Syr P.S. His Astrophel and Stella Wherein the excellence of sweete poesie is concluded. To the end of which are added, sundry other rare sonnets of diuers noble men and gentlemen.
Sidney, Philip, Sir, 1554-1586., Newman, Thomas, fl. 1587-1598. aut, Nash, Thomas, 1567-1601. aut, Daniel, Samuel, 1562-1619. aut
Page  1


LOuing in trueth, and fayne my loue in verse to show,
That the deere Shee, might take some pleasure of my paine:
Pleasure might cause her reade, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pittie winne, and pittie grace obtaine.
I sought fit wordes, to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inuentions fine, her wittes to entertaine,
Oft turning others leaues, to see if thence would flowe,
Some fresh and fruitfull showre, vpon my Sunne-burnt braine.
But wordes came halting out, wanting inuentions stay,
Inuention Natures childe, fledde Stepdames studies blowes:
And others feete, still seem'de but straungers in my way,
Thus great with Childe to speake, and helplesse in my throwes,
Byting my tongue and penne, beating my selfe for spite:
Foole saide My muse to mee, looke in thy heart and write.
NOt at first sight, nor with a dribbing shot,
Loue gaue the wound, which while I breath will bleede:
But knowne, worth did in tract of time proceede,
Till by degrees it had full conquest got.
I sawe and lik'd, I lik'd but loued not,
I lou'd, but did not straight what Loue decreede:
At length to Loues decrees, I first agreede.
Yet with repining at so partiall lot.
Now euen that foot-steppe of lost libertie
Is gone, and now like slaue borne Muscouite:
I call it praise to suffer tyrannie,
Page  2And nowe imploy the remnant of my wit
To make my selfe beleeue that all is well,
While with a feling skill I paint my hell.
LEt Dainty wittes cry, on the Sisters nine,
That brauely maskt, their fancies may be tolde:
Or Pinders Apes flaunt in their phrases fine,
Enameling their pride with flowers of golde.
Or els let them in stately glorie shine,
Ennobling new founde tropes, with problemes old:
Or with straunge similes, inricht each line,
Of hearbes or beasts, which Inde or Affricke hold.
For me in sooth, no Muse but one I know,
Phrases and Problemes from my reach doe growe,
And straunge things cost too deere for my poore sprites,
How then? euen thus, in Stellas face I reede,
What loue and beauty be, then all my deede.
But coppying is, what in her nature writes.
VErtue (alas) now let me take some rest,
Thou set'st a bate betweene my loue and me:
If vaine loue haue my simple soule opprest,
Leaue what thou lik'st, and deale thou not with it.
Thy Scepter vse in some olde Catoes brest,
Churches and Schooles are for thy seat most fit:
I doe confes, (pardon a fault confest,)
My mouth too tender is for thy hard bit.
But if that needes, thou wilt vsurping bee
That little reason that is left in mee.
And still the effect of thy perswasions prooue,
I sweare, my heart such one shall shew to thee,
That shrines in flesh so true a deitie.
That Vertue, thou thy selfe shalt be in loue.
It is most true, what wee call Cupids dart,
An Image is, which for our selues we carue:
Page  3And fooles adore, in Temple of our hart,
Till that good God make church and Churh-men starue.
It is most true, that eyes are bound to serue
The inward part: and that the heauenly part
Ought to be King, from whose rules who doth swerue,
Rebels to nature, striue for their owne smart.
True that true beautie vertue is indeede,
Whereof this beautie can but be a shade,
Which Elements with mortall mixture breede,
True that on earth we are but Pilgrimes made.
And should in soule, vp to our Country moue:
True and most true, that I must Stella loue.
SOme Louers speake, when they their Muses entertaine
Of hopes begott, by feare, of wot not what desires,
Of force of heauenly beames, infusing hellish paine;
Of lyuing deathes deere woundes, faire stormes and flashing fyres.
Some one his songes in Ioue and Ioues straunge tales attyres,
Bordered with Bulles and Swannes, poudered with golden raine:
An other humbler witte to shepheards pipe retyres,
Yet hiding royall blood, full oft in Rurall vaine.
To some a sweetest plaint a sweetest stile assordes,
Whiles teares poure out his inke, and sighes breath out his wordes.
His paper pale despaire, and paine his penne doth moue.
I can speake what I feele, and feele as much as they,
But thinke that all the mappe of my state, I display.
When trembling voice bringes foorth, that I do Stella loue.
WHen nature made her chiefe worke, Stellas eyes,
In collour blacke, why wrapt she beames so bright?
Would she in beamy blacke like Painter wise,
Frame daintiest lustre mixte with shaddowes light?
Or did she els that sober hewe deuise,
In obiect best, to strength and knitt our sight:
Least if no vaile these braue beames did disguise,
They Sun-like would more dazell than delight.
Page  4Or would she her miraculous power shewe,
That whereas blacke seemes Beauties contrarie,
Shee euen in blacke doth make all Beauties flowe:
But so and thus, she minding Loue should bee
Plaste euer there, gaue him this mourning weede:
To honour all their deathes, who for her bleede.
LOue borne in Greece, of late fled from his natiue place,
Forst by a tedious proofe, that Turkish hardned harts
Were no fit markes, to pearce with his fine pointed darts:
And pleasd with our soft peace, staide here his fleeting race.
But finding these colde climes, too coldlie him imbrace,
Not vsde to frosen lippes, he straue to finde some part
Where with most ease and warmth, he might imploy his art.
At length himselfe he pearch'd in Stellas face,
Whose faire skinne, beamie eyes, like morning Sunne in snowe:
Deceiu'd the quaking boy, who thought from so pure light,
Effects of liuelie heate in nature needes must growe.
But she most faire, most colde; made him there take his flight
To my close hart; where while some fire brands he did lay,
He burnt vnwares his winges, and cannot fly away.
QVeene Vertues Court, which some call Stellas face,
Prepar'd by Natures cheefest furniture:
Hath his front built of Alablaster pure,
Golde is the couering of that statelie place.
The doore, by which sometimes runnes forth her grace
Red Porphire is, which locke of Pearle makes sure:
Whose Porches rich, with name of chekes indure,
Marble mixt red and white, doe enterlace.
The Windowes now, through which this heauenly guest
Lookes on the world, and can finde nothing such,
Which dare claime from those sightes the name of best,
Of touch they are, that without touch doe touch,
Which Cupids selfe, from Beauties mine did drawe:
Of touch they are, and poore I am their strawe.
Page  5
REason, in faith thou art well seru'd, that still
Would'st brabling be, with sence and loue in me:
I rather wish thee climbe the Muses hill,
Or reach the fruite of Natures chiefest tree;
Or seeke heauens course, or heauens vnusde to thee:
Why should'st thou toyle, our thornie grounde to till?
Leaue sence and those that sences obiectes be,
Deale thou with powers, of thoughts leaue thou to will.
But thou wouldst needes fight both with Loue and sence,
With sworde of witte, giuing woundes of dispraise:
Till downe right blowes did foyle thy cunning fence,
So soone as they strake thee with Stellas rayes.
Reason, thou knewst, and offered straight to proue
By reason good, good reason her to loue.
IN truth oh Loue: with what a boyish kinde
Thou doost proceede, in thy most serious waies;
That when thy heauen to thee his best displaies,
Yet of that best thou leau'st the best behinde.
That like a Childe that some faire booke doth finde
With gilden leaues of colloured Velom, playes
Or at the most on some faire picture staies,
But neuer heedes the fruite of Writers minde.
So when thou sawest in Natures cabinet,
Stella, thou straight lokest babies in her eyes:
In her chekes pit, thou didst thy pitfall set,
And in her brest to peepe, a lowting lyes.
Playing and shining in each outward part:
But foole seekst not to get into her hart.
CVpid because thou shin'st in Stellas eyes,
That from her lookes thy dimnesse nowe scapes free:
That those lips swelde so full of thee they be.
That sweet breath maketh oft the flames to rise,
That in her brest thy pap well sugred lyes,
That grace euen makes thy gracious wrongs; that she,
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Page  6What word so ere shee speakes, perswades for thee:
That her cleere voice, lifteth the Sunne to Skyes.
Thou countest Stella thine, like those whose powres
Hauing got vp a breach, (by fighting well)
Cry victory, this happy day is ours:
Oh no, her heart is such a Cytadell.
So fortified with wit, stor'd with disdaine:
That to winne it, is all the skill and paine.
PHoebus was Iudge, twixt Ioue and Mars in loue,
Of those three Gods whose armes the fairest weare:
Ioues golden shielde, did Eagle Sables beare.
