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Crabbed age and youth
Cannot live together;
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care:
Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare.
Youth is full of sport,
Age's breath is short,

Youth is nimble, age is lame:
Youth is hot and bold.
Age is weak and cold;

Youth is wild, and age is tame.
Age, I do abhor thee,
Youth, I do adore thee;

O, my love, my love is young:
Age, I do defy thee;

O, sweet shepherd, hie thee,

For methinks thou stay'st too long


Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good,
A shining gloss, that fadeth suddenly;
A flower that dies, when first it 'gins to bud;
A brittle glass that's broken presently:
A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,
Lost, faded, broken, dead within an hour.
And as goods lost are seld or never found,
As faded gloss no rubbing will refresh,
As flowers dead, lie wither'd on the ground,
As broken glass no cement can redress,
So beauty, blemish'd once, for ever's lost,
In spite of physic, painting, pain, and cost.


"Good night, good rest. Ah! neither be my share :"
She bade good night, that kept my rest away;
And daft me to a cabin hang'd with care,
To descant on the doubts of my decay.

"Farewell," quo' she, "and come again to-morrow;"
Farewell I could not, for I supp'd with sorrow.
"Yet at my parting sweetly did she smile,

In scorn or friendship, nill I construe whether:
May be, she joy'd to jest at my exile,

May be, again to make me wander thither:
Wander, a word for shadows like myself,
As take the pain, but cannot pluck the pelf.


"Lord, how mine eyes throw gazes to the east!
My heart doth charge the watch; the morning rise
Doth cite each moving sense from idle rest.

Not daring trust the office of mine eyes,
While Philomela sits and sings, I sit and mark,
And wish her lays were tuned like the lark;
"For she doth welcome day-light with her ditty,
And drives away dark dismal-dreaming night:
The night so pack'd, I post unto my pretty;

Heart hath his hope, and eyes their wished sight;
Sorrow changed to solace, solace mix'd with sorrow;
For why? she sigh'd, and bade me come tomorrow.
"Were I with her, the night would post too soon;
But now are minutes added to the hours;
To spite me now, each minute seems an hour;

Yet not for me, shine sun to succour flowers! [row; Pack night, peep day; good day, of night now borShort, Night, to-night, and length thyself to-morrow."

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But one must be refused, more mickle was the pain.
That nothing could be used to turn them both to gain.
For of the two the trusty knight was wounded with
Alas, she could not help it!

Thus art with arms contending was victor of the day,
Which by a gift of learning did bear the maid away;
Then lullaby, the learned man hath got the lady gay;
For now my song is ended.


On a day (alack the day!)

Love, whose month was ever May,
Spy'd a blossom passing fair,
Playing in the wanton air,

Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, 'gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath:
"Air," quoth he, "thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!

But, alas! my hand hath sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn.
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth, so apt to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me,

That I am forsworn for thee;

Thou for whom even Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiop were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.

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Procures to weep,

In howling-wise, to see my doleful plight. How sighs resound

Through heartless ground,

Like a thousand vanquish'd men in bloody fight
Clear wells spring not,
Sweet birds sing not,
Green plants bring not
Forth; they die:
Herds stand weeping,
Flocks all sleeping,
Nymphs back peeping

All our pleasure known to us poor swains,
All our merry meetings on the plains,
All our evening sport from us is fled,"
All our love is lost, for love is dead.
Farewell, sweet love,

Thy life ne'er was

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When as thine eye hath chose the dame,
And stall'd the deer that thou should'st strike,
Let reason rule things worthy blame,

As well as fancy, partial might:
Take counsel of some wiser head,
Neither too young, nor yet unwed.
And when thou com'st thy tale to tell,
Smooth not thy tongue with filed talk,
Lest she some subtle practice smell;
(A cripple soon can find a halt:)
But plainly say thou lov'st her well,
And set her person forth to sale.

