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DIVIDED INTO TWO PARTS: WHEREOF, THE FIRST EXPRESSETH THE AUTHOR’S SUFFERANCE IN LOUE: THE LATTER, HIS LONG FAREWELL TO LOUE AND ALL HIS TYRANNIE
Composed by Thomas Watson Gentleman: and published at the
request of certaine Gentlemen his very frendes
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE MY VERY GOOD LORD EDWARD DE VERE, EARLE OF OXENFORD, VICOUNT BULBECKE, LORD OF ESCALES, AND BADLESMERE, AND LORD HIGH CHAMBERLAINE OF ENGLAND, ALL HAPPINESSE
lexander the Great, passing on a time by the workeshop of Apelles, curiouslie surueyed some of his doings: whose long stay in viewing them, brought all the people into so great a good liking of the painters workemanship, that immediatelie after, they bought up all his pictures, what price soeuer he set them at.
And the like good happe, (Right Honorable,) befel vnto me latelie, concerning these my Loue Passions, which then chaunced to Apelles, for his Portraites. For since the world hath vnderstood, (I know not how) that your Honor had willinglie voutchsafed the acceptance of this worke, and at conuenient leisures fauourablie perused it, being as yet but in written hand, many haue oftentimes and earnestly called vpon me, to put it to the presse, that for their mony they might but see, what your Lordship with some liking had alreadie perused. And therewithall some of them said (either to yeeld your Honour his due prayse, for soundness of iudgement; or to please me, of whome long since they had conceiued well) that Alexander would like of no lines, but such as were drawen by the cunning hand, and with the curious pensill of Apelles. Which I set not downe here to end, that I would conferre my Poemes with Apelles Portraites for worthinesse; albeit I fitlie compare your Honors person with Alexanders, for excellencie. But how bold soeuer I haue bene, in turning out this my pettie poor flocke vpon the open common of the wide world, where eyeries man may behold their nakednesse, I humbly make request, that if any storme fall vnlooked for (by the fault of malicious high foreheads, or the poyson of euill edged tongues) these my little ones maye shrowde them selues vnder the broad leafed Platane of your Honours patronage. And thus at this present, I humbly take my leaue; but first wishing the continuall encrease of your Lordships honour, with abundance of true Friends, reconciliation of all Foes, and what good soever tendeth vnto perfect happiness.
Your Lordships humbly at commaund,
TO THE FRENDLY READER
ourteous Reader, if anie thing herein either please or profitte thee, afforde me thy good worde in recompence of my paines: if ought offend or hurt thee, I desire that thou forget the one, and forgiue the other. This toye being liked, the next may prooue better; being discouraged, wil cut of the likeliehood of my trauaile to come. But by that meanes all will be well, and both parties pleased. For neither shall I repent my labour in the like nor thou be anie more troubled with my faultes or follies.
Yet for this once I hope that thou wilt in respect of my trauaile in penning these louepassions, or for pitie of my paines in suffering them (although but supposed) so suruey the faultes herein escaped, as eyther to winke at them, as ouersightes of a blinde Louer; or to excuse them, as idle toyes proceedinge from a youngling frenzie; or lastlie, to defend them, by saying, it is nothing praeter decorum for a maiemed man to halt in his pase, where his wound enforceth him, or for a Poete to falter in his Poeme, when his matter requireth it. Homer in mentioning the swiftnes of the winde, maketh his verse to runne in posthaste all vpon Dactilus; and Virgill in expressing the striking downe of an oxe, letteth the end of his hexameter fall withall, procumbit humi bos.
Therefore if I roughhewed my verse, where my sense was vnsetled, whether through the nature of the passion, which I felt, or by rule of art, which I had learned, it may seeme a happie fault; or if it were so framed by counsell, thou mayest thinke it well donne; if by chaunce, happelie.
Yet write I not this to excuse my selfe of such errours, as are escaped eyther by dotage, or ignorance: but those I referre to thy gentle curtisie and fauourable construction, or lay manie of them vpon the Printers necke, whom I would blame by his owne presse, if he would suffer me.
As for any Aristarchus, Momus, or Zoilus, if they pinch me more than is reasonable, thou courteous Reader, which arte of a better disposition, shalt rebuke them in my behalf, saying to the first, that my birdes are al of mine own hatching, and that my onelie ouermuch hast made Sol angrie in theire Birthday; to the second, that although Venus be in my verse, yet her slipper is left out; to the last and worst, that I rather take vpon me to write better than Choerilus, than once suppose to imitate Homer.
I am ouer long, as well for the feare I had to be bitten by such as are captious, as for the desire I haue to please thee that art frendlie. But since I now wel remember me, that nothing is more easlie let flowne, nothing soner dispersed, nothing later recalled backe againe, then the bitter blast of an euill spoaken man, and that he, whome it shall hurt, had no recure but by patience; I will set it behinde my heele, as a hurt remedilesse, or els, when it comes, salue it vp with patience.
In the meane space (curteous Reader) I once againe craue thy faourable iudgement and so, for brevitie sake, abruptlie make an end; committing thee to God, and my worke to thy fauour.
Thine, as thou art his,
JOHN LYLY TO THE AUTHOUR HIS FRIEND
y good friend, I haue read your new passions, and they haue renewed mine old pleasures, the which brought to me no lesse delight, then they haue done to your selfe commendations. And certes had not one of mine eies about serious affaires beene watchfull, both by being too too busie had beene wanton; such is the nature of persuading pleasure, that it melteth the marrowe before it scorch the skin, and burneth before it warmeth: Not vnlike vnto the oyle of Ieat, which rotteth the bone and neuer ranckleth the flesh, or the Scarab flies, which enter into the roote and neuer touch the rinde.
And whereas you desire to haue my opinion, you may imagine that my stomake is rather cloyed, then quesie, and therefore mine appetite of lesse force then mine affection, fearing rather a surfet of sweetenes, then desiring a satisfying. The repeating of Loue, wrought in me a remembrance of liking, but serching the very vaines of my hearte, I could finde nothing but a broad scarre, where I left a deepe wounde; and loose stringes, where I tyed hard knots; and a table of steele, where I framed a plot of wax.
Whereby I noted that young swannes are grey, and the olde white, young trees tender, and the old touch, young men amorous, and growing in yeeres, either wiser or warier. The Corall in the water is a soft weede, on the land a hard stone: a sworde frieth in the fire like a blacke ele, but layd in earth like white snowe: the heart in loue is altogether passionate, but free from desire, altogether carelesse.
But it is not my intent to inueigh against loue, which women account but a bare word, and that men reuerence as the best God: onely this I would add without offence to Gentlewomen, that were not men more supersticious in their praises, then women are constant in their passions: Loue would either shortly be worne out of vse, or men out of loue, or women out of lightnes. I can condemn none but by coniecture, nor commend any but by lying, yet suspicion is as free as thought, and as farre as I see as necessary as credulitie.
Touching your Mistres I must needes thinke well, seeing you have written so well, but as false glasses shewe the fairest faces, so fine gloses amend the baddest fancies. Apelles painted the Phenix by hearesay not by sight, and Lysippus engraued Vulcan with a streight legge, whome nature framed with a poult foote, which proueth men to be of greater affection then iugement. But in that so aptly you haue varied vppon women, I will not vary from you, so confesse I must, and if I should not, yet mought I be compelled, that to Loue were the sweetest thing in the earth: If women were the faithfullest, and that women would be more constant if men were more wise.
And seeing you have vsed mee so friendly, as to make me acquainted with your passions, I will shortly make you pryuie to mine, which I would be loth the printer shoulde see, for that my fancies being neuer so cooked he would put them in streight lines, vnfit for my humor, necessarie for his art, who setteth downe, blinde, in as many letters as seeing. Farewell.
AUTHORIS AD LIBELLUM SUUM PROTREPTICON
Vade, precor, timidus patrium mittende per orbem,
Nec nugas iacta, parve libelle, tuas.
Si quis Aristarchus mordaci laeserit ore,
Culparum causas ingeniosus habe.
Si rogat unde venis, dic tu de paupere vena 5
Non ambire tuas laurea serta comas.
Sique rogat verbis quis adauxit metra solutis,
Ex animo nomen dic cecidisse tibi.
Forsitan intrabis nostrae sacraria divae,
Quam colit in mediis multa Diana rosis, 10
Quae Cybele coeli nostri; quae gloria regni
Unica; quaeque sui sola Sybilla soli;
Quae vatum lima est; quae doctis doctior ipsa;
Iuno opibus, Pallas moribus, ore Venus;
Quae superat reges, quantum querceta myricas; 15
Quam recinat famae buccina nulla satis.
Illa tuos si spectat lumine rithmos,
O quantum gemino sole beatus eris!
Tu sed stratus humi, supplex amplectere plantas,
Cuius erit vili pondere laesa manus. 20
Hic tamen, hic moneo, ne speres tanta futura:
Attica non auris murmura vana probat.
Hic quoque seu subeas Sydnaeii, sive Dyaeri
Scrinia, qua Musis area bina patet,
Dic te xeniolum non divitis esse clientis, 25
Confectum Dryadis arte, rudique manu,
Et tamen exhibitum Vero, qui magna meretur
Virtute et vera nobilitate sua.
Inde serenato vultu te mitis uterque
Perleget, et naevos condet uterque tuos. 30
Dum famulus Verum comitaris in aurea tecta,
Officii semper sit tibi cura tui.
Tum fortasse piis nymphis dabit ille legendum,
Cum de Cyprigeno verba iocosa serent.
Se qua tui nimium domini miseretur amantis, 35
Sic crepita foliis, ut gemuisse putet.
Tetrica si qua tamen blandos damnaverit ignes,
Dic tu, mentito me tepuisse foco;
Tumque refers talos, et fixum calce sigillum,
Qua Venerem temnis, filiolumque suum. 40
Taliter efficies, ut amet te candida turba,
Forsitan et autoris palma futura tui.
Vive, libelle, precor, domino foelicior ipso,
Quem sine demerito sors inopina premis.
Denique (si visum fuerit) dic montis in alto 45
Pierii vacuum tempora dura pati. Harl. 3277
[“THE AUTHOR’S EXHORTATION TO HIS LITTLE BOOK
Go, I pray, you timid book, about to be despatched throughout your nation’s world, and do not boast, little book of your trifles. If some Aristarchus harms you with his biting mouth, you must be clever in finding excuses for your faults. If he asks whence you come, deny that your locks are seeking laurel wreaths, because of your meager talent. And if he asks who has enhanced your lines with prose, say that the man’s name has slipped your mind. Perchance you will enter the sacred precincts of our goddess, the many shrines which Diana maintains amidst roses, that Cybele of our heavens, the unique glory of our realm, the sole Sibyl of her land. She applies polish to our poets, she is more learned than the learned, a Juno in riches, a Pallas in morals, a Venus in beauty. She surpasses sovereigns, as the oak overtops the tamarisk. No bugle of Fame can sing enough of her. Should she cast an eye on your verses, oh how blessed will you be thanks to her twin suns! But you, prostrate on the ground, must meekly embrace her feet, for her hand would be harmed by your trifling weight. But at this point I warn you, hope not for so great future developments: the Attic ear mislikes vain murmurings. Also, if you cross Sidney’s desk, or Dyer’s, two fields that lie open for the Muses, say that you are a small gift of a client who is scarce over-wealthy, composed with the skill of a Dryad and an unlettered hand, but that you have nevertheless been shown to Vere, a man who deserves great things for his virtue and true nobility. Then both of these gentlemen will remove the frowns from their brows and read you kindly, both will ignore your blemishes. Then as a servant you will attend Vere in that golden house, let duty always be your concern. Then, perhaps, he will give you to the pious nymphs for the reading, when they bandy playful words about Cupid, that Cyprus-born boy. If any girl shows too much pity for your master for his love, thus rattle your pages so that she fancies you are groaning. But if any girl is hard-hearted and condemns my sweet fires, tell her that I warmed myself at a fictitious hearth. Then bare your ankles and trample your woodcut: in this way you scorn Venus and her little son. Thus you will bring it about that the brilliant throng adores you. Pray live, little book, happier than your master himself, whom misfortune oppresses unexpectedly, without due cause. And finally (if this seems fitting), proclaim from the Pierian mountain-top that he is at loose ends and suffering hard times.”]
A QUATORZAIN, IN THE COMMENDATION OF MASTER THOMAS WATSON, AND OF HIS MISTRES, FOR WHOM HE WROTE THIS BOOKE OF PASSIONATE SONNETS
The starr’s, which did at Petrarch’s byrthday raigne
Were fixt againe at thy natiuity,
Destening thee the Thuscan’s poesie,
Who skald the skies in lofty Quatorzain,
The Muses gaue to thee thy fatall vaine, 5
The very same, that Petrarch had, whereby
Madonna Laures fame is growne so hy,
And that whereby his glory he did gaine.
Thou hast a Laure, whom well thou doest commend,
And to her praise thy passion songs do tend; 10
Yee both such praise deserue, as naught can smother;
In briefe with Petrarch and his Laure in grace
Thou and thy Dame be equall, saue percase
Thou passe the one, and shee excell’s the other.
TO THE AUTHOUR
Thy booke beginning sweete and ending sowre,
Deere friend, bewrayes thy false successe in loue,
Where smiling first, thy Mistres falles to lowre,
When thou did’st hope her curtesie to proue;
And finding thy expected lucke to fayle, 5
Thou falst from praise, and dost begin to rayle.
To vse great tearmes in praise of thy devise,
I thinke were vaine: therefore I leaue them out;
Content thee, that the Censure of the wise
Hath put that needeles question out of doubt: 10
Yet howe I weigh the worke that thou hast wrought,
My iudgement I referre vnto thy thought.
AN ODE, WRITTEN TO THE MUSES CONCERNING THIS AUTHOUR
You sacred Nymphes, Apolloes sisters faire,
Daughters of Iove, parents of rare deuise,
Why take you no delight in change of ayre?
Is Helicon your onely paradise?
Hath Britan soyle no hill, no heath, no well, 5
No wood, no wit, wherein you list to dwell?
Ladies vouchsafe with pacience once to viewe
Our liuely springs, high hills, and pleasaunte shades,
And as you like the seat and countries hewe,
Pitche downe your tentes, and vse your sporting trades: 10
Hard hap it is, if nothing here you finde
That you can deeme delightfull to your minde.
Loe Watson prest to enterteine your powre
In pleasant springs of flowing wit, and skill:
If you esteeme the pleasures of his bower, 15
Let Britan beare your spring, your groue and hill,
That it hence forth may of your fauour boast,
And him, whome first you heere voutsafe for hoast.
EIUSDEM ALIUD DE AUTHORE
Graecia permultos peperit foecunda poetas,
Quorum lapsa diu saecula, fama manet.
Ausonia Argolicae tellus post aemula laudis
Transtulit in Latios doctum Helicona sinus.
Acceptam Latium tenuit fovitque poesin, 5
Inque dies laurus auget, Apollo, tuas.
Gallica Parnasso coepit ditescere lingua
Ronsardique operis luxuriare novis.
Sola quia interea nullum paris, Anglia, vatem?
Versifices multi, nemo poeta tibi est. 10
Scilicet ingenium maius fuit hactenus arte:
Forsan et hic merces defit utrique sua.
Ingenio tandem praestans Watsonus, et arte,
Pieridas docuit verba Britanna loqui,
Et faciles aliis aditus patefecit ad artem 15
Quam multi cupiunt fingere, nemo refert.
Iste tuus labor est, lucrum est, Watsone, tuorum,
Et tua, ne desint praemia, laurus erit.
[“ANOTHER POEM ABOUT THE AUTHOR, BY THE SAME
Fertile Greece gave birth to many a poet whose fame remains, though their times are long past. Afterwards, the land of Italy, a rival of Argos’ glory, transferred learned Helicon into Latium’s lap, and Rome siezed and cherished the art of poetry it had received, daily enlarging your laurels, Apollo. France grew learned in Parnassus’ tongue, and waxed rich with Ronsard’s new creations. Why have you alone begotten no poet, England? You have many versifiers, but nary a poet. Presumably until now our talent was greater than our skill, and perhaps the reward for either is wanting here. At length Watson, excellent in both talent and art, taught the Muses to speak British words, and opened ready avenues for others to approach the art which many desire to practise, but which no one pulls off. This, Watson, is your work and your countrymen’s profit — and, lest the reward be wanting, the laurel will be yours.”]
It’s seldome seene that Merite hath his due,
Or els Dezerte to find his iust desire:
For now Reproofe with his defacing crewe
Treads vnderfoote that rightly should aspyre:
Milde Industrie discourag’d hides his face, 5
And shuns the light, in feare to meete Disgrace.
Seld seene said I (yet alwaies seene with some)
That Merite gains good will, a golden hyre,
With whome Reproofe is cast aside for scumme;
That growes apace that vertue helps t’ aspire; 10
And Industrie well chearish’t to his face
In sunshine walkes, in spight of sowre Disgrace.
This fauour hath put life into the pen,
That heere presentes his first fruite in this kinde:
He hopes acceptance, friendly graunte it then; 15
Perchaunce some better worke doeth stay behinde.
My censure is, when reading you shall see,
A Pythy, sweete, and cunning poesie.
TO THE AUTHOUR
If grauer headdes shall count it ouerlight,
To treat of Loue: say thou to them: A staine
Is incident vnto the finest die.
And yet no staine at all it is for thee,
These layes of Loue, as myrth to melancholy, 5
To followe fast thy sad Antigone,
Which may beare out a broader worke than this,
Compyl’d with iudgement, order, and with arte,
And shrowde thee vnder shadowe of his winges,
Whose gentle heart, and head with learning fraught 10
Shall yeld thee gracious fauour and defence.
A QUATORZAIN OF THE AUTHOR VNTO THIS HIS BOOKE OF LOUEPASSIONS
My little booke goe hye thee hence away,
Whose price (God know’s) will countervaile no parte
Of paines I tooke, to make thee what thou arte:
And yet I ioy thy byrth. But hence, I say,
Thy brothers are halfe hurt by thy delaye; 5
For thou thy selfe arte like the deadly dart,
Which bred thy byrth from out my wounded hart.
But still obserue this rule where ere thou staye,
In all thou mai’st tender thy father’s fame,
Bad is the Bird, that fileth his own nest. 10
If thou be much mislik’t, They are to blame,
Say thou, that deedes well donne to euill wrest:
Or els confesse A Toye to be thy name;
This trifling world A Toye beseemeth best.
The Author in this Passion taketh but occasion to open his estate in loue; the miserable accidentes whereof are sufficiently described hereafter in the copious varietie of his deuises: and whereas in this Sonnet he seemeth one while to despaire, and yet by and by after to haue some hope of good successe, the contrarietie ought not to offend, if the nature and true qualitie of a loue passion bee well considered. And where he mentioneth that once he scorned loue, hee alludeth to a peece of worke, which he wrote long since, De Remedio Amoris, which he hath lately perfected, to the good likinge of many that haue seen and perused it, though not fully to his owne fancy, which causeth him as yet to kepe it backe from the printe.
Well fare the life sometimes I ledde ere this
When yet no downy heare yclad my face:
My heart deuoyde of cares did bath in blisse,
My thoughts were free in euery time and place:
But now (alas) all’s fowle, which then was faire, 5
My wonted ioyes are turning to despaire.
Where then I liu’d without controule or checke,
An other now is mistress of my minde.
Cupid hath clapt a yoke upon my necke,
Vnder whose waighte I liue in seruile kinde: 10
I now cry creake, that ere I scorned loue,
Whose might is more than other Gods aboue.
