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One day as I unwarily did gaze
On those fair eyes, my love's immortal light;
The whiles my 'stonish'd heart stood in amaze,
Through sweet illusion of her look's delight;
I mote perceive how, in her glancing sight,
Legions of Loves with little wings did fly,
Darting their deadly arrows, fiery bright,
At every rash beholder passing by.
One of those archers closely I did spy,
Aiming his arrow at my very heart:
When suddenly, with twinkle of her eye,
The Damsel broke his misintended dart.
Had she not so done, sure I had been slain ;
Yet as it was, I hardly scap'd with pain.
The rolling wheel that runneth often round,
The hardest steel in tract of time doth tear;
And drizzling drops, that often do redound,
The firmest flint doth in continuance wear :
Yet cannot I, with many a dropping tear
And long entreaty, soften her hard heart,
That she will once vouchsafe my plaint to hear,
Or look with pity on my painful smart.
But, when I plead, she bids me play my part;
And, when I weep, she says, Tears are but water;
And, when I sigh, she says, I know the art;
And, when I wail, she turns herself to laughter.
So do I weep, and wail, and plead in vain,
Whiles she as steel and flint doth still remain.
The laurel-leaf, which you this day do wear,
Gives me great hope of your relenting mind;
For since it is the badge which I do bear,
Ye, bearing it, do seem to me inclin'd:
The power thereof, which oft in me I find,
Let it likewise your gentle breast inspire
With sweet infusion, and put you in mind
Of that proud maid, whom now those leaves attire.
Proud Daphne, scorning Phoebus' lovely fire,
On the Thessalian shore from him did fly:
For which the gods, in their revengeful ire,
Did her transform into a laurel-tree.
Then fly no more,
LIKE as a ship, that through the ocean wide,
By conduct of some star, doth make her way,
Whenas a storm hath dimm’d her trusty guide,
Out of her course doth wander far astray ;
So I, whose star, that wont with her bright ray
Me to direct, with clouds is overcast,
Do wander now, in darkness and dismay,
Through hidden perils round about me plast :
Yet hope I well that, when this storm is past,
My Helice, the lodestar of my life,
Will shine again, and look on me at last,
With lovely light to clear my cloudy grief.
Till then I wander careful, comfortless,
In secret sorrow, and sad pensiveness.
Of this world's Theatre in which we stay,
My Love, like the spectator, idly sits ;
Beholding me, that all the Pageants play,
Disguising diversely my troubled wits.
Sometimes I joy when glad occasion fits,
And mask in mirth like to a Comedy ;
Soon after, when my joy to sorrow flits,
I wail, and make my woes a Tragedy.
Yet she, beholding me with constant eye,
Delights not in my mirth, nor rues my smart:
But, when I laugh, she mocks; and, when I cry,
She laughs, and hardens evermore her heart.
What then can move her? if nor mirth, nor moan,
She is no woman,