Happy ye leaves when as those lily hands,
Which hold my life in their dead-doing might,
Shall handle you and hold in love's soft bands,
Like captives trembling at the victor's sight.
And happy lines, on which with starry light,
Those lamping eyes will deign sometimes to look
And read the sorrows of my dying sprite,
Written with tears in heart's close-bleeding book.
And happy rhymes bath'd in the sacred brook,
Of Helicon whence she derived is,
When ye behold that Angel's blessed look,
My soul's long-lacked food, my heaven's bliss.
Leaves, lines, and rhymes, seek her to please alone,
Whom if ye please, I care for other none.
Unquiet thought, whom at the first I bred,
Of th' inward bale of my love-pined heart:
And sithens have with sighs and sorrows fed,
Till greater then my womb thou woxen art.
Break forth at length out of the inner part,
In which thou lurkest like to viper's brood:
And seek some succour both to ease my smart
And also to sustain thy self with food.
But if in presence of that fairest proud
Thou chance to come, fall lowly at her feet:
And with meek humbless and afflicted mood,
Pardon for thee, and grace for me entreat.
Which if she grant, then live, and my love cherish,
If not, die soon, and I with thee will perish.
Thou sovereign beauty which I do admire,
Witness the world how worthy to be praised:
The light whereof hath kindled heavenly fire,
In my frail spirit by her from baseness raised.
That being now with her huge brightness dazed,
Base things I can no more endure to view;
But looking still on her I stand amazed,
At wondrous sight of so celestial hew.
So when my tongue would speak her praises due,
It stopped is with thought's astonishment:
And when my pen would write her titles true,
It ravished is with fancy's wonderment:
Yet in my heart I then both speak and write
The wonder that my wit cannot endite.
New year forth looking out of Janus' gate,
Doth seem to promise hope of new delight:
And bidding th' old Adieu, his passed date
Bids all old thoughts to die in dumpish sprite.
And calling forth out of sad Winter's night,
Fresh love, that long hath slept in cheerless bower:
Wills him awake, and soon about him dight
His wanton wings and darts of deadly power.
For lusty spring now in his timely hour,
Is ready to come forth him to receive;
And warns the Earth with diverse colored flower,
To deck herself, and her fair mantle weave.
Then you fair flower, in whom fresh youth doth rain,
Prepare yourself new love to entertain.
Rudely thou wrongest my dear heart's desire,
In finding fault with her too portly pride:
The thing which I do most in her admire,
Is of the world unworthy most envied.
For in those lofty looks is close implied,
Scorn of base things, and sdeigne of foul dishonor:
Threatening rash eyes which gaze on her so wide,
That loosely they ne dare to look upon her.
Such pride is praise, such portliness is honor,
That boldened innocence bears in her eyes:
And her fair countenance like a goodly banner,
Spreads in defiance of all enemies.
Was never in this world ought worthy tried,
Without some spark of such self-pleasing pride.
Be not dismayed that her unmoved mind
Doth still persist in her rebellious pride:
And love not like to lusts of baser kind,
The harder won, the firmer will abide.
The durefull Oak, whose sap is not yet dried,
Is long ere it conceive the kindling fire;
But when it once doth burn, it doth divide,
Great heat, and makes his flames to heaven aspire.
So hard it is to kindle new desire,
In gentle breast that shall endure for ever:
Deep is the wound, that dints the parts entire
With chaste affects, that naught but death can sever.
Then think not long in taking little pain,
To knit the knot, that ever shall remain.
Fair eyes, the mirror of my mazed heart,
What wondrous virtue is contained in you,
The which both life and death forth from you dart
Into the object of your mighty view?
For when ye mildly look with lovely hew,
Then is my soul with life and love inspired
But when ye lour, or look on me askew,
Then do I die, as one with lightning fired.
But since that life is more than death desired,
Look ever lovely, as becomes you best,
That your bright beams of my weak eyes admired,
May kindle living fire within my breast.
