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Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow;
Mine eyes are grey, and bright, and quick in turning;
My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow,
My flesh is soft and plump, my marrow burning ;
My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt,
Would in thy palm dissolve, or seem to melt.
Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
Or, like a fairy, trip upon the green,
Or, like a nymph, with long dishevell’d hair,
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen:
Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
Not gross to fink, but light, and will aspire.
Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie ;
These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me;
Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky,
From morn till night, even where I list to sport me :
Is love fo light, sweet boy, and may it be
That thou shouldst think it heavy unto thee?
Is thine own heart to thine own face affected?
Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left ?
Then woo thyself, be of thyself rejected,
Steal thine own freedom, and complain of theft.
Narcissus so, himself himself forsook,
And dy'd to kiss his shadow in the brook.
Torches are made to light, jewels to wear,
Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use,
Herbs for their smell, and fappy plants to bear
Things growing to themselves are growth's abuse :
Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth beauty,
Thou wert begot,--to get it is thy duty.
Upon the earth's increase why should'st thou feed,
Unless the earth with thy increase be fed ?
By law of Nature thou art bound to breed,
That thine may live, when thou thyself art dead ;
And so in spite of death thou do'st survive,
In that thy likeness still is left alive.”
By this, the love-fick queen began to sweat,
For, where they lay, the shadow had forsook them,
And Titan, tired in the mid-day heat,
With burning eye did hotly overlook them ;
Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
So he were like him, and by Venus' fide.
And now Adonis, with a lazy spright,
And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye,
His low'ring brows o'er-whelming his fair fight,
Like misty vapours, when they blot the sky,
Souring his cheeks, cries, “ Fie, no more of love ;
The fun doth burn my face; I must remove."
Ah me (quoth Venus) young, and so unkind !
What bare excuses mak'st thou to be gone!
I'll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind
Shall cool the heat of this descending fun;
I'll make a shadow for thee of my hairs;
If they burn too, I'll quench them with my tears.
The fun that shines from heaven, shines but warm,
And lo, I lie between that sun and thee;
The heat I have from thence doth little harm,
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me:
And were I not immortal, life were done,
Between this heavenly and earthly fun.
Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel,
Nay more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth?
Árt thou a woman's son, and canst not feel
What 'tis to love ? how want of love tormenteth?
O had thy mother borne so bad a mind,
She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind.
What am I, that thou should'st contemn me this?
Or what great danger dwells upon my suit ?
What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss ?
Speak, fair ; but speak fair words, or else be mute:
Give me one kiss, I'll give it thee again,
And one for interest, if thou wilt have twain.
Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
Well-painted idol, image, dull and dead,
Statue, contenting but the eye alone,
Thing like a man, but of no woman bred ;
Thou art no man, though of a man's complexion,
For men will kiss even by their own direction.”
This faid, impatience chokes her pleading tongue,
And swelling passion doth provoke a pause;
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong;
Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause :
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak,
And now her fobs do her intendments break.
Sometimes she shakes her head, and then his hand,
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground;
Sometimes her arms infold him like a band;
She would, he will not in her arms be bound;
And when from thence he struggles to be gone,
She locks her lily fingers, one in one.
" Fondling, she faith, since I have hemm'd thee here,
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I'll be the park, and thou shalt be my deer;
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale :
Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.
Within this limit is relief enough,
Sweet bottom-grafs, and high delightful plain,
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain
Then be my deer, since I am such a park;
No dog shall rouze thee, though a thousand bark."
At this Adonis smiles, as in disdain,
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple :
Love made those hollows, if himself were flain,
He might be buried in a tomb so simple ;
Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie,
Why there love liv'd, and there he could not die.
These lovely caves, these round-enchanting pits,
Open'd their mouths to swallow Venus' liking:
Being mad before, how doth she now for wits?
Struck dead at first, what needs a second striking?
queen of love, in thine own law forlorn, To love a cheek that smiles at thee in scorn!
Now which way shall she turn? what shall she say?
Her words are done, her woes the more increasing ,
The time is spent, her object will away,
And from her twining arms doth urge releasing:
Pity-(she cries) fome favour-some remorse"
Away he springs, and hafteth to his horse.
But lo, from forth a copse that neighbours by,
A breeding jennet, lusty, young, and proud,
Adonis' trampling courser doth espy,
And forth the rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud :
The strong-neck'd steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.
Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
And now his woven girts he breaks asunder,
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven's thunder;
The iron bit he crushes 'tween his teeth,
Controlling what he was controlled with.
His ears up prick'd; his braided hanging mane
Upon his compass'd crest now stands on end;
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send :
eye, which scornfully glisters like fire, Shows his hot courage and his high desire.
Sometimes he trots as if he told the steps,
With gentle majesty, and modest pride ;
Anon he rears upright, curvets and leaps,
As who would say, lo! thus my strength is try'd ;
And thus I do to captivate the eye
Of the fair breeder that is standing by.
What recketh he his rider's angry ftir,
His flattering holla, or his Stand, I say?
What cares he now for curb, or pricking fpur ?
For rich caparisons, or trappings gay?
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
For nothing else with his proud fight agrees.