Elizabethan Sonnet Month

Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (c.1554-1628)


Born: Warwickshire 1554
Died: Murdered Warwick, 1628

1564: Entered Shrewsbury School

1568-1571: Attended Jesus College, Cambridge

1586: Devasted by the death of his friend Sir Philip Sidney

1591: Served in Normandy under Henry of Navarre

Served a MP for Warwickshire for four terms.

Secretary of the Principality of Wales for 45 years

1597: Knighted by Queen Elizabeth I

1589-1604: Treasurer of the Navy

1614-1622: Chancellor of the Exchequer

1621: Granted the title of Baron Brooke by James I an endowed in Knowle Park and warwick Castle.

1628: Murdered by his servant, Ralph Heywood, 30 September

Jem Farmer


Sonnets 1 - 10

Sonnet 1

Love, the delight of all well-thinking minds ;
Delight, the fruit of virtue dearly lov'd ;
Virtue, the highest good, that Reason finds ;
Reason, the fire wherein men's thoughts be prov'd ;
Are from the world by Nature's power bereft,
And in one creature, for her glory, left.
Beauty, her cover is, the eyes' true pleasure ;
In Honour's fame she lives ; the ears' sweet music ;
Excess of wonder grows from her true measure ;
Her worth is Passion's wound, and Passion's physic ;
From her true heart, clear springs of wisdom flow,
Which imag'd in her words and deeds, men know.
Time fain would stay, that she might never leave her ;
Place doth rejoice, that she must needs contain her ;
Death craves of Heaven, that she may not bereave her ;
The heavens know their own, and do maintain her ;
Delight, Love, Reason, Virtue, let it be,
To set all women light, but only she.

Sonnet 2

FAIRE dog, which so my heart dost teare asunder,
That my liue's-blood my bowels ouerfloweth :
Alas, what wicked rage conceal'st thou vnder
These sweet enticing ioyes thy forehead showeth :
Me, whom the light-wing'd god of long hath chased,
Thou hast attain'd : thou gau'st that fatall wound
Which my soule's peacefull innocence hath rased,
And Reason to her seruant Humour bound.
Kill therefore in the end, and end my anguish,
Give me my death; me thinks euen Time vpbraideth
A fulness of the woes, wherein I languish:
Or if thou wilt I liue, then Pittie pleadeth
Help out of thee, since Nature hath reuealed,
That with thy tongue thy bytings may be healed.

Sonnet 3

More than most fair, full of that heavenly fire,
Kindled above to show the Maker's glory* ;
Beauty's first-born, in whom all powers conspire
To write the Graces' life, and Muses' story :
If in my heart all saints else be defaced,
Honour the shrine, where you alone are placed.

Thou window of the sky, and pride of spirits,
True character of Honour in perfection ;
Thou heavenly creature, judge of earthly merits,
And glorious prison of man's pure affection ;
If in my heart all nymphs else be defaced,
Honour the shrine, where you alone are placed.

Sonnet 4

YOU little stars that live in skies,
And glory in Apollo's glory ;
In whose aspects conjoinèd lies,
The heaven's will and Nature's story,
Joy to be likened to those eyes :
Which eyes make all eyes glad or sorry ;
For when you force thoughts from above,
These over-rule your force by love.

And thou, O Love, which in these eyes
Hast married Reason with Affection,
And made them saints of Beauty's skies,
Where joys are shadows of perfection ;
Lend me thy wings that I may rise
Up not by worth but thy election ;
For I have vowed in strangest fashion,
To love, and never seek compassion.

Sonnets 11 - 20

Sonnet 12

CUPID, thou naughty boy, when thou wert loathed,
Naked and blind, for vagabonding noted,
Thy nakedness I in my reason clothed,
Mine eyes I gave thee, so was I devoted.
Fie, wanton, fie ; who would show children kindness ?
No sooner he into mine eyes was gotten,
But straight he clouds them with a seeing blindness,
Makes reason wish that Reason were forgotten.
From thence to Myra's eyes the wanton strayeth,
Where while I charge him with ungrateful measure,
So with fair wonders he mine eyes betrayeth,
That my wounds and his wrongs become my pleasure ;
Till for more spite to Myra's heart he flyeth,
Where living to the world, to me he dieth.

Sonnet 16

FIE foolish Earth, think you the heaven wants glory,
Because your shadows do yourself benight ?
All's dark unto the blind, let them be sorry ;
The heavens in themselves are ever bright.
Fie fond Desire, think you that Love wants glory,
Because your shadows do yourself benight ?
The hopes and fears of lust, may make men sorry,
But Love still in herself finds her delight.
Then Earth stand fast, the sky that you benight,
Will turn again, and so restore your glory ;
Desire be steady, hope is your delight,
An orb wherein no creature can be sorry ;
Love being plac'd above these middle regions,
Where every passion wars itself with legions.