Whose talents holde young Ganimede aboue.
But in verde fieldes, Mars beares a golden Speare,
Which through a bleeding heart, his point did shoue:
Each had his Crest, Mars carried Venus gloue.
Ioue on his Helme the Thunder bolte did reare.
Cupid then smiles, for on his crest there lyes
Stellas fayre haire, her face he makes his shielde:
Where Roses gules, are borne in siluer fielde.
Phoebus drewe wide the Curtaine of the skyes
To blase the last, and swore deuoutly then:
The first thus macht, were scarcely Gentlemen.
ALas, haue I not paine enough my friend,
Vppon whose breast, a fiercer gripe doth tyre,
Than did on him, who first stole downe the fyre;
While Loue on me, doth all his quiuer spend,
But with your rubarbe wordes you must contend,
To greeue me worse in saying, that desier
Doth plunge my well form'd soule, euen in the mier
Of sinfull thoughtes, which doe in ruine ende.
If that be sinne which doth the manners frame,
Well stayed with trueth, in worde and faith of deede,
Readie of wit, and fearing nought but shame;
Page  7If it be sin which in sixt hart dooth breede,
A loathing of all loost true chastitie;
Then loue is sin, and let me sinfull bee.
YOu that doe search for euery purling spring,
Which from the rybs of old Pernassus flowes,
And euery flower (not sweete perhaps) which growes
Neere there about, into your Poems wring.
You that doe dictionary method bring
Into your rymes, running in ratling rowes,
You that old Petrarchs long deceased woes
With new borne sighes, and wit disguised sing;
You take wrong wayes, those far-fet helps be such,
As doe bewray a want of inward tutch,
And sure at length stolne goods doe come to light.
But if both for your loue and skill you name,
You seeke to nurse at fullest brest of Fame,
Stella behold and then begin to write.
IN nature apt to like, when I did see
Beauties which were of many Carrects fine,
My boyling spirits did thether then incline,
And Loue I thought that I was full of thee;
But finding not those restles flames in me
Which others said did make theyr soules to pyne,
I thought those babes of some pins hurt did whine:
By my loue iudging what loues pains might be.
But while I thus with this young Lyon plaid,
Myne eyes (shall I say curst or blest) beheld
Stella: now she is nam'de, neede more be sayd?
In her sight I a lesson new haue speld.
I now haue learnd loue right, and learnd euen so,
As they that beeing poysoned, poyson know.
HIs mother deere Cupid offended late,
Because that Mars grew slacker in her loue,
Page  8With pricking shot he did not throughly moue
To keepe the place of their first louing state:
The boy refusde, for feare of Marses hate;
Who thretned stripes, if he his wrath did proue:
But she in chafe him from her lappe did shoue,
Broke bowe, broke shaftes, where Cupid weeping sate,
Till that his Grandam Nature pittying it,
Of Stellas browes, made him two better bowes:
And in her eyes of arrowes infinit.
O how for ioye he leapes, ô how he crowes;
And straight therewith, like wagges new got to play:
Falls to shrewde turnes, and I was in his way.
WIth what strange checkes I in my selfe am shent,
When into Reasons Audit I doe goe:
And by such counts my selfe a Banckerowt know
Of all those goods which heauen to me hath lent,
Vnable quite, to pay euen Natures rent,
Which vnto it by birth-right I doe owe:
And which is worse, no good excuse can showe,
But that my wealth I haue most idly spent,
My wit doth waste, my knowledge bringes forth toyes,
My wit doth striue, those passions to defende
With my rewarde, the spoile of vaine annoyes;
I see my course, to loose my selfe doth bende.
I see and yet no greater sorrowe take
Than that I loose no more for Stellas sake.
ON Cupids bowe, how are my hart strings bent?
That see my wracke, and yet imbrace the same:
When most I glory, then I feele most shame;
I willing run, yet when I runne repent;
My best wittes still their owne disgrace inuent,
My verie yncke, turnes straight to Stellas name:
And yet my wordes (as them my penne doth frame)
Page  9For though she passe all things, yet what is all
That vnto me, that fare like him that both
Lookes to the skyes and in a ditch doth fall,
O let me proue my mind yet in his grouth
And not in nature, for best fruites vnfit;
Scholler saith Loue bend hitherward thy wit.
FLy, flye my friendes, I haue my deathes wound, flye;
See there that boy, that murthering boy I say,
Who like a thiefe hid in a bush doth lye,
Tyll blooddy bullet get him wrongfull pray.
So, tyrant he no fitter place could spy,
Nor so farre leuell in so secrete stay:
As that sweete blacke which walles thy heauenly eye,
There he himselfe with his shot close doth laye.
Poore passenger, passe now thereby I did,
And staid to see the prospect of the place,
While that black hue from me the bad guest hid,
But straight I saw motions of lightnings grace,
And there discried the glisterings of his dart:
But ere I could flie thence, it pearst my hart.
YOur words my freends me causelesly doe blame,
My young minde marde whō Loue doth menace so:
That my owne writings like bad seruants shew
My wits, quick in vaine thoughts, in vertue lame;
That Plato I haue reade for nought, but if he tame
Such coltish yeeres; that to my birth I owe
Nobler desires: least els that to my foe
Great expectation were a trayne of shame.
For since mad Mars great promise made to me,
If now the May or my yeeres much decline,
What can be hop'd my haruest time will be,
Well said, your wit in vertues golden myne
Digs deepe with learnings spade: now tell me this,
Hath this world ought so faire as Stella is?
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IN highest way of heauen the Sunne did ride,
Progressing from fayre Twynns in golden place,
Hauing no maske of Clowdes before his face,
But streaming forth of his heate in chiefest pride,
When some faire Ladies by hard promise tyde,
On horsebacke met him in his furious race,
Yet each prepar'de with Fannes well shading grace,
From that foes wounds their tender skinnes to hide.
Stella alone, with face vnarmed marcht,
Either to doe like him, as carelesse showne:
Or carelesse of the welth, because her owne.
Yet were their hid and meaner beauties parcht,
Her daintiest bare went free; the cause was this,
The Sunne that others burnt, did her but kisse.
THe curious wits, seeing dull pensiuenes
Bewray it selfe in my long setled eyes:
When these same fumes of mellancholie rise,
With idle paines and missing paines doth gesse;
Some that know how, my spring I did adresse,
Deeme that my Muse some fruite of knowledge plyes:
Others, because the Prince my seruice tryes,
Thinke that I think, State errors to redresse;
But harder Iudges, iudge ambitious rage,
(Scourge of it selfe, till clyming slippery place)
Holds my young braine captiu'd in golden cage.
O fooles, farre otherwise alas the case;
For all my thoughts haue neither stop nor start,
But onely Stellas eyes, and Stellas hart.
RIch fooles there be, whose base and filthy hart,
Lyes hatching still the goods wherein they flow:
Damning themselues to Tantalus his smart,
Welth breeding want, more rich, more wretched grow.
Yet to those fooles, heauen doth such wit impart,
As what their hands doe hold, their heads doe know.
Page  11And knowing loue, and louing lay apart,
As scattered things, farre from all dangers show.
But that rich foole, whom by blinde Fortunes lot,
The richest gem of loue and life enioyes,
And can with foule abuse such beauties blot:
Let him depriued of sweet, but vnfelt ioyes
Exilde for aye, from those high treasures which
He knowes not grow, in onely follie rich.
THE wisest scholler of the wight most wise,
By Phoebus doome, with sugred sentence sayes:
That vertue if it once meete our eyes,
Strange flames of loue it in our soules would rayse.
But for that man with paine this truth discries,
While he each thing in sences ballance wayes,
And so, nor will nor can behold those skyes,
Which inward Summe to heroicke minds displaies.
Vertue of late with vertuous care to stir
Loue of himselfe, take Stellas shape, that hee
To mortall eyes might sweetly shine in her.
It is most true, for since I did her see,
Vertues great beautie in her face I proue,
And finde defect; for I doe burne in loue.
THough duskie wits doe scorne Astrologie,
And fooles can thinke those lampes of purest light.
Whose number waies greatnes eternitie.
Promising wondrous wonders to inuite,
To haue for no cause birth-right in the skyes.
But for to spangle the blacke weedes of Night,
Or for some braue within that Chamber hie,
They shold still daunce to please a gazers sight.
For me I nature euery deale doe know,
And know great causes, great effects procure,
And know those bodies high, raigne on the low.
Page  12And if these rules did fall, proofe makes me sure,
Who oft bewraies my after following case,
By onely those two starres in Stellas face.
