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              Pamphilia, to Amphilanthus: A Sonnet Sequence
from the Countesse of Mountgomeries Urania  [1621]
By Lady Mary Wroth
Transcribed, with an introduction, notes, and bibliography,
by  Richard Bear
University of Oregon
December,  1992
[By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library]
A note on this etext edition
The text for this etext edition was transcribed by Richard Bear and
proofread by Richard Bear and Micah Bear, and follows that of the printed
Mariott and Grismand text of 1621, as found in the copy in the collection
of the Folger Shakespeare Library. The editor wishes to thank the Folger
Library for permission to use the text of their copy, and also thanks
Professor Casey Charles for valuable suggestions concerning the
Italics found in the original have not been indicated here. Long "s" has
been silently emended to short "s"; however, seventeenth century usage of
"i" for "j" and  of "u" and "v" have been retained. Catchwords have been
eliminated. Probable typographical errors and compositor's misreadings have
been enclosed in brackets, and emendations for these, based on Josephine
Robert's reading of Lady Mary's manuscript, are suggested in the right-hand
margin. Pagination follows that of the compositor, who is sometimes in
error, and is indicated within angled brackets, also in the right-hand
margin. Endnotes are indicated within the text by numbers enclosed within
braces. It is possible that these notes and marginalia may interfere with
string searches and vocabulary analyses; *do* feel free to make working
copies from which you may remove extraneous matter. Copyright (1992) has
been retained by the University of Oregon, and this file may be distributed
freely for scholarship and teaching purposes only. Copies distributed to
others must remain unchanged and include this paragraph. Please direct
enquiries, comments and especially corrections to
(Internet), or to Richard Bear, Department of English, University of
Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA 97403.
Biographical note
Lady Mary Wroth, "daughter to the right noble Robert, Earl of Leicester,
and niece to the ever famous and renowned Sir Philip Sidney...and to the
most excellent Lady Mary, Countess of Pembroke"{1}, was born in 1586 or
1587.{2} She was often in the home of her namesake, Mary Sidney Herbert,
where she had access to classical and humanist literature and the
unpublished works of various Sidneys, including probably the _Old Arcadia_.
Throughout much of young Mary's childhood, Robert Sidney was in charge of
the English garrison at Flushing, in the Netherlands, and was able to see
the family only at infrequent intervals. Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth,
he began a rapid rise at Court, being created Baron Sidney of Penshurst by
King James. Thereafter the family was frequently seen at Court, and Mary,
now a young woman, became an active participant in Court doings about 1604.
She participated in Court Masques before Queen Anne, one of which was Ben
Jonson's _The Masque of Blackness_, which was designed by Inigo Jones.
Jonson took an interest in Mary Sidney's writing, as did a number of other
poets of the time, including George Chapman. Jonson dedicated _The
Alchemist_ to Mary, and wrote of her that her sonnets made him "a better
lover and a much better Poet" {3}.
Mary Sidney was married in 1604 to Sir Robert Wroth. The match
apparently was not a happy one {4}. Her husband ran up massive debts and
died in 1614, leaving the young widow to apply to the King for relief from
her creditors. She had one child from her marriage, who died at about the
age of two, and two "natural" children whose father was William Herbert,
Earl of Pembroke, her first cousin and very probably the person in her life
for whom Amphilanthus is a _persona_.
Lady Mary Wroth's prose romance _The Countesse of Mountgomeries Urania_
appeared in 1621, perhaps in a bid for income from writing. The first ever
long fiction work by an Englishwoman, it recounts the adventures of
Pamphilia, Queen of Pamphilia, and her lover Amphilanthus, interspersing
many incidental stories of women disappointed in love, particularly as a
result of their being married by their families to the wrong man. Some of
the stories appear to have been based on intrigues in the Court of King
James; as a consequence Lady Mary was ordered to withdraw the book from
sale and it was never reprinted. A second volume may have been planned, as
the story is continued in manuscript but remains unfinished. The sonnet
cycle presented in the present etext edition, _Pamphilia to Amphilanthus_,
appears at the end of the _Urania_ under separate pagination but clearly
intended to be read as written by the fictional _persona_ of Pamphilia. An
unpublished pastoral drama, _Loues Victorie_, comprises the remainder of
Wroth's known work.  The scandal over the publication of the _Urania_ seems
to have permanently discredited Lady Mary Wroth at Court, and almost
nothing is known of her later years. She never remarried, and died about
Pamphilia's Constancy as a Universal Virtue
The means of attaining "honor" available to women of Renaissance and
Reformation England was, as in most of Western history, limited to one:
Constancy, an extension of the medieval virtue of chastity. The same idea
is expressed in both: a man must know whether the offspring he supports are
his own. Men might attain honor through excellence in various arts, such as
war, horsemanship, loyal service to a prince, or authorship, but constancy,
not to mention chastity, was not a requirement to their attainment of
honor. That constancy might be the measure of honor for both genders alike
was an extraordinarily unavailable idea. Yet this idea is the central and
almost only theme of the powerful seventeenth-century sonnet cycle by Lady
Mary Wroth, _Pamphilia to Amphilanthus_.
Societies that have sexual division of labor also tend to have division
of virtues. Penelope was true to Odysseus because it was a Greek _woman's_
virtue to remain faithful under all circumstances. This feminine virtue was
retained by the Christian civilization that succeeded the classical era:
women were taught to honor their husbands according to the teachings of
Paul and the example of the Good Wife in Proverbs. Though Paul also
stressed that husbands should honor their wives, this was easily forgotten
in a world in which women were property. It was considered sufficient
evidence of virtue in a man if he proved a good steward of his property by
spending himself in its maintenance:
...he commits his body
To painful labor both by sea and land,
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
(_Taming of the Shrew_ V.ii.148-50)
The power of this social division appears in the work of Christine de
Pisan, an original and authoritative fifteenth century writer who
nevertheless is always careful to assign originality and authority to men,
and counsels the wife to live in complete submission:
...she will humble herself towards him, in deed and word and by
curtsying; she will obey without complaint; and she will hold her
peace...suppose he is unloving towards his wife or strays into a
love affair...she must put up with all this and dissimulate
wisely, pretending that she does not notice it and that she truly
does not know anything about it (_Treasure of the City of Ladies_
De Pisan likens the ideal wife to the biblical Queen Esther, who, obedient
in all things, was eventually granted whatever she asked. The virtuous
woman, on this model, is one who adheres to virtues specifically regarded
as feminine: patience, humility, chastity. Like the famous Griselda, she is
to bear all in silence with a good will.
The social pressure on women to conform to this model defined by men,
and the possibility that women might adopt the masculine model as a means
of escape, is acutely analyzed by Baldesar Castiglione in the second book
of his _Il cortegiano_. The courtiers have been discussing the playing of
practical jokes as a social strategy, when one of them, Bernardo Accolti,
takes exception to the playing of such tricks, involving imputation of
unchastity, on women: such jokes, he informs all present, are not funny
because a woman's honor is all she has:
..we ourselves have set a rule that a dissolute life in us is not
a vice, or fault, or disgrace, while in women it means such utter
opprobrium and shame that any woman of whom ill is once spoken is
disgraced forever, whether what is said be calumny or not (188).
An antifeminist, Ottavio Fregosi, defends the double standard on a
principle of natural inequality:
...since women are very imperfect creatures, and of little or no
worth compared with men, and since of themselves they were not
able to do any worthy thing, it was necessary, through shame and
fear of infamy, to put a curb on them which would give them some
good quality. And it was chastity that seemed more needful for
them than any other quality, in order for us to be certain of our
offspring (189).
Gasparo Pallavicino seeks to bolster this argument with a striking
assertion-- greatly argues the perfection of man and the imperfection of
women that all women without exception desire to be men, by a
certain natural instinct that teaches them to desire their own
perfection (217).
--to which Giuliano de' Medici responds with acerbity:
The poor creatures do not desire to be men in order to become more
perfect, but in order to gain freedom and to escape that rule over
them which man has arrogated to himself by his own authority (217).
Even though Emilia Pia and the Duchess of Gonzaga and other women are
present, what they thought of the assertion that they wanted to be men they
either did not divulge, or it was not recorded by Castiglione. His
courtiers go on to describe the virtues of the Courtier and the Court Lady
as largely gender-specific.
Elizabethan and Jacobean literature in England intensifies the
tradition of sex-specific virtues and the proper forms for exercising those
virtues (heroisms). A lively debate raged throughout the period on the
topic of whether women could even exercise their own proper virtues. Some
assumed it is possible and argued for this by compiling lists of examples:
Chaucer's _The Legend of Good Women_ is an instance. Shakespeare appears to
believe in good women: Marina, Ophelia, Hermione, and Desdemona are
succesors to the patient Griselda and easily enlist the sympathy of an
audience that appreciates "womanly" virtue in women.
Some Renaissance authors (all male) enjoyed creating female characters
who crossed over into the exercise or attempted exercise of masculine
virtues. Many examples found in Shakespeare are unflattering; of Lady
Macbeth, Joan of Arc, Volumnia, or Goneril, the kindest that may be said is
that they seem to be out of place in women's bodies. Admirable characters
on this model do exist, but are more often allegorical figures than
representations of imitable action. Spenser's Britomart goes about in armor
defeating villains, but is a figure of Chastity. Another instance is Lyly's
Cynthia, who successfully crosses the gender-role boundary because she is a
ruler: though she is forever chaste (and hence yet another figure for
Chastity), she may kiss Endymion awake because as sovereign she may do what
as a woman she may not. Several of Shakespeare's engaging comedic heroines
do get to explore a man's world without losing our sympathy, but
significantly they do this by dressing as men; Viola, Rosalind, and Portia
are examples.
What these male-virtue success stories have in common is that they are
drawn upon a living model: Elizabeth I, whose political survival depended
on convincing everyone that she was the sole exception to the rule that
male roles must be inhabited by males. Britomart and Cynthia are
acceptable as allegories, but their martial and stately powers are not
intended to fall into the wrong hands--those of women in general.
Women writers of the Renaissance and Reformation were few, and they
were limited by social pressures almost exclusively to polemical writings.
They might write in response to misogynists, defending women from attacks
that claimed they could not even uphold their one allocated virtue of
constancy, or they might write on religious topics. Interestingly this
limitation provided an opportunity for women to produce an ideology of
virtue that identified womanly virtue with Christianity, and to suggest to
men that male heroism consists not in the practice of "manly" virtues but
in joining in the practice of those virtues traditionally allocated to
women. Elaine Beilin, in _Redeeming Eve_, traces this approach from
Christine de Pisan's _The City of Women_ to Anne Askew, Rachel Speght,
Elizabeth Carey, and others. If the Church is the bride of Christ, ran the
argument, especially among women of the Reformation, then men as well as
women should act the part of a bride in the life of faith. An instance of
this argument is a letter from Lady Jane Grey to one John Harding,
protesting his conversion to Catholicism, reported in Foxe's _Actes and
Monuments_: He was, she says, "sometyme the unspotted spouse of Christ, but
now the unshamefast paramour of Anti-Christ" (920). This strategy is
rhetorically effective, opening to women a new opportunity to participate
intellectually and authoritatively in the creation of the new Reformation
society. But the ground gained was specifically in the arena of religious
writing. Philip Sidney's sister, the Countess of Pembroke, was praised as a
writer _because_ she had limited herself to producing versified
translations of the Psalms (Quilligan, "The Constant Subject" 307-8).
It remained for Lady Mary Wroth to break new secular ground with this
feminine model of virtue and honor. _The Countesse of Mountgomeries Urania_,
published in 1621, is, like her uncle Philip Sidney's _The Countess of
Pembroke's Arcadia_ which it imitates, a long and rambling prose romance
interspersed with poems. To it is appended a sonnet sequence entitled
_Pamphilia to Amphilanthus_, which, like _Astrophil and Stella_, contains
not only sonnets but a number of strategically placed lyric songs. Both the
romance and the sequence were written in genres long out of favor, but
which had been successfully used by the Sidney family. Wroth consciously
imitates her uncle and also her father, Robert Sidney, but adapts their
genres and styles to her own purpose (Quilligan 308).
The central characters of the romance are Pamphilia, queen of the
island kingdom of Pamphilia, and the man she loves, Amphilanthus.
"Pamphilia" is from Greek roots, as befits a Greek romance, and means "all-
loving." "Amphilanthus" is "lover of two." The conflict of aims represented
in these contrasting names is that produced by the traditional male
privilege of a double standard. At first, it appears that Pamphilia will be
presented to us as a paragon of the Griselda model of traditional female
virtue ("chaste, obedient and patient," remarks Beilin [_Redeeming Eve_
221]), but the story in the _Urania_ fails to focus, as one might expect,
on the patience and humility of the heroine. She is, after all, an
unmarried queen with a people to govern, like Elizabeth I, and therefore is
potentially an exemplar of the woman who has appropriated male virtues.
Wroth, however, stresses Pamphilia's traditional femininity throughout,
yet introduces an innovation: Pamphilia's constancy is upheld as a
universal model. Amphilanthus' lack of this virtue is his one failing, and
it is viewed as an actual failing and not something to be passes off as
simply lacking because he is male. Pamphilia is constant, Amphilanthus is
not, and this discrepancy drives the plot. Neither will find happiness
until Amphilanthus attains honor, without which he will be unworthy of
Pamphilia. And he will not find his honor until he finds constancy. Wroth's
conception of female virtue then is that it is normative for both genders.
A new possibility arises: human virtue.
It should be noted that Pamphilia is not married to Amphilanthus, which
helps to force the issue, as traditional marriage relations thus have no
bearing on the plot of the _Urania_. Maureen Quilligan observes:
Pamphilia enacts a traditional, Griselda-like virtue, yet for the
woman who is specifically not fulfilling the duties of a wife. We
are forced to ask, what purpose could Pamphilia's obstinate
constancy be serving? One answer is surely that her constancy
becomes the stable position from which she can complain
(poetically) of her lover's _in_constancy (323).