I haue assaide by labour to eschewe
What fancy buildes vpon a loue conceite,
But nearthelesse my thought reuiues anew, 15
Where in fond loue is wrapt, and workes decete:
Some comfort yet I haue to liue her thrall,
In whome as yet I find no fault at all. Harl. 3277
In this passion the Author describeth in how pitious a case the hart of a louer, being (as he fayneth heere) seperated from his owne body, and remoued into a darksome and solitarie wildernes of woes. The conueyance of his inuention is plaine and pleasant enough of it selfe, and therefore needeth the lesse annotation before it.
My harte is sett him downe twixt hope and feare
Vpon the stonie banke of high desire,
To view his own made flud of blubbering teares
Whose waues are bitter salt, and hote as fire.
There blowes no blast of wind but ghostly grones 5
Nor waues make other noyse then pitious moanes.
As life were spent he waiteth Charons boate,
And thinkes he dwells on side of Stigian lake:
But blacke despaire some time with open throate,
Or spightfull Ielousie doth cause him quake. 10
With howlinge shrikes on him they call and crie
That he as yet shall nether liue nor die.
Thus voyde of helpe he sittes in heauie case,
And wanteth voyce to make his iust complaint.
No flowr but Hiacynth in all the place, 15
No sunne comes there, nor any heau’nly sainte,
But only shee, which in him selfe remaines,
And ioyes her ease though he abound in paines.
This passion is all framed in manner of a dialogue, wherein the Author talketh with his own heart, beeing nowe through the commandement and force of loue separated from his bodie miraculouslie, and against nature, to follow his mistres, in hope, by long attendance vpon her, to purchase in the end her loue and fauour, and by that meanes to make him selfe all one with her owne heart.
— Speake gentle heart, where is thy dwelling place?
— With her, whose birth the heauens themselues haue blest.
— What dost thou there? — Sometimes behold her face,
And lodge sometimes within her cristall brest.
— She cold, thou hot, how can you then agree? 5
— Not nature now, but loue doth gouerne me.
— With her wilt thou remaine, and let mee die?
— If I returne, wee both shall die for griefe.
— If still thou staye, what good shall growe thereby?
— Ile moue her heart to purchase thy reliefe. 10
— What if her heart be hard, and stop his eares?
— Ile sigh aloud, and make him soft with teares.
— If that preuaile, wilte thou returne from thence?
— Not I alone, her heart shall come with mee.
— Then will you both liue vnder my defence? 15
— So long as life will let vs both agree.
— Why then dispaire? Goe packe thee hence away.
— I liue in hope to haue a golden daie.
The chiefe grounde and matter of this Sonnet standeth vppon the rehearsall of such thinges as by reporte of the Poets, are dedicated vnto Venus, whereof the Author sometime wrote these Latine Verses.
Mons Erycinus, Acidalius fons, alba columba,
Hesperus, ora pathos, rosa, myrtus, et insula Cyprus,
Idaliumque nemus, Veneri haec sunt omnia sacra.
And Forcatulus, the French Poet, wrote vppon the same particulars, but more at large, he beginneth thus.
Est arbor Veneri myrtus gratissima, flores
Iam rosa, quam volucres alba columba praeit.
Igniferum coeli prae cunctis diligit astris
Hesperon, Idalium saepe adit una nemus &c.
Sweete Venus as if nowe thou stand my friende,
As once thou didst vnto Kinge Priames sonne,
My ioyfull muse shall neuer make an end
Of praising thee, and all that thou hast done:
Nor this my penne shall euer cease to write 5
Of ought, wherin sweete Venus takes delite.
My temples hedged in with Myrtle bowes
Shall set aside Apolloes Lawrell tree,
As did Anchises sonne, when both his browes
With Myrtle hee beset, to honour thee. 10
Then will I say, the Rose of flowres is best
And silent Dooues for birdes excell the rest.
Ile praise no starre but Hesperus alone,
Nor any hill but Erycinus mounte,
Nor any woodde but Idaly alone, 15
Nor any spring but Acidalian founte,
Nor any land but onely Cyprus shoare,
No Gods but Loue, and what would Venus more? Harl. 3277
All this Passion (two verses only excepted) is wholly translated out of Petrarch (Sonet 102), where he writeth,
S'amor non è, che dunque è quel ch'io sento?
Ma s'egli è amor, perdio, che cosa et quale?
Se bona, onde l'effecto aspro mortale?
Se ria, onde sí dolce ogni tormento?
Heerein certaine contrarieties, which are incident to him that loueth extreemelye, are liuely expressed by a Metaphore. And it may be noted, that the Author in his first halfe verse of this translation varieth from the sense, which Chaucer vseth in translating the selfe same: which he doth vpon no other warrant then his own simple priuate opinion, which yet he will not greatly stand vpon.
If’t bee not loue I feele, what is it then?
If loue it bee, what kind a thing is loue?
If good, how chance he hurtes so many men?
If badd, how happ’s that none his hurtes disproue?
If willingly I burne, how chance I waile? 5
If gainst my will, what sorrow will auaile?
O liuesome death, O sweete and pleasant ill,
Against my minde how can thy might preuaile?
If I bend backe, and but refraine my will,
If I consent, I doe not well to waile: 10
And touching him, whome will hath made a slaue,
The Prouerbe saith of olde, Selfe doe, selfe haue.
Thus beeing tost with windes of sundry sorte
Through daung’rous Seas but in a slender Boat,
With errour stuft, and driu’n beside the porte, 15
Where voide of wisdomes fraight it lies afloate,
I waue in doubt what helpe I shall require
In Summer freeze, in winter burne like fire. Harl. 3277
This passion is a translation into latine of the selfe same sonnet of Petrarch which you red lastly alleged (Part. prima Sonet 102), and commeth somewhat neeerer vnto the Italian phrase then the english doth. The Author when he translated it, was not then minded euer to have imboldned him selfe so farre, as to thrust in foote amongst our english Poets. But beinge busied in translating Petrarch his sonets into latin new clothed this among many others, which one day may perchance come to light: And because it befitteth this place, he is content you suruey it here is a probable signe of his dayly sufferance in loue.
Hoc si non sit amor quod persentisco, quid ergo est?
Si sit amor, tum quis sit amor qualisque rogandum:
Si bonus est, unde effectus producit acerbos?
Sin malus, unde eius tormentum dulce putatur?
Sique volens uror, quae tanti causa doloris? 5
Sin invitus amo, quid me lamenta iuvabunt?
O laethum vivax, o delectabile damnum,
Qui sic me superes, tibi si concedere nolim?
Et me si patior vinci, cur lugeo victus?
Adversis rapior ventis, nulloque magistro, 10
Per maris effusi fluctis, in puppe caduca.
Quae vacua ingenio, tantoque errore gravata est,
Ipsus ut ignorem de me quid dicere possim:
Frigo, dum media est aestas; dum bruma, calesco. Harl. 3277
This passion of loue is liuely expressed by the Authour, in that he lauishlie praiseth the person and beautifull ornamentes of his loue, one after an other as they lie in order. He partly imitateth herin Aeneas Siluius, who setteth downe the likein describing Lucretia the loue of Euryalus; and partly he followeth Ariosto cant. 7 where he describeth Alcina: and partly borroweth from some others where they describe the famous Helen of Greece: you may therefore, if you please aptlie call this sonnet as a Scholler of good iudgement hath already Christened it αἴνη παρασιτική.
Harke you that list to heare what sainte I serue:
Her yellowe lockes exceede the beaten goulde;
Her sparkeling eies in heau’n a place deserue;
Her forehead high and faire of comely moulde;
Her wordes are musicke all of siluer sounde; 5
Her wit so sharpe as like can scarce be found:
Each eybrowe hangs like Iris in the skie;
Her Eagles nose is straight of stately frame;
On either cheeke a Rose and Lillie lies;
Her breath is sweete perfume, or hollie flame; 10
Her lips more red than any Corall stone;
Her necke more white, than Swans that mone;
Her brest transparent is, like Christall rocke;
Her fingers long, fit for Apolloes Lute;
Her slipper much as Momus dare not mocke; 15
Her vertues all so great as make me mute:
What other partes she hath I neede not say,
Whose face alone is cause of my decaye. Harl 3277
Actaeon for espying Diana as shee bathed her naked, was transformed into a Hart, and sone after torne into pieces by his owne houndes, as Ovid describeth at large lib. 3 Metamorph. And Silius Italicus libr. 12 de bello Punico glaunceth at it in this manner.
Fama est, cum laceres Actaeon flebile membris
Supplicium lueret spectata in fonte Dianae,
Attonitum novitate mala fugisse parentem
Per freta Aristaeum &c.
The Author alluding in al this Passion vnto the fault of Actaeon, and to the hurte, which hee susteined, setteth downe his owne amorous infelicitie; as Ovid did after his banishmente, being exiled (as it should seeme) for having at vnawares taken Caesar in some great fault: for thus he writeth.
Cur aliquid vidi, cur noxia lumina feci &c.
Inscius Actaeon vidit sine veste Dianam,
Praeda fuit canibus nec minus ille suis.
Actaeon lost in middle of his sport
Both shape and life, for looking but a wry,
Diana was afraid he would report
What secretes he had seene in passing by:
To tell but truth, the selfe same hurt haue I, 5
By viewing her, for whom I dayly die;
I leese my woonted shape, in that my minde
Doth suffer wracke vpon the stonie rocke
Of her disdaine, who contrary to kinde
Doth beare a brest more harde then any stocke; 10
And former forme of limmes is changed quite
By cares in loue, and want of due delight.
I leese my life in that each secret thought,
Which I conceiue through wanton fond regard,
Doth make me say, that life auaileth nought 15
Where seruice cannot haue a due reward:
I dare not name the Nimph that works my smart,
Though loue hath grau’n her name within my hart. Harl. 3277
Clytia (as Perottus witnesseth) was a glorious Nimph, and thereof had her name; for κλέος in greeke signifieth glorie: and therefore she aspired to the loue of Sol him selfe, who praeferring Leucothoe before her, she was in short space ouergonne with such extremitie of care, that by compassion of the Gods shee was transformed into a Marigold, which is significantlie called Heliotropon, because euen nowe after change of forme shee still obserueth the rising and going downe of hir beloued the sunne, as Ouid mentioneth (Metam. lib. 4),
Illa suum, quanvis radice tenetur,
Vertitur ad solem, mutataque servat amorem.
And by this it maie easilie be ghessed, whie in this passion the Authour compareth him selfe with the Marigold, and his loue vnto the Sunne.
The Marigold so likes the louely Sunne,
That when he settes the other hides her face,
And when he ginnes his morning course to runne,
She spreades abroad, and showes her greatest grace;
So shuts or sprouts my ioy, as doth this flow’re, 5
When my Shesunne doth either laugh or lowre.
When shee departs my sight, I die for paine,
In closing vp my hearte with cloudie care;
And yet when once I viewe her face againe,
I streight reuiue, and ioye my wonted fare: 10
Therewith my heart ofte saies, when all is done,
That heau’n and earth haue not a brighter sunne.
A iealous thought yet puttes my minde in feare,
Lest Ioue him selfe descending from his throne
Should take by stealth and place her in his spheare, 15
Or in some higher globe to rule alone:
Which if he should, the heau’ns might boast their praye
But I (alas) might curse that dismal day. Harl. 3277
The Authour hath made two or three other passions vpon the matter that is heere conteined, alluding to the losse of his sight and life since the time he first beheald her face, whose loue hath bewitched him. But heere he mentioneth, the blindnesse of Tyresias to proceed of an other cause, then he doth in those other Sonnettes, And herein he leaneth not to the opinion of the greater sorte of Poets, but vnto some fewe, after whom Polytian hath written so, as followeth;
Baculum dat deinde potentem
Tyresiae magni, qui quondam Pallada nudam
Vidit, et hoc raptam pensavit munere lucem.
Suetus in offensos baculo duce tendere gressus
Nec deest ipse sibi, quin sacro instincta furore
Ora movet, tantique parat solatia damni.
Myne eyes dye first, which last enioyed life,
Not hurt by bleared eyes, but hurt with light
Of such a blazing starre as kindeleth strife
Within my brest as well by day as night:
And yet no poysoned cocatrice lurk’t there, 5
Here vertuous beames dissuade such foolish feare.
Besides, I liue as yet: though blinded nowe
Like him, that sawe Mineruaes naked side,
And lost his sight (poore soule) not knowing howe;
Or like to him, whom euill chance betide, 10
In straying farre to light vpon that place
Where midst a fount he found Dianaes grace.
But he alone, who Polyphemus hight,
Trewe patterne was of me and all my woe,
Of all the rest that euer lost their sight: 15
For being blinde, yet loue possest him so,
That he each how’r on eu’ry dale and hill
Sung songes of love to Galataea still.
In this sonnet is couertly set forth, how pleasaunt a passion the Author one day enioyed, when by chance he ouerharde his mistres, whilst she was singing priuately by her selfe; And sone after into howe sorrowfull a dumpe, or sounden extasie he fell, when vpon the first sight of him she abruptlie finished her song and melodie.
O Goulden bird and Phenix of our age,
Whose sweete records and more than earthly voice
By wondrous force did then my griefe asswage
When nothing els could make my heart reioyce,
Thy teunes (no doubt) had made a later end, 5
If thou hadst knowen how much they stood my frend.
When silence dround the latter warbling noate,
A sudden griefe eclypst my former ioye,
My life it self in calling Charons boate
Did sigh, and say, that pleasure brought anoy, 10
And blam’d mine eare for listning to the sound
Of such a songe, as had increast my wound.
My heauie heart remembring what was past
Did sorrowe more than any tongue can tell;
As did the damned soules that stoode agast, 15
When Orpheus with his wife return’d from hell:
Yet who would think, that Musike which is swete,
In curing paines could cause delites to fleete?
The subiect of this passion is all one with that, which is next before it; but that the Authour somwhat more highly here extolleth his ladies excellencie, both for the singularitie of her voyce, and her wonderfull arte in vse and moderation of the same. But moueouer, in this sonnet, the Authour relateth how after the hearing of his mistres sing, his affection towardes her by that meanes was more vehemently kindled, then it had bin at any time before.
I maruaile I, why poets heretofore
Extold Arions harp or Mercuries,
Although the one did bring a fishe to shore,
And th’ other as a signe adorn’d the skies,
Yf they with me had heard an Angells voice, 5
They would vnsay them selues, and praise my choice.
Nor Philomela now deserues the price,
Though sweetly she recount her cause of mone:
Nor Phoebus arte in musicall deuise,
Although his lute and voyce accord in one; 10
Musicke her self, and all the Muses nine
For skil or voyce their titles may resigne.
O bitter sweete, or hunny mixt with gall,
My hart is hurt with ouermuch delight.
Mine eares wel pleas’d with tunes, yet deafe with all: 15
Through musicks helpe loue hath increased his might:
I stoppe mine eares as wise Vlisses bad,
But all to late, now loue hath made me mad. Harl. 3277
The Authour decanteth on forwarde vpon the late effect, which the song of his Mistres hath wrought in him, by augmenting the heate of his former loue. And in this passion after he hath set downe some miraculous good effects of Musicke, hee falleth into question with him selfe, why the sweete melodie of his Mistres should so much hurte him, contrarie to the kinde and nature of musicall harmonie.
Esclepias did cure with trumpets sounde
Such men as first had lost their hearing quite:
And many such as in their drinke lay drownd
Damon reviv’d with tunes of graue delight:
And Theophrast when ought his mind opprest, 5
Vs’d musickes helpe to bring him selfe to rest:
With sounde of harpe Thales did make recure
Of such as lay with pestilence forlorne:
With Organ pipes Xenocrates made pure
Theire wits, whose mindes long Lunacy had worne: 10
Howe comes it then, that musick in my minde
Enforceth cause of hurt against her kinde?
For since I heard a secret heau’nly song,
Loue hath so wrought by vertue of conceite,
That I shall pine vpon supposed wrong 15
Vnlesse shee yeelde, that did mee such deceit:
O eares now deafe, O wits al drowned in cares,
O heart surprys’d with plagues at vnawares. Harl. 3277
The Authour still pursuing his inuention vpon the song of his Mistres, in the last staffe of this sonnet he fallelth into this fiction: that whilest he greedelie laied open his eares to the hearing of his Ladies voice, as one more than halfe in a doubt, that Apollo him selfe had beene at hand, Loue espiyng a time of aduantage, transformed him selfe into the substance of aier, and so deceitfullie entered into him with his owne great goodwill and desire, and nowe by main force still holdeth his possession.
Some that reporte great Alexanders life,
They say, that harmony so mou’d his mind,
That oft he roase from meat to warlike strife
At sounde of Trump, or noyse of battle kind,
And then, that musickes force of softer vaine 5
Caus’d him returne from strokes to meat againe.
And as for me, I thinke it nothing strange,
That musick hauing birth from heau’ns above,
By diuers tunes can make the minde to change:
For I my selfe in hearing my sweete Loue, 10
By vertue of her song both tasted griefe,
And such delight as yeelded some reliefe.
When first I gan to give attentiue eare,
Thinking Apolloes voice did haunte the place,
I little thought my Lady had beene there: 15
But whilest mine eares lay open in this case,
Transform’d to air Loue entred with my will,
And nowe perforce doth keepe possession still. Harl. 3277
Still he followeth on which further deuice vppon the late Melodie of his Mistres: and in this sonnet doth namelie preferre her before Musicke her selfe, and all the three Graces; affirming if either he, or els Apollo bee ordained a iudge, to giue sentence of their desertes on either side, that then his Ladie cannot fail to beare both pricke and prize awaie.
Now Musicke hide thy face or blush for shame,
Since thou hast heard hir skill and warbling voice,
Who far beefore thy selfe deserves thy name,
And for a Science should bee had in choice:
Or if thou still thy title wilt retaine, 5
Equall her song with helpe of all thy traine.
But as I deeme, it better were to yeelde
Thy place to her, to whom the price belongs,
Then after strife to leese both fame and field.
For though rude Satyres like Marsias songs, 10
And Choridon esteem his oaten quill:
Compare them with hir voice, and both are ill.
Nay, which is more, bring forth the Graces three,
And each of them let sing hir song apart,
And who doth best twill soone appeare by me, 15
When she shall make replie which rules my heart:
Or if you needes will make Apollo iudge,
So sure I am to winne I neede not grudge. Harl. 3277
In this passion the Authour vpon the late sweete song of his Mistres, maketh hir his birde; and therewithall partlie describeth her worthines, and partlie his owne estate. The one parte he sheweth, by the coulour of her feathers, by her statelie minde, and by that sovereigntie which she hath ouer him: the other, by description of his delight in her companie, and her strangenes, and drawing backe from a dewe acceptance of his seruice.
My gentle birde, which sung so sweete of late,
Is not like those, that flie about by kind,
Her feathers are of golde, shee wants a mate,
And knowing wel her worth, is proud of mind:
And wheras som do keepe their birds in cage, 5
My bird keeeps me, and rules me as hir page.
She feedes mine eare with tunes of rare delight,
Mine eye with louing lookes, my heart with ioy,
Wherhence I thinke my seruitude but light,
Although in deede I suffer great annoye: 10
And (sure) it is but reason, I suppose,
He feele the pricke, that seekes to pluck the Rose.
And who so mad, as woulde not with his will
Leese libertie and life to heare her sing,
Whose voice excels those harmonies that fill 15
Elisian fieldes, where grows eternall spring?
If mightie Ioue should heare what I haue hard,
She (sure) were his, and all my market marde. Harl. 3277
The Authour not yet hauing forgotten the song of his mistrss, maketh her in this passion a seconde Phoenix, though not of Arabia, and yet no lesse acceptable to Apollo, then is that bird of Arabia. And the chiefe causes why Sol shoulde fauour hir, he accounteth to be these two, hir excellent beawtie, and her skill in musicke, of which two qualities Sol is well knowen to be an especiall cheife patron, and sometimes the only author or giuer of the same.