What though her frowning brows be bent,

Her cloudy looks will calm ere night;

And then too late she will repent,

That thus dissembled her delight;

And twice desire, ere it be day,
That which with scorn she put away.

What though she strive to try her strength,
And ban and brawl, and say thee nay,
Her feeble force will yield at length,

When craft hath taught her thus to say:
"Had women been so strong as men,
In faith you had not had it then."
And to her will frame all thy ways;
Spare not to spend-and chiefly there
Where thy desert may merit praise,
By ringing in thy lady's ear:
The strongest castle, tower, and town,
The golden bullet beats it down.
Serve always with assured trust,

And in thy suit be humble, true;
Unless thy lady prove unjust,

Press never thou to choose anew:
When time shall serve, be thou not slack
To proffer, though she put thee back.
The wiles and guiles that women work,
Dissembled with an outward show,
The tricks and toys that in them lurk,

The cock that treads them shall not know.

Have you not heard it said full oft,

A woman's nay doth stand for nought?
Think women still to strive with men,
To sin, and never for to saint:
There is no heaven, by holy then,

When time with age shall them attaint.
Were kisses all the joys in bed,
One woman would another wed.
But soft; enough-too much I fear,

Lest that my mistress hear my song;
She'll not stick to round me i' th' ear,
To teach my tongue to be so long:
Yet will she blush, here be it said,
To hear her secret's so bewray'd.


As it fell upon a day,

In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,

Trees did grow, and plants did spring:
Every thing did banish moan,
Save the nightingale alone:
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn,
And there sung the doleful'st ditty,
That to hear it was great pity:
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry,
Teru, Teru, by and by!

That to hear her so complain,
Scarce I could from tears refrain;
For her griefs so lively shown,
Made me think upon mine own.

Ah! (thought I) thou mourn'st in vain; None take pity on thy pain:

Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee;
Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee;
King Pandion he is dead;

All thy friends are lapp'd in lead:
All thy fellow birds do sing,
Careless of thy sorrowing.
Even so, poor bird, like thee,
None alive will pity me.
Whilst as fickle fortune smiled,
Thou and I were both beguiled.
Every one that flatters thee,
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find.
Every man will be thy friend,

Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend;
But if store of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.
If that one be prodigal,
Bountiful they will him call:
And with such like flattering
"Pity but he were a king."
If he be addict to vice,
Quickly him they will entice
If to women he be bent,
They have him at commandment;
But if fortune once do frown,
Then farewell his great renown:
They that fawn'd on him before,
Use his company no more.
He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need:
If thou sorrow, he will weep;
If thou wake, he cannot sleep:
Thus of every grief in heart
He with thee doth bear a part.
These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe.


Take, oh! take those lips away,

That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain.

Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow,
Are of those that April wears.
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.


Let the bird of loudest lay,
On the sole Arabian tree,
Herald sad and trumpet be,

To whose sound chaste wings obey.
But thou, shrieking harbinger,
Foul precursor of the flend,
Augur of the fever's end,

To this troop come thou not near.
From this session interdict

Every fowl of tyrant wing,
Save the eagle, feather'd king:
Keep the obsequy so strict.
Let the priest in surplice white,
That defunctive music can,

Be the death-divining swan,
Lest the requiem lack his right.
And thou, treble-dated crow,

That thy sable gender mak'st With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st, 'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go. Here the anthem doth commence: Love and constancy are dead; Phoenix and the turtle fled

In a mutual flame from hence.

So they loved es love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distincts, division none:
Number there in love was slain.
Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
Distance, and no space was seen
Twixt the turtle and his queen;
But in them it were a wonder.
So between them love did shine,
That the turtle saw his right
Flaming in the phoenix' sight:
Either was the other's mine.
Property was thus appall'd,

That the self was not the same; Single nature's double name Neither two nor one was call'd. Reason, in itself confounded,

Saw division grow together: To themselves, yet either-neither, Simple were so well compounded, That it cried how true a twain Seemeth this concordant one! Love hath reason, reason none, If what parts can so remain.