As we have seen in Castiglione, however, inconstancy is a traditionally
sanctioned male prerogative. Quilligan correctly catches the irony in
passages in which Pamphilia's friends critique female and male attitudes
toward fidelity, and correctly identifies these passages as doing the main
business of the text, but assumes that the reversal of gender roles implied
in the irony merely inverts the social value associated with those roles,
so that woman's virtue, rather than man's, is to be found superior. Such is
indeed is the view of one of Pamphilia's friends:
It was laid to our charge in times passed to bee false, and
changing, but they who excell us in all perfections, would not for
their honours sake, let us surpasse them in any one thing, though
that, and now are much more perfect, and excellent in that than
wee, there is nothing left us, that they excell us not in,
although in our greatest fault (_Urania_ I.iii 375).
But this voice, like that of Urania herself and others in the romance,
whose views contain much wisdom and have influence on Pamphilia, is not
Pamphilia's own voice, and does not direct her eventual course. Men may be
inconstant by nature, and Amphilanthus is a man; yet Pamphilia does not
bewail his inconstancy as an unalterable fact of nature but as a fact that
can and must be altered for the better. The critique of Amphilanthus
implicit in the narrative of the _Urania_ has the force of a call for
conversion. If this man (and by implication, mankind) would be truly worthy
of the constant Pamphilia he would not cause her to suffer as he does by
accepting the double standard.
The sonnet cycle, _Pamphilia to Amphilanthus_, shares with the _Urania_
the project of turning Amphilanthus from the path of inconstancy, and
concentrates on a single argument: constancy is not a gender-specific
virtue. This project by itself stands on its head the Petrarchan tradition
of courtly love poetry, for Amphilanthus, unlike Stella, Caelica, Phyllis,
and a hundred others to whom sonnet cycles were addressed, is not an
_object_. He is instead enlisted in Pamphilia's quest for a mutually
supported happiness founded upon the relinquishing of objectification, the
mode by which oppressive power relations are constructed.
In the first sonnet, Venus adds fire "To burning hearts which she did
hold above" (1), an image of exposure. Because the sequence is expressly
addressed to Amphilanthus, he is implicated in the crime of exposure and
objectification which this public display exemplifies. His heart is not
held aloft, but hers is: "Yet since: O me, a lover I have beene" (1). "O
mee" publishes her pain to him and reminds him that it is hers and not his,
though he is its focus. In the second sonnet she adds that he is not merely
the focus of her pain but its producer: his eyes "can triumph in their
harms" (1). The third sonnet encapsulates the rhetorical method of the
sonnet sequence as a whole:
Will you your seruant leave: thinke but on this,
Who weares Loue's Crowne, must not doe so amisse
But seeke their good, who on thy force do lye (2).
In the fifth sonnet she presses the argument more forcefully:
Eyes hauing [none], reiecting proues a sting      [wunn (Roberts 87)]
Killing the budd before the tree doth spring;
Sweet lipps, not loving, doe as poyson prove:
Desire, sight, Eyes, lipps; seeke, see, proue, and finde
You love may winn, but curses if vnkind,
Then show you harmes dislike, and ioy in love (3).
In the sixth sonnet Pamphilia declares that grief itself pities her grief,
and scorn is ashamed of its scornfulness, "And would give place for joyes
delights to flow" (3), while in the first Song a shepherdess decries
inconstancy at the foot of a willow, the emblem of betrayed maidens (4).
Up to this point all is familiar enough from traditional literature of
unrequited love; but there is a shift in the seventh sonnet, addressed to
Cupid, signalling the presence of a "resolv'd soul":
I doe confesse, t'was thy will made me choose,
And thy fair shewes made me a Lover prove
When I my freedome did for paine refuse.
Yet this Sir god, your Boy-ship I despise,
Your charmes I obey, but loue not want of eyes (5).
Cupid's famous blindness does not impress her. She admits her powerlessness
before his charms but will not allow this as an excuse for not taking
responsibility for her own actions. This ethic is the basis for her honor
and is the ethic she is recommending to Amphilanthus. In the twenty-first
sonnet, she makes this recommendation explicit:
Then, since my faith is such, so kinde my sleepe,
That gladly thee presents into my thought,
And still true Louer-like thy face doth keepe,
So as some pleasure shadow-like is wrought.
Pitty my louing, nay of consience giue
Reward to me in whom thy self doth liue (21).
Wroth uses the Petrarchan convention that an act of fealty must be
recognized and rewarded by the beloved. Masculine voices use the argument
to gain sexual access--the woman, if she consents to "ease his paine,"
consents to being treated as an objective. Pamphilia's objective, however,
is not Amphilanthus (whom she has already attained) but his constancy. She
is so faithful that she dreams of him: "my faith is such." The dream image,
however, is not the Amphilanthus ("lover of two") of experience but the
Neoplatonic potential she sees in him ("_true_ Louer-like").
In the fifth song, in very compact language, Pamphilia explains to her
lover that the true end of even such erotic love as theirs is that unity
with the divine of which earthly faithfulness is a symbol:
Time gaue time but to be holy,
True Loue, such ends best loueth:
Unworthy Loue doth seeke for ends,
A worthy Loue but worth pretends;
Nor other thoughts it proueth (16).
The test, she says, of an unworthy or dishonorable love is its
preoccupation with "ends," or objectification. A worthy love seeks only
worth. This argument may seem to be undercut by the _paranomasia_ of
"Wroth" in "worth"; May Paulissen points out that "worth" was at the time
the common pronunciation of "Wroth" (Paulissen 22). If a worthy love
seeks only the author, is she not an object? But her self-identification
with worth is its own answer to this objection: if, as the Petrarchans have
always said, the beloved's superior qualities indicate the immanence of
divinity, Mary Wroth expects to be treated accordingly.
Amphilanthus apparently finds the argument unconvincing. The pain and
darkness expressed throughout the first part of the sequence continues
unrelenting, and if anything becomes more despairing. Pamphilia at length
can only reaffirm what action she will unilaterally take, ending the
section with defiance in the face of potential loss of identity: "Yet loue
I will, till I but ashes proue." She signs this poem with her name, as if
it were a pledge, which indeed it is. The probable _paranomasia_ of the
stressed "will" for William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, Wroth's lover
(Roberts, _The Poems_ 115) unites Wroth with her persona, the "all-loving"
Pamphilia, and serves to remind us that their views on love coincide. If
the poems ended here, we might conclude that her stance is heroic enough to
command attention but is suicidally Griselda-like. If publishing her pain
to Amphilanthus has not moved him, why not serve him as he has served her,
and give him up? In the _Urania_ Pamphilia replies to this suggestion by
pointing out that love is not love when it has only one's own satisfaction
in view: "To leave him for being false would shew my love was not for his
sake, but mine owne, that because he loved me, I therefore loved him, but
when hee leaves I can do so to (400)." She will not objectify, for to do so
would deprive her beloved of the only example available to him of a non-
objectifying love, and so seal his fate.
Following the signed poem, there is a "turn" or _volta_ in the sequence
that resembles a moment in the _Urania_ in which Pamphilia arrives at the
entrance to a cave in which Amphilanthus has been imprisoned by a hellish
spell. She finds that she cannot rescue him, because the cave's entrance
filters out true lovers:
Faithfull louers keepe from hence
None but false ones here can enter.
Elaine Beilin notes this passage and rightly finds it significant that
Pamphilia "has no choice but to return to court where 'more like a
religious, then a court life, she liued some yeares.'" (_Redeeming Eve_
In like manner the remainder of the sonnet sequence turns inward,
with many poems meditative and contemplative in character, or self-
exhortatory: "Yet Faith still cries, Love will not falsifie" (32). The echo
(and reversal) here of Philip Sidney's "But ah, Desire still cries, give me
some food" (AS 72) is instructive: where Astrophil seeks escape from
virtue through the voice of personified Desire, Pamphilia seeks to hold to
the virtue of constancy through the personified voice of Love. The
disorientation of the steadfast lover brought to the edge of despair is
expressed by the randomness of the early poems of the second section, and
then becomes the focus of a highly organized analysis in a fourteen-sonnet
_corona_, or "crown" of sonnets, in which each poem begins with the last
line of the preceeding one. The problem is stated in the first stanza of
the first sonnet:
In this strange Labyrinth how shall I turne,
Wayes are on all sids while the way I misse:
If to the right hand, there, in loue I burne,
Let mee goe forward, therein danger is (36).
And it is resolved in the eighth:
He that shuns Loue, doth loue himselfe the lesse,
And cursed he whose spirit, not admires
The worth of Loue, where endlesse blessednes
Raignes, & commands, maintain'd by heau'nly fires (38).
While the mode of this poem in its setting is soliloquy, the generic
pronoun with which it begins reminds us that Pamphilia's advice is not to
herself alone but to all. The love that here is "shunned" is the non-
objectifying love Pamphilia has herself embraced, and she argues to herself
that she must not now waver; at the same time she universalizes the
argument, and suggests that the grace of honor is accorded only to
perseverence in constancy. Remembering in her crisis that constancy is for
everyone, she achieves a spiritualization of love that, unlike the
spiritualization of earthly love by Petrarch and so many of his masculine
followers, does not depend upon dressing up the beloved as God. Instead,
the beloved is pointed the way to become like Pamphilia herself, who in her
constancy has found a way to union with the divine. She attains a costly
clarity in so doing: she sees she must be prepared to give up her self-
interested pursuit of Amphilanthus if her constancy is to remain exemplary.
This clarity stays with Pamphilia as she pens her farewell sonnet.
Though it is ostensibly a "farewell to love" addressed to her muse, it is a
farewell not to love but to immaturity in love. The poem shifts in address
until it ends in advice not only to herself but to Amphilanthus, to whom
the sequence as a whole is addressed:
My Muse now happy lay thy selfe to rest,
Sleepe in the quiet of a faithfull loue,
Write you no more, but let these Phant'sies mooue
Some other hearts, wake not to new vnrest
But if you Study be those thoughts adrest
To truth, which shall eternall goodnes prooue;
Enioying of true ioy the most, and best
The endles gaine which neuer will remoue.
Leaue the discourse of Venus, and her sonne
To young beginners, and their braines inspire
With storyes of great Loue, and from that fire,
Get heat to write the fortunes they haue wonne.
And thus leaue off; what's past shewes you can loue,
Now let your Constancy your Honor proue.
The concluding signature, found in the manuscript, strengthens the address.
Only his conversion to the "womanly" virtue of constancy will make
Amphilanthus the man of honor Pamphilia knows he can be. Assuming _his_
thoughts are addressed to truth, Lady Mary Wroth's argument that a single
standard of virtue precedes gender proves to be an argument from a position
of strength.
Richard Bear
University of Oregon
P A M P H I L I A,                        <1>
When night's blacke Mantle could most darknesse proue,
And sleepe (deaths Image) did my senses hyre,
From Knowledge of my selfe, then thoughts did moue
Swifter then those, most [switnesse] neede require.           swiftnesse
In sleepe, a Chariot drawne by wing'd Desire,
I saw; where sate bright Venus Queene of Loue {5},
And at her feete her Sonne, still adding Fire
To burning hearts, which she did hold aboue,
But one heart flaming more then all the rest,
The Goddesse held, and put it to my breast,
Deare Sonne now [shut] {6}, said she: thus must we winne;       shutt
He her obey'd, and martyr'd my poore heart.
I waking hop'd as dreames it would depart,
Yet since, O me, a Lover I haue beene.
Deare eyes how well indeed, you doe adorne
That blessed Sphere, which gazing soules hold deare?
The loved place of sought for triumphs, neere
The Court of Glory {7}, where Loues force was borne.
How may they terme you Aprills sweetest morne?
When pleasing lookes, from those bright lights appeare
A Sunne-shine day, from clowdes, and mists still cleare:
Kinde nursing fires for wishes yet vnborne.
Two Starres {8} of Heauen sent downe to grace the Earth,
Plac'd in that Throne which gives all ioyes their birthe,
Shining, and burning; pleasing yet their Charmes:
Which wounding, euen in hurts are deem'd delights;
So pleasant is their force, so great their mights,
As happy they can tryumph in their harmes.
3.                                             <2>
Yet is there hope, then Love but play thy part,
Remember well thy selfe, and think on me;
Shine in those eyes which conquer'd haue my heart,
And see if mine, be slacke to answer thee.
Lodge in that breast, and pitty moouing see,
For flames which in mine burne in truest smart,
Exciling thoughts, that touch Inconstancy,
Or those which waste not in the constant Art,
Watch but my sleepe, if I take any rest,
For thought of you, my spirit so distrest,
As, pale and famish'd, I for mercy cry.
Will you your seruant leave: thinke but on this,
Who weares Love's Crowne, must not doe so amisse
But seeke their good, who on thy force do lye.
Forbeare darke night, my ioyes now budd againe,
Lately growne dead, while cold aspects, did chill
The roote at heart, and my chiefe hope quite kill,
And thunders strooke me in my pleasures waine {9}.
Then I alas with bitter sobs, and paine,
Priuately groan'd, my Fortunes present ill;
All light of comfort dimb'd, woes in prides fill,
With strange encrease of griefe, I grieu'd in vaine.
And most, when as a memory to good
Molested me, which still as witnes stood,
Of those best dayes, in former time I knew:
Late gone as wonders past, like the great [Sow],                Snow
Melted and wasted, with what, change must know:
Now backe the life comes where as once it grew.
Can pleasing sight, misfortune euer bring?
Can firme desire a painefull torment trye?
Can winning eyes proue to the heart a sting?
Or can sweet lips in Treason hidden lye?
The Sunne most pleasing, blindes the strongest eye,
If two much look'd on, breaking the sights string {10};
Desires still crost must unto mischiefe hie,
And as Despaire, a lucklesse chance may fling.
Eyes hauing [none], reiecting proues a sting                    wunn   <3>
Killing the budd before the tree doth spring;
Sweet lipps, not louing, doe as poyson proue:
Desire, sight, Eyes, lipps; seeke, see, proue, and finde
You loue may winn, but curses if vnkinde,
Then show you harmes dislike, and ioy in loue.
O Striue not still to heape disdaine on me,
Nor pleasure take, your cruelty to show
On haplesse me, on whom all sorrowes flow,
And byding make: as giuen, and lost by thee.
