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My faucy bark (inferior far to his)
On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
Your fhallowest help will hold me up a-float,
Whilst he upon your foundless deep doth ride ;
Or (being wreck’d) I am a worthless boat,
He of tall building, and of goodly pride.
Then if he thrive, and I be cast away,
The worst was this, my love was my decay.
Or shall I live your epitaph to make ?
Or you survive, when I in earth am rotten?
From: hence your memory death cannot cake,
Altho' in me cach part will be forgotten.
Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Tho’I (once gone) to all the world must die ;
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
intombed in mens eyes
shall lie :
Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created Thall o'er-read ;
And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse,
When all the breathers of this world are dead;
You still shall live (such virtue hath my pen)
Where breath most breathes, ev’n in the mouths of
The Picture of True Love.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Adinit impediments ; love is not love,
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken:
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, altho’his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, tho'rofy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come :
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom,
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved,
I grant thou wert not marry'd to my muse,
And therefore may'st without attaint o'er-look
The dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair subject, blessing every book :
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue ;
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise ;
And therefore art inforc'd to seek a-new
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days :
And do so love, yet when they have devis'd
What strained touches rhetorick can lend,
Thou truly fair, wert truly sympathiz’d,
In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend.
And their gross painting might be better us’d,
Where cheeks need blood, in thee it is abus'd.
I never saw that you did painting need,
And therefore to you fair no painting set :
I found (or thought I found) you did exceed
The barren tender of a poet's debt:
And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself being extant, well might show,
How far a modern quill doth come too short,
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
This filence of my fin you did impute,
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb;
For I impair not beauty, being mute,
When others wou'd give life, and bring a tomb.
There lives more life in one of fair
Than both your poets can in praise devise.
Who is it, that says most, which can say more
Than this rich praise, that you alone are you?
In whose confine immured is the store,
Which should example where your equal grew.
Lean penury within that pen doth dwell,
That to his subject lends not some small glory :
But he that writes of you, if he can tell
you are you, fo dignifies his story.
Let him but copy what in you is writ,
Not making worse what nature made so clear;
And such a counterpart shall fame his writ,
Making him ftill admir'd every where.
You to your beauteous blefling add a curse,
Being fond of praise, which makes your praises
My tongue ty'd muse in manners holds her still,
· While comments of your praise, richly compild,
Referve their character with golden quill,
And precious phrase by all the muses fill'd.
I think good thoughts, whilst others write good words,
And, like unletter'd clerk, still cry Amen
To every hymn that able fpirit affords,
In polish'd form of well-refined pen.
Hearing you praised, I say 'tis so, 'tis true,
And to the moft of praise add something more ;
But that is in iny thought, whose love to you
(Tho' words come hindmost) holds his ranks before :
Then others, for the breath of words, respect;
Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.
Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
Bound for the prize of (all-too-precious) you,
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain rehearse,
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew ?
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
No, neither he nor his compeers by night
Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
He nor that affable familiar ghoft,
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,
As victors, of
silence cannot boast
I was not sick of any fear from thence.
But when your countenance fill'd up his line,
Then lack'd I matter, that infeebled mine.
Farewel, thou art too dear for my possessing,
And, like enough, thou know'st thy estimate :
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee, but by thy granting,
And for that riches, where is my deserving ?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thyself thou gav'st, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me, to whom thou gav'st it, else mistaking:
So thy great gift upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgment making.
Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,
In sleep a king, but waking, no such matter.
As it fell upon a day,
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade,
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
Trèes did grow, and plants did spring :
Every thing did banish moan,
Save the nightingale alone ;
She (poor bird !) as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn,
And there sung the dolefull'It ditty,
That to hear it was great pity :
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
Tereu, Tereu, by and by ;
That to hear her fo complain,
Scarce I could from tears refrain :
For her griefs so lovely shown,
Made me think upon mine own.
Ah! (thought I) thou mourn'st in vain,
None takes pity on thy pain:
Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee;
Ruthless bears, they will not chear thee;
King Pandion he is dead;
All thy friends are lap'd in lead ;
All thy fellow-birds do sing,
Careless of thy forrowing:
Whilft as fickle fortune fmild,
Thou and I were both beguild ;
Every one that flatters thee,
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy, like the wind,
Faithful friends are hard to find :
Every man will be thy friend,
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend :
But if store of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.