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Nor can you more judge woman's thoughts by tears,
Than by her shadow what she wears.
O perverse sex! where none is true but she,
Who's therefore true, because her truth kills me. 27
I'll tell thee now (dear Love) what thou shalt do
To anger Destiny, as she doth us;
How I shall stay, tho’ she eloigne me thus,
And how posterity shall know it too;
How thine may out-endure
Sybil's glory, and obscure
Her who from Pindar could allure,
And her thro' whose help Lucan is not lame,
And her whose book (they say) Homer did find and
Study our manuscripts, those myriads
Of letters which have past ’iwixt thee and me;
Thence write our annals, and in them will be,
To all whom love's subliming fire invades,
Rule and example found:
There the faith of any ground
No schismatic will dare to wound,
That sees how Love this grace to us affords,
To make, to keep, to use, to be, these his records,
This Book, as long liv'd as the elements,
Or as the world's form, this all-grav'd tomb, 20
In cypher writ, or new-made idiom;
We for Love's clergy only' are instruments.
When this Book is made thus,
Should again the ravenous
Vandals and Goths invade us,
Learning were safe in this our universe,
Schools might learn sciences, spheres music, angels
Here loves divine (since all divinity
Is love or wonder) may find all they seek,
Whether abstracted spiritual love they like, 30
Their souls exhald with what they do not see,
Or loath so to amuse
Faith's infirmities, they chuse
Something which they may see and use;
For tho' mind be the heaven where Love doth sit,
Beauty a convenient type may be to figure it.
Here, more than in their books, may lawyers find,
Bosh by what titles mistresses are ours,
And how Prerogative these states devours,
Transferr'd from Love himself to womandkind; 40
Whọ, tho' from heart and eyes
They exact great subsidies,
Forsake him who on them relies,
And for the cause honour or conscience give;
Chimeras vain as they or their prerogative.
Here statesmen (or of them they which can read)
May of their occupation find the grounds,
Love and their art alike it deadly wounds,
If to consider what 't is one proceed;
In both they do excel
Who the present govern well,
Whose weakness none doth or dares tell.
In this thy Book such will there something see,
As in the Bible some can find out alchymy.
Thus vent thy thoughts; abroad I'll study thee,
As he removes far off that great heights take :
How great love is, presence best trial makes,
But absence tries how long this love will be
To take a latitude,
Sun or stars are filliest view'd,
At their brightest; but to conclude
Of longitudes, what other way have we
But to mark whea and where the dark eclipses be ? 63
we must love, and must håte ill,
For ill is ill, and good good still:
But there are things indifferent,
Which we may neither hate nor love,
But one and then another prove,
As we shall find our fancy bent,
If then at first wise Nature had
Made women either good or bad,
Then some we might hate, and some chuse;
But since she did them so create,
That we máy neither love nor hate,
Only this rests, all all may use.
If they were good it would be seen;
Good is as visible as green,
And to all eyes itself betrays:
If they were bad they could not last,
Bad doth itself and others waste ;
So they deserve nor blame nor praise.
But they are ours as fruits are ours;
He that but tastes, he that devours,
And he that leaves all, doth as well:
Chang'd loves are but chang'd sorts of meat,
And when he hath the kernel ate,
Who doth not fling away the shell ?
I scarce believe my love to be so pure
As I had thought it was,
Because it doth endure
Vicissitude and season as the grass.
Methinks I lied all winter, when I swore
My love was infinite, if spring make't more.
But if this medicine, Love, which cures all sorrow
With more, not only be no quintessence,
But mix'd of all stuffs, vexing soul or sense,
And of the sun his active vigour borrow,
Love's not so pure an abstract as they use
To say, which have no mistress but their Muse:
But, as all else, being elemented too,
Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do.
And yet no greater, but more eminent,
Love by the spring is grown;
As in the firmament
Stars by the sun are not inlarg'd, but shown.
Gentle love-deeds, as blossoms on a bough,
From love's awakened root do bud out now.
If, as in water stirr'd, more circles be
Produc'd by one, love such additions take;
Those, like so many spheres, but one heaven make,
For they are all concentric unto thee;
And tho' each spring do add to love new heat,
As princes do in times of action get
Now taxes, and remit them not in peace,
No winter shall abate this spring's encrease. 28
Love! any devil else but you
Would for a giv'n soul give something too.