Sonnet 17

CYNTHIA, whose glories are at full forever,
Whose beauties draw forth tears, and kindle fires,
Fires, which kindled once are quenchèd never :
So beyond hope your worth bears up desires.
Why cast you clouds on your sweet-looking eyes?
Are you afraid, they show me too much pleasure?
Strong Nature decks the grave wherein it lies,
Excellence can never be expressed in measure.
Are you afraid because my heart adores you,
The world will think I hold Endymion's place?
Hippolytus, sweet Cynthia, kneeled before you ;
Yet did you not come down to kiss his face.
Angels enjoy the Heaven's inward choirs :
Star-gazers only multiply desires.

Sonnets 21 - 30

Sonnet 22

I, WITH whose colors Myra dressed her head,
I, that ware posies of her own hand-making,
I, that mine own name in the chimneys read
By Myra finely wrought ere I was waking :
Must I look on, in hope time coming may
With change bring back my turn again to play?

I, that on Sunday at the church-stile found
A garland sweet with true-love knots in flowers,
Which I to wear about mine arms was bound,
That each of us might know that all was ours :
Must I lead now an idle life in wishes,
And follow Cupid for his loaves and fishes?

I, that did wear the ring her mother left,
I, for whose love she gloried to be blamed,
I, with whose eyes her eyes committed theft,
I, who did make her blush when I was named :
Must I lose ring, flowers, blush, theft, and go naked,
Watching with sighs till dead love be awakèd ?

I, that when drowsy Argus fell asleep,
Like Jealousy o'erwatchèd with Desire,
Was ever warnèd modesty to keep
While her breath speaking kindled Nature's fire :
Must I look on a-cold while others warm them ?
Do Vulcan's brothers in such fine nets arm them ?

Was it for this that I might Myra see
Washing the water with her beauties white ?
Yet would she never write her love to me :
Thinks wit of change when thoughts are in delight ?
Mad girls may safely love as they may leave :
No man can print a kiss ; lines may deceive.

Sonnet 25

Cupid, my pretty boy, leave off thy crying,
Thou shalt have bells or apples, be not peevish ;
Kiss me, sweet lad ; beshrew her for denying ;
Such rude denials do make children thievish.
Did Reason say that boys must be restrain'd?
What was it, tell ; hath cruel Honour chidden ?
Or would they have thee from sweet Myra wean'd ?
Are her fair breasts made dainty to be hidden ?
Tell me—sweet boy—doth Myra's beauty threaten ?
Must you say grace when you would be a-playing?
Doth she cause thee make faults, to make thee beaten ?
Is Beauty's pride in innocent's betraying ?
Give me a bow, let me thy quiver borrow,
And she shall play the child with Love or Sorrow.

Sonnets 31 - 40

Sonnet 38

Cælica, I overnight was finely used,
Lodged in the midst of paradise, your heart;
Kind thoughts had charge I might not be refused,
Of every fruit and flower I had part.
But curious knowledge, blown with busy flame,
The sweetest fruits had in down shadows hidden,
And for it found mine eyes had seen the same,
I from my paradise was straight forbidden.
Where that cur, rumor, runs in every place,
Barking with care, begotten out of fear;
And glassy honor, tender of disgrace,
Stand seraphim to see I come not there;
While that fine soil which all these joys did yield,
By broken fence is proved a common field.

Sonnet 39

THE pride of flesh by reach of humane wit,
Did purpose once to ouer-reach the skye;
And where before God drown'd the world for it,
Yet Babylon it built vp, not to dye.1
God knew these fooles how foolishly they wrought,
That Destiny with Policie would breake;
Straight none could tell his fellow what he thought,
Their tongues were chang'd, & men not taught to speake:
So I that heauenly peace would comprehend,
In mortall seat of Caelica's faire heart,
To Babylon my selfe there, did intend,
With naturall kindnesse, and with Passion's art:
But when I thought my selfe of her selfe free;
All's chang'd: she vnderstands all men but me.

Sonnet 40

The nurse-life wheat within his greene huske growing,
Flatters our hope and tickles our desire;
Nature's true riches in sweet beauties shewing,
Which set all hearts, with labour's love, on fire.
No lesse faire is the wheat when golden eare,
Shewes vnto hope the ioyes of neare enioying:
Faire and sweet is the bud; more sweet and faire
The rose, which proues that Time is not destroying.
Caelica, your youth, the morning of delight,
Enamel'd o're with beauties white and red,
All sense and thoughts did to beleefe inuite,
That Loue and Glorie there are brought to bed;
And your ripe yeeres love none — he goes no higher —
Turnes all the spirits of man into desire.