Alas; eu'ne griefe is growne to pitty mee,
Scorne cryes out 'gainst it selfe such ill to show,
And would giue place for ioyes delights to flow;
Yet wretched I, all [torture] beare from thee.                torturs
Long haue I suffer'd, and esteem'd it deare,
Since such thy will, yet grew my paine more neere:
Wish you [may] end, say so, you shall it haue;                my
For all the deapth of my heart-held despaire,
Is that for you, I feele not Death for care,
But now Ile seeke it, since you will not saue.
Song. I.
The spring now come at last
To Trees, Fields, to Flowres,
And meadowes makes to taste
His pride, while sad showres
Which from mine eyes doe flow
Makes knowne with cruell paines,
Cold Winter yet remaines,
No signe of Spring we knowe.
The Sunne which to the Earth
Giues heate, light, and pleasure,
Ioyes in Spring, hateth Dearth,
Plenty makes his Treasure.
His heate to me is colde,
His light all darknesse is,
Since I am barrd of blisse,
I heate, nor light behold
A Shepherdesse thus said,                                              <4>
Who was with griefe opprest,
For truest Loue betrayd,
Barrd her from quiett rest:
And weeping thus, said shee,
My end approacheth neere,
Now Willow {11} must I weare,
My fortune so will bee.
With Branches of this tree
Ile dresse my haplesse head,
Which shall my wittnes bee,
My hopes in Loue are dead:
My cloathes imbroder'd all,
Shall be with Garlands round,
Some scatter'd, others bound;
Some tyde, some like to fall.
The Barke my Booke shall bee,
Where dayly I will write,
This tale of haples mee,
True slaue to Fortunes spite.
The roote shall be my bedd,
Where nightly I will lye
Wailing [in constancy],                                       inconstancy
Since all true loue is dead.
And these Lines I will leaue,
If some such Louer come,
Who may them right conceiue,
and place them on my Tombe:
She who still constant lou'd
Now dead with cruell care,
Kill'd with unkind Dispaire,
And change, her end heere prou'd.
Loue {12} leaue to vrge, thou knowest thou hast the hand
'Tis Cowardize to striue where none resist,
Pray thee leaue off, I yeeld vnto thy band,
Doe not thus, still in thine owne power persist.
Behold, I yeeld; let forces be dismist,
I am thy Subiect conquer'd bound to stand
Neuer thy foe, but did thy claime assist,
Seeking thy due of those who did withstand.
But now it seemes thou would'st I should thee loue,                    <5>
I doe confesse, t'was thy will made mee choose,
And thy faire shewes made me a Louer proue,
When I my freedome did for paine refuse.
Yet this Sir god, your Boy-ship I despise,
Your charmes I obey, but loue not want of eyes.
Ledd by the power of griefe to wailings brought,
By false conceit of change fallen on my part;
I seeke for some smale ease by lines which bought,
Increase the paine; griefe is not cur'd by Art.
Ah! how vnkindnesse moues within the heart,
Which still is true and free from changing thought:
What vnknowne woe it breeds, what endlesse smart,
With ceaslesse teares which causelessly are wrought.
It makes me now to shun all shining light,
And seeke for blackest clouds me light to giue:
Which to all others only darkness driue;
They on me shine, for Sunne disdaines my sight.
Yet though I darke do liue, I triumph may,
Vnkindnes, nor this wrong shall loue allay.
Bee you all pleas'd, your pleasures grieue not me;
Doe you delight? I enuy not your ioy:
Haue you content? contentment with you be;
Hope you for blisse? Hope still, and still enioy.
Let sad misfortune, haplesse me destroy,
Leaue crosses to rule me, and still rule free:
While all delights their contraries imploy,
To keepe good backe, and I but torments see,
Ioyes are bereau'd me, harmes doe only tarry,
Despaire takes place, disdaine hath gott the hand:
Yet firme loue holds my senses in such band,
As (since dispis'ed) I with sorrow marry.
Then if with griefe I now must coupled bee,
Sorrow Ile wed; Despaire thus gouernes mee.
10.                                             <6>
The weary Traueller, who tyred, sought
In places distant farre, yet found no end
Of paine or labour, nor his state to mend:
At last with ioy is to his home backe brought.
Findes not more ease though he with ioy be fraught,
When past is feare content like soules ascend:
Then I, on whom new pleasures doe descend,
Which now as high as first-borne blisse is wrought.
He tyred with his paines, I with my minde;
He all content receiues by ease of lymbs:
I, greatest happinessse that I doe finde,
Beliefe for faith, while hope in pleasure swimmes.
Truth saith 'twas wrong conceit bred my despigt,
Which once acknowledg'd, brings my hearts delight.
You endlesse torments that my rest opresse,
How long will you delight in my sad paine?
Will neuer Loue your fauour more expresse?
Shall I still liue, and euer feele disdaine?
Alasse now stay, and let my griefe [optaine] {13}               obtaine
Some end; feede not my heart with sharpe distresse:
Let me once see my cruell fortunes gaine,
At least release, and long-felt woes redresse.
Let not the blame of cruelty disgrace
The honor'd title of your god-head Loue;
Giue not iust cause for me [so] say, a place                  to
Is found for rage alone on me to moue.
O quickly end, and doe not long debate
My needful ayd, lest helpe doe come too late.
Cloy'd with the torments of a tedious night,
I wish for day; which come, I hope for ioy:
When crosse I finde, new tortures to destroy,
My woe-kil'd heart, first hurt by mischiefs might.
Then crye for night, and once more day takes flight.
And brightnesse gone; what rest should heere inioy
Vsurped is: Hate will her force imploy;
Night cannot Griefe intombe though blacke as spite.
My thoughts are sad, her face as sad doth seeme;                       <7>
My paines are long, Her howers tedious are;
My griefe is great, and endlesse is my care;
Her face, her force, and all of woes esteeme.
Then welcome Night, and farwell flattering Day,
Which all hopes breed, and yet our ioyes delay.
Song. 2.
All Night I weepe, all Day I cry, Ay me,
I still doe wish, though yet deny, ay me;
I sigh, I mourne, I say that still,
I only am the store for ill, ay me.
In coldest hopes I freeze, yet burne, ay me,
From flames I striue to fly, yet turne, ay me:
From griefe I hast, but sorrowes hye,
And on my heart all woes do lye, ay me.
From contraries I seeke to run, ay me,
But contraries I cannot shun, ay me:
For they delight their force to trye,
And to Despaire my thoughts doe ty, ay me.
Whither alasse then shall I goe, ay me,
When as Despaire all hopes outgoe, ay me:
If to the Forrest Cupid hies,
And my poore soule to his law tyes, ay me.
To the Court: O no. He cryes fye, ay me,
There no true loue you shall espy, ay me:
Leaue that place to falsest Louers,
Your true loue all truth discouers, ay me,
Then quiet rest, and no more proue, ay me,
All places are alike to Loue, ay me:
And constant be in this begun,
Yet say, till Life with Loue be dunn Ay me.
Deare famish not what you your selfe gaue food,
Destroy not what your glory is to saue:
Kill not that soule to which you spirit gaue,
In pitty, not disdaine, your triumph stood.
An easie thing it is to shed the bloud
Of one who at your will yeelds to the graue:
But more you may true worth by mercy craue,
When you preserue, not spoyle, but nourish good.
Your sight is all the food I doe desire,                               <8>
Then sacrifice me not in hidden fire,
Or stop the breath which did your praises moue.
Think but how easie 'tis a sight to giue,
Nay euen desert, since by it I doe liue,
I but Camelion-like {14}, would liue, and loue.
Am I thus conquer'd? haue I lost the powers,
That to withstand, which ioyes to ruine me?
Must I bee still, while it my strength deuoures,
And captiue leads me prisoner bound, vnfree?
Loue first shall [leane] mens phant'sies to them free,          leaue
Desire shall quench loues flames, Spring, hate sweet showres;
Loue shall loose all his Darts, haue sight, and see
His shame and wishings, hinder happy houres.
Why should we not loues purblinde charmes resist?
Must we be seruile, doing what he list?
No, seeke some hoste too harbour thee: I flye
Thy babish tricks, and freedome doe professe;
But O my hurt makes my lost heart confesse:
I loue, and must; so farewell liberty.
Truly (poore night) thou welcome art to me,
I loue thee better in this sad attire
Then that which rayseth some mens fant'sies higher,
Like painted outsides, which foule inward be.
I loue thy graue and saddest lookes to see,
Which seems my soule and dying heart entire,
Like to the ashes of some happy fire,
That flam'd in ioy, but quench'd in misery.
I loue thy count'nance, and thy sober pace,
Which euenly goes, and as of louing grace
To vs, and mee among the rest opprest,
Giues quiet peace to my poore selfe alone,
And freely grants day leaue; when thou art gone,
To giue cleare light, to see all ill redrest.
Sleepe {15} fye possesse me not, nor doe not fright                     <9>
Me with thy heauy, and thy deathlike might:
For counterfetting's vilder then death's sight;
And such deluding more my thoughts doe spight.
Thou suffer'st falsest shapes my soule t'affright,
Sometimes in likenesse [of of] a hopefull spright;           of
And oft times like my Loue, as in despight;
Ioying, thou canst with malice kill delight.
When I (a poore foole made by thee) thinke ioy
Doth flow, when thy fond shadowes doe destroy
My that while sencelesse selfe, left free to thee.
But now doe well, let me for euer sleepe,
And so for euer that deere Image keepe
Or still wake that my senses may be free.
Sweet shades, why doe you seeke to giue delight
To me, who deeme delight in this vilde place:
But torment, sorrow, and mine owne disgrace,
To taste of ioy, or your vaine pleasing sight?
Show them your pleasures who saw neuer night
Of griefe, where ioyings fawning smiling face
Appears as day, where griefe found neuer space:
Yet for a sigh, a groane, or enuies spite.
But O: on me a world of woes doe lye,
Or els on me all harmes striue to relye,
And to attend like seruants bound to me.
Heate {16} in desire, while frosts of care I proue,
Wanting my loue, yet surfet doe with loue,
Burne, and yet freeze, better in Hell to be.
Which should I better like of, day or night?
Since all the day, I liue in bitter woe:
Inioying light more cleere my wrongs to know,
and yet most sad, feeling in it all spite;
In night when darknesse doth forbid all light;
Yet see I griefe apparant to the show,
Follow'd by iealousie, whose fond tricks flow,
And on vnconstant waues of doubt alight.
I can behold rage cowardly to feede                                    <10>
Vpon foule error, which these humors {17} breede,
Shame doubt and feare, yet boldly will thinke ill.
All those in both I feele, then which is best
Darke to ioy by day, light in night opprest?
Leaue both and end, these but each other spill.
Song. 3.
Stay my thoughts do not aspire,
To vaine hopes of high desire;
See you not all meanes bereft,
To inioye no ioye is left,
Yet still me thinkes my thoughts doe say,
Some hopes do liue amid dismay.
Hope then once more, hope for ioy,
Bury feare which ioyes destroy,
Thought hath yet some comfort giuen,
Which despaire hath from vs driuen:
Therefore deerely my thoughts cherish,
Neuer let such thinking perish.
'Tis an idle thing to plaine,
Odder farre to dye for paine;
Thinke and see how thoughts doe rise,
Winning where there noe hope lies;
Which alone is louers treasure,
For by thoughts we loue doe measure.
Then kinde thought my fant'sie guide,
Let me neuer haplesse slide;
Still maintaine thy force in me,
Let me thinking still be free;
Nor leaue thy might vntill my death,
But let me thinking yeeld vp breath.
Come darkest Night, becomming sorrow best,
Light leaue thy light, fit for a lightsome soule:
Darknesse doth truely sute with me opprest,
Whom absence power doth from mirthe controule.
The very trees with hanging heads condole
Sweet Summers parting, and of leaues distrest,
In dying colours make a grief-full role;
So much (alas) to sorrow are they prest.
Thus of dead leaues, her farewell carpets made,                        <11>
Their fall, their branches, all their mournings proue,
With leaulesse naked bodies, whose hues vade {18}
From hopefull greene to wither in their loue.
If trees, and leaues for absence mourners be,
No maruell that I grieue, who like want see.
The Sunne which glads, the earth at his bright sight,
When in the morne he showes his golden face,
And takes the place from tedious drowsie Night.
Making the world still happy in his grace.
Shewes happinesse remaines not in one place,
Nor may the Heauens alone to vs giue light,
But hide that cheerfull face, though noe long space,
Yet long enough for tryall of their might.
But neuer Sun-set could be so obscure,
No Desart euer had a shade so sad:
Nor could black darknesse euer proue so bad,
As paines which absence makes me now indure.
The missing of the Sunne [a while] makes Night,                 awhile
But absence of my ioy sees neuer light.
When last I saw thee, I did not thee see,
It was thine Image which in my thoughts lay
So liuely figur'd, as no times delay
Could suffer me in heart to parted be.
And sleepe so fauourable is to me,
As not to let thy lou'd remembrance stray:
Lest that I waking might haue cause to say,
there was one minute found to forgett thee.
Then, since my faith is such, so kinde my sleepe,
That gladly thee presents into my thought,
And still true Louer-like thy face doth keepe,
So as some pleasure shadow-like is wrought.
Pitty my louing, nay of consience giue
Reward to me in whom thy self doth liue.
22. {19}                                        <12>
Like to the Indians scorched with the Sunne,
The Sunne which they doe as their God adore:
So am I vs'd by Loue, for euermore
I worship him, lesse fauors haue I wonne.
Better are they who thus to blacknesse run,
And so can onely whitenesse want deplore:
[Theu] I who pale and white am with griefes store,           Then
Nor can haue hope, but to see hopes vndone.
Beesides their sacrifice receiu'd in sight,
Of their chose Saint, mine hid as worthlesse rite,
Grant me to see where I my offerings giue.
Then let me weare the marke of Cupids might,
In heart, as they in skin of Phoebus {20} light,
Not ceasing offerings to Loue while I Liue.
When euery one to pleasing pastime hies
Some hunt, some hauke, some play, while some delight
In sweet discourse, and musickue shewes ioys might:
Yet I my thoughts doe farr aboue these prize.
The ioy which I take is, that free from eyes
I sit and wonder at this day-like night,
So to dispose themselues as voyd of right,
And leaue true pleasure for poore vanities.
When others hunt, my thoughts I haue in chase;
If hauke, my minde at wished end doth flye:
Discourse, I with my spirit talke and cry;
While others musicke choose as greatest grace.