Yf Poets haue done well in times long past,
To glose on trifling toyes of little price:
Why should not I presume to faine as fast,
Espying forth a ground of good deuise?
A Sacred Nymph is ground whereon I'll write, 5
The fairest Nimph that euer yet saw light.
And since her song hath fild mine eares with ioye,
Hir vertues pleas’d my minde, hir face mine eye,
I dare affirme what some will thinke a toy,
She Phoenix is, though not of Arabie; 10
And yet the plumes about her neck are bright,
And Sol himself in her hath chiefe delight.
You that will know why Sol affordes her loue,
Seeke but the cawse why Peakocks draw the place,
Where Iuno sitts; why Venus likes the Doue; 15
Or why the Owle befits Mineruaes grace;
Then yf you grudge, that she to Sol belonge,
Marke but hir face, and heare hir skill in songe. Harl. 3277
This sonnet is perfectly patheticall, and consisteth in two principall points: whereof the first conteyneth an accusation of Loue for his hurtfull effects and vsuall tyrannie; the second part is a sudden recantation or excuse of the Authours euill words, by castinge the same vpon the necke of his beloued, as being the onely cause of his late frenzy and blaspheamous rage so lauishly powred forth in fowle speaches.
Loue is a sowr delight; a sugred grief;
A liuinge death; an euerdying life;
A breache of Reasons lawe; a secret theefe;
A sea of teares; an euerlasting strife;
A bayte for fooles; a scourge of noble witts; 5
A Deadly wound; a shotte which euer hitts.
Loue is a blinded God; an angry boye;
A Labyrinth of dowbts; an ydle lust;
A slaue to Beawties will; a witles toy;
A rauening bird, a tyraunt most vniust; 10
A burning heate; a cold; a flattring foe;
A priuate hell; a very world of woe.
Yet mighty Loue regard not what I saye,
Which lye in traunce bereft of all my witts,
But blame the light that leads me thus astray, 15
And makes my tongue blaspheme by frantike fitts:
Yet hurt her not, left I susteyne the smart,
Which am content to lodge her in my heart.
The Author in this passion reproueth the vsuall description of loue; which old Poets have so long time embraced; and proueth by probabilities that he neither is a childe (as they say) not blinde, nor winged like a birde, nor armed archer like with bowe and arrowes, neither frantike, nor wise, nor yet vncloathed, nor (to conclude) anie God at all. And yet when he hath said al he can to this end, he cryeth out vpon the secret nature and qualitie of Loue, as being that, whereunto he can by no meanes attaine, although he haue spent a long and tedious course of time in his seruice.
If Cupid were a childe, as Poets faine,
How comes it then that Mars doth feare his might?
If blind; how chance so many to theire paine,
Whom he hath hitte, can witneses of his sight?
If he haue wings to flie where thinkes him best, 5
How happes he lurketh still within my brest?
If bowe and shaftes should be his chiefest tooles,
Why doth he set so many heartes on fire?
If he were madde, how could he further fooles
To whet theire wits, as place and time require? 10
If wise, how could so many leeze their wittes,
Or doate through loue, and dye in frantike fittes?
If naked still he wander too and froe,
How doth not Sunne or frost offend his skinne?
If that a God he be, how falls it so, 15
That all wants end, which he doth once beginne?
O wondrous thing, that I, whome Loue hath spent,
Can scarcely knowe him self, or his intent.
In this passion the Authour being ioyfull for a kisse, which he had receiued of his Loue, compareth the same vnto that kisse, which sometime Venus bestowed vpon Aesculapius, for hauing taken a Bramble out of her foote, which pricked her through the hidden spiteful deceyte of Diana, by whom it was laide in her way, as Strozza writeth. And he enlargeth his inuention upon the french proverbiall speech, which importeth thus much in effect, that three things proceed from the mouth, which are to be had in high account: Breath, Speech, and Kissing; the first argueth a mans life; the second, his thought; the third and last, his loue.
In time long past, when in Dianaes chase
A bramble bush prickt Venus in the foote,
Old Aesculapius healpt her heauie case
Before the hurte had taken any roote:
Wherehence although his beard were crisping hard 5
She yeelded him a kiss for his rewarde.
My lucke was like to his this other day,
When she, whom I on earth do worship most,
For kissing me vouchsafed thus to say,
“Take this for once, and make thereof no boast”: 10
Forthwith my heart gaue signe of ioy by skippes,
As though our soules had ioynd by ioyning lippes.
And since that time I thought it not amises
To iudge which were the best of all these three;
Her breath, her speach, or that her daintie kisse, 15
And (sure) of all the kisse best liked me:
For that was it, which did reuiue my hart
Opprest and almost deade with dayly smart. Harl. 3277
In the first staff of this passion the Author imitateth Petrarch, Sonetto 211.
Chi vuol veder quantunge può Natura
El ciel tra noi, venga à mirar costei, &c.
And the very like sense hath Seraphine in one of his Strambotti, where he beginneth thus,
Chi vuol veder gran cose altiere e nuove,
Venga a mirar costei, laquale adoro:
Dove gratia dal ciel continuo piove. &c.
Who list to vewe dame Natures cunning skil,
And see what heau’n hath added to the same,
Let him prepare with me to gaze his fill
On her, whose gifts exceed ye trump of fame:
But let him come apase before she flye 5
From hence, to fixe her seat above the skye.
By Iunoes gift she beares a stately grace,
Pallas hath placed skill amidd’st her brest;
Venus her selfe doth dwell within her face;
Alas I faint to thinke of all the rest; 10
And shall I tell wherewith I most haue warres?
With those her eyes, which are two heau’nly starres.
Their beames drawe forth by great attractiue power
My moistned hart, whose force is yet so small,
That shine they bright, or list they but to lowre 15
It scarcely dare behold such lights at all,
But sobbes, and sighes, and saith I am vndone;
No bird but Ioues can looke against the sunne. Harl. 3277
The substance of this passion is taken out of Seraphine sonetto 127, which beginneth thus.
Quando nascesti, Amor? Quando la terra
Si rinueste di verde e bel colore;
Di che fusti generato? D’un ardore,
Che ozio lascivo in se ranchiude e serra &c.
But the Author hath in this translation inuerted the order of some verses of Seraphine. and added the two last of himselfe to make the rest to seeme the more patheticall.
— When wert thou borne, sweet Loue? Who was thy sire?
— When Flora first adorn’d Dame Tellus lap,
Then sprung I forth from Wanton hote desire:
— Who was thy nurse to feede thee first with pap?
— Youth first with tender hand bound vp my heade, 5
Then said, with Lookes alone I should be fed;
— What maides had she attendant on her side,
To playe, to singe, to rocke thee fast a sleep?
— Vain Nicenesse, Beautie Faire, and Pompeous Pride.
— By stealth when further age on thee did creepe; 10
Where didst thou make thy chiefe abiding place?
— In Willing Hartes, which were of gentle race.
— What is’t wherewith thou wagest warres with me?
— Feare colde as Ise, and Hope as hote as fire.
— And can not age or death make end of thee? 15
— No, no, my dying life still makes retire.
— Why then, sweet Loue, take pity on my pain,
Which often dye, and oft reuiue againe. Harl. 3277
The Author in this passion wisheth her were in like estate and condition with the Looking Glasse of his mistres; by that meanes the oftener to be made happie with her fauorable and faire aspect. And in the last staffe he alludeth somewhat to the inuention of Seraphine, where he vseth these words, in writing vpon the Glasse of his beloved.
Che ho visto ogni qual vetro render foco
Quando è dal Sol percosso in qualche part,
E’l Sol che in gliocchi toi dando in quel loco
Douria per reflexion tutta infiammarte &c.
Thou Glasse, wherein that Sunne delights to see
Her own aspect, whose beams have dride my hart,
Would God I might possesse like state with thee,
And ioy some ease to quaile my bitter smart:
Thou gazest on her face, and she on thine; 5
I see not hers, nor she will looke on mine.
Once hauing lookt her fill, she turns thee froe,
And leaues thee, though amaz’d, yet wel content;
But carelesse of my cares, will I or noe,
Still dwells within my breast with tears besprent; 10
And yet my heart to her is such a thrall,
That she driu’n out, my life departs withall.
But thou deceitful Glasse (I fear) with guyle
Hast wrought my woes to shield thy selfe from ill,
Short forth her beams which were in thee erewhile, 15
And burnt my tender brest against my will:
For Christall from it selfe reflects the Sunne
And fyres his coate, which knows not how tis done. Harl. 3277
Seraphine in his Strambotti hath many prettie inuentions concerning the Looking-glasse of his Mistrss: wherehence many particulars of this passion are cunningly borrowed, part beeing out of one place, and part out of another. And in the latter end is placed this fiction by the Authour, that Cupid shooting his arrow from out the faire eies of his Mistres, did so wounde him with loue and desire that now he is past all recure by any physicke, and therefore is faine to vse the old verse,
Hei mihi quod nullus amor est medicabilis herbis.
Thou Glasse, wherein my Dame hath such delight,
As when she braues, then most on thee to gaze,
I maruel how her beames that are so bright
Do neuer cause thy brittle sides to craze:
Thou should’st by reason mealt or easly breake 5
To feele such force, thy substance being weake.
For when she first with seeming stately grace
Bestow'd on me a louing sweete regard,
The beams, which then proceeded from her face
Were such, as for the same I found no warde, 10
But needes perforce I must become content
To mealt in minde till all my wittes were spent.
And therewithal Cupido played his part,
He shotte a shaft throughout her christall eyes,
Wherewith he cleft in twaine my yeelding heart: 15
And this is cause my panting heart still cries,
I breake, I mealt, helpe heau’ns in my behoue,
No herbe dothe grow whose vertue cureth loue.
It is to be considered in reading this Passion, howe in some answeres, the accent or poynting of the wordes is altered, and therewithall how the Authour walking in the woods, and bewayling his inward passion of Loue, is contraried by the replies of Echo: whose meaning yet is not so much to gainsay him, as to expresse her own miserable estate in daily consuming away for the loue of her beloued Narcissus; whose vnkindnes Ouid (lib. 3 Metamorph.) describeth at large, together with the extreme love of Echo.
AUTHOR In all this world I think non lou’s but I.
ECHO Non lou’s but I. AUTH. Thou foolish tattling ghest,
In this thou telst a lie. ECHO Thou telst a lie.
AUTH. Why? Love him selfe he lodgeth in my brest.
ECHO. He lodgest in my brest. AUTH. I pine for griefe; 5
And yet I want reliefe. ECHO I want reliefe.
AUTH. No starre more faire then she whom I adore.
ECHO. Then he whom I adore. AUTH. Herehence I burne
Still more and more. ECHO I burne still more and more.
AUTH. Love, let my heart returne. ECHO My heart, returne. 10
AUTH. Is then the Saint, for whom thou makest mone,
And whom I loue, but one? ECHO I loue but one.
AUTH. O heau’ns, is there in loue no end of ills?
ECHO In loue no ende of ills. AUTH. Thou pratling voyce.
Dwelst thou in th’ ayre, or but in hollow hills? 15
ECHO In hollow hills. AUTH. Cease of to vaunt thy choyse.
ECHO Cease of to vaunt thy choyse. AUTH. I would replie
But here for loue I die. ECHO For loue I die.
Here the Author as a man ouertaken with some deepe melancholie, compareth him selfe vnto the Nightingale, and conferreth his vnhappie estate (for that by no means his Mistresse will pitie him) with her nightly complaints: to whose harmonie all those that give attentive eare, they conceiue more delight in the musicall variety of her noates, than they take iust compassion upon her distressed heauines.
When Maye is in his prime, and youthfull spring
Doth cloath the tree with leaues, and ground with flowres,
And time of year reuiueth ev’ry thing;
And louely Nature smiles, and nothing lowres;
Then Philomela most doth straine her brest 5
With night-complaints, and fits in little rest.
This Birds estate I may compare with mine,
To whom fond loue doth worke such wrongs by day,
That in the night my heart must needes repine,
And storme with sighes to ease me as I may; 10
Whil'st others are becalm’d, or lye them still.
Or sayle secure with tide and wind at will.
And as all those, which heare this Bird complaine,
Conceiue in all her tunes a sweete delight,
Without remorse, or pitying her pain: 15
So she, for whom I wayle both day and night,
Doth sport her selfe in hearing my complaint;
A iust reward for seruing such a Saint.
In the first sixe verses of this Passion, the Author hath imitated perfectly sixe verses in an Ode of Ronsard (en son 2. livre du Bocage) which beginneth thus:
Celui qui n’ayme est malheureux,
Et malheureux est l’amoureux,
Mais la misere &c.
And in the last staffe of this Passion also he cometh very neere to the sense which Ronsard vseth in an other place (en ses Meslanges), where he writeth to his Mistresse in this manner:
En vens tu baiser Pluton
La bas, apres che Caron
T’aura mise en sa nacelle?
Vnhappy is the wight thats void of Loue,
And yet vnhappy hee, whom Loue torments,
But greatest griefe that man if forc’t to proue,
Whose haughty Loue not for his loue relents,
But hoysing up her sayle of prowd disdaine, 5
For seruice done makes no returne of gaine.
By this all you, which knowe my tickle state,
May giue deserued blame to whome I serue,
And say, that Loue hath miserie to mate,
Since labour breedes but losse, and letts me starue: 10
For I am he which liues a lasting thrall
To her, whose heart affords no grace at all.
She hopes (perchance) to liue and flourish still,
Or els, when Charons boate hath felt her peaze,
By louing lookes to conquer Plutoes will; 15
But all in vaine: t’is not Proserpin’s ease:
She neuer will permit that any one
Shall ioy his Loue, but she her selfe alone. Harl. 3277
In this Passion the Authour doth very busilie imitate and augment a certain Ode of Ronsard (au luire des les Meslanges), which hee writeth vnto his Mistres; he beginneth as followeth,
Plusieurs de leurs cors denues
Se sont veuz en diverse terre
L’un en Serpent, et l’autre en Pierre
L’un en Fleur, l’autre en Arbrisseau
L’un en Loup &c.
Many haue liu’d in countries farre and ny,
Whose heartes by Loue once quite consum’d away,
Strangely their shapes were changed by and by,
One to a Flow’r, an other to a Bay,
One to a Stream, whose course yet maketh moan, 5
One to a Doue, another to a Stone,
But harke my Deere; if wishing could preuaile,
I would become a Christall Mirrour I,
Wherein thou might’st behold what thing I aile:
Or els I would be chang’d into a Flie, 10
To taste thy cuppe, and being dayily ghest
At board and bed, to kiss thee mid'st thy rest;
Or I would be Perfume for thee to burne,
That with my losse I might but please thy smell;
Or be some sacred Spring, to serue thy turne, 15
By bathing that, wherein my heart doth dwell;
But woe is me, my wishing is but vaine,
Since fate bids Loue to work my endlesse paine.
The Authour in this Sonnet in a large maner setteth forth the surpassinge worthines of his Ladie, reporting her beawtie and forme to be so singuler, that neither Appelles can perfectly draw her portraicte; nor Praxiteles trewly frame her image and likenes in any kinde of metall. And the like vnablenes he awardeth unto Virgil and Homer the two Paragons of Poetrye, if they should but once endeuour to praise her. And the like insufficiencie he sayeth would be found in Tullie him selfe, if he should endeauour to commend her. And then finally he excuseth his own bold hardiness showed in praising her, vpon the forcible extremitie, which he abideth in Loue, and the earnest desire, which he hath to please.
Such is the Saint whom I on earth adore,
As neuer age shall know when this is past,
Nor euer yet hath like byn seene before;
Apelles yf he liu’d would stand agast
With coulours to set downe her comely face, 5
Who farre excells though Venus were in place.
Praxiteles might likewise stand in doute
In metall to expresse her forme aright,
Whose praise for shape is blowne the world throughout:
Nor Virgill could so good a verse indite 10
As only would suffise to tell her name;
Nor Homer with his Muse expresse her fame;
Tully, whose speach was boulde in eu’ry cause,
Yf he were here to praise the Saint I serue,
The number of her giftes would make him pause, 15
And feare to speake how well she doth deserue.
Why then am I thus bould that haue no skill?
Enforst by Loue I shew my zealous will. Harl. 3277
In the first part of this Passion the Author prooueth that he abideth more vnrest and hurt for his beloved than euer did Laeander for his Hero: of which two paramours the mutuall feruency in Loue is most excellently set foorth by Musaeus the Greek Poet. In the second part he compareth himselfe with Pyramus and Haemon, king Creons Sonne of Thebes, which were both so true hearted louers that through Loue they suffered vntimely death, as Ouid Metam. lib. 4. writeth at large of the one, And the Greeke Tragedian Sophocles in Antig. of the other. In the last, in making comparison of his pains in Love to the paynes of Orpheus descending to hell for his Eurydice, he alludeth to those two verses in Strozza.
Tartara, cymba, Charon, Pluto, rota, Cerberus, angues,
Cocytus, Phlegeton, Styx, lapis, urna, sitis.
What though Leander swamme in darksome night,
Through troubled Helespont for Heroes sake;
And lost his life by losse of Sestus light?
The like or more my selfe do vndertake,
When eu’ry howre along the lingring yeare, 5
My ioy is drownde, and hope blowne out with feare.
And what though Pyram spent his vitall breath
For Thisbes sake? or Haemon chose to die
To follow his Antigone by death?
In harder case and worser plight am I, 10
Which loue as they, but liue in dying still,
And faine would die, but cannot haue my will.
We read that Orpheus with his Harpe of golde,
For his Eurydice went down to hell:
The toyle is more, by that time all be tolde,
Which I endure for her, whose heart is fell; 15
The Stygian Curre, the Wheele, the Stone, the Fire.
And Furies all are plac’t in my desire.
There needeth no annotation at all before this Passion, it is of it selfe so plain and easily conueyed. Yet the vnlearned may have this helpe giuen them by the way to know what Galaxia is, or Pactolus, which perchaunce they haue not read of often in our vulgar Rimes. Galaxia (to omit both the Etymologie and what the Philosophers doe write thereof) is a white way or milky Circle in the heavens, which Ouid (Metamorph. lib. 1) mentioneth in this manner.
Est via sublimis coelo manifesta sereno,
Lactea nomen habet, candore notabilis ipso.
And Cicero thus in somnio Scipionis: Erat autem is splendidissimo candore inter flammas circulus elucens, quem vos (ut a Graiis accepistis) orbem lacteum nuncupatis.
Pactolus is a riuer in Lidia, which hath golden sandes vnder it, as Tibullus (lib. 3) witnesseth in this verse,
Nec me regna iuvant, nec Lydias aurifer amnis.
Who can recount the vertues of my deare,
Or say how farre her fame hath taken flight,
That can not tell how many starres appeare
In part of heau'n, which Galaxia height,
Or number all the moates in Phoebus rays, 5
Or golden sandes, whereon Pactolus playes?
And yet my hurts enforce me to confeses,
In crystall breast she shrowds a bloody hart,
Which heart in time will make her merits less,
Vnless betimes she cure my deadly smart: 10
For nowe my life is double dying still,
And she defam'd by suffrance of such ill;
And till the time she helps me as she may,
Let no man vndertake to tell my toyle,
But onely such, as can distinctly say, 15
What Monsters Nilus breeds, or Affricke soil:
For if he doe, his labour is but lost,
Whilst I both frie and freeze twixt flame and frost. Harl. 3277
Here the Authtor by fayning a troublesome dreame, expresseth a full Passion of Loue. And how soeuer some will conster of this kinde of inuention, it is euident, that the like hath bin vsuall amongst those that haue excelled in the sweetest vaine of Poetrie. And (to let the rest goe) it may please him that is curious to finde some precedent hereof, to visit but the works of Hercules Strozza, who in his Somnium hath written so exquisitely, that the Dreame will quiete his trauaile, that shall peruse it with due attention.
