Elizabethan Sonnet Month

Barnabe Barnes (1569-1609)

Introduction

Born: c.1568, Yorkshire England
Died: 1609, Durham, England

1586: entered Brasenose College, Oxford

1591; served against the Prince of Parma in France

1593: published Parthenophil and Parthenophe, Sonnettes, Madrigals, Elegies and Odes

1595: published A Divine Centurie of Spirituall Sonnetts

1598: prosecuted in Star Chamber for attempting to murder one John Browne

1606: published Offices enabling privat Persons for the special service of all good Princes and Policies

1607: wrote the play The Devil's Charter

Jem Farmer

Sonnettes from Parthenophil and Parthenophe (1593)

Sonnets 1 - 10

Sonnet 1

Mistress! Behold, in this true speaking glass,
Thy beauty's graces! Of all women rarest!
Where thou may'st find how largely they surpass
And stain in glorious loveliness, the rarest.
But read, sweet Mistress! And behold it nearer!
Pond'ring my sorrow's outrage with some pity.
Then shalt thou find no worldly creature dearer,
Than thou to me, thyself, in each love ditty.
But, in this mirror, equally compare
Thy matchless beauty, with mine endless grief!
There, like thyself none can be found so fair;
Of chiefest pains, there, are my pains the chief.
Betwixt these both, this one doubt shalt thou find!
Whether are, here, extremest, in their kind?


Sonnet 2

Whiles with strong chains of hardy tempered steel
I bound my thoughts, still gadding fast and faster;
When they, through time, the differences did feel,
Betwixt a Mistress' service and a Master.
Keeping in bondage, jealously enthralled,
In prisons of neglect, his nature's mildness;
Him I with solitary studies walled
By thraldom, choking his outrageous wildness.
On whom, my careful thoughts I set to watch,
Guarding him closely, lest he should out issue
To seek thee, LAYA! Who still wrought to catch
And train my tender boy, that could not miss you
(So you bewitched him once! when he did kiss you),
That, by such sights as never were found out,
To serve your turn, he daily went about.


Sonnet 3

He, when continual vigil moved my Watch
Some deal, by chance, with careful guard to slumber:
The prison's keys from them did slowly snatch;
Which, of the five, were only three in number.
The first was Sight, by which he searched the wards;
The next was Hearing, quickly to perceive,
Lest that the watchmen heard, which were his guards;
Third, Touch, which VULCAN's cunning could deceive.
These, though the springs, wards, bolts, or gimbols were
The miracles of VULCAN's forgery),
Laid open all for his escape. Now, there,
The watchmen grinned for his impiety.
What crosses bred this contrariety,
That by these keys my thoughts in chains be left;
And by these keys I of mine heart bereft?


Sonnet 4

LAYA, soon founding out his nature throughly,
Found that he was a lovely virgin boy.
Causeless, why did thou then deal with him roughly?
Not yet content with him, sometimes, to toy;
But jealously kept, lest he should run from thee!
Whom, if thou kindly meant to love, 'twas needless!
Doubtless lest that he should run back to me!
If of him, any deal, thou didst stand heedless.
Thou coop'st him in thy closet's secret corners;
And then, thy heart's dear playfellow didst make him!
Whom thou in person guardest! (lest suborners
Should work his freelege, or in secret take him),
And to this instant, never would forsake him!
Since for soft service slavish bonds be changed,
Why didst thou from thy jealous master range?


Sonnet 5

It chanced, after, that a youthful Squire,
Such as, in courting, could the grafty guise,
Beheld light LAYA. She, with fresh desire,
Hoping th'achievement of some richer prize,
Drew to the Courtier; who, with tender kiss,
(As are their guileful fashions which dissemble)
First him saluted; then (with forgèd bliss
Of doubtless hope) sweet words, by pause, did tremble.
So whiles she slightly glosed with her new prey,
My heart's eye, (tending his false mistress' train)
Unyoked himself, and closely 'scaped away;
And to PARTHENOPHE did post amain,
For liberal pardon; which he did obtain.
"And judge! PARTHENOPHE! (for thou canst tell!)
That his escape from LAYA pleased me well."


Sonnet 6

Him when I caught, what chains had I provided!
What fetters had I framed! What locks of Reason!
What Keys of Continence had I devised
(Impatient of the breach) 'gainst any treason!
But fair PARTHENOPHE did urge me still
To liberal pardon, for his former fault;
Which, out alas! prevailèd with my will.
Yet moved I bonds, lest he should make default:
Which willingly she seemed to undertake,
And said "As I am virgin! I will be
His bail for this offence; and if he make
Another such vagary, take of me
A pawn, for more assurance unto thee!"
"Your love to me", quoth I, "your pawn shall make!
So that, for his default, I forfeit take."


Sonnet 7

Her love to me she forthwith did impawn,
And was content to set at liberty
My trembling heart; which straight began to fawn
Upon his Mistress' kindly courtesy.
Not many days were past, when (like a wanton)
He secretly did practise to depart;
And to PARTHENOPHE did send a canton,
Where, with sighs' accents, he did loves impart.
And for because she deigned him that great sign
Of gentle favours, in her kind release;
He did conclude, all duty to resign
To fair PARTHENOPHE: which doth increase
These woes, nor shall my restless Muses cease!
For by her, of mine heart am I deprived;
And by her, my first sorrows' heat revived.


Sonnet 8

Then to PARTHENOPHE, with all post haste
(As full assurèd of the pawn fore-pledged),
I made; and, with these words disordered placed,
Smooth (though with fury's sharp outrages edged):
Quoth I, "Fair Mistress! Did I set mine heart
At liberty, and for that, made him free;
That you should arm him for another start,
Whose certain bail you promisèd to be!"
"Tush!" quoth PARTHENOPHE, "before he go,
I'll be his bail at last, and doubt it not!"
"Why then," said I, "that Mortgage must I show
Of your true love, which at your hands I got."
Ay me! She was, and is his bail, I wot:
But when the Mortgage should have cured the sore
She passed it off, by Deed of Gift before.


Sonnet 9

So did PARTHENOPHE release mine heart!
So did she rob me of mine heart's rich treasure!
Thus shall she be his bail before they part!
Thus in her love she made me such hard measure!
Ay me! Nor hope of mutual love by leisure,
Nor any type of my poor heart's release
Remains to me. How shall I take the seizure
Of her love's forfeiture? Which took such peace
Combinèd with a former love. Then cease
To vex with sorrows, and thy griefs increase:
'Tis for PARTHENOPHE! thou suffer'st smart.
Wild Nature's wound's not curable by Art.
Then cease, with choking sighs and heart-swoll'n throbs,
To draw thy breath, broke off with sorrow's sobs!


Sonnet 10

Yet give me leave, since all my joys be perished,
Heart-less, to moan for my poor heart's departure!
Nor should I mourn for him if he were cherished.
Ah no! She keeps him like a slavish martyr.
Ah me! Since merciless she made that charter,
Sealed with the wax of steadfast continence,
Signed with those hands which never can unwrite it,
Writ with that pen, which (by preeminence)
Too sure confirms whats'ever was indightit:
What skills to wear thy girdle, or thy garter,
When other arms shall thy small arms embrace?
How great a waste of mind and body's weal!
Now melts my soul! I to thine eyes appeal!
If they, thy tyrant champions, owe me grace.



Sonnets 11 - 20

Sonnet 11

Why didst thou, then, in such disfigured guise,
Figure the portrait of mine overthrow?
Why, man-like, didst thou mean to tyrannize?
No man, but woman would have sinnèd so!
Why, then, inhuman, and my secret foe!
Didst thou betray me? Yet would be a woman!
From my chief wealth, outweaving me this woe,
Leaving thy love in pawn, till time did come on
When that thy trustless bonds were to be tried!
And when, through thy default, I thee did summon
Into the court of Steadfast Love, then cried,
"As it was promised, here stands his heart's bail!
And if, in bonds to thee, my love be tied,
Then by those bonds, take Forfeit of the Sale!"


Sonnet 12

Vext with th'assaults of thy conceivèd beauty,
I restless on thy favours meditate!
And though despairfull love, sometimes, my suit tie
Unto these faggots (figures of my state),
Which bound with endless line, by leisure wait
That happy moment of your heart's reply!
Yet by those lines I hope to find the gate
Which, through love's labyrinth shall guide me right.
Whiles (unacquainted exercise!) I try
Sweet solitude, I shun my life's chief light!
And all because I would forget thee quite.
And (working that) methinks, its such a sin
(As I take pen and paper for to write)
Thee to forget; that leaving, I begin!