O God say I, can thes fond pleasures moue,
Or musicke bee but in sweet thoughts of Loue?
Once did I heare an aged father say
Vnto his sonne, who with attention heares
What Age and wise experience euer cleares
From doubts of feare, or reason to betray.
My Sonn (said hee) behold thy father gray,
I once had as thou hast, fresh tender yeares,
And like thee sported destitute of feares;
But my young faults made me too soone decay.
Loue once I did, and like thee, fear'd my Loue,
Led by the hatefull [threed] of Ielousie,                     thread <13>
Striuing to keepe, I lost my liberty,
And gain'd my griefe, which still my sorrowes moue.
In time shun this, to loue is no offence,
But doubt in Youth, in Age, breeds penitence.
Song. 4.
Sweetest Loue returne againe,
Make not too long stay;
Killing mirth and forcing paine;
Sorrow leading way:
Let vs not thus parted be,
Loue, and absence nere agree.
But since you must needs depart,
And me haplesse leaue;
In your iourney take my heart,
Which will not deceiue:
Yours it is, to you it flies,
Ioying in those loued eyes.
So in part we shall not part,
Though we absent be,
Tyme, nor place, nor greatest smart,
Shall my bands make free:
Tyed I am, yet thinke it gaine,
In such knots I feele no paine.
But can I liue, hauing lost
Chiefest part of me?
Heart is fled, and sight is crost,
These my fortunes be:
Yet deare heart goe, soone returne,
As good there as heere to burne.
Poore eyes bee blinde, the light behold noe more,
Since that is gon which is your deare delight:
Rauish'd from you by greater powre, and might,
Making your losse a gaine to others store.
Oerflow and drowne, till sight to you restore
That blessed Starre, and as in hatefull spight,
Send forth your teares in flouds to kill all sight,
And looks, that lost wherin you ioy'd before.
Bury these beames which in some kindled fires,                         <14>
And conquer'd haue their loue-burnt hearts desires,
Losing, and yet no gaine by you esteem'd;
Till that bright Starre doe once againe appeare,
Brighter then Mars when hee doth shine most cleare;
See not then by his might be you redeem'd.
Deare cherish this {21}, and with it my soules will,
Nor for it ran away doe it abuse:
Alas it left (poore me) your brest to choose,
As the [best] shrine, where it would harbour still.           blest
Then fauour shew, and not vnkindly kill
The heart which fled to you, but doe excuse
That which for better did the wurse refuse;
And pleas'd Ile be, though heartlesse my lyfe spill.
But if you will bee kinde, and iust indeed,
Send me your heart, which in mine's place shall feede
On faithfull loue to your deuotion bound,
There shall it see the sacrifices made
Of pure and spottlesse Loue, which shall not vade,
While soule, and body are together found.
Fie tedious Hope, why doe you still rebell?
Is it not yet enough you flatter'd me,
But cuningly you seeke to vse a Spell
How to betray; must these your Trophies bee?
I look'd from you farre sweeter fruite to see,
But blasted were your blossomes when they fell:
And those delights expected from hands free,
Wither'd and dead, and what seemd blisse proues hell.
No Towne was won by a more plotted slight
Then I by you, who may my fortune write,
In embers of that fire which ruin'd me:
Thus Hope your falshood calls you to be tryde,
You'r loth, I see, the tryall to abide;
Proue true at last, and gaine your liberty.
28.                                             <15>
Griefe, killing griefe, haue not my torments beene
Already great and strong enough?  but still
Thou dost increase, nay glory in mine il,
And woes new past, afresh new woes begin?
Am I the onely purchase thou canst win?
Was I ordain'd to giue despaire her fill,
Or fittest I should mount misfortunes hill,
Who in the plaine of ioy cannot liue in?
If it be so, Griefe come as welcome guest,
Since I must suffer for anothers rest;
Yet this (good Griefe) let me intreat of thee,
Vse still thy force, but not from those I loue
Let me all paines and lasting torments proue;
So I misse these, lay all thy waights on me.
Fly hence O! Ioy, noe longer heere abide,
Too great thy pleasures are for my despaire
To looke on, losses now must proue my fare;
Who not long since on better foode relide.
But foole, how oft had I Heau'ns changing spi'de
Before of mine owne fate I could haue care:
Yet now past time, I can too late beware,
When nothings left but sorrowes faster ty'de.
While I inioyd that Sunne, whose sight did lend
Me ioy, I thought that day could haue no end:
But soon a night came cloath'd in absence darke;
Absence more sad, more bitter then is gall,
Or death, when on true Louers it doth fall;
Whose fires of loue, disdaine reasts poorer sparke.
You blessed shades, which giue me silent rest,
Witnes but this when death hath clos'd mine eyes,
And separated me from earthly tyes;
Being from hence to higher places adrest.
How oft in you I haue laine heere opprest?
And haue my miseries in wofull cryes
Deliuer'd forth, mounting vp to the Skyes?
Yet helplesse, backe return'd to wound my brest,
Which wounds did but striue how to breed more harm                     <16>
To me, who can be cur'd by no one charme
But that of Loue, which yet may me releeue;
If not, let Death my former paines redeeme,
My trusty friends, my faith vntouch'd, esteeme,
And witnesse I could loue, who so could grieue.
Song. 5.
Time only cause of my vnrest,
By whom I hop'd once to be blest,
How cruell art thou turn'd?
That first gau'st lyfe vnto my loue,
And still a pleasure not to moue,
Or change, though euer burn'd.
Haue I thee slack'd, or left vndone
One louing rite, and so haue wonne,
Thy rage, or bitter changing?
That now noe minutes I shall see,
Wherein I may least happy be,
Thy fauours so estranging.
Blame thy selfe, and not my folly,
Time gaue time but to be holy,
True Loue, such ends best loueth:
Unworthy Loue doth seeke for ends,
A worthy Loue but worth pretends;
Nor other thoughts it proueth.
Then stay thy swiftnes cruell Time,
And let me once more blessed clime
To ioy, that I may prayse thee:
Let me pleasure sweetly tasting,
Ioy in Loue, and faith not wasting,
and on Fames wings Ile raise thee.
Neuer shall thy glory dying,
Be vntill thine owne vntying,
That Tyme noe longer liueth,
'Tis a gaine such time to lend,
Since so thy fame shall neuer end,
But ioy for what she giueth.
After long trouble in a tedious way,
Of Loues vnrest, laid downe to ease my paine,
Hoping for rest, new torments I did gaine                            <17>
Possessing me, as if I ought t'obey.
When Fortune came, though blinded, yet did stay,
And in her blessed armes did me inchaine:
I, cold with griefe, thought noe warmth to obtaine,
Or to dissolue that yce of ioyes decay.
Till rise (said she) Reward to thee doth send
By me the seruant of true Louers, ioy:
Bannish all clouds of doubt, all feares destroy;
And now on Fortune, and on Loue depend.
I her obey'd, and rising felt that Loue
Indeed was best, when I did least it moue.
How fast thou fliest, O time, on loues swift wings,
To hopes of ioy, that flatters our desire:
Which to a Louer still contentment brings;
Yet when we should inioy, thou dost retire.
Thou stay'st thy pace (faulse Time) from our desire
When to our ill thou hast'st with Eagles wings:
Slow only to make vs see thy retire
Was for Despaire, and harme, which sorrowe brings.
O! slake thy pace, and milder passe to Loue,
Be like the Bee, whose wings she doth but vse
To bring home profit; masters good to proue,
Laden, and weary, yet againe pursues.
So lade thy selfe with hony of sweet ioy,
And do not me the Hiue of Loue destroy.
How many eyes (poore Loue) hast thou to guard
Thee from thy most desired wish, and end?
Is it because some say thou'rt blinde, that barr'd
From sight, thou should'st noe happinesse attend?
Who blame thee soe, smale iustice can pretend,
Since twixt thee and the Sunne no question hard
Can be, his sight but outward, thou canst bend
The heart, and guide it freely thus vnbar'd.
Art thou, while we both blinde and bold, oft dare
Accuse the of the harmes, our selues should finde:
Who led with folly, and by rashnesse blinde                          <20>
Thy sacred power doe with a child's compare.
Yet Loue, this boldnesse pardon; for admire
Thee sure we must, or be borne without fire.
Take heed mine eyes, how you your looks doe cast,
Lest they betray my hearts most secret thought:
Be true vnto your selues; for nothing's bought
More deare then Doubt, which brings a Louers fast.
Catch you al watching eyes ere they be past,
Or take yours fix't, where your best Loue hath sought
The pride of your desires; let them be taught
Their faults for shame they could no truer last.
Then looke, and looke with ioy, for conquest won,
Of those that search'd your hurt in double kinde:
So you kept safe, let them themselues looke blinde,
Watch, gaze, and marke till they to madnesse run.
While you mine eyes enioye full sight of Loue,
Contented that such happinesses moue.
False hope which feeds but to destroy, and spill
What it first breeds, vnnaturall to the [blrth]               birth
Of thine owne wombe, conceiuing but to kill
And plenty giues to make the greater dearth.
So Tyrants doe, who falsly ruling Earth,
Outwardly grace them, and with profits fill,
Aduance those who appointed are to death;
To make their greater fall to please their will.
Thus shadow they their wicked vile intent,
Colouring euill with a show of good:
While in faire showes their malice so is spent;
Hope kill's the heart, and Tyrants shed the blood.
For [Hode]{22} deluding brings vs to the pride                  Hope
Of our desires the farther downe to slide.
How well (poore heart) thou witnesse canst, I loue,
How oft my grief hath made thee shed forth teares,
Drops of thy dearest blood; and how oft feares                       <21>
Borne testimony of the paines I proue?
What torments hast thou suffer'd, while aboue
Ioy thou tortur'd wert with racks, which longing beares:
Pinch'd with desires, which yet but wishing reares
Firme in my faith, in constancie, to moue.
Yet is it said, that sure loue cannot be,
Where so small shew of passion is descri'd:
When thy chiefe paine is, that I must it hide
From all, saue onley one, who should it see.
For know, more passion in my heart doth moue,
Then in a million that make shew of loue.
Song. 6.
You happy blessed eyes,
Which in that ruling place,
Haue force both to delight, and to disgrace;
Whose light allures and tyes
All hearts to your command:
O looke on me, who doe at mercy stand.
'Tis you that rule my life,
T'is you my comforts giue,
Then let not scorne to me my ending driue:
Nor let the frownes of strife
Haue might to hurt those lights;
Which while they shine they are true loues delights.
See but when Night appeares,
And Sunne hath lost his force,
How his loss doth all ioye from vs diuorce:
And when he shines, and cleares
The Heauens from clowdes of Night,
How happy then is made our gazing sight?
But more then Sun's faire light
Your beames doe seeme to me,
Whose sweetest lookes doe tye, and yet make free:
Why should you then so spight
Poore me? as to destroy
The only pleasure that I taste of ioy?
Shine then, O dearest lights
With fauour and with loue
And let no cause, your cause of frownings moue:
But as the soules delights,                                            <22>
So blesse my then blesst eyes,
Which vnto you their true affection tyes.
Then shall the Sunne giue place,
As to your greater might,
Yeelding that you doe show more perfect light.
O then but grant this grace,
Unto your Loue-tide slaue,
To shine on me, who to you all faith gaue.
And when you please to frowne,
Vse your most killing eyes
On them, who in vntruth and falsehood lies,
But (Deare) on me cast downe
Sweet lookes, for true desire;
That banish doe all thoughts of faigned fire.
Night, welcome art thou to my minde distrest,
Darke, heauy, sad, yet not more sad then I:
Neuer could'st thou find fitter company
For thine owne humour, then I thus opprest.
If thou beest darke, my wrongs still vnredrest
Saw neuer light, nor smallest blisse can spye:
If heauy ioy from me too fast doth hie,
And care out-goes my hope of quiet rest.
Then now in friendship ioyne with haplesse me,
Who am as sad and darke as thou canst be,
Hating all pleasure or delight of lyfe,
Silence, and griefe, with thee I best doe loue.
And from you three I know I can not moue,
Then let vs liue companions without strife.
What pleasure can a banish'd creature haue
In all the pastimes that inuented are
By wit or learning? Absence making warre
Against all peace that may a biding craue.
Can wee delight but in a welcome graue,
Where we may bury paines? and so be fare{23}
From loathed company, who alwaies iarre{24}
Vpon the string of mirth that pastime gaue.
The knowing part of ioye is deem'd the heart{25},                          <23>
If that be gone what ioy can ioy impart
When senceless is the feeler of our mirth?
Noe, I am banish'd, and no good shall finde,
But all my fortunes must with mischiefe binde;
Who but for miserie did gaine a birth.
If I were giuen to mirth, 'twould be more crosse,
Thus to be robbed of my chiefest ioy:
But silently I beare my greatest losse
Who's vs'd to sorrow, griefe will not destroy.
Nor can I as those pleasant wits inioy
Mine owne fram'd wordes, which I account the drosse{26}
Of purer thoughts, or reckon them as mosse,
While they (wit-sick) themselues to breath imploy.
Alas, thinke I, your plenty shewes your want;
For where most feeling is, wordes are more scant,
Yet pardon mee, liue, and your pleasure take.
Grudge not if I (neglected) enuy show,
'Tis not to you that I dislike doe owe;
But (crost my self) wish some like me to make.
It is not Loue which you poore fooles do deeme,
That doth appeare by fond and outward showes
Of kissing, toying, or by swearings gloze{27}:
O no, these are farre off from loues esteeme.
Alas, they are not such that can redeeme
Loue lost, or wining keepe those chosen blowes:
Though oft with face, and lookes loue ouerthrowes;
Yet so slight conquest doth not him beseeme.
'Tis not a shew of sighes or teares can proue
Who loues indeed, which blasts of fained loue,
Increase or dye, as fauors from them slide.
But in the soule true loue in safety lies
Guarded by faith, which to desert still hies:
And yet kinde lookes doe many blessings hide.
41.                                             <24>
You blessed Starres, which doe Heauen's glory show,
And at your brightnesse make our eyes admire:
Yet enuy not, though I on earth below,
Inioy a sight which moues in me more fire.
