bears;
And, though fair yet the fruit appears,
That worm which now the core does
When long 't has gnaw'd within,will break the
He. That thirsty drink, that hungry food, I sought,
That wounded balm is all my fault;
Why to mute fish should thou thyself discover,
And not to me thy no less silent lover?
As some from men their buried gold commit
To ghosts, that have no use of it;
Half their rich treasures so
Maids bury: and, for aught we know,
(Poor ignorants!) they're mermaids all below.
The amorous waves would fain about her stay,
But still new amorous waves drive them away,
And with swift current to those joys they haste,
That do as swiftly waste:
I laugh'd the wanton play to view;
But 'tis, alas! at land so too,
And still old lovers yield the place to new.
Kiss her, and as you part, you amorous waves,
(My happier rivals, and my fellow-slaves)
Point to your flowery banks, and to her shew
The good your bounties do;
Then tell her what your pride doth cost,
And how your use and beauty's lost,
When rigorous Winter binds you up with frost.
Tell her, her beauties and her youth, like thee,
Haste without stop to a devouring sea;
Where they will mix'd and undistinguish'd lie
With all the meanest things that die;
As in the ocean thou
LOVE GIVEN OVER.
It is enough; enough of time and pain
Hast thou consum'd in vain ;
Leave, wretched Cowley! leave
Thyself with shadows to deceive;
Think that already lost which thou must never
Three of thy lustiest and thy freshest years, (Toss'd in storms of hopes and fears) Like helpless ships that be
Set on fire i' th' midst o' the sea,
Have all been burnt in love, and all been drown'd in tears.
Resolve then on it, and by force or art
Since Fate does disapprove
Th' ambition of thy love,
Alas! what comfort is 't that I am grow
Secure of being again o'erthrown? Since such an enemy needs not fear Lest any else should quarter there, Who has not only sack'd, but quite burnt down
THE FORCE OF LOVE.
PRESERVED FROM AN OLD MANUSCRIPT.
THROW an apple up an hill,
Down the apple tumbles still ;
Roll it down, it never stops
Till within the vale it drops:
So are all things prone to Love,
All below, and all above.
Down the mountain flows the stream,
Up ascends the lambent flame;
Smoke and vapour mount the skies;
All preserve their unities;
Nought below, and nought above,
Seems averse, but prone to Love.
Stop the meteor in its flight,
Or the orient rays of light;
Bid Dan Phoebus not to shine,
Bid the planets not incline;
'Tis as vain, below, above,
To impede the course of Love,
Salamanders live in fire,
Eagles to the skies aspire,
Diamonds in their quarries lie,
Rivers do the sea supply:
Thus appears, below, above,
A propensity to Love.
Metals grow within the mine,
Luscious grapes upon the vine
Still the needle marks the pole ;
Parts are equal to the whole:
'Tis a truth as clear, that Love
Quickens all, below, above,
Man is born to live and die,
Snakes to creep, and birds to fly;
Fishes in the waters swim,
Doves are mild, and lions grim ;
Nature thus, below, above,
Pushes all things on to Love.
Does the cedar love the mountain?
Or the thirsty deer the fountain?
Does the shepherd love his crook?
Or the willow court the brook?
Thus by nature all things move,
Like a running stream, to Love,
Is the valiant hero bold?
Does the miser doat on gold?
And not one star in Heaven offers to take thy part. Seek the birds in spring to pair?
If e'er I clear my heart of this desire,
If e'er it home to its breast retire,
It ne'er shall wander more about,
Though thousand beauties call it out:
A lover burnt like me for ever dreads the fire.
The pox, the plague, and every small disease
May come as oft as ill-fate please;
But Death and Love are never found
To give a second wound:
Breathes the rose-bud scented air?
Should you this deny, you'll prove
Nature is averse to Love.
As the wencher loves a lass,
As the toper loves his glass,
As the friar loves his cowl,
Or the miller loves the toll,
So do all, below, above,
Fly precipitate to Love.
We're by those serpents bit; but we're devour'd When young maidens courtship shur
When the Moon out-shines the Sun,
If a man should undertake to translate Pindar | almost without any thing else, makes an excelword for word, it would be thought, that one mad-lent poet; for though the grammarians and critics man had translated another; as may appear, have laboured to reduce his verses into regular when he that understands not the original, reads the verbal traduction of him into Latin prose, than which nothing seems more raving. And sure, rhyme, without the addition of wit, and the spirit of poetry, (quod nequeo monstrare & sentio tantum) would but make it ten times more distracted than it is in prose. We must consider in Pindar the great difference of time betwixt his age and ours, which changes, as in pictures, at least the colours of poetry; less difference betwixt the religions and customs of our countries; and a thousand particularities of places, persons, and manners, which do but confusedly appear to our eyes at so great a distance. And lastly (which were enough alone for my purpose) we must consider, that our ears are strangers to the music of his numbers, hich, sometimes (especially in songs and odes)
feet and measures (as they have also those of
the Greek and Latin comedies) yet in effect they
are little better than prose to our ears. And I
would gladly know what applause our best piecos
of English poesy could expect from a French-
man or Italian, if converted faithfully, and word
for word, into French or Italian prose.
when we have considered all this, we must needs
confess, that, after all these losses sustained by
Pindar, all we can add to him by our wit or in-
vention (not deserting still his subject) is not
like to make him a richer man than he was in his
own country. This is in some measure to be
applied to all translations; and the not observing
of it, is the cause that all which ever I yet saw
are so much inferior to their originals. The
like happens too in pictures, from the same root
of exact imitation; which, being a vile and un-