Sonnet 13

When none of these my sorrows would allege,
I sought to find the means how I might hate thee!
Then hateful Curiousness I did in-wedge
Within my thoughts, which ever did await thee!
I framed mine eyes for an unjust controlment;
And mine unbridled Thoughts, (because I dare not
Seek to compel) did pray them, take enrolment
Of Nature's fault in her! And, equal, spare not!
They searched and found " her eyes were sharp and fiery,
A mole upon her forehead coloured pale,
Her hair disordered, brown, and crispèd wiry,
Her cheeks thin speckled with a summer's male."
This told, men weened it was a pleasing tale
Her to disgrace, and make my follies fade.
And please it did! But her more gracious made.
Sonnet 14

Then him controlling, that he left undone,
Her eyes' bright circle thus did answer make:
"Rest's mist, with silver cloud, had closed her sun,
Nor could he draw them till she were awake."
"Why then," quoth I, "were not those leaves' dark shade
Upon her cheeks depainted as you see them?"
"Shape of a shadow cannot well be made!"
Was answered "for shade's shadows, none can eye them!"
This reason proves sure argument for me
That my grief's image I can not set out;
Which might with lively colours blazèd be.
Wherefore since nought can bring the means about,
That thou, my sorrow's cause, should view throughout;
Thou wilt not pity me! But this was it!
ZEUXIS had neither skill nor colours fit.


Sonnet 15

Where, or to whom, then, shall I make complaint?
By guileful wiles, of mine heart's guide deprived!
With right's injustice, and unkind constraint:
Barred from her loves, which my deserts achieved!
This, though thou sought to choke, far more revived
Within mine restless heart, left almost senseless.
O make exchange! Surrender thine for mine!
Lest that my body, void of guide, be fenceless.
So shalt thou pawn to me, sign for a sign
Of thy sweet conscience; when I shall resign
Thy love's large Charter, and thy Bonds again.
O, but I fear mine hopes be void or menceless!
No course is left which might thy loves attain,
Whether with sighs I sue, or tears complain!


Sonnet 16

Yea, that accursèd Deed, before unsealed,
Is argument of thy first constancy!
Which if thou hadst to me before revealed,
I had not pleaded in such fervency.
Yet this delights, and makes me triumph much,
That mine heart in her body lies imprisoned!
For, 'mongst all bay-crowned conquerors, no such
Can make the slavish captive boast him conquered,
Except PARTHENOPHE; whose fiery gleams
Like JOVE's swift lightning raging, which rocks pierceth
Heating them inly with his sudden beams,
And secret golden mines with melting searseth,
Eftsoons with cannon his dread rage rehearseth;
Yet nought seems scorched in apparent sight.
So first she secret burnt; then did affright!


Sonnet 17

How then succeedeth that, amid this woe,
(Where Reason's sense doth from my soul divide)
By these vain lines, my fits be specified;
Which from their endless ocean daily flow?
Where was it born? Whence did this humour grow,
Which, long obscured with melancholy's mist,
Inspires my giddy brains unpurified,
So lively, with sound reasons, to persist
In framing tuneful Elegies, and Hymns
For her, whose names my Sonnets' note so trims;
That nought but her chaste name so could assist?
And my Muse in first tricking out her limbs,
Found in her lifeless Shadow such delight,
That yet She shadows her, when as I write.


Sonnet 18

Write! write! help! help, sweet Muse! and never cease!
In endless labours pens and paper tire!
Until I purchase my long wished desire,
Brains, with my reason, never rest in peace!
Waste, breathless words! and breathful sighs increase!
Till of my woes remorseful you espy her;
Till she with me be burnt in equal fire,
I never will from labour wits release!
My senses never shall in quiet rest
Till thou be pitiful and love alike!
And if thou never pity my distresses,
Thy cruelty with endless force shall strike
Upon my wits, to ceaseless writs addrest!
My cares, in hope of some revenge, this lesses.


Sonnet 19

Imperious JOVE, with sweet lipped MERCURY;
Learned MINERVA; PHOEBUS, God of Light;
Vein swelling BACCHUS; VENUS, Queen of Beauty;
With light foot PHOEBE, Lamp of Silent Night:
These have, with divers deities beside,
Borrowed the shapes of many a mortal creature;
But fair PARTHENOPHE, graced with the pride
Of each of these, sweet Queen of lovely feature!
As though she were, with pearl of all their skill,
By heaven's chief nature garnished. She knits
In wrath, JOVE's forehead; with sweet noting quill
She matcheth MERCURY, MINERVA's wits;
In goldy locks, bright TITAN; BACCHUS sits
In her hands conduit pipes; sweet VENUS' face;
DIANA's leg the Tyrian buskins grace.


Sonnet 20

These Eyes (thy Beauty's Tenants!) pay due tears
For occupation of mine Heart, thy Freehold,
In Tenure of Love's service! If thou behold
With what exaction it is held through fears;
And yet thy Rents, extorted daily, bears.
Thou would not, thus, consume my quiet's gold!
And yet, though covetous thou be to make
Thy beauty rich, with renting me so roughly,
And at such sums: thou never thought dost take,
But still consumes me! Then thou dost misguide all!
Spending in sport for which I wrought so toughly!
When I had felt all torture, and had tried all;
And spent my Stock, through 'strain of thy extortion;
On that I had but good hopes for my portion.



Sonnets 21 - 30

Sonnet 21

Yea, but uncertain hopes are Anchors feeble,
When such faint-hearted pilots guide my ships,
Of all my fortune's Ballast with hard pebble,
Whose doubtful voyage proves not worth two chips.
If when but one dark cloud shall dim the sky,
The Cables of hope's happiness be cut;
When bark, with thoughts-drowned mariners shall lie,
Prest for the whirlpool of grief's endless glut.
If well thou mean, PARTHENOPHE! then ravish
Mine heart, with doubtless hope of mutual love!
If otherwise, then let thy tongue run lavish!
For this, or that, am I resolved to prove!
And both, or either ecstasy shall move
Me ! ravished, end with surfeit of relief;
Or senseless, daunted, die with sudden grief.


Sonnet 22

From thy heart's ever burning Vestal fire,
The torchlight of two suns is nourished still;
Which, in mild compass, still surmounting higher,
Their orbs, which circled harmony fulfil;
Whose rolling wheels run on meridian's line,
And turning, they turn back the misty night.
Report of which clear wonder did incline
Mine eyes to gaze upon that uncouth light.
On it till I was sunburnt did I gaze!
Which with a fervent agony possessed me;
Then did I sweat, and swelt; mine eyes daze
Till that a burning fever had oppressed me:
Which made me faint. No physic hath repressed me;
For I try all! yet, for to make me sound,
Ay me! no grass nor physic may be found.


Sonnet 23

When, with the dawning of my first delight,
The daylight of love's delicacy moved me;
Then from heaven's disdainful starry light,
The moonlight of her Chastity reproved me.
Her forehead's threatful clouds from hope removed me,
Till midnight reared on the mid-noctial line;
Her heart whiles Pity's slight had undershoved me,
Then did I force her downward to decline
Till dawning daylight cheerfully did shine;
And by such happy revolution drew
Her morning's blush to joyful smiles incline.
And now meridian heat dries up my dew;
There rest, fair Planets! Stay, bright orbs of day!
Still smiling at my dial, next eleven!

(The final line appears to be corrupt).


Sonnet 24

These, mine heart-eating eyes do never gaze
Upon thy sun's harmonious marble wheels
But from these eyes, through force of thy sun's blaze,
Rain tears continual, whiles my faith's true steels,
Tempered on anvil of thine heart's cold flint,
Strike marrow-melting fire into mine eyes;
The tinder, whence my passions do not stint
As matches to those sparkles which arise.
Which, when the taper of mine heart is lighted,
Like salamanders, nourish in the flame:
And all the loves, with my new torch delighted,
Awhile, like gnats, did flourish in the same;
But burnt their wings, nor any way could frame
To fly from thence, sice JOVE's proud bird (that bears


Sonnet 25

Then count it not disgrace ! if any view me
Sometime to shower down rivers of salt tears,
From tempest of my sigh's despairful fears.
Then scorn me not, alas, sweet friends ! but rue me !
Ah, pity ! pity me ! For if you knew me!
How, with her looks, mine heart amends and wears;
Now calm, now ragious, as my passion bears;
You would lament with me ! and She which slew me,
She which (Ay me!) She which did deadly wound me,
And with her beauty's balm, though dead, keeps lively
My lifeless body: and by charms hath bound me,
For thankless meed, to serve her: if she vively
Could see my sorrow's maze, which none can tread,
She would be soft and light, though flint and lead!