I doe confesse such beauty breeds desire
You shine, and clearest light on vs bestow:
Yet doth a sight on Earth more warmth inspire
Into my louing soule, his grace to know.
Cleare, bright, and shining, as you are, is this
Light of my ioy: fix't stedfast, nor will moue
His light from me, nor I chang from his loue;
But still increase as [th'earth] of all my blisse.            th'eith
His sight giues life vnto my loue-rould [eye],                  eyes
My loue content, because in his loue lies.
If euer loue had force in humane brest,
If euer he could moue in pensiue heart:
Or if that he such powre could but impart
To breed those flames, whose heat brings ioys vnrest.
Then looke on me; I am to these adrest,
I am the soule that feeles the greatest smart:
I am that heartlesse Trunck of hearts depart;
And I that One, by loue, and griefe opprest
Non euer felt the truth of loues great misse
Of eyes till I depriued was of blisse;
For had he seene, he must haue pitty show'd.
I should not haue beene made this Stage of woe{28} ,
Where sad Disasters haue their open show:
O no, more pitty he had sure bestow'd.
Song. 7.
Sorrow, I yeeld, and grieue that I did misse;
Will not thy rage be satified with this?
As sad a Diuell as thee,
Made me vnhappy be:
Wilt thou not yet consent to leaue, but still
Striue how to show thy cursed diuelish skill?
I mourne, and dying am, what would you more?                           <25>
My soule attends, to leaue this cursed shoare
Where harmes doe only flow,
Which teach me but to know
The saddest houres of my lifes vnrest,
And tyred minutes with griefes hand opprest.
Yet all this will not pacifie thy spight,
No, nothing can bring ease but my last night,
Then quickly let it be,
While I vnhappy see
That time so sparing, to grant Louers blisse,
Will see for time lost, there shall no griefe misse.
Nor let me euer cease from lasting griefe,
But endlesse let it be without reliefe;
To winn againe of Loue,
The fauour I did prooue,
And with my end please him, since dying, I
Haue him offended, yet vnwillingly.
O dearest eyes, the lights, and guides of Loue,
The ioyes of Cupid, who himselfe borne blinde,
To your bright shining, doth his tryumphs binde;
For, in your seeing doth his glory moue.
How happy are those places where you prooue
Your heauenly beames, which make the Sun to finde
Enuy and grudging, he so long hath shin'd
For your cleare lights, to match his beames aboue.
But now alas, your sight is heere forbid,
And darkenes must these poore lost roomes possesse,
So be all blessed lights from henceforth hid,
That this blacke deede of darknesse haue excesse.
For why showld Heauen affoord least light to those,
Who for my misery such darkenesse chose.
How fast thou hast st O Spring with sweetest speede)
To catch thy [water] which before are runne,                   waters
And of the greater Riuers welcome woone,
Ere these thy new-borne streames these places feed.
Yet you doe well, lest staying here might breede                       <24>
Dangerous flouds, your sweetest bankes t'orerunn,
And yet much better my distresse to shunn,
Which maks my tears your swiftest course succeed.
But best you doe when with so hasty flight
You fly my ills, which now my selfe outgoe,
Whose broken heart can testifie such woe,
That so orecharg'd, my life-bloud, wasteth quite.
Sweet Spring then keepe your way be neuer spent,
And my ill dayes, or griefes, assunder rent.
Good now be still, and doe not me torment,
With [multitude] of questions, be at rest,                    multituds
And onely let me quarrell with my breast,
Which stil lets in new stormes my soule to rent.
Fye, will you still my mischiefes more augment?
You saye, I answere crosse, I that confest
Long since, yet must I euer be opprest,
With your tongue torture which will ne're be spent?
Well then I see no way but this will fright,
That Deuill speech; alas, I am possest,
And madd folks senseles are of wisdomes right,
The hellish spirit, Absence, doth arrest.
All my poore senses to his cruell might,
Spare me then till I am my selfe, and blest
Loue thou hast all, for now thou hast me made
So thine, as if for thee I were ordain'd,
Then take thy conquest, nor let me be pain'd
More in thy Sunne, when I doe seeke thy shade.
No place for helpe haue I left to inuade,
That shew'd a face where least ease might be gain'd;
Yet found I paine increase, and but obtain'd,
That this no way was to haue loue allay'd
When hott, and thirsty, to a Well I came,
Trusting by that to quench part of my [paine],                flame
But there I was by Loue afresh imbrac'd
Drinke I could not, but in it I did see                                <25>
My selfe a liuing glasse as well as shee;
For loue to see himselfe in, truely plac'd.
O stay mine eyes shed not these fruitlesse teares,
Since hope is past to win you back againe,
That treasure which being lost breeds all your paine;
Cease from this poore betraying of your feares.
Thinke this too childish is, for where griefe reares
So high a powre for such a wretched gaine:
Sighes nor laments should thus be spent in vaine,
True sorrow neuer outward wailing beares.
Be rul'd by me, keepe all the rest in store,
Till no roome is that may containe one more;
Then in that Sea of teares, drowne haplesse me,
And Ile prouide such store of sighes, as part
Shall be enough to breake the strongest heart,
This done, we shall from torments freed be.
How like a fire doth loue increase in me?
The longer that it lasts the stronger still;
The greater, purer, brighter; and doth fill
No eye with wonder more then hopes still bee.
Bred in my breast, when fires of Loue are free
To vse that part to their best pleasing will,
And now [vnpossible] it is to kill                            impossible
The heate so great where Loue his strength doth see.
Mine eyes can scarce sustaine the flames, my heart
Doth trust in them my passions to impart,
And languishingly striue to shew my loue.
My breath not able is to [breath] least part                    breathe
Of that increasing fuell of my smart;
Yet loue I will, till I but ashes proue.
Sonnet.                                             <26>
Let griefe as farre be from your dearest breast
As I doe wish, or in my hands to ease;
Then should it banish'd be, and sweetest rest
Be plac'd to giue content by Loue to please.
Let those disdaines which on your heart do [ceaze],             seaze
Doubly returne to bring her soules vnrest:                    (seize)
Since true loue will not that belou'd displease;
Or let least smart to their minds be addrest.
But oftentimes mistakings be in loue.
Be they as farre from false accusing right,
And still truth gouerne with a constant might
So shall you only wished pleasures proue.
And as for mee she that shewes you least scorne,
With all despite and hate, be her heart torne.
O me, the time is come to part,
And with it my life-killing smart:
Fond Hope leaue me, my deare must goe,
To meete more ioy, and I more woe.
Where still of mirth inioy thy fill,
One is enough to suffer ill:
My heart so well to sorrow vs'd,
can better be by new griefes bruis'd.
Thou whom the Heauens themselues like made,
should neuer sit in mourning shade:
No, I alone must mourne and end,
Who haue a life in griefe to spend.
My swiftest pace to wailings bent,
Shewes ioy had but a short time lent,
To bide in me where woes must dwell,
And charme me with their cruell spell.
And yet when they their witchcrafts trye,
They only make me wish to dye:
But ere my faith in loue they change,
In horrid darknesse will I range.
Song.{29}                                            <27>
Say Venus how long haue I lou'd, and seru'd you heere?
Yet all my passions scorn'd or doubted, although cleere;
Alas thinke loue deserueth loue, and you haue lou'd,
Looke on my paines, and see if you the like haue prou'd:
Remember then you are the Goddesse of Desire,
and that your sacred powre hath touch'd and felt this fire.
Perswade these flames in me to cease, or them redresse
In me (poore me) who stormes of loue haue in excesse,
My restlesse nights may show for me, how much I loue,
My sighes vnfaignd can witnes what my heart doth proue:
My saddest lookes doe show the griefe my soule indures,
Yet all these torments from your hands no helpe procures.
Command that wayward Child your Son to grant your right,
and that his Bow and shafts he yeeld to your faire sight,
To you who haue the eyes of ioy, the heart of loue,
And then new hopes may spring, that I may pitty moue:
Let him not triumph that he can both hurt and saue,
And more, bragge that to you your self a wound he gaue.
Rule him, or what shall I expect of good to see?
Since he that hurt you, he (alas) may murther mee.
I that am of all most crost,
Hauing, and that had haue lost,
May with reason thus complaine,
Since loue breeds loue, and loues paine.
That which I did most desire,
To allay my louing fire,
I may haue, yet now must misse,
Since another Ruler is.
Would that I no Ruler had,
Or the seruice{30} not so bad,
Then might I with blis enioy
That which now my hopes destroy.
And that wicked pleasure got,
Brings with it the sweetest lot:
I that must not taste the best,
Fed, must starue, and restlesse rest.
Loue as well can make abiding
In a faithfull Shepheards brest
As in Princes: whose thoughts sliding
Like swift riuers neuer rest.
Change to their minds is best feeding,
To a sheapheard all his care,
Who when his loue is exceeding,
Thinks his faith his richest fare.
Beauty but a slight inuiting,
Cannot stirre his heart to change;
Constancye his chiefe delighting,
Striues to flee from fant'sies strange,
Fairnesse to him is no pleasure,
If in other then his loue;
Nor can esteeme that a treasure,
Which in her smiles doth not moue.
This a shepheard once confessed,
Who lou'd well, but was not lou'd:
Though with scorne & griefe oppressed
could not yet to change be mou'd.
But himselfe he thus contented,
While in loue he was accurst:
This hard hap{31} he not repented,
Since best Louers speed the worst.
Dearest if I by my deseruing,
May maintaine in your thoughts my loue,
Let me it still enioy;
Nor faith destroy:
Butt pitty Loue where it doth moue.
Let no other new Loue inuite you,
To leaue me who so long haue serud:
Nor let your power decline
But purely shine
On me, who haue all truth preseru'd.
Or had you once found my heart straying,                               <29>
Then would not I accuse your change,
But being constant still
It needs must kill
One whose soule knowes not how to range.
Yet may you Loues sweet smiles recouer,
Since all loue is not yet quite lost,
But tempt not Loue too long
Lest so great wrong
Make him thinke he is too much crost.
Fairest and still truest eyes,
Can you the lights be, and the spies
Of my desires?
Can you shine cleare for loues delight,
And yet the breeders be of spight,
And iealous fires?
Mark what lookes doe you behold,
Such as by Iealousie are told
They want your Loue.
See how they sparckle in distrust,
Which by a heate of thoughts vniust
In them doe mooue.
Learne to guide your course by Art,
Change your eyes into your heart,
And patient be:
Till fruitlesse Ielousie giue leaue,
By safest absence to receiue
What you would see.
Then let Loue his triumph haue,
And Suspition such a graue,
As not to mooue.
While wished freedome brings that blisse
That you enioy what all ioy is
Happy to Loue.
Sonnet. I.
In night yet may we see some kinde of light,
When as the Moone doth please to shew her face,
And in the Sunns roome yeelds her light, and grace,
Which otherwise must suffer dullest night:
So are my fortunes barrd from true delight,                            <30>
Cold, and vncertaine, like to this strange place,
Decreasing, changing in an instant space,
And euen at full of ioy turnd to despight.
Iustly on Fortune was bestowd the Wheele{32},
Whose fauours fickle, and vnconstant reele,
Drunke with delight of change and sudden paine;
Where pleasure hath no setled place of stay,
But turning still, for our best hopes decay,
And this (alas) we louers often gaine.
Loue like a Iugler, comes to play his prize,
And all mindes draw his wonders to admire,
To see how cunningly he (wanting eyes)
Can yet deseiue the best sight of desire.
The wanton Childe, how he can faine his fire
So prettily, as none sees his disguise,
How finely doe his trickes; while we fooles hire
The badge, and office of his tyrannies.
For in the ende such Iugling he doth make,
As he our hearts instead of eyes doth take;
For men can onely by their [slights] abuse,                   sleights
The sight with nimble, and delightfull skill,
But if he play, his gaine is our lost will,
Yet Child-like we cannot his sports refuse.
Most blessed night, the happy time for Loue,
The shade for Louers, and their Loues delight,
The raigne of Loue for seruants free from spight,
The hopefull seasons, for ioyes sports to mooue.
Now hast thou made thy glory higher prooue,
Then did the God{33}, whose pleasant Reede did smite
All Argus eyes into a death-like night,
Till they were safe, that none could Loue reprooue.
Now thou hast cloas'd those eyes from prying sight
That nourish Iealousie, more than ioyes right,                       <31>
While vaine Suspition fosters their mistrust,
Making sweet sleepe to master all suspect,
Which els their priuat feares would not neglect,
But would embrace both blinded, and vniust.
Cruell suspition, O! be now at rest,
Let daily torments bring to thee some stay,
Alas, make not my ill thy ease-full pray,
Nor giue loose raines to Rage, when Loue's opprest.
I am by care sufficiently distrest,
No Racke can stretch my heart more, nor a way
Can I find out, for least content to lay
One happy foot of ioy, one step that's blest.
But to my end thou fly'st with greedy eye,
Seeking to bring griefe by bace Iealousie;
O, in how strange a Cage am I kept in?
No little signe of fauour can I prooue,
But must be way'd, and turn'd to wronging loue,
And with each humour must my state begin.
How many nights haue I with paine endurd?
Which as so many Ages I esteem'd,
Since my misfortune, yet noe whit redeem'd
But rather faster ty'de, to griefe assur'd.
How many houres haue my sad thoughts endur'd
Of killing paines? yet is it not esteem'd
By cruell Loue, who might haue these redeemd,
And all these yeeres of houres to ioy assur'd.
But fond Childe{34}, had he had a care to saue,
As first to conquer, this my pleasures graue,
Had not beene now to testifie my woe.
I might haue beene an Image of delight,
As now a Tombe for sad misfortunes spight,
Which Loue vnkindly, for reward doth show.
My paine still smother'd in my grieued brest,
Seekes for some ease, yet cannot passage finde,
To be discharg'd of this vnwellcome guest,
When most I striue, more fast his burthens binde.
Like to a Ship on Goodwins{35} cast by winde,                          <32>
The more she striues, more deepe in Sand is prest,
Till she be lost: so am I in this kind
Sunck, and deuour'd, and swallow'ed by vnrest.
