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BEFORE I sigh my


let me breathe, Great Love, some legacies :- I here bequeath Mine

eyes to Argus, if mine eyes can see ; If they be blind, then, Love, I give them thee My tongue to Fame ; to ambassadors mine ears ;

To women or the sea, my tears : Thou, Love, hast taught me heretofore By making me serve her who'd twenty more, Only to give to those that had too much before.

My constancy I to the planets give ;
My truth to them who at the Court do live ;
Mine ingenuity and openness
To Jesuits ; to buffoons my pensiveness ;
My silence to any who abroad have been ;

My money to a Capuchina
Thou, Love, taught'st me, by appointing me
To love there where no love received can be,
Only to give to those that have an incapacity.

My faith I give to Roman Catholics ;
All my good works unto the schismatics

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Of Amsterdam ; my best civility
And courtship to an University;
My modesty I give to soldiers bare ;

My patiënce let gamesters share :
Thou, Love, taught'st me, by making me
Love her that holds my love disparity,
Only to give to those that count my gifts indignity.

I give my reputation to those
Which were


friends ; mine industry to foes ;
To schoolmen I bequeath my doubtfulness ;
My sickness to physicians, or excess ;
To Nature all that I in rhyme have writ ;

And to my company my wit :
Thou, Love, by making me adore
Her, who begot this love in me before,
Taught'st me to make, as though I gave, when I do but


To him for whom the passing-bell next tolls,
I give my physic books ; my written rolls
Of moral counsels I to Bedlam give ;
My brazen medals unto them which live
In want of bread ; to them which pass among

All foreigners, mine English tongue :
Thou, Love, by making me love one
Who thinks her friendship a fit portion
For younger lovers, dost my gifts thus disproportion.

Therefore I'll give no more, but I'll undo
The world by dying, because Love dies too.
Then all


beauties will be no more worth Than gold in mines where none doth draw it forth ; And all your graces no more use shall have

Than a sun-dial in a grave : Thou, Love, taught'st me by making me Love her who doth neglect both me and thee, To invent and practise this one way to annihilate all



WHOEVER comes to shroud me, do not harm,

Nor question much,
That subtle wreath of hair which crowns my arm;
The mystery, the sign you must not touch ;
For 't is


outward soul, Viceroy to that, which unto heaven being gone,

Will leave this to control And keep these limbs, her provinces, from dissolution.

For if the sinewy thread my brain lets fall

Through every part
Can tie those parts, and make me one of all,
These hairs which upward grew, and strength and art

Have from a better brain,
Can better do't ; except she meant that I

By this should know my pain,
As prisoners then are manacled, when they're con-

demn'd to die.

Whate'er she meant by it, bury it with me;

For since I am
Love's martyr, it might breed idolatry
If into other hands these relics came.

As 't was humility
To afford to it all that a soul can do,

So't is some bravery
That, since


would have none of me, I bury some of


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