Such life should be the honor of your light,
Such death the sad ensample of your might.
More than most fair, full of the living fire,
Kindled above unto the maker near:
No eyes but joys, in which all powers conspire,
That to the world naught else be counted dear.
Through your bright beams doth not the blinded guest,
Shoot out his darts to base affections wound:
But Angels come to lead frail minds to rest
In chaste desires on heavenly beauty bound.
You frame my thoughts and fashion me within,
You stop my tongue, and teach my heart to speak,
You calm the storm that passion did begin,
Strong through your cause, but by your virtue weak.
Dark is the world, where your light shined never;
Well is he born, that may behold you ever.
Long-while I sought to what I might compare
Those powerful eyes, which lighten my dark sprite,
Yet find I nought on earth to which I dare
Resemble th'image of their goodly light.
Not to the sun: for they do shine by night;
Nor to the moon: for they are changed never;
Nor to the stars: for they have purer sight;
Nor to the fire: for they consume not ever;
Nor to the lightening: for they still persever;
Nor to the diamond: for they are more tender;
Nor unto crystal: for nought may them sever;
Nor unto glass: such baseness mought offend her;
Then to the Maker self they likest be,
Whose light doth lighten all that here we see.
Unrighteous lord of love, what law is this,
That me thou makest thus tormented be:
The whiles she lordeth in licentious bliss
Of her freewill, scorning both thee and me.
See how the Tyraness doth joy to see
The huge massacres which her eyes do make:
And humbled hearts brings captives unto thee,
That thou of them mayst mighty vengeance take.
But her proud heart do thou a little shake
And that high look, with which she doth comptroll
All this world's pride, bow to a baser make,
And all her faults in thy black book enroll.
That I may laugh at her in equal sort,
As she doth laugh at me and makes my pain her sport.
Daily when I do seek and sew for peace,
And hostages do offer for my truth:
She cruel warrior doth herself address
To battle, and the weary war renew'th.
Nor will be moved with reason or with ruth,
To grant small respite to my restless toil:
But greedily her fell intent persueth,
Of my poor life to make unpityed spoil.
Yet my poor life, all sorrows to assoyle,
I would her yield, her wrath to pacify:
But then she seeks with torment and turmoil,
To force me live, and will not let me die.
All pain hath end and every war hath peace,
But mine no price nor prayer may surcease.
One day I sought with her heart-thrilling eyes
To make a truce, and terms to entertain;
All fearless then of so false enemies,
Which sought me to entrap in treason's train.
So as I then disarmed did remain,
A wicked ambush which lay hidden long
In the close court of her guileful eyen,
Thence breaking forth did thick about me throng.
Too feeble I t'abide the brunt so strong,
Was forced to yield myself into their hands:
Who me captiving straight with rigorous wrong,
Have ever since me kept in cruel bands.
So Lady, now to you I do complain
Against your eyes that justice I may gain.
In that proud port, which her so goodly graceth,
Whiles her fair face she rears up to the sky:
And to the ground her eyelids low embaseth,
Most goodly temperature ye may descry,
Mild humbless mixed with awful majesty.
For looking on the earth whence she was born,
Her mind remembreth her mortality,
What so is fairest shall to earth return.
But that same lofty countenance seems to scorn
Base thing, and think how she to heaven may climb:
Treading down earth as lothsome and forlorn,
That hinders heavenly thoughts with drossy slime.
Yet lowly still vouchsafe to look on me,
Such lowliness shall make you lofty be.
Return again my forces late dismayed,
Unto the siege by you abondon'd quite,
Great shame it is to leave like one afraid,
So fair a peace for one repulse so light.
'Gainst such strong castles needeth greater might,
Than those small forts which ye were wont belay:
Such haughty minds enur'd to hardy fight
Disdain to yield unto the first assay.
Bring therefore all the forces that ye may,
And lay incessant battery to her heart,
Plaints, prayers, vows, ruth, sorrow, and dismay,
Those engines can the proudest love convert.