Whereupon it made this threne

To the phoenix and the dove, Co-supremes and stars of love; As chorus to the tragic scene.


Beauty, truth, and rarity,
Grace in all simplicity,

Here inclosed in cinders lie.

Death is now the phoenix' nest;
And the turtle's loyal breast
To eternity doth rest,
Leaving no posterity:-
'Twas not their infirmity,
It was married chastity.

Truth may seem, but cannot be;
Beauty brag, but 'tis not she;
Truth and beauty buried be.

To this urn let those repair,
That are either true or fair;
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.


FROM off a hill whose concave womb rëworded
A plaintful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
And down I lay to list the sad-tuned tale:
Ere long espy'd a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.

Upon her head a plaited hive of straw,

Which fortifled her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcase of a beauty spent and done.
Time had not scythed all that youth begun,
Nor youth all quit; but, spite of heaven's fell rage,
Some beauty peep'd through lattice of sear'd age.

Oft did she heave her napkin to her eyne,
Which on it had conceited characters,
Laund'ring the silken figures in the brine
That season'd woe had pelleted in tears,
And often reading what contents it bears;
As often shrieking undistinguish'd woe,
In clamours of all size, both high and low.

Sometimes her levell'd eyes their carriage ride,
As they did battery to the spheres intend;
Sometime diverted their poor balls are ty'd'
To the orb'd earth; sometimes they do extend
Their view right on; anon their gazes lend
To every place at once, and no where fix'd,
The mind and sight distractedly commix'd."

Her hair, nor loose, nor ty'd in formal plat,
Proclaim'd in her a careless hand of pride;
For some untuck'd, descended her sheaved hat,
Hanging her pale and pined cheek beside;
Some in her threaden fillet still did bide,

And, true to bondage, would not break from thence,
Though slackly braided in loose negligence.

A thousand favours from a maund she drew
Of amber, crystal, and of bedded jet,
Which one by one she in a river threw,

Upon whose weeping margent she was set,-
Like usury, applying wet to wet,

Or monarchs' hands, that let not bounty fall,
Where want cries some, but where excess begs all.

Of folded schedules had she many a one,
Which she perused, sigh'd, tore, and gave the flood;
Crack'd many a ring of posied gold and bone,
Bidding them find their sepulchres in mud;
Found yet more letters sadly penn'd in blood,
With sleided silk feat and affectedly
Enswath'd, and seal'd to curious secresy.

These often bathed she in her fluxive eyes,
And often kiss'd, and often 'gan to tear;
Cried, O, false blood! thou register of lies,

What unapproved witness dost thou bear!
Ink would have seem'd more black and damned
This said, in top of rage the lines she rents, [here!
Big discontent so breaking their contents.

A reverend man that grazed his cattle nigh,
(Sometime a blusterer, that the ruffle knew
Of court, of city, and had let go by

The swiftest hours,) observed as they flew;
Towards this afflicted fancy fastly drew;
And, privileged by age, desires to know
In brief, the grounds and motives of her woe.

So slides he down upon his grained bat,

And comely-distant sits he by her side;
When he again desires her, being sat,

Her grievance with his hearing to divide:
If that from him there may be aught apply'd
Which may her suffering ecstasy assuage,
'Tis promised in the charity of age.

Father, she says, though in me you behold
The injury of many a blasting hour,

Let it not tell your judgment I am old;

Not age, but sorrow, over me hath power:
I might as yet have been a spreading flower,
Fresh to myself, if I had self-apply'd
Love to myself, and to no love beside.

But, woe is me! too early I attended

A youthful suit (it was to gain my grace) Of one by nature's outwards so commended, That maiden's eyes stuck over all his face: Love lack'd a dwelling, and made him her place; And when in his fair parts she did abide, She was new lodged and newly deified.


