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What recketh he his rider's angry stir,
His flattring holla, or his stand, I say?
What cares he now for curb, or pricking spur?
For rich caparisons, or trappings gay?
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
For nothing else with his proud sight agrees.
Look when a painter wou'd surpass the life,
In limning-out a well-proportion'd steed,
His art, with nature's workmanship at strife,
As if the dead the living should exceed:
So did his horse excel a common one,
In shape, in 'courage, colour, pace, and bone.
Round-hooft, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,
Broad breast, full eyes, small head, and nostrils wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs, and passing strong,
Thin mane, thick tale, broad buttock, tender hide.
Look, what a horse should have, he did not lack,
Save a proud rider on so proud a back.
Sometimes he scuds far off, and there he stares,
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather :
To bid the wind abase he now prepares,
And where he run, or fly, they know not whither,
For thro' his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, which heave like feather'd wings.
He looks upon his love and neighs unto her;
She answers him, as if she knew his mind.
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her,
She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind,
Spurns at his love, and scorns the heat he feels,
Beating his kind embracements with her heels.
Then, like a melancholy malecontent,
He vails his tail; that like a falling plume,
Cool shadow to his melting buttocks lent;
He stamps and bites the poor flies in his fume:
His love perceiving how he is enrag'd,
Grew kinder, and his fury was assuag'd.
His testy master goes about to take him,
When, lo! the unback'd breeder, full of fear,
Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him,
With her the horse, and left ADONIS there.
As they were mad, unto the wood they bie them,
Out-stripping crows, that strive to over-fly them.
All swoln with chasing, down Adonis sits,
Banning his boist'rous and unruly beast.
And now the happy season once more fits,
That love-sick Love, by pleading may be blest.
For lovers say, the heart hath treble wrong,
When it is barr'd the aidance of the tongue,
An oven that is stofp'd, or river staid,
Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage:
So of concealed sorrow may be said;
Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage :
But when the heart's attorney once is mute,
The client breaks, 'as desperate in his suit.
He sees her coming, and begins to glow,
Even as a dying coal revives with wind;
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow,
Looks on the dull earth with disturbed mind :
Taking no notice, that she is so nigh,
For all askance he holds her in his eye..
()! what a sight it was wistly to view
How she came stealing to the wayward boy ;
To note the fighting conflict of her hue,
How white and red each other did destroy!
But now her cheek was pale, and by and by
It flash'd forth fire, as lightning from the sky.
Now was she just before him as he sat,
And like a lowly lover down she kneels;
With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat.
Her other tender hand his fair cheeks feels :
His tender cheeks receive her soft hand's print,
As apt as new-fallen snow takes any dint.
O! what a war of looks was then between them!
Her eyes petitioners to his eyes suing!
His eyes saw her eyes, as they had not seen them;
Her eyes woo'd still, his eyes disdain'd the wooing:
And all this dumb play had his acts made plain,
With tears, which chorus-like, her eyes did rain.
Full gently now she takes him by the hand.
A lily prison'd in a jail of snow,
Or ivory in an alabaster hand,
So white a friend ingirts so white a foe!
This beauteous combat, wilful and unwilling,
Shew'd like to silver doves, that sit a billing.
Once more the engine of our thoughts began :
O fairest mover on this mortal round !
Would thou wert, as I am, and I a man,
My heart all whole, as thine, thy heart my wound;
For one sweet look my help I would assure thee,
Tho' nothing but my body's bane would cure thee.
Give me my hand (saith he) why dost thou feel it?
Give me my heart (saith she) and thou shalt have it.
0! give it me, lest thy hard heart do steel it?
And being steel'd, soft sighs can never grave it:
Then love's deep groans I never shall regard,
Because ADONIS' heart had made mine hard,
For shame ! he cries, let go, and let me go,
My day's delight is past, my horse is gone,
And ’tis your fault, I am bereft him so :
I pray you hence, and leave me here alone;
For all my mind, my thought, my busy care,
Is how to get my palfrey from the mare.
Thus she replies : Thy palfrey as he should,
Welcomes the warm approach of sweet desire:
Affection is a coal that must be cool'd;
Else, suffer'd, it will set the heart on fire.
The sea hath bounds, but deep desire hath none;
Therefore no marvel though thy horse be gone.
How like a jade he stood, ty'd to a tree,
Servilely master'd with a leathern rein!
But when he saw his love, his youth's fair fee,
He held such petty bondage in disdain;
Throwing the base thong from his bending crest,
Enfranchising his mouth, his back, his breast.
Who sees his true love in her naked bed,
Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white,
But when his glutton eye so full hath fed,
His other agents aim at like delight?
Who is so faint, that dare not be so bold
To touch the fire, the weather being cold?