Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

Miscellaneous Pieces

i.

ELEGY.

Oh, let me not serve so, as those men serve

Whom honour's smokes at once fatten and starve;

Poorly enrich'd with great men's words and looks;

Nor so write my name in thy loving books,

As those idolatrous flatterers, which still

Their princes' styles, which many realms* fulfil

Whence they no tribute have, and where no sway.

Such services I offer as shall pay

Themselves; I hate dead names: Oh then let me

Favourite in ordinary, or no favourite be.

When my soul wat in her own body sheath'd,

Nor yet by oaths betroth'd, nor kisses breath'd

Into my purgatory, faithless thee,

Thy heart seem'd wax, and steel thy constancy.

So, careless flowers strew'd on the waters face,

The curled whirlpools suck, smack, and embrace,

Yet drown them; so, the tapers beamy eye

Amorously twinkling, beckons the giddy fly,

Yet burns his wings; and such the devil is,

Scarce visiting them, who are entirely his.

When I behold a stream, which, from the spring,

Doth with doubtful melodious murmuring.

Or in a speechless slumber, calmly ride

Her wedded channels bosom, and then chide

And bend her brows, and swell if any bough

Do but stoop down, or kiss her upmost brow:

Yet, if her often gnawing kisses win

The traitorous banks to gape, and let her in,

She rusheth violently, and doth divorce

Her from her native, and her long-kept course,

And roars, and braves it, and in gallant scorn,

In flattering eddies promising return,

She flouts the channel, who thenceforth is dry;

Then say I; that is she, and this am I.

Yet let not thy deep bitterness beget

Careless despair in me, for that will wet

My mind to scorn; and oh, love dull'd with pain

Was ne'er so wise, nor well armM as disdain.

Then with new eyes I shall survey thee, and spy

Death in thy cheeks, and darkness in thine eye;

Though hope breed faith and love; thus taught I shall

As nations do from Rome, from thy love fall.

My hate shall outgrow thine, and utterly

I will renounce thy dalliance: and when I

Am the recusant, in that resolute state,

What hurts it me to be excommunicate?

II.

An Epithalamion, Or Marriage Song, On The Lady ElizaBeth And Count Palatine, Being Married On St. ValenTine's Day.

1.

Hail Bishop Valentine, whose day this is,

All the air is thy Diocis;

And all the chirping choristors
And other birds are thy parishioners,

Thou marryest every year
The lyric lark, and the grave whispering dove,
The sparrow that neglects his live for love,
The household bird, with the red stomacher;

Thou mak'st the black-bird speed as soon,
As doth the goldfinch, or the halcyon;
The husband cock looks out, and straight is sped,
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully then ever shine.
This day, which might enflame thyself, Old Valentine.

2.

Till now, thou warm'st with multiplying loves
Two larks, two sparrows, or two doves.

AH that is nothing unto this,
For thou this day couplest two phoenixes;

Thou mak'st a taper see
What the sun never saw, and what the ark
(Which was of fowls, and beasts, the cage, and park,)
Did not contain, one bed contains through thee,

Two phoenixes, whose joined breasts Are unto one another mutual nests, Where motion kindles such fires, as shall give Young phoenixes, and yet the old shall live. Whose love and courage never shall decline, But make the whole year through, thy day, O Valentine.

3.

Up then fair phoenix bride, frustrato the sun,

Thyself from thine affection

Tak'st warmth enough, and from thine eye
All lesser birds will take thier jollity.

Up, up, fair bride, and call,
Thy stars, from out their several boxes; take
Thy rubies, pearls, and diamonds forth, and make
Thyself a constellation of them all,
And by their blazing signify,
That a great princess falls, but doth not die;
Be thou a new star, that to us portends
Ends of much wonder; and be thou those ends,
Since thou dost this day in new glory shine,
May all men date records, from this thy Valentine.

4.

Come forth, come forth, and as one glorious flamo

Meeting another, grows the same,

So meet thy Frederic, and so
To an unseparable union go,

Since separation
Falls not on such things as are infinite,
Nor things which are but one, can disunite.
You are twice inseparable, great, and one;

Go then to where the bishop stays, To make you one, his way, which divers ways Must be effected, and when all is past, And that you are one, by hearts and hands made fast, You two have one way left, yourselves to entwine, Besides this bishop's knot, O Bishop Valentine.

5.

But oh, what ails the sun, that here he stays,

Longer to-day, than other days?

Stays he new light from these to get?
And finding here such store, is loth to set I

And why do you two walk
So slowly paced in this procession?
Is all you care but to be look'd upon,
And be to others spectacle, and talk?

The feast, with gluttonous delays,
Is eaten, and too long their meat they praise,
The masquers come too late, and I think, will stay,
Like fairies, till the cock crow them away.
Alas, did not antiquity assign
A night, as well as day, to thee, O Valentine I

6.

They did, and night is come; and yet wo see

Formalities retarding thee.

What mean these ladies, which (as though
They were to take a clock in pieces,) go

So nicely about the bride;
A bride, before a good-night could be said,
Should vanish from her clothes, into her bed,
As souls from bodies steal, and are not spied.

But now she is laid; what though she be?
Yet there are more delays, for, where is he?
He comes, and passes through sphere after sphere.
First her sheets, then her arms, then anywhere;
Let not this day, then, but this night be thine,
Thy day was but the eve to this, O Valentine.