In Thetis lappe, while Titan took his rest,
I slumbring lay within my restelesse bedde,
Til Morpheus vs’d a falsed soary iest,
Presenting her, by whom I still am ledde:
For then I thought she came to ende my wo, 5
But when I wakt (alas) t’was nothing so.
Embracing ayre in steed of my delight,
I blamed Loue as authour of the guile,
Who with a second sleepe clozd vp my sight,
And said (me thought) that I must bide a while. 10
Ixions paines, whose armes did oft embrace
False darkned clouds, in steed of Iunoes grace,
When I had laine and slumbred thus a space,
Rewing the dolefull doome that Loue assign’d,
A woman Saint, which bare an Angels face, 15
Bad me awake and ease my troubled minde:
With that I wakt, forgetting what was past,
And saw t’was Hope, which helped thus at last. Harl. 3277
In this Sonnet the Authour is of opinion, that his Mistres (by the fatall appointment of destinie) was from the beginning reserued to live in these times, and to bee the onely governesse and subiect of his thoughtes: whereas: if either she had been borne when Paris was to give sentence upon Ida for bestowing the Golden Apple; she had (as he supposeth) bene preferred before Iuno, Pallas and Venus, and moreouer supplied that place in the loue of king Priames son, which Helen of Greece obteined: or if she had then liued when Bacchus took Ariadne to wife, she had been conuayed in her steede, vnto that place in heau'n where nowe the Crowne of Ariadne called Corona Gnosia doth shine continuallie, beinge beautified with greate varietie of lightsome starres.
When Priams sonne in midst of Ida plaine
Gaue one the price, and other two the foile,
If she for whom I still abide in paine
Had liued then within the Troyan soil,
No doubt but hers had bene the golden ball, 5
Helen had scaped rape, and Troy his fall.
Or if my Dame had then enioyed life
When Bacchus fought for Ariadnaes loue,
No doubt but she had onely bene his wife,
And flowne from hence to sit with Gods aboue: 10
For she exceeds his choise of Create so farre
As Phebus doth excel a twinckeling starre.
But from the first all fates haue thus assign’d,
That she should liue in these our latter dayes,
I think to beare a sway within my minde 15
And feede my thoughtes with frendly sweete delays;
If so it be, let me attend my chaunce,
And fortune pipe when I beginne to daunce. Harl. 3277
The Authour in this Sonnet very highly commendeth the most rare excellencies of his mistres, auouching her to have no equall. And he imitateth the second Sonnet, Nelle rime di messer Agnolo Fiorenzuola the Florentine, whose beginning is all one with that heere; and this it is:
Deh le mie belle donne et amorose,
Ditemi il ver per vostra cortesia,
Non è chiara tra voi la donna mia,
Come è’l Sol chiar tra tutte l’altre cose?
Ye stately Dames, whose beauties farre excell,
Of courtesie confesse at my request,
Doth not my Loue amongst you beare the bell,
As Phebus golden rays obscures the rest
Of Planet Starres, and dimmeth eu’ry light 5
That shines in heau’n or earth by day or night?
Take wistly heed in viewing her sweete face,
Where nature hath exprest what ere she could
Either for bewties blaze or comely grace:
Since when to prize her work she break the moulde, 10
So that who seeks to find her Equall out,
Intends a thing will nere be brought about.
Therefore sweete Ladies all vouchsafe with me
To folow her desert and my desire,
By praysing her vnto the ninth degree, 15
For honuor by due right is vertues hire, ,,
And Enuies mouth must saye when all is donne,
No Bird but one is sacred to the sunne. Harl. 3277
In this Passion the Authour, as being blinded with Loue, first compareth himselfe with Tiresias the old Soothsayer of Thebes, whom Iuno depriued of sight; but Ioue rewarded him with the spirit of prophecy. Then he alludeth vnto Acteon: And lastly he sheweth why he is in worse case, than those, which by vewing Medusaes heade were turned into stoanes, leesing both life and light at once; and so concludeth that olde accursed Oedipus of all other best befitteth him for a companion.
When first mine eyes were blinded with Desire,
They had new seen a Second Sunne, whose face,
Though cleere as beaten snowe, yet kindled fire
Within my brest, and moulte my hart apase:
Thus learned I by proofe what others write, 5
That Sunne, and fire, and snowe offend the sight.
O ten times happy blinded Theban wight,
Whose losse of sight did make him half diuine,
Where I (alas) haue lost both life and light,
Like him, whose hornes did plague his heedles eyen; 10
And yet was he in better case than I,
Which neither liue, nor can obtaine to dye.
All Perseus' foes that sawe Medusaes heade,
By leesing shape and sense were quit from thrall;
But I feele paines, though blinde and double deade, 15
And was my selfe efficient cause of all:
Wherefore, of all that ere did cease to see
Old Oedipus were meetest mate for me.
Here the Author misliketh of his wearisome estate in loue, for that he neither obtaineth any fauour at the handes of his Mistres for his good thought or speach, nor by his louing lookes, or presents, nor by his humilitie in writing, or long sufferance in seruitude. And herehence he blameth her ouerhardnes of heart, and the froward constellation of his owne natiuity: and therewithal abandoning all further desire of life, hath in request vntimely death, as the only end of his infelicitie.
Each thought I thinke is frend to her I loue;
I still in speach vse course of gentle wordes;
My louing lookes are such as ought to moue;
My giftes as great as mine estate affordes;
My letters tell in what a case I stand, 5
Though full of blots through fault of trembling hand;
I dewly daunce attendance as I may,
With hope to please, and feare to make offense,
With sou’raignty to her I graunt for aye;
And where she hurtes yet make I no defence; 10
Sobbes are the songe, wherein I take delight;
And show’rs of tears do dayly dimme my sight.
And yet all this doth make but small auaile,
Her heart is hard and neuer will relent;
No time, no place, no prayer can preuaile, 15
The heau’ns them selves disfauour mine intent:
Why should I then desire a longer life,
To weaue therein a webbe of endlesse strife?
The Author in this passion doth by manner of secret comparison preferre his beloued before all other women whatsoever: and persuadeth vpon the examples of all sortes of Goddes (whom loue hath overtaken at one time or other) that the worthiness of his Mistres being well considered, his own fondnes in loue must of force be in it selfe excusable.
If Ioue himselfe be subiect unto Loue
And range the woodes to find a mortal praie:
If Neptune from the seas himselfe remoue,
And seeke on sandes with earthly wightes to play:
Then may I loue my peerlesse choise by right, 5
Who farre excels each other mortall wight.
If Pluto could by loue be drawn from hell,
To yeeld him selfe a silly Virgins thrall:
If Phebus could vouchsafe on earth to dwell,
To winne a rustike maide vnto his call: 10
Then, how much more should I adore the sight
Of her, in whom the heau’ns themselues delight?
If cuntrie Pan might folowe Nymphs in chase,
And yet through loue remaine deuoyd of blame:
If Satirs were excus’d for seeking grace 15
To ioy the fruites of any mortall Dame:
Then, why should I once doubt to loue her still,
On whom ne Goddes nor men can gaze their fill?
In the first staffe of this Passion the Authour expresseth how fondly his frendes ouertrouble him, by questioning with him touching his loue, or accidents thereof. In the two last verses of the second staffe he imitateth those verses of Sophocles in Trachiniis:
Ἔρωσι μὲν νῦν ὅστις ἀντανίσταται
πύκτης ὅπως ἐς χεῖρας οὐ καλῶς φρονεῖ.
Οὗτος γάρ ἄρχει καὶ θεῶν ὅπως θέλει.
which may be thus Englished,
That man, which champion like will strive with Loue
And combate hand to hand, hath little witte:
For as he list he rules the Gods aboue.
And in the last, he setteth down his minde fully bent to persist constantly in the loue and seruice of his Ladie: like to that which Stephanus Forcatulus (an excellent Ciuilian, and one of the best Poetes of Fraunce for these many yeares) wrote unto his beloved Clytia:
Quin noctu pluvium citius mirabimur arcum,
Solque domo Hesperidum mane propinquus erit,
Quam capiat lepidae me foeda oblivio nymphae, &c
Some aske me, when and how my loue begunne;
Some, where it lies, and what effectes it hath;
Some, who she is, by whome I am vndone;
Some, what I meane to treade so lewd a path;
I answere all alike by answ’ring nought, 5
But, blest is he whom Cupid neuer caught:
And yet I could, if sorrowe woulde permit.
Tell when and howe I fix’t my fancie first,
And for whose sake I lost both will and wit,
And choase the path, wherein I liue accurst: 10
But such like deedes would breed a double soare,
For loue gainsaide growes madder then before, ,,
But note herewith, that so my thoughts are bound
To her in whome my libertie lies thrall,
That if she would voutchsafe to salue my wound, 15
Yet force of this my loue should neuer fall,
Till Phoebus vse to rise from out the West,
And towardes night seeke lodging in the East.
The second part of this Passion is borrowed from out the fifte Sonnet in Petrarch part I, whose words are these,
Piu volte gia per dir le labbra apersi:
Poi rimase la voce in mezz ’l petto:
Ma qual suon poria mai salir tant’ alto?
Piu volte incominciai di scriver versi,
Ma la penna, e la mano, e lo ’ntelletto
Rimaser vinto net primier assalto.
When first these eyes beheld with great delight
The Phoenix of this world, or second Sunne,
Her beames or plumes bewitched all my sight,
And loue encreast the hurte that was begunne:
Since when my griefe is grow’ne so much the more, 5
Because I finde no way to cure the soare,
I have attempted oft to make complainte,
And with some dolefull wordes to tell my griefe,
But through my fearful; heart my voyce doth fainte,
And makes me mute where I shoulde craue reliefe: 10
An other while I thinke to write my paine,
But streight my hand laies downe the pen againe.
Sometimes my mind with heapes of doubtfull cares
Conioyn’d with fawning hoapes is sore oppresst,
And sometimes suddeine ioy at vnawares 15
Doth moue to much, and so doth hurte my breast;
What man doth liue in more extreemes than these,
Where death doth seeme a life, and paines doe please?
The sense contained in this Sonnet will seeme straunge to such as neuer haue acquainted themselves with Loue and his Lawes, because of the contrarieties mentioned therein. But to such, as Loue at any time hath had vnder his banner, all and every part of it will appear to be a familiar trueth. It is almost word for word taken out of Petrarch, parte prima Sonet. 105, where he beginneth,
Pace mon truovo, e non ho da far guerra;
E temo, espero, &c.
All, except three verses, which this Authour hath necessarily added, for perfecting the number, which hee hath determined to vse in every one of these his Passions.
I ioy not peace, where yet no warre is found;
I fear, and hope; I burn, yet freeze withall;
I mount to heau’n, yet lie but on the ground;
I compass nought, and yet I compasse all;
I liue her bond, which neither is my foe, 5
Nor frend; nor holdes me fast, nor lets me goe;
Loue will not that I liue, nor lets me die;
Nor lockes me fast, nor suffers me to scape;
I want both eyes and tongue, yet see and cry;
I wish for death, yet after helpe I gape; 10
I hate my selfe, but loue an other wight;
And feede on greefe, in lieu of sweete delight;
At selfe same time I both lament and ioy;
I still am pleasd, and yet displeased still;
Loue sometimes seems a God, sometimes a Boy; 15
Sometimes I sincke, sometimes I swimme at will;
Twixt death and life, small difference I make;
All this, deere Dame, befals me for thy sake.
This Passion is framed upon a somewhat tedious or too much affected continuation of that figure in Rhetorique, which of the Grekes is called παλολογία or ἀναδίπλωσις, of the Latins Reduplicatio; whereof Susenbrotus (if I well remember me) allegeth this example out of Virgil (Aeneid 10):
Sequitur pulcherrimus Auster,
Auster equo fidens.
O Happy men that find no lacke in Loue
I Loue, and lack ewhat most I do desire;
My deepe desire no reason can remoue;
All reason shunnes my brest, that’s set on fire;
And so the fire mainetaines both force and flame, 5
That force auayleth not against the same;
One onely helpe can slake this burning heate,
Which burninge heat proceedeth from her face,
Whose face by lookes bewitched my conceite,
Through which conceite I liue in woeful case; 10
O woeful case, which hath no ende of woe,
Till woes haue end by fauour of my foe;
And yet my foe mainetaineth such a Warre,
As all her Warre is nothing els but Peace;
But such a Peace as breedeth secret Iarre, 15
Which Iarre no witte, nor force, nor time can cease;
Yet cease despaire: for time by witte, or force,
May force my frindly foe to take remorse. Harl. 3277
In this Passion the Authour under colour of telling his dreame doth very cunningly and liuely praise his Mistres, so far forth as not onely to prefer her before Helen of Greece for excellencie of beautie, but also before how many soeuer are now liuing in this our age. The dream of it selfe is so plainley and effectually set downe (albeit in fewe wordes) that it neede no further annotation to explain it.
This latter night amidst my troubled rest
A Dismall Dreame my fearfull eart appalld,
Whereof the somme was this: Ioue made a Feast.
To which all Neighbor Saints and Gods were callde:
The cheere was more than mortall men can thinke, 5
And mirth grew on, by taking in their drinke.
Then Ioue amidst his cuppes for seruice done
Gan thus to iest with Ganymede his boy;
“I faine would find for thee my pretty Sonne
A fayrer Wife than Paris brought to Troy.” 10
“Why, sir,” quoth he, ”if Phebus stand my frend,
Who knows the world, this geere will soone haue end.”
Then Ioue replide that Phebus should not choose
But do his best to finde the fayrest face;
And she once found should neither will nor choose 15
But yeelde her selfe, and chaunge her dwelling place;
Alas, how much was then my hert affright
Which bade me wake and watch my faire delight? Harl. 3277
The sense or matter of this Passion is taken out of Seraphine in his Strambotti, who writeth thus,
Se Salamandra in fiamma viue, e in fuoco,
Non me stupisce quel che fa natura,d
Ma costei che è di giaccio, e io di suoco,
E in mezo del mio cuor vive sicura;
Chi la defende in cosi ardente fuoco,
Che dovendo sguagliar diventa dura?
Solo Amor di Natura aspro adversario,
Che à suo dispetto unisce ogni contrario.
The Salamander liues in fire and flame,
And yet but wonder small in Nature's worke:
By straunger force loue winnes away her fame, .
As causing colde in midst of heat to lurke.
Who list of these my paines to take the view, 5
Will soone confesse that what I say, is true.
For one as colde as hardest frozen yse,
Is fixed fast, and lodgeth in my brest;
Whom reason can remoue by no devise,
Nor any force can cause to let me rest: 10
And yet I still so swimme in hote desire,
That more I burne then either flame or fire.
How straunge is this? Can contraries so gree,
That Ise in flame will neither waste nor melt,
But still encrease, and harder grow to bee, 15
Than erst before? All this my selfe have felt.
For Loue, Dame Nature's foe, without remorse,
Thus coupleth contraries in me by force.
In this Passion the Authour misliketh one while his estate, and by and by after liketh of the same againe, vpon hoape and likelyhoode of amendment, and throughout the whole Sonnet he fayneth his Mistres to be a Second Sunne, and by expressing his priuate infelicitie, in either alwayes meltinge away with Loue, or growing stiffe throughe Death approachinge neere him by reason of dayly cares, hee maketh allusion vnto the diverse effectes of the Sunne, which maketh the clay much harder, and the wax softer, than it was before.
That Second Sunne, whose beams have dimd my sight,
So scorched hath my hart and senses all,
That cloggd with cares, ande void of all delight,
I only seeke, and sue to be her thrall;
Yet soe this heate increaseth day by day, 5
That more and more it hast’neth my decay.
Sometimes I melt, as if my limmes were wex,
Sometimes grow stiffe, as if they were of clay;
Thrice happy he whome Loue doth never vexe,
Nor any Second Sunne doth mealt away: 10
Nay cursed I blaspheme the fayrest Light
That euer yet was seene by day or night.
Perchaunce her parching heates will once repaire
My hart againe, and make me all anew:
The Phenix so reuiues amidst the ayre 15
By vertue of that Sunne which all men view:
The vertue of my Sunne exceedes the skye,
By her I shall reuiue, though first I die. Harl. 3277
The Authour vseth in this Passion the like sense to that which he had in the last before it, calling his Mistres a Second Sunne vpon earth, wherewith Heauen it selfe is become in Loue: But when he compiled this Sonnet, he thought not to haue placed it amongst these his English toyes.
Foelices alii iuvenes, quos blandula Cypris
Aptos fecit amoribus,
Exoptare solent tenebrosa crepuscula noctis,
At multo est mihi chara magis pulcherrima coniux 5
Tythoni gelidi senis,
Dum venit in prima surgentis parte diei,
Et soles geminos mihi
Apperit, et maesto foelices reddit ocellos,
Quod soles videam duos, 10
Qui simili forma, simili sic luce coruscant,
Et mittunt radios pares,
Ut polus ipse novo terrae laqueatus amore
Flammis invideat meis,
Solis et ignoto se torreat igne secundi, 15//
Oblitus decoris sui,
Haud secus atque olim, cum veris prima venustas
Multo flore superbiit,
Et nitidos primum strohiis ornare capillos
Pulchri Naiadum chori. 20
[“Other lucky lads, whom sweet Venus has rendered fit for loving, are wont to crave the dusky dark of night and curse the dawn. But chilly old man Tithon’s fair consort is far dearer to me when she comes at the start of the rising day, bringing for me two suns, gladdening this gloomy fellow’s eyes, since I see two suns gleaming with equal beauty and brightness, so that heaven itself, ensnared by new love for the earth, envies my flames, scorching itself with strange light of a second sun, forgetful of its own beauty — not otherwise than the time when springtime’s delight first waxed wanton with many a flower, and the fair choruses of the Naiads first decorated their hair with garlands.”]
Here the Author bewaileth the extremitie of his estate growing dayly to be more troublesome than before, and all through the hard hart of his beloued: whom he therefore aptly compareth vntoe a stony rock, which nothing can moue or waste awaye but longe continuance of time. And hereuppon, after having longe striued with him selfe and his passions, he is quyetly resolued to have patience, and so long to perseuer in the still hoping minde of a trewe louer, till by long continuance of time Loue be induced to stande his friend.
All yee that loue compare your paines with mine,
Which voyde of hoape continue still her thrall,
Whose heart is hard, and neuer will assigne
A raunsom day, nor once will bow at all,
Much like the stony rocke, whose hardned side 5
Will scarcely weare with course of time or tide.
And yet, since time can weare each thingr away,
I will enforce my selfe to liue content,
Till so my thoughts haue fed vpon delay,
That Reason rule the roast and loue relent; 10
O vaine attempt in striuing with Despaire,
I build nought els but castles in the ayre.
For why: the Sunne may sooner shine by night,
And twinckling starres give glimsinge sparkes by day:
Then I can cease to serue my Sweete delight, 15
Whome neither force nor time can driue away:
Therefore in hoape that loue will stand my frend
I thus conclude, Each thing but loue hath end. Harl. 8277
This Passion conteineth a relation through out from line to line; as, from euery line of the first staffe as it standeth in order, vnto euery line of the second staffe; and from the second staffe unto the third. The oftener it is read of him that is no great clarke, the more pleasure he shall haue in it. And this poesie a scholler set down ouer this Sonnet, when he had well considered of it: Tam casu, quam arte et industria. The two first lines are an imitation of Seraphine, Sonnetto 103.
Col tempo et Villanello all giogo mena
El Tor si fiero, e si crudo animale,
Col tempo el Falcon s’usa a menar l’ale
E ritornare à te chiamando à pena.