And if those fail, fall down and die before her,
So dying live, and living do adore her.
Ye tradefull Merchants, that with weary toil,
Do seek most precious things to make your gain;
And both the Indias of their treasures spoil,
What needeth you to seek so far in vain?
For lo my love doth in her self contain
All this world's riches that may far be found,
If saphires, lo her eyes be saphires plain,
If rubies, lo her lips be rubies sound:
If pearls, her teeth be pearls both pure and round;
If ivory, her forhead ivory weene;
If gold, her locks are finest gold on ground;
If silver, her fair hands are silver sheen.
But that which fairest is, but few behold,
Her mind adorned with virtues manifold.
One day as I unwarily did gaze
On those fair eyes my love's immortal light:
The whiles my 'stonished heart stood in amaze,
Through sweet illusion of her look's delight.
I mote perceive how in her glancing sight,
Legions of loves with little wings did fly:
Darting their deadly arrows fiery bright,
At every rash beholder passing by.
One of those archers closely I did spy,
Aiming his arrow at my very heart:
When suddenly with twinkle of her eye,
The Damsel broke his misintended dart.
Had she not so done, sure I had been slain,
Yet as it was, I hardly 'scaped with pain.
The glorious portrait of that Angel's face,
Made to amaze weak men's confused skill:
And this world's worthless glory to embase,
What pen, what pencil can express her fill?
For though he colours could devise at will,
And eke his learned hand at pleasure guide,
Least trembling it his workmanship should spill,
Yet many wondrous things there are beside.
The sweet eye-glances, that like arrows glide,
The charming smiles, that rob sense from the heart:
The lovely pleasance and the lofty pride,
Cannot expressed be by any art.
A greater craftsman's hand thereto doth need,
That can express the life of things indeed.
The rolling wheel that runneth often round,
The hardest steel in tract of time doth tear:
And drizling drops that often do redound,
The firmest flint doth in continuance wear.
Yet cannot I, with many a dropping tear,
And long entreaty, soften her hard heart:
That she will once vouchsafe my plaint to hear,
Or look with pity on my painful smart.
But when I plead, she bids me play my part,
And when I weep, she says tears are but water:
And when I sigh, she says I know the art,
And when I wail she turns herself to laughter.
So do I weep, and wail, and plead in vain,
Whiles she as steel and flint doth still remain.
The merry cuckoo, messenger of spring,
His trumpet shrill hath thrice already sounded:
That warns all lovers wait upon their king,
Who now is coming forth with garland crowned.
With noise whereof the choir of birds resounded
Their anthems sweet devised of love's praise,
That all the woods their echoes back rebounded,
As if they knew the meaning of their lays.
But 'mongst them all, which did Love's honor raise
No word was heard of her that most it ought,
But she his precept proudly disobeys,
And doth his idle message set at nought.
Therefore O love, unless she turn to thee
Ere cuckoo end, let her a rebel be.
In vain I seek and sue to her for grace,
And do mine humbled heart before her pour,
The whiles her foot she in my neck doth place,
And tread my life down in the lowly floor.
And yet the lion that is lord of power,
And reighneth over every beast in field,
In his most pride disdaineth to devour
The silly lamb that to his might doth yield.
But she more cruel and more savage wild,
Then either lion or lioness:
Shames not to be with guiltless blood defiled,
But taketh glory in her cruelness.
Fairer than fairest, let none ever say,
That ye were blooded in a yielded prey.
Was it the work of nature or of art,
Which tempered so the feature of her face,
That pride and meekness mixed by equal part,
Do both appear t'adorn her beauty's grace?
For with mild pleasance, which doth pride displace,
She to her love doth lookers' eyes allure:
And with stern countenance back again doth chase
Their looser looks that stir up lusts impure.
With such strange terms her eyes she doth inure,
That with one look she doth my life dismay:
And with another doth it straight recure,
Her smile me draws, her frown me drives away.