Sonnet 26

When lovely wrath my Mistress' heart assaileth,
LOVE's golden darts take aim from her bright eyes;
And PSYCHE, VENUS' rosy couch empaleth,
Placed in her cheeks, with lilies, where she lies !
And when She smiles, from her sweet looks and cheerful,
Like PHOEBUS, when through sudden clouds he starteth
(After stern tempests, showers, and thunder fearful) ;
So She, my world's delight, with her smiles hearteth !
AURORA yellow looks when my Love blushes,
Wearing her hair's bright colour in her face !
And from love's ruby portal lovely rushes,
For every word she speaks, an angel's grace !
If She be silent, every man in place
With silence wonders her ! and if She sleep,
Air doth, with her breath's murmur, music keep.


Sonnet 27

Why do I draw this cool relieving air,
And breathe it out in scalding sighs as fast?
Since all my hopes die buried in despair;
In which hard soil mine endless knots be cast.
Where, when I come to walk, be sundry Mazes
With Beauty's skilful finger linèd out;
And knots, whose borders set with double daisies,
Doubles my dazèd Muse with endless doubt.
How to find easy passage through the time,
With which my Mazes are so long beset,
That I can never pass, but fall and climb
According to my passions (which forget
The place where they with Love's Guide should have met) :
But when, faint-wearied, all, methinks, is past;
The maze returning makes me turn as fast.


Sonnet 28

So be my labours endless in their turns.
Turn ! turn ! PARTHENOPHE ! Turn and relent !
Hard is thine heart, and never will repent !
See how this heart within my body burns !
Thou see'st it not ! and therefore thou rejournes
My pleasures ! Ill my days been overspent.
When I beg grace, thou mine entreaty spurns;
Mine heart, with hope upheld, with fear returns.
Betwixt these passions, endless is my fit.
Then if thou be but human, grant some pity !
Or if a Saint? sweet mercies are their meeds !
Fair, lovely, chaste, sweet spoken, learned, witty;
These make thee Saint-like ! and these Saints befit:
But thine hard heart makes all these graces weeds !


Sonnet 29

Bless still the myrrh tree, VENUS ! for thy meed !
For to the weeping myrrh my tears be due.
Contentious winds, which did from TITAN breed !
The shaking Aspen tree belongs to you:
To th'Aspen I bequeath my ceaseless tongue !
And PHOEBUS, let thy laurels ever flourish !
To still-green laurel my Loves do belong.
Let mighty JOVE his oaks' large branches nourish !
For to strong oak mine heart is consecrate.
Let dreadful PLUTO bless black heben tree !
To th' Heben my despair is dedicate.
And Naiads, let your willows lovèd be !
To them my Fortunes will removèd be.
So shall my tears, tongue, passions, never cease;
Nor heart decay, nor my despair decrease.


Sonnet 30

So this continual fountain of my tears,
From that hard rock of her sweet beauty trickling;
So shall my tongue on her sweet beauty tickling;
So shall my passions, fed with hopes and fears;
So shall mine heart, which wearing, never wears,
But soft, is hardened with her beauty's prickling;
On which, despair, my vulture seized, stands pickling,
Yet never thence his maw full gorgèd bears;
Right so, my tears, tongue, passions, heart, despair
With floods, complaints, sighs, throbs, and endless sorrow,
In seas, in volumes, winds, earthquakes, and hell,
Shall float, chant, breathe, break, and dark mansion borrow !
And I in them be blessèd for my Fair,
That in these torments, for her sake I dwell.



Sonnets 31 - 40

Sonnet 31

I burn, yet am I cold! I am a cold, yet burn !
In pleasing, discontent ! in discontentment pleased !
Diseased, I am in health ! and healthful, am diseased !
In turning back, proceed ! proceeding, I return !
In mourning, I rejoice ! and in rejoicing, mourn !
In pressing, I step back ! in stepping back, I pressed !
In gaining, still I lose ! and in my losses, gain !
Grounded, I waver still ! and wavering, still am grounded !
Unwounded, yet not sound ! and being sound, am wounded !
Slain, yet am I alive ! and yet alive, am slain !
Hounded, my heart rests still ! still resting, is it hounded !
In pain, I feel no grief ! yet void of grief, in pain !
Unmoved, I vex myself ! unvexed, yet am I moved !
Beloved, She loves me not; yet is She my beloved.

A series of twelve sonnets follows (32 - 44), each devoted to a sign of the Zodiac.


Sonnet 32 Aries, the Ram.

Scarce seven times had PHOEBUS' wagon wheel
Obliquely wandered through the Zodiac's line,
Since Nature first to OPS did me resign,
When in mine youthful vein I well could feel
A lustful rage, which Reason's chains of steel
(With headstrong force of Lust) did still untwine.
To wanton Fancies I did then incline;
Whilst mine unbridled PHÆTON did reel
With heedless rage, till that his chariot came
To take, in fold, his resting with the Ram.
But bootless all ! For such was his unrest
That in no limits he could be contained !
To lawless sports and pleasures ever prest;
And his swift wheels with their sweet oil distained !


Sonnet 33 Taurus, the Bull.

Next, when the boundless fury of my sun
Began in higher climates to take fire;
And with it, somewhat kindled my Desire.
Then, lest I should have wholly been undone,
(For now mine age have thrice seven winters run)
With studies and with labours did I tire
Mine itching Fancies! which did still aspire.
Then, from those objects (which their force begun,
Through wandering fury, to possess mine heart),
Mine eyes, their vain seducers, I did fix
On PALLAS, and on MARS ! home, and in field !
And armèd strongly (lest my better part
To milder objects should itself inmix)
I vowed "I never would to Beauty yield !"


Sonnet 34 Gemni, the Twins.

But when, in May, my world's bright fiery sun
Had past in Zodiac, with his golden team,
To place his beams, which in the Twins begun,
The blazing twin stars of my world's bright beam,
My Mistress' eyes ! mine heaven's bright Sun and Moon !
The stars by which, poor Shepherd I, am warned
To pin in late, and put my flocks out soon;
My flocks of Fancies, as the signs me learned:
Then did my love's first Spring begin to sprout,
So long as my sun's heat in these signs reigned.
But wandering all the Zodiac throughout,
From her May's twins, my sun such heat constrained,
That where, at first, I little had complained,
From Sign to Sign, in such course he now posteth !
Which daily me with hotter flaming toasteth.


Sonnet 35 Cancer, the Crab.

Next, when my sun by progress took his hold
In Cancer, of my Mistress' crafty mind;
How retrograde seemed She ! when as I told
That "in his claws such torches I did find,
Which if She did not to my tears lay plain
That they might quenchèd be from their outrage,
My love's hot June should be consumed in pain,
Unless her pity make my grief assuage."
O, how She frowns ! and like the Crab back turns !
When I request her put her beams apart.
Yet with her beams, my soul's delight, She burns !
She pities not to think upon my smart !
Nor from her Cancer's claws can I depart :
For there, the torch of my red-hot Desire
Grieves and relieves me with continual fire.


Sonnet 36 Leo, the Lion.

And thus continuing with outrageous fire,
My sun, proceeding forward (to my sorrow !),
Took up his Court; but willing to retire
Within the Lion's den, his rage did borrow.
But whiles within that Mansion he remained
How cruel was PARTHENOPHE to me !
And when of my great sorrows I complained,
She, Lion-like, wished "they might tenfold be !"
Then did I rage, and in unkindly passions
I rent mine hair, and razed my tender skin;
And raving in such frantic fashions
That with such cruelty she did begin
To feed the fire which I was burnèd in.
Can woman brook to deal so sore with men?
She, man's woe ! learned it in the Lion's den.


Sonnet 37 Virgo, the Virgin.

But pity, which sometimes doth lions move,
Removed my sun from moody Lion's cave;
And into Virgo's bower did next remove
His fiery wheels. But when She answer gave
That "She was all vowed to virginity !"
Yet said, "'Bove all men, she would most affect me !"
Fie, Delian goddess ! In thy company
She learned with honest colour to neglect me !
And underneath chaste veils of single life
She shrouds her crafty claws and lion's heart !
Which, with my senses now do mingle strife
'Twixt loves and virtues, which provoke my smart.
Yet from these Passions can I never part,
But still I make my suits importunate
To thee ! which makes my case unfortunate.


Sonnet 38 Libra, the Scales

When thine heart-piercing answers could not hinder
Mine heart's hot hammer on thy steel to batter;
Nor could excuses cold quench out that cinder
Which in me kindled was; She weighed the matter,
And turning my sun's chariot, did him place
In Libra's equal Mansion, taking pause,
And casting with deep judgement to disgrace
My love, with cruel dealing in the cause.
She, busily, with earnest care devised
How She might make her beauty tyrannous,
And I, for ever, to her yoke surprised :
The means found out, with cunning perilous,
She turned the wheels with force impetuous,
And armed with woman-like contagion
My sun She lodgèd in the Scorpion.