Lost, shipwrackt, spoyl'd, debar'd of smallest hope,
Nothing of pleasure left, saue thoughts haue scope,
Which wander may; goe then my thoughts and cry:
Hope's perish'd, Loue tempest-beaten, Ioy lost,
Killing Despaire hath all these blessings crost;
Yet Faith still cries, Loue will not falsifie.
An end fond Ielousie, alas I know
Thy hiddenest, and thy most secret Art,
Thou canst no new inuention frame but part,
I haue already seene, and felt with woe.
All thy dissemblings, which by faigned showe,
Wonne my beliefe, while truth did rule my heart,
I with glad minde embrac'd, and deemd my smart
The spring of ioy, whose streames with blisse should flow.
I thought excuses had beene reasons true,
And that no falshood could of thee ensue,
So soone beliefe in honest mindes is wrought;
But now I finde thy flattery, and skill,
Which idely made me to obserue thy will,
Thus is my learning by my bondage bought.
Poore Loue in chaines, and fetters like a thiefe
I mett ledd forth, as chast Diana's gaine
Vowing the vntaught Lad should no reliefe
From her receiue, who gloried in fond paine.
She call'd him theife; with vowes he did mainetaine
He neuer stole, but some sadd slight of griefe
Had giuen to those who did his power disdaine,
In which reuenge, his honour was the chiefe.
Shee say'd he murther'd and therefor must dye,
He that he caus'd but Loue, did harmes deny,
But, while she thus discoursing with him stood;
The Nymphes vnti'de him, and his chaines tooke off,                    <33>
Thinking him safe; but he (loose) made a scoffe,
Smiling and scorning them; flew to the wood.
Pray doe not vse these words, I must be gone;
Alasse doe not foretell mine ills to come:
Let not my care be to my ioyes a Tombe;
But rather finde my losse with losse alone.
Cause me not thus a more distressed one,
Not feeling blisse, because of this sad doome
Of present crosse; for thinking will orecome
And loose all pleasure, since griefe breedeth none.
Let the misfortune come at once to me,
Nor suffer me with griefe to punish'd be;
Let mee be ignorant of mine owne ill:
Then now with the fore-knowledge quite to lose
That which with so much care and paines Loue chose
For his reward, but ioye now, then mirth kill.
Folly would needs make me a Louer be,
When I did litle thinke of louing thought;
Or euer to be tyde, while shee told me
That none can liue, but to these bands are brought.
I (ignorant) did grant, and so was bought,
And sold againe to Louers slauery:
The duty to that vanity once taught,
Such band is, as wee will not seeke to free.
Yet when I well did vnderstand his might,
How he inflam'd, and forc'd one to affect:
I loud{36} and smarted, counting it delight
So still to waste, which Reason did reiect.
When Loue came blind-fold, and did challenge me.
Indeed I lou'd, but wanton Boy not hee,
The Spring time of my first louing,
Finds yet no winter of remouing;
Nor frosts to make my hopes decrease:
But with the Summer still increase.
The trees may teach vs Loue's remaining,                               <34>
Who suffer change with little paining,
Though Winter make their leaues decrease,
Yet with the Summer they increase.
As birds by silence show their mourning
in colde, yet sing at Springs returning:
So may Loue nipt awhile decrease,
but as the Summer soone increase.
Those that doe loue but for a season,
Doe faulsifie both Loue and Reason:
For Reason wills, if Loue decrease,
It like the Summer should increase.
Though Love sometimes may be mistaken,
the truth yet ought not to be shaken:
Or though the heate awhile decrease,
It with the Summer may increase.
And since the Spring time of my louing
Found neuer Winter of remouing:
Nor frosts to make my hopes decrease,
Shall as the Summer still increase.
Loue a childe is euer crying,
Please him, and he strait is flying;
Giue him, he the more is crauing,
Neuer satisfi'd with hauing.
His desires haue no measure,
Endlesse folly is his treasure:
What he promiseth, he breaketh,
Trust not one word that he speaketh.
Hee vowes nothing but false matter,
And to cousen you hee'l flatter:
Let him gain the hand, hee'l leaue you,
And still glory to deceiue you.
Hee will triumph in your wailing,
And yet cause be of your failing:
these his vertues are, and slighter
are his guifts, his fauours lighter.
[Fathers] are as firme in staying,                           Feathers  <35>
Wolues no fiercer in their praying.
As a child then leaue him crying,
Nor seeke him so giu'n to flying.
Beeing past the paines of loue,
Freedome gladly seekes to moue:
Sayes that Loues delights were pretty;
But to dwell in them t'were pitty,
And yet truly sayes, that Loue
Must of force in all hearts moue:
But though his delights are pretty,
To dwell on them were a pitty.
Let Loue slightly passe like Loue,
Neuer let it too deepe moue:
For though Loues delights are pretty,
To dwell in them were great pitty.
Loue no pitty hath of Loue,
Rather griefes then pleasures moue:
So though his delights are pretty,
To dwell in them would be pitty.
Those that like the smart of Love,
In them let it freely move:
Els though his delights are pretty,
Doe not dwell in them for pitty.
O pardon Cupid, I confesse my fault,
Then mercy grant me in so iust a kinde:
For treason neuer lodged in my minde
Against thy might, so much as in a thought.
And now my folly I haue dearely bought,
Nor could my soule least rest or quiett finde;
Since Rashnes did my thoughts to Error binde,
Which now thy fury, and my harme hath wrought.
I curse that thought, and hand which that first fram'd,
For which by thee I am most iustly blam'd:
But now that hand shall guided be aright,
And giue a Crowne{37} vnto thy endlesse praise,
Which shall thy glory, and thy greatnesse raise,
More then these poore things could thy honor spight.
A Crowne of Sonnets dedicated                                <36>
to L O U E.{38}
In this strange Labyrinth{39} how shall I turne,
Wayes are on all sids while the way I misse:
If to the right hand, there, in loue I burne,
Let mee goe forward, therein danger is.
If to the left, suspition hinders blisse;
Let mee turne back, shame cryes I ought returne:
Nor faint, though crosses [which] my fortunes kiss,           with
Stand still is harder, allthough sure to mourne.
Thus let mee take the right, or left hand way,
Goe forward, or stand still, or back retire:
I must these doubts indure without allay
Or helpe, but trauell finde for my best hire.
Yet that which most my troubled sense doth moue,
Is to leaue all, and take the threed{40} of Loue.
Is to leaue all, and take the threed of Loue,
Which line straite leades vnto the soules content,
Where choice delights with pleasures wings doe moue,
And idle fant'sie neuer roome had lent.
When chaste thoughts guide vs, then our minds are bent
To take that good which ills from vs remoue:
Light of true loue brings fruite which none repent;
But constant Louers seeke and wish to proue.
Loue is the shining Starre of blessings light,
The feruent fire of zeale, the roote of peace,
The lasting lampe, fed with the oyle of right,
Image of Faith, and wombe for ioyes increase.
Loue is true Vertue, and his ends delight,
His flames are ioyes, his bands true Louers might.
His flames are ioyes, his bandes true Louers might,
No stain is there, but pure, as purest white,
Where no cloud can appaere to dimme his light,
Nor spot defile, but shame will soon requite.
Heere are affections, tryde by Loues iust might                        <37>
As Gold by fire, and black discern'd by white;
Error by truth, and darknes knowne by light,
Where Faith is vallu'd, for Loue to requite.
Please him, and serue him, glory in his might
And firme hee'le be, as Innocency white,
Cleere as th'ayre, warme as Sun's beames, as day light
Iust as Truth, constant as Fate, ioy'd to requite.
Then loue obey, striue to obserue his might
And be in his braue Court a glorious light.
And be in his braue Court a glorious light
Shine in the eyes of Faith, and Constancy
Maintaine the fires of Loue, still burning bright,
Not slightly sparkling, but light flaming be.
Neuer to slake till earth no Starres can see,
Till Sun, and Moone doe leaue to vs darke night,
And secound Chaos once againe doe free
Vs, and the World from all deuisions spight,
Till then affections which his followers are,
Gouerne our hearts, and prooue his powers gaine,
To taste this pleasing sting, seeke with all care
For happy smarting is it with small paine.
Such as although it pierce your tender heart,
And burne, yet burning you will loue the smart.
And burne, yet burning you will loue the smart,
When you shall feele the waight of true desire,
So pleasing, as you would not wish your part
Of burthen showld be missing from that fire.
But faithfull and vnfaigned heate aspire
Which sinne abollisheth, and doth impart
Salues to all feare, with vertues which inspire
Soules with diuine loue; which showes his chast art.
And guide he is to ioyings, open eyes
He hath to happinesse, and best can learne
Vs, meanes how to deserue, this he descries,
Who blinde, yet doth our hiden'st thoughts discerne.
Thus we may gaine since liuing in blest Loue,                          <38>
He may our [Prophet]{41}, and our Tutor prooue.                 profitt
He may our Prophett, and our Tutor prooue,
In whom alone we doe this power finde,
To ioine two hearts as in one frame to mooue
Two bodies, but one soule to rule the minde
Eyes which must care to one deare Obiect binde,
Eares to each others speach as if aboue
All else, they sweete, and learned were; this kind
Content of Louers witnesseth true loue.
It doth inrich the wits, and make you see
That in your selfe which you knew not before,
Forceing you to admire such guifts showld be
Hid from your knowledge, yet in you the store.
Millions of these adorne the throane of Loue,
How blest [are] they then, who his fauours proue?               bee
How bless'd be they, then, who his fauors proue,
A life whereof the birth is iust desire?
Breeding sweete flame, which harts inuite to moue,
In these lou'd eyes which kindle Cupids fire,
And nurse his longings with his thoughts intire,
Fix't on the heat of wishes form'd by Loue,
Yet whereas fire destroyes, this doth aspire,
Increase, and foster all delights aboue.
Loue will a Painter make you, such, as you
Shall able be to draw, your onely deare,
More liuely, perfect, lasting, and more true
Then rarest Workeman, and to you more neere.
These be the least, then all must needs confesse,
He that shuns Loue, doth loue himselfe the lesse.
He that shuns Loue, doth loue himselfe the lesse,
And cursed he whose spirit, not admires
The worth of Loue, where endlesse blessednes
Raignes, & commands, maintain'd by heau'nly fires.
Made of Vertue, ioyn'd by Truth, blowne by Desires,                    <39>
Strengthned by Worth, renew'd by carefulnesse,
Flaming in neuer changing thoughts: bryers
Of Iealousie shall heere misse welcomnesse.
Nor coldly passe in the pursutes of Loue
Like one long frozen in a Sea of yce:
And yet but chastly let your passions [moone],                moove
No thought from vertuous Loue your minds intice.
Neuer to other ends your Phant'sies place,
But where they may returne with honor's grace.
Bvt where they may returne with Honor's grace,
Where Venus follies can no harbour winne,
But chased are, as worthlesse of the face,
Or stile of Loue, who hath lasciuious beene.
Our hearts are subiect to her Sonne; where sinne
Neuer did dwell, or rest one minutes space;
What faults he hath in her did still beginne,
And from her breast he suck'd his fleeting pace.
If Lust be counted Loue 'tis falsely nam'd,
By wickednesse, a fairer glosse to set
Vpon that Vice, which else makes men asham'd
In the owne Phrase to warrant, but beget
This Childe for Loue, who ought like Monster borne
Be from the Court of Loue, and Reason torne.
Bee from the Court of Loue, and Reason torne,
For Loue in Reason now doth put his trust,
Desert, and liking are together borne
Children of Loue, and Reason, Parents iust,
Reason aduiser is, Loue ruler must
Be of the State, which Crowne he long hath worne;
Yet so, as neither will in least mistrust
The gouernment where no feare is of scorn.
Then reuerence both their mights thus made of one,
But wantonesse, and all those errors shun,
Which wrongers be, Impostures, and alone
Maintainers of all follies ill begunne.
Fruit of a [sower], and vnwholsome grownd                       sowre
Vnprofitably pleasing, and vnsound.                             (sour) <40>
Vnprofitably pleasing, and vnsound.
When Heauen gaue liberty to fraile dull earth,
To bringe foorth plenty that in ills abound,
Which ripest, yet doe bring a certaine dearth.
A timelesse, and vnseasonable birth,
Planted in ill, in worse time springing found,
Which Hemlocke{42} like might feed a sicke-wits mirth
Where vnrul'd vapours swimme in endlesse round.
Then ioy we not in what we ought to shunne,
Where shady pleasures shew, but true borne fires
Are quite quench'd out, or by poore ashes won,
Awhile to keepe those coole, and wann desires.
O no, let Loue his glory haue, and might
Be giu'n to him, who triumphs in his right.
Be giu'n to him who triumphs in his right;
Nor fading be, but like those blossomes faire,
Which fall for good, and lose their colours bright,
Yet dye not, but with fruit their losse repaire:
So may Loue make you pale with louing care,
When sweet enioying shall restore that light,
More cleere in beauty, then we can compare,
If not to Venus in her chosen [might].                        night
And who so giue themselues in this deare kinde,
these happinesses shall attend them still,
To be supplide with ioyes enrich'd in minde,
With treasures of content, and pleasures fill.
Thus loue to be deuine, doth here appeare,
Free from all foggs, but shining faire, and cleare.
Free from all foggs, but shining faire, and cleare,
Wise in all good, and innocent in ill,
Where holly{43} friendship is esteemed deare,
With Truth in loue, and Iustice in our Will.
In Loue these titles onely haue their fill                             <41>
Of happy life-maintainer, and the meere
Defence of right, the punisher of skill,
And fraude, from whence directions doth appeare.
To thee then, Lord commander of all hearts,
Ruler of our affections, kinde, and iust,
Great King of Loue, my soule from faigned smarts,
Or thought of change, I offer to your trust,
This Crowne, my selfe, and all that I haue more,
Except my heart, which you bestow'd before.
Except my heart, which you bestow'd before,
And for a signe of Conquest gaue away
As worthlesse to be kept in your choice store;
Yet one more spotlesse with you doth not stay.
The tribute which my heart doth truely pay,
Is faith vntouch'd, pure thoughts discharge the score
Of debts for me, where Constancy beares sway,
And rules as Lord, vnharm'd by Enuies sore,
Yet other mischiefes faile not to attend,
As enimies to you, my foes must be,
Curst Iealousie doth all her forces bend
To my vndoing, thus my harmes I see.