Thus doth she train and teach me with her looks,
Such art of eyes I never read in books.
This holy season fit to fast and pray,
Men to devotion ought to be inclined:
Therefore, I likewise on so holy day,
For my sweet Saint some service fit will find.
Her temple fair is built within my mind,
In which her glorious image placed is,
On which my thoughts do day and night attend
Like sacred priests that never think amiss.
There I to her as th'author of my bliss
Will build an altar to appease her ire:
And on the same my heart will sacrifice,
Burning in flames of pure and chaste desire:
The which vouchsafe O godess to accept
Amongst thy dearest relics to be kept.
Penelope for her Ulysses' sake,
Devised a web her wooers to deceive;
In which the work that she all day did make
The same at night she did again unreave.
Such subtle craft my Damsel doth conceive,
Th'importune suit of my desire to shun:
For all that I in many days do weave,
In one short hour I find by her undone.
So when I think to end that I begun,
I must begin and never bring to end:
For with one look she spills that long I spun,
And with one word my whole year's work doth rend.
Such labour like the spider's web I find,
Whose fruitless work is broken with least wind.
When I behold that beauty's wonderment,
And rare perfection of each goodly part;
Of nature's skill the only complement,
I honor and admire the maker's art.
But when I feel the bitter baleful smart,
Which her fair eyes unwares do work in me:
That death out of their shiny beams do dart,
I think that I a new Pandora see;
Whom all the Gods in council did agree,
Into this sinful world from heaven to send:
That she to wicked men a scourge should be,
For all their faults with which they did offend.
But since ye are my scourge I will intreat,
That for my faults ye will me gently beat.
How long shall this like dying life endure,
And know no end of her own mystery:
But waste and wear away in terms unsure,
'Twixt fear and hope depending doubtfully?
Yet better were at once to let me die,
And show the last ensample of your pride:
Than to torment me thus with cruelty,
To prove your power, which I too well have tried.
But yet if in your hardened breast ye hide,
A close intent at last to show me grace:
Then all the woes and wrecks which I abide,
As means of bliss I gladly will embrace.
And wish that more and greater they might be,
That greater meede at last may turn to me.
Sweet is the rose, but grows upon a briar;
Sweet in the Juniper, but sharp his bough;
Sweet is the Eglantine, but pricketh near;
Sweet is the firbloom, but his branches rough.
Sweet is the Cypress, but his rind is tough,
Sweet is the nut, but bitter is his pill;
Sweet is the broom-flower, but yet sour enough;
And sweet is Moly, but his root is ill.
So every sweet with sour is tempered still
That maketh it be coveted the more:
For easy things that may be got at will,
Most sorts of men do set but little store.
Why then should I account of little pain,
That endless pleasure shall unto me gain.
Fair proud now tell me why should fair be proud,
Sith all world's glory is but dross unclean:
And in the shade of death itself shall shroud,
But ever now thereof ye little weene.
That goodly idol now so gay beseen,
Shall doff her flesh's borrowed fair attire:
And be forgot as it had never been,
That many now much worship and admire.
Ne any then shall after it inquire,
Ne any mention shall thereof remain:
But what this verse, that never shall expire,
Shall to you purchase with her thankless pain.
Fair be no longer proud of that shall perish,
But that which shall you make immortal, cherish.
The laurel leaf, which you this day do wear,
Gives me great hope of your relenting mind:
For since it is the badge which I do bear,
Ye wearing it do seem to me inclined:
The power thereof, which of in me I find,
Let in likewise your gentle breast inspire
With sweet infusion, and put you in mind
Of that proud maid, whom now those leave attire:
Proud Daphne scorning Phoebus' lovely fire,
On the Thessalian shore from him did fly:
For which the gods in their revengeful ire
Did her transform into a laurel tree.
Then fly no more fair love from Phoebus' chace,
But in your breast his leaf and love embrace.
