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As in our streets sly beggars narrowly
Watch motions of the giver's hand or eye,
And evermore conceive some hope thereby.
And now thy alms is given, thy letter is read,
Thy body risen again, the which was dead,
And thy poor starveling bountifully fed.
After this banquet my soul doth say grace,
And praise thee for it, and zealously embrace
Thy love, though I think thy love in this case
To be as gluttons', which say 'midst their meat,
They love that best of which they most do eat.
At once, from hence, my lines and I depart,
I to my soft still walks, they to my heart ;
I to the nurse, they to the child of art.
Yet as a firm house, though the carpenter
Perish, doth stand; as an ambassador
Lies safe, howe'er his king be in danger :
So, though I languish, prest with melancholy,
My verse, the strict map of my misery,
Shall live to see that, for whose want I die.
Therefore I envy them, and do repent,
That from unhappy me, things happy are sent;
Yet as a picture, or bare sacrament,
Accept these lines, and if in them there be
Merit of love, bestow that love on me.
Shall lise, the strict m, prest with
To Mr. C. B.*
Thy friend, whom thy deserts to thee enchain,
Urged by this unexcusable occasion,
Thee and the saint of his affection
Leaving behind, doth of both wants complain;
And let the love I bear to both sustain
No blot nor maim by this division;
Strong is this love which ties our hearts in one,
• Probably, Christopher Brook.-Ed.
And strong that love pursued with amorous pain; But though besides thyself I leave behind
Heaven's liberal and earth's thrice-fair sun, Going to where stern winter aye doth won, Yet love's hot fires, which martyr my sad mind, Do send forth scalding sighs, which have the art To melt all ice, but that which walls her heart.
To Mr. S. B*
O ruou which to search out the secret parts
Of the India, or rather paradise
Of knowledge, hast with courage and advice Lately launched into the vast sea of arts, Disdain not in thy constant travelling
To do as other voyagers, and make
Some turns into less creeks, and wisely take
Fresh water at the Heliconian spring;
I sing not, siren-like, to tempt; for I
Am harsh, nor as those schismatics with you, Which draw all wits of good hope to their crew; But seeing in you bright sparks of poetry,
I, though I brought no fuel, had desire
With these articulate blasts to blow the fire.
Is not thy sacred hunger of science
Yet satisfied? Is not thy brain's rich hive
Fulfilld with honey which thou dost derive From the arts' spirits and their quintessence? Then wean thyself at last, and thee withdraw · From Cambridge thy old nurse, and, as the rest,
Here toughly chew, and sturdily digest Th’immense vast volumes of our common law;
And begin soon, lest my grief grieve thee too,
Which is, that that which I should have begun
In my youth's morning, now late must be done; And I, as giddy travellers must do,
Which stray or sleep all day, and having lost
Light and strength, dark and tired, must then ride post. If thou unto thy muse be married,
Embrace her ever, ever multiply,
Be far from me that strange adultery,
To tempt thee and procure her widowhood;
My nurse * (for I had one), because I am cold,
Divorced herself, the cause being in me,
That I can take no new in bigamy,
Not my will only but power doth withhold.
Hence comes it, that these rhymes which never had
Mother, want matter, and they only have
A little form, the which their father gave;
They are profane, imperfect, 0, too bad
To be counted children of poetry
Except confirmed and bishoped by thee.
IF, as mine is, thy life a slumber be,
Seem, when thou read'st these lines, to dream of me:
Never did Morpheus nor his brother wear
Shapes so like those shapes, whom they would appear,
As this my letter is like me, for it
Hath my name, words, hand, feet, heart, mind and wit;
It is my deed of gift of me to thee,
It is my will, myself the legacy.
So thy retirings I love, yea envy,
Bred in thee by a wise melancholy,
That I rejoice, that unto where thou art,
Though I stay here, I can thus send my heart,
As kindly as any enamoured patient
His picture to his absent love hath sent.
All news I think sooner reach thee than me;
Havens are heavens, and ships wing’d angels be,
The which both gospel, and stern threatenings bring,
Guyana's harvest is nipped in the spring,
I fear; and with us (methinks) fate deals so
As with the Jews' guide God did; he did show
Him the rich land, but barr'd his entry in;
Our slowness is our punishment and sin;
Perchance, these Spanish businesses being done,
Which as the earth between the moon and sun
Eclipse the light which Guyana would give,
Our discontinued hopes we shall retrieve:
But if (as all th' all must) hopes smoke away,
Is not Almighty virtue an India?
If men be worlds, there is in every one
Something to answer in some proportion
All the world's riches: And in good men, this
Virtue, our form's form and our soul's soul is.
Of that short roll of friends writ in my heart
Which with thy name begins, since their depart,
Whether in the English provinces they be,
Or drink of Po, Sequan, or Danubie,
There's none that sometimes greets us not, and yet
Your Trent is Lethe, that past, us you forget,
You do not duties of societies,
If from the embrace of a loved wife you rise,
View your fat beasts, stretched barns, and laboured fields,
Eat, play, ride, take all joys which all day yields,
And then again to your embracements go:
Some hours on us your friends, and some bestow
Upon your muse, else both we shall repent,
I that my love, she that her gifts, on you are spent.
To Mr. I. P.
Blest are your north parts, for all this long time
My sun is with you, cold and dark is our clime;
Heaven's sun, which staid so long from us this year,
Staid in your north (I think) for she was there,
And hither by kind nature drawn from thence,
Here rages, chafes, and threatens pestilence;
Yet I, as long as she from hence doth stay,
Think this no south, no summer, nor no day.
With thee my kind and unkind heart is run,
There sacrifice it to that beauteous sun:
So may thy pastures with their flowery feasts,
As suddenly as lard, fat thy lean beasts;
So may thy woods oft polled, yet ever wear
A green, and when thee* list a golden hair;
So may all thy sheep bring forth twins; and so
In chace and race may thy horse all out-go;
So may thy love and courage ne'er be cold;
Thy son ne'er ward; thy loved wife ne'er seem old;
But may'st thou wish great things, and them attain,
As thou tell’st her and none but her my pain.
XXII. To E. of D., with Six Holy Sonnets t. See Sir, how as the sun's hot masculine flame Begets strange creatures on Nile's dirty slime, In me, your fatherly yet lusty rhyme (For these songs are their fruits) have wrought the same; But though the engendering force from whence they came Be strong enough, and nature do admit Seven to be born at once, I send as yet But six; they say, the seventh hath still some maim; I choose your judgment, which the same degree Doth with her sister, your invention, hold, As fire these drossy rhymes to purify, Or as elixir, to change them to gold; You are that alchymist which always had Wit, whose one spark could make good things of bad.