His browny locks did hang in crooked curls;
And every light occasion of the wind
Upon his lips their silken parcels hurls.

What's sweet to do, to do will aptly find:
Each eye that saw him did enchant the mind;
For on his vissage was in little drawn,
What largeness thinks in paradise was sawn.

Small show of man was yet upon his chin;
His phoenix down began but to appear,
Like unshorn velvet, on that termless skin,

Whose bare out-bragg'd the web it seem'd to wear;
Yet show'd his visage by that cost most dear;
And nice affections wavering stood in doubt
If best 'twere as it was, or best without.

His qualities were beauteous as his form,
For maiden-tongued he was, and thereof free;
Yet, if men moved him, was he such a storm
As oft 'twixt May and April is to see,
When winds breathe sweet, unruly though they be.
His rudeness so with his authorized youth,
Did livery falseness in a pride of truth.

Well could he ride, and often men would say,
"That horse his mettle from his rider takes:
Proud of subjection, noble by the sway, [he makes !"
What rounds, what bounds, what course, what stop
And controversy hence a question takes,
Whether the horse by him became his deed,
Or he his manage by the well-doing steed.

But quickly on his side the verdict went,
His real habitude gave life and grace

To appertainings and to ornament,

Accomplish'd in himself, not in his case:
All aids, themselves made fairer by their place,
Came for additions; yet their purposed trim
Pieced not his grace, but were all graced by him.

So on the tip of his subduing tongue

All kind of arguments and question deep,
All replication prompt, and reason strong,

For his advantage still did wake and sleep:
To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep,
He had the dialect and different skill,
Catching all passions in his craft of will;

That he did in the general bosom reign

Of young, of old; and sexes both enchanted,
To dwell with him in thoughts, or to remain
In personal duty, following where he haunted:
Consents bewitch'd, ere he desire, have granted;
And dialogued for him what he would say,
Ask'd their own wills, and made their wills obey.
Many there were that did his picture get,

To serve their eyes, and in it put their mind;
Like fools that in the imagination set

The goodly objects which abroad they find
Of lands and mansions, theirs in thought assign'd;
And labouring in more pleasures to bestow them,
Than the true gouty landlord which doth owe them.
So many have, that never touch'd his hand,

Sweetly supposed them mistress of his heart.
My woeful self, that did in freedom stand,

And was my own fee-simple, (not in part,)
What with his art in youth, and youth in art,
Threw my affections in his charmed power,
Reserved the stalk, and gave him all my flower.

Yet did I not, as some my equals did,

Demand of him, nor being desired, yielded;
Finding myself in honour so forbid,

With safest distance I mine honour shielded;
Experience for me many bulwarks builded
Of proofs new-bleeding, which remain'd the foil
Of this false jewel, and his amorous spoil.
But, ah! who ever shunn'd with precedent
The destin'd ill she must herself assay?
Or forced examples, 'gainst her own content,
To put the by-pass'd perils in her way?
Counsel may stop a while what will not stay;
For when we rage, advice is often seen
By blunting us to make our wits more keen.

Nor gives it satisfaction to our blood,
That we must curb it upon others' proof,
To be forbid the sweets that seem so good,

For fear of harms that preach in our behoof.
O, appetite, from judgment stand aloof!
The one a palate hath, that needs will taste,
Though reason weep, and cry, It is thy last.
For further I could say, this man's untrue,

And knew the patterns of his foul beguiling;
Heard where his plants in others' orchards grew,
Saw how deceits were gilded in his smiling;
Knew vows were ever brokers to defiling;
Thought, characters, and words merely but art,
And bastards of his foul adulterate heart.

And long upon these terms I held my city,

Till thus he 'gan besiege me: "Gentle maid,
Have of my suffering youth some feeling pity,
And be not of my holy vows afraid:
That's to you sworn, to none was ever said;
For feasts of love I have been call'd unto,
Till now did ne'er invite, nor ever vow.

