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What thing is love? It is a power divine,
Our hearts to love dissembling of his might,
Love is a discord, and a strange divorce
It is a will that brooketh no consent;
Love's a desire, which for to wait a time,
Leaving behind nought but repentant thoughts
It's now a peace, and then a sudden war;
It is a secret hidden and not known,
FROM PERIMEDES, THE BLACKSMITH.
MADRIGAL. The swans, whose pens as white as ivory, Eclipsing fair Endymion's silver love, Floating like snow down by the banks of Po, Ne'er tun’d their notes, like Leda once forlorn, With more despairing sorts of madrigals, Than I, whom wanton Love hath with his gad Prickt to the court of deep and restless thoughts. The frolic youngsters Bacchus' liquor mads, Run not about the wood of Thessaly, With more enchanted fits of lunacy, Than I, whom Love, whom sweet and bitter Love Fires, infects with sundry passions ; Now lorn with liking overmuch my love, Frozen with fearing if I step too far, Fired with gazing at such glimmering stars, As stealing light from Phoebus' brightest rays, Sparkle and set * a flame within my breast. Rest, restless Love, fond baby be content; Child, hold thy darts within thy quiver close ; And, if thou wilt be roying with thy bow, Aim at those hearts that may attend on love: Let country swains, and silly swads + be still, To court, young wag, and wanton there thy fill !
* Sparkle and set] The 4to. “ Sparkles and sets.”
t swads] i. e. clowns : see my note on Peele's Works, vol. ii. p. 236. ed. 1829.
Obscure and dark is all the gloomy air,
In Cyprus sat fair Venus by a fount,
Wanton Adonis toying on her knee:
The boy 'gan blush, which when his lover see, She smil'd, and told him love might challenge debt, And he was young, and might be wanton yet.
The boy wax'd bold, fired by fond desire,
That woo he could and court her with conceit: Reason spied this, and sought to quench the fire
With cold disdain; but wily Adon straight Cheer'd up the flame, and said, good sir, what let? I am but young, and may be wanton yet.
Reason replied, that beauty was a bane
To such as feed their fancy with fond love,
It rues in age: this could not Adon move,
Where Venus strikes with beauty to the quick,
It little 'vails sage reason to reply;
But love: then, though I wanton it awry,
IN ANSWER TO THE PRECEDING.
The Siren Venus nourish'd in her lap
Fair Adon, swearing whiles he was a youth
The guerdon that such lawless lust ensu'th ;
Mars in his youth did court this lusty dame,
He won her love; what might his fancy let, He was but young ? at last, unto his shame,
Vulcan entrapp'd them slily in a net, And call'd the Gods to witness as a truth, A lecher's fault was not excus'd by youth.
If crooked age accounteth youth his spring,
The spring, the fairest season of the year, Enrich'd with flowers, and sweets, and many a
thing, That fair and gorgeous to the eyes appear ; It fits that youth, the spring of man, should be ’Rich'd with such flowers as virtue yieldeth thee.
Her lovely breasts September claims his part, And lordly July in her eyes takes place,
But cold December dwelleth in her heart : Blest be the months, that set * my thoughts on fire, Accurst that month that hindereth my desire !
* set] The 4to. “ sets.”