See how the stubborn damsel doth deprave
My simple meaning with disdainful scorn:
And by the bay which I unto her gave,
Accounts myself her captive quite forlorn.
The bay (quoth she) is of the victors borne,
Yielded them by the vanquished as their meeds,
And they therewith do poets' heads adorn,
To sing the glory of their famous deeds.
But sith she will the conquest challenge needs,
Let her accept me as her faithful thrall,
That her great triumph which my skill exceeds,
I may in trump of fame blaze over all.
Then would I deck her head with glorious bays,
And fill the world with her victorious praise.
My love is like to ice, and I to fire;
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so-hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her intreat?
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not delayed by her heart frozen cold;
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told
That fire which all things melts, should harden ice:
And ice which is congealed with senseless cold,
Should kindle fire by wonderful device?
Such is the power of love in gentle mind,
That it can alter all the course of kind.
Ah why hath nature to so hard a heart
Given so goodly gifts of beauty's grace?
Whose pride depraves each other better part,
And all those pretty ornaments deface.
Sith to all other beasts of bloody race,
A dreadful countenance she given hath,
That with their terror all the rest may chase,
And warn to shun the danger of their wrath.
But my proud one doth work the greater scath,
Through sweet allurement of her lovely hue:
That she the better may in bloody bath
Of such poor thralls her cruel hands embrew.
But did she know how ill these two accord,
Such cruelty she would have soon abhored.
The painful smith with force of fervent heat,
The hardest iron soon doth mollify:
That with his heavy sledge he can it beat,
And fashion to what he it list apply.
Yet cannot all these flames in which I fry,
Her heart more hard than iron soft a whit:
Ne all the plaints and prayers with which I
Do beat on th'anvil of her stubborn wit;
But still the more she fervent sees my fit,
The more she frieseth in her willful pride:
And harder grows the harder she is smit,
With all the plaints which to her be applied.
What then remains but I to ashes burn,
And she to stones at length all frozen turn?
Great wrong I do, I can it not deny,
To that most sacred empress my dear dread,
Not finishing her Queen of Fa&ed.ry,
That mote enlarge her living praises dead;
But lodwick, this of grace to me aread:
Do ye not think the'accomplishment of it,
Sufficient work for one man's simple head,
All were it as the rest but rudely writ.
How then should I without another wit,
Think ever to endure so tedious toil,
Sins that this one is tossed with troublous fit,
Of a proud love, that both my spirit spoil.
Cease then, till she vouchsafe to grant me rest,
Or lend you me another loving breast.
Like a ship that through the Ocean wide,
By conduct of some star doth make her way,
Whenas a storm hath dimmed her trusty guide,
Out of her course doth wander far astray.
So I whose star, that wont with her bright ray,
Me to direct, with clouds is overcast,
Do wander now in darkness and dismay,
Through hidden perils round about me plast.
Yet hope I well, that when this storm is past
My Helice the lodestar of my life
Will shine again, and look on me at last,
With lovely light to clear my cloudy grief.
Till then I wander carefull comfortless,
In secret sorrow and sad pensiveness.
My hungry eyes through greedy covetize,
Still to behold the object of their pain,
With no contentment can themselves suffice:
But having pine and having not complain.
For lacking it they cannot life sustain,
And having it they gaze on it the more:
In their amazement like Narcissus vain
Whose eyes him starv'd: so plenty makes me poor.
Yet are mine eyes so filled with the store
Of that fair sight, that nothing else they brook,
But loath the things which they did like before,
And can no more endure on them to look.
All this world's glory seemeth vain to me,
And all their shows but shadows, saving she.
Tell me when shall these weary woes have end,
Or shall their ruthless torment never cease:
But all my days in pining langor spend,
Without hope of aswagement or release.
Is there no means for me to purchase peace,
Or make agreement with her thrilling eyes:
But that their cruelty doth still increase,
And daily more augment my miseries.
But when ye have shewed all extermities,
Then think how little glory ye have gained:
By slaying him, whose life though ye dispise,
Mote have your life in honour long maintained.