BEcause I oft in darke abstracted guise,
Seeme most alone in greatest company,
With dearth of words, and aunswers quite awry,
To them that would make naked speech arise;
They deeme, and of their doome the rumor flies,
That poyson foule of bubling pride doth lie
So in my swelling brest, that onely I
Faune on my selfe, all others doe dispise:
Yet pride (I thinke) doth not my soule possesse,
(Which lookes too oft in this vnflattering glasse)
But one worse fault, ambition I confesse,
That makes me oft my best freendes ouer-passe,
Vnseene vnheard, while thought to highest place
Bends all his powers, euen vnto Stellas grace.
YOu that with allegories curious frame
Of others children changlings vse to make,
With me those paines for God-sake doe not take,
I list not dig so deepe for brasen fame.
When I see Stella, I doe meane the same
Princesse of beautie, for whose onely sake,
The raynes of loue I loue, though neuer slake;
And ioy therin, though Nations count it shame:
I begge no subiect to vse eloquence,
Nor hidden waies to guide Philosophie,
Looke at my hands for no such quintessence,
But know that I in pure simplicitie,
Breathe out the flames which burne within my hart,
Loue onely leading me into this arte.
LIke some weake Lords neighbours by mighty kings,
To keepe themselues and their chiefe Citties free
Page  13Doe easily yeelde, that all theyr coast may be
Readie to serue their Campe of needfull things:
So Stellas hart finding what power Loue brings,
To keepe it selfe in life and libertie,
Doth willing graunt that in the Frontire he
Vse all to helpe his other conquerings.
And thus her hart escapes, but thus her eyes
Serue him with shot, her lips his Herralds are,
Her brests his Tents, legges his tryumphall Chare,
Herselfe his foode, her skin his Armor braue.
But for because my chiefest prospect lyes
Vpon the coast, I am giuen vp for a slaue.
WHether the Turkish new Moone minded be,
To fill her hornes vppon the Christian coast,
How Polands King mindes without leaue of hoast,
To warme with ill made fire cold Musconie,
If French can yet three parts in one agree,
What now the Dutch in their full diets boast,
How Holland harts, now so good Townes are lost,
Wherewith my Father made it once halfe tame,
If in the Scottish Court be weltering yet;
These questions busie wits to me do frame:
I combered with good manners, aunswere doe,
But know not how, for still I thinke on you.
WIth how sad steps ô Moone thou clim'st the skyes,
How silently, and with how meane a face,
What may it be, that euen in heauenly place,
That busie Archer his sharpe Arrowes tryes?
Sure if that long with loue acquainted eyes
Can iudge of loue, thou feelst of Louers case,
I reade within thy lookes thy languisht grace.
To mee that feele the like, my state discries.
Then euen of fellowship ô Moone tell me,
Is constant loue deemde there but want of wit?
Page  14Are beauties there, as proude as heere there be?
Doe they aboue, loue to be lou'd, and yet
Those Louers scorne, whom that loue doth possesse?
Doe they call vertue there vngratefulnesse?
MOrpheus the liuely sonne of deadlie Sleepe,
Witnes of life to them that liuing die:
A Prophet oft of hidden mysterie;
A Poet eake as humors flye and creepe:
Since thou in me so sure a hold doost keepe,
That neuer I with clos'd vp sence doe lye,
But by thy worke, my Stella I discry,
Teaching blind eyes both how to smile and weepe;
Vouchsafe of all acquaintance this to tell,
Whence hast thou Iuorie, Rubies, Pearle, and Golde,
To shew her skin, lips, teeth, and head so well?
(Foole aunswers he) no Indes such treasures hold,
But from thy hart, while my Sire charmeth thee,
Sweete Stellas Image I doe steale to me.
I Might, vnhappy word, (woe me) I might,
And then would not, or could not see my blisse:
Tyll now, wrapt in a most infernall Night,
I finde, how heauenly day (wretch) did I misse;
Hart rent thy selfe, thou doost thy selfe but right.
No louely Paris made thy Helen his,
No force, no fraude, robd thee of thy delight,
No Fortune of thy fortune Author is;
But to my selfe, my selfe did giue the blow,
While too much wit forsooth so troubled me,
That I respects for both our sakes must showe.
And could I not by rysing morne fore-see,
How faire a day was neere, (ô punisht eyes)
That I had beene more foolish, or more wise.
Page  15
COme let me write, and to what end? to ease
A burthened hart, (how can words ease, which are
The glasses of thy daily vexing care?)
Oh, cruell fights well pictured forth doe please.
Art not asham'd to publish thy disease?
Nay, that may breede my fame, it is so rare,
But will not wise men thinke thy words fonde ware?
Then be they close, and they shall none displease,
What idler thing than speake and not be heard?
What harder thing than smart and not to speake?
Peace foolish wit, with wit my wit is marde;
Thus write I while I doubt to write, and wreake
My harmes in ynkes poore losse, perhaps some finde
Stellas great power, that so confus'd my minde.
WHat may words say? or what may words not say,
Where truth it selfe must speake like flattery?
Within what boundes can one his lyking stay,
Where Nature doth with excellence agree?
What Nestors counsell can my flames allay,
Since Reasons selfe doth blow the coles to me?
And ah, what hope that hope should once see day,
Where Cupid is sworne page to Chastitie;
Honour is honoured, that thou dost possesse
Him as thy slaue, and now long needie Fame
Doth euen grow rich, meaning my Stellas name;
Wit learnes in thee perfection to expresse,
Not thou by praise, but praise in thee is raised,
It is a praise, to praise where thou art praysed.
STella, whence doth these newe assaults arise,
A conquerd, yeelding, ransackt hart to win?
Whereto long since, through my long battred eyes,
Whole Armies of thy beauties entred in,
And there long since, Loue thy Lieuetenant lyes,
My forces raz'd, thy banners rais'd within;
Page  16Of conquest what doe these effects suffise,
But wilt new warre vppon thine owne begin,
With so sweet voyce, and by sweet nature so,
In sweetest strength, so sweetly skild withall,
In all sweet stratagems sweete Arte can shew:
That not my soule which at thy foote did fall
Long sithence forst by thy beames; but stone nor tree
By sences priuiledge can scape from thee.
THus night while sleepe begins, with heauie wings
To close mine eyes, and that my troubled thought
Doth fall to stray, and my chiefe powers are brought
To leaue the scepter of all subiect things,
The first that straight my fancies errour brings
Vnto my minde, is Stellas Image, wrought
By Loues owne selfe, but with so curious draught,
That she mee thinks not onely shines but sings:
I start, looke hart, harke, but what inclos'd vp sence
Was helde, in open view it flyes away,
Leauing me nought but wayling eloquence.
I seeing bitter sights in sighes decay,
Cald it anew, and woed Sleepe againe,
But him her hoast her vnkind guest had slaine.
COme Sleepe, ô Sleepe, the certaine knot of peace,
The bathing place of wits, the balme of woe,
The poore mans wealth, the prysoners release,
The indifferent Iudge betweene the hie and lowe,
With shielde of proofe, shielde me from out the presse
Of these fierce dartes, Dispayre at me doth throw;
O make in me those ciuill warres to cease:
I will good trybute pay if thou doe soe.
Take thou of me smooth pillowes, sweetest bed,
A chamber deafe of noyse, and blinde of light,
A rosie garland, and a wearie head.
Page  17And if these things (as being thine in right)
Mooue not thy heauie grace, thou shalt in mee
(Liuelier then els) rare Stellas Image see.
AS good to write, as for to lie and groane,
O Stella deere, how much thy power hath wrought,
That hast my minde now of the basest brought,
My still kept course while others sleepe to moane;
Alas if thou, the height of Vertues throane,
Canst but vouchsafe the influence of a thought,
Vpon a wretch which long thy grace hath sought,
Way then by thee how I am ouerthrowne;
And then thinke thus, although thy beautie be
Made manifest, by such a victorie,
Yet noblest Conquerers doe wreaks auoide;
Since then thou hast so farre subdued me,
That in my hart I offer still to thee,
O doe not let thy Temple be destroide.
HAuing this day, my horse, my hand, my Launce
Guided so well, that I obtaind the prize,
Both by the iudgement of the English eyes,
And of some sent by that sweet enmie Fraunce,
Horsmen my skill in horsmanship aduaunce,
Towne folke my strength: a daintier Iudge applies
His praise to slight, which from good vse doth rise:
Some luckie wits, impute it but to chaunce:
Others, because from both sides I doe take
My blood, from them that doe excell in this,
Thinke Nature me a man at Armes did make.