Sonnet 39 Scorpio, the Scorpion.

Then (from her Venus, and bright Mercury,
My heaven's clear planets), did She shoot such blazes
As did infuse, with heat's extremity,
Mine heart, which on despair's bare pasture grazes.
Then, like the Scorpion, did she deadly sting me !
And with a pleasing poison piercèd me !
Which to these utmost sobs of death did bring me,
And, through my soul's faint sinews searchèd me.
Yet might She cure me with the Scorpion's Oil !
If that She were so kind as beautiful.
But, in my bale, She joys to see me boil;
Though be my Passions dear and dutiful,
Yet She, remorseless and unmerciful.
But when my thought of her is such a thing
To strike me dead; judge, if herself can sting !


Sonnet 40 Sagittarius, the Archer

But ah, my plague, through time's outrage, increased !
For when my sun his task had finishèd
Within the Scorpion's Mansion, he not ceased,
Nor yet his heat's extremes diminishèd,
Till that dead-aiming Archer 'dressed his quiver,
In which he closely couchèd, at the last !
That Archer, which does pierce both heart and liver,
With hot gold-pointed shafts, which rankle fast !
That proud, commanding, and swift-shooting Archer,
Far-shooting PHOEBUS which doth overshoot !
And, more than PHOEBUS is an inward parcher !
That with thy notes harmonious and songs soot
Allured my sun to fire mine heart's soft root !
And with thine ever-wounding golden arrow,
First pricked my soul, then pierced my body's marrow !



Sonnets 41 - 50

Sonnet 41 Capricorn, the Goat

When my sun, CUPID, took his next abiding,
'Mongst craggy rocks and mountains, with the Goat;
Ah then, on beauty did my senses dote !
Then had each Fair regard, my fancies guiding !
Then more than blessed was I if one tiding
Of female favour set mine heart afloat !
Then to mine eyes each Maid was made a mote !
My fickle thoughts, with divers fancies sliding,
With wanton rage of lust so me did tickle !
Mine heart, each Beauty's captived vassal !
Nor vanquished then (as now) but with love's prickle !
Nor deeply moved (till love's beams did discover
That lovely nymph, PARTHENOPHE !), no lover !
Stop there for fear ! Love's privilege doth pass all !


Sonnet 42 Aquarius, the Water Carrier.

Pass all ! Ah no ! No jot will be omitted,
Now though my sun within the water rest;
Yet doth his scalding fury still infest
Into this sign. While that my Phoebus flitted,
Thou moved these streams; whose courses thou committed
To me, thy Water-man bound ! and addrest
To pour out endless drops upon that soil
Which withers most when it is watered best !
Cease floods, and to your channels make recoil !
Strange floods, which on my fire burn like oil !
Thus whiles mine endless furies higher ran,
Thou ! thou, PARTHENOPHE ! my rage begun,
Sending thy beams to heat my fiery sun.
Thus am I Water-man, and Fire-man !


Sonnet 43 Pisces, the Fishes

Now in my Zodiac's last extremest sign,
My luckless sun his hapless Mansion made;
And in the water, willing more to wade,
To Pisces did his chariot wheels incline:
For me (poor Fish !) he, with his golden line
Baited with beauties, all the river lade,
(For who of such sweet baits would stand afraid ?)
There, nibbling for such food as made me pine,
LOVE's golden hook on me took sudden hold,
And I down swallowed that impoisoned gold.
Since then, devise what any wisher can
Of fiercest torments ! since, all joys devise !
Worse griefs, more joys, did my true heart comprise !
Such were LOVE's baits ! my crafty Fisherman.


Sonnet 44

O dart and thunder ! whose fierce violence
Surmounting Rhetoric's dart and thunder bolts,
Can never be set out in eloquence !
Whose might all metals' mass asunder moults !
Where be the famous Prophets of old Greece ?
Those ancient Roman poets of account ?
MUSÆUS, who went for the Golden Fleece
With JASON, and did HERO's love recount !
And thou, sweet NASO, with thy golden verse;
Whose lovely spirit ravished CAESAR'S daughter !
And that sweet Tuscan, PETRARCH, which did pierce
His LAURA with love sonnets when he sought her !
Where be all these ? that all these might have taught her
That Saints divine are known Saints by their mercy !
And Saint-like beauty should not rage with pierce eye !


Sonnet 45

Sweet Beauty's rose ! in whose fair purple leaves,
LOVE's Queen in richest ornament doth lie;
Whose graces, were they not too sweet and high,
Might here be seen, but since their sight bereaves
All senses; he (that endless bottom weaves,
Which did PENELOPE) who that shall try,
Then wonder, and in admiration die
At Nature passing Nature's holy frame !
Her beauty thee revives ! Thy Muse upheaves
To draw celestial spirit from the skies !
To praise the Work and Worker whence it came !
This spirit, drawn from heaven of thy fair eyes !
Whose gilded cognizance, left in mine heart,
Shows me the faithful servant, to my smart !


Sonnet 46

Ah PIERCE-EYE piercing eye, and blazing light !
Of thunder, thundr blazes burning up !
O sun, sun melting ! blind and dazing sight !
Ah, heart ! down-driving heart, and turning up !
O matchless beauty, Beauty's beauty staining !
Sweet damask rosebud ! VENUS' rose of roses !
Ah, front imperious, duty's duty gaining !
Yet threatful clouds did still inclose and closes.
O lily leaves, when JUNO lily's leaves
In wond'ring at her colours grain distained !
Voice, which rock's voice and mountain hilly cleaves
In sunder, at my loves with pain complained !
Eye, lightning sun ! Heart, beauty's bane unfeigned !
O damask rose ! proud forehead ! lily ! voice !
Ah, partial fortune ! sore chance ! silly choice !


Sonnet 47

Give me my Heart ! For no man liveth heartless !
And now deprived of heart I am but dead,
( And since thou hast it, in his tables read !
Whether he rest at ease, in joys and smartless ?
Whether beholding him thine eyes were dartless ?
Or to what bondage his enthralment leads ?)
Return, dear Heart ! and me to mine restore !
Ah, let me thee possess ! Return to me !
I find no means, devoid of skill and artless.
Thither return, where thou triumphed before !
Let me of him but repossessor be !
And when thou gives to me mine heart again
Thyself thou dost bestow ! For thou art She !
Whom I call Heart ! and of whom I complain.


Sonnet 48

I wish no rich refined Arabian gold !
Nor orient Indian pearl, rare Nature's wonder !
No diamonds, th'Egyptian surges under !
No rubies of America, dear sold !
Nor saphires, which rich Afric sands enfold !
(Treasures far distant, from this isle asunder)
Barbarian ivories in contempt I hold !
But only this; this only, VENUS, grant !
That I my sweet PARTHENOPHE may get !
Her hairs, no grace of golden wires want,
Pure pearls, with perfect rubines are inset;
True diamonds, in eyes; saphires, in veins;
Nor can I that soft ivory skin forget !
England, in one small subject, such contains.


Sonnet 49

Cool ! cool in waves thy beams intolerable,
O sun ! No son, but most unkind stepfather !
By law, nor Nature, Sire; but rebel rather !
Fool ! fool ! these labours are inextricable;
A burden whose weight is importable;
A siren, which within thy breast doth bathe her;
A Fiend which doth in Graces garments grath her;
A fortress whose force is impregnable;
From my love's 'lembic, still 'stilled tears. O tears !
Quench ! quench mine heat ! or, with your sovereignty,
Like NIOBE, convert mine heart to marble !
Or with fast flowing pine my body dry,
And rid me from Despair's chilled fears ! O fears,
Which on mine heben harp's heartstrings do warble !


Sonnet 50

So warble out your tragic notes of sorrow,
Black harp of liver-pining Melancholy !
Black humour, patron of my Fancy's folly !
Mere follies, which from Fancy's fire borrow
Hot fire, which burns day, night, midnight, and morrow.
Long morning which prolongs my sorrows solely,
And ever overrules my Passions wholly;
So that my fortune, where it first made sorrow,
Shall there remain, and ever shall it plow
The bowels of mine heart; mine heart's hot bowels !
And in their furrows, sow the Seeds of Love;
Which thou didst sow and newly spring up now
And make me write vain words: no words, but vowels !
For nought to me good consonant would prove.



Sonnets 51 - 60

Sonnet 51

Lame consonants, of member-vowels robbed !
What perfect sounding words can you compose,
Wherein you might my sorrow's flame disclose ?
Can you frame maimèd words, as you had throbbed ?
Can you with sighs make signs of passions sobbed ?
Or can your characters make sorrow's shows ?
Can liquids make them? I, with tears, make those !
But for my tears with taunts and frumps are bobbed.
Could mutes procure good words, mute would I be !
But then who should my sorrow's image paint ?
No consonants, or mutes, or liquids will
Set out my sorrows; though with grief I faint.
If with no letter, but one vowel should be,
An A with H my sonnet would fulfil.


