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Let me excuse thy courser, gentle boy,
And learn of him, I heartily beseech thee,
To take advantage on presented joy ;
Tho’I were dumb, yet his proceedings teach thee.
0! learn to love, the lesson is but plain,
And once made perfect, never lost again.
I know not love (quoth he) nor will I know it,
Unless it be a boar, and then I chase it;
'Tis much to borrow, and I will not owe it,
My love to love, is love but to disgrace it ;
For I have heard it is a life in death,
That laughs, and weeps, and all but in a breath.
Who wears a garment shapeless and unfinish'd ?
Who plucks the bud before one leaf put forth?
If springing things be any jot diminishid,
They wither in their prime, prove nothing worth,
The colt that's back’d, and burthen'd being young,
Loseth his pride, and never waxeth strong.
You hurt my hand with wringing : let us part,
And leave this idle theme, this bootless chat;
Remove your siege from my unyielding heart,
To love's alarm it will not ope the gate.
Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your fatt'ry ;
For where a heart is hard, they make no battry.
What! can’st thou talk ? (quoth she) hast thou a tongue ?
O! would thou had’st not, or I had no hearing!
Thy mermaid's voice hath done me double wrong!
I had my load before, now press’d with bearing.
Melodious discord! heavenly tune harsh-sounding !
Earth's deep sweet music ! and heart's deep sore-
Had I no eyes, but ears, my ears would love
That inward beauty, and invisible:
Or were I deaf, thy outward parts would move
Each part of me, that were but sensible.
Tho' neither eyes nor ears to hear nor see,
Yet should I be in love, by touching thee.
Say that the sense of reason were bereft me,
And that I could not see, nor hear, nor touch;
And nothing but the very smell were left me,
Yet would my love to thee be still as much :
For from the stillatory of thy face excelling,
Comes breath perfum'd that breedeth love by smelling,
But, Oh! what banquet wert thou to the taste,
Being nurse and feeder of the other four !
Would they not wish the feast should ever last,
And bid suspicion double-lock the door ;
Lest jealousy , that sour unwelcome guest,
Should by his stealing in disturb the feast.
Once more the ruby-colour'd portal op’ned,
Which to his speech did honey passage yield;
Like a red morn, that ever yet betoken'd
Wreck to the seamen, tempest to the field,
Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gust and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.
This ill presage advisedly she marketh,
Even as the wind is hush'd before it raineth,
Or as the wolf doth grin before he barketh,
Or as the berry breaks before it staineth;
Or like the deadly bullet of a gun,
His meaning struck her, ere his words begun.
And at his look she flatly falleth down;
For looks kill love, and love by looks reviveth.
A smile recures the wounding of a frown,
But blessed bankrupt, that by love so thriveth!
The silly boy believing she is dead,
Claps her pale cheek, till clapping makes it red.
And in amaze brake off his late intent,
For sharply did he think to reprehend her,
Which cunning love did wittily prevent,
Fair fall the wit, that can so well defend ber :
For on the grass she lies, as she were slain,
Till his breath breath'd life into her again.
He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheeks,
He bends her fingers, bolds her pulses hard,
He chafes her lips, a thousand ways he seeks
To mend the burt, that his unkindness marr’d;
He kisses her, and she, by her good will,
Would never rise, so he would kiss her still.
The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day,
Her two blue windows faintly she up-heaveth;
Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array,
He cheers the morn, and all the world relieveth.
And as the bright sun glorifies the sky,
So is her face illumin’d with her eye.
Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix'd,
As if from thence they borrow'd all their shine:
Were never four such lamps together mix'd,
Had not bis clouded, with his brows repine.
But hers, which thro’ the crystal tears gave light,
Shone like the moon, in water seen by night.
0! where am I? (quoth she) in earth, or heaven?
Or in the ocean drench'd ? or in the fire ?
What hour is this? or morn, or weary even?
Do I delight to die, or life desire ?
But now I liv'd, and life was death's annoy:
But now I dy'd, and death was lively joy.
O! thou didst kill me, kill me once again :
Thy eyes, shrewd tutor, that hard heart of thine,
Has taught them scornful tricks, and such disdain,
That they have murder'd this poor heart of mine:
And these mine eyes, true leaders to their queen,
But for thy piteous lips no more had seen.
Long may they kiss each other for this cure !
Oh, never let their crimson liveries wear!
And as they last their verdure still endure,
To drive infection from the dangerous year?
That the star-gazers having writ on death.
May say the plague is banish'd by thy breath.
Pure lips! sweet seals! in my soft lips imprinted,
What bargains may I make still to be sealing?
To sell myself, I can be well contented,
So thou wilt buy and pay, and use good dealing:
Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips,
Set thy seal manual on my wax-red lips.
A thousand kisses buy my heart from me,
And pay them at thy leisure one by one.
What is ten hundred kisses unto thee?
Are they not quickly told, and quickly gone ?
Say for non-payment that the debt should double,
Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble?