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"Lo! this device was sent me from a nun,
Or sister sanctified of holiest note ; • Which late her noble suit 21 in court did shun, • Whose rarest havings made the blossoms dote ; 22 · For she was sought by spirits of richest coat, • But kept cold distance, and did thence remove, • To spend her living in eternal love.
• But O, my sweet, what labour is't to leave
strives? • Paling 24 the place which did no form receive, • Playing patient sports in unconstrained gyves : • She that her fame so to herself contrives, • The scars of battle 'scapeth by the flight, • And makes her absence valiant, not her might.
'O pardon me, in that my boast is true ;
21 suit] i. e. suitors.
22 W'hose rarest harings made the blossoms dotel “Whose accomplishments were so extraordinary, that the flower of the young nobility were passionately enamoured of her.” MA. LONE. It may be doubted, however, if “harings” is not used here in its usual sense of fortune, estate, and not in that of accomplishments.
28 coat] i. e. coat of arms.
24 Paling, &c.] “i. e. securing within the pale of a cloister, that heart which had never received the impression of love." MALONE—who altered the corrupt
of the old copy, " Playing"
,” to “ Paling."
• Upon the moment did her force subdue,
“How mighty then you are, O hear me tell! • The broken bosoms that to me belong, • Have emptied all their fountains in my well, • And mine I pour your ocean all aniong: • I strong o'er them, and you o'er me being
strong, • Must for your victory us all congest, * As compound love to physick your cold breast.
“My parts had power to charm a sacred sun,
Who, disciplin'd, I dieted in grace, • Believ'd her eyes when they to assail begun, • All vows and consecrations giving place. "O most potential love! vow, bond, nor space, • In thee hath neither sting, knot, nor confine, For thou art all, and all things else are
•When thou impressest, what are precepts
worth Of stale example? When thou wilt inflame, • How coldly those impediments stand forth Of wealth, of filial fear, law, kindred, fame?
• Love's arms are peace,28 'gainst rule, 'gainst
sense, 'gainst shame, • And sweetens, in the suffering pangs it bears, • The aloes of all forces, shocks, and fears.
Now all these hearts that do on mine depend, • Feeling it break, with bleeding groans they pine, • And supplicant their sighs to you extend, • To leave the battery that you make ’gainst
mine, • Lending soft audience to my sweet design, • And credent soul to that strong-bonded oath, • That shall prefer and undertake my troth.'
“ This said, his watery eyes 27 he did dismount, “ Whose sights till then were levell’d on my face ; “ Each cheek a river running from a fount “ With brinish current downward flow'd apace : • O how the channel to the stream gave grace! " Who, glaz'd with crystal, gate 28 the glowing
“ That flame through water which their hue in
26 Love's arms are peace, &c.) “The meaning may be-the warfare that love carries on against rule, sense, &c. produces to the parties engaged a peaceful enjoyment, and sweetness, &c." MALONE.
27 his watery eyes, &c.] “The allusion is to the old English fire-arms, which were upported on what was called a rest.” MALONE.
28 gute) i. e. got.
“O father, what a hell of witchcraft lies “In the small orb of one particular tear? “ But with the inundation of the eyes “What rocky heart to water will not wear? " What breast so cold that is not warmed here? “O cleft effect! cold modesty, hot wrath, “ Both fire from hence and chill extincture hath !
“ For lo! his passion, but an art of craft, “ Even there resolved my reason into tears ; “There my white stole of chastity I daff'd, “Shook off my sober guards, and civil 29 fears ; “ Appear to him, as he to me appears, “ All melting; though our drops this difference
bore, “ His poison’d me, and mine did him restore.
“In him a plenitude of subtle matter, “ Applied to cautels,30 all strange forms receives, “Of burning blushes, or of weeping water, “ Or swooning paleness; and he takes and leaves, “ In either's aptness, as it best deceives, “ To blush at speeches rank, to weep at woes, “Or to turn white and swoon at tragick shows ;
“ That not a heart which in his level came,
29 civil] i. e. grave.
Showing fair nature is both kind and tame; “ And veild in them, did win whom he would
maim : Against the thing he sought he would exclaim : “ When he most burn'd in heart-wish'd luxury, “He preach'd pure maid, and prais'd cold chastity.
“ Thus merely with the garment of a Grace “ The naked and concealed fiend he cover'd, “That the unexperienc'd gave the tempter place, “ Which, like a cherubin, above them hover'd. “Who, young and simple, would not be so lover'd ? “Ah me! I fell; and yet do question make “What I should do again for such a sake.
“O, that infected moisture of his eye, • O, that false fire which in his cheeks so glow'd, “O, that forc'd thunder from his heart did fly, “O, that sad breath his spungy lungs bestow'd, “O, all that borrow'd motion, seeming ow'd, 82 “ Would yet again betray the fore-betray'd, “And new pervert a reconciled maid !”
81 luxury) i. e. lewdness.
82 ow'd] i. e. owned, his own.