How farre they shoote awry; the true cause is,
Stella lookt on, and from her heauenly face,
Sent forth her beames, which made so faire a race.
O Eyes, which doe the Spheres of beautie moue,
Whose beames all ioyes, whose ioyes all vertues be:
Page  18Who while they make Loue conquer, conquer Loue,
The Schooles where Venus hath learnd Chastitie;
O eyes, where humble lookes most glorious proue,
Onely loue tasting of your crueltie.
Doe not, doe not, from me, poore me, remoue,
Keepe still my Zenith, euer shine on me;
For thoughts eye neuer sees them, but straight waies
My life forgets to nourish languisht sprights:
Yet still on me (ô eyes) dart downe your rayes;
And if from Maiestie of sacred Lights
Oppressing mortall sence, my death proceede:
Wreckes tryumphs best, which Loue hie set doth breed.
FAire eyes, sweet lips, deere hart, that foolish I
Could hope by Cupids helpe, on you to pray:
Since to himselfe he doth your gifts apply,
As his maine force, chiefe sport, and easefull stay.
For when he will see who dare him gainesay,
Then with those eyes he lookes, loe by and by,
Each soule doth at Loues feete his weapons lay,
Glad if for her he giue them leaue to die.
When he will play, then in her lips his eye,
Where blushing red, that Loues selfe them doe loue,
With either lip he doth the other kisse;
But when he will for quiets sake remoue
From all the world, her hart is then his roome:
Where well he knowes, no man to him can come.
MY words I know doe well sette forth my minde,
My minde, bemones his sence of inward smart:
Such smart may pittie claime of any hart;
Her hart, sweete hart, is of no Tygers kinde,
And yet she heares, and I no pittie finde,
But more I cry, lesse grace she doth impart;
Alas, what cause is there so ouerthwart,
That Noblenes it selfe makes thus vnkinde?
Page  19I much doe gesse, yet finde no truth but this,
That when the breath of my complaints doe touch
Those daintie doores vnto the Court of Blisse,
That once come there, the sobs of my annoyes,
Are metamorphos'd straight to tunes of ioyes.
STella oft sees the very face of woes
Painted in my bewrinckled stormie face:
But cannot skill to pittie my disgrace;
No though the cause heereof herselfe she knowes.
Yet Hermes late, a Fable who did show,
Of Louers neuer knowne, (a pittious case)
Pittie thereof got in her breast such place,
As from her eyes, a Spring of teares did flow.
Alas, if Fancie drawne by fained things,
Though false, yet with free store more grace doth breede
Then Seruants wreck, where new doubt honor bringes,
Than thinke my Deere, that in me you doe reede
Of Louers ruine some sad Tragaedie:
And if not me, pittie the tale of me.
I Curst thee oft, I pittie now thy case,
Blinde hitting Boy, since shee that thee and me
Rules with a becke, so tyranniseth thee,
That thou must want or foode or dwelling place;
For she protests to bannish thee her face.
Her face (ô Loue) a roge then should'st thou bee,
If Loue learne not alone to loue and see,
Without desire to feede of further grace.
Alas poore wagge, that now a Scholler art
To such a Schoole-mistris, whose lessons new
Thou needes must misse, and so thou needes must smart;
Yet deere, let me this pardon get of you,
That he so long may sport him with desire,
Till without Fuell, thou can make hote fire.
Page  20
WHat, haue I thus betraide my libertie,
Can those blacke beames, such burning markes en∣graue
In my free side, or am I borne a slaue,
Whose necke becomes such yoke of tyrannie?
Or want I sence to feele my miserie,
Or spirit, disdaine of such disdaine to haue,
Who for long faith some gentle pittie craue,
Yet get no almes, but scorne of beggerie.
Vertue awake, beautie but beautie is;
I may, I must, I can, I will, I doe
Leaue following that which it is gaine to misse,
Let her goe: soft, but there she comes, goe to,
Vnkind I loue you, not, (woe me) that I
Must make my hart thus giue my tongue the lye.
SOules ioy, bend not those morning starres from me,
Where vertue is made strong by beauties might,
Where loue is chastnes, scorning youthes delight,
And humblenes is linckt with maiestie;
What euer may ensue, ah let me be
Copartner of the ritches of that sight:
Let not mine eyes be blinded from that light;
Oh looke, oh shine, ô let me die and see,
For though I oft my selfe of them bemone,
That through my hart their beamie darts be gone,
Whose curelesse woundes euen nowe most freshly bleede;
Yet since my deaths wound is already got,
Deere killer, spare not thy sweete cruell shot,
A kinde of grace it is to kill with speede.
I On my horse, and Loue on me doth trie
Our horsmanship, while two strong works I proue,
A horsman to my horse, a horse to Loue;
And now mans wrongs in me poore beast discry.
The raines wherewith the ryder doth me tie
Are reuerent thoughts, which bit of reuerence moue,
Page  21Curbde in with feare, but with gilt bosse aboue
Of hope, which makes it seeme faire to the eye:
The wande is will, thou fancie saddle art,
Girt fast by memory; and while I spurre
My horse, he spurres with sharpe desires my hart,
He sits me fast how euer I doe sturre,
And now hath made me to his hand so right,
That in the manage I my selfe delight.
STella, the fulnes cannot staied be
Of hidden thoughts, within my panting brest:
But they doe swell and struggle forth of me,
Till that in words thy figure be exprest;
And yet as soone as they thus formed be,
According to my Lord Loues owne behest,
With sad eyes I their weake proportion see
To portract what within this world is blest.
So that I cannot chuse but write my minde,
And cannot chuse but put out that I write,
While those poore babes their death in birth doe find;
And now my penne these lynes had dashed quite,
But that they stop his furie from the same:
Because their fore-front beares sweet Stellas name.
PArdon mine eares, both I and they doe pray,
So may your tongue still flauntingly proceede,
To them that doe such entertainments neede;
So may you still haue something new to say
On sillie me, doe not your burthen lay
Of all the graue conceipts your braine doth breede:
But find some Hercules, to beare (in steede
Of Atlas tyrde) your wisedomes heauenly sway,
For me while you discourse of courtly tydes,
Of cunningst Fishers in most troubled streames,
Of straying waues when valiant errour guides;
Page  22Meane while my hart confers with Stellas beames,
As pittie tis so sweete a Comedie,
By such vnfitted speech, should hindered be.
A Strife is growne betweene Vertue and Loue,
While each pretends, that Stella may be his:
Her eyes, her lips, Loue saith that he owes this,
Since they doe weare his badge, most firmely proue;
But Vertue thus, that title doth disproue.
That Stella, (ô deere name) that Stella is,
That vertuous Soule, sure heyre of heauenly Blisse:
Not this faire outside, which our hart doth moue;
And therefore, though her beauty and her grace,
Be Loues indeede, in Stellas selfe he may
By no pretence claime any manner place.
VVell Loue, since this Demurre our sute doth staie,
Let Vertue haue that Stellas selfe, yet thus,
That Vertue but that body graunt to vs.
IN Martiall sports I had my cunning tryde,
And yet to breake more Staues I did adresse
VVhile people shoutes: indeede I must confesse,
Youth, luck, and praise, filled my vaines with pride;
When Cupid hauing me his slaue discride,
In Mars his liuerie, prauncing in the presse,
Now what sir foole said he (I would no lesse)
Looke heere I say, I lookt, and Stella spide:
Who hard by, through a window sent her light;
My hart then quakt, then daz'led were my eyes,
One hand forgot to rule, th'other to fight,
No Trumpet sound I heard, nor freendly cries;
My foe came on, and beate the ayre for mee,
Till that her blush, taught me my shame to see.
BEcause I breathe not loue to euery one,
Nor doe not vse sette Colours for to weare:
Page  23Nor nourish speciall locks with vowed haire,
Nor giue each speech a full point of a grone,
The Courtly Nymphes acquainted with the mone
Of them, which in their lips Loues Standard beare:
What he, (say they of me) no I dare sweare,
He cannot loue: no, no, let him alone.
And thinke so still, so Stella know my minde.
Protest indeede, I know not Cupids dart:
But how faire Maides, at length this true shall find,
That his right badge, is learned in the hart.
Dumbe Swans, not chattering Pyes doe Louers proue,
They loue indeede, who dare not say they loue.
FIE schoole of Patience, fie, your Lesson is
Far far too long, to learne it without booke:
What, a whole weeke, and get not halfe a looke?