Sonnet 52

Methought CALLIOPE did from heaven descend
To sing, fair Mistress, thy sweet beauty's praise.
Thy sweet enchanting voice did ORPHEUS raise,
Who, with his harp (which down the gods did send)
Celestial concord to the voice did lend.
His music all wild beasts did so amaze
That they, submissive to thy looks, did bend.
Hills, trees, towns, bridges, from their places wend,
Hopping and dancing. All the winds be still
And listen; while the nightingales fulfil,
With larks and thrushes, all defects of pleasure.
Springs sang thy praises in a murmur shrill.
Whiles I, enraged by music, out of trance,
Like BACCHUS's priest, did in thy presence dance.


Sonnet 53

Why do I draw my breath, vain sighs to feed,
Since all my sighs be breathèd out in vain ?
Why be these eyes the conduits, whence proceed
These ceaseless tears, which, for your sake ! do rain ?
Why do I write my woes ! and writing, grieve
To think upon them, and their sweet contriver;
Begging some comfort, which might me relieve,
When the remembrance is my cares' reviver ?
Why do I sue to kiss, and kiss, to love;
And love, to be tormented; not beloved ?
Can neither sighs, nor tears, my sorrows move
By lines or words ? nor will they be removed ?
Then tire not, Tyrant ! but on mine heart tire !
That, unconsumed, I burn in my Desire.


Sonnet 54

When I was young, indued with Nature's graces,
I stole blind LOVE's strong bow and golden arrows
To shoot at redbreasts, goldfinches, and sparrows;
At shrewd girls; and at boys, in other places.
I shot when I was vexèd with disgraces.
I pierced no skin, but melted up their marrows.
How many boys and girls wished mine embraces !
How many praised my favour, 'bove all faces !
But once, PARTHENOPHE ! by thy sweet side sitting,
LOVE had espied me, in a place most fitting:
Betrayed by thine eyes' beams (which make blind see)
He shot at me; and said "for thine eyes' light,
This daring boy (that durst usurp my right)
Take him ! a wounded slave to LOVE and Thee !"


Sonnet 55

Nymphs, which in beauty mortal creatures stain,
And Satyrs, which none but fair Nymphs behold;
They, to the Nymphs; and Nymphs to them complain:
And each, in spite, my Mistress' beauty told.
Till soundly sleeping in a myrtle grove,
A wanton Satyr had espied hre there;
Who deeming she was dead, in all haste strove
To fetch the Nymphs; which in the forests were.
They flocking fast, in triumph of her death,
Lightly beheld: and, deeming she was dead,
Nymphs sang, and Satyrs dancèd out of breath.
Whilst Satyrs with the Nymphs La Voltas led;
My Mistress did awake ! Then they, which came
To scorn her beauty, ran away for shame !


Sonnet 56

The Dial ! love, which shows how my days spend.
The leaden Plummets sliding to the ground !
My thoughts, which to dark melancholy bend.
The rolling Wheels, which turn swift hours round !
Thine eyes, PARTHENOPHE ! my Fancy's guide.
The Watch continually which keeps his stroke !
By whose oft turning every hour doth slide,
Figure the sighs which from my liver smoke,
Whose oft invasions finish my life's date.
The Watchman, which, each quarter, strikes the bell !
The love, which doth each part exanimante'
And in each quarter strikes his forces fell.
That Hammer and great Bell, which end each hour,
Death, my life's victor, sent by thy love's power.


Sonnet 57

Thy beauty is the sun, which guides my day,
And with his beams to my world's life gives light;
With whose sweet favour all my fancies play,
And as birds singing still enchant my sight.
But when I seek to get my love's chief pleasure
Her frowns are like the night led by the Lamp
Of PHOEBE's chaste desires; whilst without leisure,
Graces like stars through all her face encamp.
Then all my Fancy's birds lie whisht, for fear,
Soon as her frowns procure their shady sorrow,
Saving my heart, which secret shot doth bear,
And nature from the nightingale doth borrow,
Which from laments, because he will not rest,
Hath love's thorn-prickle pointed at his breast.


Sonnet 58

Fair CLYTIE doth flourish with the Spring;
And, eftsoons, withered like thy golden hair !
And IO's violets grow flourishing,
But soon defaced; which thine eyes semblance bear !
Anemone with hyacinth, Spring's pride,
(Like to thy beauty !) lose their lovely gloss:
So will thy cheeks, with graces beautified ,
Return to wrinkles, and to Nature's dross !
Roses, as from thy lips, sweet odours send,
Which herbs (in them whilst juice and virtues rest)
From some diseases' rigour life defend.
These (as thyself !) once withered, men detest !
Then love betimes ! These withered flowers of yore
Revive ! Thy beauty lost returns no more !


Sonnet 59

Ah me ! sweet beauty lost returns no more.
And how I fear mine heart fraught with disdain !
Despair of her disdain casts doubt before,
And makes me thus of mine heart's hope complain.
Ah me ! nor mine heart's hope, nor help. Despair !
Avoid my Fancy ! Fancy's utter bane !
My woes' chief worker ! Cause of all my care !
Avoid my thoughts ! that Hope may me restore
To mine heart's heaven, and happiness again !
Ah, wilt thou not ? but still depress my thought !
Ah, Mistress ! if thy beauty this hath wrought,
That proud disdainfulness shall in thee reign.
Yet think ! when in thy forehead wrinkles be,
Men will disdain thee then, as thou dost me.


Sonnet 60

Whilst some the Trojan wars in verse recount,
And all the Grecian conquerors in fight;
Some valiant Roman wars 'bove stars do mount,
With all their warlike leaders, men of might;
Whilst some of British ARTHUR's valour sing,
And register the praise of CHARLEMAGNE;
And some of doughty GODFREY tidings bring,
And some the German broils, and wars of Spain.
In none of those myself I wounded find,
Neither with horseman, nor with man on foot;
But from a clear bright eye, one Captain blind
(Whose puissance to resist did nothing boot)
With men in golden arms, and darts of gold,
Wounded my heart, and all which did behold !



Sonnets 61 - 70

Sonnet 61

To none but to PROMETHEUS me compare !
From sacred heaven he stole that holy fire.
I, from thine eyes, stole fire ! My judgements are
For to be bound with chains of strong desire,
To that hard rock of thy thrice cruel heart !
The ceaseless waves, which on the rocks do dash
Yet never pierce, but forcèd, backward start;
Those be these endless tears, my cheeks which wash !
The vulture, which is, by my goddess' doom,
Assigned to feed upon mine endless liver:
Despair, by thee procured ! which leaves no room
For JOCULUS to jest with CUPID's quiver.
This swallows worlds of livers, spending few;
But not content - O god ! shall this be true ?


Sonnet 62

"Fie, fie, fierce Tyrant ! Quench this furious rage !
O quench this rageous fury, little god !
Nay, mighty god ! my fury's heat assuage !
Nor are thine little darts, nor brittle rod !
Ah, that thou hadst a sweet recuring dart !
Or such a rod as into health might whip me !
With this, to level at my troubled heart;
To warn with scourge, that no bright eye might trip me !"
Vain words, which vanish with the clouds, why speak I !
How oft, enraged in hopeless passions, break I !
How oft, in false vain hope, and blank despair !
How oft left lifeless at thy cloudy frown !
How oft in passion mounted, and plucked down !


Sonnet 63

JOVE for EUROPA's love took shape of Bull;
And for CALISTO played DIANA's part;
And in a golden shower he fillèd full
The lap of DANAE, with celestial art.
Would I were changed but to my Mistress' gloves,
That those white lovely fingers I might hide !
That I might kiss those hands, which mine heart loves !
Or else that chain of pearl (her neck's vain pride)
Made proud with her neck's veins, that I might fold
About that lovely neck, and her paps tickle !
Or her to compass like a belt of gold !
Or that sweet wine which down her throat doth trickle,
To kiss her lips and lie next at her heart,
Run through her veins, and pass by Pleasure's part !


Sonnet 64

If all the Loves were lost, and should be found;
And all the Graces' glories were decayed;
In thee the Graces' ornaments abound !
In me, the Loves, by thy sweet Graces laid !
And if the Muses had their voice foregone;
And VENUS' husband's forge had lost his fire,
The Muses' voice should, by thy voice, be known !
And VULCAN's heat be found in thy Desire !
I will accuse thee to the gods, of theft !
For PALLAS' eye, and VENUS' rosy cheek,
And PHŒBE's forehead, which thou hast bereft !
Complain of me to CUPID ! Let him seek
In vain for me each where and in all parts,
For, 'gainst my will, I stole one of his darts.