In time the Bull is brought to ware the yoake;
In time all haggred Haukes will stoope the Lures;
In time small wedge will cleaue the sturdiest Oake;
In time the Marble wears with weakest shewres:
More fierce is my sweete loue, more hard withall, 5
Than Beast, or Bird, than Tree or Stony wall.
No yoake preuailes, she will not yield to might;
No Lure will cause her stoope, she beares full gorge;
No wedge of woes make printe, she reakes no right;
No shewrer of tears can moue, she thinkes I forge: 10
Help therefore Heav’nly Boy, come perce her brest
With that same shaft which robbes me of my rest.
So let her feele thy force, that she relent;
So keepe her lowe, that she vouchsafe a pray;
So frame her will to right, that pride be spent; 15
So forge, that I may speede without delay;
Which if thou do, I’le sweare, and singe with ioy,
That Loue no longer is a blinded Boy. Harl. 3277
This Passion containeth two principal pointes. In the first are placed two similitudes; in both which the Authour expresseth his own wilfulness in loue. In the second, he compareth the beautifull eyes of his Mistresse vnto the eyes of the Basilique, which killeth a man with his onely sight being a far of; whereof Lucan lib. 9. sayeth thus,
Sibilaque effundens cunctas terrentia pestes,
Ante venena nocens, late sibi submovet omne
Vulgus, et in vacua regnat basiliscus arena.
And Mantuan in like manner.
Natus in ardenti Libyae basiliscus arena,
Vulnerat aspectu, luminibusque necat.
Like as the sillie Birde amid’st the night,
When Birders beate the bush, and shake his nest,
He fluttring forth streight flies vnto the light,
As if it were the day newe sprong from East,
Where so his wilful wings consume away, 5
That needes he must become the Birders prey:
Or, as the Flye, when candles are alight,
Still playes about the flame vntill he burne:
Ev’n so my heart hath seene a heau'nly sight,
Wherehence againe it hardly can returne: 10
The beames thereof conteine such wondrous flame,
That Ioue him selfe would burne to see the same.
I mean a Virgins face, whose beautie rare,
Much like the Basilique in Libia soile,
With onely sight is cause of all my care, 15
And loads my yeelding heart with endlesse toyle;
Yet needes I must confesse she hath more grace
Than all the Nimphes that haunt Dianaes chase. Harl. 3277
The Author in this Song bewrayeth his dayly Passions in loue to be so troublesome, that to auoide the flames thereof, hee gladly and faine would yeelde himselfe to die, were it not that he feareth a further inconuenience would then arise. For he doubteth least those flames, wherein his soule continuallye burneth, shall make Charon afraid to graunt him passage ouer the Lake of Stix, by reason, his old withered boat is apt to take fire.
So great a Light hath set my mind on fire,
That flesh and boane consume with secreat flame,
Each vaine dries vp, wit yeeldes to deepe desire;
I scarce (alas) dare say, for very shame,
How faine my soule an interchuange would make 5
Twixt this her present State and Limbo lake;
And yet she dreads, least when she parts from hence,
Her Heates be such, that Charon will retire,
And let her passe for prayer, nor for pence,
For fear his with’red boat be set on fire; 10
So daung’rous are the flames of Mighty Loue
In Stix it selfe, in earth, or heau’n above.
Wherefore deere Dame voutchsafe to rew my case,
And salue the soare which thou thy selfe hast made:
My Heates first grew by gazing on thy face, 15
Whose lights were such that I could find no shade:
And thou my weary Soule bend all thy force,
By Plaintes and Tears to moue her to remorse. Harl. 3277
In this Passion is effectually set downe, in how straunge a case he liveth that is in loue, and in how contrary an estate to all other men, which are at defiaunce with the like follye. And this the Authour expresseth here in his owne person: therewithall calling upon Loue, to stand his frend; or if he faile, vpon death to cut off his wearysome life.
While others feede, my fancy makes me fast;
While others liue secure, I feare mischaunce;
I dread no force, where other stand agast;
I follow sute where Fortune leads the Daunce,
Who like a mumming mate so throws the Dice, 5
That Reason leesing all, Loue winnes the price;
Which Loue by force so worketh in my brest,
That needes perforce I must encline my will
To die in dreames. while others liue in rest,
And liue in woes while others feele none ill. 10
O gentle Death, let heere my days haue end,
Or mighty Loue, so vse me as thy frend.
Mine eyes are worne with teares, my wittes with woe,
My colour dride with cares, my hart with paines,
My will bewitcht, my limmes consumed soe, 15
That scarcely bloud or vitall breath remains:
While others ioy, or sleepe, I wayle and wake:
All this (Deere Dame) I suffer for thy sake. Harl. 3277
Tityus was the sonne of Iupiter, and for attempting to dishonest Latona, was slaine by Apollo. Since which time the Poetes faine that for punishment he lieth in hell, miserably tormented with a rauening Vulture, which feedeth upon his bowels continuallie: and they as they are consumed, still miraculously growe vp againe, to breed his endlesse miserie, as the Poet witnesseth,
Quid dicam Tityum, cuius sub vulnere saevo
Viscera nascuntur gravibus certantia paenis?
The Authour compareth his passions with the paines of this Tityus, and imitateth Seneca writing to the like effect,
Vulture relicto transvolet Tityo ferus,
Meumque poena semper accrescat iecur.
If Tityus wretched wight beheld my paines,
He would confesse his wounds to be but small,
A Vultur worse than his teares all my vaines,
Yet never lets me die, nor liue at all:
Would Gods a while I might possesse his place, 5
To iudge of both, which were in better case.
The Hell is darke, wherein he suffreth smarte,
And wants not some Compartners of his greefe:
I liue in Light, and see what hurtes my heart,
But want some mourning mates for my releefe; 10
His Paine is iust reward, his crimes were such:
My greatest fault is this, I loue too much.
Why then, since too much loue can breede offence,
Thou dang’rous Bird, the roote of my desire,
Go pearch elswhere, remoue thy selfe from hence; 15
I freeze like Ise, and burne like flaming fire:
Yet stay good Bird: for if thou soare away,
Twixt Frost and Flame my dayes will soone decay. Harl. 3277
Here the Authour after some dolorous discourse of his vnhappines, and rehearsall of some particular hurtes which he sustaineth in the pursute of his loue: first questioneth with his Lady of his deserte; and then, as hauinge made a sufficiente proofe of his innocency, perswadeth her to pitie him, who she herselfe hath hurte. Moreouer, it is to be noted, that the first letters of all the verses in this Passion being ioyned together as they stand, do conteine this poesie agreeable to his meaning, Amor me pungit et urit [“Love pricks and burns me.”]
A A World of woes doth raigne within my breast,
m My pensiue thoughtes are cou’red all with care,
o Of all that sing the Swanne doth please me best.
r Restraint of ioyes exiles my woonted fare,
M Mad mooded Loue vsurping Reasons place 5
e Extremitie doth ouer rule the case.
P Paine drieth vp my vaines and vitall bloud,
u Vnlesse the Saint I serue geue helpe in time:
n None els, but she alone, can do me good.
g Graunt then ye Gods, that first she may not clime 10
iImmortall heau’ns, to liue with Saintes aboue,
t Then she vouchsafe to yeeld me loue for loue
E Examine well the time of my distresse,
t Thou dainty Dame, for whom I pine away,
V Vnguyltie though, as needes thou must confesse, 15
r Rememb'ring but the cause of my decay;
i In viewing thy sweete face arose my griefe,
tTherefore in tyme vouchsafe me some reliefe. Harl. 3277
The two first partes of this Sonnet, are an imitation of certain Greeke verses of Theocritus; which verses as they are translated by many good Poets of later dayes, so most aptly and plainly by C. Urcinus Velius in his Epigrammes; he beginneth thus,
Nuper apis furem pupugit violenter Amorem
Ipsum ex alveolis clam mella favosque legentem,
Cui summos manuum digitos confixit, at ille
Indoluit, laesae tumuerunt vulnere palmae:
Planxit humum, et saltu trepidans pulsavit, et ipsi
Ostendens Veneri, casum narravit acerbum &c.
Where tender Loue had laide him downe to sleepe,
A little Bee so stung his fingers end,
That burning ache enforced him to weepe,
And call for Phebus Sonne to stand his frend,
To whome he cride, “I muse so small a thing 5
Can pricke thus deepe with suche a little Sting.”
“Why so, sweet Boy?” quoth Venus sitting by.
Thy selfe is yong, thy arrowes are but small
And yet thy shotte makes hardest harts to cry.”
To Phebus sonne she turned therewithall, 10
And prayde him shew his skill to cure the sore,
Whose like her Boy had neuer felt before.
Then he with Herbes recured soone the wound,
Which being done, he threw the Herbes away,
Whose force, through touching Loue, in selfsame ground, 15
By haplesse hap did breed my hartes decay:
For there they fell, where long my hart had li’ne
To waite for Loue, and what he should assigne. Harl. 3277
In this Passioun the Author boasteth, how sound a pleasure he lately enioyed in the companie of his Beloued, by pleasing effectually all his fiue senses exterior, and that through the onely benefite of her friendly presence, and extraordinarie fauour towards him. And in many choyse particulars of this Sonnet, he imitateth here and there a verse of Ronsardes, in a certain Elegie to Janet peintre du Roy: which beginneth thus,
Pein moi, Ianet, pein moi ie te supplie
Dans ce tableau les beautés de m’amie
De la façon, &c.
What happie howre was that I lately past
With her, in whome I fedde my senses all?
With one sure sealed kisse I pleas’d my taste;
Mine ears with woordes, which seemed Musical;
My smelling with her breath, like Ciuet sweete; 5
My touch in place where modestie thought meete.
But shall I say, what obiectes held mine eye?
Her curled Lockes of Gold, like Tagus sandes;
Her Forehead smooth and white as Iuory,
Where Glory, State and Bashfulnes held handes; 10
Her Eyes, one making Peace, the other Warres;
By Venus one, the other rul’d by Mars;
Her Egles Nose; her Scarlate Cheekes halfe white;
Her Teeth of Orient Pearle; her gracious smile;
Her dimpled Chinne; her Breast as cleaere as light; 15
Her Hand like hers who Tithon did beguile.
For worldly ioyes who might compare with mee,
While thus I fedde each sense in his degree? Harl. 3277
The whole inuention of all this Passion is deducted out of Seraphine, Sonnet 63, whose verses if you reade, you will iudge this Authors imitation the more praise worthy; these they are,
Come alma asai bramosa e poco accorta
Che mai visto havea amor fe mon depinto,
Disposi un di cercar suo Laberinto,
Vedere el monstro, e tanta gente morta.
Ma quel fil dèragion che chi per scorta0
Del qual fu tutto el ceco loco cinto
Subito, ahime, fu da lui rotto e vinto,
Talche mai piu trovar seppi la porta.
My heedlesse hart which Loue yet neuer knew,
But as he was describ’d with Painters hand,
One day amongst the rest would needes go view
The Labyrinth of Loue, with all his band.
To see the Minotaure his ougly face, 5
And such as there lay slaine within the place.
But soone my guiding thrid by Reason spunne,
Wherewith I past along his darkesome caue,
Was broake (alas) by him, and ouerrunne,
And I perforce became his captiue slaue: 10
Since when as yet I neuer found the way
To leaue that maze, wherein so many stray.
Yet thou on whom mine eyes have gaz’d so long
Mayst, if thou wilt, play Ariadnaes part,
And by a second Thrid reuenge the wronge, 15
Which through deceit hath hurt my guiltleses hart;
Vouchsafe in time to saue and set me free,
Which seeke and serue none other Saint but thee. Harl. 3277
The first Staffe of this Passion is much like vnto that inuention of Seraphine in his Strambotti, where he sayeth,
Morte: che voui? te bramo: Eccomi appresso;
Prendemi: a che? che manchi el mio dolore;
Non posso: ohime, non puoi? non per adesso;
Perche? però che in te non regna il core, &c.
The second Staffe somewhat imitateth an other of his Strambotti in the same leaf; it beginneth thus,
Amor, amor: chi è quel che chiama tanto?
Un tuo servo fidel; non ti conosco; &c.
The Authour in the last Staffe, returneth to entreate Death anew, to end his dayes, as being halfe perswaded that Loue would restore vnto him his hart againe.
— Come gentle Death. — Who cals? — One thats oppresst:
— What is thy will? — That thou abridge my woe,
— By cutting of my life. — Cease thy request,
I cannot kill thee yet. — Alas, why soe?
— Thou wan’st thy Hart. Who stoale the same away? 5
— Loue, whom thou seru’st, intreat him if thou may.
— Come, come, come Loue: — Who calleth me so oft?
— Thy Vassal true, whome thou should’st know by right.
— What makes thy cry so faint? — My voyce is softe,
And almost spent by wailing day and night. 10
— Why then, whats thy request? — That thou restore
To me my Hart, and steale the same no more.
And thou, O Death, when I possesse my Hart,
Dispatch me then at once <of life>. — Why so?
— By promise thou art bound to end my smart. 15
Why, if thy Hart return, then whats thy woe?
— That brought from colde, it neuer will desire
To rest with me, which am more hote then fire.
Here the Authour cheerefully comforting himselfe, rebuketh all those his frendes, or others whatsoever, which pitie his estate in Loue: and groundeth his inuention, for the most part, upon the old Latin Proverb, Consuetudo est altera natura [“habit is a second nature.”] Which Prouerbe hee confirmeth by two examples; the one, of him, that being born farre North seldom ketcheth colde; the other of the Negro, which being born vnder a hote climate, is never smoothered with ouermuch heate.
All yee, that greeve to think my death so neere,
Take pitie on your selues, whose thought is blind;
Can there be Day, vnlesse some Light appeare?
Can fire be colde, which yeeldeth heate by kinde?
If Loue were past, my life would soone decay, 5
Loue bids me hoape, and hoape is all my stay.
And you that see in what estate I stand,
Now hote, now colde, and yet am liuing still,
Persuade your selues, Loue hath a mightie hand, 10
And custome frames what pleaseth best her wll.
A ling’ring vse of Loue hath taught my brest
To harbor strife, and yet to liue in rest.
The man that dwelles farre North hath seldom harme
With blast of winter's wind or nipping frost:
The Negro seldom feeles himself too warme 15
If he abide within his natiue coast;
So, Loue in me a Second Nature is,
And custome makes me thinke my Woes are Blisse. Harl. 3277
Aetna, called in times past Inesia, as Volaterranus witnesseth, is a hollow hill in Sicilia, whose toppe burneth continuallie, the fire being maintained with a vaine of brimstone, and other such like Mineralles, which are within the said Mountaine. Which notwithstanding, the bottom of the hill is verie pleasant, as well for the aboundance of sweete fruites and flowers, as for the number of freshe springes and fountaines. The Poetes faine, that when Iuppiter had with his thunderboltes beaten downe the Gyantes of the earth, which rebelled against Heauen, he did forthwith couer and oppress them all with the weight of this hill Aetna. These things being well considered, together with the verse of Horace:
Deus immortalis haberi
Dum cupit Empedocles, ardentem frigidus Aetnam
it may easily appear why the Author in this passion compareth his heart unto the hill.
There is a monstrous hill in Sicill soyle,
Where workes that limping God, which Vulcan hight,
And rebell Gyantes lurke, whom Ioue did foyle,
When gainst the heau’ns they durst presume to fight;
The toppe thereof breaths out a burning flame, 5
And Flora sits at bottome of the same.
My swelling heart is such an other hill,
Wherein a blinded God beares all the swaye,
And rebell thoughtes resisting reasons skill
Are bound by will from starting thence awaye; 10
The toppe thereof doth smoake with scalding smart,
And seldom ioyes obtaine the lowest part.
Yet learn herewith the diffrence of the twaine:
Empedocles consum’d with Aetnaes fire
When godheade there he sought, but all in vaine: 15
But this my heart, all flaming with desire,
Embraceth in it selfe an Angels face,
Which beareth rule as Goddesse of the place. Harl. 3277
The Author in this Passion accuseth his own eyes, as the principall or onelie cause of his amorous infelicitie; wherein his hearte is so oppressed continuallie with euils, which are contrarie in them selues, that reason can beare no sway in the cause. Therefore in the ende, he instantlie entreateth his Ladie of her speedie favor and goodwill, alleaging what hurte may growe through her longer delaye.
That thing wherein mine eyes haue most delight,
Is greatest cause my heart doth suffer paine:
Such is the hurt that comes by wanton sight;
Which reason striues to vanquish all in vaine;
This onely sense, more quicke then all the rest, 5
Hath kindled holie fire within my brest.
And so my mourning hearte is parching drie
With sending sighes abroade and keeping care,
What needes it must consume if longe it lye
In place, where such a flame doth make repare: 10
This flame is Loue, whome none may well intreate,
But onely shee, for whome I suffer heate.
Then peerelesse Dame, the ground of all my griefe,
Voutsafe to cure the cause of my complainte:
No fauour els but thine can yeelde relief. 15
But helpe in time, before I further fainte,
For Daunger growes by lingringe till the last,
And phisick hath no helpe, when life is past. Harl. 3277
The Author groundeth this Passion vpon three poyntes. In the first, he sheweth how he witting and wilfully followeth his owne hurt, with such like words as Medea sometime used (Ouid, Metam. lib. 7),
Video meliora, proboque,
Deteriora sequor, &c.
In the second, he excuseth his fault vpon the maine force and tyrannie of Loue, being the onely gouernour of his wil. And lastly, he humbly entreateth his Lady for the restitution of his wonted libertie: desiring her not to exact more of him, then his abilitie of bodie or mind can well susteine , according to the old verse,
Pelle magis rabida nihil est de vulpe petendum.
Was euer man, whose Loue was like to mine?
I follow still the cause of my distresse,
My Hart foreseeing hurte, doth yet encline
To seeke the same, and thinkes the harme the lesse.
In doing thus, you ask me what I ayle: 5
Against maine force what reason can preuaile?
Loue is the Lord and Signor of my will,
How shall I then dispose of any deede?
By forced Bond, he holdes my freedom still,
He duls each sense, and makes my hart to bleede. 10
Thou Sacred Nimph, whose vertue wanteth staine,
Agree with Loue and set me free againe.
Of this my weary Life no day shall fall,
Wherein my penne shall once thy praise forget:
No Night with sleepe shall close mine eyes at all, 15
Before I make recount of such a debt;
Then force me not to more than well I may,
Besides his Skinne, the Fox hath nought to pay. Harl. 3277
The invention of this Passion is borrowed, for the most part from Seraphine Son. 125. Which beginneth,
Se’ll gran tormento i fier fulmini accesi
Perduti havessi, e li fuoi strali Amore,
— I n’ho tanti trafsitti in mezzo el core,
Che si da me li potriano esser resi;
E se de gli ampli mari in terra stesi
Fusse primo Neptuno, io spando fore
Lagryme tante, che con più liquore
Potrebbe nuovi mari haver ripresi &c.
If Loue had lost his shaftes, and Ioue downe threw
His thundring boltes and spent his forked fire,
They onley might recou’red be anew
From out my Hart croswounded with desire;
Or if Debate by Mars were lost a space, 5
It might be found within the selfe same place;
If Neptunes waues were all dride vp and gone,
My weeping eyes so many teares distill,
That greater Seas might grow by them alone;
Or if no flame were yet remayning still 10
In Vulcans forge, he might from out my brest
Make choise of such as should befit him best.
If Aeole were depriu’d of all his charge,
Yet soone could I restore his windes againe,
By sobbing sighes, which forth I blowe at large, 15
To moue her mind that pleasures in my paine;
What man but I could thus encline his will
To liue in Loue, which hath no end of ill?