So though in Loue I feruently doe burne,
In this strange Labyrinth how shall I turne?{44}
Song. I.
Sweet, let me enioy thy sight
More cleare, more bright then morning Sun,
Which in Spring-time giues delight
And by which Summers pride is wun.
Present sight doth pleasures moue
Which in sad absence we must misse:
But when met againe in loue,
Then twice redoubled is our blisse.
Yet this comfort absence giues,
And only faithfull louing tries,
That though parted, Loues force liues
As iust in heart, as in our eyes:
But such comfort banish quite,                                         <42>
Farre sweeter is it, still to finde
Fauour in thy loued sight,
Which present smiles with ioyes combind.
Eyes of gladnesse, lipps of Loue,
And hearts from passion not to turne,
But in sweet affections mooue,
In flames of Faith to liue, and burne.
Dearest then, this kindnesse giue,
And grant me life, which is your sight,
Wherein I more blessed liue,
Then graced with the Sunnes faire light.
Sweet Siluia in a shady wood,
With her faire Nimphs layd downe,
Saw not farre off where Cupid stood,
The Monarch of Loues Crowne,
All naked, playing with his wings,
Within a Mirtle Tree,
Which sight a sudden laughter brings,
His Godhead so to see.
[An] fondly they began to iest,                                and
With scoffing, and delight,
Not knowing he did breed vnrest,
And that his will's his right:
When he perseiuing of their scorne,
Grew in such desperate rage,
Who but for honour first was borne,
Could not his rage asswage.
Till shooting of his murth'ring dart,
Which not long lighting was
Knowing the next way to the heart,
Did through a poore Nymph passe:
This shot the others made to bow,
Besides all those to blame,
Who scorners be, or not allow
Of powerfull Cupids name.
Take heede then nor doe idly smile,
Nor Loues commands despise,
For soone will he your strength beguile,
Although he want his eyes.
3.                                               <43>
Come merry Spring delight vs,
For Winter long did spight vs,
In pleasure still perseuer,
Thy beauties ending neuer:
Spring, and grow
Lasting so,
With ioyes increasing euer.
Let cold from hence be banish'd,
Till hopes from me be vanish'd,
But blesse thy daynties growing
In fulnesse freely flowing:
Sweet Birds sing
For the Spring,
All mirth is now bestowing.
Philomel{45} in this Arbour
Makes now her louing Harbour,
Yet of her state complaining,
Her Notes in mildnesse strayning,
Which thought sweet,
Yet doe meet.
Her former lucklesse paining.
Louers learne to speake but truth,
Sweare not, and your oathes forgoe,
Giue your age a constant youth,
Vow noe more then what you'le doe.
Thinke it sacriledge to breake
What you promise, shall in loue
And in teares what you doe speake
Forget not, when the ends you proue.
Doe not thinke it glory is
To entice, and then deceiue,
Your chiefe honors lye in this,
By worth what wonne is, not to leaue.
'Tis not for your fame to try,
What we weake, not oft refuse,
In our bounty our faults lye,
When you to doe a fault will chuse.
Fye leaue this, a greater gaine,                                       <48>
tis to keepe when you haue won,
Then what purchas'd is with paine,
Soone after in all scorne to shun.
For if worthlesse to be priz'd,
Why at first will you it moue?
And if worthy, why dispis'd?
You cannot sweare, and lie, and loue.
Loue alasse you cannot like,
Tis but for a fashion mou'd,
None can chuse, and then dislike,
Vnlesse it be by faslhood prou'd.
But your choyce is, and your loue.
How most number to deceiue,
As if honors claime did moue
Like Popish Lawe{46}, none safe to leaue.
Flye this folly, and returne
Vnto truth in Loue, and try,
None but Martir's happy burne,
More shamefull ends they haue that lye.
My heart is lost, what can I now expect,
An euening faire after a drowsie day?
Alas, fond Phant'sie, this is not the way,
To cure a mourning heart, or salue neglect:
They who should helpe, doe me, and helpe reiect,
Embracing loose desires, and wanton play,
While wanton base delights doe beare the sway,
[Aud] impudency raignes without respect.                      and
O Cupid let [they] Mother know her shame,                        thy
'T'is time for her to leaue this youthfull flame{47},
Which doth dishonor her, is ages blame,
And takes away the greatnes of thy name.
Thou God of Loue, she only Queene of lust,
Yet striues by weakning thee, to be vniust.
2.                                               <49>
Late in the Forrest I did Cupid see
Cold, wett, and crying, he had lost his way,
And being blinde was farther like to stray;
Which sight, a kind compassion bred in me.
I kindly tooke, and dry'd him, while that he,
(Poore Child) complain'd, he sterued was with stay
And pin'd for want of his accustom'd prey,
For none in that wilde place his Host would be.
I glad was of his finding, thinking sure,
This seruice should my freedome still procure,
And in my armes I tooke him then vnharm'd,
Carrying him safe vnto a Myrtle bowre,
But in the way he made me, feele his powre,
Burning my heart, who had him kindly warm'd.
Ivno still iealous of her husband Ioue{48},
Descended from aboue, on earth to try,
Whether she there could find his chosen Loue,
Which made him from the Heau'ns so often flye.
Close by the place where I for shade did lye,
She [chafing] came, but when shee saw me moue,                chaseing
Haue you not seene this way (said she) to hye
One, in whom vertue neuer grownde did proue?
Hee, in whom Loue doth breed, to stirre more hate,
Courting a wanton Nimph for his delight;
His name is Iupiter, my Lord, by Fate,
Who for her, leaues Me, Heauen, his Throne, and light,
I saw him not (said I) although heere are
Many, in whose hearts, Loue hath made like warre,
When I beheld the Image{49} of my deare,
With greedy lookes mine eies would that way bend,
Feare, and Desire, did inwardly contend;
Feare to be mark'd, Desire to drawe still neere.
And in my soule a Spirit would appeare,                                <46>
Which boldnes waranted, and did pretend
To be my Genius, yet I durst not lend,
My eyes in trust, where others seem'd so cleare.
Then did I search, from whence this danger rose,
If such vnworthynesse in me did rest,
As my steru'd eyes must not with sight be blest,
When Iealousie her poyson did disclose.
Yet in my heart vnseene of Iealous eye,
The truer Image shall in tryumph lye.
Like to huge Clowdes of smoake which well may hide
The face of fairest day, though for a while:
So wrong may shaddow me, till truth doe smile,
And Iustice Sunne-like hath those vapours tyde.
O doating Time, canst thou for shame let slid,
So many minutes, while ills doe beguile
Thy age, and worth, and falshoods thus defile
Thy auncient good, where now but crosses bide?
Looke but once vp, and leaue thy toyling pace
And on my miseries thy dimme eye place,
Goe not so fast, but giue my care some ende,
Turne not thy glasse{50} (alas) vnto my ill
Since thou with sand it canst not so farre fill,
But to each one my sorrowes will extend.
O that no day would euer more appeare,
But clowdy night to gouerne this sad place,
Nor light from Heauen these haples roomes to grace
Since that light's shadow'd which my Loue holds deare.
Let thickest mists in enuy master here,
And Sunne-borne day for malice show no face,
Disdaining light, where Cupid, and the race
Of Louers are dispisd, and shame shines cleere.
Let me be darke, since barr'd of my chiefe light,
And wounding Iealousie commands by might,
But stage-play-like diguised pleasures giue:
To me it seemes, as ancient fictions make                              <47>
The Starres, all [fashious], and all shapes partake,          fashions
While in my thoughts true forme of Loue shall liue.
No time, no roome, no thought, or writing can
Giue rest, or quiet to my louing heart,
Or can my memory or Phant'sie scan,
The measure of my still renewing smart.
Yet whould I not (deare Loue) thou shouldst depart,
But let my passions as they first began,
Rule, wounde, and please, it is thy choysest Art,
To giue disquiet, which seemes ease to man.
When all alone, I thinke vpon thy paine,
How thou doest trauell our best selues to gaine,
Then houerly thy lessons I doe learne;
Thinke on thy glory, which shall still ascend,
Vntill the world come to a finall end,
And then shall we thy lasting powre dicerne.
How Glowworme-like the Sun doth now appeare,
Cold beames doe from his glorious face descend
Which shewes his daies, and force [duw] to an end,            draw
Or that to leaue taking, his time grows neere.
[The] day his face did seeme but pale, though cleare,           this
The reason is, he to the North must lend
His light, and warmth must to that Climat bend,
Whose frozen parts cowld not loues heat hold deare
Alas, if thou bright Sunne to part from hence
Grieue so, what must I haplesse who from thence,
Where thou dost goe my blessing shall attend;
Thou shalt enioy that sight for which I dye,
And in my heart thy fortunes doe enuy,
Yet grieue, I'le loue thee, for this state may mend.
My Muse now happy lay thy selfe to rest,
Sleepe in the quiet of a faithfull loue,
Write you no more, but let these Phant'sies mooue
Some other hearts, wake not to new vnrest.
But if you Study be those thoughts adrest                              <48>
To truth, which shall eternall goodnes prooue;
Enioying of true ioy the most, and best
The endles gaine which neuer will remoue.
Leaue the discourse of Venus, and her sonne
To young beginners, and their braines inspire
With storyes of great Loue, and from that fire,
Get heat to write the fortunes they haue wonne.
And thus leaue off; what's past shewes you can loue,
Now let your Constancy your Honor proue.{51}
F I N I S.
{1}  This quote is from the title page of the _Urania_, which omits to
mention Lady Mary Wroth's deceased husband, other than by the fact of
her married name. Lady Mary Wroth was primarily identified as a
Sidney, and shared the intellectual and literary heritage of the
famous writers who preceded her.
{2}  This thumbnail biographical sketch owes much to a more comprehensive
one by Margaret P. Hannay in _Women Writers of the Renaissance_, cited
{3}  "A Sonnet to the Noble Lady, the Lady Mary Wroth," _Complete Poems_
(1982), 165.
{4}  Robert Sidney wrote to his wife after a visit with his new son-in-law
that the young man had something "that doth discontent him: but the
particulars I could not get out of him, onely that hee protests that
hee cannot take any exception to his wife, nor her carriage towards
him. It were very soon for any unkindness to begin." From a letter in
the collections at Penshurst, quoted by Hannay (551).
{5}  Josephine Roberts (85) traces the chariot image to Petrarch's _Trionfe
{6}  Roberts, p. 85, has "shutt." Neither the compositor, nor Roberts, nor
Hannay, p.554 (modernized), seems to regard this as "shoot," but to me
this makes more sense. Wroth's spelling is very anglo-saxon.
{7}  The Court of Love, a traditional theme, undergirds the courtly love
ideology by close analogy with the lord-and-vassal relationships
inherited from medieval feudalism.
{8}  Comparison of eyes to the sun or stars is a commonplace of
Petrarchism, but the star image was of particular interest to all the
Sidneys. "Astrophil" is of course "lover of a star," and "Stella" is
"star"; Josephine Roberts reports that Sir Robert Wroth often used
star/eye images in his (unpublished) sonnets ( _Poems_ 86).
{9}  Waine: wane (noun usage, archaic).
{10} Sights string: the Pythagoreans thought light originated from the
objects seen; the Platonists thought that light originated from the
sun, from objects, and most of all from the eye; Renaissance ideas on
this subject favored Plato.
{11} Willow: emblem of weeping. Popular ballads held that spurned women
pine away and die under the sign of the willow. "Bury Me Beneath the
Willow" and "On Top of Old Smokey" are modern examples of the genre.
{12} Loue: Cupid. Lovers are bound by feudal ties of fealty to Love as
their lord. See Petrarch, _Rime_, and Dante, _La Vita Nuova_.
{13} Optaine: "p" here is a common compositor's error, an inverted "d."
These letters in the typeface used were mounted on the same size type
body and when placed in the composing stick, one looks almost
identical to the other. A very similar error, "n" for "u" and vice
versa, which is called a "turned" letter, occurs frequently in the
1621 text I have retained and noted these rather than silently
emnding them, to keep some feel for the original.
{14} Camelion: chamelion. Lethargic and long-lived in captivity without
being fed, chamelions were popularly thought to "eat the air",
_Hamlet_ III.ii.
{15} Sleepe: Compare _Astrophil and Stella_, sonnets 38-40.
{16} Petrarchan oxymorons: heate/frosts, wanting/surfet, burne/freeze.
Compare _Rime_ CXXXII: "E tremo a mezza state, ardendo il verno," and
CXXXIV: "E temo, e spero; et ardo, e son un ghiaccio." The tradition
was overused in unskillful hands and was often satirized: see
_Astrophil and Stella_, Sonnet 6, and _Romeo and Juliet_, I.1.
{17} Humors: "Moisture, juice, or sap; also a mans disposition or fansy.
[2nd def.] Bloud, Choler, Phlegme, and Melancholie." Coles' _English
Dictionary_, 1676. Ben Jonson was fascinated by the theory of humours;
here "humors" seems to refer primarily to melancholia, which was
closely related to love in the Renaissance mind.
{18} Vade: fade.
{19} 22.: Josephine Roberts (99) and Margaret Hannay (553) both link this
poem to Ben Jonson's _Masque of Blackness_ [1606], in which Lady Mary
acted a part.
{20} Phoebus: Personification of the Sun as Apollo, the Sun God.
{21} This: "The hart which fled to you." A popular Petrarchism: compare
Thomas Wyatt's "Helpe me to seke."
{22} Hode: Hope. the lowercase "p" was turned by the compositor.
{23} Fare: far ("farr" in Roberts, p. 109).
{24} Iarre: jar (Roberts, "jarr"). A violent disagreement.
{25} The heart is considered by Aristotle, still authoritative in the early
seventeenth century, to be the sense organ that detects emotions.
{26} Drosse: dross. Material of little worth left over from refinement of
precious metals.
{27} Gloze: (Roberts: "glose," p. 111) covered over, as in "glazed." Coles'
_English Dictionary_ [1676] defines it as "to flatter."
{28} This line recalls the image in the first sonnet of the exposed heart;
Pamphilia feels keenly the inequity of the social ostracism which she,
but not her lover, receives from society under the double standard.