And thinke I should not your large precepts misse,
VVhen I might reade these Letters fayre of blisse,
VVithin her face each vertue I could brooke,
From what the leaden counsels that I tooke:
As of a freende which meant not much amisse.
But now alas, that I doe want her sight,
What doost thou thinke that I can euertake,
In thy colde strife, a phlegmatick delight?
No Patience, if thou wilt my good, then make
Her come, and heere with patience my desire:
And then with patience bid me beare my fire.
MVses, I oft haue crau'd your holy ayde,
With choisest flowres, my speech t'engarland so,
That it disguisde, in true (but naked) show,
Might winne some grace in your sweet skill arraide;
And oft whole troupes of saddest words I said,
Striuing abroade, a forraging to goe,
Vntill by your inspiring I might know,
How the blacke banners might be best displaid.
Page  24But I meane now no more your helpe to proue.
No other sugering of speech to try,
But on her name vncessantly to cry.
For let me but name her whom I doe loue,
So sweete sounde straight my eares and hart doe hit,
That I well finde no eloquence to it.
WOe hauing made with many sighs his owne
Each sence of mine; each gift, each power of minde
Growne now his slaues, he forst them out to finde
The throwest words, fit for Woes selfe to grone
Hoping that when they might finde Stella alone,
Before she could prepare to be vnkind,
Her soule (armed with such a daintie rinde,)
Should soone be hurt with sharpnes of the mone.
She heard my plaints, and did not onely heare,
But them so sweet, she did most sweetly sing,
With that faire brest, making Woes darknes cleere,
My priuie cares I holpe to her to bring,
To tell my griefe, and she with face and voice,
So sweetes my paines, that my paines me reioyce.
DOubt there hath beene, when with his golden chaine
The Orator so farre mens harts doth bind:
That no place els their giddie steps could find;
But as he them more slacker short did raine,
Whether with words his sou'raigntie he gaine,
Clothed with fine tropes as his strongest linde,
Or els pronouncing grace, wherewith his minde
Prints his owne forme liuely, in rudest braine.
Now iudge by this, in pearcing phrases late
The Anatomie of all my woes I wrate,
Stellas sweete breath the same to me did reede.
Oh voyce, oh face, mauger my speeches might,
With wooed words, most rauishing delight,
Euen those sad words a ioy to me did breede.
Page  25
DEere, why make you more of a dogge than me?
If he doe loue, alas I burne in loue;
If he waite well, I neuer thence would moue;
If he be faire, yet but a dogge can be;
Little he is, so little worth is he:
He barkes, my songs in one voice oft doth proue;
Bidden, (perhaps) he fetcheth thee a gloue;
But I vnbid, fetch euen my soule to thee.
Yet while I languish, him that bosome clips,
That lap doth lap, nay lets in spight of spight
This fauning mate tast of those sugred lips;
Alas, if you graunt onely such delight
To witles things, then Loue I hope, (since wit
Becomes a clogge) will soone ease me of it.
WHen my good Angell guides me to the place
Where's al my good; I doe in Stella see,
That Heauenly ioyes throwes onely downe on me
Thundred disdaines, and Lightning of disgrace;
But when the ruggedst step of Fortunes race
Makes me fall from her sight, then sweetly she
With words, wherein the Muses Treasures be,
Shewes loue and pittie to my absent case.
Now I (with beating long, by hardest fate)
So dull am, that I cannot looke into
The ground of this fierce loue, and louing hate;
Then some good body tell me how to do,
Whose presence absence, absence presence is:
Blest in my curse, and curssed in my blisse.
OFt with true sighes, oft with vncalled teares,
Now with slow words, now with dumbe eloquence,
I Stellas eyes assailde, I closde her eares,
But this at last is her sweetest defence;
That who indeede a sound affection beares,
So captiues to his Saint both soule and mind,
Page  26That wholie Hers, all selfnes hee forbeares.
Thence his desire he learnes, his liues course thence,
Now since this chast loue, hates this loue in mee;
With chastned minde I needes must shew, that shee
Shall quickly me from what she hates remoue.
O Doctor Cupid, thou for me reply:
Driuen els to graunt by Angell Sophistry,
That I loue not, without I leaue to loue.
LAte tyr'd with woe, euen ready for to pine
With rage of loue, I call my Loue vnkinde.
Shee in whose eyes, loues fyres vnfelt doe shine,
Sweetlie saide; I true loue in her shoulde finde.
I ioy, but straight thus watred was my wine:
That loue she did, but with a loue not blinde.
Which would not let me, whome she lou'd decline,
From Nobler course, fit for my birth and minde.
And therefore by her loues Authoritie;
Wilde me these Tempests of vaine loue to flee:
And Anchor fast my selfe on vertues shore.
Alas if this the onelie mettall be,
Of loue newe coyn'd to helpe my beggery:
Deere, loue me not, that you may loue me more.
OH Grammer rules, oh now your vertues showe,
So Children still read you with awfull eyes,
As my younge Doue may in your precepts wise,
Her graunt to me by her owne vertue knowe.
For late with hart most hie, with eyes most lowe;
I crau'd the thing which euer she denies.
Shee lightening Loue, displaying Venus skyes,
Least one should not be heard twise, saide no no.
Harken Enuy not at my high triumphing:
But Grammers force with sweete successe confirme,
For Grammer sayes ah (this deere Stella way)
For Grammer sayes (to Grammer who sayes nay)
That in one speech, two negatiues affirme.
Page  27
NO more my deere, no more these Counsels try,
O giue my passions leaue to runne their race:
Let Fortune lay on me her worst disgrace.
Let Folke orechargde with braine against me cry,
Let Cloudes be dimme, my fate bereaues myne eyes,
Let me no steps but of lost labour try,
Let all the earth in scorne recount my race;
But doe not will me from my loue to fly.
I doe not enuye Aristotles wit,
Nor doe aspire to Caesars bleeding fame:
Nor ought to care though some aboue me sit;
Nor hope nor wish an other course to frame:
But that which once may winne thy cruell hart,
Thou art my wit; and thou my vertue art.
LOue, by sure proofe I may call thee vnkinde,
That giues no better eares to my iust cryes:
Thou whom to me, such my good turnes shouldst binde,
As I may well account, but cannot prise.
For when nak'd boy, thou couldst no harbour finde
In this olde world, (growne now so too too wise)
I lodg'de thee in my heart; and being blinde
By nature borne, I gaue to thee my eyes.
Mine eyes, my light, my life, my hart alas,
If so great seruices may scorned be:
Yet let this thought thy Tygirsh courage passe,
That I perhaps am somewhat kin to thee,
Since in thine armes, of Fame most truely spred,
Thou bearst the Arrowe, I the Arrowhed.
AND doe I see some cause of hope to finde?
Or doth the tedious burthen of long woe
In weakned mindes, quicke apprehension breede
Of euery Image which may comfort showe.
I cannot brag of word, much lesse of deede,
Fortunes windes still with me in one sorte blowe:
Page  28My wealth no more, and no whit lesse my neede,
Desier, still on stilts of feare doth goe.
And yet amids all feares, a hope there is
Stolne to my hart: since last faire night (nay day)
Stellas eyes sent to me the beames of blisse,
Looking on mee, I looke an other way:
But when mine eyes blacke to their heauen did moue:
They fled with blush, which guiltie seem'd of loue.
HOpe art thou true or doost thou flatter me?
Doth Stella now beginne, vvith pitteous eye
The raigne of this her conquest to espie?
Will she take time before all wracked be?
Her eye speech is translated thus by thee.
But failste thou not in phrase so heauenly hye?
Looke ore againe, the faire text better prie;
What blushing notes dost thou in Margent see?
What sighes stolne out, or kild before full borne
Hast thou found such and such like arguments?
Or art thou els to comfort me forsworne?
Well how so ere thou doost interpret my contents,
I am resolu'd thy error to maintaine:
Rather than by more trueth to get more paine.
STella, the onely Plannet of my light,
Light of my life, and life of my desire,
Cheife good, vvhereto my hope doth sole aspire;
World of my wealth and heauen of my delight.
Why doost thou spend the Treasure of thy sprite
With voice more fit to vved Amphyons Lyre?
Seeking to quench in me the noble fyre,
Set by thy wrath and kindled by thy sight.
And all in vaine, for while thy breath so sweete
With choisest words; thy wordes with reasons rare:
Thy reasons firmely set, are vertues feete,
Page  29Labour to kill in me this killing care
Oh thinke I then, what Paradise of ioy
It is, so faire a vertue to annoy.