Sonnet 65

O that I had no heart ! as I have none.
(For thou mine heart's full spirit hast possessed !)
Then should mine Argument be not of moan !
Then under Love's yoke should I not be pressed !
O that without mine eyes I had been born !
Then had I not my Mistress' beauty viewed !
Then had I never been so far forlorn !
Then had I never wept ! Then never rued !
O that I never had been born at all !
Or being, had been born of shepherd's brood !
Then should I not in such mischances fall !
Quiet, my water; and Content, my food !
But now disquieted, and still tormented,
With adverse fate, perforce, must rest contented !


Sonnet 66

Ah, sweet Content ! where is thy mild abode ?
Is it with Shepherds, and light-hearted Swains,
Which sing upon the downs, and pipe abroad,
Tending their flocks and cattle on the plains ?
Ah, sweet Content ! where dost thou safely rest !
In heaven with angels ? which the praises sing
Of Him that made, and rules at His behest,
The mind and heart of every living thing.
Ah, sweet Content ! where doth thine harbour hold ?
Is it in churches, with Religious Men,
Which please the gods with prayers manifold,
And in their studies meditate it then ?
Whether thou dost in heaven or earth appear,
Be where thou wilt ! thou wilt not harbour here !


Sonnet 67

If CUPID keep his quiver in thine eye,
And shoot at over-daring gazers hearts !
Alas, why be not men afraid ! and fly
As from MEDUSA's doubting after smarts ?
Ah, when he draws his string, none sees his bow !
Nor hears his golden-feathered arrows sing !
Ay me ! till it be shot, no man doth know,
Until his heart be prickèd with the sting.
Like semblance bears the musket in the field:
It hits and kills unseen ! till, unawares,
To death the wounded man his body yield.
And thus a peasant, CAESAR's glory dares.
This difference left 'twixt MARS his field, and LOVE's:
That CUPID's soldier shot more torture proves.


Sonnet 69

Would GOD (when I beheld thy beauteous face
And golden tresses rich with pearl and stone) !
MEDUSA's visage had appeared in place,
With snaky locks, looking on me alone !
Then had her dreadful charming looks me changed
Into a senseless stone. O, were I senseless !
Then rage, through rash regard, had never ranged:
Whereas to Love I stood disarmed and fenceless.
Yea, but that diverse object of thy face
In me contrarious operations wrought.
A moving spirit pricked with Beauty's grace.
No pity's grace in thee ! which I have sought:
Which makes me deem, thou did'st MEDUSA see !
And should thyself a moving marble be.


Sonnet 69

The leafless branches of the lifeless boughs
Carve Winter's outrage in their withered barks.
The withered wrinkles in my careful brows
Figure from whence they drew those crooked marks !
Down from the Thracian mountains, oaks of might
And lofty firs, into the valley fall:
Sure sign where BOREAS hath usurped his right;
And that, long there, no Sylvans dally shall.
Fields, with prodigious inundations drowned,
For NEPTUNE's rage, with AMPHITRITE weep.
My looks and passions likewise show my wound,
And how some fair regard did strike it deep.
These branches, blasted trees, and fields so watered
For wrinkles, sighs, and tears, foreshow thine hatred.


Sonnet 70

What can these wrinkles and vain tears portend,
But thine hard favour and indurate heart ?
What show these signs, which from my soul I send,
But endless smoke, raised from a fiery smart ?
Canst thou not pity my deep wounded breast ?
Canst thou not frame those eyes to cast a smile ?
Wilt thou with no sweet sentence make me blest ?
To make amends, wilt thou not sport a while ?
Shall we not once, with our opposed ey'n,
In interchange, send golden darts rebated ?
With short reflexion, 'twixt thy brows and mine;
Whilst love with thee of my griefs hath debated ?
Those eyes of love were made for love to see !
And cast regard on others, not on me !



Sonnets 71 - 80

Sonnet 71

Those hairs of angel's gold, thy nature's treasure;
(For thou, by Nature, angel-like art framed !)
Those lovely brows, broad bridges of sweet pleasure,
Arch two clear springs of Graces gracious named;
There Graces infinite do bathe and sport !
Under, on both sides, those two precious hills,
Where PHŒBE and VENUS have a several fort.
Her couch with snowy lilies PHŒBE fills,
But VENUS with red roses hers adorneth;
There, they, with silent tokens do dispute,
Whilst PHŒBE, VENUS; VENUS, PHŒBE scorneth !
And all the Graces, judgers, there sit mute
To give their verdict; till great JOVE said this,
"DIANA's arrows wound not like thy kiss !"


Sonnet 72

My Mistress' beauty matchèd with the Graces'
'Twixt PHŒB' and JUNO should be judgèd there:
Where She, with mask, had veiled the lovely places;
And Graces in like sort y-maskèd were.
But when their lovely beauties were disclosed,
"This Nymph," quoth JUNO, "all the Graces passeth!
For beauteous favours in her face disposed,
Love's goddess in love's graces she surpasseth !"
"She doth not pass the Graces !" PHŒBE said,
"Though in her cheeks the Graces richly sit;
For they be subjects to her beauty made.
The glory for this fair Nymph is most fit !
There, in her cheeks, the Graces blush for shame !
That in her cheeks to strive, the subjects came."


Sonnet 73

Why did rich Nature Graces grant to thee ?
Since thou art such a niggard of thy grace?
Or how can Graces in thy body be ?
Where neither they, nor pity find a place !
Ah, they be handmaids to thy beauty's fury !
Making thy face to tyrannize on men.
Condemned before thy beauty, by Love's jury;
And by thy frowns, adjudged to Sorrow's Den.
Grant me some grace ! for thou with grace art wealthy;
And kindly may'st afford some gracious thing.
Mine hopes all, as my mind, weak and unhealthy;
All her looks gracious, yet no grace do bring
To me poor wretch ! Yet be the Graces there !
But I, the Furies in my breast do bear !


Sonnet 74

Cease, over-tired Muses, to complain !
In vain thou pours out words ! in vain thy tears !
In vain thou writes thy verses ! all in vain !
For to the rocks and wall, which never hears,
Thou speaks ! and sends complaints, which find no grace !
But why compare I thee to rocks and walls ?
Yes, thou descends from stones and rocks by race !
But rocks will answer to the latter calls.
Yea, rocks will speak each sentence's last word,
And in each syllable of that word agree,
But thou nor last nor first will me afford !
Hath Pride, or Nature, bred this fault in thee ?
Nature and Pride have wrought in thee these evils,
For women are, by Nature, proud as devils !


Sonnet 75

Love is a name too lovely for the god !
He naked goes, red coloured in his skin,
And bare, all as a boy fit for a rod.
Hence into Afric ! There seek out thy kin
Amongst the Moors ! and swarthy men of Ind !
Me, thou of joys and and sweet content hast hindered !
Hast thou consumed me ! and art of my kind ?
Hast thou enraged me ! yet art of my kindred ?
Nay, Ismarus, or Rhodope thy father !
Or craggy Caucasus thy crabbèd sire !
Vesuvius else ? or was it Etna rather ?
For thou how many dost consume with fire !
Fierce tigers, wolves, and panthers gave thee suck !
For lovely VENUS had not such evil luck !


Sonnet 76

Be blind, mine eyes ! which saw that stormy frown.
Wither, long-watering Lips ! which may not kiss.
Pine Arms ! which wished for sweet embraces miss,
And upright parts of pleasure, fall you down!
Waste, wanton tender Thighs ! Consume for this;
To her thigh-elms, that you were not made vines !
And my long pleasure in her body grafted.
But, at my pleasure, her sweet thought repines.
My heart, with her fair colours, should be wafted
Throughout this ocean of my deep despair:
Why do I longer live ? but me prepare
My life, together with my joys, to finish !
And, long ere this, had I died, with my care;
But hope of joys to come did all diminish.


Sonnet 77

How can I live in mind's or body's health,
When all four Elements my griefs conspire ?
Of all heart's joys depriving me, by stealth,
All yielding poisons to my long Desire.
The Fire, with heat's extremes mine heart enraging;
Water, in tears, from Despair's fountain flowing;
My soul in sighs, Air to Love's soul engaging;
My Fancy's coals, Earth's melancholy blowing.
Thus these, by Nature, made for my relief,
Through that bold charge of thine imperious eye !
Turn all their graces into bitter grief;
As I were dead, should any of them die !
And they, my body's substance, all be sick:
It follows then, I cannot long be quick !


