Elizabethan Sonnet Month

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Alexander Craig (c.1567-1627)

Introduction

Alexander Craig of Rose-Craig, "Brito-Scotus", dedicated his Amorose Songes, to Anne of Denmark, and to Idea, Cynthia, Lithocardia, Kala, Erantina, Lais, Pandora, and Penelope. A poem was either addressed or referred to each one. This sequence contains 108 poems that are almost certainly in homage to Astrophil and Stella.

Amorous Songs, Sonnets and Elegies (1606)

To Pandora

Go you, O winds that blow from north to south,
Convey my secret sighs unto my sweet;
Deliver them from mine unto her mouth,
And make my commendations till we meet.
But if perhaps her proud aspiring sprite
Will not accept nor yet receive the same,
The breast and bulwark of her bosom beat,
Knock at her heart, and tell from whence you came;
Importune her, nor cease nor shrink for shame.
Sport with her curls of amber-colored hair,
And when she sighs, immix yourselves with thame,
Give her her own, and thus beguile the fair.
Blow winds, fly sighs, whereas my heart doth haunt,
And secretly commend me to my saunt.


To his Pandora from England

Now, while amid those dainty downs and dales
With shepherd swains I sit, unknown to me,
We sweetly sing and tell pastoral tales,
But my discourse and song's theme is of thee.
For otherways, alas, how can it be?
Let Venus leave her blest abode above
To tempt my love, yet thou, sweet soul, shalt see
That I thy man and thou shalt die my love.
No tract of time nor sad eclipse of place
Nor absence long, which sometime were due cures
To my disease, shall make thy slave to cease
From serving thee till life or breath endures;
And till we meet, my rustic mates and I
Through woods and plains Pandora's praise shall cry.


Pandora refuseth his Letter

The faikless [=feckless] foul Philoxenus was slaine
By courtes kind Amphialus the Knight
(Who for the faire Corinthian Queens distaine
Borne to his foresaid friend had tane the flight:)
But when his Dog perceiv'd the sorie sight,
He fawn'd upon his maisters fatall foe:
Who then with hart and hand full of despight.
Beats backe the Dog with manie bitter blo.
My dearest Dame and seemlie Sainct even so,
For whose sweet sake I daylie die and dwins,
Hath slaine her slave with all the wounds of woe,
And loaths allace, to looke upon my Lins:
That with the Dog, my Ditties must returne,
And helpe their martird Maister for to murne.


To Lithocaria

Good cause hadst thou Euarchus to repent,
The reakles rashness of thy bad decreit:
Thy crueltie did spring from good intent
The grouds whereof were tedious to repeeet:
Yet when thy Sonne fell downe before thy feet,
And made thine eyes confesse that he was thine.
Thou wept for woe, yet could thou not retreat
The sentence said, but sigh'd and sorow'd sine:
So may it be that once those eyes divine,
Which now distaine and loath to looke so low,
As tp behold these miseries of mine,
Shal weepe when they my constant trueth shal know
And thou shalt sigh (though out of time) to see,
By thy decret thine owne Pirocles die.





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