OH ioy, too high for my Loue still to showe,
Oh blisse, fit for a nobler seat than mee,
Enuie put out thine eyes, least thou doe see
What Ouans of delight, in me doth flowe.
My friend that oft saw'st through all maskes, my woe,
Come, come, and let me poure my selfe in thee:
Gone is the winter of my miserie.
My Spring appeares, loe see what heere doth growe,
For Stella hath with wordes (where faith doth shine)
Of her high hart giuen me the Monarchie:
And Io, I may say that she is mine.
And though she giue but this condicionally,
This Realme of blisse, while vertues course I take;
No Kings be Crownd, but they some couenant make.
MY Muse may well grudge at my heauenly ioy,
Yf still I force her thus in woe to weepe:
She oft hath drunke my teares, now hopes t'enioy
Nectar of mirth; since I Ioues Cupid keepe.
Sonnets be not bound Prentice to annoy,
Trebbles sing high, so well as bases deepe:
Griefe but Loues winter liuerie, the boy
Hath cheekes to smile, so well as eyes to weepe.
Come then my Muse, shewe the force of delight
In well raisde noates; my pen the best it may
Shall paint out ioy, though but in blacke and white.
Cease eager Muse, peace pen, for my sake stay.
I giue you heere my hand, for truth of this:
Wise silence is best Musique vnto blisse.
WHo will in fayrest booke of nature knowe,
How Vertue may best lodgde in Beautie bee,
Page  30Let him but learne of loue to read in thee
Stella those faire lines which true Beautie showe.
There shall he finde all vices ouerthrowe;
Not by rude force, but sweetest soueraigntie
Of reason, from whose light, the night birdes flie;
That inward Sunne in thine eyes shineth so.
And not content to be perfections heir,
Thy selfe dost striue all mindes that way to moue:
Who marking thee, which art indeede most faire,
See while thy beautie driues my hart to loue,
As fast thy vertue bends that loue to good:
But ah, Desire still cries, giue me some food.
DEsire, though thou my olde commpanion art,
And oft so clinges to my pure Loue; that I
One from the other scarcely can discry:
While each doe blowe the fier of my hart;
Novv from thy fellovvship I needes must part.
Venus is taught vvith Dians vvings to flye,
I must no more in thy sweet passions lye:
Vertues golde now, must head my Cupids dart,
Seruice and honour wonder vvith delight,
Feare to offend, well worthy to appeare:
Care shining in mine eyes, faith in my spright,
These thinges are left me by my onely deare.
But thou Desire, because thou vvouldst haue all:
Now banisht art, but yet within my call.
LOue still a Boy, and oft a vvanton is,
Schoolde only by his Mothers tender eye:
What vvonder then if he his lesson misse,
When for so soft a rod deare play he trye.
And yet my starre, because a sugred kisse,
In sport I sucke, while she a sleepe doth lye:
Doth lowre, naye chide, nay threat for onely this:
Sweet it was saucy loue, that prest so nye.
But no scuse serues, she makes her vvrath appeare
Page  31In Beauties throne, see now who dares come neere
Those scarlet Iudges, threatning blooddie paine.
O heauenly Foole, thy most kisse worthy face
Anger invests with such a louely grace,
That Angers selfe I needes must kisse againe.
I Neuer dranke of Aganippe well,
Nor neuer did in shade of Tempe sit:
And Muses scorne with vulgar braines to dwell,
Poore Lay-man I, for sarcred rites vnfit.
Some doe I heare of Poets fury tell,
But God wot, wot not what they meane by it:
And this I sweare by blackest brooke of hell,
I am no Pickepurse of an others wit.
How fals it than, that with so smooth an ease
My thoughts I speake? And what I speake I showe
In verse; and that my verse best wittes doth please,
Gesse we the cause. What is it this? fie no.
Or so? much lesse. How then? sure thus it is;
My Lips are sure inspir'd with Stellas kisse.
OF all the Kings that euer heere did raigne,
Edward namde fourth, as first in praise I name:
Not for his faire outside, nor well linde braine,
Although lesse guift, are fethers of high fame.
Nor that he could young wise, wise valliant frame
His Syres reuenge, ioynde with a kingdomes gaine:
And gaind by Mars, could yet make Mars so tame,
That ballance waide what sword did late obtaine.
Nor that he made the Flower deluce so fraide,
Though strongly hedgd of bloody Lyons pawes:
That wittie Lewes to him a tribuite paide;
Nor this nor that, nor any such small cause,
But onely, for this worthy King durst proue,
To loose his Crowne, rather then loose his Loue.
Page  32
SHee comes, and straight therewith her shining twins do moue
Their raies to me: who in her tedious absence lay
Bath'de in cold woe; but now appeares my shining day,
The onely light of ioy, the onely warmth of Loue.
Shee comes with light and warmth, which like Aurora proue;
Of gentle face, so that my eyes dare gladly play
With such a rosy Morne: whose beames both fresh and gay
Scorch not; but onely doe darke chillinge spirits remoue.
But loe, while I doe speake it groweth noone with me,
Her flamy glittering lights increase with time and place:
My heart cryes oh it burnes, mine eyes now dazled be:
No winde, no shade, no coole: what helpe then in my case?
But with short breath, long lookes, staide feete, and waking hed,
Pray that my Sunne goe downe with meeker beames to bed.
Those lookes, whose beames my ioy, whose motion is delight,
That face whose lecture shewes what perfect Beautie is:
That presence which doth giue darke hearts a liuing light,
That grace, which Venus weepes that she her selfe did misse.
That hand, which without touch, holdes more than Atlas might,
Those lips, which makes deathes pay a meane prise for a kisse:
That skin, whose passing hue scornes this poore tearme of white,
Those words that doe sublime the quintessence of blisse.
That voice which makes the soule plant himselfe in the eares,
That conuersation sweet, where such high comforts be:
As constru'd in true speech, the name of heauen it beares.
Makes me in my best thoughts, and quiet iudgements see,
That in no more but this I mightt be fully blest:
Yet ah, my mayden Muse doth blush to tell the best.
OH how the pleasant ayres, of true Loue bee
Infected by those vapours, which arise
From out that noysome gulfe: which gaping lies
Betweene the iawes of hellish Ielousey.
A Monster, others harmes, selfe misery.
Beauties plague, Vertues scurdge, succour of lyes:
Page  33Who his owne ioy to his owne heart applyes,
And onely cherrish doth with iniuries:
Who since he hath by natures speciall grace,
So pearsing pawes as spoyle when they embrace,
So nimble feete as stirre though still on thornes,
So manie eyes as seeking their owne woe.
So ample eares, that neuer good newes knowe,
Is it not ill that such a beast wants hornes?
SWeete kisse, thy sweetes I faine would sweetely indite,
Which euen of sweetnes, sweetell sweeter art;
Pleasing consort, where each sense holdeth part,
With coopling Doues guides Venus chariot right,
Best charge and brau'st retraite in Cupids sight,
A double key which openeth to the harts,
Most ritch when most his ritches it impartes.
Nest of yong ioyes, Scholemaster of delight,
Teaching the meanes at once to take and giue,
The friendly fray where blows do wound and heale,
The prettie death while each in other liue,
Poore haps first wealth a pledge of promised weale,
Breakfast of loue, but loe, loe where shee is,
Cease we to praise, now praie wee for a kisse.
SWeet swelling lip well maist thou swell in pride,
Since best wittes thinke it best thee to admire,
Natures praise, vertues stall, Cupids cold fire,
Whence words, not words but heauenly graces slyde,
The newe Pernassus where the Graces byde:
Sweetnes of Musique, Wisedomes beautifier,
Breather of life, and fastnesse of desire,
Where Beauties blush in Honors graine is dyde.
Thus much my heart my mouth compeld to say:
But now, spite of my heart my tongue will stay,
Loathing all lyes, doubting this flattrie is,
And no spurre can this restie race refraine;
Page  34Wherefore to trie if that I said be true,
How can I better proue then with a kisse?
O Kisse which doth those ruddie gems impart,
Or ioyes or fruits of new found Parradise,
Breathing all blisse and sweetnes to the hart,
Teaching dumbe lips a nobler exercise.
O kisse which soules euen soules together ties
By linkes of loue, and onely natures Art,
How faine would I paint thee to all mens eies,
Or of thy gifts at least set out some part?
But shee forbids, with blushing words shee saies,
Shee builds hir fame on higher seated praise:
But my heart burnes, I cannot silent be,
Then since deare kisse you faine would haue me peace,
And I (mad with delight) want wit to cease,
Stop you my mouth with still still kissing me.
