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Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin ? and made my sin their door ? Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun A year, or two, but wallowed in, a score ? When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.
I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore ; And, having done that, thou hast done,
I fear no more.
Oh, let me not serve so, as those men serve
Whom honour's smokes at once fatten and starve ;
Poorly enrich'd with great men's words and looks;
Nor so write my name in thy loving books,
As those idolatrous flatterers, which still
Their princes' styles, which many realms * fulfil
Whence they no tribute have, and where no sway.
Such services I offer as shall pay
Themselves; I hate dead names : Oh then let me
Favourite in ordinary, or no favourite be.
When my soul was in her own body sheath'd,
Nor yet by oaths betroth’d, nor kisses breath'd
Into my purgatory, faithless thee,
Thy heart seem'd wax, and steel thy constancy.
So, careless flowers strew'd on the waters face,
The curled whirlpools suck, smack, and embrace,
Yet drown them ; so, the tapers beamy eye
Amorously twinkling, beckons the giddy fly,
Yet burns his wings; and such the devil is,
Scarce visiting them, who are entirely his.
When I behold a stream, which, from the spring,
Doth with doubtful melodious murmuring,
Or in a speechless slumber, calmly ride
Her wedded channels bosom, and then chide
And bend her brows, and swell if any bough
Do but stoop down, or kiss her upmost brow :
Yet, if her often gnawing kisses win
The traitorous banks to gape, and let her in,
She rusheth violently, and doth divorce
Her from her native, and her long-kept course,
And roars, and braves it, and in gallant scorn,
In flattering eddies promising return,
She flouts the channel, who thenceforth is dry;
Then say I; that is she, and this am I.
Yet let not thy deep bitterness beget
Careless despair in me, for that will wet
My mind to scorn; and oh, love dull'd with pain
Was ne'er so wise, nor well arm'd as disdain.
Then with new eyes I shall survey thee, and spy
Death in thy cheeks, and darkness in thine eye ;
Though hope breed faith and love; thus taught I shall
As nations do from Rome, from thy love fall.
My hate shall outgrow thine, and utterly
I will renounce thy dalliance: and when I
Am the recusant, in that resolute state,
What hurts it me to be excommunicate ?
AN EPITHALAMION, OR MARRIAGE Song, On The LADY ELIZA
BETH AND COUNT PALATINE, BEING MARRIED ON ST. VALEN-
Hail Bishop Valentine, whose day this is,
All the air is thy Diocis ;
And all the chirping choristers
And other birds are thy parishioners,
Thou marryest every year
The lyric lark, and the grave whispering dove,
The sparrow that neglects his live for love,
The household bird, with the red stomacher;
Thou mak’st the black-bird speed as soon,
As doth the goldfinch, or the halcyon ;
The husband cock looks out, and straight is sped,
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully then ever shine.
This day, which might enflame thyself, Old Valentine.
Till now, thou warm'st with multiplying loves
Two larks, two sparrows, or two doves.
All that is nothing unto this,
For thou this day couplest two phonixes ;
Thou mak’st a taper see
What the sun never saw, and what the ark
(Which was of fowls, and beasts, the cage, and park,)
Did not contain, one bed contains through thee,
Two phoenixes, whose joined breasts
Are unto one another mutual nests,
Where motion kindles such fires, as shall give
Young phonixes, and yet the old shall live.
Whose love and courage never shall decline,
But make the whole year through, thy day, 0 Valentine.
Up then fair phenix bride, frustrate the sun,
Thyself from thine affection
Tak’st warmth enough, and from thine eye
All lesser birds will take thier jollity.
Up, up, fair bride, and call,
Thy stars, from out their several boxes; take
Thy rubies, pearls, and diamonds forth, and make
Thyself a constellation of them all,
And by their blazing signify,
That a great princess falls, but doth not die ;
Be thou a new star, that to us portends
Ends of much wonder; and be thou those ends,
Since thou dost this day in new glory shine,
May all men date records, from this thy Valentine.
Come forth, come forth, and as one glorious flame
Meeting another, grows the same,
So meet thy Frederic, and so
To an unseparable union go,
Falls not on such things as are infinite,
Nor things which are but one, can disunite.
You are twice inseparable, great, and one;
Go then to where the bishop stays, To make you one, his way, which divers ways Must be effected, and when all is past, And that you are one, by hearts and hands made fast, You two have one way left, yourselves to entwine, Besides this bishop's knot, O Bishop Valentine.
But oh, what ails the sun, that here he stays,
Longer to-day, than other days?
Stays he new light from these to get ?
And finding here such store, is loth to set?
And why do you two walk
So slowly paced in this procession?
Is all you care but to be look’d upon,
And be to others spectacle, and talk ?
The feast, with gluttonous delays,
Is eaten, and too long their meat they praise,
The masquers come too late, and I think, will stay,
Like fairies, till the cock crow them away.
Alas, did not antiquity assign
A night, as well as day, to thee, O Valentine?
They did, and night is come ; and yet we see
Formalities retarding thee.
What mean these ladies, which (as though
They were to take a clock in pieces,) go
So nicely about the bride ;
A bride, before a good-night could be said,
Should vanish from her clothes, into her bed,
As souls from bodies steal, and are not spied.
But now she is laid ; what though she be?
Yet there are more delays, for, where is he?
He comes, and passes through sphere after sphere.
First her sheets, then her arms, then anywhere ;
Let not this day, then, but this night be thine,
Thy day was but the ere to this, 0 Valentine.
Here lies a she sun, and a he moon here,
She gives the best light to his sphere,