7.

Here lies a she sun, and a he moon here,
She gives the best light to his sphere,

Or each is both, and all, and so
They unto one another nothing owe,

And yet they do, but are
So just and rich in that coin which they pay,
That neither would, nor needs forbear, nor stay,
Neither desires to be spared, nor to spare,

They quickly pay their debt, and then
Take no acquittances, but pay again;
They pay, they give, they lend, and so let fall
No such occasion to be liberal.
More truth, more courage in these two do shine,
Than all thy turtles have, and sparrows, Valentine.

8.

And by this act of these two phoenixes
Nature again restored is,
For since these two are two no more,
There's but one phoenix still, as was before.

Rest now at last, and we
As Satyrs watch the sun's uprise, will stay
Waiting, when your eyes opened, let out day,
Only desired, because your face we see;

Others near you shall whispering speak,
And wagers lay, at which side day will break,
And win by observing, then, whose hand it is
That opens first a curtain, hers or his;
This will be tried to-morrow after nine,
Till which hour, we thy day enlarge, 0 Valentino.

III.

Come -live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks:
With silken lines, aud silver hooks.

There will the river whispering run
Warmed by thy eyes, more than the sun.
And there th' enamoured fish will stay,
Begging themselves they may betray.

When thou wilt swim in that live bath,
Each fish, which every channel hath,
Will amorously to thee swim,
Gladder to catch thee, than thou him.

If thou to be so seen beest loth,
By sun, or moon, thou darkenest both,
And if myself have leave to see,
I need not their light, having thee.

Let others freeze with angling reeds,
And cut their legs, which shells and weeds,
Or treacherously poor fish beset,
With strangling snare, or windowy net:

Let coarse bold hands, from slimy nest
The bedded fish in banks out-wrest,
Or curious traitors' sleave-silk* flies
Bewitch poor fishes' wandering eyes.

For thee, thou need'st no such deceit,
For thou thyself art thine own bait,
That fish, that is not catched thereby,
Alas, is wiser far than I.

IV.

A Valediction Forbidding Mourning 'f^.

As virtuous men pass mildly 'away,

And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,

The breath goes now, and some say, no:

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move.

"Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears,

Men reckon what it did and meant,
But trepidation of the spheres,

Though greater far, is innocent.

• Sleave-silk, knotted or tangled silk.—Johnson.

,f This was written to his wife, on his going into France, about the year 1609. Walton appears to have quoted it from memory, as he differs widely from the original edition.—Ed.

Dull sublunary lovers' love

(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove

Those things which elemented it.

But we by a love, so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which aro one,
Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two,

Thy soul the fixed foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,

It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must
Like th' other foot, obliquely run.

Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end, where I begun.

V.

The Will*.

Before I sigh my last gasp, let mo breathe,
Great love, some legacies; here I bequeath
Mine eyes to Argus, if mine eyes can see,
If they be blind, then, Love, I give them thee;

* Richard of England was satiated with the glory and misfortunes of his first adventure, and he presumed to deride the exhortations of Fulk of Neuilly, who was not abashed in the presence of kings. "You advise mo," said Plantagenet, " to dismiss my three daughters, pride, avarice, and incontinence; I bequeath them to the most deserving; my pride to the knights templars, my avarice to the monks of Cisteaux, and my incontinence to the prelates.—Gibbon, chap. Lx.

My tongue to fame; to ambassadors mine ears;

To women or the sea, my tears;

Thou love, hast taught me heretofore
By making me serve her who had twenty more,
That I should give to none, but such, as had too much
before.

My constancy I to the planets give,

My truth to them, who at the court do live;

Mine ingenuity and openness,

To Jesuits; to buffoons my pensiveness;

My silence to any, who abroad hath been;

My money to a Capuchin.

Thou love taught'st me, by appointing me
To love there, where no love received can be,
Only to give to such as have an incapacity.

My faith I give to Roman Catholics;

All my good works unto the schismatics

Of Amsterdam; my best civility

And courtship, to an university;

My modesty I give to soldiers bare;

My patience let gamesters share.

Thou love taught'st me, by making mo
Love her that holds my love disparity,
Only to give to those that count my gifts indignity.

I give my reputation to those

Which were my friends; mine industry to foes;

To schoolmen I bequeath my doubtfulness;

My sickness to physicians, or excess;

To nature, all that I in rhyme have writ;

And to my company my wit;

Thou love, by making me adore

Her, who begot this love in me before,

Taught'st me to make, as though I gave, when I did but restore.

To him for whom the passing-bell next tolls,
I give my physic books; my written rolls
Of moral counsels, I to Bedlam givo;
My brazen medals, unto them which live
In want of bread; to them which pass among
All foreigners, mine English tongue.

Thou, love, by making me love one

Who thinks her friendship a fit portion

For younger lovers, dost my gifts thus disproportion.

Therefore I'll give no more; but I'll undo

The world by dying; because love dies too.

Then all your beauties will be no more worth

Than gold in mines, where none doth draw it forth.

And all your graces no more use shall have

Than a sun-dial in a grave;

Thou love taught'st me, by making me
Love her, who doth neglect both me and thee,
To invent, and practise this one way to annihilate all
three.