That the vulgar sorte may the better vnderstand this Passion, I will briefly touch those whom the Author nameth herein, being all damned soules (as the Poets faine) and destinate unto sundrie punishments. Tantalus hauing his lippes still at the brinke of the river Eridanus, yet dieth for thirst. Ixion is tied vnto a wheele; which turneth incessantly. A vulture feedeth upon the bowels of Tityus, whiche grow vp again euer as they are deuoured. Sisyphus rowleth a great rounde stoane vp a steepe hill, which being once at the top presently falleth downe amaine. Belides are fifty sisters whose continuall task is to fill a bottomlesse tub full of water, by lading in their pitchers full at once.
In that I thirst for such a Goddesse grace
As wantes remorse, like Tantalus I die;
My state is equal to Ixions case,
Whose rented limm’s ar turn’d eternally,
In that my tossing toyles can haue no end, 5
Nor time, nor place, nor chaunce will stand my friend.
In that my heart consuming neuer dyes,
I feel with Tityus an equal payne,
On whome an euer feeding Vultur lyes;
In that I ryse through hope, and fall again 10
By fear, like Sisyphus I labour still
To turle a rolling stoane against the hill,
In that I make my vowes to her alone,
Whose eares are deafe and will reteine no sound,
With Belides my state is all but one, 15
Which fill a tub whose bottome is not sound.
A wondrous thing, that Loue should make the wound,
Wherein a second Hell may thus be found. Harl. 3277
Love hath two arrows, as Conradus Celtis (Odarum lib. I) witnesseth in these two verses:
Per matris astrum, et per fera specula,
Quae bina fert saevus Cupido, &c.
The one is made of leade, the other of golde, and either of them different in quality from the other. The Authour therefore faineth in this Passion, that when Cupid had stroken him with that of lead, soone after pitying his painfull estate, he thought good to strike his beloued with the other. But her brest was so hard that the shaft rebounding back againe, wounded Loue him selfe at vnawares. Wherehence fell out these three inconueniences; first, that Loue him selfe became her thrall, whom he shoulde haue conquered; then, that she became proud, where she should haue been friendly; and lastly, that the Authour by this meanes despaireth to have any recure of his vnquiet life, and therefore desireth a speedie death, as alluding to those sententious verses of Sophocles' Electra
τί γὰρ βροτῶν ἂν συν κακοῖς μεμιγμένων
θνῄσκειν ὁ μέλλων, τῦ χρόνου κέρδος φέροι;
which may be thus Englished paraphrastically,
What can it him auaile to liue a while,
Whome, of all others, euils are betide?
Loue hath two shaftes, the one of beaten gold,
By stroake whereof a sweete effect is wrought:
The other is of lumpish leaden mold,
And worketh none effect, but what is nought:
Within my brest the latter of the twain 5
Breeds fear, fear thought, and thought a lasting paine.
One day amongst the rest sweete Loue began
To pitty mine estate, and thought it best
To perce my Deare with golde, that she might scanne
My case aright, and turne my toyles to rest: 10
But from her brest more hard than hardest flint
His shafte flewe back, and in him selfe made print.
And this is cause that Loue doth stoup her lure,
Whose heart he thought to conquere for my sake;
That she is proude; and I without recure: 15
Which triple hurte doth cause my hope to quake:
Hope lost breedes griefe, griefe paine, and paine disease,
Disease brings death, which death will onely please. Harl. 3277
This Passion is of like frame and fashion with that which was before vnder the number of XLI, whetherto I referre the Reader. But touching the sense or substance of this Passion, it is euident that herein the Author, by layinge open the long continued grieuesomness of his misery in Loue, seeketh to moue his Mistress to some compassion.
My humble sute hath set thy minde on pride,
Which pride is cause thou hast me in disdaine.
By which disdaine my woundes are made so wide,
That widenesse of my woundes augments my paine,
Which Paine is cause, by force of secret iarres, 5
That I sustaine a brunt of priuate Warres.
But cease, deere Dame, to kindle further strife,
Let Strifes haue ende, and Peace enioy their place;
If Peace take place, Pitie may save my life,
For Pitie should be show’ne to such as trace 10
Most daung’rous ways, and tread their stepps awry,
Or liue my woes: and such a one am I.
Therefore, My Deere Delight, regard my Loue,
Whom Loue doth force to follow Fond Desire,
Which Fond Desire no counsell can remove; 15
For what can counsell doe to quench the fire
That fires my heart through fancies wanton will?
Fancy by kind with Reason striueth still. Harl. 3277
In the first and second part of this passion, the Author proueth by examples, or rather by manner of argument, a maiori ad minus, that he may with good reason yeeld him selfe to the empire of Loue, whom the gods them selves obey; as Iuppiter in heaven, Neptune in the seas, and Pluto in hell. In the last staffe he imitateth certain Italian verses of M. Girolamo Parabosco (Selva Seconda); which are as followeth.
Occhi tuoi, anzi stelle alme, et fatali,
Oue ha prescritto il ciel mio mal, mio bene:
Mie lagrime, e sospir, mio risom e canto;
Mia spene, mio timor; mio foco e giaccio;
Mia noia, mio piacer; mia vita e morte.
Who knoweth not, how often Venus sonne
Hath forced Iuppiter to leaue his seate?
Or els, how often Neptune he hath wunne
From seaes to sandes, to play some wanton feate?
Or howe he hath constraind the Lord of Stix 5
To come on earth, to practise louing trickes?
If heau'n, if seaes, if hell must needes obay,
And all therein be subiect vnto Loue,
What shall it then auaile, if I gainsay,
And to my double hurt his pow’r do proue? 10
No, no, I yeeld my selfe, as is but meete:
For hitherto with sow’r he yeeldes me sweet.
From out my Mistres eyes, two lightsome starres,
He destinates estate of double kinde,
My teares, my smyling cheere, my peace, my warres; 15
My sighes, my songes; my feare, my hoping minde;
My fire, my frost; my ioy, my sorrowes gall;
My curse, my prayise; my death, but life with all. Harl. 3277
This Latine passion is borrowed from Petrarch Sonetto 133. which beginneth.
Hor, ch’l ciel, e la terra e ’l vento tace,
E le fere, e gli augelli il sonno affrena,
Notte ’l carro stellato in giro mena,
E nel suo letto il mar senz’ onda giace; &c.
Wherein he imitated Virgill, speaking of Dido, thus.
Nox erat, et tacitum carpebant fessa soporem
And this Authour presumeth, vpon the paines he hath taken, in faithfully translating it, to place it amongst these his owne passions, for a signe of his greate sufferance in loue.
Dum caelum, dum terra tacet, ventusque silescit.
Dumque feras, volucresque quies complectitur alta,
Noxque agit in gyrum stellantes sydere currus,
Inque suo lecto recubat sine flumine pontus,
Multo ego contemplor, studeo, conflagro, gemisco, 5
Et, mea quae dulcis poena est, mihi semper oberrat.
In me bella gero plenusque doloris et irae,
Paxque mihi modica est Laurae solius in umbra.
Oritur ex uno claro mihi fonte et acerbum,
Et quod dulce sapit; quorum depascor utroque: 10
Unica meque manus laedit, laesoque medetur,
Martyriumque meum nullo quia limite clausum est,
Mille neces pacior, vitas totidemque resumo
Quoque die; superestque mihi spes nulla salutis.
A man singular for his learning, and magistrate of no small accoumpt, vpon slight suruey of this booke of passions, either for the liking he had to the Author, or for his owne privaue pleasure, or for some good he conceyved of the work, voutchsafed with his own hand to set down certaine poesies concerning the same: amongst which this was one, Loue hath no leaden heeles. Whereat the Author glaunceth throughout all this Sonnet; which he purposely compyled at the presse, in remembrance of his worshipfull friend, and in honour of his golden poesie.
When Cupid is content to keep the skies,
He neuer takes delight in standing still,
But too and fro, and eu’rywhere he flies,
And eu’ry God subdueth at his will.
As if his boaw were like to Fortunes wheele, 5
Him selfe like her, hauing no leaden heele.
When other whiles he passeth Lemnos Ile,
Vnhappy boy he gibes the Clubfoote Smith,
Who threatens him, and bids him stay a while,
But laughing out he leaues him be forthwith, 10
And makes him selfe companion with the Winde
To shew his heeels are of no leaden kinde.
But in my selfe I haue too trewe a proofe:
For when he first espyde my ranging Heart,
He Falcon like came sowsing from aloofe, 15
His swiftly falling stroake encreast my smart:
As yet my Heart the violence it feeles,
Which makes me say, Loue hath no leaden heeles.
The Author hath wrought this passion out of certain verses of Stephanus Forcatulus, which are these.
Cor mihi punxit amor, sed punxit praepete telo;
Figitur hoc tum plus, cum magis excutio, &c.
Carpere dictamum Cretaea nil iuvet Ida;
Quo vellunt cervi spicula fixa leves.
Telephus haec eadem fatalia vulnera sensit,
Sanare ut tantum, qui facit illa, queat.
And whereas the Author in the end of this passion, alludeth to the wounds of Telephus, he is to be vnderstoode of that Telephus, the Son of Hercules, of whose wounde, being made and healed by Achilles onely, Ouid writeth thus (De Remed. lib).
Vulnus Achillaeo quod quondam fecerat hosti,
Vulneris auxilium Pelias hasta tulit.
And Propertius in like manner (lib. 2).
Myseus et Haemonia iuvenis qua cuspide vulnus
Senserat, hac ipsa cuspide sensit opem.
In secrete seate and centre of my hearte,
Vnwares to me, not once suspecting ill,
Blinde Cupides hand hath fixt a deadly dart,
Whereat how ere I plucke, it sticketh still,
And workes effect like those of Arab soyle, 5
Whose heades are dipt in poison steed of oyle.
If’t were like those, wherewith in Ida plaine
The Craetan hunter woundes the chased deere,
I could with Dictame drawe it out againe,
And cure me so, that skarre should scarce appeare. 10
Or if Aldices shaft did make me bleed,
Machaons art would stand me in some steede.
But being as it is, I must compare
With fatall woundes of Telephus alone,
And say that he, whose hand hath wrought my care, 15
Must eyther cure my fatall wounde, or none:
Helpe therefore, gentle Loue, to ease my heart,
Whose paines encrease, till thou withdraw thy dart.
In the first staffe of this Passion, The Authour, as one more then halfe drowping with despaire, sorrowfully recounteth some particular causes of his vnhappinesse in Loue. In the residue, he entreateth a better aspecte of the Planets, to the end, that either his life may bee inclined to a more happie course, or his death be hastned, to end all his misery at once.
My ioyes are donne, my comfort quite dismay’d,
My weary wittes bewitch’t with wanton will,
My will by Fancies heedles faulte betrayd,
Whose eyes on Beauties face are fixed still,
And whose conceyte Folly hath clouded so, 5
That Loue concludes, my heart must liue in woe.
But change aspect, ye angry starres above,
And powrs diuine restore my libertie,
Or graunte that soone I may enioye my Loue,
Before my life incurre more misery: 10
For nowe so hotte is each assault I feele
As would dissolve a heart more harde than steele.
Or if you needes must work my deadly smart,
Performe your charge by hasting on my death
In sight of her, whose eyes enthrall my heart: 15
Both life and death to her I doe bequeath,
In hope at last, she will voutsafe to say,
I rue his death, whose life I made away.
In this passion the Authour somewhat a farre off imitateth an Ode in Gervasius Sepinus written to Cupid (Erotopaegnicon lib. I), where he beginneth thus:
Quid, tenelle puer, pharetra ubinam est?
Ubi arcus referens acuta lunae
Bina cornua? Ubi flagrans Amoris
Fax? Ubi igneus ille arcus, in quo
De ipsis caelicolis, virisque victis
Vinctisque ante iugum aurceus triumphas?
Haud possent tua summa numina unam,
Unam vincere virginem tenellam?
Qui fortes animos pudica Elisae
Fortioribus irrigans venenis
Cupid, where is thy golden quiuer nowe?
Where is thy sturdy Bowe? And where the fire,
Which made ere this the Gods themselues to bow?
Shall she alone, which forceth my Desire,
Report or thinke thy Godhead is so small, 5
That she through pride can scape from being thrall?
Whilom thou overcam’st the stately minde
Of chaste Elisa queene of Carthage land,
And did’st constraine Pasiphae gainst her kind,
And broughtest Europa faire to Cretan sande, 10
Quite through the swelling Seas, to pleasure Ioue,
Whose heau’nly heart was touch’t with mortall loue.
Thus wert thou wunt to shew thy force and flight,
By conqu’ring those that were of highest race,
Where nowe it seemes thou changest thy delight. 15
Permitting still, to thy no small disgrace,
A virgin to despise thy selfe, and me,
Whose heart is hers, where ere my body be.
The Authour writeth this Sonnet unto his very friend, in excuse of his late change of study, manners, and delights, all happening through the default of Loue. And here by examples he proueth vnto him (calling him by the name of Titus, as if himself were Gysippus) that Loue not only worketh alteration in the mindes of men, but also in the very Gods them selues; and that so farre forth, as first to drawe from their Celestiall seats and functions, and then to ensnare them with the vnseemely desire of mortall creatures, a Passion ill-befitting the maiesty of their Godheads.
Alas, deere Titus mine, my auncient frend,
What makes thee muse at this my present plight,
To see my woonted ioyes enioy their end
And how my Muse hath lost her old delight?
This is the least effect of Cupid's dart, 5
To change the mind eby wounding of the heart.
Alcides fell in loue as I have done,
And laid aside both club and Lion's skinne;
Achilles too when he fair Bryses wunne,
To fall from warres to wooing did beginne. 10
Nay, if thou list, suruey the heau’ns above,
And see how Gods them selues are chang’d by Loue.
Ioue steals from skies to lye by Ledaes side;
Arcas descendes for fair Aglaurus sake,
And Sol, so soone as Daphne is espied, 15
To followe her his Chariot doth forsake:
No meruaile then, although I change my minde,
Which am in loue with one of heau’nly kind.
In this Sonnet The Authour seemeth to specifie, that his Beloued maketh her abode in this our beautifull and fair Ctity of London; situate vpon the side of the Themes, called in Latin Thamesis. And therefore, whilst he feigneth that Thamesis is honourably to be conueyed hence by all the Gods towardes the Palace of old Nereus, he seemeth to growe into some iealousie of his mistres, whose beautie if it were as well known to them as it is to him, it would (as he sayeth) both deserue more to be honoured by them, and please Tryton much better, then Thamesis, although she be the fairest daughter of old Oceanus.
Oceanus not long agoe decreed
To wedd his dearest daughter Thamesis
To Tryton, Neptunes son, and that with speede:
When Neptune sawe the match was not amisse,
He prayed the Gods from highest to the least, 5
With him to celebrate the Nuptiall feast.
Loue did descend with all his heau’nly trayne,
And came for Thamesis to London side,
In whose conduct each one imployd his paine
To reuerence the state of such a Bride: 10
But whilst I sawe her led to Nereus Hall,
My iealous heart began to throbb withal.
I doubted I, lest any of that crewe,
In fetching Thamesis, should see my Loue,
Whose tising face is of more liuely hewe 15
Than any Saintes in earth or heau’n above:
Besides, I fear’d that Tryton would desire
My Loue, and let his Thamesis retyre.
Here the Author, by faining a quarrel betwixt Loue and his Heart, under a shadow expresseth the tyrannie of the one and the miserie of the other: to sturre vp a iust hatred of the ones iniustice, and cause the due compassion of the others vnhappines. But as he accuseth Loue for his readines to hurt where he may; so he not excuseth his Heart, for desiring a faire imprisonment when he neded not: thereby specifying in Loue a wilfull malice, in his Heart a heedless follie.
I rue to thinke vpon the dismall day
When Cupid first proclamed open warre
Against my Hearte; which fledde without delay,
But when he thought from Loue to be most farre,
The winged boy preuented him by flight, 5
And led him captiuelyke from all delight.
The time of triumph being ouerpast,
He scarcely knewe where to bestowe the spoile,
Till through my heedless Heartes desire, at last,
He lockt him vp in Tower of endless toyle. 10
Within her brest, whose hardned wil doth vex
Her silly ghest softer than liquid wex.
This prison at the first did please him well,
And seem’d to be some earthly Paradise,
Where now (alas) Experience doth tell, 15
That Beawties bates can make the simple wise,
And biddes him blame the bird, that willingly
Choaseth a golden cage for liberty.
The Author in this passion, vpon a reason secret vnto him selfe, extolleth his Mistres vnder the name of a Spring. First he preferreth the same before the sacred fount of Diana, which (as Ouid witnesseth 3. Metam) was in the valley Gargaphie adioyning to Thebes: then, before Tagus the famous river in Spaine, whose sandes are intermixt with stoare of gold, as may be gathered by those two verses in Martial lib. 8.
Non illi satis est turbato sordidus auro
Hermus, et Hesperio qui sonat orbe Tagus.
And lastly, before Hippocrene, a fountain of Boeotia, now called the well of the Muses, and fained by the Poets, to haue had his source or beginning from the heele of Pegasus the winged horse.
Although the droppes which chaung’d Actaeons shape,
Were halfe diuine, and from a sacred fount;
Though after Tagus sandse the world do gape;
And Hippocrene stand in high account:
Yet ther’s a Spring whose vertue doth excell 5
Dianaes fount, Tagus, and Pegase well.
That happie how’r, wherein I found it furst,
And sat me downe adioyning to the brinke,
My fowe it selfe, suppris’d with vnknow’n thurst,
Did wish it lawfull were thereof to drinke; 10
But all in vaine: for Loue did will me stay
And waite a while in hope of such a pray.
“This is that Spring,” quoth he, “where Nectar flowes,
Whose liquor is of price in heau’ns above;
This is the Spring wherein sweet Venus showes, 15
By secrete baite how Beautie forceth Loue.”
“Why then,” quoth I, “deere Loue how shall I mend,
Or quench my thurst, vnlesse thou stand my frend?”
In this passion the Authour borroweth from certain Latine verses of his owne, made long agoe vpon the loue abuses of Iuppiter in a certain piece of worke written in the commendation of women kinde; which he hath not yet whollie perfected to the print. Some of the verses may be thus cited to the explaining of this passion, although but lamelie.
Accipe ut ignaram candentis imagine Tauri
Luserit Europam ficta &c.
Quam nimio Semelen fuerit complexus amore, &c.
Qualis et Asterien aquilinis presserit alis:
Quoque dolo Laedam ficto sub olore fefellit.
Adde quod Antiopam satyri sub imagine &c.
Et fuit Amphytrio, cum te Tirynthia &c.
Parrhasiam fictae pharetra vultuque Dianae,
Mnemosynen pastor; serpens Deoida lusit &c.
Ouid writeth somewhat in like manner. Metam. lib. 6.
Not she, whom Ioue transported into Crete;
Nor Semele, to whom he vow'd in haste;
Nor she whose flankes he fild with fayned heat;
Nor whom with Aegles wings he oft embrast
Nor Danae, beguyl’d by golden rape; 5
Nor she for whom he took Dianaes shape;
Nor faire Antiopa, whose fruitfull loue
He gayned Satyr like; nor she whose Sonne
To wanton Hebe was conioyn’d aboue;
Nor sweet Mnemosyne, whose loue he wunne 10
In shepheardes weede; no such are like the Saint,
Whose eyes enforce my feeble heart to faint.
And Ioue him selfe may storme, if so he please,
To heare me thus compare my Loue with his:
No forked fire, nor thunder can disease 15
This heart of mine, where stronger torment is:
But O how this surpasseth all the rest,
That she, which hurtes me most, I loue her best.