{29} In manuscript, this song in hexameter couplets is arranged in
quatrains. Here, it is in three sestets and an separate couplet; the
effect is that of an expanded sonnet. Roberts (117) refers the reader
to Book IV of Ovid's _Metamorphoses_ for the injury done his mother by
Cupid; but I suspect the reference is to Book X; in Arthur Golding's
translation of 1567:
For as the armed Cvpid kist Dame Venus, vnbeware
An arrow sticking ovt did raze her breast vppon the bare.
The Goddesse being wovnded, thrust away her sonne. The wovnd
Appeered not to bee so deepe as afterward was fovnd (606-9).
She then falls in love with, not Mars, but Adonis. The
_Metamorphoses_, widely available both in Latin and in Arthur
Golding's popular translation was of great importance to the
Elizabethans, concerned as they were with "mutabilitie". Wroth shares
this interest, especially in view of Amphilanthus' tendency to
"change" (forsake Pamphilia for another). The tales of Ovid, as a
background or horizon to the complaints of Pamphilia, add poignancy to
her despair for her project of stabilizing the relationship.
{30} Seruice: fealty.
{31} Hap: occurrence; fate; happenstance.
{32} Wheele: Fortune's Wheel, often represented in Renaissance art as
bearing several men, one riding up to fame and fortune, another
resplendent in short-lived glory, another riding down to his fall and
{33} God: Mercury. He puts Argus, who has a thousand eyes, to sleep with
music played on a reed pipe. Ovid, _Metamorphoses_ I: "And as he went
he pyped still upon an Oten Reede," lines 842ff. (Golding).
{34} Childe: Cupid.
{35} Goodwins: the Goodwins Sands, shoal waters on the English coast where
many ships foundered. Compare Petrarch, _Rime_ CLXXXIX ("Passa la
nave"), and also the translations of the Petrarch by Wyatt and Surrey.
{36} Loud: lov'd. The compositor sometimes has omitted to use an apostrophe
to mark elisions.
{37} The Crowne she offers is a "crown" of sonnets. This poem serves as the
introduction to the group of poems immediately following.
{38} A "crowne" or_corona_ is a series of short poems, such as sonnets,
linked by the last line of each serving as the first line of the
following, with the last line of the last poem reprising the first
line of the first, closing the circle. Wroth's _corona_ contains an
impressive fourteen sonnets.
{39} Labyrinth: a reference to the labyrinth of Minos. Theseus enters the
labyrinth to defeat the Minotaur, but cannot escape without the
assistance of Ariadne. See Golding, XIII.225ff.
{40} Threed: thread. The thread of Ariadne by which Theseus navigates his
way to safety.
{41} Prophet: this is "profitt" in the manuscript version (Roberts 130);
Roberts notes that a pun is intended.
{42} Hemlocke: poison hemlock is a low-growing, attractive herb that grows
on the margins of streams and in flood plains. It is extremely
poisonous, inducing rapid paralysis when ingested, and was used in the
execution of Socrates.
{43} Holly: holy. This is in keeping with the move toward spiritualization
of love in this "Crowne."
{44} The return to this line suggests that the thread Pamphilia has been
following has not led her to safety. Her focus on constancy as a
spiritual discipline has been strengthened, but she is still
victimized by jealousie.
{45} Philomel: the nightingale. Ovid, in the _Metamorphoses_, tells of the
transformation of Philomela into a nightingale after a violent rape.
In Golding, VI.578ff.
{46} Popish Lawe: possibly a reference to the Inquisition.
{47} Youthfull flame: she burns with love for the youth Adonis. Ovid,
_Metamorphoses_ X.604ff (Golding).
{48} Juno, the type of the jealous wife, sought her shape-changing
philandering husband throughout the world, but he generally stayed one
step ahead of her. See Ovid, _Metamorphoses_:
She lookt abovt hir for hir Joue as one that was acqvainted
With svch escapes and with the deede had often him attainted.
Whome when she fovnd not in the heauen: Onlesse I gvess amisse,
Some wrong agaynst me (qvoth she) now my hvsbande working is.
And with that worde she left the Heauen, and down to earth shee came...
(Golding I.749-53)
{49} Image: probably a portrait painting or miniature (perhaps of William
Herbert at Penshurst?). Pamphilia is afraid her interest in it will
give her away, but takes comfort in her possession of a truer image in
her heart.
{50} Glasse: in this case, an hourglass (see next line), but with perhaps a
double entendre on the usual word for "mirror."
{51} In manuscript (Roberts 142), this poem, like Sonnet 48 above, is
signed by the persona, Pamphilia, adding an emphatic tone of self-
awareness and address, of publication to Amphilanthus, which gives the
final couplet more force and direction than in the printed text which
we have followed here. Thus who have read and enjoyed this etext
edition are urged to continue on to Robert's _The Poems of Lady Mary
Wroth_, which recovers the robust spelling and punctuation of a text
that has been, perhaps, somewhat unconsciously and damagingly
patronized by those, undoubtedly men, who set up and printed the
_Urania_ in 1621.
A short bibliography
Primary works
Wroth, Lady Mary Sidney. _The Countesse of Mountgomeries Urania. Written by
the right honorable the Lady Mary Wroath. Daughter to the Right Noble
Robert Earle of Leicester. And Neece to the ever famous, and renowned
Sr Phillips Sidney knight. And to the most exelent Lady Mary Countesse
of Pembroke late deceased_. London: Printed for John Marriott and John
Grismand And are to bee sould at theire shoppes in St Dunstans Church
yard in Fleetstreet and in Poules Ally at the signe of the Gunn [1621].
A second part exists in manuscript only.
An etext edition of the _Urania_, including the sonnet cycle, exists
in the collection of the Women Writer's Project at Brown University:
contact Elaine Brennan at There is
currently no paper edition available, other than the original, of the
_Urania_. Some nineteen copies are known; the one used for this edition
of the sonnet sequence makes its home in the Folger Library, and is
available in microform from University Microforms, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Its call number in the University of Oregon Library is AC 1 .E5 Reel
980. Josephine Roberts is said to be working on a new authoritative
edition as a follow-on to her excellent edition of the poems, cited
_______________________. _Pamphilia to Amphilanthus_. Ed. Gary Waller.
Salzburg: Institut fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik Universitat
Salzburg, 1977.
_______________________. _The Poems of Lady Mary Wroth_. Ed. Josephine A.
Roberts. Baton Rouge, LA: LSUP, 1983. Bibliography, index. The
authoritative edition of _Pamphilia to Amphilanthus_. Roberts has done
an excellent job, working from Wroth's manuscripts, which are greatly
superior to the print edition of 1621, and supplying copious footnotes
which are especially strong on influences and sources, notably those of
Philip and Robert Sidney; the latter has not been published.
Works cited and other secondary works
Beilin, Elaine V. _Redeeming Eve: Women Writers of the English
Renaissance_. Princeton, NJ: PUP, 1987.
________________. "'The Onely Perfect Vertue': Constancy in Mary Wroth's
Pamphilia to Amphilanthus." _Spenser Studies: A Renaissance Poetry
Annual_ 1981: v2, 229-245. Wroth's identification of reciprocity as the
means to gender equality.
Castiglione, Baldasar. _The Book of the Courtier_. Trans. Charles S.
Singleton. New York: Doubleday, 1959.
Foxe, John. _Actes and Monuments of the Christian Martyrs_. London, 1563.
Hannay, Margaret Patterson. "Mary Sidney: Lady Wroth." _Women Writers of
the Renaissance and Reformation_. Wilson, Katharina M., ed. Athens, GA:
UGP, 1987. A short biographical and interpretive introduction.
Lamb, Mary. _Gender and Authorship in the Sidney Circle_. Madison, WI: UWP,
1990. Bibliography, index. Gender studies; critical interpretation;
Countess of Pembroke and Lady Mary Wroth.
MacArthur, Janet "'A Sydney, Though Unnamed': Lady Mary Wroth and Her
Poetical Progenitors." _English Studies in Canada_ March 1989: v15(1),
12-20. Consideration of sources for Wroth's poems, with discussion of
her adaptation of Petrarchan conventions to her own purposes.
McLaren, Margaret A. "An Unknown Continent: Lady Mary Wroth's Forgotten
Pastoral Drama 'Loves Victorie'." _The Renaissance Englishwoman in
Print: Counterbalancing the Canon_. Haselkorn, Anne M., and Betty S.
Travitsky, eds. Amherst, MA: UMP, 1990. A study of the ms. of _Love's
Victory_ in the Huntington Museum.
Miller, Naomi J. "'Not Much to Be Marked': Narrative of the Woman's Part in
Lady Mary Wroth's Urania." _SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-
1900_ Winter 1989: v29(1), 121-37. Discussion of gender roles,
especially regarding woman-to-woman relating, in the _Urania_.
_______________. and Gary F. Waller, ed. _Reading Mary Wroth: Representing
Alternatives in Early Modern England_. Knoxville, TN: UTP, 1991.
Bibliography, index. Studies of Wroth's project of breaking with
tradition on male-defined gender roles.
_______________. "Rewriting Lyric Fictions: The Role of the Lady in Lady
Mary Wroth's _Pamphilia to Amphilanthus_." _The Renaissance
Englishwoman in Print: Counterbalancing the Canon_. Haselkorn, Anne M.,
and Betty S. Travitsky, eds. Amherst, MA: UMP, 1990. Discussion of
Wroth's Lady in view of Wroth's life as a lady of the Court.
Parry, Graham. "Lady Mary Wroth's _Urania_." _Proceedings of the Leeds
Philosophical and Literary Society_ 1975: v16, 51-60.
Paulissen, May Nelson. "Forgotten Love Sonnets of the Court of King James:
The Sonnets of Mary Wroth." _Publications of the Missouri Philological
Association_ 1978: v3, 24-31.
_____________________. _The Love Sonnets of Lady Mary Wroth: a Critical
Introduction_. Salzburg: Institut fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Universitat Salzburg, 1982. Bibliography. The pioneering study of Lady
Mary's poems. Some of its conclusions are hampered by a lack of
biographical information not available at the time, so that her work is
dated by the appearance of Roberts' edition. Roberts, however, clearly
admires her achievement.
Pisan, Christine de. _The Treasure of the City of Ladies, or the Book of
the Three Virtues_. Trans. Sarah Lawson. Harmondsworth, Middlesex:
Penguin, 1985. Cited in the Introduction, above.
Pigeon, Renee. "Manuscript Notations in an Unrecorded Copy of Lady Mary
Wroth's _The Countess of Mountgomeries Urania_." _Notes and Queries_
March, 1991: v38(1 (236)), 81-82. A study of a copy of the _Urania_ in
the libraries of the University of California at Los Angeles.
Quilligan, Maureen. "The Constant Subject: Instability and Female Authority
in Wroth's Urania Poems." _Soliciting Interpretation: Literary Theory
and _ _Seventeenth-Century English Poetry_. Harvey, Elizabeth D., and
Katherine Eisaman Maus, ed. Chicago, IL: UCP, 1990. Wroth's use of the
Courtier/courtly love tradition and its reciprocal relationship of
fealty as the framework for her working out of a new femininity.
_________________. "Lady Mary Wroth: Female Authority and the Family
Romance." _Unfolded Tales: Essays on Renaissance Romance_. Logan,
George M., and  Gordon Teskey, eds. Foreword by Northrup Frye. Ithaca,
NY: CUP, 1989. Consideration of gender roles in the extended family and
their influence on feminine discourse.
__________________. "Feminine Endings: The Sexual Politics of Sidney's and
Spenser's Rhyming." _The Renaissance Englishwoman in Print:
Counterbalancing the Canon_. Haselkorn, Anne M., and Betty S.
Travitsky, eds. Amherst, MA: UMP, 1990. Implications of the feminine
ending and feminine rhyme in _Astrophil and Stella_, _The Faerie
Queene_, and the _Urania_.
Roberts, Josephine A. "The Biographical Problem of Pamphilia to
Amphilanthus." _Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature_ Spring 1982:
v1(1), 43-53. Consideration of the extent to which the poems may
reflect on Wroth's relationship with her cousin.
____________________. "The Huntington Manuscript of Lady Mary Wroth's Play,
Loves Victorie." _Huntington Library Quarterly_ Spring 1983: v46(2),
156-74. An introduction to the manuscript pastoral drama.
____________________. "Labyrinths of Desire: Lady Mary Wroth's
Reconstruction of Romance." _Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary
Journal_ 1991: v19(2), 183-92. Personae and allegory.
____________________. "Lady Mary Wroth's Sonnets: A Labyrinth of the Mind."
_Journal of Women's Studies in Literature_ 1979: v.1, 319-29.
____________________. Radigund Revisited: Perspectives on Women Rulers in
Lady Mary Wroth's Urania." _The Renaissance Englishwoman in Print:
Counterbalancing the Canon_. Haselkorn, Anne M., and Betty S.
Travitsky, eds. Amherst, MA: UMP, 1990. Consideration of precedents for
Pamphilia in the _Urania_.
____________________. "An Unpublished Literary Quarrel Concerning the
Suppression of Mary Wroth's _Urania_ (1621)." _Notes and Queries 1977:
v222, 523-35.
Salzman, Paul. "Contemporary References in Mary Wroth's _Urania_." _Review
of English Studies_ 1978: v29, 328-46.
Shaver, Anne. "A New Woman of Romance." _Modern Language Studies_ Fall,
1991: v21(4), 63-77. Wroth and the articulation of new gender roles.
Swift, Carolyn Ruth. "Feminine Identity in Lady Mary Wroth's Romance
_Urania_." _English Literary Renaissance_ Autumn 1984: v14(3), 328-46
Discussion of gender roles in the_Urania_, with emphasis on
construction of a self by Pamphilia.
___________________. "Feminine Self-Definition in Lady Mary Wroth's _Love's
Victorie_." _English Literary Renaissance_ Spring 1989 v19(2), 171-
88. Identity, self-awareness, and authority in Lady Mary's drama.
Waller, Gary F. "Struggling into Discourse: The Emergence of Renaissance
Women's Writing." _Silent but for the Word: Tudor Women as Patrons,
Translators, and Writers of Religious Works_. Hannay, Margaret
Patterson, ed. Kent, OH: KSUP, 1985. Lady Mary Wroth, the Countess of
Pembroke, and literary activity.
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