Sonnet 78

The proudest planet in his highest sphere,
SATURN, enthronist in thy frowning brows !
Next awful JOVE, thy majesty doth bear !
And unto dreadful MARS thy courage bows !
Drawn from thy noble grandfathers of might,
Among the laurel-crowned Poets sweet,
And sweet Musicians, take thy place by right !
For PHŒBUS with thy graces thought it meet.
VENUS doth sit upon thy lips and chin !
And HERMES hath enriched thy wits divine !
PHŒBE with chaste desires thine heart did win !
The Planets thus to thee their powers resign !
Whom Planets honour thus, is any such ?
My Muse, then, cannot honour her too much !


Sonnet 79

Covetous eyes ! What did you late behold ?
My rival gracèd with a sun-bright smile !
Where he, with secret signs, was sweetly told
Her thoughts; with winks, which all men might beguile !
Audacious did I see him kiss that hand
Which holds the reins of my unbridled heart !
And, softly wringing it, did closely stand
Courting with love terms, and in lover's art !
Next, (with his fingers kiss) he touched her middle !
Then, saucy, (with presumption uncontrolled)
To hers, from his eyes, sent regards by riddle !
At length he kissed her cheek ! Ah me ! So bold !
To bandy with belgards in interchange.
Blind mine eyes, Envy ! that they may not range !


Sonnet 80

Long-wished for Death ! sent by my Mistress' doom;
Hold ! Take thy prisoner, full resolved to die !
But first as chief, and in the highest room,
My soul to heaven I do bequeath on high;
Now ready to be severed from thy Love !
My sighs, to air ! to crystal springs, my tears !
My sad complaints (which Thee could never move !)
To mountains desolate and deaf ! My fears
To lambs beset with lions ! My despair
To night, and irksome dungeons full of dread !
Then shalt Thou find (when I am past this care)
My torments, which thy cruelties have bred,
In heavens, clouds, springs, hard mountains, lambs, and night:
Here, once united; then, dissevered quite.



Sonnets 81 - 90

Sonnet 81

O kingly jealousy ! which canst admit
No thought of compeers in thine high Desire !
Love's bastard daughter, for true-loves unfit,
Scalding men's hearts with force of secret fire !
Thou poisoned canker of much beauteous love !
Fostered with envy's paps, with wrathful rage !
Thou (which dost still thine own destruction move)
With eagle's eyes, which secret watch doth wage !
With peacock's feet to steal in unawares !
With PROCNE's wings, to false suspect which flies !
Which virtues hold in durance, rashly dares !
Provoker and maintainer of vain lies !
Who, with rich virtues and fair love possessed,
Causeless hast all to thine heart's hell addressed !


Sonnet 82

The chariot with the steed is drawn along;
Ships, winged with winds, swift hover on the waves;
The stubborn ploughs are hauled with oxen strong;
Hard adamant the strongest iron craves.
But I am with thy beauty strongly forced,
Which, full of courage, draws me like the steed;
Those winds, thy spirit, whence cannot be divorced,
My heart the ship, from danger never freed.
That strong conceit, on thy sweet beauty lade,
The strong-necked ox which draws my Fancy's plough;
Thine heart that adamant, whose force hath made
My strong desires stand subject unto you !
Would I were horse, ox, adamant, or wind !
Then had I never cared for womankind.


Sonnet 83

Dark night ! Black image of my foul despair !
With grievous fancies cease to vex my soul !
With pain, sore smart, hot fires, cold fears, long care !
(Too much, alas, this ceaseless stone to roll).
My days be spent in penning thy sweet praises !
In pleading to thy beauty, never matched !
In looking on thy face, whose sight amazes
My sense; and thus my long days be despatched.
But Night (forth from the misty region rising)
Fancies, with Fear, and sad Despair doth send !
Mine heart with horror and vain thoughts agrising.
And thus the fearful tedious nights I spend !
Wishing the noon to me were silent night,
And shades nocturnal turnèd to daylight.


Sonnet 84

My sweet PARTHENOPHE ! within thy face,
My Passions' Calendar may plain be read !
The Golden Number told upon thine head !
The Sun days (which in card I holy place
And which divinely bless me with their grace)
Thy cheerful smiles, which can recall the dead !
My working days, thy frowns, from favours fled !
Which set a work the furies in my breast.
These days are six to one more than the rest.
My Leap Year is (O when is that Leap Year ?)
When all my cares I overleap, and feast
With her, fruition ! whom I hold most dear.
And if some Calendars the truth tell me,
Once in few years that happy Leap shall be !


Sonnet 85

From East's bed rosy, whence AURORA riseth
Be thy cheeks figured, which their beams display
In smiles ! whose sight mine heart with joy surpriseth;
And which my Fancy's flowers do fair array,
Cleared with the gracious dews of her regard.
The West, whence evening comes - her frowning brow,
Where Discontentment ploughs his furrows hard !
(There doth She bury her affections now !).
The North, whence storms with mist and frost proceed -
My black Despair ! long Sorrows ! cold Fear !
The South, whence showers in great abundance breed,
And where hot sun doth to meridian rear -
My Eyes, whose object nought but tears require !
And my soft Heart, consumed with rage of fire !


Sonnet 86

O fiery rage ! when wilt thou be consumed ?
Thou that hast me consumed in such sort
As never was, poor wretch ! (which so presumed)
But for surveying of that beauteous Fort !
Kept in continual durance, and enchained
With hot desires, which have my body pined;
My mind from pleasures and content restrained;
My thoughts to Care and Sorrow's ward assigned;
There, with continual melancholy placed,
In dismal horror, and continual fear,
I pass these irksome hours ! scorned and disgraced
Of her; whose cruelty no breast can bear !
No thought endure ! no tortures can outmatch !
Then burn on, rage of fire ! but me despatch !


Sonnet 87

Burn on, sweet fire ! For I live by that fuel,
Whose smoke is as an incense to my soul !
Each sigh prolongs my smart. Be fierce and cruel,
My fair PARTHENOPHE ! Frown and control !
Vex ! torture ! scald ! disgrace me ! Do thy will !
Stop up thine ears ! with flint immure thine heart !
And kill me with thy looks, if they would kill !
Thine eyes, (those crystal phials which impart
The perfect balm to my dead-wounded breast !)
Thine eyes, the quivers whence those darts were drawn
Which me to thy love's bondage have addresst.
Thy smile, and frown ! night star, and daylight's dawn !
Burn on ! Frown on ! Vex ! Stop thine ears ! Torment me !
More, for thy beauty borne, would not repent me.


Sonnet 88

Within thine eyes mine heart takes all his rest !
In which, still sleeping, all my sense is drowned.
The dreams, with which my senses are opprest,
Be thousand lovely fancies turning round
The restless wheel of my much busy brain.
The morning, which from resting doth awake me,
Thy beauty ! banished from my sight again,
When I to long melancholy betake me.
Then full of errors, all my dreams I find !
And in their kinds contrarious, till the day
(Which is her beauty) set on work my mind;
Which never will cease labour ! never stay !
And thus my pleasures are but dreams with me;
Whilst mine hot fevers pains quotidians be.


Sonnet 89

What be those hairs dyed like the marigold ?
What is that brow, whose frown make any moan
What were her eyes, when the great lords controlled ?
What be they, when from them be loves thrown ?
What were her cheeks (when blushes rose) like
What are those lips, which 'bove pearls rew be ?
Her ivory shoulders, what be those like ?
What saints are like her ? speak, if you be !
Thou dwell'st in rocks, hart-like ! somewhat then ?
And rocks dwell in her heart ! is 'tis true ?
Whom she loves best ? know this, cannot men !
Pass him, she loathes ! then I dismiss you !
What sex, to whom men sue, so vain much ?
Furies there fires, and I complain such ?


Sonnet 90

My Mistress' Arms are these: fair, clear, and bright.
Argent in midst, where is an Ogress set,
Within an azure ann'let placèd right.
The Crest, two golden bows, almost near met;
And by this Crest, her power abroad is known.
These Arms She beareth in the Field of Love,
By bloody colours, where LOVE's wrath is shown;
But in kind Passion, milder than the dove,
Her goodly silver ensign She displays,
Semi de roses: at whose lovely sight
All lovers are subdued; and, vanquished, praise
Those glorious colours, under which they fight.
I, by these Arms, her captive thrall was made !
And to those Colours, in that Field, betrayed !



Sonnets 91 - 100

Sonnet 91

These bitter gusts, which vex my troubled seas,
And move with force my sorrow's floods to flow;
My Fancy's ship tost here and there by these,
Still floats in danger, ranging to and fro.
How fears my thoughts' swift pinnace thy hard rock !
Thine heart's hard rock, least thou mine Heart (his pilot)
Together with himself, should rashly knock
And being quite dead-stricken, then should cry late,
"Ah me!" too late to thy remorseless self.
Now when thy mercies all been banishèd
And blown upon thine hard rock's ruthless shelf;
My soul in sighs is spent and vanishèd.
Be pitiful, alas ! and take remorse !
Thy beauty too much practiseth his force !