In this Sonnet the Authour being, as it were, in half a madding mood, faileth at variance with Loue himselfe, and blasphemeth his godheade, as one that can make a greater wounde than afterwardes he him selfe can recure. And the chiefe cause that he setteth downe, why he is no longer to hope for helpe at Loues hande, is this, because he him self ecould not remedie the hurt which he susteyned by the loue of fair Psyches.
Thou foolish God the Author of my griefe,
If Psyches beames could set thy heart on fire,
How can I hope, of thee to have reliefe,
Whose minde with mine doth suffer like desire?
Henceforth my heart shall sacrifice elswhere 5
To such a Sainte as higher porte doth beare.
And such a Saint is she, whom I adore,
As foyles thy force and makes thee stand aloofe;
None els, but she, can salue my festered soare;
And she alone will serue in my behoofe: 10
Then blinded boye, go packe thee hence away,
And thou Sweet Soule, give eare to what I say.
And yet what shall I say? Straunge is my case,
In mid’st of frost to burn, and freze in flame:
Would Gods I neuer had beheld thy face, 15
Or els, that once I might possesse the same:
Or els that chaunce would make me free againe,
Whose hand helpt Loue to bring me to this paine. Harl. 3277
The chiefe contents of the Passion are taken out of Seraphine Sonnet, 132.
Col tempo passa gli anni, i mesi, e l’hore,
Col tempo le richeze, imperio, e regno,
Col tempo fama, honor, fortezza, e ingegno,
Col tempo gioventa con belta more &c.
But this Authour inverteth the order which Seraphine vseth, sometimes for his rimes sake, but for the most part, vpon some other more allowable consideration.
Time wasteth yeeres, and month’s, and howr’s:
Time doth consume fame, honour, wit and strength:
Time kills the greenest Herbes and sweetest flowr’s:
Time weares out youth and beauties lookes at length:
Time doth convey to ground both foe and friend, 5
And each thing els but Loue, which hath no end.
Time maketh eu’ry tree to die and rott:
Time turneth ofte our pleasures into paine:
Time causeth warres and wronges to be forgott:
Time clears the skie, which first hung full of rayne: 10
Time makes an end of all human desire,
But onley this, which settes my heart on fire.
Time turneth into naught each Princely state:
Time brings a fludd from newe resolued snowe:
Time calmes the Sea where tempest was of late: 15
Time eats what ere the Moone can see belowe:
And yet no time preuailes in my behoue,
Nor any time can make me cease to loue. Harl. 3277
This Passion concerneth the lowring of his Mistres and herein for the most part the Authour imitateth Agnola Firenzuola; who vpon the like subiect writeth as followeth,
O belle done, prendam pietade
Di me pur hor’in talpa trafformato
D’huom, che pur dianza ardiva mirar fiso
Come Aquila il sol chiar in paradiso.
Cosi va’l mondo, e cosi spesso accade
A chi si fida inamoroso stato, &c.
What scowling cloudes haue ouercast the skie,
That these mine eies cannot, as woonte they were,
Beholde their second Sunne intentively?
Some strange Eclipse is hap’ned as I feare,
Whereby my Sunne is either bard of light, 5
Or I my selfe haue lost my seeing quite.
Most likely soe, since Loue him selfe is blinde,
And Venus too (perhaps) will haue it so,
That Louers wanting sight shall followe kinde.
O then fair Dames, bewaile my present woe,
Which thus am made a moale, and blindfolde runne
Where Aegle like I late beheld the Sunne.
But out, alas, such guerdon is assigde
To all that loue and follow Cupids car:
He tyres their limmes and doth bewitch their minde, 15
And makes within them selues a lasting warre.
Reason with much adoe doth teach me this,
Though yet I cannot mend what is a misse. Harl. 3277
The Author in this Passion seemeth vppon mislike of his wearisome estate in loue to enter into a deepe discourse with him selfe touching the particular miseries which befall him that loueth. And for his sense in this place, hee is very like vnto himselfe, where in a Theme diducted out of the bowelles of Antigone in Sophocles (which he lately translated into Latine, and published in print) he writeth in very like manner as followeth.
Mali quando Cupidinis
Venas aestus edax occupat intimas,
Artes ingenium labitur in malas;
Iactatur varie, nec Cereris subit
Nec Bacchi studium; pervigiles trahit
Noctes; cura animum sollicita atterit, &c.
And it may appeare by the tenuor of this Passion that the Authour prepareth him selfe to fall from Loue and all his lawes, as will well appeare by the sequell of his other Passions that followe, which are all made vpon this Posie, My Loue is past.
Where heate of loue doth once possesse the heart, ,,
There cares oppresse the minde with wondrous ill, ,,
Wit runns awrye, not fearing future smarte, ,,
And fond desire doth ouermaster will: ,,
The belly neither cares for meate nor drinke, ,, 5
Nor ouerwatched eyes desire to winke: ,,
Footsteps are false, and wau’ring too and froe; ,,
The brightsome flow’r of beauty fades away: ,,
Reason retyres, and pleasure brings in woe: ,,
And wisedom yeldeth place to black decay: ,, 10
Counsell, and fame, and friendship are contemn'd: ,,
And bashful shame, and Gods themselves condemn’d. ,,
Watchful suspect is linked with despaire: ,,
Inconstant hope is often drown’d in feares: ,,
What folly hurts, not fortune can repayre; ,, 15
And misery doth swimme in Seas of teares: ,,
Long vse of life is but a lingring foe, ,,
And gentle death is only end of woe. ,, Harl. 3277
MY LOVE IS PAST
All such as are but of indifferent capacitie, and haue some skill in Arithmetike, by viewing this Sonnet following compiled by rule and number, into the form of a piller, may soone iudge how much art and study the Author hath bestowed in the same. Wherein as there are placed many preaty obseruations, so these which I will set downe, may be marked for the principall, if any man haue such idle leasure to look it ouer, as the Authour had, when he framed it. First therefore it is to be noted that the whole pilear (except the basis or foote thereof) is by relation of either halfe to the other Antitheticall or Antisyllabicall. Secondly, how this posie (Amare est insanire) runneth twyse throughout ye Column, if ye gather but the first letter of euery whole verse orderly (excepting the two last) and then in like manner take but the last letter of euery one of the said verses, as they stand. Thirdly is to bee obserued that euery verse, but the two last, doth end with the same letter it beginneth, and yet through out the whole a true time is perfectly obserued, although not after our accustomed manner. Fourthly, that the foote of the piller is Orchematicall that is to say, founded by transilition or ouer skipping of number by rule and order, as from 1 to 3, 5, 7, and 9; the secret vertue whereof may be learned in Trithemius, as namely by tables of transilition to decipher any thing that is written by secret transposition of letters, bee it neuer so cunningly conueighed. And lastly, this obseruation is not to be neglected, that when all the foresaide particulars as performed, the whole pillar is but iust 18 verses, as will appeare in the page following it, Per modum expansionis. Harl. 3277
MY LOVE IS PAST
A Pasquine Piller erected in the despite of Love.
A 1 At
2 last, though
3 late, farewell
4 olde well a da : A
m 5 Mirth or mischance strike
a 6 vp a newe alarM, And m
7 Cypria la nemica
r 8 miA Retire to Cyprus Ile, a
e 9 and ceafe thy waRR, Else must thou proue how r
E 10 Reason can by charmE Enforce to flight thy e
s 11 blindfolde bratte and thee. So frames it with mee now, E
t 12 that I confesS, The life I ledde in Loue deuoyde s / t
I 12 of resT, It was a Hell, where none felte more than I, I
n/s 11 Nor anye with lyke miseries forlorN. Since n
a 10 therefore now my woes are wexed lesS, And s
9 Reason bids me leave old welladA, a
n 8 No longer shall the world laugh mee
i 7 to scorN: I’le choose a path that n
r 6 shall not lead awrie. Rest i
5 then with mee from your
4 blinde Cupids carR r
e. 3 Each one of
2 you, that
3 and would be
5 freE. H’is dooble thrall e.
7 that liu's as Loue thinks best, whose
9 hande still Tyrant like to hurt is prefte.
Huius Columnae Basis, pro sillabarum numero et linearum proportione est Orchematica. Harl. 3277
Expansio columnae praecedentis
A At last, though late, farewell olde wellada; A
m Mirth for mischaunce strike vp a newe alarm; m
a And Ciprya la nemica mia a
r Retyre to Cyprus Ile and cease thy warr, r
e Els must thou proue how Reason can by charme e
E Enforce to flight thy blindfold bratte and thee. E
s So frames it with me now, that I confess s
t The life I ledde in Loye deuoyd of rest t
I It was a Hell, where none felt more than I, I
n Nor any with like miseries forlorn. n
s Since therefore now my woes are wexed less, s
a And Reason bids me leaue old wellada, a
n No longer shall the world laugh me to scorn: n
i I'le choose a path that shall not leade awri. i
r Rest then with me from your blinde Cupids carr r
e Each one of you that serue and would be free. e
His double thrall that liu's as Loue thinks best ,,
Whose hand still Tyrant like to hurt is prestt. ,, Harl. 3277
In this Sonnet the Author hath imitated one of Ronsard's Odes (au livre de ses Melanges); which beginneth thus,
Les Muses lierent un jour
De chaisnes de roses Amour,
Et pour le garder, le donnerent
Aus Graces et a la Beaute:
Qui voyans sa destoyaute,
Sus Parnase liemprisonnerent, &c.
The Muses not long since intrapping Loue
In chaines of roses linked all araye,
Gave Beawtie charge to watch in theire behoue
With Graces three, lest he should wend awaye:
Who fearing yet he would escape at last, 5
On high Parnassus toppe they clapt him fast.
When Venus vnderstoode her Sonne was thrall,
She made posthaste to have God Vulcans aid,
Sold him her Gems, and Ceston therewithall,
To ransome home her Sonne that was betraide; 10
But all in vaine, the Muses made no stoare
Of gold, but bound him faster than before.
Therefore all you, whome Loue did ere abuse,
Come clappe your handes with me, to see him thrall,
Whose former deedes no reason can excuse, 15
For killing those which hurt him not at all:
My selfe by him was lately led awrye,
Though now at last I force my loue to dye.
The Authour in this Sonnet expresseth his mallice towards Venus and her Sonne Cupid, by currying fauour with Diana, and by suing to haue the selfe same office in her walkes and forest, which sometimes her chast and best beloued Hippolitus enioyed. Which Hippolitus (as Seruius witnesseth) died by the false deceipt of his Stepmother Phaedra, for not yeelding ouer himselfe vnto her incestuous loue: whereuppon Seneca writeth thus,
Iuvenisque castus crimine incesta iacet,
Diana, since Hippolytus is deade,
Let me enioy thy fauor, and his place:
My might through will shall stand thee in some steade,
To drive blind Love and Venus from thy chase:
For where they lately wrought me mickle woe, 5
I vow me nowe to be theire mortall foe.
And doe thou not mistrust my chastitie
When I shall raunge amidst thy virgine traine:
My raynes are chastned so through miserie,
That Loue with me can nere preuvaile againe: 10
The childe, whose finger once hath felt the fire, ,,
To playe therewith will haue but smale desire. ,,
Besides, I vow to beaer a watchful eye,
Discou’ring such as passe along thy groue;
If Iuppiter him selfe come loytring by, 15
Ile call thy crew and bid them fly from Ioue;
For if they stay, he will obtaine at last,
What now I loathe, because my loue is past. Harl. 3277
The chiefest substance of this Sonnet is borrowed out of certeine Latin verses of Strozza, a noble man of Italy, and one of the best Poets in all his age: who in describing Metaphorically to his friend Antonius the true form of his amorous estate, writeth thus:
Unda hic sunt lachrimae, venti supiriae, remi
Vota, error vetum, mens malesana ratis;
Spes temo, curae comites, constantia amoris
Est malus, dolor est anchora, navita amor, &c.
The souldiar worne with warres, delightes in peace;
The pilgrim in his ease when toyles are past;
The ship to gayne the porte, when stormes doe cease;
And I reioyce, from Loue discharg’d at last;
Whome while I seru’d, peace, rest, and land I lost, 5
With grieusome wars, with toyles, with storms betost.
Sweet liberty nowe giues me leave to sing,
What worlde it was, where Loue the rule did beare;
How foolish Chaunce by lottes rul’d euery thing;
How Error was maine saile, each waue a Teare; ,, 10
The master, Loue him selfe; deep sighes were winde; ,,
Cares row'd with vows the ship unmery mind, ,,
False hope as healme oft turn’d the boat about; ,,
Inconstant faith stood vp for middle maste ,,
Despaire the cable twisted all with Doubt ,, 15
Held Griping Griefe the pyked Anchor fast; ,,
Beautie was all the rockes. But I at last, ,,
Am now twise free, and all my loue is past. ,, Harl. 3277
The sense of this Sonnet is for the most part taken out of a letter which Aeneas Syluius wrote vnto his friend, to persuade him that albeit he lately had published the wanton loue of Lucretia and Euryalus, yet hee liked nothing lesse then such fond Loue; and that he nowe repented him of his owne labour ouer idlely bestowed in describing the same.
Sweet liberty restores my woonted ioy,
And bids me tell how painters set to viewe
The form of Loue. They paint him but a Boy,
As working most in mindes of youthfull crewe:
They set him naked all, as wanting shame 5
To keepe his secret partes or t’hide the same.
They paint him blinde in that he cannot spy
What diffrence is twixt vertue and default.
With Boe in hand, as one that doth defie,
And cumber heedelesse heartes with fierce assault: 10
His other hand doth hold a brand of fire,
In signe of heate he makes through hot desire.
They giue him winges to flie from place to place,
To note that all are wau’ring like the winde,
Whose liberty fond Loue doth once deface. 15
This forme to Loue old paynters have assignd:
Whose fond effects if any list to proue,
Where I make end, let them begin to Loue. Harl. 3277
The Authour in the firste staffs of this Sonnet, expresseth how Loive first went beyond him, by persuading him that all was golde which glistered. In the second, he telleth, how time brought hum to trueth, and Trueth to Reason, by whose good counsell he found the way from worse to better, and did ouergoe the malice of blind Fortune. In the third staffe, he craueth pardon at every man for the offenses of his youth; and to Loue, the onely cause of his long errour, he giveth his ultimum vale.
Youth made a fault through lightnes of Beleefe,
Which fond Beleefe Loue placed in my brest:
But nowe I finde, that Reason giues reliefe;
And time shews Trueth and Witt thats bought, is best;
Muse not therefore although I chaunge my vaine, 5
He runs too far which never turns again.
Henceforth my mind shall haue a watchfull eye,
Ile scorn Fond Loue, and practise of the same:
The wisdome of my hart shall soone descrie
Each thing thats good, from what deserueth blame: 10
My song shalbe; Fortune hath spitte her spight,
And Loue can hurt no more withal his might.
Therefore, all you to whome my course is knowne,
Think better comes, and pardon what is past:
I finde that all my wildest Oates are sowne, 15
And ioy to see, what now I see at last;
And since that Loue was cause I trode a wry,
I heere take off his Bels, and let him flie. Harl. 3277
This whole Sonnet is nothing els but a briefe and pithy morale, and made after the same vaine with that which is last before it. The two first staffes, (excepting onely the two first verses of all) expresse the Authours alteration of minde and life, and his change from his late vaine estate and follies in loue, by a metaphore of the shipman, which by shipwrackes chaunce is happely restoared on a sudden vnto that land which he a long time had most wished for.
I long maintaiyned warre gainst Reasons rule,
I wandred pilgrime like in Errours maze
I sat in Follies ship, and playde the foole,
Till on Repentance rocke hir sides did craze:
Herewith I learne by hurtes alreadie past, 5
That each extreme will change it selfe at last. ,,
This shipwrackes chance hath set me on a shelfe,
Where neither Loue can hurte me any more,
Nor Fortunes hand, though she enforce her selfe;
Discretion graunts to set me safe on shoare, 10
Where guile is fettred fast and wisedome rules,
To punish heedles hearts and wilful fooles,
And since the heau’ns have better lot assignde,
I feare to burne, as hauing felte the fire;
And proofe of harmes so changed hath my minde, 15
That witt and will to Reason do retyre:
Not Venus nowe, nor Loue with all his snares
Can drawe my witts to woes at vnawares. Harl. 3277
The two first staffes of this Sonnet are altogether sententiall, and euerie one verse of them is grownded upon a divers reason and authoritie from the rest. I have thought good for breuitie sake, onelue to set downe here the authorities, with figures, whereby to applie euery one of them to his due lyne in order as they stand. 1. Hieronimus: In delicis difficile est servare castitatem. 2. Ausonius: Dispulit inconsultus amor &c. 3. Seneca: Amor est ociosae causa sollicitudinis. 4. Propertius: Errat, qui finem vesani querit amoris. 5. Horatius: Semper ardentes acuens sagittas. 6. Xenophon: scribit amorem esse igne, et flamma flagrantiorem, quod ignis urat tangentes, et proxima tantum cremet, amor ex longinquo spectante torreat. 7. Calenti: Plurima zelotipo sunt in amore mala. 8. Ouidius: Inferet arma tibi saeva rebellis amor. 9. Pontanus: Si vacuum sineret perfidiosus amor. 10. Marullus: Quid tantum lachrimis meis proterve insultas, puer? 11. Tibullus: At lascivus amor rixae mala verba ministrat. 12. Virgilius, de vino et venere: Bellum saeepe petit ferus exitiale Cupido.
Loue hath delight in sweete delicious fare; (1) ,,
Loue neuer takes good Counsell for his frende; (2) ,,
Loue author is, and cause of ydle care; (3),,
Loue is distraught of witte, and hath no end; (4) ,,,
Loue shoteth shaftes of burning hote desire; (5) ,, 5
Loue burneth more than eyther flame or fire; (6) ,,
Loue doth much harme through Iealosies assault; (7) ,,
Loue once embrast will hardly part againe; (8) ,,
Loue thinks in breach of faith there is no fault; (9) ,,
Loue makes a sporte of others deadly paine; (10) ,, 10
Loue is a wanton Childe and loves to brall. (11) ,,
Loue with his warre brings many soules to thrall. (12) ,,
These are the smallest faultes that lurk in Loue.
These are the hurtes which I haue cause to curse,
These are those truethes which no man can disproue, 15
These are such harmes as none can suffer worse.
All this I write, that others may beware,
Though now my selfe twise free from all such care. Harl. 3277
In this Latin passion, the Authour translateth, as it were, paraphrastically the Sonnet of Petrarch (Sonnet 313), which beginneth thus.
Tennemi Amor anni vent’ uno ardendo,
Lieto nel foco, e nel duol pien di speme, &c.
But to make it serue his owne turne, he varieth from Petrarches words, where he declareth howe manie years he liued in loue, as well before, as since the death of his beloued Laura. Vnder which name also the Authour, in this Sonnet, specifieth her whom he lately loued.
Me sibi ter binos annos unumque subegit
Divus Amor, laetusque fui, licet ignibus arsim
Spemque habui certam, curis licet ictus acerbis.
Iamque duos alios exutus amore peregi,
Ac si sydereos mea Laura volarit in orbes, 5
Duxerit et secum veteris penetralia cordis.
Pertaesum tandem vitae me poenitet actae,
Et pudet erroris pene absumpsisse sub umbra.
Semina virtutum. Sed quae pars ultima restat,
Supplice mente tibi tandem, Deus alte, repono, 10
Et male transactae deploro tempora vitae,
Cuius agendus erat meliori tramite cursus,
Litis in arcendae studiis, et pace colendae.
Ergo, summe Deus, per quem sum clausus in isto
Carcere, ab aeterno salvum fac esse periclo. 15 Harl. 3277
In the latter part of this Sonnet the Authour imitateth those verses of Horace (ad Pyrrham Ode 5).