Sonnets 41 - 50

Sonnet 43

Cælica, when you look down into your heart,
And see what wrongs my faith endureth there,
Hearing the groans of true love, loath to part,
You think they witness of your changes bear.
And as the man that by ill neighbors dwells,
Whose curious eyes discern those works of shame,
Which busy rumor to these people tells,
Suffers for seeing those dark springs of fame.
So I, because I cannot choose but know
How constantly you have forgotten me,
Because my faith doth like the sea-marks show,
And tell the strangers where the dangers be,
I, like the child, whom nurse hath overthrown,
Not crying, yet am whipped, if you be known.

Sonnets 51 - 60

Sonnet 52

Away with these self-loving lads,
Whom Cupid's arrow never glads.
Away, poor souls that sigh and weep,
In love of them that lie and sleep;
For Cupid is a meadow god,
And forceth none to kiss the rod.

God Cupid's shaft, like destiny,
Doth either good or ill decree.
Desert is born out of his bow,
Reward upon his feet doth go.
What fools are they that have not known
That Love likes no laws but his own?

My songs they be of Cynthia's praise,
I wear her rings on holy-days,
On every tree I write her name,
And every day I read the same.
Where Honor, Cupid's rival, is,
There miracles are seen of his.

If Cynthia crave her ring of me,
I blot her name out of the tree.
If doubt do darken things held dear,
Then welfare nothing once a year.
For many run, but one must win;
Fools only hedge the cuckoo in.

The worth that worthiness should move
Is love, which is the due of love,
And love as well the shepherd can,
As can the mighty nobleman.
Sweet nymph, 'tis true you worthy be,
Yet without love, nought worth to me.

Sonnet 55

CYNTHIA, because your horns look diverse ways,
Now darkened to the east, now to the west,
Then at full glory once in thirty days,
Sense doth believe that change is nature's rest.
Poor earth, that dare presume to judge the sky :
Cynthia is ever round, and never varies ;
Shadows and distance do abuse the eye,
And in abusèd sense truth oft miscarries :
Yet who this language to the people speaks,
Opinion's empire sense's idol breaks.

Sonnets 61 - 70

Sonnet 61

CAELICA, while you doe sweare you loue me best,
And euer lovèd onely me,
I feele that all powers are opprest
By loue, and loue by Destinie.

For as the child in swadlin-bands,
When it doth see the nurse come nigh,
With smiles and crowes doth lift the hands,
Yet still must in the cradle lie:
So in the boate of fate I rowe,
And looking to you, from you goe.

When I see in thy once-belouèd browes,
The heauy marks of constant loue,
I call to minde my broken vowes,
And child-like to the nurse would moue;
' But Loue is of the phoenix-kind,
' And burnes itselfe, in self-made fire,
' To breed still new birds in the minde,
' From ashes of the old desire:
' And hath his wings from constancy,
' As mountaines call'd of mouing be.

Then Caelica lose not heart-eloquence,
Loue vnderstands not, 'come againe:'
Who changes in her own defence,
Needs not cry to the deafe in vaine.

Loue is not true made looking-glasse,
Which perfect yeelds the shape we bring;
It vgly showes vs all that was,
And flatters euery future thing.
When Phoebus' beames no more appeare,
'Tis darker that the day was here.

Change I confesse it is a hatefull power,
To them that all at once must thinke;
Yet Nature made both sweet and sower,
She gaue the eye a lid to winke:

And though the youth that are estrang'd
From mother's lap to other skyes,
Doe thinke that Nature there is chang'd,
Because at home their knowledge lyes;
Yet shall they see who farre haue gone,
That Pleasure speaks more tongues than one.

The leaues fall off, when sap goes to the root,
The warth doth clothe the bough againe;
But to the dead tree what doth boot,
The silly man's manuring paine?

Vnkindnesse may peece vp againe,
But kindnesse either chang'd or dead,
Selfe-pittie may in fooles complaine;
Put thou thy hornes on others' head:
For constant faith is made a drudge:
But when requiting Loue is iudge.