Sonnet 92

Wilt thou know wonders, by thy beauty wrought ?
Behold (not seen) an endless burning fire
Of Fancy's fuel ! kindled with a thought !
Without a flame, yet still inflamèd higher !
No flames' appearance, yet continual smoke !
Drawn cool, to kindle; breathed out hot again !
Two diamonds, which this secret fire provoke,
Making two crystals, with their heat, to rain !
A skin, where beauteous Graces rest at ease !
A tongue, whose sweetness mazes all the Muses !
And yet, a heart of marble matched with these !
A tongue, besides, which sweet replies refuses !
These wonders, by thy beauty wrought alone,
Through thy proud eye, which made thine heart a stone.


Sonnet 93

Begs LOVE ! which whilom was a deity ?
I list no such proud beggars at my gate !
For alms, he, 'mongst cold Arctic folk doth wait;
And sunburnt Moors, in contrariety:
Yet sweats, nor freezes more ! Then is it piety
To be remorseful at his bare estate !
His reach he racketh at a higher rate;
He joins with proudest in society !
His eyes are blind, forsooth ! and men must pity
A naked poor boy, which doth no man harm !
He is not blind ! Such beggar boys be witty !
For he marks, hits and wounds hearts with his arm;
Not coldest North can stop his naked race;
For where he comes, he warmeth every place !


Sonnet 94

Forth from mine eyes, with full tide, flows a river;
And in thine eyes, two sparkling chrysolites.
Mine eye still covets to behold those lights;
Thine eye, still filled with arrows, is LOVE's Quiver !
Through mine eye, thine eyes fire inflames my liver;
Mine eyes in heart their clear fancies write;
Thus is thine eye to me my fancies giver !
Which from thine eyes to mine eyes take their flight.
Then pierce the secret centre of my heart
And feed my fancies with inflamèd fuel !
This only grieves ! Mine eyes had not that art
Thine to transpierce : thy nature was so cruel !
But eyes and fancies, in this, triumph make,
That they were blind and raging for her sake !


Sonnet 95

Thou bright beam-spreading LOVE's thrice happy star !
The Arcadian Shepherd's ASTROPHEL's clear guide !
Thou that on swift winged Pegasus dost ride,
AURORA's harbinbger ! Surpassing far !
AURORA carried in her rosy car.
Bright planet ! Teller of clear evening-tide !
Star of all stars ! Fair favoured night's chief pride !
Which day from night; and night from day dost bar !
Thou that hast worlds of hearts, with thine eyes glance,
To thy love's pleasing bondage taken thrall !
Behold (where Graces, in love's circles dance !)
Of two clear stars, outsparkling Planets all !
For stars her beauty's arrow-bearers be !
Then be the subjects; and superior, She !


Sonnet 96

The sun in Pisces; VENUS did intend
To seek sick FLORA; whose soil (since by Kind
TITAN to th'Antipodes his beams resigned)
No pleasant flowers to welcome her did send.
To whom, for need, PARTHENOPHE did lend,
At Nature's suit, rich Heliochrise, which shined
In her fair hair; white lilies which combined
With her high-smoothed brows, which bent, love bend.
Violets from eyes, sweet blushing eglantine
From her clear cheeks, and from her lips sweet roses.
Thus VENUS' Paradise was made divine
With such, as Nature in my Lady closes.
Then, since with her, LOVE's Queen was glorified !
Why was not my sweet Lady deified ?


Sonnet 97

O why should Envy with sweet Love consort ?
But that, with Love's excess, Seven Sins unite !
Pride, that in high respect of my delight,
I scorn all others ! Lust, that with disport
In thought of her, I sometimes take comfort !
Wrath, that with those in secret heart I fight,
Which smile on her ! and Envy, that I spite
Such meats and wines as to her lips resort
And touch that tongue, which I can never kiss !
Sloth, that secure in too much love I sleep;
And nuzzled so, am to be freed remiss !
And Covetous, I never mean can keep
In craving, wishing, and in working this;
Though still I kiss and touch, still touch and kiss !


Sonnet 98

The Sun my Lady's Beauty represents !
Whose fiery-pointed beams each creature heats:
Such force her grace, on whom it counterbeats,
Doth practice; which the patient still torments.
And to her virtues the bright Moon assents;
With whose pure Chastity my love she threats !
Whose thought itself in her cool circle seats.
And as the Moon, her bright habiliments
Of her bright brother PHOEBUS borroweth;
So from her beauty doth her chaste desire
Her brightness draw. For which, none dare aspire
To tempt so rare a beauty. Yet forgive !
He that, for thy sake ! so long sorroweth,
Cannot but longer love, if longer live !


Sonnet 99

This careful head, with divers thoughts distressed,
My Fancy's Chronicler ! my Sorrow's Muse !
These watchful eyes, whose heedless aim I curse,
Love's sentinels ! and Fountains of Unrest !
This tongue still trembling, Herald fit addressed
To my Love's grief ! (than any torment worse !)
This heart, true Fortress of my spotless love,
And rageous Furnace of my long desire !
Of these, by Nature, am I not possessed
(Though Nature their first means in me did move)
But thou, dear Sweet ! with thy love's holy fire,
My head Grief's Anvil made ! with cares oppressed;
Mine eyes, a Spring ! my tongue, a Leaf wind-shaken !
My heart, a wasteful Wilderness forsaken !


Sonnet 100

Pleading for pity to my Mistress' eyes;
Urging on duty favours as deserts;
Complaining mine hid flames, and secret smarts:
She, with disdainful grace, in jest replies,
"Her eyes were never made man's enemies !"
Then me with my conceit she overthwarts,
Urging my Fancy (which vain thoughts imparts)
To be the causer of mine injuries,
Saying "I am not vexed, as I complained !
How Melancholy bred this light conceit !"
Hard-hearted Mistress ! Canst thou think I feigned ?
That I, with fancies vain, vain woe repeat ?
Ah, no ! For though thine eyes none else offend,
Yet by thine "Eyes" and "Noes !" my woes want end !



Sonnets 101 - 104

Sonnet 101

Had I been banished from the native soil,
Where, with my life, I first receivèd light !
For my first cradles, had my tomb been dight !
Or changed my pleasure for a ceaseless toil !
Had I, for nurse, been left to lion's spoil !
Had I, for freedom, dwelt in shady night,
Cooped up in loathsome dungeons from men's sight !
These first desires, which in my breast did boil,
From which thy loves (Unkind !) thou banishèd !
Had not been such an exile to my bliss.
If life, with my love's infancy were vanishèd ;
It had not been so sore a death as this,
If lionesses were, instead of nurses;
Or night for day ! Thine hate deserves more curses !


Sonnet 102

Vain gallants ! whose much longing spirits tickle;
Whose brains swell with abundance of much wit,
And would be touched fain with an amorous fit:
O lend your eyes, and bend your fancies fickle !
You, whom Affection's dart did never prickle !
You, which hold lovers fools; and argue it !
Gaze on my Sun ! and if tears do not trickle
From your much mastered eyes (where Fancies sit) :
Then Eagles ! will I term you, for your eyes;
But Bears ! or Tigers ! for your savage hearts !
But, if it chance, such fountains should arise,
And you made like partakers of my smarts;
Her, for her piercing eyes, an Eagle name !
But for her heart, a Tiger, never tame !


Sonnet 103

I slept, when (underneath a laurel shade,
My face upreared aloft unto the heaven)
Methought I heard this spoken in a sweaven,
"Nature on earth Love's miracle hath made !"
With this, methought, upon a bank was laid
An earthly body which was framed in heaven,
To whom, such graces (by the Graces given)
Sweet music in their several organs played.
In chief, the silent music of her eye
Softly recorded, with heaven's harmony,
Drew down URANIA from celestial sphere;
Who mazed at mazy turning of her ey'n,
(To make Divine perfection), glazèd there
Those eyes, with clearest substance crystalline.


Sonnet 104

Hold ! matchless Mirror of all Womankind !
These Pens and Sonnets, servants of thy praise !
Placed in a world of graces, which amaze
All young beholders, through Desire blind.
Thou, to whom conquered CUPID hath resigned
His bow and darts, during thy sunny days !
Through thine eyes' force enfeebled by the rays
Which wonderers, to their cost, in thine eyes find !
That there, with beauty's excellence unable
To write, or bear, my pens and books refuse;
Thine endless graces are so amiable !
Passing the spirit of mine humble Muse.
So that the more I write, more graces rise !
Which mine astonished Muse cannot comprise.

Finis





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