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Didst thou not mark my face! Was it not white?
Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye?
Grew I not faint? And fell I not downright?
Within my bosom, whereon thou dost lie,
My boding heart pants, beats, and takes no rest,
But like an earthquake shakes thee on my breast.
For where love reigns, disturbing jealousy
Doth call himself affection's centinel ;
Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny,
And in a peaceful hour doth cry, Kill, kill;
Distemp’ring gentle love with his desire,
As air and water doth abate the fire.
This sour informer, this hate-breeding spy,
This canker that eats up love's tender spring,
This carry-tale, dissentious jealousy,
That sometime true news, sometime false doth bring;
Knocks at my heart and whispers in mine ear,
That if I lov'd thee, I thy death should fear.
And more than so, presenteth to mine eye
The picture of an angry chasing boar,
Under whose sharp fangs, on his back doth lie
An image like thyself, all stain’d with gore ;
Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed,
Doth make 'em drop with grief, and hang the head.
What should I do, seeing thee so indeed?
That trembling at th’imagination,
The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed,
And fear doth teach it divination.
I prophesy thy death, my living sorrow,
If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow,
But if thou needs will hunt, be rul'd by me;
Uncoupled at the timorous flying hare;
Or at the fox, which lives by subtilty;
Or at the roe, which no encounter dare :
Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs,
And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy hounds.
And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare,
Mark the poor wretch; to overshut his troubles,
How he out-runs the wind, and with what care,
He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles.
The many umsits thro' the which he goes,
Are like a labyrinth ťamaze his foes.
Sometime he runs among the flook of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell;
And sometime where earth delving-conies keep,
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell;
And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer:
Danger deviseth shifts, wit waits on fear.
For there is smell with others being mingled,
The hot-scent-snuffing hound are driven to doubt,
Ceasing their clamorous cry, till they have singled,
With much ado, the cold fault cleanly out,
Then do they spend their mouths; Echo replies,
As if another chace were in the skies.
By this poor Wat far off, upon a hill,
Stands on bis hinder legs with list’ning ear,
To harken if his foes pursue him still :
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear,
And now his grief may be compared well,
To one sore sick, that hears the passing bell.
Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabled wretch
Turn, and return indenting with the way:
Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch,
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay :
For misery is trodden on by many;
And being low, never reliev'd by any.
Lie quietly, and hear a little more:
Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise :
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar,
Unlike myself, thou hear'st me moralize,
Applying this to that, and so to so ;
For love can comment upon every woe.
Where did I leave ? No matter where (quoth he)
Leave me, and then the story aptly ends.
The night is spent. Why what of that? (quoth she)
I am (quoth he) expected of my friends :
And now 'tis dark, and going I shall fall.
In night (quoth she) desire sees best of all.
But if thou fall, o ! then innagine this,
The earth in love with thee, thy footing trips,
And all is but to rob thee of a kiss.
Rich preys make rich men thieves, so do thy lips
Make modest DIAN cloudy and forlorn,
Lest she should steal a kiss, and die forsworn.
Now of this dark night I perceive the reason,
CYNTHIA for shame obscures her silver shrine,
Till forging nature be condemn’d of treason,
For stealing moulds from heaven, that were divine,
Wherein she fram’d thee in high heaven's despite,
To shame the sun by day, and her by night.
And therefore hath she brib'd the destinies
To cross the curious workmanship of nature,
To mingle beauty with infirmities,
And pure perfection with impure defeature;
Making it subject to the tyranny
Of sad mischances and much misery,
As burning fever, agues pale and faint,
Life-poisoning pestilence and frenzies woad,
The marrow-eating sickness, whose attaint
Disorder breeds by heating of the blood :
Surfeits, imposthumes, grief and damn’d despair,
Swear nature's death, for framing thee so fair.
And not the least of all these maladies,
But in one minute's sight brings beauty under:
Both favour, savour, hue and qualities,
Whereat th' imperial gazer late did wonder,
Are on the sudden wasted, thaw'd, and done,
As mountain snows melt with the mid-day sun.
Therefore, despite of fruitless chastity,
Love-lacking vestals, and self-loving nuns,
That on the earth would breed a scarcity
And barren dearth of daughters and of sons,
Be prodigal. The lamp that burns by night,
Dries up his oil, to lend the world his light.
What is thy body, but a swallowing grave,
Seeming to bury that posterity,
Which by the rights of time thou needs must have,
If thou destroy them not in their obscurity ?
If so, the world will hold thee in disdain,
Sith in thy pride so fair a hope is slain.