But by his death which some perhaps will moan,
Ye shall condemned be of many a one.
What guile is this, that those her golden tresses,
She doth attire under a net of gold:
And with sly skill so cunningly them dresses,
That which is gold or hair, may scarce be told?
Is it that men's frail eyes, which gaze too bold,
She may entangle in that golden snare:
And being caught may craftily enfold,
Their weaker hearts, which are not well aware?
Take heed therefore, mine eyes, how ye do stare
Henceforth too rashly on that guileful net,
In which if ever ye entrapped are,
Out of her bands ye by no means shall get.
Fondness it were for any being free,
To covet fetters, though they golden be.
Arion, when through tempests' cruel wrack,
He forth was thrown into the greedy seas:
Through the sweet music which his harp did make
Allured a dolphin him from death to ease.
But my rude music, which was wont to please
Some dainty ears, cannot with any skill,
The dreadful tempest of her wrath appease,
Nor move the dolphin from her stubborn will.
But in her pride she doth persever still,
All careless how my life for her decays:
Yet with one word she can in save or spill,
To spill were pitty, but to save were praise.
Choose rather to be praised for doing good,
Than to be blam'd for spilling guiltless blood.
Sweet smile, the daughter of the queen of love,
Expressing all thy mother's powerful art:
With which she wonts to temper angry Jove,
When all the gods he threats with thund'ring dart.
Sweet is thy virtue as thy self sweet art,
For when on me thou shinedst late in sadness,
A melting pleasance ran through every part,
And me revived with heart robbing gladness.
Whylest rapt with joy resembling heavenly madness,
My soul was ravished quite as in a trance:
And feeling thence no more her sorrow's sadness,
Fed on the fullness of that cheerful glance,
More sweet than nectar or ambrosial meat,
Seemed every bit, which thenceforth I did eat.
Mark when she smiles with amiable cheer,
And tell me whereto can ye liken it:
When on each eyelid sweetly do appear
An hundred Graces as in shade to sit.
Likest it seemeth in my simple wit
Unto the fair sunshine in summer's day:
That when a dreadful storm away is flit,
Through the broad world doth spread his goodly ray:
At sight whereof each bird that sits on spray,
And every beast that to his den was fled
Comes forth afresh out of their late dismay,
And to the light lift up their drooping head.
So my storm-beaten heart likewise is cheered,
With that sunshine when cloudy looks are cleared.
Is it her nature or is it her will,
To be so cruel to an humbled foe?
If nature, then she may it mend with skill,
If will, then she at will may will forgo.
But if her nature and her will be so,
that she will plague the man that loves her most:
And take delight t'increase a wretch's woe,
Then all her nature's goodly gifts are lost.
And that same glorious beauty's idle boast,
Is but a bait such wretches to beguile:
As being long in her love's tempest tossed,
She means at last to make her piteous spoil.
Of fairest fair let never it be named,
That so fair beauty was so foully shamed.
The love which me so cruelly tormenteth,
So pleasing is in my extremest pain:
That all the more my sorrow it augmenteth,
The more I love and do embrace my bane.
Ne do I wish (for wishing were but vain)
To be acquit from my continual smart:
But joy her thrall for ever to remain,
And yield for pledge my poor captived heart;
The which that it from her may never start,
Let her, if please her, bind with adamant chain:
And from all wandering loves which mote pervert,
His safe assurance strongly it restrain.
Only let her abstain from cruelty,
And do me not before my time to die.
Shall I then silent be or shall I speak?
And if I speak, her wrath renew I shall:
And if I silent be, my heart will break,
Or choked be with overflowing gall.
What tyranny is this both my heart to thrall,
And eke my tongue with proud restraint to tie?
That neither I may speak nor think at all,
But like a stupid stock in silence die.
Yet I my heart with silence secretly
Will teach to speak, and my just cause to plead:
And eke mine eyes with meek humility,
Love-learned letters to her eyes to read.
