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Shall these twelve innocents by thy severe
Sentence (dread judge) my sin’s great burden bear?
Shall they be damn'd, and in the furnace thrown,
And punish'd for offences not their own
They save not me, they do not ease my pains,
When in that Hell they’re burnt and ty’d in chains:
Were they but crowns of France, I cared not,
For most of them their natural country rot
I think possesseth, they come here to us,
So pale, so lame, so lean, so ruinous;
And howsoe'er French kings most Christian be,
Their crowns are circumcis'd most Jewishly;
Or were they Spanish stamps still travelling,
That are become as catholic as their king,
Those unlick'd bear-whelps, unfil’d pistolets,
That (more than cannon-shot) avails or lets,
Which, negligently left unrounded, look
Like many angled figures in the book
Of some dread conjurer, that would enforce
Nature, as these do justice, from her course,
Which, as the soul quickens head, feet, and heart,
As streams like veins run through th' Earth's ev'ry
Visit all countries, and have slily made [part,
Gorgeous France ruin’d; ragged and decay’d
Scotland, which knew no state, proud in one day;
And mangled seventeen-headed Belgia:
Or were it such gold as that, where withall
Almighty chymics from each mineral
Having by subtle fire a soul out-pull'd,
Are dirtily and desperately gull'd :
I would not spit to quench the fire they’re in,
For they are guilty of much heinous sin.
But shall my harmless angels perish Shall
I lose my guard, my ease, my food, my all
Much hope, which they should nourish, will be dead,
Much of my able youth, and lusty head
Will vanish, if thou, love, let them alone,
For thou wilt love me less, when they are gone;
And be content, that some lewd squeaking crier,
Well pleas'd with one lean thread-bare groat for
May like a devil roar through every street, [hire,
And gall the finder's conscience, if they meet.
Or let me creep to some dread conjurer,
That with fantastic scenes fills full much paper;
Which hath divided Heaven in tenements,
And with whores, thieves, and murderers, stuff’d
his rents - *
So full, that though he pass them all in sin,
He leaves himself no room to enter in.
But if, when all his art and time is spent,
He say 'twill ne'er be found, yet be content;
Receive from him the doom ungrudgingly,
Because he is the mouth of Destiny.
Thou say’st, alas! the gold doth still remain,
Though it be chang'd, and put into a chain;
So in the first fall’n angels resteth still
Wisdom and knowledge, but 'tis turn'd to ill:
As these should do good works, and should provide
Necessities; but now must nurse thy pride:
And they are still bad angels; mine are none:
For form gives being, and their form is gone:
Pity these angels yet: their dignities
Pass virtues, powers, and principalities.
But thou art resolute; thy will be done;
Yet with such anguish, as her only son
The mother in the hungry grave doth lay,
Unto the fire these martyrs I betray.
Good souls, (for you give life to everything)
Good angels, (for good messages you bring)
Destin'd you might have been to such an one,
As would have lov’d and worshipp'd you alone:
One that would suffer hunger, nakedness,
Yea death, ere he would make your number less.
But I am guilty of your sad decay:
May your few fellows longer with me stay.
But oh, thou wretched finder, whom I hate
So, that I almost pity thy estate,
Gold being the heaviest metal amongst all,
May my most heavy curse upon thee fall:
Here fetter'd, manacled, and hang'd in chains,
First may’st thou be; then chain’d to hellish pains;
Or be with foreign gold brib'd to betray
Thy country, and fail both of it and thy pay.
May the next thing, thou stoop'st to reach, contain
Poison, whose nimble fume rot thy moist brain:
Or libels, or some interdicted thing,
Which, negligently kept, thy ruin bring.
Lust-bred diseases rot thee; and dwell with thee
Itching desire, and no ability.
May all the evils, that gold ever wrought;
All mischief, that all devils ever thought;
Want after plenty; poor and gouty age;
The plague of travailers, love and marriage,
Afflict thee; and at thy life’s last moment
May thy swoln sins themselves to thee present.
But I forgive : repent, thou honest man:
Gold is restorative, restore it then:
But if that from it thou be'st loth to part,
Because ’tis cordial, would 'twere at thy heart.
To make the doubt clear, that no woman's true,
Was it my fate to prove it strong in you ?
Thought I, but one had breathed purest air,
And must she needs be false, because she’s fair
Is it your beauty’s mark, or of your youth,
Or your perfection not to study truth
Or think you Heav'n is deaf, or hath no eyes,
Or those it hath smile at your perjuries?
Are vows so cheap with women, or the matter
Whereof they’re made, that they are writ in water
And blown away with wind Or doth their breath
(Both hot and cold) at once make life and death 2
Who could have thought so many accents sweet
Form'd into words, so many sighs should meet,
As from our hearts, so many oaths, and tears
Sprinkled among (all sweet’ned by our fears)
And the divine impression of stol’n kisses,
That seal’d the rest, should now prove empty
Did you draw bonds to forfeit * sign to break 2
Or must we read you quite from what you speak,
And find the truth out the wrong way 2 or must
He first desire you false, who'ld wish you just?
O, I profane: though most of women be
This kind of beast, my thoughts shall except thee,
My dearest love; though froward jealousy
With circumstance might urge thy inconstancy,
Sooner I’ll think the Sun will cease to cheer
The teeming Earth, and that forget to bear:
Sooner that rivers will run back, or Thames
With ribs of ice in June will bind his streams;
Or Nature, by whose strength the world endures,
Would change her course, before you alter yours.
But oh! that treacherous breast, to whom weak you
Did trust our counsels, and we both may rue,
Having his falsehood found too late, ’twas he
That made me cast you guilty, and you me;
Whilst he (black wretch) betray’d each simple word
We spake unto the cunning of a third.
Curs'd may he be, that so our love hath slain,
And wander on the Earth, wretched as Cain,
Wretched as he, and not deserve least pity;
In plaguing him let misery be witty.
Let all eyes shun him, and he shun each eye,
Till he be noisome as his infamy;
May he without remorse deny God thrice,
And not be trusted more on his soul’s price;
And after all self-torment, when he dies
May wolves tear out his heart, vultures his eyes;
Swine eat his bowels; and his falser tongue,
That utter'd all, be to some raven flung;
And let his carrion-corse be a longer feast
To the king's dogs, than any other beast.
Now I have curs'd, let us our love revive;
In me the flame was never more alive;
I could begin again to court and praise,
And in that pleasure lengthen the short days
Of my life's lease; like painters, that do take
Delight, not in made works, but whilst they make.
I could renew those times, when first I saw
Love in your eyes, that gave my tongue the law
To like what you lik’d; and at masks and plays
Commend the self-same actors the same ways;