Me tabula sacer
Votiva paries indicat uvida
Vestimenta maris deo.
Whom also that renowned Florentine M. Agnolo Firenzuola did imitate long ago, both in like manner and matter, as followeth.
O miseri coloro,
Che non provar di donna fede mai:
Il pericol, ch’io corsi
Nel tempestoso mar, nella procella
Del lor crudel Amore
Mostrar lo può la tavoletta posta
E le vesti ancor molli
Sospese all tempio del horrendo Dio
Di questo mar crudele.
Ye captiue soules of blindefold Cyprians boate
Marke with aduise in what estate ye stande,
Your Boteman neuer whistles mearie noate,
And Folly keeping sterne, still puttes from land,
And makes a sport to tosse you to and froe 5
Twixt sighing windes and surging waues of woe.
On Beauties rocke she runnes you at her will,
And holdes you in suspense twixt hope and feare,
Where dying oft, yet are you liuing still,
But such a life as death much better were; 10
Be therefore circumspect and follow me,
When Chaunce, or chaunge of manners sets you free.
Beware how you returne to seas againe:
Hang vp your votiue tables in the quyre
Of Cupids Church, in witnesse of the paine 15
You suffer now by forced fond desire:
Then, hang your throughwett garmentes on the wall,
And sing with mee, That Loue is mixt with gall. Harl. 3277
Here the Author by comparing the tyrannous delightes and deedes of blinde Cupid with the honest delightes and deedes of other his fellow Goddesses and Gods, doth bless the time and howre that euer he forsooke to follow him; whom he confesseth to haue bene great and forcible in his doings, though but litle of stature, and in appearance weakelie. Of all the names here mentioned, Hebe is seldomest redde, wherefore know they which know it not alreadie, that Hebe (as Seruius writeth) is Iunoes daughter, hauing no father, and now wife to Hercules, and Goddesse of youth and youthlie sporting, and was cup-bearer to Ioue, till she fell in the presence of all the Goddes, so vnhappilie, that they saw her privities, whereupon Ioue being angry, substituted Ganimedes into her office and place.
Phebus delightes to view his Lawrel Tree;
The Poplar pleaseth Hercules alone;
Melissa mother is, and fautrix to the Bee,
Pallas will weare the Oliue braunche or none;
Of shepheardes and their flocke Pales is Queen; 5
And Ceres rypes the corne, was lately greene;
To Chloris eu’ry flower belonges of right;
The Dryade Nimphs of woodes make chiefe accoumpt;
Oreades in hills haue theire delight;
Diana doth protect each bubblinge Fount; 10
To Hebe louely kissing is assign’d;
To Zephir ee’ry gentle breathing winde.
But what is Loues delight? To hurt each where ,,
He cares not whome, with dartes of deepe desire; ,,
With watchfull iealosie, with hope, with feare, ,, 15
With nipping cold, and secrete flames of fire. ,,
O happie howre wherein I did foregoe
This little God, so greate a cause of woe. Harl. 3277
In the first and sixt line of this Passion the Authour alludeth to two sentencious verses in Sophocles; whereof the first is,
Ὦ μῶρε, θυμὸς δ᾿ ἐν κακοῖς οὐ ξύμφορον,
O foole, in evills fretting nought auailes
φανθὲν τίς ἂν δύναιτ᾿ ἀγένητον ποιεῖν;
For who can make vndon what once is done?
In the other two staffes following, the Authuor pursueth on his matter, beginning and ending euery line with the selfe same sillable he vsed in the first: wherein hee imitateth some Italian Poets, who more to triee their witts then for any other conceite, haue written after the like manner.
My loue is past, woe worth the day and how’r
When to such folly first I did encline,
Whereof the very thought is bitter sow’r,
And still would hurte, were not my soule diuine,
Or did not Reason teach that care in vaine 5
For ill once past, which cannot turn againe.
My Loue is past, blessed the day and how’r.
When from so fond estate I did decline,
Wherein was little sweet with mickle sow’r,
And losse of minde, whose substance is diuine. 10
Or at the lest, expence of time in vaine,
For which expense no Loue returneth gaine.
My Loue is past, wherein was no good how’r:
When others ioy]d, to cares I did encline,
Whereon I fede, although the taste were sow’r, 15
And still believ'd Loue was some pow’r diuine,
Or some instinct, which could not work in vaine,
Forgetting, Time well spent was double gaine. Harl. 3277
In this Passion the Authour hath but augmented the invention of Seraphine, where he writeth in this manner.
Biastemo quando mai le labbra apersi
Per dar name à costei, che acciò me induce.
Biastemo il tempo, e quanti giorni hò persi
A seguitar si tenebrosa luce:
Biastemo charta, inchiostro, e versi,
Et quanto Amor per me fama gliaduce;
Biastemo quando mai la vidi anchora,
El mese, l’anno, e giorno, el punto, e l’hora.
I Curse the time, wherein these lips of mine
Did praye or praise the Dame that was vnkinde:
I curse both leafe, and ynke, and euery line
My hand hath writ, in hope to moue her minde:
I curse her hollowe heart and flattring eyes, 5
Whose slie deceyte did cause my mourning cryes:
I curse the sugard speach and Syrens song,
Wherewith so oft she hath bewitcht mine eare:
I curse my foolish will, that stay’d so long,
And tooke delight to bide twixte hope and feare: 10
I curse the howre wherein I first began
By louing lookes to prove a witlesse man:
I curse those dayes which I haue spent in vaine,
By seruing such an one as reackes no right:
I curse each cause of all my secret paine, 15
Though Loue to heare the same haue small delight:
And since the heau’ns my freedom now restore,
Hence fourth Ile liue at ease, and loue no more. Harl. 3277
A Labyrinth is a place made full of turnings and creekes, wherehence, he that is once gotten in can hardly get out againe. Of this sort Pliny (Lib. 36, ca. 13) mentioneth foure in the world which were most noble. One in Crete made by Daedalus, at the commaundmente of king Minos, to shut vp the Minotaure in: to which monster the Athenians by league were bound, euery yeere to send seuen of their children, to bee deuoured; which was perforrmed till at the last, by the helpe of Ariadne, Theseus slewe the monster. Another he mentioneth to haue beene in Aegypt, which also Pomponius Mela describeth in his first booke. The third in Lemnos, wherein were erected a hundreth and fifty pillers of singuler workmanship. The fourth in Italy, builded by Porsenna king of Hetruria, to serue for his sepulchre. But in this Passion the Authour alludeth vnto that of Crete only.
Though somewhat late, at last I found the wayXCVI.
To leaue the doubtfull Labyrinth of Loue,
Wherein (alas) each minute seemd a day:
Him selfe was Minotaure; whose force to prove
I was enforst, till Reason taught my mind 5
To stay the beast, and leave him there behind.
But being scaped thus from out his maze,
And past the dang’rous Denne so full of doubt,
False Theseus like, my credite shall I craze,
Forsaking her whose hande did help me out? 10
With Ariadne Reason shall not say,
I sau’d his life, and yet he runnes away.
No, no, before I leaue the golden rule,
Or lawes of her that stoode so much my friend,
Or once againe will play the louing foole, 15
The sky shall fall, and all shall haue an end:
I wish as much to you that louers be,
Whose paines will passe, if you beware by me. Harl. 3277
MY LIFE IS PASTIn this Passion, the Author in skoffing bitterly at Venus and her son Cupid, alludeth vnto certain verses in Ouid, but inverteth them to another sense than Ouid vsed, who wrote them vpon the death of Tibullus. These are the verses, which he imitateth (1 Elegiar. lib. 1).
Ecce puer Veneris fert eversamque pharetram,
Et fractos arcus, et sine luce facem,
Aspice demissis ut eat miserabilis alis,
Pectoraque infesta tondat aperta manu &c.
Nec minus est confusa Venus &c.
Quam iuvenis rupit cum ferus inguen aper.
What ayles poore Venus nowe to sit alone
In funerall attyre, her woonted hew
Quite chang’d, her smile to teares, her myrth to moan:
As though Adonis woundes now bled anew,
Or she with young Iulus late return’d 5
From seeing her Aeneas carkas burn’d.
Alack for woe, what ayles her little Boy,
To haue his tender cheekes besprent with teares,
And sit and sigh, where he was wonte to toy?
How happes, no longer he his quiuer weares, 10
But breakes his Bow, throwing the shiuers by,
And pluckes his winges and lettes his fyrebrand dye?
No, Dame and Darling too, yee come to late,
To winne me now, as you haue done tofore:
I liue secure and quiet in estate, 15
Fully resolu’d from louing any more:
Goe pack for shame from hence to Cyprus Ile,
And there goe play your prankes an other while.
The Authour in this passion alludeth to the fable of Phineus, which is sette downe at large in the Argonauticks of Apollonius, and Valerius Flaccus. He compareth him selfe unto Phineus, his Mistres unto the Harpyes; and his thoughts unto Zetes, and his desires unto Calais, the two twinnes of Boreas; and the voice of Ne plus ultra spoken from Heauen to Calais and Zetes, vnto the Diuine grace, which willed him to follow no further the miseries of a Louers estate, but to professe vnfainedly that his Loue is past. And last of all, the Author concludeth against the sower sawce of Loue with the French prouerbe: Pour un plaisir mille douleurs [“A thousand sorrows for a single pleasure.”]
The Harpye birdes that did in such despight
Greiue and annoy old Phineus so sore,
Where chasd away by Calais in flight
And by his brother Zetes for euermore;
Who follow’d them vntill they hard on high 5
A voice, that said, Ye Twinnes, No further fly.
Phineus I am, that so tormented was;
My Laura here I may an Harpye name;
My thoughtes and lustes be Sonnes to Boreas,
Which neuer ceas’t in following my Dame, 10
Till heau’nly grace said vnto me at last,
“Leaue fond Delights, and say thy loue is past.”
My loue is past I say, and sing full glad;
My time, alas, mispent in Loue I rewe,
Wherein few ioyes, or none at all I had, 15
But stoare of woes: I found the prouerbe true,
For eu’ry pleasure that in Loue is found,
A thousand woes and more therein abound.
The Authour in this passion, telling what Loue is, easeth his heart, as it were, by rayling out right, where he can worke no other manner of revenge. The inuention hereof, for the most part of the particulars conteyned, is taken out of certaeine Latine verses which this Author composed vpon Quid Amor. Which because they may well importe a passion of the writer, and aptly befitte the present title of his ouerpassed Loue, he setteth them downe in this next page following, but not as accomptable for one of the hundreth passions of this booke.
Harke wanton youthes, whom Beawtie maketh blinde,
And learn of mee what kind a thing is Loue;
Loue is a Brainsicke Boy, and fierce by kinde;
A Willfull Thought, which Reason can not moue;
A Flattring Sycophant; a Murd’ring Thiefe; 5
A Poysned choaking Bayte; a Tysing Griefe;
A Tyrant in his Lawes; in speach vntrue;
A Blindfold Guide; a Feather in the winde;
A right Chameleon for change of hewe;
A Lamelimme Lust; a Tempest of the minde; 10
A Breach of Chastitie; all vertues Foe;
A Priuate warre; a Toilsome webbe of woe;
A Fearfull iealosie; a Vaine Desire;
A Labyrinth; a Pleasing Miserie;
A Shipwracke of man's life; a Smoakelesse fire; 15
A Sea of teares; a Lasting Lunacie;
A Heavy seruitude; a Dropsie Thurst;
A Hellish Gaile, whose captiues are accurst.
Quid sit amor, qualisque, cupis me scire magistro?
Est Veneris proles: coelo metuendus, et Orco;
Et levior ventis; et fulminis ocyor alis;
Pervigil excubitor; fallax comes; invidus hospes;
Armatus puer; insanus iuuenis; novitatis 5
Questor, belli fautor; virtuti inimicus;
Splendidus ore, nocens promisso; lege tyrannus;
Dux caecus; gurges viciorum; noctis alumnus;
Fur clandestinus; mors vivida; mortua vita;
Dulcis inexpertis, expertis durus; eremus 10
Stultitiae; facula ignescens; vesana libido;
Zelotypum frigus; mala mens; corrupta voluntas;
Pluma levis; morbus iecoris; dementia prudens;
Infamis leno; Bacchi, Cererisque minister;
Prodiga libertas animae; pruritus inanis; 15
Pravorum carcer; corrupti sanguinis ardor;
Irrationalis motus; sycophanta bilinguis;
Struma pudicitiae; fumi expers flamma; patronus
Periurae linguae; prostrato saevus; amicus
Immeritis; animi tempestas; luxuriosus 20
Praeceptor, sine fine malum; sine pace duellum;
Naufragium humanae vitae; laethale venenum;
Flebile cordolium; grave calcar; acuta sagitta;
Sontica pernicies, nodosae causa podagrae;
Natus ad infidias vulpes: pontus lachrymarum; 25
Virgineae zonae ruptura; dolosa voluptas;
Multicolor serpens; urens affectus; inermis
Bellator; seniique caput, seniumque iuuentae;
Ante diem funus; portantis vipera; moestus
Pollinctor; syren fallax; mors praevia morti; 30
Insector nemorum; erroris Labyrinthus; amara
Dulcedo; inventor falsi; via perditionis;
Formarum egregius spectator; poena perennis;
Suspirans ventus; singultu plena querela;
Triste magisterium; multae iactura diei; 35
Martyrium innocui; temerarius advena; pondus
Sisyphium; radix curarum; desidis esca;
Febris anhela; sitis morosa; hidropicus ardor.
Vis uno dicam verbo? Incarnata Gehenna est.
[“What is Love?
You wish to learn what Love is, and of what quality, by my instruction? He is the child of Venus, to be feared by heaven and Hell. He is lighter than a breeze, and swifter than winged lightning. He is a wakeful watchman; a cheating companion; a jealous guest; an armed boy, a crazed youth; a seeker after novelty, a stirrer-up of strife; an enemy of virtue; splendid of visage, harmful with his promise; a tyrant with his law; a blind guide; a sink of vices; a child of night; a furtive thief; a living death, a death in life; a stranger to the sweet, no stranger to the bitter; a desert of folly; a burning brand; mad desire; a jealous sloth; an ill-disposed mind, a corrupted will; a light feather; a disease of the liver; a wise dementia; a shameful pander; a slave of Bacchus and Ceres; a spendthrift freedom of soul; a pointless itch, a dungeon of the depraved; an ardor of tainted blood; an irrational impulse, a two-tongued toady; a cancer of shame; fire without smoke; a patron of a perjured tongue; harsh to the prostrate, a friend to the undeserving; a storm of the mind; a wanton teacher, an evil without end, a war without peace; a shipwreck of human life; a deadly poison; a lamentable pain of the heart; a heavy spur; a sharp arrow; a guilty plague; a cause of swollen gout; a fox born to deceit; an ocean of tears; the breaking of a virgin’s girdle; a painful pleasure; a parti-colored snake; a burning affliction; a maker of war against the unarmed; the source of old age, old age for youth; death before your day; a viper for him who bears it; a baleful corpse-washer; a deceptive Siren; a death that is death’s forerunner; a forest-hunter; a labyrinth of error; a bitter sweetness; an inventor of falsehood; a road to perdition; a notable observer of outward appearances; a perennial punishment; a sighing wind; a plaint full of sighing; a dire regime; the loss of many a day; a martyrdom of the innocent; a rash guest; a Sisyphean weight; a root of cares; a bait for the slothful; a gasping fever; a gloomy thirst; a dropsical ardor. You want me to put it all in a word? He is Gehenna incarnate.”]
This passion is an imitation of the first Sonnet in Seraphine, and grownded upon that which Aristotle writeth of the Aegle (Lib. 9 Hist. anima.), for the proofe she maketh of her birdes, by setting them to behold the Sonne. After whom Pliny (Nat. Hist. lib. 10 cap. 1) hath written, as followeth: Aquila implumes etiamnum pullos suos percutiens, subinde cogit adversos intueri solis radios: et si conniventum humectantemque animadvertit, praecipitat e nido,velut adulterinum atque degenerem: illum, cuius acies firma contra steterit, educat.
The haughtie Aegle Birde, of Birdes the best,
Before the feathers of her younglinges growe,
She liftes them one by one from out their nest,
To vewe the Sunne, thereby her owne to knowe;
Those that behold it not with open eye, 5
She lettes them fall, not able yet to flye.
Such was my case, when Loue possest my mind;
Each thought of mine, which could not bide the light
Of her my Sonne, whose beames had made me blinde,
I made my Will suppress it with Despight: 10
But such a thought as could abide her best,
I harbor'd still within my careful brest.
But those fond dayes are past, and halfe forgot;
I practise now the quite cleane contrary:
What thoughts can like of her, I like them not, 15
But choake them streight, for feare of ieopardy;
For though that Loue to some do seem a Toy;
I know by proof that Loue is long annoy.
The Author faineth here that Loue, essaying with his brand to fire the heart of some such Lady, on whome it would not worke, immediately, to trie whether the old vertue of it were extinguished or no, applied it vnto his owne brest, and thereby foolishlie consumed him selfe. This inuention hath some relation vnto the Epitaph of Loue, written by M. Girolimo Parabosco;
In cenere giace qui sepolto Amore,
Colpa di quella, che morir mi face &c.
Resolu'd to dust entomb’d here lieth Loue,
Through faulte of her, who heere her selfe should lye;
He strooke her brest, but all in vaine did proue
To fire the yse and doubting by and by
His brand had lost his force, he gan to trye 5
Vpon him selfe; which tryall made him dye.
In sooth no force; let those lament who lust,
Ile sing a carroll song for obsequy;
For towardes me his dealings were vniust,
And cause of all my passed misery: 10
The Fates, I thinke, seeing what I had past,
In my behalf wrought this revenge at last.
But somewhat more to pacyfie my minde,
By illing him, through whome I liu’d a slaue,
Ile cast his ashes to the open winde, 15
Or write this Epitaph vppon his graue;
Here lyeth Loue, of Mars the bastard Sonne,
Whose foolish fault to death him selfe hath donne.
This is an Epilogue to the whole worke, and more like a praier than a Passion: and is faithfully translated out of Petrarch, Sonnet. 314. 2. part, where he beginneth,
I vò piangendo i miei passati tempi
I quai posi in amar cosa mortale,
Senza levarmi a volo, hauenà io l’ale
Per dar forse di me non bassi essempi &c.
Lugeo iam querulus vitae tot lustra peractae,
Quae male consumpsi, mortalia vana secutus,
Cum tamen alatus potue volitasse per altum,
Exemplarque suisse aliis, nec inutile forsan.
Tu mea qui peccata vides, culpasque nefandas, 5
Coeli summe parens, magnum, et venerabile numen,
Collapsae succurre animae; mentisque caducae
Candida defectum tua gratia suppleat omnem.
Ut, qui sustinui bellum, durasque procellas,
In pace, et portu moriar: minimeque probanda 10
Si mea vita fuit, tamen ut claudatur honeste.
Tantillo vitae spacio, quod forte supersit,
Funeribusque, meis praesentem porrige dextram;
Ipse vides, in te quam spes mea tota reposta est. Harl. 3277
[“Now I querulously make my plaint, having consumed so great a span of my life, which I have ill squandered, pursuing vain mortal concerns, though winged I could have flown aloft, being an example to other men, and perhaps not a useless one. But You, great Father of heaven, aid my prostrate soul. And let Your shining grace make good every failing of my falling mind, so that I, who have withstood war and harsh storms, may die in peace and in port, and so that, if my life has scarce been laudable, it may nevertheless be honorably brought to a close. Give me Your ready hand in this brief space of life which perhaps remains, and at my death. You Yourself see how all my hope is placed in You.”]
The Labour is light, where Loue is the Paimistres