Sonnets 71 - 80

Sonnet 74

IN the window of a graunge,
Whence men's prospects cannot range
Ouer groues and flowers growing:
Nature's wealth, and pleasure showing;
But on graues where shepheards lye,
That by loue or sicknesse die;
In that window saw I sit,
Caelica, adorning it;
Sadly clad for Sorrowe's glory,
Making ioy glad to be sorie:
Shewing Sorrow in such fashion,
As Truth seem'd in loue with Passion,
Such a sweet enamell giueth
Loue restrain'd, that constant liueth.
Absence, that bred all this paine,
Presence heal'd not straight againe;
Eyes from darke to suddaine light,
See not straight, nor can delight:
Where the heart reuiues from death,
Grones doe first send forth a breath:
So, first looks did looks beget,
One sigh did another set,
Hearts within their breast did quake,
While thoughts to each other spake.
Philocell entrauncèd stood,
Rackt and ioyed, with his good;
His eyes on her eyes were fixèd
Where both true Loue and Shame were mixed:
In her eyes he Pittie saw,
His Loue did to Pittie draw:
But Loue found when it came there,
Pitty was transform'd to Feare:
Then he thought that in her face,
He saw Loue, and promis'd Grace.
Loue calls his loue to appeare:
But as soone as it came neere,
Her loue to her bosome fled,
Vnder Honour's burthens dead.
Honour in Loue's stead tooke place,
To grace Shame, with Loue's disgrace;
But like drops throwne on the fire,
Shame's restraints enflam'd Desire:
Desire looks, and in her eyes,
The image of it selfe espies,
Whence he takes Selfe-pittie's motions
To be Cynthia's owne deuotions;
And resolues Feare is a lyar,
Thinking she bids speake Desire;
But true loue that feares, and dare
Offend it selfe with pleasing Care,
So diuers wayes his heart doth moue,
That his tongue cannot speake of loue.
Onely in himselfe he sayes,
How fatall are blind Cupid's waies!

Sonnets 81 - 90

Sonnet 85

Farewell, sweet boy, complain not of my truth ;
Thy mother loved thee not with more devotion ;
For to thy boy's play I gave all my youth :
Young Master, I did hope for your promotion.
While some sought honours, princes' thoughts observing ;
Many woo'd Fame, the child of pain and anguish,
Others judged inward good a chief deserving ;
I in thy wanton visions joyed to languish.
I bowed not to the image for succession,
Nor bound thy bow to shoot reformèd kindness ;
Thy plays of hope and fear were my confession,
The spectacles to my life was thy blindness :
But Cupid now farewell, I will go play me,
With thoughts that please me less, and less betray me.

Sonnet 86

Love is the Peace, whereto all thoughts doe strive,
Done and begun with all our powers in one:
The first and last in us that is alive,
End of the good, and therewith pleas'd alone.
Perfections spirit, Goddesse of the Minde,
Passed through hope, desire, griefe and feare,
A simple Goodnesse in the flesh refin'd,
Which of the joyes to come doth witnesse beare.
Constant, because it sees no cause to varie,
A Quintessence of Passions overthrowne,
Rais'd above all that change of objects carry,
A Nature by no other nature knowne:
For Glorie's of eternitie a frame,
That by all bodies else obscures her name.

Sonnet 87

THE earth, with thunder torn, with fire blasted,
With waters drowned, with windy palsy shaken,
Cannot for this with heaven be distasted,
Since thunder, rain, and winds from earth are taken.
Man, torn with love, with inward furies blasted,
Drowned with despair, with fleshly lustings shaken,
Cannot for this with heaven be distasted :
Love, fury, lustings out of man are taken.
Then man, endure thyself, those clouds will vanish.
Life is a top which whipping Sorrow driveth,
Wisdom must bear what our flesh cannot banish,
The humble lead, the stubborn bootless striveth :
Or, man, forsake thyself, to heaven turn thee,
Her flames enlighten nature, never burn thee.

Sonnets 91 - 100

Sonnet 91

REWARDS of earth, Nobility and Fame,
To senses glory and to conscience woe,
How little be you for so great a name?
Yet less is he with men what thinks you so.
For earthly power, that stands by fleshly wit,
Hath banished that truth which should govern it.

Nobility, power's golden fetter is,
Wherewith wise kings subjection do adorn,
To make man think her heavy yoke a bliss
Because it makes him more than he was born.
Yet still a slave, dimm'd by mists of a crown,
Let he should see what riseth, what pulls down.

Fame, that is but good words of evil deeds,
Begotten by the harm we have, or do,
Greatest far off, least ever where it breeds,
We both with dangers and disquiet woo;
And in our flesh, the vanities' false glass,
We thus deceiv'd adore these calves of brass.

Sonnets 101 - 110

Sonnet 101

IN night when colours all to black are cast,
Distinction lost, or gone down with the light ;
The eye a watch to inward senses plac'd,
Not seeing, yet still having power of sight,
Gives vain alarums to the inward sense,
Where fear stirr'd up with witty tyranny,
Confounds all powers, and thorough self-offence
Doth forge and raise impossibility ;
Such as in thick-depriving darkness
Proper reflections of the error be ;
And images of self-confusedness,
Which hurt imaginations only see,
And from this nothing seen, tells news of devils ;
Which but expressions be of inward evils.

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Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will we realise that money cannot be eaten
- Cree Indian Prophesy