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'Tis very true, I thought you once as fair
As women in the idea are;
Whatever here seems beauteous, seem'd to be
But a faint metaphor of thee:
But then, methought, there something shined
within, Which cast this lustre o'er thy skin; Nor could I choose but count it the sun's light,
Which made this cloud appear so bright.
But, since I knew thy falsehood and thy pride,
And all thy thousand faults beside,
A very Moor, methinks, placed near to thee,
White as his teeth would seem to be.
So men (they say) by hell's delusions led,
Have ta’en a succubus to their bed; Believe it fair, and themselves happy call,
Till the cleft foot discovers all : [fear;
Then they start from 't, half ghosts themselves with
And devil, as 'tis, it doth appear.
So, since against my will I found thee foul,
Deform’d and crooked in thy soul,
My reason straight did to my senses show,
That they might be mistaken too:
Nay, when the world but knows how false you are,
There's not a man will think
Thy shape will monstrous in their fancies be,
They'll call their eyes as false as thee.
Be what thou wilt, hate will present thee so
As Puritans do the Pope, and Papists Luther do.
INDEED I must confess,
When souls mix ’tis an happiness;
But not complete till bodies too combine,
And closely as our minds together join :
But half of heaven the souls in glory taste,
Till by love in heaven, at last,
Their bodies too are placed.
In thy immortal part
Man, as well as I, thou art;
But something 'tis that differs thee and me;
And we must one even in that difference be.
I thee, both as a man and woman, prize;
For a perfect love implies
Love in all capacities.
Can that for true love pass,
When a fair woman courts her glass?
Something unlike must in love's likeness be;
His wonder is, one, and variety :
For he, whose soul nought but a soul can move,
Does a new Narcissus prove,
And his own image love.
That souls do beauty know,
'Tis to the bodies' help they owe;
If, when they know't, they straight abuse that trust,
And shut the body from ’t, 'tis as unjust
As if I brought my dearest friend to see
My mistress, and at the instant he
Should steal her quite from me.
Love in her sunny eyes does basking play;
Love walks the pleasant mazes of her hair ;
Love does on both her lips for ever stray,
And sows and reaps a thousand kisses there :
In all her outward parts Love's always seen;
But, oh! he never went within.
Within, Love's foes, his greatest foes, abide,
Malice, Inconstancy, and Pride : [dress,
So, the earth's face trees, herbs, and flowers, do
With other beauties numberless ;
But at the centre darkness is, and hell;
There wicked spirits, and there the damned, dwell.
With me, alas ! quite contrary it fares;
Darkness and death lie in my weeping eyes,
Despair, and paleness, in my face appears, ,
And grief, and fear, Love's greatest enemies ;
But, like the Persian tyrant, Love within
Keeps his proud court, and ne'er is seen.
Oh! take my heart, and by that means you'll prove
Within too stored enough of love:
Give me but yours, I'll by that change so thrive,
That love in all my parts shall live.
So powerful is this change, it render can
My outside Woman, and your inside Man.
CLAD ALL IN WHITE.
FAIREST thing that shines below,
Why in this robe dost thou appear?
Wouldst thou a white most perfect show,
Thou must at all no garment wear:
Thou wilt seem much whiter so,
Than winter when 'tis clad with snow.
'Tis not the linen shows so fair;
Her skin shines through, and makes it bright:
So clouds themselves like suns appear,
When the sun pierces them with light:
So, lilies in a glass enclose,
The glass will seem as white as those.
Thou now one heap of beauty art;
Nought outwards, or within, is foul :
Condensed beams make every part;
Thy body's clothed like thy soul;
Thy soul, which does itself display,
Like a star placed i' the milky way.
Such robes the saints departed wear,
Woven all with light divine;
Such their exalted bodies are,
And with such full glory shine :
But they regard not mortals' pain ;
I fear, to both in vain.
Yet, seeing thee so gently pure,
My hopes will needs continue still ;
Thou wouldst not take this garment, sure,
When thou hadst an intent to kill !
Of peace and yielding who would doubt,
When the white flag he sees hung out?
LEAVING ME, AND THEN LOVING MANY.
So men, who once have cast the truth away,
Forsook by God, do strange wild lusts obey;
So the vain Gentiles, when they left to'adore
One Deity, could not stop at thousands more :
Their zeal was senseless straight, and boundless,
grown; They worship'd many a beast and many a stone. Ah, fair apostate ! couldst thou think to flee From Truth and Goodness, yet keep unity ? I reign'd alone; and my bless'd self could call The universal monarch of her all. Mine, mine, her fair East Indies were above, Where those suns rise that cheer the world of Love; Where beauties shine like gems of richest price ; Where coral
breath is spice:
Mine too her rich West Indies were below,
Where mines of gold and endless treasures grow.
But, as when the Pellæan conqueror died,
Many small princes did his crown divide;
So, since my love his vanquish'd world forsook,
Murder'd by poisons from her falsehood took,
An hundred petty kings claim each their part,
And rend that glorious empire of her heart.
HER body is so gently bright,
Clear and transparent to the sight
(Clear as fair crystal to the view,
Yet soft as that, ere stone it grew)
That through her flesh, methinks, is seen
The brighter soul that dwells within :
the subtile covering pass,
And see that lily through its glass.
I through her breast her heart espy,
As souls in hearts do souls descry;