NYmph of the garden where all beauties be,
Beauties which doe in excellence surpasse,
His whose till death lockt in a watry glasse,
Or hir whom nak'd the Troian boy did see.
Sweete garden Nymph which keepes the Cherry tree,
Whose fruit doth far the Hesperian tast surpasse,
Most sweete faire, most faire sweete, doe not alasse
From comming neere these Cherries banish mee,
For though full of desire, emptie of wit,
Admitted late by your best graced grace,
I caught at one of them a hungry bit,
Pardon that fault, once more graunt me the place,
And so I sweare by the selfe same delite,
I will but kisse, I neuer more will bite,
GOod brother Phillip I haue for borne you long,
I was content you should in fauour creepe,
While craftely you seemed your Cut to keepe,
Page  35As though that faire soft hand did you great wrong,
I beare with enuy, yet I heare your song,
When in hir necke you did loue ditties peepe,
Nay, (more foole I) oft suffred you to sleepe,
In lillies nest where Loues selfe lies along,
What? doth high place ambitious thoughts augment?
Is saucines reward of curtesie?
Cannot such grace your silly selfe content,
But you must needes with those lips billing be?
And through those lips drinke Nectar from that tung,
Leaue that Syr Phillip lest your necke be wrung.
HIgh way since you my chiefe Pernassus be,
And that my Muse to some eares not vnmeete,
Tempers hir words to trampling horses feete,
More often than a Chamber mellodie,
Now blessed you beare onwards blessed me,
To hir where my heart safeliest shall meete,
My Muse and I must you of duety greete,
With thanks and wishes wishing thankfully;
Be you still carefull kept by publike heede,
By no encrochment wrongd, nor time forgot,
Nor blam'd for bloud, nor sham'd for sinfull deede,
And that you know I enuie you no whit,
Of highest wish, I wish you so much blisse,
Hundreds of yeares you Stellas feete may kisse.
BEhold my heart the house that thee contains,
Beware full Sailes drown not thy tottering Barge,
Least ioy by nature apt (spirites to colarge)
Thee to thy wracke beyond thy limits straines,
Nor doe like Lords whose weake confused braines,
Not pointing to fit folks each vndercharge,
Striue in themselues each office to discharge,
With doing all leaue nothing done but paine,
But giue apt seruants their due place; let eies
Page  36See beauties totall sum found in their face,
Let eares heare speach which will to wonder tyes,
Let breath suck vp those sweets, let armes imbrace.
ALas whence comes this change of lookes? If I
haue chang'd deserts, let mine owne conscience be
a still felt plague to selfe condemning mee.
Let woe grype on my heart, shame load mine eyes:
But if all faith like spotles Ermine lye
Safe in my soule (which onely doth to thee
As his sole obiect to felicitie
VVith wings of Loue in aire of wonder flie.)
Cease your hard hand, threat not so hard your slaue,
In Iustice, paines come not till faults do call:
Or if I needes (sweet Iudge) must torments haue,
Seeke some thing else to chasten mee withall,
Than those blest eyes where all my hopes do dwell,
No doome shall make ones Heauen become his Hell.
VVHen I was forst from Stella euer deare,
Stella, soode of my thoughts, hurt of my heart:
Stella, whose eyes make all my temples cleare,
By Stellaes lawes, of duetie to impart,
Alas I found that shee with mee did smart:
I sawe that teares did in her eyes appeare:
I sawe that sighes her sweetest lips did part:
And her sad wordes my sad deare sense did heare.
For mee, I weepe to see Pearles scattered so:
I sighd her sighes, and wailed for her woe:
Yet swamme in ioy such loue in her was seene.
Thus while the effect most bitter was to mee,
And than the cause nothing more sweet could be,
I had beene vext, if vext I had not beene.
OVt Traytour absence dar'st thou counsell mee
From my deare Conquerour to runne awaie,
Page  37Because in braue arraye here marcheth shee
That to entice mee profers present paye.
Is Faith so weake, or is such force in thee?
VVhen Sunne is hid, can Starres such beames displaie?
Cannot Heauens foode once felt keepe stomacks free
From base desire on earthly cates to praie?
VVhen absence with her mistes obscures her light,
My Orphan sense slides to the inward sight:
VVhere memorie feeds foorth the beames of Loue,
That where before heart lou'd and eyes did see,
In heart my sight and Loue both coupled be,
Vnited powres make eche the stronger proue.
NOw that of absence the most yrksome night,
VVith darkest shade doth ouercome the daie:
Since Stellaes eyes that wont giue mee my daie,
Leauing my Hemisphere o'recast with night,
Each day seemes long, and longs for long staied night,
The night as tedious, wooes th'approch of day:
Toyled with dustie toyles of busie day,
Languisht with horrors of the silent night,
Suffering the euils both of daie and night,
VVhile no night is more darke than is my daie,
Nor no daie hath lesse quiet than my night:
VVith such bad mixture of my night and daie,
That liuing thus in blackest VVinter night,
I feele the gleames of hottest Sommers daie.
STella, thinke not that I by verse seeke fame,
VVho seeke, who hope, who loue, who like, but thee:
Thine eyes my pride, thy lips my historie,
If thou praise mee, all other praise is shame.
Nor so ambitious am I, as to frame
A nest for my yong praise in Lawrell tree,
In trueth I sweare, I wish not there should be
graued in my Epitaph a Poets name.
Page  38Nor if I would could I iust title make
That anie laud thereof to me should growe
Without my Payns from others wings I take;
For nothing from my wit or will doth flowe:
Since all my wordes thy beautie doth indite,
And Loue doth hold my hand, & makes me write.
STella, while now by honours cruell might,
I am from you (light of my light) misled,
And whiles faire you, my Sunne thus ouerspred
With absence vale I liue in sorrowes night.
If this darke place yet shewe by candle light
Some Beauties peece, as amber collourd hed,
Milke hands, rose cheekes, or lips more sweet more red,
Or seeming iett black, yet in blacknes bright.
They please I do confesse, they please mine eyes,
But whie? because of you they moddels be;
Moddels such be wood globes of glistering skyes:
Deare therefore be not iealous ouer me,
If you heare that they seeme my heart to moue,
Not them, no no, but you in them I loue.
BE your wordes made (good sir) of Indian ware,
That you allowe them mee by so small rate,
Or do you the Caconians imitate,
Or do you meane my tender eares to spare,
That to my questions you so totall are?
When I demaund of Phoenix Stellaes state,
You saie (forsooth) you left her well too late.
O God, thinke you that satisfies my care?
I would know whether shee did sit or walke:
How cloathd: how waited on: sighd shee or smilde:
VVhereof: with whome: how often did shee talke:
VVith what pastimes, times iorneys shee be guild?
If her lips daine to sweeten my poore name?
Saie all: and all well said: saie still the same.
Page  39
O Fate or fault, O curst child of my blisse,
VVhat sobs can giue wordes grace my griefe to show?
VVhat inke is black enough to paint my woe?
Through mee, wretch mee, euen Stella vexed is:
Yet Trueth, if Caitiues brath might call thee his,
VVitnes with mee, that I foole stumbling fell:
For carelesnes did in no manner growe,
But wit confusd with too much care did misse.
And do I then my selfe this vaine scuse giue:
I do sweete Loue, and knowe this harmed thee.
The world quit mee, shal I my selfe forgiue?
Onely with paines thy paines thus eased be:
That all thy hurtes in my hearts wracke I reed
I crye thy sighs (my deare) thy teares I bleed.
GReefe find the words, for thou hast made my vaine
So darke with mistie vapours which arise
From out thy heauie mould, that euen mine eyes
Can scarce discerne the shape of mine owne paine:
Do thou then (for thou canst) do thou complaine
For my poore soule which wit that sicknes tries,
VVhich euen to sense, sense of it selfe denies.
Though harbengers of death and of his traine,
The execution of my fate forbeares,
As of a Caitife not vouchsaft to die:
Yet shewe thy hate of life in liuing teares:
That though in wretchednes thy life doth lie,
Thou maist more wretched be than nature beares,
As being plast in such a wretch as I.
YEt sighes, deare sighes, indeede true friends you are,
That do not leaue your best friend at the wurst;
But as you with my brest I oft haue nurst:
So gratefull now you wait vpon my care.
Faint coward Ioye, no longer tarrie dare,
Seeing hope did yeeld when this woe strake him first,
Page  40Delight exclaims is for my fault curst,
Although my mate in Armes himselfe he sware,
Nay Sorrow in as great a rage as hee,
Kills his owne children Teares, finding that they
By Loue were made apt to consort with mee,
Onely true Sighes, you do not go away:
Thank may you haue for such a thankfull part:
Thank worthiest yet, when you shall breake my heart.
THough with good cause thou lik'st so well the night,
Since kind or chaunce giues both one libertie,
Both sadly blacke, both blackly darkned be:
Night bard from Sunne, thou from thine own Sunnes light
Silence in both displaies his sullen might:
Slowe Heauens in both do hold the one degree,
That full of doubts, thou of perplexitie:
Thy teares expresse nights natiue moysture right,
In both a wofull solitarines:
In night of Spirits the gastly power sturr,
And in our sprites are Spirits gastlines:
But but (alas) nights sights the ods hath furr.
For that at length inuites vs to some rest,
Thou though still tyr'd, yet still dost it detest.
DIan that faine would cheare her friend the Night,
Doth shewe her oft at full her fairest face,
Bringing with her those starrie Nymphs, whose chace
From heauenly standing hurts eche mortall wight.
But ah poore Night in loue with Phoebus light,
And endlesly dispairing of his grace,
Her selfe to shewe no other ioy hath place,
Sylent and sad in moorning weeds doth dight:
Euen so (alas) a Ladie Dians peere,
VVith choise delight and rarest company,
VVould faine driue clouds from out my heauie cheere:
Page  41But woe is mee, though ioy her selfe were shee,
Shee could not shewe my blind braine waies of ioy
While I dispaire my Sunnes light to enioy.
AH bed the feeld where ioyes peace some do see:
The feeld where al my thoughts to war be traind,
How is thy grace by my strange fortune staind?
How thy low shrowdes by my sighs stormed be?
With sweet soft shades thou oft inuitest mee
To steale some rest, but wretch I am constrained,
Spurd with Loues spurr, this held & shortly rained
With Cares hard hand, to turne and tosse in thee,
VVhile the black horrors of the silent night,
Paint VVoes black face so liuely in my sight,
That tedious leasure markes eche wrinckled line:
But when Aurora leades out Phoebus daunce,
Mine eyes then onely winke for spite perchaunce,
That wormes should haue their Sunne & I want mine.
WHen farre spent night perswades each mortal eie
To whome nor Art nor Nature graunted light:
To laye his then marke wanting shaftes of sight,
Clos'd with their quiuers in Sleeps armorie;
VVith windowes ope then most my heart doth lye
Viewing the shape of darknes and delight,
And takes that sad hue, with which inward might
Of his mazde powres he keepes iust harmony:
But when birds chirpe aire, and sweete aire which is
Mornes messenger with rose enameld skyes
Calls each wight to salute the heauen of blisse;
Intombd of lids then buried are mine eies,
Forst by their Lord who is ashamd to find
Such light in sense with such a darkned mind.
OH teares, no teares, but shoures from beauties skies,
Making those Lilies and those Roses growe,
Page  42VVhich aie most faire now fairer needs must show,
VVhile grateful pitty Beauty beautifies,
Oh minded sighs that from that breast doe rise,
VVhose pants doe make vnspilling Creame to slow,
VVinged with woes breath so doth Zephire blow
As might refresh the hel where my soule fries,
Oh plaints conseru'd in such a sugred phrase,
That eloquence enuies, and yet doth praise,
VVhile sightd out words a perfect musicke giue:
Such teares, sighs, plaints, no sorrow is, but ioy:
Or if such heauenly sighs must proue annoy,
All mirth farewel, let me in sorrow liue.
STella is sicke, and in that sick-bed lyes
Sweetenes, that breathes and pants as oft as she:
And Grace sicke too, such fine conclusions tries,
That Sicknes brings it selfe best grac'd to bee.
Beautie is sicke, but sicke in such faire guise,
That in that palenes Beauties white we see,
And Ioy which is vnseuer'd from those eyes.
Stella now learnes, (strange case) to weepe with me,
Loue moues thy paine and like a faithful page,
As thy looks sturre, runs vp and downe to make
All folkes prest at thy wil thy paine to swage,
Nature with care seeks for hir darlings sake,
Knowing worlds passe, ere she enough can finde
Of such heauen stuffe to cloath so heauenly minde.
WHere be those Roses, which so sweetned earst our eies?
VVhere be those red cheekes, which fair increase did frame
No hight of honor in the kindly badge of shame,
VVho hath the crimson weeds stoln frō the morning skies?
How doth the coullor fade of those vermillion eies,
VVhich Nature self did make and self engraue the same?
I would know by what right this palenes ouercame
That hue, whose force my heart in so great thraldome ties?
Page  43Gallens adopted sonnes, who by a beaten way
Their iudgements hackney on, the fault of sicknes lay:
But feeling proofe makes me say, they mistake it sure,
It is but loue that makes this paper perfect white,
To write therein more fresh the storie of Delight,
VVhiles Beauties reddest incke Venus for him doth stir.
O Happie Thames that didst my Stella beare,
I saw thee with full many a smiling line
Vpon thy cheereful face Ioues Liuery weare:
VVhile those faire Plannets on thy streames did shine,
The boat for ioy could not to dance forbeare,
VVhile wanton winds with beautie so diuine
Rauisht, staid not, til in her golden haire
They did themselues (ô sweetest prison) twine.
But faine those friendly windes there would their stay
Haue made, but forst by Nature still to flie,
First did with puffing kisse those Lockes display:
She so discouered, blusht. From window I
with sight thereof cride out; Ah faire disgrace,
Let honours selfe to thee graunt highest place.
ENuious wits what hath beene mine offence,
That with such poisoned care my wits you marke,
That to each word, nay sigh of mine you harke,
As grudging me my sorrows eloquence?
Ah, is it not enough, that I am thence:
Thence, so farre thence, that scantly anie sparke
Of comfort dare come to this dungeon darke
VVhere rigorous exile lockes vp al my sense:
But if I by a happie window passe,
If I but Starres vpon mine Armour beare,
Sicke, thirstie, glad (though but of empty glasse)
Your morals note straight my hid meaning there,
From out my ribs a whirlewind proues that I
Doe Stella loue fooles, who doth it denie?
Page  44
VNhappie sight and hath shee vanisht by,
So neere, in so good time so free a place,
Dead glasse dost thou thine obiect so imbrace,
As what my heart still sees thou canst not spie,
I sweare by hir Loue and my lacke, that I
Was not in fault that bent my dazling race
Onely vnto the heauen of Stellaes face,
Counting but dust that in hir way did lie:
But cease mine eies, your teares doe witnes well,
That you guiltles therefore your necklace mist,
Curst be the Page from whom the bad torch fell,
Curst be the night which did your will resist,
Curst be the Cochman that did driue so fast,
With no lesse curse then absence makes me tast.
O Absent presence Stella is not here,
False flattering hope that with so faire a face,
Bare me in hand that in this Orphane place,
Stella I saw, my Stella should appeare,
VVhat saist thou now, where is that dainty cleare
Thou wouldst mine eies should helpe their famisht case:
But how art thou? now that selfe felt disgrace
Doth make me most to wish thy comfort nere.
But heere I doe store of faire Ladies meete,
VVho may with charme of conuersation sweete
Make in my heauie mould new thoughts to grow:
Sure they preuaile as much with me, as he
That bad his friend but then new maimed to be
Merrie with him, and so his forget woe.
STella since thou so right a Princesse art
Of all the Powers which life bestowe on me,
That ere by them ought vndertaken be,
They first resort vnto that soueraigne part;
Sweete for a time giue respite to my heart,
VVhich pants as though it stil should leape to thee:
Page  45And on my thought giue the Lieuetenancie
To this great cause, which needes both wit and Art,
And as a Queene who from hir presence sends
VVhom shee emploies, dismisse from thee my wit,
Still to haue wrought that thy owne will attends,
For seruants shame of Maisters blame doth sit.
O let not Fooles in me thy works approue,
And scorning say, see what it is to loue.
When sorrow (vsing my owne Siers might)
Melts downe his lead into my boyling brest,
Through that darke Furnace of my heart opprest,
There shines a ioy from thee my onely light:
But soone as thought of thee breeds my delight,
And my young soule once flutters to hir nest,
Most dead dispaire my daily vnbidden guest
Clips strait my wings, strait wraps me in his night,
And makes me then bow downe my head and say,
Ah what doth Phoebus gold that wretch auaile
VVhom Iron darts doth keepe from vse of daie,
So strangely (alas) thy works on me preuaile,
That in my woes for thee, thou art my ioy;
And in my ioyes for thee, my onel'anoy.