Which her deep wit, that true hearts' thought can spell,
Will soon conceive, and learn to construe well.
When those renowned noble peers of Greece,
Through stubborn pride amongst themselves did war,
Forgetful of the famous golden fleece,
Then Orpheus with his harp their strife did bar.
But this continual cruel civil war
The which myself against myself do make:
Whilest my weak powers of passions warried are,
No skill can stint nor reason can aslake.
But when in hand my tuneless harp I take,
Then do I more augment my foes' despight:
And grief renew, and passions do awake
To battle, fresh against myself to fight.
'Mongst whom the more I seek to settle peace,
The more I find their malice to increase.
Leave, lady, in your glass of crystal clean,
Your goodly self for evermore to view:
And in myself, my inward self I mean,
Most lively like behold your semblance true.
Within my heart, though hardly it can shew
Thing so divine to view of earthly eye,
The fair Idea of your celestial hue,
And every part remains immortally:
And were it not that through your cruelty,
With sorrow dimmed and deformed it were:
The goodly image of your visnomy,
Dearer than crystal would therein appear.
But if yourself in me ye plain will see,
Remove the cause by which your fair beams darkened be.
When my abode's prefixed time is spent,
My cruel fair straight bids me wend my way:
But then from heaven most hideous storms are sent
As willing me against her will to stay.
Whom then shall I or heaven or her obey?
The heavens know best what is the best form:
But as she will, whose will my life doth sway,
My lower heaven, so it perforce must be.
But ye high heavens, that all this sorrow see,
Sith all your tempests cannot hold me back:
Aswage your storms, or else both you and she,
Will both together me too sorely wrack.
Enough it is for one man to sustain
The storms, which she alone on me doth rain.
Trust not the treason of those smiling looks,
Until ye have their guilefull trains well tried;
For they are like but unto golden hooks,
That from the foolish fish their baits do hide:
So she with flattering smiles weak hearts doth guide
Unto her love, and tempt to their decay,
Whom being caught she kills with cruel pride,
And feeds at pleasure on the wretched pray:
Yet even whilst her bloody hands them slay,
Her eyes look lovely and upon them smile:
That they take pleasure in her cruel play,
And dying do themselves of pain beguile.
O mighty charm which makes men love their bane,
And think they die with pleasure, live with pain.
Innocent paper, whom too cruel hand
Did make the matter to avenge her ire:
And ere she could thy cause well understand,
Did sacrifice unto the greedy fire.
Well worthy thou to have found better hire,
Then so bad end for heretics ordained;
Yet heresy nor treason didst conspire,
But plead thy master's cause unjustly pained.
Whom she all careless of his grief contrained
To utter forth the anguish of his heart;
And would not hear, when he to her complained,
The piteous passion of his dying smart.
Yet live for ever, though against her will,
And speak her good, though she requite it ill.
Fair cruel, why are you so fierce and cruel?
Is it because your eyes have power to kill?
Then know, that mercy is the mightiest jewel,
And greater glory think to save, than spill.
But if it be your pleasure and proud will,
To show the power of your imperious eyes:
Then not on him that never thought you ill,
But bend your force against your enemies.
Let them feel th'utmost of your cruelties,
And kill with looks, as Cockatrices do:
But him that at your footstool humbled lies,
With merciful regard, give mercy to.
Such mercy shall you make admired to be,
So shall you live by giving life to me.
Long languishing in double malady,
Of my heart's wound and of my body's grief,
There came to me a leach that would apply
Fit medicines for my body's best relief.
Vain man (quoth I) that hast but little priefe
In deep discovery of the mind's disease,
Is not the heart of all the body chief?
And rules the members as itself doth please.
Then with some cordials seek first to appease
The inward langour of my wounded heart,
And then my body shall have shortly ease:
But such sweet cordials pass physicians' art,
Then my life's Leach do you your skill reveal,
And with one salve both heart and body heal.