All my offences that abroad you see,


Are errors of the blood, none of the mind:
Love made them not; with acture they may be,
Where neither party is nor true nor kind:
They sought their shame that so their shame did
And so much less of shame in me remains,
By how much of me their reproach contains.
Among the many that mine eyes have seen,

Not one whose flame my heart so much as warm'd,
Or my affection put to the smallest teen,
Or any of my leisures ever charm'd:
Harm have I done to them, but ne'er was harm'd;
Kept hearts in liveries, but mine own was free,
And reign'd, commanding in his monarchy.

Look here what tributes wounded fancies sent me,
Of paled pearls, and rubies red as blood;
Figuring that they their passions likewise lent me
Öf grief and blushes, aptly understood

In bloodless white and the encrimson'd mood;
Effects of terror and dear modesty,
Encamp'd in hearts, but fighting outwardly.

And lo! behold these talents of their hair,
With twisted metal amorously impleach'd,
I have received from many a several fair,
(Their kind acceptance weepingly beseech'd,)
With the annexions of fair gems enrich'd,
And deep-brain'd sonnets that did amplify
Each stone's dear nature, worth, and quality.
The diamond; why 'twas beautiful and hard,

Whereto his invised properties did tend;
The deep-green emerald, in whose fresh regard
Weak sights their sickly radiance do amend;
The heaven-hued sapphire and the opal blend
With objects manifold; each several stone,
With wit well blazon'd, smiled, or made some moan.
Lo! all these trophies of affections hot,

Of pensive and subdued desires the tender,
Nature hath charged me that I hoard them not,
But yield them up where I myself must render,
That is, to you, my origin and ender:
For these, of force, must your oblations be,
Since I, their altar, you enpatron me.

O then advance of yours that phraseless hand,
Whose white weighs down the airy scale of praise;
Take all these similes to your own command,
Hallow'd with sighs that burning lungs did raise;
What me your minister, for you obeys,
Works under you; and to your audit comes
Their distract parcels in combined sums.
Lo! this device was sent me from a nun,
Or sister sanctified of holiest note;
Which late her noble suit in court did shun,
Whose rarest havings made the blossoms dote;
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
The thing we have not, mastering what not strives?
Playing 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;
The accident which brought me to her eye,
Upon the moment did her force subdue.

And now she would the caged cloister fly:
Religious love put out religion's eye:
Not to be tempted, would she be eninured,
And now, to tempt all, liberty procured.
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 among:

I, strong o'er them, and you o'er me being strong, Must for your victory us all congest,

As compound love to physic your cold breast.

My parts had power to charm a sacred nun,
Who disciplined and dieted in grace,
Believed her eyes when I the 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 thine.
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, '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,

And leave the battery that you make 'gainst mine,
Lending soft audience to my sweet design,
And credent soul to that strong-bounded oath,
That shall prefer and undertake my troth."
This said, his watery eyes 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 flowed space. O how the channel to the stream gave grace! Who, glazed with crystal, gave the glowing roses That flame through water which their hue incloses.

"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 daft,

Shook off my sober guards, and civil 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 plentitude of subtle matter,

Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives,
Of burning blushes, or of weeping water,

Of 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 tragic shows; That not a heart which in his level came,

Could scape the hail of his all-hurting aim, Showing fair nature is both kind and tame; [maim; And veil'd in them, would win whom he would Against the thing he sought, he would exclaim; When he most brunt in heart-wish'd luxury, He preach'd pure maid, and praised cold chastity. Thus merely with the garment of a Grace

The naked and concealed fiend he cover'd, That the unexperienced gave the tempter place, Which, like a cherubim 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 cheek so glow'd,
O, that forced thunder from his heart did fly,
O, that sad breath his spungy lungs bestow'd,
O, all that borrowed motion, seeming owed,
Would yet again betray the fore-betray'd,
And new pervert a reconciled maid !""


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