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Can that for true love pass,
When a fair woman courts her glass
Something unlike must in love's likeness be;
His wonder is, one, and variety: -
For he, whose soul nought but a soul can move,
Does a new Narcissus prove,
And his own image love.
That souls do beauty know, 'T is to the bodies' help they owe; If, when they know’t, they straight abuse that trust, And shut the body from 't, "t is as unjust As if I brought my dearest friend to see My mistress, and at th' instant he Should steal her quite from me.
LOVE in her sunny eyes does basking play;
Love walks the pleasant mazes of her hair;
Love does on both her lips for ever stray,
And sows and reaps a thousand kisses there:
In all her outward parts Love's always seen;
But, oh! he never went within.
Within, Love's foes, his greatest foes, abide,
Malice, Inconstancy, and Pride:
So, the earth's face trees, herbs, and flowers, de
With other beauties numberless;
But at the centre darkness is, and hell;
There wicked spirits, and there the damned, dwell.
With me, alas! quite contrary it fares;
Darkness and death lie in my weeping eyes,
Despair, and paleness, in my face appears,
And grief, and fear, Love's greatest enemies;
But, like the Persian tyrant, Love within
Keeps his proud court, and ne'er is seen.
Oh! take my heart, and by that means you’ll prove
Within too stor'd enough of love:
Give me but yours, I’ll by that change so thrive,
That love in all my parts shall live.
So powerful is this change, it render can
My outside Woman, and your inside Man.
FAIREST thing that shines below,
Why in this robe dost thou appear
Wouldst thou a white most perfect show,
Thou must at all no garment wear:
Thou wilt seem much whiter so,
Than winter when 't is clad with snow.
'T is not the linen shews so fair;
Her skin shines through, and makes it bright:
So clouds themselves like suns appear,
When the sun pierces them with light:
So, lilies in a glass inclose,
The glass will seem as white as those.
-Thou now one heap of beauty art;
Nought outwards, or within, is foul:
Condensed beams make every part;
Thy body’s clothed like thy soul;
Thy soul, which does itself display,
Like a star plac'd i' th' milky way.
Such robes the saints departed wear,
Woven all with light divine;
Such their exalted bodies are,
And with such full glory shine:
But they regard not mortals' pain;
Men pray, I fear, to both in vain.
Yet, seeing thee so gently pure,
My hopes will needs continue still;
Thou wouldst not take this garment, sure,
When thou hadst an intent to kill !
Of peace and yielding who would doubt,
When the white flag he sees hung out
So torn, and so defac'd, it lies,
That it could ne'er be known by th’ eyes;
But, oh! at last I heard it groan,
And knew by th’ voice that 't was mine own.
So poor Alcione, when she saw
A shipwreck'd body tow'rds her draw,
Beat by the waves, let fall a tear,
Which only then did pity wear:
But, when the corpse on shore were cast,
Which she her husband found at last,
What should the wretched widow do
Grief chang'd her straight; away she flew,
Turn'd to a bird : and so at last shall I
Both from my murder'd heart and murderer fly.
ANSWER TO THE PLATONICKS.
SO angels love: so let them love for me;
When I’m all soul, such shall my love too be:
Who nothing here but like a spirit would do,
In a short time, believe’t, will be one too.
But, shall our love do what in beasts we see *
Ev’n beasts eat too, but not so well as we :
And you as justly might in thirst refuse
The use of wine, because beasts water use:
They taste those pleasures as they do their food;
Undress'd they take’t, devour it raw and crude:
ANSWER TO THE PLATONICKS. 23
But to us men, Love cooks it at his fire,
And adds the poignant sauce of sharp desire.
Beasts do the same: "t is true; but ancient Fame
Says, Gods themselves turn'd beasts to do the
The Thunderer, who, without the female bed,
Could Goddesses bring-forth from out his head,
Chose rather mortals this way to create;
So much he esteem'd his pleasure 'bove his state.
Ye talk of fires which shine, but never burn;
In this cold world they’ll hardly serve our turn;
As useless to despairing lovers grown,
As lambent flames to men i' th' frigid zone.
The Sun does his pure fires on earth bestow
With nuptial warmth, to bring-forth things below;
Such is Love's noblest and divinest heat,
That warms like his, and does, like his, beget.
Lust you call this; a name to yours more just,
If an inordinate desire be lust:
Pygmalion, loving what none can enjoy,
More lustful was than the hot youth of Troy.